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LAFC’s Mark-Anthony Kaye called up by Canada for Concacaf Nations League qualifier

Midfielder earns recall after injury.

Soccer: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup-Costa Rica at Canada Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Canada Soccer announced on Tuesday the roster for the Men’s National Team’s Concacaf Nations League qualifier against French Guiana on March 24, and Los Angeles Football Club midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye was among the 23 players called up by head coach John Herdman.

The 24-year-old returns to the CanMNT after a six-month layoff from all soccer following a broken ankle suffered while playing for LAFC last August. Fit enough to begin the 2019 MLS regular season, Kaye has been a starter the first two games of the campaign for his club, and opened his goal tally for the season on Sunday with the game’s first goal in a 4-1 rout of the Portland Timbers.

Canada are looking to qualify for both the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup and for the Concacaf Nations League Group A for 2019-20, and a win over French Guiana at BC Place in Vancouver should secure both of those aims.

Kaye admitted after Sunday’s win that he had been in touch with Herdman recently, and while he didn’t reveal he was being called up for this match, he said his aim was to go to the Gold Cup after re-establishing himself on club level.

“I spoke to John maybe two and a half weeks ago,” he said. “He’s stayed in contact with me throughout my rehab process and let me know that he feels I can be an important part of the team going forward. I’m just trying to focus on my club soccer right now...If I’m doing well enough I think I can get a call-up to the next camp or to the Gold Cup. But at the end of the day I can only control what I can control and right now I’m focused on helping LAFC succeed.”

Kaye will miss LAFC’s game on March 23 at home against Real Salt Lake. Given his strong form to start the season, his absence may hurt more than many expect, but it will also give other players a chance to make a mark in Bob Bradley’s lineup.

Congrats to Mark-Anthony, and best of luck with Canada.

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