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Atiba Hutchinson, Milan Borjan missing from Canada squad for Gold Cup tournament

By Neil Davidson


VANCOUVER _ Canada will be without influential midfielder Atiba Hutchinson and No. 1 goalkeeper Milan Borjan for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

Hutchinson, who plays his club soccer for Besiktas in Turkey, is nursing an injured groin. He was part of the Canadian squad for the recent World Cup qualifying wins over Dominica but was unable to play after aggravating the injury in training.

A Canadian team spokesman said Borjan declined the invitation because of commitments with his Bulgarian club Ludogorets, which has Champions League qualifying games in July.

That leaves veteran Lars Hirschfeld, Kenny Stamatopoulos and 20-year-old Quillan Roberts as options in goal.

Canadian coach Benito Floro has named 23 players for the Gold Cup, which serves as the championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The roster includes 11 North American-based players _ 10 from MLS teams and captain Julian de Guzman, who plays for the Ottawa Fury of the NASL.

The other Canadian-based players are Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan and Roberts of Toronto FC, Maxim Tissot of the Montreal Impact and Russell Teibert of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Canada opens July 8 against El Salvador in Carson, Calif,, before playing Jamaica on Houston on July 11 and Costa Rica in Toronto in July 14.

The Canadian men enter the tournament on a four-game winning streak and five-game unbeaten run.

“It is true that good results always help,” Floro said in a statement. “But now we are going to play against three teams that are higher-ranked than us so we need to show that we are growing and developing against those teams and show that we are doing things in the right way.”

Canada is currently ranked 109th in the world compared to No. 14 for Costa Rica, No. 65 for Jamaica and No. 89 for El Salvador.

Floro can count on a young strike force with MLS players Cyle Larin and Tesho Akindele combining with Tosaint Ricketts and Marcus Haber.

Larin, the top pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, has scored three goals in Canada’s last three games. Larin has five goals in nine starts for Orlando City.

Akindele, the 2014 MLS rookie of the year with FC Dallas, scored in his home debut for Canada against Dominica last week.

The Canadian squad is scheduled to assemble Sunday for a pre-tournament camp in California.

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