Russell Teibert's excellent form for the Whitecaps has been rewarded with call-up to the Canadian Men's National Team for the Gold Cup. Teibert, along with team mate Simon Thomas, will join the national team during the next several days ahead of their opening match July 7th versus Martinique.
Teibert, who will be making the trip to Washington with the club for Saturday's MLS match versus DC United will then miss league matches against Sporting Kansas City, the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire. Should Canada progress from the group stages of the tournament then both Teibert and Thomas will miss additional matches for the 'Caps. Since winning the Gold Cup in 2000 Canada has progressed past the quarter final stage 3 times (most recently in 2009). Despite the fact that the Canadian Men's National team is going through a phase of transition they have a very competent head coach in Colin Miller. Therefore, it is a possibility that Canada can make it out of the group stage and that will mean the Caps would be without the services of Teibert and Thomas beyond July 14th.
Teibert has earned 15 caps for Canada at all levels and tallied 3 goals at the U-17 level. Thomas has 2 caps at the senior level, and in his most recent appearance kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw versus the USA earlier this year.
Although Teibert and Thomas are the only current Whitecaps on the Gold Cup roster they will be joined by Randy Edwini-Bonsu and Adam Straith. All four players are all products of the Whitecaps residency program.
Thomas has yet to play a minute of first team action this season, but Teibert has been a revelation scoring 2 goals and currently sits in 2nd place for assists in MLS with 6. It is a bit of a Catch-22 situation for the 'Caps. While undoubtedly happy that Teibert's successes this season have earned him this opportunity he will definitely be missed. It will be a challenge for Martin Rennie to replace Teibert during his Gold Cup absence. Rennie, who has had to deal with roster issues for one reason or another all season, should be able to find a temporary replacement for Teibert. The challenge, however, is that it is unlikely that Teibert's replacement, at least right off the bat, will have the same chemistry with Camilo and Kenny Miller. The opportunity to play for his country in a tournament such as the Gold Cup can only benefit Tiebert and this in turn can only benefit the Whitecaps in the future. Although Teibert will definitely be missed this newfound experience could be of help later in the year if the 'Caps find themselves in a battle for a playoff spot in a very competitive MLS Western Conference.