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GC - July 7 - Canada vs El Salvador(R)


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Canada vs El Salvador

Location: Crew Stadium, Columbus, OH, USA

Kickoff: 21.00 ET / 18.00 PT

TV: Sportsnet East, Ontario, and West

Looking forward to watch us playing El Savaldor, it seems like it's been a long time since we've played them. Should be a tough game for us, El Salvador looks like they've improved over the last few years.

CSA reports that Kevin Harmse isn't fully fit and has gone back to his club.

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Canada should see a lot of the ball, but they have to be weary of the counter-attack. El Salvador scored 3 goals on the counter in their first match, although one was wrongly ruled-out for offside.

Good thing the match won't be played in southern California. It was ridiculous how many projectiles were flying onto the pitch in the El Salvador v Costa Rica match, especially whenever the Ticos had a corner-kick. People in charge for security need to remember that just because these games are in the USA doesn't mean you don't have a 3rd-world "atmosphere" to deal with in the stadium.

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Packing my bags for this as we speak. I am also happy that the game is pretty much as close to home for Torontonians as it could be. I feel bad the westeners didn't have the same luxury of heading down to Qwest or similar. Time to bring the noise and dodge the tasers.

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HUGE match here!

We can't afford to choke as we have in other Gold Cups after starting off good. Guadeloupe and Cuba come to mind :(

WIN and win big! I'd like to see Canada really stick a fork in the match and win 2-0 or 3-0. Hopeful I know as we only have one striker up top. Im confident in Hart to out smart ES

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quote:Originally posted by youllneverwalkalone

Sounds like we're going to have to get the ball out wide with pace and bang some balls into the box and chip away with set pieces. Might make sense to play three centre backs to let Stalteri and Kluka get forward.

I think we should stick to our same formation but put Johnson in the middle as our pitbull and switch Bernier with Peters, Issey or Jackson. I'd go with Issey he seems the most likely to put in a good performance of those 3, Peters is way too streaky and Jackson is more of a guy who we should save for later.

Can you imagine if Peters did turn on in one of these matches though? With all the attention on De Guzman, Gerba and Hutchinson it is possible I can definitely see him with no pressure on him running wild up and down the wing.

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quote:Originally posted by Lord Bob

Jesus, after seeing both Canada and El Salvador on Friday I'm not sure I'd be favouring Canada if I were the sports book.

El Salvador essentially played at home on Friday though. I'm thinking tomorrow the ticket-holders in Columbus will be a lot less pro-Salvadorian.

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Canada's men's national soccer team is building momentum.

An organized Canadian side opened the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup impressively with a 1-0 win over Group A opponent Jamaica last Friday in Los Angeles, Canada's third consecutive victory under interim coach Stephen Hart.

The goal is to extend that streak against a strong El Salvador squad Tuesday night at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

“It's obviously important in the first game of a tournament to get off to a good start and we managed to do that,” Canadian captain Paul Stalteri said Monday after the team's practice at the Columbus Crew facility. “It was a bit of a tricky game for some of us coming off of our summer breaks. It was important that we were well organized, and found our rhythm early in the game.

“Tactically, we weren't spot on but we were close.”

Stalteri knows the El Salvador match will be a challenge. The captain emphasized the need for Canada to be as sharp as the previous outing, while maintaining possession of the ball for as long as possible rather than chase defensively.

El Salvador sits alongside Canada with three points atop Group A — considered the Gold Cup's “group of death” — following a 2-1 win over Costa Rica Friday.

“It's important that we stay focused, stay disciplined and stay organized,” added Toronto midfielder Julian De Guzman. “If we can do those three things I think we can come away with three points.”

Canada's difficult draw hasn't phased De Guzman or his teammates.

“This is a wake-up call,” he said. “It's never going to be easy to be one of the best in CONCACAF. The group that we're in, it puts us in a certain state of mind and I think we do well when we're focused.”

Hart, the Canadian Soccer Association's technical director, felt the side did many positive things in the first half against Jamaica. The game was eventually won on a 75th-minute strike by Ali Gerba, who has scored 14 goals in 25 international matches, including a Canadian record-tying five Gold Cup goals.

The key in upcoming games will be sustaining the performance for a full 90 minutes. Hart admits that the tournament's rigorous travel schedule has impacted preparation time but is confident in his players.

“We are more focused on what we need to do well to be successful,” he said.

Hart doesn't expect any major changes to the lineup that defeated Jamaica, though he hinted there might be a tweak to the starting 11.

“We've been toying with a couple ideas but if it's not broken, you don't really need to fix it,” he said.

This edition of the national team, while missing key components like attacking midfielder Dwayne De Rosario and defender Jim Brennan, both of Toronto FC, has a blend of established veterans ('keeper Greg Sutton) and newcomers (defender Dejan Jakovic and forwards Will Johnson and Simeon Jackson among them).

Hart, who is familiar with many of the younger players because of his involvement with youth sides, likes the group assembled and is using the competition as a tool to shape the look of future international teams.

“I think we have to look at a plan of how we're going to go forward,” he said.

“The balance is good. It's an experience where hopefully some of the young players can get in and show what they can do. And of course, it creates competition for places within the squad, which for me, is probably one of the things that has been lacking in the past.”

With eight wins, a draw and four losses in his 13 matches in charge of Canada, Hart is helping the program establish a consistent approach. He said there is a distinct way of how they want to do things to succeed and the players understand that.

“The word philosophy frightens me,” said Hart. “We have a way, an approach to play the game that I like. I think we have the ability to do that. It takes time.

“We have a good midfield and we like to advance the ball through that, play with a certain sort of speed and then understand what your starting points are in attack, for example, and then get penetration through that.

“If we can do that, I think it will be good for us. I don't know if that's the Canadian way but that's the way we would like to play.”

The problem for Canada, which competes in few international matches, is that the team is only together for a limited time. Sometimes, Hart said, it comes together quickly. But when the players go their separate ways, that chemistry needs to be rebuilt.

Competitions like the Gold Cup, however, allow for better camaraderie and development.

“When you have a tournament like this, it's a great opportunity because you're together for longer periods of time with the same group of guys as opposed to maybe World Cup qualifying where the group changes,” said Stalteri. “The guys are together and manage to build a good rapport with each other.

“It's an important time for us.”

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Hahaha the Ali Gerba Experience... fantastic! Invisible until he appears out of a purple haze to score yet another one for the boys in red.

The Salvadorians are excellent at counter-attacking football, so we gotta be smart and not push up like crazy. We don't need a repeat of WCQ Montreal [B)]

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Here's the officiating crew according to the Gold Cup site. (Don't like the looks of that 4th official, better the 4th than on the field!).


R. Garcia (Mexico)


D. Inniss (Guyana)

E. Paesch (Aruba)

Fourth official:

B. Archundia (Mexico)

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Predicting a draw worked last time so hows for a nil-nil.

As mentioned before El Salvador is a counter attacking team. A patient build up, with patient defending will slow the game down. That's what we want, if we play the same way we did against Jamaica we will not lose this game.

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quote:Originally posted by Soju

Hmm how can El Bandito rob us as the 4th official... I predict he sends Hart to the bleachers for a phantom insult and then pretends to get hit by a coin causing the match to be abandoned

He could say that Ali G headbutted some salvadorian player.

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Here's some more reading material (gambling oriented with predictions):


Gold Cup soccer: Day 4 analysis and predictions

By SHAWN YOUNG | July 6, 2009 | 2 comments

When it comes to numbers, Shawn Young knows what he's talking about. He's a former oddsmaker of European soccer (among other sports) and has his masters in mathematics.

Both dogs won straight up Friday night. That leaves Group A completely up in the air. Canada nipped Jamaica 1-0, while El Salvador surprised Costa Rica 2-1. Friday’s losers open Tuesday’s action with a virtual elimination game. Friday’s winners then square off to fight for the inside track to be group winner.

Tuesday’s venue is a soccer specific stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The field should be excellent. Clear conditions and low 70s temperatures await the teams - a perfect setting for soccer.

COSTA RICA (-0.5, flat) vs. JAMAICA

Two early yellow cards threw Costa Rica’s “Ticos” off their game early Friday. El Salvador’s Romero victimized the group favorites with a huge individual effort in the first half. A poor clearance by Herrera with three minutes to go sealed the loss. Costa Rica nevertheless had possession 53 percent of the game and 12 shots to El Salvador’s 7.

Jamaica played Canada at a walking pace in the first half and will need to show more urgency early against Costa Rica. Jamaica will also have to show a lot more discipline: Shelton, Johnson, Phillips, and Davis all picked up yellow cards Friday.

Quite simply, Tuesday is Tico Time. Costa Rica found full throttle occasionally in their Friday match while Jamaica never got out of second gear. If this had been the tournament opener, the Ticos would be 1-goal favorites here. It’s only half a goal now, so Costa Rica is worth a bet.

Covers.com prediction: Costa Rica 2, Jamaica 0

CANADA (pk, -150) vs EL SALVADOR

Canada played Jamaica even and Gerba scored a nice goal to win. The only real spot of concern is that De Guzman was booked. When Canada’s back four got the ball against Jamaica, Jamaica rarely contested the first pass to a midfielder. Most of what Canada does flows through De Guzman, and Canada had more space in which to operate once they figured out that De Guzman did not need to retreat quite so deeply to get the ball.

El Salvador will be a lot less patient. Manager de los Cobos was pleased his side snapped their losing streak against Costa Rica, but said that his team won’t continue to get results by sitting back and waiting for counterattacking opportunities.

With wins in their pockets, a draw helps both teams. A draw is close here but can almost never be bet to advantage in soccer. You’d need to find +300 to actually have the edge, and right now the market is shaping up at +225 to +250. A half-decent surrogate for the draw is under 2.5 goals, since over 80 percent of draws end 0-0 or 1-1.

Alas, you need to go under around flat and all we’re seeing is under -150. Door No. 3 is El Salvador at +0.5, -140 - if you can find it. But under no circumstances should you lay more than -150. The moral of the story: not every game has an edge. If you have to sit this game out, sit it out.

Covers.com prediction: Canada 1, El Salvador 1

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quote:Originally posted by amacpher

Canada should see a lot of the ball, but they have to be weary of the counter-attack. El Salvador scored 3 goals on the counter in their first match, although one was wrongly ruled-out for offside.

Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing how Hart and the playing personnel at his disposal deal with this issue.

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quote:Originally posted by Ed

I am going to celebrate my b'day with a trouncing of the Salvadorean expectorators.

Inspiring gallery here:


Happy birthday, Ed. By the way, do you know if Ledgerwood has been back visiting your neck of the woods this summer? Is he healthy and/or was he approached about playing in this GC?

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^ Nik is in Frankfurt as their training camp is underway. He usually comes back at end of May but I haven't heard from him lately. I will try to find out.

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FWIW guys I just posted this blog to the home-page from the Stadium. CMON YOU REDS!!!

Both the Costa Rican and Jamaican teams are out on the field for a pitch inspection at Crew Stadium in Columbus with under two hours to go until kick-off for the night’s first match.

Current temperature at the stadium is 28 degrees Celsius and the sun is beaming down at full force on the uncovered pitch. Conditions for the first match will be sweltering.

El Salvador supporters are already making up the biggest contingent of fans in the parking lot, and keep in mind that their team doesn’t hit the pitch for another four hours. El Salvadoran support will dominate the stadium. Looks like another away match atmosphere for Canada.

Stephen Hart has hinted that there will be little change to his starting XI following a good performance form Jamaica.

Marcel de Jong was subbed off at the half versus Jamaica in favour of the more attack-minded Josh Simpson. Expect Marcel to return to the starting line-up tonight as Canada will almost certainly be wary of a potenet El Salvador attack.

Striker Simeon Jackson also appeared in the 70th minute against Jamaica in favour of winger Will Johnson, but expect the young Gillingham man to return to the bench for the start of tonight’s match.

Greg Sutton is also believed to be Hart’s preferred choice in goal this evening.

El Salvador are in rich form at the moment under the direction of Mexican manager Carlos de los Cobos. They are making their first appearance in the final round of CONCACAF world cup qualifying for the first time since 1998. The team is also undefeated in its last five matches – a run that includes impressive victories over Ecuador, Mexico and Honduras.

The Latin Americans were pushed forward by close to 20,000 Salvadorian supporters in L.A. and notched a crucial 2-1 over Costa Rica on match-day 1 of the tournament.

Canada’s physical play will pose problems for the Salvadorans, but expect the Canadians to be on the defensive early. El Salvador put forth a cohesive and refined performance in their first match of the tournament and the team will certainly believe in their ability to sweep aside Canada.

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