Wednesday, November 21, 2007

South Africa friendly redux

Updated 22 Nov 07: All records below are now up-to-date and available for download.
And, for a limited time, a torrent of Tuesday's match is available.

Missed yesterday's friendly with South Africa, because of work, and with the disappointing result, I'm not sure if I feel like watching it. But if you missed it too, and you'd like to check out the match there's a post on the Voyageurs board with links to a direct download.


In case you missed it, Canada lost 2-0 in Durban on Tuesday. From the sounds of it, the performance was sloppy and uninspired, and in general lacking in the positives that the team displayed at the Gold Cup and in their September friendly against Costa Rica.

The lineup of 17 that I posted last week was reduced by one as Andre Hainault was left at home due to a combination of a minor injury and a shortage of pages in his passport(!). Of the remaining 16 players, all but backup goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos made it into the match. Of note, Will Johnson made just his 4th appearance for the senior side, while our most Dutch Canadian, Marcel de Jong, made his debut. Both Johnson and De Jong were second half substitutes.

Without having seen the match, I'll try to avoid too much editorializing, but I feel safe in making the following statements:
  1. Mitchell's experiment with Iain Hume as a lone striker failed. Hume's role should be the role he played at the Gold Cup: off the bench, in the 2nd half only, and paired with a more robust striker. He simply doesn't have the tools of some of our other players, and his speed and tenacity are most effective when opponents are tiring.
  2. Paul Stalteri needs to get himself into a club situation where he is seeing regular action. By all accounts, he had one of his worst matches.
  3. Dwayne De Rosario is a key player, more than we had realized. While he was off winning a 4th MLS Cup title and 2nd MVP award, Canada was missing him desperately
I may have jinxed things in my last post, when I mentioned that Canada had scored in every match in 2007 and that Paul Stalteri had played every minute, as both of these streaks came to an end. South Africa kept a clean sheet while Stalteri received a red card in the 79th minute, thus ending the year with 889 minutes.

Minutes under Mitchell




Player Starter Sub Minutes
de Guzman, Julian 3
270
Stalteri, Paul 3
259
Bernier, Patrice 3
253
Radzinski, Tomasz 3
213
Hirschfeld, Lars 2
180
Klukowski, Mike 2
180
Hainault, Andre 2
164
Hume, Iain 2 1 154
Gerba, Ali 2
151
Imhof, Daniel 1 1 135
Nakajima-Farran, Issey 1 1 135
Hutchinson, Atiba 2
135
Brennan, Jim 1
90
De Rosario, Dwayne 1
90
Onstad, Pat 1
90
Serioux, Adrian 1
90
McKenna, Kevin 1 0 90
Hastings, Richard 1 0 90
Occean, Olivier
3 75
Simpson, Josh 1 0 45
Friend, Rob
1 29
Ledgerwood, Nik
1 18
Johnson, Will 0 1 17
De Jong, Marcel 0 1 6
Totals 32 10 2959

And total minutes in 2007:
Player Caps Starter Sub Mins
Paul Stalteri 10 10
889
Julian de Guzman 10 10
868
Atiba Hutchinson 9 9
728
Richard Hastings 8 8
720
Andre Hainault 8 8
704
Dwayne De Rosario 8 8
698
Patrice Bernier 8 7 1 640
Ante Jazic 6 6
540
Pat Onstad 5 5
450
Ali Gerba 7 5 2 375
Martin Nash 6 5 1 370
Tomasz Radzinski 4 4
303
Rob Friend 4 3 1 290
Issey Nakajima-Farran 7 2 5 282
Lars Hirschfeld 3 3
270
Iain Hume 6 2 4 226
Kevin McKenna 2 2
180
Greg Sutton 2 2
180
Mike Klukowski 2 2
180
Olivier Occean 4 1 3 165
Daniel Imhof 2 1 1 135
Chris Pozniak 3 1 2 107
Gabriel Gervais 1 1
90
Adrian Serioux 1 1
90
Jim Brennan 1 1
90
Kevin Harmse 5 1 4 86
Josh Simpson 2 1 1 80
Adam Braz 1 1
57
Antonio Ribeiro 1
1 45
Nik Ledgerwood 1 0 1 30
Marcel de Jong 1 0 1 17
Will Johnson 1 0 1 6
Totals 139 110 29 9891

As winter sets in, thoughts turn to spring and the upcoming World Cup Qualifying campaign. The draw is in a few days, and expect some thoughts about that as well.

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