Archive for October, 2011

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While FC Edmonton gets back to work, Lance Parker rehabs in Miami

The majority of FC Edmonton’s players and coaches gathered Monday for the team’s first training sessions of the new year. Yes, it’s Oct. 31 and the club, still smarting from the first-round NASL playoff exit, is back on the field.

But keeper Lance Parker wasn’t one of them. He is back in Miami, still working on building up his arm strength and fitness. Parker suffered a compound fracture of his right arm in a game against the Carolina RailHawks on June 11, and he is working one-on-one with a coach down in Florida to get himself back in game shape.

Parker and Canadian keeper David Monsalve will duel it out for the starting job in 2012.

“It’s not completely straight yet, I can’t bend it completely yet,” said Parker. “The training got to the point, where, a couple of weeks ago, I was able to start catching balls again. I can start hitting the ground diving for balls as long as there is no pain — there are still some small fractures in there.”
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Kevin Hatchi links himself to FC Edmonton

Kevin Hatchi

Former Montreal Impact defender Kevin Hatchi launched a new Facebook page on Monday (click here), and one of the first things he posted on it was an FC Edmonton logo.

This will no doubt, to some fans, act as confirmation that the French defender will be signed — or at least given a trial — by Canada’s lone current NASL team. (After putting the FC Edmonton logo up on the page, he then put up a Canadian flag on it, as well).

The club is not confirming that Hatchi is on his way — but the team’s training camp did open Monday. Director of soccer operations Joe Petrone confirmed today that “two or three” of the players cut by the Montreal Impact would likely come in for trial in the coming weeks.
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Hainault’s goal the Canadian highlight from Sunday MLS playoff action

Andrew Hainault

Andrew Hainault gave his team’s MLS playoff campaign a major kick-start.

The Canadian national-team defender cored the opening goal of the Houston Dynamo’s playoff campaign, a header off a Brad Davis free kick in the sixth minute of their Eastern Conference semifinal. The Dynamo would go on to take the road leg of their match-up with the Philadelphia Union by a 2-1 count.

Hainault’s goal was the highlight of a day filled with MLS playoffs incidents that would turn the heads of Canadian soccer fans.
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Real Salt Lake sends message to all of MLS

Will Johnson

If there is any trend when it comes to Canadian fans’ rooting interest in the MLS playoffs, an educated guess would be that Real Salt Lake would get a good show of support — considering that Canadian national-team regular Will Johnson is a major part of the RSL set-up.

And if there is a group of Canadian fans who want to see Real Salt Lake return to the form it showed in the early part of the season — when it looked two steps better than anyone else in the league, including the Los Angeles Galaxy — they would have been overjoyed by Saturday night’s performance.

Real Salt Lake battered Seattle 3-0 in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal at Rio Tinto Stadium. And you could argue that the star of the game was Seattle goalie Kasey Keller. If not for the Sounders’ keeper, who stopped a bevy of fantastic chances, the second leg in Seattle might have seen the home team go in trailing by a half-dozen goals.
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Great night for NSC Minnesota, bad night for NASL

For anyone not cheering for the NSC Minnesota Stars to take the Soccer Bowl, it was an ugly spectacle.

But, for the Stars and their fans, the NASL championship was worth it. Protecting a 3-1 lead after the first leg of the league championship, the Stars travelled to south Florida to take on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and parked 10 men behind the ball for 90 minutes-plus of mind-numbingly dull 0-0, ahem, “action.”

The result gives Minnesota, who finished just a point ahead of the Montreal Impact for the sixth and final playoff in the eight-team NASL, the Soccer Bowl. It wraps up an improbable playoff run which saw it beat the No. 1 seed and runaway regular-season champion Carolina RailHawks in the semifinal.
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Jackson, Hoilett share spoils in Region of Peel derby

Simeon Jackson

It’s a rare occurrence — two Canadian players facing each other in an English Premier League game.

And, in the end, the spoils were shared in the Region of Peel Derby, as Norwich got a last-gasp penalty goal from Grant Holt to earn a 3-3 tie with Blackburn.

So, Mississauga, Ont.’s Simeon Jackson — who came on as 76th-minute sub for the Canaries, and Brampton, Ont’s Junior Hoilett, who scored just before halftime to give Blackburn a 1-0 lead, had to settle for the draw.
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De Rosario looks forward to contract talks with D.C. United

Dwayne De Rosario PHOTO: CANADIAN SOCCER ASSOCIATION

MLS Golden Boot winner Dwayne De Rosario is happy that he and D.C. United will sit down and dicuss a new contract, but he stopped short of saying that he’ll be back in black in 2012.

“D.C United has put it out there than they want to renew my contract,” said De Rosario, Canada’s best-ever MLS player who scored 16 times this season and also led the league in assists. “Everyone knows it’s my option year…. but until we sit down and talk, then I can decide where my future is.”

De Rosario won the Golden Boot in a year in which he was traded — twice. He scored goals for Toronto FC, the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United this season. In 2009, he signed a four-year deal with two included option years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Colorado goes from Western underdogs to Eastern favourites

Gary Smith

Could the Colorado Rapids do it again?

With a 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew in Thursday’s wild-card playoff game the Colorado Rapids now cross over to the Eastern Conference and face Sporting Kansas City Sunday in the first leg of their two-game series.

Does this script sound familiar? Last year, Colorado scraped into the playoffs as a low seed, crossed over to the East, and then went on to the MLS Cup — which it won.
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LeBlanc’s penalty saves give Canada Pan Am gold

Karina LeBlanc

Christine Sinclair got the tying goal with three minutes left in regulation — and goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc made two key saves in the penalty shootout.

The two veterans of the Canadian women’s national team were the heroes of a gold-medal performance at the Pan Am Games.

Canada beat Brazil 4-3 in penalties to capture the gold medal after the two teams played to a 1-1 draw in regulation. For the fans of the national program, winning Pan Am gold is small consolation after the team imploded at the World Cup in Germany. But, looking forward to Olympic qualifying in 2012 — where Canada misses both the United States and Mexico in the group stage — the Pan Am win is a boost for the team and for new coach John Herdman.
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GolTV Canada to broadcast second leg of NASL final

NASL fans in Canada will have the choice of watching the second leg of the league championship live online or on GolTV Canada’s tape-delayed broadcast.

The NASL announced Wednesday that the game would be broadcast on GolTV in the U.S. Confirmation came Thursday that the match will also be broadcast on GolTV Canada.

The NSC Minnesota Stars hold a 3-1 lead over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers after the first leg. The second leg from Florida will be broadcast on GolTV. Both English and Spanish broadcast crews will do the game. The Soccer Bowl finale will be shown on tape at 10 p.m. ET this Saturday in the U.S. And, if you can’t wait, it is shown live on the web, through nasl.com. Canadian viewers should check GolTV Canada’s website (goltv.ca) for updated programming information on when the game will air north of the border.

GolTV and GolTV Canada are broadcasting the three-part Team NASL series, which features news and highlights from the eight teams in the league in 2011. Unfortunately, it debuted after four of the teams had been eliminated from playoff contention.
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