edits and writes at The 11
Hello, Newman: Four Canadian pro teams endorse their CSA candidate
Next week, FC Edmonton, the Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps will be adversaries in the race for the Voyageurs’ Cup.
But, this week, the three MLS and one NASL side are united. On Thursday, the four clubs issued a joint press release, pledging their support for candidate Rob Newman ahead of the May 5 Canadian Soccer Association presidential election.
Make no mistake. This is unprecedented stuff. In North America, sports teams’ front offices usually work behind the scenes when it comes to political issues and don’t make public pronouncements on their positions. Too many risks, too many bridges that can be burned. But this times is different. And the clubs discussed this before issuing the statement, weighing the pros against the cons.
FC Edmonton has week and a half to prepare for Whitecaps clash
If a looming Amway Canadian Championship semifinal against the Vancouver Whitecaps wasn’t enough to get the minds of FC Edmonton’s players off of Sunday’s crushing 4-3 defeat to Minnesota, two training sessions on the same day in blustery 4C temperatures did the trick.
After the second training session wrapped up, FCE’s players were far more interested in talking about the big game next Wednesday at Commonwealth on Wednesday than dwelling on the last-gasp goal that gave Minnesota a 4-3 win over the Eddies in Sunday’s Clarke Stadium NASL home opener. Well, that and getting somewhere warm.
Ex-TFC Academy keeper Chad Bush joins Ottawa Fury
Ex-TFC Academy goalkeeper Chad Bush will spend the summer with the PDL’s Ottawa Fury.
The Fury announced the signing of Bush on Wednesday. The keeper — who was at Toronto FC’s training camp in the spring along side Stefan Frei, Milos Kocic and Quillan Roberts — plans to attend Duke
University in the spring.
But, unlike ex-TFC Academy players like Stefan Vukovic, Michael Petrasso, Dylan Carreiro or Keven Aleman, Bush isn’t lost to the Reds. A Fury official told The 11 that while Bush is no longer with the MLS team’s academy, TFC still retain Bush’s MLS rights.
Clarke graduates from Residency to Whitecaps; Grootscholten leaves Residency
The Vancouver Whitecaps don’t have any Canadians in the regular starting XI, but they now have three young Canucks on the roster.
The team announced the signing of 18-year-old Richmond, B.C. native Caleb Clarke on Tuesday. He joins Bryce Alderson, Canada’s two-time U-17 Player of the Year, and Canadian national U-20 and U-23 player Russell Teibert on the roster.
Q&A with Orebro SK’s Canadian keeper, Tomer Chencinski
The 11 caught up with Canadian goalkeeper Tomer Chencinski, who has started the last four matches for Swedish Allensvenskan side Orebro SK. The Thornhill, Ont. native has given up four goals in four matches, but enjoyed a 225-minute-plus shutout streak after he replaced Swedish veteran Jonas Sandqvist as the starter, just one game into the season.
Last season, Chencinski enjoyed a breakout season with Finnish side VPS and got the opportunity to trial for Orebro. He was signed and, soon after the season started, looks to have seized the No. 1 role.
Herdman: Canada, Japan, Sweden, South Africa is NOT the Group of Death
John Herdman looks to be playing the role of master psychologist.
Right after the Canadian national women’s team was drawn into an Olympic group with World Cup champs Japan and World Cup third-place finisher Sweden, Herdman told reporters via a conference call that he didn’t think Big Red was in the Group of Death. He said the U.S., which has North Korea and France in its group, is in tougher. In fact, Herdman went out of his way to say he felt bad for the United States, which, despite its status as a world power, always seems to get tough draws.
That’s right, Herdman doesn’t think a group that includes Japan and Sweden qualifies as the Group of Death.
Bad news for TFC, Impact: East is proving to be much better than advertised
There are those who look at Toronto FC’s 0-6 start to the regular season and think “oh boy, I am glad we don’t play in the Western Conference, or the season would already be over.”
The thinking is that, with the West being so much stronger than the East — with the likes of Real Salt Lake, the Seattle Sounders, a Los Angeles Galaxy side that’s got to get better and surprising San Jose — that it would be easier for TFC or Montreal to recover from poor starts to the season and pip am Eastern playoff spot than it would be for a much-improved Vancouver side to hang with the Western juggernauts.
And, through the first two weeks of the season, that thinking would have been right on. In head-to-head matches between teams from the East and West, the Western Conference teams won 10 of the first 12. It was proof that all of MLS’ power lay west of Houston. It was an apples-to-apples comparison and the Western teams were kicking butt.
But since then, from Week Three onward, we’ve seen the Eastern teams start to surge back. And it’s not just Sporting Kansas City, who are off to a 7-1-0 start and most Montreal and Toronto fans would admit already can’t be caught.