OTTAWA – The Canada U23 squad that will visit Qatar for a pair of games next week was announced on Saturday morning, as 10 players with USL experience were included for the games against Qatar and Uzbekistan. The Swope Park Rangers’ Amer Didic and Mark Anthony Gonzalez were among those selected in the 18-player squad.
Canada’s U23 National Team will face Uzbekistan on Saturday, March 25 and Qatar on Tuesday, March 28, meaning the players selected will be unavailable for the opening weekend of the 2017 USL regular season.
Didic and Gonzalez both played a key role in leading the Rangers to the 2016 USL Western Conference Championship. Didic earned USL All-League First Team honors as he made 28 appearances at center back for the side, while also appearing on loan for Sporting Kansas City in the CONCACAF Champions League. Gonzalez led SPR with nine goals, and added four assists, during the 2016 USL regular season, and scored three times as the Rangers reached the USL Cup Final in their inaugural season.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 defender Kadin Chung, who was named to the 2016 USL 20 Under 20 and most recently competed for the Canada U20 National Team at the CONCACAF U20 Championship, was also named in the squad after helping WFC2 reach the Western Conference Final of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs.
Goalkeepers Maxime Crepeau, who featured prominently over the past two seasons for FC Montreal, and Marco Carducci, a teammate of Chung’s with WFC2 for the past two seasons who is currently training with Rio Grande Valley FC, are the two goalkeepers named to the squad.
Louisville City FC midfielder Mark Anthony Kaye leads a quartet of midfielders named in the squad after recording one goal and three assists in 24 appearances during his first season for the club. He is joined by Orlando City B’s Jordan Schweitzer, former FC Montreal midfielder Louis Beland-Goyette, and former Toronto FC II midfielder Manny Aparicio.
Toronto FC’s Jordan Hamilton, who has played on loan with Toronto FC II over the past two seasons, joins Gonzalez in the attacking group to round out the contingent.
Four players with USL experience were also named to the Canada National Team squad that will face Scotland on Wednesday night, with 2016 USL 20 Under 20 selection Marco Bustos of Vancouver Whitecaps FC leading the group as the side prepares for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Defender Maxim Tissot, who it was announced will spent the season on loan with the Richmond Kickers from D.C. United this week, midfielder Ben Fisk, a former member of the Charleston Battery, and defender Wandrille Lefevre, who appeared for FC Montreal over the past two seasons, were also included in the squad.
Canada U23 National Team
GOALKEEPERS: Maxime Crépeau (Impact Montréal FC), Marco Carducci (Unattached)
DEFENDERS: Kadin Chung, (Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2), Amer Didic (Swope Park Rangers), Marko Aleksic (FC Edmonton), Kosovar Sadiki (Stoke City U-23)
MIDFIELDERS: Jordan Schweitzer (Orlando City B), Manuel Aparicio (SD Ordes), Juan Córdova (CD Unión San Felipe), Caniggia Elva (Stuttgart II), Louis Béland-Goyette (Impact Montréal FC), Patryk Misik (SD Ordes), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Louisville City FC), Kwame Awuah (New York City FC)
FORWARDS: Jordan Hamilton (Toronto FC), Michael Petrasso (Queens Park Rangers), Keven Aleman (CD Saprissa), Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Swope Park Rangers)