WHITECAPS FC & MLS NEWS
Whitecaps make roster moves for 2016 – Goal
Vancouver picks up contract options on 10 players and declines the options on another six, as head coach Carl Robinson looks to build on 2015.
News and notes: Robinson meets with the media after Tuesday’s roster moves – Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson met with the media on Tuesday at the Official Whitecaps FC Store in Gastown after the club announced that it has exercised the 2016 contract options on 10 players and declined six.
Whitecaps enter offseason of change – Red Nation Online
The turn of the final month of the calendar brought a flurry of roster moves from the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday at head offices in Gastown.
Whitecaps start sorting out contracts for 2016 – 24 Hours
“There’s no guarantee that every player whose option I picked up will be here next year,” said Carl Robinson.
Vancouver Whitecaps to put more emphasis on player durability moving forward – Canada.com
“Everyone wants to bring in exciting players, I’m no different, but the league is a very tough league,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said Tuesday. “We got banged up with injuries towards the latter part of last year and this year. It cost us.
Whitecaps in with Ousted, decline options on Beitashour, Kah – Vancouver Sun
The Vancouver Whitecaps don’t want star goalkeeper David Ousted to go anywhere else quite yet, but they’ve showed they’re willing to jettison some veteran defenders immediately in front of him.
One-on-one with Whitecaps manager Carl Robinson – The Province
The Whitecaps head coach spoke with The Province on Tuesday.
Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco wins 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP award – MLS
Toronto FC signed Sebastian Giovinco ahead of the 2015 season, and the Italian international proceeded to have one of the best seasons in league history. As a result, Giovinco was named Landon Donovan MLS MVP on Wednesday.
TFC’s Giovinco named Major League Soccer MVP – Sportsnet
It wasn’t what he did so much as the way he did it. The grace, elegance and class with which he scored goals, and how he played the game at a much higher level than any other star in the league’s history.
Giovinco named MLS MVP – Toronto FC
Toronto FC celebrates Giovinco’s MLS MVP award.
Columbus Crew hurriedly add chainsaws and logs to list of banned stadium items – Prost Amerika
Following the announcement that the Portland Timbers intend to bring their traditional Victory Log, long a mainstay at Portland’s Providence Park, with them to Columbus, the Columbus Crew have officially prohibited chainsaws and “logs of any wooden variety.”
Timber Joey’s Log will be at MLS Cup final but not inside stadium – Prost Amerika
Portland Timbers will be transporting their now famous log of Oregon wood to the MLS Cup Final in Ohio. Timbers mascot Timber Joey will be able to saw a slice off the log in Columbus as he does at Portland’s home games but not actually inside the confines of MAPFRE Stadium.
Tofu and tifos: how Portland became America’s most divisive soccer club – The Guardian
Many neutrals will be hoping the Timbers lose this weekend’s MLS Cup. But is the heat that comes their way deserved?
How they got here: Columbus Crew SC – Empire of Soccer
Columbus Crew SC will host MLS Cup on Sunday. Behind closed doors, you might get league executives to admit that they didn’t expect a December trip to Ohio, or that Columbus isn’t one of MLS’s sexiest markets. Perhaps the black and gold are not a ratings draw nationwide. But those who will tune in to watch the Crew on Sunday will see one of the league’s most exciting teams.
MLS playoffs have some flaws in format, but they also entertain – ESPN FC
This Sunday, MLS commissioner Don Garber will hand MLS Cup to either the Portland Timbers or the Columbus Crew, and at that moment, perhaps the most memorable postseason in MLS history will come to a close.
MLS commissioner Don Garber Q&A: On 20th season, expansion, more – SI.com
MLS finishes its 20th season this Sunday when Columbus hosts Portland in the MLS Cup final (1 p.m. PT, TSN & RDS), and on Tuesday MLS commissioner Don Garber sat down one-on-one with SI.com for a far-ranging and candid discussion on MLS and American soccer.
TFC doesn’t pick up options on Bendik and Konopka – Soccer America
The goalkeeping situation for Toronto FC could look much different in 2016. Among the four players whose options have been declined are goalies Joe Bendik and Chris Konopka, who shared duties for all 34 regular-season games last year. Neither was outstanding: Konopka compiled a 1.48 goals allowed average in 21 starts and Bendik came in at 2.08.
Bloom could be answer to TFC’s fullback problem – Sportsnet
Among Toronto FC’s many problems on the pitch during the 2015 Major League Soccer season, the right side of the defence was an area of particular concern.
D.C. United trades Chris Pontius to Philadelphia, eyes Lamar Neagle from Seattle – Washington Post
D.C. United has agreed to trade attacker Chris Pontius, the club’s longest-serving but oft-injured player, to the Philadelphia Union for financial considerations, multiple sources said Tuesday.
New York Red Bulls announce roster decisions, still negotiating with several players – MLS
The New York Red Bulls’ offseason process began on Wednesday, when the club announced they have declined to exercise contract options for nine players.
John Carver hoping for another chance to coach in MLS – Goal
The former Toronto FC and Newcastle manager left MLS seven years ago on his terms, and now he’s hoping for a chance to return and continue what he started.
Sacramento City Council Approves MLS Stadium Plan by Unanimous Vote – Sacramento Republic
The Sacramento City Council voted 8-0 to approve a preliminary term sheet for a $226 million public-private partnership to build and finance a new MLS stadium at The Railyards in downtown Sacramento.
BC SOCCER NEWS
BC Soccer Web Feature Matches, December 1-8 – BC Soccer Web
The MLS Cup Final is set to go Sunday in Columbus. The VMSL has a #1 vs. #2 battle set to go. Devon Rowcliffe goes deep to find gems in lower divisions throughout the province. We also have selections from the VISL, FVSL & MWSL this week.
Canada to return to Vancouver for WC qualifier – Sportsnet
Multiple sources confirmed to Sportsnet broadcaster Irfaan Gaffar that the Reds’ semifinal-round qualifier against the Mexicans will take place at BC Place Stadium on March 25. Canada Soccer is expected to make an official announcement on Thursday.
BC Soccer Assoc. to support Club Charter Program with Grassroots Club Charter Leads – BCSA
BC Soccer Assoc. is looking to announce its Club Charter Program early in the new year and to help support the participating club’s success within the program, BC Soccer Assoc. will be hiring Grassroots Club Charter Leads. BC Soccer’s Club Charter Program will be an “opt in” program that is open to any BC Soccer Assoc. affiliate club. The Club Charter Program will be based on technical, governance and administration criteria and is designed to be challenging but achievable by all BC Soccer Assoc. affiliated clubs, regardless of their size or location.
A character win for Comox Valley United in VISL Div. 1 – Comox Valley Record
Comox Valley United took a rough start and turned it into a smooth finish as they defeated Westcastle United 4-3 in Vancouver Island Soccer League Div. 1 action, Nov. 28 in Victoria. “(It was) a funny one,” said Comox Valley United men’s soccer rep Rob Caya. “About five minutes in we opened the scoring on ourselves on a miscommunication play. Twenty minutes later Westcastle doubled their lead and take a 2-0 lead at halftime,” Caya said.
Villa ties Victoria club in scoreless match – Powell River Peak
Powell River Villa drew 0-0 against Vantreights FC on a bitterly cold Saturday, November 28, evening at Finlayson Field in Victoria.
Academy Centre Players of the Month – November – Whitecaps FC
Whitecaps FC Academy Centres are a network of regional training hubs linked through key staff, curriculum, and standards that provide professional supplemental club training for serious, motivated players. Whitecaps FC currently have a network from British Columbia to Ontario, including locations in Kamloops, the Kootenays, London (Ontario), Manitoba, Northern BC, the Okanagan, Saskatchewan, Squamish, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island.
U14 girls draw with Saanich Fusion in minor soccer – Sooke News Mirror
Sooke Soccer Club’s Girls U14 Tidalwaves battled to a 2-2 draw against Saanich Fusion last weekend.
CANADA SOCCER NEWS
Jason DeVos: Canada’s continuing struggles to develop talented soccer players – TSN
We have always left the job of developing young players to the youth soccer clubs that are scattered from coast to coast. By and large, these organizations have done a reasonable job of offering recreational soccer programs to a large number of participants. At the same time, these same organizations have collectively struggled to identify, nurture and develop players of genuine talent.
December shaping up to be a big month for Canada’s women’s teams – CSA
Canada’s Women’s National Team and Canada’s Women’s U-20 Team will both be competing in international tournaments this December.
OSA Statement on Canada Soccer’s REX program – OSA
The Ontario Soccer Association recently met with representatives from the national governing body to discuss Canada Soccer’s Regional Excel Women’s program known as “REX.”
WOMEN’S SOCCER NEWS
NICOLE BARNHART RE-SIGNS WITH FC KANSAS CITY – NWSL
The 2014 and 2015 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Champion, FC Kansas City announced today the re-signing of longtime goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart who will return with the Blues for a fourth season. Per club and league policies, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Bell leaves UWCL holders Frankfurt for Avaldsnes – The Equalizer
Seven months after leading FFC Frankfurt to the UEFA Women’s Champions League crown, coach Colin Bell is leaving the club. The separation comes by mutual consent, according to FFC Frankfurt. Bell’s contract will be void at the end of the year, the club said in a statement.
Five teams see out 2015 qualifiers unbeaten – UEFA
Scotland, Spain, France and Switzerland top their sections unbeaten after successes in their final qualifiers of 2015, while England have a 100% record in Group 7.
Benstiti thrilled by Paris-Barcelona tie – UEFA
Paris Saint-Germain coach Farid Benstiti has predicted “a new attendance record and a lot of publicity for French women’s football” after being drawn with Barcelona in the quarter-finals.
Plenty to play for in competitive CONCACAF – FIFA
The CONCACAF region hosted the crown jewel of women’s football earlier this year as USA claimed their third FIFA Women’s World Cup™ after a memorable tournament in Canada. 2015, however, still has plenty in store for the competitive region with the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship kicking off this week in Honduras, where three spots at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup are up for grabs.
The moment of truth in Santos – CONMEBOL
A heart-stopping finish. That well describes the third and last round of the Women’s U-20 Sudamericano 2015 edition which takes place in Santos – Brazil.
Liverpool Ladies: Danielle Gibbons and Kate Longhurst sign deals – BBC Sport
Liverpool Ladies have continued their recent re-signings for next season as Danielle Gibbons and Kate Longhurst have both agreed new contracts.
NASL & USL NEWS
FC Edmonton statement regarding Lance Laing – FC Edmonton
FC Edmonton released a statement, Dec. 1 regarding midfielder Lance Laing’s decision to pursue playing opportunities elsewhere. Laing will not return to FC Edmonton for the 2016 campaign.
Goodbye, FC Edmonton: Lance Laing confirms he won’t return to the club – the11.ca
Lance Laing says he has yet to decide where he will play next season, but it won’t be in Edmonton. The Jamaican left winger confirmed that he is looking at various offers from MLS, NASL and USL clubs, but confirmed he has made the difficult decision to move on.
Shakeup Atop Minnesota United – Northern Pitch
Northern Pitch has learned that Manny Lagos, who has spent five years at the reins of Minnesota’s professional soccer team, will relinquish his role as head coach to take on the technical director position full time. In his stead, Assistant Coach Carl Craig will become head coach of the Loons.
Strikers Appoint Caio Zanardi Head Coach – Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Fort Lauderdale Strikers CEO Sean Guerin today announced Caio Zanardi as head coach. Zanardi brings a proven track record to the role of head coach, which he will assume along with his general manager duties.
Rejected? Not Quite: Savarese explains Cosmos/Restrepo situation – Empire of Soccer
Yes, Walter Restrepo is exploring the free agent market. Yes, teams in MLS, NASL and an unnamed South American club are all interested in his services. But did Restrepo “reject” the New York Cosmos’ option year to move on to free agency? Not according to team manager and Sporting Director, Giovanni Savarese.
RailHawks’ New Owner Stephen Malik Is Eager For The Start Of 2016 Season – NASL
Scant weeks into his tenure as the new owner of the Carolina RailHawks, Stephen N. Malik is itching for the start of the 2016 North American Soccer League season with all the fervor of a North Carolina Tar Heels college basketball fan camped out to buy tickets for an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown against rival Duke.
WORLD SOCCER NEWS
Gary Neville appointed Valencia head coach until end of season – The Guardian
Neville, who recently completed his Pro Licence course at St George’s Park, will continue in his coaching role with England. “I am absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity with Valencia,” he said. “Valencia are a huge football club of immense standing and I know from my time as a player the passion and dedication of the Valencia fans. I am really looking forward to working with the club’s talented group of players and am excited about the challenge ahead.”
Neville’s forebears: British managers in Spain – UEFA
New Valencia boss Gary Neville is not the first British coach to fly south to the Liga; UEFA.com’s Richard Martin celebrates the Liga’s most notable British tacticians.
U-23 Africa Cup of Nations: Algeria grab first win, Mali out – CAF
Algeria grabbed their first win, beating Mali 2-0 on Wednesday in their Group B clash at the Caroline Faye Stadium, M’Bour.
CONCACAF and CONMEBOL Award IMG and Soccer United Marketing Copa America Centenario 2016 Commercial Rights – CONCACAF
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) today announced that IMG and Soccer United Marketing (SUM) have been selected to market and service the Copa America Centenario 2016’s commercial rights. The decision, which was ratified by the tournament’s Executive Committee, followed a thorough and successful Request for Proposal (RFP) process.
Up for sale and out of money: what on earth has gone wrong at Bolton? – The Guardian
Reeling from one relegation and apparently destined for another, Bolton need a buyer to rescue them from the threat of administration.
Will China’s football splurge end up entrenching Europe’s super-elite? – Inside World Football
When Stockport County went on tour to China in 2001, it seemed symptomatic of a breezy optimism that the People’s Republic’s new-found enthusiasm for football might somehow make international brands of even comparatively small European clubs.
AFC Wimbledon: Is Dons’ exile over at last? – This is Local London
Are the Dons closer than ever to coming home to Merton? Decision time is drawing ever closer as Merton Council’s planning committee are gearing up to decide whether or not to approve the controversial stadium plans next week. The proposal, which include a 20,000 seat stadium – which will begin as 11,000 seats – as well as 601 new homes, a fitness club, parking, a café and a crèche are due to be debated at a planning meeting on Thursday, December 10.
Fifa set for U-turn on reform proposals – BBC Sport
Fifa executives may face fixed terms of office and tougher checks following a U-turn on proposals about how the organisation is run.
FIFA investigation could take five years – Swiss Attorney General – ESPN FC
Swiss officials have told ESPN FC that it will be at least five years before any cases are brought to court from its investigations against suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter and alleged corruption in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Gilberto Silva: why are players staying silent when football is suffering? – The Guardian
It is perhaps expecting too much of the world’s footballers, and former footballers, to get too involved in the disgrace that engulfs the governing body, Fifa. Even so, the former World Cup winner Gilberto Silva looks genuinely troubled by how few of his ilk have felt compelled to merely express an opinion, to demand better, about how the game is run. Football’s great players, he feels, should be at the forefront of the conversation.
Greek match-fixing: corruption claims deepen as judges accused of accepting bribes – Inside World Football
The Greek public prosecutors who declined to pursue charges against Olympiacos in the so-called Koriopolis match-fixing scandal have been accused of accepting bribes as they considered the case.
Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa join World Association of Leagues – BBC Sport
The trio join 20 other leagues, including the English, French and Spanish top flights, with the intention of working alongside football’s world governing body, Fifa.
Mauritanian president accused of ordering penalties in 63rd minute of Super Cup – The Guardian
The Mauritanian federation has been forced to deny that the country’s president, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, ordered a penalty shootout in the 63rd minute of the Super Cup final out of boredom.