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James Pantemis discusses Team Canada selection

Impact goalkeeper last called up for Toulon tournament

This time, when the Canadian men’s national team gets set to play its second Nations League qualifying game, on Tuesday against Dominica, it won’t be just midfielder Samuel Piette dressing for the Reds. Impact goalkeeper James Pantemis was also called up by head coach John Herdman to take part in the camp.

“Obviously, I was very happy to receive the call from the national team,” said Pantemis. “It’s always an honour to represent your country on an international level. It’s exciting.”

But this won’t be Pantemis’ first camp under head coach John Herdman and his new coaching staff. The Montreal goalkeeper joined the U21 team for the prestigious Toulon Tournament in France earlier this year, in which Canada managed a sixth-place finish with Herdman at the helm.

“I got a very good first impression to be honest,” added Pantemis. “Judging from my first camp with him, I could tell he’s very organized and he knows exactly what needs to be done. It’s all planned out. He has a goal that he wants to achieve and we all believe in it. As a team, we’re all very excited to hop on this new journey.”

Getting younger

Looking at the list of players called up for the Canadian camp this time around, one aspect stood out more than most: youth. For 21-year-old James Pantemis, that can only be a good thing.

“We can see especially that the team is very young,” said Pantemis. “It’s nice to see that the program counts on its youth and on the future for the next World Cup qualification phase. There’s a lot of talent on this team, which means there’s a lot of work to be done.”

It all points to what can potentially be a very bright future for the Canadian National team that will be able to count on former Bleu-blanc-noir player Ballou Tabla as well; at the end of the road for this generation stands the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted across North America, including in Canada.

“At the end of the day, only 11 players can start, but if we can succeed in developing 30 or 40 players who can play well, it would be incredible for the program.”

The game against Dominica will take place on Tuesday, October 16, at 7pm in Toronto. The Impact’s next game will be against its biggest rival, Toronto FC, on Sunday, October 21, at 3pm at Stade Saputo. Excellent tickets remain available on impactmontreal.com for our last home game of the regular season.

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