Ryan Telfer Debuts For Trinidad and Tobago
25-year-old Toronto FC loanee Ryan Telfer has impressed a lot of people this year: the winger has spent the last few months on loan at York9 FC, where his speed, technical ability, and clinical finishing have established him as one of the Canadian Premier League‘s best players.
With Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney being impressed by the Mississauga-born winger and Nine Stripes assistant coach Carmine Isacco calling him the perfect prototype of how a loan in the CPL can help a player’s development, it came as no surprise to hear that the national camps for both Canada and Trinidad and Tobago were looking at Telfer.
Telfer was aware of the speculation, and when asked by Nine Stripes podcast co-host Vincent Alvarado, he admitted that choosing between the two countries would be a difficult choice. When Canadian national team head coach John Herdman didn’t include him on the country’s roster for this weekend’s CONCACAF Nations League match – though he said Telfer was certainly on his radar – it seems to have made the choice a bit easier: Telfer accepted a call-up with Trinidad and Tobago days later.
Yesterday, the Toronto FC loanee made his debut for The Soca Warriors, donning the Number 7 and starting the country’s CONCACAF Nations League match against Martinique. After going down a goal in the first-half, Telfer provided what will have been a familiar sight to fans of York9 FC: his impressive speed won his team a penalty, which was successfully converted by Seattle Sounders wing-back Joevin Jones.
Clawing back a draw for the national team isn’t a bad way to make one’s debut for their national team, though those who know Telfer will know he will have been disappointed not to win.
Canadian fans have been entirely supportive of Telfer’s decision, which has been met with an air of understanding: the rise of the likes of Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David means that Telfer would get significantly less opportunities if he chose to wait for a nod from Canada, whereas with Trinidad and Tobago he’s been thrown directly into the mix as a starter.
Now that he’s cap-tied to The Soca Warriors, it’ll be interesting to see how Telfer’s international career blossoms. At 25, he’s a late bloomer compared to most – but he’s reaching heights that few would have been thought possible when the talented player was plucked from relative obscurity to play with TFC2 in 2017.
Telfer isn’t the only Canadian Premier League player who’s been on international duty this weekend, either: Halifax Wanderers youngster Abd-El-Aziz Yousef made his debut for Somalia in a historic 1-0 win over Zimbabwe, while Marco Carducci has been training with the Canadian national team ahead of a match against Cuba due to play out later tonight.
Forge FC goalkeeper Quillan Roberts also received his second call-up for Guyana after having made his debut against Trinidad and Tobago in the 2019 Gold Cup. Like Telfer, he had strong ties to Canada (and had even appeared for Canada for a few minutes in a friendly match), but opted to pursue a one-time FIFA registration switch to get international opportunities elsewhere.
We here at Northern Tribune would like to congratulate Ryan Telfer on making his debut. The more internationals the Canadian Premier League has on the books, the more eyes will be on the growing league – and that’s a good thing for all involved.