Canadian defender Scott Kennedy will miss the World Cup after injuring a shoulder.
The 25-year-old, who has eight international appearances, was hurt Saturday while playing for Regensburg against Rostock in the German second tier, leaving the match in the seventh minute.
“He was devastated this morning,” Canada coach John Herdman said during a conference call Wednesday. “He will be a big loss to this group on and off the field. Just one of those tough moments as a coach where you’ve got to share that grim reality with someone.”
Herdman was relieved Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies, who turned 22 Wednesday, was not seriously hurt when he sustained a cranial bruise against Dortmund on Oct. 8. Davies, Canada’s top player, returned eight days later.
“Every game we’re monitoring you’ve just got that sort of pit in your stomach that you’re going to lose a critical player but it’s going to happen,” Herdman said. “Every weekend you’re dreading it. One part is you’re going to miss some quality from the team, but the next part is just knowing the pain that those players are going to go through.”
Atiba Hutchinson, a 39-year-old midfielder and Canada’s captain, is the only player in the pool who was alive during Canada’s last World Cup appearance in 1986. He has not appeared for Turkey’s Beşiktaş this season due to a bone bruise, but Herdman hopes he can play in a Turkish Cup match against Serik Belediyespor on Nov. 9.
“He feels good,” Herdman said. “All the signs are positive there.”
Herdman selected 21 players for a training camp opening Sunday ahead of a Nov. 11 exhibition against Bahrain in Manama. Players selected for the World Cup will travel to the Middle East the following day and Europe-based players will report ahead of a Nov. 17 friendly against Japan at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Midfielder Jonathan Osorio, who has 55 international appearances, has played one match since Aug. 20 due to post-concussion syndrome, 19 minutes at Orlando on Sept. 17.
“We’ve had staff monitoring his scrimmages,” Herdman said. “The feedback has been super positive. He seems to be really having an impact on the field and looking back to his old self. Playing international football in desert conditions is going to be a bit different to what he’s experiencing now in his club training enviornment.”
Canada opens Group F in Qatar against Belgium on Nov. 23, before facing Croatia four days later and Morocco on Dec. 1.
Twenty players headed to the camp are from Major League Soccer and one is Europe-based midfielder Liam Fraser of Deinze in Belgium’s second tier.
Four have not appeared for Canada’s senior team: goalkeeper James Pantemis; defenders Lukas MacNaughton and Joel Waterman; and midfielder Mathieu Choiniere.
Eight players are from Montreal’s MLS team, seven from Toronto and one each from Vancouver, Los Angeles FC, LA Galaxy, Minnesota and Nashville.
Toronto and Vancouver last played Oct. 9, Nashville on Oct. 15, Minnesota on Oct. 17, LA Galaxy on Oct. 20 and Montreal on Oct. 23. LAFC plays Philadelphia in the MLS championship game on Saturday.
“Are they going to be at the match fitness levels that we require to take them to Qatar?” Herdman said.
Goalkeepers: Maxime Crepeau (Los Angeles), James Pantemis (Montreal), Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota).
Defenders: Zachary Brault-Guillard (Montreal), Raheem Edwards (LA Galaxy), Doneil Henry (Toronto), Alistair Johnston (Montreal), Richie Laryea (Toronto), Lukas MacNaughton (Toronto), Kamal Miller (Montreal), Joel Waterman (Montreal).
Midfielders: Mathieu Choiniere (Montreal), Liam Fraser (Deinze, Belgium), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Toronto), Ismael Kone (Montreal), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto), Samuel Piette (Montreal).
Forwards: Ayo Akinola (Toronto), Lucas Cavallini (Vancouver), Jayden Nelson (Toronto), Jacob Shaffelburg (Nashville).