Thursday, February 26, 2009

Montreal Impact on television, playing my viewing part but not with my heart

My take on this, for what it's worth.
Last night I watched the CONCACAF Champion's League between Montreal Impact and Santos Laguna on CBC Bold. I suppose it was the correct "CBC" thing to say, but when commentator Jason DeVos said that no matter what team you cheered for in Canada, tonight was a night to cheer for Montreal because they are Canadian, he left me light years away.
First of all it is a club championship. The Impact have a mixture of nationalities on their team, as is the norm in this global game. The Impact strikers were Panamanian and Cuban, the keeper American, one defender French and I think an Argentinian in the midfield. Plenty of homegrown talent too, but to their credit they present themselves as Montreal's team, not Canada's. (They do have Quebec government sponsorship on the back of their uniforms and wear the provincial colours of bleu et blanc, but I think I can make my point without dragging sovereignty vs federalism into the fray.)
I was also not happy that the CBC coverage called Santos 'the Mexicans' too many times. I know that their striker is Ecuadorian, but besides that I still do not know what city or region they hail from. It is a club championship, CBC.
I cheer for Toronto FC. Maybe because of the blog or having season tickets or even an internet addiction, but I probably think about TFC every single day. OK, I take holidays and other active days off, I am not confessing to anything unhealthy here. I heartily cheer for Toronto FC.
The Impact have no place in my heart. I watched last night in the same spirit that I watch many UEFA Champions League games, I enjoy the game and spectacle and want the best team to prevail. I love the game and want to be entertained. I would no more cheer for Montreal because I was born within Canada, than I would cheer for Man U because my parents were born in England.
Do I want CBC to have great ratings for their coverage ? Yes, but only to prime the pump for the even higher ratings to come when Toronto is in this spot . I also feel that the better Montreal does in the competition, the more fun it will be to watch TFC beat them in the 09 qualifying come May and June.
There may be some who value the Canadian Men's team higher than I do and therefore cheer for Montreal's homegrown players more than I would. They may be better people than me, but I know where I stand on the club or country debate. So, I will watch the return game next Thursday. I hope to be entertained. I hope that Nigel Reed and Jason DeVos devote more time to educating the audience about the hometeam. After all, I want to learn more about teams in the Mexican league. To enhance my future pleasure when Toronto FC gets to beat them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TFC announces arrival of Adrian Serioux

Today Toronto FC announced the trade with FC Dallas that brings Adrian Serioux to his hometown team. Toronto gives up their first round pick in the 2010 draft and some allocation money for Serioux. A defender who is a MLS veteran as well as a Canadian International, Serioux has been rumoured to be in Toronto's plans for months. It was speculated that he was part of a deal involving a January 09 draft pick since TFC had three. It was the right idea, just the wrong draft.
The TFC offseason overhaul continues with this move as Serioux is the first addition to the back four. Defenders who have departed still numbers three, Tyrone Marshall. Julius James and Todd Dunivant. There are some unfilled roster spots, so continued pre-season signings or trades are probable.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Columbus hotel tips ??

It is strategy time for the trip to Columbus next month. I have been looking at a few sites for hotels. Last year after the game we hopped in the car and drove north. I think we ended up east of the Cleveland area before we stopped. It made the Sunday drive home easier.
This year I am thinking of staying in Columbus, but I am not sure where. Close to the interstate for easy driving next day? Close to the stadium, like the OSU area ? Or near a brewery ??
Any guidance or suggestions will be very much appreciated.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Marshall traded to Seattle

TFC announced the trading of central defender Tyrone Marshall to the expansion Seattle team for undisclosed allocation money. For the second day in a row, a move that has long been suggested has unfolded as expected. Vitti acquired on loan and Marshall provides veteran knowledge to Sigi Schmid.
The TFC need for a strong central defender is now more obvious than ever. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pablo Vitti signed to TFC on a loan from Independiente

Today TFC announced the signing of Pablo Vitti on a loan deal from Independiente of Argentina. He is a striker, he is 23 and he played and scored in Toronto last summer in a friendly at BMO. It is rare for Toronto FC to have a rumour turn into a signing and the Vitti rumour had been bouncing around in recent weeks. Still with more than a month until the first game of 2009, the new and improved TFC are taking shape.

Memories of Kiki Musampa...

or the return of the training camp name game.
TFC are training in Florida and there are some players who have reported for a trial with the team that were not in Toronto last week. Last year Kiki Musampa was the most notable surprise camp participant who did not stick with the team. Was it high salary demands that did him in? Was he on the wane in the skills department or a man who did not work well with others ? We perhaps will never know...
So the fans and the bloggers scour the end notes of game reports out of Florida to see who these surprises are. Maybe they are the product of superb TFC scouting expertise or maybe they are just the Kiki's of 2009
For the record (followed by most recent team) they appear to be midfielder Michael McGlinchey (Celtic) who scored a goal in the game against the US U20 on Sunday, defender Darren Kenton (Cheltenham), forward Gregory Richardson (Joe Public) and midfielder Pablo Salinas Manacho (Bolivia ??).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Todd Dunivant traded to LA Galaxy (official)

pic courtesy lipsofcrimson at
It is being reported by Kristian Jack of the The Score that TFC has traded Todd Dunivant to the LA Galaxy.
This is not a surprising move. Toronto is in the process of re-shaping the midfield and back four while juggling the salary cap. LA's need for defensive help is well known and Dunivant has played for them before.
Just not sure what TFC gets in return...this move underlines my long time dislike of the salary cap and contributes to the general fear that LA just might improve in 2009.