Jacob Shaffelburg ready to ‘prove myself’ as CanMNT window looms
Following a strong end to his loan spell in Nashville, the resurgence of Jacob Shaffelburg has continued to take MLS by storm after the Kentville, Nova Scotia-born winger put pen to paper on a permanent deal in Music City ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Three games into his first full season with Nashville SC, Shaffelburg has already notched two goals, including the opener in his side’s most recent fixture, a 2-0 victory over CF Montréal. Given his ties to Toronto FC, the former Red would have surely enjoyed bagging that one past Jonathan Sirois.
Shaffelburg has not only gone on to establish himself as a fan favourite in Tennessee, but he has also begun to re-capture the attention of Canadian soccer fans, and, more than likely, John Herdman and his Canadian men’s national team staff.
The Nova Scotian is no stranger to the CanMNT fold, having been included in three of Herdman’s squads since the beginning of 2020. Shaffelburg’s most recent call-up came in November 2022 when he was included in the MLS contingent that took on Bahrain in a friendly ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With Les Rouges’ pair of CONCACAF Nations League clashes against Curaçao and Honduras looming, and a roster announcement expected imminently, Shaffelburg’s inclusion would arguably not surprise many.
Speaking to Andi Petrillo and Jordan Wilson on OneSoccer’s OneNation podcast, Shaffelburg discussed the joy of being a part of a CanMNT camp alongside his compatriots playing across the Atlantic.
“It’s always amazing to be called in,” said Shaffelburg.
“Just seeing all the great players that Canada has from overseas, seeing all their amazing abilities, how fast they are, all that stuff.”
Related read: St. Louis City’s Kyle Hiebert, Nashville’s Jacob Shaffelburg making strong cases for CanMNT selection
Yet, beyond just being included as a squad player, the 23-year-old expressed his intent to challenge for significant minutes amongst the star-studded assortment of Canada’s European-based players.
“If I get called back, whenever that may be, I’ll be able to prove myself a bit more rather than just looking around and seeing everyone that’s there, but more so trying to fit and trying to compete,” Shaffelburg told Petrillo and Wilson.
During his last call-up in November 2022, the winger made a cameo appearance off the bench in that draw to Bahrain. In spite of being a long shot to make Herdman’s final 26-man squad, Shaffelburg’s inclusion then and during previous windows highlights the trust Canada’s head coach has in the youngster’s ability to make the grade on the international stage.
So, with a squad announcement imminent, could we see Jacob Shaffelburg duly rewarded for his fine form at the club level with a CanMNT call-up? Stay tuned…