Soccer is at the forefront of the sporting world right now, with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar being played. Canada has qualified for this tournament for only the second time in history, so who are the key players on the roster from Toronto FC?
Defender Laryea has 33 caps for the Canadian national team, since his first international appearance in 2019. He signed for Toronto FC in that same year and became a vital part of the team. His excellent form won him a move to English club Nottingham Forest at the start of 2022, but he then came back to Toronto on a year’s loan after playing five games in the UK.
While he isn’t a guaranteed starter, Laryea’s impact when he entered the field in Canada’s warm-up game against Japan ensured that many fans have been calling for him to be selected for the country’s group games against Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco.
The stats around sports streaming in the USA apply equally to Canada. It confirms that soccer is now one of the top five sports, and that the start of a new season sees interest rise in any of those sports. We can also see that soccer has overtaken baseball in popularity and that this year’s World Cup could have a lasting effect on its appeal in North America.
Midfielder Kaye was signed by Toronto FC II back in 2015, but then spent several years away before returning to Toronto in 2022, having played for the likes of Los Angeles FC and Colorado Rapids during that time.
He played for Canada at youth level before breaking into the national team in 2017. Described as a box-to-box central midfielder with a versatile style of play, he’s now racked up close to 40 international appearances and has two goals in that time. Raised in Toronto by a single mother from Jamaica, Kaye started playing soccer at the age of nine years old.
Many analysts have Brazil as the favorites, followed by the likes of Argentina, England and France. Canada is ranked among the outsiders, alongside the likes of Japan and Australia. Regardless of their progress, the nation has embraced soccer and the national team embodies that spirit.
Another midfielder, Jonathan Osorio played a big part in helping Canada reach Qatar, as he scored an important equalizer against Mexico during the qualifying campaign. Born in Toronto, Osorio has played for the national team over 50 times since his first cap in 2015, scoring seven times.
He’s the current record holder in terms of most games played for Toronto FC, as he’s racked up over 250 appearances since making his debut against Sporting Kansas City way back in 2013. During those years, he scored 42 goals for the franchise and become one of their most influential players.
Canadian soccer fans will be hoping to see the three players mentioned have a strong tournament in Qatar and boost the country’s hope of pulling off a surprise or two.