With the 2014 World Cup now over it is time to reflect on soccer in Canada. As a Canadian it dawned on me that no Canadians spoke of Canada or its lack of participation in the tournament. Instead, the question was which country are you cheering for?` Canadians in general talk about how the sport is growing but the growth…
This past weekend while working a promotional event at the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in downtown Toronto I was able to take part in a very large world cup street party. This street party was part of what has been known as Soccer Day in Canada. Like many cities around the world hosting similar events, this was a fun filled street party. Several streets were closed off to traffic allowing businesses and tents to be set up for the general public. There were a number of sporting companies on site, a large beer tent, a stage for musical performances and several large screen tv’s which showed the Toronto FC game (MLS), the third place between Uruguay and Germany and the finals between Holland and Spain. The entire weekend was a great soccer event that was free of charge and brought together people of all nationalities and backgrounds for one thing: the love of the game.
Recently the discussion came up regarding team loyalty at all levels of play or should I say the lack of team loyalty. Every year, and more often than not, players at all levels are switching teams to seek greater personal fame, a larger pay cheque or immediate championships. The sense of loyalty where young players grow up supporting their favorite team and then playing for them is gone. This type of behavior hurts the game in the short and long run. Furthermore, it takes away from fan enjoyment. This type of non-loyalty is becoming common in all sport today including the NHL, NBA and the NFL. When there is a lack of respect, loyalty and honor, aspects surrounding the sport begin to lose value quickly. The expression “blood, sweat and tears” is no more.
While watching the FIFA 2010 World Cup, teams and players are committing errors that they would normally not do at club level. There are moments of brilliance followed by moments of complete mental lapse and selfishness. The problem at the top level is that good teams will punish you for your errors and often times it is the smallest detail that will determine whether you win or lose. No matter your level of play, whether you’re playing in the world cup or college level, each of us can take away from this and learn not to make the same errors.
Luis Suarez, the player from Uruguay red-carded in the 121st minute of the Uruguay-Ghana game in the Word Cup quarterfinals, has turned from a goat into a hero, at least in his home country. While his handball was a blatant foul, it put his team into the semifinals of the World Cup.
Cheating is never a good thing, but there are times when a player must sacrifice himself for the team. And for Luis Suárez, who plays as a forward, this was one of those times.
This year’s world cup has brought many things; excitement, drama, heart wrenching disappointment and of course CONTROVERSY.
As a long-time advocate of technology in sport, it amazes me how the soccer powers that be, still fail to embrace the 21th century. Why leave to chance a botched call that can be so easily resolved by a 10 second review of the game.
As one commentator put it, “the American dream has come to an end.” The men’s US nation soccer team fell out of the 2010 World Cup in the round-of-16. Once the dust settles, there are many questions to be answered: did the US exceed expectations or fall short? Where does US soccer rank in comparison to the top teams in the world? Finally, what conclusions can be drawn about US soccer and, ultimately, North American soccer?
You want the good news or the bad news? Let’s start with the bad news…
When your skill level becomes very abundant and your team is playing at a high level it is often the smallest details of the game that separate one team from another, one player from another. The smartest and best players often have a trick or two up their sleeve in case the time comes to use it. They have often practiced these traits in training and mentally gone over the scenario in case the play occurs in a game. This summer’s world cup has seen some ‘sneaky’ goals scored and surprise plays that were by no means lucky. Whether you’re a professional or amateur player developing these secrets will always put you one step ahead of the competition and make you a feared apponent.
Ahh, the good old French. From public disputes between players and coaches, to the sending home of self-centered stars, right to the resignation of the soccer federations president, this years French squad was nothing short of a walking time bomb waiting to implode. With one of the most disappointing and controversial World Cup campaigns in French History, you couldn’t help but think you’d seen it all…right? Wrong.
I am watching this World Cup in a completely different fashion than previous World Cups. I am a huge soccer fan and love to play the game but what I’m seeing in this World Cup is painful to watch. I’m referring to the diving, cheating, excessive cards and dubious calls being made.
The pressure is on, the excitement is there, and the fans patiently wait for the England national team to succeed on the world stage. Unfortunately, for English fans, the English national team has not won the World Cup since 1966 and it will be a long time coming before they win again.
As the 2010 FIFA World Cup is underway I can’t help but notice many Canadians waving the flags of the respective country they are cheering for. I am often asked “what country are you cheering for.” Like many Canadians we are cheering for the country where we have family connections. This could be grandparents or even first generation parents that have immigrated to Canada. There is no harm in any of this patriotism that Canadians feel towards other nations. But wouldn’t it be great to channel this patriotism and cheer for Canada at the World Cup? With that being said question must be asked: when will Canada quality for the World Cup?