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Canada Roster Update Ahead of Copa: Ahmed, Russell-Rowe In; Zator, Brym Out

By on June 13, 2024 0 834 Views

Canada Soccer has released an update to the Canadian Men’s National Team squad ahead of the Copa America pre-camp that is scheduled to begin in Atlanta.

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Vancouver Whitecaps player Ali Ahmed and Columbus Crew’s Jacen Russell-Rowe are now included into the team for the upcoming camp, while Dominick Zator and Charles-Andreas Brym will return to club duties yet still remain eligible.

Ahmed, 23, was previously included in Canada’s last major competition, the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup. He made his debut in the opening match against Guadeloupe, and has made four appearances since then, impressing with his performances.

That match was also when Russell-Rowe, 21, made his first team debut, although unfortunately was at the end of an own-goal to mark the occasion. Since then, the fellow Toronto-native has made five appearances for Canada as an up-and-coming dynamic striker and now looks to add to his acap count after being included in this pre-Copa camp.

Both inclusions have come in after some fine form for their domestic MLS clubs: Ahmed has registered a goal and an assist in 16 appearances so far for the Whitecaps, and has stood out as yet another exciting prospect coming out of the West Coast team. Russell-Rowe, in the same vein, has been a lethal spark for Columbus so far this season, scoring three goals in MLS and two goals and one assist in Concacaf Champions Cup. That includes a memorable performance where the 21-year-old scored and assisted to give his side a 2-1 lead over Monterrey in the first leg of the semi-finals.

The exclusion of both players from the squad that faced the Netherlands and France earlier this month was a slight shock given their young age and bright form, so it is no surprise that there has been plenty of excitement brewing since their announcement. Zator and Brym may feel disappointed to leave the camp, but their continued eligibility will hopefully allow them some comfort as they look to also make the final squad for Copa America, which begins in one week’s time.

The final squad for the upcoming competition will be announced in two days time, on Saturday, June 15th. Everyone will be waiting with great anticipation as Jesse Marsch announces his squad for his first major competition as the new head coach of the team. Marsch will look to build on that resilient draw against 2022 World Cup Finalists France in a true “trial-by-fire” opening match against Reigning World Cup Champions, Argentina.

That match is due to kick off on June 20th, with Canada facing Peru and Chile on the 25th and 29th, respectively, to round off the group stage.

Header Image Photo Credit: Canada Soccer

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