World Cup: Who’s defending Canada?

Canada’s 26-man national squad for the Qatar World Cup, has been announced.

John Herdman named his squad which features some huge names in club football across Europe including Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David of Lille.

Canada Head Coach John Herdman celebrates after his team’s 4-1 win over Panama in World Cup qualifying action in Toronto, on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

His team also features some older and established names in international football including Atiba Hutchinson. If he got to play, he’d be the oldest player to play in a World Cup. He’s only 39 years, nine months and 3 days older than Argentina’s Angel Labruna (39 years, eight months and 18 days).

We’re going to take a look at who is in the 26 man squad section by section, so let’s start of with who is defending Canada at the back?

We’ve got an interesting mix of players including players with a lot of experience representing Canada in the U23 prior to the Senior level, while others are entirely new.

Who’s defending Canada?


Milan Borjan

Canada keeper Milan Borjan celebrates after defeating the USA 2-0 in men’s World Cup Qualifier at sold out Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario Sunday Jan. 30, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Appearances: 67

Club: Red Star Belgrade

Borjan got his first call up to the Canadian International team in 2010 and played his first game in February 2011 in the exhibition game against Greece. He played a pivotal role in ensuring Canada made it through the qualifiers, saving a goal-line goal which could’ve level the game with Mexico. Canada won 2 – 1. It was Canada’s first victory against Mexico in 21 years.

James Pantemis

MONTREAL, QC – OCTOBER 01: Look on CF Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis (41) during the DC United versus the CF Montreal game on October 01, 2022, at Stade Saputo in Montreal, QC (Credit Image: © David Kirouac/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Appearances: First time

Club: CF Montreal

Pantemis is a late addition to the roster after Crepeau broke his leg during the MLS Cup Final. This will be his first time playing in a major international contest and got the job for his impressive record playing with CF Montreal.

Dayne St Clair

SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 01: Minnesota United FC goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair (97) during the second half of a MLS regular season game between Minnesota United and the San Jose Earthquakes on October 1, 2022, at PayPal Park in San Jose, CA. (Credit Image: © Tony Ding/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Appearances: 2

Club: Currently on loan to San Antonio FC

While St Clair first played for the national team in the U-23 provisional roster during the 2020 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in February, he would later accept an invite to join the senior team in January 2021. Later in June he would make his debut during the 7 – 0 thrashing against Aruba, for the World Cup qualifiers.

While you’re here… do you want to know who Canada is facing in the World Cup? Check out who they’re up against below:


Samuel Adekugbe

July 11, 2017 – Houston, Texas, U.S – Canada defender Samuel Adekugbe (4) controls the ball during the 1st half of an international CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match between Canada and Costa Rica at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX on July 11th, 2017. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Credit Image: © Trask Smith via ZUMA Wire)

Appearances: 33

Club: Hatayspor

Adekugbe got his first call up to the national team for 2 friendlies against Mauritania in September 2013 but did not play. He finally made his debut with Les Rouges during their game against Belize in September 2015. He later played in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2017. His real start came during the World Cup qualifier game against Mexico and later in the January 2022 game against the United States where he scored.

Derek Cornelius

Appearances: 7 U-23 / 14 Senior

Club: On loan to Panetokolis

Cornelius first played for the national team at the U-23 level. He made his big splash during the 2018 Toulon Tournament and went on to be named the Canada Soccer Youth International Player of the Year. He would move into the Senior team during their friendly against New Zealand in March 2018. He was later selected for the starting IX game against the US Virgin Islands where Canada won 8 – 0.  

Alistair Johnston

Appearances: 29

Club: CF Montreal

Joining Pantemis at defence lines is Alastair Johnston. He made his debut with the national team  as a substitute during the Bermuda World Cup qualifier game in March 2021. He scored his goal for the national side during their match against Cayman Islands. Johnston plays right-back and is accustomed to clearing the danger from Pantemis’ goals.

Richie Laryea

Toronto FC’s Richie Laryea is pictured during MLS action against New England Revolution in Toronto on Wednesday August 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Appearances: 2 U-23 / 33 Senior

Club: On loan to Toronto FC

Laryea first made his debut with the national team’s U-23 squad during their 2016 friendlies against Guyana and Grenada. He actually scored the opening game against Guyana. It was August 2019 when he got his call to play for the senior team during their 2 CONCACAF games against Cuba. He would make his senior debut in September 2019. He would later play in the World Cup qualifier game against Bermuda in March 2021. Canada would win decisively 5 – 1.   

Kamal Miller

MONTREAL, QC – APRIL 16: Kamal Miller (3) of CF Montréal looks to trow the ball during the first half of the MLS game between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the CF Montreal game on April 16, 2022, at Stade Saputo in Montreal, QC (Credit Image: © Vincent Ethier/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Appearances: 1 U-20 / 28 Senior

Club: CF Montreal

Miller got his first international cap playing with the U-20 team in the 2017 CONCACAF U20 Championship and later as part of the provisional U-23 team 2020 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in February 2020. His senior call up came in during the CONCACAF Nations League game where Canada played French Guiana. He would go on to be substituted on in the 61st minute of Canada’s final group game against Cuba.

Steven Vitoria

Appearances: 34

Club: Chaves

Vitoria had originally represented Portugal in a number of tournaments during the early 2000s before switching his allegiance to Canada and playing his first game, a friendly against the United States in 2016. He would go on to score his first goal during the October friendly game against Mauritania. Vitoria also captained the team during the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2017 and 2021.

Joel Waterman

November 7, 2021, Montreal, QC, USA: MONTREAL, QC – NOVEMBER 07: Look on CF Montreal defender Joel Waterman (16) during the Orlando City SC versus the CF Montreal game on November 07, 2021, at Stade Saputo in Montreal, QC (Credit Image: © David Kirouac/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Appearances: 1

Club: CF Montreal

One of the national team’s newest member is Joel Waterman. He made his first appearance with the national team during the World Cup warmup game against Bahrain and had several call ups to the national team during 2021 and 2022 prior.

Midfield next?

Check out who John Herdman is taking to Qatar to support the midfield and wings:

If you can’t wait for more, check out our blog on the remarkable life of Alphonso Davies right here:

Posted on: 15 Nov 2022