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International Duty: Youth Getting Noticed

Impact players representing their countries proudly.

MLS: New England Revolution at Montreal Impact Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time ever Canada’s U21 team was invited to the Festival international espoirs – Tournoi Maurice-Revello. This tournament is allowing young Canadian players, and numerous Impact players, to make a name for themselves.

First team players Shamit Shome and James Pantemis were amongst the players selected by Canada. Notably, academy players (from the U19 team) Clément Bayiha, Daniel Kinumbe, and Mathieu Choinière were also chosen.

MLS: 2018 Portraits USA TODAY Sports

In their first match against Portugal on May 28th, Shome and Pantemis were both part of the starting lineup. Choinière also came in at the 53rd minute. Canada ended up drawing 0-0 against Portugal and putting up a very impressive and positive performance.

The next game for Canada is on May 31st against Turkey and their following opponents are Japan on June 3rd. It will be interesting to see how far John Herdman can get this team and display the progression of soccer in Canada at an important tournament.

It was announced that Impact defender Jukka Raitala was selected by the Finish national team for international friendlies coming up at the beginning of June. While he will be available for the game on Saturday against Houston he will miss the following game against Dallas and may likely miss the first match up against Orlando.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The first friendly will be against Romania in Ploiesti on June 5th. The second will be against Belarus in Tampere on June 9th.

The Finnish defender has become an important part of the Impact lineup with the accumulation of injuries at the center-back positon. Given the status of the Impact season, it will be a breath of fresh air for Raitala, but also interesting who will step in during his absence. Camacho, Cabrera and Fisher are all working back from injuries hopefully one will be fit enough come match day.