Columbus Crew defender Mo Farsi declined CanMNT call-up, considering representing Algeria: report
John Herdman said one of his priorities after the 2022 World Cup was convincing more dual-nationals to play for Canada. Other countries are looking at Canadian players and thinking the same thing.
There were quite a few eyebrow-raisers when CONCACAF released a 53-man preliminary Canadian men’s national team roster ahead of next month’s CONCACAF Nations League finals tournament in Las Vegas; most notably, one MLS standout whose name wasn’t in the squad.
According to AppleTV MLS analyst Vincent Destouches, Mo Farsi politely declined the CanMNT invitation and is said to be considering his international options.
The 23-year-old Columbus Crew defender is eligible to play for Algeria, and the North Africans have reportedly expressed their interest in the former Canadian Premier League wing-back. Farsi was born and raised in Montréal to Algerian parents. He made two appearances for Canada at U-23 level and is a former futsal star.
Farsi is having a breakout season with the Crew — his first with the senior team after leading Crew 2 to the MLS Next Pro title last year — and has regularly been called one of the best right-backs in Major League Soccer this season by pundits on both sides of the border.
The former Cavalry FC man has made a great impression on new Columbus boss Wilfried Nancy. Farsi started the Crew’s first 11 league matches at right wingback to start the season, coming off the bench last Wednesday in a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy. Farsi has assisted three goals this season and is fourth among MLS defenders in xA (1.74) and tied for second in chances created with 26.
The 53-man preliminary CanMNT squad, which could’ve included 60 players, will be cut down to 23 players by June 8, with injury changes allowed up until 24 hours prior to the semi-finals.
Canada will play Panama in one semi on June 15 at the Las Vegas Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium, with Mexico and the United States facing off in the other.