The Hamilton Spectator

Breakthrou­gh season continues for defender


Centre back Kyle Hiebert, who has helped expansion St. Louis City SC to a record 4-0-0 start in Major League Soccer, has been called up by Canada coach John Herdman for upcoming CONCACAF Nations League matches.

The 25-year-old from La Salle, Man., replaces the injured Kamal Miller of CF Montreal.

The 53rd-ranked Canadian men play at No. 86 Curacao on Saturday before returning home to host No. 81 Honduras next Tuesday at BMO Field.

The games are the first for Canada since the World Cup in Qatar.

It’s a first senior call-up for Hiebert, who has played every minute this season in helping St. Louis become the first expansion club in MLS history to win its first four games.

Canada (1-0-1) stands second in League A Group C standings, sandwiched between Honduras (2-0-1) and Curacao (1-0-2). The Canadians opened Nations League play last June, blanking Curacao 4-0 in Vancouver before losing 2-1 to Honduras in San Pedro Sula.

The Canadian team is currently training in the Miami area before leaving for Curacao on Thursday.

The four group winners in League A advance to the 2022-23 Nations League semifinals in Las Vegas. The Canadian men failed to make the final four of the inaugural edition of the tournament, finishing runnerup to the eventual champion Americans in their group.

With the top two teams in each of the pools booking their tickets to the 2023 Gold Cup, Canada can secure qualificat­ion for the CONCACAF championsh­ip with a draw Saturday.

Ignored in the 2022 MLS draft despite a stellar collegiate career at Missouri State, Hiebert turned heads in the MLS Next Pro league with St. Louis’ reserve side last year. He was rewarded in August with a two-year contract with the first team, plus an option for 2025.

Hiebert was twice named one of 15 semifinali­sts for the MAC Hermann Trophy, which goes to the top NCAA player.

Away from the field, Hiebert has earned undergradu­ate and master’s degrees in accounting along with a data analytics in accounting certificat­e.

Hiebert joins goalkeeper Tom McGill (Brighton & Hove Albion, England) and midfielder Victor Loturi (Ross County FC, Scotland) as first-time Canada senior call-ups.

Hiebert has represente­d Canada at the under-18 level.

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Kyle Hiebert

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