It was premature of me to dare to be hopeful the other day. After what seemed like an impressive victory over Mexico in the second round robin match at the CONCACAF U20 tournament, Canada failed to advance from their group after losing to Costa Rica in the final match by a score of 2-1. I've still got the optimism bug, though, enough so that I've several things to be excited about over the next little while:
Canada's effort at the U20s may have been disappointing (without seeing any of the matches it is hard to say for sure), but unlike the 2007 U20 World Cup, Canada did manage to score some goals. Three goals in three matches, in fact. And all the goals were scored by the same pint-sized Whitecaps product, Randy Edwini-Bonsu. He's only 18, but should get a fair bit of playing time with the first team of what is likely to be a young Whitecaps squad this season. I'll throw out a prediction of 8 total goals in USL-1 and Voyageurs Cup matches.
The television gods are smiling
I was devastated, relatively speaking, when my television provider ended the rather generous 6-month free preview of the Gol TV channel. But soccer fans rejoice over even small mercies, and I am now enjoying every moment of a month-long free preview of Setanta sports. I am particularly enjoying it this morning, as Liverpool are looking likely winners at Old Trafford.
In case you're wondering, I hate Manchester United with every fibre of my being. I'm not sure why, exactly. Perhaps it's because they were Chelsea before Chelsea was Chelsea. Or maybe it's because every acquaintance of mine that doesn't know the first thing about soccer has picked them as their team. It could be because Carlos Tevez is just about the ugliest man on earth.
Yup, it's 4-1 Liverpool now.
I watched Roma-Arsenal the other day, on tape delay, and while the result was disappointing, the drama was not.
The start of the Canadian pro season
The MLS season starts next weekend. I don't really care much about that. I do care, however, that Toronto's season is starting. It means soccer played in the right time zone, and with more Canadian players than you can shake a stick at. (OK, I exaggerate; it's probably the exactly right amount for stick shaking).
I'm paying close attention to Canadian content this season. Toronto's recent pre-season matches, if they are to be trusted as an indication of the team's lineup plans for 2009, suggest 4 regular Canadian starters: Jim Brennan, Kevin Harmse, Adrian Serioux, and Dwayne de Rosario. Greg Sutton appears to have been supplanted in goal by Stefan Frei, leading to the unique circumstance that none of Canada's pro teams have a Canadian starting keeper.
You can follow the Canadian content story all year, in great detail, here.
Well, not really. But it's hard not to get a little bit geeked about the Netherlands knocking off the Dominican Roiders not once, but twice.
AZ's cakewalk to the Dutch title
The weeks of the Eredivisie season are quickly running out, and AZ's gap at the top is only stretching.