The 2015 Women’s World Cup had some teams that really didn’t belong. How well we remember results like Germany 10-0 Ivory Coast, or Switzerland 10-1 Ecuador, or Cameroon 6-0 Ecuador. Ecuador was really bad. But it’s 2019, women’s soccer has developed for four years, and Ecuador didn’t qualify. Instead we have Chile, and Jamaica, and Thailand and Cameroon are back!
Fans in France will get to enjoy some hilarious blowouts, making all those Ligue 1 Féminin fans feel at home.
Usefully previewing a whole 24-team women’s soccer tournament is impossible. How’s Thailand’s depth at fullback? Any writer not actually Thai will neither know nor care. In the men’s World Cup even bad teams have a few guys playing in the Eredivisie or something so you’ll know a guy who’s seen him on DAZN or at least have a good, instinctive feel for the level? The Women’s World Cup does not play that way.
Read more at Maple Leaf Forever!
The Women’s World Cup happens every four years, and soccer teams change a lot in that time. Comparing one World Cup team to the previous World Cup team is just the sort of lazy, valueless sportswriting that is typical of women’s soccer but informs nobody about anything.
So comparing Canada’s group in 2015 to that in 2019 is obviously insane, but in fairness, the soccer gods really really want me to.
In 2015 Canada, who were not really one of the best six teams in world women’s soccer, were seeded A1 for the World Cup draw because we were the host country. As a result we got a softball group of us, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and China; no minnows but three teams we should beat most of the time. We won one, drew two, didn’t concede, won the thing; not fun, but effective. In the round of 16 we beat Switzerland in a really good game, then lost in the quarter-final when our depleted defensive depth finally caught up to us and the odd break didn’t go our way.
In 2019 Canada might be one of the best six teams in world women’s soccer and the FIFA gods smiled upon us, placing us in Pot 1 for the draw on merit1. As a result Canada was placed in a group with New Zealand, the Netherlands, and, um, Cameroon.
Read more on Maple Leaf Forever!
Yet again, HFX Wanderers will go to work at Wanderers Grounds tomorrow evening. This time, it is Valour FC making the trip from Winnipeg to the East Coast for the first leg of a Canadian Championship second round clash.
Wanderers reached this stage by overcoming Vaughan Azzuri on away goals, after a nervy second leg at Wanderers Grounds saw the tie finish 3-3. This will be the first ever appearance in this competition for Valour, as they were gifted a first round bye.
The only time these sides have met previously came almost a month ago, with Valour running out 1-0 victors in Winnipeg. That match probably holds up as Wanderers best away performance to date, but a lack of cutting edge (and, perhaps synonymously, Luis Alberto Perea) saw them fall to defeat.
Wanderers will come into this match feeling good, as two solid performances have seen them earn 4 points out of 6 at home in the last week. A hard-fought 1-1 draw with York last Wednesday was followed by a 2-1 victory over Pacific, with Akeem Garcia and the aforementioned Perea seeing off the B.C. side.
Valour come into this game fresh off of a 1-0 away victory over Edmonton, having previously been on an extended rest. Ali Musse played the role of super-sub in that victory, popping up off the bench to score the winner in the second half.
“And it’s like stars have aligned all in Alliance
Heart of a lion, balls of Goliath”
Ok….. I know, I know. I’ve been away and missed the first month of the season, my bad. But as the saying goes, semi informational and questionably entertaining things come to those who wait.
Well, what hasn’t changed? Sanjaxx are gone, which sucks for me as both the downtown clubs (Nitros), have quit the league in the last two years meaning travelling to every ground is now a hassle. But the ying to that yang is that Durham are back after taking a couple of years out. TFC3 also left but that happened mid last season, so all this means that there are 16 teams in the men’s league this year and they all play each other once before the top 8 go into the playoffs.
The playoffs were fun last year, with the best teams going up against each other, there were shocks and disappointments so I expect more of the same this year as well.
Plenty of players have left to ply their trade in the CPL, a lot of which have started out very well, so lineups for specifically Sigma and Vaughan have changed drastically. Aurora have signed up half of the Humber college alumni, including Oakville stalwart Filipe Vilela, and N. Mississauga have also had a lot of change in their squad.
As for this column, it won’t be coming weekly as in the past but once or twice a month rounding up the action, then with additional insights and interviews sporadically to try to add more value and exposure. So to the action on the field, what are the highlights of the season so far….
HFX Wanderers begin their first real run of home games this year with a test against York 9 FC. Both teams have struggled to pick up points early in the spring season, which lends added impetus to a match that both sides will hope to use to kick-start their campaign.
Each side comes into this one off the back of a 2-0 loss, with Wanderers falling to Cavalry in Calgary and York dropping their home opener to Forge in a clash marred by brutal weather conditions.
With the finish line somehow already in sight in this abbreviated spring season, this is a crucial match for both sides as they look to start moving up the table.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
Heading into her third season of play in United Women’s Soccer (UWS), 21-year-old Emily Burns is as excited to start the season as she’s ever been.
Fresh off her experience with Calgary Foothills WFC’s run to the semifinals of the 2018 UWS National Playoffs, the goalkeeper is ready to backstop her team to the championship.
“I definitely want to see us come out of our conference and make it to the final four championships again like last year,” Burns said. “I want to see us get a better result than we did last year because we came up a bit short when we had such a great season and it kind of ended bitterly. I’d like to see us go all the way and try to win it this year.”
Coming off her fourth year as the goalkeeper of the MacEwan University Griffins, where she was named a second-team Canada West all-star, Burns looks set to help bring Foothills WFC to success and this year she has the starting position all to herself.
Despite being named the 2017 UWS West Conference Goalkeeper of the Year and earning a clean sheet while making four saves in Foothills’ first game of 2018, when Canadian national team goalkeeper and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Stephanie Labbe joined the team, Burns’ workload for the season was cut down.
“I played in the first game last year against Salt Lake and [Labbe] ended up coming after that,” Burns said.
Labbe was infamously banned from playing in PDL action with Calgary Foothills FC in 2018, so she joined Foothills’ women’s team instead.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
The Purple Reign Podcast is a collaboration between Maxwell Mowbray (PFCOntario) and Xav Ouellette (The Hydro Pole). With both hosts building a presence on Twitter, they have decided to take on the world of podcasting. Together these two Pacific FC fans created a one-stop podcast for all things Pacific FC. Despite the hosts being 3300 KM apart, Maxwell and Xav will bring you all the latest news, rumours and discussion regarding VanIsle football.
The second episode of the Purple Reign Podcast includes:
A discussion on the 2-2 draw at the Pacific FC vs York9 FC match on May 18th, 2019.
An interview with Pacific FC CEO/Co-Owner/Sporting Director Rob Friend. This interview will include topics such as building Pacific FC, the emphasis on youth players at PFC, the lack of CanPL players on the Canada 40-man Gold Cup roster, and CanPL expansion.
A quick discussion on our new signing, Alexander “Makelele” Gonzalez.
Die-hard York9 FC fan Eric Pronio brings his outspoken (and probably biased) opinions to the internet. Focusing on York9 FC, but also touching on all things CPL, Canadian soccer news, worldwide soccer news, and pop culture.
On today’s podcast, Maxwell Mowbray (aka @PFCOntario) joins the pod to talk about his love for Pacific FC and the CPL. Eric also gets into the 40-man Gold Cup Roster for Canada, and has a quick preview of the second leg between York9 FC and AS Blainville.
*** Important. Due to the wide range of times these games are shown at and unfortunate collisions with local professional teams you MUST check to ensure the bar is open and the game is on.
Victoria - Yates Taphouse
Vancouver - Library Square
Calgary - Home & Away
Edmonton - Urban Tavern
Saskatoon - Finn's Pub
Regina - The Lobby
Winnipeg - Nicolina's
Toronto - Duke of Gloucester.
Ottawa - Senate Tavern on Bank
Hamilton - End Zone Pub
Montreal - Frappe
Halifax - Niche Lounge
Waterloo - RIM Park
Kitchener - Budd Park
Or the camp could be combined at a discounted rate!!!
I'm actually okay if this does happen during this time (January) even if its not a FIFA window. Not a lot of leagues are playing during that time. So it'll be beneficial for Canada to build the best squad capable.
It could be beneficial for a lot of players, some returning, and some starting their leagues....Ultimately I don't know, I see it as a good thing for the U23, but it may come at the expense of a camp poutine.
About this, I have seen a few articles in Spain these last weeks about how they are using rather sophisticated formulas to decide what team plays when in the league, I'll try to find it.
In any case, major leagues the world over have gotten to a high level of analysis in this regard, especially when it comes to tv audiences at home and abroad. This is why La Liga hardly ever plays games simulateously anymore, and has had Friday and Monday matches. Matches are also starting way earlier, at noon or 1 pm, when in the past only one team did this when in top flight, Rayo Vallecano, being the third team in Madrid. This has to do with Asian markets, mostly, in the effort to compete with EPL which is way ahead.
These odd times, especially Mondays and Fridays, are hated by most fans and hurt gates, but clubs don't overly complain because of the tv money coming in.
This would suggest that similar principles could and will be applied for the CPL. The capacity for analysis is there. But it would have a possible consequence: not releasing a full schedule at the start of the season, but adjusting as you go, which is the way things go in Spain--basically all decisions by Media Pro/Movistar.
I personally think that this is fine that apart from certain dates like Canada Day, or a provincial holiday perhaps, no one really cares if their team plays on September 21st or 22nd, until you get to within 5-6 weeks.
If CPL is going to be part of a French cable package next season, you would logically have to look at French schedules, and adjust the CPL scheduling accordingly, for your one weekly match. The problem, of course, is that anything from noon on live in Canada clashes with peak tv times in Europe. So maybe it is recorded filler?
Any new club is buying into the security of the 200million MediaPro deal, minus the proportion already doled out this first season.
But any new club may in fact also be helping to ensure the terms of the MediaPro deal, which was not made on the premise of having only 7 teams/markets in the near, mid or far-off future.
So you cannot calculate what they are getting only, you have to calculate how new clubs in CPL actually help guarantee what the existing clubs are benefitting from.
FEDEFUTBOL(Costa Rica's FA) President Rodolfo Villalobos says the tournament will be in the USA in January or February 2020.
It was scheduled to be in Costa Rica in October but no details had been released.
CONCACAF gonna CONCACAF!
I now doubt the senior team will play a Camp Poutine...
They also fund feature films and produce documentaries, which is why naming their soccer-specific affiliate is more precise. In any case, I wonder if they are settting up or if they are outsourcing their tech support.
As I posted elsewhere, it is not correct to say they cannot do anything. They could:
-move the cameras to the other side of the pitch, which would lose the vision of stands, but give us benches and beer garden, and reduce the glare while potentially raising the angle. It is a trade off.
-move the platform back 10-15 metres, and put it on a higher crane or support, which would take it out of the line of the electrical lines above and enable similarly improved angles and image. You would only lose the area in front of the benches on that sideline, potentially.
-change game times to reduce the glare at least, as they are filming into the sun on a lot of days with the 3 pm starts.