MLS- Toronto FC

Canada Corner: Nutrilite Wrap, National Team News and More



Vancouver's dream of becoming the third different club in three years to hoist the Nutrilite Canadian Cup came to an end Wednesday night at Saputo Stadium drawing Montreal in the tournament's fifth game. A surprisingly inspired Impact side came from a goal down in the second half to level the score at 1-1 and send Toronto FC to their second consecutive CONCACAF tournament. 

Vancouver's Ansu Toure scored what would have set up an intriguing final match between TFC and the Whitecaps in the 50th minute after receiving a re-directed ball from the top of the box, but the Impact battled back to level thirty minutes from time when a Philippe Billy half volley beat Jay Nolly to the bottom right corner. 

Needing six points from their last two cup games, the Whitecaps drew with the Impact for the third consecutive time this year. 

"We had an opportunity to finish this off and we had a lead and were playing very well," Caps' coach Teitur Thordarson said shaking his head. "I was unhappy with giving up that goal. It was a mistake because we didn't cover."

"The match was very important for Vancouver so we wanted to ensure fair play," said Montreal coach Marc Dos Santos, whose team was criticized last year for playing a reserve side on the final day of the tournament. "We experienced a difficult first half, but we came back stronger after the half."

A game controlled in large part by the visitors, Montreal did employ time wasting tactics after equalizing that displayed the intensity of the rivalry between the two Canadian teams. Montreal stand-in keeper Srdjan Djekanovic was issued a caution in the 73rd minute for time wasting and the Impact were happy with holding the ball at the corner flag as the game inched closer to full time. 

"The team's goal was not to lose at home (again) in front of our fans," goal scorer Philipe Billy said following the game. "There's currently a good spirit within the team."

The draw sends TFC into the CONCACAF preliminary round to face Motagua of Honduras in a home and away series at the end of July. The winner of that two-leg series will be drawn into group A with MLS side Real Salt Lake and Panama's Arabe Unido along with either Cruz Azul or San Francisco (Panama).


Club News

Edmonton FC - Announced a friendly against the Montreal Impact to be played in Edmonton on June 16. Edmonton will also face various PDL sides throughout the summer before ending with a friendly against Miami FC in late August. Earlier in the week Edmonton released a provisional roster of 21 players that will train together throughout the summer months in preparation for entry into USSF-2 next year. 

Vancouver Whitecaps – Bowed out of the the Canadian Cup after playing to a 1-1 draw in Montreal. They now head to Rochester for the second game of a three-game trip through the east. The Caps will look to make it two straight over the Rhinos after defeating Rochester 2-0 last week in B.C. Vancouver then travel to BMO Field for a meaningless sixth and final Canadian Cup match against TFC. It's rumored that Toronto has petitioned the NCAA to allow their academy players to compete on the tournament's final day. Vancouver currently hold top spot in the NASL Conference with Montreal and Crystal Palace Baltimore just one and two points back. 

Montreal Impact – Drew Italian side Fiorentina 1-1 last Sunday before playing to a scrappy 1-1 draw at home against Vancouver in Canadian Cup action. They play host to Carolina this Sunday before hosting Italian giants AC Milan at Montreal's Olympic Stadium Wednesday. The Impact remain just a point back in the NASL Conference heading into Sunday's game with the RailHawks. 

Toronto FC – Crowned Canadian champions Wednesday and are in preparation to head west once again for a date with the surging San Jose Earthquakes. TFC had success in San Jose last year stealing a full three points on the road but this is a very different Quakes side that is coming off a shocking 1-0 win in Seattle. A win for TFC will see them jump above New York for second place in the east while a win for San Jose will see them solidify their name at the top of the west. TFC return to BMO next Wednesday for a final Canadian Cup match against Vancouver before facing the Kansas City Wizards next weekend. 


National Team News

The Canadian national team will look to be more competitive with Venezuela Saturday in Merida. Coming off a 5-0 thrashing against Argentina, the Canadians should have an easier time against a team that finished eighth out of 10 teams during South American qualifying. However, as in Argentina, Canada will be without six to eight regular starters meaning a draw in Venezuela would suit head coach Stephen Hart just fine. 

During the Argentina broadcast the Canadian Soccer Association announced that Canada will take on Peru at BMO Field on Sept. 4. Peru finished last among South American teams during this World Cup cycle. The home game may allow as many as four Toronto FC players to take part in the game with Dwayne De Rosario, Julian De Guzman, Nana Attakora and Adrian Cann all receiving recent call-ups over the last year. 

Finally, new world rankings place Canada fifth among CONCACAF nations and 63rd in the world. A big gap has opened between fourth and fifth with Canada sitting on 516 points and Costa Rica with 710 points. Here's how the CONCACAF rankings break down: USA (957), Mexico (895), Honduras (734), Costa Rica (710), Canada (516), El Salvador (452), Panama (434), Jamaica (399), Haiti (362), T&T (353).


  • ned flanders

    >team was criticized last year for playing a >reserve side on the final day of the tournament.

    Interesting how they also had reserve squad out their this time but no one whined because it was 1-1/

    Montreal’s top two forwards were absent because of red cards so they used a 37yr old who barely saw the field this year as striker.
    No captain and defensive anchor, no midfield general or the new midfielder they brought from Portugues D2 and a subsitute keeper.

    This reminds me of when Mick Mccarthy was blamed for using a weaker squad but no one complained when he did it before or aftewards.

    PLEASE stop using Canadian Champions.
    They won nothing but a dinky little 3 team series. You have to have a league to be a champion.

    How many teams do you think could win the baseball world series (you know that fake one they have int eh offseason) without a league?
    Any chance of a nation ever winning ice hockey gold without having a pro league in their country?
    SERIOUSLY, tell me one sport where you can actually do well internationally without having a league in that sport.

    But were supposed to just sit by and pretend that the canadian way has a chance in hell of succeeding?
    Are we too polite to point out that its never been done in any sport?

    At some point you have to let go off the training wheels and go at it alone.

    You can be our soccer Puerto Rico if you want but dont expect us to call a canadian team champion of a non-existen league.


  • question

    If they aren’t Canadian Cup champions then what are they? Is there any doubt TFC is the best team in Canada? Geez dude..settle down…You must be a Vancouver fan…bitter about the last two competitions….


  • Kevin Smith

    Edmonton FC doesn’t really have a team yet. They start play next year, and will likely take part


  • Kevin Smith

    Well, Canada won’t win the World Cup until global warming makes Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Siberia the only places that humans can survive, so it’s not really about that.

    It is, however, about becoming competitive. The thing is, it’s hard to make a league in this country. Lets say we made a league at USL-1 level. It would have maybe 7 teams. Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto are locks. Edmonton and Ottawa likely possibilies. After that, it’s really tough to say.

    Amateur soccer is really popular here, but pro soccer is not. It doesn’t have the small town calling that things like curling and the CFL do, so it’ll really only work in bigger metropolitan areas. And there aren’t many of those in Canada, plus they’re pretty spread out.

    Travelling from Boston to Los Angeles may be farther than Montreal-Vancouver, but there’s many potential stops along the way. There are not so many in Canada.

    This is a step in the right direction, and maybe someday we will have enough successful teams to have a league (though even if we had a USL-1 type league, Toronto would still want to be in MLS. They’re the same with the NFL afterall). But you have to start somewhere, and having 3 MLS teams is infinitely better than 5 or 6 years ago.


  • Canadian

    They will be in the Nutrilite next year and it should make it a better tournament. It will most likely be in a playoff system with 1 playing 4 and 2 playing 3

    maybe something like Edmonton v Toronto plays winner of Montreal v Vancouver…

    First games will be two-leg followed by a final which will be one game played at the highest seed…


  • DingDong

    No offense intended, but why would Argentina play Canada before the World Cup? What benefit is that to Argentina?


  • Because

    It makes somewhat sense for an Argentine squad that struggled through qualifying. It was an opportunity to let them build confidence and knock the ball around. They will play better competition in the coming weeks. This game at home with Maradona at the helm made a bit of sense. They don’t want to lose heading in to the cup.


  • Myles B

    All the big nations pay the minnows before a big tournie. It’s just to build confidence mostly, and maybe work on tactics.


  • wildchild

    not only was the post super long, but so are the commments… must be a Canadian thing… eh!


  • Covert

    The CSA routinely underperforms when you look at the talent they have available. Just for a moment consider how the team may have performed with a roster that looked more like this:

    Stalteri –McKenna —Klukowski —De Jong
    ——-De Guzman
    ——–De Ro
    —-Friend —-Ornoch

    Subs- Peters, Johnson, Hastings, Occean, Wagenaar, Haber

    Loads of talent, not well used.


  • CSD

    Scotland has only two teams competing for the title every year and the winners are considered Champions of the country and that isn’t even a real country. So give Canada a break. The only reason for the Nutrilite tournament is to have a representative for a regional tournament. It sounds nice to call them the Champions of Canada when you put them in the CONCACAF Champions League. “The team from Canada that won a 3 team tournament to qualify” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.


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