The Premier Podcast covers all things #CanPL. Hosted by Michael Miller, this podcast covers all Canadian Premier League related activities, with occasional interviews with players and other personalities revolving around this new CONCACAF Division-1 League.
This week is a special French-language episode. Worry not, we will be back next week with our regular programming! Cette semaine, on y va d’une table ronde sur la CanPL et la Coupe Canadienne.
Host, music, graphics and editing : Michael Miller
Guests: Étienne Bouthillier, Justine Longpré & Julien Tardif
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
The Premier Podcast is a Kan Football Club podcast.
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“Time to sit back and unwind”
Summer is finally here and League 1 Ontario is another five games down in the regular season with five left to go and the playoff picture is looking clearer despite some surprising results.
Alliance still topping the table
Alliance are miraculously still on top with the same record over this period as the first with four wins and a draw. Their strong, defence first approach is working wonders, with the team only conceding in two games all season. However, this does affect the other side of things, and whilst not having a bad goalscoring record, they do have the lowest goals scored per game ratio in the top 7 (1.80). Their top scorer is centre midfielder and captain, Nikola Stakic with 5 goals, 4 of which came from the penalty spot. Coincidentally, those 4 were all game-winners in 1-0 victories for the table toppers.
Whilst I think that Alliance are doing extremely well, a possible caveat to this is that out of the top 6 teams in the league, they have only played Aurora, who they tied 2-2. Four of their five remaining games are against 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th so this next period will be the real test as to whether they can compete with the big boys.
There is no way to sugar-coat it: Valour FC’ spring season was an utter disaster, and despite the team being a relatively young group of players that are still gelling together and finding their feet, there isn’t much excuse for the way things finished. In a league where most of the teams are on par and matches are extremely close, losing 6 games in a row is extremely alarming, and is a sign of major problems.
Luckily, Valour get a fresh start for the fall season, but we cannot act as if this team will somehow click together at some point if they keep doing what they’re doing – changes need to be made, and the coaching staff has a checklist of things they need to figure out prior to their opening match of the fall against Edmonton on the 17th.
View the list on the NSXI Network.
Forge’s Board is joined by AFC Curtis to discuss the results of the inaugural Spring Season of the Canadian Premier League. They evaluate the status of the league and picture what it may look like in years to come. The lads also discuss what to expect from the upcoming Fall Season and canvass the league for a potential dark horse. AFC Curtis also shines a light on the status of soccer in Manitoba and how it has been impacted since Valour FC was established.
Listen on the NSXI Network.
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It’s been a difficult spring season for Valour FC in the inaugural Canadian Premier League campaign – there’s no denying that. For a team many expected to be competitive for the CanPL title right off the bat due to impressive depth in the front 6 and a plethora of quality individual talent, nothing seems to be working for Rob Gale’s side at the moment.
One of those aforementioned quality individual talents is none other than former Montreal Impact player, Louis Beland-Goyette, who has been starting as the deepest midfielder all season long for the Winnipeg-based side – in a role known widely as the “regista”, or deep-lying playmaker.
While Beland-Goyette brings some impressive vision to the table, which partners quite nicely with his high-quality ball-retention and tempo-keeping abilities, he did tend to struggle off the ball in the early part of the season, especially in those crucial moments when Valour were transitioning into their defensive shape, and the opposition attacked with speed.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
Canada stormed out to a 2-0 lead before half time and looked a safe bet to advance to their first Gold Cup semi final since 2007. Haiti kept the faith in the second half and punished a lackluster Canadian side to keep their improbable run alive.
Canada posted an impressive looking 4-0 result over former bogey side Martinique to open their Gold Cup campaign. In truth it was John Herdman’s first real test as manager of the men’s national team, and Canada was pushed in the first half before out classing the Caribbean side in the second. There is a danger in over-extrapolating from one match, especially against a side nowhere near the levels of Mexico, the U.S.A, Costa Rica, or Jamaica, but there were some interesting tid bits from the match.
Historically, the Cameroon women’s national team is bad at soccer. They have qualified for one Olympics and two World Cups despite only having to get out of Africa, which some of my readers could do if they found ten equivalent friends. In 2015 they won two games in the group stage, somehow, over Switzerland and worst-team-alive Ecuador, but those were their first and only points in major competition. That aside, on the rare occasion they play non-African competition they lose heavily including a 2018 6-0 friendly loss to France. Their FIFA ranking is 46th, which is well into the disgraces.
Yet, in their opening game of the 2019 World Cup, Cameroon held Canada, who have an outside chance at winning this thing, to only a 1-0 win. Worse, that seemed fair: Chris Henderson had Canada leading the expected goals 1.31 to 0.68. This is impossible to look up but I doubt any team outside Africa has ever generated as few as 1.31 expected goals against the Cameroonians.
Read more at Maple Leaf Forever!
The 2019 Canadian women’s national team is being called, by serious players who have even watched the games that aren’t on TSN, our best ever. The only serious argument would come from the circa 2003 team, which was mostly too young but featured apex Andrea Neil and was the only major tournament where both 20-year-old Christine Sinclair and 35-year-old Charmaine Hooper were within reasonable range of their primes. That team didn’t beat anybody they weren’t supposed to beat, but they beat everybody they had to and got us our best-ever fourth-place finish at a World Cup. You could argue for our 2016 Olympic team, but since that’s this team with some young players replaced by inferior old ones, it sort of concedes the argument.
Naturally, the rest of the world has not sat still. As we know this is also the best Dutch team ever, the best Australian, probably the best English, and overall maybe the best American, which is a thought to chill the blood. Even last year, at home, this Canadian team was distinctly outplayed by Germany.
Yet sit down, plan Canada’s path to victory, and it is the right side of insane. If we win our group, which is difficult but realistic, we get a round-of-16 match against most likely England or Japan. That’s rough for a round-of-16 game, but Canada winning would arguably not even be a surprise. England is good, but maybe a bit overrated; certainly not off Canada’s tier. Japan seems to be on the way down. We’ve also beaten both teams recently after some long cold streaks. The last World Cup aside, and we absolutely could have won that game, Canada’s had England’s number since 2014 or so. Get through that and the probable quarter-final is against Australia, an easier opponent, or a pupu platter of South Korea/Brazil/Norway-type outfits who could upset the Aussies but aren’t really in our weight class. Then you’re in the money, and the rest of the way every team is either good or on a roll, but the most probable semi-final opponent is Germany and even though it didn’t really count we’ve beaten them too…
Read more at Maple Leaf Forever!
I agree with everything you said, but I just want to point out that at least originally (I assume it's still the same plan) the plan was including some knockout games in Canada and Mexico, not just group stage. I think round of 32 (remember it will be a 48 team World Cup) and round of 16 matches can be played in Canada. It isn't until the quarter finals that it becomes 100% USA.
Honestly, cannot blame Herdman on this one. Unfortunately for Cordova, our outside backs have become much stronger. He's very versatile in that he can play both sides and as a back and as a winger. For Canada, he is not strong enough to make the squad as an outright winger. And in our current formation, he cannot play as a LCB or RCB which leaves him only as a wingback role. Laryea, Davies Tajon & Adekugbe are all ahead of him at the wingback role. Even ZBG, Bassong & Gutierrez (when healthy) are probably ahead of him as well. Bassong is more verstalile too as he can play as an outside CB, even ZBG could probably slide into that role if we needed to. Would still love to see him in some friendlies in the future.
Juan Cordova played the full 90 minutes at RB for Huachipato in a 1-1 tie with Palestino tonight. Also picked up a yellow card.
It looks like he has played in 6 of the club's past 8 games since the beginning of August. He started in 5 of those 6 and went the full 90 in 4 of those 6 games. Transfermarkt has him listed playing both RB & RW for a few games each.