Europe Archive

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Canada scores again in draw with Moldova, while RBC ad burned into brains of supporters

The stream: It was a nice idea, but the execution... not so much.

The stream: It was a nice idea, but the execution… not so much.

I woke up bright and early this morning (had a TV appearance, so I was up and at ‘em at 6 a.m.) and, before heading out the door, checked to see if the Canada-Moldova friendly would be available anywhere online.

I always check the opposing nation’s official site first; it can often give you some leads on whether or not the game will be broadcast in that country. And, lo and behold, the Moldovan Football Federation had this message for all to see — that the Canada-Moldova game would be webcast live via UStream, through the MFF site. I Tweeted it out and was surprised by the amount of retweets, especially by my followers in the West. Like, what time do you people get up?

Oh, the excitement of not having to find a feed on a site where the game is consistently interrupted by requests to chat with potential Russian wives or anime porn!

The stream, coming from what appeared to be a secret Austrian location, fired up right before the national anthems. I was treated to an RBC ad in French. Then, a bit of “O Canada.” Then, the Blue Spinning Wheel of Death. The feed reloaded. The RBC ad again. The blue wheel. Wheel. RBC. Wheel. RBC. Occasionally, the feed would get to point where it would play the whole ad, and I’d see shot from the game, and background chatter that sounded like the kitchen at a really good party. Then, the blue wheel again.

But, thanks to Twitter, we learned that Moldova had gone up a goal just six minutes in thanks to Eugen Sidorenco, who plays his club football in the Russian second division.

Then, came the Twitter chatter of a Canadian goal. There was discussion on whether it came from open play. Then came the confirmation: Tosaint Ricketts had scored after a corner. Andre Hainault headed the ball into the danger area and Ricketts finished.
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A goal! A goal! Canada scored a goal!

Atiba Hutchinson

Atiba Hutchinson

Canada didn’t win the game, but the men’s national side earned a moral victory.

For the first time in 14 long months, Canadian soccer supporters could celebrate a goal scored by the men’s national side. An actual goal.

In case you’ve forgotten what a goal is — and how could we blame you — that’s when the whole of the ball crosses the opponent’s goal line, in between the goalposts and under the crossbar.

That goal allowed Canada to earn a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria in a friendly played on Austrian soil. Judging by the empty seats, most of the locals didn’t take advantage of the fact that tickets for the game were going for the bargain-basement price of six Euros each.

The goal came off the foot of veteran Atiba Hutchinson, who put his penalty kick just inside the post after teammate Tosaint Ricketts was kicked in the face by a Bulgarian defender.
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7

Aird’s Canadian repatriation the highlight of the U-20 roster

Fraser Aird

Fraser Aird

The Canadian Soccer Association released the names of the U-20 players who have are currently in Sunrise, Fla. for a week-long camp.

And one name jumps right out at the Canadian soccer supporter. Fraser Aird.

Aird has been the subject of will-he-or-won’t-he talk regarding his international future. Would he play for Canada or would he play for Scotland? And his appearance at Canada’s U-20 camp is helping confirm recent speculation that he’s ready to don Canada’s colours at both the junior and senior levels.

The teen, who is with Rangers, was placed on Canada’s 35-player long list ahead of last year’s Gold Cup. Then-Canada coach Colin Miller had tried to use his longstanding connections with Rangers to try and convince the teen to come play for his birth nation. Miller spoke with Rangers’ manager Ally McCoist last year to try and sell the parties in Scotland on the benefit of having Aird play for Canada. (CLICK HERE)

As a former Rangers player who represented Canada, Miller was hoping the connections would go a long way. But Aird didn’t play for Canada at the Gold Cup, so many of us pessimistic Canadians had pretty well assumed that the teen had committed to Scotland. After all, Aird had previously played for Scotland’s U-17 and U-19 sides.
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1

Canada announces roster for Czech Republic and Slovenia friendlies

Karl Ouimette

Karl Ouimette

Karl Ouimette will have the chance to earn his first national-team cap.

The inclusion of the Montreal Impact defender was the most notable item on national team coach Benito Floro’s roster for friendlies against the Czech Republic (Nov. 15) and Slovenia (Nov. 19).

The roster, announced Friday, also features three unattached players — all-time Canadian leading scorer Dwayne De Rosario, who had his contract option declined by D.C. United last week, Issey Nakajima-Farran and Stefan Cebara.

“From here to the first official games [qualifying matches], it’s important to focus on our level of play,” said Floro in a release issued by the Canadian Soccer Association. “It is necessary to pay attention in how we defend and attack so for me the best result is to take it step by step to improve our level.”
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Canadian striker Gigolaj waiting on DFB clearance before he can play with Hertha Berlin’s reserves

Elvir Gigolaj in his Hertha BSC kit.

Elvir Gigolaj in his Hertha BSC kit.

It’s a familiar refrain for Canadian soccer players trying to make it abroad: “Waiting on paperwork.”

For London, Ont.’s Elvir Gigolaj, that’s the case. He’s currently training with a Hertha Berlin reserve team, Hertha BSC Amateure II, but the former FC Edmonton and St. Mary’s University striker is waiting for the chance to step onto the field.

“Things are well, currently training with Hertha Berlin,” Gigolaj said in a message to The 11. “Don’t have clearance from the DFB to play yet.”

Gigolaj was cut loose by FC Edmonton in the break between the NASL spring and fall schedules, after an injury-ravaged early part of the season.

In 2011, Gigolaj was the buzz player coming out of CIS. For the Huskies, he scored six times in three AUS conference playoff games. And even though his St. Mary’s squad lost to the University of Victoria in the CIS final, it was clear that Gigolaj was the player of the tournament to watch. He scored in a quarter-final win over McGill. He scored twice in the semifinal triumph over the University of Alberta. And, in a losing cause, he scored against UVic.
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Slovenes say they’ve booked a friendly with Canada

sloveniaThe Slovenian Football Federation announced that its men’s national side will host Canada in a Nov. 19 friendly.

Canada is already booked to play the Czech Republic on Nov. 15, and having back-to-back games will allow new coach Benito Floro a chance to have an extended look at the team, which hasn’t scored in eight consecutive international matches, including a goalless run at the Gold Cup.

The Slovenes indicated that a deal to play Canada was made after an initial push to play Ireland in the November international window didn’t come to pass. The Irish play the Poles on Nov. 19.

Canada’s most recent international match saw it lose 3-0 to Australia, and concede a goal almost immediately after the opening kickoff.
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9

What will happen with beIN Sport’s Canadian service after Jan. 6 deadline passes?

beINTo call beIN Sport’s rollout of its online Canadian service a “soft launch” might be a bit of an understatement.

A couple of weeks ago, beIN Sports launched its online service for Canadian viewers, beIN Sport Play Canada. According to host Jeremy St. Louis, the service will be available on a free basis until Jan. 6.

The network holds the Canadian rights to La Liga, Serie A, League Championship and Ligue 1 Games and, before the launch of the online service, that monopoly had aggrieved Canadian viewers. Why? Because the company does not have the CRTC’s blessing to broadcast over the domestic airwaves.

The CRTC does not regulate Internet broadcasting.

But, it took until Thursday for beIN’s head office to actually acknowledge the existence of beIN Sport Play Canada. It was included in a release about this weekend’s coverage of the Real Madrid-Barcelona El Clasico. In said release, there was a brief sentence about how Canadian fans can view the big game using the online service. That was all. One line.

The 11 has been regularly in contact with beIN’s reps in the U.S., and we’ve submitted and then been asked to resubmit our questions about their plans for Canada. Mum is still the word from beIN’s head office when we ask if there are plans to approach the CRTC for a proper broadcast licence, or if beIN will try to add more Canadian programming (such as bidding for MLS, NASL or Canadian-national-team rights when they come up). We’ve asked how much the online service will cost after the Jan. 6 deadline.
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1

Canada’s search for a goal will continue Nov. 15 against the Czechs

imgres-1The Canadian Soccer Association and the Football Association of the Czech Republic have announced plans for a Nov. 15 friendly between the two nations.

The game will kick off in Olomouc, and will be played at 5 p.m. local time, to keep away from the colder night temperatures.

The game will mark the 10th anniversary of the last (and only) time the two nations faced each other. On Nov. 15, 2003, the Czechs thrashed Canada 5-1 in a friendly, with Tomasz Radzinski scoring a late consolation goal for the Canadians after the home side marched to a five-goal lead. Colin Miller was the interim coach of Canada at that time.

The Czechs won’t be going to the World Cup in 2014, as they finished third in a qualifying group that featured Denmark and Italy.
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Canadian Daniel Haber scores second-match winner in a row for Apollon Limassol

Daniel Haber

Daniel Haber

Daniel Haber wasn’t named to coach Benito Floro’s squad for Canada’s Aug. 15 friendly against Australia.

Maybe he’s out to prove a point. For the second league game in a row, Haber has scored the match-winning goal. On Monday, he scored in the 73rd minute to give Apollon Limassol a 1-0 lead over Doxa in Cyprus League action. Apollon would go on to win the game 2-0.

“The ball was loose in the box and I beat my man to bury the chance,” Haber told The 11. “Felt great to score a second goal and continue to earn my manager’s trust. Also had the assist on the second goal.”

The Toronto native scored the winner last weekend, a 36th-minute strike in a 2-1 win over Alki.
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Hutchinson didn’t allow match-fixing case to affect his desire to move to Turkey

Atiba Hutchinson in action against Japan earlier in 2013. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Atiba Hutchinson in action against Japan earlier in 2013. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

When Atiba Hutchinson made the move to Turkey this summer, he knew exactly what he was getting into.

His new club, Besiktas, had been kicked out of the UEFA Europa Cup in the fallout of a match-fixing scandal that took place before Hutchinson ever joined the team.

Besiktas was allowed to play pending its appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport and, while the team knocked off Tromso of Norway to advance, the CAS ruled against Besiktas late last month and it was subsequently kicked out of the competition again.

Training with the Canadian team in advance of Sunday’s friendly against Mauritania, Hutchinson said he knew the situation going in.

“We knew about it. It’s a little bit difficult but you just have to be focused on what you do on the pitch and let everything off the field take place,” said Hutchinson as the Canadian national gathered in Spain ahead of two friendlies with Mauritania. “We couldn’t really do anything about it but just remain focused on what we had to do. In the end we didn’t get the chance to play in the Europa (League) but hopefully we’ll be able to get back there.”
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