Kamal Miller, Jonathan David, and Other Canada Takeaways

Kamal Miller, Jonathan David, and Other Canada Takeaways Featured Image

September brings us closer to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as well as a significant international window for Canada in a few weeks.

Several players are heating up ahead of September’s friendly against Qatar and Uruguay. Five Canadians competing for a roster berth scored or assisted over the weekend in European competitions. If their form holds, they’ll be called up this month.

These Canadian internationals shined this weekend.

Jonathan David

Jonathan David’s move from inside-forward off the right flank to No. 9 in Lille’s last two games wasn’t easy. They proved he can’t thrive as a lone striker if Lille doesn’t play vertically, dynamically, and let him roam.

David scored twice as part of a flowing front four to help Lille defeat 10-man Montpellier 3-1 on Sunday. The 22-year-old created all his shots and key passes by dropping deep and entering late.

If other Canadian attackers, like Cyle Larin, can’t sustain form by the World Cup, this may be a pattern. Lille’s head coach John Herdman uses his wingers in free-roaming duties, therefore a flexible 3-4-3 is possible.

Stephen Eustáquio

Tuesday starts the Champions League group round. Several clubs switched lineups over the weekend to prepare for starting matchups.

Stephen Eustaquio benefited before Porto’s match against Atlético Madrid. He started the season with the Drages and set up both goals in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Gil Vicente.

Eustaquio often contributes with set-piece assists or late-game forays. In his previous three Porto outings, he’s been drifting into the box, and the second goal summed it nicely. He rushed into the box and crossed for Galeno.

Eustaquio anchors Canada’s midfield and orchestrates their buildup from deep. Herdman prioritizes a double pivot in midfield in recent national team games. Only Eustaquio’s sequences versus top-tier opponents will help the team.

Eustaquio should rush into the opponent’s half as frequently as possible.

Kamal Miller, Jonathan David, and Other Canada Takeaways Post Image

Kamal Miller

After CF Montréal’s 4-3 triumph against Toronto FC at BMO Field on Sunday, a defender’s name may sound odd.

Miller had a big impact in a match with 10 Canadian starters. His goal boosted Montréal’s comeback, and he held Federico Bernardeschi in check.

As well as Canada’s defense fared in World Cup qualification, slower attackers may exploit a lack of quickness on the turn. Containing the Italian international and keeping him calm under TFC’s intense push is a fantastic improvement.

Theo Corbeanu

Theo Corbeanu has worked hard to make the World Cup squad. September may hurt more.

Corbeanu scored Blackpool’s lone goal in Sunday’s 1-0 triumph against Huddersfield Town in the English Championship, his third goal in four games. Given Canada’s abundance of wingers, the 20-year-status old’s is increasing by the week.

Liam Millar, who plays as a left-inverted winger for club and country, is the sole danger. After a great start, he hasn’t had a goal or sustained threat in his previous five Basel games.

Corbeanu might yet make September’s team and the World Cup roster.

Iké Ugbo

Genk’s cold Ike Ugbo hurt the 23-year-old striker in the preseason. During this time, he secured a move to Troyes but arrived out of rhythm.

Ugbo eventually scored after 230 minutes and five games as Troyes tied Rennes 1-1 with 10 men. The former Chelsea star was sacrificed so Troyes could reorganize their tactics following the red card, but not before scoring Sunday’s opener.

Perfect timing. Cyle Larin isn’t a regular at Club Brugge and Lucas Cavallini is facing a long suspension for the Vancouver Whitecaps, so Ugbo and David are the only September options. Cavallini will lose match fitness if Vancouver misses the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Ugbo and David may trade or create a partnership to leverage their skills. But the goal should spur him on towards Doha.

Scott Kennedy

Scott Kennedy needed a standout performance. Jahn Regensburg’s defense has only played 140 minutes in six games without a start before Saturday.

His surge was a contrast to his past two seasons. Kennedy, a prominent player for the 2. Bundesliga team was at risk of losing his World Cup spot to Derek Cornelius, who continued his success in Greece with Panetolikos.

Kennedy started and finished Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Holstein Kiel and played a customary role.

The 25-year-old often rotates with Kamal Miller as Canada’s left center defender, generally in a back three. Jahn Regensburg played a 3-4-3 with Kennedy on the left.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *