On the rise and in the groove: Three players to watch on Canadian soccer team

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Here's a look at three players to watch in the young Canadian men's soccer squad that takes on Denmark in a friendly game Saturday in Tucson, Ariz:

Defender Nana Attakora

The former Toronto FC defender all but disappeared after being traded to San Jose, eventually resurfacing at FC Haka in Finland last summer. Interim Canada coach Colin Miller has played the muscular 23-year-old from Toronto in his first-team backline at camp. "He's had a good week ... He looks full of enthusiasm about the game again," Miller says. Asked if his future includes a return to Finland, Attakora offers only: "We'll see."

What's on his music player: Michael Jackson, Jay-Z and motivational speaker Eric Thomas.

Midfielder Kyle Bekker

The 22-year-old from Oakville, Ont., has been one of the stars in camp, impressing with his vision and passing from central midfield. Toronto FC fans will enjoy watching the rookie playmaker in action if he gets his chance. Miller, who has hung the nickname Boris on Bekker, says the Boston College graduate has all the tools. "You can see the hunger in the way he goes about it. He's got great quality ... I think he's a real bright one for the future."

What's on his music player: "Everything."

Midfielder Russell Teibert

The 20-year-old from Niagara Falls, Ont., has seen limited action with the Vancouver Whitecaps but is getting some love from the national team. Miller calls the pocket-sized midfielder a joy to work with. "He's now at a stage where he needs to play, he needs to play regular. He's got all the tools that you're looking for in a wide-left area or modern left fullback area, once he fills out," says Miller, adding: "He's a good young pro."

What's on his music player: Frank Ocean and "a little bit of everything," thanks to a playlist co-created with fullback Andres Fresenga.

Organizations: Boston College, Toronto FC

Geographic location: Finland, Denmark, Tucson, Ariz San Jose Canada Oakville Niagara Falls

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