Canada’s domestic cup championship may still be in its infancy but the fact that it has even been around as long as it has been is due to the efforts of a group of Canadian soccer fans. That group, the Voyaguers, worked with the CSA to try and create a national cup but when things were moving along much too slowly, they took the initiative to raise the money needed to commission a trophy and out of a fundraising drive on an online forum was born the trophy that is still presented to the winners of the Canadian Championship.
DUNCAN FLETCHER ≡ Voyageurs Cup: A brief history
It seemed like it was all going to go according to plan. The Canadian Men’s U17 team had booked their place in the U17 World Cup this fall in their comeback win against Jamaica on Saturday, and were heading into their match against Panama full of confidence. And – as the Fox commentators kept mentioning – Panama had never scored a goal against the U17s in all the times they had met in this tournament through the years.
KRISTIN KNOWLES ≡ Canada falls 1-2 to Panama but were still going to Dubai
This is a strange position to be in. A Canadian team has just had its forward progress in a tournament halted by a Central American opponent, in a game that featured a loud and rowdy hometown crowd. But there was no blowout, no simulation shenanigans, no major controversies… plus, the lights stayed on in the stadium! All in all, Panama probably deserved the victory on Wednesday night, in the semifinals of the CONCACAF U17 Championship. That’s to take nothing away from a spirited effort by the young Canadians — but in front of a raucous audience, the Panamanians dictated the pace for large swathes of the contest. Still, Canada got what it came for at this tournament: A berth in this year’s U17 World Cup. All that’s left to do is contest the third-place match against H.. Hon.. ugh. Some country that starts with an “H”.
DANIEL SQUIZZATO ≡ Panama 2 Canada 1: Ah well, can’t win ’em all
In the week leading up to Canada’s U-17 match-up against Panama, head coach Sean Fleming spoke a lot about his players learning to deal with pressure. He highlighted the pressures that come from playing in hostile environments like their game Tuesday night in Panama. Fleming talked about the pressures youth players face in trying to one day make the senior team. And the coach, who has now led this squad to two consecutive World Cup berths, explained how the pressures of next year’s U-17 World Cup are going to shape his players for years to come.
BEN RYCROFT ≡ Huge gap remains in Canadian men’s soccer
On Saturday, the Ontario Soccer Association took a major step in fixing Canadian youth soccer with the unveiling of its much anticipated Ontario Player Development League (OPDL). Presented to its clubs and members at its Soccer 2013 annual conference, the new high performance youth soccer league demands high standards of its participating clubs, higher than ever seen in the country before. And guess what general sports columnists everywhere – there are scores and standings. The governing body for soccer in Ontario has been criticized by competitive hard-liners for removing scores and standings from leagues for kids aged 11 and younger. But there’s no risk of that with this latest initiative.
PAUL VARIAN ≡ OPDL: An end to 8-1 scorelines?
Frei, God help him, has not been blessed with a great deal of good luck. After breaking his leg in training last year, he went and broke his nose less than a half into his first preseason game back. Then, while recovering, he lost his job to an in-form Joe Bendik. So, he sits on the bench drawing a really good (by MLS standards) salary while Bendik blocks shots and worries about making next month’s rent. In the harsh world of MLS, where salary cap considerations need to be made, an open debate is underway about whether it makes sense to waste cap room on a back-up keeper.
DUANE ROLLINS ≡ The question of Frei Vs Bendik — putting value on keepers in MLS
The seventh weekend of MLS got a little crazy – a flurry of yellow cards, a smattering of reds, penalty kicks – most of which were missed, late drama, and ties, lots of ties; not to mention the bottle-throwing and slur incidents, which have no place in the game. Nine matches were played; four ended in draws – only one scoreless. Twenty-nine yellow cards were flashed, including nine in the Philadelphia-Toronto match alone, two of those were second yellows leading to a red, and there was also a straight red to Los Angeles’ Leonardo.
JAMES GROSSI ≡ MLS Week in Review – Round 7
What should you look for when trying to get value from a goalkeeper in Major League Soccer? If you’re a Vancouver Whitecaps fan, you’ll know about the Joe Cannon vs. Brad Knighton controversy. It follows the Joe Cannon vs. Jay Nolly controversy from two years ago; I guess we Vancouverites just like arguing over goalkeepers. I don’t intend to enter into Knighton-v.-Cannon today, except indirectly. What I do mean to do is take a look at the third option.
BENJAMIN MASSEY ≡ What’s a Goalkeeper in MLS Worth?