WHITECAPS FC & MLS NEWS
MLS Season Preview: Vancouver Whitecaps aiming to be a legitimate MLS Cup contender – Goal
After a disappointing end to a season of progress in 2015, a solid core and some key attacking additions make Vancouver a club to watch out for this season.
Blas Pérez at his best when being a pest– The Province
In an hour of work Wednesday night, Blas Pérez showed all the reasons why the Whitecaps signed him, damn the past. Within minutes of kickoff against the Portland Timbers, Pérez had drawn two smart fouls, and boos.
Youth movement: ‘Caps youngsters continue strong preseason Wednesday vs. Portland – Whitecaps FC
Four signed teenagers, two first-teamers and two from WFC2, played for Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Wednesday’s 2-0 preseason win over Portland Timbers.
‘Caps kids kicking it after rising through residency program – Vancouver Sun
No one should get overly excited about a 2-0 pre-season win over the Portland Timbers, particularly with the reigning Major League Soccer champions dressing an almost entirely second-choice lineup. But there was still something reassuring Wednesday in watching all the Whitecaps’ “kids” romp around Providence Park with confidence and purpose and not looking out of place.
Player Spotlight: Manneh aims to lead scoring charts for Whitecaps – Goal
Coming off his most productive season in MLS, the speedy youngster plans to be one of Vancouver’s top scoring threats in a potent-looking attack.
Vancouver Whitecaps: Making their way in the world – Soccer Shorts
Two games into the Simple Invitational tournament in Portland and the Whitecaps have had one uninspiring and shoddy outing (a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire) and one very impressive outing (Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in which both Blas Pérez and Octavio Rivero scored) and what was most impressive about the game on Wednesday was how well both Kianz Froese and Marco Bustos slotted into the system.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: A look back at 2015 – Indo-Canadian Voice
2015 was a successful campaign for The Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but the die hard fans would have liked to see them go all the way. As coach Carl Robinson heads into his third season in charge of the Whitecaps, he will look hard into last season as a big step forward in building the foundation of a successful MLS side – a process that started when he took over from Martin Rennie before the 2014 campaign.
Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Matias Laba celebrates birth of first child – MLS
Matias Laba will have one more member of his fan club when the 2016 MLS season rolls around next week.
Toronto FC Waive Forward Luke Moore – Toronto FC
Toronto FC announced Friday that the club has placed forward Luke Moore on waivers.
Toronto FC remains high on recent young cuts – Toronto Sun
The Reds’ roster continues to get leaner after releasing several players ahead of Thursday morning training. Reserve goalkeeper Alex Bono will rejoin TFC II alongside homegrown midfielder Chris Mannella and defender Weslie Charpie.
Canada’s Roberts to back up Irwin as TFC keeper – Sportsnet
Canadian Quillan Roberts has won the battle of backup goalkeepers with Toronto FC. The MLS club included ‘keeper Alex Bono in roster cuts Thursday ahead of the team’s final pre-season game against Philadelphia on Saturday.
Morrow contract extension a boon for Toronto FC – Sportsnet
Toronto FC made a flurry of important additions this off-season that they hope will turn them into legitimate MLS Cup contenders for the 2016 season. But lost amidst the hoopla surrounding all of the newcomers—midfielder Will Johnson, defenders Drew Moor and Steven Beitashour, and goalkeeper Clint Irwin—was what may have been TFC’s most important move.
Orlando City rookie Richie Laryea embraces tougher MLS level of play – Orlando Sentinel
Orlando City rookie Richie Laryea took a beating on Wednesday during a preseason win over the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Playing in the No. 10 role, Laryea was kicked, shoved, knocked over and beat up. He kept going and, in fact, started to look for the contact that continually drew fouls in dangerous places for Orlando City. The first-round draft pick showed a quality that wouldn’t be immediately obvious about a 5-foot-9, 150-pound midfielder — a toughness and willingness to play a physical game.
In an offseason filled with noise, MLS movers and shakers won big, fell flat or missed their chance entirely – KC Star
By the time MLS begins its 21st regular season on March 6, more than 350 player transactions will have been made during the 2 1/2 month offseason.
Colorado Rapids acquire international slot in trade with San Jose Earthquakes – MLS
The Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes announced a trade on Thursday, in which Colorado received an international slot and targeted allocation money from San Jose in exchange for general allocation money. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Outlook Bleak for MLS Clubs in CONCACAF Champions League 2nd Legs – Bleacher Report
The quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League opened on Tuesday and Wednesday with a quartet of disappointing results for the four MLS teams left in the competition.
7 highly anticipated MLS transfers in 2016 – Prost Amerika
A new MLS season, it’s almost here! With it comes the redolent and absurd predictions that seem so plausible at one point only to be comically absurd come April. So in the tradition of showcasing transcendent players, the ones whose signings cause a seismic shift; Players like Shaun Maloney, Steven Caldwell and Mike Magee’s second season in Chicago, here’s seven signings to look for in 2016 MLS Season.
MLS: As retirement approaches, Seattle defender prepares for the start of his life, not the end – Yahoo Sports
For most players, retirement can be a stressful time. A period of great change, both personal and professional, it requires adjustment. For Zach Scott, the end date of his career is in sight after he agreed a new contract with the Seattle Sounders, his last in professional soccer.
Molino Mania is real says Orlando City – T&T Guardian
Midfielder Kevin Molino is enjoying the game again. He’s taking the field for Orlando City and seems ready to feature at the start of the MLS season. Molino came on and assisted on Orlando’s game winning penalty by Kaka in a 2-1 preseason victory over Toronto and also had an assist in another game winner over New York Red Bulls last week.
Seattle completes transfer of Martins to Shanghai Shenhua – Yahoo Sports
The Seattle Sounders have completed the transfer of forward Obafemi Martins to Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League for an undisclosed sum.
BMO Field critical lift transforms a piece of Toronto – Daily Commercial News
The skyline around Toronto’s Exhibition Place grounds was transformed recently as the roof of BMO Field’s south concourse was raised, in what is being described as a feat of engineering. On Feb. 21, the south canopy, a massive structure weighing over 490 tonnes, or 980,000 pounds, was lifted in tandem by two cranes during a critical lift.
Does Atlanta need a superstar DP? – Dirty South Soccer
By the time Atlanta United joins MLS in 2017, it will have been a decade since David Beckham came to the USA propelling MLS into the consciousness of world soccer fans. For quite some time there has been a stigma surrounding MLS that it is a retirement league for once-great European stars looking for a big final paycheck, and many (like Denilson or Rafa Marquez) don’t perform to the level expected of them.
MLS Season Preview: FC Dallas still building with youth – Goal
After making it to the Western Conference final last season, Oscar Pareja has added players he thinks will help the team lift a cup, but hasn’t sacrificed his team’s youthful core.
BC SOCCER NEWS
WolfPack Men’s Soccer With First Evaluation Camp This Weekend – TRU
Soccer season begins for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s team this weekend. Head coach John Antulov is holding the first of two spring evaluation camps at Hillside Stadium. The evaluation sessions are set for Saturday and Sunday (Feb 27-28). The session on Saturday goes 9am-2pm with the Sunday 10 am-1 pm.
UFV Cascades men’s soccer team holding open tryouts – UFV
The Cascades men’s soccer team is holding open tryouts on Sunday, March 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the turf fields at W.J. Mouat Secondary (32355 Mouat Drive, Abbotsford, B.C.).
Women in BC Soccer Community Outreach – Join the Conversation! – BCSA
The BC Soccer Women in Soccer Committee is holding 5 regional outreach sessions across the province to engage females in the sport. The goals of these sessions are to discuss the importance of gender diversity, the challenges faced, and potential solutions. The first one takes place March 1 in Langley.
Whitecaps FC helping develop local soccer – Parksville Qualicum Beach News
With academy centres scattered across Canada, including two here on Vancouver Island, the Vancouver Whitecaps are looking to develop players using their club training tools.
MLS WORKS to build Whitecaps FC mini-pitch in Squamish, BC – Whitecaps FC
As part of the MLS WORKS 20 for 20 community initiative of building 20 mini-pitches for their 20 clubs in celebration of the league’s 20th season, MLS has chosen the District of Squamish as the setting of the new Whitecaps FC-themed footie field, offering children a safe place to play, while providing a soccer environment that encourages unstructured play within local communities.
Royal City club seeks stories, memorabilia – New Westminster Record
The Royal City Youth Soccer Club (RCYSC) celebrate its 50th anniversary on March 5, and it seeks memories and memorabilia of the past from current and former members.
Riptide youth soccer teams playing A-Cup semifinal matches this weekend – Comox Valley Record
The VIPL Riptide has announced that each of their eight teams have qualified for the semifinals of the A-Cup playoffs this weekend.
BC Soccer Assoc. is Now Accepting Candidates for its Board of Directors – BCSA
BC Soccer Assoc. is accepting candidates for its Board of Directors for terms commencing June 11, 2016. Prospective candidates are invited to review the information provided on the BC Soccer web site www.bcsoccer.net. Candidates who provide notice to BC Soccer Assoc. of their intent to stand for election by May 1, 2016 will have their applications circulated to the membership in early May.
The BC Soccer Web Guide to Empire Field – BC Soccer Web
Empire Fields and Plateau Sports Park is the lofty and formal name given to Vancouver’s newest addition to the soccer scene. Yet, anyone who’s ever kicked or carried both kinds of footballs around these parts knows the place by heart.
Introducing BC Soccer Web Syndication – BC Soccer Web
You can now add BC Soccer Web news to your website simply by adding our new RSS Feed! Find out more.
Send your Soccer News to BC Soccer Web! – BC Soccer Web
BC Soccer Web is the hub for soccer in British Columbia. We want to share your soccer news with the entire province, and you can help by letting us know! We want your match reports, club news, league standings, and info on upcoming tournaments and clinics. Whether you submit links to existing news on the web, or your own original writing, we want to share it with the soccer community in B.C.
CANADA SOCCER NEWS
Montreal awards $350,000 in support for restoration work of the former Letourneux Fire Station Tower – Montreal Impact
Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre, and Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Borough Mayor Réal Ménard, are pleased to announce the city’s $350,000 contribution of financial support to the NPO of the Montréal Impact Academy. These funds will assist in restoration of the former Letourneux fire station’s tower at 4300, rue Notre-Dame Est.
City of Montreal Supports Restoration of Caserne Letourneux – Mount Royal Soccer
On Thursday afternoon the City of Montreal along with the Borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve announced that that would would be injecting funds into the new Montreal Impact training facility at the former Letourneux fire station.
Canada Soccer supports Infantino bid for FIFA Presidency – CSA
“Canada Soccer continues to firmly support all efforts to govern the game in a better way and welcomes the adoption and implementation of reforms that are critical to ensuring the future of the sport. The Canada Soccer Board of Directors has voted unanimously to cast their ballot for Gianni Infantino for FIFA President as the best candidate to implement the governance reforms and bring FIFA back to its focus – the sport of football.”
From soccer pitch to track, Peters and Labach excel for Huskies – Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
Garrett Peters and Julie Labach have successfully made the switch from soccer pitch to track. Peters, who led the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s soccer team as their captain, is undefeated this season in the 600 metres. As well, he’s a member of the Huskies’ 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 men’s relay teams — both ranked No. 1 in the nation for Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
Group hopes to bring multi-purpose dome to Owen Sound – Owen Sound Sun-Times
A group of local residents has launched a $1.5 million fundraising campaign to buy and erect a 33,600-square-foot “world-class” dome, which can be used year-round for sports games, practices, trade shows and a myriad of other events, in Owen Sound.
Dawson, Whitehorse claim indoor soccer titles – Whitehorse Daily Star
Forty per cent of last weekend’s available gold was scooped up by Klondike soccer players last weekend. Dawson City-based teams took victory in two of five divisions at the 2016 Northwestel Yukon Indoor Soccer Championships, held at the Canada Games Centre.
WFC2, USL & NASL NEWS
FC Edmonton increases depth at midfield with addition of Plumhoff – FC Edmonton
FC Edmonton further increased the competition for a starting midfield position on, Thursday, Feb. 25, officially announcing the addition of Bayern Munich youth product Jason Plumhoff on transfer from United Soccer League’s (USL) Harrisburg City Islanders. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FCE’s new signing, Jason Plumhoff, looks to move up the ladder – the11.ca
In 2015, Jason Plumhoff scored 10 times for the Harrisburg City Islanders and finished 10th on the USL’s league-wide scoring charts. But, while the Islanders offered to bring him back foe 2016, he felt that he needed to move on.
Fury FC looking to generate more offence this season – Ottawa Sun
Ottawa Fury FC, which rode a tight defence and the superb goalkeeping of Romuald Peiser to the North American Soccer League championship game in 2015, is hoping to crank up the offence.
Reno 1868 FC Officially Introduced – USL
Reno 1868 FC was introduced on Thursday afternoon by Reno Aces President Eric Edelstein as the name of the USL’s first 2017 expansion club.
Connections: New Rochester Rhinos’ Owners David And Wendy Dworkin – WXXI
The Rochester Rhinos have new owners who are determined to restore the franchise to its past glory. That means success on the field, but also more fans in the stadium.
Hammerheads Sign Experienced GK Smits – USL
Wilmington Hammerheads FC has announced the addition of goalkeeper Jon Smits ahead of the 2016 USL season. The 6-foot-4 Canadian previously played for FC Edmonton, where he had spent the past four seasons. Smith had a breakout season in 2014 as he claimed the NASL’s Golden Glove award for the lowest goals-against average in the league.
Ex-FCE keeper Smits says he will need to “re-prove” himself in USL – the11.ca
SmitsBy the time FC Edmonton headed into the break between the 2015 NASL spring and fall seasons, keeper John Smits knew he wasn’t going to be back.
Former Red Bull Manolo Sanchez joins San Antonio FC – Empire of Soccer
As the New York Red Bulls continue to cultivate their youth prospects, one such player has made a move out west. Former Red Bulls draft pick Manolo Sanchez joins former Chicago Fire left fullback Greg Cochrane, signing with new USL side San Antonio FC.
NYRB II Moves Home Opener, Sets Eight Matches for Red Bull Arena – Empire of Soccer
New York Red Bull II have announced their home opener against Toronto FC II will have a date change to March 26th at 3PM. Originally, the game was to take place a day later on Sunday, March 27th. However, the team has had difficulties securing a home venue, forcing them to return to the friendly confines of Red Bull Arena.
WOMEN’S SOCCER NEWS
U.S. Soccer’s high school ban — why the clubs and the girls should decide – Soccer America
In 2017, U.S. Soccer will launch its Girls Development Academy and is banning high school ball from the get-go. I believe there are enough differences between female and male soccer to consider different approaches, as I wrote in a previous column. The Federation obviously disagrees.
FLASH ADD TOP AUSTRALIAN DEFENDER – NWSL
The Western New York Flash announced today the club has signed Australian international Alanna Kennedy, pending the receipt of her P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not announced.
Australians abroad: Matilda Emily van Egmond aims for World Cup glory – The Guardian
One of only two Matildas players plying their trade in Europe, FFC Frankfurt star Emily van Egmond is targeting Olympic gold and World Cup glory for Australia
SWPL 1 – 2016 Preview – Scottish Women’s Premier League
The 2016 SWPL 1 campaign looks like it will be the most exciting for a long time, and that is remarkable to say after the 2015 season we had. Glasgow City and Hibernian look like they will once again fight out a competitive title battle, with City looking for an unprecedented tenth title in a row. And with the lure of a second Champions League spot, the chasing pack have more incentive to close down the top two. With the league being reduced to eight sides, this will make the battle to avoid the bottom spot and relegation to SWPL 2 even more unpredictable.
SWPL 2 – 2016 Preview – Scottish Women’s Premier League
The brand new SWPL 2 league will be highly unpredictable, and any of the eight sides could get promoted or relegated. It will be an exciting division for the neutrals to follow.
Jeanfield Swifts are aiming for the top of Scottish Women’s football – Daily Record
Jeanfield Swifts are aiming for the top of Scottish women’s football. The Perth side is one of four new teams set to battle it out in the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) 2 season.
Goalscoring is a fine art – Continental Tyres Women’s National League
Looking around the Continental Tyres Women’s National League, there is no shortage of out-and-out goalscorers and the vintage of 2015/16 deserve some attention.
WORLD SOCCER NEWS
Gianni Infantino elected Fifa president after Zurich election – The Guardian
Gianni Infantino has been elected as the new president of Fifa, having been voted in to replace the disgraced Sepp Blatter at Friday’s election in Zurich.
FIFA Congress approves landmark reforms – CSA
FIFA’s member associations have approved a package of landmark reforms that pave the way for significant improvements to the governance of global football, including a clear separation of commercial and political decision-making, greater scrutiny of senior officials, and commitments to promoting women in football and human rights.
Fifa members vote in favour of reform package at extraordinary congress – The Guardian
Following various dire warnings from Fifa’s acting president, Issa Hayatou – himself once censured over his role in the ISL bribery affair – about the threat to the organisation if the reform package did not pass, it was voted through by 89% of the 207 members.
Soccer leaders voting on Blatter’s replacement – Toronto Star
Soccer leaders have started voting in Friday’s election for a new FIFA president, with Asian confederation head Sheikh Salman of Bahrain the favourite to succeed Sepp Blatter.
Fifa election: Football governing body still has much to prove – BBC Sport
When the Fifa family last assembled here in Zurich, by this stage of the proceedings, the sport had been plunged into chaos, Swiss police swooping on senior officials only two days before the 2015 presidential election.
FIFA Favorites Promise More Money and Travel in Final Pitches – Bloomberg News
The front-runners for FIFA president are promising bigger grants and more travel in their last-minute appeals to voters, a strategy reminiscent of disgraced president Joseph “Sepp” Blatter’s political playbook.
FIFA Election: MLS Commissioner Don Garber to cast US Soccer’s vote for Prince Ali – MLS
It’ll be the biggest soccer story in the world on Friday: the election to replace Sepp Blatter as new FIFA president. And MLS Commissioner Don Garber will be among those casting a ballot.
Bahrain Institute: FIFA will be declaring ‘moral collapse’ by electing Sheikh Salman – Goal
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, says the Sheikh must not be voted as Sepp Blatter’s successor because of human rights allegations.
Ex-Venezuelan soccer boss to be extradited to U.S. – Sportsnet
The former president of the Venezuelan soccer federation has withdrawn his appeal before Switzerland’s highest court against extradition to the United States.
Germany World Cup 2006: Helmut Sandrock resigns from DFB – BBC Sport
Helmut Sandrock has resigned as German football federation general secretary, a week before the release of a report into alleged dubious payments to Fifa surrounding the 2006 World Cup bid.
FIFA crisis: $550m down, but lawyers are coining $10m a month – Inside World Football
FIFA is stumping up a massive $10 million a month for legal bills and is $550 million off its target.
World League Forum is born and immediately heads for the top table – Inside World Football
The World League Forum currently has 24 members, including the English Premier League, La Liga in Spain, LigaMX in Mexico and the Bundesliga, as well as leagues in Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania.
Liverpool-Man United, Dortmund-Tottenham paired in Europa League draw – SBI
There is no shortage of spectacular matchups in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. The draw for the next round was conducted on Friday, and Liverpool-Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund-Tottenham and Villarreal-Bayer Leverkusen, among others, were paired to compete in March.
Europa League roundup: Neville’s Valencia reach last 16 with ease – The Guardian
Valencia coasted into the last 16 of the Europa League as they thrashed Rapid Vienna 4-0 to complete a 10-0 aggregate triumph, giving Gary Neville a fourth straight victory as coach. The Austrians were already all but out having lost the first leg 6-0 iloss n Spain, and they suffered another heavy defeat after second-half goals from Rodrigo (59), Sofiane Feghouli (64), Pablo Piatti (72) and Ruben Vezo (88) ensured Neville’s side progressed in style.
Olivier Bernard bemoans Newcastle’s lack of a ‘spine’ – Vavel
Former Newcastle United left-back Olivier Bernard has given his opinion on whether or not The Magpies will stay up this season and what they need to do to stop this cycle of relegation battles.
Liga MX Talking Points: A clash of title-holders and payment problems headline Week 8 – Goal
From an exciting match on the horizon to players opting not to train, Jon Arnold takes a look at the talking points ahead of Liga MX Week 8.
‘They beat us fairly’: Anderlecht urge Uefa not to punish rival’s blunder – The Guardian
Anderlecht have urged Uefa not to disqualify Dinamo Zagreb’s youth team after the Croatian club mistakenly fielded an ineligible player for the final seven minutes of their Uefa Youth League match.
Steven Gerrard: My next step? Coaching England’s stars of tomorrow – The Telegraph
Nothing is 100 per cent certain yet, but this season at LA Galaxy could be my last as a professional footballer.
Chinese wall broken with central powers handed to federation – Inside World Football
The Chinese Football Association (CFA) will have more decision-making latitude as the government-run Chinese Football Administrative Center has been removed from the Chinese football structure in a sweeping move to reform the game in China.
The cognitive costs of the game: athletics contribute to rates of depression – The Daily Tar Heel
A British Journal of Sports Medicine study published this month found 24 percent of athletes have depression — a rate similar to their peers in school and higher than the general population.