Friday free-for-all

I’m using the fact that it’s Friday as an excuse to post a series of unrelated thoughts. Deal with it.

  • Toronto FC lost Jarrod Smith to the Seattle Sounders FC in this year’s MLS Expansion Draft… it was close call between saying TFC “lost” Smith and saying Seattle “gained” him, because both phrasings are debatable. In fairness to Smith, when he was subbing in for Jeff Cunningham in the 75th minute, he definitely looked like a serviceable striker for the Reds; then, when he began playing more, it became a game of seeing how many times he’d fall over his own feet in the course of the match. The over/under was usually set at five.
  • In other TFC news (because, y’know, this is the website you’re coming to for “news”, right?), Carl Robinson has been re-upped for another two years. I’m sure that whoever picks “man of the match” at Toronto’s home games breathed a big sigh of relief over this one, as Robinson seemed to be the fallback choice even when neither he, nor anyone else on the field, had done anything of particular significance. It also means we may yet be treated, once more, to the glory of the most ridiculously effeminate thing you’ll ever see a gruff Welshman doing — the double-windmill goal celebration.
  • The news isn’t all good in Toronto for soccer, though: Ben Knight’s On Soccer blog has been axed by the Globe & Mail, as part of sweepind budget cuts by its parent company, CTVGlobeMedia. While Knight says he’ll find a new home and set up an independent blog shortly, it’s very unfortunate that one of this country’s foremost names in soccer will no longer find readership in Canada’s “newspaper of record”. Say what you will about Knight himself or the death of the print media, but the fact is, having someone writing regularly about soccer in a publication that spans the geographic and demographic diversity of this country in the way the Globe does can only be good for the growth of the game.
  • Canada has been eliminated from the World Cup… in this case, though, it’s the U20 Women’s World Cup, with the Canucks conceding at the last minute to fall to Germany 2-1 last night in Chile. While this may not seem extraordinary in and of itself, remember that we’re supposed to actually be, y’know, good in women’s soccer, with the CSA essentially having declared that the women’s side of the game will receive the lion’s share of resources, since success at the men’s level will never be achievable. Well, we may have been one of the first countries out of the gate when it came to building women’s soccer, but now that traditional powerhouse countries like Germany and Brazil are getting their act together, is it only a matter of time before we plummet in the FIFA women’s rankings as well? Let’s hope not.
  • There have probably been 6,500 articles written entitled “Canadian soccer hits rock bottom” in the last 25 years. The latest one appeared in today’s Vancouver Courier.
  • God, what the hell am I saying? There haven’t been 6,500 articles about soccer in Canada’s mainstream media all-time, never mind the last 25 years. Hell, have there even been 6,500 words?
  • Oh, wait, Ben Knight. Right. Yes, I am just responding to myself in bullet-point form. Imagine talking to me in real life. It’s quite a treat.
  • National team alumnus and current manager of the Montreal Impact, John Limniatis has been named to Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame which, apparently, is a real thing. Limniatis has been tagged by some to be the next manager of the men’s national team, though I’m not sure if one unexpected run of success in a tournament like the CONCACAF Champions League really qualifies someone to take that position. An unexpected run of disastrous failure in a tournament like the U20 Men’s World Cup, that’s your ticket.
  • Now for some in-house news: we’ll be (sort of) live-blogging the Chelsea/Arsenal match this Sunday, as this site’s other two writers, Grant and Jamie, see their beloved English sides go head-to-head with one another. Okay, it won’t be “live” live, but check back on Sunday afternoon for a blow-by-blow recounting of the action as it happened from one of Toronto’s premier soccer pubs. Things usually get combustible when these two get together (especially if there’s soccer on TV), so stop by and give it a read, as I attempt to find new and creative ways to describe the yelps emitting from Grant as Deco sails another free kick over the crossbar, or the smug, evil look of glee on Jamie’s mug as he watches Bendtner audaciously try to score a goal with his penis.

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