I texted him to congratulated him on the move from when the leak happened to see if it was true lol, in which he obviously confirmed it.
I think it will be very interesting to see him play this season, he's very quick and jinky. I'm happy he gets to finish his career in Ontario - where it all began. I told him not too many guys have an Ontario Cup, Nationals, and Can PL championship on their CV (I think Bekker is the only guy).
Some important new info:
1. Vegas will indeed host the final.
Unlike the format of two years ago, Group B (our group) will cross over with Group C. This change was to be expected as this avoids a USA vs Mexico matchup before the semi-finals.
Assuming we can get past both Martinique and Haiti (or maybe Bermuda, St. Vincent & the Gs or Barbados) we would play one of Costa Rica / Jamaica / Suriname / Guatemala ( or maybe Guyana / Guadeloupe / Bahamas).
Getting a draw vs the USA + an overall better goal difference in the group, or, getting a win vs the USA, would allow us to avoid the USA(again) or Mexico until the final. Interesting stuff.
Raheem at LAFC almost forgot here was there but good for him, Bob Bradley seems to have away of bringing out the best out of players like this , players that have never been MLS full time starters like Edwards go to LAFC and are able to make solid contributions . Raheem should be in consideration for the Gold Cup team depending how he does at LAFC and if he really does well then would be a good cover if any of our top players on our A squad were to get injured. It’s good to have depth like a Raheem. I think in the end it’s depth that will help Canada get and stay and the next level .
It looks like the mandatory FIFA release period for all teams (even those not in the preliminaries) might be Monday, June 28th!
Even if it's only the usual 10 days before ( June 30th ) we still have time for one friendly.
As in the previous edition, the CSA cannot schedule a friendly match within a 161km radius ( 100 miles) of any of the match venues: https://stconcacafwp001.blob.core.windows.net/media/vu5ahqsc/2021_concacaf_gold_cup_regulation_-_eng.pdf
If we do play one, we'd want to go the closed-door route, so an opponent that wouldn't draw big crowds anyways seems a likely choice.
I can easily picture us playing Curaçao or Grenada.
2) The squad:
A 60-man preliminary roster is due 30 days prior to start of the competition ( this is Thursday, June 10th soon after our match vs Suriname on Tuesday, June 8th).
Unlike for Olympic Qualifying, this preliminary roster is binding.
The final 23-man roster is due 10 days prior to start of the competition (this is June 30th). https://stconcacafwp001.blob.core.windows.net/media/vu5ahqsc/2021_concacaf_gold_cup_regulation_-_eng.pdf
3) The schedule:
Since 2019 was also a 16 team tournament, we can use that old calendar to extrapolate the dates for 2021.
Group B (our group)
Sunday, July 11th
Thursday, July 15th
Monday, July 19th
Rest days: July 22nd & July 23rd
Saturday July 24th - QF for teams that were in pots A & B ?
Sunday, July 25th - QF for teams that were in pots C & D ?
Rest day: July 26th
Tuesday, July 27th - SF for teams that were in pots A & B ?
Wednesday, July 28th - SF for teams that were in pots C & D ?
Rest days: July 29th, July 30th & July 31st
Final: August 1st
The only unusual thing is that the above schedule would force the USA and Mexico to face each other in the semi-finals or even the quarter-finals!
4) Match venues:
Where will our matches be held?
In COVID times, trying to hold matches outside the USA seems very unlikely. This will be a USA-only-hosted tournament.
CONCACAF want to have fans and will likely look at the following: https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/29910246/where-32-nfl-teams-stands-allowing-fans-stadiums https://www.sportbusiness.com/news/three-additional-us-states-move-to-allow-fan-attendance/
Mexico matches aside, CONCACAF generally likes it when soccer specific stadiums are used.
Toyota Stadium in Frisco (Dallas area) have cleared their calendar and will host. https://www.fcdallas.com/schedule?year=2021
BBVA Stadium in Houston have cleared their calendar and will host. https://www.houstondynamofc.com/post/2021/03/24/houston-dynamo-fc-announce-2021-regular-season-schedule
Paypal Park in San Jose is hosting no matches between May 22nd and July 24th! (The Earthquakes are even hosting a match at the Stanford Stadium to do this! EDIT: To host the CONCACAF Nations League Finals & a Gold Cup group stage match? ) https://www.sjearthquakes.com/schedule
Orlando could host an early group stage match https://www.orlandocitysc.com/post/2021/03/24/orlando-city-sc-announces-2021-regular-season-schedule-presented-orlando-health
The brand new Q2 stadium in Austin could host a group stage game. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q2_Stadium https://www.austinfc.com/schedule
and they said they wanted to host here: https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/austin-fc-submits-bid-host-2021-concacaf-gold-cup-future-ncaa-college-cup-new
Chicago ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SeatGeek_Stadium ) could host
DC could host https://www.dcunited.com/schedule
The old Colombus crew stadium could host https://ww.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_Crew_Stadium
but new one almost certainly won't: https://www.columbuscrewsc.com/schedule
The brand new West End stadium in Cincinnati could host a group stage match or a QF match https://www.fccincinnati.com/schedule https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_End_Stadium
LAFC (Banc of California Stadium) won't host https://www.lafc.com/schedule/
but LA Galaxy (Dignity Health Sports Park) will likely host a later group stage match or QF match https://www.lagalaxy.com/schedule?year=2021
Red Bull in NJ and Suburu Park in Pennsylvania could host QF matches https://www.newyorkredbulls.com/schedule/ https://www.philadelphiaunion.com/schedule/matches
The rumour is that Las Vegas will host the final match ( https://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegiant_Stadium )
Those venues unlikely to host
Not in Miami (which will be the host venue for the preliminaries https://www.intermiamicf.com/en/schedule )
Unlikely Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick's_Sporting_Goods_Park https://www.coloradorapids.com/schedule
Minnesota, Utah and Kansas seem unlikely too: https://www.mnufc.com/schedule https://www.rsl.com/schedule https://www.sportingkc.com/schedule
My best guess is that we will likely see a situation unlike previous years where a group will play their first AND their second match at the same venue to minimize travel and make bubbles easier.
You just can't have all the flying around that we had in previous years this time around.
Could be said - but it’s no where close. Just look at our national team.
I personally think the Whitecaps does the best job of scouting/finding talent. A lot of BC pro players seem to be connected to the Whitecaps organization at some point. Whereas there’s a lot of Ontario pro players, that have different routes outside of TFC. That is largely due to the massive demographic of talented players within Southeast Ontario that usually go unnoticed.
Reason why I think for York/Forge to get to the next stage, or solidify themselves within the football landscape. It’s imperative for them to have full academies - and not the Vaughn/Sigma loose connections.
I am sure there are lots of variables. Could be wages in comparison to what they will give to the team, where coaches see their potential. Maybe Valour coaches didn't see Campbell as a good long term fit or the other way around. Maybe they have better prospects and targets.
One thing is for sure there is no doubt just being a professional Canadian footballer doesn't guarantee you a CPL spot, nor should it.
worth checking out but Hamilton has high praise for the talent in that area but took big shots at the old management... for not playing the kids. On a few occasions he’s praised current management for backing the kids and playing them.
makes you wonder how good some guys would have turned out if TFC had of taken youth development seriously.
he goes on to essentially back Rollins who once said Roma was impressed with the raw talent in the area, saying that Ontario teams always competed world wide talent wise. That’s a bold statement.