Vitoria among debutants on latest Canada roster

Montreal Impact's Johan Venegas, right, challenges Philadelphia Union's Steven Vitoria during first half MLS soccer action in Montreal, Saturday, August 22, 2015. (Graham Hughes/CP)

Former Philadelphia Union defender Steven Vitoria is among the debutants that have been named to Canada’s 23-man roster for the team’s upcoming friendly vs. United States on Feb. 5 in LA.

Vitoria, midfielder Jamar Dixon, and goalkeepers Callum Irving and Tyson Farago are the four new faces. Irving and Farago have played for Canada’s youth national teams, but not for the seniors.

Toronto-born Vitoria is still eligible to play for his birth nation despite representing Portugal in his youth. Since he was not capped by the senior team, the central defender can file a one-time switch and become cap-tied to Canada.

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Former Toronto FC defender Doneil Henry and experienced striker Iain Hume return to the squad as they vie for a spot in competitive matches.

Henry’s last cap was on Nov. 11, 2014 in a 0-0 draw against Panama in a friendly. He dealt with niggling injuries following that match, but is now fully fit. The 22-year-old is currently on loan at Blackburn Rovers from West Ham.

Meanwhile, Hume has been a prolific scorer in the Indian Super League with Atletico de Kolkata, scoring 11 goals in 16 appearances.

This is also Will Johnson’s first call-up as a member of TFC. He is the lone player from the club that is on the roster.

Kianz Froese and Marco Bustos of the Vancouver Whitecaps are the youngest players on the squad at 19 years of age. They both made their senior debuts in 2015.

The Whitecaps, Montreal Impact and FC Edmonton are well represented, with three players from each club on the Canadian roster.

Notable omissions include TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio and the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Russell Teibert, who is recovering from an ankle operation.

Canada’s camp will begin on Monday and conclude on Feb. 6 as Les Rouges continue their preparation for World Cup qualifying.

Canada Soccer also announced that more than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the home World Cup qualifier against Mexico on March 25 at BC Place.

• GK- Maxime Crépeau | CAN / Impact Montréal
• FB- Nik Ledgerwood | CAN / FC Edmonton
• FB- Samuel Adekugbe | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
• CB- Doneil Henry | ENG / West Ham United
• CB / M- Adam Straith | NOR / Fredrikstad FK
• M- Julian de Guzman | CAN / Ottawa Fury FC
• M- Iain Hume | Unattached
• M- Will Johnson | CAN / Toronto FC
• F- Cyle Larin | USA / Orlando City SC
• M- Kyle Bekker | CAN / Impact Montréal
• M- Issey Nakajima-Farran | MAS / Terengganu FA
• CB- Wandrille Lefèvre | CAN / Impact Montréal
• M- Jamar Dixon | FIN / FF Jaro
• M- Marco Bustos | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
• CB / FB- Steven Vitória | POR / Benfica
• M- Kianz Froese | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
• M- Marcel De Jong | USA / Sporting Kansas City
• GK- Tyson Farago | CAN / FC Edmonton
• F- Caleb Clarke | Unattached
• FB / CB- Karl W. Ouimette | USA / New York Red Bulls
• CB- Mallan Roberts | CAN / FC Edmonton
• GK- Callum Irving | USA / University of Kentucky
• F- Tesho Akindele | USA / FC Dallas

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