Tuesday, December 09, 2008

2008: The Year That Was - April, May, and June

Instalment #2 in this blog's 2008 retrospective, a selection of posts from this spring (see also: instalment #1, Winter)

APRIL

2008.04.07 - Qualifying Groups: Canada Shafted?: I believed all along that Canada got the shaft in the draw for World Cup qualifying, that the road ahead would be difficult. I didn't expect such a miserable failure as the one we saw, but qualifying from this semifinal group would have been quite the feat. Even with Mitchell at the helm, I think we would have qualified from Group C (swap us with Haiti or Panama and you'll get the picture).

2008.04.17 - Oh my!: Rumours of a Brazil friendly! Blogger much excited!

2008.04.29 - ¡Confirmação!: There's nothing to be proud of in this post, except the inverted exclamation point, and the picture, which you'll want to have a peek at (just click the link).

MAY

2008.05.03 - How Canadian is TFC?: I've shit on TFC a bit this year for failing to provide opportunities to Canadian players. This is where it all started, and this is how it all ended.

2008.05.13 - Vancouver Whitecaps - Los Angeles Galaxy live blog: Live blog of yet another Beckham match, this one ending in a 1-1 draw at Commonwealth in Edmonton. Apparently these Beckshibitions (see what I did there?) aren't drawing so well anymore.

2008.05.25 - 2008.05.29 - Brazil Anticipation: When I got really excited, worked up nearly into a lather, I'd anticipate some big happening over several days, doing loopy things like posting youtube clips and music that has nothing to do with the match being anticipated. The Brazil Anticipation series was a 4-parter [1] [2] [3] [4]

2008.05.31 - Brazil Participation: It's a live blog!: Ok, we got excited. Boners abounded in this match. De Guzman scored, the Friendly giant headed one in, we fell in love with Klukowski. This was a moment where we truly believed. They come so rarely that they are truly special when they happen. And they make subsequent failures all the more painful. (Canada lost the match 3-2 in Seattle).

Odds of Canada playing it close with Brazil were as long as the odds of enjoying an American brew, but both happened on this crazy night.

JUNE

2008.06.04 -Enter the vortex: The title refers to the difficulty in getting information about Canada's friendly with Panama that fell quickly on the heels of the Brazil match. But there's plenty of other good stuff in there too, including player ratings from the Brazil game.

2008.06.09 - Euro '08: Netherlands - Italy live blog: I try not to engage in too much Euro navel gazing, but the Oranje are my weakness. They toyed with us once again in 2008, playing the most attractive football in the group stages at the Euros, and then crashing out in the knockout rounds.

I try not to let my tail show too often.

2008.06.11 - St. VAG-initis: Linked for title only.

2008.06.14 - Canada - SVG live blog: You haven't lived until you've spent two hours refreshing a live blog of a shitty internet radio stream of Canada playing some two-bit Caribbean nation.

2008.06.20 - WCQ 2010 by the numbers: 2nd edition: Stats are fun. I was looking forward to a full 18 months of compiling stats of the all the Canadian goings on in qualifying, but Dale Mitchell kept it to a more manageable 6 months.

2008.06.23 - Canada - St. Vincent player ratings: These ratings are for the 2nd match of the 2-legged series (a 4-1 win in Montreal) and while I watched the match intermittently and while at work, I feel like I had a good grasp of things. Two things jump out at me now: the 8.5 I handed to De Rosario was far better than he would have deserved for any other match in WCQs, and the 10 I awarded to the pitch at Saputo is interesting considering how chewed to shit it was by the next time Canada stepped on it against Honduras in October.


The Brazil friendly in Seattle and the walkover of the St. VAG matches were heady times, not soon to be repeated. Such is life. If you've finally managed to forget the last 5 months in Canadian soccer, I'll be reminding you shortly in upcoming instalments.



Lou Marsh update: Last week we talked Lou Marsh (well, not Lou himself, but the award that bears his name) and pimped Julian de Guzman who ended up cleaning up in a meaningless web poll on the Toronto Star site. But the panel who makes the decisions apparently doesn't care, and have instead chosen paralympic champion (many times over) Chantal Petticlerc as the 2008 recipient. It is difficult to criticize this selection without saying things that will offend some; and Duane Rollins over at Out of Left Field has already done so. My favourite line: "Of the 10 or so women in the world that race wheelchairs at an elite level, there is little doubt that Chantal Petitclerc is the best."

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