Canada Soccer have released their 23-man squad for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifiers in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The September series represents a final two-match, three-nation dash for one spot in CONCACAF’s final round of qualification matches for Russia 2018, “The Hex.”
Canada will face Honduras away on Friday 2 September and then El Salvador at home on Tuesday 6 September. The home match will be played at BC Place in Vancouver, with tickets available now at www.canadasoccer.com/tickets. Both matches will be broadcast on TSN and RDS, with the Friday match kicking off at 17.00 ET / 14.00 PT (15.00 local) and the Tuesday match kicking off at 22.00 .
From the CONCACAF semi-final round of 12 nations, each of three groups will advance their top-two finishers to the “Hex.” With Mexico already qualified, either Canada, El Salvador, or Honduras will advance as the second team from Group A on the Road to 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. After four matches, Honduras have four points (-1 goals difference), Canada have four points (-4 goals difference), and El Salvador have two points (-5 goals difference).
“Our players have demonstrated an excellent commitment along the way,” said Benito Floro, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach. “The players trust in their capacity to achieve a place in the Hex.”
Of the 23 players in camp, 19 of them have already been part of this CONCACAF semi-final round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The group features a mix of players either midway through their 2016 season or at the onset of their 2016-17 season. Added to the mix are goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau, centre back André Hainault, fullback and midfielder Jamar Dixon, and striker Simeon Jackson.
“We will only have a short window with the players in late August, just a few days for practising tactical matters and preparing a positive mentality. As we have done in previous camps, we will ensure we are focused, efficient, and detailed in our work ethic so that we can continue to have a positive environment for the players.”
There is plenty of experience in this group, starting with four-time Canadian Player of the Year Atiba Hutchinson who recently helped Beşiktaş JK win the Turkish Süper Lig and qualify for UEFA Champions League. Hutchinson is in his third cycle of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and has made 75 appearances at the international “A” level. Among active players, only Julian de Guzman (unavailable through injury) has made more international appearances than Hutchinson.
After an away match in Honduras on 2 September, Canada will return home to face El Salvador in a critical match on 6 September at BC Place in Vancouver. Canada will need the support of the 12th man at home to help build a sea of #CanadaRED supporters, tickets to the match start as low as $25 (plus applicable fees). In addition, a special ‘Me+3’ offer will be available for this match. When purchasing three full price tickets in select sections, fans will receive the fourth one free. This offer is available via Ticketmaster.ca by selecting the ‘Me+3’ offer.
Group discounts are available with groups of 10 or more eligible to receive discounts of up to 30% off regularly priced sections. To request group tickets, complete the group order form indicating the price point and quantity of tickets you are wishing to purchase. Please note that group tickets will be processed on a first come, first served basis. For complete information visit the group ticket section on CanadaSoccer.com/Tickets
BC Place Club Seats offer fans a premium match day experience featuring exclusive entrances, in-seat service, larger comfortable seats, exclusive club lounges with a full-service private bar and heightened food offerings, all from some of the best views in the venue. Fans purchasing club seats will receive a complimentary Canada Soccer scarf (a retail value of $30) upon arrival to their seats on match day.
Canadian Supporters have been allocated a number of dedicated sections in the southwest end of BC Place. Fans wishing to sit in the Canadian supporter sections are encouraged to visit the Voyageurs website for more information and to purchase tickets through thevoyageurs.org. Please note that persistent standing will be permitted in these sections.
Visiting supporters will be located in the northeast corner of BC Place. Fans wishing to sit in these sections should select “El Salvador supporters” from the drop-down menu on the Ticketmaster event page.
Complete ticket information can be found at CanadaSoccer.com/Tickets.
ROAD TO THE 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is the biggest single-sport event in the world. From 211 member associations from around the world, 32 finalists will qualify for the 32-day event that is played in 11 cities from 14 June to 15 July 2018.
Canada are amongst the 11 remaining CONCACAF nations in the hunt for a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The remaining nations are split into three groups for the continent’s 2015-2016 semi-final stage. The top-two nations in each group will advance to the final round in 2017, from which three nations qualify for Russia 2018 and the fourth team advances to an intercontinental playoff.
1- GK- Maxime Crépeau | CAN / Impact Montréal
2- FB- Nik Ledgerwood | CAN / FC Edmonton
3- CB- Manjrekar James | HUN / Vasas Budapest
4- CB- Dejan Jaković | JPN / Shimizu S-Pulse
5- CB / M- David Edgar | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
6- M- Jamar Dixon | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
7- M- Simeon Jackson | ENG / Walsall FC
8- FB- Doneil Henry | ENG / West Ham United
9- F- Marcus Haber | Unattached
10- M- David Junior Hoilett | Unatached
11- M- Tosaint Ricketts | CAN / Toronto FC
12- CB- André Hainault | GER / 1. FC Magdeburg
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | TUR / Beşiktaş JK
14- M- Samuel Piette | ESP / CD Izarra
15- CB- Adam Straith | NOR / Fredrikstad FK
16- M- Scott Arfield | ENG / Burnley FC
17- FB- Marcel De Jong | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18- GK- Milan Borjan | BUL / PFK Ludogorets Razgrad
19- CB- Steven Vitória | POL / Lechia Gdansk
20- FB / CB- Karl W. Ouimette | USA / Jacksonville Armada
21- F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC
22- GK- Kenny Stamatopoulos | SWE / AIK Fotbol
23- M- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas