Home CONCACAF Miller on U-20 call-up for Shome: “If there is a better young player in our league, I have yet to see it”

Miller on U-20 call-up for Shome: “If there is a better young player in our league, I have yet to see it”

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FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller said he isn’t sure if teenage midfielder Shamit Shome will be available for this Sunday’s match at home to Puerto Rico.

Shome has been called to the Canadian U-20 team’s camp for upcoming matches Sept. 1 and 3 in Costa Rica, as coach Rob Gale preps the team for 2017’s CONCACAF championships, which also serve as the qualifier for the U-20 World Cup.

Miller said it’s “touch and go” when it comes to Shome’s availability for this weekend’s NASL action.

But Miller is more than happy to lose Shome, who looks to be one of the go-to players for the U-20 side. The team will also lose midfielder Nik Ledgerwood to the Canadian senior national side; but he will be available for Sunday’s NASL match before he heads out.

“It’s a great problem,” said Miller. “It’s a compliment to their club, a compliment to their teammates and a compliment to the work that the lads are doing themselves.

“Shamit, and I’ve said this before, if there is a better young player in our league, I have yet to see it. I think he is so consistent and I think he’ll be a big part of the national-team program moving forward.”

For Shome, who is about to enter his second year of electrical-engineering studies at the University of Alberta, the chance to go to Costa Rica — and experience a similar kind of atmosphere that the team will feel at the 2017 Championships.

“It’s a good squad that’s going down to Costa Rica, I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Miller, as a long-time Canadian national-team player and coach, knows all about the rigours of traveling down to Central America. Has he imparted some of that wisdom to Shome?

“He’s talked about it in general with the guys, during when we go down to Puerto Rico, the stuff he mentioned especially that it’s a crazier atmosphere,” said Shome. “I’m kind of prepared for it because he’s mentioned it a couple of times but we’ll see.”

This camp will see a lot of Canadians playing in Europe called to the squad; the goal is to not only assess them for the U-20 program, but as men’s national team prospects going forward. Shome is one of a few of the domestic-based players to keep his spot. And he knows that time is short to get to know his teammates.

“You have such little time to get used to everybody and play with each other and get that team chemistry, but we’ve done all right so far when we go away to these camps. It’ll be a good experience for us.

“It means so much to me. It’s a big deal for me, playing for Canada. It’s my home country. I’m born and raised here.”

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