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Catching Up With.... Wesley Cain - "My focus is to become a professional"

Aug 02 2015 08:22 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps Residency alumni Wesley Cain is looking to lift the USL PDL Championship trophy with Ontario side K-W United on Sunday.

It's been a busy time for Cain since he graduated from the Residency as one of the 'Class of 2012' that agonisingly just missed out on winning the USSDA U18 Championship.

The midfielder/striker first joined the Whitecaps Residency program in September 2010, heading west from Guelph, Ontario after playing for Portugal FC in the Canadian Soccer League and after a youth career with the Hamilton based Quinndale Community Soccer Club.

Cain's first season was spent playing friendlies and Cup competitions with the 'Caps U18s, but after the club joined the USSDA for their first season in 2011, he went on to make 32 appearances in that run to the Championship game, scoring three goals.

With much of that team graduating, Cain was one of the players that decided to go down the NCAA college route in Ohio. Although Cain doesn't have much contact with the Whitecaps any more these days, he does keep in touch with his old teammates.

"I haven't really been in touch with any of the coaches," Cain told AFTN. "Mainly just the players. Basically my [old] team. I've talked to everyone and Adam [Polakiewicz] plays here too [with K-W United]. We all keep in touch."

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Report and Reaction: Kah at the double as Whitecaps trounce Sounders and move back to first in the West

Aug 02 2015 08:10 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps are making the Clink a special place to visit with another commanding win against the Sounders on Saturday night in Seattle.

The Sounders defence will have been sleepless in Seattle after some poor mistakes contributed to the 'Caps demolition job, but taking nothing away from Vancouver's finishing, which was top notch.

Vancouver were full value for their 3-0 win. They could have easily won by more than double that. The other good aspect is that the goals are keeping being spread around. Just wait till Octavio Rivero finds his next goalscoring streak, then the 'Caps will be unstoppable.

The teams go at it again in four days time. Judging by the niggled Seattle comments postgame, it could be a bit tasty.

And talking of postgame comments, you'll find them all below, along with our match report.

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Dramatic last-second winner sends Canadian side K-W United to PDL Championship game

Aug 01 2015 09:48 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN 2

Ontario side Kitchener-Waterloo United will be playing for their first ever PDL Championship on Sunday after a dramatic stoppage time winner gave them a well-deserved 1-0 win over a tough Seattle Sounders U23 side.

The game look destined to be heading for extra time when the Sounders gave up a cheap free kick in a central position in the dying seconds of stoppage time. Up stepped Julian Buescher and the German hit a cracker past the wall and the hands of Seattle keeper Jeff Caldwell.

The last gasp win came with the last kick of the game and sparked jubilant scenes amongst the K-W United players and management and their band of travelling supporters.

"Just Ecstatic," head coach Chris Pozniak told AFTN after the match. "It's a great feeling. Look at the boys' faces. They're just elated."

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Canadian Content MLS Rounds 17-19 – How did the Canadians in MLS do these weeks?

Aug 01 2015 05:21 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

Twelve Canadians saw action over the three-week spell that spanned the group stages of the 2015 Gold Cup, combining for a total of twelve starts and six substitute appearance over that period. A further fifteen matches passed as unused substitutes for a variety of players.

The top three spots this round go to Orlando's Cyle Larin, Toronto's Jonathan Osorio, and Jay Chapman, who made his first start of his rookie season – special mention for Wandrille Lefevre following his citizenship ceremony the day after Canada Day.

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

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Episode 120 - The AFTN Podcast - "There's Still Time" (Double The Fun with Robert Earnshaw, Carl Robinson. Russell Teibert, Mauro Rosales and Harjeet Johal)

Aug 01 2015 02:06 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

It's been a while, but we're back! Refreshed and rested after a little break, the AFTN Soccer Podcast is ready and raring to go for what will be an incredibly busy month of August for Vancouver Whitecaps.

'Caps coach Carl Robinson talks about the packed month ahead. How will he prioritise the three competitions Vancouver find themselves in? How much squad rotation will there be? What's the chances of additions to the squad? And how does he approach playing Seattle Sounders twice in the space of five days? However he does it, it'll be double the fun.

We’re also joined by Harjeet Johal to talk all things Whitecaps and we hear from Russell Teibert about playing in his second MLS Homegrown game during All-Star Week under coach Landon Donovan and Mauro Rosales looks back on his first goal as a Whitecap and his latest injury.

And there's still time for Robert Earnshaw to talk about his career and his Whitecaps "Teammates".

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Whitecaps Residency alumni looking to lift PDL Championship this weekend with K-W United

Aug 01 2015 02:04 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Two Vancouver Whitecaps Residency alumni are gunning for PDL Championship glory this weekend in Tukwila, Washington.

If you're heading down to Seattle this long weekend to watch the 'Caps rip the Sounders a new one at the Clink on Saturday night, then why not make it a feast of football by heading to Starfire to cheer on former 'Caps Wesley Cain and Adam Polakiewicz as K-W United FC battle to become PDL Champions.

Kitchener-Waterloo United would become the third Canadian club to claim the PDL Championship if they can see off New York Red Bulls U23, Florida side Ocala Stampede and the hosting Seattle Sounders U23s.

It's a tough ask, but if they can do it, then they'll follow in the footsteps of 2008 winners Thunder Bay Chill and 2012 champs Forest City London SC.

K-W United played their first two PDL seasons in 2011 and 2012 under the name Hamilton FC Rage, before rebranding and relocation to Kitchener-Waterloo after poor attendances forced the owners hand.

Since that move they've thrived, on the pitch at least, as attendances have started to decline. They initially drew an average of 705 fans in 2013, which dipped to 306 in 2014 and just 136 in this, their most successful season to date.

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TFC adds depth

Jul 31 2015 10:52 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

Toronto FC added some depth at the back today by picking up Josh Williams off waivers. He will likely serve as a back-up fullback. The money gained from putting Mark Bloom on the long-term disabled list was likely used to fit Williams in under the cap...

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C-League cities

Jul 31 2015 05:28 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

Multiple sources are confirming the cities that will be involved in the C-League launch. Currently, there are committed backers in eight cities.

The launch target remains Spring 2017.

The markets involved are:

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New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC Match Preview - Winnable

Jul 31 2015 04:07 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute

Toronto FC visit New England this Saturday, to face the Revolution, for the second time this season. Reds supporters can be optimistic, but at the same time wary. The 2015 edition of TFC has proven that they can score goals. Fortunately, whether they can do so without Sebastian Giovinco remains to be seen.

The Red’s defence, on the other hand, continues to leak at the back. TFC has conceded three, four, and four goals in their last three MLS road games. While shootouts are fun and, so long as Giovinco is taking command of games, the Reds are never out of a game, they’re only another poor offensive performance away from repeating the 4 – 0 disaster in Los Angeles a few weeks back.

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Sam Adekugbe back from injury disappointment and hoping first team return "just around the corner"

Jul 29 2015 08:13 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

After seemingly establishing himself as Carl Robinson's first choice for the left-back role, 2015 was shaping up to be Sam Adekugbe's breakthrough season. It still could very well be.

The battle between the young Canadian and Jordan Harvey for that job had begun last year and continued throughout preseason. Adekugbe was pushing Harvey all the way, but the veteran held on to his spot for the first game of the season against Toronto.

After shipping three goals in that home opener, Robinson decided to make some changes and Adekugbe started the second game of the year, away to Chicago. The 'Caps won and Adekugbe kept his place in the team for the next match at Orlando.

A rib injury forced him out of that one late on. It looked bad, but the resilience, and quick healing powers, of youth saw Adekugbe return to the line-up the next weekend, bruised ribs and all.

Adekugbe was impressing and the team was winning. After starting five of the next six MLS matches, the left-back role now looked his to lose.

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Fixing the All-Farce Game

Jul 29 2015 05:46 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

Do you have MLS All-Star Game fever!

If so, you might be the only person who does. The annual mid-season game (it’s not a mid-season break as the players don’t get any time off) takes place tonight in Colorado as the league all-stars take on Tottenham Hotspur.

The Europa League group stage meets the disinterested stars of MLS!

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Jock Math: The first half review

Jul 28 2015 06:27 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

As we enter the unofficial second half of the MLS season (it’s closer to the final third, but we like to define seasons as pre and post All Star Games in North America), let’s have a look at how things are shaping up.

Not a subjective look – you can get that yourself by looking at the standings and putting your pre-conceived notions of what teams are into the mix.

TFC will fade (because they always do), RSL must be underachieving, the Sounders will come out of their slump and, at the end of the day, the Galaxy will be standing in confetti.

All of that is possible, but we want to look at the first half results a little more objectively. Using so called advanced stats we want to break down the first half statistically to allow us to make a few predictions about how the second half might play out.

We still could end up being dead wrong, but at least we have some data to back up our ignorance.

So, let’s get going!

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Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #96 Rudi Schuller of GOAL and the Canadian Review

Jul 27 2015 05:36 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,

Duane talked to Rudi Schuller , Editor of GOAL in Canada, about Drogba-Montreal, World Cup Qualifiers and other topic in the news in the Canadian Soccer World!

Plus, the famous Canadian Review!

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Gilberto Gonezo

Jul 27 2015 03:15 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

MLS roster rules can be difficult to follow for even the most experienced observers of the league. So, fans can be excused for being left baffled by the news that former TFC Designated Player Gilberto was put on waivers last night by the club, where he was picked up by the Chicago Fire.

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Off the Woodworkx BREAKING NEWS Montreal Impact acquires rights to Didier Drogba

Jul 27 2015 05:37 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

by Kevin Laramee

According to Jeffrey Carlisle of ESPN, the Montreal Impact and the Chicago Fire have come to an agreement on a fee for Montreal to acquire the rights to Didier Drogba, as he was on Chicago's 10 players Discovery List. Again according to Jeffrey Carlisle and many different sources, the Montreal Impact and Didier Drogba have agreed on a 18 months long contract with a value of an estimated 3 million dollars.

Today on a special BREAKING NEWS EDITION of Off the Woodworkx,

Kevin talked about the potential arrival of Didier Drogba with the Montreal Impact, gave a in-depth look at Didier Drogba's career and a part of an interview conducted by Rio Ferdinand for Beenyman Sports wit Didier Drogba, where he talks about his career, his acclimatization to the style of play of England back in the day ( which will be very useful when he debuts in MLS in my opinion) and many other aspect of his life and plans for the future!

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Canada's draw: I 8 to be the 1 to say this but

Jul 25 2015 06:15 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

Canada’s road to Russia is pretty much known.

Yes, you can make a joke here about how the only way CanMNT is going to Russia is on a tourist visa, but the undeniable truth is the slots aren’t determined on paper – not when you’re good and not when you’re, well, Canada.

So, regardless of whether you think that Canada has any chance or not, you now know where the road goes through.
It goes through some familiar and PTSD inducing places.

The first stop should be fine. A home and home with Belize starts things off. This was the kind part of the draw for the Canucks. The last time they played a competitive tie Canada won 8-0 on aggregate. It will be fine. Canada will book a spot in the semi-final.

There is gets tougher.

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Off the Woodworkx BREAKING NEWS Montreal Impact acquires Johan Venegas

Jul 25 2015 05:55 AM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

by Kevin Laramee

BREAKING NEWS.The Montreal Impact acquires Johan Venegas of Costa Rican side Liga Deportiva Alajuelense

According to Fabian Borbon of Deportes Repretel, the details have been finalized and the deal is done. The figures involved in the transfer is unknown for now, but per MLS rules, the details of the deal will probably not be made available.

Posted Image

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Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC Match Preview - Stats Leaders

Jul 24 2015 08:48 PM | Michael Crampton in World Cup 2014

With the distraction of a truly needless midseason friendly out of the way, Toronto FC begins a vital set of Eastern Conference match-ups on Saturday versus their original rival, the Columbus Crew.

A stabilizing win versus Philadelphia last weekend saw TFC start to create some separation between themselves and the teams not currently occupying playoff positions. Back-to-back wins over Chicago for the Crew, however, allowed Columbus to overtake the Reds in the standings. And then, over the next week-and-a-half, Toronto will face both New England and Orlando, the two teams just behind the fourth place Reds. Should TFC make it through this stretch without losing, they’ll not only pick up points that will help them at the end of the season, they’ll be preventing direct rivals from earning maximum points themselves.

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Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast #95 Drogba, Gold Cup and Canadian Review!

Jul 21 2015 04:34 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

Today on the Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast,

Duane and Kevin talked about the Drogba to Montreal-Chicago situation, about the CanMNT at the Gold Cup and Pan Am Games and the famous Canadian Review!

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Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union Match Preview - Changing the Script

Jul 18 2015 12:59 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute

When Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union last met back in early May, the story of the Union’s season seemed to have been written. Philly were morbid, and looked unlikely to play much of a role in the playoff race, even in a weak Eastern Conference. The result went as expected, and TFC departed with three points, without looking particularly good themselves.

Now, two and a half months later, the Union have somehow managed to wring enough points out of their last ten games to drag themselves into the discussion. Having played three more matches than Toronto means that their points-per-game is still far behind but, with a win, they would overtake TFC in the standings. That would move the Reds out of a playoff spot, at least until they start making up those games in hand.

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Russell Teibert taking positives from Canada's Gold Cup disappointment but excited to be back for Cascadian Cup "battle"

Jul 17 2015 07:15 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps may have lost Kendall Waston to Gold Cup duty this week, after his late call-up to the Costa Rican squad, but they at least welcome back another player, with Russell Teibert returning to the 'Caps after Canada crashed out of the tournament with a whimper, not a bang.

Teibert headed off to join up with Canada after the Whitecaps 2-1 win at New York Red Bulls on June 20th. After missing the games against New England, Colorado and Kansas City, which he followed avidly from a far, Teibert is excited to be back with the 'Caps and is raring to go.

"Absolutely," Teibert enthused to reporters at training on Thursday. "I miss the boys. I miss the team. I miss the city of Vancouver. It's become my home and it's just nice to be back."

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MLS Players Union releases 2015 salaries

Jul 17 2015 03:25 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

by Kevin Laramee

After ratifying the new Collective Bargaining Agreement a couple of days ago, the MLS Players Union released the players salaries, surveyed through July 15 2015.

Here is a few salaries that caught my attention with the three MLS Canadian teams.

By the way, that list does NOT include sponsorship endorsements, bonuses or any other revenue source that could supplement a player's salary. ,


Ignacio Piatti, the sole Montreal impact Designated Player, is on a mere 400 000$. Is it me or that figure is pretty low?

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Two Solitudes Soccer Podcast BREAKING NEWS Kyle Bekker to the Montreal Impact

Jul 16 2015 04:12 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute

Breaking News, Kyle Bekker traded from FC Dallas to the Montreal Impact for Bakary Soumare, as per MLS Rules, the rest of the deal has not been disclosed!

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Vancouver Whitecaps planning further expansion for successful Academy Centres - "We intend to have our footprint all over Canada" (and beyond)

Jul 15 2015 11:10 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Vancouver Whitecaps' Residency program can rightly be held up as a shining light in North American football.

The Whitecaps see themselves as "trailblazers" in Major League Soccer in terms of running an academy, youth development and producing homegrown talent. It's justified, for as we've mentioned several times now, the 'Caps lead the league with eight homegrown products on their MLS roster.

The success of the Residency these past eight years should be clear for all to see, although arguments will persist around the number of regularly starting first team players that it has produced.

In Canada that is, for the program has produced talent that is starting at clubs throughout Europe and a slew of other talent current getting an education in the NCAA and CIS college systems.

On the pitch, the U18s have made the postseason in USSDA play for the last four years, which is incidentally as long as they've be in that league. They reached the 2012 Championship game going down to a late winner. The U16s have made the postseason in three of those years, reaching the quarter-finals stage for the last two seasons.

Things are certainly moving in the right direction.

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Bobby Lenarduzzi hails trailblazing Whitecaps and slams "short term" view when it comes to Canadian player development - "It's not going to happen overnight"

Jul 15 2015 06:03 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

Canadian player development.

Such a strange subject, for depending on who you discuss with it (and we're talking football people here not the lady serving at your local fishmongers!) it's a topic that will either draw heated discussion and be a real hot potato issue, or one that exudes complete indifference.

We should all care. It's our country, it's our domestic game, it's our future talent pool.

But just how much we should care does somewhat rely on where you stand on the whole club v country debate.

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