A new Canadian star is born: Davies scores two in his competitive international debut

It’s time for the Freddy Adu comparisons to end, because Alphonso Davies, the Canadian men’s national soccer team’s newest star, is the real deal.

After becoming a Canadian citizen and receiving his first senior call-up on June 6 and making his international debut as a 53rd minute substitute in Canada’s 2-1 win over Curaçao on June 13, when the 16-year-old was cap-tied on Friday against French Guiana in Canada’s 4-2 win to open the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC wunderkind scored a brace for his first two international goals.

Although Dejan Jakovic of the New York Cosmos ended Canada’s long goalless drought at the Gold Cup, with their last goal in the competition coming on June 14, 2011, it was Davies who was the man of the match, as he became the youngest goal-scorer in Canadian men’s national team history, the youngest goal-scorer in Gold Cup history, and the first player born in the 21st century to score in a tournament of this calibre.

With his first goal in the 60th minute to put Canada up 3-0, it looked as if there was no stopping the red and white, but two quick goals from French Guiana in the 69th and 70th minutes put doubt into the mind of Canadian supporters.

Although new head coach, Octavio Zambrano, was forced into changing his keeper and it looked as if things were getting chaotic for Canada, Davies showed composure far beyond his age, as his second goal in the 85th minute ensured that the Canadians would be taking the full three points.

The young star won praise from his teammates for both club and country. While Scott Arfield, who scored Canada’s second goal, called Davies “the most exciting kid that I’ve ever played with or seen with my own eyes,” fellow Canadian and Whitecap, David Edgar, who missed the Gold Cup through injury, took to Twitter to commend the 16-year-old.

Davies was one of three Whitecaps FC players to feature in the game with Marcel de Jong playing the entire game at left-back for Canada and wearing the captain’s armband from the 68th minute on, while Russell Teibert came on in the 66th minute as a midfield substitution for Patrice Bernier.

Next up for Davies and Canada is a tough game against Costa Rica on July 11 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

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Jacob Noseworthy

Jacob Noseworthy

Jacob is a second-year political science major at the University of Victoria, but he is also setting his sights towards a minor in journalism. He joined Northern Starting Eleven to combine his passions of soccer and journalism and to help promote and grow the sport in Canada. NSXI gives him the opportunity to refine and grow his writing skills, while also growing his love of the beautiful game. When he’s not studying, Jacob can usually be found watching soccer, whether he is supporting Vancouver Whitecaps FC from across the Georgia Strait or at Centennial Stadium cheering on the UVic Vikes.

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