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Floro Names Canada's Gold Cup Roster

Floro announced the 23-man roster for the upcoming Gold Cup, which includes 10 MLS players.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Canadian roster for the Gold Cup, starting July 7th, was announced this morning and it is certainly one of the stronger squads Canada has put together for a tournament in quite some time.

One of the first things noticeable differences is that there are only TWO 'unattached' player (defender Andre Hainault and forward Simeon Jackson). This is in stark contrast to previous Canadian roster announcements where 'unattached FC' was seen with regularity.

The second noticeable difference in this squad is that 10 of the 23 players are currently playing in Major League Soccer. This is a great sign as it means MLS has been a key component of developing talent for Canada. Of the 10 players, Toronto FC will send 3 (Roberts, Morgan, and Osorio) while Montreal and Vancouver will each send 1 (Tissot and Russell Teibert respectively). That 5 of the 10 play in Canada is a positive sign for the contributions of Canadian teams to National team development, however, it also highlights the lack of opportunities for Canadian players on American teams. This can be partly attributed to Canadian players counting as internationals for American teams; something that needs addressing.

The third noticeable difference is the age of the squad. Excluding two of the goalkeepers (Lars Hirschfeld and Kenny Stamatopoulos), only midfielder Julian de Guzman is 31 or older. 9 players are between 25 and 30 while the other 11 are between 20 and 24. This speaks to the transition Floro is attempting, filling the roster with young, hungry players that will compete against the other youthful squads of the world.

Benito Floro has set high aspirations for this squad at the Gold Cup and while I believe they are not to be attained this time around, it is positive to see the confidence growing for this squad and for there to be a belief that lofty goals are reachable. Although certainly a small nation (population the size of Prince George), it was a positive sign to see the National team dispose of Dominica so easily, instead of playing down to their level, in World Cup qualifying last week; a step in the right direction.

Teibert and the rest of the Canadian squad will begin practicing June 28th in California and will begin their tournament against El Salvador on July 8th at StubHub Center. Teibert will then play fellow Vancouver Whitecaps Darren Mattocks, and the rest of Jamaica, on July 11th in Houston, and conclude July 14th against (probably) Kendall Waston and Costa Rica at BMO Field.

It should be a great tournament and will provide some good indications of how much this team has grown over the past two years and whether they are ready to begin climbing back up the world rankings into a respectable position.