Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Voyageurs Cup Matchday 4 Preview

The Voyageurs Cup match clearly isn't the biggest match going on today. In fact, the other match was so big that, even though I was careful, I learned of the result (though not the score, so don't blab) well in advance of my 9 pm viewing appointment. There were a few things I needed to check online in the intervening time, and I thought if I pussyfooted around a bit, I wouldn't spoil the surprise.

Live and learn, I suppose.

I suspect if you wanted to keep yourself in the dark with tonight's match at Swangard Stadium between Vancouver and Montreal, you wouldn't have such trouble. Reason being that you will probably be in bed by the time its over, unless you're a left-coaster.



27 May 2009

Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, British Columbia
10:30 pm et / 9:30 pm ct / 7:30 pm pt

Sportsnet will have live coverage in all regions.

I'll be honest-- I had planned on avoiding the internet entirely, and only decided to throw together a post because of my failing to remain ignorant of the Champs League result, and the magnaminous move by the 24th minute to send some traffic my way.

The game
Until Vancouver (and hopefully Montreal) establish themselves in MLS, it is likely that somewhere near the midpoint of the Voyageurs Cup, one of the two USL-1 sides will become the clear challenger to Toronto FC for the title. Vancouver's win at Saputo last week put the Whitecaps in position to make that challenge. A draw essentially gives TFC the title, while a Montreal win also makes for some problems. The only result that will take this competition down to the wire is a Vancouver win, which would be my desired outcome in any case.

I don't have much in the way of further insight, save for these comments about Montreal's lineup: The Impact's central defense, already missing Stefano Pesoli and Cedric Jocqueviel, will be without captain Nevio Pizzolitto due to suspension. On the bright side, Leo di Lorenzo, who is arguably Montreal's best player, will be back in the fold for the first time this season.

I haven't been reading many soccer articles today, because of work, and the danger of accidentally running across Champions League news. But with the latter problem being made moot, here's an interesting one that provides more depth than the typical game-day piece in Canadian papers:

Dos Santos infuses Impact with European style

Marc Dos Santos wasn't born in 1974, when The Netherlands reached the first
of two consecutive World Cup finals, but he has come to appreciate the "total
soccer" style of play used by that team, nicknamed Clockwork Orange.

"It involved a lot of possession," the Impact head coach said. "A lot
of attacking play. At the same time, they never lost balance defensively. That's
what I like about that soccer. But it's very tough to get there because you need
players who, all of them, have to be very comfortable on the ball. It's one- or
two-touch soccer. It's a dream team."


"You do try to establish your own approach in terms of tactics, but
absolutely you take from here and there," he said. "After you analyze so much
soccer, so many tactical aspects from different teams, you start to identify
yourself closer to a methodology.

"That's what happened to me with the Dutch way of training and playing. But
also with the Portuguese after having lived there for so many years. I think my
identity, the coach I am today, is a big mix of what I saw in the past, what I
studied over the last 10 years."

I don't wish him particularly well tonight, but I am hopeful that Dos Santos has a bright future in the game in this country.

* * * * *

Canada plays Cyprus on Saturday, in a match none of us will see on TV. There have been some changes to the last lineup which I wrote about over the weekend. As I suggested, Marcel de Jong won't be available, as he will be trying to rescue his Roda JC from the drop in the Eredivisie.

The initial 17-man squad, less de Jong, was bolstered by two additions to make 18. Stephen Hart added Eddy Sidra (who?!) and D. Imhof to the squad. Not Daniel Imhof (an easy mistake to make, which the CSA did in their first press release on Tuesday) but his little brother Dominic, who toils somewhere in the Swiss pyramid.

This is more than a little bit of a letdown, as I was looking forward to seeing (or, rather, hearing about) a Canada squad with Imhof handling the defensive midfield duties, freeing up Julian de Guzman to attack Cypriots to his heart's delight.

Eddy Sidra, by the way, has represented Canada at the U20 level and has featured for the Cottbus reserves this season.

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