Ross County midfielder Harry Paton has been called up to Canada’s squad for this month’s Concacaf Gold Cup.
Paton has been rewarded with his first senior call-up following a fine season in which he firmly established himself as a regular in the Staggies’ side, making 40 appearances and scoring twice.
— Harry Paton (@harry_paton98) July 1, 2021
Ontario-born Paton has previously represented Canada up to under-20 level, where he earned one cap, with the midfielder previously speaking of his hopes of breaking into Canada’s Olympic side.
The 23-year-old will now go straight into head coach John Herdman’s 23-man squad for this summer’s Gold Cup tournament, which is being held in the USA.
The call-up means Paton will likely miss most if not all of County’s Premier Sports Cup fixtures, which start with a trip to Forfar Athletic next Saturday and conclude with a home game with Montrose on Saturday, July 24.
Canada’s opening group match of the Gold Cup is against Martinique on Sunday, July 11, with their second match against an opponent still to be confirmed on Thursday, July 15. They finish the section with a game against host nation USA on Sunday, July 18, with all three of their games taking place in Kansas City.
Canada head coach Herdman says the squad, which Paton is a part of, has been assembled with a view towards preparing for upcoming qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
Herdman said: “The Concacaf Gold Cup allows Canada to keep building on the momentum from the last six matches in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
“We’ve missed the opportunity to play some of these big matches that come at a Concacaf Gold Cup, so every match counts to create that spirit and cohesion required to take this country to the next level.
“We need this dynamic group of players to keep growing and learning together and the Concacaf Gold Cup provides great experience to prepare us for FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
“We’ve created something here, a brotherhood based on a shared purpose to qualify this team to the FIFA World Cup.
“They care about each other and that’s the first thing. They care about taking this team to the FIFA World Cup.”