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Everything posted by powerof11

  1. In this interview, Julian and Red Nation discuss his experiences playing at various levels in Italy, his goal of becoming the first Canadian to play in a Serie A match, his current club Crotone, his experiences playing with the AC Milan youth setup and his aspirations at the International level. Article and Podcast: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Julian_Uccello_aug_10_10_feature.shtml
  2. http://www.rednationonline.ca/Depth_Key_for_TFC_Playoff_Drive_august_9_10_article.shtml With Toronto FC’s recent qualification for the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stages, many TFC supporters applauded the achievement and then immediately took to worrying about whether the six extra games on the schedule might have a detrimental effect on the club’s chances of qualifying for the MLS playoffs for the first time. After all, Toronto FC would not be the first MLS club to see their playoff hopes go down the drain due to a fairly small roster succumbing to a heavy schedule of league matches and Champions League fixtures. And many will argue that the team’s recent loss of a very winnable match on the road to Kansas City was very much a result of the team saving their energy for a CONCACAF match against Honduran side Motagua. At the beginning of the season Toronto Head Coach Preki was clear that making the playoffs was the team’s main priority, so much so that many supporters wondered just how seriously he was going to take the Nutrilite Canadian Championship tournament. Thus, many are now wondering about the possibility that while the team may have won a couple of battles, will they ultimately lose the war? If last Saturday’s convincing win over Chivas was not enough to soothe fears that the Reds will lose their steam before they hit the finish line, the mood in the dressing room after the match certainly was one that suggested that not only is the team confident of making the playoffs, the players feel that the Champions League qualification has actually put the wind beneath their wings. “By winning the series against Motagua and coming through with the tie in Honduras, I think it really has had a positive effect and reinforces a positive mentality throughout the entire team. It just adds to the motivation and momentum going forward, every win just gives us that more of a push and a desire to keep winning. There is really a positive vibe going throughout the team,” says central defender Adrian Cann. To a man the players on TFC believe that it is the club’s depth that will allow them to achieve positive results in the Champions League while at the same time qualifying for the MLS playoffs. “I think it comes down to our roster. We have a good twenty-four man roster and I think everybody is comfortable playing with everybody on the team. You can look at Ibby (Fuad Ibrahim) when he came in a couple of weeks ago and scored and he did well with U.S. U-20 team and did well again today (against Chivas). So I think we are just going to have to just rely more on other players. We have a lot of young players on the team that we are going to have to rely on and they’ve done well (when called upon in the past),” says midfielder Jacob Peterson. “We are going to be playing a lot of games and every player is going to have play a role on the field. It’s going to take the whole team and everyone will need to be ready to play,” added fullback Raivis Hscanovics, who has previously competed in the Europa League with Latvian side Skonto FC. While the overall depth on the club has allowed Preki to rotate players all season and made the Reds earn their minutes on the training pitch, many players were quick to point out that the club’s two most recent signings have arrived just in time for the really busy part of the schedule and the do or die games. “It’s huge (to have the new players - Maicon Santos and Mista - that have recently joined the forward ranks). And it’s not just at the forward positions, we’ve got Nane Joseph stepping in where Amadou (Sanyang) was playing and he has done tremendously well. I think we have good depth now all over the pitch. I think we were a little thin up front and that would have hurt us down the road, because we (O’Brian and I) would have been playing in all of the matches and, if we weren’t scoring, we’d still be playing because there just wouldn’t have been other options to go to. Now that we have that depth, it is going to be the best players that are going to be playing on the field. And all of the forwards are all going to be called up – O’Brian, Fuad, Me, Maicon, Mista – everybody is going to be called upon to play a role down the stretch,” says forward Chad Barrett. With the overall team defense and the world class play of keeper Stefan Frei carrying the team for much of the season, the chances that the team has been generating for last several weeks have finally started to result in goals. Back to back two goal games - combined with the usually stingy defense and acrobatic saves by Frei - has the club feeling confident that they can beat anyone, but not overconfident to the point that they have forgotten what has got them to point they are now at. “It’s definitely encouraging to see the goals going in for the forwards. And then when we as defenders do our job, it just makes the atmosphere that much happier and positive for the team. I think they have been doing well. They are creating chances and even when they weren’t scoring, they were doing well in creating chances. Now they are popping them in, it makes it that much easier for everybody on the team,” says Cann. “We have had back to back two goals and we are on a high as a team, but we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We have to take things step by step. Our next opponent (The New York Red Bulls) has had a bunch of new signings, they are going to have a full house at their new stadium, and overall there is just a lot of optimism around their team as well. So we really need to be focused and ready to go in there and dash their hopes,” adds Barrett. Even with so much roster turnover since the end of the 2009 campaign, the players also believe that with over half a season behind them, they have now played together enough that they can handle a somewhat reduced training schedule as necessitated by the number of matches they will play in the coming weeks. “I think that by being involved in the next round of the CONCACAF Championship, it going to take a toll on the players energy-wise due to playing more games. Plus, we have to take into consideration concentrating on the league games as well. I think Preki does a good job of balancing it all out (in terms of training and the rest required for a heavier schedule). He knows that the schedule coming up is going to take that much more out of the players and, therefore, training session-wise he likely won’t make them as long. There will be a little more recovery time and a few more days off to recover,” says Cann. “Of course, we are not going to spend as much time on training field as we normally would. But I think that’s better. Guys are going to be more ready for the games, rather than spending all of our time on training and tactics and stuff like that. We’ve had six months now of going over those things, so now every player should know what they need to do in the roles they have been asked to fill when they come on. We don’t worry too much about the league or too much about the competition. We want to make sure that is balanced out and I think that we can get results in both competitions,” adds Peterson. Ultimately, these are professional athletes for whom fitness really shouldn’t be an issue. Several members of the 2009 squad have been candid in the past in saying that when the team faded down the stretch last season, it wasn’t so much that they were physically tired, it was mental breakdowns that lead to the team’s downfall. Thus, the upcoming stretch drive is really more of a mental battle than a physical one. “We just have to be mentally fit. You have to be mentally fit, but you also have to be mentally prepared and prepared to just concentrate on one game at a time,” says Cann. In that sense, the mental boost that the team has received from going into the harsh environment in Honduras and getting a result has been a plus. And the mental strength and character that the team displayed in not allowing a letdown to occur in the match against Chivas might be the most optimistic sign of all. “It was a great three points for us. After a long week, a lot of travel and an emotional game down in Honduras, I thought that this game could have been the one that might be difficult for us. But I thought we came out in the first half – apart from maybe five minutes at the start – and played very well. We are a hard team to play against and I am hoping for us to become an even harder team to play against. When I first got here I thought that we were easy and we were soft. Now we are making improvements in those areas, but also today it showed that we have been making improvements playing soccer, because at numerous moments it was really nice to watch how we played,” says Preki, the man who was brought here to get Toronto to the playoffs after three years of failing to do so.
  3. If anyone is interested...Red Nation breaks down the game with Ben Knight (postgame article as well): http://www.rednationonline.ca/Toronto_FC_Send_the_Right_Message_in_Win_Against_Chivas_august_7_10_news.shtml
  4. Red Nation spoke to David Monsalve after his second leg of Europa League qualifying: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Monsalve_Looks_to_Regain_Form_After_Europa_League_Performance_august_6_10_article.shtml
  5. In this interview, Ante and Red Nation discuss Chivas USA’s current campaign, new Chivas Head Coach Martin Vasquez, his former head coach and current TFC head coach Preki, his former teammate Maicon Santos, his experiences playing in Europe, the Men’s Canadian National Team and his upcoming match against Toronto FC at BMO Field. http://www.rednationonline.ca/podcast.shtml#AnteJazic
  6. (Look for the Voyageurs banner @ 6:21) If anyone is interested... Video shot by Red Nation Online's Gavin Day before the international friendly between Argentina and Canada on May 24, 2010. You'll have to excuse the shoddy camera work but I think it gives a pretty good idea on the scene there. You can ignore the last minute...the camera was left running so there's nothing on it but the inside of a bag.
  7. A breakdown for the second leg and a prediction that TFC may lose this one: Toronto FC head down to the cauldron of Tegucigalpa, Honduras to take on C.D. Motagua in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round. The Reds did themselves no favours in the home fixture winning by the slim margin of 1-0, as the Estadio Nacional is known as one of the more intimidating places to play and get a result in Central America. Toronto took the gamble on the weekend by resting key players and lost 1-0 to Kansas City. Any momentum built from their win last week needs to be built again from scratch, however, to advance they don’t need to win, but draw or at least score a goal to push Motagua to have to net three. http://www.rednationonline.ca/Countdown_TFC_v_Motagua_august_2_10_news.shtml
  8. Hard Luck TFC Fall to Kansas City: Toronto 0 Kansas City 1 The Prelude to Battle Toronto FC went into this road match at Community America Ballpark looking to hit one out of the park and hoping to get all three points. With TFC’s recent run of draws somewhat dampening the glow that surrounded the team going into the World Cup break, Toronto were looking to deliver another performance like the one that saw them defeat Motagua in their recent CONCACAF Champions League Qualifier. Against a quality opponent, the Reds delivered one of their best performances of the season in a very entertaining back and forth match against their Honduran opponents. Solid in defence and relentless in pushing the forward, TFC generated countless chances but ultimately scored only one goal. With Kansas City coming off recent successful performances against Columbus and FC Dallas and a win in a friendly against Manchester United, the Wizards came into this match brimming with confidence. With Julian de Guzman having one of his best performances as a member of TFC against Motagua and Dwayne De Rosario starting one this one the bench, the Reds would need another MVP caliber performance from their first ever designated player. Their second designated player, Mista, got his first league start up front, partnering with Maicon Santos. The Opening Forty-Five On a humid evening with the sun affecting the visibility of both teams in the early going, this match started off slowly with neither team generating anything resembling a scoring chance through the first thirty-five minutes of play. In the 40th minute, the Wizards put a ball into the Toronto net off of a set play, but Kei Kamara was called offside. In the 43rd minute, Mista showed some Spanish flair and some fantastic skill to control a cross from Santos on a play that required a world class save from KC keeper Jimmy Nielsen to keep this one scoreless. Overall, this was a mundane first half from both teams and likely the least exciting half of play that viewers would have seen since the recent 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. Playing on the road, this was also a fairly successful half for TFC and put them in good position to try and steal a win with a timely goal in the second half. The Second Half The second half kicked off with both teams looking more lively and interested. In the 56th minute, it looked TFC had caught something of a break when Wizards playmaker Ryan Smith had to leave the match with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Instead, it would be Kansas City who would convert their first real chance of the game when an errant header by Adrian Cann went right to Wizards striker Teal Bunbury, who headed it off the hand of an outstretched Stefan Frei into the back of the Toronto net. Toronto pushed forward looking for a tying goal for the remainder of the match, but Kansas City was able to play this one out, with the home team content to sit back and defend a one goal lead. The Final Word: Not Exactly a Field of Dreams Overall, this match was as bland as a Michael Bolton album. While Toronto did not play a very good game, they actually deserved to gain at least a point with this road performance. The Reds were a little bit unlucky to lose this one when a mistake by arguably their most consistent and reliable defender lead to a goal by an opposing team that had shown nothing to suggest they were capable of generating any real scoring chances. With a little bit of luck of their own, TFC could have just easily come away with three points of their own, as Kansas City simply looked timid and ineffective. At the end of the day, this one was there for the taking and TFC simply did not get the job done. Whether it was because they were tired from a very busy recent schedule or due to the fact that they were trying to conserve their energy for their away match against Motagua on Tuesday, the Reds did not appear up to delivering a winning performance on this day. They now have a couple of days to get things together for what is expected to be a very difficult match in Tegucigalpa when they most definitely won’t be in Kansas anymore. TFC Line-up 24 Frei 8 Gargan 12 Cann 3 Attakora 4 Garcia 21 LaBrocca 6 De Guzman 15 Nane 10 Mista 29 Santos 23 Peterson Substitutions: (58) Barrett in for Mista; De Rosario in for Peterson; (73) Gala in for Nane. http://www.rednationonline.ca/Hard_Luck_TFC_Fall_to_Kansas_City_july_31_10_news.shtml
  9. In this interview, Ryan and Red Nation discuss his current MLS campaign with Kansas City, the Wizards recent win against Manchester United, his time with Arsenal in the English Premier League, his thoughts on how Major League Soccer compares to the football leagues in England and his upcoming match against Toronto FC. Podcast: http://www.rednationonline.ca/podcast.shtml#RyanSmith
  10. Jeremy Loome says the time is right for TFC to take a step into the future and sign academy players Nicholas Lindsay and Doneil Henry. http://www.rednationonline.ca/Buying_into_the_Youth_Movement_july_28_10_column.shtml
  11. Match Report and Podcast up... http://www.rednationonline.ca/Toronto_FC_Draws_First_Blood_Against_Motagua_july_27_10_news.shtml
  12. A breakdown/countdown on the matchup and a bold prediction for a Toronto win: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Countdown_TFC_v_Motagua_july_26_10_news.shtml
  13. A post game report and podcast if anyone is interested: Toronto FC Stumble in Draw Against Dallas: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Toronto_FC_Stumble_in_Draw_Against_Dallas_july_24_10_news.shtml
  14. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Edson Edward is a central defender who plays for FC Dallas. He was selected by FC Dallas in the 2010 Major League Soccer (MLS) supplemental draft and won a spot on the team at training camp. Prior to joining Dallas of the MLS Edward enjoyed an accolade-filled amateur and collegiate soccer career that has taken him to various spots in North America. After graduating the Ottawa Fury's Youth program, Edward began his collegiate duties at the NAIA's Graceland University. In his four years at Graceland he never endured a losing season - helping the Jackets to an overall 58-16-8 record while scoring 15 goals and adding 13 assists. In 2006 Edward was part of Graceland's NAIA National Championship-winning squad, while in 2007 he helped the team become Region V and Conference Champions. Edward has also twice been named to the the NAIA's Heart of America Athletic All-Conference team (2007, 2008). In this interview, Edson and Red Nation discuss his current MLS rookie campaign, making the jump from college soccer to the professional level, his ongoing development as a young defender and his thoughts on the possibility of Major League Soccer in Ottawa. http://www.rednationonline.ca/podcast.shtml#EdsonEdward
  15. Jeremy Loome looks at Toronto FC's ailing tactics: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Will_we_see_a_more_offensive_performance_july_20_10_column.shtml
  16. A bit late...but a positive look: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Jacksons_move_to_Norwich_right_on_schedule_july_18_10_article.shtml
  17. Just to throw my humble 2 cents...My folks came from Italy. I would argue with them from a very young age how 110% Canadian I was. Canada first, always and forever. I'm respectful of my background but am a fierce and proud Canadian. I remember how it felt attending matches (over 30 years ago) when other national teams played in Toronto and me sitting in Lamport or Varsity Stadium cheering for Canada...wondering why 90% of the "fans" who were obviously living/born here, were booing Canada. I felt truly alone in my allegiance to the Maple Leaf...No matter how I tried to articulate how important it was to support our nation, I was always "that dumb idiot". Fast forward to the Canada/Jamaica tilt in Toronto...how hard it hit me....all red, all Canadian's, one voice...I stood there with three other friends, choked up, saying....'this is what I have been waiting for. This moment. Complete and utter support for Canada.' The other moment was when I "discovered" The Voyageurs and realised that are thousands out there that give a damn. Like I tell my young children...you may have the heritage of Italy and Hungary in your background...but you're Canadian first and last. If there was ever a chance to represent this country in any facet, you better damn step up. It is because of you that will make a difference, to soldier on for us, to get us over the many hurdles we face within this sport. It's up to all of us to ensure that the path is there for them. We are the ones yelling for the resources, the development, the infrastructure...the chance, the hope. And therefore, it truly feels like a knife through the heart, when we lose our talent to...whomever. Apologies for my rant.
  18. Red Nation Online recently had the opportunity to speak with Sébastien Le Toux a striker/midfielder who is currently enjoying a breakout campaign with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. Red Nation Online and Sébastien discuss his current MLS campaign, his decision to move to the United States, his time with the Seattle Sounders, Thierry Henry's move to the MLS, the possible allure of the Montreal Impact to European players and his upcoming match against Toronto FC at PPL Park. http://www.rednationonline.ca/Inside_the_MLS_Sebastien_Le_Toux_july_15_10_feature.shtml
  19. Adrian Cann made his name in Canada but it was his short spell in Denmark that helped secure a place in Toronto FC’s roster. http://www.rednationonline.ca/A_Long_Road_Home_july_14_10_article.shtml
  20. With the return of former Toronto FC right back Marvell Wynne to BMO Field yesterday and a very decent performance by the former 1st overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, many Toronto fans likely reignited the debate as to which team “won” the trade that took place when the Reds sent Wynne to the Rapids in exchange for midfielder Nick LaBrocca last March. http://www.rednationonline.ca/Wynne_LaBrocca_Trade_Looking_Like_a_Win_for_Both_Toronto_and_Colorado_july_11_10_article.shtml
  21. Inside the MLS: Adrian Cann In this interview, Adrian and Red Nation discuss Toronto's current campaign, the TFC back line, Toronto's newest signing in Mista, his experiences playing in Europe with Danish side Esbjerg and his upcoming match against the Colorado Rapids at BMO Field. http://www.rednationonline.ca/podcast.shtml#AdrianCann
  22. Hertha BSC General Manager Michael Preetz looks to recreate his own history with the signing of Rob Friend. http://www.rednationonline.ca/One_step_back_two_steps_forward_for_Friend_july_8_10_article.shtml
  23. Jeremy Loome's look at the signing: http://www.rednationonline.ca/Go_Big_or_Go_Home_july_6_10_column.shtml
  24. Max Bell discusses FIFA's decision to maintain the status quo for its 2014 World Cup continental allotments. http://www.rednationonline.ca/FIFA_locks_CONCACAF_at_3_5_spots_june_27_10_article.shtml
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