Tristan Borges Called Up to Canada National Team Ahead Of Three Friendlies
Tristan Borges – along with a handful of other Canadian Premier League players – has been called up to the Canadian national team ahead of three friendly matches against Barbados and Iceland slated for later this month.
The 21-year-old Forge FC midfielder just had a stellar season in the country’s only domestic professional league, winning the golden boot, MVP, and Best Canadian U-21 Player awards as he helped his Hamilton-based club secure the North Star Shield.
He becomes the fourth CPL player to earn a national team nod since the league kicked its first ball last April.
While many national team veterans aren’t able to be called up due to the timing of the January camp, the three friendlies carry significant importance: performing well in them could help Canada re-obtained a spot in the coveted Hex, which makes World Cup qualification a much more straightforwad process.
Herdman’s collective of call-ups brings in plenty of youth, with Toronto FC youngsters Jacob Shaffelburg, Noble Okello, and Jayden Nelson also notable additions to the camp. With three games to play in a short window, there may be a solid amount of rotation that could see several youngsters split the playing time, too.
Outside of the FIFA window, it is a difficult period to assemble players due to club and off-season commitments, but this gives us the opportunity to introduce young players who we have monitored throughout 2019 and have continued to impress at the club or international level.John Herdman
The Canadian camp will consist of goalkeepers Marco Carducci, Maxime Crepeau, and James Pantemis (who Valour FC may be keen to loan), defenders Derek Cornelius, Amer Didic, Manjrekar James, Kamal Miller, Samuel Adekugbe, Zorhan Bassong, Marcus Godinho, Richie Laryea, and Ashtone Morgan, midfielders Tristan Borges, Jay Chapman, Liam Fraser, Noble Okello, Jonathan Osorio, Samuel Piette, Shamit Shome, and Russel Teibert, along with forwards Tesho Akindle, Theo Bair, Charles-Andreas Brym, Jayden Nelson, Tosaint Ricketts, and Jacob Shaffelburg.
The January camp represents a great chance for youngsters to impress at the national level, and those selected to perform in any of the three friendly games will gain some crucial experience in the high-stakes friendlies. It’ll also give plenty of the U-23 players a chance to impress ahead of the Olympic qualifiers, too.
If the players from this national camp can pull together results against Barbados and Iceland, Canada could net itself a nice bag of FIFA points in an effort to boost its ranking as one of the top CONCACAF nations and put itself in the hex once more.
With three Canadian Premier League players called up, fans of the domestic professional league may finally get to see a CPL player make their debut for the senior national team. While Marco Carducci and Amer Didic have made the final squad on previous occasions, neither has made their full debut with the senior national team so far.
Canada will face Barbados twice (once on January 7 and once again on January 10) before squaring off against Iceland on January 15.
Source: Canada Soccer