On Thursday morning, while most Canadians were nursing their Canada Day hangovers, the Montreal Impact’s academy product and part-time centre back became a Canadian citizen (who knows, maybe he was also nursing a hangover!).
In three seasons, Lefèvre has appeared in 25 MLS matches (starting in 21), including 6 this season.
Lefèvre was born in Chartres, France and moved to Montreal in 2003 at the age of 14. He played for the University de Montréal Carabins as a midfielder before joining the Impact’s academy, where he was converted to centre back.
It will be interesting to see if Lefèvre gets a look from Canada head coach Benito Floro. He certainly compares favourably to some of the options currently at hand at centre back for Canada, with David Edgar, Dejan Jakovic, former teammate Karl Ouimette, André Haineault, Nana Attakora and Adam Straith in the mix. Based on that cast of characters, Lefèvre should at the least get a call-up in the next year (if he’s interested).
I’ve made no bones about how I feel about Canadian-born and raised players who decide to play for other national teams, like Jonathan de Guzman or Owen Hargreaves. I draw a sharp distinction, however, with players such as Wandrille Lefèvre, who could never hope to get a call-up from their birth nation. If they’re Canadian and want to play for Canada, I’m all for it.
Things do get murky for me in cases like Teal Bunbury or more recently with Lauren Sesselmann. These are Americans that can acquire a Canadian passport through their parents, but have not grown up in Canada or been developped by the Canadian system (such as it is). I’m less enthusiastic about these Canadians of convenience (in my opinion, Teal Bunbury made the correct choice in committing to the USA, in which he was born and raised).
In any case, congratulations to Wandrille Lefèvre in becoming a Canadian citizen. Whether you chose to represent Canada or not, you’re one of us now.
Photo courtesy of Abdallahh on Flickr.