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Canada Corner: Toronto FC tops Montreal, stars called for Argentina friendly & more

TorontoFCMontreal (Reuters)


Toronto FC took a massive step in getting back to the CONCACAF Champions League shutting out the Montreal Impact at Stade Suputo in Canadian Cup play on Wednesday night by a score of 1-0.

Head coach Preki made a total of six changes to a lineup that defeated Chicago 4-1 on the weekend resting a number of starters ahead of a league game Saturday. The win pushed TFC to six points from two games putting them in the drivers seat to make it back to the Champions League this season.

Toronto controlled play from the beginning looking like the far superior side with Montreal having little possession and failing to create any real scoring opportunities. Toronto's Julian De Guzman looks to be regaining the form that earned him top honors at Spanish side La Coruna. The Canadian international was masterful on the ball creating and getting out of tight spaces with quick passes and an ability hold off defenders.

De Guzman was tireless in his efforts clogging up the middle of the park and distributing from front to back and side to side. A second-half goal from Dwayne De Rosario was enough on a deflected shot from Chad Barrett midway through the second half to put Toronto into the lead 15 minutes from time. Barrett, a half-time sub, received a Nick Labrocca pass at the top of the box before splitting a pair of Impact defenders. His low hard shot forced Montreal keeper Matt Jordan into a save however the deflection fell to De Rosario's feet who blasted it into the net.

The home loss knocks Montreal out of Canadian Cup contention as the Impact now travel back to Vancouver Saturday with a game in Portland on Wednesday. Two difficult games away from Saputo might see the Impact drop down the table with both Carolina and Miami within striking distance.

Toronto travels to LA Saturday to face the undefeated Galaxy who are out to one of the best starts in MLS history. Following a game at The Home Depot Center Toronto heads north for a Canadian Cup game in Vancouver on Wednesday. A win in Vancouver will see TFC lift the trophy for a second consecutive season while a Whitecaps win will make things very interesting when Vancouver visits BMO on the last day of the competition.


Canada will name its roster for an upcoming friendly in Argentina tomorrow. Names expecting to be on the list include Toronto FC's Julian De Guzman and Dwayne De Rosario. During television coverage of TFC vs. Chicago over the weekend, commentators mentioned that the club would release the pair for the game in Buenos Aires.

In an interview, De Guzman hinted he would be going, saying “being able to play in Argentina against one of the top teams in the world is a special thing for anybody in their soccer career." If both suit in the May 24th friendly they will miss a May 22nd league match against New England at BMO — a game with massive implications considering Toronto FC's road woes. Rumblings from the CSA has Canadian media speculating we can expect Paul Stalteri, Will Johnson, Adam Straith, Jaime Peters and Rob Friend on that list as well.


David Hoilett (Blackburn)– Started and factored in to a late winner vs. Aston Villa, helping Blackburn secure the 10 spot in this year's Premier League. The young Canadian forward found himself on the end of a cross that deflected off a Villa defender and past Brad Friedel.

Simeon Jackson (Gillingham FC)– Went 90 minutes for the League One side that saw a final day defeat to Wycombe Wanderers relegate them to League Two. The Canadian forward missed on two occasions, one of which was an open net.

Atiba Hutchinson (PSV Eindhoven)– Signed by PSV from Copenhagen at the end of April. Signed a three-year deal and is set to join the club at the start of next season. PSV's coach: "He is dynamic and athletic, an all-around midfielder."

Rob Friend (Monchengladbach)– Entered as a 71st minute sub against Bayer Leverkusen in a 1-1 draw. The draw ended Leverkusen's chances of entering next year's Champions League.

Adam Straith (Energie Cottbus)– Went 90 minutes for Bundesliga 2 side Energie Cottbus in a 4-1 win over Ahlen. The win helped Cottbus finish in the upper half of the table.

Jaime Peters (Ipswich Town)– Went 90 minutes for Ipswich in the Coca-Cola Championship in last week's 3-0 loss to Sheffield Utd. The loss saw Ipswich finish 15.


What do you think of TFC releasing players for the Argentina friendly? Does TFC have the Nutrilite wrapped up this early in the competition?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Yeah I thought De Guzman looked good against Chicago as well. Glad to see he’s living up to his potential. With Sharlie Joseph out, I’m penciling in De Guzman as the starting Dmid for the All Stars…


    De Guzman is 29 and was named player of the year for his La Liga side a few years back. DeRo is a star in MLS and would be a first choice player for any national team in CONCACAF. Yes, that qualifies them as stars. NOT WORLD CLASS…but yes, STARS

  3. I think Toronto is right to release players for Argentina game. DeRo and De Guzman will be missed for that game against New England though.

  4. Daniel Fernandes, who was just named to Portugals WC squad as 3rd string keeper, is also Canadian born and raised in Edmonton, has dual nationality. Canada never called him up, so he bolted to Portugal. Also Asmir Begovic, the current #1 keeper at Stoke City, formerly at Portsmouth, played 11 times for Canada U20, just recently switched allegiances and now plays for Bosnia. This keeps happening over and over and i dont see it stopping till the CSA get their sh*t together.

  5. I pray canada calls him for the gold cup. I doubt he will accept……… But I just cant see him making the dutch squad any time soon…….. I swear some these dudes have no pride
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  6. Just about to say Jonathan should be included in the Canadians abroad as he hasn’t played a senior game for the Dutch yet. His situation is the same as the Argentine that we keep seeing in the Yanks Abroad section.

  7. It’s not an enigma, really. There is currently one first division soccer team I. Canada, and they play in another country’s first division. Until 2012, if you want to play soccer professionally in Canada, your options are TFC or a couple of minor league teams. Even tfc needs exemptions from the roster rules because they can’t find twelve Canadians capable and willing to play for them. Meanwhile, there are what, 170 American players in MLS? Plus all the ones in USL/NASL? Plus the NCAA feeder system? In Canada, you have to be a pro player at 18, and have a ticket overseas, to make a career of it. That’s a pretty big hurdle to overcome developing the depth needed to survive international qualifiers. They aren’t a player or two away (an Owen Hargreaves, say) from qualifing, they are six or seven players away. The US, frankly, got lucky in 1990 and built from there. (seriously. Caliguiri doesn’t score in Port au Prince, and the US doesn’t go to Italy. Then doesn’t host in 1994, there’s no MLS. No MLS and we probably don’t make two of France, ROK/Japan and Germany. Sure, we still have some good players, but they get one shot overseas, maybe. Landon Donovan is selling insurance after crashing out in Germany.) Canada needs that spark. Right now they’re playing with guys with two passports.

  8. You’re hilarious. Canadians have never heard that joke before. Please, could you tell another. Maybe one about an igloo. Or wait, no, I know, how about one about the 51st state. That never gets old. Or perhaps you could invoke “eh” over and over again. Oh please, would you?

  9. You cannot compare Canada to the U.S. from a population standpoint, but they are unable to compete with teams that have recently qualified like Honduras (8 million), Costa Rica (4 million), and Trinidad and Tobago (1.2 million). Given Canada’s size relative to other countries in CONCACAF, its financial resources, and large immigrant communities that are soccer afficionados there is no excuse that they are not regularly qualifying for the WC, looking more respectable in the Gold Cup, etc.

  10. Biggest question mark in all of CONCACAF. Why this team isn’t challenging for at least the 3rd spot in the Hex is beyond me.

    And also, why someone with some power in Canada isn’t pushing for this country to be a World Cup host is also beyond me.

    Biggest enigma in CONCACAF, if not in the Western Hemisphere in terms of soccer.

    Hopefully having more teams in MLS will help grow the sport in our northern neighbor and will it become the power it should be in CONCACAF.

  11. Canada has its fair share of defectors…. Jonathan DeGuzman would have been great for Canada….. TFC VAN and MTL are gonna develop and keep alot of good players….. MLS you sure are genius

  12. I think part of the incentive for both DeRo and De Guzman to set up shop long term in Toronto is to bolster their chances of playing in Brazil in 2014. The idea, particularly for Julian, being that it’s a lot easier for him to play for Canada if he doesn’t have to travel from Europe to North America every time. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if when Julian signed last summer part of the discussion with Mo was about playing for Canada.

    One of the biggest problems with the Canadian Soccer Association has been their inability to schedule friendlies particularly against top level opposition. This has a direct impact on Canada’s ability to play as a team come qualification time. This Argentina game is part of the 2014 qualification plan and that plan doesn’t work without two of Canada’s best players.

    In terms of TFC, the question nobody seems to be asking is whether or not Stephen Hart calls on defender Nana Attakora for the game. Canada’s defensive core is aging quickly with McKenna, Staltieri and Hastings all on the wrong side of 30. The much younger Attakora would seem to be part of the solution going forward perhaps as early as the 2014 qualification cycle. Whether or not Hart would use him against Lionel Messi is another question entirely.

  13. read the article and it is a complete sham for not in the know soccer fans. It paints a picture like the kid is wasting away playing in USL4 in greece when the real picture is he is 20 yrs old, finally getting first team looks and playing well. Absolute awful piece and complete deception of the facts. 755 comments and i think 90% of them were whether he is really 20 or not. Dumb!

  14. Because one is their DP and the other is pretty much a DP…if they pick up a knock…season over for TFC. That’s there property. They own them. They have to think about their fans as well. This game means nothing to Canada. Anyone agree?

  15. …Why would a club 7 games into a season not let there top players go play for THEIR Country Against Argentina of all Teams.
    Thats HUGE for there career

  16. You’ve got to hand it to the US soccer program when you think that 25 years ago the US team was no better and probably inferior the Canadian team.
    Basically Canada’s soccer program just stalled and they are now at the level they were 25 years ago, while the in the same time span the US has become CONCACAF giant and has acquired a very deep base of players with European experience. Canada is the US from 25 years back: a few players in Europe with decent level, but for the rest of the squad the talent gap is gigantic. Which is why they can’t really compete in CONCACAF anymore, lack of depth kills them when the qualifiers are lengthy.
    Of course, it’s not fair to compare the US and Canada from a population standpoint, but you have to admire the persistence of the USSF in developing an outstanding program allowing the US to become a soccer force to be reckoned with.

  17. Good for Canada to put a good side out…but what is TFC thinking letting them go? Is this just to keep them happy?

  18. Love the reference, because I cheered on that goal as if it were my own country scoring…but I think they play Angola tonight…Argentina later sometime

  19. Mex-Ang 9:30 PM on Telemundo.

    re: Can, Yeah, they have the talent to be a lock for the hex. I think the problem is widely attributed to the FA being disorganized, pretty similar to their basketball program, but I’m sure there are actual Canadians who are sick of answering this and could answer it again :).

  20. Hopefully Barrett and OB1 can handle things with out DeRo and JDG on the 22nd. I have confience in them!

    Great news for Canada and we’re moving in the right direction!

  21. Sorry Kurtis… I really should not have posted this under Freddy crap under Canada Corner… just got a little upset about it and needed to vent. My apologies

  22. Way off topic here (Sorry Ives I know Martin is your boy)…I can’t believe the Yahoo story on Freddy…it is tremendously unfair to him…

    We all know that Freddy has done several things wrong in his development but there have also been several unlucky circumstances as well… When he first arrived he actually faired well for Benefica but several managers later and he never got a look again.. (yes they have loads of talent too) the Monaco thing was a disaster because the owner wanted Freddy not the AWFUL manager.. and Freddy paid for that disagreement dearly…

    People also talk about how old Freddy is but for me… I really think he is that young… I mean he totally acted like a teenager with the whole Twitter posts and immature practice habits..

    Now that Cuper has gotten a hold of him and has him for another year… I am pretty darn sure that Freddy will turn into a very nice player and will be a certain starter for the US in the coming years… I just think Martin has to be careful when writing a column about “FAILURE or BUST” as the article ended up on the yahoo front page and people in the know don’t realize how far Freddy has come in the last 6 months..

    I think Freddy should have been in the 30 and I really like Robbie Rogers too… but Freddy is more versatile and while Robbie has loads of pace Freddy sees the game much better and will give the ball away a lot less..

    Anyways.. just thought it was really harsh on him.. Off soapbox..exit stage left…

  23. Thoughts:

    The Canadians really don’t have that bad of a roster. It’s crazy that they can’t at least make the hexagonal as a lock…

    Anybody seen the photos of Maradona with his beard??Looks scary.

    Is the Mexico friendly televised tonight? If I’m not mistaken this is a rematch of sorts from WC 2006 group play.

    David James out of contract but looking great with the afro! If he starts against vs US on the 12th, that thing’s gonna be a beast!


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