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    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.

    El Diego
    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!
    Listen & subscribe on the NSXI Network.

    The Loyal Company of the River Valley podcast is the result of Nathan and Adam just having a few conversations over some beverages about FC Edmonton. Eventually they just decided to add a couple microphones to these conversations and make it a podcast. While they may be lacking in the analytic knowledge, they certainly make up for it with passion and optimism with all things Eddies. #FearNoFoe
    On this weeks episode, we go a little off topic with some nerd talk because not much has really happened in the league over the last week.
    We also look ahead to an unfortunately scheduled Al Classico and how it speaks to a larger topic we’ve focused on in the past with the schedule mishaps the league has had.
    We then talk about the other game this week against Pacific and the travelling contingent of FCE supporters that will be there.
    Listen & subscribe via the NSXI Network

    Having escaped Richmond with a point for the first time in club history, Toronto FC II found further cause for muted celebration last Friday when they posted their first clean sheet for five games. The the 0-0 draw with Greenville Triumph was also the kids’ first goalless game of the season.
    Their last bore-draw was last September, in that riveting anti-climax of a season finale against the erstwhile Harrisburg City Islanders . Incidentally, Jordan Perruzza had as much luck in front of goal then as two weeks ago, not that there’s any shame in being shut out by the Upstate Boys’ notoriously stingy defence.
    Ironically, the local lines(wo)men were no help at all to the Young Reds. Previously reliable allies, the hosts were flagged offside as often as the visitors, including on a would-be injury-time winner by Mehdi Essoussi.
    The clean sheet was especially encouraging in that it felt genuinely earned. Instead of their opponents simply not turning up, or not being able to finish to save their lives (Lansing Ignite have done both), this was a solid – if occasionally haphazard – defensive effort.
    Eric Klenofsky redeemed himself for that clanger against Richmond, making some choice saves amid possible injuries to two centre-backs. After taking a ball to the chops late in the first half, Rocco Romeo was switched out for injury-list perennial Jelani Peters. The Trinidadian lasted all of fifteen minutes before making way for Noble Okello.
    Read more on the NSXI Network

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    • WSA is the worst run side in PDL
    • You mean finish ahead of Hondurass AND Jamaica AND Costa Rica 1 out of 5 times. Because that is what we would need to do to finish 3rd. And, based on fairly recent results, they are ALL BETTER than us. Even if we were all EQUAL, we'd only finish ahead of all three of them 1 out of every 4 times! So, emphatically, no!
    • You dont think wed finish ahead of honduras jamaica or costa rica one out of every 5 times?    id place money on that. 
    • 20% chance we finish top 3 in the hexagonal?! That implies that if they played it 5 times, we would finish top 3 in one iteration! I haven't seen that kind of optimism since Scotland's last qualification attempt! I'd say if we played it 20 times Canada would finish top 3 once and even that is generous. That would make the odds 5%. Regardless, it is pretty clear that any advantage the hexagonal path may have is predicated on the odds of Canada qualifying automatically by finishing top 3. And you need to be wearing quite a few pairs of Canada coloured glasses to see that actually happening, particularly given Canada's sterling record playing away in Central America. Otherwise, it comes down to this: 2nd place in a 4 team group also containing Costa Rica, Hondurass, and Jamaica; where Canada are the lowest ranked team. vs. 1st place in a much larger group where most teams have zero chance and Canada are the highest ranked team. Then, in either case, there are 2 play-off ties to win.
    • If we call all those matches roughly even: Typical odds for a draw are 28%, so we have a 36% chance of a win in each match. That is a 13% chance of winning both.
    • Just the give and take of negotiation. Some players might only want a one year deal, to put themselves in the shop window and be free to negotiate with whomever they please at season's end (e.g. Petrasso). For older players, the club might only want a one year deal. And of course many players might want the security of a two year deal although it is hard to see how a "one year deal with a club option for another year" provides that! Players who sign that kind of one sided deal definitely feel that their negotiating hand is weak.
    • I’m not saying that we aren’t in the top 4 in Concacaf on paper. My opinion on 5% is based on how **** we are away in Concacaf compared to other nations. We struggled against St. Kitts and Cuba away ffs. But I think in a two legged serried we could possibly do it. I just don’t see us getting many points away in the hex and then we’d be relying on being great at home.
    • not necessarily a good source but wouldnt be surprised if they do that as its almost preseason time and season in three months..in 2018 they were even worse losing all 14 games and ohin and budhoo were on that team..in 2019 artemenko and budhoo played with them
    • I think too many people think of Haiti as “that team we crapped the bed against in the Gold Cup”, and not “that team that won Costa Rica’s group in the Gold Cup and then took Mexico to extra time (only to be beaten on some kind of BS call if I remember correctly) and then got two more draws against Costa Rica in the Nations League”. Those same people probably think of Curaçao as “some Caribbean minnow” instead of “that team that finished ahead of 2 would be future hex teams (Honduras and El Salvador) in the Gold Cup group stage then finished only 1 point behind Costa Rica in the Nations League group stage, despite getting a draw in Costa Rica”. Hex is very hard, but I think the lower route is very, very hard. And yeah I think the math was a good illustration. It feels like a lot of people think that if you have a 90% chance in round 1, 90% in round 2, 90% in round 3, 90% in round 4, and 90% in round 5, that you have a 90% chance. But you don’t. You have a 59% chance. And of course, we don’t have a 90% chance at each round in the lower route.
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