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CP: Yallop Calls Strong Squad for Wales

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Yallop calls up strong 18-player squad for soccer friendly against Wales

posted May 21 @ 18:29, EST

TORONTO (CP) - Canada will be close to full strength when it takes on Wales in Wrexham in an exhibition soccer match May 30.

Coach Frank Yallop's 18-man roster includes such marquee names as Everton's Tomasz Radzinski and Derby County's Paul Peschisolido.

The lone big name missing is Werder Bremen fullback Paul Stalteri, who has been excused to play in the German Cup final. Midfielder Patrice Bernier was also unavailable for the Wales game and subsequent friendly against the MLS San Jose Earthquakes on June 5.

Yallop is using these outings as a tuneup in advance of World Cup qualifying matches against Kingston, Ont., on June 13 and 16.

A new face is 22-year-old Montreal striker Olivier Occean, a former MLS MetroStars draft choice who plays for Odd Grenland in Norway.

"I heard some good things about him and spoke to a lot of people in Norway who said he's got off to a fantastic start with his club over there," Yallop, who has seen him play once, said Friday.

Youngsters in the squad include midfielders Julian deGuzman (23 years old), Atiba Hutchinson (21) and Mike Klukowski (22) and midfielder-forward Iain Hume (20).

Yallop believes deGuzman, Hutchinson and Hume are "the future of Canadian soccer."

"I think all three of them will figure largely in my plans as I go forward."

He also was impressed by Klukowski at a recent national team training camp in Manchester.

There is no place for another young gun, Tam Nsaliwa, a 22-year-old midfielder from Edmonton who has already won 10 caps at the World Cup level.

Yallop says Nsaliwa is off the radar a little bit at present because he struggled at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Mexico in February.

"That's not to say he won't ever be in the squad but I've got to go on what I've seen and what I believe is going to be the right combination of players to get us through. He's in the pool of players. I thought Julian and Atiba were outstanding in Mexico but I think Tam struggled."

A veteran also out of the picture at this time is Tony Menezes. The Brazilian-Canadian defender, who has 27 caps at the senior level, is currently playing club football in China.

"I've spoken to Tony on several occasions, couldn't get him into the two camps I've had," said Yallop. "I have not obviously had the opportunity to go to China to see him play . . . but Tony's another guy who's in the (player) pool that I will be looking at at some point."

The lone A-League player in the squad is veteran defender Mark Watson, a veteran of 70 internationals.

Canada is ranked 93rd in the world, compared to No. 66 for Wales.

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At least Yallop's being direct to Tam. You played yourself off the squad, Tam. Still got my eyes on you but we're gonna let you sit this one out. Wonder how Holger would have put it?

So, Menezes is still on the radar. If he's still at 90% of his best he could change our entire back line.

No Aguir? Not even a mention. He's done. Was reading the other topic and though, well, maybe with the contract situation the CSA dosen't want the insurance responsabilities. But then I though, no, that dosen't sound like Yallop. He just didn't get an invite. Just guessing in my cynical fashion.

Is a good articule. Bit surprised.

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Couldn't agree more with Cheeta, always the Rapid Predator. Holger would have been questioning Nsaliwa's parentage before breakfast. And we still hold the torch for Tam -- who else remembers that historic closing down of DaMarcus (apparently Bobby L's forgotten son) in GC 2001? -- we can't argue, really.

But DeGu, Iain, and Hutch as the future of Canadian soccer -- wow, that really warms the heart. The at symbol tightens and tears up at the prospect.

And his remarks about Menezes are positively charitable. Has there been a clearer point made about where he's playing? A paycheque and a national call are not the same. Let Tony make his choice.

Allez les Rouges,


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That quality piece of journalism was brought to you by Neil Davidson.

Nice to see that Sportsnet's lack of coverage made the Tam argument moot. Was Tam so bad in OQ that he deserved to be pined by Yallop . . . who knows?!

Was Olivier Occean good enough against Wales to prove he deserves a real shot in qualifying? Who knows!?



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If I remember correctly, Tam was nursing a knee injury at the time of OQ. Many of us were surprised he was even there. Anyway, nice to hear Yallop so candid on the matter.

Great article, would have liked to have heard his take on Aguiar though, as he has been at a camp and thought he was in the picture. (Had him in my starting eleven!)

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Well this has given us some answers. Good old Neil Davidson. Spot on with your comments Matthew, I agree totally. And it will continue with the Wales match. Maybe the Welsh radio coverage will give us some clue as to our team's performance in Wrexham.

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And it's interesting Davidson didn't feel the need to even discuss the one regular that has been dropped the squad for the first time in a long time - Richard Hastings. It's as though Neil figures that the readership of the article wouldn't be questioning why he isn't there but only why is he still there if he had been included.

Poor Richard, but I have to figure is absence is good for Canada.

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