Canada men’s soccer team has received a major boost ahead of this month’s historic friendly against Ghana with Queens Park Rangers winger Junior Hoilett committing to the north American country.
The 25-year-old, who plays for the English Premier League side, made his final decision to play for Canada last night after months of meetings, ending years of speculation about his international future.
This makes him eligible to play for Canada in their match against the Black Stars on 13 October in Washington.
Officials have confirmed that he has been invited to play in the match against Ghana thus boosting their squad.
Holett was also eligible to play for Jamaica through his parents, and back in 2012 there was also talk of him holding out for an England call-up when he was impressing for Blackburn Rovers.
“I’m happy, I’m excited, and I can’t wait to make my debut for the national team and show the fans what I can do,” Hoilett, 25, told Canada Soccer.
“As well, help the team achieve better things in the near future and help the Canadian association move forward.”
Canada Soccer made the announcement and released a photo of Hoilett in a Canada shirt, holding up a Canada scarf.
Hoilett’s club career has stalled.
He’s played just two cup games for QPR this season in the English Championship.
He’ll be in camp for Canada ahead of their friendly against Ghana on Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C., with the hope that he can quickly find some form.
Canada’s chances have certainly improved with the commitment of Hoilett, news that will be welcomed by most but undoubtedly irk a section of Canadian supporters who’ll wonder where Hoilett was when Canada needed him in the last round of qualifying.
“He gives us a lot more quickness and depth, and hopefully goal-scoring chances, which we’ve lacked,” said Paul Dolan, the Canadian goalkeeping coach and an analyst for Whitecaps games.
“They’ve worked incredibly hard to get him on board, so it’s all positive for me.”
Dolan, who played for Canada at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, expects Hoilett to give the team a lift, but he stressed the importance of not putting too much pressure on the winger.