Loons St. Clair goaltender remains ready to help the Canadian national team – InForum
Dayne St. Clair is the guy behind the guy behind the guy.
It’s not where the Minnesota United keeper wants to be with Canada’s National Men’s Team, but at least he’s sitting behind the scenes.
With St. Clair’s outstanding performance with the Loons in MLS this season, the 25-year-old has become a routine call-up to national team camps during FIFA international windows.
St. Clair is currently with Canada for a friendly against Panama at 6 p.m. Sunday, followed by two CONCACAF Nations League games, against Curacao on Thursday and against Honduras, which includes the MNUFC midfielder Kervin Arriaga, June 13.
St. Clair is expected to support veteran props Milan Borjan and Maxime Crepeau in those tune-up games for Canada over the next week. This leads to the main event: the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in November.
After Minnesota’s 1-0 loss to New York on May 28, St. Clair said he was focused on his and the Loons’ form before moving to the national team.
“I spoke with the goaltending coach a bit,” St. Clair said of possible playing time with Canada. “We decided it was better to talk as soon as I arrived at camp about the workload of our schedule, because we hardly had any breaks here.
“Personally, I also want to focus on the (MLS) games that are close at hand because I know I have to perform well,” he continued. “Especially with the team not doing well, I want to play my part and get points for this team.”
St. Clair was Minnesota’s biggest bright spot (5-6-3) this season. He leads MLS with an expected goal differential of over 4.9 and is tied for seventh with 1.08 goals against per 90 minutes.
St. Clair made his senior men’s debut for Canada in a 7-0 win over Aruba in a World Cup qualifier last June, but did not play in a national team game when qualifying was held until March.
When the FIFA World Cup takes place in the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026, the top spot in net for the Canadians could be St. Clair’s up for grabs. Los Angeles FC’s Creapea will be 32, while Borjan, whose club is Red Star Belgrade in Serbia, will be 38.
But that depth chart may also change from here to Qatar.
“Every day is an opportunity for me to prove myself not only in this league but (outside it),” St. Clair said in late May. “Push for things and the World Cup, a lot could happen in six months. I think just getting that consistency now is important to me.
BOXALL’S GREAT OPPORTUNITY
Loons centre-back Michael Boxall and the New Zealand national team have a World Cup spot on the line during the Inter-Confederation Qualifiers against Costa Rica in Doha, Qatar on June 14.
New Zealand, who have a friendly against Peru on Sunday, won the Oceania Confederation (OFC) and Costa Rica finished fourth in North America, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF)
The winner of the one-legged qualifier returns to Qatar for the World Cup in November and the loser watches from home. This may be the 33-year-old Boxall’s last big move with the national team. New Zealand last qualified for the World Cup in 2010.
Loons top scorer Robin Lod has four games scheduled from Saturday June 14 in the UEFA Nations League until June 14. … Arriaga and Honduras will play three CONCACAF Nations League matches until June 13. Arriaga was seen wearing a face mask with his national team after injuring his nose in the Loons’ 2-1 loss to Union Omaha in the US Open Cup Round of 16 on May 25. … Molik Khan, an 18-year-old signed this spring to MNUFC2, has four games scheduled with Trinidad and the Tobago national team in the CONCACAF Nations League. … MNUFC’s next MLS game is June 19 in New England.
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