Feb. 17, 2013
Ottawa, Canada – University of New Mexico men’s soccer midfielder Ben McKendry has been selected to the Canadian U-20 National Team. McKendry, who finished his freshman season with the Lobos, and the rest of the Canadian team will look to qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer.
"I'm absolutely honored and humbled by this opportunity to represent Canada in U-20 World Cup Qualifying. I would like to thank my Lobo teammates and coaching staff for a fantastic first seven months at UNM. I really appreciate all the support and good wishes," said McKendry on his selection to the Canadian National Team.
The Lobo midfielder was part of the select group of 24 players chosen by the Canadian Soccer Federation to travel to Puebla, Mexico for training camp. McKendry was selected to the final roster of 20 to represent Canada in CONCACAF U-20 Championship qualifying play.
“Ben is going to be representing the Canadian U-20 national team in world cup qualification. We are really happy and proud for Ben. I thought he had a tremendous season for us as a freshman last year. I know that as he prepares for his upcoming matches, he will be very focused and dedicated in his training. I think he’s prepared for it, and he will be a very good representative of his country,” commented Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein.
This selection to the Canadian national team is not a first for the Vancouver, B.C. native. McKendry has been a member of Canada’s U-18 and U-20 teams in previous years. He is also coming off a standout freshman campaign. The midfielder was the Newcomer of the Year in the MPSF while being named to national All-Freshmen teams by both College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer.com. He was among the top fifteen freshmen in the nation in goals, and his seven goals this season was the most by a New Mexico freshman since the late Ben Ashwill scored twelve goals in 2002.
McKendry and the rest of the team will begin qualifying play with matches against Cuba on February 18 and Nicaragua on February 22 in Puebla, Mexico. The 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be played at various sites throughout the country of Turkey.