• Daniel Squizzato

      As a kid, Squizz spent a lot of time playing soccer, writing and getting overly excited about frivolous things. Not much has changed: he still plays (badly), he still writes (having been published in outlets such as Maclean's and The Globe & Mail) and still has plenty of irrational passion (just wait until the next time the men's national team plays against Honduras).

    • Grant Surridge

      Grant has no soccer playing career to speak of, and probably hasn't been following Canadian soccer as long as you have, but he does spend vast amounts of time reading about soccer online. A proud, self-loathing ex-Winnipeger, Grant also supports Chelsea FC. He writes about the Canadian mens' national team, as well as Canada's rivals in Central America and the Caribbean.
    • Some Canadian Guys RSS Feed

      by Published on 04-23-2014 01:12 PM
      1. Categories:
      2. Canada

      What are you doing tonight?

      Say, about 7:30 if you're in Ontario. 4:30 if you're in B.C. Or whichever time zone applies to you (you're a smart Canadian, you know how this game works).

      Watching sports, probably? Maybe? Well, don't bother turning on the NHL playoffs -- no Canadian teams tonight. The NBA playoffs? Nope, no Canadian teams tonight. Baseball? Perhaps, but how important is an April game in a 162-game season? (Hint: Not very.)

      No no, what you want to be doing, no matter where you are, is heading over to the CSA's website -- canadasoccer.com -- to catch a live stream of the first game of the 2014 Voyageurs Cup, the first leg of the play-in between FC Edmonton and the expansion Ottawa Fury.

      Why do you want to do this? Well, here's a little idea.
      ...
      by Published on 04-16-2014 04:35 PM
      1. Categories:
      2. Canada

      Last week, beIN Sportsí Phil Schoen reported that the long-rumoured 100th anniversary Copa America to be held in the U.S. in 2016 is, well, no longer a rumour. However, the interesting news from a Canadian perspective centres around what Honduran Football Federation president Rafael Leonardo Callejas told local media (Spanish link) about the qualification process.
      ...
      by Published on 03-12-2014 11:53 AM
      1. Categories:
      2. Canada

      Well, it's not quite the top-two finish Canada is accustomed to at the Cyprus Cup, but fifth place is ... well, better than nothing! So, huzzah for something! (If you need some sort of consolation, consider that the Americans had to settle for seventh (!) at the Algarve Cup, and fifth is better than seventh!)

      It was (apparently) a dramatic, last-minute 2-1 victory over Ireland that sealed the result. I say "apparently" because, as is customary, it was impossible to watch the game short of actually being in Cyprus. Given that there is zero visibility out the window as I type this, due to the seventh consecutive hour of blustering snow, I can assure you I am not in Cyprus.

      So, here's a half-hearted synopsis, cobbled together from the live tweets provided by the Canadian Soccer Association. No fanciful stories about dragons or talking cheese sandwiches today, unfortunately; I somehow find myself unable to muster the mental energy to put together a fabricated synopsis, and I'm not sure why oh for the love of, it's snowing UPWARDS now! It's March 12, for crap's sake! Come on!
      ...
      by Published on 03-10-2014 10:18 PM

      For the first time in the long and illustrious history of the Cyprus Cup (established 2008), Canada will not be contesting the final.

      A 2-0 loss to England in their final group-stage game on Monday consigned Big Red to the horrendous indignity of competing in the third-place game rather than rightfully ascending to the championship showdown, as is their birthright.

      Surely, all sorts of sweeping conclusions can be drawn from this game that nobody saw: Fire Herdman, retire Sinclair, blow the whole program up, sack the CSA, etc. etc.
      ...
      by Published on 03-07-2014 12:30 PM
      1. Categories:
      2. Canada

      Having spent far more of my day than I'd have cared to embroiled in a rather inconvenient situation beyond my control, I find myself woefully lacking in the time necessary to craft the sort of fanciful nonsense that usually comprises these "mostly fabricated synopses".

      These, of course, are the posts I inexplicably churn out after one of our national teams plays an entirely untelevised game, ostensibly to provide some manner of coverage but realistically to provide me a chance to incorporate stupid pop culture references and bizarre fictional narratives into the stuff I write here.

      Anyway, Canada really did play its second group-stage game of the Cyprus Cup on Friday morning, and really did win 3-1 over Italy, following a 3-0 victory in their tournament opener against Finland. A result against England on Monday is what stands between them and a return to the championship final, which Canada has contested every year since this competition started in 2008.

      All of that is true; believe the following at your own peril.
      ...
      by Published on 03-05-2014 12:18 PM
      1. Categories:
      2. Canada

      In an ideal world, every game played by our national teams would be televised live, in glorious high-definition, and every member of the viewing public would get an ice cream sundae (and get to choose the flavour).

      Plus, of course, it'd be free, since most people -- for some odd reason -- think there are no costs associated with producing a live broadcast, and any attempt by a broadcaster to attempt to recoup those costs is utterly evil and exploitative. [/soapbox]

      Living in the world in which we do, however, Canadian national team games are quite frequently not televised. So, we get a few live tweets and are left to fill in the blanks with our imagination. I take it a step further and fill in the blanks with nonsense, which has resulted in a nice little series of mostly fabricated synopses (here, here, here and here are some past examples).

      Anyway, Canada played Finland in their Cyprus Cup opener on Wednesday morning. We won 3-0. Huzzah! Here's what happened (kind of):
      ...
      by Published on 03-04-2014 12:09 PM
      1. Categories:
      2. Canada

      With all eyes trained on the U20 and senior Women's World Cups being hosted in Canada over the next 16 months, one could be forgiven for forgetting that Canada will also be contesting the U17 Women's World Cup later this month.

      The fourth edition of the competition runs from March 15 to April 4 in Costa Rica, with Canada competing in a difficult group alongside Germany, North Korea and Ghana. North Korea knocked Canada out of the 2012 tournament in the quarter-finals, a competition in which the Canadians had excruciating difficulty finding the back of the net (they, incomprehensibly, managed to put just one past lowly Azerbaijan).

      But past results mean little in the youth ranks, where turnover is constant. There are no returning players from the 2012 squad, though two names on this year's roster -- released by head coach Bev Priestman on Tuesday, full roster below -- will likely already ring some bells for followers of the senior national team.

      Midfielder Jessie Fleming -- who, at 15 years old, earned her first senior national-team cap at a tournament in Brazil in December -- will captain the U-17 side, while fullback Sura Yekka, who has already earned seven senior caps, will join the U17 side after missing the qualifying tournament last October/November.
      ...
      by Published on 03-03-2014 02:30 PM
      Article Preview


      Emotionally invested supporters of Canadian soccer have accepted certain truths, foremost being that the wins wonít come often. Weíve recently slumped to an even lower spot, in accepting that the goals wonít come often either. Thatís right. The single most joyous aspect of the sport, something you celebrate in the moment regardless of whether you have more than the other team at the end of the game, the reason most people watch Ė even those have turned a rare occurrence for those signed up to support Canada. Not much fun, you might say. But that's the thing, it actually often is fun. It's the camaraderie that comes with sharing a passion between a small group across a vast and varied landscape. Perhaps like the followers of a cult band, but ones who hope their guys will someday make it big.

      Thatís why another accepted truth hurts so much. The one that says every time a bright prospect rolls out of the pipe into the groupís common knowledge there is a danger he or she will spurn the Canada shirt for the one of another, usually better, country. Itís just the way things work. Thereís the initial fear, a period of uncertainty, and then either relief when they do pick Canada or a sickening sense of fate when they don't.

      Counting myself among those aforementioned Canadian supporters as I do is why Iíve been following along with the saga of Mexican forward Carlos Vela with a mixture of bewilderment and fascination.
      ...
      by Published on 03-01-2014 03:53 PM

      The draw for this summer's U20 Women's World Cup took place Saturday afternoon, with Canada learning its path to the knockout round.

      Canada will open the tournament against Ghana at Toronto's BMO Field on Aug. 5, then meet Finland at BMO Field on Aug. 8 before traveling to Montreal to meet North Korea at Olympic Stadium on Aug. 12.

      Canada also played North Korea in its final group-stage match of the 2012 tournament, a 2-1 loss that knocked Canada out of the tournament. This time out, both teams will likely make the knockout stage, with that final game determining who finishes first and second... although the youth ranks are always highly unpredictable.
      ...
      by Published on 02-26-2014 12:48 PM
      1. Categories:
      2. Canada

      It's not us, it's them.

      After years of wondering why Canada contented itself playing in the second-tier Cyprus Cup while the marquee-team-laden Algarve Cup ran concurrently -- and wondering whether CSA complacency had something to do with it -- I've finally gotten an answer: We want in... Canada wants in to the Algarve Cup, but the feeling isn't mutual.

      "We proactively went after a spot in (this year's) Algarve Cup," women's national team head coach John Herdman said Wednesday. "We made waves to see if we could get into that tournament. But we were relying on somebody dropping out."

      Herdman said CSA president Victor Montagliani and general secretary Peter Montopoli "made all the connections with the right people and discussed the potential" -- but ultimately, it came down to a matter of no team wanting to cede their spot (which, by extension, means tournament organizers were unwilling to rescind their invitation to another country for the sake of Canada).
      ...

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