Thursday, December 1 2022

There will be a change at centre-back without Primeira Liga veteran Steven Vitoria.

Kamal Miller is expected to slide down the left and Alistair Johnston will be in his hybrid centre-back/full-back role, depending on whether Canada have possession or not. It is certain of the Montreal duo.

The options to replace Vitoria are many. Joel Waterman is coming off a brilliant season with Montreal and a September camp with the national team. Lukas MacNaughton received his first call-up after starting 20 games with Toronto FC this season.

But the man usurped by MacNaughton in Toronto could be designated for a departure against Bahrain.

Doneil Henry has been Vitoria’s main substitute throughout this cycle, regardless of their club’s form. Henry has played sparingly for TFC, many of them as a late substitute, so he will be desperate to develop his fitness.

It may seem illogical to play a sluggish, out-of-contract defender. But when the 29-year-old was called up, he stood up for his country.

“When we asked them to come into the American game in Nashville and face [Jordan] Pefok, who was a prolific centre-forward at the time, Doneil Henry answered that call,” Herdman said. “When we asked him to go against Jamaica, away, Doneil Henry answered that call. He’s in the right position, in the right climate with this team and with guys he trusts, and I think Doneil is a player who can really contribute to the identity of this team.

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