16-year-old Alphonso Davies becomes youngest soccer player to play for Canada

Jun 14 2017, 11:30 pm

Alphonso Davies continues to set records.

The Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder, who was called up to the MLS club last season at age 15, became a full-time player on the team at just 16 this year.

And now, he’s the youngest to ever play for the Canadian Men’s National Team.

Davies, who moved to Canada at age five, just became a Canadian citizen last week. He was born in Buduburam, a refugee camp in Gomoa East District in the central region of Ghana, to Liberian parents who took refuge in Ghana after fleeing the Liberian civil war.

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The teenager came into Tuesday’s international friendly against Curacao (ranked 70th in the world) at State Saputo in Montreal as a second half substitute.

At 16, Davies broke a record held by a former Vancouver soccer legend, Domenic Mobilio. The former Vancouver 86ers striker debuted for Canada in 1986, at the age of 17.

Canada, currently ranked 109th in the world, won the game 2-1. Though they outplayed the visitors, it was a nail biter.

Curacao took the lead, scoring first in the 43rd minute, before Manjrekar James struck back to level the score for Canada before half time.

Davies entered in the 53rd minute, and he had a sizeable impact on the match.

In the 76th minute, Davies (#12 in the gif below) nearly gave Canada the lead, driving a good left-footed shot on net.

Davies’ great speed was on display in the 86th minute. He was tripped up in the box, setting the stage for Junior Hoilett to give Canada the lead.

Hoilett failed to convert, hitting the post, although Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored less than 20 seconds later to give Canada the go-ahead goal.

“You just go out there, play your game, and don’t think about it too much,” said Davies. “To put on that Canadian jersey means a lot. I am really happy to get the opportunity to play for Canada.”

“The youth in this team have lots of energy,” said Jackson-Hamel. “The young players are giving everything to get their place in the lineup, but we are also seeking that consistency to keep our place, too.”

The win was the first for new head coach Octavio Zambrano, who was hired in March.

“It’s very encouraging because we are at the beginning of a new process,” Zambrano said. “This victory gives us more confidence, so we are going to enjoy today and then immediately start thinking about the CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

Canada opens up the Gold Cup on July 7 in Harrison, New Jersey against Guinea, with a pair of matches in Texas against Costa Rica (July 11) and Honduras (July 14) to wrap up the group stage.

Canada will next play at home in a friendly against Jamaica on September 2nd at BMO Field in Toronto.

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