Home Canadian Soccer Hart won’t have a lot of time to sort out Canadian squad

Hart won’t have a lot of time to sort out Canadian squad

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Stephen Hart
Coach Stephen Hart won’t have a lot of time to prepare his Canadian men’s national side for the June 1 friendly against Ecuador and the June 7 kickoff of the Gold Cup schedule.

Hart named Canada’s 23-man provisional roster Monday; those players will be available for selection for the June 1 Ecuador match at BMO Field. From that, 20 will go down to Detroit to open the Gold Cup June 7 against the host United States.

“I’ve told everyone that (three more players will get cut). We’ll see how it goes and make those decisions.”

But time won’t be on Hart’s side. He has six MLS players — Toronto FC’s Julian de Guzman, Vancouver’s Terry Dunfield, Houston’s Andrew Hainault, Real Salt Lake’s Will Johnson, D.C. United’s Dejan Jakovic and New York Red Bull Dwayne Rosario — on the invite list. Also on the squad in the Montreal Impact’s Ali Gerba.

Those players don’t need to report to Canada’s camp until 48 hours before the Ecuador game. That means they will be available for their MLS and NASL matches in the final weekend of May. De Rosario will be able to play against Dunfield and the Whitecaps when New York visits Empire Field next weekend.

Hart has two real interesting selections on his roster. He previously hinted that he was looking at NASL players, and Gerba is being given the chance to regain his position as Canada’s man at the top of the formation. He has 15 career goals for Canada. Gerba has scored twice for the Impact this season, but his international career has been on the decline since TFC sent him packing out of MLS. But he’s tried to rebuild his pro career in NASL, and Hart made it clear that he never thought the striker was out in the wilderness.

“It’s not a matter of welcoming him back. We invited him to a couple of camps. In one instance, he wasn’t available… it’s a matter of Ali coming in and fighting for a spot, doing what he does best.”

With so many games in short order during the Gold Cup, it would give Hart the chance to give Gerba a long, hard look.

And, defender Mike Klukowski got the call even though he hasn’t played club football since March. He left his Turkish club, Ankaragucu, after the team failed to pay him his wages.

“He got himself in an environment where he was training,” said Hart. “We will see how he does at camp. He feels he will be OK. I know from the past, that if he couldn’t do it, he would tell me about it.”

Hart admitted that, despite taking a total of seven MLS and NASL players, he didn’t use all of the North America- and Scandinavia-based players at his disposal, giving some a chance to remain with their clubs in the coming months. But, when World Cup qualifying begins in September, Hart warned that he won’t be so politically correct with club managers.

“Once it becomes World Cup qualifying, I am picking the best squad.”


1- GK- Lars Hirschfeld | NOR / Valerenga Fotball
2- D/M- Nik Ledgerwood | GER / SV Wehen Wiesbaden
3- D/M- Mike Klukowski |
4- CB- Kevin McKenna | GER / FC Koln
5- CB- Andrew Hainault | USA / Houston Dynamo
6- M- Julian de Guzman | CAN / Toronto FC
7- M- Terry Dunfield | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
8- M- Will Johnson | USA / Real Salt Lake
9- F- Rob Friend | GER / Hertha BSC
10- F- Ali Gerba | CAN / Impact Montreal
11- M- Josh Simpson | TUR / Vestel Manisaspor
12- M- Pedro Pacheco | POR / CD Santa Clara
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | NED / PSV Eindhoven
14- F- Dwayne De Rosario | USA / New York Red Bulls
15- D- Dejan Jakovic | USA / DC United
16- M/F- Tosaint Ricketts | ROM / FC Politehnica Timisoara
17- M- Simeon Jackson | ENG / Norwich City FC
18- GK- Milan Borjan | SRB / FK Rad
19- M- Marcel de Jong | GER / FC Augsburg
20- D- Jaime Peters | ENG / Ipswich Town FC
21- M- Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault | GER / SC Preussen Munster
22- GK- Haidar Al-Shaïbani | FRA / Nimes Olympique
23- M- Issey Nakajima-Farran | DEN / AC Horsens

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