Eight CPL Athletes Make Canada U-20 Provisional Roster
Canada Soccer has announced its sixty-player provisional roster for the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship, with no less than eight Canadian Premier League players featuring on the list. That’s an increase from the six players who featured in an international camp last month.
Canada will need to trim its sixty-man provisional roster that selection down to just twenty youngsters no later than ten days ahead of the competition’s opening match on June 18.
Without further ado, here’s the eight current Canadian Premier League athletes who are in consideration for a trip to Honduras:
Pacific FC – Paul Amedume
The 19-year-old midfielder/centre-back hybrid is currently out on loan with North Texas SC, where he’s shown great development under Pa-Modou Kah. He’s acclimated well to the MLS NEXT Pro environment, and even found himself on the scoresheet this month:
The youngster was first scooped by Pacific FC on a developmental deal last October, making his debut against FC Edmonton on the day of his announcement. The BTB Academy product was then quietly signed to a new deal in 2022, with his contract being announced alongside his loan to North Texas SC.
Cavalry FC – Jean-Aniel Assi
CF Montreal loanee Jean-Aniel Assi clocks in at just 17, but the promising forward has already found no problem collecting minutes at the Canadian Premier League. That shouldn’t come as a surprise given that the CF Montreal academy product turned professional with his MLS parent clug two years ago, even making history as CF Montreal’s youngest-ever player when he made his Champions League debut against CD Olimpia.
The winger will come into call-up consideration amidst some sharp league form, having notched an assist against Pacific FC after a smart press from the youngster caught out the Tridents as they built out from the back. This is a youngster with a high ceiling, but he’ll almost certainly be one of the youngest players on the squad if he cracks the final twenty-man roster.
Forge FC – Dino Bontis
17-year-old goalkeeper Dino Bontis has yet to make his professional debut with Forge, riding the bench on a few occasions after arriving on a developmental contract last month.
The Hamilton local developed through the Hamilton Sparta before jumping up to the Toronto FC Academy, where he was a nine-year-old golden glove winner at the U-13 Concacaf Club Championship in 2013 . As the son of Canada Soccer President Nick Bontis, he’ll be tasked with proving that he’s worthy of a roster selection on his own merit.
Valour FC – Matthew Catavolo
Attacking midfielder Matthew Catavolo has already accumulated some 234 minutes of game time since arriving to Valour FC, with the former CF Montreal youth prospect showing plenty of promise at IG Field. At just 19 years of age, the diminutive midfielder looks right at home on the professional stage and shows plenty of good technique for his age.
He’s also no stranger to international football at the youth level, having made eight appearances for Les Rouges between the FIFA U-17 World Cup and Concacaf U-17 Championship in 2019. The 19-year-old reportedly impressed during last month’s U-20 camp, even scoring a peach of a goal during the test.
Pacific FC – Kamron Habibullah
Highly-touted forward Kamron Habibullah didn’t take long to get things started after arriving on loan from the Vancouver Whitecaps, scoring a few tasty goals in preseason before collecting a few appearances with the reigning Canadian Premier League champions. Given who they’ve got in their attacking line, that’s no small feat.
The 18-year-old forward had inked a homegrown contract with the Vancouver Whitecaps alongside Matteo Campagna last April, and went on to make three MLS appearances in 2021. He’s been prolific for the ‘Caps at the youth level, bagging some 21 goals in 58 appearances from the U-16 to U-19 levels.
He’s also no stranger to Canada’s youth setup, having scored three goals for Les Rouges in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
York United FC – Mamadou Kane
When the Nine Stripes brought in Mamadou Kane from the CF Montreal academy system, they knew they had a player who was already intertwined with Canada Soccer at the youth level: having featured in all three matches for Canada at the 2019 U-17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Kane was always an expected addition for this year’s U-20 tournament.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he received a call-up to the Canada U-17 squad for the 2019 World Cup in Brazil, where he featured in all three matches. While his start with the Nine Stripes has been quiet, he’s clearly a youngster with a high ceiling.
Forge FC – Kwasi Poku
Forge just has a knack for picking out astounding youngsters, don’t they? Last season saw Woobens Pacius and Garven Metusala break out onto the scene, and this year it seems to be Kwasi Poku’s turn: the six-foot-three midfielder hit the ground running in the Champions League against Cruz Azul, with the 19-year-old immediately slotting into the line-up of the Hamilton-based side when league play followed. Thrown into left-back as needed, he’s really held his own at the professional level.
The 19-year-old was with the Canada U-20 squad last month, but returned to Forge early to help out during an injury crisis. The former Toronto FC Academy prospect cut his teeth in League1 Ontario before jumping up to USL League One action with Toronto FC II, with Forge proving to be another step in the right direction for the Brampton local.
York United – Lowell Wright
Now in the midst of his third professional season at the tender age of 18, Lowell Wright offers a ton of physicality – and a keen eye for goal – for the young reds.
The teenage striker already has seven professional goals through thirty-eight appearances under his feet, and saw good game time in the U-20 camp last month. Having joined York United as the club’s youngest player in 2020, he’s developed well after stepping into the professional game at the tender age of sixteen.
All-told, it’s a tall order to fine a U-20 domestic athlete with more professional experience than Wright, and he’ll be a favourite to crack the final squad selection.
The provisional roster also includes five former CPL athletes, too: former MLS-to-CPL loanees Matteo Campagna, Keesean Ferdinand, and Tomas Giraldo are on the list, while former Cavalry FC midfielder Max Piepgrass has stuck on despite not returning to the CPL side after his 2021 campaign. It’s nice to see Ottawa local Antoine Coupland get the nod after he took a swing on Europe, too.
The 2022 Concacaf Men’s U-20 Championship sees Canada drawn into a group with Cuba, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the USA, with the top three teams advancing to the Round of 16. The tournament acts as a double-qualifier for both the 2024 Olympic Games and the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and will run from June 18 to July 3.
Here’s The Full Canada U-20 Provisionary Roster:
FB- Noah Abatneh | ITA / SS Lazio Roma
LW- Theo Afework | GER / Nuremburg
GK- Ben Alexander | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
CB- Jefferson Alphonse | CAN / Académie CF Montreal
M- Jordan Alvarez | POR / Boavista FC
M / CB- Paul Amedume | USA / North Texas SC
GK- Max Anchor | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
RW- Jean-Aniel Assi | CAN / Cavalry FC
RW- Georgi Atanassov | BUL / Arda Kardzhali
RB- Elage Bah | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
GK- Samuel Banfi | CAN / Académie CF Montreal
GK- Dino Bontis | CAN / Forge FC Hamilton
GK- Nikola Borjan | SRB / FK Crvena zvezda U-19
F- Mataeo Bunbury | USA / Sporting Kansas City II
M- Matteo Campagna | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
LB- Renaud Caron | CAN / Académie CF Montreal
M- Matthew Catavolo | CAN / Valour FC
CB- Loïc Cloutier | CAN / Académie CF Montreal
F- Tiago Coimbra | BRA / SE Palmeiras
CM- Jesse Costa | GER / VfL Wolfsburg
M / F- Antoine Coupland | CRO / HNK Rijeka
LB- Tyler Crawford | USA / Columbus Crew SC
FB- Luc de Fougerolles | ENG / Fulham FC
GK- Adisa De Rosario | CAN / Toronto FC II
M- Lucas Dias | POR / Sporting CP U-23
RB- Keesean Ferdinand | CAN / CF Montréal
RB- Kobe Franklin | CAN / Toronto FC II
M- Tomas Giraldo | CAN / CF Montréal
GK- Owen Goodman | ENG / Crystal Palace
RB- Joshua Gordon | CAN / Toronto FC II
LW- Kamron Habibullah | CAN / Pacific FC
M- Mael Henry | CAN / Académie CF Montreal
M- Jay Herdman | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
F- Mouhamadou (Mamadou) Kane | CAN / York United FC
CB- Jamie Knight-Lebel | ENG / Bristol City FC
F- Luca Koleosho | ESP / RCD Espanyol
F- Ronan Kratt | GER / SSV Ulm 1846
W- Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty | CAN / Toronto FC
RB- Kundai Mawoko | CAN / Toronto FC II
F- Hugo Mbongue Mbongue | CAN / Toronto FC II
LW- Dieu-Merci Michel | POR / Vitoria Guimares
CB- Joshue Ndakala | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
AM- Shyon Omrani | POR / Vitória Setubal FC
CB- Adam Pearlman | CAN / Toronto FC II
M- Gabriel Pellegrino | GER / SC Freiburg
M- Max Piepgrass | CAN / Cavalry FC
M- Kwasi Poku | CAN / Forge FC Hamilton
F- Federico Rose | ARG / Velez Sarsfield
RM- Jeronimo Sabbatasso | ITA / Empoli FC
M- Nathan-Dylan Saliba | CAN / CF Montreal
F- Alexander Sarakinis | GRE / FC Volos U-19
F- Lukas Sarakinis | ENG / Bolton Wanderrs
M- Matteo Schiavoni | CAN / Academie CF Montreal
CB- Justin Smith | FRA / OGC Nice
M- Hugo Tavares | POR / FC Pacos de Ferreira
M- Kosi Thompson | CAN / Toronto FC
F / W- Jules-Anthony Vilsaint | BEL / Royal Antwerp FC
RB- Eric White | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
F- Lowell Wright | CAN / York United FC
M- Rida Zouhir | CAN / CF Montréal
Canada U-20 head coach Mauro Biello will have until June 8 to trim his sixty-man provisionary roster down to just twenty athlete.