BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Scott Arfield will pursue his World Cup dream with Canada following his latest Scotland snub after being named in the Canuck’s squad for the upcoming double-header against Mexico.
The Livingston-born midfielder, who boasts one ‘B’ cap for the national team and 17 appearances for the under-21 side, has been consistently overlooked by Gordon Strachan despite being a standout for Burnley in the past three campaigns.
The 27-year-old has made 131 appearance for the Clarets – 37 of those coming in the Barclay’s Premier League – and has also excelled with Huddersfield after coming through the youth ranks at Falkirk.
Arfield is eligible for Canada through his father, who was born in Toronto, and he has decided to finally reciprocate their desire to bring him into the international fold.
Canada boss Benito Flores has selected Arfield in his 23-man roster, which has no place for Rangers youngster Fraser Aird, currently on loan with Vancouver Whitecaps.
Airfield recently told Burnley’s official website: “At the stage I’m at in my career, it would be a great life experience to go and represent Canada.
“Once you’ve played club football for so long, you want to see where it takes you and I’ve been in contact with Canada.
“Football takes you to so many places in your short career and you would argue there is a kid inside me that would run about in a Scotland jersey and still wants to play for them but I’m 27 now and I’m thinking the next step is international football.
“I think international football is the top level and, as you go on, you see things in different ways. I perhaps don’t have as stronger feeling as I once did about playing for Scotland.
“There’s no ill-feeling towards Scotland or anything like that but I’m leaning towards Canada.”
And he could make his bow in dramatic circumstances, with Flores’ men hosting Mexico at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver next Friday in front of a crowd expected to hit 50,000.
They then travel to the near-100,000 capacity Azteca Stadium in Mexico City for the return fixture four days later as both nations vie for top spot in Group A of the Concacaf region of World Cup 2018 qualifying.