Archive for May, 2011

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Cherry Beach turf claims TFC defender Adrian Cann

Toronto FC can’t build its new Downsview training facility fast enough.

The artificial turf at the City of Toronto’s Cherry Beach field claimed a victim Tuesday, as Toronto FC defender Adrian Cann was carried off the pitch by teammates after making an awkward turn. His right knee was wrapped in ice and he was taken to hospital. The club later announced that he had torn his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season.

It also means that Cann won’t be available for national-team selection when World Cup qualifying begins in September.

With defender Dicoy Williams already out of the lineup — he’s reported to the Jamaican national team for its Gold Cup preparations — coach Aron Winter will likely need to remake his central defensive pair for Saturday’s home date against Sporting Kansas City.
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Dunfield says it was “difficult” to hear about Thordarson’s firing

Terry Dunfield was with the Canadian national team when he heard about the firing of Teitur Thordarson.

Vancouver Whitecaps’ midfielder Terry Dunfield joined the Canadian men’s national team Monday morning in Toronto. That afternoon, Dunfield was surprised to learn his club coach, Teitur Thordarson, was sacked by Whitecaps management.

“It was sort of a surprise to me a little bit,” said Dunfield after the national team practice Tuesday morning at BMO Field. “It’s difficult when you see not only a good manager, but a good person lose his job. But it’s important we move on from that now.”

When asked if Thordarson was given a fair chance and fired prematurely, Dunfield replied, “I don’t think it’s for me to say.”

Dunfield had spoken to his teammates after he heard the news and said they were surprised as well, but he took the time to also share some veteran advice.
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Canadian Tosaint Ricketts sees his team go from UCL to relegation in an instant

Tosaint Ricketts' Timisoara team has serious financial problems.

On the eve of Wednesday’s friendly with Ecuador at BMO Field, Canadian national-teamer Tosaint Ricketts got some bad news this morning.

His Romanian club won’t be in the early rounds of the Champions League after all; in fact, it won’t even play in Romania’s top flight next season.

FC Politehnica Timisoara was not granted a licence to play top-flight soccer in the 2011-2012 season because of financial problems. Timisoara finished in second place in the Romanian league last season, good enough for a spot in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.
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Ecuador sets Canada up well for the Gold Cup

Stephen Hart

With the start of the Gold Cup just over a week away, Canadian players have all arrived in Toronto from their respective clubs to prepare for the CONCACAF tournament.

For most of the players, they will not have to wait long to see game action as Canada hosts Ecuador in a friendly on June 1 at BMO Field. Ecuador is a team that resembles many teams that Canada will have to face in the group stage of the Gold Cup.

“We specifically went to attract a South American team and we thought that Ecuador physically, beside the obvious style of play, would match against the sort of opposition that we would have to play,” said national-team coach Stephen Hart.

“Panama, Guadeloupe and United States are hard-running, physical sort of teams. Of course they have technical abilities as well. So we thought it would be important to sort of match up with a team like Ecuador.”
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Mapp earns Player of the Week nod for taking advantage of hapless TFC defending

Justin Mapp

In a week where eight goals were scored at BMO Field, six more at Crew Stadium and Real Salt Lake were finally beaten at home in MLS play, there would be a slew of Player of the Week candidates.

Heck, Philadelphia had two multiple-goal scorers in the same game in its 6-2 romp over Toronto FC. And, Justin Mapp got the nod after the votes from the North American Soccer Reporters were tallied.

Union teammate Danny Mwanga also had two goals, and helped set up Mapp’s opening goal of the game.

But it was Mapp’s second goal of the game, a rocket from outside the box, that set him apart from Mwanga. Maicon Santos had scored twice to get TFC back to 3-2 after it went in at halftime trailing by three. But Mapp’s blast destroyed that momentum — setting the stage for the two late Mwanga tallies.
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Blatter claims there is no crisis at FIFA

Sepp Blatter

According to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the organization isn’t facing a crisis, even though executive committee members Jack Warner and Mohammed Bin Hammam are two of four delegates who have been suspended over bribery allegations.

“We are not in a crisis,” said Blatter in a press conference Monday from FIFA headquarters. “We are having some difficulties.”

Blatter spent the better part of 45 minutes ducking and dodging questions from journalists. When two-part questions were asked, he insisted on answering only one. When questions were asked about FIFA’s reputation, he spoke of gambling in the game. When asked about reforming FIFA, he spoke of zero tolerance for abuse of officials on the field.

There was talk about eradicating the “devils” who gamble on football matches.

And, he ended the conference by bickering with angry journalists over ethics and protocol. He asked that they show him respect.
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Whitecaps show Thordarson the door after 12 MLS games

Teitur Thordarson: One win in 12 games

Expansion team or not, the Whitecaps’ brass expected better than winning just one out of its first dozen games in a home-heavy early season schedule.

Coach Teitur Thordarson paid for it with his job. The club’s Director of Soccer Operations, Tom Soehn, takes over as the new coach of the club. Before coming to Vancouver, Soehn spent a tumultuous three years coaching D.C. United after being promoted up to the job. After winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2007, the club underwent a decline through the end of his reign, in 2009.

Goalkeeping coach Mike Salmon was also terminated.

“Teitur and Mike have served the club extremely well in recent seasons but we feel that today’s changes are necessary in order to accelerate the process of turning around our difficult start to the season,” said Whitecaps’ CEO Paul Barber in a release. “We wish Teitur and Mike well for the future.”
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TFC’s rebuilding mantra has been proven wrong

The significance of Toronto FC’s 6-2 home loss to the Philadelphia Union can’t be ignored.

Through five coaches and three GMs/directors of soccer/technical directors, TFC fans have heard of long-term plans, rebuilding processes and the continuing pleas to fans for patience.

Philadelphia was a raw expansion franchise last season. It has played a third of its schedule in year two of its existence, and it’s in first place in the East. You could make the argument that the Union is at a better point now than TFC has been any time in its history. When the Union faced TFC — on TFC’s home turf — it was men vs. boys.
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FIFA’s lack of transparency all too evident in latest scandal

What now?

That’s the question being asked by soccer fans around the world at this moment.

On Sunday, FIFA suspended former presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam — who withdrew from the race earlier in the day — along with CONCACAF president Jack Warner and Caribbean Football Union members Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester. Bin Hammam is accused of offering bribes of up to US$40,000 to CFU members — a May 10-11 meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago that was arranged by Warner — in exchange for votes.

Petrus Damaseb, the Namibian delegate in charge of the preliminary investigation, stressed that the four suspended members are innocent until proven guilty, and that a full inquiry should be completed in July.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter will not face any further investigation. The FIFA presidential election will still take place Wednesday, where Blatter will be coronated now that Bin Hamman is out of the race.
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Impact’s offensive woes continue in Fort Lauderdale

Idriss Ech-Chergui

While the Montreal Impact’s scoreless tie against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers provided netminder Bill Gaudette with his third clean sheet of the season — in a game that had him not have to make a single save along the way — his success was more than counterbalanced by the Impact’s continuing offensive impotence, an affliction that has plagued the club since its May 1 5-0 rout of FC Edmonton.

Montreal is ahead of only the winless Atlanta Silverbacks in the NASL standings, and has a single goal to show for the three NASL games it has played since the win in Edmontpn.

And, it has scored only twice all season in games where it has faced teams from outside Alberta.
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