Archive for January 17th, 2012

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Impact snatches two Canadians in Supplemental Draft

Carl Haworth, selected by the Impact

The MLS supplemental draft is the day when general managers roll the dice. The wide majority of these prospects will show up at the camps of the various MLS teams who selected them, and then be cut.

With the elimination of the third and fourth rounds of the MLS SuperDraft, the Supplemental Draft, in the interim, takes on a little more meaning — until academies are producing prospects full-bore.

Of the Canadian teams, Montreal made the biggest splash Tuesday, selecting two Canadians out of the four picks it made.

The biggest buzz came when the Impact selected Mississauga native Evan James with the first pick of the Supplemental Draft. James played at UNC Charlotte last season, scoring five times and adding seven assists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Confident Gigolaj wants to be a starter for FC Edmonton

Elvir Gigolaj

On a day that MLS teams made their supplemental picks, a player who should have been on the radar of all three Canadian first-division clubs was on the pitch, training with FC Edmonton.

Of all of the Canadian pro team executives in Canada, only FCE’s director of soccer operations, Joe Petrone, met with Elvir Gigolaj during the CIS championships in Victoria, B.C. The London, Ont.-raised striker was a major part of St. Mary’s stunning run to the Canadian final. He scored six times in three conference playoff games. He scored in the quarter-final against McGill; he scored twice in extra time as SMU beat the University of Alberta in the semifinal; and then he scored in the final, though SMU fell to the host University of Victoria.

Gigolaj was at FC Edmonton’s training session Tuesday, wearing flashy pink shoes, hammering shot after shot into the goal. He’s an imposing presence in the box, an out and out goal poacher — and it’s clear the FCE believes he can be the next great CIS-to-NASL success story, following in the footsteps of Eddies’ teammates Paul Hamilton and Paul Craig.
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Canadian men’s team to face Armenia in Cyprus

Armenian forward Yura Movsisyan

The Canadian Soccer Association announced that our men’s national team will play Armenia during the FIFA international match day of Feb. 29.

The game will take place in Cyprus, as clubs will have just three days off, and there is no way coach Stephen Hart could put together a training camp and have players ready on Canadian soil.

Canada will use European-based players. But PSV Eindhoven midfielder Atiba Hutchinson has already all been but ruled out as he recovers from a knee injury. Hutchinson played six minutes in a recenty winter-break friendly against Kaiserslautern.
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Manisaspor threatens legal action against Josh Simpson

Josh Simpson’s playing days with Manisaspor are over, but his legal battles with the club look to be just beginning.

The Turkish side announced Tuesday that it is looking at taking legal action after Simpson initiated the termination of his contract — and that would include taking the case to FIFA.

Simpson is claiming a breach on the Turkish side over unpaid wages. But, at this moment, judging by Manisaspor’s language, this is an issue for the courts.

If FIFA was to find the Turkish side is in the right, it could have grave consequences on the Canadian national team. According to FIFA rules, if a player has been found to terminate his contract “without just cause,” that player will be sanctioned.
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Knighton leaves RailHawks for Whitecaps… so, what about Barbara?

Etienne Barbara

In a move that has been expected for weeks, the Vancouver Whitecaps have inked goalkeeper Brad Knighton.

Knighton, who spent last season with the Carolina RailHawks, was named to the NASL Best XI and finished second to Montreal’s Evan Bush for the Golden Glove Award (don’t ask us how Knighton finished ahead of Bush for the All-Star team but behind Bush for the individual goalkeeping honour). He will be reunited with former RailHawks coach Martin Rennie and midfielder Matt Watson in Vancouver.

“Brad is a solid goalkeeper with strong communication and distribution skills, is excellent on crosses, and brings four years of MLS experience,” said Whitecaps coach, Rennie, in a release. “Brad had a outstanding season last year with me in Carolina and now I look forward to seeing him provide healthy competition between the posts here in Vancouver.”

And, as the RailHawks exodus continues, the question has to be asked: What about Etienne Barbara? In a candid interview with IMSoccer last week (CLICK), Barbara, the NASL’s leading scorer and MVP, said he isn’t happy with the contract he’s been offered by Montreal.
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Rumour mill debunked: QPR states it hasn’t signed TFC Academy players

Queens Park Rangers have confirmed that Canadian teenagers Dylan Carreiro and Michael Petrasso have not been signed by the English Premiership club.

In an e-mail statement to The11, the club’s press office stated that neither of the TFC Academy prospects, who have been the subject of much blog and message board speculation, are with the club.

QPR’s press officer, Ian Taylor said that, “to the best of his knowledge” neither Petrasso or Carreiro are on trial with QPR.
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Canadian defender Attakora plays 45 minutes in Union Berlin’s 3-0 loss to Cadiz CF

Nana Attakora’s trial with FC Union Berlin didn’t get off to a great start.

In his first appearance in game action with the Bundesliga 2. side, the Canadian defender played the full second half Tuesday in a 3-0 loss to Spanish third-division side Cadiz CF. Attakora came in at half time with the German side already trailing 2-0, and slid into the back four.

It was Berlin’s first match since the players came back from winter break, and the team is holding a mini-camp in Spain to get ready for the second half of the season. Read the rest of this entry »

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Matheson to help Canadian midfield from the sidelines

Diana Matheson PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

John Herdman gave Diana Matheson as much time as he could but over the weekend, the Canadian head coach was forced to remove the midfielder of Canada’s roster for the CONCACAF women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Vancouver.

The move was announced by a tweet that Matheson, who has been battling back from knee surgery in November, would be unable to participate and was replaced on the roster by Alyscha Mottershead of Syracuse University.

“(I waited) right to the last minute. We went right to the wire with Diana,” said Herdman after a Canadian team press conference on Monday. “It’s disappointing — we had our fingers crossed and the last fitness test just suggested that it wouldn’t be safe for that player.”

For her part, Matheson has remained with the squad and will be providing any help she can. She also still wants to experience a Canadian team playing in front of a home crowd because it’s something the players almost never get the chance to do.
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