Canada camp in Bahrain ‘devastated’ by news of goalkeeper Crepeau’s broken leg

Canada’s first training session on Monday at a pre-World Cup training camp in Bahrain was overshadowed by the painful news that goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau was back in the United States recovering from surgery. to fix a broken leg.

Crepeau was injured while playing for Los Angeles FC in Saturday’s MLS Cup final. The injury happened in extra time when the 28-year-old from Candiac, Que., charged out of his penalty area looking for an under-hit back pass, only to collide heavily with the Philadelphia forward Cory Burke.

Crepeau, who left the game on a cart, received a red card on play for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. Backup goaltender John McCarthy helped LAFC win a penalty shootout and was named MVP of the game.

« I think everyone is devastated by the way it turned out, » Canada coach John Herdman said Monday. “We lost (defender) Scott Kennedy earlier in the week and then how it went for Max – so late in the game and a situation where he had to put his body on the line. sad.

« I think it shook a lot of people. The injury also looked pretty bad on TV. It was a tough time, I think, not just for the coaching staff but for the group of players here. With real concern at this injury.

LAFC said Sunday’s surgery to repair Crepeau’s right leg was a success.

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Kennedy was ruled out of the World Cup last week after suffering a shoulder injury while playing for German club SSV Jahn Regensburg.

There was better news on Sunday about Alphonso Davies, who left Bayern Munich’s Saturday game at Hertha Berlin clutching the back of his right leg. The German club later said a hamstring injury would sideline the Canadian for the club’s final two matches before the World Cup break, but would not prevent Davies from playing in the tournament.

« It was a rough couple of hours, I’ll tell you, » Herdman said.

The 41st-ranked Canadians will begin their World Cup campaign Nov. 23 in Qatar against second-ranked Belgium.

When asked if he expected Davies to be ready by then, Herdman was hopeful but realistic.

« Bayern Munich’s initial assessment would suggest that their recovery could reach this marker, » the coach said. “So as long as everything in the resumption goes as planned, we expect Alphonso to be available to represent (Canada) in the match against Belgium.

“But those kinds of injuries, you never know. Sometimes they are not always straight lines. We’re not going to count our chickens until Alphonso shows up in the environment. He will stay with Bayern Munich to continue his full recovery with Bayern for as long as necessary. »

The camp in Bahrain is for off-season players, with all but Major League Soccer midfielder Liam Fraser (KMSK Deinze, Belgium). European clubs will play matches until FIFA’s November 14 release date for players participating in the tournament.

Canada will face number 85 Bahrain on Thursday in Manama. Once reunited, the full squad will play a final warm-up against No. 24 Japan on November 17 in Dubai.

Herdman said he doubted the team would see Davies before the game against Japan.

Crepeau, who earned 15 caps for Canada, was expected to support Milan Borjan in Qatar, likely along with Minnesota United’s Dayne St. Clair.

Crepeau was expected to join CF Montreal’s St. Clair and James Pantemis at the Bahrain camp.

Crepeau’s absence leaves Herdman without experienced cover for Borjan, the 35-year-old Red Star Belgrade goaltender who has 67 caps for Canada.

St. Clair has one cap under his belt while Pantemis is uncapped. Both are 25 years old.

« I think it’s always a concern when the experience isn’t there, » Herdman said. “But when I look at Dayne St. Clair, James Pantemis, they’ve been with the team through a lot of those experiences. They bought into the culture. They understand what it means to represent in this new Canada (team). And they’ve earned the right to be here too.

“They have just been essential parts of this journey and always showed up and had the right attitude and character. So I think that element of experience is overshadowed by the excitement and just the desire and the opportunity to hopefully have that chance that they maybe have, that they wouldn’t have seen otherwise . It will be playing time in the game against Bahrain and the game against Japan as well. … It’s a great opportunity for someone like Dayne St. Clair, who had a real breakout season with Minnesota.

Herdman’s players had a light training session on Monday.

« The boys came buzzing, » he said. « They’re really happy to be back together. We’ve been pretty clear with them that the focus is on a strong performance against Bahrain and staying in the present. The future will take care of himself.

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