Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies named Canada captain ahead of Copa America kickoff | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies named Canada captain ahead of Copa America kickoff

Canada forward Alphonso Davies (19) jogs up field after taking a shot in the second half of a CONCACAF Nations League Play-In soccer match against Trinidad And Tobago, Saturday, March 23, 2024, in Frisco, Texas. Canada coach Jesse Marsch has named Bayern Munich star fullback Davies as team captain ahead of Copa America. Midfielder Stephen Eustàquio was named vice-captain. ?THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Julio Cortez

ATLANTA - Bayern Munich star fullback Alphonso Davies, rubbing shoulders with Argentina's Lionel Messi, will lead Canada out at Copa America on Thursday.

Canada coach Jesse Marsch named the 23-year-old Davies team captain on Monday with midfielder Stephen Eustaquio, who plays in Portugal for FC Porto, as vice-captain.

“Alphonso is a young and experienced professional who has all the tools to be an excellent captain," Marsch said in a statement. "He has been in the spotlight from a young age and handled it very well, I know that he is up to the challenge of taking on a more expanded role with more responsibility.

"Stephen is also a great leader who has already formed a partnership with Alphonso, along with the leadership council, that will lead us into a home FIFA World Cup in 2026.”

The choices do not come as a surprise.

Davies wore the captain's armband for the June 6 friendly against the seventh-ranked Netherlands in Marsch's first game in charge. And Eustaquio led the team out for the June 9 friendly against No. 2 France.

Longtime Canada captain Atiba Hutchinson retired last year.

The 49th-ranked Canadians open Copa America on Thursday against Messi and top-ranked Argentina at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Argentina is defending World Cup and Copa champion, having beaten Brazil 1-0 in the 2021 Copa final.

While young, Edmonton's Davies has already experienced success at the highest level.

He scored Canada's first-ever goal at the men's World Cup, in a 4-1 loss to Croatia in November 2022 in Qatar. And he has won multiple honours with Bayern: five Bundesliga titles, the Champions League Cup, two DFB cups, three DFL Supecups, the UEFA super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup.

A four-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year Award, Davies has won 47 caps for Canada. He was 16 when he made his senior debut in June 2017, becoming the youngest men's player in Canadian team history.

The 27-year-old Eustaquio, from Leamington, Ont., has won 37 caps for Canada and was named Canada Soccer Player of the Year for 2023.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2024.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024
The Canadian Press

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