Patrice Bernier and Shavar Thomas named to national teams
MONTREAL, Quebec - Montreal Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier and defender Shavar Thomas will represent their countries at upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifier matches in September.
Bernier was named by Canadian head coach Stephen Hart to a 21-man roster set to face Panama in a two-match series on September 7 and 11, 2012, in Toronto and Panama. These games represent the third and fourth matches in the six-match CONCACAF 3rd Round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Qualifiers. Canada currently sits in second place in the group with a win and a draw.
Defender Shavar Thomas also returns to national team duty following an appearance in a friendly in August for the Jamaican national team. The central defender and former Jamaican captain will potentially earn his 43rd cap as his home country is set to take on the U.S. in its two game qualifiers on September 7 and 11, in Jamaica and Columbus, Ohio. Jamaica and the U.S. are tied at the top of their group.
“It’s nice to get the call up,” said Bernier. “Now we are playing a World Cup qualifier, so it’s a pressure game. It will be nice to be with the group and try to get another good result.”
“It’s always a tremendous honour to get the call up and put on the national team jersey,” said Thomas. “Qualifying for the World cup has to go through the U.S. or Mexico, so these are important games for us.”
“I think that they both earned and deserved the opportunity to go in and represent their countries,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “International experiences are always valuable for players, especially qualifiers. They are both in good form and I expect them to contribute and do well for their countries.”
Native of Brossard, Bernier leads the Impact this season in scoring with nine goals and is second in assists with eight. The central midfielder is one of the hottest players in MLS right now, with three goals and three assists in four games played in the month of August. Bernier earned his 47th cap for Canada earlier this month in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago.
On Friday, September 7, the Canada-Panama match kicks off at 7:45pm (ET) at BMO Field. The match will be broadcast live on Sportsnet One. The return match will be played on Tuesday, September 11 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Ciudad Pamama. That match kicks off at pm 9pm (ET), with the broadcast schedule to be announced shortly.
Thomas has made 15 appearances for the Impact this season, 13 as a starter, playing 1,255 minutes.
The Reggae Boyz will be in tough against the Americans as they have never beaten them at the senior level, going 0-10-8 all-time.