Canada resumes its World Cup soccer march tomorrow night with a home game against Panama at BMO Field.
Coach Stephen Hart’s 21-member squad includes Canadian-based Major League Soccer (MLS) players Ashtone Morgan and Terry Dunfield who play for Toronto FC and Patrice Bernier of the Montreal Impact.
Morgan recently signed a long-term contract with the club while Dunfield has started in 15 of Toronto’s last 16 games.
“I love going away and playing with Canada,” Dunfield said. “We have two tough games coming up and it’s great to be part of it.”
The return match against Panama takes place on the road on September 11.
Canada has four points after a road win in Cuba and a draw with Honduras last June. Panama leads the four-team group with six points followed by Canada, Honduras, which has one point, and Cuba which is without a point. The top two teams advance to the 2013 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Associations of Football (CONCACAF) zone finals.
The national men’s side has not qualified for the World Cup since 1986.
Prior to the start of the game, the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) will pay tribute to the national women’s side that won a bronze medal at the just concluded London Olympics.
“By recognizing this incredible group of athletes, we hope to give Canadian supporters the chance to express their support and admiration for taking the nation on a great ride with the capturing of Canada’s first Olympic Summer Games team medal since 1936 in the Women’s Olympic Football tournament,” said CSA general secretary, Peter Montopoli.
And, Scarborough-born Dwayne DeRosario has become the seventh MLS player to register 100 goals. He achieved the feat in DC United’s 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls.
DeRosario, who made his MLS debut in 2001 against San Jose Earthquakes, joins Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno, Landon Donovan, Ante Razov, Jason Kreis and Taylor Twellman as the other members of the 100-goal club.
Cunningham is the all-time leading scorer with 134 goals.