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Drillers81

Voyageur
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About Drillers81

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    FC Unattached

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  • Biography
    Former CF member (28 yrs), Amateur Referee for over 30 yrs, have played and coached as well as running a league at Edmonton Garrison.
    Supporter of FC Edmonton and Arsenal FC.
  • Location
    Bon Accord, Alberta, , Canada.
  1. With a 1-1-3 start and their arch-rivals visiting Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FC needed an outstanding effort to secure 3 points. And they got it from Referee Mike Dean. In what can only be called the worst job by a referee in the Premier League this season, Mike Dean made every effort to ensure the field was tilted Chelsea's way. Despite numerous swings to the face of Laurent Kocielny and a wild swing to the defender's head, which the Arsenal defender did not retaliate to, Diego Costa was only yellow carded and that for a further pushing match with Arsenal defender Gabriel (who also received a yellow), not his free-swing escapades or the intentional bump on Kocielny. Shortly thereafter, Costa initiated further contact with Gabriel at midfield (intentionally backing into his oppoent) to which the Arsenal player tapped Costa on the leg. Costa, the consummate jerk that he is, complained loudly to the ref who proceeded to give Gabriel a direct red card (at no time do you see the second yellow). Chelsea benefitted from that and a later red (second yellow on Sanchez) that reduced Arsenal to 9 men to secure a "much earned" victory for Mourinho and his side. Mike Dean ignored an opportunity in the second half to make amends when he failed to award Costa a second yellow card for a foul that Dean had demonstrated throughout the game to be caution-worthy. Mourinho, sensing that his little pest was living on borrowed time, subsequently substituted Diego off the field. The fact that Mourinho even had the chance to substitute Diego Costa speaks loudly of the incompetence of referee Dean who had ample opportunity to do the right thing and remove this anti-player from the field. Unfortunately, Dean needed to ensure the Chelsea victory and did more than most Blues players to assure a home result. It is hoped that two results come from this game from the FA. First, supplementary discipline must be applied to Diego Costa who all too regularly uses illegal tactics in his play and in efforts to have other players sanctioned or sent off. By suspending him for his actions a message will be sent to him and others who apply these tactics that they will not be tolerated. Second, Mike Dean must be held accountable for his poor game management. Regardless of seniority, it is the responsibility of the match official to apply the laws of the game fairly and equitably, something which was not done on this day. An exile to the Championship for a few weeks would definitely be in order. Unfortunately, I fear the FA will shrink from this opportunity and thereby encourage more of the same, which is good news for Chelsea, as they seek to get back in the championship run. Jose Mourinho likes to use an "Us against the World" mentality with his team and consistently complains about the treatment his team receives from the officials. Mourinho's mentality is such that he will find a way to colour this game as having been biased against his club yet they persevered. Enough already Mourinho, your team gets more than it fair share of the calls and, with the resources at your disposal, it is anything but Chelsea against the World. If anything, Jose needs to ensure Mike Dean gets a real nice Christmas present this year. God forbid Chelsea should not be in the title race!
  2. No worse than the increase travel FC Edmonton will face now with Puerto Rico back in the league.
  3. The NASL's announcement of it's 13th franchise being awarded to Puerto Rico FC, under the ownership of NBA star Carmelo Anthony, is a bad news story all around for Canada's two NASL teams and the potential for additional clubs in Canada. For Edmonton and Ottawa, their travel bill just got bigger. Puerto Rico last played in the NASL in 2011, the Islanders went on hiatus following that season, originally planning a fall 2012 return then 2013, before eventually going belly up. The current structure of the league (Spring and Fall Schedules) is not amenable to having teams play twice on a trip to Puerto Rico, as they currently only play once versus each opponent in the spring (either home or away) and twice (once home, once away) in the fall. This means that every trip to Puerto Rico will be for one game only. Secondly, as a non-American team, Puerto Rico counts against the maximum of 25% of teams that can be based outside the US, reducing the potential for additional Canadian teams. This would mean to get one more Canadian team, the league must also add two more American teams (a 16-team league). For the vast majority of US-based teams, in particular the four Florida-based teams, Puerto Rico is a welcome addition as the trip to San Juan is shorter, and more direct than their annual (and sometimes twice annual) trips to Edmonton. For the owners of FC Edmonton, being in the NASL just got a little more expensive.
  4. Over the past couple years I have been searching every nook and cranny of the internet for information on the Canadian Professional Soccer League. Thanks in a large part to the Google Newspaper Archive, I have been able to piece together the results of all but one game and attendance figures for many of the games. My hope is to write a book about this league which, while being a little more than a footnote in Canada's soccer history, is a cautionary tale with plenty of lessons to be learned. While I have been able to find many articles relating to this league, I am interested in possibly hearing from fans who actually attended CPSL games that year. If you have a story from the 1983 CPSL and would like to share it, I would love to hear from you. Proper credit will be given should my project ever result in a book. I would especially like to hear from people who were involved in the league and its teams. It doesn't matter if you were a player, the GM of a team or a ticket seller. A spoiler alert, the final CPSL standings on the RSSSF site are inaccurate. A thank you in advance to anyone who is able to help me move this project along.
  5. Okay, we have the Voyageurs Cup, but that is for the Amway Canadian Championship and gives the winner a berth in CONCACAF Champions League (although Vancouver finally got a Champions League berth without winning it last year). We have three Canadian teams in MLS that play each other at least once per year (three times for Toronto and Montreal). Why not have a prize for the best of the three each year, either based on regular season standings or the results of one match against each of the other two. We could call it the Maple Leaf Shield (get it the MLS). While it's a good bet that it will probably be going back and forth between Vancouver and Montreal, it will likely end up in Toronto (when it passes through the Freight Terminal at Pearson International). Still, I think it would be a nice way of promoting the Canadian teams. Maybe it could be sponsored by Bell or BMO, or both!
  6. What would happen if Canadian fans acted the same as the Costa Rican fans did this evening? CONCACAF would probably kick our team out of the tournament!
  7. I want to thank Craig Forrest for speaking up on tonight's broadcast on SportsNet about the absolutely embarrassing conduct of the fans in Costa Rica. I also applaud his calling out of CONCACAF for its ignoring of this ongoing blight on the sport. Central Americans may be avid fans of the games but when the host games such as this they are among the worst fans (and actually they are not fans they are hooligans). There behaviour harkens back to the Ugly Englishmen of the 80s whose barbaric behaviour saw English clubs banned from European competitions for a couple years. Even the recent embarrassing behaviour by Montenegrin fans at a Euro Qualifier against the Russians was halted by match officials. It seems UEFA gets it while CONCACAF doesn't. As long as the Mexicans and Central Americans have success on the field, regardless of the tactics, all is good in CONCACAF. The situation, which I have seen on TV time and time again, as well as reports from players returning from games in this region, has been a long-time frustration of mine. I sincerely believe it unfairly tips the competitive balance in CONCACAF against teams from Canada and the United States, the fact that the Impact prevailed (barely) tonight only shows the effort required to overcome these tactics. My dissatisfaction with CONCACAF's failure to address this embarrassment has encouraged me to write an e-mail to that organization which I have done tonight. Essentially I have questioned the confederation's integrity and its commitment to fair play. I realize, in addition to the ongoing embarrassment that is Central American football, CONCACAF is also one of the most corrupt sports organizations in the world, making it a breeding ground for future FIFA executives! Nonetheless, the game does not belong to the executives of FIFA or CONCACAF, it belongs to the fans, the players and the officials. If we accept the arrogance of CONCACAF, we are equally to blame. However, if we stand up point out that, yes, the King has no clothes, then we can be part of the solution. Fans in countries like Costa Rica must accept that the game must be played on the field and, short of cheering or jeering, fans should not be aiding in the outcome. My fullest congratulations to FC Impact de Montreal, my absolute disdain for the hooligans that threw garbage and other objects at the Montreal players and the officials (who wouldn't buy into the play acting and shenanigans of the Alajuelense club). My only concern is that, barring a major comeback by Club America, Montreal's next Champions League game will also be in this backward corner of the football world. If I have offended any Alajuelense, Costa Rican or Central American fans, take a long hard look at the continuing behaviour of your fellow supporters before you respond to my comments.
  8. Is officiating at the national level in Canada that poor that these are the best referees we can get? My god, this is the Canadian Championships not house league play.
  9. According to Wikipedia, 12,826 fans attended this game. I guess most of them were disguised as seats.
  10. This semi-final series will be know as the PK series, for two PKs given and two PKs not given. In the dying moments of the 1st leg with FCE leading 2-1, a simple penalty call was ignored by Mr. Petrescu and, moments later after the ball was cleared downfield, blew the final whistle. In the second leg, Mr. Fischer had three separate incidents to deal with. For the incident which brought FC Edmonton to the spot, the foul was committed (even if the Edmonton player made more of it than he should have, but don't they all). For the penalty shout against Nyassi, six of one half a dozen of another, it could have gone either way like so many similar plays. For the final injury time PK, under no circumstances in any game should this have been a PK. Not only did the play make no attempt to play the ball, he was actually trying his best to get his arms out of the way, and it was a bang-bang play where there was no legitimate opportunity for the player to avoid the ball. In four years of this tournament, Edmonton has no fewer than four controversial moments where it has been done in, not by its MLS opponent, but by the so-called National Level Referee "managing" the game. Anyway you do the math, the final result of the series should have been Edmonton advancing to the finals. One can excuse Edmonton fans if they believe there is a conspiracy against them advancing in this tournament against the "favoured" MLS clubs, even though the MLS clubs are far from being the elite of their league. Perhaps the CSA, concerned about the lack of success for its clubs in MLS, needs their success in Amway to justify their Division One status. Sure the argument exists that the 2008 tournament was won by Div Two Montreal, however there were two Div Two teams in the tournament (which was a round-robin not a knockout tournament at the time), and the MLS Club (the 2008 Toronto FC side) was perhaps the weakest MLS side ever in this tournament. It may very well be the failure of TFC to win the inaugural tournament was the impetus for CSA to "do whatever possible" to ensure an MLS side always wins this tournament. In their first tournament match in 2011, FC Edmonton were reduced to 10 men early in a game that the mighty TFC would win 3-0; in the home leg TFC barely managed a 1-0 win against 11 FC Edmonton players. Last year the scandal continued as Mr. Petrescu (the same man who worked the 1st leg in Edmonton on May 7th) found a way to ensure Vancouver recovered from a 2-1 deficit at Commonwealth Stadium to defeat Edmonton 3-2; including, surprise, surprise, a dubious penalty call that Vancouver "superstar" Camilo dived for and subsequently converted the PK. Camilo rewarded the Vancouver fateful for their undying support by jumping ship and breaking his contract later in the year (but that is another story). It's no wonder less than 2,000 fans attended the 1st leg in Edmonton, with the odds (and the officials) against their club, why bother supporting this sham tournament. The results of the Amway are becoming as predictable as a Mexican election in the 50s. If all goes according to script, TFC will regain "their" crown this year. In seven MLS seasons, TFC have absolutely nothing to show for their "efforts", even Montreal and Vancouver have made the playoffs. The only titles the Reds have in their history are their Canadian Championships.
  11. Thank you for the info. Yes, the Toronto Nationals (and Inter-Montreal) did not last to see the season through, in fact the league abandoned the schedule a third of the way through the season, once Toronto and Montreal packed it in. Probably the best run CPSL team was the Hamilton Steelers, owned by Mario DeBartolomeo, he would resurrect this team in the Canadian Soccer League in 1987. Including the 1983 CPSL final, the Steelers would play in five Canadian professional championships (1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 CSL Mita Cup finals), ironically they lost all five (1983 to Edmonton, 1987 to Calgary, and 1988 to 1990 to Vancouver). Of the six CPSL teams, only Hamilton and Mississauga avoided financial fiascos. Players on the league champion Edmonton Eagles reportedly went without pay for the months of June and July and were not paid for their 2-0 championship win over Hamilton on August 2nd, 1983. As you can see there were some interesting goings on in this league, very much out of proportion to the actual period in which it operated.
  12. 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the ill-fated and short-lived Canadian Professional Soccer League. I have spent the better part of last winter's dark nights researching news articles on google to patch together the story of this league in hopes of developing a book to commemorate this league that seems to have faded into the mists of time. If any members have stories or recollection of this league that they are willing to permit me to include in this project, I would be eternally grateful, and appropriately acknowledge. Thank you in advance for any support you may be able to provide. Of particular interest would be individuals who were involved in the league, maybe even some players.
  13. Reading some posts on an online article at mlssoccer.com on the subject of expansion. One comment in particular caught my mind, one reader stated that MLS expansion to Canada was a mistake and that the league should have expanded instead to other American markets. Division One soccer, such as MLS is, has been around since 1967, with a brief absence from 1985 to 1995. The arrival of the United Soccer Association (USA) and the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) in 1967 harkened the arrival of “top flight” soccer in America, however teams in these leagues were not limited to the United States, with two teams (Toronto and Vancouver) in the USA and a second Toronto team in the NPSL, three of the twenty-two Division One teams that year were based in Canada. Even when the two leagues merged to form the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1968, two Canadian-based teams remained. In fact, over the 17-year history of the original NASL, only two seasons did not feature Canadian-based teams (1969 and 1970). From 1971 to its final season in 1984, at least two Canadian-based teams were in the league every season (three in 1979, 1980 and 1982; and five in 1981). Despite the limited success of the Canadian members of MLS, their predecessors in the NASL actually faired quite well. On field, both Toronto (in 1976) and Vancouver (in 1979) won the Soccer Bowl Championships; and attendance-wise from 1979 onward Vancouver was consistently in the top three of attendance every year. Since entering MLS, all three Canadian teams have drawn consistently above the league average in attendance, something that cannot be said for many of the US-based teams. With stadia around 20,000 seats, they all have been drawing pretty close to capacity on most nights. The Montreal Impact even recorded the largest crowd outside Seattle last season when 60,000 watched the home town team play David Beckham and the Galaxy. I am sure there are many around the United States who believe that their leagues should stay in their cities, after all, outside of the Toronto teams in the NBA and MLB, the rest of teams in the big three are US-based. As for the NHL, US claims to that league can be easily challenged, while being founded in 1919; the first US-based team in the Canadian league was the New York Rangers in 1927. Shortly thereafter, however US-based teams became the majority. The point of the matter is this; Canadian teams in “US” Division One leagues have a proud and honourable history. Far from diluting the product or depriving more deserving markets of a franchise, these teams have proven themselves worthy and important parts of the league. One need only to look at the positive impact of the Cascadia Rivalry (featuring Portland, Seattle and Vancouver) has had on the league, or the regional rivalries that are growing between Toronto and Montreal with the Northeastern teams to appreciate the value this Canadian Trio brings to the league. Prior to the series of expansions from 2007 to 2011, which included the three Canadian teams, it is very realistic to say that MLS was stagnating, if not declining. Since the injection of the new franchises over this period MLS has found new life. Far from criticizing the league’s decision to welcome Canadian markets, which have held their own in the league, questions should be raised about certain long-standing franchises that continually underperform. Perhaps the ones keeping deserving markets out of the league are these clubs and not the ones on this side of the border.
  14. The only confederation that has more WC berths than it deserves is CAF. The fact remains that, while a few CAF nations have pulled some upsets (Senegal in 2004, Cameroons in the 1980s and 90s), but overally CAF has been cannon fodder for UEFA and CONMEBOL nations, much like CONCACAF and AFC, with the only difference that they get 5 berths to AFC's 4.5 and CONCACAF's 3.5. Sepp Blatter has been trying hard to promote CAF as the up-and-coming confederation when in reality they may very well have already peaked. With consistency of Mexico and the US, as well as surprise performances by other CONCACAF nations, I can understand why a move to get this confederation to 4 berths was at foot. CONCACAF and CONMEBOL have the highest level of cooperation amongst the confederations, with both Mexican clubs participating in the Copa Libertadores, and the occasional appearance of CONCACAF nations in the Copa America and CONMEBOL nations in the Gold Cup. Additionally, the Pan-Am Games Football competition is the longest running competition featuring nations from both confederations. I personally would love to see a Western Hemisphere Super Cup between the Copa Libertadores and CONCACAF Champions League winners.
  15. The induction of the 1979 Vancouver Whitecaps as a team of distinction is long overdue. As a fan who attended many of the Whitecap games in 1979 and followed their progress to the Soccer Bowl victory, they were as exciting and talented as any team based in Canada before or since. The fact that many of the players on that team were Canadian-born only reinforces their place as a great Canadian team. How long before the Hall recognizes Canada's two other NASL Champions, the 1976 Toronto Metros-Croatia and the 1980-81 Indoor Champion Edmonton Drillers?
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