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Canada calls up 16-year-old Toronto FC midfielder Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty

Toronto FC midfielder Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty has been summoned by Canada, making the 16 year-old the youngest-ever call-up by the national men’s team.

Marshall-Rutty turned 16 on June 16. The previous youngest men’s call-up was Alphonso Davies, who was also 16 when he got the invitation on June 6, 2017 — the same day he got his Canadian Citizenship.

Marshall-Rutty has five days on Davies when it comes to call-ups. But Davies, who made his debut for Canada against Curacao a week after being called into camp, will remain the youngest Canadian male to earn a cap.

Marshall-Rutty saw just 18 minutes of action in MLS play with Toronto last season, coming off the bench in a 5-0 loss in Philadelphia on Oct. 24.

Fellow Toronto midfielder Jacob Shaffelburg and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder/forward Theo Bair, both 21, have also been included to the roster for the Canada camp, slated to run through Jan. 24 in a bubble at the IMG Center in Bradenton, Fla, where the WNBA returned to action.

The camp formally started Saturday, although some players are still in transit.

It’s the second national team call-up for both Shaffelburg and Bair. Shaffelburg has acquired one cap for Canada while Bair has two.

Coach John Herdman originally called up 28 players for the camp. Canada Soccer has yet to confirm whether all 28 will make it given the pandemic, injuries and travel issues.

The Canada camp is expected to feature two training scrimmages versus as-yet-unannounced opposition as well as a Canada intrasquad scrimmage.

The camp falls outside of the FIFA international calendar, so Herdman has elected to focus on players out of season in North America and Europe. Twenty-two of the original 28 were from Major League Soccer, including seven from Toronto FC, six from the Montreal Impact and four from the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The roster includes Toronto FC striker Ayo Akinola, who was born in Detroit but moved to Canada when he was one. He made his debut for the U.S. senior side earlier this month, scoring in a 6-0 victory over El Salvador, but was not cap-tied since the match was a friendly.

Akinola is eligible to play for Canada, the U.S. and Nigeria.

The Canadian men, currently ranked 72nd in the world, have not played since Jan. 15, 2020, when they lost 1-0 to Iceland in Irvine, Calif. That friendly followed a camp in California and a pair of 4-1 wins over Barbados on Jan. 7 and 10.

They face a busy 2021 with CONCACAF World Cup and Olympic qualifying set to begin in March and the Gold Cup in July.

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