Sunday, March 15, 2009

The next traitor?

I tried the optimism thing yesterday. But if I tried to be optimistic all the time, I'd miss out on a lot of the important stories in Canadian soccer.

This time I'm looking into the future. We all know of Canadian soccer players who choose, for whatever reason, to turn their back on the maple leaf and suit up for another nation of convenience. Owen Hargreaves and Jonathan de Guzman are the classic examples.

The decisions by these players stung, in part, because at one time or another it seemed like they might do the right thing and play in red and white. In order to soften the blow somewhat, it helps to be prepared ahead of time.

So here you go. Let me be of service to you. Be ready to lose the services of one David Hoilett. Just in case, you know.

The next to jump ship?

Never heard of him? Just wait. The man (a kid, really, at 18) is currently tearing it up for FC St Pauli in the 2. Bundesliga. He has 5 goals in the last 3 games, and a ton of potential.

His other international playing option appears to be Jamaica. While at one point it would have seemed ridiculous to even consider that country as an option, results from the WCQ campaign of 2008 suggest otherwise. From a purely self-serving perspective, it might be the better choice.

Hoilett hasn't chosen one way or the other. Rumour has it that he, or a parent, holds a grudge against the Canadian setup. Still, he has a brother that has suited up for an U17 team. Hope remains.

We've seen in recent matches how goal scoring continues to be a problem for Canada. Canada failed to score against Trinidad at the U20s. They only managed a single goal against Jamaica in qualifying. I really believe that Hoilett could be part of the future at the striker position. Randy Edwini-Bonsu, of the Whitecaps, could be another part of the puzzle.

To sum up, I hope Hoilett chooses Canada because:
  • It would really be a kick in the balls to lose another talented player.
  • Eventually we need to see a brother act in our national teams.
  • 'Whoregreaves' and 'Judas' are fairly natural-sounding nicknames, but it's hard to think of a traitor moniker for David without rhyming his last name with 'toilet', and that's just juvenile.
  • He could be an important player.

Apart from Hargreaves, here is a quick refresher on some other souls that are in mortal peril for telling Canada to stuff it and playing elsewhere:
  • Jonathan de Guzman: Announced his intentions to go Dutch in 2008, played at the Olympics, and has since had an injury plagued season for a terrible Feyenoord side.
  • Daniel Fernandes: The bombastic 'Thunder Dan' couldn't crack the lineup for the U20s under Dale Mitchell in 2005, then told Frank Yallop to get stuffed. Played for Portugal at the U23 level and is at the periphery of the goaltending situation for the senior side. Teammate of Daniel Imhof at VfL Bochum.
  • Steven Vitoria: Remember how ridiculous this kid looked with 'Steven' on the back of his shirt at the U20s in 2007? Domestic coverage of the lad was embarrassingly fawning, but he is currently toiling in Portugal's lower divisions.
  • Sydney Leroux: Breaking the gender barrier, Sydney has 5 goals from 8 matches for the USA.
Despite the crass opportunism of these folks, their careers haven't exactly exploded since making their choice, Leroux aside. Fernandes is doing alright now, but he played for years in obscruity in Greece. Hargreaves, the exception, is trying to recover from a potentially career threatening injury, while drawing a paycheque from Satan's own team.

Do the right thing, David. We need you.

Request: If anyone here is a wizard of internet domains, can you tell me if there is any way to find out whether the owner of is interested in selling?

This is interesting
Multiple sources are reporting tonight that Dale Mitchell has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Canadian men's national team and will be assigned new responsibilities. It has been suggested to the 24th Minute that Mitchell's new duties will involve working to improve the CSA's coaching development programs.
Again, I'll believe it when I see it, but if it's true, it's been a long time coming.


squizz said...

Hey, don't worry... even if Junior jumps ship, we've still got the Nakajima-Farrans! Unless Paris decides to bugger off somewhere too...

As for the domains, is available!

Anonymous said...

out of touch is a fitting title for you or would u prefer bitterness? Whoregreaves? Judas? lol, get over it.

Is 10th place in Eredivisie really that terrible. Does being injured mean not playing for the CMNT is a mistake? Fernandes is having a good season individually with bochum and is one of the favourites to be Portugal's #1. Vitoria is currently on loan from Porto to the top team in the 2nd division and has played 22 games for them, being the starting CB on a team about to be promoted to the top flight is not toiling in the lower divisions.

Whats embarassing is Dale Mitchell not recognizing the talent of Fernandes and Vitoria, that article u linked to was about how young canadians(ask Craig Forrest about this) have to go overseas to continue their soccer careers, leaving their families. living alone, making under $30000 with an uncertain future.

I guess your vindictiveness towards players like Vitoria is why u missed the point of the article.

J said...

You obviously have a different view of international football than I do. I believe it to represent something more than an opportunity for personal and career advancement. If you're Canadian, you play for Canada. Seems straightforward enough. Being passed over for one youth team hardly seems reason enough to turn your back on your country.

Is 10th place in Eredivisie really that terrible. Does being injured mean not playing for the CMNT is a mistake?

The answer to the first question posed is yes. For Feyenoord, 10th place in the Eredivisie would be like Arsenal finishing 10th in the Premiership. There is traditionally a big drop off from the big 4 teams in Holland (Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV, and now AZ) and the rest.

The answer to the second question is no. I used creative license, as is permitted to a writer. My point, however, are that these players are not world beaters who somehow deserve better than Canada.

that article u linked to was about how young canadians(ask Craig Forrest about this) have to go overseas to continue their soccer careers, leaving their families

The tone of the article was that Vitoria was successful, not for his budding pro career, but because he had 'made it' by playing for a soccer country like Portugal. The media should have the balls to call out those who are making decisions based on pure self-interest. If it happened in a sport like hockey, the media in this country would lose their collective shit.