Djordje Mihailovic’s first piece of serious football since joining CF Montreal is likely to come in the colours of his country.
US u-23 Men’s coach Jason Kreis has called up the Montreal midfielder to his 31-strong preliminary roster for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament taking place between 18-30 March in Guadalajara.
Mihailovic is expected to make the final 22 for Mexico and is one of 15 in the extended group of 31 to have won senior international caps.
The USA has been drawn in a group alongside Costa Rica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic and Mihailovic will hope to add to his current haul of six u23 caps and one goal.
Should he make the final 22, there’s a good chance of bumping into several new CF Montreal team-mates down Mexico way...
In Mauro Biello’s initial 50-man roster CF Montreal is well-represented with James Pantemis, Zach Brault-Guillard, Clement Bayiha, Zorhan Bassong, Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla and Karifa Yao all included. Biello’s squad will also be trimmed to 22 for the tournament.
Others with Quebec links in Biello’s selection include, Abzi Diyaeddine and Chrisnovic N’sa (both York United), Mo Farsi (Cavalry) and former Impact men; Thomas Meilleur-Giguere (Pacific FC) and Shamit Shome (FC Edmonton).
The Canadians find themselves drawn in a round-robin including Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador.
The top two sides in each group will advance to the semi-finals, so if Canada do prevail, it looks almost certain they will face either the USA or hosts Mexico in the last four.
Only the two tournament finalists will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics at the end of July/beginning August.
Should Canada prevail it would be their first appearance at an Olympic Games since 1984, when they narrowly lost a quarter-final to Brazil on penalty-kicks.
Check out the latest The Ball Is Round Podcasts. One, a Special, recorded on Thursday evening (25 Feb) on the ramifications of Thierry Henry’s departure (Ep 17) and....
... the other our regular Wednesday edition (Ep 16) recorded 24 Feb (before news of the Henry departure), in which we cover #CFMTL squad strength and depth heading into the new season and other Montreal soccer news... as well as the Canadian WNT at the She Believes Cup.
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