Sunday, December 18, 2016

Canada or Canadian-born Greatest All-time team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Canada at Mexico 1986

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for players born or capped by Canada.  I am including players who chose to represent other countries. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.  I also created a Canada All-Time team.

Canada's most significant achievements are winning the 1985 CONCACAF Championship to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup and winning the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup to qualify for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. Canada also won a gold medal in the 1904 Summer Olympics. Until 2022, the 1986 World Cup was their only successful qualification campaign in their history.  Canada finally qualified for the 2022 World Cup Finals.
Canada's Gold Cup victory
GK: Joe Kennaway (Scotland, but also played for Canada)
Born in Canada.  He played in the American Soccer League between 1927 and 1931.  He moved to Scotland and joined Celtics in 1931.  He made 295 total appearances.  He represented Canada once in 1926.  In 1933, Kennaway represented Scotland to play against Austria.  Due to objections from other Home Nations, he never played for Scotland again.

GK: Craig Forrest 
Craig Forrest spent 12 years with Ipswich Town.  He also played with Chelsea and West Ham United, whilst also spending time on loan in the Football League with Colchester United. He was capped 56 times. He was voted the MVP of the 2000 Gold Cup as Canada won their first major international tournament.  He is considered Canada's greatest goalkeepers.

GK: Yassine Bounou "Bono" (Morocco)
"Bono" spent most of his career in Spain, making over 100 La Liga appearances for Girona and Sevilla.  In 2020, he joined Sevilla.  He made some important saves as Sevilla won the European League in the 2019-2020 season in which he was named in the Europa League Squad of the Season.  He also won the La Liga Zamora Trophy in the 2021–22 season.   He was eligible to represent Canada or Morocco, but sicen 2013m he has represented Morocco.  

RB: Frank Yallop 
Frank Yallop played in the Premiership before moving to play in MLS in 1996.  He spent 13 seasons with Ipswich Town and a brief loan move to Blackburn rovers.  With Ipswich Town, he relegated to the seond divsion im 1986.  In 1992, he helped the club to gain to First Divison. He played with Tampa Bay Mutiny between 1996 and 1998.  He capped 52 times for Canada from 1990 and 1997.
Frank Yallop 
RB: Robert Iarusci
In 2012, he was named to the all-time Canada XI men's team. He began his NASL career with Toronto Metros-Croatia. At the end of the 1977 season, he joined the New York Cosmos. They won consecutive Soccer Bowls. He was traded in the Spring of '79 to the Washington Diplomats and played there two seasons. Iarusci returned to the Cosmos to play 1981 through '83, and finished with the San Diego Sockers. He had 22 caps.

CB/DM: Bob Lenarduzzi
Lenarduzzi began his career with Reading in England. He then joined Vancouver Whitecaps in 1974 in the team's first season. He played 11 seasons for Vancouver until the league folded in 1984. Lenarduzzi holds the record for most games played in the league, with 312. Lenarduzzi played all eleven positions during his tenure with the team. He was also voted NASL North American player of the year in 1978.  The Whitecaps won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship in 1979. Earned 47 caps and went to Mexico 1986.

CB: Jason de Vos 
He is considered to be Canada's greatest center-back.  He captained Canada as it won the Gold cup in 2000.  He made the Gold cup all-tournament team in 2000 and 2002.  He spent most of his career in the UK, playing for Dundee United, Wigan Atletic and Ipswich Town. In 2012 as part of the Canadian Soccer Association's centennial celebration, he was named to the all-time Canada XI men's team.

CB: Randy Samuel

Samuel started his career with the Edmonton Eagles and Vancouver Whitecaps, before joining PSV Eindhoven in 1985. Playing just five Eredivisie games for PSV, he moved on to FC Volendam in 1987, becoming a key member of the team until he moved on to league rivals Fortuna Sittard in 1990.   He later played for Port Vale , Harstad IL(Norway),Vancouver 86ers, the Hampton Roads Mariners, and the Montreal Impact. He went to Mexico 1986 for Canada.

McKenna played three seasons (the first two in the reserves) with German Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus before joining Hearts in Scotland in 2001.  Between 2005 and 2007, he again played for Engerie Cottbus before joining Koln.  He played for them between 2007 and 2014.  For Canada, he was capped 63 times between 2000 and 2012.  He was indicted to Canada Football Hall of Flame in 2019.

Davies was the first player born in the 2000s to play in a Major League Soccer match. Davies joined Bayern in January 2019 from MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps FC on a contract lasting for a then-MLS record transfer fee.  Davies was named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season for 2019–20.[6] In that season he also was part of the team winning the continental treble after Bayern won the Bundesliga, the UEFA Champions League and the DFB-Pokal.
Alphonso Davis
LB: Bruce Wilson 
Considered to be Canada's greatest player. He captained Canada at the WC Finals in 1986.  He was capped 50 times. He played for the Vancouver Whitecaps from 1974 to 1977, the Chicago Sting in 1978 and 1979, the New York Cosmos in 1980, and the Toronto Blizzard from 1981 to 1984. He was a six-time all-star selection, including three first-team selections (Vancouver in '77, Chicago in '79, Toronto in '84).

In 1980, the Edmonton Drillers of the North American Soccer League signed Sweeney. He spent three seasons with the Drillers before moving to the Vancouver Whitecaps for the 1983 season. While he began the 1984 season with the Whitecaps, he was traded to the Golden Bay Earthquakes. The NASL folded at the end of the 1984 season. He continued to play indoor soccer.  He was capped 61 times and went to Mexico 1986.

CM/RB: Atiba Hutchison 
Atiba Hutchison was six-time Canadian Player of the year in 2010 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. He was Danish Super Liga Player of the Year in 2010.  He was a central midfielder or a right wingback. Between 2010 and 2013, he played for PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredivisie. At the time of writing, he plays for Beşiktaş J.K. From 2003, he played over 103 times for Canada.  He was the oldest player at the 2022 World Cup Finals.
Atiba Hutchinson 
CM: Jonathan de Guzman (Nethertlands)
Jonathan De Guzmán is the brother of Julian. He progressed through the Feyenoord Academy, making his first team debut in 2005. In 2010 de Guzmán signed with RCD Mallorca following a free transfer. The following summer, he went to Villarreal.  He later played for Swansea, Napoli and Frankfrut.  Born in Canada, he became a Dutch citizen in 2008.  He played for Netherlands youth side.  In 2013, he finally received his first senior cap.  He played at the World Cup Finals in 2014.

CM/DMJulian de Guzman 
Julian de Guzman is one of the most successful Canadian player in Europe.  He is best remembered for Deportivo La Coruna between 2005 and 2009.  He was voted their best player for the 2007-2008 season. He also had a remarkable career with Hanover 96. For the national team, he is capped 76 times at the time of writing.  He was the MVP for the 2007 Gold Cup.

CM: Owen Hargreaves (England)
Born in Canada, Hargreaves began his career with Bayern Munich. He spent 7 years there, winning the Champions League. He joined Manchester United in 2007, winning the Premier League and Champions League in his first season.  He was capped by Wales on the youth level, but played for England as a senior.  In 2001, he became the first English international who never lived in England.  He played in the WC Finals of 2002 and 2006, and the Euro 2004.
Owen Hargreaves
LW: John van 't Schip (Netherlands)
Born in Canada, Van 't Schip began his career in the Jong Ajax youth academy. He would spend the next 11 seasons with the club. During this period he became league champion in 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1990, and cup champion in 1983, 1986 and 1987. He also helped Ajax win the 1987 European Cup Winners' Cup and the 1992 UEFA Cup. After Ajax's UEFA Cup victory, he was bought by Italian team Genoa, where he played four seasons.

FW/AM:  Dwayne De Rosario
He played for the Toronto Lynx, FSV Zwickau and Richmond Kickers early in his career. He came to prominence in the 2000s playing for the San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, NY Red Bulls and D.C. United. A four-time MLS Cup champion, he also won the 2011 MLS MVP award. He is the sixth-leading scorer in MLS history with 104 goals.  He was capped 81 times.  He was a part of the team that won the Gold Cup.
Dwayne De Rosario
FW:  John Catliff
Catliff was an All-American at Harvard.  He was a Canadian Soccer League star, scoring the second most goals of anyone in the League's six-year history with 69 goals in total. He played with Calgary Kickers. He then spent the next six seasons with the Vancouver 86ers, who became the CSL champions in 4 consecutive seasons from 1988 through 1991. He was capped 44 times.  He missed Mexico 1986 through an injury.

FW/WF: Tomasz Radzinski 
He played youth football in Poland and Germany before moving to Canada.   He began his career in Canada before he returned to Europe, joining Germinal Ekeren in Belgium in 1994. From there he eventually signed for Anderlecht. At Everton, Radziński scored 25 times in 91 Premiership outings before requesting a transfer, eventually securing a three-year deal with Fulham F.C. worth £1.75 million.  He played 46 times for Canada.
Tomasz Radzinski 
ST:  Dale Mitchell
Mitchell began his career with the Vancouver Whitecaps (1977, 1978), then played for the Portland Timbers (1979 to 1982) and for the Montreal Manic (1983). He was an original player with the Vancouver 86ers of the Canadian Soccer League and APSL for whom he scored 37 goals during seasons from 1988 to 1990 and 1992 to 1994. He was with the Toronto Blizzard for the 1991 season. Capped 55 times.  He played in Mexico 1986.

David made his professional debut with Gent in 2018.  Two years later, he joined French side Lille, where he aided in winning one Ligue 1 title and one Trophée des Champions. In 2019, David was named the male Canada Soccer Player of the Year.  He picked his first senuor cap in 2018.  He was the Golden Boot winner in the 2019 Gold Cup.  He went to play in the 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar.

FW:  Alex Bunbury
Born in Guyana, Bunbury started playing professionally in Canada. In 1993, after an unassuming season for West Ham United, he moved to Portugal's C.S. Marítimo, going on to become the club's all-time leading goalscorer in the Primeira Liga with 59 goals. In his second season, he won the Foreign Player of the Year award, and he scored a career-best 15 goals in the 1998–99 campaign. In early 1999, he joined Kansas City Wizards of MLS. Capped 65 times for Canada.
Alex Bunbury
Honorable Mention
Asmir Begovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Paul Dolan, Milan Borjan, Lars Hirschfeld, Timo Lettieri, Pat Onstad, Paul Stalteri 
Lydon Hooper, Paul James, Mark Watson, Colin Miller, Norm McLeod, Wes McLeod, Nick Dasovic, Carlo Corazzin, Colin Miller, Mike Stojanović, Ian Bridge, Paul James, Jim Brennan, Simeon Jackson, Sam Lenarduzzi, Stephen Eustaquio, Lee Wilson,  Jimmy Douglas, Fred Whittaker, Geordie Campbell, Dave Turner, Errol Crossan, Mark Chung(USA), Daniel Fernandes (Portugal), Ricardo Ferreira (Portugal), John Little (Scotland), Alan Mannus (Northern Ireland), John Kerr Jr (USA), Jimmy Nicholl (Northern Ireland), Emilio Reuben, (Argentina) Jonathan Osorio, Paul Peschisolido, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Fikayo Tomori (England), Edward Parry (England).

Squad Explanation
-- The original team was created in 2016. In June, 2023, I did an intensive review of the team.  I toyed with the idea of dropping the Canadian-born players who were capped by the other national team.  In the end, I decided to keep this team because I did not want to waste the effect I put on my research.  But Canada deserved an All-Time team of Canadian players only.  
-- As titled, all players were born in Canada or capped by Canada.
-- In 2012, the Canadian Soccer Association announced it greatest ever Best XI as part of their 100th anniversary.  The team was as followed: Craig Forest, Robert Iarusci, Randy Samuel, Jason de Vos, Bruce Wilson, Mike Sweeney, Dale Mitchell, Atiba Hutchinson, Dwayne De Rosario, John Catliff and Alex Bunbury.
-- On the same year, the Soccer Hall of Fame in honour of Canadian Soccer Association’s centenary celebrations created two All-Time Best XI in 50 years: a team of XI from 1912-1962 and a team of XI from 1963-2012.  The 1912-1962 team consisted of Joe Kennaway, Geordie Campbell, Jack Cowan, Fred Dierden, Trevor Harvey, Dickie Stobbart, Errol Crossan, Gogie Stewart, Doug McMahon, Dave Turner.  From 1963 to 2012, they had following players: Craig Forrest, Frank Yallop, Robert Iarusci, Randy Samuel, Bruce Wilson, Nick Dasovic, Mike Sweeney, Les Wilson, Colin Miller, Alex Bunbury and Tomasz Radzinski
 -- IFFHS selected the following players as their All-Time Best XI for Canada.  They were  Craig Forrest, Bob Lenarduzzi, Robert Iarusci, Jason de Vos, Bruce Wilson, Paul Stalteri, Atiba Hutchinson, Julian de Guzmán, Alphonso Davies, Tomasz Radzinski and Dale Mitchell.  Only six of their players on Canada's greatest ever Best XI. They were Craig Forrest, Robert Iarusci, Jason de Vos, Bruce Wilson, Atiba Hutchinson and Dale Mitchell. 
-- This generation of Canadian national team is their greatest ever.  In 2022, Canada qualified for the first World Cup Finals since 1986.  Atiba Hutchinson and Alphonso Davies were already on this team.  I added Jonathan David in 2023.   Cyle Larin, Stephen Eustaquio, Jonathan Osorio and Tajon Buchanan made honorable mentions.   Yassine Bounou who represented Morocco in Qatar was born in Montreal.  His family returned to Morocco when he was 3 years old.  Canada did inquiry about his service before he opted for Morocco.
World Cup 2022
-- Dwayne De Rosario, Craig Forest, Kevin McKenna, Jason de Vos, Tomasz Radzinski and Alex Bunbury were on the 2000 Gold Cup winning team.  Seven other players made the honourable mention: Pat Onstad, Richard Hastings, Paul Stalteri, Mark Watson, Nick Dasovic, Paul Peschisolido and Carlo Corazzin.
-- Bob Lenarduzzi, Bruce Wilson, Mike Sweeney, Randy Samuel and Dale Mitchell went to the 1986 WC Finals in Mexico. John Catliff missed the tournament because of an injury.  He contributed during the World Cup Qualifiers.
--Fred Whittaker, Geordie Campbell and Dave Turner played before the War.  Whittaker played for Notts County in 1946. Errol Crossan also played in England during the 1950's.  They only made honourable mentions.
-- Craig Forest was chosen to be the greatest ever by both the Canadian FA and IFFHS.  Joe Kennaway was a pioneer in Canada's football history.  He was capped by both Scotland and Canada.
Craig Forrest
-- In 2016, I selected Asmir Begović who had a storied career in England.  However, Yassine Bounou has emerged by 2023. He made some important saves as Sevilla won the European League in the 2019-2020 season in which he was named in the Europa League Squad of the Season.  He also won the La Liga Zamora Trophy in the 2021–22 season.  Of course, he was a hero of Morocco's run in the 2022 World Cup Finals.  He is now a bigger star than any of the goalkeepers mentioned.  He has done more than Begovic.
-- Paul Dolan was probably the 2nd best ever Canadian-capped goalkeeper.  He was followed by Milan Borjan, Lars Hirschfeld, Timo Lettieri and Pat Onstad. 
-- Daniel Fernandes was born in Canada. He was capped twice by Portugal between 2007 and 2009 as a goalkeeper. 
-- The Begović family fled the Bosnian War to Germany and moved Canada when Asmir was 10 years old. He grew up in Canada and played for their youth team before switching to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina senior team. He helped Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for the WC in 2014.  Professionally, he started with Portsmouth. He spent most of his career with Stoke City in England. He was used as a backup for Chelsea.
-- Randy Samuel and Jason de Vos were selected by Canadian FA for their Best Ever XI team. Bob Lenarduzzi holds the record for most games played in NASL.   At the beginning of the 1978 season, he moved to midfield and becoming the first Canadian to be named North American “Player of the Year” in the NASL.  He actually played every position in football, including a 45 minute stint as a goalkeeper.
-- Kevin McKenna was a part of the 2000 Gold Cup team and had a successful club career in Europe.  Fikayo Tomori might take his spot in the future. He switched his international commitment to England after representing Canada at the youth level.  He played his first senior game in 2019. As of 2023, he is projected to have a career with them. He is an interesting prospect for this blog in the future.
-- In the first game of the 2000–01 Bundesliga season, Kevin McKenna and Paul Stalteri simultaneously became the first Canadian to play in the Bundesliga in a match between McKenna's Engerie Cottbus and Stalteri's Werder Bremen.
-- Jimmy Nicholl (Northern Ireland) who was born in Canada went to the World Cup Finals in 1986, the same tournament where Canada qualified.  But I decided to go with two Canadian rightbacks. Robert Iarusci is named by Canadian FA as its rightback as their All-Time Best XI.  Frank Yallop belonged to Ipswich Football Hall of Flame. He was probably the most famous Canadian defender in the last 20 years.  He also played as a central defender. Atiba Hutchinson also started his career as a rightback so I had three players capable playing in this position. So I had no space for Paul Stalteri who was at one point Canada's most capped player.   He could also play as a midfielder.  Geordie Campbell supposed to be a right-sided defender too.  He had a single cap in 1925.
-- In June, 2021, I edited the team.  Alphonso Davies replaced Paul Peschisolido on the team even he was only 20 years old at the time.  He has done more than most Canadians in club football.  He helped Bayern Munich to win the Champions' League in 2020. Only Hargreaves has done more.  The other leftback was Bruce Wilson who might also be Canada's greatest ever players.  In NASL, he was a six-time all-star selection, including three first-team selections (Vancouver in 1977, Chicago in 1979, Toronto in 1984).  He once was the most capped Canadian player.
Bruce Wilson
-- Atiba Hutchinson was six-time Canadian Player of the year in 2010 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.  He was probably one of Canada's greatest players before the current Golden Generation.  In 2022, he was the oldest player in the World Cup Finals.  For club football, he was known as  ‘Spiderman’, ‘Perfect Machine’, or ‘The Octopus’ in Besiktas.
-- Owen Hargreaves (England) had successful European club careers that none of the Canadian national team players could match.  He won the Champions' league with Bayern Munich.  He was the first English player selected by the national team who never played for an English club.  He later played for Manchester United.  Sometimes, he was listed as Canada's greatest player by various media outlet despite playing for England. internationally.  I did not see them saying the same about John van 't Schip.  Because of that, I decided to add Canadian-born players who were capped by non-Canadian team to this blog team. 
-- Scott Arfield spent many seasons with Glasgow Rangers, but he had limited international experience.  I preferred the de Guzman brothers.  Julian and Jonathan de Guzman are brothers and represented different countries. Jonathan chose to represent Netherlands, and was a part of their 2014 World Cup team.  Julian had a long career with Deportivo La Coruna.  
-- Stephen Eustaquio is also emerging in Porto at the time of writing.  
-- Mike Sweeney was selected by Canada Soccer Association for their All-Time team.  Paul Stalteri was also well-respected, but I saw him as a fullback(please see above).  At one point, he was Canada's all-time cap record holder with 84 caps.  He was a member of Canada's Gold Cup winning team in 2000. He played over 150 times for Werder Bremen winning the Bundesliga in 2003-2004. He also played for Tottenham Hotspurs, Fulham and Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He was elected into Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017.
-- Nick Dasovic also got mentioned frequently.  Was he better than the players I have selected? He might be the best midfielder not selected on this team.
-- Manchester-born Les Wilson was an utility player.  He played in The Football League for Bristol City, Norwich City, and most notably Wolverhampton Wanderers, one of the first North American-trained players to do so in the 1960's.  I considered him being a pioneer of the game for Canada.  But I put him on honorable mention.
-- Mark Chung was born in Toronto to Chinese Jamaican parents. His family moved from Toronto to Florida when he was twelve. He was one of the best players in MLS during the mid-1990's. He made my honorable mention.
-- Steve Nash's brother Martin was capped 38 times for Canada.  It is a fun fact.  He was a midfielder.  Steve Nash was also an renowned footballer himself before focusing on basketball.  Their father was a professional footballer.
-- I do not have a natural right-sided attacker.  Errol Crossan was uncapped.  He played as a right winger.  He played a significant role in Norwich's 1959 FA Cup run, when the team from the Third Division reached the semifinal, beating Manchester United along the way. He was selected into Norwich Hall of Flame.  I only put him on. honorable mentions.  Tajon Buchanan might one day become considered, but he needed to do more.  He is a right-sided attacker, but also plays as a wing-back.  He probably could play as an attack midfielder.  Tomasz Radzinski could operate as a wing-forward on both sides of the field.
-- The left side was more famous than the right.  John van 't Schip (Netherlands) was a member of the Dutch national team that won the European Championship. He was probably the most famous Canadian-born player before the emerge of Owen Hargreaves. He grew up in British Columbia before returning to the Netherlands.  I did not need Junior Hoilett because the team had John van 't Schip and Alphonso Davis.
John van 't Schip
-- Dwayne De Rosario won many individual awards while in MLS, including the MVP award in 2011 and six times MLS Best XI.  He was selected as the 25 greatest players in MLS's history in 2020.
-- Carlo Corazzin led Canada to the victory at the 2000 Gold Cup, but he only made honourable mention. The same applied to Cyle Larin who is Canada's all-time leading scorer at the moment (2023).  The forwards who made this team were John Catliff, Dwayne De Rosario, Dale Mitchell, Alex Bunbury, and Tomaz Radzinski.  They were all big names in Canadian football. Four of them were selected by the Canadian FA as their Best XI.  Both Radzinski and Peschisolido had one of the most successful club career for a Canadian international player.  Peschisolido also could not make the team because Canada was overloaded with talented players whose careers were on par with each other. 
-- Tomasz Radzinski spent a long career in the Premiership with Everton and Fulham. Alex Burnley was Portugal's Foreign Player of the Year in the 1994-1995 season.
-- Emilio Reuben was a Canadian-born player who played in the South America during the 1930's.  I do not know much about him.
With Independiente de Avellaneda, he played with Arsenio Erico , Vicente de la Mata, Antonio Sastre and Fernando Bello.  He seemed to be a strong candidate.
-- Landon Donovan's father was born in Canada, but Landon was born in the USA.  He is not Canadian. I don't think he should be included in this blog.
-- Bryan Cristante who was on Italy's Euro 2020 winning team has a Canadian passport through his father.  However, he is not born in Canada.  He is not on my honorable mention.
-- In 2016, I took Edward Parry.  Born in Canada, he played 3 times for England in 1882. He scored once. He was captain (and goal-scorer) of the Old Carthusians team which won the 1881 FA Cup Final.   He was the first overseas-born captain of an FA Cup winning team. In 2023, I dropped him for Jonathan David.  I felt that I preferred David over a player from the 19th Century whom we did not know much.
-- As of 2023, Jonathan David is 23 years old, but he already earned the reputation of one of the next strikers in the world.  No Canadian forward can claim that.
Jonathan David
I took a gamble and start Jonathan David.  Tomasz Radzinski might be the only player who could play wide on the right.  The left side is strong with Bruce Wilson sitting on the bench.


  1. halfway doing this puzzle, i found out somebody beat me to it:
    credits to both Lincoln and Graphic Pes King

  2. This list needs to be updated, the current Canadian team is fantastic David, Davies and company are shoe ins

  3. Look into Tino Lettieri (GK) and Branko Segota.