Archive for christine sinclair

Canada’s women: Winning one for all of us

Posted in Canada, World Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2010 by squizz

There have only been two instances in which I’ve been able to see Jack Warner‘s face without feeling the bile rising up in the back of my throat. On both occasions, he’s handing a Gold Cup trophy to the captain of a Canadian national team.

Ten years ago, it was Jason de Vos. And last night, it was Christine Sinclair.

Ten years ago, it was a fortuitous coin flip that allowed the men to progress into the knockout stages of the tournament. Last week, the biggest upset in women’s soccer history (the Mexicans’ semi-final defeat of the #1-ranked USA) gave Big Red an easier path to the trophy than they were anticipating.

Ten years ago, the men’s national team had high expectations after the recent appointment of a well-regarded international manager (Holger Osieck). Today, the women have Carolina Morace.

But that’s where the similarities end. Whereas the men’s Gold Cup success never translated over into World Cup qualifying, and dissension within the dressing room helped contribute to Osieck’s departure, I can’t help but think that this women’s side may be at the precipice of a defining moment in Canadian soccer. Continue reading

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Today’s the day for Big Red

Posted in Canada, Women's with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by squizz

There’s a very good chance that by the end of tonight, we’ll be able to write “Canada has qualified for the World Cup“, and have it be accurate.

And that feels pretty damned good.

Sure, qualifying for the Women’s World Cup is a bit of a “gimme” for our ladies, considering that aside from the powerhouse Americans, there aren’t really any other sides in CONCACAF that are at our level. But we can’t allow results like an 8-0 thrashing of Guyana to let us get complacent as Canadian soccer supporters. Continue reading

Big Red comes up big on Halloween

Posted in Canada, Women's with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2010 by squizz

Well, that was nice.

After leaving us a bit on edge by only defeating Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 (Melissa Tancredi’s two disallowed legit goals notwithstanding), the Canadian women’s team came out in full force tonight, hammering the minnows from Guyana 8-0. Captain Christine Sinclair potted four goals, bringing her career total to, I think, six thousand and forty-three (give or take a few) — though that good news was tempered by rumblings (credit to Beau Dure) that her club team, Gold Pride FC, may fold as early as Monday. Hell, it may have already happened by the time you’re reading this.

But ignoring the negatives for a moment (because they’ll preoccupy every other waking thought of mine), suffice to say the ladies played well tonight (yeah, an eight-goal margin of victory would suggest as much), though it’s difficult to effectively evaluate their play when the level of opposition was so low. Both Kara Lang and Jonelle Filigno did well pressuring the Guyanese defenders, often forcing them into poor decisions (and both were rewarded with goals, for their efforts).

The big game is Tuesday against Mexico, to decide the winner of Group A. Since T&T held the Mexicans to 2-0 tonight, Canada has the upper hand. A draw would clinch the group, and (most likely) line Canada up against Costa Rica in the semi-finals, rather than the #1-ranked Americans.

Maribel Dominguez looks to be the Mexicans’ most dangerous offensive threat, a statement I’m basing solely on having seen her thread some terrific passes into her teammates against T&T tonight.The Canadian defence, who’ve had the luxury of sleepwalking through the first two games, will definitely need to ratchet themselves into first gear in time for the showdown against the host nation.

Canada’s match against Mexico, like the rest of them, will be on CBC Bold and CBCsports.ca, Tuesday at 6:30 PST/9:30 EST/11:00 NST.

Check Out Our Ladies

Posted in Canada, Gold Cup, International, Women's with tags , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by Jamie

Yes that shameful headline is intended to maximize hits by luring in some possibly pervy Google searchers. Sadly, such is the lot of Canadian soccer: we have to garner interest any way we can. No slight at all is intended to the wonderful gals of our Women’s national team. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Tonight marks the kickoff, literally, of the Canadian women’s quest for simultaneous Gold Cup glory and a berth in the 2011 Women’s World Cup. And it’s our duty as soccer-loving Canucks to support them, if not by shooting on down to Cancun (as if we actually needed more reason to go to Cancun on a blustery October day), then at least by watching them play. Continue reading

A Big Red sea change is upon us

Posted in Canada, Women's with tags , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by squizz

“Why not?”

That’s captain Christine Sinclair’s response, when I ask her why Canadians should get out to BMO Field tomorrow night, to support the women’s national team in their friendly against China.

“We’re ranked (among the top teams) in the world. We’re a good team. We were just in the Beijing Olympics, lost in the quarter-finals to the eventual gold medalists, in overtime. We’re a talented team.

Talented, yes — as evidenced by their triumph in the Cyprus Cup earlier this year — but equally critical is that they are, indeed, a team. Much of that can be attributed to the infusion of head coach Carolina Morace, who took over the reins of the team early last year. Bringing in Morace was lauded as a coup for the Canadian Soccer Association, given her experience and her tactical acumen. But perhaps the biggest shift — unexpected, to some — has been in her ability to create a loose, relaxed atmosphere within the team.

“Oh gosh, yeah,” Sinclair enthuses, when asked if the Italian gaffer has lightened the locker-room mood. Continue reading

Sunday night assorted bullcrap

Posted in Canada, Newcastle, TFC, Women's with tags , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by squizz

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. Continue reading

The Reserve Squad: Morace named coach of men’s national team

Posted in Canada, CSA incompetence, The Reserve Squad, Women's with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2009 by squizz

Mere days after firing Dale Mitchell as the coach of the men’s national team, the Canadian Soccer Association made the surprising move Tuesday of naming newly-hired women’s national and U20 coach Carolina Morace to the men’s post as well.

“We believe that with Carolina’s impressive resume, she is ready to take on all of these responsibilities,” said CSA spokesperson Richard Scott in a release. “We are looking to go in a new direction with our national program, and she will help take us there.”

Morace will be treading in unchartered waters, becoming not only the first woman to coach a men’s national team, but the first person to coach more than one national team simultaneously.

“Perhaps some will say we are putting all of our eggs in one basket,” said CSA chairman Dominic Maestracci, “but when you spend so many years just searching for a basket, and you find one, where else shall you put your eggs?” Continue reading