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Rangers Face Zagreb In Toronto


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Wonder who the local opposition'll be?

Exclusive! Gers Face Zagreb In Canada

Rangers are heading to Canada for pre-season training by Lindsay Herron

RANGERS will renew their long-established links with Canada after announcing they will embark on a nine-day pre-season trip in July, basing themselves in the Toronto area.

Alex McLeish's title-winning squad will head out on July 4, returning on July 13, for an intensive training trip. They will also play two matches, the first against local opposition on July 9 and then Dinamo Zagreb on July 12 in the Toronto SkyDome, now known as the Rogers Centre, home of baseball giants the Blue Jays.

It will be a special match for Croatian star Dado Prso as his boyhood heroes Hajduk Split have been traditional rivals of Dinamo for many years.

Dinamo have completed a disappointing season as they failed to make the top six before the league split and will not compete in Europe next season.

Only recently, however, they made a noticeable impact on Europe in the late 1990s under their previous name Croatia Zagreb.

Dinamo ZagrebThey reached the third round of the UEFA Cup in 1997/98 then knocked Celtic out to qualify for the 1998/99 Champions League with Mark Viduka and Igor Biscan in their ranks. They qualified again the following season.

During this time they scored away wins over Ajax and Porto and drew with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The club was forced to sell many of their players after this exciting period due to financial problems and they are still fighting to get back to this level.

They do have a tricky Brazilian striker, Eduardo da Silva, who scored six goals in 22 games last season, but none of the players will be familiar to Rangers fans.Zagreb striker Eduardo da Silva

Rangers were last across the Atlantic three years ago when McLeish prepared for the 2002/03 season in New Jersey and promptly won the Treble.

However, it is 21 years since the Light Blues were last in Canada. Jock Wallace took the team there and lost 2-0 to Toronto Blizzard in Hamilton, Ontario on June 15 with fringe player Eric Ferguson scoring in a 1-1 draw with Stuttgart in Toronto four days later.

On their return from Canada Rangers play Linfield in Belfast on July 16, Ispwich at Portman Road on July 19 and then Borussia Monchengladbach at Ibrox on July 23


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quote:Originally posted by Gian-Luca

Not against Canada anyway, we are playing Cuba in the Gold Cup the same day.

Let's see which match gets more publicity and coverage.

Sadly, I think we all know the answer to that one.

On a side note, I find it interesting that so many European teams are now playing exhibition matches in Toronto. All of a sudden SkyDome has become a hotbed of international soccer.

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quote:Originally posted by jaydog2006

I would not say its a hotbed they are just testing it.Once the other citys such as vancouver,ottawa,montreal etc upgrade there stadiums the international games will be spread out alot more.

Why couldn't Montreal (Big O) or Vancouver (BC Place) host these matches now?

They're comparable to SkyDome in size, and like SkyDome would need real grass trucked in in place of the existing FieldTurf.

The only difference I could see between the 'Dome and the others is that the 'Dome is used far more often than BC Place or the Big O, at least for sporting events.

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quote:Originally posted by Alberto7

Toronto Argos play in Toronto on July 9th so we have a problem here. Jays are in Texas as of the 8th...

There's no problem at all. The only game at the SkyDome is the one on July 12th according to the article posted above. The game on the 9th will be played somewhere else.

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quote:Originally posted by Massive Attack

There's no problem at all. The only game at the SkyDome is the one on July 12th according to the article posted above. The game on the 9th will be played somewhere else.

You have got to be kidding. Are they going to make Rangers play the Lynx at Centennial? No,I think we have a typo here. I imagine the game will be at Rogers Centre on the 10th.

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Benfica played @ Lamport last year or two im pretty sure... So i would expect the Rangers game to be @ some small field...

I just dont see the lynx planning somthing like this its to classy for the orginzation, and plus there hasnt been a buzz around the club with news like this.

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latest from CP:


Scottish soccer champion Rangers to visit Toronto in July

Canadian Press

Saturday, June 04, 2005

TORONTO (CP) - Scottish soccer champion Glasgow Rangers will be in Canada next month for a nine-day training camp that includes two games.

Rangers will play Dinamo Zagreb on July 12 at the Rogers Centre, the former SkyDome, after playing "local opposition" on July 9, according to the Scottish team's website.

Spokesmen for the Toronto Lynx and the Canadian Professional Soccer League said they were not playing Rangers.

Rangers are slated to arrive in Canada on July 4.

The storied Scottish side last visited Canada 21 years ago when they lost 2-0 to the Toronto Blizzard in Hamilton and tied Stuttgart 1-1 in Toronto.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Glasgow Rangers officials visit Toronto in advance of training camp


TORONTO (CP) - While Torontonians sweltered in 34-degree heat - it felt closer to 40 degrees given the humidity - Glasgow Rangers legend Sandy Jardine looked crisp and cool as he walked into the Rogers Centre on Friday.

The 56-year-old former star fullback, accompanied by Rangers' head of safety and security Laurence Macintyre, was in town for a two-day visit to do some reconnaissance work for the Scottish soccer team's training camp here next month.

The heat wave that greeted him didn't seem to faze Jardine. So what was the weather like in Scotland?

"It's a scorcher," Jardine deadpanned. "It's about 18 degrees."

Jardine, who made 674 appearances for Rangers between 1964 and 1982, has always been a cool customer. You don't win three league championships, five Scottish Cups, five League Cups, the European Cup-Winners' Cup and 39 caps for Scotland by melting under pressure.

Now Rangers' commercial sales manager, Jardine is putting the finishing touches on the nine-day training camp in Toronto starting July 4.

The 51-time Scottish champions will play Dinamo Zagreb on July 12 on the artificial FieldTurf at the Rogers Centre, formerly known as SkyDome. Another game against a local team on July 9 is to be announced next week.

The team will gather for one day in Scotland for medical checkups and then fly to Toronto for two-a-day training sessions. Rangers will train at the University of Toronto, bringing over a 24-man squad.

Their domestic season starts July 31 at home to Livingston, after exhibition games against Linfield, Ipswich and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Rangers will be bringing over two new players - former Hibs captain Ian Murray and former Marseille skipper Brahim Hemdani - and Jardine expects two more additions.

Rangers bagged the Tunisian Hemdani with an assist from a famous fan. Sir Sean Connery is a friend of Rangers chairman David Murray and was staying at Murray's villa in the south of France when Hemdani visited. The former James Bond did his bit to sell the player on Scotland.

While other recent soccer games at the Rogers Centre have been played on a temporary grass surface, Rangers have no problems with FieldTurf. They have the same surface on both an outdoor and indoor field at their 10-pitch training grounds.

Plus fellow Scottish Premier League side Dunfermline plays on FieldTurf.

"The preference is always grass but it's part of the modern game now," Jardine said.

Rangers chose Toronto over several other possible pre-season venues including China.

The humid heat of a Southern Ontario summer does not present a problem, Jardine said.

"For us, it's a pleasant change. Obviously it'll be a lot warmer that what we're used to. But players adapt. Our players, they play all over Europe."

Plus Rangers' last three tours - Austria, Germany and New York - were all held in hot conditions.

Count Jardine among those in favour of Celtic and Rangers joining England's Premier League. "Rangers and Celtic are two huge clubs. And unfortunately we play in a very small league."

But he acknowledges there are many obstacles to such a move. Not the least that two English clubs would have to drop out of the top tier to make way for them.

"And turkeys don't vote for Christmas do they?" Jardine noted.

Jardine is no stranger to Toronto. His first visit was with Rangers in 1967 and he reckons he has been back 10 times, in part drawn by the large base of supporters.

He remembers Brian Budd, a former soccer star who now dabbles in broadcasting in Toronto.

"He was a quiet lad," Jardine said dryly of the frenetic Budd.

Plus the team plans to set up soccer camps in Canada and the U.S., hoping that a sound business venture may also unearth some North American talent.

Canadian under-20 goalkeeper Roberto Giacomi, a native of Richmond Hill, Ont., is currently on the Rangers books.

Like their city rival Celtic, Rangers have support around the world. Jardine was in Las Vegas two weeks ago for a North American Rangers Supporters convention that drew 1,000 expat supporters.

He expects the Toronto game to draw Rangers fans from around North America.

Will rival Celtic fans come, he was asked? They might, Jardine allowed, in the hope Rangers lose.

"They can come see a good team," he added with a smile.

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