The evolution of pro soccer in the nation’s capital will take a new step forward on February 11th with the new Canadian Premier League club backed by Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. From there, owners and key figures in the club will have as little as three weeks to get a manager, coaches and a full roster of players ready for pre-season camp, which is scheduled to start at the beginning of March for other CPL clubs. In the words of Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s squeaky-bum time for those building Atletico Ottawa.
Many of the league’s top players and prospects have already signed elsewhere in the league, and much of the former Fury roster has found new clubs in both the CPL and USL, but there are still many players Atletico Ottawa can to look at and potentially sign before the regular season kicks off in April. The roster will likely include some loan players from the Atletico program, as well as some L10 and PLSQ players, however there is also a chance for Atletico Ottawa to pick up some fairly well-known names in the Canadian Soccer community. Here are five players that I think Atletico Ottawa brass should seriously consider making their first grouping of signings.
Find the list & analysis on the NSXI Network.
The Canadian soccer landscape is going through a serious metamorphosis. The last decade has seen the launch of regional Division 3 leagues Première Ligue de Soccer du Québec and League 1 Ontario in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In 2019 the Canadian Premier League played its first season. For male soccer players wishing to play professionally, these are encouraging developments. Prior to the existence of these leagues, the odds were significantly stacked against players trying to make the leap from youth to professional as the gap in playing level was simply too large.
It is a gap that long time soccer broadcaster and current Marketing and Communications Officer for BC Soccer Peter Schaad knows all too well. Over much of the past year, Schaad and his BC Soccer cohorts have been working steadily to address that issue for BC players.
The idea of a Division 3 regional league like PLSQ and L1O was included in BC Soccer’s 2016 strategic plan. However at the time the ‘Regional Tier 3 League’ as it was called gained insufficient interest from potential participating clubs and the idea was shelved. But the start of the Canadian Premier League breathed new life into BC League 1 and it was revived.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
Langley-born Joel Waterman officially made history on Tuesday afternoon, as he became the first player to make the jump from the Canadian Premier League to Major League Soccer, joining the Montreal Impact for a fee reported to be in the $100k region. Waterman also became the first player sold by a CPL team for a transfer fee, giving us an example of how beneficial the new Canadian first division can be for young footballers in this country.
Despite being the only player to make the jump to MLS so far, Joel Waterman wasn’t necessarily considered one of the best players in the CanPL. In fact, OneSoccer ranked him just 43rd on their year-end list of the top 50 players in the league. Waterman has many strong qualities though, and if an MLS team was convinced by his quality, then maybe he was somebody we were overlooking all season long.
Let’s take an in-depth look at what Waterman does and doesn’t bring to the table for the Montreal Impact:
His versatility is very impressive, and is certainly one of the main reasons Montreal signed him.
Joel Waterman is a centre-back first and foremost, and while he can play other positions on the pitch, his versatility within the centre-back position on its own is rather impressive. As you know, there are multiple different formations used regularly in all levels of football, and pretty much all of those formations use either 2 centre-backs (a back 4) or 3 (a back 3). The roles played by centre-backs in these 2 formations vary quite a bit more than you’d expect, as do the areas of the pitch that they cover.
Read more on the NSXI Network
Thomas Nef has an indepth interview with Adam Hemati, an Iranian-Canadian who plays as a midfielder for Iranian club Persepolis. Learn his story.
Available in both audio & video formats for your convenience.
Find it here: https://www.northernstartingeleven.com/canucks-abroad-interview-series-episode-2-with-adam-hemati/
Ottawa Fury announced last week that they have decided to suspend operations following issues regarding their CONCACAF sanctioning for USL in 2020. There is much to debate about decisions by those involved, however I want to take this opportunity to look back at the 16 years that Ottawa Fury were operating in the capital region, and all the Canadian players, coaches and managers that this club gave opportunities to, and helped guide along the way.
Ottawa Fury began in 2003 through John Pugh (current Canada Soccer Association board member), bringing women’s soccer to the capital region in the form of a USL W-League. Between 2003 and 2014, the Ottawa Fury W-League team managed to win nine division titles, made the national finals on three occasions and were league champions once. Over the course of its eleven seasons the W-League team featured such players as Kadeisha Buchanan (now with Lyon and the Canada women’s side) as well as Ashley Lawrence (currently with Paris Saint Germain and also the Canada women’s side).
Read more on the NSXI Network.
On Canucks Abroad with Thomas & Juan, our host interviews Canadian Soccer Players from around the world.
In this inaugural episode, Thomas interviews Aramis Kouzine, who played a year of futsal with CSKA, was cut from Philadelphia Union, and now plays in the Ukrainian Premier League.
Catch the whole episode & subscribe on the NSXI Network.
They are building a league. None of it existed before. It is easy for fans and followers to lose sight of what was so obvious only a few short months ago. Now people are paying attention to players, coaches, teams, formations, and results. But the challenge of winning games, learning your trade as a player or coach, or making tactical adjustments is undergirded by a league infrastructure which has an entire set of its own challenges, difficulties, and pitfalls. From marketing the teams to broadcasting the games to running your venue on game day, everywhere one turns there is a new challenge for the Canadian Premier League. And each of the teams face hurdles to overcome that are unique to their context.
For Cavalry FC, their contextual challenges have included weather, transportation, and stadium creation. Their home base at Spruce Meadows required a significant amount of construction to get ready for this season including the construction of a large grandstand. Ian Allison, president and COO of Spruce Meadows Sports and Entertainment describes how the combination of weather and construction combined to negatively impact their playing surface.
Read more on the NSXI Network.
Canada produced a stunning display to defeat their southern neighbours for the first time in over three decades, and while the effort on display deserves a lot of the praise there were also multiple tactical decisions that led Canada to a more than deserving victory.
It’s been a while, but the Sea-To-Sea Podcast is back with another episode. Hosted by Nathan Martin and Rob Notenboom, this episode features discussion around the women’s game in Canada, some Canadian Premier League Talk, and the excitement around the national team.
The episode closes with an interview with a couple members of the Above and Beyond Brigade; a great program led by some Cavalry FC players to reach out to their community!
Does anyone know the result of this match? I have the official programme, but I am struggling to find the result. The match was played at the Racecourse in Wrexham. Was this match part of a tour of the UK by the Canadian team? The Welsh FA listed the match as a B international, but as far as I know this was the Canadian U23 team and coached by Tony Waiters.
Notes about the Canadian players from the programme ---
Paolo Ceccarelli (North York Rockets) - The regular goalkeeper who started in all four Round 3 Qualifying matches this year and has made 8 appearances at Under 23 level. Although participating in training camps at Under 17 and Under 20 levels he did not represent his country until 1989 when he established himself with the North York Rockets. Also played at B level vs Italy in 1989 so is every experienced. He is taking time off from his studies and working as a supply teacher.
Carmine Iscacco (Toronto Italia) - A student in his third year at the University of Maryland, this tall keeper has yet to appear for his country at any level and this tour will be his first national team selection. A regular for the Toronto Italia team he is very much on trial during this trip.
Scott McQuillan (Kitchener Kickers) - The experienced deputy to Ceccarelli who sat on the bench throughout the Round 3 Qualifying matches and at 6ft 7in is certainly and imposing figure! Four years in the Canadian Soccer League with Edmonton Brickmen, Calgary Kickers and the last two seasons at Kitchener Kickers. Made 6 appearances at Under 20 level in 1988 during the Concacaf Championships
David Cepo (Hamilton Steelers) - A McMaster University student who has yet to appear at Under 23 level for his country despite making 12 appearances at under 17 and under 20 levels which included the 1989 World Cup Finals in Scotland where Canada lost all three group matches. Can also play in midfield and had a successful second season with the Hamilton Steelers in the CSL.
Paul Fenwick (Hamilton Steelers) - A powerful central defender who graduated last year from McMaster University with a BSc in physiotherapy, but has taken a year off to try and fulfil his soccer ambitions. Played twice for the under 20 side in the 1988 Concacaf Championships, but despite 8 appearances at Under 23 level only played twice in the 3rd Qualifying Round scoring his countries' first goal in the 4-0 victory over El Salvador. Came to prominence with the Kitchener Kickers, but was traded to the Toronto Blizzard in 1991 without establishing himself so was glad to join Hamilton Steelers to revive his career.
Carl Fletcher (Toronto Blizzard) - Very experienced performer at International level with 8 appearances at each of Under 17, 20, and 23 categories including the three group matches during the 1987 FIFA Under 17 World Championships. A regular with the Toronto Blizzard in the CSL he also had an extended trial with Bristol City in 1991.
Kevin Holness (Winnipeg Fury) - Another player just as happy in midfield who returns to the squad after a groin injury. Has missed only one match in the CSL during his two seasons with Winnipeg Fury so is pretty durable. A regular squad member during the 3rd Round Qualifying matches only making the starting line up vs El Salvador, but his other international appearances include 7 at Under 17 level including at the 1987 World Championships, 4 at Under 20, 5 at Under 23 and 4 at B level.
Gary Kern (Winnipeg Fury) - This tall central defender was a regular for the Under 23 team in 1990, but although in the squad for the Qualifying matches did not see any action. Played four seasons in the CSL with the Edmonton Brickmen, Calgary Strickers and for the last two years with the Winnipeg Fury team where he has been a regular. A student in his final year at the University of BC studying physical education, he also played a season of varsity basketball at the Universtiy of Calgary.
Steve MacDonald (Vancouver 86ers) - An almost certain starter who has established himself in the Vancouver 86ers side especially over the past three seasons. Played in the opening two Olympic qualifying matches, but was sent off after 82 minutes in the second and was suspended for three games. In 1989 he played at B level v Faroe Islands and Italy and has appeared at three other levels including 1987 FIFA Under 17 Championships. A local sales and marketing executive in Vancouver.
Mark Watson (Hamilton Steelers) - A full International with appearances v Mexico, United States, and Honduras during 1991 who played in all the four Olympic qualifying compeition matches. Initially with the Ottawa Intrepid club who joined the Steelers for the 1991 season and was selected for the CSL All Star team that season. A student at the University of BC studying sports administration, he is returning to the squad after a knee operation.
Fernando Aguiar (Toronto Blizzard) - A surprise selection for the trip, who has yet to make an international appearance for his country at any level. Portuguese by birth he only joined the Blizzard this season for his first in the CSL, so has clearly come from nowhere to join the party.
Mike Dodd (Winnipeg Fury) - With 12 caps at Under 23 level this combative midfielder played in all four Olympic qualifying matches, so is a likely starter. Despite these caps played his first season with the Winnipeg Fury in the CSL last season with two goals from 14 appearances. At present he is taking a physical educatoin course at Capilano College before transferring to the University of BC.
Scott Macey (Vancouver 86ers) - With 13 caps at Under 17 level, including the 1989 FIFA Championship finals in Scotland this experienced midfielder is a likely starter having played in all four of the 3rd Round qualifyinhg matches, scoring vs Trinidad and Tobago in Canadas' 3-0 victory. Has yet to establish himself in the Vancouver 86ers CSL team where he tends to be a squad member, but his 12 caps at Under 23 level suggest he has been a little unlucky at club level.
Mike Mosher (London Lasers) - Another regular in the Olympic qualifying games with four appearances including the winning goal vs El Salvador. After four seasons in the CSL, the first three with Edmonton Brickmen, then drafted to Winnipeg Fury for the 1991 season, he will play for the London Lasers in 1992. An ever present last season with Winnipeg he also scored four goals.
Carlo Corazzin (Pievigina, Italy) - The only European based player in the squad who has played for the last four seasons in Italy, first with Fourth Division Giorbione and then 3rd division Pievigina for the last three years. Did not play in any of the 3rd round Qualifying games, but appeared twice for the Under 23 team vs the United States in 1990.
Scott Munson (Kitchener Kickers) - Named CSL Rookie of the Year last season with five goals from 25 appearances for the Kitchener Kickers in his first professional season. Along with Mark Watson has played in every Under 23 International, 13 in all and is the top scorer. Played in all the Olympic Qualifying matches, scoring four of Canada's seven goals including a hat trick vs Trinidad and Tobago. This brough him to the attention of the full International team's coach who picked him in all three Concacaf Gold Cup tournament matches last July. A student at the Simon Fraser University specialising in criminology who graduates this year.
Grand Needham (Montreal Supra) - A likely starter who has played for the Supras in the CSL for the past four seasons and had his most successful year last year with seven goals in 22 matches to be named on the All Star team. Played in all four Olympic Qualifying games scoring twice vs El Salvador and also made 2 B level appearances vs Mexico and the USA during Marth 1991 in the North American Nations Cup. A student at Concordia University in Montreal specialising in anthropology.
Paul Peschisolido (Toronto Blizzard) - Despite missing the training camp prior to this trip due to a groin injury he was selected for the tour due to his outstanding goalscoring record in the CSL of 28 goals from just 59 appearances. Played both Under 17 and Under 20 levels and was a starter in all the four Olympic qualifying matches scoring once vs Trinidad and Tobago.
Herdman interview. He's speculating that COVID could lead to another change in format.
Hume, Issey, Johnson, Brennan, deJong, Edgar, Borjan
For a short while, this team played the best football Canada ever saw. I will never accept how badly this team imploded in 2008.
That sounds like too much work 😕 ha ha...
I’ll go an easier route just to spark some debate... best ever starting 11!
I’ll do it in a 4-4-2:
GK - Iker Casillas
RB - Cafu, CB - Maldini, CB - Hierro, LB - Roberto Carlos
RM - Cristiano Ronaldo, CM - Xavi, CM - Zidane, LM - Ronaldinho
FWD - Ronaldo (Brazilian), FWD - Pelé
and just because I’m so bloody conflicted, I’m adding a bench:
GK - Oliver Khan
RB - Dani Alves, CB - Cannavarro, CB - Beckenbaur, LB - Zanetti
RM - Paco Gento, CM - Pirlo, CM - Pep Guardiola, LM - Cruyff
FWD - Messi, FWD - Di Stefano
There are still so many others...