• 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.
    • Hirschfeld on Strike?

      The Norwegian first division is being rocked by a player strike affecting around 100 players from 9 clubs – including Valerenga, backstopped by Canadian maybe-starter Lars Hirschfeld.

      The issue at hand? Well, the players don't like their boots.

      Tippelegaen clubs mandate that all boots and keeper's gloves used by players be made by the clubs official kit sponsor – Kappa, in Valerenga's case. Doesn't seem too harsh on the surface – and it's not likely to garner too much sympathy from Joe Lunchbox – but in the world of professional sports the difference between "my favourite boots" and "the boots I'm made to wear" might just be something.

      It's unclear at this time in Hirschfeld himself has opted to strike with his colleagues and teammates, but the question might soon be moot as the league has to decide if the weekend's matches are to be, uhh, "given the boot" pending a resolution.

      To be fair, the players have also taken issue with clubs' ability to terminate player contracts, which is more standard labour-issue fare. As for the boots, the clubs appear unwilling to budge, arguing that financial ruin would come from upsetting the kit sponsors. The players, oddly, have argued health and safety concerns, the idea being, I suppose, that it's dangerous to cram Adidas feet into Umbro boots. Maybe it's just me, but a more reasonable and forthright argument would be "how well the club does and how much money it makes is directly related to how well I kick a ball, so let me wear the shoes I want so I can do that as well as possible."

      But, then, I'm no labour arbitrator.

      It's not a great time, really, for Canada's likely No. 1 to be missing playing time – Lars is slated to join for Les Rouges in the upcoming Gold Cup. Here's hoping the disruptions in the season don't effect Lars' form coming into the tournament.

      The better news, though, is that the player's union has expressly said that the strike does not effect international play, so Lars' freedom to play for Canada is not at risk. And, presumably, Stephen Hart will let Lars wear whatever shoes he wants.
      Comments 6 Comments
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        While I do understand what you're conveying, selecting the proper boot-wear is extremely important in this game.

        Every supplier uses slightly differing "cuts" to their respective shapes. If the player does not feel comfortable in the overall feel nor safety (see Wayne Rooney's boot/ankle problems), it will can directly lead to injury resulted to prolonged improper footwear.

        So while this issue may seem silly...it is in fact important...to the point where clubs have re-evaluated boot sponsors and left it up to the individual instead.

        Hope this helps a wee bit.
      1. Benjamin Massey's Avatar
        Benjamin Massey -
        If Lars gets a blank sheet against the Americans, he should take off his boots and wave them at the camera.
      1. Benjamin Massey's Avatar
        Benjamin Massey -
        Also, why does VIF's logo have my locker combination on it?
      1. loyola99's Avatar
        loyola99 -
        It's and end of the world date for some Oslo sect!
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by loyola99 View Post
        It's and end of the world date for some Oslo sect!
        its the date of the clubs origin, the world didnt end here either (I live across from Ullevål Stadion where VIF plays) while i study over here.

        The shoe issue is getting so much media because of the health and safety laws in Norway and the players (or union??) have found a clause in norwegian law that goes against the terms of the sponsorship agreement. My guess would be this is more of an issue about "but the law says..............." which is a favorite norwegian phrase. If polled i guess about 99% would say yes, they want to choose their own shoes, if forced to choose between playing or not, i guess a large majority would say its not vital. However the shoe issue is bundled into a number of other issues. Its just the point making the most headlines.
      1. Drew Shaw's Avatar
        Drew Shaw -
        Quote Originally Posted by loyola99 View Post
        It's and end of the world date for some Oslo sect!
        Oslo sect? The only religious people left in Norway are recent Muslim immigrants.
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