Wednesday, April 11, 2007

U20WC venues: Part 2

The U-20 World Cup will be played from 30 June 2007 to 22 July 2007 at six venues across Canada. Here's a quick rundown of the stadiums in the three eastern cities: Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

BMO Field (wikipedia entry stadium guide page)
Toronto, Ontario (google maps)

Canada's newest stadium, BMO Field has yet to host a match. Its first action will be the home opener for Toronto FC of MLS on April 28th. It is a 20,000 seat stadium and, unlike the fields in Burnaby, Victoria and Edmonton, will feature a FieldTurf surface. The stadium is owned by the city of Toronto, and is sometimes referred to as the National Soccer Stadium. Canada's first match, against Chile on Canada Day (1 July) will be played in Toronto, and the stadium will host 12 matches in all, including a semi-final matchup and the tournament final. Considered the tournament's showpiece, the stadium's naming rights are owned by the Bank of Montreal (BMO).

Frank Clair Stadium (wikipedia entry lansdowne park)
Ottawa, Ontario (google maps)

Located in Canada's capital, Frank Clair stadium was originally built on its current site nearly 100 years ago. For the U20 world cup tournament, it will feature a FieldTurf playing surface, with seating available for 30,000 spectators. The stadium currently is without a primary tenant, after the Canadian Football League's Ottawa Renegades closed up shop in 2005. It has hosted several major events, including the CFL's Grey Cup on numerous occasions, most recently in 2004. Frank Clair Stadium will play host to 8 matches including matches in the round of sixteen and the quarterfinals.

Olympic Stadium (wikipedia entry rio)
Montreal, Quebec (google maps)

Built for the 1976 Olympics, the Olympic Stadium in Montreal has been seen as somewhat of an albatross. Ballooning costs left a legacy of debt which was only very recently repaid, and its primary tenant, the Montreal Expos, moved several years ago to become the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball. Its unique architecture makes it a fixture of the Montreal skyline, but structural failures including a damaged roof have occurred in recent years. In its current configuration, it can seat approximately 56,000. For the tournament, a temporary grass surface will be brought in. Montreal will play host to 9 matches, through to the quarterfinals.

See here for a look at the stadiums in Victoria, Vancouver (Burnaby) and Edmonton.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

U20WC venues: Part 1

The U-20 World Cup will be played from 30 June 2007 to 22 July 2007 at six venues across Canada. Here's a quick rundown of the stadiums in the three western cities: Victoria, Vancouver (Burnaby) and Edmonton.

Royal Athletic Park (wikipedia entry city of victoria)
Victoria, British Columbia (google maps)

A multi-purpose facility (primarily baseball and soccer) in one of Canada's most picturesque cities, Royal Athletic Park will be reconfigured, with an expanded capacity of 14,500, for the tournament. While it hosts a variety of sports and events, the main soccer tenant at Royal Athletic Park is Victoria United of the Pacific Coast Soccer League. The RAP will host 6 group stage matches (including 5 group F matches) and 1 match in the round of 16.

Swangard Stadium (wikipedia entry city of burnaby)
Burnaby, British Columbia (google maps)

This stadium in the Metro Vancouver area is home to the Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer Leagues Division 1. It has a partially covered configuration with a track surrounding the playing surface. Swangard holds just under 7000 spectators for Whitecaps games, and will be temporarily expanded to 10,000 for this summer's tournament. Swangard will play host to 7 matches, including one game in the round of 16.

Commonwealth Stadium (wikipedia entry info from edmonton eskimos)
Edmonton, AB (google maps)

Built for the Commonwealth Games in 1978, Commonwealth is Canada's largest outdoor stadium, with a capacity edging over 60,000. It is home to the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos, and has the league's only grass field, which is surrounded by a running track. Several important matches of this summer's tournament will be held in Edmonton, including two Canada matches and one of the semifinals.

Besides the Commonwealth Games, this stadium has hosted major events including several Grey Cups (CFL championship game), the World Track & Field Championships in 2001, and the barnburner Canada-USA final of the 2002 U19 Women's World Cup.

Part 2, featuring stadiums in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal coming shortly.

U-20 World Cup

My regular readers (and, granted, there are few) will notice I've gone on extended hiatus. It turns out FIFA's new rankings are no better than the old ones. For the time being, I'm turning my attention to, among other things, the U-20 World Cup finals coming up this summer in Canada. There are no official rankings for age-group (U-23, U-20, U-17, etc.) sides, so I'll ignore that side of things. But as the tournament approaches, be prepared for some group previews, team profiles, and more general interest blogging.

The draw took place about a month ago. Here's how it all shook down:
Group A
Team GP W D L GF GA+ / - Pts
Canada 00000000
Chile 00000000
Congo 00000000
Austria 00000000

# Date Venue Match Result
5 01 Jul 07 19:45Toronto CAN - CHI -
10 02 Jul 07 17:45Edmonton CGO - AUT -
21 05 Jul 07 17:45Edmonton AUT - CAN -
22 05 Jul 07 20:30Edmonton CHI - CGO -
35 08 Jul 07 18:00Edmonton CAN - CGO -
36 08 Jul 07 20:00Toronto CHI - AUT -
Group B
Team GP W D L GF GA+ / - Pts
Spain 00000000
Uruguay 00000000
Jordan 00000000
Zambia 00000000

# Date Venue Match Result
6 01 Jul 07 14:15Burnaby JOR - ZAM -
7 01 Jul 07 17:00Burnaby ESP - URU -
17 04 Jul 07 17:00Burnaby URU - JOR -
18 04 Jul 07 19:45Burnaby ZAM - ESP -
29 07 Jul 07 14:15Burnaby ESP - JOR -
30 07 Jul 07 14:15Victoria URU - ZAM -
Group C
Team GP W D L GF GA+ / - Pts
Portugal 00000000
New Zealand 00000000
Gambia 00000000
Mexico 00000000

# Date Venue Match Result
11 02 Jul 07 14:15Toronto POR - NZL -
12 02 Jul 07 17:00Toronto GAM - MEX -
23 05 Jul 07 17:00Toronto NZL - GAM -
24 05 Jul 07 19:45Toronto MEX - POR -
33 08 Jul 07 17:15Montreal POR - GAM -
34 08 Jul 07 15:15Edmonton NZL - MEX -
Group D
Team GP W D L GF GA+ / - Pts
Poland 00000000
Brazil 00000000
Korea Republic 00000000
USA 00000000

# Date Venue Match Result
1 30 Jun 07 14:15Montreal POL - BRA -
2 30 Jun 07 17:00Montreal KOR - USA -
13 03 Jul 07 17:00Montreal USA - POL -
14 03 Jul 07 19:45Montreal BRA - KOR -
27 06 Jul 07 19:45Ottawa BRA - USA -
28 06 Jul 07 19:45Montreal POL - KOR -
Group E
Team GP W D L GF GA+ / - Pts
Argentina 00000000
Czech Republic 00000000
Korea DPR 00000000
Panama 00000000

# Date Venue Match Result
3 30 Jun 07 16:30Ottawa PRK - PAN -
4 30 Jun 07 19:15Ottawa ARG - CZE -
15 03 Jul 07 17:00Ottawa CZE - PRK -
16 03 Jul 07 19:45Ottawa PAN - ARG -
25 06 Jul 07 17:00Montreal CZE - PAN -
26 06 Jul 07 17:00Ottawa ARG - PRK -
Group F
Team GP W D L GF GA+ / - Pts
Japan 00000000
Scotland 00000000
Nigeria 00000000
Costa Rica 00000000

# Date Venue Match Result
8 01 Jul 07 14:15Victoria JPN - SCO -
9 01 Jul 07 17:00Victoria NGA - CRC -
19 04 Jul 07 17:00Victoria CRC - JPN -
20 04 Jul 07 19:45Victoria SCO - NGA -
31 07 Jul 07 17:00Victoria JPN - NGA -
32 07 Jul 07 17:00Burnaby SCO - CRC -

It's in the back of my mind to attempt an Edmonton road trip (about 15 hours) in early July to catch a game or two, which would make for an interesting set of road stories, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.