CF Montreal will be well represented in the Canada national team as five players will wear the maple leaf during next week’s internationals.
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Coach John Herdman called on defenders Kamal Miller, Alistair Johnston and Joel Waterman, as well as midfielders Samuel Piette and Ismaël Koné.
No other team in the world provides the national soccer team with so many players.
Canada, 43rd in the FIFA rankings, the international federation, will play two games in preparation for the World Cup.
On Friday there will be a first duel against Qatar (46th) in Austria, followed by a high-quality duel against Uruguay on September 27th (13th). The match will be played in Bratislava, Slovakia.
It would have been absurd if Herdman hadn’t given Waterman, who is arguably the best defender at CF Montreal this season, a chance.
“He’s having a brilliant season with a team that I enjoy watching,” Herdman agreed during a Friday lunchtime video conference call. There’s a Canadian chemistry behind it and you can see the camaraderie, they get along,” he added, referring to teammates Johnston and Miller who will also be traveling with him.
Herdman intends to test the BC full-back to see how far he can go.
“He’s a wonderful passer who plays right. It’s a test for him if he can contain guys like Alphonso Davies or Jonathan David.
“He brings a good dose of confidence and it’s always nice to work with players like that. »
Koné can make his place
In the case of young Koné, who is only 20 years old, Herdman wants to give him a chance to show himself.
“We enjoyed working with Ismaël in March. He came when he was on the rise. He had the level, even if it’s sometimes too much and too fast for a young player.
“His team is very strong and he is struggling to find his place between Samuel Piette and Victor Wanyama but he is doing well. I invited him to give him a chance to make his mark and show that he can play at the World Cup. »
Originally English, Herdman did his homework and met the midfielder who almost left for Norwich City, who play in the Championship, England’s second division.
“I was able to speak to a contact in Norwich City and they researched him really well and they really think he has the quality to play in the first third. »
Canada faces several pitfalls as it prepares for the World Cup, which begins in two months’ time. Several players have been affected by injuries despite being included in the squad during this international window.
“Mark-Anthony Kaye and Jonathan Osorio were injured and Doneil Henry just fell into action,” Herdman said, adding that he had to carefully manage the return of Tajon Buchanan, who was also injured recently.
“We have an agreement with his team, Brugge, about Tajon. He will be there to gain experience against Uruguay but his minutes will be very limited.
“Also, several players will not go into series [de la MLS] and few could have foreseen a few months ago that many of our players would be inactive for several weeks before the World Cup. »
The Hutchinson case
In addition, Canada also have to look after the health of their 39-year-old veteran Atiba Hutchinson, whose contract has just been frozen by his Turkish club Besiktas because of an injury.
“It’s difficult in the case of Atiba,” admitted Herdman. He suffered a bruised bone in pre-season and is doing everything he can to stay fit without being able to train. »
His country will do everything to ensure that he can live his dream of qualifying for the World Cup because it is the big brother of this formation.
“According to the set plan, it will be ready by the end of October. Our medical team will travel to Turkey after our stay in Bratislava.
“If there’s one player we want to see at the World Cup, it’s Atiba,” said the coach.
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