CanMNT Concacaf Nations League Roster Reveal for June – Analysis

CanMNT players, Dayne St. Clair and Junior Hoilett, celebrates World Cup berth in Toronto, Ontario
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ANALYSIS – The CanMNT Concacaf Nations League roster was revealed yesterday. This included the return of Alphonso Davies and some new faces to the team.

CanMNT Concacaf Nations League Roster Analysis

The return of Alphonso Davies as he will play in the CanMNT Concacaf Nations League

This was expected, but still refreshing to see. Davies missed the last two World Cup qualifying cycle rosters due to an illness. However, he is back, and arguably Concacaf’s best player will be raring to go on June 9 and 13. He has scored 10 goals in 30 appearances for the club.

The player from FC Bayern Munich, who recovered from Myocarditis, is now healthy and playing for his club team. However, even though he could not play and join the celebrations, he said this about his Canada Soccer making the men’s FIFA World Cup from the sidelines. This is according to Bundesliga.

“I’m going to the World Cup! We’re going to the World Cup, man,” the Bayern defender said while rubbing his eyes in glee. “I cannot believe it. I’m tearing up. My dream has come true.”

There were many games that Davies played where he had a big role in Canada qualifying for the World Cup. This included assisting on the game-tying goals on the road against the USMNT and Mexico in World Cup qualifying. However, the one that stands out the most was his goal against Panama. His and the team’s performance against Panama, last October, dramatically increased the viewership of the CanMNT games in this country as seen above (does not include ratings from French-Canadian TV ratings and streams).

Dayne St. Clair

Another player to point out is Dayne St. Clair. He is a great addition to the team as he has played exceptionally well for Minnesota United FC. This is what St. Clair said according to Michael Rand of the Star Tribune:

“It means everything,” St. Clair said of representing his country. “We want to see Canada on that world stage, really making a name for themselves and getting a little more respect in the world.”

St. Clair is continuing the momentum from last year. After helping the Loons get to a deep playoff run last year, St. Clair is also playing well this year. He also currently holds the best save percentage (.833) in MLS. His most notable game this year was against the New York Red Bulls, where he made eight saves and preserved Minnesota’s win over the Red Bulls.

Newer or returning faces on the CanMNT

Raheem Edwards is not a new face with the CanMNT. However, he has not played for his country since 2018. He is playing very well for the LA Galaxy, where he currently leads the club with five assists in MLS play.

As seen in this goal at the U.S. Open Cup, Edwards skillfully passed the ball to Dejan Joveljić, who scored the Galaxy’s third goal from very close range in a 3-1 win over city rivals, Los Angeles FC. He will be yet another player to feed Canada’s strikers, just like Richie Laryea, Alphonso Davies, and Tajon Buchanan have done.

Then there is Espanyol forward Luca Koleosho. Koleosho is an American-born player, who was brought up in the U.S., and Spain. He was born in the United States to a Nigerian father and an Italian Canadian mother. Koleosho played for the USMNT U15’s four times in 2019.

Koleosho just recently made his debut for RCD Espanyol de Barcelona on May 22 as a late substitute in the 90-minute. In that game, Espanyol drew in a scoreless draw against Granada.  However, he will not be part of the training camp with Canada, originally reported by Brian Sciaretta of TSN. Also, Koleosho was with the USYNT last month. While he is with the CanMNT this window does not necessarily mean he will play for Canada. Also, according to ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens, Koleosho is still open to joining the USMNT.

CanMNT Roster Analysis and Summary

Unfortunately, for Canada, the game against Iran on June 5 was cancelled today. As a result, the CanMNT window will only play two games next month. This will be June 9 against Curaçao at BC Place, before facing Honduras at Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano on June 13. The game on June 9 should be seen as a must-win game, This is because the game afterwards, on paper, will be the toughest game for Canada on the road against Honduras.

It is unclear what the format is, however, if it was like the last edition, the group winners of each Concacaf Nations group are drawn together. The best-placed first place team will face the worst-placed first-team winner from another group. The second and third-best group winners would face each other in the other semi-finals matchup. The Curaçao game is at 10:30 p.m. ET while the game in Honduras is at 10:00 p.m. ET. The games will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus.

It was a great move for Canada to invite Koleosho to camp. This is especially true when the USMNT is also looking at Koleosho. It is also great for Canada to recognize the progress of Edwards and also have him on the roster. Yes, the Iran game being cancelled will probably have some negative implications. However, in terms of bringing players to the roster, was a good move by John Herdman and his coaching staff.

Photo Credit: Canada Soccer by Martin Bazyl on March 27, 2022.