Oct 03 2015 05:10 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN
MLS wants parity. Well they've certainly got it this season.
Heading in to Saturday's games, two points separate the top four sides in the battle for the 2015 Supporters' Shield. Four points separate the top eight.
In the Western Conference, nine of the ten teams will feel they have a shot at making the playoffs as we enter the final month of the regular season.
It really is quite incredible. And quite the logjam.
Amongst it all, Vancouver Whitecaps have been holding their own. Occupying the top two positions in the West for most of the season, they've led the league on several occasions this year. But they've not been able to grab that lead by the scruff of the neck and give themselves some breathing space.
They've had their chances, but when those around them have faltered, so have the 'Caps. But results have continually, and incredibly, gone their way these past two months. Favours have been done to keep the 'Caps at the top of the table. It's not something that can surely go on for too much longer.
You almost feel it's ordained that this is Vancouver's year for the Shield but that is just foolish talk. Although the frustrating aspect of it all is that if Vancouver had taken even a fraction of the opportunities presented to them to take hold of the top of the table, they'd be walking away with the league at this point.
Pedro Morales feeling good and eager to make a difference for Vancouver Whitecaps down the stretch - "Every one of these four games is like a final"
Oct 03 2015 05:05 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
It's been a decidedly mixed summer for Vancouver Whitecaps captain Pedro Morales.
There's been positives. His contract extension that was announced in August, the 'Caps winning their first ever Canadian Championship, Vancouver maintaining at least a top two placing in the Western Conference, often topping the table along the way, and he's grabbed three goals over the past two months.
That's all been great, but unfortunately for Morales, he's had to watch a lot of it from the sidelines. Sometimes the bench, sometimes from the stands.
The Chilean has been suffering the effects of some nagging injuries for what feels like the whole season. Some of it has been the continuation of his back injury that plagued him during his first season in MLS, but there's also been niggling hamstring injuries that just won't seem to go away.
Morales hasn't started back to back games since the home games against Philadelphia and Seattle on May 9th and 16th. There's been 12 MLS matches since then and he's only been able to start four of them. In small part through rest, but mostly through injury.
It's been frustrating for both the player and Carl Robinson, but with the season now getting into the business end, it's looking like the 'Caps are close to getting their captain back to full fitness when they are likely to need his inspiration the most.
Oct 03 2015 02:00 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
A special podcast. One which we've been wanting to do for a while. It's our podcast within a podcast, as we bring you Episode 129 of "There's Still Time", which is also Episode 1 of "Wavelength".
To us, football and music go hand in hand. Away From The Numbers is named after a 1977 song by The Jam after all. So we're wanting to bring you a series of special podcasts bringing you some of our favourite (sometimes for all the wrong reasons) football related songs.
To kick things off, we bring you ten songs. Ten, well, we can't even say classics, so let's just with tunes. Yup, ten tunes covering Vancouver Whitecaps, East Fife, West Ham United, Cardiff City, Accrington Stanley, Altrincham and Columbus Crew.
Oct 03 2015 01:51 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Get To Know A National Team Player Name: Luca Gasparotto Age: 20 years old Position: Centre back Hometown: Ajax, Ontario Current Club: Greenlock Morton (on loan from Rangers FC) Luca Gasparotto has been part of the Canadian National Program since he w...
Oct 02 2015 06:09 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on the debut edition of 2S Extra,
Duane and Kevin talked to Scott Kessler from Philadelphia about the firing of Nick Sakiewicz, the problems in Union land and the loss of Philly versus Sporting Kansas City.
Also, Duane and Kevin talked to one of their favorite person covering MLS, Kristan Heneage of Yahoo.co.uk and many other places about the overall 2015 MLS Season, his most highly regarded squad in each conference right now and his thoughts on many other subjects and players from across Major League Soccer!
Plus, they talk about the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying game between the USA and Canada that ended in a 3-1 victory for the United States!
Oct 01 2015 05:46 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on Off the Woodworkx Preview Edition,
Kevin talks about the standings and what the game this Saturday versus Orlando actually mean!
Plus, Kevin had the pleasure to appear on Sam Reda's Show "OC Lions Fan TV" yesterday and you can hear the audio of the show on OTW today!
Support and help the Sports Podcasting Network give you more! http://patreon.com/kevinlaramee
Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #108 FC Edmonton with Steven Sandor, Ottawa Fury with Chris Hofley and Canadian Review
Sep 29 2015 06:00 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,
Duane and Kevin talked to Steven Sandor , editor of Plastic Pitch and color commentator on the FC Edmonton TV broadcast on CityTV, about the recent success of the Eddies and their late playoffs...eh I mean post-season of championship!
Also, Duane and Kevin talked to Chris Hofley of the Ottawa Sun about the Fury, their great Fall Season and the possibility of winning the combining season table!
Plus, the Canadian Review!
Sep 29 2015 01:51 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
By Kendra Lee
Get To Know A National Team Player
Name: Luca Gasparotto
Age: 20 years old
Position: Centre back
Hometown: Ajax, Ontario
Current Club: Greenlock Morton (on loan from Rangers FC)
Sep 29 2015 01:22 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Back to back home losses for Vancouver Whitecaps now as the MLS season gets down to the wire.
It was a tale of two penalties at BC Place on Saturday night, both horrible awards, and some woeful finishing from the 'Caps as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat to New York City FC.
We pick over the bones of the defeat with the help of Harjeet Johal.
What was with the officiating? What was with the finishing? What's with the inability to get some breathing space at the top of the table? Did any Whitecaps players stand out or did they all just freeze in front of their big name opponents? We look at these talking points and more.
We also hear from the victorious NYC locker room and get the thoughts of head coach Jason Kreis, goalscorer Frank Lampard and US international Mix Diskerud.
We'll also chat about fawning over the names in town, the decision to keep the capacity at 21,000 and disrespecting the Supporters' Shield.
And there's still time to bring back an old segment to lighten the mood, as we look at some of the more offbeat stories in the world of soccer this past week.
Winning mentality and defensive teamwork turn Vancouver Whitecaps from draw specialists to Supporters' Shield contenders
Sep 26 2015 06:28 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN
What a difference a year makes.
Last season, Vancouver Whitecaps garnered a tag that they found impossible to shake - draw specialists.
2015 has been a completely different story. The draws have diminished and that is certainly one of the key factors in the Whitecaps chasing Supporters' Shield honours.
Sep 26 2015 07:27 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Bonjour, bonsoir et bienvenue à Sur La Transversale!
Aujourd’hui, Kevin passe en revue la saison inaugurale du FC Montréal en USL. Il nous parle des hauts, des bas, des échecs, des victoires, mais surtout de caractère et de dévelopement.
Aussi, le début d’une tradition! Trois joueurs ont su ce démarqués à un point tel, qu’il fallait le soulignés! Ces trois trophées ce verront accordés à la fin de chaque saison du FC Montréal par l’équipe de Sur La Transversale :
-Découverte de la saison
-Pillier de la saison
-Joueur de la saison
Plus, le bilan de saison de l’entraineur en chef du FC Montréal, Philippe Eullaffroy, rencontré plus tôt cette semaine par Tristan D’Amours, collaborateur et écrivain pour USL Radio.
Sep 25 2015 06:15 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on this special edition of the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,
Duane and Kevin talked about Sepp Blatter being investigated and the name of Michel Platini that is starting to surface in some testimonies.
Also, they talked about the Canada u23 roster that will participate in the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament and Duane rants about Vancouver, again!
Plus, a mid-week edition of the Canadian Review!
Sep 25 2015 04:56 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute
Toronto FC host the Chicago Fire in the second match other their five game home stand Saturday afternoon. A mostly nerves settling win against Colorado already arrested Toronto’s three game losing streak and another win could combine with results elsewhere to see the Reds on the cusp of their first ever playoff qualification. More important than finishing sixth, however, is the opportunity to keep the hope of a fourth place finish alive.
Sep 25 2015 06:21 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
It's all over for Vancouver Whitecaps 2's inaugural season.
Michael and Steve are joined by Curva Collective's Zachary Meisenheimer and AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk to look at WFC2's first season in USL.
Can it be deemed a success?
We hear the thoughts on the season from the two main coaches involved, WFC2's Alan Koch and the 'Caps MLS head coach Carl Robinson.
Well the club finished second bottom in the table but got some vital development minutes not just for their talent coming through, but the fringe guys from the MLS team. What were the highs? The lows? Who made the grade and could move on up and who disappointed? And what about the venue itself up at UBC and the crowds they attracted?
We look at all this and more.
Sep 24 2015 06:04 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on the Post-Game edition of Off the Woodworkx,
Kevin gave his thoughts on the 2-1 victory of the Montreal Impact over the Chicago Fire, his thoughts on the recent success of the club and the reasons behind it and he also gives his thoughts on the Laurent Ciman situation.
Plus, post-game comments from Head Coach Mauro Biello, talking about the performance of the captain, Kyle Bekker and the situation with Piatti and the health of his father,
Didier Drogba talking about his battle with Jeff Larentowicz and the potential of this squad, Evan Bush talking about the in extremis save to keep his team in front in the dying minutes of the match,
Nigel Reo-Coker talking about what it is like to play for this club right now, talking about Patrice Bernier and how he always inspired him and finally Kyle Bekker talking about the joy of playing again, his recent FC Montreal stint and about being back in Canada to play soccer!
Sep 23 2015 07:44 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
The day has finally arrived!!
It's FIFA Day!!
Kevin reviewed the latest installment of the FIFA Franchise, FIFA 16 with Christine Sinclair on the COVER!! (ok Leo Messi as well...)
Kevin talked about the new features, game innovations, new career features and innovations, the FIFA Interactive World Cup and the Women's International Cup!
Plus, Kevin talked about the great soundtrack EA Sports did put together once again!
Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #106 MLS on TV, Rights and Coverage with Jonathan Tannenwald and the Canadian Review
Sep 22 2015 06:02 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,
Duane and Kevin talked to Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com and guest host of Soccer Morning on SiriusXM FC next week about MLS on tv in the USA and in Canada, the rights situation and the future of MLS Live both in the US and in Canada.
Duane and Kevin also gave their thoughts on the MLS Live situation next year and the MLS Canadian rights that are due next year, where will MLS be broadcasted? What will happen of MLS Live, etc...
Plus, the famous Canadian Review!
Sep 18 2015 05:11 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute
Toronto FC’s long awaited five game home stand has arrived. All season long this stretch was the backstop to complaints that the Reds were underachieving: the seven game road trip that started their season had to be balanced at some point, and a fair evaluation of the club couldn’t be completed until it was. The Colorado Rapids’ visit on Saturday afternoon is the first chance to test that theory.
Helpfully, the Rapids are not a very good team. That said, being “not a very good team” in the Western Conference is far different from the East. Colorado may be in last place in the West, but they are a mere three points behind TFC in the league’s overall standings. And that has been achieved without multiple games against Philadelphia and Orlando. It is not unreasonable to believe that were the Rapids an Eastern Conference club they would be very similar to Toronto: mucking around in midtable.
Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #105 Interview with John Pugh, President of the Ottawa Fury and the Canadian Review
Sep 17 2015 05:45 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on this special edition of the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,
Duane and Kevin had the pleasure to interview John Pugh, President of the Ottawa Fury, about their 2015 season, about the departure of Marc Dos Santos, about the Fury in the community and the possibility of a Canadian League.
Sep 16 2015 05:27 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute
By now the story of Toronto FC fans being forced to remove their “Refugees Welcome” banner last Saturday is well known. However, for those that are unaware the story, as first reported by the National Post, it is this:
At half-time of the TFC v New England Revolution game a group of fans, including Ciarán Breen, held up the banner. Having been in the stadium at the time myself, I noted that it was on display to the people around me and then continued on my way to buy popcorn at half-time. I suspect most fans did the same, if they noticed it at all.
Sep 15 2015 06:09 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
We were going to call this episode "Wind Assisted". Recording in a field in Cloverdale at a Residency match on a windy morning is never the best idea. As you'll hear here! So apologies in advance for the crappy sound quality at times in this one.
It was an other bye weekend for the Whitecaps. The second straight in MLS. What a weird schedule.
Still lots to talk about as we look back at Vancouver Whitecaps win over Colorado Rapids and ahead to the two big games coming up this week - Wednesday's Champions League clash with CD Olimpia and Saturday's game with so much on the line against Seattle.
How will Robbo manage this balancing act? Will the previously suspended Waston and Laba see some game time in the CCL? Can the 'Caps take control in both league and cup play?
We also look at the weekend's action in MLS. A great weekend for the 'Caps that saw them stay top of the Supporters' Shield standings without even playing. Can they keep it up?
And there's still time to muse over the future of 'Caps coach Carl Robinson.
Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #104 TFC Talk with Rudi Schuller and 30th Anniversary of the ONLY World Cup Qualification for Canada
Sep 14 2015 07:20 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,
Duane and Kevin talked to Rudi Schuller about TFC's recent struggles, about Altidore and about the Canadian National Team heading into the semi-final round of World Cup Qualifiers for Russia 2018.
September 14th 1985, Canada qualifies for Mexico 1986 by beating Honduras 2-1 in St-John's, Newfoundland. Duane and Kevin talked about the 30th anniversary and the possibility of seeing Canada in the World Cup again, some day!
Plus, a very controversial conversation in the Canadian Review!
Sep 13 2015 01:52 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute
Back on June 6th Toronto FC defeated D.C. United at RFK Stadium. That was the last time they beat a team currently ahead of them in the standings: Eastern Conference or Supporter’s Shield. In fact, it was the last time they beat a team not called Orlando, Philadelphia, or Montreal.
Now, beating the East’s weak teams has been what Toronto FC has needed to do. It will be enough to get them into the playoffs for the first time ever. If TFC wants to take the next step, however, it will likely require something more. If the Reds want to do more than just make the playoffs, if they actually want to compete, it means they’ll have to be able to beat the league’s better teams.