Wednesday, May 20, 2015

V-Cup contest results: Week 4

Whatever you think about the Canadian Championship and the Voyageurs Cup, the competition has rarely lacked for drama, and the Montreal Impact tend prominently to be involved.

The fourth matchday of the competition proved to be no exception. Montreal were in a decent position, holding a one-nil edge from the home leg, and then securing the crucial away goal after Toronto had gone up 1. All hell broke loose in a sequence where Maxim Tissot seemed nearly to be killed, propelled head first into the electronic advertising hoardings. While he was being treated on the end line Toronto scored, and they potted another while he was clearly still collecting his wits after returning to the field of play (which clearly he should not have been allowed to do, given his mental state at the time).

So Toronto were up 3-1, and up a goal on aggregate until a late header from ex-TFC man Dominic Oduro broke the hearts of most in attendance, though given past form one wonders how many of those Toronto supporters were truly surprised.

Montreal advance on away goals. What else is new?

In the other match, Edmonton headed to Vancouver in the first leg of their snow-delayed series and were on the board before many Whitecaps fans had found their seats, as Tomi Ameobi scored after Richie Jones had pressured Gershon Koffie into a terrible giveaway. The goal pushed Ameobi into a 3-way tie among active all-time goal scorers in the competition with teammate Darryl Fordyce and Montreal's Jack McInerney.

The Eddies fought valiantly but were undone late when Koffie benefited from some sloppy defending and partially redeemed his earlier error to level the match.

Both scorelines were rather outlandish, in the grand scheme of things, and the new standings reflect this as everyone lost ground. ADH is a first time leader of this competition.

Our bonus matchday is tonight with the two-legged final in August. Entrants will be emailed with a request for their final round picks sometime in the near future.

ScoreEntries
6ADH
7Spungi
8Tuscan, JoJoFlow
9@FTofD, Old Style Pilsner, Ben Massey
10shermanator, deschamp86, latetedefred, jamonty
11Pompey Canuck, Steedman, Brenton
12Pej, HimmelCat, Brendan, Rob
13Roke, Sam, coxon
14Fussball_eh

You can view all scores and selections here.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

V-Cup contest results: Week 3

The third matchday of the Voyageurs Cup was once again filled with drama. This time, Mother Nature took on a lead role, dumping an unseasonable snowfall on Clarke Stadium in Edmonton which resulted in a postponement of the first leg between Edmonton and Vancouver.

The first leg will now be the originally-scheduled second leg in Vancouver this Wednesday, with the second leg being made up on May 20th in Edmonton. For the purposes of this contest, predictions for the May 6th match will be applied to the May 20th make-up date.

The match that was played was rather lackluster: a Jack McInerney strike was one of few interesting moments in a 1-0 Impact win over Toronto. One would have thought the inclusion of Michael Bradley in the starting eleven meant that Toronto was taking the competition seriously, but the effort on the pitch suggested otherwise.

With only one result last week, the contest table saw only a minor shakeup. Tuscan had a perfect week and joins the lead with Spungi, and the pair have some separation from the pack.

ScoreEntries
2Tuscan, Spungi
3
4ADH
5shermanator, @FTofD, Old Style Pilsner, JoJoFlow
6Steedman, Rob, Ben Massey, Brenton, jamonty
7Sam, coxon, Pompey Canuck, Pej, deschamp86, HimmelCat, Brendan, Latetedefred
8Roke, Fussball_eh

You can view all scores and selections here.

Monday, May 04, 2015

V-Cup contest results: Week 2

Edmonton beat up on Ottawa again in the 2nd leg of the first round tie, winning 3-1. That scoreline should not have come as a surprise, since the Eddies were winners by the same score a week earlier in the nation's capital. It certainly didn't take our contestants by surprise, as many had it pretty close and four managed to nail it exactly, including our leader, Spungi (Tuscan, JoJoFlow and ADH were the others)

Here are the pool standings after week 2:

ScoreEntries
1Spungi
2Tuscan, ADH
3shermanator, @FTofD, Old Style Pilsner, JoJoFlow, jamonty
4Pej, deschamp86, Brendan, Ben Massey
5Pompey Canuck, Steedman, Rob, latetedefred, Brenton
6Sam, coxon, HimmelCat
7Roke, Fussball_eh

You can view all scores and selections here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

V-Cup contest results: Week 1

Edmonton came from behind to defeat Ottawa 3-1. I watched some of the game. Nobody predicted the score correctly, but Spungi came close.

Here are the pool standings after week 1:

ScoreEntries
1Spungi
2shermanator, Pej, Tuscan, deschamp86, @FToD, Brendan, Old Style Pilsner, Ben Massey, ADH, jamonty
3coxon, Pompey Canuck, Rob, latetedefred, Brenton, JoJoFlow
4Roke, Sam, HimmelCat, Fussball_eh, Steedman

You can view all scores and selections here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Voyageurs Cup pool: 2015 edition

For the 7th year, we're running a contest to predict the outcomes in the matches of the Voyageurs Cup.

You really ought to familiarize yourself with the history of the competition -- no, not the cup itself, but the contest. A list of the winners and a final round up for each of the previous 6 years follows:
  • 2014 (winner: Fussball_Eh)
  • 2013 (Brenton)
  • 2012 (Tuscan and Diego R)
  • 2011 (Free Kick and Casual Soccer Fan)
  • 2010 (Lank)
  • 2009 (squizz)
The rules are the as last year.

RULES
  • Participants will predict the final score of each of the first 6 matches over two competition stages: a) The initial two-legged play-in tie between Ottawa and Edmonton, and b) The two-leg semi final rounds between Montreal and Toronto, and Ottawa/Edmonton and Vancouver
  • At the conclusion of the semi-final round, participants will be asked to submit their picks for the two-legged final.
  • Total discrepancy from the final score of each match will be tallied. e.g.: If you predicted Ottawa 1 - 0 Edmonton for the opening fixture, and the final was 2-2, your discrepancy factor would be 3 goals (off by 1 for Ottawa, off by 2 for Edmonton). Lowest total score over all matches wins.
  • For these two-legged ties, the CSA is applying the away goals rule. If matches go to extra time, the scoreline after 120 minutes is the one that will be used for contest purposes.
  • In the case of an overall tie, a bonus will be awarded to anyone correctly prediction the tournament's high goal scorer.
  • Subsequent tie-breakers: First tie-breaker will be total number of exact scorelines. Second is total number of correct results (win/draw/loss). 
PRIZES

The lanterne rouge is a cycling term to designate the last-placed finisher in a race. The lanterne rouge will choose a team scarf from one of the tournament teams to be awarded to the winner.

Second and third paced prizes might come into play if the competition grows large enough, or if you have something you'd like to give away.

HOW TO ENTER

A
ll entries must be submitted via email in order for me to be able to solicit your final round picks in a timely fashion once the finalists are known. Any entries left in the comments will not be included; I'll try to contact you to get an emailed response.

Please include the following details in your entry
  • The exact score of each of the first 6 fixtures (in the correct order, please)
  • Your prediction for tournament leading goal scorer.
  • nickname to be displayed on the results page. If none is given, your real name will be used.
To make life easier for me, simply copy/paste the following into your email, and change the XXs into scores.

DATEHOMEAWAY
4/22/2015OttawaXXXXEdmonton
4/29/2015EdmontonXXXXOttawa
5/6/2015Ott/EdmXXXXVancouver
5/6/2015MontrealXXXXToronto
5/13/2015TorontoXXXXMontreal
5/13/2015VancouverXXXXOtt/Edm

Golden boot: John Doe
Nickname: Real name will be used if none provided

I know some email programs will garble the formatting of that table, but don't worry about it, I'll figure it out.

Once the final two teams are known, you will receive an email inviting you to submit your second round of picks which are due prior to kickoff on May 28th.

All entries must be emailed to blogdumpster@gmail.com.

CONTEST DEADLINE: All entries must be received by 7:30 pm eastern (kickoff time) on Wednesday 22 April 2015, the day of the opening encounters.

I'm shooting for maximum participation, so if you have a platform for promoting this thing (twitter, blog, semaphore, etc.), I'd appreciate the support that way.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

13 Canadian soccer predictions for 2015

This space, as quiet as it is most of the year, is a soccer blog. End of year lists and underinformed prognostication are two of the calling cards of the blog genre, so without further ado, here are some predictions for the coming year in Canadian soccer that combine the personal and the banal, the likely and the long shots.

1. I will attend a 2015 WWC match

Let's begin with a near certainty. I live in one of the host cities for this summer's Women's World Cup, and while Canada won't be paying a visit, Winnipeg will be host to the so-called (inaccurately) Group of Death featuring the USA, Sweden, Australia, and Nigeria, as well as visits from Germany and Japan in the third round of group stage matches.

No, the other football

I attended the Canada-USA friendly this past May, and the quality and intensity level were high. Investors'  Group Field looks good done up for soccer. I fully expect Winnipeg to step up and pack the house for all matches, especially the USA games.

2. The Women's World Cup will be an off field success

Canada is a rich country. It is a country that knows how to put on successful international sporting events. Tickets will be sold (mostly), CBC Sports, with few other sports properties to be distracted by, will put its considerable talent and profile behind the tournament. It will be a thing.

Update: It is not CBC, but CTV/TSN, another broadcaster starved of its traditional sports properties, that will putting its considerable heft behind making this tournament a television success.

3. Canada will not win

The quarters or semis are the likeliest outcome for the team at the tournament, for reasons a more verbose blogger than me has already outlined in considerable detail. Canada's biggest struggle will be finding goals, while a youthful defensive setup should be strong enough to keep the team in matches against all but the strongest opponents.

4. The men's national team will have a strong Gold Cup

As always, in CONCACAF tournaments, much depends on the 'draw', a term that is used loosely. But with the news that a group, undoubtedly Canada's group, will be hosted at Toronto's BMO Field, there are no excuses for Floro's men not to advance from their group and set up a better than 50-50 shot of winning a quarterfinal match. The national team, despite a lackluster 0-0 draw in Panama, saw general improvement, especially in their defensive setup, in 2014, and I fully expect Floro to push the team to a slightly higher level in 2015.

5. Canada will finish the year better than 100th in the FIFA rankings

See above.

6. Dwayne De Rosario has played his last match for Canada

He old.

7. Two Canadian MLS teams will make the playoffs

Vancouver made the playoffs in 2012 and 2014, while Montreal made its lone appearance in 2013. Next year will be the first to see two Canadian teams advance. It's easy to see Toronto improving from a season in which they massively underachieved relative to the talent available, while Vancouver is a young team that should improve without any major additions. But don't count out Montreal, a team that improved in the second half of the season, and one that is starting to take on the identity of journeyman MLS manager Frank Klopas. They have the advantage of toiling in the Eastern conference which will feature two expansion teams.

8. Another young player will transfer to a Big 5 league

Yes, we're getting into wildly optimistic territory here.

Doneil Henry has joined West Ham United from Toronto FC after a curious arrangement with a Cypriot team. Another under-23 Canadian will be bought by a first division team in England, Germany, Spain, France, or Italy (but likely one of the first two), and might even play a match or two. Hanson Boakai is a possibility, but surprises are possible.

9. Canada will qualify for the men's U-20 World Cup

There is enough talent on the Canadian team to qualify out of CONCACAF for next year's tournament in New Zealand.

9b. Canada will exit at the group stage

So much depends on the draw, but I don't expect a long tournament run should they qualify.

10. TFC will not fire its manager in 2015

Possibly the biggest long shot of all.

11. Canadian content on Canada's MLS teams will continue to decline in 2015

See post.

12. There will be a new Canadian NASL team

A hopeful prediction.

13. USA will win the Women's World Cup

A team that overcame the great obstacle of kicking a ball on synthetic instead of natural fibers.



The aim was to produce 15 predictions for '15; clearly I haven't being close enough attention to Canadian soccer happenings to find 15 topics upon which to offer my predictions. In any case, should this blog still be around in 2016, I'll be sure to check in and see how I did.

Feel free to comment on my predictions or offer your own in the comments.