Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Canada 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 World Cup 2022

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

I created Canada or Canadian-born All-Time team in 2016. Basically, I wanted to honor Owen Hargreaves, John van 't Schip, etc.  Canada produced more good players than what it appeared to have done.  I reviewed the team in May, 2023.  I felt at the time that the talented level in Canada is so high that many Canadian international players were forced out of the team by those non-Canadian capped players.  However, I did not want to waste my effect on my research on the Canadian-born players.  So I kept that team and created an All-Canada 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

Born in Canada. Kennaway played in the American Soccer League between 1927 and 1931.  He moved to Scotland and joined Celtic in 1931.  He made 295 total appearances over there.  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 between 1988 and 2002. 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. He was selected in Canada Soccer Hall of Flame as well as Sport Hall of Flame.
Craig Forrest
Paul Dolan spent his entire club career in Canada.   He played for Vancouver 86ers and Hamilton Steelers and winning the CSL championship with the 86ers in 1990 and 1991.  between 1984 and 1997, he was capped 53 times for Canada. He held the famous French team scoreless until the 79th minute when Jean Pierre Papin gave France a narrow 1–0 victory during the 1986 World Cup Finals.

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.

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 
Jason de Vos 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.  He was Canada's Player of the Year in 2002.
Jason de Vos
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.

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).

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 Davies
DM: Mike Sweeney
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/DM: Nick Dasovic
Nick Dasovic began his career in the Yugoslav First League and later the Croatian First League playing for Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb, renamed Croatia Zagreb during the 1990s.  After playing in Canada and France, he joined St. Johnstone in Scotland where he played from 1996 and 2002.  Between 1992 and 2004, he earned 63 caps for Canada.  He was born in Canada.

CM/RB: Atiba Hutchison 
Atiba Hutchinson 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 
UT: Les Wilson 
Les Wilson was just 16 years old when he made his Pacific Coast League debut in 1963, for the Westminster Royals FC.  He played for Wolverhampton Wanderers in England between 1964 and 1971.  He later played for Bristol City, Norwich City, and Vancouver Whitecaps.  He is one of very few professional footballers to have played in matches in nine different positions.  Born in England, he grew up in Canada.

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 in Germany. For the national team, he is capped 76 times at the time of writing.  He was the MVP for the 2007 Gold Cup.  His brother Jonathan played for the Netherlands.
Julian de Guzman
RW: Errol Crossan
Crossan played in Canada, but he joined Manchester City in January 1954. He later played for Gillingham, Southend United, Norwich City and Leyton Orient, scoring 57 goals in 226 games in the Football League.  He played a significant role in Norwich's 1959 FA Cup run, when the team from the Third Division reached the semifinal. He was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Norwich City Hall of Fame in 2002.

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/AM:  Dwayne De Rosario
Dwayne De Rosario 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
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.

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.

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.

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.
Jonathan David

Honorable Mention
Milan Borjan, Lars Hirschfeld, Timo Lettieri, Pat Onstad, Paul Stalteri 
Lydon Hooper, Paul James, Mark Watson, Colin Miller, Norm McLeod, Wes McLeod, 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, Jonathan Osorio, Paul Peschisolido, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Jack Cowan, Lucas Cavallini.

Squad Explanation
-- Canada actually produced more good players than what it appeared to be, but some of the good players decided to play for other national team. So I created Canada or Canadian-born All-Time team in 2016. Basically, I wanted to showcase Owen Hargreaves and John van 't Schip as Canadian talents.  Then, I reviewed that team in May, 2023.  I felt at the time that the talented level in Canada became so high that many Canadian international players were forced out of the team by those non-Canadian capped players.  However, I did not want to waste my effect on my research on the Canadian-born players.  So I kept that team and created this All-Canada team.  
-- Owen Hargreaves, John van 't Schip, Jonathan de Guzman and Yassine Bounou were the only non-Canadian international players on that team.  So I only needed to add four new players.  This section were almost the same as that of the Canada/Canadian-born team.
-- 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.   It was a bold move to add two players in their early 20s to be on an All-Time team.  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.
-- Dwayne De Rosario, Craig Forest, Kevin McKenna, Jason de Vos, Nick Dasovic, 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, Paul Peschisolido and Carlo Corazzin.
-- Bob Lenarduzzi, Bruce Wilson, Mike Sweeney, Randy Samuel and Dale Mitchell went to the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico. John Catliff missed the tournament because of an injury.  He contributed during the World Cup Qualifiers.
1986 World Cup
-- 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.  Canada won the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup where Forrest won Most Valuable Goalkeeper and MVP honours after conceding just three goals and saving two penalties — one in the semi-final and one in the final.
-- Joe Kennaway was a pioneer in Canada's football history.  He moved to play for Celtic in 1931 after impressing them in their tour of the United States. He was capped by both Scotland and Canada, but he grew up in Canada. He would have played more times for Scotland, but the other Home Nations objected to a Canadian playing in goal for Scotland. He also represented the Scottish League XI four times.
-- Paul Dolan was probably the 2nd best ever Canadian-capped goalkeeper.  He won the 1985 CONCACAF Championship and led Canada in their first World Cup Finals.  In World Cup Finals, he also held France scoreless for 79 minutes. Canada would end up losing to France 1-0.  France was the reigning European Championship with Michel Platini, Manuel Amoros, Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse on their lineup.  He was followed by Milan Borjan, Lars Hirschfeld, Timo Lettieri and Pat Onstad. 
-- Robert Iarusci was named by Canadian Soccer Association as its starting rightback on Best XI.  Frank Yallop belonged to Ipswich Football Hall of Flame. He was probably the most famous Canadian defender in the last 20 years.  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.  I selected Iarusci and Yallop over him because of their inclusion on the two CSA's All-Time Best XI teams. Geordie Campbell supposed to be a right-sided defender too.
--Alphonso Davies helped Bayern Munich to win the Champions' League in 2020. He also led Canada to their first World Cup since 1986.  He also scored Canada's first ever goal in the Finals.  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.  Jack Cowan played for Dundee between 1949 and 1956.  He was a Canadian pioneer playing in Europe, but Davies and Wilson were two of Canada's greatest ever players.
Bruce Wilson
-- 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.  
-- 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.
-- 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.
-- 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, Paul Stalteri 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.
Mike Sweeney
-- Basically, I dropped two midfielders, namely Owen Hargreaves and Jonathan de Guzman from the Canada/Canadian-born team.  So I had to replace them with two new players.  I put Scott Arfield, Stephen Eustaquio, Nick Dasovic, Les Wilson and Paul Stalteri on the shortlist.
-- Nick Dasovic also got mentioned frequently.  I felt that he should have been on the Canada/Canadian-born team.  So he was my first choice for the "replacements".
-- This team needed Stephen Eustaquio because he was a great passer of the ball.  He already earned a reputation in Porto.  And in the 2022 World Cup Finals, he nutmegged Kevin De Bruyne in the game against Belgium.  However, I felt that he was too young and had to complete against the likes of players who had done many things for Canada.   Scott Arfield spent many seasons with Glasgow Rangers, but he had limited international experience.  I could only put the two of them on honorable mention, but Eustaquio might be on this team in a few years.  I would wait a few more seasons before deciding on his status. 
-- That left Les Wilson and Paul Stalteri for a single spot. 
-- 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. 
-- Stalteri was mainly a rightback, but also played as a midfielder.  His wide play might be needed since the team only had Errol Crossan.  But in the end,  he was a rightback, and I don't need a fourth player in that position (Robert Iarusci, Frank Yallop and Atiba Hutchinson). Les Wilson also played in an era not honored by this team.  I preferred spreading the team around different eras.
Les Wilson
-- Steve Nash's brother Martin was capped 38 times for Canada.  It is a fun fact.  He was a midfielder.  Their father was a professional footballer. Steve Nash was also an renowned footballer himself, but chose basketball as a career.
-- Yes, I felt being unfair to Junior Hoilett, but I decided to go for Errol Crossan who was a right winger.  He was uncapped. 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 gave the spot to Crossan because this team lacked players before the 1970's.  He was a pioneer. 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.
-- 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 could not make the team.  
-- Tomasz Radzinski spent a long career in the Premiership with Everton and Fulham. Alex Bunley was Portugal's Foreign Player of the Year in the 1994-1995 season.
Tomasz Radzinski 
-- 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.  Since he was an uncapped player, I put him on honorable mention.
-- 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.



1 comment:

  1. Forrest
    Alistair-Johnston Ian-Bridge Wilson
    Paul-Stalteri Hutchinson De-Guzman Davies
    David Branko-Segota

    I went for a symetrical formation, very similar to Canada's latest World Cup endeavor. Stalteri and Davis patrol the flanks. Ian Bridge fits well as an aerialist in the center. Branko Segota was goal and assist leader in the glory days of the NASL. Alistair Johnston gets in on reputation.