Sunday night assorted bullcrap

Well, in lieu of a podcast, I still feel obligated to expel some of my nonsensical opinions onto the Internet tonight. And while I’m sure you’d all love to hear my nuanced views about the economic downturn, you’ll instead get bullet points about soccer.

  • One would hope that you know by now that the women’s national team plays a friendly against the USA on Monday night at BMO Field.  Two-thirds of the Some Canadian Guys crew will be there (hopefully not captured on the JumboTron, though if we’re seated anywhere near Rollins, it seems inevitable). If the cross-border rivalry doesn’t do it for you, how about this: our first chance to see highly-touted new head coach Carolina Morace in action? The opportunity to see Christine Sinclair potentially score her landmark 100th goal for Canada? Hell, just the joy of watching top-flight international soccer live?

    Or, if you’re just a lecherous 20-something straight male (and if our target market research is reliable, then you probably are), consider: female soccer players are, by and large, the most beautiful athletes in the world. They’re not gangly like basketball players, stumpy like softballers or prepubescent-looking like Olympic gymnasts. Like the proverbial third bowl of porridge, they’re juuust right.

    No matter what your reason, if you’re in the Toronto area, get your friggin’ ass down to the National Soccer Stadium and watch one of our national teams in action, why don’t ya?

  • Speaking of international friendlies, the roster for the men’s friendly against Cyprus on Saturday has been unveiled. Unsurprisingly, it only features one North American-based player. Surprisingly, it’s… Tyler Hemming? What, Marco Reda was busy? Despite the Premiership season ending today, Asmir Begovic was left off the squad, which is curious (though if my dubious understanding of FIFA’s arcane cap-tie regulations is accurate, then he’s cap-tied to Canada anyway). And a week from now, so too will be Simeon Jackson, which makes me happy. But… no Ali Gerba?

    All in all, an eclectic mix of a squad, but almost certainly not the roster that will see the pitch for the Gold Cup (isn’t the point of pre-tournament friendlies to allow the team to get accustomed to each other?) But, whatever — any time we can cobble together 18 professional footballers willing to represent Canada, it’s a small victory.

  • I never thought I’d be able to type this sentence and mean it, but here goes: Yesterday, a young Canadian striker scored a 90th minute winner in a meaningful match in front of over 50,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. I’m, of course, talking about the aforementioned Simeon Jackson potting the last-minute winner in the League Two playoff final between Gillingham and Shrewsbury. The heroics mean Gillingham will be promoted to League One for next season, and Jackson — who also scored two goals in the playoff semi-final last week — might be getting some attention from bigger clubs…?
  • On the other end of the spectrum, a young Canadian defender had a rather ignominious contribution to a stupendously ignominious match today: David Edgar got sent off as Newcastle sealed their own fate, losing 1-0 to Aston Villa and sewing up their relegation. As of right now, there will be only one Canadian in the Premiership next year (Begovic), though the argument could be made that playing in the Championship could be better for Edgar’s development (and based on the vitriolic British article I linked to, there’s evidently plenty of development to be done). At this rate, does Edgar factor into Canada’s plans for the Gold Cup? He’s not on the Cyprus squad. We’ll see.
  • Oh, and a closing note on the Magpies… Chris, I told you so.
  • Toronto FC put together a nice little match yesterday, disposing of New England 3-1 — which, in my opinion, was a totally deserved scoreline, given the run of play. Somewhat unsettling, though, is that the team’s top scorers list now reads as follows: Guevara (midfielder) 5, DeRosario (midfielder) 4, all strikers combined 3. Sure, Danny Dichio had a great game yesterday, picking up two assists and providing the vital distraction that allowed Guevara’s free kick to loop into the goal. And if Guevara and DeRo can continue tearing through opposing defenders and bulging the ol’ onion bag, does it make a difference whether the letter next to their name is M or F? (As in midfield or forward, not male or female, dumbass.)

    My boy, Chad Barrett, had a non-descript game… he didn’t do anything hilariously, infuriatingly awful, and he did run around the field a whole lot (as is his MO). I talked briefly about Barrett with the Don Cherry of Canadian Soccer, who made the very reasonable point that Barrett is more or less a “project” at this point. But that’s kind of unsettling too. I want O’Brian White — a kid freshly out of college — to be a project. Barrett’s been in MLS for years already, and allegedly showed enough in his half-campaign with TFC in ’08 to earn himself a multi-year contract. Does he really still need his hand held? (And will White ride the pine to accommodate the Chad Barrett Project?)

    Wait a minute… this isn’t the kind of idiotic, blind support that I’m expected to provide, is it? Fine, how’s this?


  • The crowd at BMO Field was so disrespectful yesterday. I saw at least 300 fans not standing and cheering for Barrett when he was substituted. Considering the blood and sweat that he gives for the team (not tears, as he is without weakness and therefore doesn’t cry, vomit or eat yogurt), the fact that anyone would fail to show him the respect he deserves is sickening. We are not worthy to watch his on-field majesty unfold.
  • I love Microsoft Paint.
  • After I spent Friday night mocking the fans in Cleveland for not showing up to a USL game, I happened to catch the second half of a CSL game between the TFC Academy and Toronto Croatia on Rogers community cable today, and holy smokes… if I had a nickel for every fan that showed up to watch this game, I’d somehow end up owing 12 bucks. And the play-by-play guy, for some reason, insisted on referring to the time of the match in the following manner: “We’re in the 13th minute of the second half, with 32 minutes left” — all the way up until the clock hit 89:00, at which point he said “we’ve now entered the 89th minute”… which, of course, isn’t even correct (it was the 90th minute).

    “So, what, squizz? Could you do a better job?” My unironic response: yes. I could.

    That Croatia team seemed to know how to string a few passes together, though.

  • That’s about it. Hopefully this has been enlightening.

6 Responses to “Sunday night assorted bullcrap”

  1. peter_tfc Says:

    Certainly agree on female footballers being the most attractive athletes of all. I was just commenting on it last weekend to my wife who, rather than disagree and offer a counter argument (likely in favour of the scantily clad and very fit female beach volleyball players), just didn’t respond to me… at all… for a day or so.

    Unfortunately, rather than attend the game (and perhaps ignite passion in the hearts of our Canadian women) I have to take my not-yet-four-year-old daughter to her first soccer practice. But agreed, everyone should go to this.

    I’m making up for it by going to Columbus in July to see our Senior Men’s team take on El Salvadore in the Gold Cup. Let that be a lesson to all of you.

  2. I contemplated female volleyballers, but then decided that they’re generally too scrawny.

    See you in Columbus.

  3. Well, Squizz, at least I’ll get to see Newcastle be competitive next year.

    Also: Screw you.

  4. Lord Bob Says:

    You know, Chris, that’s exactly what I said when Charlton was relegated from the EPL. And look how well that turned out!

  5. Surely Charlton will be able to win League One, right?

  6. Peter Montopoli Says:

    Everyone knows that 50 per cent of female footballers are lesbians – leaving few options for your demo Squizz.

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