Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

Lots to talk about today. First of all, the long awaited (by a select few) friendly in Reykjavik, which ended in a 1-1 draw:

The Good

The team continued their streak of scoring in 8 straight games. After years of watching a bunker mentality dominate, it is good to see an attacking side. Olivier Occean's goal came as the result of a nice offensive move and a strong shot from Stalteri that was parried and fell at the feet of the Lillestrom striker.

Also, my starting lineup prediction wasn't too far off. I predicted a lineup of:

Stalteri - Hainault - Hastings - Klukowski
Hume - Bernier - Imhof - De Guzman - Radzinski

Hastings was forced to withdraw with an injury (the assumption is that he otherwise would have started), pulling Imhof out of midfield. The actual lineup sent out by Dale Mitchell was a 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1) that looked like:

Stalteri - Imhof - Hainault - Klukowski
Nakajima-Farran - De Guzman - Bernier - Radzinski

The Bad

While a draw away to any European opponent is normally a respectable result, Iceland is a pretty weak side. Although their ranking by FIFA at 117 is probably a somewhat pessimistic evaluation, Canada needs to beat teams like this, not simply earn draws.

The Ugly

While there was to be no Canadian TV coverage of the event, an Icelandic station seemed to be streaming it online. Then, right before kickoff, the stream died, not to be revived until 30 minutes or so remained. I tuned in just in time to see highlights of Canada being scored upon.

It's rough being a soccer fan in Canada. Or rather, a fan of Canadian soccer in Canada. I can watch Guatemalan league matches weekly on GolTV. But if I do manage to track down this game in a downloadable format, I'll pass along where you can find it.

Updated records

Canada Men's National Team - Appearances (Microsoft Word .DOC)
Canada Men's National Team - Caps, short (Microsoft Excel .XLS)
Canada Men's National Team - Goals (Microsoft Excel .XLS)
And, a new one . . .
Minutes Under Mitchell [MUM] (Microsoft Excel .XLS) - minutes played, under the new gaffer

In other news, besides a whole slew of friendlies with some notable upsets (Norway over Argentina, Switzerland over Holland, Portugal drawn by Armenia), FIFA released it's new rankings today. There may have been some changes at the top, but I don't really care. CONCACAF's order didn't see much of a change:

RankingZonal RankingTeamPts
Aug 07
+/- Ranking
Jul 07
+/- Pts
Jul 07
111Mexico Mexico1099-1Down-43
172USA USA985-3Down-51
523Costa Rica Costa Rica573-2Down6
534Canada Canada565-1Down3
575Honduras Honduras5176Up32
636Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago4752Up14
717Panama Panama435-14Down-83
808Guatemala Guatemala397-5Down-28
889Haiti Haiti3714Up24
9010Guyana Guyana36710Up39
9111Cuba Cuba365-1Down5
9512Jamaica Jamaica350-2Down7
10413St. Vincent and the Grenadines St. Vincent and the Grenadines316-1Down0
11914Barbados Barbados245-1Down0
12315Suriname Suriname2242Up0
13016Bermuda Bermuda1940Equal0
13117Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda1920Equal0
13818El Salvador El Salvador168-4Down-8
14019Dominican Republic Dominican Republic1490Equal0
14120St. Kitts and Nevis St. Kitts and Nevis1481Up2
14921Bahamas Bahamas111-1Down0
15422Nicaragua Nicaragua96-1Down0
15623Grenada Grenada910Equal0
15824St. Lucia St. Lucia87-1Down0
16625Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands640Equal0
17726Netherlands Antilles Netherlands Antilles41-3Down0
17927British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands330Equal0
18428Dominica Dominica210Equal0
18529Cayman Islands Cayman Islands200Equal0
19430Puerto Rico Puerto Rico100Equal0
19631Anguilla Anguilla40Equal0
19932Belize Belize00Equal0
19933US Virgin Islands US Virgin Islands00Equal0
19934Montserrat Montserrat00Equal0
19935Aruba Aruba00Equal0

Canada dropped a spot, but stays in a nice position, for what it's worth. Interestingly, they find themselves only one spot behind Costa Rica, who will be their next opponent in a friendly this September at BMO Field (excuse me, at the National Soccer Stadium) in Toronto.

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