Nov 25 2015 05:04 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute
After nine seasons it’s hard to be rational. Jokes about Mista and, well, Mista mostly come easier than the stark reality of TFC losing by a combined 8-0 in its two biggest games of its history.
The Toronto Football Club has not been a model franchise in Major League Soccer. Well, on the pitch anyway. The boys in New York are happy with the loonies the club keeps shipping down to them, even if they are 30 per cent smaller than they were a few years ago.
The thing is, as Daniel Squizzato pointed out a few weeks ago, if we’re still here after all that has passed then we’re always going to be here. And, that requires us to be rational. Or insane. Either or.
So, where do we go from here? What is the next move of TFC? How will this year be the year that they finally get it all right?
Can Toronto finally end the jokes and stop the madness that has defined the Bloody Bad Decade?
History isn’t on their side.
Yet, it isn’t the place of this space to be entirely negative. You simply don’t write and talk about this team for nearly a decade without some level of irrational hope – without some deep rooted belief that it can be fixed and that the fix will happen soon.
What’s the fix look like?
Nov 24 2015 07:29 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,
Duane and Kevin talked to Jon Eden for the monthly Canucks Abroad segment, looking at Canadian players having an impact with their clubs abroad.
Plus the 2015 Two Solitudes Canadian Soccer Awards!
Nov 20 2015 06:18 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on 2S Extra,
Duane and Kevin talked to Richard Peddie, Former President and CEO of MLSE about his new book, 21 Leadership Lessons: Successes, Failures, and Discoveries from a Life in Business and Sports available in all book stores and E-book stores, about the beginnings of TFC, the successes, the failures and everything in-between .
Plus, Duane and Kevin talked about Marc Dos Santos being named the first head coach of the Swope Park Rangers, SKC's USL team and about a news concerning the USL PDL team in Ontario that Duane broke last night!
Keep, Trade or Release 2015: A Vancouver Whitecaps player analysis (Part Two - Midfielders and Forwards)
Nov 19 2015 10:38 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2015 season is over and with it, the hard work for next year begins in earnest.
The Whitecaps will retain their solid core, but new additions are necessary to make the squad stronger and more productive in front of goal. You can make additions without subtracting in MLS, so with all that in mind, it’s time for AFTN’s annual "Keep, Trade or Release" feature.
We kicked off Part One with a look at this year's goalkeepers and defenders. Today, we analyse the midfielders and forwards.
Who should be kept around for next season? Who should be traded or sold to free up space for more valuable assets or to fill positions of need? And who should just be released into the wild altogether? And remember, when we talk about trades, it's not necessarily for a player coming back, but could be for allocation money or a draft pick.
Keep, Trade or Release 2015: A Vancouver Whitecaps player analysis (Part One - Goalkeepers and Defenders)
Nov 17 2015 06:04 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2015 season is over and with it, the hard work for next year begins in earnest.
It was a great year in so many ways. The club’s highest ever finish and points total in the MLS era, most wins, most away wins, and, of course, that first Canadian Championship, at long last.
But with that success comes the desire, need, expectation and pressure to do even better in 2016. A fact very much not lost on Carl Robinson.
The Whitecaps held their player exit interviews last Thursday. They'll now all now whether Robbo sees them in his plans for next season.
What we can expect next is the official announcements around the release of certain players, the re-signing of others, and the trade speculation will be in full force.
UBC claim record-breaking 6th CIS Women's Championship - "We were here to win the big one, and we won the big one"
Nov 17 2015 06:00 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Does it get any better than winning a national title in your home stadium? If you ask anyone connected with the UBC Thunderbirds women's soccer team tonight, they'll tell you, no it doesn't.
UBC clinched a record breaking 6th CIS Championship at a bitterly cold Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with a comfortable and dominant 3-0 win over Trinity Western Spartans in front of 1,153 fans.
Episode 134 - The AFTN Podcast - "There's Still Time" (The Future Is Bright with guests Mauro Rosales, Christian Dean and Fraser Aird)
Nov 15 2015 07:13 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
The future is looking very bright if you're a fan of Vancouver Whitecaps or the Canadian national team. If you're a fan of both, well then, you're being spoiled right now aren't you?!
Canada's current crop of talent got the latest round of their World Cup qualification quest off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win over Honduras in Vancouver on Friday night.
We look back at the highs and the lows from the victory and ponder what may lie ahead in the group and in terms of where the next home games will be played.
It's exciting times for both Voyageurs and players alike and we catch up with one of the latest to commit to Canada, Glasgow Rangers right winger/right back Fraser Aird. We chat about his tough decision on his international future and about life at one of the Old Firm giants.
Turning our attention from country to club, we look at the offseason plans and moves for the Whitecaps? Can they keep their top talent like goalkeeper David Ousted? Will some veterans move on? How can the new pieces fit in to the current make up of the team?
We chat with veteran midfielder Mauro Rosales and second year centre back Christian Dean about the season just past and what may lie in the future for both of them.
Nov 15 2015 12:09 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
The boys were back in town and after coming away with a 1-0 win and attracting an impressive crowd, it won't be long before they're back again.
Canada's men's national team came to Vancouver for a World Cup qualifier for the first time since October 2004. A Cyle Larin goal, bundled in seven minutes before half time, was the difference in a hard fought victory over Honduras in front of 20,108 fans at BC Place.
The win got Canada's quest for the Hex off to a perfect start. There's still a lot of work to actually get there, but the signs look a lot more promising than previous campaigns. Maximum points from their home games is the key to success and they've kicked things off with three out of three.
Bring on Mexico to Vancouver in March, and don't forget to leave the roof open.
Canada's dreams of getting back to the Hex get off to the perfect start against Honduras in World Cup qualifying
Nov 14 2015 10:24 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Eleven years after losing 3-1 to Costa Rica at Swangard Stadium, the Canadian National Team returned to Vancouver in front of 20,000 plus fans and defeated Honduras 1-0.
The difference in the match was a first half goal initially given to Will Johnson and then awarded to Cyle Larin after the match while Milan Borjan collected the clean sheet. All hail Cyle Larin's ass!
Nov 14 2015 08:10 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Two quarter-finals on two different sides of the country. Two victories and two clean sheets. That was the UBC Thunderbirds Thursday.
UBC's Men's soccer team kicked off their quest for a record 14th CIS title with comfortable 3-0 win over Toronto Varsity Blues.
Former Whitecaps PDL player Harry Lakhan gave the Tbirds a half time lead with a 20th minute penalty. Justin Wallace doubled UBC's lead in the 63rd minute, firing home through a crowded box, and another former Whitecap, Gagan Dosanjh, completed the scoring six minutes later after running on to a through ball.
Chad Bush celebrated being named CIS Goalkeeper of the Year with his 11th clean sheet of the season for the 4th seeded Thunderbirds.
Fraser Aird committed to Canada and hoping for "big things" in World Cup qualification campaign - "I was born in Canada, so I think I should play for Canada"
Nov 13 2015 06:20 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN
No matter how many times it happens, it never gets any less galling.
For years now, Canada have lost out on several potential international players who have committed to other, more successful, countries through their own or parental birth right. More galling is that many have been developed here and represented Canada at youth level before making the jump
There's been Jonathan de Guzmán, who committed to the Netherlands whilst his brother chose Canada, Asmir Begović to Bosnia, Owen Hargreaves to England, and Teal Bunbury and Sydney Leroux to the US, to name just a few of more infamous ones.
You finished spitting at your screen yet?
But times they are a changing it would appear. It's been rather the champagne year for players having the choice of where they want to pledge their international futures and deciding to choose Canada.
Nov 13 2015 05:34 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
by Kevin Laramee
Joey Saputo, President of the Montreal Impact, announced today the nomination of Mauro Biello as Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel.
It is a three year action plan at least with Mauro at the helms of the club.
Nov 13 2015 05:23 PM | Grant in Some Canadian Guys
Football in El Salvador is living a rough moment. Here's a bit of background, but the short story is this: a group of the nation's best, most experienced players is embroiled in a dispute with the governing body that has left them out of the team for El Salvador's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Canada.
I corresponded recently with LA-based journalist Rodrigo Arias to get up to speed on the latest developments and find out what Canada can expect on Nov. 17. Rodrigo has covered the El Salvador team for 20 years and is an excellent follow for Canadian national team watchers. His Twitter handle is: @rodro77
Oh yes, he also revealed some El Salvador fans are surprisingly knowledgeable about Canadian soccer history.
Nov 12 2015 07:38 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on 2S Extra's 2015 NASL Soccer Bowl Preview Show
Duane and Kevin talked to Tom Heineman of the Ottawa Fury, to Hunter Freeman of the New York Cosmos and to Steven Sandor of the11.ca, Plastic Pitch and color commentator for the FC Edmonton broadcast, to preview the 2015 NASL Socccer Bowl!
Thunderbirds Week: Undefeated UBC Thunderbirds heading to CIS nationals in confident mood - "They're a confident group and they want to lift trophies"
Nov 11 2015 09:06 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN
The UBC Thunderbirds are back at the CIS Nationals this week, kicking off their quest for a 14th Canadian crown at York University in Toronto on Thursday.
The newly crowned Canada West champions are undefeated during the season so far. A feat they also achieved in 2012 and that ended with them taking home the national title. Can they do it again?
In celebration of the Thunderbirds achievements, AFTN is bringing you our second Thunderbirds Week, with lots of features and interviews on the team, hopefully on their way to another Championship.
We'll also bring you coverage of the women's CIS nationals, which are being hosted by the Canada West winning Thunderbirds as well.
We're a little late kick the week off we know, due to all the Whitecaps coverage we had to get out of the way, but we begin the week today with a chat with UBC head coach Mike Mosher.
Nov 11 2015 06:52 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Today on a Special WCQ Preview Show,
Duane and Kevin talked to Steven Sandor oh the11.ca and Plastic Pitch about the upcoming World Cup Qualifier game vs Honduras at BC Place on Friday 10pm EST/ 7pm PAC
Plus, Duane and Kevin talked about the ghost of qualifiers past...yes that ghost...
Nov 11 2015 03:03 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute
CSA president Victor Montagliani confirmed yesterday that the CSA has been working on establishing a Canadian League for the last two years.
Appearing in Anthony Totera’s Red Card Radio, Montagliani expanded on much of what’s been reported here and elsewhere.
The transcript of the relevant part of the interview is below the jump.
Julian de Guzman heartbroken to be missing NASL Championship game with Ottawa Fury after scheduling clash with Canada's World Cup qualifiers
Nov 11 2015 07:46 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Sunday will be a historic day for Ottawa Fury and Canadian soccer.
The Fury are heading south to New York to take on the Cosmos in their first ever NASL Championship game, but they're likely going to have to do it without their influential midfielder Julian de Guzman.
De Guzman is away in Vancouver with the Canadian national team, for the two upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Honduras on Friday and El Salvador next Tuesday.
Inexplicably, the NASL have scheduled their Championship game for this coming Sunday, right in the middle of the FIFA international window and forcing the Canadian international to make the agonising choice between playing for club or for country.
"[It was] a very tough decision," de Guzman told reporters after Canada's training session at BC Place on Tuesday. "For the past couple of weeks I've been going back and forth between club and country. It wasn't even confirmed that we'd playing in the Final, so we didn't know at that moment. It was in the air."
Nov 11 2015 12:47 AM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute
What went really wrong?
Do you really need to ask?
FIFTY FREAKING EIGHT.
That’s how many goals TFC allowed in 2015. It was tied for last in the league. As great as TFC was going forward – and they were way above average on attack – they were simply dreadful on defense.