The all-province XIs
Quebec’s participation in a non-FIFA tournament recently inspired Jonah Freedman at MLS to have a look at what kind of teams each US state could put out. Along the same lines, I’ve been thinking about how the Canadian pro teams would look if they were limited to players from their province, and now seems like a good time to get it down.
For the most part, I’m looking at where they played their youth soccer – the player doesn’t need to have been born in that province, but to have immigrated or been playing locally by their early teens. I’m giving the Whitecaps all of BC and so on, but I’ve left out those who are cap-tied for another country, so no Asmir Begović or Owen Hargreaves for Alberta. There’s something to be said for having local players at your club, but I recognize that’s not always possible – this is more of a fun look than any actual yearning for the old days when a team of local lads would finish their shift at the mill and play in the first division that evening. This is just a look at how the Canadian pro teams could line up if they were limited to players with ties to that province:
Toronto FC (Ontario): (4-3-3)
Milan Borjan (GK) (Hamilton), David Edgar (Kitchener), Nana Attakora (Toronto), Dejan Jakovic (Toronto), Mike Klukowski (Oshawa), Atiba Hutchinson (Brampton), Will Johnson (Toronto), Dwayne de Rosario (Scarborough), Russell Teibert (Niagara Falls), Simeon Jackson (Mississauga), Junior Hoilett (Brampton)
Greater Toronto could just about field a team on their own, and Ontario could manage a competitive reserve side:
Kenny Stamatopoulos (GK) (Markham), Jaime Peters (Toronto), Steven Vitória (Toronto), Andres Arango (Toronto), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto), Joseph di Chiara (Toronto), Julian de Guzman (Scarborough), Kyle Bekker (Oakville), Marcel de Jong (Newmarket), Frank Jonke (Pickering), Iain Hume (Brampton)
Montreal Impact (Quebec): (4-3-3)
Maxime Crépeau (GK) (Longeuil), Fabrice Lassonde (Mont-St-Grégoire), André Hainault (Vaudreuil-Dorion), Philippe Davies (Longeuil), Maxim Tissot (Gatineau), Samuel Piette (Repentigny), Patrice Bernier (Brossard), Jonathan Bourgault (Montreal), Reda Agourram (Montreal), Boban Kajgo (Montreal), Olivier Occean (Brossard)
I’ve taken the spine of the Sélection du Québec and added a few high-profile additions, notably Canadian national team members Hainault, Occean, and Bernier.
Vancouver Whitecaps (BC): (4-4-2)
Simon Thomas (GK) (Victoria), Kevin Harmse (Vancouver), Adam Straith (Victoria), Mason Trafford (North Vancouver), Nigel Marples (Delta), Tyler Rosenlund (Burnaby), Terry Dunfield (Vancouver), Gianluca Zavarise (Burnaby), Josh Simpson (Burnaby), Rob Friend (Kelowna), Marcus Haber (Vancouver)
It was surprisingly difficult to put together the BC team, and I had to stretch at a few positions – the likes of Zavarise aren’t currently playing at any notable level.
FC Edmonton (Alberta): (3-4-3)
Lars Hirschfeld (GK) (Edmonton), Nikolas Ledgerwood (Lethbridge), Ethan Gage (Cochrane), Kevin McKenna (Calgary), Paul Hamilton (Calgary), Shaun Saiko (St. Albert), Matthew Lam (Edmonton), Tam Nsaliwa (Edmonton), Issey Nakajima-Farran (Calgary), Tosaint Ricketts (Edmonton), Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Edmonton)
Alberta put forth a strong squad with a few weak areas, but they look to be ahead of BC and second only to Ontario.
Have I made any glaring omissions? Can you build an XI for the other provinces? Comment in the form below.