Just when I thought Canadian soccer had let me out, it pulls me back in.
To make some short notes about the Vancouver Whitecaps qualifying for the 2012 Major League Soccer post-season. I’m in the Massey camp on this one. It is historic, sure, in that it’s a first in a league that has existed for 16 years. But as a Canadian with more than his fair share of sympathy to the BC soccer scene, it’s hard to fist-pump.
For one, Vancouver squandered their big chance against Portland to celebrate the playoffs in front of their home crowd, losing 1-0 and praying Seattle were in a battling move (they needed their friends in Washington to beat FC Dallas and did, 3-1). Their less-than-convincing display, losing the Cascadia Cup to Portland, reflects, as Ben pointed out last night, that “Being the first Canadian MLS team to make the playoffs is a tribute to Toronto’s historic incompetence, not anything to do with the Whitecaps (or the Impact).”
Particularly as 55% of teams within the Western Conference qualify for the post-season as a matter of course. And the Montreal Impact are currently on the same points total and are already well out of any post-season contention, seven points behind the also eliminated Columbus Crew. What matters now is whether Vancouver are a post-season team. And there’s the rub; if the Whitecaps lose against the LA Galaxy on as many predicting they will, will this retain its “historic moment”-ness?
But then again, it’s a one-off, and this is football, which means Van City has as good a chance as any to progress to the Conference semis. But the final word here is that the “race to playoffs” for Canadian clubs was only ever meaningful because Toronto FC is a terrible, terrible soccer team. So don’t party yet, friends in the West. Give it the next three matches, if we get to that stage.
Vancouver Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie willing to help the Canadian Soccer Association.
Roberto Di Matteo confirms John Terry will see European action.
“Eradicating racism in football will take time” – Mark Hughes
Emmanuel Adebayor apparently ready to quit Tottenham.
Rio Ferdinand free from punishment/fine after ‘Kick it Out’ saga.
Robin van Persie claims there’s more to come from his partnership with Wayne Rooney.
“Rio Ferdinand has right to protest over ‘Kick it Out’ ” – Clarke Carlisle (PFA Chairman)
Wenger worried about Arsneal’s league position and Chelsea’s 10-point lead.
Leeds United fan charged over attack on goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.
Andre Villas-Boas waiting on news about Moussa Dembele injury.
Martin O’Neill upset with Sunderland fans after Steven Taylor chants.
Edin Dzeko refuses to accept ‘super sub’ tag…wants to play
QPR owner Tony Fernandes focusing on the positives…backs Mark Hughes
Crystal Palace allow manager Doug Freedman to talk with Bolton over vacant manager position.
“Dock points for racism” – Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic
John Terry set to wear anti-racism armband during Champions League matches.
Steven Gerrard excited about the play of Raheem Sterling.
Mark Hughes accepts ‘Kick it Out’ protest by QPR players.
Despite loss to Lazio, AC Milan has no plans to sack Massimiliano Allegri.
Antonio Cassano scores again…Inter within four points of Juventus
“Roma have no financial need to sell De Rossi” – Franco Baldini
Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci tackles armed robber…then chases him
Allegri set to drop Boateng from starting XI in hopes of reviving his team.
Ignazio Abate tells Milan to ‘man up’ after Lazio loss.
Radamel Falcao praises the style and quality of the Premier League.
Zinedine Zidane denies any trouble with Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea and Real Madrid set to battle it out for Falcao.
Schalke postpone Klaas-Jan Huntelaar talks until December.
Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath receives support from the club’s board.
Carlo Ancelotti denies speculation over a PSG bid for Franck Ribery.
Bits and bobs
Rooney’s years in the Premier League by the numbers.
Footballers who have written non-football books.
Ryan Babel is ready to fulfill his potential.
Why Ferguson is the last person Rio Ferdinand should cross.
Atletico Madrid reportedly want Javier Hernandez to replace Falcao, but for only £12 million.
Football boosted the United Kingdom’s economy in the last year.