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Voyageurs History and Mythology Explained

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Answer to Vancouver Fan: (asking me to do something on a computer is like asking someone from CONCACAF to referee a match competently, so I have no idea how to use the quote thingy) Yes, it's me. Don't feel bad that you have the banner, I'm quite happy that you do, as long as you have room for it. If you happen to have a maple leaf that's about one metre square, please feel free to add it.

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I used to love reading Soccer Canada, it's what got me into the national team. If you see Mehrdad again anytime soon tell him he made a difference.

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quote:Originally posted by Winnipeg Fury

Stadium North was part of the CSA site. It was a side project of Mehrdad Masoudi, who was the Communication/Media man for the CSA. Not sure how many people here remember him.

A former Iranian prison guard during the Iran-Iraq war, prior to coming to Canada.

Mehrdad was a passionate supporter of Canada and Canadian soccer, and his is an interesting story. Mehrdad used to follow the Ottawa Intrepid of the CSL, where he would sell his CSL newspaper (that he owned & published). I remember in the day stumbling across them at the Winnipeg Fury office. It was the first time in my life I had seen any print-media (however small) attention focussed solely on Canadian soccer. Needless to say, I was elated ! For me, it was like a dream come true. The publication was very modest, but packed with information on Canadian soccer and the CSL. I would love to get my hands on them today !

One day at an Ottawa Intrepid match, Kevin Pipe stumbled across Mehrdad selling his soccer newspaper, and hired Mehrdad on the spot. Probably the best move KP ever made.

Once working with the CSA, Mehrdad also printed a CSA publication called Soccer Canada. Once a number of people in the private sector wanted to start printing Canadian soccer material, Mehrdad and the CSA stopped publication. If you can find some old copies, there is some quality information in them.

I was speaking with Mehrdad only yesterday. He is flying to Vancouver on Monday to cover the U-20's. He will also make it to Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Mehrdad produced the Toronto FC feature recently seen on Trans World Sport. He left the CSA to join TWI, the producer of that and other sports programs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE6db5CsybY

The only thing I would add to your bio of Mehrdad is that before joining the CSA, he was the media director of the Canadian Soccer League.

db

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quote:Originally posted by Soju

I used to love reading Soccer Canada, it's what got me into the national team. If you see Mehrdad again anytime soon tell him he made a difference.

I remember there was a geat feature on Radzinski, shortly after he signed for Germinal Ekeren in Belgium.

There was also a great bio on Mehrdad himself. Very interesting.

I wrote a piece on Owen Hargreaves (Volume 10, #2, 1998), titled 'Canada's Owen Torn Between Country & Country.' It's funny reading it now, because people only think of OH playing for England. The Hargreaves saga had more twists-and-turns than Coronation Street. It went from Canada, to Wales, back to Canada, and then suddenly England.

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Not exactly sure when this article was printed... late 90's?

*****************

BLEACHER CREATURES

They're our superfans, eh?

By TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

They call themselves the Voyageurs. And one day they want to grow up to be a Sam's Army like in the U.S. or, even better, a Tartan Army like in Scotland.

It's something unique to the sport of soccer. But no self-respecting soccer nation is sans such supporters.

Obviously, based on recent results, we can't currently suggest we're a self-respecting soccer nation, exactly. But Sunday they'll exist 100-some strong for the first time for a Canadian soccer game.

Martin Rose, a Team Canada soccer fan in Vancouver, gave the group its name. But it's a 23-year-old from Edmonton by the name of Reza Khalili who is the leader of the pack which proposes to follow the Canadian team around the country waving their flags, banging their drums, singing their songs, cheering their cheers and giving Team Canada the same thing that Sam's Army, in particular, has given the United States in the past few years. "What soccer is missing in this country is atmosphere. It's really lacking,'' says Khalili.

"That's our only goal, really. To create a better atmosphere for soccer every game this team plays.

"Our inspiration is Sam's Army in the U.S. They've accomplished so much. And I think we can do the same thing here.

"Every sport has its own culture. All we're trying to do is create a little corner of soccer culture so that our players feel the same as players in other countries do when they have a home game.'' Khalili has spent a lot of time communicating with Mark Wheeler, one of the three founders of Sam's Army, a group which started 2 1/2 years ago and now has its own Web site and has become an attraction of its own, as I discovered when I watched them do their thing in the stands at Stanford Stadium in California for the Canada-U.S. game.

Sam's Army has become a phenomenon. The group has been featured already this year in Sports Illustrated and USA Today.

"Sam's Army has revolutionized U.S. fandom. No sitting or polite applause for them, no running off for another hot-dog; the army stands, chanting defiantly, for the full 90 minutes, earning the salutes of the U.S. players at the end of the game.'' - The Village Voice.

"They're awesome, man,'' said American defender Alexi Lalas of the atmosphere they created in the U.S.-Canada game at Palo Alto. "If I wasn't on the field, I'd like to be in the middle of Sam's Army.''

Sam's Army was formed on the Internet by the Internet generation, three 28-year-olds from three different corners of the U.S. "We got sick of the apathy,'' says co-founder Mark Spacone. "We started out as a puddle and we became a sea of red.''

The Voyageurs came into existence last year, when Khalili organized 48 superfans he'd met at previous Team Canada games to buy seats in the same section and give birth to the idea for a game against Panama.

"We've more than doubled that for Sunday. We hoped we could have 200 with more than just a couple from Vancouver and Toronto. But a lot of them are quite depressed with the results and don't know how much this game really means.''

Maybe for Mexico. The group plans to pass around printed material at the game to inspire further growth for the Thanksgiving weekend Mexico game.

"We hope to show that our team is not a third-rate organization which has no fan support,'' says Khalili in the printed pages. "It's going to take all of us buying tickets together, in one section, so that we will be noticed. It's going to take all of us to bring flags, banners, scarves and singing voices to cheer and motivate the team on the pitch.

"Any knowledgeable soccer fan can tell you that part of the glamor and attraction of soccer are the boisterous fans and the colorful sections in foreign stadiums. "The spectacular show by Sam's Army in the U.S.-Mexico game showed that such dreams can come true.''

Who knows, one day the Voyageurs may grow up to be travelling soccer hooligans.

But I don't think so. I asked Khalili if his goal, one day, was to take the Voyageurs on the road with the team.

No, he said. This is a home-country project.

Canada plays away games in CONCACAF in places like El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and places where he knows they get pelted with urine bags and batteries. "I don't know how safe we'd be there,'' he said.

"We just want to do it here. We just don't want fans who originally come from those places to dominate Canadian fans at our own games. That happens all the time in Toronto and Vancouver. If we can help change that, then we've done something.''

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Christmas cards 1998...

In appreciation of the efforts made by many Canadian

soccer players abroad, the Voyageurs Supporters club has

decided to be more true to its name. Starting this year, the

Voyageurs will be sending out Christmas cards to all Canadian

players abroad.

There are currently some 40 Canadians playing outside of Canada.

We have managed to compile a list of many of these players

and their contacts. These players are:

England: Craig Forrest, Carlo Coraazin, Paul Peschisolido,

Jason Devos, Jim Brennan, Terry Dunfield

Scotland: Nick Dasovic, Davide Xausa, emillio Bottiglieri,Russel

Huggon, Paul Fenwick, Collin Miller, Richard Hasting

Ireland: Jeff Clarke

Germany: Owen Hargreaves, PaulStalteri, Wojliek Zarzycki,

Belgium: Tomasz Radzinski, Garret Kusch, Steven Kindell

Holland: Brad Parker, Jason Mathot

Sweden: Mark Watson

Portugal: Alex Bunbary, Fernando Aguiar

This whole thing got a kickstart when a letter sent out

to Jason Bent received a warm and enthusiastic response. The U-23

midfield wiz, who led Canada to the 2nd round of World U-20

Championships, left an NCAA scholarship in 1997 for a chance at

pro-soccer in Europe. After a short and harsh

stay in a small German town, the 20 year old spent some time

globe-trotting trying out in Holland, Portugal, Chicago and

each time getting cut for Foreign quota reasons, until he

finally landed a job with MLS's runner ups, Colorado Rapids.

His stroy is quite typical ofthe hardships faced by many of the

players listed above.

So, it was after this and some discussion on our discussion

board that we decided to begin this new tradition.

If you would like to have your name listed on the

cards sent out, please indicate your name and city in a reply mail to

"thevoyageurs@hotmail.com".

Even better, if you feel you are the generous type, you

can help us cover all these players, by sending a

contribution of $5 or $10. If you decide to send out any contributions,

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I had an old Canadian soccer news site back in April of 1996, which only lasted a year or so. [:P] There was also another site from the Channel Islands around the same time as well. I forget the person who made the site, but I met him at the Scotland-Canada friendly in 2002. I think his name was Paul.

From the old Voyageurs site...

In February of 1996, just prior to the Reading Week at University of Alberta in the city of Edmonton, in the midst of the midterm week mayhem, a small and plain website was about to kick off. After about a week of running up and down between the labs in the old U of A EE building, with the expertly HTML advices of Sachin Gandhi, another avid soccer fan now residing in Calgary, the html tags were put together and the website of the Voyageurs kicked off!

It's title was "Team Canada's Supporters Club" and underneath the following few lines appeared:

"It's been banned by monarchs! "

"It's been blamed for wars!"

"And it's been used to make peace and unify people!"

"One World, One Game, Live the Game!"

Somehow soccer fans from across Canada found this hidden site on the net, and Marc Dowdell (Edmonton), John Mark Mikhail (Edmonton), Jeff McKenzie (Fort McMurray), Martin Rose (Vancouver), Bob Anderson (Edmonton), David Bailey (Toronto), Marco Luciani (Toronto), Gerardo Vecchiato (Toronto), and Dave Assaf (NB) became its first few members who were to be joined by handful of other diehards.

In April of 1996, a vote was taken between the few members of then name-less fan club and from a range of names, including Red Army, Canuck Brigade and Voyageurs and three others, the name Voyageurs, which was proposed by Martin Rose of Vancouver, was selected.

The name, Voyageurs, was deemed perfect. It was both English and French, representing the bilingual nature of Canada. It also had a historical root in Canada and it represented the long and tough road that soccer fans in Canada must take upon to reach their goal.

The Voyageurs made their official debut at Commonwealth stadium on August 30th, 1996, when Canada took upon Panama to start the qualifying campaign for 1998 World Cup. After weeks of runnning around, thanks to the efforts of some local fans plus the arrival of Jeff Mckenzie of Fort McMurray and Eric Malo of Calgary, and the assistance of Mike Chow of Recreational Sports Center of U of A and Mehrdad Masoudi of CSA, a group of 40 fans gathered. The Fort Edmonton Voyageurs armour consisted of two banners, one the black and white Voyageurs banner, developed by a pair of Brazilian Exchange Students and their host, our own John Mark. The other banner, is non other than the checkered banner which has found its way into many Canadian venues, thanks to the efforts of little Leyla Asadi and the Reza's mother's sewing :-) A pair of drums were also expertly borrowed from Canada's #1 Female University soccer team, UofA Pandas.

The Voyageurs then continued to appear in almost all matches played in Edmonton including the Cuba, Costa Rica and Mexico qualifying matches played in Edmonton ,the weekend match of 1999 Canada Cup of Soccer against Ecuador and the 2000 T&T qualifying match.

In 1997, the Voyageurs website took a whole new shape thanks to the efforts of John Mark Mikhail. The greyish colored site was replaced with a predominantly red and white page, which looked sharp and sexy by 1997 internet standards. With Voyageurs, temporarily gaining the status of a university club, their website address was moved to www.ualberta.ca/~voyage .

In 1998, the Voyageurs took upon the challenge of a petition to raise the issue of Hargreaves in the media. Though at the end their attempt was a failure, they did eventually manage to draw media attention to Calgary soccer star!

In 1998, also as a small token of their appreciation, the Voyageurs began their Christmas Card tradition for all players of the senior national teams. The first set of cards, were all personalized and were approved by non other than Calgary's Ed Swain, a member of Super Senior Voyageurs in the middle of Chinook Center in Calgary and sent out with the addresses gathered by a number of people to their club addresses.

In addition, in May of 1999, with the help of Marc Peverini, the Voyageurs and Canadian SoccerNet websites joined one another and formed the new URL, www.canadian-soccer.com and thus our site moved to a more realistic address! Also around the same time, with the help of Patrick Whalen of Coquitlam, BC and a number of fans and soccer clubs around the country, the Voyageurs managed to send out a set of shirts autographed by young soccer players from across the country to Canada's Women's team, prior to USA'99.

In 2000, the Voyageurs broke into Toronto and Canada's supporters finally united to show up for two great showings against Trinidad and Tobbago and Mexico in Toronto. The Toronto Ultras popped into the scene thanks to the efforts of so many Toronto soccer fans including non other than, Mirza and Sea and Behrouz and others. We all know that the Toronto soccer scene will never be the same now!

Just around the same time, Fort Victoria Voyageurs kicked off with the help of Ted Godwin, Drew Shaw(a.k.a MCM) and the rest of Company. FVV made its national debut when Canada's U-20 won its qualifying group in March of 2001.

It's been a long and winding road, but in small steps, we have come a long way! And with your help, we look forward to moving further and higher and writing more history in the years to come, right across Canada!

So, in the name of passion, let The Tradition Continue

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yes i have written on here before. i stopped because i was told not to . this was back when i was a part of the toronto Lynx. Doesn't matter if other players write or not, they do read what is you right. plus when we loose touch we often come on to see where everyone is.

so yeah i did and i still do . just not as often

quote:Originally posted by BrennanFan

Please answer/explain/elaborate:

- Did Fernando Aguiar really post here or was that a hoax?

- Who got the jersey Pozniak gave away on here?

- What is the significance of the Belize Series Cucumber?

- Who got arrested at the Edm (or Van) WCQ match and why?

- Who is/are North Boys? what is his/their affiliation with the Voyageurs? does the North Boys continue to exist?

- Why did Stalteri's wife post here and not Stalteri?

- Who was that mystery U20 team member who posted here last year?

- Who is Luis Rancagua really?

- Is John TV one of the most passionate supporters of Canadian soccer ever, who has accomplished more towards organizing and publicizing the game than most of us ever will- or is he just some drunk guy off his meds who sees grass in different colours?

- Did Dave Simpson post here as a Voyageur before he 'made it'?

- Do members of USector/RPB/Ultras Montreal/Southside continue to regard the Voyageurs as an umbrella organization encompassing their groups? As a separate organization in which some are also members? Or as a non entity?

- Who the hell owns this site really? Is it run from out of pocket expenses?

- How/Why did the V's banner get removed by the CSA, and was there resistance to this?

Relatedly...

- How many banners do we have, and could we use another?

And Finally:

- Who in the hell is Joey Torchia, who originally brought him up on the board, and where is he now?

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quote:Originally posted by daveanthonysimpson

yes i have written on here before. i stopped because i was told not to . this was back when i was a part of the toronto Lynx. Doesn't matter if other players write or not, they do read what is you right. plus when we loose touch we often come on to see where everyone is.

so yeah i did and i still do . just not as often

thanks for this dave. an excellent conclusion to the thread.

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quote:Originally posted by BrennanFan

Is John TV one of the most passionate supporters of Canadian soccer ever, who has accomplished more towards organizing and publicizing the game than most of us ever will- or is he just some drunk guy off his meds who sees grass in different colours?

According to Ben Knight, JohnTV is an old Dutch guy who used to run the Robbie back in the day and they worked together producing the Rogers community broadcast for the tournament. And that's just one guys story, i wouldn't be surprised if John has actually done alot for the game in Canada. Unfortunately, he needs to learn to express himself more coherently when posting to avoid getting written off as an old drunk.

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quote:Originally posted by redhat

Is there any way someone could photoshop the picture and change the

"Serving Burnaby" tag to "Serving Voyageurs" and post it on this

board? Thanks.

Aaaayyy! Sit on it!

**** me that was fun.

That's my Huddersfield Town 3rd jersey. It's been to 6 WCQs. How about your shirt, Redhat?

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quote:Originally posted by redhat

Is there any way someone could photoshop the picture and change the

"Serving Burnaby" tag to "Serving Voyageurs" and post it on this

board? Thanks.

Aaaayyy! Sit on it!

**** me that was fun.

That's my Huddersfield Town 3rd jersey. It's been to 6 WCQs. How about your shirt, Redhat?

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quote:Originally posted by Current Champ

That's my Huddersfield Town 3rd jersey. It's been to 6 WCQs. How about your shirt, Redhat?

Well, does the Gold Cup count? That would be nine matches.;)

BTW, the "Serving the Voyageurs" tag was to replace the sticker on

the cop car saying "Serving the Volunteers of Burnaby". And if we

put the altered picture on t-shirts, you'd be famous ...

Unless you count your hostel experiences with travelling chicks

towards your own infamy ...:D

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quote:Originally posted by redhat

Well, does the Gold Cup count? That would be nine matches.;)

No..... ..... duh!

quote:BTW, the "Serving the Voyageurs" tag was to replace the sticker on

the cop car saying "Serving the Volunteers of Burnaby". And if we

put the altered picture on t-shirts, you'd be famous ...

Unless you count your hostel experiences with travelling chicks

towards your own infamy ...:D

My image is licensed, so screw you hippie.[:P] Anyway, a southsider photoshopped it already to say "Serving Costa Rica".

(if anyone wants a laugh at my most recent adventure check out the St. Pauli thread on the Southsider forum;) starting about page 7)

http://forum.vancouversouthsiders.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=902&PN=7

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Where were you for the Edmonton games Champ??

You came up in conversation when we were walking down to the Sherlock Holmes for some beers and I saw this pub with a whole ton of Hookah's in the window.

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quote: I remember there was a geat feature on Radzinski, shortly after he signed for Germinal Ekeren in Belgium.

WF, that was the issue I remember. I had a few issues but I remember being very young at the time and seeing that article on Radz and thinking "Canadians can play professionally abroad?". It opened my eyes to the idea that we could, I'd just never even considered it before. That's why I hate when Hargreaves said there was no one from Canada he could look up to in the sport. Then again, maybe he'd just never heard of Soccer Canada. Cheers

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Old dutchmann and drunk.Ok I admit to one,you figure it out. Now about that old business,that I find hurtfull but I guess true. Wait till you creeps get that far and it will happen and sooner than you think and make sure you behave yourself,have lots of sex and stay away from the booze or at least don't have any more than three drinks a session.

The Robbie,well I did not run it. I guess I may have pisse..., of quite a few people since it seemed i was running it,because that "effen"nmedia kept quoting me.A lot of people did not like that and till this day i really don't how I could have avoided that. But yes That Robbie I very seriously believe set the groundwork for so many positive things in soccer. For one it made these coaches work their bunnies of since all these Robbie finals were on "live"TV and believe it or not across Canada and the US. Apparently Rogers put it on the satelite.According to Bobby DeGuzman these coaches wanted to win to be in that final and be on live TV.He attributes this alone as one of the factors why these Scarboro boys did so well in soccer.

In fact I was not aware of that contribution the Robbie and TV made but that is from Bobby as well as Tony DeRosario.I only found out about this about four or so months ago.Some fedder.

My contributions to soccer, well I guess the highlite was to represent the Hall Of Fame Committee in handing out the awards to the variouis players including Craig Forrest.The picture was not there for the record,according to the OSA photographer, Craig blinked.I still have not figured that one out.

I will show you the others in due time.

One of these days I will put all the things I think have helped soccer in Canada and I guess my sort of biography.

I really hate as hell to brag and hey I am still one of the boys and one of those feisty Dutchman,I suppose I can blame it on my Dutch upbringing,some excuse.

I do remember when I entered this board or at least my first try on this chat business,Dave Bailey wrote a very nasty comment about me and I will never forget that. That was the worst thing I have ever read and I still hate his effen guts for that.

Other than that I am having some fun and yes I sell kitchens,do I have a deal for you being a Voyageur!

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quote:Originally posted by matthew

Canoeheads: I believe it was David Carmichael who originated the canoehead idea. There was a Canadian sketch comedy show called Four On The Floor with a Mr. Canoehead - who had a canoe welded to his head after he was struck by lightning while portaging. I have never seen this show.

Nope that was my fault. We were looking for distinctive gear and I suggested Mr Canoehead. Here is Drew's version from 2001:

victoria2001.jpg

quote:Originally posted by Winnipeg Fury

Outside of Reza, I don't know of anyone today that was around for that original vote.

I was on Canada Kicks and I voted for Voyageurs when it came up.

Not that I've posted much in the last couple of years. [:I]

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quote:Originally posted by redhat

Ted, didn't you also have a meeting with a certain Robert to discuss

the CUSL and stuff? Wasn't he a bit of a nutcase or so?

I had lunch with Robert one time when he said he was in town doing research for a book on BC soccer history (I wonder if it ever got finished.) I'm not sure about "nutcase" but he did seem obsessed with the BCSA and the CSA.

I've never been comfortable with that sort of knee-jerk anti-CSA attitude. Occasionally we as a group have had legitimate grievences but I have always held that CSA officials have been incompetent in those instances rather than malicious.

Of course, the opposite holds true for Dirty Jack

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quote:Originally posted by gwallace76

Where were you for the Edmonton games Champ??

You came up in conversation when we were walking down to the Sherlock Holmes for some beers and I saw this pub with a whole ton of Hookah's in the window.

Aaaayyyy....

I got turned off by ticketmaster telling me I could only buy tickets in cash at Rexall Place... (?)

Almost went to the Congo gam.... I'da gone to the R-16 games, but the only reason there was to like about Canada was they had the best hair.

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Some new Voyageur history.

IMG_0792.jpg

River City, EZmac, Stevieeatworld, Matthew, gwallace, Reza, Vancouver Fan, El Hombre, Strobe_z, Joe Keeper, anyone else?

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    Join us for this historic game!

    The Voyageurs are inviting all fans of the game who want to be at this historic match to join us. 

    We have arranged with Forge's James Hutton to set up a section at the game.

    After we will be joining a post game inaugural CanPL party hosted by the Barton Street Battalion 

    Please join and share the Facebook event here. Let's spread the word and make this a great day.

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