The streak continues for St. Louis City SC's Canadian defenseman Kyle Hiebert

The streak continues for St. Louis City SC’s Canadian defenseman Kyle Hiebert

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

The 25-year-old from La Salle, Man., replaces the injured Kamal Miller at 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 will be Canada’s first since the World Cup in Qatar.

It was a first senior call-up for Hiebert, who played every minute of the season to help St. Louis become the first expansion club in MLS history to win its first four games.

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

The Canadian team is training in the Miami area before traveling to Curacao on Thursday.

The four group winners in League A will qualify for the 2022-23 Nations League semi-finals in Las Vegas. The Canadian men failed to make the final four in the inaugural edition of the tournament, finishing runner-up to eventual champions the Americans in their group.

With the top two teams in each pool booking their tickets to the 2023 Gold Cup, Canada could qualify for the CONCACAF Championship with a draw on Saturday.

Despite a stellar collegiate career at Missouri State, Hiebert headlined the MLS Next Pro league last year with the St. Louis squad, overlooked in the 2022 MLS draft. He was rewarded in August with a two-year contract with the first team and an option for 2025.

St. Louis opened life in MLS with a 3-2 win at Austin FC before losing 3-1 to Charlotte FC in front of 22,423 active fans at CityPark, its new US$458 million soccer stadium. The expansive side then won in Portland and blanked visiting San Jose 3-0 on Saturday.

There has been a vacancy at centre-back this season with Sweden international Joachim Nilsson recovering from a long-term knee injury. Hiebert has been partnered with Tim Parker and Lucas Bartlett in the middle of the St. Louis defense. Parker and fullback Jake Nerwinski are both former Vancouver Whitecaps.

Hiebert had a rough start to his college career at Missouri State, missing both the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to knee injuries.

He redshirted in 2015 after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. His comeback was delayed in 2016 when he tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the Bears’ final preseason game at Creighton.

When healthy, Hiebert made 86 starts for Missouri State and was named Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year three times.

In 2019, he was part of a record-breaking Missouri State team that went 16-0-0 in the regular season and won the college’s first NCAA Tournament game (against the University of Denver).

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

Outside of the field, Hiebert holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting 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 Canada’s first senior call-ups.

Hibert has represented Canada at the under-18 level.

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