Herdman unveils young Canada roster with 11 debutants for January camp

Canada men's national soccer team coach John Herdman. (Mark Blinch/CP)

Canada coach John Herdman has named a young squad with nearly a dozen new call-ups for the men's national team's January camp in Bradenton, Fla.

Joel Waterman (Montreal Impact), Cristian Gutierrez (Vancouver Whitecaps), Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota United), Alistair Johnston (Nashville SC), Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution), Theo Corbeanu (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Marcelo Flores (Arsenal), Belal Halbouni (Werder Bremen) and Frank Sturing (FC Den Bosch), Ayo Akinola and Ralph Priso (Toronto FC) are the 11 debutants in this camp. Akinola, who is eligible to play for Canada, the U.S. and Nigeria, was called up to the United States squad earlier this month and scored in their friendly win over El Salvador.

In total, there are 28 players on the roster with 18 born in 1997 or later.

This will be the first men's national team camp in 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions will serve as preparation for Canada's upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bermuda and the Cayman Islands on March 25 and 28, respectively.

“As a step towards FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the January camp provides our Men’s National Team with an opportunity to re-immerse the group both tactically and culturally towards competitive matches in March,” said Herdman. “As this is the first time we will be on the pitch with some players in over a year, it will be important to focus on performances as we build towards the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022."

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