Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oh my!

Hey, gang. It's been a while. Before I deliver the meat, the piece de resistance of today's post, let me offer the following by way of explanation.

You see, at the beginning of the month I changed my work commute from a comfortable two-legged bus ride (that's a bus jaunt with a downtown transfer) to a two-wheeled sweaty grime-filled early morning (and late afternoon) cycle. So my prime blogging hours, which tend to correspond with the beginning of most people's prime dinner hours, have lately been spent in a more recuperative, and contemplative, post-ride state. My desire to shoot the shit, as it were, was somewhat lessened.

I feel that I snapped out of it a little this evening. My homeward journey was delayed by about 4 hours for a dinner invitation, and I was enjoying a rather pleasant cruise through the large semi-urban park in my city. So idyllic was the scene that, I shit you not, two Canada geese glided over my head just as I turned to gaze at 7 or 8 deer grazing in the cricket field.

This grabbed my attention for a few seconds, but the moment I returned my attention to the road, I had my first eye-large insect encounter of the riding season. Whether it was a large fly or a rock hard moth, I salute it for being out so early, even though it will surely be killed soon by a frost. In the meltier weeks I came home from my ride covered in mud and 6 months of street grime, but that seems a pleasure compared to six legs and a few wings in the eye. But the incident has jolted me from my non-blogging reverie, so I can bring you this.

Canada-Brazil! And Canada-Argentina!

Let's start with Brazil. This is but a rumour, but it's a rumour that has made it into the slightly vaunted world of print journalism. From the Seattle Times, buried in a report about the China-Mexico friendly in that city:

Next up, Brazil?

Seattle appears a likely destination for Brazil's national team, and soon, according to sources close to the situation who did not want to be identified.

The opponent would be Canada and the match would take place in the first part of June. Contract negotiations are ongoing.

Brazil is a five-time World Cup champion, most recently winning the title in 2002.

The words you are looking for are "Holy shit!" Of course, you can point out that since this event is at a neutral site, it is clearly a promoter looking to make money. And you can say that this is likely an Olympic warmup for Brazil's U23 side. But the early June date in question had first been scheduled for a friendly with Haiti, and then Guatemala, but even those Central American shitbaggers (who cancelled on us in January to play Argentina) would have to admit that our new dance partners are a step up.

Canada has played Brazil before, with surprising success, at different age groups, most recently a 3-game friendly tour prior to last year's U20 tournament. The result isn't all that important, but a high quality opponent should have the boys primed for a much easier set of matches later in June with St. VAG.

Now for Argentina. This goes second, if only for the fact that this is an age group friendly, and the De Rosario's, De Guzman's and Stalteri's of the world won't be involved. Google News doesn't turn up anything for this one, but the Voyageurs thread on the topic includes a poster for the event (from the Russian promoter of all Argentinian friendlies -- don't ask) and sales start soon, so it appears to be the real deal.

Being an U20 match it doesn't excite me as much, although any time the boys play on home soil is a good thing.

The real announcement we're all waiting for is when and where the home leg of the St. VAG qualifier will be played (the scuttlebutt is Friday night in Montreal). I'm too poor to be making travel plans, but I would like to get my television watching and drinking plans for that weekend in some semblance of order well in advance.

Stay tuned for news on these matches and others. It's looking to be an exciting summer of soccer. And TFC just won a game, so it must be well into June by now (ZING!).

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