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Canada’s Fisk sets up one, scores one for Battery

Ben Fisk

Ben Fisk

The Whitecaps lost in Dallas Saturday night, but the team did get some news from another part of the United States.

Canadian midfielder Ben Fisk, who the Whitecaps just sent out on a season-long loan to the Charleston Battery of USL-Pro, quickly endeared himself to the fans in South Carolina.

Fisk set up a goal and scored another as the Battery battered the visiting Antigua Barracuda by a 4-0 count, in what was the Charleston home opener. And Fisk did all of his damage in the space of just a little more than two minutes.
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Three great moments from three great players: Hall of Famers Helland, Devos and Peschisolido

Paul Peschisolido in 1997.

Paul Peschisolido in 1997.

When players I’ve covered over the years earn major awards, I don’t think about the stats they’ve accumulated over the courses of their careers. I think about the moments I remember the most vividly, the marks that these athletes made on my brain. It’s what makes sport so special, the connection between athlete and spectator.

And in the end, that’s what we in the sports journalism business are — spectators, albeit spectators who bring laptops to the games.

In the cases of Janine Helland, Jason DeVos and Paul Peschisolido, they were all part of moments that remain fresh in my mind. All three were named as inductees into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame on Friday.

In the case of Helland, the bio tells us that the University of Alberta grad played for Canada in two World Cups — in 1995 and 1999, and was twice considered for the Female Player of the Year award. But I remember a lot of chilly spring afternoons in 2004, talking with Helland after Aviators’ practices. She was the team’s head coach, and the team was an extension of the optimism about women’s soccer in Alberta after Edmonton nearly sold out Commonwealth Stadium for the 2002 U-19 final.
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Whitecaps send Fisk, Adjetey to the Charleston Battery for 2013 season

Ben Fisk

Ben Fisk

The Vancouver Whitecaps have loaned prospects Ben Fisk and Emmanuel Adjetey to the Charleston Battery of the USL.

While the Whitecaps have not announced an affiliation with a USL club as part of MLS’s new agreement with America’s third-division, the move will no doubt be seen as a furthering of the partnership between the two leagues.

Fisk and Adjetey had been with the Whitecaps’ PDL side. Adjetey had just signed with the Whitecaps PDL side in early April, after the Ghanaian midfielder had auditioned for FC Edmonton of the NASL.

Fisk is one of the Whitecaps most-talked about prospects and scored 14 times in 32 matches for the United States Soccer Development Academy side last season.
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Impact U-21s leave the CSL behind

CSL-LOGO-e1305318993800-150x138The Montreal Impact confirmed Thursday that it has pulled its U21 team out of the embattled Canadian Soccer League.

The CSL is planning to go ahead with its 2013 season but, with the loss of the Impact now official, the league would only be based in Ontario. Earlier this year, the team lost its official sanction as the Canadian Soccer Association looks to build a regional Division-3 model based on the Easton Report’s recommendations. The CSL is looking to fight the CSA’s decision — and is doing anything but going gentle into the goodnight.

The CSL has been in an uphill public-relations battle since a German court revealed that a Croatian match-fixing ring had fixed a 2009 match between Toronto Croatia and the Trois-Rivieres Attak —the Impact’s farm team at the time.
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TFC adds former USL defender Ryan Richter

Ryan Richter

Ryan Richter

Less than a week after cutting Canadian Matt Stinson from the roster, Toronto FC has added Ryan Richter, who had been trialling with the club.

The team announced the deal Monday.

Richter was a Supplemental Draft pick of the Philadelphia Union back in 2011; he was signed, but didn’t get into an MLS game for the club. We was later loaned to Harrisburg City of the USL, but didn’t get much playing time there, either. He was released by the Union at the end of the season.
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Midweek scrimmages: TFC draws with SKC, while Impact loses to Orlando City

Brad Stuver

Both Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact took part in full scrimmages Wednesday as they took advantage of a break in the schedule at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando, Fla.

A trialist-laden Toronto FC lineup fought back to tie Sporting Kansas City, 3-3. Supplemental draft pick Ashton Bennett scored twice in the second half to bring the Reds back from a 3-1 deficit.

Minnesota Stars left back Justin Davis, Canadian national-teamer Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault, just-arrived ex-Earthquake defender Jacob Hustedt and former Norwich City and Portsmouth veteran Darel Russell were all trialists in the Reds’ starting lineup. Carlos Martinez, another young trialist, came in the game and set up one of Bennett’s two second-half markers.
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USL teams will allow rosters to carry MLS academy players

The USL-Pro division has announced it will allow its teams to each add five roster spots for academy players.

This move, announced Wednesday, is a step forward for the league after announcing a new partnership with MLS last month. The deal will see MLS teams either directly affiliate with USL teams or have their reserve teams play USL teams that will count in the standings for the Div. 3 sides. Toronto FC’s reserves will play Pittsburgh this season, the Montreal Impact’s extras will face Rochester and the Vancouver Whitecaps reserves will take on Richmond. Each of the Canadians MLS teams will have one home and one away date to a USL side.

MLS academy players can be sent to the USL and take an academy spot there. According to USL, “Players must meet several requirements in order to qualify for an academy player slot: they must be younger than 21 at the start of the current season; they can’t have competed collegiately; they must never have signed as a professional. Additionally, the player must either be from a club’s region, an affiliate youth team or from an MLS affiliate.”
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Whitecaps: Manneh and Mattocks click up top in win over the Battery

Kekuta Manneh

Within the first five minutes of Vancouver’s opening game of the Carolina Challenge Cup against the Charleston Battery, Darren Mattocks and Kekuta Manneh demonstrated their dynamic and dangerous partnership that fans are hoping will lead the Whitecaps to success this season.

By the 30th minute, Manneh had already bagged a pair of goals — one with Mattock’s assistance –— en route to a 3-2 victory over the host Battery Saturday evening at Blackbaud Stadium.

Daigo Kobayashi assisted on Manneh’s first strike before adding a goal of his own in the 50th minute.

“I think the first 60 minutes of the game was very good from our perspective,” said second-year Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie, who partially attributed a less-successful final 30 minutes to tired legs. “Lots of things that we’ve been working on we saw happening. We saw good movement, quick penetration, we scored goals early and we looked dangerous at that point.”
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Impact overwhelms NASL champs, Toronto FC swamps USL’s Orlando City

Taylor Morgan

A day after the Vancouver Whitecaps made some waves by chopping Canadians Jaime Peters, Jacob Lensky and the injured Andres Fresenga from their training camp roster, Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact got back to work, each facing non-MLS competition.

And, the Impact scored early and often as it overwhelmed the reigning NASL champion Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-1 at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando, while, at the same tourney, Toronto FC overcame a terrible start in a torrential first-hald downpour to overcome USL-Pro’s Orlando City 3-0. TFC’s goals came in the second half, after the rain was replaced by a windstorm — which offered a decent approximation of the normal windy conditions at BMO Field.

Some highlights from the two matches:

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The Easton Report: What it means for Div. 3 in Canada

The long-awaited Easton Report is out — and, in it, former national-team player James Easton recommends the best course of action is a regionally-based series of Div. 3 leagues, governed by a single umbrella organization.

Just like the CHL oversees the QMJHL, OHL and WHL and then administers the Memorial Cup tournament that ends the junior-hockey season, the report recommends creating a favourable environment for investors to build regional leagues, which would be administered by a body that could also crown a national champion.

The regional Div. 3 teams would promote but not be limited tomU-23 talent, have strict controls on imports and would promote locally bred players, either from CIS or regional youth clubs.

Read the report here:
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