Canada's coach John Herdman gives instructions to his players during the international friendly soccer match between Qatar and Canada, at the Viola Park stadium in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Florian Schroetter

Herdman summons largely MLS roster to camp in Bahrain ahead of World Cup

Canada coach John Herdman has summoned his MLS troops for a camp and international friendly in Bahrain before assembling his full squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

Herdman has called in 20 MLS players and Liam Fraser, who plays in Belgium for KMSK Deinze, for the camp, which is designed to provide training and a game for players out of season.

The Nov. 11 friendly with Bahrain in Manama comes ahead of a final Nov. 17 warm-up against No. 24 Japan at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that will feature the full World Cup roster. The 41st-ranked Canadian men have never played No. 85 Bahrain.

The FIFA international window covering the World Cup in Qatar doesn’t open until Nov. 14, with the tournament kicking off six days later.

European clubs will play right up until the window opens.

Alphonso Davies — who turned 22 Wednesday — and Bayern Munich visit FC Schalke 04 on Nov. 12 in Bundesliga play while Jonathan David and Lille host Angers in French Ligue 1 action and Club Brugge, featuring Tajon Buchanan and Cyle Larin, entertain Antwerp in Belgian league play on Nov. 13.

The Bahrain camp opens Sunday. Players from the camp selected to the World Cup roster will travel Nov. 12 to Qatar.

Preparing for its first World Cup since 1986, Canada opens Group F against No. 2 Belgium on Nov. 23, before facing No. 12 Croatia on Nov. 27 and No. 22 Morocco on Dec. 1.

Herdman has called in eight players from CF Montreal, seven from Toronto FC, one from the Vancouver Whitecaps and four from other MLS clubs.

Toronto and Vancouver last played Oct. 9, the final game of the MLS regular season. Montreal exited the MLS playoffs Oct. 23 in a 3-1 loss to New York City FC.

Jonathan Osorio leads the TFC contingent called in. The veteran midfielder, now recovered from post-concussion syndrome, has played just 18 minutes since an Aug. 20 start against Miami.

The only MLS camp invitee still in action is Los Angeles FC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, who takes on the Philadelphia Union in Saturday’s MLS Cup final.

The Bahrain camp roster includes uncapped goalkeeper James Pantemis, defender Joel Waterman and midfielder Mathieu Choiniere (all CF Montreal) and defender Lukas MacNaughton (Toronto FC).

It’s MacNaughton’s first call-up to the national team.

Eleven of the players summoned have less than 10 caps. Montreal’s Sam Piette and Toronto’s Osorio lead with 64 and 55 caps, respectively.

Canada Soccer also confirmed that defender Scott Kennedy will miss the World Cup after suffering a shoulder injury with SSV Jahn Regensburg in the second-tier German league. Kennedy is not expected to return to club action until the new year.

The 25-year-old from Calgary has won eight caps for Canada.

Canada Roster for Bahrain Camp

Goalkeepers: Maxime Crepeau, Los Angeles FC (MLS); James Pantemis, CF Montreal (MLS); Dayne St. Clair, Minnesota United (MLS).

Defenders: Zachary Brault-Guillard, CF Montreal (MLS); Raheem Edwards, Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS); Doneil Henry, Toronto FC (MLS); Alistair Johnston, CF Montreal; Richie Laryea, Toronto FC (MLS); Lukas MacNaughton, Toronto FC (MLS); Kamal Miller, CF Montreal (MLS); Joel Waterman, CF Montreal (MLS).

Midfielders: Mathieu Choiniere, CF Montreal (MLS); Liam Fraser, KMSK Deinze (Belgium); Mark-Anthony Kaye, Toronto FC (MLS); Ismael Kone, CF Montreal (MLS); Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC (MLS); Samuel Piette, CF Montreal (MLS).

Forwards: Ayo Akinola, Toronto FC (MLS); Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS); Jayden Nelson, Toronto FC (MLS); Jacob Shaffelburg, Nashville SC (MLS).

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