Home Canadian Soccer Men's National Team Ihemelu “not sure” where things stand with Canada

Ihemelu “not sure” where things stand with Canada


PHOTO: FC Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu (3) trains with his team Saturday at Toronto’s BMO Field ahead of MLS Cup

When it comes to national allegiances, Ugo Ihemelu is playing it cool.

The FC Dallas defender has been to the U.S. national-team camp, played in a couple of friendlies, but he’s still hasn’t been capped in an official game that would tie his eligibility to the Americans.

Ihemelu, born in Nigeria, spent his childhood in Winnipeg. And, in the past, he expressed interest in representing Canada, but there were questions about his Canadian passport, so he never made it to the field for our national team

But, now, he’s remaining tight-lipped.

“I’m not sure where things stand with the Canadian national team,” Ihemelu said after FC Dallas’ final MLS Cup training session at BMO Field in Toronto. “Now I’ve got in with the U.S., so I’m not sure where it all lies.”

Give Ihemelu credit; he’s not taking a page from striker Teal Bunbury, who just made his first appearance last week for the U.S. national team, after telling various media outlets, including this very writer, that his future was with the Canadian team. Ihemelu realizes it’s best to be non-committal.

But, if temperatutes dip to 1 C for Sunday’s final, Ihemelu doesn’t think his formative years in Winnipeg will do him much good.

“I still remember it, being cold and windy. But I’ve been in Texas for a while. After a while, your body sort of forgets the cold.”

Ihemelu and central defence partner George John will face their toughest challenge of the post season, trying to bottle up Colorado’s lethal strike partnership of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. Ihemelu knows that Cummings will try to open up gaps with his speed, and Casey will go to the space, waiting for crosses to power home.

“George and I have to be on the same page,” he said.

David Ferreira, Ihemelu’s teammate and new MLS MVP, said the cold won’t affect his performance.

“This morning, my throat is itching a little bit,” he said through a translator. “But I am ready for anything. It’s a very big game which means a lot to me… I am going to play my best.”

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  1. soho

    November 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I guess the question we have to ask is whether he is a Canadian citizen, or not. Neither he, nor his parents were born in Canada. It should not be difficult for him to find out whether his parents ever applied for Canadian citizenship for him on his behalf when they were living in Winnipeg. Since he has been residing in Texas, presumably he has lost his permanent resident status and therefore cannot apply for citizenship if he is not one already. I understand it takes almost two years to become a citizen after the application is submitted.

  2. Tee

    November 21, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I hope he chooses Canada!

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