Monday, February 20, 2012

Know your enemy: Armenia


ARMENIA
Pop: 2,970,495
World Rank: 138th

FIFA rank: 41st
ELO rank: 82nd

National team coach: Vardan Minasyan
National team nickname: The Highlanders (badass, right?)

RECENT PERFORMANCES:
Armenia failed to qualfiy for Euro 2012, but did not do themselves any discredit in the process, coming third in a tough group behind Russia and Ireland, and ahead of South Africa 2010 qualifiers Slovakia.

Colours:




PLAYERS
Here's the lineup from Armenia's most recent match, a Euro 2012 qualifying loss to Ireland:

26'

43' 64'
84'

62'





The only of those players I've heard of is Yura Movsisyan, who spent time in MLS with Kansas City and Salt Lake. The majority of the team's player pool play domestically (well, maybe not -- see below), with the remainder scattered across Eastern Europe and Russia.

I should mention that for the Ireland match Armenia had both an Artur and an Artak Yedigaryan warming the bench.

Canada's history against Armenia: Canada has never played against Armenia.

PREDICTION: Armenia were the highest scoring team in their Euro qualifying pool, but largely on the strength of home blowouts against Andorra and Macedonia. Canada, however, will be fielding a weakened squad missing most if not all of the North American-based players. I expect a 2-1 win for the Armenians.

DATE OF FRIENDLY
29 February 2012: noon et / 11 am ct / 9 am pt (Sportsnet One)

UPDATES:
So not many Canadian readers have found their way to this post yet, but it has been linked on an English-language Armenian forum. They've already offered some helpful correction:
"The majority of the team's player pool play domestically.."

Uhh... NO. Only our youngsters and our guardian, Hovsepian, play domestically.
Kevin, in the comments, provides more detail:
Armenian here, just wanted to correct you on a little tidbit. Most of our squad does not play domestically.

Here is our current proposed squad.
Berezovski-GK-Dinamo Moscow
Hayrapetyan-Lechia Gdansk (PL)
Arzumanyan- Jagellonia Bialystok (PL)
Hovsepian - Pyunik (Armenia)
Mkrtchyan - Mettalurg (Ukraine)
Badoyan - Bate Borisov (Belarus)
Yedigaryan - Pyunik (Armenia)
Pizzelli- Kuban krasnodar (Russia)
Mkhitaryan - Shakhtar (Ukraine)
Ghazaryan -Mettalurg (Ukraine)
Movsisyan - Krasnodar (Russia)
I originally thought 'guardian' referred to 'keeper, but given the information provided by the commenter, I'll assume it means captain.

To any Armenian readers, welcome. I'm interested in any impressions you have of the Canadian team, or expectations in your country ahead of the match. Heck, you'll probably have the Canadian roster announced in your media before ours, so let me know when you get it. The comments are open!

Let me correct you on one thing, though, from the forum linked above:
Canadian blogger doing a little research on us before the game. As much as some of us feel we need better opposition than Canada, this game will do us huge when it comes to exposure in North America.
I'm not sure what your translation is for the word 'huge', but I don't think 50 000 Canadian soccer fans counts as massive North American exposure.

Looking forward to the match!

6 comments:

Kevin said...

Hi there,

Armenian here, just wanted to correct you on a little tidbit. Most of our squad does not play domestically.

Here is our current proposed squad.
Berezovski-GK-Dinamo Moscow
Hayrapetyan-Lechia Gdansk (PL)
Arzumanyan- Jagellonia Bialystok (PL)
Hovsepian - Pyunik (Armenia)
Mkrtchyan - Mettalurg (Ukraine)
Badoyan - Bate Borisov (Belarus)
Yedigaryan - Pyunik (Armenia)
Pizzelli- Kuban krasnodar (Russia)
Mkhitaryan - Shakhtar (Ukraine)
Ghazaryan -Mettalurg (Ukraine)
Movsisyan - Krasnodar (Russia)

J said...

Thanks for the comment, Kevin. I've included the info on the main post.

Do you have a prediction for the match?

Markiko said...

Hey J,

I'm the one who posted the original comment about the exposure. I'm an Armenian-Canadian myself, and as much as there seems to be only "50,000" or so Canadian fans as you say, the fact of the matter is the number goes far beyond that. However, just like Armenian fans (Before we started having successful results) there are many fans still in hiding waiting for the results to come. I know many people who follow the Canadian national team who still haven't even attended a single game yet.

Also, exposure would be big in North America for us because don't forget such leagues as the MLS follow the Canadian National Team results also. There are still many people out there who don't even know this tiny country of ours exists.

Kevin said...

Hi J,

Kevin here again. We use the word guardian as a sarcastic term for Hovsepian, because he has been with the squad since the early 1990s and he is way past his prime; he is also the captain.

Thanks for your updates!

Anonymous said...

Fun fact: Armenia is one of only 6 nations with the Danish brand Hummel as their national jersey sponsor.

Personally I've always had a liking for Hummel. They're an underdog in the jersey game and they also gave my Div7 team in Sweden a great package deal on a pretty decent looking kit.

Other countries with Hummel: Sierra Leone, Lithuania, Martinique*, Afghanistan, Gibraltar*~.

*Not members of FIFA
~member of FIFI

Kevin said...

Armenia will be sponsored by Adidas beginning May 20, Adidas is currently designing their national team jerseys.