Beat or tie Honduras and he will play.
That’s the word from veteran Canadian midfielder Julian de Guzman, who reportedly has said his brother Jonathan will suit up for his home country should Canada pick up points Tuesday (4 p.m. ET) and advance to the final round of World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region.
“He would be a valuable addition to the national team, perhaps even a game changer,” Nigel Reed wrote in blog last December at CBCSports.ca.
In July, Swansea City acquired Jonathan, 25, on a season-long loan from Villarreal in Spain’s La Liga, where he had spent the previous 18 months.
“With him, Canada could look ahead with renewed belief to the [final] round of World Cup qualifying, knowing one of Europe’s better attacking midfielders is on its side,” Reed wrote. “Without him, [Canada’s] World Cup dream could flounder for another four years.”
Born in Scarborough, Ont., Jonathan was a huge fan of Dutch soccer growing up. He moved to Holland at age 12 and by 18 was playing for Feyenoord Academy’s first team in the Netherlands, and a regular starter for three seasons before a succession of injuries interrupted his progress.
Jonathan also represented Holland’s under-23 team at the Beijing Olympics shortly after becoming a Dutch citizen in 2008. He moved to Mallorca, an island in the Mediterranean Sea in 2010, and last August was sold to Villarreal.
“Nothing is really happening for him in Holland,” Julian told Sportsnet. “He watches these [Canada] games, and he lets me know how he feels after every game. His heart is still there.”
Should Jonathan return, he must accept that he has to earn his spot on the club, Reed said.
“It is evident he possesses superior skill,” said Reed, “but this is all about attitude. If he truly wants to represent Canada, he must do so with humility and with an appreciation of what others have done for their country while he was ‘unavailable.’”