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Canadian Content MLS Rounds 14 & 15 – How did the Canadians in MLS do this week?

Jul 07 2015 07:02 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

After a month long hiatus, the review is back – apologies for that, the Women's World Cup and several other commitments prevented the usual routine – and will be catching up on the previous five rounds of action over the coming weeks.

First up, is a combined review for Rounds Fourteen and Fifteen – the latter was a truncated fixture list - featuring a whopping sixteen players, who combined for fifteen starts and nine substitute appearances; a further four were available, but went unused on the bench.

The top three spots go to the goal-scorers: Cyle Larin, Maxim Tissot, and Wandrille Lefevre, with a special mention for Will Johnson, who continued to work his way back to the pitch full-time after his long injury layoff.

Find out what they did to deserve recognition and who else earned their keep this round.

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Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #94 A Canadian League, Finally? and Gold Cup Preview

Jul 07 2015 07:00 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

by Kevin Laramee

Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,

Duane and Kevin talked about the future Canadian League and what can we expect from it and when an announcement may be made!

Also, they previewed the 2015 Gold Cup that starts tonight and the Canadian Review!



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Episode 118 - The AFTN Podcast - "There's Still Time" (A Women's World Cup Final postgame extravaganza featuring Carli Lloyd, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Julie Johnston, Abby Wambach and her mother!)

Jul 07 2015 10:01 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

It's been a fun month, but all good things must come to an end and that is sadly true of the 2015 Women's World Cup.

The tournament came to an end in Vancouver on Sunday as the US steamrollered Japan, and the defending champions didn't know what had hit them in those opening 16 minutes.

It ended with the US lifting their third Women's World Cup trophy and the celebrations began at BC Place and continued the following day at the special Fox Sports studios in Vancouver. And AFTN was there to capture some of the post tournament joy for you.

In our penultimate WWC special podcast, we're all about the World Cup winners this episode as we chat with some of the key members of the US Women's National Team.

We kick things off with the Final's hat-trick heroine Carli Lloyd as she talks about it all sinking in, waking up to be front page news and going back to club football after all that.

We also catch up with a couple of the USWNT old guard, strikers Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach about the win, the legacy and the team. We also hear from victorious mother Judy Wambach about like watching your famous daughter play.

It's a case of out with the old and in with the new as we catch up with one of the US squad's players of the future, defender Julie Johnston. How did she feel her own personal tournament was, how inspiring were the 1999 winning team and did her conceding a penalty in the semi-final actually kickstart the team on to a win?!

And there's still time to end the episode with an American hero but a Canadian villain, BC born striker Sydney Leroux. An emotional Leroux talks about winning a World Cup in her home country, is winning a vindication for her decision to leave and the abuse she received, and what lies in store for her.

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Canadian league update -- oh, and Floro talks Gold Cup, sort of

Jul 07 2015 02:08 AM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

Benito Floro was supposed to be talking about the Gold Cup.

And, he did. The Canadian coach hit all the right points in his 30 min pre-tournament address to reporters tonight – he is confident in his team, believes they can make the semis, isn’t insane (i.e. acknowledges that winning it is unlikely. Except, you know, sports), thinks getting to next year’s Copa América Centenario is important and, etc., etc., etc.

But, what he really wanted to talk about was a Canadian league. On three separate occasions he brought a question about something else into a speech about how Canada needs its own league.

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WFC2 v Seattle Sounders 2 - The (Second Coming) Story In Pictures

Jul 06 2015 11:57 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

S2 made their second trip of the season to Thunderbird Stadium on a sweltering Saturday afternoon, for the third of (at least) four meetings between the Cascadian rivals in USL action this year.

Having suffered a 4-0 thumping down at Starfire to kick off their inaugural USL campaign back in March, WFC2 bounced back with a 1-1 home draw in April, and the continued improvement was complete this past weekend when the 'Caps ran out 3-1 winners in front of 1,409 fans.

It was US Independence Day, which was apt as the Whitecaps served up some late fireworks to come away with the win.



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USL Radio #13 Canada's "USL" Pan Am Team and an Evening with Jay Vidovich, Portland T2 Head Coach

Jul 02 2015 04:35 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

by Kevin Laramee

Today on USL Radio,

Jay Vidovich, Portland Timbers 2 Head Coach, recently met with the supporters, fans and media for a Q and A session,

Duane and Kevin talk about the Canadian "USL" Team that will take part in the upcoming Pan Am Games and the importance of the USL in the composition of that team.

Plus,Duane and Kevin go through the standings!



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Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #93 FC Edmonton Academy with its Director, Jeff Paulus, CanWNT and the Canadian Review

Jun 29 2015 05:17 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,

Duane and Kevin talked to Jeff Paulus, FC Edmonton Academy Director about their academy, their top prospects, their different challenges facing their geographical location and rights situation and the future of the CanMNT program!

A discussion about CanWNT's loss to England in the QF of the Canada 2015 WWC and where does the program stand in reality right now!

Plus, the Canadian Review!



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Toronto FC vs. DC United Match Preview - Table-Toppers

Jun 27 2015 02:40 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute

One of the biggest games in Canadian soccer history, maybe the biggest to take place in Canada, will happen this Saturday. Elsewhere, TFC will be playing.

Record audiences have tuned to the Women’s World Cup and Canada’s run to the quarterfinals has given a national focus on the Canadian version of the world’s sport over the past three weeks. For long-time fans and promoters of the game it has been wonderful to see.

Incredibly, for fans who also happen to follow the-worst-team-in-the-world it has coincided with a run rarely seen in Toronto FC history. The Reds have won four of their last five matches, largely deserved it, and looked as good as they ever have in their last outing against Montreal. For a team that has had entire seasons where they only won five or six league games it’s the sort of success that often seemed far enough from imagination to be impossible.

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England's Jodie Taylor focused on making more history against Canada - "The pressure's been on them the whole time and it's only going to get more for them"

Jun 27 2015 12:47 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

The scene is set and the countdown is well underway for Canada's quarter-final clash with England at BC Place on Saturday afternoon in the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Both countries are still looking to make history in this year's tournament, with Canada looking to advance to the semi-finals for only the second time in their history and improve on their fourth placed finish in 2003.

England have already equalled the furthest they've ever gone before in the competition, having been quarter-finalists on three previous occasions in 1995, 2007 and 2011.

If the tension is mounting amongst the fans, it's certainly not affecting the English players, who are in a calm and confident mood. So what's the feeling like in the England camp as kick off approaches?

"Pretty awesome actually," England striker Jodie Taylor told AFTN when we chatted with her on Friday morning. "Everyone's excited and focused on the game. We just can't wait for it to come now. There's a real good confidence across the squad. We all 100% believe that we can beat Canada."



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USL Radio #12 Timbers 2 with Ron Orchard and Attendances in the USL

Jun 26 2015 04:59 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

Today on USL Radio,

Ron Orchard of USLRadio.com to talk about the Portland Timbers 2, their season and the Cascadia Rivalry in the USL,

Duane and Kevin have a discussion surrounding the attendances in the USL, MLS 2 sides versus stand alones and the reasons that might explain the numbers in the stands!



Read story →    1 comments    -----    USL Radio

Residency Week 2015: Catching up with.... Nolan Wirth

Jun 26 2015 02:59 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps have produced a plethora of young talent through their Residency program in recent years, with a league-leading eight homegrown players currently on their MLS roster.

Add to that number the many others playing for WFC2, overseas or at college in the US and it's an impressive production line of talent.

The most headline grabbing talent may have come from the midfield and forward positions, but when it comes to strength in depth and numbers, that lies with the goalkeepers.

The amount of quality keepers to have come through the Whitecaps Residency in the past couple of years is phenomenal. From Marco Carducci on the MLS squad to Callum Irving and Sean Melvin in the college ranks, it's felt like every season one or two more top goalkeepers can be added to the list.

And it's no different this season, with William Diaz in the U18s and Canadian youth internationals Aidan Aylward and Luciano Trasolini in the U16's.

It's certainly a testament to the Whitecaps scouting network, development and hard work from goalkeeping coach Raegyn Hall over the years.

Another member of the Residency goalkeeping alumni is Nolan Wirth.

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Off the Woodworkx June 24th 401 Derby Post Game Edition with Frank Klopas, Patrice Bernier and Evan Bush

Jun 25 2015 05:31 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

Today on this post game edition of Off the Woodworkx,

Post Game comments from Frank Klopas, Patrice Bernier and Evan Bush.

Kevin gives his thoughts on the game and reveals who has impressed him the most with the Impact in the last couple of weeks!



Read story →    1 comments    -----    IMFc, TFC, 401 Derby

Residency Week 2015: Whitecaps U16 coach Adam Day building on strong foundations with "excellent group"

Jun 24 2015 07:00 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

The number of UEFA Pro and A licensed coaches throughout the Vancouver Whitecaps system is impressive and has to be amongst the very highest in North American football.

Residency Under-16 coach Adam Day is just the latest one within the club.

Day has only been in the role since the middle of April, replacing Rich Fagan who moved up to be the U18's head coach in January when Steve Meadley departed to become Alan Koch's assistant with the USL side.

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Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #92 Dwayne De Rosario Interview, Gold Cup and Canadian Review

Jun 24 2015 06:45 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,

Dwayne De Rosario joins Duane and Kevin to talk about the Gold Cup and Canadian National Program,

Duane and Kevin talked about the upcoming Gold Cup and the Canada 2015 Women's World Cup,

Canadian Review



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Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact Match Preview - This One Counts

Jun 24 2015 03:58 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute

Toronto FC played their first match against the Montreal Impact back in 2008. There have been compelling games between the clubs ever since, but Wednesday evening at BMO Field may present a novelty: a league game that matters for both of them.

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Is today, St-Jean Baptiste Day, finally the day the Impact wins at BMO Field?

Jun 24 2015 12:25 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

By Kevin Laramee

Since 2008, the 401 Derby as been contested eleven times at BMO Field and eleven times the Impact have failed to take all three points. It could all change today, after 5 wins out of their last 7 league games and the third best points per game average in the Eastern Conference, the Montreal side is poised to get that elusive victory on its National Holiday,nonetheless.

Read story →    3 comments    *****    TFC, IMFC, RIVALRY WEEK

Dutch starlet Vivianne Miedema hoping to shock the World Champions and be an inspiration to young girls back home

Jun 23 2015 05:43 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

There's already been a number of key and interesting stories to come out of this Women's World Cup and thankfully they haven't involved the turf pitches or FIFA shenanigans.

The shortening gap between the top nations and the mid-ranked teams is definitely one of them. The gulf in quality between the top five sides in the world and teams from Africa, South America and the up and coming European countries has definitely been reduced, and leading the way in a many of these nations is the rising talent of a number of talented young prospects.

Much was made of Canada's very own wunderkid, Jesse Fleming, before the tournament began. It was a lot of pressure to put on young shoulders but when we spoke to her before the tournament began, she was coping with it in her stride.

Fleming hasn't had too much chance to shine on the top world stage just yet, but she has been joined in the tournament by a number of top teenage stars from across the globe.

Two of them will take the pitch at BC Place tonight for the Netherlands, as the Dutch set out to shock the reigning World Cup holders from Japan.

The Netherlands have two 18-year-olds in their ranks - midfielder Jill Roord and striker Vivianne Miedema.

Roord has yet to feature for the Dutch in the tournament but Miedema has started all three of the Netherland's group games and has played all bar nine minutes so far.



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Gold Cup roster

Jun 23 2015 05:36 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

Canada's Gold Cup roster below the jump.

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Residency Week 2015: Whitecaps U18s and U16s get set for USSDA Playoffs - "We're one of the best, if not THE best, in North America and it's down to us to prove it"

Jun 23 2015 08:24 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

The United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) playoffs are with us once more. So you know what that means, it's time for AFTN's annual Residency Week!

Both Vancouver Whitecaps' U16s and U18s have qualified for the group stages once again and flew down to the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana at the weekend with high hopes and expectations of advancing to the last eight and the quarter-finals.

We'll be bringing you our usual mix of interviews, "Ones To Watch" breakdowns and a full playoff round-up over the course of Residency Week, but we'll kick things off with a quick recap of the Whitecaps Residency's season so far and a look ahead to the teams facing them in Indiana this week.

The playoffs will take the same format as last year with 32 teams in each age group split into eight round robin groups of four. Only the winners will advance to the quarter-final stage, which will once again be played as four one-off matches, with the winners of those heading to LA for the Final Four weekend.

And the good news for the Whitecaps teams is that if they advance again to that quarter-final stage, that game will be held in Vancouver and not in Bellingham as they were forced to do before. It's up to the opposition to make sure they have passports, so some advancements there at least.



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WFC2's inaugural USL season reaches midway mark with mixed results but "the experience that they're getting is invaluable"

Jun 21 2015 09:50 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps 2's inaugural USL season reached the midway point last Sunday.

14 games gone, 14 still to come, with hopefully some additional playoff matches at the end of it all.

The midway mark was reached in less than stellar fashion with a pretty poor performance in a 2-0 home defeat to a Los Angeles Galaxy II side that we can perhaps be held up as the measuring stick to where the 'Caps want to be this time next season with regards to their USL team.

Los Dos blazed the trail for MLS sides to put their own, standalone teams into USL and not just go down the rather unsuccessful affiliation route. LA certainly had a fairly successful debut season, finishing third in the regular season standings, before just losing out 3-2 in their playoff semi-final to the eventual champs, Sacramento Republic.

The team also gave Bruce Arena the ideal place to get his injured MLS players back to full fitness and get his younger guys more professional experience, and LA used that side to much success.

So after all the excitement, promise and fanfare of the Whitecaps launching their own USL side, has it lived up to Carl Robinson's hopes and expectations during this first half of their first season?



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Switzerland's Lara Dickenmann ready for battle with Canada - "It's much more important to focus on Canada's team, not on the Canadian crowd."

Jun 21 2015 08:29 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

In a few hours time, Vancouver's BC Place will be packed to the rafters as around 53,000, mostly partisan, fans will watch the Canadian home heroes take on the Swiss misses in Women's World Cup action.

Have no doubts about it. This is a tough test for Canada and one they would dearly have liked to avoid at this first knockout stage of the tournament. There could be a lot of heartache around the stadium come the final whistle depending what Switzerland side we see on the pitch.

Led by one of the most exciting female players in the world today in Ramona Bachmann, the Swiss can be electric, free-flowing and a goal machine. They scored 53 goals in qualifying and are the second top scorers at this years World Cup with 11 goals. It's an area that Canada have been struggling in, with a stuttering attack.

Don't read too much into those stats though says Swiss midfielder Lara Dickenmann.



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Report and Reaction: Outstanding Ousted sparks Whitecaps to action packed win at Red Bulls

Jun 21 2015 06:55 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

New York Red Bulls have never beaten Vancouver Whitecaps in five previous attempts. You can make that six now.

The 'Caps headed into Red Bull Arena full of optimism on the back of their win at LA in their last game and nicely rested after a bye week. They left New York with three points after a dramatic 2-1 win that saw the Red Bulls miss two penalties and play 80 minutes a man down.

Vancouver should have been home and dry and coasting after going ahead in the 15th minute. Despite their constant pressure for the rest of the first half, they didn't convert their chances once again, let New York back in to it in the second and were holding on for a bit, before finally adding a second goal on the break.

The headline maker and game winner was 'Caps keeper David Ousted, who saved two penalties and made a string of other key stops to spur Vancouver to victory, the only blip being a late goal that prevented the clean sheet.

All in all, a great three points for Vancouver, although the 'Caps management won't be happy with how long it took them grab a second and being on the back foot for so much of the second half against ten men. Still, three points is three points and that's all that ultimately matters in the end.



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Toronto FC vs. New York City FC Match Preview - Four?

Jun 20 2015 03:36 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute

Four wins.

Earlier in Toronto FC’s 2015 season, I rather snarkily made light of the fact that the club has never won four MLS games in row. It’s a feat most teams have done by accident. Certainly, Toronto has managed to lose four league games in a row. They lost their first four games ever. And there was that time they lost nine in a row to start a season.

Now, however, wins on the bounce over Portland, San Jose, and DC United have already equalled TFC’s record for a league winning streak. MLS’ Eastern Conference standings are interesting to look at, rather than just embarrassing. There’s hope, and even reasonable expectation, at a club that has made an art of killing both.

Really, the question isn’t whether Toronto FC should win their fourth game in a row. It’s how, being TFC, they’ll manage to mess it up.

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Episode 117 - The AFTN Podcast - "There's Still Time" (Whitecaps Season Still To Come Roundtable with guest David Ousted)

Jun 20 2015 10:20 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps are set to get back to MLS action after their bye week. Our last episode was a "Season So Far" roundtable, so we now bring you part two - the "Season Still To Come".

We're joined once again by AFTN writer Jay Duke and regular AFTN podcast contributor Zachary Meisenheimer to look at the issues of the day surrounding the 'Caps.

Who should be moved out in the transfer window and what positions need strengthened? Is the squad depth good enough? Will there be any movement at all?

There's a busy season still to come for the 'Caps in MLS, Champions League and Voyageurs Cup action. What should be their priorities and how will they fare in each competition?

Also, what one word and what movie titles could sum up the Whitecaps' season so far?

And there's still time for Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted to tell us his "Desert Island Discs" and for another instalment of everyone's least favourite gameshow, "30 Seconds To Mars".



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Switzerland relaxed and feeling at home in Vancouver but wary of Canada's lack of World Cup goals so far - "We hope they haven't saved them all up for Sunday's game!"

Jun 20 2015 02:42 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

When Canada planned out their World Cup scenarios going into this Women's World Cup, they probably didn't put much thought into facing Switzerland in their Second Round match-up on Sunday.

Sure, if both teams had finished second in their respective groups then they'd be facing off against each other in Edmonton on Saturday, but you have to feel the Canadians were pretty confident of winning their group and ending up in Vancouver to take on Cameroon or Ecuador.

As things played out, Canada squeaked into that first place spot in Group A as some luck and other results went their way. The Swiss meanwhile were undone by Cameroon in their final group game and now take on the hosts in front of what will be a sold-out fervent and partisan home crowd at BC Place.

It's not the match-up either team will have wanted.


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