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 looked grim, really grim, you will recall. At this point last year with six games under their belt, Ottawa Fury had notched up four defeats and achieved only two draws. The team had just two points to show for 540 minutes or more of football, having conceded 14 goals, five of them in one game alone.
This time around it looks nowhere near so ghastly, mercifully so. The extended pre-season spent in sun-splashed Florida evidently did the squad a world of good, as there is reason to believe that the Ottawa Fury may well have a half-decent season this year.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
April 27th, 2019 was a day for all of us Canadian soccer fans to remember for a long, long time. Our wildest dreams came to fruition at Tim Hortons field, where Forge FC took on York 9 FC in the inaugural Canadian Premier League match. While the event was very much a celebration all-round, we all know that the Canadian Premier League has been split up into 2 seasons, and with this first Spring season lasting just 10 matches, this was a rather important match for both teams – not just a soccer celebration.
Read more on the NSXI Network
On October 4, 1992, the Winnipeg Fury tied the Vancouver 86ers 1-1 and won the Canadian Soccer League title on aggregate. The next match in a Canadian national soccer league comes 9,701 days later, tomorrow, April 27, 2019. Forge FC versus York 9 (10 AM Pacific, CBC television). We’ve waited long enough.
Nobody knows how this league is going to shake out, and unusually for Canadian soccer, nobody pretends they know. We’re all excited. We’re all smashing rosters with the hammer of criticism on the anvil of looking players up on Wikipedia. I am trying to track publicly-made predictions, because that should be good for a laugh; in fact I can’t remember the last time I had this many laughs just reading about and listening to Canadian soccer takes. There are well-respected veteran pundits who were not alive the last time a national Canadian soccer league played a game and they’re gushing with the best of them. Enthusiasm is more contagious than measles in a Montessori.
This is Maple Leaf Forever!‘s official 2019 Canadian Premier League preview. Like all the others it is insane in spots, biased everywhere, and probably wrong more than it’s right. But who cares? Our hopes are unblemished by the scars of experience. Here’s the one prediction you can take to the bank: there won’t be many better years to be a Canadian soccer fan, ever, than the year 2019.
For more: https://www.maple-leaf-forever.com/2019/04/26/2019-canadian-premier-league-preview/
Among the many questions that have consistently been asked everyone watching the development of the Canadian Premier League: will there be a fantasy game?
We briefly outline three options: the official CPL Centre Circle Q&A "Fantasy" game, our NSXI Score Prediction Fantasy Game, and @GuillermoDelQuarto's FanPL.
Learn all about it on the NSXI Network.
Wherein Our Heroes participate in a panel, co-ordinated by the Northern 90’s very own Pat Sweet. Together with Pat, TSN 1290’s Ryan Brandt, and YouTube sensation AFC Curtis, we offer up our Canadian Premier League predictions based on nothing but sheer conjecture.
The Young Gaffers are proud members of the Northern Starting Eleven Network.
As we prepare for the premiere of the Premier league, it’s important to reflect on what came before. The league had a game of the week on TSN and had national attention, but it’s teams came in and out of the structure every winter.
The Canadian Premier League kick-off this coming Saturday will be our biggest event in some time. The entire domestic soccer community will be settling down at 1 PM Eastern, either in Forge FC’s stadium or in front of CBC television, to witness a new and hopefully more positive era in our nation’s game. This otherwise quite ordinary league fixture is making hearts across the Dominion beat a bit faster, like an Olympic semi-final.
Nothing could better herald this dawn than our mascots. Four of the Canadian Premier League’s seven teams have, in recent weeks, introduced us to new mascots who will stand as symbols for all time, representing the Canadian Premier League to ourselves and to the world. Canada’s national coat of arms is supported by a unicorn and a lion, representing the British heritage of our governance and our culture that goes back way before Confederation. Perhaps, in a couple centuries, some new country will bear arms supported by Bolt and Stewie the Starfish. It is scarcely less probable than the existence of the Canadian Premier League itself.
In honour of this joyous week I have decided to rank all of the league’s mascots so far, from best to worst. These ratings are entirely objective and based off a proprietary statistical algorithm developed by the Prince of Wales and tested by Maple Leaf Forever!‘s secret nerd hive in Sudbury-Thunder Bay. As a result its decisions are not to be argued with, only agreed on and amplified.
If Panama was as rich as Qatar, I won't blame them to get Anguilla play with them weekly to crank the damn points all the way up.
If there were five more nations were as rich as Qatar, I would love to see them doing the same way to let Mexico and USA crying in damn 7-35 hell.
Clanachan comments on expansion. Video is from Oct 24th, 2019 and currently has 192 views on youtube.
Expansion bit starts at 2:28:
Summary: He doesn't sound optimistic for 2020. Biggest barrier is facilities.
The reasons the alternate route is not good over many reasons is basically I think everyone involved including, us, players, media etc are just completely over Canada playing all these tiny countries. We're trying to sell this to everyone and now we have 2 more years of slogging thru this. It's enough already
It's definitely leaves no room for a banana peel but I think we'd likely make at least the interconinental either way. But if I have to watch Canada v St Vincent Grenadine in front of 8000 people at BMO field im gonna puke
Because it was at home, now you are on the road and you are damn sure the USA was going to do things different with a different roster. The adjustments herdman made for the first game worked..he tried to craft a gameplan to match the opponent and situation for game 2 and we got ****** by a bad bounce minutes into the game. And from there on they couldnt get it back and I blame that on too few games, not enough real tests for this team in the last few years.
Haiti fights Costa Rica to a draw. Haiti is too far back in terms of points for this to matter. Costa Rica's FIFA ranking won't drop that much.
Honduras beats Trinidad & Tobago as expected. Honduras can't fall out of the top 6 in terms of FIFA ranking points now.
It really comes down to El Salvador vs the Dominican Republic &/or the USA somehow being absurdly bad against Cuba.
I didn’t mean to imply that the 14-16 games was guaranteed - it is just the number we would get if we go the distance in the process.
Like I said - I think we get through to the semis without worrying too much, assuming the QF knockout round is seeded. That means we should get 10 games at least - 6 if we are in a group of 4, and then 2 each in QF and SF.
The opposition is def weaker, but they are at least meaningful games. And there is the potential for a solid number of games against good opposition if we go far enough. QF, SF, F, and intercontinental playoff would be 8 potential games against decent opposition.
Just trying to look on the bright side.
Mathematically speaking it’s actually 4 to 16 games. We are far from guaranteed 14 games. Especially since I feel like the group of teams outside the top 6 may be the strongest it has ever been. Panama, Curaçao, Haiti, Guatemala, and to a lesser extent T&T are all quality teams. It would be a huge shock for us to not win our group (since presumably it will be seeded), but the QF could be against one of those teams and then it’s certainly possible we stumble at that step. Haiti and Curaçao have tied Costa Rica 3 times in 4 games in the Nations League, not to mention Haiti finishing ahead of Costa Rica in the Gold Cup group stage and then beating us in the QF. And Curaçao finished ahead of 2 would-be hex teams (Honduras and El Salvador) in the Gold Cup group stage as well.
The hex would guarantee 10 games all more high profile than any we would have in the lower route save for the inter continental playoff or game with the 4th hex team, if we are to make it that far.
It wouldn’t be easy by any stretch, but give me the hex any day.
The draw for the inter-confederation play-offs was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw.
For WC2026, Unlike previous tournaments, it was agreed that there will be no general preliminary draw, with various draws to be held separately due to "a different timeline" for various confederations.
So, the suspension could be a long lasting one until end of 2021.