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Duane Rollins

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  1. The stated goal of the Canadian Premier League is to develop Canadian talent while also helping soccer culture grow in each of the markets teams are located in. To speak to the former, this is the first monthly ranking list of the Top 25 Canadian players in the CanPL. Ultimately, the list is subjective. Please join the debate! The next list will be published on Sept 29th. Top 25 for Aug 29 25th - Nico Pasquotti (1995-Winger-Calgary) The man with the throw leads off our top 25. A key player on a stacked Calvary side. 24th - Anthony Novak (1994-Forward-Hamilton) The type of player that would have likely gone further in the game if only the league had started about 5 years earlier. Still, he’ll have a long career in CanPl should he wish with a great eye for goal. 23rd – Ben Fisk (1993-Winger-Pacific) Always a fan favourite with the NASL Eddies, he has been a key veteran presence on an very young PFC. Another guy that will have a long run in CanPL if he wants. 22nd - Nathan Ingham – (1993-GK-York) He would have been much higher a month ago, but recent mistakes drive him down. A passionate and cerebral player that might sometimes try a little too hard, but one of the league’s breakout players. 21st - Louis Béland-Goyette – (1995- Midfielder- Winnipeg) It’s been a frustrating year in Winnipeg, but you can see the talent is there. If Valour could stabilize Béland-Goyette could take off. 20th -- Kadin Chung – (1998-full-back-Pacific) Chung has put himself solidly in the Olympic qualifying conversation. Pacific isn’t good – they are so very young – but you can’t help but love the opportunity they are giving players like Chung. 19th – David Edgar (1987-defender-Hamilton) We all love the youth, but there is something to be said about the importance of veterans coming home to finish their career. Edgar’s calming presence has been key to Forge’s recent form. 18th -- Mason Trafford – (1986-defender-Calgary) Similar to Edgar, just with more time in the league. Not flashy, but key player on the best team in CanPL so far. 17th – Kadell Thomas – (1996-Forward-Hamilton) Sadly just a little too old for Olympic consideration, but still young enough to move up a level. Needs more consistency. But, that goal, man. 16th -- Kwame Awuah (1995-Midfield/Wingback-Hamilton) He came in with high expectations and has delivered. Is it enough to return to MLS, or similar? 15th – Matthew Arnone – (1994-defender-Halifax) Gritty and underrated due to Halifax’s struggles. The Wanderers have been particularly disappointing on the domestic talent front – Arnone has been an exception and a player that could be in the league for a long time. 14th -- Matthew Baldisimo – (1998-midfield-Pacific) If he’s not in the Olympic mix then someone should buy John Herdman an OneSoccer subscription. Another nice story out of Pacific. 13th - Dominic Samuel – (1994-defender-Hamilton) Everyone talks about Forge’s attack. If they are to close the gap it will because the back-line caught up. 12th -- Easton Ongaro – (1998-Forward-Edmonton) And trending up. Yes, he scores from 5-yards, but he scores. A lot. And he’s just getting started. 11th -- Luca Gasparotto—(1995-York-Defender) There have been a few OH MY GOD WHAT??? moments, but on the whole he’s been a rare bright spot for struggling York. 10th – Connor James - (1996-GK-Edmonton) Admit it. You didn’t think of James for this list. That’s because he just quietly goes out and does a solid job every game. Like a keeper should. 9th -- Elijah Adekugbe –(1996-midfielder-Calgary) If Canada wasn’t so stacked at his position, he would be in Herdman’s plans. Many in Canadian soccer have been waiting for Adekugbe to break out for a while. The wait is over. 8th –Kyle Bekker – (1990-midfielder-Hamilton) Many expected a bit more (and that others have surpassed him is a net positive for the league), but he’s hardly been poor. A key building block for Forge moving forward. 7th – Dominick Zator – (1994-Defender-Calgary) A great example of how the Whitecaps failed to take advantage of talent in their system. A massive piece of the best team in the league. 6th -- Terran Campbell – (1998—Forward—Pacific) “Whitecaps reject’ is a compliment, apparently. Olympic eligible and in the mix for the Golden Boot. Yummy. 5th -- Noah Verhoeven – (1999-Midfielder-Pacific) The best all-around talent among the Pacific kids. If they can figure the depth out they will be a power in 2-3 years (unless the kids have been sold, which would also be wonderful). Also, are we looking forward to Olympic qualifying J? 4th -- Marco Carducci – (1996-GK—calgary) A baby in Keeper years, Carducci is a good guess to the question ”Who will Canada start in goal in 2026?” 3rd -- Michael Petrasso – (1995—Mid/wingback-Winnipeg) Winnipeg really missed him for periods of the season. He might have the best raw talent in the league. 2nd – Ryan Telfer – (1994-Winger-York) TFC is delighted with his progression. A true late bloomer, Telfer will almost certainly be playing at a higher level next year. 1st -- Tristan Borges – (1998-winger-Hamilton) Quite simply the best all-around player on this list and possibly in the entire league. With a bit more offensive consistency he could play a couple levels higher. And, he’s Olympic eligible
  2. The stated goal of the Canadian Premier League is to develop Canadian talent while also helping soccer culture grow in each of the markets teams are located in. To speak to the former, this is the first monthly ranking list of the Top 25 Canadian players in the CanPL. Ultimately, the list is subjective. Please join the debate! The next list will be published on Sept 29th. Top 25 for Aug 29 25th - Nico Pasquotti (1995-Winger-Calgary) The man with the throw leads off our top 25. A key player on a stacked Calvary side. 24th - Anthony Novak (1994-Forward-Hamilton) The type of player that would have likely gone further in the game if only the league had started about 5 years earlier. Still, he’ll have a long career in CanPl should he wish with a great eye for goal. 23rd – Ben Fisk (1993-Winger-Pacific) Always a fan favourite with the NASL Eddies, he has been a key veteran presence on an very young PFC. Another guy that will have a long run in CanPL if he wants. 22nd - Nathan Ingham – (1993-GK-York) He would have been much higher a month ago, but recent mistakes drive him down. A passionate and cerebral player that might sometimes try a little too hard, but one of the league’s breakout players. 21st - Louis Béland-Goyette – (1995- Midfielder- Winnipeg) It’s been a frustrating year in Winnipeg, but you can see the talent is there. If Valour could stabilize Béland-Goyette could take off. 20th -- Kadin Chung – (1998-full-back-Pacific) Chung has put himself solidly in the Olympic qualifying conversation. Pacific isn’t good – they are so very young – but you can’t help but love the opportunity they are giving players like Chung. 19th – David Edgar (1987-defender-Hamilton) We all love the youth, but there is something to be said about the importance of veterans coming home to finish their career. Edgar’s calming presence has been key to Forge’s recent form. 18th -- Mason Trafford – (1986-defender-Calgary) Similar to Edgar, just with more time in the league. Not flashy, but key player on the best team in CanPL so far. 17th – Kadell Thomas – (1996-Forward-Hamilton) Sadly just a little too old for Olympic consideration, but still young enough to move up a level. Needs more consistency. But, that goal, man. 16th -- Kwame Awuah (1995-Midfield/Wingback-Hamilton) He came in with high expectations and has delivered. Is it enough to return to MLS, or similar? 15th – Matthew Arnone – (1994-defender-Halifax) Gritty and underrated due to Halifax’s struggles. The Wanderers have been particularly disappointing on the domestic talent front – Arnone has been an exception and a player that could be in the league for a long time. 14th -- Matthew Baldisimo – (1998-midfield-Pacific) If he’s not in the Olympic mix then someone should buy John Herdman an OneSoccer subscription. Another nice story out of Pacific. 13th - Dominic Samuel – (1994-defender-Hamilton) Everyone talks about Forge’s attack. If they are to close the gap it will because the back-line caught up. 12th -- Easton Ongaro – (1998-Forward-Edmonton) And trending up. Yes, he scores from 5-yards, but he scores. A lot. And he’s just getting started. 11th -- Luca Gasparotto—(1995-York-Defender) There have been a few OH MY GOD WHAT??? moments, but on the whole he’s been a rare bright spot for struggling York. 10th – Connor James - (1996-GK-Edmonton) Admit it. You didn’t think of James for this list. That’s because he just quietly goes out and does a solid job every game. Like a keeper should. 9th -- Elijah Adekugbe –(1996-midfielder-Calgary) If Canada wasn’t so stacked at his position, he would be in Herdman’s plans. Many in Canadian soccer have been waiting for Adekugbe to break out for a while. The wait is over. 8th –Kyle Bekker – (1990-midfielder-Hamilton) Many expected a bit more (and that others have surpassed him is a net positive for the league), but he’s hardly been poor. A key building block for Forge moving forward. 7th – Dominick Zator – (1994-Defender-Calgary) A great example of how the Whitecaps failed to take advantage of talent in their system. A massive piece of the best team in the league. 6th -- Terran Campbell – (1998—Forward—Pacific) “Whitecaps reject’ is a compliment, apparently. Olympic eligible and in the mix for the Golden Boot. Yummy. 5th -- Noah Verhoeven – (1999-Midfielder-Pacific) The best all-around talent among the Pacific kids. If they can figure the depth out they will be a power in 2-3 years (unless the kids have been sold, which would also be wonderful). Also, are we looking forward to Olympic qualifying J? 4th -- Marco Carducci – (1996-GK—calgary) A baby in Keeper years, Carducci is a good guess to the question ”Who will Canada start in goal in 2026?” 3rd -- Michael Petrasso – (1995—Mid/wingback-Winnipeg) Winnipeg really missed him for periods of the season. He might have the best raw talent in the league. 2nd – Ryan Telfer – (1994-Winger-York) TFC is delighted with his progression. A true late bloomer, Telfer will almost certainly be playing at a higher level next year. 1st -- Tristan Borges – (1998-winger-Hamilton) Quite simply the best all-around player on this list and possibly in the entire league. With a bit more offensive consistency he could play a couple levels higher. And, he’s Olympic eligible View full record
  3. I agree that the choice to send a weakened squad to the u20s was hard to justify, but the u23 qualifying is on a non-FIFA date. Almost impossible to get the "names" released. For that reason CanPL will be massive for the Olympic program -- tournament takes place just after CanPL ends.
  4. On today's SoccerToday Kevin and Duane talked at length about the positive impact of CanPL so far. They also talked about one major failing -- the lack of French content on the official webpage and app. This needs to be addressed. From Sports Podcasting Network: Listen to Kevin and Duane discuss this on Two Solitudes here . This clip, normally behind the paywall, is free. View full record
  5. On today's SoccerToday Kevin and Duane talked at length about the positive impact of CanPL so far. They also talked about one major failing -- the lack of French content on the official webpage and app. This needs to be addressed. From Sports Podcasting Network: Listen to Kevin and Duane discuss this on Two Solitudes here . This clip, normally behind the paywall, is free.
  6. Never to early to speculate. If we could get to Toyko I think we'd have a very good team with Davies, James, et al + over agers. Surely, Herdman would back away from his once-a-senior-team-player-never-a-youth player roster choices at the actual Olympics. But, he won't for Qualifying (and it's a non-FIFA date tournament). Here is my off the top of my head line-up prediction. I've included a couple players that would have to be negotiated to be on squad, but it's mostly a CanPL roster (as I expect it will be). GK - Busti FB - Chung FB - Godinho CB - Baldisimo CB - Legault MF - Borges MF - Verhoevan MF - Estevez MF - Gutierrez FW - Rollocks FW - Zanatta Bench - St Clair, Langwa, Furlano, Campbell, Hernández, Abzi, Galvis Llano Thoughts?
  7. This is Canadian Soccer News and it's quite clearly the opinion of me and not the organization that just happens to have its members' forum hosted here.
  8. Please use the correct Thread so the comments appear on the Article It's up as an article, but worth bumping to a higher traffic area. He can't keep his job, can he?
  9. A month ago this lead would have been more generous. It would have pointed to a stellar playing and coaching career and spoke about how much he had contributed to the game. Eventually it would have reached the same conclusion, but it would have been with regret. A suggestion that a humane option be presented to him would have been made. That’s off the table now. Now, 40 years of good will are out the window. There will be no punches pulled. Bobby Lenarduzzi must be fired. Not given an opportunity to “spend more time with his family,” or “move into a consulting role,” or any other way teams let long time servants save face when the time comes to move on. No, he needs to be canned. Sacked. **** canned. Axed. Shown the door. Given a pink slip. Fired. Yesterday. As the most public face of the Vancouver Whitecaps and the person who was in charge when the alleged abuses (abuses that the Whitecaps internally, if quietly, decided were real at the time) and when the decision to hire a youth coach who was found to have thrown a banana at a black player, he’s got to go. It’s no longer a debatable point. It’s quite literally the least that the club can do. To be clear, this isn’t about the scoreboard, nor should anyone muddy the waters by bringing results into this. As the leader of the organization, Lenarduzzi oversaw a toxic work environment that legitimately has caused harm to people. That is inexcusable. Maybe a way forward could have been found when this first came out. Had Lenarduzzi and the team immediately apologized and agreed to make real changes to prevent it ever happening again then…maybe. But, they didn’t and they somehow made a terrible situation worse. So, the time for niceties is over. Bobby’s got to go. It won’t fix it. There’s a hell of a lot of work that needs to happen after he leaves, but that work doesn’t start – can’t start – until he’s gone. View full record
  10. A month ago this lead would have been more generous. It would have pointed to a stellar playing and coaching career and spoke about how much he had contributed to the game. Eventually it would have reached the same conclusion, but it would have been with regret. A suggestion that a humane option be presented to him would have been made. That’s off the table now. Now, 40 years of good will are out the window. There will be no punches pulled. Bobby Lenarduzzi must be fired. Not given an opportunity to “spend more time with his family,” or “move into a consulting role,” or any other way teams let long time servants save face when the time comes to move on. No, he needs to be canned. Sacked. **** canned. Axed. Shown the door. Given a pink slip. Fired. Yesterday. As the most public face of the Vancouver Whitecaps and the person who was in charge when the alleged abuses (abuses that the Whitecaps internally, if quietly, decided were real at the time) and when the decision to hire a youth coach who was found to have thrown a banana at a black player, he’s got to go. It’s no longer a debatable point. It’s quite literally the least that the club can do. To be clear, this isn’t about the scoreboard, nor should anyone muddy the waters by bringing results into this. As the leader of the organization, Lenarduzzi oversaw a toxic work environment that legitimately has caused harm to people. That is inexcusable. Maybe a way forward could have been found when this first came out. Had Lenarduzzi and the team immediately apologized and agreed to make real changes to prevent it ever happening again then…maybe. But, they didn’t and they somehow made a terrible situation worse. So, the time for niceties is over. Bobby’s got to go. It won’t fix it. There’s a hell of a lot of work that needs to happen after he leaves, but that work doesn’t start – can’t start – until he’s gone.
  11. I've actually booked a table at a restaurant called Le Bellagio for 6pm on the 10th -- I wanted to make sure I could eat before the game and I was told that the pizza is southern France is apparently to die for (who knew). https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserReviews-g677459-d8370690-r514376206-Le_Bellagio-Juvignac_Herault_Occitanie.html
  12. Flight booked! Arriving in Paris on June 8 at 10am local time. This is my rough plan: June 8-9 in Paris (I may travel to Valenciennes on the 9th to catch Australia v Italy -- depends on what my travel partner wants ;). I plan on walking around going HOLY **** I'M IN PARIS all day the 8th -- and probably looking at Lisa and the tower) June 10 Montpellier for Canada v Cameroon June 11-14 Barcelona June 15 Grenoble for Canada v New Zealand June 16-17 Turin (Juve museum!) June 18-19 Paris (June 19 Scotland v Argentina) June 20 Reims for Canada v Netherlands June 21-24 Paris with a day trip to Vimy and, if I can get tickets, June 23 Group A winner (likely France) v a 3rd place in Le Harve June 24 YYZ
  13. We don’t like life getting in the way of our sports. Sports are supposed to shield us from the day-to-day irritations and stresses. They are our escape. So, when “real life” sneaks its way onto the playing fields many get angry. “STICK TO SPORTS,” is the cry when someone tries to start a conversation about more serious topics. That’s a best case response. Worse? “YOU’RE LYING/EXGGERATING/NEED TO SUCK IT UP.” Often the voices calling to be heard are shouted down by those that just want to cheer. We see this in soccer all the time, especially as it relates to racism. And, of course, as always, anything that has to do with women. It’s toxic when fans do this. It destroys lives when institutions do it. Such is the case of Bob Birarda and the accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment made against him by, so far, 12 different women who were coached by him while part of the Canadian u20 program and Vancouver Whitecaps elite women’s team. The alleged incidents took place in and around 2008. The 12 women came forward after Ciara McCormack published a blog detailing the abuse of power she witnessed while at the Whitecaps at that same time. I won’t go into the details here as it is better stated by the 12 women and McCormack, but suffice to say it was horrific. It also wasn’t a surprise to anyone that has been around Canadian soccer over the past decade. I first heard a version of this story about nine years ago. It’s been whispered by those “in the know” for years. Yet, nothing ever was said publicly. Worse, nothing was done privately either. Prior to the accusations finally becoming public Birarda was still coaching women’s soccer for the club Coastal FC. He’s since been suspended by the club pending review of the accusations. Over the past while, I’ve been thinking about why I never wrote or talked about these accusations publicly over the last decade. A fear of being sued likely played a role, but I was involved with a show in It’s Called Football (along with this website) that went after matchfixing (Ben Rycroft’s reporting leading the way), corruption in minor soccer (hello, Ben Knight) and talked openly about potential improprieties in Mo Johnston’s relationship with certain player agents. In a previous job, I wrote a story accusing the Northern Ontario Minor Hockey Association of systemic racism against aboriginal players. So, I’ve pushed the boundaries as a journalist before. Why didn’t I here? I should have. And, I apologize for not doing so. The question is one that I don’t yet know the answer to. But, it’s one that I, and everyone who heard the same whispers, needs to keep asking themselves so that it never happens again. Ciara McCormack will be a guest on SoccerToday on Monday, live at 11am ET @SoccerTodaySPN
  14. We don’t like life getting in the way of our sports. Sports are supposed to shield us from the day-to-day irritations and stresses. They are our escape. So, when “real life” sneaks its way onto the playing fields many get angry. “STICK TO SPORTS,” is the cry when someone tries to start a conversation about more serious topics. That’s a best case response. Worse? “YOU’RE LYING/EXGGERATING/NEED TO SUCK IT UP.” Often the voices calling to be heard are shouted down by those that just want to cheer. We see this in soccer all the time, especially as it relates to racism. And, of course, as always, anything that has to do with women. It’s toxic when fans do this. It destroys lives when institutions do it. Such is the case of Bob Birarda and the accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment made against him by, so far, 12 different women who were coached by him while part of the Canadian u20 program and Vancouver Whitecaps elite women’s team. The alleged incidents took place in and around 2008. The 12 women came forward after Ciara McCormack published a blog detailing the abuse of power she witnessed while at the Whitecaps at that same time. I won’t go into the details here as it is better stated by the 12 women and McCormack, but suffice to say it was horrific. It also wasn’t a surprise to anyone that has been around Canadian soccer over the past decade. I first heard a version of this story about nine years ago. It’s been whispered by those “in the know” for years. Yet, nothing ever was said publicly. Worse, nothing was done privately either. Prior to the accusations finally becoming public Birarda was still coaching women’s soccer for the club Coastal FC. He’s since been suspended by the club pending review of the accusations. Over the past while, I’ve been thinking about why I never wrote or talked about these accusations publicly over the last decade. A fear of being sued likely played a role, but I was involved with a show in It’s Called Football (along with this website) that went after matchfixing (Ben Rycroft’s reporting leading the way), corruption in minor soccer (hello, Ben Knight) and talked openly about potential improprieties in Mo Johnston’s relationship with certain player agents. In a previous job, I wrote a story accusing the Northern Ontario Minor Hockey Association of systemic racism against aboriginal players. So, I’ve pushed the boundaries as a journalist before. Why didn’t I here? I should have. And, I apologize for not doing so. The question is one that I don’t yet know the answer to. But, it’s one that I, and everyone who heard the same whispers, needs to keep asking themselves so that it never happens again. Ciara McCormack will be a guest on SoccerToday on Monday, live at 11am ET @SoccerTodaySPN View full record
  15. It’s been 9,305 days. 310 months. 223,320 hours. The Toronto Blue Jays were 20 days away from winning their first World Series. Bill Clinton was running for President. And Canada had just lost its professional soccer league. When the Winnipeg Fury finished off their upset of the Vancouver 86ers on Oct 4, 1992, that was that. The dreams of the 1986 generation were dead and the dreams of the next were dead on arrival. Although the game lived on at the D2 level and, eventually, MLS came to fill a tiny part of the void. In exactly one month the long, hopeless, depressing walk in the woods will end. When Forge FC kicks-off against York 9 we can finally stop talking about what we don’t have and instead focus on what we might become. In honour of the final 30 days without a pro soccer league here are the top 30 things I hope to see in CanPL over the next 5 years. In 2019 30. A wonder goal makes the sports packages. I don’t care who or what team, but in a year where building recognition is the most important thing I hope to see a goal or play crossover into the mainstream. 29. Someone dislikes someone Sports aren’t fun without conflict. The league will arrive the day there’s some true anger and rivalry 28. I’m (or other neutral reporter) is accused of bias I don’t have a horse in the race, but I look forward to being accused of it. That will mean fans are being irrational and fans should be irrational. 27. Barrett’s Privateers is sung in Halifax I mean, come on. 26. The Fury get humbled Sorry, Ottawa fans but the Fury represent every negative person out there who tells us its silly to care about this league. It would be great to put a few goals past them in the V-Cup. 25. Fury and CanPL make up …and then see the two groups make up for the good of the sport 24. A mostly CanPL u23 team excels at Olympic Qualifying Now, wouldn’t that be nice… In 2020 23. The Fury join the fold And all is forgiven 22. Quebec gets in The league needs to be in French Canada and, especially, Quebec. Adding Ottawa and Montreal would be huge 21. A coaching change happens I don’t wish to cheer for someone to lose their job, but the first coaching change that happens will be a sign of a healthy league – winning should matter. 20. Lower Mainland in Three expansion teams might seem like a lot, but they brought seven in this year. Having a presence in all three major metros is important 19. A young player leaves for MLS Establishing the league as a natural part of the player pathway is vital. It would be a huge success if a young player is poached by MLS in just the second year. 18. A V-Cup upset One of TFC, VWFC or IMFC gets embarrassed in one leg of a series. It’s a bit early to hope for more, but that would be a great day for the league. In 2021 17. CanWPL announced Planning to start a women’s league begins in earnest 16. Full D3 coverage The League1 Ontario concept is extended to all 10 provinces, with a national D3 championship determined 15. A rival for Winnipeg One of Regina or Saskatoon joins to bring the league to 11 14. A rival for Halifax One of Moncton or Quebec joins to bring the league to 12 13. Al-Classico featured in some cheesy ultras profile It shouldn’t matter, but we’re lying if we don’t admit that we want the rest of the world to notice 12. WE QUALIFY TO QATAR!!!!! Not fully CanPL related, but let’s allow ourselves to dream a little In 2022 11. Kitchener-Waterloo joins As one part of a SW Ontario expansion that hits the biggest population area still without a team 10. With London And the 519 derby is born (just don’t call it that) 9. The women get a cup Using the D3 teams along with a few CanPL senior women’s teams that are up and running the first women’s Voyageurs Cup is held 8. A player is sold to a Big 5 league team This is what it is all about 7. Qatar We score a goal and compete with honor. There are players on the roster that played in CanPL 6. CCL Fever A Can PL wins the qualifying tournament and gets a shot at the region’s big boys In 2023 5. Coast-to-coast Welcome St. John’s! 4. The first 16 round out The 16th team joins – lets say Mississauga or Scarborough to round-out the GTA 3. First evidence the league is part of our culture “16-year-old Dave Smith said ‘I always dreamed of playing for Forge. My dad used to take me to the games.” 2. The Canadian Women’s Premier League kicks-off To a stable and successful future… 1 – The plan to launch CanPL2 and Pro/Rel is announced And we smugly hold it over US soccer Twitter’s heads.
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