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Canadian National Team

05 June 10:09 de la mañana

Régulièrement, je me réjouis de voir des joueurs de l’Impact montrer leurs efforts pour apprendre le français - sur Twitter, notamment. En revanche, j’ai abandonné l’idée de suivre en français les activités de l’Association canadienne de soccer.

L’ACS n’est pas amie avec la langue de Molière. On en eut une nouvelle preuve avant Canada - États-Unis. L’hymne national, Ô Canada, fut chanté entièrement en anglais (quelle idée de le chanter, alors que presque partout ailleurs, on passe la version instrumentale). On ne nous a même pas offert de réaction en français du Québécois Samuel Piette, pour ses débuts en équipe nationale à 17 ans (bravo à lui, en passant).

Un compte Twitter en français quasiment à l’abandon depuis fin mars, des communiqués trop souvent mal traduits ou écrits dans une langue approximative, un site Internet (en réfection, certes, mais ce n’est pas le meilleur moment) qui nous renvoie sur des textes en anglais même si on s’évertue à cliquer sur « français » : c’est indigne d’une organisation de cette envergure dont les employés ne rechignent pourtant pas sur les efforts.

En même temps, comment lui reprocher de délaisser le français alors que les médias francophones n’accordent pas à l’équipe nationale l’attention qu’elle mérite ? Pas une chaîne n’a daigné présenter en français le match du centenaire de la fédération sportive qui compte le plus d’affiliés au pays, dans la discipline la plus populaire au monde…

Dans un tout autre ordre d’idées, les huitièmes de finale de la Coupe des États-Unis se joueront ce soir. De nouvelles surprises à l’horizon ? C’est à suivre sur mlssoccer.com.

04 June 10:35 de la mañana

Dans son unique match de préparation avant la reprise des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde 2014, le Canada a fait match nul 0-0 avec les États-Unis. Un bon résultat dans l’absolu, mais il faut éviter de tomber dans l’enthousiasme démesuré.

S’il y avait une bonne discipline défensive, la construction du jeu était souvent déficiente, reposant davantage sur des inspirations individuelles que sur un collectif bien huilé. Le Canada a dominé la deuxième mi-temps, contre des Américains fatigués, et a même marqué un but annulé. Je rejoins toutefois davantage l’avis du capitaine des États-Unis, Carlos Bocanegra, qui n’a pas vu un grand match, que celui de Dwayne De Rosario, très heureux du travail accompli.

La rencontre a été précédée de diverses cérémonies soulignant le centenaire de l’Association canadienne de soccer. Sur la photo d’équipe, les joueurs canadiens (qui portaient un équipement rétro spécialement conçu pour l’occasion) avaient pris avec eux un maillot floqué du numéro 11 de Josh Simpson, leur coéquipier qui s’est cassé la jambe il y a une dizaine de jours.

Malgré le duel Canada - États-Unis, la MLS ne faisait pas complètement relâche ce week-end, et New England y a battu Chicago 2-0.

03 June 8:19 de la tarde

So in retrospect ... how bad were Scotland?

I expressed my concern that the 5-1 result for the US in that particular game was a bit of a false positive (usage, I know), and am now bemused in my correctitude. The US are still a mess, looking very much a team in "Who are we, really?" mode.

Canada, meanwhile, get the pleasure of knowing they were the superior team for 90 minutes against the US for the first time since maybe the mid-1980s. And the displeasure of another bad call going against them in this series.

Klinsmann's lineup choices are still baffling

About 95 percent of the Jose Torres-related comments we get on this site are positive. And that's fine — it's always nice to have a favorite player.

But if Torres was as good as you all seem to think, wouldn't he stand out in a game like this? Wouldn't the US have more than one win in 11 games with him starting? Wouldn't he find a way to carve out chances for his teammates — or even, heaven forbid, himself — when afforded time and space in the final third?

That's what he got plenty of on Sunday. And he produced nothing.

The problem is not just his lack of a cutting edge in attack, but that he's being asked to provide something that's not in his DNA in the first place. Torres' only outstanding attribute is his ability to put his foot on the ball and dictate the pace and tempo of the game. Put him in a central midfield trio in front of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones, and you may have something.

On the wing? He's an absolute cipher, Klinsmann's white elephant.

That wasn't the only lineup choice that left me scratching my head. Against a Canadian side alligned to prevent up-the-gut penetration, the danger was always going to come from the US flanks. So that left just one forward — Herculez Gomez — to do the running and work of two. Even when Jozy Altidore was subbed in, he was tasked with playing wide on the left instead of as a No. 9.

It makes no sense. And the Scotland anomaly aside, this team feels no closer to realizing Klinsmann's vision than it did nine months ago.

The US have depth at left fullback

Edgar Castillo still has some learning to do, first and foremost when to put the ball into row Z instead of trying to play out of pressure. His turnover absolutely should have been a Canada goal.

But he was a demon patrolling passing lanes and the most consistent US threat on the night. And most importantly, he didn't look out of place physically against a big, strong team with some real power and pace on that right flank.

I'm not totally in love with the idea of him starting for the US in a game that matters — again, that giveaway was inexcusable — but hopefully Fabian Johnson's injury will be gone by Friday. Either way, though, this is a stronger position than it was two years ago.

Canada's two-thirds press caused the US more problems than Brazil's high press

Canada dropped off almost to the midfield stripe, then swarmed the US midfielders whenever they received a pass. Because of the way they were deployed, they always had numbers up, and were always on the verge of forcing a turnover and a breakout.

Truth is, they should have had three goals. The reason Brazil are Brazil is because they finish those chances; the reason Canada are Canada is that they don't.

But there's plenty of good to take from this for the Canucks. Their defense is certainly sturdier than the USA's right now, and from the run of play they allowed almost no real looks to a team that had Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Gomez all on the pitch.

For the US, the idea of playing through or around a two-thirds press seemed beyond them. Playing over it was a non-starter, since Kevin McKenna and Andre Hainault just about swallowed Gomez whole.

The situation called for two forwards. When the US are struggling to create, it often does.

But that's not what we saw. We saw a bad 90 minutes, a bad strategy and a bad result.

Wonder what we'll see next week when the games really matter?

01 June 10:29 de la mañana

Ce dimanche, le Canada reçoit les États-Unis dans les cadre des festivités du centenaire de l’Association canadienne de soccer.

Le premier duel entre les deux équipes est aussi le premier match à domicile de l’histoire de l’équipe nationale canadienne. Il a eu lieu le 27 juin 1925 à Alexandra Park, stade de Montréal domicile du club CNR (Canadian National Railway), basé à Pointe-Saint-Charles (si l’un d’entre vous sait où était situé ce terrain, merci de partager l’information).

Environ 3500 personnes ont assisté à la rencontre. Six joueurs du Québec faisaient partie du onze de base canadien. L’un d’entre eux, Ed McLaine, a inscrit le seul but de la partie peu après le quart d’heure. Finisseur redoutable évoluant au poste d’intérieur droit, McLaine a plus tard défendu les couleurs de Providence, dans le championnat des États-Unis, professionnel à l’époque.

Le match de ce dimanche sera le trentième affrontement officiel entre les deux pays.

Canada : Arthur Halliwell, George Campbell, Andy Clarke, Fred Dierden, John B. Foy, Bill McKean, Roy Faulkner, Jim Galloway, Ed McLaine, Dave McKenzie, Alex Smith
États-Unis : Jimmy Douglas, Irving Davis, Jock Ferguson, Tom Stark, Tommy McFarland, Henry Meyerdierks, Barney Battles, Davey Brown, Archie Stark, Bob Millar, Tom Florie
Arbitre : Horace S. Lyons
Le but : 16e McLaine (1-0)

08 February 11:03 de la mañana

Most of us know Dwayne DeRosario as a playmaker and all-around MLS bad-man. We can now add "shake-maker" and "acquaintance of a Pussy Cat Doll" to his illustrious resume. I'm sure he's as proud of these accomplishments as he is of his 4 MLS Cup rings.

01 February 3:17 de la tarde

The Canadian Soccer Association is set to make a few big announcements on Thursday, but who saw this one coming?

Rumors are that the CSA will not only announce the sites for Canada's World Cup Qualifying matches on Thursday, but it appears they'll also drop the news that Canada will host the US sometime in a friendly tuneup before the qualifiers. The US - who beat Canada in Detroit during the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup last summer - have not played in Canada since a 3-0 win in Vancouver in 1997.

The Canucks lead the series 6-3-1 in matches played in Canada all-time, dating back to 1925. (CBC Sports - Canada to face US in World Cup qualifier tuneup)

 

31 January 6:04 de la tarde

Apparently, when D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario isn't banging in golazos or writing fake checks, he's busy developing websites to tickle the fancy of his fans.

If you haven't already, go ahead and spend the next 10 or 15 minutes perusing DeRo's recently released personal website. Simply put, this is the stuff MLS dreams are made of. You know, other than MLS Cups and all that other relatively unimportant nonsense.

So far the page getting the most love here at MLSsoccer.com HQ is the recipe for daily success that is dubbed "The Dero Rise and Shine Breakfast," which sounds pretty delicious even if it boils down to oatmeal and fruit.

Seriously, though, DeRo clearly didn't spare any time or expense on derounited.com. I'm going to go so far as to unofficially rank it No. 1 in the MLS player website sphere. Of course, David Beckham might have something to say about that, but I am just not willing to give out my personal information for the right to see pictures of Becks in H&M skivvies. I am, however, going to steal DeRo's core workout.