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Louisville’s Kaye Named in Canada’s Gold Cup Squad

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/27/17, 2:01PM EDT


Midfielder joined by USL alumni Davies, Edwards in 23-man roster for tournament

Photo courtesy Canada Soccer

Louisville City FC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye has been named in Canada’s 23-man squad for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, continuing the standout midfielders rise in the international ranks through strong performances for club and country over the past 18 months.

Kaye is joined in the squad by four other players with USL experience, including former Toronto FC II standout Raheem Edwards and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2’s Alphonso Davies, who last year became the youngest goal-scorer in USL history at the age of 15.

“We have a dynamic team that has speed and offensive weapons,” said Canada Men’s National Team Head Coach Octavio Zambrano. “We have a balance between offense and defense. We want to go forward and have a high tempo, but we also have to make sure we have the defenders that are up to the task in our end.”

Kaye competed for Toronto FC II in its inaugural season in the USL in 2015 before making the move to Louisville City FC prior to the 2016 season. He has made 61 regular season appearances in the USL, and last season helped Louisville reach the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season.

The 22-year-old was called into the Canada U23 National Team program earlier this year for a pair of games in Qatar, and claimed Man of the Match honors as Canada defeated the host nation in a three-team tournament 2-0. Earlier this month he made his full international debut in a 2-1 win against Curaçao at Stade Saputo.

“I think it’s fantastic we’ve been able to give a player the chance to represent his country on this level,” said Louisville Head Coach James O’Connor. “Mark deserves all the credit. He’s worked hard and has been able to go and impress the Canadian National Team coach. We’re proud of Mark that he’s able to go and be involved with the Gold Cup. It’s a special, special occasion.”

Photo courtesy Canada Soccer

Joining Kaye in making their full international debuts in that contest were Edwards and Davies, both of whom have gone from making their names in the USL to breakout seasons in Major League Soccer this season. Edwards was co-leading scorer for TFC II in 2016 with six goals, and this season has notched five assists in 13 MLS regular season appearances.

Davies was named No. 8 in the 2016 USL 20 Under 20 as he burst onto the scene as a 15-year-old with WFC2. He became the youngest goalscorer in league history against the LA Galaxy II last May, and was a finalist for the USL Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season. Davies subsequently signed with the Whitecaps, and has made 21 appearances in Major League Soccer, and scored goals in both the CONCACAF Champions League and Canadian Championship for Vancouver.

Canada’s squad also includes three other players with USL experience. Montreal Impact goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Brighton & Hove Albion defender Sam Adekugbe all having spent time in the league.

Canada opens the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Friday, July 7 against French Guiana before taking on Costa Rica on July 11 and closing the group stage against Honduras on July 14. 

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