Stewie the Starfish’s stalwart seamen have become impotent.
From first place in the Canadian Premier League they have dropped to a lowly sixth after a mid-week 3-0 battering by Forge FC. Vainly do we say that first place was after the second game in league history, or that our two losses were another midweeker to better-rested Valour and a game well-earned by the Hamiltonians but not the worst 3-0 ever1. Pacific has not looked great by eye or numbers and this weekend’s tilt, away to FC Edmonton, will pit us against tenacious defending and lots of athleticism to weary a tired team.
We knew Pacific’s defensive depth would be a problem but maybe not so early. Former League1 Ontario man Lukas MacNaughton had two games full of quality and violence. But he was suspended for the Valour match, while Hendrik Starostzik has missed two and counting with a foot problem. In their place Ryan McCurdy was abominable and Émile Legault, a neat little player, is too short and inexperienced to play centre back professionally right now. Given Starostzik and MacNaughton Pacific likely beats Valour, and while Forge was another thing altogether being able to spell fullbacks Blake Smith and Kadin Chung with Legault would have done a power of good.
Pacific have recently added Saudi youth trainee Ahmed Alghamdi and former TSS FC Rover Zach Verhoven to their roster. Even so they stand at 20 players signed, counting the seriously injured Marcel de Jong. They had very few reserves to draw upon, have drawn upon them early, and didn’t even get wins out of it: add depth, please, and the sooner the better.
But there’s no merit in complaining about a lack of signings if you can’t suggest any, and while Sergio Ramos would be a quality addition my source at Pacific says they’re unlikely to agree terms.
Here are three ideas for Pacific FC. All are meant to be realistic. They are professionally out of contract but have played recently at a high level (no stirring Luca Bellisomo comebacks). They are not so accomplished as players that they’d automatically demand large wages, and possess some tenuous connection to British Columbia soccer. We are looking for useful players here to fill out the back of the roster, not superstars. They might make a disproportionate difference.
Read more at https://www.maple-leaf-forever.com/2019/05/10/three-candidates-for-pacific-fc-depth/
Lots of games to review and talk about in this episode. We start off with the Whitecaps, and their WIN vs Colorado. Then we preview the upcoming game against their Cascadia Rivals— the Portland Timbers. After our Whitecaps talk, we bring you up to date with everything Pacific FC and Canadian Premier League!
What's Up Whitecaps A weekly podcast that brings you up to date with everything Whitecaps, Canada Soccer, and even hints at other sports around Vancouver. Hosted by Ben Steiner, and Tom Curyer.
On today's SoccerToday Kevin and Duane talked at length about the positive impact of CanPL so far.
They also talked about one major failing -- the lack of French content on the official webpage and app. This needs to be addressed.
From Sports Podcasting Network:
Listen to Kevin and Duane discuss this on Two Solitudes here . This clip, normally behind the paywall, is free.
A month ago this lead would have been more generous. It would have pointed to a stellar playing and coaching career and spoke about how much he had contributed to the game.
Eventually it would have reached the same conclusion, but it would have been with regret. A suggestion that a humane option be presented to him would have been made.
That’s off the table now. Now, 40 years of good will are out the window. There will be no punches pulled.
Bobby Lenarduzzi must be fired. Not given an opportunity to “spend more time with his family,” or “move into a consulting role,” or any other way teams let long time servants save face when the time comes to move on.
No, he needs to be canned. Sacked. Shit canned. Axed. Shown the door. Given a pink slip.
As the most public face of the Vancouver Whitecaps and the person who was in charge when the alleged abuses (abuses that the Whitecaps internally, if quietly, decided were real at the time) and when the decision to hire a youth coach who was found to have thrown a banana at a black player, he’s got to go.
It’s no longer a debatable point. It’s quite literally the least that the club can do.
To be clear, this isn’t about the scoreboard, nor should anyone muddy the waters by bringing results into this.
As the leader of the organization, Lenarduzzi oversaw a toxic work environment that legitimately has caused harm to people. That is inexcusable. Maybe a way forward could have been found when this first came out. Had Lenarduzzi and the team immediately apologized and agreed to make real changes to prevent it ever happening again then…maybe.
But, they didn’t and they somehow made a terrible situation worse. So, the time for niceties is over.
Bobby’s got to go.
It won’t fix it. There’s a hell of a lot of work that needs to happen after he leaves, but that work doesn’t start – can’t start – until he’s gone.
by Robert Brown
Canada coasted through the CONCACAF Nations League qualifiers with ease. The Canadians quickly disposed of the US Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and French Guiana by a combined 18-1 scoreline.
Although the opposition was relatively weak, John Herdman’s troop displayed their goal-scoring prowess.
The CONCACAF Nations League presents a bonafide opportunity for Team Canada to compete against the best in the CONCACAF region.
The inaugural competition spans through September 2019 to March 2020. Canada is in a group with proven CONCACAF opponents in the United States and Cuba. Due to the introduction of the Nations League, Team Canada has the opportunity to partake in meaningful matches, effectively replacing friendlies. In the same breath, these games will be a measuring stick against the premier sides in North America.
This competition presents a unique opportunity to John Herdman and his players. A group stage consisting of 3 teams is a new concept for team Canada and Herdman himself. In this relegation/promotion style tournament, Canada will be put to the test from day one. Each and every game is of the utmost importance. One bad match can derail Canada’s success in the tourney.
Canada begins the CONCACAF Nations League with a hotly contested matchup against Cuba. Cuba may not be a fierce side in the CONCACAF circuit, however, they have experienced varied success in the past. Although they failed to qualify for the 2017 Gold Cup, Cuba displayed their resiliency with consecutive trips the Quarterfinals in 2013 & 2015.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
Although Ben Fisk was born and grew up across the Georgia Strait in Vancouver, playing in Pacific FC’s inaugural Canadian Premier League game, a 1-0 win over HFX Wanderers FC at Westhills Stadium in Langford, felt like a homecoming for the 26-year-old.
“Sunday was a pretty special one with all my friends and family there to watch,” Fisk said. “That was the first time in my pro career that I’ve had so many people in the stadium at one time and the fact that we were able to get the win made it that much more special.”
After getting his start with the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Residency program and making appearances with both their former U23 PDL side and USL affiliate, Fisk made a name for himself across North America and Europe with stints with Coruxo and Deportivo B in Spain, FC Edmonton in the NASL, and Derry City in the League of Ireland.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
April finished off with a number of big wins and troubling losses. With the top-4 leagues, comprising 12 Canadian Teams, now actively playing, there’s been some interesting movement that is important to watch.
It all came down to the final weekend, but Montreal Impact FC have flipped the script and taken the top spot from Toronto FC. With an elo-rating gap of only 7.877, this could flip back pretty easily with a pair of results.
Similarly, Pacific FC are the first CPL club to reach top-of-the-table. With only 2-matches played in the league so far, that victory could be fleeting, especially with MacNaughton out of Wednesday’s match against Valour FC due to the two yellows he received Sunday.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
This episode features a roundtable with Jason and Adam from The Young Gaffers, Ryan from Bleeding Orange, and Nathan and Rob-regular hosts of SeaToSea, and NSXI Editor, Shawn Gray. Discussion revolves around the opening weekend of the Canadian Premier League & OneSoccer.
Never go into the archives of Maple Leaf Forever! without expert supervision. Any post written before about 2016 is pretty much unreadable. But this morning I dove into the crap to get a particular nugget: my first visit to Langford’s ironically-named City Centre Park in May 2010 to watch the Victoria Highlanders host the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23s in the USL PDL season opener.
A lot has changed in nine years. For one thing I ripped Russell Teibert, who was a year or so from becoming Canadian Soccer Jesus. Both the Highlanders and the Whitecaps U-23s folded then came back as completely different setups. Also, the ironically-named City Centre Park is almost unrecognizable. 2010’s aluminum-bleachered main stand now has beautiful purple seats with “PFC” picked out in white and wouldn’t look out of place in England’s League Two. The “Bear Mountain Stadium” sign now says “Westhills Stadium” (though it is otherwise exactly the same, which is fun). The neighbourhood has built up; a weirdly obscure tree-shrouded ground nestled in with the industry and parking lots is now in a fast-growing part of Langford that’ll probably be 50% condos by the time Noah Verhoeven gets his testimonial.
But a few things are the same. Quoting myself:
It took nine years, and they’re not the Highlanders, and it’s actually the first division. And security checks bags now, though they’re still human beings rather than dicks with badges and let us bring in cookies for Clare Rustad. Otherwise 2010 Ben would be pretty happy with how those paragraphs worked out.
Read the rest at https://www.maple-leaf-forever.com/2019/04/29/another-day-one-at-westhills-stadium/
It feels like banging my head against the wall, to sell soccer - as in something you watch and pay for - to most of my Edmonton friends and family. Other than in specific communities, it seems like it always did, every since I was old enough to spend money. (Being a very little kid in the Brickmen days maybe felt different but that could be warped due to being so young.)
Would love to be more positive.
Well said !
been to both grounds and the “guts “ of the stadiums are not drastically different
That said - the game experience defined as food and beverage at HFX is/ was light years better than FCED
what also struck me when I went to a game after Canada V CR in Edmonton was the high school “ish” stand that TV did not pick up and the cafeteria calibre food Bev compared to HFX as well as nothing in CPL can compare to the supporters feel at HFX- Kitchen rules
In fairness I think this is a common case because we're also in a world now where there's guys in the same age range as someone like Toussaint who are in MLS and that's going to continue being the case.
He was invited to his first CF Montreal training camp in February ‘21- it’s actually only been a little over 2 and a half years since he left CS St Laurent. Feels like he’s been around forever now, but there’s more time between now and the next World Cup than there is between when Kone was playing local amateur soccer and now. Insane rise.
When his confidence is up, his swagger is unreal. He has games where he knows he’s the best player on the pitch and plays like it.
Having been to both Clarke Stadium and Wanderers Grounds, they are remarkably similar in nature. But one draws 5000+ every game and one drew nowhere near that.
The atmosphere was lousy not just because of the stadium, but because Edmonton just never really took to professional soccer. I don't think it's as simple as having a deep pocketed owner and a shiny new stadium either.
Finally had a bite and can comment.
Stephen lined up on the left side of their midfield, had a modest game, was not overly in the mix either going forward or backward, an average game. As mentioned, took corners and a few free kicks.
He was a bit anonymous because he was shadowing Pedri when they didn't have the ball, and since the latter is coming off an injury and is not 100%, Staq was largely successful. And if not Pedri, he went to look for Gundogan. Both of these rival mids were better in the 2nd half. So he was partially successful, as the best Barça mid was Frenkie who imo was the best player on the pitch tonight.
As I've argued frequently, you often see him running across the field to fill a gap that I think only he sees. It is like a bit of anxiety, instead of just holding position. He has to fill holes wherever he sees them, it's a bit of horror vacui. Then he often does the classic midfielder move to go to the guy with the ball in possession and offer himself. But this does not always work as he'll draw a rival with him and crowd out the guy with the ball.
IMO he needs to hold, keep the tension. Not lose position. Believe in his task. This may mean less ball, less kms in a game, but more effectivity.
Cool but not cold on Montjuïc tonight, Porto fans were not too lively and the stadium lit up well with the Barça supporter group behind the goal.