Just two weeks after scoring a goal in his debut for the U.S. men’s national team, FC Toronto striker Ayo Aquinola was invited to Canada by January camp next month.
Aquinola, who is also eligible for Nigeria, as well as the US and Canada, scored nine goals in 15 games in an impressive breakthrough MLS season with TFC. That form brought the frontman raised from Ontario an invitation to USMNT, which he marked with a goal in the 27th minute of the American demolition of El Salvador with 6: 0.
Having represented the United States at the youth level, Aquinola would have to apply to FIFA once to play for Canada. The 20-year-old has yet to make any firm decisions about his international future, although in October Gareth Wheeler of OneSoccer reported that Canadian head coach John Herdman believed Aquinola was leaning towards committing to Canada.
“As a step towards qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, the January camp provides our men’s national team with an opportunity to tactically and culturally immerse the group in competitive matches in March,” John Herdman said in a press release on Tuesday. “Since we are on the field for the first time with some players after more than a year, it will be important to focus on performance as we build towards the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022.”
The camp will be held at the IMG Center in Bradenton, Florida, and since it is in a non-FIFA window, it will mainly feature players from MLS and Canadian clubs.
In addition to Aquinola, six other MLS players earned their first call: Joel Waterman (Montreal Impact), Cristián Gutiérrez (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota United FC), Alistair Johnston (Nashville SC), Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution) and Ralph Priso (Toronto FC).
Among the MLS veterans are Mark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles FC), Lucas Cavallini and Maxime Crépeau (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Richie Laryea and Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Samuel Piette (Montreal Impact) and Tesho Akindele (Orlando City SC).
The list also includes the first call-up for teenager Arsenal Marcel Flores, who represented Mexico at the youth level.
Canadian camp list for January 2021
|GK||Maxime Crépeau||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|GK||James Pantemis||Montreal Impact|
|GK||Dayne St. Clair||Minnesota United FC|
|D||Derek Cornelius||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|D||Belal Halbouni||SV Werder Bremen II|
|D||Kamal Miller||Montreal Impact|
|D||Frank Sturing||FC Den Bosch|
|D||Joel Waterman||Montreal Impact|
|D||Samuel Adekugbe||Vålerenga Football|
|D||Zorhan Bassong||Montreal Impact|
|D||Zachary Brault-Guillard||Montreal Impact|
|D||Tajon Buchanan||The New England Revolution|
|D||Cristián Gutierrez||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|D||Alistair Johnston||Nashville SC|
|D||Richie Laryea||Toronto FC|
|M||Tesho Akindele||Orlando City SC|
|M||Marco Bustos||Pacific FC|
|M||Liam Fraser||Toronto FC|
|M||Mark-Anthony Kaye||Los Angeles FC|
|M||Noble Okello||Toronto FC|
|M||Jonathan Osorio||Toronto FC|
|M||Samuel Piette||Montreal Impact|
|M||Ralph Priso||Toronto FC|
|F||Ayo Akinola||Toronto FC|
|F||Lucas Cavallini||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|F||Marcelo Flores||Arsenal U-18|
|F||Jayden Nelson||Toronto FC|
|F||Theo Corbeanu||Wolverhampton Wolves|