Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Help Conquer Cancer

The Ride to Conquer Cancer, benefiting BC Cancer Foundation, is a two-day cycling journey, from Vancouver to Seattle to fight cancer. Funds raised in The Ride to Conquer Cancer will support breakthrough research, exemplary teaching, and compassionate care made possible through BC Cancer Foundation, a leader in cancer research and care.

If you can help, please do here

CONCACAF CHampions League dates

May 6 - Vancouver @ Toronto
May 13 - Montreal @ Toronto
May 20 - Vancouver @ Montreal
May 27 - Montreal @ Vancouver
June 2 - Toronto @ Vancouver
June 17 - Toronto @ Montreal

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sorry Ottawa, you aren't getting an MLS franchise

So Barcelona seems to wavering on the idea of joining the Miami bid for an MLS franchise. What was once regarded as a 'lock' now seems like it might not even get off the ground. I'm not going to get into whether they will or won't get a franchise -- I still think that they are one of the favourites to secure a franchise -- but what I do want to touch on is the fact that because Miami and Barcelona may be in trouble, people in Ottawa have all of a sudden decided they are the next best thing and Eugene Melnyk's bid is terrific. Well, I'm here to send you back down to earth. Ottawa will not get an MLS franchise, not in 2011, not in 2013 and probably not in 2018.

First off, Ottawa does not have the best soccer tradition. They never had a team in the NASL, and while they had a team in the Canadian Soccer League for a few years, they never really wowed a large crowd. People may try point to the U20 World Cup held in Ottawa as proof that they can bring out a crowd, but the reality is, many of those were tourists from other countries and people who always show up for big events.

Secondly, the government is still deciding if they want to build a stadium, either a new one in Kanata or revive Frank Clair Stadium. Ultimately, that decision will be made by the government, and not just one level of government but 3 different levels. It's tough enough to get one level to agree to something (see Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium) let alone three levels. The other problem is that a recent poll conducted by the Ottawa Citizen showed that most Ottawa residents would prefer to have the stadium situated at the Lansdowne Park location. Only 15% chose the Kanata site. That's a serious blow to the chances of the man behind the Ottawa bid, Eugene Melnyk, assuming the government actually listens to its residents. The people I have talked to who cover sports in Ottawa think that a stadium in Kanata would effectively kill the franchise before it even got off the ground.

The other issue that makes the Ottawa bid a failure is Melnyk's business proposal, which makes no sense whatsoever. According to my sources, Melnyk wants to invest $80 Million in a stadium and $40 Million in a team. Toronto FC, one of the most successful clubs in the MLS, makes $2 Million per year. If Ottawa and Melnyk match that, in order to make their money back, Ottawa's franchise would need a 60-year run before Melnyk even makes his principal back. That's not a smart business decision in any business.

Finally, I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but there are rumours circulating that the only reason Eugene Melnyk is pursuing an MLS franchise is to cut the CFL revival effort off at the pass. According to a source, the Sens would love to own and control all sports entertainment in Ottawa and are trying to pre-empt the CFL group. My source says that they would be "absolutely shocked if Ottawa got a team and even more shocked if they it actually kicked off".

So there you have it -- why Ottawa won't be getting an MLS franchise. I don't think the Melnyk bid will pass. Sorry Ottawa fans.


'Caps send Seven to U20 team

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, in conjunction with the Canadian Soccer Association, announced today that goalkeeper Julien Latendresse-Lévesque, defender Adam Straith, midfielders Philippe Davies and Ethan Gage, and strikers Randy Edwini-Bonsu, Marcus Haber, and Kyle Porter have all received call-ups to Canada's U-20 men's national team.

The septuple will be part of head coach Tony Fonseca's 20-player squad that will participate in next month's CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Trinidad & Tobago. Playing in Group B, Canada face hosts Trinidad & Tobago (March 7), Mexico (March 9), and Costa Rica (March 11), with the squad needing to finish in the top two in order to book their place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt later this year.

"The final camp has arrived and we are going to use it for fine tuning," Fonseca told CanadaSoccer.com. "We are aware of the difficulties of the competition. The opponents are very strong and we know that there is no room for mistakes. This team is ambitious and will be ready to fight for a spot for Egypt 2009."

Haber, 20-years-old, joins the U-20 squad after signing a one-year contract – plus an option – with the Whitecaps on February 11. The native of Vancouver, BC, was part of the team's three recent training camps, and started for Canada when they hosted the U-20 World Cup in 2007.

Davies, 18, makes the team after appearing in the U-20 side's last two camps in Florida. The native of Longueuil, Quebec, who was a member of the inaugural Whitecaps Residency squad, scored in a 3-0 non-sanctioned international friendly win over Haiti on December 18, 2008, before earning a start in a 1-0 friendly defeat to USA U-20's on December 22, 2008.

Edwini-Bonsu, 18, returns to the side after taking part in two U-20 camps. The Edmonton, Alberta, native was a substitute in a 1-1 friendly draw with Switzerland U-20's on November 26, 2008, before scoring 11 goals in five starts during the Residency team's undefeated tour of Japan in December 2008.

Gage, 17, returns to the U-20 squad after taking part in last December's training camp in Florida. Born in Cowansville, Quebec, but raised in Cochrane, Alberta, the midfielder played in the 3-0 win over Haiti on December 18 and the 1-0 defeat to USA U-20's on December 22.

Straith, 18, will also be part of the Canadian side after participating in all three of the team's preparation camps. The Residency centre back is currently on loan to Germany's FC Energie Cottbus and has featured in the club's U-19 and U-23 sides. The Victoria, BC, native score his first U-20 international goal in a 1-1 friendly draw with Switzerland U-20's on November 26, 2008.

Porter, 19, earns a spot in the squad after impressing Fonseca at the team's last training camp in Florida in late January. The native of Mississauga, Ontario, who is also on loan to Energie Cottbus, scored five goals and recorded one assist in 10 United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League appearances for Whitecaps Residency in 2008.

Latendresse-Lévesque, who turns 18 on Friday, attended the team's Florida training camp last December, having previously represented Canada at the U-17 international level. The native of Chambly, Quebec, joined the Residency program last September and was part of the team's successful tour of Japan last December.

Also taking part in Trinidad & Tobago 2009 is Residency striker Dever Orgill. The 18-year-old native of Port Antonio, Jamaica, scored six goals during the Caribbean zone qualifier and will now look to help Jamaica when they face El Salvador, USA, and the winner of a playoff between Honduras and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines in Group A.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the March 13 semifinals, as well as qualify for Egypt 2009. The third-place match and final are set for March 15. Canada have participated in half of the 16 U-20 World Cup tournaments that have taken place since 1977, including each of the last four finals since Argentina 2001.

courtesy of the Vancouver Whitecaps

Montreal kicks off it's defence against Toronto

Montreal's Rue Frontenac has published what they believe to be the schedule for the upcoming Canadian portion of the CONCACAF Champions League.

I don't actually speak more than 25 words of french... but I'm pretty sure it looks like this:

May 13 - Montreal @ TFC
May 20 - Vancouver @ Montreal
May 27 - Montreal @ Vancouver
June 17 - TFC @ Montreal

Obviously, the games that are missing are the Whitecaps games against Toronto FC. Those will be released on Tuesday, but I'm working on getting the rest of the schedule for you today, but likely to be held on June 3rd and 10th.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Want to own a soccer team?

The future of the world's only football club owned by an online community, Ebbsfleet United, will be in serious doubt unless 3,000 people subscribe on Thursday.

On 19 February 2008 the English Conference club were purchased by MyFootballClub.co.uk but a year on the majority of the site's 32,000 annual memberships are up for renewal and numbers are dwindling.

The website's creator Will Brooks told The Guardian: "I would like to see 4-5,000. I would expect a couple of hundred every day for the next 10 days after that and then I think we're in a relatively strong position - we've got a foundation and some breathing space. But, if it's less than 3,000 today, we've got some decisions to make."

"If the model doesn't fund the club going forward, then I wouldn't call it a success. It will be a one-off, something that won't be repeated," admits Brooks.

Pick up your membership at MyFootballClub.co.uk
Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show owns part of the club...

Monday, February 16, 2009

For Immediate Release: Rob Friend

For Immediate Release: February 16, 2009

Borussia Monchengladbach and Canadian International player Rob Friend joins
Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show

Vancouver, BC, Canada - Rob Friend has scored 21 goals in 38 games this season with German club Borussia Monchengladbach, yet he has only managed 2 goals in 22 appearances for Canada. Is it the coaching? The style of play? The teammates? We'll ask Rob Friend these questions when he joins Tyler Green and Mike Martignago on Sunday, February 22nd at 10pm PST. Plus, Full-Time will get Rob's thoughts on life in the Bundesliga, his newest teammate Paul Stalteri, and what he has learned from German great, Oliver Neuville.

Also on Sunday, Tyler Green and Mike Martignago will break down the Final 16 of the Champions League. It all happens this Sunday, February 22nd at 10pm PST, Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show.

Full-Time features leading soccer analysts from Europe and North America, along with players, coaches and managers from around the world in a fast-paced sports talk format, with entertaining interviews and informative segments.

For more information, visit http://www.team1040.ca/shows/soccer_show/


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Media Advisory: Hull City defender Andy Dawson joins Full-Time, Vancouver's Soccer Show

Vancouver, BC, Canada - Andy Dawson is a defender for Hull City F.C. in the Barclays Premier League, but his journey with Hull City started back in 2003, when he was with a League Two Hull City squad. Hull now sit mid-table in the tough Premier League after winning promotion from the English League Championship in 2008 and Andy Dawson is just one of only 4 players still with the squad. This Sunday, February 15th at 12midnight, Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show will ask Andy Dawson about his rise from League Two football to the Premiership, his thoughts on Hull manager Phil Brown and what it will feel like to finally get to play against his brother, 'Spurs defender Michael Dawson.

CONCACAF.com's Vijay Setlur will also check in with Tyler Green and Mike Martignago with a recap of the World Cup qualifier between Mexico and USA in Columbus, Ohio. Will Sven-Goren Eriksson's job be safe after the squad he selected for the match or will Sven say bye-bye for a Premier League job? Does the US have what it takes this time to make a run at the World Cup? Vijay Setlur will answer those questions and more on Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show.
Tune in to Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show on Sunday, February 15th at 12midnight, immediately following the Vancouver Canucks vs. Montreal Canadiens on the TEAM 1040 Sports Radio or online at www.team1040.ca

For more information, visit http://www.team1040.ca/shows/soccer_show/