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Vancouver Whitecaps v Real Salt Lake: The Story In Pictures

Sep 29 2014 06:20 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

They made hard work of it, but it's always a great feeling coming from behind!

Pedro Morales was the man that made the headlines in the end for Vancouver Whitecaps, just when it looked like he was going to be making them fro all the wrong reasons after missing a first half penalty.

AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk was there capturing the game for us in the 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake and here's a selection of his photos from before, during and after the Whitecaps victory.



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MLS Week in Review – Round 29

Sep 29 2014 05:55 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

The 29th Round of MLS play has come and gone, leaving in its wake a playoff picture no clearer than it was before the weekend began. Two teams have clinched – Seattle and Los Angeles – and two sides have been mathematically eliminated – Montreal and Chivas – but aside from those assurances, the other eight playoff teams have yet to be determined, while which seven clubs still alive will see their seasons end in disappointment will be sorted out in the coming rounds.

As the calendar prepares to turn to October, four weeks remain and there is plenty to still be decided.

It was a wild weekend. Leaving aside the lone midweek fixture, nine matches were played, resulting in a single road victory and a lonely draw – between Colorado and San Jose late on Saturday night. Thirty goals were scored, including a pair of own-goals and two penalty kicks from three attempts in a round that witnessed a surprisingly thrilling six-goal affair in Seattle, a pair of five-goal contests heavy with playoff implications, and closing with a four-goal thumping where Los Angeles taught New York at lesson or two in the round’s closing match on Sunday.

31 yellow cards were shown, six of which came in a fractious Friday night rendez-vous between Kansas City and New England that saw some movement at the top of the East. Little more than a week removed from MLS Commissioner Don Garber stating, “As the weeks go on and the games matter more than they do in the early part of the season, we need to be sure that our referees are doing as well as they possibly can to get it right", not a single red card was shown – nor was one warranted – while just three penalty kicks were awarded, some more controversial than the others.

From a gamble paying off, designated players stepping up when the game is on the line, devastating injuries, epic comebacks, a battle of Morales’, last-minute point-shifters, much talk about the lack of a “final pass”, and assists closer to history, this weekend had plenty of action to satisfy one’s MLS needs.

But first, before the results, the goals of the round:

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The Good, The Average and The Bad: Vote for Pedro Edition

Sep 29 2014 05:33 PM | Aaron Campbell in AFTN

The rather obese lady wasn’t exactly in full voice, but she was at the very least clearing her throat and sucking on a lozenge. Then up popped Pedro Morales to turn a dire situation for Vancouver Whitecaps into one that propelled them back into the playoff places in the West.

AFTN writer Aaron Campbell gives us his regular “The Good, The Average and The Bad” from the Whitecaps’ 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday.


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Report and Reaction: Morales gains second wind in leading Caps over RSL

Sep 28 2014 04:50 PM | Steve Pandher in AFTN

[Match report and post game reaction from both locker rooms following Vancouver Whitecaps crucial come from behind 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake at BC Place on Saturday afternoon]


REPORT:

Two much needed goals by Pedro Morales in the second half helped the Vancouver Whitecaps defeat a veteran Real Salt Lake side by a 2-1 score. The brace by Morales came in the second half after Nat Borchers opened the scoring in the second half from a set piece.

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Quick hit: Canada's road to the 2018 World Cup

Sep 28 2014 04:15 PM | Grant in Some Canadian Guys

Last Tuesday, ESPN Deportes journalist Fernando Palomo reported Concacaf has proposed a new qualifying format for the 2018 World Cup. According to Palomo, all that's left is for the changes to be made official.

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Toronto v Portland - just who is the lesser of the two evils?

Sep 27 2014 04:20 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

It's a scenario that crops up all too often in Major League Soccer due to the nature of the fixture list. Two teams you hate are playing each other or two teams that impact your own team's chances are playing each other - just who do you cheer on to win?

In the case of Saturday's Toronto v Portland match-up, both of those situations are in play if you're a Vancouver Whitecaps supporter.

With five games remaining, the Timbers are currently sitting two points ahead of the Whitecaps for that fifth and final playoff place in the Western Conference. If the red menace can see off the green smoke monsters at BMO Field, and if the 'Caps can see off the Saltines at BC Place, then Vancouver move back into pole position in the West.

Two massive ifs there, but it's been a week for flights of fancy.

So surely you want a comfortable, multi-goal Toronto win on Saturday? Well, not so quick there. Canada's 2015 CONCACAF Champions League spot also comes into the equation.

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Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? - Vancouver Whitecaps say it's inevitable the goals will come, it's just a matter of time and getting the breaks

Sep 25 2014 02:00 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

In football, there’s a fine line between having belief and being a little bit delusional. We’re all guilty of it – fans, media, managers and players. Especially players. And especially Whitecaps players, if Tuesday’s training was any indication.

There was a lot of talk about bad bounces, the team not getting the breaks and how everyone knows that the goals are coming, it’s just a matter of when and not if, and the playoffs will be reached. There were more bad beat stories than at the World Series of Poker. More hope than on a leaked photos website. More bad bounces than a one-legged kangaroo.

The Whitecaps are standing on the edge of the playoff cliff, but the consensus clearly was that it’s ok to jump as everything will be alright. Take that leap of faith in the team.

Are they mad bro?

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Atlanta Silverbacks FC vs. Ottawa Fury FC Match Review - Ottawa Fury FC stays hot on the road with a 0-3 win away at Atlanta

Sep 23 2014 06:01 PM | ironcub14 in OttCityFootie

It would be a miraculous finish to sneak into the top 4 spots to make the NASL playoffs after a poor start to the Fall Season, but Ottawa Fury FC has found incredible form on the road for this late stretch of the season and continue to climb up the standings. Ottawa won 0-3 away at Atlanta on Saturday to maintain a 3-game winning streak on the road, an astounding turnaround for a club that was 1-1-5 on the road in league play just a month ago.

Ottawa showed great passing throughout its offense and midfield, going up 0-2 at halftime thanks to a redirection off ST Tom Heinemann’s volley by LW P.R. Mayard in the early minutes, which originated from CM Tony Donatelli’s right-flank cross, followed by a tap-in from RW Oliver that came off a good low cross by Mayard from the same flank to Heinemann, who took a one-time shot from the edge of the penalty area. After a red card for Atlanta in the last 10 minutes of play, the Fury FC added an insurance goal, with a nice team buildup in midfield culminating in a delightfully chipped diagonal ball from Oliver being headed in on the bounce by LW Carl Haworth.

In addition to the great active play from all across the front 3 in Ottawa’s usual 4-3-3 formation, credit must be given to Ottawa’s midfield for their fine passing, from Donatelli and CM Sinisa Ubiparipovic, as well as the smart distribution and protection from DM Richie Ryan to help preserve a 2nd consecutive shutout for Ottawa.

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Canadian Content MLS Round 28 – How did our Canadians do in MLS this week?

Sep 23 2014 05:14 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

An extension to Canadian Soccer News’ MLS Week in Review, this article provides a closer look at the performances of the Canadian players who saw the pitch this week.

The top three spots this round go to Jonathan Osorio, for his exuberant outing against Chivas; to Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé, who put in a solid shift on the Montreal back-line; and to Will Johnson, whose side leapt over Vancouver into the fifth spot in the West days removed from a masterful performance in the Champions League.

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

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MLS Week in Review – Round 28

Sep 22 2014 05:25 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

Five weeks remain in the MLS season. Five weeks that will determine whether the previous 28 will be celebrated or were quested in vain.

This past round saw nine matches played with a single Friday night fixture followed by seven on Saturday and a solitary Sunday encounter in Toronto. With points this late in the season at a premium, no road team was able to take the win; there were two draws – in Philadelphia and Chicago, ensuring that the Eastern Conference remained the tighter of the two, with five points separating five teams fighting for three spots.

Thirty goals were scored throughout, including three from four penalty attempts and a single own-goal - off Colorado keeper, Joe Nasco. 24 bookings were flashed throughout, as well as a pair of red cards; though the officials did well to have a quiet week – compared to last – still a few decisions raised the ire of coaches, with Chicago again the epicentre of that disappointment.

Last weekend saw Seattle become the first team to clinch a playoff berth – Los Angeles would join them after their result; this round saw the first official elimination, as Montreal were mathematically ended by wins elsewhere, despite doing their part to stay alive.

From high-scoring rivalry matches to scrappy Eastern implications; a six-goal thriller to a much-needed win for a struggling side over another side struggling even worse than the first, this weekend had plenty of action of one’s viewing pleasure.

Before the results, the goals of the round:

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The Good, The Average & The Bad: Magoo Performance In Timberland Edition

Sep 22 2014 05:39 AM | Aaron Campbell in AFTN

If you made the trip down to Portland to watch this game, we both sympathise and empathise with you. No amount of Voodoo doughnuts, craft beer, food carts and shopping trips to Trader Joes can make it better. Did help a bit though!

Aaron Campbell takes his regular look at "The Good, The Average & The Bad" from the Whitecaps' 3-0 hammering by Portland Timbers. Amazingly, he found a good!


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TFC's Playoff Hopes Renewed After 3-0 Win Over Chivas

Sep 22 2014 02:13 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

By Rose Rago Toronto FC ended a six game winless drought in dominate fashion against western conference basement dwellers Chivas USA on Sunday with a 3-0 victory at BMO Field. Despite the slide TFC were on headed into Sunday’s contest, the Reds were...

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Toronto FC vs. Chivas USA Match Preview - The Team Worse than TFC

Sep 21 2014 04:42 AM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute

People around the club, fans and otherwise, often muse about TFC folding or needing to completely rebrand to expunge the legacy of seven, maybe eight in the near future, years of failure. For the Chivas USA it’s actually happening. The latest rumor circulating is that the entire franchise will go on-hold next season as MLS celebrates its 20th season with 20 clubs (thanks to the additions of New York City FC and Orlando). The league is not willing to give up on the idea of a second club for the greater Los Angeles metro area but has not managed to finalize a deal that would allow new ownership the time necessary to re-launch successfully in 2015.

So, one way or another, the match at BMO Field between Toronto FC and the Baby Goats should be the final meeting of the two clubs ever. At least in their current guises.

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Report and Reaction: Portland pounce on Vancouver's slackness to turn Whitecaps playoff hopes to woodchip

Sep 21 2014 01:18 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

[Match report and full post game reaction from both locker rooms after Portland Timbers' 3-0 thumping of Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday afternoon.]


REPORT:

Portland Timbers made it eight unanswered goals against the Vancouver Whitecaps with a clinical display in finishing at Providence Park on Saturday afternoon, putting them in pole position for the final playoff place in the Western Conference.

Vancouver started strongly, as they did back at BC Place last month, but a first half wonderstrike from Diego Valeri on Portland's first shot of the game gave the Timbers the lead at half time and although the Whitecaps tried to fight back, a second half brace from Fanendo Adi saw Portland triumph by the same 3-0 scoreline.

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Episode 80 - The AFTN Podcast - "There's Still Time" (That Was The Week That Was)

Sep 19 2014 08:31 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Episode 80 of "There's Still Time", the AFTN Soccer podcast, looks back at a very busy, and at times disappointing, week in Whitecapsland.

There was the good - the signing of tow homegrown players. The bad - the failure to convince New Westminster to be the home for the Caps' USL Pro team. And the ugly - Vancouver head to Portland this weekend to face Will Johnson and co.

We bring you all the chatter from training this week in another raw audio heavy episode.



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Ignored no more: The CSA's power play against MLS

Sep 19 2014 05:32 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

In a relationship it's often the smallest things that can prove to be a breaking point. You might feel ignored, taken for granted and unfulfilled for years but, for whatever reason, you won't take action. Then one day your partner walks into the door...

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After impressing against Dallas, Whitecap Christian Dean admits rookie season "has been a little difficult time but it's a learning process"

Sep 18 2014 12:30 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

It undoubtedly felt like a long time coming for Christian Dean, but with Andy O'Brien rested, the 21-year-old finally made his first MLS start for Vancouver Whitecaps in Saturday’s 2-1 loss away to Dallas.

Dean was selected third overall by Vancouver in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and has had to bide his time for the opportunity to impress, with O'Brien, the now retired Jay DeMerit, new signing Kendall Waston, and internationals Johnny Leveron and Carlyle Mitchell all ahead of him in the centreback pecking order in Vancouver.

Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson has been consistent all season in saying that his young players will all get their opportunities and that when they do get them they need to make the most of them. That’s just what Dean did on Saturday, with a solid performance and one he was very pleased with.

"It felt great. Been waiting for a while," Dean told us at training on Tuesday. "The time finally came, I thought I took advantage of it and played really well. The team performed well and overall I just thought it was a good opportunity."

That MLS opportunity was meant to come sooner. Robinson spent time planning the season ahead and looking at managing the minutes of his young fringe players over the course of it. Dean's chance was meant to come at the end of July, but the best laid plans, and all that.



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Different coach; same old TFC

Sep 17 2014 06:38 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

Dan Calichman may be a good coach. He might even be a great coach. However, he's still a disturbing hire by Greg Vanney as an assistant coach. He's a hire that once again demonstrates TFC to be deaf to local concerns and prone to nepotism hires over...

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Copa Centroamericana 2014: Four things we learned

Sep 17 2014 05:04 PM | Grant in Some Canadian Guys

Canada played one friendly during the Sept. 1 to 9 Fifa window. That’s good. The Central American nations of Concacaf played a mini-tournament whose champion earned a spot in the 2016 Copa America. That’s better. Here’s what we learned in these embryonic stages of the 2018 World Cup qualifying cycle.

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"It's a dream come true but the work starts now" - Whitecaps Marco Bustos and Kianz Froese not resting on their laurels after signing MLS deals

Sep 17 2014 08:05 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps' two newest homegrown signings took part in their first training session as MLS players on Tuesday, but for Marco Bustos and Kianz Froese, that wasn't anything unusual.

The smiles may have been a bit bigger and then there was the media scrums after training finished, but the pair have been training with the first team regularly since preseason. They've been a part of Carl Robinson's MLS squad in all but official roster listing, and they've had no trouble fitting right in.

"All the older guys are very welcoming. They just treat us normal so it's easier to be a part of it," Froese told reporters.

Bustos and Froese, along with other Whitecaps Residency prospects Jackson Farmer, Jordan Haynes and Mitch Piraux were all out working hard at UBC, and it's part of the inclusive environment Robinson wants to have at the club for the young players coming through.

Having that eye on the future is something that Robinson has preached all season when he talks about possible new additions, and the signing of Bustos and Froese to MLS contracts now is down to that philosophy and already looking ahead to next year.

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Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Ottawa Fury FC Match Review - Ottawa Fury keeps playoff hopes alive as they grab a 0-2 win away at Tampa Bay

Sep 16 2014 07:49 PM | Canadian Soccer News in OttCityFootie

Ottawa pulled off a significant away victory in Tampa Bay on Saturday, winning 0-2 with a first-half header from winger Oliver and an insurance dagger in the dying minutes of the game from CM Sinisa Ubiparipovic. LB Ramon Soria provided a deep, inch-perfect cross from the left flank for the 1st goal, while ST Vini Dantas provided a sumptuous lifted ball from the centre circle for Ubiparipovic to seal the match with aplomb for the 2nd goal.
This win represented Ottawa’s 2nd away victory in a row, following their 1-2 win away at Indy three weeks ago, as well as the defense’s first shutout since the Fall Season opener away at Edmonton. The entire team played well defensively as a unit, but the team has to thank GK Romuald Peiser for an astounding performance to repel the high number of shots on target that he faced.

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Canadian Content MLS Round 27 – How did our Canadians do in MLS this week?

Sep 16 2014 05:34 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

An extension to Canadian Soccer News’ MLS Week in Review, this article provides a closer look at the performances of the Canadian players who saw the pitch this week.

It was a bumper round for Canadian participation in MLS this week, with thirteen players seeing the pitch – a few even had double-game weeks. The top three spots this round go to Dwayne De Rosario – for scoring a crucial goal, Russell Teibert – for his boundless energy, and Tesho Akindele – for picking up a game-winning assist.

Special mentions for a trio of Montreal homegrown players who took to the pitch in New England and some new signings as well.

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

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Whitecaps sign Marco Bustos and Kianz Froese to homegrown MLS contracts

Sep 15 2014 09:00 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps' MLS squad just got a whole lot younger, and more Canadian, today with the signing of Residency talents Marco Bustos and Kianz Froese to homegrown contracts. Bustos has signed a pre-contract and will officially join the MLS squad in January. Froese is added immediately and will be available for the remaining games this season.

The two 18-year-old Canadian youth internationals were born just six days apart and their footballing paths have often felt linked. Both now begin their pro careers at the same time.

The additions will take Vancouver's Canadian content to seven players, and homegrown contingent to eight, and is a fitting reward for the hard work put in from both players this past year.

Bustos and Froese were in action this past weekend as the Whitecaps Residency U18s kicked off their new United States Soccer Development Association (USSDA) season with a pair of home wins.

Froese played the full game in Saturday's 3-2 win over Seattle, contributing one assist, but it was Bustos who was the star of the show, playing the full 90 in both games and grabbing five goals, including a hat-trick against the Sounders.



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MLS Week in Review – Round 27

Sep 15 2014 07:58 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

There was something in the air this weekend around MLS. Whether a foul, cool breeze or a hot blast of controversy – depends on where the match took place – the action culminated in a contentious, hard-fought round, ending in more than a fair share of draws. When the dust finally settled, very little had changed in the standings, but few were left without the understanding that the remaining six weeks would be a scrap to the end.

Leaving aside the three midweek matches, nine games were played, resulting in a whopping five draws and a single away win. 31 goals were scored, including just three from five attempts at the spot and a lonely own-goal - off the face of Columbus’ Aaron Schoenfeld. The match officials were back in the spotlight, mired in more than enough controversy, as well as handing out 38 bookings – including nine in Sunday’s California Clasico – and a pair of red cards, one straight – to Salt Lake’s Nat Borchers – and one accumulative – to Montreal’s Krzysztof Krol.

Despite the lack of change on the table, one thing was settled this round, as the Seattle Sounders become the first – and only, thus far – club to clinch a playoff berth in pursuit of the 2014 MLS Cup.

From cracking strikes to incredible saves, missed calls and egregious ones, first goals and heavily-rotated lineups, this round had it all… but before the results, the goals of the round:

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Report and Reaction: Pesky Perez blasts Dallas past valiant Vancouver

Sep 14 2014 08:11 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

[Match report and post game reaction from both locker rooms following FC Dallas' 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps in Frisco, Texas.]


REPORT:

You don't expect the Whitecaps to go to Dallas and get anything. Four previous visits. No wins, no points and one solitary goal. Yet, with a weakened squad put out in Frisco on Saturday night, you are actually left disappointed that Vancouver left Texas empty handed.

A goal in each half from the Panamanian predator Blas Perez saw Dallas home, after Erik Hurtado found a pair of shooting boots from somewhere to bring Vancouver level midway through the second half.

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