Pre-Season: Under-23s to visit Canada in summer

Sunderland AFC’s Under-23 squad will embark on a 10-day pre-season trip to Canada, and are scheduled to play four matches in eight days in preparation for the 2022-23 Premier League 2 campaign.


On Saturday 30 July (KO 2pm local time), the young Lads will contest their first game against New Brunswick All Stars at Moncton’s Croix-Bleue Medavie Stadium, notable for hosting major events such as the 2010 Junior Athletics World Championships and featuring as a venue at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.


They will then travel to Regina, Saskatchewan, to take on Toronto FC II on Wednesday 3 August (KO 6:30pm local time) at the New Mosaic Stadium – a 33,000+ capacity arena which has hosted clubs such as Valencia and New York Cosmos. It is the home of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. The opponents compete as the MLS NEXT Pro affiliate of MLS Eastern Conference’s Toronto FC.


Two games in the space of two days will then be played by the Black Cats against CF Montreal Under-23s, the first back at the Croix-Bleue Medavie Stadium in Moncton on Friday 5 August (KO 7pm local time).


The second match against the youth prospects of CF Montreal – whose senior side also compete in MLS’ Eastern Conference – will take place on Sunday 7 August (KO 1pm local time), at the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown. This venue served as the ‘host bubble’ when the Canadian Premier League restarted during the Covid-19 pandemic in August 2020. The U23 side will then return to the UK.


SAFC Academy Manager Lewis Dickman said: “All at Sunderland AFC are grateful for the opportunity that has been given to our U23 squad to head to Canada during pre-season. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the players to gain experience against elite opposition and test ourselves against some of the best young players in Canada.  


“The Mosaic Stadium is an outstanding facility and one which our players and staff are looking forward to competing in. We have heard and seen how successful ‘Soccer Week’ was in 2017 and are excited about the fixture against a talented Toronto FC II [or TFC II] side on Wednesday 3 August.


“Our team will consist of some talented young players, and we’re excited to test ourselves against different styles of opposition during what will be a beneficial trip for everyone.”


The pre-season matches in Canada were set up by On Ice Entertainment and their Match Agent partners, Pro Soccer Consulting Ltd.

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