Herdman largely summons MLS roster to camp in Bahrain ahead of World Cup –

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As off-season MLS players like Jonathan Osorio travel to a camp in Bahrain to push for a spot with Canada in Qatar, the World Cup dream is over for defender Scott Kennedy.

Canada Soccer confirmed on Wednesday that a shoulder injury, suffered in Germany with his team at club SSV Jahn Regensburg, will sideline Kennedy until the New Year.

“There is no turning back for Scott, unfortunately,” said Canadian coach John Herdman. “He was devastated this morning.”

“For anyone who knows Scott, he’s just a good man, a good human being,” he added. “In the (team) environment, he has a lot of character. He always seems to contribute discreetly and very reliably on the pitch. So he will be a big loss for this group, on and off the pitch.

“Just one of those tough times as a coach where you have to share that grim reality with someone. (It’s) never easy.”

Herdman said Canada Soccer’s “mental and emotional side specialists” were checking Kennedy.

While the 25-year-old from Calgary has earned just eight caps for Canada, he has proven to be an important member of the squad – at six-foot-three, another towering defender capable of replacing the six-footer four Steven Vitoria as required.

And as Herdman suggested, he was a good fit for the Canadian team.

The roster remains a work in progress, with Herdman calling 20 MLS players and midfielder Liam Fraser, who plays in Belgium for KMSK Deinze, for a camp and international friendly in Bahrain to work on before assembling his full squad before the world. Cup.

The November 11 friendly with Bahrain in Manama precedes a final warm-up on November 17 against No.24 Japan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which will feature the full World Cup roster. The 41st-ranked Canadian men have never faced No. 85 Bahrain.

FIFA’s international window covering the World Cup in Qatar does not open until November 14, with the tournament starting six days later. European clubs will play until the window opens.

In its first World Cup since 1986, Canada opens Group F against Belgium (2nd) on November 23, before facing Croatia (12th) on November 27 and Morocco (22nd) on December 1.

Teams have until November 14 to declare their World Cup roster, which has been expanded to 26 players this time around. Herdman said he would leave his team’s announcement “as late as necessary” out of injury concerns.

There may not be many questions left on the list.

“I have 26 players in mind,” Herdman said, adding, “There is a reality check. Every week there are changes. No one predicted what would happen to Scott, this which was so innocuous. He could fall 10 times and it (injury) only happened once, and it happened.

“I think we know there are other elements of the roller coaster that we’re going to have to ride on this journey in the next two weeks with the number of games players play.”

Herdman noted on Wednesday that past World Cups, where the roster limit was 23, showed that teams typically rely on a core of 16 or 17 players given the conditions are a known quantity. Unlike World Cup qualifying, where you tend to rotate players from game to game, due to travel and other factors.

“Those 17s are already pretty much in your mind…I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out who those players are,” he said.

Others will be chosen based on their ability to step in when needed – while showing the ability to “stay connected, be a good teammate, bring positivity to an environment. And challenge and compete.”

Herdman used 39 players in World Cup qualifying, making “really tough decisions” on the final six or seven players on the roster.

The Bahrain camp opens on Sunday. Players from the camp selected in the World Cup roster will travel to Qatar on November 12.

Herdman called up eight players from CF Montreal, eight from Toronto FC (including winger Jacob Shaffelburg who is on loan at Nashville), one from the Vancouver Whitecaps and three from other MLS clubs.

Toronto and Vancouver last played on Oct. 9, the final game of the MLS regular season. Montreal exited the MLS playoffs on October 23 in a 3-1 loss to New York City FC.

Osorio leads the TFC contingent called up. The veteran midfielder, now recovered from post-concussion syndrome, has only played 18 minutes since leaving Miami on August 20.

“The feedback has been super positive,” Herman said of Osorio, who continued training with TFC after the season.

“I feel a lot more normal. I feel a lot better,” Osorio said. “I went through a full workout and the training is going really well.”

The only guest of the MLS camp still in action is Los Angeles FC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, who will face the Philadelphia Union in the MLS Cup final on Saturday.

The Bahrain side’s roster includes uncapped goalkeeper James Pantemis, defender Joel Waterman and midfielder Mathieu Choinière (all from CF Montreal) and defender Lukas MacNaughton (Toronto FC).

This is MacNaughton’s first call-up to the national team.

Canada training for the Bahrain camp

Goalkeepers: Maxime Crépeau, Los Angeles FC (MLS); James Pantemis, FC Montreal (MLS); Dayne St. Clair, Minnesota United (MLS).

Defenders: Zachary Brault-Guillard, CF Montreal (MLS); Raheem Edwards, Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS); Doneil Henry, Toronto FC (MLS); Alistair Johnston, FC Montreal; Richie Laryea, Toronto FC (MLS); Lukas MacNaughton, Toronto FC (MLS); Kamal Miller, FC Montreal (MLS); Joel Waterman, FC Montreal (MLS).

Midfielders: Mathieu Choinière, CF Montreal (MLS); Liam Fraser, KMSK Deinze (Belgium); Mark-Anthony Kaye, Toronto FC (MLS); Ismael Kone, CF Montreal (MLS); Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC (MLS); Samuel Piette, CF Montreal (MLS).

Forwards: Ayo Akinola, Toronto FC (MLS); Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Jayden Nelson, Toronto FC (MLS); Jacob Shaffelburg, Nashville SC (MLS).

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This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 2, 2022.

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