Tuesday, April 14, 2009

News and Notes… blog edition…

Well, on Sunday evening during the show, predicted that Liverpool would be able to come back and beat Chelsea in the 2nd leg match in the UEFA Champions League. Who would have thought that it would be so wide-open and 8 goals were to be had. Liverpool made it close in the 1st half. Drogba pulled one back for Chelsea… after Reina’s error and own goal, it seemed like Chelsea was set. Frank Lampard added a 3rd for Chelsea after a beautiful set-up from Ballack and Drogba… but hold on. Lucas, then Kuyt… and then almost a 5th. Liverpool would have been set, but no, Frank Lampard adds Chelsea’s 4th and the Blues head on through to face Barca after they beat Bayern Munich 5 – 1 on agg. All I can really say is wow! It was a ridiculous game, with lots of excitement, energy and gut wrenching. My man Simon, owner of the Three Lions Café at Broadway and Ontario in Vancouver, says he wasn’t worried, but I suspect that there were a couple of those “Oh Sh*t” moments during his lunch this afternoon. Meanwhile, my Liverpool friends have yet to return any emails or phone calls.

The U-17 Canadian squad has been named for the 2009 CONCACAF Championship. Four Vancouver Whitecaps residency program players are involved, four member of the TFC Academy are also involved. It’s good to see that the residency and academy programs are really building soccer within Canada. Hopefully the results are there. It is also interesting to note that FC St. Pauli’s Jaineil Hoilett has been named to the squad. I know that he has been selected and played for Canada before, but I wonder how much this will play into the mind of Jaineil’s older brother David. There was some question as to whether he would play for the Canadian squad, but if younger brother Jaineil is there playing for the Maple Leafs, it may sway his decision to wear the red and white.

The Whitecaps leave for Puerto Rico on Thursday. It’s not new news that Marlon James will miss the trip, we knew that already. James missing though will give 3 youngsters a terrific opportunity to make an impact. Marcus Haber performed well in the ‘caps home opener and will get plenty of chances on the road trip. He was a key player in Vancouver’s scoreless opener and my Man-of-the-Match. The two wildcards at this point are Randy Edwini-Bonsu, who played well in the U-20 CONCACAF Championships, and Dever Orgill who turned heads at the Dallas Cup. Both will likely get a shot to play on the road trip. And it will be a nice competition between Haber, Edwini-Bonsu and Orgill for that 2nd role to play with Charles Gbeke.
Update - Edwini-Bonsu has picked up an injury and won't be making the trip, giving Haber and Orgill a glorious opportunity up front. Thordarson will announce his travelling roster and without James and Edwini-Bonsu, it's almost a sure thing that Orgill, Haber and Gbeke will be the men up front.

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