Canada’s men’s national team revealed their preliminary 40-man roster for the 2019 Gold Cup, which is set to begin next month. The submitted roster will produce the final 23-player list ahead of the tournament.
While several CPLers were called up to national teams across the confederation, none were named to Canada’s shortlist. Here are five Canadians CPL Editorial says could be on the fringe of Canada’s preliminary squad.
Nik Ledgerwood (Midfielder, Cavalry FC)
Hardworking, trusty servant to the Canadian national team for a decade, Nik Ledgerwood has done as much as he can to get another kick at the can. The Lethbridge, Alta. native has shined bright at his natural position in the middle of the park, marshalling an impeccably- organized defensive unit to the top of the CPL table. He bagged a goal, too.
Ledgerwood’s defensive versatility is what sets him apart. At 34, Ledgerwood isn’t exactly top of mind. That being said, he has proven to be a very mature voice around a group of young professionals at Cavalry … Would that work with an equally young national team?
Tristan Borges (Midfielder, Forge FC)
Developing attacking players is an important target for Canada; positions that big money, foreign signings occupy in MLS squads.
Tristan Borges has something special about him. You can tell he reads the game well. He drives the ball ahead in a controlled, space-hunting manner. He has a goal (a very nice goal) and a crafty assist to his name and is unlucky not to have more.
Borges would be lining up in a busy space, with Jonathon Osorio and Scott Arfield being two key midfielders ahead of him. But at 20 – and locked in as a key player at Forge FC for the foreseeable future – he could just as easily be there in the future.
Amer Didic (Defender, FC Edmonton)
If Herdman was buying in bulk this summer, 24-year-old Amer Didic would be in his 40-man cart. The 6-foot-4 centre-back has proven to be a great defender for FC Edmonton in the CPL’s short existence. With great technical skills as a big man, Didic is also a massive asset on set pieces, setting up multiple scoring attempts off corners so far this season.
With Atiba Hutchinson, Samuel Piette or both stationed in front of the back line, Didic’s size could be a great compliment to a more agile centre-back.
Ndzemdzela Langwa (Fullback, HFX Wanderers FC)
Canada is thin at fullback. Ndzemdzela “Zoom” Langwa has been one of the standout fullbacks in the CPL, with bonus points for playing naturally on the left. The 21-year-old has to be considered a prospect and a potential option on the left side of a direct system that is designed to get the ball down the wing quickly. Langwa’s speed could be a good option on the overlap, partnered with Davies or Junior Hoilett.
Herdman is looking for pace down the left side, too, as Davies played left-fullback during CONCACAF Nations League qualifying. That should change by the Gold Cup, however, in preparation to face the more quality opponents.
Louis Beland-Goyette (Midfielder, Valour FC)
Not an outside choice by any means, Valour FC midfielder Louis Béland-Goyette has played every minute of competitive action for Rob Gale in 2019. Steady in midfield with play largely ahead of him, the former Montreal Impact man has been good for a passing percentage in the lower 80s and a few decent transitions.
Beland-Goyette has been seen. He’s played with the under-23s and been called up once, but at 23, he’s another maturing CPLer prepped to play upwards of 3,000 minutes this season.