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  1. Sell-out games for the women At their home-turf World Cup But when all said and done, Things weren't looking up LeBlanc's out the door McLeod's knee in pain A tough one-two punch For those Rio Games Sure, goal scoring's coming From Beckie and Prince But the grand team transition Can still make us wince The kids are alright, Early returns would suggest But by France 2019, Can they be at their best? Kadeisha has made it As the world got to see Might she take the armband, One day, from Sincy? Transition or not, We'll still make a splash At next year's Olympics (Please pleas
  2. Little did I know that six whole years later, when the team finally managed to get out of its own way long enough to triumphantly earn the sixth-place spot in a 10-team conference and the knockout game that came with it, the moment would bring nothing more than another embarrassing thrashing, another blank sheet on the road, another evening in which I was reminded that the spiritual company of fellow long-suffering supporters is, at virtually every moment, the only redeeming quality of calling myself a fan of Toronto FC. In the event that you've stumbled across this story and are wondering A)
  3. After a narrow 2-1 defeat to the host Germans—in which captain Christine Sinclair shook off a broken nose to score on a world-class free kick—Canada was mercilessly picked apart by France, who announced itself to the women’s soccer world with a 4-0 victory. The Canadians then slumped out of the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Nigeria, whereupon manager Carolina Morace followed through on a pre-tournament promise to resign upon its conclusion. The turnaround from World Cup doormats to Olympic medalists in the span of just 12 months has been largely attributed to head coach John Herdman and his
  4. But does the roster announcement tell us anything about Canada's chances that we didn't already know? Short answer: Nope. Fifteen of the 23 players on the 2015 World Cup roster were also on Canada's 2012 Olympic roster. That Olympic roster had 20 players, and of the five who aren't on the 2015 WWC squad, three have retired since those Olympics. (In other words, their exclusions aren't surprising.) As for the eight players on the WWC2015 squad who weren't on the Olympic team? Well, their inclusions come with varying levels of surprise (between 0 and 10): Kadeisha Buchanan Surprise level: 0
  5. Yes, Big Red will play its "sendoff" match against England at Hamilton's Tim Hortons Field on Friday, May 29. Thirteen days later, the team opens up the World Cup group stage at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium against China. It's a good date and a good opponent. It's what head coach John Herdman would call a "Tier II" team -- which is the same group Canada falls into, if folks are being honest with themselves. England just beat Canada 1-0 in the Cyprus Cup final (more on that in a moment) and is the sort of opponent Canada needs to (and can realistically be expected to) overcome if we have an
  6. GK- Stephanie Labbé | SWE / KIF Örebro GK- Karina LeBlanc | USA / Chicago Red Stars GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Houston Dash D- Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia University D- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash D- Robyn Gayle | unattached / sans club D- Carmelina Moscato | unattached / sans club D- Marie-Eve Nault | SWE / KIF Örebro D- Rebecca Quinn | USA / Duke University D- Rhian Wilkinson | USA / Portland Thorns FC D- Emily Zurrer | SWE / Jitex BK M- Kaylyn Kyle | USA / Portland Thorns FC M- Jonelle Filigno | USA / Sky Blue FC M- Jessie Fleming | CAN / London NorWest SC M-
  7. Now, yes, I've said repeatedly in this space -- and will continue to do so -- that one of the most important roles for head coach John Herdman is to figure out the plan for the post-Sinclair era. Canada's success over the past decade has been due, in large part, to Sinclair's at-times-otherworldly talent. That's not to detract from the skills or accomplishments of other members of her national-team generation; but it's indisputable that Canada is a profoundly more dangerous team with an in-form Sinclair than they are without her. The truth is, we haven't seen Sinclair at the height of her pow
  8. Prior to the opening whistle, the members of the Canadian team engaged in a spirited discussion about what day of the week it actually was, since they'd crossed the international date line and their internal circadian clocks hadn't yet adjusted. Melissa Tancredi thought to search for a definitive answer online, but for some strange reason found her Internet search engine wasn't working very well. South Korea took advantage of this internal distraction to launch multiple attempts at goal... the referee quickly put a stop to it since, unlike in pinball, the multi-ball feature is not permitted i
  9. GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Houston Dash GK- Stephanie Labbe | SWE / KIF Örebro GK- Karina LeBlanc | USA / Chicago Red Stars D- Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia University D- Allysha Chapman | SWE / Eskilstuna United DFF D- Carmelina Moscato | USA / Seattle Reign FC D- Marie-Eve Nault | SWE / KIF Örebro D- Rebecca Quinn | USA / Duke University D- Rhian Wilkinson | CAN / Comètes de Laval D- Sura Yekka | CAN / Brams United D- Emily Zurrer | SWE / Jitex BK M- Jessie Fleming | CAN / London NorWest United M- Kaylyn Kyle | USA / Houston Dash M- Ashley Lawrence | USA / West Virginia U
  10. Perhaps the biggest factor is the team's health. With six months to go until the tournament kicks off, head coach John Herdman is having to prepare himself for the possibility that his side will be without both Diana Matheson and Lauren Sesselmann, two players that have been absolutely crucial to the team's success in recent years. And while the meteoric rise of Kadeisha Buchanan has somewhat mitigated things on the back end, depth is undoubtedly a concern for the Canadian team. Another injury to one of the club's veteran defenders between now and the World Cup could throw the team's entire p
  11. Goalkeeper Erin McLeod, celebrating her 100th senior cap for her country, wore the captain's armband in the match. Prior to the match, her teammates had prepared her a giant dolphin-shaped cake to celebrate. They didn't think to ask whether or not she actually likes dolphins (they're OK, in her opinion), and she didn't think to ask why the icing on the cake read "Happy 6th Birthday Timmy"; instead, they all laughed and enjoyed the well-meaning gesture. McLeod, for her part, celebrated the occasion -- and also marked a throwback Monday, this is totally a thing now, maybe -- by meticulously gel
  12. This is to take nothing away from what was a solid performance against the reigning world champions on Tuesday night, especially given the absence of stalwart midfielder Diana Matheson (whose status will have a massive impact on Canada's hopes next summer). If not for a heartbreaking last-second defensive lapse, Big Red would have escaped B.C. place with a draw, after a dramatic stoppage-time equalizer from Sophie Schmidt. But here's the thing about tournaments -- what's "fair" doesn't come into the equation. At the end of the day, if you get the results, you move on. If you don't, you don't.
  13. “We’ve brought players that have that experience but also have that blend of youth,” Herdman said in a CSA news release. “I think that it’s an important feature as we look for the right group that will take us through the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.” Spoiler alert, on two fronts -- one, John Herdman didn't actually say those words (yeah, I know, really pulling the curtain back on the press release game here). And two -- he's already got the right group. He has his group, and we know who that group will be. If you've followed the women's program over the past 18 months, you've probably cor
  14. While the Reds remain mathematically still alive in their quest for a berth in the MLS playoffs -- they'll need to win their final two and have Columbus lose their final two -- their season was essentially finished at the moment Jermain Defoe's penalty was saved by backup Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric on Wednesday night at BMO Field. So that leaves the club, yet again, at a crossroads. More importantly, it leaves many supporters at a crossroads. Because if TFC -- as they almost certainly will -- misses the playoffs again, it will have come after signing three high-profile foreign Designated
  15. Speculative whispering engulfs the room until the door opens once again and Ryan Nelsen enters. Assembled group stands up in ovation. Ryan Nelsen: Oh, too kind, really. Really, stop it. Unnamed Man: Come on in, Ryan. Have a seat. We're so happy to see you. Nelsen: Thank you, thank you. I've never been in a group like this before, but I'm sure that lack of experience won't be an impediment at all. Unnamed Man: Right. *clears throat* So, I'm sure all of you know Ryan's story... Nelsen: (interrupting) I've played in big games! I've played in the World Cup! Momentary silence. Torsten Frings
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