South America Archive

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Argentina bookends goals around halftime break to end Canada’s U17 WC hopes

2013_FIFA_U-17_World_CupThe Argentines scored just seconds before the first half came to a close, and again right after the second half kicked off.

Those two goals sentenced Canada to an early exit from the U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Canada finished the group stage with two draws and a loss, and will be heading home. Canada finished third in the group, but its record wasn’t good enough for a wild-card spot. The final score was 3-0, but the damage was done by those pair of goals wrapped around the halftime break.

Canada showed its nerves right off the opening kickoff, as holding midfielder Jordan Haynes attempted a drop pass. But the ball went into a no-man’s land, and Argentine forward Ivan Luis Leszczuk picked off the ball, and stroked a shot over the bar just six seconds into the match.

But, while the Argentines dominated possession through the opening stages of the game, the favourites weren’t able to create more clear-cut chances. Really, most of the first 45 minutes were cagey in nature, with Canada soaking up the pressure, and the Argentines looking unwilling to up their play a gear.

Canada’s Hanson Boakai had the best chance for the men in red, but his bad-angle effort in the 20th minute was clipped wide of the Argentina goal.
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Urruti signed by TFC, not quite sealed and delivered

Maximiliano Urruti

Maximiliano Urruti

It’s hard to imagine a signing of any athlete in MLS history which has more of a “whew, it’s finally done” feel than Toronto’s FC’s announcement that Argentine forward Maximiliano Urruti is finally a Red.

He isn’t sealed and delivered, yet. That comes with the arrival of his International Transfer Certificate.

TFC announced the signing Friday.

“We are thrilled to finally get this deal concluded for Maximiliano Urruti. He is a player that we have been aware of for nearly two years and we have scouted him extensively in person,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne in a release issued by the club. “We think he’s really going to help our team and he is going to be an exciting player for our league so we couldn’t be happier about this outcome.”
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Urruti case: Public battles between clubs are never pretty

Newell_s_Old_Boys-logo-376D5D02F4-seeklogo.comToronto FC makes no secret of the fact that forward Maximiliano Urruti has long been a transfer target.

But, on Tuesday, his Argentine club has said it will not let go the player without a fight, even though Urruti has left the club and is rumoured to be close to a TFC deal.

Newell’s Old Boys are not being subtle in the slightest. If you go to the club’s website, splashed on the front page is a defiant statement, telling all suitors that it’s hands off Urruti.

Urruti left the club; of that there’s no doubt. But Newell’s Old Boys’ management said the decision was not mutual, and demands that the forward return to work in Argentina.

According to Newell’s Old Boys, Urruti is under contract till 2014: “The team believes that the player is missing his contractual obligation and must report to work under the orders of his coaching staff. Should this not happen, Newell’s Old Boys will exercise appropriate legal mechanisms to defend their rights.”

The Twitterverse is filled with reports that Urruti was actually on his way to Toronto. But, publically, Newell’s Old Boys has not named and shamed Toronto FC. Officially, the matter is between club and the player. Urruti has been told to get his butt back to Argentina.
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Gold Cup roster: Hutchinson and Hainault forced to say no, Cavallini rejects invite

Lucas Cavallini: Said "no" to Canadian coach Colin Miller.

Lucas Cavallini: Said “no” to Canadian coach Colin Miller.

The absences of Atiba Hutchinson and Dwayne De Rosario are the highlights — or lowlights — of the 22-man Gold Cup roster announced by the Canadian Soccer Association on Tuesday.

Also missing is veteran defender Andre Hainault.

What do Hutchinson and Hainault have in common? Both are unattached at the moment. Hainault spent half of last season with Scottish Premier League side Ross County after leaving the MLS, and Hutchinson is searching for new opportunities after yet another standout season at PSV Eindhoven.

Canadian coach Colin Miller said that, had both players been employed, they’d be in the pre-Gold Cup that begins June 26. He said both players were “gutted” at having to turn down the invites.

“Atiba is a big loss to the team,” Miller said. “He’s in a tough situation… But it’s not an easy time for the European-based players, not if you’re out of contract at this time.”

He said that Hutchinson is “in the midst” of a move “that would financially help him for the rest his career.”
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Laba a “foundational” player for Toronto FC, says Payne

Matias Laba

Matias Laba

The time and effort that Kevin Payne and Toronto FC’s staff put into scouting and acquiring Matias Laba paid off, as the 21-year-old midfielder is officially in the fold. If Payne and Laba have their way, it won’t take nearly as long for Laba to make an impact on the field in MLS.

“Because he’s got his career still ahead of him I think he’ll adapt very quickly,” Payne said. “The way he plays, we believe his physical attributes and the quickness with which he plays and the intensity with which he plays will fit very well with what we’re trying to do.”

“There’s always some question [with players from another league] but we’re very comfortable that Matias will adapt to MLS and do very well quickly… I have always personally liked players from Argentina because I think they’re trained very well in the youth development system for all of the things they have to encounter as professionals. They tend to travel well because they’ve been prepared.”"

Laba was officially introduced to the Toronto media on Saturday, a day after he joined the Reds on a Young Designated Player contract, which differs from the usual DP deals in that Laba doesn’t take up quite the same amount as, say, a Thierry Henry or a David Beckham due to Laba’s age. Still, Laba was no bargain, as TFC reportedly had to pay over $1 million to acquire Laba’s services from Argentinos Juniors.
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Laba deal is finally done: Argentine becomes a TFC player

Matias Laba

Matias Laba

Toronto FC has finally completed the deal that makes Argentine midfielder Matias Laba a a Red.

To say that Laba is one of the most-anticipated roster moves in the history of the club would be accurate. The team’s supporters have been salivating for a true marquee player since Dwayne De Rosario’s stormy separation from the club back in early 2011.

The Reds announced on Friday that the Laba deal was now official.

“Matías Laba is one of the top young talents in Argentina and we are delighted to have him join Toronto FC,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne in a release issued by the club. “He is a modern central midfielder and we expect him to be a mainstay of our team for years to come.”
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Impact acquires Argentine Maximiliano Rodriguez on loan

maximaxiWhile Toronto FC works on bringing in new players from Argentina, the rival Montreal Impact announced a loan deal to bring in 19-year-old midfielder Maximiliano Rodriguez from Argentinos Juniors.

A former youth player with Atletico Madrid, Rodriguez returned to Argentina in 2009. He’s been with Argentinos Juniors since 2010, but has made just eight senior appearances — which isn’t surprising considering he’s still a teenager.

Rodriguez will give the Impact a little more depth at the midfield position.
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Impact’s loan deal for Romero is a low-stakes crapshoot

Andres Fabricio Romero

The Montreal Impact made a low-risk move Thursday, bringing in Argentine winger Andres Fabricio Romero in on loan for the 2013 season.

Even if this is a “try before you buy” deal we so often see with loaned players, Romero offers little risk. If he works out, fine. If not, he costs you a international roster spot for a season, and then he’s sent back.

Brazilian side Tombense Futebol Clube currently owns Romero’s rights. Last season, he played sparingly in both the Brazilian first and second division. Before going to Brazil, he was part of the Argentinos Juniors set up and was capped by his country at the U-20 level.
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Proposed 2016 Copa America offers a dilemma for the next Canadian soccer coach

The announcement that CONMEBOL and CONCACAF execs have laid down a “framework” for staging a special edition of the Copa America in the United States has likely put Canadian soccer execs in a bit of a quandary.

According to the details of the proposed tournament, which was released Wednesday, the 16-team field for a special Copa America Centenario would be a true selection of the best that the Americas has to offer. The field would include six CONCACAF teams — the Americans and Mexicans would get a bye into the tourney, while the four other CONCACAF teams would be determined by the order of finish at the next Gold Cup.

Now, before getting to the point, it needs to be stressed that this is the framework for a proposed tournament, to be held in the United States. It isn’t a final confirmation.

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Cavallini gets the call for Canada’s do-or-die date in Honduras

Lucas Cavallini

Canadian forward Lucas Cavallini is on his way from Uruguay to meet the national team in Honduras.

Cavallini confirmed through his Twitter account that he has been called up by Canada senior men’s team coach Stephen Hart ahead of Tuesday’s do-or-die CONCACAF Group C finale against Honduras. Canada needs a win or a draw in Central America in order to qualify for the hex.

Cavallini, who was Canada’s best weapon at the U-23 Olympic qualifiers in Nashville this past spring, will fill a spot that opened after forward Olivier Occean received a controversial red card in Friday’s 3-0 win over Cuba.
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