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Canada Soccer names 22-man roster for under-20 June friendlies in Chile

The young Canadians will face Chile on June 19, Ecuador on June 21 and Paraguay on June 23
Centre back Lazar Stefanovic is shown in action for Toronto FC on July 1, 2023, in MLS play against Real Salt Lake. Stefanovic is in Canadian under-20 coach Andrew Olivieri’s 22-man roster for international friendlies this month against Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay in La Calera, Chile. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Toronto FC-Lucas Kschischang

Canadian under-20 coach Andrew Olivieri has named a 22-man roster for international friendlies this month against Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay in La Calera, Chile.

The young Canadians will face Chile on June 19, Ecuador on June 21 and Paraguay on June 23.

Olivieri is preparing his squad for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship which runs July 19 to Aug. 4 in Celaya and Irapuato, Mexico. The Canadians have been drawn withHonduras, Dominican Republic and El Salvadorin Group B at the 12-country tournament.

After round-robin play, the top two finishers in each of the three groups and the two best third-place finishers advance to the quarterfinals. Making the semifinals comes with a berth at the 2025 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Canada won the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in 1986 and 1996 and reached the round of 16 in 2022.

It has not taken part in the FIFA U-20 soccer showcase since it hosted the event in 2007.

“We welcome any opportunity to bring the youth teams together and being able to head into a difficult environment with three matches against high quality opponents is an important next step for this group,” Olivieri, who doubles as Canada Soccer’s men’s youth Excel director, said in a statement. “The U-20 CONCACAF Championship is right around the corner and the teams we’ll meet in Chile will prepare us well for our group stage opponents in Mexico.

“We saw the talent of this group in the qualifiers back in February and now we’re looking forward to taking the next steps towards competing at a higher level.”

Canada booked its ticket to the CONCACAF championship in February when it went 3-0-0 in its qualifying group in Trinidad and Tobago, outscoring its opposition 15-0.

The U.S., Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic have received byes into the CONCACAF main tournament.

Twenty-seven other teams including Canada were split into three groups of five and three groups of four with only the six group winners advancing to the main CONCACAF championship.

Olivieri’s tour roster features 14 returning players from the CONCACAF qualifiers.

Kimani Stewart-Baynes (Colorado Rapids) and Alessandro Biello (CF Montreal) are unavailable due to club commitments. Fulham’s Luc De Fougerolles is currently with the Canadian senior side in Europe.

The roster features five players from Toronto FC’s system and three from Vancouver Whitecaps II.

There are four from the Canadian Premier League: defenders James Cameron (Vancouver FC) and Christian Greco-Taylor (Pacific FC), midfielder Khadime Kane (Forge FC) and forward Tavio Ciccarelli (Halifax Wanderers).

Defenders Richard Chukwu and Richard Mathe, midfielder Andrei Dumitru and forward Mataeo Bunbury are newcomers to the squad but have had experience in the Canadian under-17 ranks.

It’s a first youth team call-up for midfielders Jovan Ivanisevic, Luka Juricic Adrian Pacheco and Kane.

Canada Under-20 Roster

Goalkeepers: Ivan Pavela, Hadjuk Split II (Croatia); Grégoire Swiderski, Girondins de Bordeaux B (France).

Defenders: James Cameron, Vancouver FC​ (CPL); Richard Chukwu, Toronto FC II (MLS Next Pro); Christian Greco-Taylor, Pacific FC​ (CPL); Immanuel Mathe, Vancouver Whitecaps II (MLS Next Pro); Adam Pearlman, Toronto FC (MLS); Theo Rigopoulous, Toronto FC II​ (MLS Next Pro); Ethan Schilte Brown, Kilmarnock (Scotland); Lazar Stefanovic, Toronto FC II (MLS Next Pro).​

Midfielders: Jeevan Badwal, Vancouver Whitecaps II (MLS Next Pro); Jesse Costa, VFL Wolfsburg U19 (Germany); Andrei Dumitru, Toronto FC II (MLS Next Pro); Jovan Ivanisevic, NK Istra (Croatia); Luka Juricic, Puskas Akademia (Hungary); Khadime Kane, Forge FC (CPL); Adrian Pacheco, Jorge Wilstermann (Bolivia).

Forwards: Mataeo Bunbury, Portland Timbers II (MLS Next Pro); Tavio Ciccarelli, Halifax Wanderers (CPL); Oumar Diallo, Inter Milan Primavera (Italy); Santiago Lopez, Pumas UNAM II (Mexico); Myles Morgan, Vancouver Whitecaps II (MLS Next Pro).

The Canadian Press