Thursday, May 27, 2010

Voyageurs Cup matchday 5 report: TFC are Champions

Congratulations to Toronto FC and its fans, who are repeat winners of the Voyageurs Cup, thanks to a 1-1 draw between Montreal and Vancouver last night. Better match reports are to be found below, but here are some of the important details and numbers:

Just the facts

Scoring Summary:
50' - VAN - Ansu Toure (Nelson Akwari)
62' - MON - Philippe Billy (Eduardo Sebrango)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Jay Nolly; 77.Zurab Tsiskaridze, 2.Nelson Akwari, 14.Greg Janicki, 8.Wes Knight (99.Ricardo Sanchez 76'); 16.Ansu Toure (22.Takashi Hirano 68'), 7.Martin Nash, 3.Luca Bellisomo, 19.Justin Moose (18.Doudou Toure 64'); 24.Marcus Haber, 39.Cornelius Stewart

Montreal Impact
22.Srdjan Djekanovic; 21.Philippe Billy, 2.Hicham Aaboubou, 16.Stefano Pesoli, 3.Adam Braz; 6.Tyler Hemming (28.Peter Byers 57'); 8.Filipe Soares (23.Stephen deRoux 45'), 14.Tony Donatelli (15.Patrick Leduc 75'); 11.Leonardo Di Lorenzo, 9.Rocco Placentino; 12.Eduardo Sebrango

Stupid headline: Another bitter Nutrilite pill for Caps (Vancouver Sun)
I know headline writers aren't ones to resist easy puns, but I've got much respect for a guy who makes a sly dietary supplement reference.

One sentence thoughts
  • The Nutrilite matches were a tough sell in all three cities this year, but the Impact crowd was respectable.
  • Thank goodness we've seen the last of those horrendous pink jerseys.
  • Vancouver were the better team on the night and were lucky not to score one or two more, but still could have showed more.
  • One wonders who Vancouver will bring with them to MLS.
  • Quite the debut for 18-year old Doudou Toure, who looked the most dangerous player in his time on the pitch.
  • Congrats to TFC, Canadian champions for the second year running. Let's hope they do better in the CONCACAF Champions League than last year's embarrassing first round exit against Puerto Rico.

Canadian content report

In the same way that this match was light on quality finishing, it was also light on Canadian content. Vancouver only fielded three Canadian players in total, and Montreal did little better.

Matchday 5
Srdjan Djekanovic 90
Adam Braz 90
Tyler Hemming 57
Rocco Placentino 90
Patrick Leduc 15
Total Mins 342

Luca Bellisomo 90
Martin Nash 90
Marcus Haber 90
Total Mins 270

In terms of overall Canadian content, this year's edition of the NCC will be the scantiest.

The pool report
A fair number of entries had the correct 1-1 scoreline, but the overall race is where the real interest lies. The race for the top promises to be exciting, as does the lanterne rouge contest. Reminder: the last placed finisher will pick the team scarf to be awarded to the overall winner. Lank is the guy (I'm assuming) in the pole position right now:

Difference Entries
3 Lank
4 jloome, Simon B, CanadianKid, dyslexic nam
5 Pompey Canuck, Crofty, M@
6 zooko26000, Headhunting Canuck, John, masster, Keato, Scott P, Chris
7 Duane Rollins, J, Jeremy, Tuscan, Filipe, Trevor Brooks, capsfan79, Spungi, icecoldbeer
8 soka, pejnam
9 rmac, Elvis, Casual Soccer Fan, Sagacious Chew, bbb, adriano, Lennie
10 Lord Bob, Daniel, Sam, Heavy Red Flow
12 morbital, Sigma


Team W D L Pts
Toronto FC 2 1 0 7
Vancouver Whitecaps 0 3 0 3
Montreal Impact 0 2 2 2

Player Team Goals
Dwayne de Rosario Toronto 1
Ty Harden
Chad Barrett Toronto 1
Marcus Haber Vancouver 1
Peter Byers Montreal 1
Ansu Toure Vancouver 1
Philippe Billy Montreal 1

Next match: 2 June 2010: Vancouver Whitecaps @ Toronto FC

Monday, May 24, 2010

Canada-Argentina live blog

The match gets underway at 3:30 pm et / 2:30 pm ct / 12:30 pm pt. Keep checking back between now and kickoff for updates.

Television coverage on Sportsnet, LIVE in all regions.

CAN-ARG: What do the bookies think?

In short, it's not pretty.

Argentina Draw Canada
bet365 -700 +600 +2200 1.15 5.35 17.00
interwetten 1.15 6.20 14.00
bodog -1000 +700 +1800
bet-at-home 1.10 7.00 19.00
victor chandler 1/9 5/1 28/1

Place your bets accordingly.

It's worth noting that the immortal Richard Hastings is expected to start. In other words, take the over on total goals.

Game starts at 2:30 CT.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Voyageurs Cup Matchday 4: Pool update

Here are the scores.

Difference Entries
3 Crofty, Lank, jloome, Simon B, CanadianKid
4 Pompey Canuck, Scott P, Chris
5 Duane Rollins, J, M@, zooko26000, Headhunting Canuck, Trevor Brooks, Spungi, icecoldbeer
6 Tuscan, Filipe, John, masster, capsfan79, Keato
7 rmac, Elvis, Jeremy, bbb, soka, pejnam
8 Sagacious Chew, adriano, Daniel, Lennie, Heavy Red Flow
9 Lord Bob, Casual Soccer Fan
10 ATN LR, morbital, Sigma, Sam

Last year after the 4th match, the scores also ranged from 3-10. All the details here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Canada rosters for Argentina, Venezuela

Remember when I could be counted on for prompt and reasonably cogent analysis of the goings on in Canadian soccer? Me neither. But I was occasionally prompt.

The biggest match on Canada's 2010 calendar, the Victoria Day (or as they call it in Argentina, the Bicentennial) match in Buenos Aires, and 5 days later the boys head north to face Hugo's boys in Venezuela.

Here are the rosters:

Pos Name Age Club League
GK Josh Wagenaar 25 Falkirk FC Scotland
GK Pat Onstad 42 Houston Dynamo MLS
GK Haidar Al-Shaibani 26 Nimes Olympique France
D Adam Straith 19 Energie Cottbus Germany
D Mike Klukowski 28 Club Brugge Belgium
D Andre Hainault 23 Houston Dynamo MLS
D Paul Stalteri 32 Borussia Monchengladbach Germany
D Richard Hastings 33 Hamilton Scotland
D Nik Ledgerwood 25 FSV Frankfurt Germany
D Pedro Pacheco 25 Nacional Portugal
M Julian De Guzman 29 Toronto FC MLS
M Will Johnson 23 Real Salt Lake MLS
M Daniel Imhof 32 FC St Gallen Switzerland
M Jaime Peters 23 Ipswich Town England
M Dwayne De Rosario 32 Toronto FC MLS
M Josh Simpson 27 Manisaspor Turkey
F Rob Friend 29 Borussia Monchengladbach Germany
F Simeon Jackson 23 Gillingham England
F Stephen Ademolu 27 FK Ekranas Lithuania

Average age 27.53

Pos Name Age Club League
GK Josh Wagenaar 25 Falkirk FC Scotland
GK Haidar Al-Shaibani 26 Nimes Olympique France
D Eddy Sidra 21 Energie Cottbus Germany
D Mike Klukowski 28 Club Brugge Belgium
D Adam Straith 19 Energie Cottbus Germany
D Paul Stalteri 32 Borussia Monchengladbach Germany
D Richard Hastings 33 Hamilton Scotland
M Gianluca Zavarise 23 VfL Bochum Germany
M Terry Dunfield 27 Shrewsbury Town England
M Nik Ledgerwood 25 FSV Frankfurt Germany
M Gavin McCallum 22 Hereford United England
M Issey Nakajima-Farran 26 AC Horsens Denmark
M Pedro Pacheco 25 Nacional Portugal
F Rob Friend 29 Borussia Monchengladbach Germany
F Simeon Jackson 23 Gillingham England
F Stephen Ademolu 27 FK Ekranas Lithuania

Average age 25.69

Some points of interest:
  • Country/league of origin for Argentina match: MLS (5), Germany (4), England (2), Scotland (2), France, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Lithuania (1)
  • Country/league of origin for Venezuela match: Germany (6), England (3), Scotland (2), France, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Lithuania (1)
  • The Argentina roster is older and more experienced, but the average is so heavily skewed by Pat Onstad's 42 years (the line that he is old enough to be Adam Straith's dad is sure to be thrown about by lazy sportswriters) that a different measure of central tendency is probably appropriate.
  • Both games are on TV. I caution all viewers not to expect much from the Germany Reserve League/English Lower Division All-Stars that will take on Venezuela in the second friendly.
  • Who the hell is Pedro Pacheco? The Maple Leaf Forever has got you covered.
  • 5 players could potentially earn their first senior cap: Pacheco, Gavin McCallum, Haidar al-Shaibaini, Terry Dunfield, and Gianluca Zavarise.
Other analysis has already appeared on the other blogs I pay attention to. I'll try to watch the matches, but I'm likely to be camping on the 29th.

Predictions? Gambling lines? Post them in the comments.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Voyageurs Cup matchday 3: Just the numbers

Toronto FC won on Wednesday. It's hard now to imagine any other outcome than TFC winning the whole thing. Montreal needed to win to have any chance, and Vancouver surely would have been hoping for Toronto to drop points.

With that said, it's been a busy week and a busier weekend looms, so we'll serve up the numbers only this time around.

Canadian content

Matchday 3
Nevio Pizzolitto 90
Rocco Placentino 70
Simon Gatti 21
Total Mins 181

Nana Attakora 90
Adrian Cann 90
Julian de Guzman 90
Gabe Gala 90
Dwayne De Rosario 79
Total Mins 439

Montreal's Canadian content in the tournament, and the season overall, has been the lowest of any team in the last two years.

Several people nailed the 1-0 scoreline. But only CanadianKid can claim the distinction of having nailed each of the first three matches. The table is beginning to shake itself out.

Difference Entries
0 CanadianKid
1 Crofty, jloome
2 Simon B, icecoldbeer, Chris, dsylexic nam
3 Duane Rollins, J, Pompey Canuck, Tuscan, M@, zooko26000, Headhunting Canuck, Lank, masster, Trevor Brooks, capsfan79, Scott P
4 bbb, Filipe, soka, Spungi,
5 Heavy Red Flow, pejnam, Keato, John, Sagacious Chew, rmac, Jeremy
6 Lord Bob, Elvis, adriano, Daniel, Sigma, Sam
7 Lennie, morbital
8 Casual Soccer Fan, ATN_LR

Bold prediction: the winner will come from someone currently in the 0-3 positions.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Voyageurs Cup Matchday 2 Report

Just the facts:

Scoring Summary:
31' - MON - Peter Byers (Tony Donatelli)
81' - VAN - Marcus Haber (PK)

21' - MON - Adam Braz
52' - MON - Hicham Aaboubou
75' - VAN - Luca Bellisomo
80' - MON - Adam Braz

80' - MON - Adam Braz
90' - MON - Reda Agourram

Montreal Impact
1.Matt Jordan; 23.Stephen deRoux, 2.Hicham Aaboubou, 5.Nevio Pizzolitto, 3.Adam Braz; 18.Leonardo Di Lorenzo 7.David Testo, 14.Tony Donatelli, 9.Rocco Placentino (19.Reda Agourram 69'); 8.Filipe Soares (21.Philippe Billy 78'), 28.Peter Byers (15.Patrick Leduc 85')

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

1.Jay Nolly; 77.Zurab Tsiskaridze, 2.Nelson Akwari, 14.Greg Janicki, 4.Chris Williams; 16.Ansu Toure (17.Randy Edwini-Bonsu 70'), 3.Luca Bellisomo, 7.Martin Nash, 8.Wes Knight (19.Justin Moose 75'); 12.Jonny Steele (9.Marlon James 45'), 24.Marcus Haber
Stupid headline? Un jaune de trop (Radio-Canada)
Actually, not a stupid headline at all. It tells the story of the match in a succinct way, which is kind of what headlines are supposed to do. Congrats to headline writers in both of our official languages for resisting any cheap 'impact' puns on any other forms of linguistic tomfoolery, as I couldn't find any cheesy headlines.

The story in picture(s)

Marcus Haber scored a penalty. The Impact wore gross pink jerseys. What else is there to say?

One paragraph analysis
I have to come clean: I saw only the first half of this match. My current occupation demands an early bed time, and I paid even today for the extra half hour I stayed up to see out the half. But what I did saw was somewhat surprising: a half in which Montreal carried the play, had the bulk of the chances, and looked overall the more well polished machine. In particular, the combination play of Filipe Pastel, Rocco Placentino and Peter Byers deserves mention. The Whitecaps, on the other hand, looked a step slow and didn't provide much for entertainment value in the half. The Impact goal was well set up and clinically finished. Ultimately, though, Montreal needed 3 points from this match and they will be disappointed with how the match ended.

One sentence thoughts
  • The attendance for the match was reported as 4,325 which, depending how you look at it, is either a good or bad show of support by Vancouver fans.
  • Is anyone else surprised that Marcus Haber was the one to take the penalty instead Martin Nash, who is often relied upon for set pieces and spot kicks?
  • Last week I ragged on the "two Phils" (Pastel Soares and Billy) for their abject performance against TFC, but Pastel was one of Montreal's best players yesterday, and on the weekend against Puerto Rico. Can't say the same for Philippe "Belly" Billy.
  • More discipline problems for the Impact, with two Canadian players (Adam Braz and Reda Agourram) to be suspended for the next match.
  • This year's Nutrilite schedule is truly bizarre, with each team playing consecutive road matches. Montreal is done theirs, Toronto has two roadies next, and Vancouver finishes with two away.

Canadian content report

Vancouver fielded the more Canadian lineup of the two squads, and Montreal will have a hard time improving on this mark in the next match, with Braz and Agourram both out suspended.

Matchday 2
Chris Williams 90
Luca Bellisomo 90
Martin Nash 90
Marcus Haber 90
Randy Edwini-Bonsu 20
Total Mins 380

Adam Braz 80
Nevio Pizzolitto 90
Rocco Placentino 69
Reda Agourram 21
Patrick Leduc 5
Total Mins 265

The pool report
Last week 8 entries nailed the correct score. This week there were only 4: Filipe, capsfan79, Simon B, and CanadianKid.

The CanadianKid, in fact, has been perfect two weeks in a row, and now sits alone at the top of the standings.

All of the scores:
Difference Entries
0 CanadianKid
1 Chris, Simon B, jloome, Trevor Brooks, Filipe, Headhunting Canuck, zooko26000, Crofty, dyslexic nam
2 J, Pompey Canuck, Tucan, M@, Lank, bbb, masster, capsfan79, icecoldbeer, Scott P
3 Heavy Red Flow, Spungi, soka, Jeremy, Elvis, Duane Rollins
4 Lord Bob, rmac, Sagacious Chew, Lennie, morbital, Sigma, Sam, Keato, pejnam
5 ATN LR, Daniel
6 Casual Soccer Fan, adriano

Contenders for the front and back of the back are beginning to identify themselves.

Team W D L Pts
Toronto FC 1 0 0 3
Vancouver Whitecaps 0 1 0 1
Montreal Impact 0 1 1 1

Player Team Goals
Dwayne de Rosario Toronto 1
Chad Barrett Toronto 1
Marcus Haber Vancouver 1
Peter Byers Montreal 1

Next match: 12 May 2010: Toronto FC @ Montreal Impact

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I win!

The Eredivisie has wrapped up. FC Twente are champions, Luis Suarez tied the record for most goals by a foreign player with 35, and Feyenoord (rat bastards) leapfrogged AZ for 4th.

And I won some little contest I've been running:

AZ 62 Mounir el Hamdaoui (AZ) 20
Ajax 85 Luis Suarez (Ajax) 35

TOTAL (PTS + GOALS x 2) 257
Pompey Canuck
PSV 78 Luis Suarez (Ajax) 35
Ajax 85 Jon Dahl Tomasson (Feyenoord) 9

TOTAL (PTS + GOALS x 2) 251
Headhunting Canuck
AZ 62 Luis Suarez (Ajax) 35
PSV 78 Balazs Dzsudzsak (PSV) 14

TOTAL (PTS + GOALS x 2) 238
Lord Bob
Ajax 85 Keisuke Honda (VVV) 6
FC Utrecht 53 Mounir el Hamdaoui (AZ) 20

TOTAL (PTS + GOALS x 2) 190

Pompey Canuck led much of the season, but my fortunes turned with AZ's, as the hiring of Dick Advocaat turned around the team's season, and gave a kick in the pants to striker Mounir el Hamdaoui.

If this blog survives the summer, I'll run this thing again in fall, hopefully with a few more entries. Thanks to all who participated.