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TFC send Canadians to Gold Cup


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TFC send Canadians to Gold Cup

By Mark Polishuk / MLSnet.com Staff


TORONTO -- Toronto FC's Canadian-born players have represented their country all season long on Major League Soccer's only club north of the border. Now, as many as four of them will receive the honor of playing for their country at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Goalkeeper Greg Sutton, and defenders Adam Braz and Marco Reda were named on Thursday to the Canadian team's 20-man roster for the national team championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Defender Chris Pozniak was also named as one of three reserves who could be called to the team should an injury befall one of the other players on the roster.

Sutton, Braz and Reda left Sunday to join Canada in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for training. The team will play an exhibition in Maracaibo, Venezuela on June 1 before returning to Florida for the beginning of the competition.

The Canadian team will play Costa Rica on June 6 in the opening match of the 2007 Gold Cup. Canada then plays Guadeloupe on June 9 and Haiti on June 11. All of Canada's first-round games will be played in Miami at the Orange Bowl.

The schedule means that Braz, Reda and Sutton will miss two Toronto FC games --- June 2 against Colorado and June 6 against New York. Should Canada advance past the group stage, they will also miss the June 17 game with FC Dallas, and should Canada reach the Gold Cup final on June 24, the trio will also be unavailable for the June 23 game in New England.

While Reda has made four starts for TFC, the biggest loss to Toronto's lineup is Sutton. The 'keeper has played every minute of Toronto's first eight MLS games. Srdjan Djekanovic, whose only action for TFC came in their May 23 friendly with SL Benfica, is the only other goalkeeper on the roster.

This is the second Gold Cup for Sutton and Braz, who played for Canada in the 2005 tournament, and the first for Reda. Pozniak has the most Gold Cup experience, having played in the 2002, 2003 and 2005 competitions.

Canada's roster will also feature some other familiar names to MLS fans. Houston Dynamo midfielder Dwayne De Rosario has been capped for the 38th time by his country. De Rosario, in addition to his two MLS All-Star appearances, has also been honored as the Canadian team's player of the year in both 2005 and 2006.

Midfielder Kevin Harmse and defender Ante Jazic of the Los Angeles Galaxy have also been named to the Canadian roster. This is Jazic's second Gold Cup, while Harmse is being capped for just the second time by Canada.

Canada heads to the Gold Cup looking to advance past the group stage for the first time since 2002. Though their recent record in the competition has been unimpressive, Canada's 2000 Gold Cup win is the only time in eight tournaments that neither Mexico nor the United States took the trophy.

Mark Polishuk is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs

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