Canada announces roster for Gold Cup

Houston Dynamo star Dwayne De Rosario highlights Canada's roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Houston Dynamo star Dwayne De Rosario highlights Canada's roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Canadian Soccer Association unveiled its 23-player squad for the 12-team continental championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean on Friday, with the bulk of the team being made up of players based in Europe and Major League Soccer.

Along with the 20 players selected to the team, Canada also announced three reserve players.

Four Toronto FC players were named to the roster: goalkeeper Greg Sutton, defenders Adam Braz and Marco Reda, and midfielder Chris Pozniak.

Toronto captain Jim Brennan, a national team veteran, was named to Canada's preliminary roster for the Gold Cup, but decided to turn down the invite.

"It's not that I don't want to play for Canada, because I love playing for Canada and I've enjoyed every single game I've played for my country. But at the moment my priority is here with Toronto," Brennan told CBC Sports Online.

Team Canada will gather in Florida next week before heading down to South America to take on Venezuela in an exhibition game on June 1.

Canada will compete in Group A at the Gold Cup and plays Costa Rica (June 6), Guadeloupe (June 9) and Haiti (June 11) in the first round. All three games will be held in Miami.

Group B features the defending champion U.S., El Salvador, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago, with games in Carson, Calif., and Foxboro, Mass.

Group C is made up of four-time champion Mexico, Cuba, Honduras, and Panama with games in East Rutherford, N.J., and Houston.

The top two teams in each group and the two best third-place teams advance to the second round.

The final is scheduled for June 24 in Chicago.

Canadian under-20 men's soccer coach Dale Mitchell was officially named coach of Canada's men's senior team last week. Mitchell, 49, will remain at the helm of the Canadian junior side through July's FIFA U-20 World Cup, which Canada will host.

Under-17 coach Stephen Hart, a native of Trinidad and Tobago who resides in Halifax, will guide Canada's senior side at the Gold Cup.

"Everyone is looking forward to the Gold Cup competition," Hart said in a released statement.

"We have assembled a squad of players that work well together. We hope to build on these playing relationships in Venezuela and in the United States as the competition progresses."

Canada, which won the Gold Cup in 2000, is currently 94th in the monthly world soccer rankings released by FIFA, soccer's world governing body.

On Thursday, the CSA named Fred Nykamp the Canadian Soccer Association's new chief executive officer. Nykamp left Canada Basketball to accept the role.

Canada's roster

Goalkeepers: Greg Sutton (Toronto FC), Joshua Wagenaar (ADO Den Haag)

Defenders: Adam Braz (Toronto FC), Marco Reda (Toronto FC), Andrew Hainault (FK Siad Most), Gabriel Gervais (Montreal Impact), Paul Stalteri (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Ante Jazic (Los Angeles Galaxy), Richard Hastings (Inverness CT), Atiba Hutchinson (FC Kobenhavn), Patrice Bernier (Tromso I.L.), Martin Nash (Vancouver Whitecaps), Julian de Guzman (Deportivo La Coruna), Kevin Harmse (Los Angeles Galaxy), Issey Nakajima-Farran (FC Vejle Boldklub), Antonio Ribeiro (Montreal Impact)

Forwards: Dwayne De Rosario (Houston Dynamo), Rob Friend (Heerenveen), Ali Gerba (FC Goteborg), Iain Hume (Leicester City)

Reserves: Goalkeeper Robert Giacomi (KSK Beveren), defender Chris Pozniak (Toronto FC) and midfielder Nik Ledgerwood (1860 Munchen)