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Ex-player back with Canadians

Aguiar of Benfica on exhibition squad

Pellerud gets award for leading women's side



Big, bustling midfielder Fernando Aguiar is back with Canada's national men's soccer team.

He is the latest former international to be included in the squad by interim coach Colin Miller for exhibitions against the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland later this month.

Last month Miller recalled four players who had fallen out of favour with former coach Holger Osieck for the match against Finland. They were Paul Peschisolido (Sheffield United), Ante Jazic (Rapid Vienna), Mark Watson (Charleston Battery) and Marc Bircham (Queens Park Rangers).

Watson came out of international retirement and Bircham, who vowed never to play for Osieck in 2001, asked to be reconsidered after the former coach resigned in September.

Aguiar last represented the country against Saudi Arabia in 1999. He was not considered again despite being signed by Benfica, Portugal's most storied soccer club.

"Fernando gets another chance now to play for his country and I know he is a good player who plays with one of the top teams in Europe," said Miller, a former international player.

The coach also has a commitment from Everton striker Tomasz Radzinski for the games against the Czechs on Nov. 15 and versus Ireland at Dublin three days later. Also expected back is captain Jason de Vos, who sat out the 3-2 loss to Finland with a foot injury.

PELLERUD HONOURED: Even Pellerud, who led Canada's women's team to fourth place in the World Cup, is the first recipient of the Coaching Association of Canada's Vector Award.

He won it in recognition of "his team being selected as the most inspirational sports story of the year."

Meanwhile, Pellerud's assistant and coach of the under-19 squad, Ian Bridge, was inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame on the weekend. Bridge played in 33 games for Canada and led the under-19 women to a silver medal in the World Cup for that age group last year.

NEW CUP FORMAT: The road to the 2006 World Cup in the CONCACAF region kicks off Feb. 18 with 20 Caribbean nations in action.

The 10 winners, joined by Belize and Nicaragua, will play home-and-home series with the 12 nations — including the U.S. and Canada — on June 12-13 and June 19-20. The winners will advance to three semifinal groups of four with the top two in each group playing in the final round in 2005.

PLAYING HOST: Qualifying for the women's under-19 world soccer championship will be held in Canada next year. The Canadian Soccer Association plans to use Ottawa's Frank Clair Stadium and Montreal's Molson Stadium from May 28 to June 6.

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Guest Jeffery S.

I sent the news to Portugal where they picked it up immediately, at www.record.pt:


Aguiar convocado para a selecção

Fernando Aguiar foi chamado pelo seleccionador do Canadá, Colin Miller, para defrontar a República Checa, no dia 15, em Teplice, e a República da Irlanda, a 18, em Dublin, dois jogos de carácter particular. O actual jogador do Benfica não era convocado para a respectiva selecção desde 1999. O último jogo que efectuou foi contra a Arábia Saudita.

Data: Sexta-Feira, 7 de Novembro de 2003 00:25:00

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