Hutchison, Johnson named to Canada’s roster ahead of friendly with Jamaica

Midfielders Atiba Hutchinson and Will Johnson, both former national players of the year, have been named to Canada’s men’s soccer team ahead of a friendly with Jamaica on Sept. 2. (Photo by The Canadian Press)

TORONTO — Midfielders Atiba Hutchinson and Will Johnson, both former national players of the year, have been named to Canada’s men’s soccer team ahead of a friendly with Jamaica on Sept. 2.

Hutchinson, from Brampton, Ont., is making his first appearance with head coach Octavio Zambrano. The five-time Canadian player of the year has led Besiktas J.K. to back-to-back Turkish Super Lig titles and consecutive qualifications to UEFA Champions League.

“When we play at home, we want to play good football and we want to pick up from where we left off at the CONCACAF Gold Cup,” said Zambrano. “We want to continue to build on what we have established at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and that will happen every time we get together.”

The game at Toronto’s BMO Field is a rematch from the Canada-Jamaica quarter-final match at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Along with Hutchinson and Johnson, the squad includes former Canadian under-20 player of the year Michae; Petrasso and reigning Canadian under-17 player of the year Alphonso Davies. The 17-year old Davies was recently the top scorer and best young player at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.

David Choiniere and Amer Didic are receiving their first call ups to the men’s national team. The 20-year old Choiniere plays for the Montreal Impact and has been part of Canada Soccer’s national youth program since 2012. The 22-year old Didic plays for Sporting Kansas City and recently made his debut with Canada’s under-23 program in March.

In all, 13 players are 24 years or younger, with Davies the lone teenager. Alongside Choiniere and Didic, goalkeeper James Pantemis (Montreal) is the other player yet to make his international “A” debut.

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