Canada to field young squad against Scotland in midweek friendly

James Sharman speaks one-on-one with the newest head coach of Canada's national men's soccer team, Octavio Zambrano.

TORONTO — Nik Ledgerwood, Simeon Jackson and Adam Straith will lead a young Canadian squad against Scotland in a soccer friendly Wednesday.

While the three veterans have 40 or more international caps, eight of the roster are 24 or younger.

Ledgerwood, a 32-year-old defender with FC Edmonton, could earn his 50th cap.

With the MLS season just starting, the squad draws mainly on European-based players. Defenders Wandrille Lefevre (Montreal Impact) and Maxim Tissot (D.C. United) and midfielder Marco Bustos (Vancouver Whitecaps) are the only MLS players chosen.

The match at Hibernian’s Easter Road Stadium in Edinburgh will be the first for Canada with new manager Octavio Zambrano watching. The 59-year-old from Ecuador was introduced Friday in Toronto.

Assistant coach Michael Findlay, who has been serving as interim coach since Benito Floro was let go last September, will run the team from the sidelines.

The CSA also released its men’s under-23 roster for a tournament later this month that involved games against Uzbekistan (March 25) and host Qatar (March 28). Zambrano is expected to be in charge in Qatar.

Canada, ranked 117th in the world, is 0-4-0 against No. 67 Scotland. The last time they met was 15 years ago at Easter Road Stadium where the Scots won 3-1.

The Canadian men, whose last senior outing was a 4-2 win in Bermuda in January, are gearing up for this summer’s Gold Cup.

Fullback La’Vere Corbin-Ong of FSV Frankfurt is the lone debutant featured in the 18-man squad for Scotland. He was born in London but raised in North Vancouver.

The CSA said Samuel Adekugbe and Steven Vitoria are unavailable through injury. Veteran midfielder Atiba Hutchinson has yet to return to the national team fold.

The under-23 squad features five players already capped at the senior level: Keven Aleman (CD Saprissa, Costa Rica), Manuel Aparicio (SD Ordes, Spain), Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact), Jordan Hamilton (Toronto FC) and Michael Petrasso (Queens Park Rangers, England).

There are five program debutants: Juan Cordova (CD Union San Felipe, Chile), Amer Didic (Swope Park Rangers, USL), Caniggia Elva (Stuttgart II, Germany), Mark Gonzalez (Swope Park Rangers, USL), and Jordan Schweitzer (Orlando City B, USL).

CANADA
Goalkeepers: Simon Thomas, FK Bodo/Glimt (Norway); Jayson Leutwiler, Shrewsbury Town (England).

Defenders: Nik Ledgerwood, FC Edmonton; Manjrekar James, Vasas Budapest (Hungary), Wandrille Lefevre, Montreal Impact; Luca Gasparotto, Falkirk FC (Scotland); Maxim Tissot, D.C. United.

Midfielders: Samuel Piette, CD Izarra (Spain); Charlie Trafford, Sandecja Nowy Sacz(Poland); Marco Bustos, Vancouver Whitecaps; Fraser Aird, Falkirk FC (Scotland); Ben Fisk, FC Edmonton; La’Vere Corbin-Ong, FSV Frankfurt (Germany); Adam Straith, FC Edmonton; Scott Arfield, Burnley FC (England).

Forwards: David (Junior) Hoilett, Cardiff City FC (Wales); Simeon Jackson, Walsall FC (England); Marcus Haber, Dundee FC (Scotland).

Canada U-23
Goalkeepers: Maxime Crepeau, Montreal Impact; Marco Carducci, unattached.

Defenders: Kadin Chung, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2; Amer Didic, Swope Park Rangers; Marko Aleksic, FC Edmonton; Kosovar Sadiki, Stoke City U-23.

Midfielders: Jordan Schweitzer, Orlando City B; Manuel Aparicio, SD Ordes (Spain); Juan Cordova, CD Union San Felipe (Chile); Caniggia Elva, Stuttgart II; Louis Beland-Goyette, Montreal Impact; Patryk Misik, SD Ordes (Spain); Mark-Anthony Kaye, Louisville City FC; Kwame Awuah, New York City FC.

Forwards: Jordan Hamilton, Toronto FC; Michael Petrasso, Queens Park Rangers (England); Keven Aleman, CD Saprissa (Costa Rica); Mark Gonzalez, Swope Park Rangers.