Tosaint does the 'trick

Canada U-20 members David Monsalve (left), Tosaint Ricketts and David Edgar strike a pose. (Sun...

Canada U-20 members David Monsalve (left), Tosaint Ricketts and David Edgar strike a pose. (Sun Media/Robert Taylor)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

The 19-year-old is making it hard for Canadian Under-20 head coach Dale Mitchell to keep him off the field.

Nearly everything Tosaint Ricketts touches lately is ending up in the back of the net. "I'm getting opportunities, and I'm making the most of them," Ricketts said.

"That's the only way to do it, is seize those opportunities and score goals. That's my job."

Ricketts is relatively new to the national team but he's picked the right time to go on a goal-scoring streak. He had five goals in four international games heading into Canada's last exhibition match before the Under-20 World Cup.

In a 4-0 victory over the United States in early June Ricketts scored a hat-trick becoming only the sixth youth player to score three goals in a game for Canada. The last Canadian to do it was Niall Thompson back on July 7, 1991 also in a 4-0 victory over the U.S.

"He was someone that got involved with us in December and we liked what we saw in terms of his athleticism," said Mitchell. "He's quick, he's got a lot of stamina -- he keeps making the runs. He comes to practice to work hard every day. He takes in coaching and he's understanding the game better tactically and what he needs to do in the position he's playing. Because of that and the quality that he has, he's getting better and better."

A former high school track star, it's his speed that makes Ricketts such a threat, and it's his ability to bury chances in front of goal that make him so lethal.

"I'm not doing anything differently then I was doing before," he said. "I've just keep getting the chances and they're going in for me. I just have to keep working hard and keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully they keep going in for me."

TOSAINT RICKETTS - CANADA

Born Aug. 6, 1987 in Edmonton ... Currently plays for the University of Green Bay-Wisconsin ... Both his parents were born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada ... Along with being a star soccer player in high school, he also played basketball and ran track, winning a number of city and provincial titles ... Had only played in one full match before scoring three goals against the U.S. on June 6th. ... Made his debut with the U-20 team on March 24th, in a 3-1 win over Scotland and scored twice in only 28 minutes of playing time.


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