Saturday, May 23, 2009


Canadian defender Adrian Cann will join Tyler Green and Mike Martignago on Sunday night at 10pm PT to discuss being called up to the Canadian National team for their match against Cyprus on May 30th. Tune in via the radio at 1040 on the A.M. dial or listen online here.

Cann, a former Whitecaps defender, currently plays for Esbjerg fB in the Danish Superliga.


One change to Canada's roster for the friendly against Cyprus. Marcel de Jong is off the roster. de Jong will be replaced by Daniel Imhof. Imhof plays for Vfl Bochum in the German Bundesliga.

Meanwhile, Paul Stalteri made it through the full 90 minutes of action in Borussia Monchengladbach final match this season. With that, it appears that Stalteri will be healthy for the May 30th match vs. Cyprus. There was worry that his injury wouldn't allow him to participate. Monchengladbach, with the help of Stalteri and fellow Canadian Rob Friend, have done enough this season to stay in the Bundesliga, finishing just above the bottom three.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Lars Hirschfeld has made Canada's squad against Cyprus om May 30th. He is also on the move.

Translation would include:

hirschfeld leaves in summer about' hirschfeld, arrived with trumpets and bells in Cluj directly from Champions League, the grouping Norwegian rosenborg, will leave Romania this summer, extremely disappointed. It was used to have coaches who prepared the team this season and is decided to transfer.

According to people close tryouts, was contacted by representatives of elfsborg's back for a transfer and he has answered, knowing it would no longer count on him in Cluj. And stancioiu has great chances to go for a championship at the end good contract in Saudi Arabia. Ioan but he wants his former student from Cluj in al ettifaq, and porter is willing to go because it had no guaranteed place holder.

What you can kind of figure out in the broken Romanian translation would be that Hirschfeld is heading to Elfsborg in Sweden.

Canada announces preliminary roster for Cyprus match

Here's the release from the CSA re: Canada's squad (all Euro based players)

Canada's men's national team has announced its roster for the international friendly match against Cyprus. The two sides meet this 30 May 2009 in Larnaca, Cyprus.

"... says men's national head coach Stephen Hart.

Mr. Hart's initial list includes 17 players, two of which are subject to their club competition this coming weekend (Marcel de Jong with Roda JC in Netherlands and Paul Stalteri with Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany). If available, Stalteri would be the most experienced player in camp (73 international appearances). Richard Hastings (53) and Kevin McKenna (38) are the next two in terms of experience.

Tosaint Ricketts is a first-time call-up to the national team. Ricketts was a scoring star at the U-20 level during the 2007 campaign. Along with Ricketts, Simeon Jackson has also yet to make his first appearance with the national team.

All 17 players invited to this particular camp play professionally in Europe. As the match does not fall on a FIFA calendar date, some players were unavailable because of club commitments.

Canada is currently preparing for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup competition. Canada opens the 2009 competition against Jamaica on 3 July before flying to Columbus to face El Salvador on 7 July and then to Miami to face Costa Rica on 10 July.

1- G- Lars Hirschfeld |ROM / CFR Cluj
18- G- Kenny Stamatopoulos | NOR / FC Lyn Oslo
(on loan from / emprunt de Tromsø I.L.)
2- D/M- Nik Ledgerwood |GER / TSV 1860 München
3- D/M- Chris Pozniak |SCO / Dundee FC
4- D- Adrian Cann |DEN / Esbjerg fB
5- D- Kevin McKenna |GER / 1. FC Köln
6- M- Julian de Guzman | ESP / Deportivo La Coruna
7- D/M- Paul Stalteri |GER / Borussia Mönchengladbach
8- M- Tyler Hemming | USA / Charleston Battery
10- F- Tosaint Ricketts |FIN?/ Myllykosken Pallo –47
11- D- Richard Hastings |SCO / Inverness CT
12- M- Issey Nakajima-Farran |DEN / FC Nordsjælland
13- M- Jaime Peters |ENG / Ipswich Town FC
14- M- Marcel de Jong | NED / Roda JC
15- M- Josh Simpson |GER / FC Kaiserslautern
16- F- Andrzej Ornoch |DEN / Esbjerg fB
17- F- Simeon Jackson |ENG / Gillingham FC

Head Coach / Entraîneur-chef : Stephen Hart
Assistant Coach / Entraîneur-adjoint : Tony Fonseca
Goalkeeper Coach / Entraîneur des gardiens : Paul Dolan
Video Coordinator / Coordinateur de vidéo : Vic Mendes
Manager / Gérant : Morgan Quarry
Equipment Manager / Gérant des équipements :Mike Moretto
Doctor / Docteur : Dr. Michael Campbell
Massage Therapist / Massothérapeute : Garret Kusch
Physiotherapist / Physiothérapeute : Dave Foley
Head of Delegation / Chef de la délégation : Victor Montagliani


disappointing that Asmir Begovic doesn't get a shot. Considering he's played the same amount of games, and at a higher level, than Stamapoulos. He really should have been there. Stephen Hart told me and a few other reporters on the conference call that Begovic did get some consideration, but he wanted to speak with him personally first, but he is on the radar. I was hoping that David Edgar would get a chance. It looks as though he might get into the Newcastle game on Sunday against Aston Villa. All-in-All, Canada is playing Cyprus, so it's not like they are going to be in tough to actually win the game, so Canada might as well take some chances and play some of the younger members in the program.

Otherwise, I like the mix. Paul Stalteri is working on getting healthy in order to play the match. Which would add to his "cap" total, bringing him ever closer to the all-time lead. Marcel de Jong is nice in the backline and should be there for the Gold Cup. Simeon Jackson will hopefully get a shot to play following up his game this weekend at Wembley, a game Stephen Hart will be at, as Gillingham look to get promoted.

Former Whitecap defender Adrian Cann has also been named to the squad. Something I know Adrian was hoping for when I spoke with him a few months ago. I'm hoping to connect with him this weekend for our show on Sunday night. Hopefully he can impress and play well.

** Dave Foley is the Physiotherapist, which is odd, considering I enjoyed him more as an actor and one of the stars of Kids in the Hall

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Canada's goalkeeping situation + more

Asmir Begovic is getting some good action to close out the season for Portsmouth. David James is set for shoulder surgery, which means that Begovic will likely start next weekend. He did do enough to get the job next week. The chance for Begovic at the end of the season has provided an opportunity for his to show his stuff of what he can do against some of the best players in the world. With that experience, does he get into the mix as the starting goalkeeper for Canada at the Gold Cup this summer?

His competition will try and show that they should get the gig and depending on how Stephen Hart wants to head into the tournament, they might. First, the competition and forgive me if I have missed someone, trying to find a Canadian goalie playing quality minutes outside of North America in like trying to find a needle in a hay stack.

Josh Wagenaar had a good string of games for Yoevil Town in League One. but did not feature in a long stretch of games near the end of the season before coming on for 6 minutes in his final match action on May 2nd, 2009. Hardly game ready.

Lars Hirschfeld plays for CFR Cluj. But playing is a hardly a word I would use. Featuring in very limited action during his time in Romania. Can he be ready for the summer?

Kenny Stamatopoulos is in Norway and so far during the season has featured in one match. Hardly someone you can have as your starting goalkeeper on a national level.

On this side of the water, Greg Sutton has been a mainstay in the program, but he's only played twice this season for TFC and has been beaten out for the starting job by Stefan Frei.

The biggest competition comes from the 109 year old (actually 41 years old) Pat Onstad. Who is once again proving that he has what it takes to play the game at the MLS level. Starting in all 8 games for Houston and providing 4 clean sheets.

The biggest question on Onstad is whether he still wants to play or whether Hart still wants him. he may not want to compete on the internation stage anymore, he did afterall, get a lot of blame for a certain goal in qualifying. Hart must decide whether Canada is making a run to win the Gold Cup or building for 2014.

If the decision is to win the Gold Cup, the choice is obviously Onstad, with Begovis backing up and learning. If it's to build for the future, Begovic is your main guy. I feel like the Gold Cup should be a building block for the younger players while continuing to build the core which features De Rosario and de Guzman. I would start Begovic and bring Onstad as the back-up to tutor the young netminder. The future starts now and it's time to figure out whether Canada can sink or swim with what they have.

Elsewhere on the field, I like the Canadian back line at TFC. I would love to see Adrian Serioux as the main man on the backline with David Edgar slotting beside him. With Nana Attakora-Gyan proving that he can play with MLS calibre players sitting on the right. While I like what I have seen from Jim Brennan this season, I think the left side is still up for grabs.

In the midfield, I would like to see Dwayne De Rosario, Julian de Guzman with Daniel Imhof playing a holding role, a job he's done very all season at Bochum in Germany. And to mix it up, Will Johnson starting all 9 matches for Real Salt Lake.

Up front, I'm going with Simeon Jackson, who is ripping it up in England and Rob Friend. It would feature a nice mix of size and speed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Barca to Vancouver?

Following the announcement that Barcelona would be playing two friendlies on the west coast (August 1st in LA and August 5th in Seattle), rumours started that a 3rd west coast game would be added. Immediately in the Vancouver market, people in Vancouver, including Full-Time host Mike Martignago, were claiming that the Whitecaps would be a perfect fit with the schedule. It also fits because of a large stadium to play in (BC Place holds around 60,000) and a future MLS franchise.

The other option is Barcelona playing the San Jose Earthquakes. The 'Quakes could broker a deal to play at Stanford Stadium for a one off match and could likely fill the stadium and perhaps get people interested in a team already in the MLS. The other thing that puts San Jose as the front runner would be the higher Spanish speaking population.

In Vancouver, BC Place is open for a possible match on August 9th, 10th, 11th... following a BC Lions game and prior to an Aerosmith/ZZ Top concert.

Schedule wise, it would work out perfectly for Barcelona to play in Vancouver however, it's unlikely to happen. Well, let me rephrase that. It would work out perfectly for Barcelona to play in Vancouver, but they likely won't be playing the Vancouver Whitecaps. "We currently do not have any plans for an international game", that's what Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi told me. He also said that it would be nice, but not this year.

It's not really a secret that the Whitecaps, once in the MLS, will probably bring some top international clubs to the city and BC Place, it's a natural fit. It just doesn't sound like anything will happen this year.

Here's trekking down to Seattle for two games this summer as the Sounders play Chelsea and Barcelona. And here's to looking forward to 2011 and debating which clubs Vancouver should try and bring to BC Place.


As we talked about earlier in the week, Quebec, or more specifically Montreal, will play host to France's Champions Cup. It's the winner of league facing the winner of the French Cup. For those not in tune with this competition, it would be similar to the Community Shield in England, where the league winner plays the FA Cup winner (last year it was Portsmouth v Manchester United). I'm not exactly sure how this tournament draw in France. I do know that most people in England have a bit of pride with their team winning the Community Shield, but if they lose, they aren't exactly running for the nearest bridge. For most teams, it's just part of the pre-season warm-up, not something they desperately need to win. united fans have other events to worry about, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and the League.

All that leads me back to the French Cup. While it is nice that it will be played outside of France for the first time, it's hard to get overly excited. Seeing the Ligue 1 winners (at time of writing may be either Bordeaux or Marseille) will be a thrill, but seeing Ligue 2 side, En Avant Guingam is hardly a name that most will recognize or even get excited about. All in all, it should be an entertaining match. For En Avant Guingam, it's about showing what they can do against a Ligue 1 side. For the team that wins the title in France, it's about getting ready for the season and the Champions League... and perhaps a little pride.

What would be nice, is to see either Marseille or Bordeaux play some friendlies while in Canada. Perhaps they are already working out a deal to play the Impact or maybe even TFC (although unlikely against TFC). Friendlies are rarely enough to get excited about, but it's also nice to debate the level of play between the leagues. Duane Rollins from "The 24th Minute" likes a good league contrast and compare. I've seen my fair share of French action on Setanta (unfortunately, never live and in person) and while it's not at the level of England, Spain and Italy, it does offer a very entertaining brand of soccer with young players on the cusp of greatness (or at least a big fat contract with the big 3 leagues). Hopefully, as I doubt I can make the trip to Montreal this summer to see the match, it will be broadcast on television for fans across Canada.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact announced the nomination of Marc Dos Santos as interim head coach of the Impact on Thursday, to succeed John Limniatis in this role.

“After having analyzed the situation over the last few months, we have realized that the team was not playing to its level and that the positive results were not there,” said Impact technical director Nick De Santis. “The message was no longer getting through in the locker room. John will nevertheless remain in the Impact family and he continues to be one of our great team builders.”

Marc Dos Santos was the assistant coach of the Impact since June 10, 2008. He was also the head coach of the Trois-Rivières Attak for two seasons, in 2007 and 2008. Dos Santos took training internships with three first division clubs in Portugal: Boavista FC (November 2004), SC Beira Mar (November 2004) and FC Porto (March 2007). He has the UEFA B licence since July 2006 and is currently in the process of obtaining his UEFA A licence.

“It’s an honour for me to become interim head coach for the Impact,” said Marc Dos Santos. “I am ready today to take on these new responsibilities. It’s a great challenge in my coaching career and it’s a mandate in which I will invest myself fully. I have acquired a solid experience in the last years with the Impact and the Attak, as well as in Portugal. I will do everything I can for the team to be successful again.”

Dos Santos will count on three assistant coaches: Andrea Di Pietrantonio, who held the same functions last season, Mauro Biello, who becomes player-coach, and Youssef Dahha, who remains goalkeeper coach.

John Limniatis became Impact head coach on June 10, 2008, succeeding to Nick De Santis who in turn became technical director. In his first season at the helm of the team, he led the Impact to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals and to the semifinals of the USL series. In 2009, the team had not won in its first four regular season games (0-3-1) and was shut out 1-0 by Toronto FC, Wednesday, in its first game of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

Dos Santos becomes the eighth head coach in Impact history. He will coach his first game this Friday when the Impact will face the Charleston Battery.

Meanwhile, John Limniatis released the following statement through the Montreal Impact, "First of all I would like to thank everybody for their support when I was on duty as head coach. The management of the club, the organization, the fans, the media and the partners have all been extraordinary. I will never forget the moments I have spent with the Impact in the last year. Should this change help the team, I completely support the club's decision. In order not to interfere with the team's preparation for the upcoming games on Friday and Sunday, I will not make any further comments until next week".

C'mon Toronto... 1 goal ain't good enough

It isn't going out on much of a limb to say that Toronto FC is the best team in Canada playing in the best league. The players that I have had the chance to speak with have all told me "there are a bunch of interchangeable guys playing in both leagues and then the game breakers, Major League Soccer has those types of players, the USL doesn't".

Before the Nutrilite Canadian Championships began, I told my co-host Mike Martignago during our radio show (Sunday nights at 10pm on the TEAM 1040) that Toronto would win the tournament this year and so far I am looking pretty good. The problem is, predicting TFC to win isn't that big of a stretch. The part that has me annoyed though is that Toronto has won both games by the simple score of 1 - 0, and truth be told, it was a terrific hand save from Frei to keep the Vancouver v Toronto game 1 - 0. Frankly, it's just not good enough.

Hey, you got the result and you deserved the wins, but scoring just one goal in each game? I want to see 2 or 3. It's not like you are sending out the scrubs to play in these matches. I want to see goals, I want to see forward movement, I want you to claim it and show you are downright superior and I want you to beat Montreal and Vancouver into submission. I want to see a blow out.

Having said all that, hope is not lost for Montreal or Vancouver. This tournament is still far from over. If the Impact or Whitecaps can sweep the other USL team and beat Toronto, they would have a chance. Perhaps even hope their USL brother can do them a favour a draw or beat TFC. It might even come down to goal differential (which is why I need and beg of TFC to score more). Wouldn't that just infuriate Toronto fans as the claims of USL dominance would once again be chanted against Toronto.

It would begin to show a pattern that in a one-off game, TFC or a USL franchise could beat anyone else, but it would also show that over a 6 game tournament, Toronto FC just wouldn't have what it takes. Call it depth, call it fate, call it whatever you want, it surely would put a black eye on Canada's best team.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

France's Champions Trophy heads to Quebec

The Trophee des Champions between the winners of Ligue 1 and the French Cup will be played in Montreal, Canada on July 26, the French League said on Tuesday.

It will be the first time the curtain-raiser to the season is to be played outside France.

"Time has come for French soccer to capture new markets," League chairman Frederic Thiriez said in a statement. "Montreal is the best gate to enter the North American market."

Ligue 2 side En Avant Guingamp won the French Cup on Saturday. Olympique Marseille and Girondins Bordeaux are level on points at the top of Ligue 1 with four games to play.

"We are very happy to see that the city of Montreal has been selected to host the Champions Trophy," said Executive Vice President of the Montreal Impact and Saputo Stadium Richard Legendre. "The Impact has taken significant steps in the last few months for this important match to be held in Montreal. However, there are currently various elements that need to be settled, including the venue, as well as significant financial considerations. The organization continues its work with the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) in order for this event to take place."

Nice to see that European teams and leagues are coming over to North America more and more. Hopefully that can really drive the product here to a higher level.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Honduras gets third team in Champions League?

NEW YORK (Monday, 11 May 2009) – Honduras will get a third team in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League due to Belize not meeting the standards for an adequate stadium, the confederation’s Executive Committee decided Monday.

Tournament regulations require teams play their home games within their own country in facilities that meet minimum requirements with regard to the field, lighting, changing rooms and fan amenities. CONCACAF allowed for a one-year grace period for teams to meet the standards but after that, teams were to be replaced from other countries based on the performance of their clubs in the previous Champions League.

Marathon already has assured itself of a berth in the 24-team field as winner of the Honduran Apertura championship, while the Clausura winner will claim the second berth. The team with the next most total points from both seasons will earn the third place.

The inaugural Champions League winner will be crowned Tuesday when Atlante hosts Cruz Azul in the second leg of the final in Cancun, Mexico.

The first thought is why does Honduras get a 3rd team when Canada still only gets one? Here's my thoughts: Canada has three teams playing for the right to play in this tournament, Honduras has ten. However unfair it may seem, Canada doesn't really deserve a 2nd team to be added. Once Canada gets a few more teams expanding into the USL or MLS for that matter, then it's time to take a look at it.

Overall though, I do think that there still needs to be some minor tweaking. The MLS Champions get into the tournament, however, should Toronto FC win, they do not gain automatic access. That should be fine tuned to represent that, sure it means that the U.S. lose a spot, but with increased expansion to Canada, that rule needs to be amended. Secondly, the USL Division 1 Champions should also be given a spot. You win a league, you deserve entry. Again, it would need to be fine tuned to see who wouldn't get a spot, etc, but I think it's worth a change.

So yes, Canada, down the road should get a second spot in the league, but not right now, instead fine tuning the other ways in would give Canada a better shot.


Open Letter to Sepp Blatter - re: USA World Cup Bids

Dear Mr. Sepp Blatter, FIFA President,

The USA seems pretty determined to host the World Cup again in either 2018 or 2022. On the surface, the bid is strong. They have tremendous state-of-the-art stadiums used for the NFL, which can easily be adapted to accommodate the world's game. Even the President of the United States has written a letter to you, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, in support of the American bid. That is a little misleading since I'm sure the leader of every country in the bid process has written a letter to Blatter stating their support for their country's bid. Why wouldn't they? It's an economic benefit for them to do so. Let us also not forget that the President is also supporting the Chicago Olympic bid, so it seems doubtful that the World Cup is that much more special to him or is just a political tool.

So while the bid seems strong in terms of support of "big names" and stadia, here's what I don't like: it's going to be difficult and expensive for the average fan. While some (the wealthy) will be able to travel around to a variety of matches, most will be stuck in one city not able to travel to multiple locations, see the country and enjoy its atmosphere.

As an example of the potential difficulties, let's look at the Gold Cup that will played in the U.S. this summer and the travel schedule of a fan who wants to follow the Canadian National Team. Starting with a game in Carson, California, he or she must then trek to Columbus, Ohio, and follow that up with a trip to Miami, Florida. That's not the easiest travel schedule for a team, let alone a fan trying to follow his favourite country. Some countries have an easier time: from Oakland to Houston to Phoenix. But hardly easy travel. In most cases, flights are required and flights are not cheap.

The second problematic thing is the fact that, despite being one of the biggest events in the World, in the United States will the majority of people care if England plays Brazil, or Italy faces Germany? Or will they rather care who wins in a face-off between the Red Sox and Yankees? Baseball is full swing during the tournament and will take away some of the lustre of the World Cup. The NBA and NHL playoffs will also be coming to an end. We also have your major golf tournaments taking place on the PGA tour. Too many distractions from other sports for my liking in a time when only one should be king.

I've been to three World Cups since 1994, missing only the '98 tournament in France. I've seen league games in England, Italy and Germany. The worst World Cup I actually took in was USA '94. In Europe, and even during the Japan and Korea games of 2002, the ease of travel to any game is amazing, even if it's across the country. Also, the best part of the latter World Cups of Germany and Japan/Korea and the league games in Europe is the atmosphere. Not only are the stadiums buzzing with energy and excitement, but the entire country is alive with talk and excitement of the World Cup. It gripped those countries. This wasn't the case in the US in 1994 and I don't think it will be the case in either 2018 or 2022.

I would love to see the World Cup in England in 2018 and Australia in 2022. If one of those two countries don't win, I would like to see Spain/Portugal or Belgium/Netherlands, although Belgium needs to step up their performances to show that taking away two European spots is the way to go.

So here's my open letter to you, Mr. FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Keep the World Cup out of Americans hands. Let's keep it in Europe, or Asia or Australia.

Of course, I know you will screw me and the USA will probably get one of the two available World Cups in 2018 or 2022, and I'll be bitter for an entire month.

Tyler Green

Throwing dangerous items at games... DON'T DO IT!!

Okay, so this isn't really to rag on Toronto FC or Vancouver Canucks fans, but fans in general. Game 5, Vancouver Canucks are losing and the game is just about over, except idiot fans have decided that they need to throw bottles onto the ice. It really just made it worse and there is no need for that whatsoever. Someone in a row lower than yours may get hit with that water bottle. Would you like your five year old kid to get hit with a water bottle or projectile? I didn't think so.

Part two, Vancouver Whitecaps playing against Toronto FC at BMO Field. If you watched the game on Sportsnet and have it PVR'd, taped whatever, go to Martin Nash's corner kick at 91:40 to 91:41 on the Sportsnet clock. Nash taking the corner kick and here comes a full (what appears to be Gatorade) bottle thrown at Nash, hitting the signs behind him and exploding. Nash got the spray. TFC fans alway wonder why they get blamed for being "Hooligans", these are the reasons why. I know it's not the U Sector or the Red Batch Boys, but idiots in one section, give everyone a bad reputation.

So again, this isn't to TFC fans or Canucks fans. It's fans in general, don't throw stuff that can be dangerous. I'm all for throwing streamers and waving flags and having a general loud and good time. But think when you decide it's time to throw an object that may hurt your 5 year old son, daughter, nephew, niece. If you wouldn't throw something that might harm them, then don't throw it at anyone else.


STOCKHOLM -- Soccer hooligans assaulted a passenger and threatened flight attendants on a flight following a Swedish league match, police said Monday.

The trouble started late Sunday on a Malmo Aviation plane with about 100 passengers, including fans of Stockholm club Djurgarden who were returning to the capital after an away match in Malmo in southern Sweden, police and airline officials said.

Stockholm police spokesman Mats Eriksson said five people involved in a brawl were removed from the plane before takeoff but the ruckus continued during the flight and seven others were questioned by police upon arrival at Stockholm's Bromma airport.

Eriksson said the fans were noisy, "didn't sit down, didn't fasten their seat belts and didn't follow directions from the attendants."

One passenger who tried to stop the hooligans was assaulted and taken to hospital after arrival but was not seriously injured, Malmo Aviation spokesman Olof Lofgren said.

He said the pilot was considering interrupting the flight and landing at another airport, but decided to continue to Bromma where police were waiting.

"We transport football supporters a lot, but I've never experienced anything like this," Lofgren said. "It's deplorable that adults act this way."

Eriksson said no one was arrested but some of those involved could face charges of assault, disturbing public order and even air sabotage, a crime punishable by up to four years in prison.

Like many European countries, Sweden is struggling to deal with fan violence in connection with soccer matches. Buses and trains are often vandalized as rowdy fans travel across the country.

"It's absolutely more serious when it happens on a plane than a train or a bus," Eriksson said.

Djurgarden lost Sunday's match against Malmo FF 2-1. Djurgarden issued a statement expressing regret about the plane incidents but added it had very little information on what had happened.

*** on a side note, Malmo is a great city. The Mello Yello bar is a must. If Anneli or Jenni still work there, try and get a table in their section ***

Friday, May 8, 2009

Obama wants the World Cup

You probably have read on a variety of sites about U.S. president Barack Obama's support of soccer and for a USA World Cup bid. Now the video, courtesy of Univision (via U.S. Soccer):

Barcelona makes Qwest to conquer Seattle

Seattle Sounders FC announced today that they will play an exhibition match against Barcelona FC on Xvox Pitch at Qwest Field on Wednesday, August 5th. Kick-off set for 7:30pm.

Tickets for the match go on sale to the general public on Monday, June 15th at 10am.

This is the second major friendly of the year for Seattle, who will be facing Chelsea FC in July.

Elsewhere, Barcelona will face the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 1st.

Barcelona is playing a third friendly in the United States. Details of that match have yet to be released.

In an alternate universe, perhaps Miami would have been the logical 3rd match choice after being named an MLS franchise to build some excitement for the 2011 season and the selling of season ticket packages. Ofcourse we all know what happened with that.

Here's the official Seattle release:

Sounders FC to Host FC Barcelona in August at Qwest Field

RENTON, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders FC will play FC Barcelona on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field on Wednesday, August 5, the team announced today. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (PT).

Sounders FC season ticket holders have received tickets to the game as part of their 18-match package, which also includes Chelsea and the MLS Cup.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, June 15th at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available at or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

“We have stayed consistent with our commitment to provide value and an unparalleled fan experience for our season ticket holders who have supported us from day one,” said majority owner Joe Roth. “We are thrilled to include matches featuring two of the world’s most popular teams in Chelsea and FC Barcelona and the MLS Cup.”

FC Barcelona, whose heralded roster of international superstars currently includes Lionel Messi, Rafa Marquez, Xavi, Carles Puyol, Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta – who scored the goal that propelled Barca into the Champion’s League Final – will look to secure its third UEFA Champions League crown on Wednesday, May 27 against Manchester United, at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Three Lions Cafe Review

First impressions are great, but if they don't measure up after a second visit and you likely won't get a third. That was my attitude when I stepped into a new "gastropub" in Broadway called the Three Lions Cafe. Built around the idea that there actually is good authentic English cuisine that you can enjoy eating while watching some English Premier League soccer on the television. The interior is a bit of a contrast, dark wood interior, lighter wood tables (locally purchased) with a few dark walls, but floor to ceiling windows on two sides of Three Lions brightens it up nicely. pictures of classic soccer moment also adorn the walls to give it that soccer feel. A great bar in one corner with a small tv overhead for those bar sitters and a large screen tv on the other side provides the rest of the Cafe with the soccer action they crave.

After the first visit, enjoying a nice local beer and the fish fingers, I along with my co-host Mike Martignago decided that it needed a second visit. The fish fingers were delicious by the way. A nice lightly battered white fish served with chips and three types of tartar sauce. Worth having for a nice light to filling snack on the late afternoon menu.

A second visit for dinner provided the chance to try two dishes, the Bangers and Mash and the Pie and Mash. Both were extremely tasty while at the same time providing that stick to ribs feelings of a terrific meal. The mash was terrific, some of the best I can honestly remember. The pie was terrific, filled with meat and vegetables, it definitely is a must-order. The Bangers were served on a massive flatted yorkshire pudding and gives new meaning to eating your plate clean.

Two visits and a couple positive reviews, so really it was a must to try the Traditional English Breakfast: two eggs (scrambled), two slices of bacon, grilled tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, hash browns, baked beans, toast and Lincolnshire sausage. I have to admit, I avoided the beans as I don't enjoy them much. The breakfast was fantastic. Filling and delicious. The best part, not having to make my own breakfast while I watched the match on television.

I have to admit, I have been back many more times and I would suggest the same. It's a fantastic place to head for a beer after work or a full blown meal and definitely a place to watch the game, I can't wait for the Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona and watch it at Three Lions.

The owners are Ryan and Simon. Ryan, a Manchester United fan, will be excited about the final. Simon, a Chelsea fan, will probably still be upset about the semi-final game.

Enjoy your experience at Three Lions Cafe and let me know what you think.

Rating: Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 / Food: 4 1/2 out of 5

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vancouver Whitecaps FC @ Toronto FC - prediction

In all honesty, the Whitecaps have yet to really impress me this season. The last win was big and they finally scored, but gave up 2 goals at the same time. Toronto have been playinig well of late and look like they have gotten their early season woes behind them.

On the defensive side, Vancouver have been able to hold their own. They have 2 clean sheets (both at home) and allowed 5 goals in 5 games. The bad part for the 'caps is that they have yet to perform well away from home. 1-1-1 record. Attacking that Vancouver defense is going to be a team that has been able to score and not just from one player (as no one player has really stepped up in that role yet although Guevara is making a case) but from a variety of sources. TFC have scored at least one goal in their last 3 home games and have finally picked up that home form again.

For Toronto, look at their last 3 games as a good indication of what they can do against the 'Caps. Three games, 1 goal allowed, two clean sheets. Attacking that TFC backline will be a Whitecaps forward line who up until last game could barely get on the score sheet. Marlon James changed all that, but he alone won't be able to break down that Reds defense.

In goal, I think both Frei and Nolly receive credit. Either one could steal a game for their team.

I didn't mention midfield, but given the youth of the Whitecaps and the goalscoring threat of Guevara, an edge to TFC.

I think Toronto wants to win this tournament this season, to show that they are the the best in Canada and what league is better.

Toronto wins tonight, 2 - 0.