MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Canada Corner: TFC vs. Bolton, MLS Vancouver, and more

Bolton md 

                          Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY: Kurtis Larson

Call it a well-earned draw.

Though highly overshadowed by Thierry Henry's debut against Tottenham tonight, Toronto FC took on the EPL's Bolton Wanderers Wednesday in front of just under 20,000 in attendance at BMO Field in Toronto.

Fielding a team largely comprised of reserves and teenage academy players, Toronto played last year's 14th place Premier League finisher to a 1-1 draw, eventually losing in penalties.

TFC head coach Preki reacted to the 1-1 scoreline following the game.

"This game was fun but we have a game on Saturday that means a lot to us," he said. "This was a game for our fans and for some young players we needed to have a look at. I thought everyone that played had a pretty good showing."

As the game progressed it became more and more apparent that TFC arguably have more quality in their youth system than any other MLS side at the moment. 

Say what you will about LA's Tristan Bowen and DC's Andy Najar — two of the most highly publicized underclassmen in the league, TFC Academy are developing and producing very promising Canadian youth internationals in Doneil Henry, Matthew Stinson and Nicholas Lindsay, all of whom are 17-years-old and playing substantial minutes for TFC in exhibition matches.

"It's something I enjoy doing and I have been training hard and hoping for the best," TFC Academy player and Canadian U20 international Doneil Henry said. "I'm getting more comfortable with the ball and figuring out the difference between the academy and the professional level. The best opportunity is to be called up."

A quick glance at last year's final weekend of the Barclay's Premier League shows that Bolton fielded a starting 11 featuring seven players that were in the first 11 in the team's final EPL match last season. Although Bolton is still in the early stages of pre-season preparation, there's something to be said of TFC's ability to field academy players and earn a hard-fought result. 

"I thought they all did well," Preki said. "They all worked hard and they were all part of the group. They moved together defensively and I was pleased with it."

Beyond TFC's encouraging academy outlook, TFC fans were able to see their two newest signings link up for an equalizer just before the half.

In the 46th minute, TFC winger Jacob Peterson received a ball just beyond the half before cutting inside on a defender. Peterson sprayed the ball wide to TFC's newsest signing, Mista, who lofted in a perfectly weighted ball that found an unmarked Maicon Santos at the back of the six-yard-box. Santos watched on as his header went beyond the outstretched arms of Finnish International Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the side netting.

"From the first pass until the goal the passing was good," Preki said. "The timing on the cross was great and obviously the finish was first class I would say."

Towards the closing portions of the match TFC had the better of chances with O'Brian White missing from close range and academy player Nicholas Lindsay being denied by a wall of Bolton defenders on the goal-line.

In penalty kicks, Bolton's Jaaskelainen came up big with two saves while TFC third string keeper Milos Kocic could only watch as U.S. international Stuart Holden and three others found the net for Bolton.


The latest news out of Vancouver is that the Whitecaps are selling season ticket packages at such a rate that they are considering allotting a larger quantity of season packages to the public ahead of their entry into MLS next season. 

Earlier in the week west coast media outlets reported that Vancouver had surpassed 13,000 season tickets sold with the Portland Timbers in the neighborhood of 7,000 packages thus far. 

Vancouver has set a target of 16,500 with Portland hoping for somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 season ticket packages sold. 

Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi expects excitement to build following the conclusion of this year's USSF D-2 season saying "that's when the clock starts ticking and you will hear updates regarding a coaching announcement and player signings."

The Whitecaps' president also mentioned that Thierry Henry's recent signing with the league created an overnight jump in season tickets sold.


Anything surprise you about the TFC vs. Bolton result? What did you think of Mista's half of play? Can the league expect Vancouver to sellout every home game next season?


    Gossip on NYRB getting another DP next year:

    Juventus striker David Trezeguet has revealed that he plans to join his former French international teammate Thierry Henry at New York Red Bulls, but he doesn’t plan to leave Italy until next season.

    Trezeguet has a year to run on his deal with Juve, but was still linked with a move to a host of clubs this summer, including sides in the MLS.

    However, the 32-year-old is now in pre-season training with the Bianconeri, and his agent, Antonio Caliendo, revealed his plans to honour the remainder of his contract to Radio Monte Carlo;

    “For the time being he will not move from Juventus because the coach [Luigi Del Neri] needs him so, without a doubt, David will respect his current contract.

    We have received several offers and the one the player likes most is that of the New York Red Bulls. There he will meet up with Henry.”


  • texgator


    Are you really that familiar with all the youth programs across MLS that you can confidently state TFC has the most promising Academy players? Really?

    Yeah…I didn’t think so.


  • DJ

    Can the league expect Vancouver to sellout every home game next season?

    Yes. Wouldn’t suprise me one bit to see either the All-Star Game or MLS Cup (or both) in Vancouver as soon as BC Place is refurbished.


  • jonk

    Maybe he’s just making sure people are paying attention since so many posters like to bitch about why the Canada Corner even exists on SBI.


  • Emerald_City_Jason

    Can’t wait to travel north for Seattle-Vancouver next season. Should be an amazing environment.

    Kurtis, any updates on their stadium situation? Sounded a little dicey last I recall.


  • This Guy

    What’s this have to do with Canada?
    Plus, everyone who follows MLS religiously already knew this


  • WeatherManNX01

    Why are friendlies going to penalty kicks? Are they not allowed to draw in a friendly?


  • Brandon

    I don’t want to start the stupid “Canada corner is stupid” discussion because I actually like it, but I really think there should be a Mexico corner. Is there any other (besides me) Mexican-American on SBI?


  • ...

    Apparently they were playing for the Carlsberg Cup, which Toronto has contested for the past 3 years with various international sides, apparently in just 1 game. I’m not sure what the point is, and Toronto haven’t won it yet.


  • Eric

    It may not be too far off. Look at it this way, considering TFC has the market cornered on all Canadian youth talent in that area of the country (Yes, I’m well aware of the Vancouver’s and Montreal’s academies as well), and looking at the results the academy has playing in the canadian professional league (They’re second by the way), it may not be too far a stretch.


  • einar

    I think a mexican-american corner should be started or just a pachuca corner……… :p


  • r.benjamin

    good info. the sole reason i have any interest in this game.

    Where’d he play? In the middle where it seems he fits in at Bolton or on the wing?


  • south

    I did not know that Trezeguet was joining next season.

    I guess that’ll mark the end of JPA, w/ the supposed 3rd DP coming in, and then Trez next season, you can’t have 4.


  • south

    Oh, and I guess it could do with Canada because it’s about a french player and they speak french, just to keep local, ya dig?


  • This Guy

    He played mainly out right. He had an impressive backheel and little else but he looked good on the ball and confident.


  • Ben

    Well, Canada has an MLS team and the rest of league is in the US, so I’d say this falls under the aegis of MLS coverage, which is the primary objective of this site as (North/English)-“American.” Since Canada is a small portion of the league, thus the “corner.” I think it is beyond the capacity and thus purview of the site, though one day, no doubt, Ives would love to have a “soccer-empire” that could cover the 20,000 leagues under the sun.


  • giaco

    Chicago Fire academy U-16’s won the national title. First MLS side to have an academy team win it. So it’s debatable about the academy products so far. I just hope that all teams eventually have academies…then we’ll really have something to talk about.


  • Rescue Ranger

    Texas, New Mexico (no major teams), Arizona (no major teams), & SO CA; make up the Mexican Corner.


  • John godfrey

    Can you say, “bury the lead?”

    Report on Stuart, the only reason this game mattered.


  • south

    Ya dig is pretty much from the early 90s, when I grew up as a kid saying it?

    Did you really leave all your youth behind, if that happens to be the case I’m very sorry, there’s no shame in holding on to some of the best years of life, and expressing good times through the use of a single solitary word.

    I’m so sorry I’m the decline. Have a great day.



  • Hacker Hellstorm

    Canada has amassed 90% of it’s population within 100 miles of the U.S. border.


  • EAscott

    This is one Yank who likes the Canada corner; interesting MLS related stuff. Sounds like the TFC youth system is thriving. I wish MLS would put together some sort of youth championship or all star game. Would be interesting to see some of these kids…


  • EAscott

    Wouldn’t mind seeing that too. The English coverage of the FMF is sorely lacking…


  • Myles B

    Canada’s talent at the youth level has always been as good as anywhere else in the world, it’s just never translated to the pro level because there’s never been a legit outlet for it until the arrival of MLS in Canada.


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