Archive for February, 2013

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Trade finally allows Porter’s MLS rights to move to D.C. United

Kyle Porter

Kyle Porter

Kyle Porter’s drawn-out move to D.C. United is finally complete.

Even though his agent declared that the Canadian forward, who represented his country in January friendlies against Denmark and the United States, had come to terms with D.C. United last weekend, the move was only completed Thursday. DCU had to send a second-round Supplemental Draft pick to the Vancouver Whitecaps, who have held the forward’s MLS rights for more than two years.

Porter impressed during his trial at D.C., which began right after Canada’s 0-0 draw with the United States in late January.

FC Edmonton, the NASL side which had been Porter’s team for the last two years, offered the forward a new deal. But, in January, the club made it public that it had set a deadline for Porter to sign a deal, or it would be withdrawn. Read the rest of this entry »

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Schallibaum makes tough decisions before Impact heads to Seattle

Montreal Impact players model the new 3rd jersey Wednesday.

Montreal Impact players model the new 3rd jersey Wednesday.

Wednesday night the Montreal Impact hosted an invitation-only soiree at New City Gas, one of this town’s newer hipster hangouts. It treated its guests to snacks and a couple drinks, introduced this year’s edition of the team and kicked off the club’s 20th anniversary by officially unveiling the commemorative jersey the team will be sporting this season.

Thursday morning, the team invited media and fans to leave its practice.

“This was not a matter of a lack of respect for you but there are certain things I would like to do with the team in private,” head coach Marco Schallibaum said after the workout.

“There were a few surprises I wanted to prepare for Saturday. If you’ve been around the team regularly, you know how we play but I would like to have a half hour or so each week with only the players and coaches,” he said.
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Montreal artist makes soccer the subject of his brush

Eugene Abrams

Eugene Abrams

You can take the boy out of soccer but, if he’s been inoculated by “The Beautiful Game,” you’re going to have a hard time taking it out of the boy. Case in point – Eugene Abrams, a Montreal-born artist who picked up soccer at about the same time most Canadian kids don their first pair of skates.

At some point between his birth and the first day of school, Abrams’ father, a United Nations employee, moved to New York.

“When I was a kid I went to the UN school from Grade 1 to 6 and my friends were from all around the world. Soccer was the thing.” Abrams recalled. “I don’t know what was happening in other school yards in New York City but in ours soccer was it. I started playing on teams in school and played until I was about 14.”

Among his early memories of the game are playing left back on his school team and getting to observe the son of a legend.

“Pele’s son actually went to my school, the United Nations School in New York. He was about six years old and I was about 11. I was only at the Manhattan branch of the school for one year but I remember he used to have the limo driver kick the ball against the cement wall while they were waiting for classes to start.”
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Earnshaw announces that he’s signed with TFC, on his way to Vancouver for MLS opener

Robert Earnshaw

Robert Earnshaw

Welsh national teamer Robert Earnshaw has confirmed that he has signed with Toronto FC and will likely be available for the Reds’ season opener Saturday in Vancouver.

“Breaking news:I have now signed and officially a @Toronto FC player,” Earnshaw tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Season starts this Saturday.Now on the plane flying to Vancouver for the opening game.”
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Football fashionistas: We rate the new MLS kits

impact_thirdFRONT(FORMATTED)Judging from the readership numbers — which spike every time we put up a story about new kits, redesigned kits, anything to do with kits — we’ve surmised that, to be a Canadian soccer fan, you have to be a bit of a fashionista.

If someone could create a tour of soccer stadiums and fashion weeks around the world, it’s be a smashing business.

But kits are important to fans. They want to be proud to wear the club’s colours. They want the road kits to be sharp. And marketers love it, because soccer kits change seasonally. Adidas gives us new MLS kits at almost the same pace as Marc Jacobs introduces new fashion lines.

With MLS creating a “Jersey Week,” where many MLS teams  revealed or will reveal their new kits at special events or, as they are known outside of the sports world, “fashion shows,” we thought it would be fun to play Vogue. That is, give you a one-stop look at the new kits, with our, ahem, expert commentary. With all three Canadian teams putting their new kits out there, we thought it would be fun to look at the best, the worst, the exciting and the boring of what’s already out there.

Just as a disclaimer — The 11‘s editor HAS judged fashion shows before. Seriously.

We’ll start with the Canadian teams:
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Former Eddie Matt Lam makes the move to Hong Kong’s Kitchee SC

Matt Lam in his new Kitchee kit

Matt Lam in his new Kitchee kit

Edmonton’s Matt Lam has gone back to Asia to continue his soccer career.

Hong Kong First Division side Kitchee SC has announced Lam’s capture, as reported Wednesday in the Chinese media. (CLICK HERE) Kitchee is currently in second place in the Hong Kong First Division, behind powerhouse South China AA — home of Canadian and former Toronto Lynx midfielder Michael Luk. Lam had been linked to a move to South China before the deal with Kitchee.

Lam had been waiting in Edmonton for the last couple of months to get his clearance to play in Hong Kong. According to reports, he will report to Kitchee on Thursday and is expected to be ready for match action some time in mid-March. It’s an 18-month deal.
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The Super-Duper MLS preview, 2013 edition

Philip F. Anschutz Trophy, the big prize at the end of the season

Philip F. Anschutz Trophy, the big prize at the end of the season

With the MLS season moved up to its earliest start ever, forgive us if we don’t feel 100 per cent totally prepared for First Kick. Judging by the way many MLS teams finished preseason, with tentative matches and still looking at trialists with a week to go before the games count in the standings, a lot of coaches aren’t quite ready for the early start, either.

And that could be telling. The teams that got the jump and have their ducks in a row could have a real advantage in these March matchups; and they could find some bonus points that could help them in the fall.

Steven Sandor, Editor of The 11 and contributors Randy Davis, Aman Dhanoa, Mark Polishuk and Gavin Day all submitted their picks. We tallied the scores and we present our picks below.
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MLS focuses on referee development, and promises better protection of referees

Don Garber

Don Garber

Major League Soccer has pledged to a lot more to aid the professional development of its referees — but it will not tolerate extended protests from players and coaches.

As part of his online “March to Soccer” season kick-off address and press conference, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said the number of full-time referees used by the league will move up from three to nine. The officials will all work under the umbrella of the Professional Referee Organization (CLICK HERE). Those full-time referees will go through 18 three-day consultation periods during the season.

“They’re going to review tape, they’re going to sit down with their various trainers and they’re going to learn about what they did right, what they did wrong, and that things that they can do to be better,” said Garber.

The program will work with the cooperation of the Canadian Soccer Association and the United States Soccer Federation.
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Ousted from the U-20s: Americans punish Canada’s defensive miscues

Dasovic: Disappointed

For about five minutes in the first half, Canada was in position of getting into the draw for the 2013 FIFA under-20 World Cup.

But after jumping in front, the back-line shut off and turned out a performance that couldn’t handle an American side that capitalized on just about any mistake the Canadians made.

In the end, Canada saw its World Cup dreams dashed with a 4-2 loss to ots most hated rivals Tuesday night in the quarter-final at the 2013 CONCACAF under-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico.

“We just never got our foot on the ball and tried to play,” said head coach Nick Dasovic. “We kept hitting the long ones and it’s difficult to as a striker that’s playing on his own to fight against two or three guys — and that’s just the way it goes.”
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Ottawa will stick with Fury name for NASL

For Ottawa soccer, everything old is new again.

After taking thousands of suggestions from fans through an online contest, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group decided that the Fury name fit the club just fine.

John Pugh, president of the NASL franchise that will begin league play, announced Tuesday that the name of the new team will be Ottawa Fury FC.

Only the “Football Club” suffix has been added to the name that has been associated with Ottawa soccer at the PDL, youth-league and W-League levels. The Ottawa Fury women are the defending W-League champs.
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