Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whitecaps crash out of Canadian Championships

MONTREAL, QC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC (0W-0L-3D) saw their hopes of winning the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship come to an end on Wednesday evening following a very disappointing 1-1 away draw with Montreal Impact (0W-2L-2D).

Ansu Toure's first goal of the season looked to have given the Whitecaps hope of taking the three-club competition into next week's final match. However, a well-taken equalizer from Impact midfielder Philippe Billy meant the 'Caps chances of winning this year's Voyageurs Cup title and Canada's lone spot in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League were at an end for another season. It was Vancouver's third-straight draw in this year's tournament, with the Whitecaps now going eight matches without a victory versus Montreal (0W-5L-3D).

Wednesday's result at Montreal's Stade Saputo meant that Toronto FC (2W-0L-1D) retained the Canadian Championship title they first won last year, and with a match to spare. The Major League Soccer club will receive the Voyageurs Cup at next Wednesday's final tournament clash between TFC and the Whitecaps at Toronto's BMO Field.

Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson made one change from the starting line-up that faced Rochester Rhinos in USSF D-2 Pro League action at Swangard Stadium last weekend, with Wes Knight replacing Chris Williams at right fullback. Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos, meanwhile, included former Whitecaps players Srdjan Djekanovic in goal, Tony Donatelli in midfield, and Eduardo Sebrango in attack, as Montreal played in a 4-3-3 formation.

On what was a hot and humid evening in Montreal, the all-blue Whitecaps carried most of the play in the first half, as they earned as many as six corners before the break.

Though the heat was seemingly taking a toll on the pace of the game, the visitors nearly made the vital breakthrough on nine minutes. Ansu Toure did well down the left-hand side to elude his Impact marker Adam Braz before cutting a pass back to Cornelius Stewart from the byline. The young forward struck a first-time shot from close range, but Djekanovic reacted well to make the save before Whitecaps captain Martin Nash had his rebound shot deflect away for a corner.

It proved to be the best chance of the half for the Blue and White, with left fullback Zurab Tsiskaridze having the next couple of Vancouver opportunities. The Georgian defender hit a long-range free kick wide of the target on 20 minutes before he forced Djekanovic into a simple goal line save with his header from a Nash corner on 31 minutes.

With nothing to play for on Wednesday, Montreal played a patient game by sitting back and trying to hit the Whitecaps on the counter-attack. The home side's best chance of the half fell to the dangerous Rocco Placentino, as he forced an assured save from Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly with a solid strike from the edge of the Whitecaps box.

The last chance of the half fell to the Whitecaps on 41 minutes, as Tsiskaridze caused Djekanovic a bit of a scare with a looping shot that fell on the roof of the Montreal net.

It meant that both sides went to the break at 0-0.

With only 45 minutes left to try and find that all-important goal, the Whitecaps proceeded to attack the Impact from the restart. On 47 minutes, Djekanovic needed to stop Tsiskaridze's free kick before Montreal defender Stefano Pesoli did ever so well to clear Knight's flicked throw-in from the onrushing Greg Janicki at the far post two minutes later.

The pressure from the visitors was building, and on 50 minutes, the breakthrough was made through winger Ansu Toure. Knight's cross from the right flicked off the head of Janicki in the Impact box before bouncing out fortuitously to the Liberian midfielder. His first-time strike deflected off the legs of Montreal defender Hicham Aaboubou and past Djekanovic for a 1-0 Whitecaps lead.

The goal seemed to answer the prayers of all Whitecaps supporters, who were keen to see their side take the third edition of the Canadian Championship to the final match day in Southern Ontario next week. However, what seemed possible for about 12 minutes of second-half action was suddenly ended by an Impact equalizer.

On 62 minutes, former 'Caps striker Sebrango got on the end of a ball in the Vancouver box before turning and hitting a cross-field pass to an unmarked Billy. With time and space to pick his spot, the Impact defender struck a fine shot past a helpless Nolly to level matters at 1-1. It was the Frenchman's first-ever goal for the Quebec-based outfit.

Billy's goal would have frustrated the Whitecaps faithful, and needing to restore the advantage again, Thordarson gave Mauritanian youngster Doudou Toure his Whitecaps men's team debut on 64 minutes, as he replaced midfielder Justin Moose. The Whitecaps Residency striker was soon followed by Japanese fullback Takashi Hirano, who replaced goalscorer Ansu Toure on the left-hand side of midfield.

Vancouver's response to Montreal's goal was positive. Stewart hit the side-netting with a close-range chance before Nash had two free-kick opportunities come to nothing during the midway point of the half. On 69 minutes, 18-year-old Doudou Toure got on the end of Nash through ball before eluding the challenge of Braz and striking a shot wide of goal.

Thordarson's third and final substitution was to bring on midfielder Ricardo Sanchez for Knight. On 80 minutes, the Mexican was afforded space to run at the Montreal backline, but his low shot failed to test Djekanovic in the Impact goal.

With the scoreline even, Montreal seemed happy to take their chances when they presented themselves. On 82 minutes, Placentino forced an important save from Nolly with a wide-angled run and shot that saw the ball roll across the face of the Whitecaps goal. Then a minute later, the dangerous Impact attacker flashed another drive just wide of the target.

With the match in the dying stages, Vancouver's need for a second goal was becoming more apparent. On 88 minutes, Doudou Toure had a great chance in front of the Impact goal, but his header to Sanchez's well-taken corner flew agonizingly over Djekanovic's crossbar.

As the match entered three minutes of time added on, there were chances at both ends for a match winner. Doudou Toure made a fine into the Montreal box before Aaboubou did well to intervene the youngster with his challenge. At the other end, Nolly made an excellent save to deny Placentino from scoring a dramatic winner for the home side.

The final whistle from match referee Silviu Petrescu confirmed another Canadian Championship campaign was over for both the Whitecaps and the Impact, with next Wednesday's visit to Toronto now a mere formality for Thordarson's squad as Toronto FC claim the title for the second straight year.


The Whitecaps will quickly turn their attentions back to league action on Saturday night, as they head down to Upstate New York for a return visit with the Rhinos. With their 2010 Voyageurs Cup schedule now complete, the Impact will also return to USSF D-2 action, as they host NASL Conference rivals Carolina RailHawks at Stade Saputo on Sunday afternoon.

Scoring Summary:
50' - VAN - Ansu Toure (Nelson Akwari)
62' - MON - Philippe Billy (Eduardo Sebrango)

Match Stats:
Shots: Vancouver 18 - Montreal 8
Saves: Vancouver 4 - Montreal 8
Fouls: Vancouver 12 - Montreal 11
Corners: Vancouver 10 - Montreal 3
Offsides: Vancouver 2 - Montreal 0

68' - MON - Stefano Pesoli
73' - MON - Srdjan Djekanovic
89' - MON - Philippe Billy

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Jay Nolly; 77.Zurab Tsiskaridze, 2.Nelson Akwari, 14.Greg Janicki, 8.Wes Knight (99.Ricardo Sanchez 76'); 16.Ansu Toure (22.Takashi Hirano 68'), 7.Martin Nash, 3.Luca Bellisomo, 19.Justin Moose (18.Doudou Toure 64'); 24.Marcus Haber, 39.Cornelius Stewart

Subs not used: 31.Simon Thomas, 4.Chris Williams, 9.Marlon James, 12.Jonny Steele

Montreal Impact
22.Srdjan Djekanovic; 21.Philippe Billy, 2.Hicham Aaboubou, 16.Stefano Pesoli, 3.Adam Braz; 6.Tyler Hemming (28.Peter Byers 57'); 8.Filipe Soares (23.Stephen deRoux 45'), 14.Tony Donatelli (15.Patrick Leduc 75'); 11.Leonardo Di Lorenzo, 9.Rocco Placentino; 12.Eduardo Sebrango

Subs not used: 1.Matt Jordan, 5.Nevio Pizzolitto, 7.David Testo, 26.Cedric Joqueviel

FC Edmonton Announce Friendly Schedule for 2010

FC Edmonton held a press-conference at Foote Field to announce the player roster and several upcoming games... they join the NASL in 2011.


Jas Gill - Goalkeeper - Edmonton
Rein Baart - Goalkeeper - Angerlo, Netherlands
Tristan Ilko - Goalkeeper - Edmonton
André Duberry - Defender - Calgary
Antonio Rago - Defender - Edmonton
Daylan Meyer - Defender - Calgary
Neto Miguel - Defender - Sao Paulo, Brasil
Niko Saler - Defender - Lethbridge
Paul Hamilton - Defender - Calgary
Sander van Gessel - Defender - Breda, Netherlands
Chris Kooy - Midfielder - Calgary
Chris Lemire - Midfielder - Edmonton
Paul Matthijs - Midfielder - Eelde, Netherlands
Sam Lam - Midfielder - Edmonton
Shaun Saiko - Midfielder - Edmonton
Thiago Silva - Midfielder - Brasilia, Brasil
Kenny Sacramento - Striker - Winnipeg
Kyle Yamada - Striker - Calgary
Marcus Johnstone - Striker - Edmonton
Michael Cox - Striker - Calgary
Milan Timotijevic - Striker - Calgary

FC Edmonton's exhibition schedule for 2010, all at Foote Field in Edmonton:

Ottawa Fury - July 6
Victoria Highlanders - August 11
Spokane Spiders - August 15
Miami FC - August 28

You could see more games on the schedule coming, with the squad playing Vancouver, Whitecaps or Residency, among others.

International Matches

“We are also working on a couple of international matches,” said GM Mel Kowalchuk “and expect to be able to confirm details within the next couple of weeks.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Champions League lyrics... and remix version

Ce sont les meilleures équipes
die allerbesten Mannschaften
The main event!

Die Meister
Die Besten
Les Grandes Équipes
The Champions!

Une grande réunion
Eine große sportliche Veranstaltung
The main event!

Ils sont les meilleurs
Sie sind die Besten
These are the champions!

Die Meister
Die Besten
Les Grandes Équipes
The Champions!

Die Meister
Die Besten
Les Grandes Équipes
The Champions!

Lyrics In All English
These are the best teams
The very best teams
The main event!

The Masters
The Best
The Great Teams
The Champions!

A large meeting
A great sports event
The main event!

They are the best
They are the best
These are the champions!

The Masters
The Best
The Great Teams
The Champions!

The Masters
The Best
The Great Teams
The Champions!

Here's the remix:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NIKE World Cup ad...

You know it's World Cup time when Nike releases their 3 minute ads...

Full-Time: Whitecaps v TFC match recap and review

In their second match of the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship on Wednesday evening, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (0W-0L-2D) had to settle for a disappointing goalless draw with Major League Soccer (MLS) club Toronto FC (2W-0L-1D) at Swangard Stadium.

Mike Martignago, Tyler Green and Marc Weber from the Vancouver Province broke down the match. Listen to the Full-Time midweek podcast here.

You can also follow Full-Time on twitter here.

Photo courtesy of Bob Frid

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Whitecaps v TFC preview podcast

Vancouver Whitecaps FC host Toronto FC in the 4th day of Nutrilite Canadian Championship action. TFC look to clinch the title with a win, but standing in their way are the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 'Caps look to stay alive with a win or draw.

A full preview is available with the Full-Time podcast with Tyler Green. Featuring interviews with head coach Teitur Thordarson along with Whitecaps players Martin Nash, Marcus Haber, Jay Nolly, Greg Janicki, Wes Knight and Marlon James. On the Toronto side of things, Head Coach Preki shares his thoughts along with former 'Cap Adrian Cann, Canadian
international Dwayne De Rosario and Chad Barrett.

You can listen to the podcast preview here.

The other Full-Time host, Mike Martignago and the Province's Marc Weber will recap all the action Thursday night.

Follow Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show on twitter here.

CONCACAF Champions League Sched

Two-time runner-up Cruz Azul of Mexico will face Panama’s San Francisco in the Preliminary Round of the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League while the Los Angeles Galaxy and Puerto Rico Islanders also will square off when the third edition of the tournament begins in July.

The draw conducted Wednesday by deputy general secretaries Ted Howard and Italo Zanzi at the confederation’s New York headquarters set the Preliminary Round pairings and matchups for the Group Stage.

Other Preliminary Round matches will have the Mexican Clausura runner-up -- either Santos or Toluca -- facing San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad, Costa Rica’s Brujas facing Joe Public of Trinidad, the Canadian champion – either Toronto FC or the Vancouver Whitecaps – against Motagua of Honduras, and Xelaju of Guatemala against a Central America club.

The Seattle Sounders will face an as yet-to-be determined Central American side in the Preliminary Round, while Marathon – a quarterfinalist this past season – will take on Tauro FC of Panama.

Two berths originally were allocated to El Salvador, but FIFA has suspended the country due to governmental interference in the federation’s affairs. The government has until June 8 to comply with FIFA’s non-intervention requirements or its teams will be barred from international competition, including the Champions League – and its berths will be reassigned.

CD FAS already has qualified with one of El Salvador’s berths, and the second would go to either Aguila or Metapan.

Cruz Azul reached the finals in the first two years of the Champions League, losing to fellow Mexican sides Atlante in 2009 and Pachuca in May. This is the third consecutive season Cruz Azul has been forced into the Preliminary Round and is one of six teams to qualify each year since the Champions League was inaugurated.

In the Group Stage, MLS champion Real Salt Lake will lead Group A with Arabe Unido of Panama, the Cruz Azul-San Francisco winner and the winner between the Canadian champion and Motagua.

Group B will consist of the Columbus Crew, Municipal of Guatemala, the winner between Jabloteh and Toluca/Santos, and either Brujas or Joe Public.

Monterrey will head Group C, potentially the most difficult, with Costa Rica’s Saprissa, the Seattle-Central America 12 winner and either Tauro or Marathon. The Mexican Clausura champ, either Santos or Toluca, will top Group D with Olimpia of Honduras, the Galaxy-Islanders winner and the Central America 11-Xelaju winner.

The tournament will begin July 27-29 with the first leg of the Preliminary Round and the second leg a week later. The winners will advance to the Group Stage, the first round is set for August 17-19.

(Host of first leg listed first)
Central America 11 vs. Xelaju (GUA)
Brujas (CRC) vs. Joe Public (TRI)
San Juan Jabloteh (TRI) vs. Santos-Toluca (Mexican Clausura runner-up)
San Francisco (PAN) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX)
Los Angeles Galaxy (USA) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR)
Tauro FC (PAN) vs. Marathon (HON)
Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. Central America 12
Toronto-Vancouver (Canadian champion) vs. Motagua (HON)

Group A
Real Salt Lake (USA)
Arabe Unido (PAN)
San Francisco/Cruz Azul winner
Toronto-Vancouver/Motagua winner

Group B
Columbus Crew (USA)
Municipal (GUA)
San Juan Jabloteh/Santos-Toluca (Mexican Clausura runner-up) winner
Brujas/Joe Public winner

Group C
Monterrey (MEX)
Saprissa (CRC)
Seattle/Central America 12 winner
Tauro/Marathon winner

Group D
Santos/Toluca (Mexican Clausura champion)
Olimpia (HON)
Los Angeles Galaxy/Puerto Rico Islanders winner
Central America 11/Xelaju winner

English Premier League TV rights in Canada

Rogers Sportsnet, TSN2 and Setanta Canada have come to terms on a multi-year agreement that will give the three networks Canadian broadcast rights to exclusive England’s Barclays Premier League (BPL) matches over the next three seasons.

Barclays Premier League is widely regarding as one of the top soccer leagues in the world and is also one of the most-watched. Made up of 20 member clubs, the English-based league includes some of the most popular teams in the world of soccer such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and more.

TSN2 will feature the early Saturday morning matches, (7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT) and the Monday afternoon matches, (3 p.m. ET / 12noon PT). The remainder of the schedule will be shared between Rogers Sportsnet and Setanta Canada. Details on the Barclays Premier League broadcast schedule for the three networks will be confirmed in August.

More on this on Sunday evenings show with our regular feature: What's On Setanta with Marketing Manager, Andy Shapiera.

Monday, May 17, 2010

EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup game giveaway

Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show is giving away copies of the new EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup game for the Xbox and PS3. If you want to win a copy, it's quite simple really because there are two ways to win, and here they are:

#1: Email your name, telephone number, country you are cheering for at the 2010 World Cup and platform (xBox or PS3) to and then listen Sunday nights between 9-11pm on the TEAM 1040. If you hear your name called, you have 2010 seconds (that's about 33 1/2 minutes) to call in and claim the game.

#2: Simply listen to Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show every Sunday night between 9-11pm on the TEAM 1040 and we will give you the cue to call and be caller #10 to win the game.

So those are the two ways to win... we also have other fun ways to win those games. Simply by following Full-Time and Tyler Green on Twitter for updates.

If you win, you also pick up a Full-Time supporter scarf.

Ballack forced to call off World Cup

German captain Michael Ballack will not be able to play at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. This is the result of an MRI scan performed this Monday in Munich.

The tomogram showed a torn interior ligament and a partial rupture of the syndesmosis ligament of his right ankle, which for the time being will have to be immobilized and put in a cast. Ballack will then wear a specially designed shoe for two weeks. German team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt said, that according to today’s diagnosis, Ballack can look forward to a complete recovery, but that a minimum eight weeks will be required before the German skipper may consider returning to regular training.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Montreal & MLS - together at last?

Montreal Impact have called a press conference on Friday, May 7th, 2010 for a major soccer announcement. The anouncement if strongly believed to be that of Major League Soccer coming to Montreal in 2012. One year after Vancouver and Portland join in 2011. Montreal could have been one of the franchises in 2011 if it had not been for the dispute between Joey Saputo and Don Garber. Montreal will be the 19th franchise in MLS.

Sidenote... it would have been interesting to see if Montreal was in fact one of the franchises in 2011... which one, Vancouver or Portland, would have been sidelined for yet another year?