World Cup heartbreak for Canada as Maxime Crepeau misses out

World Cup heartbreak for Canada as Maxime Crepeau misses out

On the eve of the World Cup in Qatar, due to commence on November 20th, Canada has lost one of its most important players, goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.

Crepeau was injured in the final game of the Major League Soccer season. The Los Angeles stopper collided with Philadelphia Union’s striker Cory Burke as he exited the penalty box and though Crepeau was sent off for his part in the incident, his dismissal turned out to be the least of his worries.

Canada’s second-choice goalkeeper broke his leg in the tackle and had to be carried off the field. Even though, Canada hoped he was going to be alright, the extent of the damage was revealed shortly after and Crepeau will now miss the World Cup in Qatar.

“We are devastated by the whole situation, it was late in the game, he put his body on the line to defend his goal, he went out of the box, did what he could and the worst happened. The whole situation was just sad. A lot of people are devastated by the news, the injury itself looked bad, and everybody feels sorry for Max, the staff, players, and the fans,” said Canada’s coach John Herdman.

Crepeau’s injury is not the only bad news for Canada, as Herdman professed, the team lost defender Scott Kennedy earlier in the week to another injury.

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Minnesota United’s number one to take the spot

Crepeau wasn’t going to be Canada’s starter at the World Cup, but rather a backup to first-choice goalkeeper Milan Borjan. The second option for Canada among the goalposts now goes to Minnesota United’s keeper Dayne St. Clair.

There are other choices out there for Herdman who took a large squad of players into the final period of preparation for the Qatar tournament. Jayson Leutwiler from the English lower-division team Oldham United and James Pantemis from CF Montreal, another Major League Soccer stopper, both provided alternative options. The latter two didn’t participate in the qualification stage, however, with Crepeau’s injury, one of them will likely be in the final 26-man squad that John Herdman will announce on November 13th, the deadline day for the rosters to be finalized.

In better news for Canada, Alphonso Davis, who was injured against Hertha Berlin last week, playing for Bayern Munich will be part of the squad, and alongside Jonathan Davis, Canada’s most lethal offensive threat should provide some hope for the countries’ chances at the World Cup.

Canada is holding its training camp in Bahrain to better prepare for the conditions they will face in Qatar. At the World Cup itself, they will play in a group stage against Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco with the opening game coming on November 23rd against Belgium. The second outing will be against the World Cup finalists from 2018, Croatia, and the last one against Morocco on the first day of December. The Canadians expect that their team will benefit from the long period of preparation, and with the end of the current football season in North America’s best league, they are ready for the ultimate challenge.

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