Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola (20) moves the ball away from Columbus Crew defender Jonathan Mensah, right, during the first half of an MLS soccer match on May 12, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, John Raoux

As promised, Canada coach John Herdman calls in reinforcements for Florida camp

As promised, Canada coach John Herdman calls in reinforcements for Florida camp

As promised, Canada coach John Herdman has summoned 11 more players to camp in Orlando ahead of Saturday’s World Cup qualifying match against Aruba.

Herdman brought in the 11, all from MLS teams, as insurance for his previously announced 24-man roster in case of injury or COVID-19 concerns. With the Gold Cup scheduled for July, it’s also a chance to get more of his talent pool on the same page.

The reinforcements are slated to arrive Wednesday and train with the main squad through the rest of the week.

The Canadian men, currently ranked 70th in the world, take on No. 205 Aruba in Bradenton, Fla., on Saturday before facing No. 136 Suriname on June 8 in Bridgeview, Ill.

The reinforcements are Ayo Akinola, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Jayden Nelson, Noble Okello, Ralph Priso and Luke Singh (all from Toronto FC), Zachary Brault-Guillard and Joel Waterman (CF Montreal), Patrick Metcalfe (Vancouver Whitecaps), Tesho Akindele (Orlando City), and Ashtone Morgan (Real Salt Lake).

Of the 11, only nine will be called upon if needed. Canada Soccer does not plan to use Akinola and Singh, who have previously represented the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively.

Akinola, who was born in Detroit but moved to Canada when he was one, represented the U.S. at youth level and scored in his senior debut last December in a 6-0 win over El Salvador. Because that match was a friendly, the 21-year-old is not tied to the U.S.

Akinola was slated to take part in a Canada camp in January in Florida to get a taste of life under Herdman but never made it because of a medical issue.

Singh, 20, has represented Trinidad and Tobago at the under-20 level.

The trip to Florida this week gives both a chance to train with the Canadian team.


Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2021.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press


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