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  • Long Balls: There are always possibilities



    Given the manner in which Turkish football clubs appear to be screwing with the Canadian mens’ national team footballing setup you’d think it was a Canadian politician who wildly claimed Turkey was “ruled by Islamic terrorists” rather than Texas charmer Rick Perry.

    A report on Manisaspor’s web site this week said the club would look at suing Canadian forward Josh Simpson for prematurely breaking his contract amid a dispute over wages. This comes on the heels of Canadian keeper Milan Borjan being seemingly frozen out from his club Sivasspor over the same issue. And back in April, money (or lack of it) was also the culprit as defender Mike Klukowski split unhappily from his club Ankaragucu. In the latter’s case he actually ended up at Manisaspor with Simpson and is probably now training with his fingers crossed, hoping he doesn’t get shafted all over again.


    So that's Canada's likely starting goalkeeper, one of its most dangerous forwards and its starting leftback all struggling to see the terms of their contracts fulfilled while playing in Turkey. In Simpson's and Borjan's cases the problem is particularly acute, because they could potentially both miss valuable playing time while related parties bicker over who is owed what and by whom.

    Thankfully, as Spock famously reminded us: there are always possibilities. Borjan told Serbian media that he has been scouted by clubs in Germany, Holland and Scotland, which immediately caused those camped out in Canadian soccer message boards to speculate on his imminent arrival as the starting keeper at Celtic or Rangers. And who is Long Balls to squelch totally unsubstantiated Internet banter? Bring it on in fact. The Old Firm derby sounds like perfect preparation for World Cup qualifiers in Central America.

    And in Josh Simpson’s case it appears that certain possibilities may already be realized. A post on the Voyageur's message board written by a user (who as far as Long Balls knows is actually Josh Simpson's father), assured concerned fans that Simpson is on the verge of putting pen to paper with BSC Young Boys, one of the most historically successful clubs in Switzerland. (Update: The move was in fact confirmed Thursday January 19.) If it helps, just think back to the potty Twitter jokes surrounding the “Spurs beat Young Boys” headlines when the Swiss team lost out to the north London club during the final round of qualifying for the 2010-11 Champions League two summers ago.

    So maybe positive news on the Borjan front, maybe positive news on the Simpson front and finally, proof that not all possibilities are good. Marginalized striker Rob Friend has seen his playing time disappear this season with German second division side Eintracht Frankfurt. Naturally, that has frustrated him and he recently spoke to the German tabloid Bild about those frustrations, ominously suggesting to German readers that not playing is “disastrous for [his] market value.”

    From Long Balls position though, what’s most ominous about this story is that the writer suggests Friend is getting ‘interest’ from clubs abroad, up to and including the one Josh Simpson just high-tailed out of. Friend may be upset about not getting played in Germany, but he'd do well to confer with his Canada colleagues about not getting paid in Turkey.

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