KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Canada’s prospects for the Gold Cup took a hit Friday with news that star fullback Alphonso Davies will miss the tournament with an ankle injury.
There was no immediate word on the extent of the injury suffered two days ago in training. Canada Soccer said the 20-year-old flew to Germany on Friday for further medical assessment at Bayern Munich.
Canada opens play Sunday at the CONCACAF championship against Martinique, so it still has time to name a replacement for the 16-team tournament.
Davies was preparing for his third Gold Cup, having helped Canada reach the quarterfinals in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, Davies won the Golden Boot Award as top scorer, was named Best Young Player and chosen to the tournament’s best XI.
Canada, ranked 70th in the world, will face No. 83 Haiti on July 15 and the 20th-ranked U.S. on July 18 in the group phase of the tournament. Martinique is unranked because it is not a member of FIFA.
Davies has nine goals and 12 assists in 23 appearances for Canada, playing both as a fullback and winger. He has four goals and a team-high five assists in six international matches this year, helping Canada reach the final round of World Cup qualifying in the region that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Canada returns to World Cup qualifying action in September.
Later Friday CONCACAF announced that Curacao was withdrawing from the tournament after returning a “significant number” of positive COVID-19 results among its staff and players in the last round of testing. Curacao was in Texas for Group A play with Mexico, El Salvador, and Trinidad and Tobago.
While other Curacao players tested negative, Texas state guidelines required several to isolate due to being close contacts of those who tested positive.
“In light of these circumstances, CONCACAF and the Curacao Football Federation have mutually agreed that Curacao will not participate in the Gold Cup,” CONCACAF said in a statement.
Guatemala, the next highest-ranked team from the tournament preliminary round, will replace Curacao. It will open play Sunday against El Salvador at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2021
The Canadian Press