Last year’s winner, Tesho Akindele of FC Dallas, and 2015 standout Cyle Larin of Orlando City head the list of players named by Canada coach Benito Floro for the group phase. If Canada advances, Floro can make as many as six changes to his roster for the knockout rounds.
Half of the 10 MLS representatives play for Canadian teams. Toronto FC has three: midfielder Jonathan Osorio, defender Ashtone Morgan, and goalkeeper Quillian Roberts. The other two are midfielders Russell Teibert (Vancouver) and Maxim Tissot (Montreal).
In addition to Akindele and Larin, who leads MLS rookies in goals scored with five, Floro has selected Kyle Bekker (FC Dallas), Karl Ouimette (Red Bulls), and Marcel De Jong (Sporting Kansas City).
Akindele and Larin scored the first two goals last week in a 4-0 win over Dominica that ensured Canada’s passage to the third round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying on a 6-0 aggregate. Midfielder Tosaint Ricketts, who plays in Israel for Hapoel Haifa and is also on the Gold Cup list of 23, notched the other two goals.
Two more MLS players were omitted from the 23-man team but as members of the original 35-player preliminary list could be summoned for the knockout rounds. Portland Timbers captain Will Johnson has recently returned to action after a long injury layoff and Vancouver defender Samuel Adekugbe has played seven games (all starts) this season at the tender age of 20.
The Canadians will gather this weekend in Southern California in preparation for the Gold Cup, which for them starts July 8 against El Salvador at StubHub Center. Canada plays Jamaica in Houston July 11 and then heads north of the border to play Costa Rica at BMO Field in Toronto July 14.Canada Roster: