BC Soccer News, Weekend, September 4-7, 2015







Canada wins big at home in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers CSA
Canada got off to a good start with a 3:0 win in their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers playoff series against Belize, with the two-match, total goals series wrapping up on Tuesday 8 September in Belmopán, Belize. The boys in red dominated possession at home, with man-of-the-match Tosaint Ricketts scoring two of his team’s three goals.

Canada’s defense stout again, offense finally comes through in win to take “pressure off our back”MLS
Entering Friday night’s opening leg of Canada’s World Cup Qualification series against Belize, there was much consternation over the state of the side’s offense, having played three matches without a goal at the summer’s Gold Cup.

Canada takes on underdog Belize in World Cup qualifying Toronto Star
Belize has just three players who play outside their country, which is bordered to the north by Mexico, the south and west by Guatemala and the east by the Caribbean Sea. One plays in Guatemala while two are in Honduras; the rest play semi-pro in the Belize league, which is filled with colourfully named teams. Talk about a derby when Police United meets the Belpoman Bandits or the Belize Defence Force faces the Paradise Freedom Fighters.

Countdown: Canada v BelizeRed Nation Online
Canada is ready to get into the third round of World Cup Qualifying Friday night as they host the opening leg of their two fixtures against Belize. Having already dispatched Dominica with relative ease earlier this summer, this round comes in ahead of what will be a very tough group stage starting this fall, should Canada advance.

Canada not worried about unknown quantity in Belize in upcoming World Cup qualifier: “It’s about us” MLS
After a sweltering midday training session Thursday at BMO Field, Canada were in high spirits ahead of Friday’s match against Belize (4:30 pm PT). They are favorites to dispatch the Central Americans, thereby progressing to the group stage of CONCACAF Qualification for the 2018 World Cup. But there is a rub: The Jaguars are largely an unknown.

Hutchinson back for Canada in WC qualifierSportsnet
Canada continues its journey towards qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup when it takes on Belize on Friday night at Toronto’s BMO Field. Here’s what you need to know about the match.

Straith knows Canada can’t take tiny Belize lightlyTimes Colonist
There’s a saying in the theatre about there being no small parts, only small actors. It’s the same in World Cup soccer qualifying. There are no small countries, only small players. Defender/midfielder Adam Straith of Victoria certainly isn’t one of them, as he looks to earn his 27th and 28th caps in the two-game Canada-Belize set in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying for Russia 2018.

Canada Men’s National Team Focusing Internally Ahead of Belize MatchWaking the Red
Canada’s men’s national soccer team admit to not knowing much about Belize, tomorrow’s opponent in round 3 of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers. However, this lack of knowledge will help them focus on what is most important in this game: themselves.

Canada midfielder Johnson answers his critics Sportsnet
There was not a trace of derision or anger in Will Johnson’s tone of voice. He didn’t lose his cool, or shoot daggers with his eyes as he went off on an emotional rant. There was none of that. Instead, there was a calm and measured response as he answered the question with great purpose and matter-of-fact articulation.

De Guzman: Finishing chances the focus against BelizeRed Nation Online
In the lead up to the Canadian Men’s National Team’s next two World Cup qualifying matches against Belize, Head Coach Benito Floro has been adamant that his side won’t underestimate the 123rd-ranked Central American side.

Will Johnson ‘ready to go’ for Canada Goal
It’s been a long road back to the Canadian national team for Will Johnson, but the veteran midfielder says he’s “ready to go.” The Portland Timbers captain hasn’t suited up for Canada since 2013 due to a mix of club commitments and a broken leg that occurred in 2014 which kept him completely off the pitch for eight months. Now back to regular starts with the Timbers and after a full week of training under Benito Floro with the rest of the Canadian squad, Johnson says he’s ready to finally pull the national team jersey back on.

Karina LeBlanc Announces Retirement From Professional SoccerChicago Red Stars
Veteran goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc has decided that after 17 years playing at an international level, and 13 years playing professionally, it is time to hang up her gloves at the end of the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. Although she announced her international retirement at the end of May, the goalkeeper has decided that the time is right to pursue other endeavors in life once the Red Stars finish their post season run in the NWSL.

Graham Brown named CIS CEO CIS
“My goal is to make CIS more relevant in a crowded Canadian sport marketplace,” said Brown. “I believe interuniversity sport, so rich in tradition rivalry, has tremendous potential for growth in Canada. I can’t wait to help reintroduce the stories of our amazing student athletes to Canadian sports fans.” In addition to increased visibility in the Canadian marketplace, under Brown’s tenure Rugby Canada established a permanent training facility in Langford, B.C., and successfully hosted dozens of top international matches. Rugby Canada was also recently awarded a permanent men’s World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Vancouver, which will begin in March, 2016.

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Vancouver Likely to Host Next Round of World Cup Qualifying in November Waking the Red
British Columbia hasn’t hosted a men’s national team game for more than a decade. But barring some unforeseen circumstances the first match of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying round 4 will be in Vancouver.

UBC’s CIS championship journey begins under KovacsUBC
With a new coach and the proud hosts of the 2015 CIS Women’s Soccer Championship, the UBC Thunderbirds women’s soccer team has the opportunity of a lifetime with a chance to win a national championship on home soil. But to say the team is embarking on a new era would be a misnomer as the Thunderbirds return nearly its entire roster and thus look poised to make a run for the CIS title, with a berth already secured as hosts.

UBC opens chase for 14th CIS title as regular season opens on SaturdayUBC
Despite missing out on a coveted third straight CIS championship last season, the UBC Thunderbirds men’s soccer team continues to be perennial CIS championship contenders each and every season. Now facing the adversity of losing the majority of its core players, the T-Birds will rely on a number of additions and young stars to continue carrying the torch.

Clan Comeback Falls Short SFU
Simon Fraser University gave up a goal less than two minutes into its men’s soccer game at Seawolf Soccer Field and then lost 3-1 in its season-opening match to Sonoma State, spoiling Clint Schneider’s first official game as Clan head coach.

Clan women doubled by Fraser ValleyBurnaby Now
Gurneet Dhaliwal scored twice to lift the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades to a 2-1 victory over Simon Fraser University in women’s exhibition soccer action this week. Dhaliwal, a freshman forward from Surrey, scored in the 25th and 54th minutes to stake the Canadian Interuniversity Sport No. 4-ranked Cascades to a 2-0 lead at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Wednesday.

KidSport Cowichan hopes to boost awareness in ValleyCowichan Valley Citizen
Sept. 6-13 is KidSport Week in British Columbia, and for KidSport Cowichan chair Deb Savory Wright, there is no better time to remind the community that the organization is out there. The purpose of KidSport Cowichan is to provide financial assistance for children from throughout the Cowichan Valley Regional District who might not otherwise have an opportunity to play sports.

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After busy August, Whitecaps get a break before final push towards the playoffs Metro
Tim Parker picked his NFL fantasy football team. Jordan Harvey spent time working on a baby nursery. After a jam-packed August that included eight games in 29 days, the Vancouver Whitecaps were in the unfamiliar position of having some down time this week. No one was complaining.

Whitecaps’ ‘unknown players’ have team near top of MLSVancouver Sun
Pedro Morales did win the Newcomer of the Year award in Major League Soccer last season, so it’s not like the supposedly isolated Vancouver Whitecaps — you know, up there in Canada, way out on the Left Coast — are ignored. But it’s at least noteworthy that the league’s second-best club — at least in terms of points and points-per-game this season — doesn’t have a contender in the sixth monthly instalment of MLSsoccer.com’s MVP ladder.

MLS needs to look seriously at introducing international breaksThe Guardian
It has been a small but growing problem for the US league in recent years with the steady influx of genuine international talent, but it has come to a head this week with the record level of call-ups for games involving teams from both North and South America, Europe, Africa and even Asia.

Countdown: TFC @ Seattle SoundersRed Nation Online
The finish line is almost in view as Toronto FC head down the stretch towards the playoffs, but first have a huge challenge ahead traveling to take on the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night. TFC are coming off back to back home wins and should be feeling confident about recent results, however, their last match saw them hit with injuries to key players and are suffering from international call ups, that will make this fixture that more difficult. Seattle are having a poor season by their standards, and will need to play with real urgency if they are to make the playoffs.

Giovinco Claims MLS Player of the MonthToronto FC
Major League Soccer (MLS) announced Thursday that Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco has been named the Etihad Airways Player of the Month for August. He becomes the first player in club history to receive Player of the Month honours in back-to-back months. Giovinco also becomes the first player to earn consecutive Player of the Month selections this season. The last player to be named Player of the Month back-to-back was Jack McInerney in 2013 as a member of the Philadelphia Union.

Mauro Biello takes the Montreal reins, San Jose surges, Seattle needs a winESPN FC
In nearly four seasons of MLS play, the Montreal Impact has operated in a continuous state of flux. The team has burned through numerous players and three head coaches. Only one of those managers — the recently deposed Frank Klopas — lasted longer than a season. But one constant has been the presence of Mauro Biello.

Montreal Impact expect both Didier Drogba, Ignacio Piatti to return from injury vs. Chicago FireMLS
The Montreal Impact are dealing with international call-ups, but they’re catching a break on the injury front. High-profile attackers Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti will be “options” back from injury – barring any setbacks – this Saturday at home to the Chicago Fire (8 pm ET; MLS LIVE), interim head coach Mauro Biello confirmed on Thursday. Both Drogba and Piatti took part in full training, having overcome injuries to their toe and calf, respectively.

No Apologies: Kreis doubles down on his critical team commentsEmpire of Soccer
Jason Kreis is a fiery competitor. He was as a player. He is now as New York City FC coach. So to a certain extent, his post game comments calling out the desire of his team at the end of a humiliating loss against the Columbus Crew should be expected. But was the NYCFC boss speaking in the heat of the moment? Did he go to far? And does he have regrets about what he said?

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Whitecaps FC 2 face defending USL champions Sacramento Republic FC at Thunderbird Stadium on SundayWhitecaps FC
Whitecaps FC 2 (8W-12L-5D) face one of their toughest tests of the season on Sunday when they host Sacramento Republic FC (11W-8L-5D) at Thunderbird Stadium. WFC2 need to win versus the defending USL champions to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.

Tally Hall stresses sacrifice, hard work as key to Orlando City SC’s late-season playoff pushMLS
Orlando’s last three road games have produced only one goal and 13 against, and, after draws in their last two home games, they know their playoff hopes now hinge on taking points away from home with four of their final seven games on the road.

With Much At Stake, Blues Eager To Face Galaxy IIUSL
As a fantastic season for Orange County Blues FC nears its conclusion, one last regular season showdown with local rivals LA Galaxy II awaits on Saturday, with playoff spots and bragging rights on the line. It has become possibly the biggest and most important match in the Blues’ history, with a sellout crowd expected at Anteater Stadium.

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FCE roster depleted by call-ups, injuries ahead of key clash with Minnesota United FC the 11.ca
The highest scoring team in NASL, Minnesota United, will visit and FC Edmonton team that’s on a two-game losing skid — and hasn’t scored in either of those defeats.

Match Preview vs. Minnesota United FC FC Edmonton
FC Edmonton (4-3-4) will be looking to overturn a tough two weeks with a result at home against Minnesota United FC (5-3-2) in North American Soccer League (NASL) action. The two sides will square off Sunday, Sept. 6 at Clarke Field at 2:00 p.m. MT. in the final match to determine the winner of the supporter-run Flyover Cup competition.

Match Preview: FURY FC -vs- SCORPIONSOttawa Fury FC
Saturday marks the biggest game of the season for Fury FC … until the next one. Ten games remain in the NASL regular season. Halfway through the Fall Season, Fury FC sit atop fall standings holding a two-point edge on Spring Season champions New York. Through the first two-thirds of full season Fury FC hold down third in the combined standings, level on points with second place Minnesota.

Midfield Press sits down with NASL Commissioner Bill PetersonMidfield Press
When asked about Canadian expansion Peterson simply said they weren’t looking into anything just yet and it is not something they have in the works.  When I asked if he was worried about the rumours of a Canadian Division One league of its own popping up and taking away potential NASL market places, he replied “I don’t know where that stands. I can’t quite figure who is behind that or where it stands, so I am not sure if it is anything more than just a rumour.”

Another soccer war? The Philly Soccer Page
In America, professional soccer is particularly susceptible to anti-trust challenges, and this has been the case for some time. In baseball, basketball, football and hockey, the professional leagues largely govern themselves—and any rival league willing to enter the marketplace is free to do so. Obtaining manpower is also relatively simple: outbid the existing teams for out-of-contract players, and you have a team.

NASL Roundup: Freddy Adu ready to play againSoccer America
Freddy Adu’s hopes of finding his stride at the 12th club of his professional career haven’t come to fruition yet. He suffered an Achilles’ tendon injury after debuting for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a 3-1 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers July 25 with a 14-minute appearance that included an assist — and the coach who brought him was fired. But Adu is available to play on Saturday when the Rowdies host the New York Cosmos.

Recap: Entirely adequate MNUFC eventually overcomes IndyMidfield Press
After coming off a vicious drubbing by Ft. Lauderdale, Indianapolis was keen to regain respect. It absolutely did so. With an attacking winger (Dragan Stojkov) forced to play as a defensive rightback due to Marco Franco’s red card, Minnesota ought to have destroyed Indy’s right side. But that didn’t happen.

Senna on his Cosmos absence – and how he nearly left the clubEmpire of Soccer
This weekend, Marcos Senna expects to get the starting nod for the New York Cosmos against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The start will mark his first appearance with the club since August 15th, and just his third appearance in 11 matches this Fall Championship season. His absence has created quite a bit of intrigue amongst Cosmos fans who have been left in the dark over their star player’s absence.

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Dunn honored after getting Washington into NWSL playoffs Soccer America
The Washington Spirit’s Crystal Dunn, who is running away with the NWSL scoring race, was voted the NWSL Player of the Month after helping the Spirit get back into the playoffs. She scored two goals — her fifth and sixth goals of the month — and recorded an assist to help the Spirit earn a point on the road in a 3-3 draw against Portland Thorns FC on Sunday night.

A Little LegacyMedium.com
The achievements for Seattle Reign FC’s Kim Little keep piling up. With ten goals and a league leading seven assists, the gatekeeper of Reign FC ’s attacking ammunition is leading the club to its second-straight playoff appearance.

Ella Masar Moves Back to Forward, Ponders Playing On –  Keeper Notes
The Ella Masar fan club is large, passionate and global in nature. So, it came as little surprise that her many fans became worried during this past off-season when Masar hinted on Instagram that this might be her last season as a professional soccer player. Fear turned to panic after the start of the season when she professed, on an episode of 2 Drunk Fans, that there was a high probability that she would indeed retire.

Carlton Fairweather: Sunderland Ladies have “nothing to lose” – BBC Sport
Sunderland Ladies manager Carlton Fairweather says his side have “nothing to lose” as they attempt to win the Women’s Super League One title at the first attempt.

Carlton Fairweather’s Sunderland fight for Women’s Super League dreamThe Guardian
The former ‘Crazy gang’ member’s newly-promoted team still have their eye on the title and a Champions League spot – but Cup holders Chelsea are in pole

Willie Kirk: Relegation could cost Bristol Academy half a squadBBC Sport
Bottom side Bristol host nearest rivals Birmingham City at Stoke Gifford Stadium on Saturday in a match the could shape the fight for survival. The Vixens are two points adrift of Birmingham at the foot of the table with three games to go.

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Multiple U.S. youth clubs file official compensation petitions to FIFA SI.com
Multiple American youth soccer clubs filed official complaints with the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber this week, seeking unpaid training compensation and solidarity, according to documents obtained by SI.com. Crossfire Premier, Dallas Texans SC and Sockers FC Chicago are opening proceedings to claim a combined $480,500, emanating from transfers involving U.S. men’s national team regulars DeAndre Yedlin, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley.

Iceland, Wales take big steps in Euro qualifyingSportsnet
Unsung Iceland and Wales took big steps toward qualifying for the European Championships on Thursday — and they don’t intend to take the long road to the expanded 24-team tournament just because there are more ways to qualify.

What to watch out for in tonight’s EURO qualifiersUEFA
Germany v Poland tops a Friday-night bill that contains no end of intrigue, including tough trips for the top two sides in Group F and a Scottish revenge mission.

Paco Alcacer dreams of Spain goals at Euro 2016 – ‘Why should we not win it?’ESPN FC
Spain are hoping to defend their European Championship title in France next year and bounce back from their disappointing World Cup in Brazil, which saw them crash out in the group stages.

Germany vs. Poland: Muller out to settle the score Goal
Germany forward Thomas Muller is out to settle a score when the world champion faces Poland in Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier. Joachim Low’s men were dealt their only loss of the qualifying campaign by Poland last October as they went down 2-0 in Warsaw.

Faroe Islands fish for a Euro 2016 qualifier shock against Northern IrelandThe Guardian
Lars Olsen’s side have already stunned Greece twice and now they are ‘daring to play football’, having already proved they are not the minnows of Group F.

Possession the priority as USMNT look to exorcise Gold Cup demons vs. PeruMLS
Who’s starting? Who’s wearing the captain’s armband? What’s the formation? What’s the tactical outlook? Jurgen Klinsmann has made clear who his No. 1 goalkeeper will be. But that’s about the only solid piece of information he and his US national team squad have dropped ahead of friendlies against Peru and Brazil.

If you’ve ever criticized Jurgen Klinsmann or his USMNT, you don’t understand soccer NBC Sports
That was a fun headline to write, probably because saying something so outlandish as the above must have given this writer the briefest glimpse of what it must feel like to wake up and get to be Jurgen Klinsmann, a man eternally above criticism and accountability, every single day.

Emmanuel Adebayor fails to report for international duty with TogoESPN FC
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has failed to arrive for international duty with Togo, an official has told Sky Sports News. The official said Adebayor had been named in the squad to face Djibouti on Friday, but had not reported for duty. “He has not given us a reason,” the official said. “He was in the squad — but he has just not shown up.”

Asia WCQ – Drubbings, upsets and goal sprees FIFA
Asian favourites underlined their dominance on Matchday 3 with the continent’s quartet at Brazil 2014 all cruising to big wins at home. Australia and Korea Republic maintained their unblemished record, while Japan and Iran registered their first three points.

Sensitive China-Hong Kong qualifier ends peacefullyInside World Football
Hundreds of paramilitary and riot police were deployed in and around the stadium in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Thursday as China and Hong Kong squared off for a politically sensitive World Cup qualifier.

US Under-23 national team lose 1-0 to England Under-21s in Olympic qualifying tune-up friendlyMLS
The US Under-23 national team lost a hard-fought game against the England U-21’s 1-0 on Thursday at Deepdale Stadium in the first of their final two warm-up games before the start of Olympic qualifying.

English football supporters’ groups to show ‘Refugees Welcome’ bannersThe Guardian
Supporters’ groups in England are looking to follow the example set by their German counterparts in holding aloft “Refugees Welcome” banners at home matches in response to the crisis gripping Europe.

Racist abuse on rise in football as Lord Ouseley hits out at David Cameron The Guardian
Reports of alleged racist and other discriminatory abuse made to the Football Association last season rose sharply to 887 incidents at all levels of the game, a 21% increase on the number reported to the governing body in 2013-14.

Organised crime has moved into club ownership. Surgical solutions needed Inside World Football
There is an urgent need for regulation to make football clubs identify who their owners are, including beneficial owners – the real owners hiding behind shell companies or nominees, said Nicola Bonucci, director legal of the OECD.

Italian Serie B to introduce GREEN cards for referees – to praise good behaviour and fair playThe Mirror
The green card, which is to be introduced in Italy’s Serie B league this weekend according to La Stampa, will be shown for things that the referee deems a player does well. It will be presented to players when they perform an act of fair play – or “acts of virtue” on the field of play.

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