EDITORIAL – The Canadian Men’s soccer team started this decade on the wrong foot. Canada was unable to maintain the momentum they had in both the 2007 and 2009 Gold Cups. In the former, they made it to the semi-finals, while in the latter, making it to the quarterfinals. They failed to get into the quarterfinals in 2011, 2013, and 2015 Gold Cups.
Canadian Men’s Soccer Team Starting XI 2010s
However, they were able to rebound and make it to the quarterfinals in both 2017 and 2019. A big part of this was the establishment of the three MLS-based cities in Canada, which are Toronto FC, the Montreal Impact, and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. People will notice a lot of players who made this list will be from those three MLS teams.
Canadian Men’s Soccer Starting XI 2010s
Canada’s Star Strikers
Alphonso Davies (2017-Present) – The Canadian Men’s Soccer Team Icon
Alphonso Davies has played as a defender for Canada, but with mixed results. He is best suited as a striker for Team Canada. This was clearly shown in the 2017 Gold Cup. He scored three goals in that tournament and won the Golden Boot and Young Player Award.
Jonathan David (2018-Present) – The Canadian Men’s Soccer Player of the Year
With all the talk of Davies, it feels like Jonathan David has been a bigger contributor to the Canadian Men’s National Soccer team. He scored five goals in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup giving him the Golden Boot Award. He was also part of the Concacaf Gold Cup Best XI in 2019 and was also named the Canadian Men’s Player of the Year in the same year.
Canadian Men’s Soccer Midfielders
Atiba Hutchinson (2003-Present)
This is not a surprise for anyone following the Canadian men’s national team. A defensive midfielder, and former captain, Atiba Hutchinson has been with the Canadian Men’s team since 2003. His accolades are many with the Canadian Men’s Soccer team. This includes winning six Canadian Player of the Year Awards in the last decade and being part of the Concacaf Best XI in 2016.
Scott Arfield (2016-Present) – Current Canadian Men’s Soccer Team Captain
The Scottish-born Canadian has taken over the captaincy role of Team Canada from Hutchinson. Scott Arfield has been with the team since 2016. He has shown his teammates to be their best player and is a needed veteran presence for a team filled with youth.
Arfield has been the anchor of the team and is currently the most consistent performer for Team Canada. He will play a big role if Canada qualifies for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Junior Hoilett (2015-Present)
Junior Hoilett currently plays for Cardiff City since 2016. This includes playing in the Premier League in the 2018-19 season.
The Canadian native has been playing with the national team since 2015. He has made 27 appearances and has scored nine goals as a Canadian soccer player. This includes scoring a wonder-goal in the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals loss against Jamaica.
Dwayne De Rosario (1998-2015)
Dwayne De Rosario has been one of Canada soccer’s greatest contributors. He has been a four-time Canadian player of the year, including one in the last decade. The Scarborough-native has scored some big goals for Team Canada.
Patrice Bernier (2004-17)
Patrice Bernier like De Rosario has been one of Canada soccer’s greatest contributors. He played a vital role as captain of the team in the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup. Bernier retired after the tournament ended. Felicia Parrillo of Global News said this:
“The World Cup is coming in 2026, and the age group here, they have a real chance of playing for Canada at that World Cup,” said Bernier. “So it’s just sharing a bit of my experience and knowledge that I got from many years of playing.”
Canadian Men’s Soccer Defenders
Marcel De Jong (2007-Present) – Canadian Men’s Soccer Veteran Defender
De Jong has been a staple with Team Canada since 2007. Currently playing for Pacific FC, De Jong is a well-versed veteran who played in Europe and MLS. He was not in the game against the US in the Concacaf Nations League but has made a significant contribution. This is why De Jong easily made it into the starting XI.
Doneil Henry (2012-Present)
Doneil Henry has been a staple in the Canadian team since 2012. He is currently playing professionally in South Korea and has experience in both MLS and Europe. Henry is an aggressive defender, but more times than not gets the job done. A player who has gone through the Toronto FC academy, Henry is one of many players that have become great players through MLS.
André Hainault (2006-Present)
André Hainault is a respected Canadian player for the national team. Since 2006, he has made 44 appearances, scoring two goals. According to Canada Soccer, Hainault scored his second goal through a Will Johnson free kick in 2011 against Belarus.
Canadian Men’s Soccer Goalkeeper
Milan Borjan (2011-Present) – Canadian Men’s Soccer Legendary Goalkeeper
This was the easiest decision to make. Milan Borjan is the current goalkeeper of the Canadian Men’s Soccer Team. He has been with the team since 2011 and is their biggest contributor. The Hamilton native is currently playing for big European team Red Star Belgrade in Serbia.
Lucas Cavallini (2012-Present) – Canadian Men’s Soccer Secret Weapon
Lucas Cavallini is an excellent player and a forward for Team Canada. He has scored 11 goals in 16 appearances. The only reason why he is not in the starting roster is because of Davies and David, probably Canada’s two best players on the team. This Canadian player now plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in MLS.
Overview of the Canadian Men’s Soccer Team Top XI
The Canadian Best XI in the 2010s gives some hope. Their offense, midfielders, and starting goalkeeper should be considered elite in Concacaf. This is especially true when these players reach their peak for the Canadian Men’s National Team. A big reason for that is the Canadian MLS teams, which have helped develop talent in Canada.
However, what is lacking is a strong defense. Here, Canada should look at the Canadian Premier League to fill that gap. This is because many Canadian defenders are now getting minutes in a professional environment.