Archive for December 5th, 2011

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English midfielder Westlake to move to MLS with Impact

Ian Westlake

English veteran Ian Westlake is returning to Montreal.

The Impact announced that the midfielder, who joined the club during the 2011 NASL season, is the 19th player be signed to the side’s roster for the 2012 MLS season. Westlake was named the team’s newcomer of the year at the end of the NASL campaign.

The Impact still have none of the required three Canadian players under contract.
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After Borman move, it’s now De Rosario for Iro and a draft pick

Danleigh Borman

Both of the players Toronto FC originally acquired in exchange for later-to-become MVP Dwayne De Rosario are no longer Reds.

Danleigh Borman was selected by the New England Revolution in phase one of the MLS Re-Entry Draft process. Borman was the only player TFC made available for the draft.

TFC acquired Borman, Generation Adidas midfielder Tony Tchani and New York’s first-round SuperDraft pick for De Rosario in April. De Rosario would later get dealt to D.C. United, but would also go on to win the Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer and become the first Canadian to ever be named MLS MVP.

Tchani was traded to Columbus earlier this year, with Andy Iro and Leandre Griffit coming back in exchange. Griffit was already set free by TFC. Now Borman is gone for nothing in exchange. So, the assets left from the De Rosario trade are Iro and the first-round pick — which will be the 12th overall selection in the draft.
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Whitecaps give new deals to Thorrington, Cannon; trade Nolly to Chicago

Joe Cannon

Two current Vancouver Whitecaps and one new ex-Whitecap avoided Monday’s MLS Re-Entry Draft.

Early Monday morning, the Whitecaps announced that the club had re-signed goalkeeper Joe Cannon and defender John Thorrington, while it had traded opening-day keeper Jay Nolly to the Chicago Fire in exchange for a first-round pick in the, ahem, MLS Supplemental Draft. That is, a pick which has a minute chance of actually cracking the Whitecaps’ lineup — as anything after round two of the MLS SuperDraft proper is a crapshoot.

Last week, the Whitecaps declined the options on all three players’ contracts and made them available for the Re-Entry Draft. According to MLS rules, all of the 69 players made available for the Draft could negotiate with their existing teams until Friday. So, the deals for Thorrington and Cannon had to have been consummated by the end of last week — judging by the fact that the release went out before the sun was up Monday on the West Coast. It’s likely that both players will come in at a better cap hit than for what their option years would have called.
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Does Australia’s radical soccer reform hold lessons for Canada?

You can draw a lot of comparisons between Australia and Canada. We are both Commonwealth nations, with small populations relative to our land masses. Australia has about 23 million people, Canada has 34 million.

Ask any foreigner to name any urban centres outside of Canada or Australia’s top three or four cities, and they’ll struggle.

Soccer in both nations takes a back seat to other more popular mainstreams sports; in Canada, we have hockey. Australia has rugby, Aussie Rules football and even cricket. In fact, you can argue that, in Australia, soccer has less of a hold than it does in Canada, as A-League teams generally draw fewer fans per game than the Canadian MLS teams (albeit that Australia does have its own professional league).

So, with so much to compare the two nations, can Canadian soccer fans draw anything from Football Federation Australia’s new strategic plan? (CLICK HERE TO READ IT)

In Canada, reformers speak of changes that will benefit the game in the long-term, but warn we shouldn’t expect widespread success for a couple of World Cup qualifying cycles to come. Australia has done the opposite — it has set some heady goals for its federation.
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