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Whitecaps veteran Marcel de Jong on verge of Canada soccer milestone

De Jong on verge of Canada soccer milestone

TORONTO — Marcel de Jong could earn his 50th cap for Canada this weekend when the Canadian men play Bermuda in a friendly.

The 30-year-old defender-midfielder from the Vancouver Whitecaps is one of 18 players selected by interim Canadian coach Michael Findlay from a 27-man camp roster in Florida to travel to Bermuda.

“That is an absolutely outstanding international career,” said Findlay. “He’s been a great servant for our country and our program. Marcel has provided a strong leadership example within this environment here and has been contributing both on the field and off the field in terms of what we’re asking of him.”

De Jong made his senior debut for Canada in November 2007 in a 0-0 tie with South Africa in Durban. He has played under six Canadian coaches: Dale Mitchell, Stephen Hart, Tony Fonseca, Colin Miller, Benito Floro and Findlay.

De Jong was born in Newmarket, Ont., to Dutch parents but moved to the Netherlands when he was four. He spent some time in the Dutch national youth system before pulling on a Canadian under-17 shirt when his after his mother contacted Canada Soccer officials to let them know he had dual citizenship.

He went on to play club soccer in the Netherlands and Germany before returning to North America.

Canada, ranked No. 120 in the world, takes on No. 186 Bermuda on Sunday at the Bermuda National Sports Centre. It’s the Canadian men’s lowest ranking since 2014 when they were ranked 122nd.

Canada has never lost to Bermuda, winning four and drawing four since their first meeting in 1968. Canada won 3-0 the last time they met in March 2007 thanks to goals by Atiba Hutchinson, Tomasz Radzinski and Paul Stalteri.

Findlay’s camp roster was drawn from North American players.

The Bermuda game roster features 10 MLS players: three each from Toronto FC (Jay Chapman, Jonathan Osorio and Tosaint Ricketts) and the Vancouver Whitecaps (de Jong, Marcos Bustos and Ben McKendry) and two from the Montreal Impact (Wandrille Lefevre and Anthony Jackson-Hamel) plus Orlando’s Will Johnson and FC Dallas’s Tesho Akindele.

Goalkeeper Sean Melvin is from the Whitecaps 2.

Ben Fisk (FC Edmonton), Callum Irving (Ottawa Fury) and Nana Attakora (San Francisco Deltas) come from the NASL. There are four unattached players: Kyle Bekker, Dejan Jakovic, Adam Straith and Maxim Tissot.

Chapman, Fisk, Irving, McKendry and Melvin could earn their first cap Sunday.

The Canadian Soccer Association said Carl Haworth and Nik Ledgerwood, part of the Florida camp roster, were unavailable for the Bermuda game through injury. An injury prevented Vancouver’s Russell Teibert from attending the Florida camp.

NOTES: Canadian international forward Marcus Haber has signed a two-year deal at Scotland’s Dundee … The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed Canadian youth international midfielder David Norman Jr. to a Whitecaps FC 2 contract. The 18-year-old Norman, who came up through Vancouver’s residency program, is the son of former Canadian international David Norman, who played for the Vancouver Whitecaps and 86ers.

 

Canada Roster

Goalkeepers: Callum Irving, Ottawa Fury FC; Sean Melvin, Vancouver Whitecaps 2.

Defenders: Nana Attakora, San Francisco Deltas; Dejan Jakovic, unattached; Wandrille Lefevre, Montreal Impact; Marcel de Jong, Vancouver Whitecaps.

Defender-Midfielder: Maxim Tissot, unattached.

Midfielders: Tesho Akindele, FC Dallas; Marco Bustos, Vancouver Whitecaps; Kyle Bekker, unattached; Will Johnson, Orlando City SC; Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC;  Ben McKendry, Vancouver Whitecaps; Ben Fisk, FC Edmonton; Adam Straith, unattached; Jay Chapman, Toronto FC.

Forwards: Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Montreal Impact; Tosaint Ricketts, Toronto FC.

 

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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