Canada’s bid to make this year’s World Cup may have stumbled in Honduras in 2012, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t any Canadian content in Brazil this summer – one linesman and a couple of Canadian-raised players all featured in the 2014 tournament, including a Scarborough native who started Saturday’s third-place match.
There’s a small group of coaches with Canadian roots working abroad, from the glamour of top divisions to lower tiers across the globe. For his part, Canadian-born Dwight Lodeweges was recently in the headlines when hundreds of SC Cambuur fans demanded his immediate resignation as manager…
Watching Canada’s women’s national team can be a blast. John Herdman’s girls showed at the 2012 Olympics that they can entertain and play good football, but casual fans often feel more like it’s an obligation or a chore to support our women’s team. It doesn’t need to be – but yesterday’s 0-0 draw against Mexico at BC Place won’t have done much to convince them.
Mexican captain Joel Huiqui won’t be the only one disappointed by his Gold Cup finish this year. The defending champions lost their semi-final while Canada went out in the first round with a whimper. Although this was only a ‘B’ Gold Cup – which didn’t make much sense for Canada, considering this is their only action until 2015 and this year’s winner gets a shot at the Confederations Cup – we still learned something about the region’s teams going into the rest of World Cup qualifying this year.
The 2013 Gold Cup showed why the US is the obvious choice to keep hosting the confederation championship, with ticket sales relying on Central American and Caribbean communities across the US. The tournament is held every 2 years, though, with every other version a ‘B’ Gold Cup, so why not spread one around? BMO Field in Toronto is one of the many CONCACAF venues that could host a Gold Cup group.
The season is over in most of Europe, and a host of Canadian and American players are among those that have been released in the past few weeks. Along with a few MLS veterans who are still without a club in 2013, there are enough quality free agents to form an XI of players that should be on the radar of Canada’s pro teams during the business end of the season.
As much as it pains me to say it, Toronto can take a page from the way Montreal handles their MLS team. Both have a soccer-hungry fanbase, their own stadium and are willing to spend money, so why the widening gap between the sides? This Wednesday, the Impact could win their 8th Voyageurs Cup (update – and they did). It’s time to acknowledge Montreal as Canada’s leading soccer city.
There have been recriminations lately surrounding the match-fixing scandal engulfing the CSL, with critics pointing to the league and the CSA’s inaction on a story that first emerged last year. It’s easy to forget that Canada’s men’s national team has been involved in match-fixing scandals of it’s own — both willing and unwilling.
Back in 2008, I wrote for “Canucks Abroad” with North American football guru Al Clark profiling Canadian talent playing overseas. At the time, I set out to get to the bottom of the international situations of two potential Canadian national team players, Jonathan de Guzman and forgotten man Tam Nsaliwa.