Canadian soccer fans shouldn’t read too much into David Hoilett’s attendance at Sunday’s exhibition match between Canada and the United States in Toronto.
Hoilett watched the game from a box at BMO Field, but his presence should not be interpreted as a sign that he has decided to play for Canada’s national team.
Sportsnet reporter Arash Madani talked to Hoilett during the match. Madani asked Hoilett if he made a decision about his international future, and the Blackburn star repeated what he always said on the matter: that he’s waiting until his pro club situation is settled and being comfortable there before making a decision.
Madani asked Hoilett if there was any timeline involved regarding his decision, but Hoilett said there wasn’t one.
A native of Brampton, Ont., Hoilett has been non-committal about what nation he will play for internationally, Canada or Jamaica, the birth nation of his father. He could also eventually be eligible to play for England.
Hoilett, who turns 22 on Tuesday, has been one of the brightest young players in the English Premiership the past few years. This past January, he was named one of the 13 players to watch in 2012 by FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.
Hoilett scored seven goals for Blackburn this past season, but that wasn’t enough to help Rovers avoid relegation. Now out of contract, Hoilett is being pursued by a number of high-profile clubs.
Rumours emerged Sunday that he was about to join Borussia Monchengladbach, but Hoilett told Madani that he has not signed with the German club. Hoilett did say he was fielding some offers from different teams but nothing is settled, and that he hopes to come to terms with a new club by next month.
Hoilett would be a big boost for a Canadian side that hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since 1986. To that end, Canadian coach Stephen Hart has kept contact and maintained a regular dialogue with Hoilett.
But with the Reds set to compete in the semifinal round of COCNACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, Hart is firmly focused on his current squad, and not on Canadian-born players such as Hoillet and Jonathan de Guzman who haven’t pledged their international allegiance to Canada.
“I’ve sent (Hoilett) some texts; he hasn’t responded. Maybe he’s busy with (a potential) transfer. But right now my mind is not on those guys. They know where I stand, I’ve met with them — if they want to come in, they call me. I’m not doing it anymore,” Hart told sportsnet.ca.
“I did everything possible. It’s up to them now to make the phone call. Otherwise I’m just focusing on my (current) players.”