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Wayverider

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  1. Fair enough. When I wrote he was slightly past his prime in 2016 I suppose I was referring to him having wanted to be called up by Scotland for an extended period and him then realizing it was never going to materialize. That ship had sailed, and in fairness, Scotland though not strong at the time, was about to elevate its game on the international stage, with its midfield being its strongest area of talent. Arfield still had a lot of good soccer in him, but he had come to realize (in the eyes of the national coach) his talent was never going to be what Scotland were looking for. ... But your argument is very valid, and perhaps the Scottish coach was wrong (Gordon Strachan).
  2. There are multiple theories on what separates this Canadian team from those of the past: the plethora of Canadian depth we now possess, Herdman’s infusion of confidence, grassroots Canadian soccer finally bearing fruit, etc... For my money it’s the very rare attribute of exceptional speed. Speed, speed, speed!!! Davies, Buchanan, Laryea! On at least a dozen occasions during this round of WC qualifiers (6 games) I can recall the above three players being jockeyed outside by an opponent but blowing by with speed and being able to cut hard towards the net. This in turn forces opposing defenders and even the keeper to have to abandon the space they are defending, leading to high quality scoring opportunities. Davies demonstrates this speed on a level that is crazy insane. Buchanan and Laryea demonstrate it at a world class level (that some of our opponents can’t match). Having a trio of players with this kind of speed is remarkable. Speed forces opposing teams to stack-defend specific areas of the field, always attempting to have a first and second defender when Davies for example possesses the ball. But this only opens space for other players and Canada is now knee deep in talent. Furthermore defenders deal with exceptional speed by reading body cues and anticipating passes with an objective of dropping faster in an attempt to negate their opponent’s speed. But this just opens up more space for the speedster to dribble and pass. When you have three players with this kind of threat on one team it can wreak havoc defensively. Consider, Buchanan and Laryea didn’t play in Jamaica, so it was easier for the Jamaicans to concentrate on Davies and neutralize his skill set (notwithstanding the fact the field was sketchy as well). Consider also there were at least two 6-7 minute segments in the Panama game in which Panama totally dominated possession and appeared to taking over momentum - but unlike us they didn’t have a speedster who could break our shape with either a final pass long ball or short through pass. I’m loving this team and all of its pieces and dimensions, but for me it’s speed that is consistently separating our play from that of our opponents.
  3. On the one hand we all know what Arfield did the last time we defeated the US at BMO. That kind of central midfield performance is still very much in demand on team Canada, notwithstanding the plethora of depth this team now possesses. But how long ago was that performance. Airfield was in fact slightly past his prime when he first joined Canada. Here we are now a few years later and it’s a huge concern that he is no longer receiving prime minutes at Glasgow Rangers. I can’t see him back in the mix until he can demonstrate his old form at the club level.
  4. Yeah, I think that is on security. I was in line for almost an hour and got inside about 5 minutes before kick-off. I heard security personnel telling one another to stop checking I.D. and look at vaccination documents only. 20 minutes into the first half I recall looking around and thinking, “they said BMO would be sold out but it looks only to be about 60% full”. There were still people showing up to seats at half time. That was a big fail for BMO security on an otherwise A+ evening on every other aspect of the game
  5. Just about to leave for Toronto - driving in from three hours away. I’m not nervous about this game in the least, and that doesn’t mean I don’t fully respect Panama as a seasoned team with high quality talent and World Cup pedigree. It’s more an appreciation for what we’ve finally evolved into. We are a very legitimate COCACAF heavyweight contender that will concede nothing to our opponents. This is the Canadian team I’ve been waiting for my whole life (and I was born in 1962). My cup is definitely filled to the brim and I’m going to enjoy every moment of this opportunity!
  6. I have two additional seats for Wednesday’s game (I purchased them before realizing there was an initial glitch for supporters, and later decided I wanted to be in the supporter’s section). They are in section 211. I’m not looking to make any money, just what I paid ($68 for both). Im actually leaving home right now to be on the road all day and returning late tonight. If someone is interested, message me privately on here and I’ll tend to it tomorrow morning. I only have two tickets so it’s first come first served.
  7. First the positives: We are undefeated in three away matches (and two of them were against the top dogs). The US and Panama are both only one point ahead of us and they have both played 3 home games whereas we’ve only played two. WE ARE IN A GOOD POSITION! Having said the above that was a very frustrating game to view. Yeah the field was shit but it was the same for both teams and I feel the announcers made too much of it as a convenient excuse for all of our troubles. Johnson aside there were too many lapses by defenders and their distribution from back to front didn’t come close to measuring up to their previous qualifying performances. Sure we didn’t get scored on, but link-up play offensively from our defensive third to the next phase of play was lacking. Laryea, Vitoria, Miller & Kennedy we’re sorely missed IMHO. The inclusion of 1 or 2 of them would have made a difference. Was it me, the field, or did it seem there were a higher volume of ‘mind fart’ plays? Obviously Millar’s miss was the most glaring. My God the side foot should give him more accuracy and yet he put it to the only part of the net a keeper occupied, and from mere feet away. Failing that a little controlled side foot pass to Osario who was also a mere feet away on a square pass would have resulted in an easier shot because the ball wouldn’t have been coming in at pace. Yet I don’t want to be too hard on Millar - I’m sure he feels worse than anyone for the miss. i suppose there is a case to be made that you can’t have it both ways because Davies did barely miss a goal from a free kick, but overall I feel like he’s failed the set piece audition (and certainly not only in this game). And I get it, that’s a tricky situation because we HAVE to have what he adds to the team - but with so many weak opportunities on set prices tonight I feel that aspect of Davies game is Canada continually forcing a round peg into a square hole. Lol - Whose going to tell him? For me, I learned from this game that we are very dependent on fielding either Eustaquio or Hutch in the starting 11. There is poise, creativity, superior distribution and high soccer IQ in their games. That’s concerning because realistically how many years can we get from Atiba. I definitely understand there is a needed skill set Piette gives us (ball winner, defensive intelligence, work rate) but he didn’t compensate tonight for what we were missing in the midfield. The announcers made a huge deal that he was arguably the man of the match, whereas I think he was the wrong skill set for what we needed this game. Just my take aways from this game. I hope it doesn’t come across as too negative because I love this team and it’s a pleasure supporting them. If we are not totally happy after this past Jamaica game - that’s ok. I imagine at this stage of qualifying play we could also be indifferent, AND that would be soooo much worse!
  8. For my money let’s expect a wounded animal tomorrow night that has been backed into a corner. Throw our best at them and play hard for the three points. Then prepare for Panama accordingly when the game is done with what we have. Our depth is second to none in Concacaf so let’s embrace that reality with confidence. From the first Gold Cup game this past summer to now we’ve impressively demonstrated the ‘next man up’ concept with every player who has pulled on the Maple Leaf jersey. March forward confidently with new found confidence JH has instilled. It’s quite possible that many of our opponents will get much easier results from the Reggae Boyz after the New Year if Jamaica is fully out of the picture for a WC birth by then. But we face them now and we have a tougher task at hand (because the Jamaican players who take the field desperately want to get back into this). Hold nothing back and let’s take them.
  9. Prior to the last game I suggested we are now a confident enough team that should concede nothing to Mexico in the Azteca. Our boys did us proud. We are the only team in the group who have already played its two most challenging away matches - and we have draws in both of them. Many of our opponents will garner 1 or zero points in their away US/Mexico combo. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much. 1 pt is not 3 and we’ve played a grand total of four games. We’ve only taken mere steps in a long journey. And just as I said we should concede nothing against Mexico, similarly I expect Jamaica to concede nothing against us. We should anticipate in Kingston Town a wounded animal backed into a corner. It will require an all guns blaring approach on our part! Let’s go!
  10. Damn I’m pumped! Like I said earlier, despite 6-7 absences I’m conceding NOTHING to the green sombreros! A draw in both The US and Mexico! No one else in CONCACAF will accomplish this. Now Mexico can come to us in Edmonton! Most of them have never even seen snow and we’re going to welcome them to minus 15 degrees weather. Lol
  11. Honestly all of the back and forth about whether to field an A team tonight or stockpile our talent for Jamaica and Panama - these are good problems to have. Previously we were never even part of the hex and fans fairly consistently watched potential Canadian talent shift their allegiance to the nation of their parents’ birth. Things have changed. I can even see a fairly rapid change in myself and my view of this team. In the summer I thought after showing well in a few Gold Cup games, we had made a solid mark, but we were about to get spanked by Mexico - we were missing 6-7 starters and playing in front of 75,000 Mexicans. But the players who took the field confidently adopted the ‘next man up’ mentality and we went toe to toe with the perennial CONCACAF powerhouse and were arguably robbed in the end. Proud moment! I realize for both teams the cast of characters are different tonight. But All of the boys on this team have my full support, no matter who takes the field, and I’m not conceding anything to the green sombreros. Let’s Go!
  12. I’m also flying in from Ontario for the first Edmonton game. At this early time I just have my flights to and from Hamilton (dirt cheap with Swoop though I might be sitting on the wing). Looking forward to meeting a lot of fellow supporters and a cheering on a Canada victory.
  13. This could be a good time and all things considered it is inexpensive. I'm in Ontario but have been to Edmonton a lot. I actually love the scene on Whyte Ave (in Strathcona by the university) as much or more than downtown. A lot of really fun bars. One thing to keep in mind - it can be pretty damned cold in Edmonton in mid-November so come prepared (like minus 20 is a remote but very real possibility). Also - do we for sure know that Edmonton is hosting? I've been to the first 2 games in TO and will be going to the Panama game as well. If I did decide to go to Edmonton I'd possibly be traveling alone and would love to link up with other V's.
  14. I only had about a 30 minute window this morning in which I could be available online to buy tickets. When the code initially didn’t work I panicked a bit and checked my email. Got a code from Soccer Canada (that I erroneously thought was Voyageurs), and was confused when I couldn’t access the supporter’s section. But time was a factor so I snatched 2 seats in 211. — Wrote a post and someone here quickly replied I had the wrong code and to sit tight as there was a momentary snag with the V’s code (thank you for that). Within minutes the code was posted. I sucked it up and picked 2 more seats (than I need) cuz last game the supporter’s section looked like soooooo much more intense and fun! What the hell I can figure out a way to unload the sect. 211 seats. bottom line: I’m stoked and ready to cheer! 3 points in the Azteca, 3 more in Kingston town, a 3 pt party at home, then bring on Messi, England and everyone else in Qatar!!! (Ok I tend to get a little ahead of myself)
  15. What am I doing wrong? Got in and used the passcode emailed to. At 10 am there was 591 people in front of me in the queue (no probs - it moved fast). I could not find ANY seat options in the supporters section. Section 111 was available. Time seemed to be a factor so I grabbed these but every time I did I was informed another fan has beaten you to these. I eventually settled for 211. Not really whining as I am totally pumped about this team and attending my third home game this WC round - and I probably made a rookie mistake. But I would like to know what I did wrong (or perhaps the supporters section sold out in the first 10 minutes)?
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