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TeamTalk "confirmation":

Rogers gets Canada recall

Wycombe defender Mark Rogers has been called up by Canada for friendlies against the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland.

The 27-year-old, Wycombe's first full international, is back in the fold after an exile from the national side.

Rogers will miss the Division Two clash with Brentford at the Causeway Stadium on 15 November and a potential FA Cup first-round replay against Swindon.

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Yeah, I am hoping to see both Reda and Kojic get a chance someday.

I was very impressed how they played a few years ago, when the Lynx hosted Reggina, in what was just as fast (and entertaining) of a game as the Nat's play. According to VG Nett's player rating system, both are having huge seasons in Norway.

Ah, memories of a talented Lynx team...

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the lynx aren't that bad right now. i imagine they'll make the playoffs next season. with 5 canadian clubs, none will want to finish last so the competition will be higher.

it seems as though we are all a lot more interested in the irish game....is it cuz we expect to compete in this one as opposed to the czech one!?!?!?

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quote:Originally posted by bettermirror

it seems as though we are all a lot more interested in the irish game....is it cuz we expect to compete in this one as opposed to the czech one!?!?!?

I don't see why you'd do well in one and not the other, there's not alot between Ireland and the Czechs indivudally and qualifying ahead of Holland is nothing Ireland didn't do two years ago.

What kind of a team will Canada play?

I'd expect Ireland to line up like this in order of GK, LB, RB, CB, CB, LW, RW, CM, CM, SC, SC...

Shay Given of Newcastle in goal, one of the best around, unless he is to be rested as it's a friendly as has been done before.

Steve Finnan of Liverpool or John O'Shea of Manchester United at left back. Most likely he'll do with Finnan to give him experience there.

Steve Carr of Spurs at right back is fairly assured unless he wants to use one of the left backs there, both have played there before.

Kenny Cunningham of Birmingham. Birmingham having the best defencive record in the premiership this season is mainly down to him, he's kept 9 out of 10 clean sheets or something this season. Unless he's rested he's an automatic starter/

Andy O'Brien of Newcastle will likely be beside him. Hasn't had alot of playing time with Ireland so should get the nod here, Newcastle had a good defencive record last year. John O'Shea could also play centrally.

Damien Duff of Chelsea is automatic choice for competitive matches but could be rested in favour of Andy Reid of Nottm Forest, probably this years best first divison player and should move on very soon, should debut at some point in this match I'd imagine.

Steven Reid of Blackburn should play right wing.

In central mid field Liam Miller of Celtic is likely to debut. He's scored a couple of champions league goals so far from mid field and is playing very well with Celtic I've heard.

Matt Holland, captain of Charlton could partner him. As could Southamptons Rory Delap who should get more of a chance with us I think, could also be two first divison players, Cardiffs Graham Kavanagh or Sunderlands Colin Healy.

Up front, Robbie Keane of Spurs is the likely choice, he normally plays in friendlys.

Clinton Morrison of Birmingham or David Connolly of West Ham should partner him. Morrison has fallen out of favour at Birmingham which makes his selection unlikely but his goals record for Ireland is impressive, Connolly impressed while scoring against Turkey so could get a rare start.

There may be alot of youngsters making their debuts however. How are Canada likely to line up and what are your players like as we don't see alot of the Canadian team over here?

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Welcome Jayo, I disagree with bettermirror, I don't think we're particularly looking at either match as better than the other, we're all really excited to even have matches of this calibre.

Our team selection is far more complicated than most countries. It's tough to even guess at what we might put together. Add in the fact that we play an Olympic qualifying home-and-away tie (fairly important on this side of the pond, would be great exposure for the game if we were to qualify and we have a team that should have a good shot) and San Jose of MLS in the US has two of our players and should still be playing key MLS Cup games. Our current caretaker (possibly permanent manager) has only managed against Finland, so I'll use that as a bit of guide since we're pretty much guessing what he's thinking.

In goal Lars Hirschfeld should start. He's a young keeper with Spurs, has yet to make a first team appearance with them, but is quite capable. Pat Onstad played 45 against Finland. He's a veteran, but is one of the San Jose playes. Kenny Stamatopolous who just had a great year in Sweden maybe backs up if Onstad can't go?

RB - Against Finland we used Paul Stalteri, a versatile player with Weder Bremen in the Bundesliege. He played forward for us at times this summer, but is normally our holding midfielder.I would say he's our best and most consistent outfield player. We have a few other players we've used in the midfield (Bent, Bircham and Nsaliwa) who can play at right back and deserve a look. Nsaliwa is another guy likely on Olympic duty that week.

CB - the big question spot. We pulled Mark Watson (Charelston, A-League US second Div) out of international retirement for the Finland game. He's physical and has lost a step, played well in the English first and second divisions. I like his attitude and has been a great servant, but I think his time is done. We appear to have selected Mark Rogers, from Wycombe who has never been too impressive in his few caps. We can also use big Kevin Mckenna of Hearts who also plays as target forward for club and country. There are also youngsters like Marco Reda (Sogndal, Norway) and Patrice Bernier (Tromso, Norway) that we're eager to get a look at.

Then the're Tony Menezes, who swept behind Watson and DeVos in the last WCQ. He grew up in Brazil and was great and had a good career down there, but now is stuck in China and never seems to get called and is in uncertain form.

CB - when healthy captain Jason DeVos is one of the first names on the sheet. Big physical captain of Wigan, lead them to Div I where they are top of the table. McKenna played here in DeVos' absense against Finland.

LB - Richard Hastings has started every game we've played for more than a year. Not seeing much time with MVV Maastricht (Dutch second I think) and struggling internationally I think it's fair to say. Jazic, Brennan and Klukowski (who will be with the U23s we assume) can all play - and should be given a chance to play - in this spot.

RM - Marc Bircham, the mohicaned QPR player started here against Finland. Fell out of favour with the old manager. Tenatious, good on set pieces, a fan favourite. Jason Bent and again Nsaliwa can also play here, as can Chris Pozniak of Orebro in Sweden, but he's another U23 guy.

DM - Daniel Imhof of FC St. Gallen (Switzerland) contributes well and is a solid player. We would all love to see Fernando Aguiar (of Benfica) get a recall. Aguiar was ignored by the old manager and hasn't been recalled yet. Imhof can also play on the right.

LM - Ante Jazic (Rapid Vienna, Austria) played here last game. A rare cap for him, though I think we all want to see more of him. We don't really have a good read on what Jazic can or cannot do. This is usually Jim Brennan's (Norwich) spot, but he missed Finland with injury. I think either Brennan or Jazic should be our left back. That would free this spot up for Julian DeGuzman, a small, immensely talented midfielder with Hannover 96 in the Bundesliege. DeGuzman may be with the U23s for the Ireland match however.

AM - Jason Bent sort of filled this role against Finland (Bircham did at times as well). He plays for Plymouth and is easy to pick out with his long dreadlocks. A good man marker, can get forward in attack, but I think his talents are best suited to defensive duties. If Aguiar and DeGuzman are called Stalteri could play here or Bircham or maybe even Imhof? We have a lot of options in the midfield.

F - Everton's Tomasz Radzinski is our best forward. Hasn't turned up as often as we'd like, but those days are hopefully behind us. Pairs very well with Dwayne DeRosario, a strong dribbling, creative player. DeRosario will likely be on duty with San Jose and not be available. That leaves either Paul Peschisolido of Sheffield United who partnered Radz in Finland to little effect or the return of big McKenna as a target man. Could also use Davide Xausa of Falkirk in Scotland. Xausa's international career seems to be waining, but almost all of our forward options are very young - after Radzinski, DeRosario and Peschisolido - and therefore once again playing in Olympic qualifying.

Everyone else can weigh in with their opinions. Like I said, it's tough to hammer out a real definitive 'this should be our 11' since we're struggling with team identity and have been for some time. We move people all over the place. Ignore players who seemingly should be involved and select players who appear to be well past it.

Thanks for the info on the Irish side. I've read people claim the Irish should really experiment against us. How do you feel about that.?

cheers,

matthew

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As long as Menezes is in China, he might as well be on the moon. Travel would be impossible from the Far East to Europe and back unless the man could get a good week off. And even if he could, I think poor Tony would be too tired from the airports, flying, and 12 hour jet-lag to be of any good to anyone for at least a couple-three days. Nope, I fear Mr. Menezes is lost to the National Team for these sort of friendlys.

I'll echo jonovision. Nice bit there.

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Excellent post matthew. Here's my 2 cents on our defence.

RB - Rogers and Pozniak can also play right back and I would take either one of them over using a midfielder like Bent or Bircham at right back. Bent is too small to use as fullback, IMHO, and Bircham takes too many fouls. If I was going to play any midfielder at right back, it would be Stalteri (although I strongly prefer to see him in midfield) or Imhoff (who has played this position for his club on occasion.) Pozniak is used as a utility defender by his club but he'll almost surely be with the Olympic team so he's not an option for these friendlies. Rogers filled in for Carl Fletcher at right back in the 2002 Gold Cup and his profile on the Wycombe website says he can play on the right, but prefers the centre.

CB - I wouldn't call Reda "young" even though he's never been capped. I think he's in his mid-late 20s (which, for a defender, means he's just hitting his prime.) I've never seen the guy play but when you have ex-coaches of the Norwegian national side, who've seen his performances in Norway, saying they think he's good enough to play for Norway you have to think he at least deserves a look.

Re: Bernier. Has he been converted to a CB by his club in Norway? The last time I saw him play he was an attacking midfielder, but that was two years ago when played on the Canadian team at the Francophone Games.

I'd also add Nevio Pizzolitto of the Montreal Impact to the list of candidates at CB. Pizzolitto did a creditable job at centre back in the Germany friendly last June. Plus, you can't rule out Paul Fenwick since he was called for the Finland match ahead of all these guys despite not having been dressed for a match by Hibs in weeks.

My main hope is that we use these friendlies to give a few deserving veterans (specifically Aguiar, Jazic and Reda) a fair shot to make the team for World Cup Qualifying. Beyond that, I just hope we don't get killed. I can live with two losses against opponents of this calibre, but I don't think my nerves can take a repeat of that disastrous performance in the first half of the Finland game.

Mike D

quote:Originally posted by matthew

Welcome Jayo, I disagree with bettermirror, I don't think we're particularly looking at either match as better than the other, we're all really excited to even have matches of this calibre.

Our team selection is far more complicated than most countries. It's tough to even guess at what we might put together. Add in the fact that we play an Olympic qualifying home-and-away tie (fairly important on this side of the pond, would be great exposure for the game if we were to qualify and we have a team that should have a good shot) and San Jose of MLS in the US has two of our players and should still be playing key MLS Cup games. Our current caretaker (possibly permanent manager) has only managed against Finland, so I'll use that as a bit of guide since we're pretty much guessing what he's thinking.

In goal Lars Hirschfeld should start. He's a young keeper with Spurs, has yet to make a first team appearance with them, but is quite capable. Pat Onstad played 45 against Finland. He's a veteran, but is one of the San Jose playes. Kenny Stamatopolous who just had a great year in Sweden maybe backs up if Onstad can't go?

RB - Against Finland we used Paul Stalteri, a versatile player with Weder Bremen in the Bundesliege. He played forward for us at times this summer, but is normally our holding midfielder.I would say he's our best and most consistent outfield player. We have a few other players we've used in the midfield (Bent, Bircham and Nsaliwa) who can play at right back and deserve a look. Nsaliwa is another guy likely on Olympic duty that week.

CB - the big question spot. We pulled Mark Watson (Charelston, A-League US second Div) out of international retirement for the Finland game. He's physical and has lost a step, played well in the English first and second divisions. I like his attitude and has been a great servant, but I think his time is done. We appear to have selected Mark Rogers, from Wycombe who has never been too impressive in his few caps. We can also use big Kevin Mckenna of Hearts who also plays as target forward for club and country. There are also youngsters like Marco Reda (Sogndal, Norway) and Patrice Bernier (Tromso, Norway) that we're eager to get a look at.

Then the're Tony Menezes, who swept behind Watson and DeVos in the last WCQ. He grew up in Brazil and was great and had a good career down there, but now is stuck in China and never seems to get called and is in uncertain form.

CB - when healthy captain Jason DeVos is one of the first names on the sheet. Big physical captain of Wigan, lead them to Div I where they are top of the table. McKenna played here in DeVos' absense against Finland.

LB - Richard Hastings has started every game we've played for more than a year. Not seeing much time with MVV Maastricht (Dutch second I think) and struggling internationally I think it's fair to say. Jazic, Brennan and Klukowski (who will be with the U23s we assume) can all play - and should be given a chance to play - in this spot.

RM - Marc Bircham, the mohicaned QPR player started here against Finland. Fell out of favour with the old manager. Tenatious, good on set pieces, a fan favourite. Jason Bent and again Nsaliwa can also play here, as can Chris Pozniak of Orebro in Sweden, but he's another U23 guy.

DM - Daniel Imhof of FC St. Gallen (Switzerland) contributes well and is a solid player. We would all love to see Fernando Aguiar (of Benfica) get a recall. Aguiar was ignored by the old manager and hasn't been recalled yet. Imhof can also play on the right.

LM - Ante Jazic (Rapid Vienna, Austria) played here last game. A rare cap for him, though I think we all want to see more of him. We don't really have a good read on what Jazic can or cannot do. This is usually Jim Brennan's (Norwich) spot, but he missed Finland with injury. I think either Brennan or Jazic should be our left back. That would free this spot up for Julian DeGuzman, a small, immensely talented midfielder with Hannover 96 in the Bundesliege. DeGuzman may be with the U23s for the Ireland match however.

AM - Jason Bent sort of filled this role against Finland (Bircham did at times as well). He plays for Plymouth and is easy to pick out with his long dreadlocks. A good man marker, can get forward in attack, but I think his talents are best suited to defensive duties. If Aguiar and DeGuzman are called Stalteri could play here or Bircham or maybe even Imhof? We have a lot of options in the midfield.

F - Everton's Tomasz Radzinski is our best forward. Hasn't turned up as often as we'd like, but those days are hopefully behind us. Pairs very well with Dwayne DeRosario, a strong dribbling, creative player. DeRosario will likely be on duty with San Jose and not be available. That leaves either Paul Peschisolido of Sheffield United who partnered Radz in Finland to little effect or the return of big McKenna as a target man. Could also use Davide Xausa of Falkirk in Scotland. Xausa's international career seems to be waining, but almost all of our forward options are very young - after Radzinski, DeRosario and Peschisolido - and therefore once again playing in Olympic qualifying.

Everyone else can weigh in with their opinions. Like I said, it's tough to hammer out a real definitive 'this should be our 11' since we're struggling with team identity and have been for some time. We move people all over the place. Ignore players who seemingly should be involved and select players who appear to be well past it.

Thanks for the info on the Irish side. I've read people claim the Irish should really experiment against us. How do you feel about that.?

cheers,

matthew

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Thanks for the compliments guys. I thought Bernier was playing in the back? Didn't he play left back for the Olympic team? I could be wrong.

I consider Pozniak more of a right back then a mid, but since he won't be there I didn't get into it much, but later on I figured I should at least mention him. I agree that Pizzolitto (and Gervais) should be in the mix, but how many center backs should we talk about. I didn't mention Fenwick either.

I didn't know Rogers can play right back. Might not be a bad place for him next month. Personally my preference is for Nsaliwa to get the next shot there. I thought he wasn't bad against the Germans there. I don't think Bent is too small to play as an outside back. He's decent in the air and while not overly physical, I don't think that's a big factor. I'd be just as happy to have him on the right side of the midfield.

Hume is also, I would say an obvious choice as fourth (maybe even third) forward or as a right mid, but won't be available.

My bad on Bernier's club, I had Moss and when I looked up the name of Hastings club on bcsoccerweb noticed they had Bernier at Tromso. Since I might have had his position wrong, it's obvious I was talking out my ass about Bernier.

If the gaffer picked a sensible squad all the time what would we have to talk about?

cheers,

matthew

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Thanks for the info on Canada guys, much appreciated.

You said that there's talk of us experimenting in this friendly, yep, you're right there. Basically, we have a few really strong youngsters coming up who, in alot of peoples opinions, should already have debuted. It's very likely a few of these will feature in this match. The two main ones I mentioned are Liam Miller, he's with Celtic and as a mid fielder is scoring regularly in the champions league and SPL. Andy Reid of Nottingham Forest too, even as a winger he's one of the leagues top scorer (Joint third highest) and will doubtless be playing at a higher level come this time next year. I expect both to feature, but our manager Brian Kerrs style in friendlys seems to be never to go all out with mixing the team around. He'll give the youngsters a run, but I think he views the result as almost as important anyway.

Alot will be revealed when the squad itself is announced, I'll paste it in here when it is and tell you what I think if you like?

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Just to confirm, Bernier is indeed an attacking midfielder. Marco Reda is about 26, I believe.

Rupert reported that Bent may be injured, and I believe Hirshfeld has a dislocated finger. So if you take those two players, plus possibly Brennan & De Vos, plus possibly De Rosario & Onstad (if San Jose beats Los Angeles this week), plus all our best U23 players (an area where we actually have some depth), and this could make for a very depleted, if veteran, Cdn. line-up for both matches.

What Irish fans may not know is that as far as a Canadian league goes, we have only 4 professional clubs (though that number will increase to 5 next year) who play in the 2nd tier USA league, and the Canadian players who play on those teams have not played any matches at the club level since early September at the lastest (since that is when that league wraps up play). So its unlikely that the better Canadian players from those teams will be in game shape & be called to help us in these two matches. What you are going to see is nearly everybody who is Canadian that is over the age of 23 who plays in Europe. There may be some players from places like Scandinavia & Portugal that are left out for reasons which only our interim coach can properly explain.

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It must be tough for you guys to get all your players together alot of the time with them spread around so much, when qualifyers come around do you get the majority of your players around for them? It sounds alot like Australia who try to play as many matches in europe as they can (They even tried to set up a home in London) because it's so hard getting their players together.

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Right-back choices are my main concern, with Nsaliwa (and Pozniak) on olympic duty.

Personally, I don't support Stalteri playing defense, although that is where I expect Miller to play him. He has too much of a non-stop motor and offers better offensive support to move him from midfield. I know many don't agree but I think he can have a much bigger impact on a game from midfield. Remember that if Bent, Bircham or Imhof where playing in the Bundesliga, they would be "relegated" to defense as well, as midfield players at this level have a much better touch (like DeGuzman). I don't interpret his club position change as being his best spot for our nat's.

Yes, Rogers has played right-back for his club but the reports I have read clearly state that he is too slow for the position. Centre-back is his best position - and even there, he has currently lost his spot with his club (a la Fenwick).

I think Miller realized in the Finland game that Watson has lost a step from his prime days. Other choices are mainly centre-backs (McKenna, Reda, Rogers...)

Just some ramblings...

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Guest Jeffery S.

First off I agree that Matthew's post was an excellent summary of the state of things.

Re the Quakes players, remember that the series with LA is away and home, so they don't finish that quarter final until next weekend, 8th or 9th. This may explain why Miller will wait until the 10th, which is a bit late. I suspect that all players will be ready and it will be publicized just as they are about to travel to Prague.

If Onstad is called it is because Quakes are out, if he is not it is because they are in semis (15th or so). So Miller will likely have a keeper alternative, perhaps one of the A-League guys, if Lars is still injured. If Lars is okay he'll go with Kenny.

In two friendlies over 4 days 16 players is tight. Since he has some guys in Europe he should call two more. That way you have options if a guy gets a knock in the first match. But Miller is bound to the Watson-clique and won't call Aguiar for proxy personal reasons, which suggests he can never be Canada's coach.

I think we may see Xausa to fill in a spot.

If Miller would be objective and is really thinking about the team, people like Reda and Aguiar would be no-brainers. Even if Reda is in Canada in post-season, after all what the hell is Watson doing these days? Not exactly match fit I don't think.

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quote:Originally posted by MikeD

Rogers filled in for Carl Fletcher at right back in the 2002 Gold Cup and his profile on the Wycombe website says he can play on the right, but prefers the centre.

What happened to Carl Fletcher? Seems to me if we must call up grizzled old veterans to play defense, Fletcher would make a better choice than Watson or Fenwick.

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quote:Originally posted by Chet

What happened to Carl Fletcher? Seems to me if we must call up grizzled old veterans to play defense, Fletcher would make a better choice than Watson or Fenwick.

I've always been a big Carl Fletcher fan, he always did an outstanding job for us at right back, but the problem now is that he spent most of the last A-League season on the bench after losing his starting role with his club. It seems that his age has finally caught up with him. By contrast, Watson is still one of the top defenders in the A-League.

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quote:Originally posted by Jeffrey S.

In two friendlies over 4 days 16 players is tight. Since he has some guys in Europe he should call two more. That way you have options if a guy gets a knock in the first match. But Miller is bound to the Watson-clique and won't call Aguiar for proxy personal reasons, which suggests he can never be Canada's coach.

On Soccer Central today Miller said he hoped that Aguiar would be with the team for the two upcoming friendlies. Nothing about Reda, sadly.

This wasn't mentioned on SoccerCentral, but expect to see some players called to only one of the two friendlies for reasons of availability.

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I had been thinking that same thing...that this may be a situation where some players replace others in the squad for the second friendly. If this helps to smoothe relations with clubs, and also allows more players to get a run out, then this is a reasonable idea.

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quote:Originally posted by Dave

I had been thinking that same thing...that this may be a situation where some players replace others in the squad for the second friendly. If this helps to smoothe relations with clubs, and also allows more players to get a run out, then this is a reasonable idea.

And the perfect circumstances. Certainly the core of the side will remain constant so a forced injection of fresh faces here and there can give everyone a real good idea of what's improved and what hasen't and why.

This realy is a unique occasion. It would be a shame not to take it to it's fullest advantage.

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by Gian-Luca

On Soccer Central today Miller said he hoped that Aguiar would be with the team for the two upcoming friendlies. Nothing about Reda, sadly.

This wasn't mentioned on SoccerCentral, but expect to see some players called to only one of the two friendlies for reasons of availability.

You're fucqing kidding, he said that? He must read this site and is clearly bucking for the permanent job.

I will be immensely pleased with Miller if he has Aguiar on the squad.

Any other names he mentioned for the friendlies?

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quote:Originally posted by Jeffrey S.

You're fucqing kidding, he said that? He must read this site and is clearly bucking for the permanent job.

I will be immensely pleased with Miller if he has Aguiar on the squad.

Any other names he mentioned for the friendlies?

No kidding on my part, he definitely said he "hopes" Aguiar will be there. He also mentioned Rogers & Stamatopoulos being called (the latter only if Onstad is unavailable - though I think we should look at Kenny regardless).
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