Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FCE’s Boakai and Jalali to join national U-20 side for the Milk Cup

FCE’s Boakai and Jalali to join national U-20 side for the Milk Cup

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FC Edmonton teenagers Hanson Boakai and Sadi Jalali will be leaving the team on Wednesday.

Why? So they can join the Canadian U-20 squad for the Milk Cup, a tournament to be held in Northern Ireland from July 27-August 1. Canada will face Mexico, China and the Irish hosts.

And, for Boakai and Jalali, it’s a chance to audition for Canadian squad going into the cycle for the 2015 U-20 World Cup qualification process. For Jalali, who scored his first career NASL goal on a penalty at the end of the spring season, it’s not a surprise to be named to the team. Much of the U-20 squad will be made up of the players who played at the U-17 World Cup in 2012 — and Jalali was a part of that team. A concussion forced him to miss the most recent U-20 national-team camp, but he was always a player you’d have thought would be in the rotation.

But, Boakai was part of the U-17 World Cup team in 2014; so he’s moving up in terms of age group. But, as arguably the best player of the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship, and a player who has already earned a trial stint at Fortuna Dusseldorf, his stock may be higher at this moment than any other youth player in this country’s system.

“I’m one of the youngest ones, it will be a new family.”

For Jalali, it will also be about impressing national senior coach Benito Floro, who is scheduled to be in Northern Ireland to watch the U-20s.

“Well it’s important. I’ve heard there’s going to be a lot of scouts there now and maybe the senior team coach will be there, too. Hopefully, if I do well there maybe I can get a look with the senior team and even the U-20 World Cup.”

Jalali scored for Canada in a 2012 U-17 World Cup group stage match against England. He knows what a special feeling it is to score for his country in an international fixture. And it’s a feeling he wants to have again.

“It’s a once in a lifetime moment. Even if it’s a youth World Cup, not a lot of people can say they scored for their country in a World Cup.”

 

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