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As mentioned in another message:

Canada's soccer team looks to the other team Canada for inspiration Saturday

posted September 3 @ 19:30, EST

EDMONTON (CP) - While the nation's hockey fans are watching Canada skate through the World Cup hockey tournament this week, another Team Canada is trying to win respect on the soccer pitch.

The pressure is on the Canadian men's soccer team to win Saturday's World Cup qualifying soccer match against Honduras after dropping an opening round match at home to Guatemala Aug. 18. Their backs aren't quite against the wall, but should they lose they could be issued blindfolds.

"It puts us in a hole that is not beyond us to get out of, but we've got to start picking points up quickly," Canada's coach Frank Yallop said as his team prepared for Saturday's game (5 p.m. EDT) at Commonwealth Stadium. "Games run out."

Yallop doesn't want to see his team go 0-2 in the six-game semifinal playoff. Only the top three teams are guaranteed to advance to the next round in their quest to play in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Another loss would force Canada to win three of the next four games - with all but one on the road - to be assured of advancing.

But Honduras could be a monumental challenge. The club, despite losing its coach after the first qualifying round, stunned pool favourite Costa Rica 5-2 away in its opening game.

Yallop said his players are looking to draw some inspiration from the Canadian hockey players dominating the other World Cup in their bid to qualify for soccer's big show. The Canadian hockey team has jumped off to a 2-0 start.

"The guys talked a little about what Canada is doing at the World Cup of Hockey and it gets you going because you want to do well for Canada," Yallop said.

"We're dying to really play well and have a good result for this country and for the game of soccer."

Canada will have a stronger side than it did against Guatemala when several key players were out with injuries or suspensions.

The key addition is Thomas Radzinski, who missed the game two weeks ago with a minor sprain.

Radzinski, who quit Team Canada four years ago, said he wants to play in the World Cup.

"This time, it is something I set my mind on," he said. "I spoke to everybody on the team."

Canada has only qualified for the World Cup once - in 1986 in Mexico - and it didn't score a goal in its debut. But Radzinski said he has high hopes for this squad.

"If I didn't believe we could get in, I wouldn't be here, believe me," he said.

While the pressure on Canada is intense, it is nowhere near what is facing the Hondurans, who faced furious fans when they failed to qualify in 2000.

"They wanted to kill us," said midfielder Ivan Guerrero, only half joking. "We couldn't go back to the country for a little while."

He said what made it worse was Honduras lost three home games, losing only to Mexico on the road.

"It was very tough. The people were very disappointed because they put a lot of hopes in our team and we had done so well. To come so close and not qualify was very disappointing."

Expectations are even higher this time around from the six million Hondurans who follow their national team fanatically.

"All we have is soccer," Guerrero, 26, explained through an interpreter. "Now that we've beat Costa Rica, expectations are even higher."

He said the cold, wet weather expected for Saturday's game won't be much of a factor for him since he plays is Uraguay. He didn't think it will hamper his teammates either.

Honduran coach Raul Martinez, who took over after the first round when harassed veteran coach Bora Milutinovic quit suddenly in July, said his team is prepared for the cold.

"We're very lucky because we don't have to play here two months from now when it is a lot colder," he said.

Regardless of the weather conditions, Martinez said he is expecting a real battle with the Canadians.

"It is going to be a very important game for both of us," he said. "It is going to be a tough game because Canada is coming off a loss and they are playing at home."

Canada swept Belize in the two-game opening round, but was surprised by Guatemala.

Notes: The Canadians will likely be without Paul Stalteri, who tweaked a knee in practice this week. Atiba Hutchinson will likely draw in for him . . . Canada also won't have the services of Tony Menezes off the bench because he suffered a knee injury as well . . . Ante Jazic, of Halifax, who plays in the Russian Premier League, took the longest route to Canada to play in Saturday's game. It took him 11 flights to get home.

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BTW I saw that's it's already posted but I thought I should highlight the part about the injuries since it's a BIG story. I guess the Hutch rumour reinforces the liklihood that Stalteri was going to be playing midfield tomorrow. Not my first choice for a mid-replacement but it might be slim pickings with Serioux quite possibly starting and Imhoff out (Come to think of it, there was no confirmation was there?).

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"It took him 11 flights to get home." That's just retarded. Granted he needs to get to Moscow or some central location first but after that he should be able to go Moscow-Tokyo-Van-Edmonton fairly directly or Moscow-London-Toronto-Edmonton. What the heck is going on?

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quote:Originally posted by nolando

"It took him 11 flights to get home." That's just retarded. Granted he needs to get to Moscow or some central location first but after that he should be able to go Moscow-Tokyo-Van-Edmonton fairly directly or Moscow-London-Toronto-Edmonton. What the heck is going on?

I guess the CSA did book in advance some cheap Easyjet or Ryanair tickets for him so it looks like that: 2 flights to get to Moscow, Moscow-Krakow, Krakow-Prag, Prag-Geneva, Geneva-Paris, Paris-London, London-St-John's, St-John's-Halifax, Halifax-TO, To-Edmonton.......that's how we are saving on plane tickets........

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Guest Georgio

Oh thank god! I thought that maybe we weren't getting the best deal.

I wonder if the team has packed lunches consisting of sandwiches and an apple provided by local donors.

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I think he had 4 connections...

1) From Krasnodar to Moscow.

2) From Moscow to London.

3) From London to Calgary.

4) From Calgary to Edmonton.

...four connections ...and then play at 100% is ridiculous. I am not sure where the reporter got the 11 connections from.

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