Russell Teibert and his teammates on the Canadian U-20 will look to the recent success of our U-17 program for inspiration.
Teibert will leave the Vancouver Whitecaps Sunday, the day after they open the MLS season against Toronto FC, to head to Florida for the national U-20 camp. The Canadian team will then head to Guatemala for the CONCACAF qualifiers for the U-20 World Cup.
And they will go there inspired by the U-17 team’s success at the CONCACAF championships, taking the U.S. into extra time of the championship game before conceding its first goal of the tournament.
“For myself, for a lot of the guys on the team, we still feel like we’re a part of the (U-17) team,” said Teibert. “We all remember what it felt like to not qualify. It gives us motivation to qualify for the U-20s.”
But, before the Florida camp, Teibert is hopeful that Whitecaps coach Teitur Thordarson will insert him into the lineup for Saturday’s game against Toronto FC.
“Being a Niagara Falls boy, I played against a lot of their players coming up. So facing them again in a game like this would be something special. It’s a big game for me. I hope I will play.”
Teibert, who came up through the Whitecaps’ Residency ranks, became only the second Canadian-born player to get Generation Adidas status. His MLS contract was announced Thursday, even though, based on a fantastic preseason, there was never any doubt about Teibert’s status with the club.
“Obviously, it (Generation Adidas) was a big part of the contract,” said Teibert. “There never was a doubt that I wanted to play for Vancouver.”