LAVAL – Valerio Gazzola, Canada-Quebec selection head coach, unveiled on Tuesday its 20-men roster, including 16 Montreal Impact players, who will take part in the 2017 Jeux de la Francophonie in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
First team midfielder Shamit Shome and goalkeeper James Pantemis, who trains with the MLS team, were selected for the competition.
A total of 12 Impact U18 players are also on the roster: goalkeeper Christopher Hansen-Barkun, defenders Chrisnovic N’Sa, Marques Antoine, Clément Bayiha and Daniel Kinumbe, midfielders Moulay Hamza Kanzi Belghiti, Santiago Gonzalez, Luca Ricci and Mathieu Choinière, as well as forwards Don-Junior Bobe, Souleymane Camara and Gabriel Balbinotti.
“I’m really happy to have the opportunity to play in such an important international tournament,” said Gabriel Balbinotti. “It’s a good learning experience and I will have the chance to play against high-level players. I want to learn and bring back with me all I can for the future.”
Defender Thomas Meilleur-Giguère and forward Jimmy-Shammar Sanon, two Ottawa Fury FC players who have graduated from the Academy will also be on the team.
The team will fly to Morocco for its last preparation camp and will face the Morocco U20 team on Monday, July 17.
The Canada-Quebec selection will begin the group stage of the tournament on Saturday, July 22, against the Democratic Republic of Congo. The team will then play against France on Monday, July 24, and against Haïti on Wednesday, July 26.