8 CPL Players Make Provisional Olympic Qualifying Roster
Canada Soccer has just announced its provisional roster ahead of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers, which features no less than fifty different Canadian players. Of those fifty, there are eight players who ply their trade in the Canadian Premier League.
The tournament rules require that the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifier squad must be filled with players born in or after 1997, with allowance for a maximum of three overage players.
The current CPL athletes who have received the call are FC Edmonton’s Easton Ongaro, Halifax Wanderer’s new signing Daniel Kinumbe, Pacific FC’s Terran Campbell, Kadin Chung, Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, and Noah Verhoeven, Valour FC’s Yohan Le Bourhis, and York9 FC’s Diyaeddine Abzi.
Expected Valour FC loanee James Pantemis and former CPL MVP Tristan Borges are also part of the fifty-man squad, which will be trimmed down to twenty players a week ahead of the tournament, which kicks off on March 20.
The squad members who make Canada’s final roster will kick off their first match of the Guadalajara-based tournament against El Salvador on March 21. Canada will also play Haiti and and Honduras, with the top two teams advancing to the semi-finals on March 30.
Only the tournament winner and the runner-up will qualify for the summer Olympics in Tokyo. Canada hasn’t qualified for this since 1984, and will be without the help of young phenom Alphonso Davies or in-form Jonathan David for the qualifiers due to the tournament’s overlap with senior national team friendlies due to take place at Westhills Stadium.
It’ll be interesting to see which Canadian Premier League players – if any – make the final twenty-man roster for the tournament. Earlier this year, Tristan Borges became the first Canadian Premier League player to feature for the national team, with Amer Didic following closely behind him.
Source: Canada Soccer