Sports

Ottawa Fury FC open their inaugural season

By Phil Cottrell, Daily Observer

Phil Cottrell

Phil Cottrell

PEMBROKE - 

The Ottawa Fury FC opened their first season in the NASL, North American Soccer League (NASL), in Florida against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers Saturday, April 12. The NASL is a very competitive league with some 10 teams, eight in the United States, plus Ottawa and Edmonton in Canada. As a complete team Fury FC had only been together for some four weeks. Fury FC played some great soccer particularly in the first half with some 65 per cent of the possession. However, it was the Strikers who came out on top at the end of the day with a 2-0 win. Fury coach Marc Dos Santos stuck to his system throughout the match and tried to add some firepower up front by bringing in Pierre-Rudolph Mayard in the second half.

The Fury were without the services of key forward Tom Heinemann who was unfortunately injured. Richie Ryan and Nicki Paterson were impressive in midfield and the defensive work of Omar Jarun and Mason Trafford was noteworthy. However it was poor marking that led to the first Strikers goal, and essentially a rebound that gave the Strikers their second goal. Nevertheless Fury FC had their chances. Although Dos Santos does not like to use the words "expansion team", this is really what Fury FC is and as such put up a very respectable showing away from home against one of the league's established teams, in their very first league game ever. The home opener is at Carleton University today at 3 p.m. against Minnesota United. It is likely to be a sell out.

Major League Soccer - Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal

In the MLS, Toronto (TFC) currently has nine points in five games, with three wins and two losses. They lost at home last Saturday to Colorado 1-0. With key players such as Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe injured, TFC struggled to find its rhythm. They sit in second spot in the Eastern division. In 10th place, or bottom of the Eastern division is Montreal. The Impact are winless, they have three points with three losses and three ties. The Vancouver Whitecaps currently sit in fifth place in the Western division with eight points from two wins, two ties and two losses. All three Canadian MLS teams are drawing 20,000 plus to their home games.

If you are a season ticket holder you better show up!

Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga, the German first division, have fired a warning to those fans who aren't turning up for home matches as regularly as they should be, saying that season tickets can be revoked should a supporter not meet certain criteria. A Bayern Munich statement reads: "Should the season ticket holder not be in the stadium for at least eight games in the current season, the club retains the right to cancel the ticket,."

The day English football faced reality

Hungary's 6-3 victory at Wembley more 60 years ago resonates like no other in the history of English football. It wasn't just that this was a first home defeat to non-British opposition, the magnitude of the scoreline or the brilliance of the Hungarian display: it was the sense of shock. Over the course of one game the complacency and the insularity of the English game were exposed. After Nov. 25, 1953, none of the old certainties were certain any more, and here there are some similarities in terms of thinking between this event and the great Canada/Russia '72 Hockey series.

Six months earlier, four of the England team had been at Wembley playing for Blackpool in the Cup final, a match that was seen as representing English football at its best; it's arguable even, that was the day when football replaced cricket as the preeminent sport in England. However, the warning signs had been there had anybody been minded to notice. England's first defeat to continental opposition had come away to Spain in 1929 and had been blamed, in so much as anybody paid it any attention at all, on a hard pitch, hot weather and an excitable crowd that at one point had to be kept off the pitch by officers wielding swords. There was a prevailing sense that soccer not played in English conditions was barely soccer at all.

What the defeat did, though, was to shatter the myth of English superiority. This had been a defeat at Wembley on a damp pitch on a misty November afternoon, in conditions most believed, how soccer was meant to be played. Just as it seems to be taking a long while for us to realize that other nations play comparable hockey it was that incident that forced the English game of soccer to face reality.

The U-20 Women's World Cup

The FIFA (International Football Federation) U-20 Women's World Cup, is returning to Canada, the nation that hosted its inaugural edition in 2002. It will be played in four venues - Edmonton, Moncton, Montreal and Toronto - between Aug. 5-25, 2014. Canada will also host the senior equivalent, the FIFA Women's World Cup, in June and July of 2015. The groups for the U-20 Women's World cup are as follows: Group A - Canada, Ghana, Finland, Korea DPR, Group B - Germany, USA, China PR, Brazil, Group C - England, Korea Republic, Mexico, Nigeria, Group D - New Zealand, Paraguay, France, Costa Rica.

The Champions League

The Champions League is a top club competition featuring the best club sides in Europe. This is not to be confused with the Euro competition which is held every four years featuring the national teams of the European countries.

This year in Portugal, the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica will stage the 2014 European Champions League final on Saturday, May 24. The stadium is known across the world as the Estádio da Luz (stadium of light), and is home to the great Portuguese team, SL Benfica.

Currently left in Champions league play are:

Atletico Madrid of Spain who will play Chelsea of England on Tuesday, April 22, with the other semifinal between Real Madrid of Spain and Bayern Munich of Germany on April 23. Both of these games should be spectacular. Then these teams will play a second leg on April 29 and 30.

What was that again?

While profiling players and studying cognitive neurology and neuropsychology, we understood that the organization of a training session needs to be reconsidered. Most of all, the finding that sensoring - more precisely sensorial restrictions - perception and processing of information is influenced by the unique neurological organization of a human being. Also that the environmental and brain influence on learning processes is seriously underestimated during sporting activities, which urged us to look for innovative training structures anticipating more the holistic nature of a player's learning activity" - José Riga, of Charlton Athletic football club in the UK clarifies his thoughts of training sessions.

And finally . . . groan

After a visit to the doctor, a provincial team key forward dropped in to the pub for a quick beer. "What's up?" asked his friend Brian, "you look worried." "Yes, I am," he replied. "I've just been to the doctor's and he told me I can't play soccer. "Oh, really?" said Brian. "He's seen you play too then, has he?"

Remember, whatever your sport, to win the game is great, to play the game is greater, but to love the game is the greatest of all. And be part of the soccer fan base world wide, 3.5 billion and counting! Also, remember . . . support local soccer! If you have any comments on the beautiful game please contact me at cottrell@nrtco.net or call 613-587-4856.


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