Julian de Guzman Archive

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Canada frustrates Colombia for 74 wonderful minutes

Ricketts: Should have earned a penalty kick in the early going

Ricketts: Should have earned a penalty kick in the early going

I get the feeling that a lot of Canadian soccer pundits’ work is going to come off like a lot of bad high-school-newspaper sports reports.

We have nothing to be ashamed of!

We lost, but we held world-ranked No. 3 Colombia off the scoresheet for 74 minutes! Seventy-four!

Losing 1-0 was a great learning experience for our boys!

I’m not trying to be mean. But, after Tuesday’s friendly between Canada and Colombia in New Jersey passed the one-hour mark still tied 0-0, I had hopes of writing the most flowery narrative to describe a nil-nil draw since the dawn of time. So, after James Rodriguez caught the Canadians napping on a quickly taken free-kick that ended up in the back of the net, I had to fall back on the high-school-paper cliches.
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3

Floro gets his first Canadian win as the home team scores three, count’ em, three!

Benito Floro

Benito Floro

It was a glass half-full kind of night, wasn’t it?

Canada beat Jamaica 3-1 on Tuesday at BMO Field. It marked the first time our national men’s team scored more than a single goal in game for the first time since Oct. 12 2012; that was a 3-0 win over Cuba in World Cup qualifying, which came directly ahead of that 8-1 loss in Honduras which wiped out all hope of Canada qualifying for the World Cup.

Yup, I did it; I managed to immediately contrast Canada scoring three goals at home with giving up eight goals. That’s the cynicism that needs to be beaten out of the average Canadian soccer follower. It’ll take more than one win in a friendly at home to beat it out of me. Gah.

So, back to the glass-half-full bit. Yes, Canada’s first two goals came on set pieces, and the third goal was the result of a howler from Jamaican keeper Andre Blake — who certainly did nothing to convince his Philadelphia Union bosses that he deserves a shot between the sticks in MLS action anytime soon. But, still, three goals! And, for coach Benito Floro, his first win as Canada’s boss! For a Canadian team that can’t afford to slide any further down the CONCACAF rankings, it’s something that will go some way to build belief that, maybe, just maybe, this country can score some goals at the next Gold Cup and maybe, maybe, maybe, qualify for the Copa America.
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1

De Guzman says that when he’s replaced by a young Canadian, it will be a sign of national-team progress

Julian de Guzman

Julian de Guzman

The world of sports is filled with stories of veterans trying to hang onto their starting jobs, trying to hold off the hungry young pups from taking their spots.

For Canadian national team midfielder Julian de Guzman, nothing will tell him that Canada’s on the road to soccer recovery than when coach Benito Floro tells him that it’s time to let a kid take his spot in the centre of midfield.

It’s not that de Guzman wants to leave the Canadian program; anything but. He says it is still an honour and a pleasure to represent the country. He says that he would love to keep playing, “as long as my legs hold up.”

But, at 33, he understands that he shouldn’t be the surefire first choice to start for Canada in the middle of the park. And he won’t be disappointed when Floro says that a young gun like Bryce Alderson, Kyle Bekker or Samuel Piette will be taking his place.

“I would rather have a young Canadian take my spot,” de Guzman said Monday on a conference call with the media. “It’s the goal of having a better national team.”
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3

Despite some glimmers of hope, Canada shut out yet again in international play

David Edgar

David Edgar

There were some glimmers of hope that Canada’s men’s team could, goshdarnit, score a goal Tuesday against Australia.

But it didn’t come to pass. Canada now has gone eight international matches without scoring a goal. The last marker came back on March 22, against Japan. Since then, there was a 2-0 loss to Belarus, a 1-0 setback to Costa Rica in Edmonton, three Gold Cup shutouts, two goose-eggs against Mauritania and, now, this — a loss to the Socceroos.

Meanwhile, Australia scored three times, including an opener 27 seconds after the opening kickoff. It’s a good thing that Canadian national-team coach Benito Floro said before Tuesday’s friendly in London, England that the result didn’t really matter (CLICK HERE). That’s because a 3-0 scoreline from Craven Cottage suggested that Canada was as poor in the back, as well.

Josh Kennedy gave the partisan support at Craven Cottage (boy, do the Australian expats come out and support their boys, credit to them) something to roar about before the 30-second mark. Kennedy outleapt Canadian defender Nik Ledgerwood and headed home a cross from Mark Bresciano. The cross came after Canadian midfielder Julian De Guzman’s attempt at a sliding challenge just ended up leaving the ball for Bresciano to whip in to a dangerous area.

De Guzman left the match early in the first half with an injury.
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0

Mostly Harmless: De Guzman says there’s no need to panic after Canada’s loss to Mauritania

Canada's starting XI

Canada’s starting XI

For those of you who don’t know Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you may not be familiar the words: ‘Don’t Panic.”

It’s the advice spelled out on the front of the Guide from which the novel gets its name.

Midfielder Julian de Guzman was channeling his inner Adams in his post-game interview on Tuesday after Canada’s 1-0 loss to Mauritania in Oliva, Spain.

“It’s too early to hit the panic button,” de Guzman said as the Mauritanians’ celebration carried over from the field into their dressing room.

“We still have a ways to go and I think we’ll only get better once the core of the team is finally picked out and then there’s a lot more to look forward to.”
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6

Floro assembles a huge 33-man roster for his first Canadian national-team camp

Benito Floro

Benito Floro

New Canadian men’s national-team coach Benito Floro wants to keep a wide perspective on the program.

Floro has called a whopping 33 eligible players up for the Canadian national-team camp which kicks off Sept. 1 in Spain. The highlights of the 11-day camp are friendlies Sept. 8 and 10 against Mauritania.

But, in his first camp as the national-team coach, the Spaniard has made it clear he wants to look at as many players as he can, both young and old. So, veterans such as Iain Hume, Julian de Guzman, Dwayne De Rosario and Atiba Hutchinson will be making the trip, as will youngsters such as the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Residency’s Jackson Farmer and the Montreal Impact Academy’s Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare.

Also included in the roster are two unattached players — ex-Toronto FC midfielder Terry Dunfield, whose contract is still being paid out by MLS (CLICK HERE) and midfielder Stefan Cebara.

One area where Floro decided not to rock the boat was at the goalkeeper position: Milan Borjan, Kenny Stamatopoulos and Lars Hirschfeld, all longstanding veterans of the Canadian program, were called up. That left out candidates such as Whitecap Simon Thomas, who played for Canada under interim coach Colin Miller, Tomer Chencinski, who is currently the No. 3 goalkeeper at Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Robert Stillo, who was called up by Miller in January but didn’t see the field. Stillo is currently on loan to Serie B side, Perugia.
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0

JDG scores, but Xanthi knocked out of Europa League

180px-Skoda_Xanthi_FC_new_logoCanadian midfielder Julian de Guzman scored his first goal in a Skoda Xanthi uniform. But it came as too little, too late as his side was dumped out of the UEFA Europa League in the third qualifying round.

De Guzman scored in the 84th minute to pull Xanthi back to 2-1 down at Belgian side Standard Liege. But the Belgian club had won the first leg in Greece by a 2-1 count and had moved the cushion, on aggregate, to 4-1 before JDG struck. So, the Canadian veteran’s goal was little more than a consolation prize.

De Guzman signed with the Greek side, despite speculation that he was looking for work in Poland and in Germany. He spent the second half of the 2012-13 season with Jahn Regensburg, who were in last place in the 2. Bundesliga table. JDG played regularly, but could not save the team from the relegation drop.
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0

De Guzman signs deal with Greek side Skoda Xanthi

Julian de Guzman

Julian de Guzman

Julian de Guzman is a free agent no longer.

In a one-line press release published on its website on Monday, Greek club Skoda Xanthi announced that it had signed the Canadian midfielder.

De Guzman joined Bundesliga 2. side Jahn Regensburg during the January transfer window. Even though the former Toronto and FC Dallas Designated Player saw regular playing time, he couldn’t save his club from a last-place club. Out of contract at the end of the season, he had spent the summer looking for work. In late May, he hinted that he was looking for another club in Germany (CLICK HERE).
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5

Miller: GC Loss to Martinique “is a combination of a lot of different things going on for years in Canada”

Canada's Julian de Guzman, left, is tackled by Martinique's Yoann Arquin. PHOTO: MEXSPORT/CANADA SOCCER

Canada’s Julian de Guzman, left, is tackled by Martinique’s Yoann Arquin. PHOTO: MEXSPORT/CANADA SOCCER

Good luck, Mr. Floro.

The incoming Canadian head coach Benito Floro, along with his son/assistant coach, was in attendance at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl on Sunday and one can only wonder what’s going through his mind after seeing his team outplayed and, thanks to a last-second wonder strike, beaten by tiny Martinique 1-0 in the Gold Cup curtain-raiser.

There’s some irony that with a young team on the field, Canada was undone on a goal from the oldest player on the field. Based on the celebration, Fabrice Reuperne will score no bigger goal in his career. At the same time, he pointed out the mountain that lies ahead in Canada’s rebuilding efforts.

“What happened today was not because of what happened over the last week to 10 days. This is a combination of a lot of different things going on for years in Canada,” interim head coach Colin Miller said in his post-game press conference. “This is a massive rebuilding process at the moment. It will be some time before we get to fix it.”
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2

De Guzman walks right into a Bundesliga 2. relegation battle

Julian de Guzman

Canadian midfielder Julian de Guzman will be thrown right into the fire with his new club, SSV Jahn Regensburg.

The Bavarian side announced the signing Thursday, as the transfer window closes. Club CEO Franz Gerber was quoted on the team’s official site, saying that the Canadian national-team veteran will “definitely help us in the fight for the league.”

De Guzman is no stranger to adversity. Being a Designated Player on Toronto FC, where wins are scarce and fan criticisms are vicious, can steel you for tough times ahead. But he’s in for another character test. Jahn Regensburg is at the bottom of the Bundesliga 2. table, with just three wins out of its first 19 matches. It is seven points adrift of the safety zone.
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