Long balls: Canadians abroad (October 31)

Welcome to another edition of Long Balls: Canadians Abroad. It’s a service for those without time to wade through multi-page forum threads to keep tabs on Canadian footballers. We won’t list all of the Canadians abroad, just the weekly performances we feel are most relevant to our readers. Or in the case of Isidro Sanchez, relevant to no one.

I haven’t been rolling the Long Balls for very long, and already this is the second weekend where the most notable performance is a goal by Tomasz Radzinski. The 36-year-old striker scored for Lierse in a 2-2 draw with Eupen to bring his season’s tally to… well it brings it to two. I don’t know how two goals in the Belgian top flight compares to Josh Simpson’s six goals in the Turkish Super Lig (well actually I do, it compares poorly), to Olivier Occean’s nine goals in 3. Liga or Simeon Jackson’s four goals in the Championship, but would it be absolutely batshit insane to sweet talk Radzinski out of international retirement? Please tell me that it would be.

Championship
Simeon Jackson subbed off in the 62nd minute for Norwich City in a 3-1 loss to Cardiff. Iain Hume played 90 for Preston; elsewhere, Jamie Peters didn’t get off the bench and David Edgar didn’t even make the squad.

Ligue 2 (France)
Yet again, Haidar Al Shaibani didn’t play for Nimes.

Turkey
Mike Klukowski
played 90 minutes for Ankara in a draw; Josh Simpson played 90 minutes for Manisaspor in a 2-0 loss to Genclerbirligi, but considering his heroics of late, that kind of feels ordinary.

Spain
The choice of Radzinski as the “brightest” spot of the weekend was a simple tip of the hat to his past glories for Les Rouges. But by far the best performance by a Canadian footballer outside (or inside) Canada this weekend goes to Jonathan de Guzman. He helped Mallorca to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Levante and in the process was named Marca’s “man of the match” or some kind of equivalent: He was the best player on the pitch. He made precise passes to his teammates and took advantage when they slipped their markers to overcome the Levante defence.

As noted here, these kind of performances are happening regularly. I have no idea how this will play out or where Canada fits into any of it, but I harbour a nagging, completely uninformed hunch that for once, things may go to the good.

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7 Responses to “Long balls: Canadians abroad (October 31)”

  1. “would it be absolutely batshit insane to sweet talk Radzinski out of international retirement? Please tell me that it would be.”

    No. No it would not.

    • Someone other than you Lord Bob.

      • Why does everyone keep saying Radzinski is retired from international soccer, anyway? I know Hart meant his appearance in Poland to be an opportunity for Radz to play in his homeland and it certainly would be fitting as a way to walk into the sunset, but last time I heard him comment on it he was saying things like “if the national team needs me they should call me and we can discuss it”; i.e. I won’t go to every two-bit friendly but that doesn’t mean I’m done.

      • Fair enough. I think the only place I’ve ever actually read that Radzinski is retired is on this blog and I was the one who wrote it.

  2. He has yet to officially retire, as far as I can tell. There was no official retirement after that Poland friendly, even if most of us looked at that one as his swan song. Honestly, if he’s still performing, why not call him up for one of the friendlies next year early on, and if he performs well, he could be a piece of the Gold Cup puzzle for us.

    • I don’t think there’s really ever any such thing as an official retirement in international play… remember Blanco’s big retirement ceremony in the WCQ game against us in 2008? Then he went on to play in the World Cup this year.

      But I doubt Hart will give Radz the call, mostly because he’s stated unequivocally that his #1 aim is to get us to Brazil 2014. So it’s unlikely that he’d deprive a young guy of valuable international playing experience (i.e. the Gold Cup), simply to try to get a result with an in-form Radzinski.

      Then again, this is Canadian soccer. No one ever knows anything for sure.

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