Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday cup of coffee: Thanksgiving edition

Yes, I know those are chickens. But with a little bit of critical thinking, you too might be able to deduce why a search for 'turkey soccer' might not turn up the desired results.

On to the good stuff.

All-Canadian final: 1st leg

The USL-1 final 1st leg did not fail to deliver in the drama department. The result, a 3-2 victory for the Impact in Vancouver, included:
  • a Martin Nash red card
  • a dubious goal (well offside)
  • a 70-yard solo run goal (Marcus Haber)
  • an own goal
  • a yellow card for mild celebration (no shirts were harmed)
  • a female ref
Quite frankly, most of the excitement came after Nash was ejected in the 2nd half for a studs up tackle on Panamaniac Roberto Brown, so I can't come down too hard on the officiating. Except for Montreal's 2nd goal which, as mentioned, was well offside.

Montreal was the better team, and dominated the midfield, so they deserved to win. Vancouver finished their chances to give themselves a chance in the return leg.

It may have delivered its share of drama, but the match didn't deliver much in the way of Canadian player content.

Don't believe me? Lookie here:

vs Montreal
Luca Bellisomo 1
Martin Nash 1
Chris Pozniak
1 30
Charles Gbeke 1
Marcus Haber 1
Randy Edwini-Bonsu
1 4
Total Mins 951 Cdn 306

at Vancouver
Adam Braz 1
Nevio Pizzolitto 1
Eduardo Sebrango
1 20
Rocco Placentino
1 12
Mauro Biello
1 8
Total Mins 990 Cdn 220

The combined total of 526 minutes is less than Toronto FC fielded*** in their Saturday match against San Jose (more on that below). Heck, throw in Antonio Ribeiro for the Earthquakes and the total for that game blows this one out of the water.

Still, it was a pretty decent match, and you should see the highlights if you haven't already. You can also download the whole match, thanks to an enterprising Voyageur.

I hope next Saturday's clash at Saputo is as much fun as this one was.

** If you count Canadian of convenience O'Brian White

Toronto FC's goal: Open late

I didn't catch all of this Saturday's match between TFC and the San Jose Earthquakes. What I do know is that Nana Attakora, in addition to his usual solid defensive play, noticed a deficiency in finishing gilt-edged goal scoring opportunities for his team, so he went forward and did the deed himself.

That lone goal looked likely to stand up as the winner for Toronto, until a San Jose player, a Trini no less, kicked Toronto's dwindling playoff hopes square in the nuts with a 93rd minute equalizer.

I decided somewhere along the way that I preferred schadenfreude to supporterdom, so I'm not too broken up about the result.

You have to admit: they were asking for it with those pink shirts

Still, Toronto's habit of conceding late goals is causing some fallout. Coach Chris Cummins mentioned in his post game interview that the lads were screaming at each other in the dressing room. Even the normally docile TFC media are getting angry.

Watch Gareth Wheeler get seasonal with his critique:

Turkeys at top of TFC

There are more than enough turkeys to go around at BMO Field again this Thanksgiving.

Toronto FC is no bird and it sure is flightless.

Conceding in injury-time to draw the non-playoff San Jose Earthquakes after two weeks off is as poor of a result as possible.

Mathematically, the Reds may be still alive, but it flatters the third-year franchise.

Perhaps not making the playoffs again this year is best for the club.

See what he did there? Brilliant. If only the same school of journalism also taught that sentences can sometimes be joined together into what are sometimes called 'paragraphs'.

He goes on to skewer Chris Cummins for lineup choices (Nick Garcia, Lesly Fellinga, Chad Barrett), and poor in-game management (failing to make late substitutions). Wheeler also reports Cummins' complaint that his players wouldn't listen to him for the last 20 minutes. Which, you know, is bad for a coach.

On the bright side, Nana scored, Julian de Guzman was solid (but totally wasted playing so far back), Dwayne de Rosario had another assist, and most of the east stand wasn't around to watch the shenanigans.

Eredivisie report

No games this week. No qualifiers for the Oranje either. They are through, unbeaten. They will crash out of the World Cup in the quarterfinals in some most painful fashion.

That said, Luis Suarez scored on the weekend (for Uruguay). No, it doesn't count for his tally. But I wouldn't seeing it continue on Wednesday when his country plays Argentina.

Canadian soccer blog post I enjoyed this week: The Asmir Begovic story in 5 words:
Good riddance to bad rubbish

Special amateur soccer shoutout
No favourite non-soccer blog post this week (to be honest, I don't read a lot of non-soccer blogs so these are hard to find unless someone points them out to me), but let me give a plug to Hellas SC of Winnipeg, who are in the finals of the Canadian senior men's championships. They have a guy who went to my high school on their team, so I suppose that counts in their favour.

The U16 tournament is in Winnipeg right now too. The weather here is crap, which would explain why I saw more than a few soccer teams all decked out in tracksuits wandering the mall food courts the other day.

I had to look at the CSA site to see if we were hosting an U16 or U18 tourney. I was really hoping it was U18, if only to make my biological reaction to a girl on one of the girls' teams I spotted somewhat less pervy and potentially incarcerating.

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