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    Kevin Laramee
    Every Friday, I will give my keys to victory for the Montreal Impact, in 3 points!
    Point 1 The Cohesion in the Midfield
    Montreal had all sorts of trouble in the midfield last week. Congestion, led to confusion that led to loss of possession, this really was noticeable when Montreal was trying to transition the ball forward. Smaller, higher pourcentages passes  are key for the Impact to generate quality opportunity to feed their best attacking options, Piatti and Mancosu, which were left on an island last week.
    Point 2 Oyongo and Piatti
    The combination of Ambroise Oyongo and Nacho Piatti on the left side of the field for the Bleu-Blanc-Noir  can be deadly. When Oyongo is able to use the space in front of him with the ball at his feet, he creates time and space for Piatti to be an offensive threat or even a goal scoring chance for himself. This is imperative for Montreal to get by the defending MLS Cup Champions.
    Point 3 Beware of Clint Dempsey
    Clint is back, healthy and HUNGRY! Even though they lost their season opener, Clint has found the back of the net already this season and in his favorite fashion, poacher style. For the Montreal Impact to emerge victorious Saturday night at the Stade Olympique, they will have to be mindful of Dempsey's presence close to goal AT ALL TIMES AND FOR 90 MINUTES!
    You can follow Kevin Laramee on twitter @KevLaramee
    Off the Woodworkx, a podcast about the Montreal Impact available here  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/off-woodworkx-sports-podcasting/id1067439813?mt=2

    Duane Rollins
    Philadelphia Union (0-0-1) v TFC (0-0-1), Match Day 2
    TSN 4 – 4:30pm, Saturday
    CSN Away Viewing is upstairs at Pauper’s Pub (Bathurst and Bloor). Check the usual suspects (Wheat Sheaf, Shoeless Joe’s, etc.) for others or add your viewing in the comments.
    Last meeting: TFC won its first ever playoff game in rather convincing fashion to launch a magical run that lasted through to the end of November. I’m not sure what happened in December.
    Most famous game: In what was possibly Aron Winter’s darkest moment the exceptionally average Union put six – yes, SIX – goals by the Worst Team in the World to win 6-2 in front of a grumpy BMO Field back in 2012.
    Key Union player: Let’s go with Super Keeper Andre Blake, who is arguably the best shot stopper in all of MLS. Thankfully, TFC has not been robbed blind by a keeper standing on his head in almost three months.
    Former Red alert: With the man responsible for BMO Field’s lack of plastic, Mo Edu, still recovering from his broken leg the former Reds alert is Warren Creavalle. The utility player most famous in Toronto for the drunk guy two rows back of you insisting he’d be a better option at right-back has actually found some half-decent form for the Union.
    Key TFC player: Gotta be Seba, no? After yet another week of MLS’ tried and true defensive strategy of hack-a-little-Italian, the Atomic Ant will be looking to open his account in style this weekend.
    Home advantage: Meh. Unless you’re trying to park your car after sunset there isn’t much intimating about Chester’s best soccer stadium.   The weather on game day is going to be positively Canadian -- -4C expected at kick-off. No orange ball likely though.  
    What opposing fans are saying: REVENGE!!!!1!!!!1! They are also mostly calling for a tight game and possibly a draw. Yippee.
    TFC panic level (as expressed by the name of a former player): Danny Koevermans (He’s really good, but we’re scared it’s all going to go wrong at any moment)
    Our view: It says here that TFC gets its first three points of the year and Seba opens his account with a brace. 3-0 Reds.

    Kevin Laramee
    Scores, Game Reports, Analysis, Interviews and especially FUN!!
    Hosted by Kevin Laramee @KevLaramee
    STUDIO LINE 1-802-731-0131
    Send in your thoughts on your favorite MLS Team and/or your game reports, feedback to mlspostgameshow@gmail.com

    Duane Rollins
    Talk about burying the lead. 
    Toronto FC fans got a surprise yesterday and not one that they would have been looking forward to. That Champions League spot that many were looking forward to is not just delayed until next February -- it's been taken away completely. The news was almost hidden in a release announcing the extension of the Canadian Championship to include the winner of the PLSQ and League1 Ontario. 
    So, to re-cap, the CSA got one thing right and one thing very wrong.
    Let's start with the wrong. Appreciating the fact that a lot of people in this country love it when Toronto gets screwed, there is no denying that they did, in fact, get screwed here. Yes, there was a bit of an issue to fix -- CONCACAF's change in format made it a long wait for the qualifying team -- but the CSA chose quite possibly the least sporting solution available to them. TFC won the Voyageurs Cup on the field and the CONCACAF spot that went with it should have stayed with them.  A year where the Cup did not have a CCL spot would not have been the end of the world. In fact, it may have given more opportunity to young Canadians to play in the competition as the teams would have very likely rotated (as an aside, the CSA also added a Canadian quota for starters this year -- each team will need to start three Canucks each game.
    The CSA did provide a slight advantage by allowing TFC to host the one game playoff. Obviously, if TFC wins the 2017 Voyageurs Cup they do not need to play itself for the berth.
    Unfair or not, it's done now and the Reds will need to get down to the business of repeating as champions if the CCL is to make a long awaited return to T.O. 
    For the D3 level teams the long wait to get a shot at the Canadian Championship is almost over. The specific format of the 2018 Cup has not been released yet (hopefully because they are waiting to add a few more teams in a, say, new league...), but whatever it is it will include at least two D3 teams. It won't include the Canadian PDL teams. The likely reason? The CSA wants those teams to play in Canadian leagues and this might be the incentive to get them to make that choice on their own.

    Duane Rollins
    In the words of the great modern poet that is Demi Lovato: 
    So how did you get here under my skin?
    I swore that I'd never let you back in
    Should've known better than trying to let you go
    'Cause here we go go go go again
    After nearly a year of...let's call it re-charging...CSN is back with a slightly new mandate and hopefully a revitalized zest for writing about the always frustrating but rarely dull world of Canadian soccer. We would have been back sooner, but we had a lot of work to accomplish first. Most importantly, we needed to change the look of the site and to get rid of a truly staggering amount of spam that had overwhelmed us and that played a significant role in creating the burn-out that necessitated that above mentioned re-charging.
    The comments section, once the best check of my ego I could have ever hoped for, but yet an important part of making CSN a community rather than just a news site, became the bane of my existence. Unless you were in the market for Russian pharmaceuticals there was no point checking the comments. Without the understanding that people are reading it becomes difficult to motivate yourself to take time out of your schedule to do that hard work of writing -- especially when you spend a lot of time commenting in audio form as the host of SoccerToday.
    Speaking personally, the burn out was also just a product of doing it for so long. You feel that you are repeating yourself after a while. But, eventually you start to miss it and you start to feel that you need to get your voice back out there in a consistent way.   
    A lot remains the same about Canadian soccer, but a lot has changed as well. Part of CSN's (slightly) new mandate will be to address those changes -- specifically the Canadian Premier League project that is (frustratingly still) on the horizon. Additionally, D3 level leagues like League1 Ontario, the PLSQ and the new BC initiative are becoming more and more important in the system and reporting on them will become a big focus of CSN 2.0.
    That's not to say we won't still talk about MLS and the three Canadian teams. There was a time when I felt that maybe we should step away from that kind of coverage (and I still think we should focus a bit less on it compared to the topics outlined above), but when nearly 100,000 people attend the Eastern Conference Final in Canada and a million more watch it on TV it's hard to say that it shouldn't be covered.
    So, it will be. As will the national teams and issues that impact Canadian soccer at all levels, regardless of where it originates from.
    It's going to be a lot of work. But, it's work I'm excited to get back to after a little time away.
    In the words of retired Canadian soccer poet Ben Knight...

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    • You're attempting to re-word my stance. I'm 100% on board for change. I want ali over oso, crepeau over borjan.   However, my main point is how can you say vitoria contributed 0 when he played 90 minutes. Obviously he contributed something. - a header, organization, a pass, a block. He contributed. He showed he can be on the field against a top end opponent and we can win for the first time in 30 years.  To take away every single ounce of credit towards him is just incorrect. It shows bias. If ZMG put in the exact same performance as vitoria did (which is plausible due to lack of pace), you wouldnt say he contributed 0.  At no point did I say I want to stick with vitoria. -youre manipulating my argument again which is nonsense. I will restate my point. It is astronomically incorrect to say vitoria contibuted nothing against jamaica. Give credit where credit is due, give criticism where criticism is due. (sure you can be reasonably harsh or positive but youre assesment is not just harsh, its blinded by bias). Again, if you said vitorias very beneficial for his heading and organization, but hes so slow that its time to replace him, then I would stand with you..... but be reasonable towards a guy whos given everything to our team. 
    • One side has religious, dogmatic fervour on this, mate, and it's you when your ridiculous "facts" about the Championship get challenged.  Try arguing the point you made, not calling people who disagree with you "apes" and engaging in that pulpit-style rhetoric that is really silly on a football forum.
    • Basketball is definitely still a contact sport.  Not in the way hockey or football is, but there is a lot of contact in the paint.  My tall skinny kid tried to play centre against a lot of generally big bulky dudes and they def get to use the body to gain and hold position etc.    and it isn’t gentle.   I think that permitted degree of contact, in a port that doesn’t allow outright hitting, is what leads to the subjectivity. And for the record I definitely still see players getting in the face of refs to pressure them into calls.  Maybe not the Barca mob anymore but it is still very much present.      
    • It's funny you mention contact because I see basketball as a non-contact sport (it's not my fathers basketball anymore). I feel like you're overstating the surrounding of the referees. Gone are the days when a team like Barca would surround the referees on every decision and intimidate and influence the refs to make a decision...I think we only see it now when a VAR decision is to be made, and at that point it's pretty much out of the head refs hands as they are being influenced by VAR officials.  If I'm not mistaken majority of the top professional leagues has rules against the surrounding of referees. 
    • CANMNTBibile dropping a rumour and this board eating it up 
    • Oh no. Not another one of these
    • Vaughn Covil - Championship player at Hull City focused on US and England... but seemingly eligible for Canada due to a Canadian born mother.
    • Well said. This announcement is encouraging on three fronts.  First, that it removes the possibility of a second league-owned team (understandably) folding.  Second, that a new ownership group stepped up to join the league, given how there's been a gap in drawing in new groups.  Maybe this will encourage potential expansion teams.  Third, that they apparently still believe in the Toronto market so they aren't taking up another potential expansion location. On the downside, as you point out, it doesn't magically solve any of the issues that have caused York problems in the first place.
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