Thursday, January 31, 2008

Martinique - Canada result

Nobody ever said being a Canadian soccer fan is easy. But when the team plays against the poor kids of the soccer world, following the team becomes that much harder.

Here are some of the methods we used to try to track last night's friendly:
  • Kept a close eye on livescore. The usually comprehensive, though often inaccurate, site didn't provide a score until an hour after the match was over.
  • Listening to Martinique Radio. For an island of about 400,000, this website, part of the Radio France Outremer network, is quite impressive. We were even fooled for a minute, listening to a 'Radio Journal' which previewed the match, unfortunately this wasn't a live stream, but sort of like a news podcast. On the live radio, we heard more world music and learned more about the ethnoreligious situation in the South Caribbean than we ever cared to know.
  • Lurked over at the Voyageurs board. Except due to a server outage taking down the main site, the whole gang climbed into the way-back machine and took their show to the old, ugly, ad-infested version. Very nostalgic, and all that.
  • Played games with the CSA site. Keyed in the address format for the PDF tracker, but that didn't appear until after the match. Another dynamic page, with the names and positions of all the players, was available, but never changed.
It's a day later, and here's what we know:

For the first time in a 90-minute match against Martinique, Canada won. This may not sound all that impressive, and perhaps it isn't, but the squad Canada sent out there was rather suspect. The final score was 1-0, with the goal by Dwayne De Rosario.

Here are the 4 sentences the CSA has to say about it so far:
Canada’s men’s national team defeated Martinique tonight in its first international game of the 2008 season. The Canucks won 1:0 on the strength of Dwayne De Rosario goal in the 25th minute.

The Canadian squad has been training together in Florida since 20 January and arrived in Fort-au-France, Martinique by boat on Monday. The Thursday night match was played at the Stade Louis-Achille.
From the tracker, we also know the starting lineup and the subs, though we don't know which players were replaced. In a more readable format, here those are:

# Player
1 Pat Onstad
2 Tyler Rosenlund
3 Paris Nakajima-Farran
4 Adrian Cann
5 Marco Reda
6 Adrian Serioux
10 Martin Nash
11 Charles Gbeke
13 Chris Pozniak
14 Dwayne De Rosario
17 Dave Simpson

# Player Entered
8 Kevin Harmse 53
7 Issey Nakajima-Farran 57
15 Chris Williams 57
12 Antonio Ribeiro 74
16 Dejan Jakovic 80

All the players, besides the two extra 'keepers (Wagenaar and Sutton) saw the pitch for at least 10 minutes. It's hard to guess at a formation without knowing the preferred positions of players like Rosenlund and Paris Nakajima-Farran, but we'll hazard an educated guess. We are reliably informed that De Rosario and Dave Simpson occupied the wings.


Rosenlund - Cann - Reda - Pozniak


Williams - Nash - Nakajima-Farran - De Rosario


With that information about the wingers (which we admit, maybe isn't that reliable), there don't seem to be any forwards besides Gbeke, so a 4-5-1 seems to make sense. Maybe Paris didn't start in central midfield, which would be a tall order for an 18 year old, and maybe Rosenlund isn't a right back. But we won't know for a while, possibly ever, where they played in this match.

A slightly longer Martinique perspective on the match is available:

La sélection de Martinique de football rate son retour à la compétition en s'inclinant 1 but à 0 face à la sélection du Canada.

Un match amical qui a pourtant permis à nos footballeurs de se remettre quelque peu dans le bain, mais les hommes Guy-Michel Nisas ont peut-être manqué de conviction et de coordination dans leur technique.

Le but canadien a été inscrit dès les premières minutes de jeu et a certainement touché au moral des martiniquais qui revenaient après plusieurs mois sans rencontres officieles.

We won't translate that for you, because if you're Canadian, you should know French.

It should be noted that De Rosario's goal, his 13th for Canada, places him one goal closer to the all-time leaders, Coach Dale Mitchell and John Catliff.

If we hear more, we'll make sure to pass it along.

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