Sep 01 2014 06:16 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
[Match report and post-game reaction from both locker rooms after Portland Timbers' 3-0 hammering of Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Saturday evening. Featuring quotes from the Caps' Carl Robinson, Kendall Waston and Jordan Harvey, and the Timbers' Caleb Porter, Alvas Powell, Darlington Nagbe and Jorge Villafana]
MISSING - Vancouver Whitecaps attack. Last seen in May. If found, please return to Carl Robinson asap. Our playoff hopes depend on it.
Halloween came early to Vancouver on Saturday night, as some green and white chainsaw swinging hordes chopped through a Whitecaps defence as if they weren't there. Which sadly they weren't.
Aug 31 2014 07:53 PM | Canadian Soccer News in 24th Minute
Toronto FC have called a news conference for Sunday afternoon where they are expected to announce the dismissal of manager Ryan Nelsen and the majority of the TFC coaching staff. Nelsen's departure will be made official at 4 p.m. ET when General Manag...
Aug 30 2014 06:23 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute
“You need 50 points to make the playoffs.”
It’s a common enough phrase around MLS, generally answered with nods from knowing fans. It’s wrong of course, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming common knowledge.
With 11 games left in their season, it’s got some TFC fans either concerned or, alternatively, setting an unrealistic level of expectation for the Reds' run-in.
Aug 30 2014 02:10 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute
Toronto FC’s injury problems have now become a full blown crisis, just in time for a vital Eastern Conference game versus the New England Revolution. All three players substituted out of last week’s draw with the Chicago Fire, captain Steven Caldwell, defender Justin Morrow, and leading-scorer Jermain Defoe are unavailable, with the potential for longer absences looming.
Aug 30 2014 08:16 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer may very well have been Carl Robinson's mindset when he decided to bring Mauro Rosales to the Whitecaps last week.
"I used to hate playing against him because he's a threat." Robinson said this week. "If teams sit back on us then obviously he's got the ability to unlock defences so I'm excited to see how they [all] link up on Saturday, I really am."
And so are we.
Rosales may be the new face in the Caps' dressing room but the 33-year-old midfielder is certainly no stranger to Vancouver. It was certainly a case of stranger danger when the Argentine played against the Whitecaps and that was never more true than this season.
Aug 30 2014 02:00 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Disinfectant at the ready, the Great Unwashed are coming to town.
Portland come a calling to BC Place on Saturday in a crucial Cascadia Cup clash with vital playoff points on the line. A Whitecaps win and they're sitting pretty, A Timbers win and Caps start to lose the momentum in the playoff race.
Episode 76 of "There's Still Time" looks at what lessons, if any, we can take from the Whitecaps' 2-0 loss in LA and ponders whether a change of formation would help with the goalscoring woes. Or will that take a new addition and could he be on the way in the shape of Kai Kamara?
We also look ahead to this weekend's big game hunt against the Timbers. Can the Caps give Will Johnson and co a right good face slapping?
And there's still time for lots of training ground audio from Caps' coach Carl Robinson, goalkeeper David Ousted, defenders Jordan Harvey and Andy O'Brien, and strikers Kekuta Manneh and Darren Mattocks.
Aug 30 2014 01:49 AM | Grant in Some Canadian Guys
The biennial Copa Centroamericana starts next week. Normally that sentence wouldn't excite many people outside the borders of various Central American nations. However, this particular incarnation of the tournament offers some genuine reasons for Canadian soccer watchers to pay partial attention.
Aug 26 2014 08:15 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 Tesho Akindele, who continued his fine run of form with another point; Wandrille Lefevre, who was intimately involved in the action against New York; and Jonathan Osorio, who was very lively again for Toronto.
Find out what they did to deserve recognition and who else earned their keep this week.
Aug 25 2014 10:00 PM | Jay Duke in AFTN
Saturday morning, my wife said, "let’s go see a movie tonight." I agreed, and I reminded her that I’d watch the game after we get home. She said, "Oh, right, the game. You sure you don’t want to watch it live?"
"No, it’s okay, they’re going to lose," I said. I continued to explain that the Galaxy are probably the best team in the league. Even though they aren’t winning the race for the Supporter’s Shield, I asserted, they’re close, and they’re known for their apathy early in the season before turning it on when it matters to affirm their dominance. Not only that, I added, we’re missing our best player in Matias Laba, and our recently dominant Gershon Koffie. It’s going to be very difficult to keep the Galaxy at bay, I concluded; we will have to be very lucky to keep the game close.
So, it should be no surprise, that after 90 minutes, the Galaxy were deserved winners by two goals.
Aug 25 2014 08:31 PM | Aaron Campbell in AFTN
"Caps Countdown" is our Vancouver Whitecaps player rankings with a twist. The starting eleven is ranked from eleven to one, from worst to first. Who was the 'man of the match' and who, if anyone, had a game to forget in the 2-0 defeat at the LA Galaxy on Saturday?
Aaron Campbell makes his selections this week. Do you agree?
Aug 25 2014 07:40 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute
Of rollicking comebacks, the tightening East, table-top clashes, and statements in the West
After 24 rounds of MLS play, just nine weeks remain in the 2014 season. No team has fewer than nine or more than eleven matches still to play and as such, every point is of vital importance. While no club is mathematically eliminated yet, Montreal’s hopes, sitting a full fourteen points adrift, seem slim, while Chivas and San Jose have left themselves with a lot to achieve, nine and eight points off, respectively. Every other of the six remaining clubs currently not inside the playoff spots, are within reach should a result or two come their way over these next two months.
Leaving aside the pair of midweek fixtures, Round 24 saw nine matches played, resulting in two away wins and a solitary draw between Toronto and Chicago. A whopping 34 goals were scored, including a single own-goal – there would have been more were it not for some wonderful saves from a variety of keeper; for the first week in a long time, not a single penalty kick was awarded. Thirty yellow cards were shown, as well as a pair of reds – one straight: to Vancouver’s Johnny Leveron and one accumulative: to Dallas’ Blas Perez.
Harkening back to the earliest editions of this review – which began back in 2011 – there will be a slight change of format, rather than recounting every result in order, they will be woven into a comprehensive narrative. Feedback on the changes will be most welcome in the comments section below.
But before the results; the goals of the round:
Aug 25 2014 03:10 AM | Aaron Campbell in AFTN
Vancouver Whitecaps headed to Californian dreaming of their first win against the LA Galaxy in their own backyard. That dream soon turned to a nightmare and it was a case of California Uber Alles once again.
Aaron Campbell takes his regular look at "The Good, The Average & The Bad" from the Caps' 2-0 loss to LA, that wasn't unexpected but still disappointed.
Aug 24 2014 03:51 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute
By Rose Rago A announced crowd of 22,591 fans filed into BMO field to witness TFC and Chicago Fire play to a 2-2 draw. Supporters can’t help but feel like their team didn’t earn one point, but rather dropped two. Toronto controlled the majority of th...
Aug 24 2014 04:45 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
[Match report and post game reaction from both locker rooms after the LA Galaxy's comfortable 2-0 home win over Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening. We hear from Carl Robinson, Kendall Waston and Mauro Rosales from the Whitecaps and the Galaxy's Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Marcelo Sarvas and Omar Gonzalez.]
Vancouver Whitecaps headed into the StubHub Center on Saturday night full of confidence and looking for their first ever road win against the LA Galaxy. Ninety minutes later, they're still looking.
And they'll be looking hard as the Whitecaps were never in this one.
All the plans of taking the game to LA fell apart early when Landon Donovan opened the scoring just five minutes in and the Caps were left chasing the game thereafter.
When Marcelo Sarvas added a second just past the half hour mark, you already knew it was game over.
Aug 24 2014 01:30 AM | Squizz in Some Canadian Guys
A group of around 100 men is gathered around a gigantic circular table in a dimly-lit, windowless room. A nearby table is filled with unopened bags of potato chips in various flavours -- ketchup, chicken, all dressed. Every so often, a thin tendril of vapour from an e-cigarette floats up to the ceiling from a darkened corner of the room.
Unnamed Man takes a large swig of water from a bottle, carefully reseals it and puts it back on the table.
Unnamed Man: Robbie, Quincy, I've got to say, that's some good work this week.
Aug 23 2014 02:42 PM | Michael Crampton in 24th Minute
The World Cup break, the heavy July schedule, and the four game August road trip. The three landmarks of Toronto FC’ summer have passed and the club is on the threshold of the final phase of the 2014 regular season.
A key phrase in the sentence above is “regular season”. For the first time in years, it’s actually worth discussing the possibility of post-season play and what it will take the Reds to get there. Realistically, the minimum criteria for success in 2014, simply qualifying for the playoffs, has become, while not a certainty, more likely than less likely.
Aug 23 2014 04:15 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
What in the world has happened to Kekuta Manneh?
We’re not exactly sure, but the signs at training this week are that we could be about to get some of the Manneh of old back again.
After stunning fans across the world with his hat-trick against Seattle last October, the speedy Gambian has never looked like hitting those dizzy heights this season and all the press talk about an imminent move to the Premiership seem quite foolish now.
Aug 22 2014 07:46 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute
I hate artificial turf. If you've read this space long enough, or listened to any of the various podcasts I've been on over the years, you'll know just how much I hate turf. I once was a part of an infamous hour-long podcast named "Grass to BMO" whe...
Aug 22 2014 08:00 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN
It was a case of out with the old, in with the older in Vancouver yesterday, in an excellent piece of business by the Whitecaps.
As we reported on Thursday afternoon, Nigel Reo-Coker is no longer a Whitecap. That in itself is not really big news. We've been waiting weeks, months for the Caps to finally offload their overpaid Englishman. If anything, it was getting frustrating that it was taking so long.
What was surprising was what they got for him in return. The assist machine that is Mauro Rosales.
Aug 21 2014 08:45 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Last Friday we wrote asking "How do you solve a problem like my Reo?". Well, it would appear that Carl Robinson may just have found a solution as to what to do with Nigel Reo-Coker.
The English veteran wasn't at Whitecaps training on Thursday morning and the Caps' coach spent a lot of the session on his phone, with all the signs pointing to Reo-Coker heading to pastures new very shortly, possibly in an internal MLS trade.
Carl Robinson still looking at strengthening Whitecaps squad but only with players that will "be able to affect the team" right away
Aug 21 2014 05:04 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN
Vancouver Whitecaps fans hoping to see a couple of new additions to the squad during the last transfer window were left with only the signing of centreback Kendall Waston to excite them.
That window closed last week, meaning that if the Whitecaps want to add some fresh faces to their squad for the critical season run-in, options are pretty much now down to those players available on a free contract or trades within MLS.
Carl Robinson has said all year that he is "always looking" at strengthening the squad and has been consistent in his belief that the only way to benefit the club is to look for players that will be hear for years, not mere months.