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Whitecaps Nations Cup 2006

Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 20:28:49 +0000 #1
Caps against the world

By BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

slam.canoe.ca/Slam/S.../18/1690316-sun.html

The flags of China, India, Wales and Canada will fly at Swangard Stadium this week for the Vancouver Whitecaps first Nations Cup tournament.

Whitecaps meet India's national team tomorrow night (7 p.m.). China's under-20 team plays Cardiff City FC of Wales Friday night (7 p.m.).

Winners battle in Saturday night's final (7 p.m.). Losers play for third place late Saturday afternoon (4 p.m.). All matches are live on Shaw TV.

It's the start of a new tradition for the Whitecaps who hope to take advantage of a lull in the USL First Division schedule by giving players a new challenge and fans some bonus soccer.

"It's going to be good to get some of these guys logging tons of minutes a break, some of these guys off injury, maybe get them some game minutes, and some of these young guys a chance to prove themselves," said Whitecaps' captain Jeff Clarke. "So it's a win-win for everybody."

India's head coach is Bob Houghton, a globetrotting British expat whose career included a three-year stop helming the Toronto Blizzard in 1982 to 1984.

Blizzard were runners-up in 1983's Soccer Bowl championship at B.C. Place Stadium. Houghton is trying to elevate the game on the subcontinent where cricket dominates and soccer has only a national semi-professional league.

India, 2005's South Asian Football Federation cup-winners, was ranked 117th in FIFA's latest poll. Houghton wants to scour the planet for players of Indian origin who haven't committed to other countries.

Houghton's knowledge of the Chinese game will be useful should India meet China's under-20s on Saturday. He coached China's national team to its first World Cup berth in 2002.

China's juniors, coached by 1988 Asian footballer of the year Jia Xiuquan, are hoping to qualify this fall for next summer's FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada. The players will form the core of the under-23 team that will host the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics soccer tournament.

Cardiff City is expected to come with 300 noisy fans. The 107-year-old Bluebirds, who stopped en route for matches in Seattle and Nanaimo, play in the English Championship League, the old second division.

Perhaps club executives will have some words of advice for Whitecaps' president John Rocha because the 22-time Welsh champion and one-time F.A. Cup winner is also in the process of building a new stadium.

Whitecaps' goalkeeper Tony Caig will be prepared to meet Cardiff. Caig is a former Newcastle United Magpie, just like Cardiff's marquee off-season signing, Michael Chopra. The 22-year-old striker replaces Cameron Jerome, who was signed by Birmingham City.

Expect to see Josh Wicks spell off Caig, though Lilley said he might insert third-string netminder Serge Djekanovic into the lineup. Jamaican forward Gary Brooks, who joined the Whitecaps late last week, will see some action.

"What we don't want to do is not get something out of those games," Lilley said. "We'd like to do well in our own tournament and get better."

The Nations Cup happens the same weekend as Richmond's long-running Nations Cup community soccer jamboree and the Vancouver CultureFest at the Pacific National Exhibition grounds.


ulster212010-05-12 20:32:19 +0000 #2
Are the MLS & USL ever going to have a relegation & promotion system?
Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 20:47:40 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by ulster21

Are the MLS & USL ever going to have a relegation & promotion system?

No and why would they, for what purpose?
ulster212010-05-12 21:31:39 +0000 #4
Make the USL worth watching. Why would anyone want to go see a USL game if they know that winning the USL Div.1 championship will not get you anything except another year in the same Division. If your a Rochester or Montreal fan you will forever be rooting for a minor league team.
Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 22:01:48 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by ulster21

If your a Rochester or Montreal fan you will forever be rooting for a minor league team.

Like Gravesend & Northfleet, or Hampton & Richmond Borough? It's not likely they'll be in the EPL anytime soon.

There's no sense hoping for a European solution to your problem. This is North America, people came here originally to escape old world traditions and modes of thinking. Aside from a few ex pats who make claims like you are every now and then, the issue is hardly ever raised.

Fans are happy with the way things are, they wouldn't want to see the New York Yankees against the Rockford Peaches. The only real small market high level pro team is the Green Bay Packers and they have decades of tradition on their side.

And after this last World Cup, more European traditions and values are the last thing I'd want to see.
ulster212010-05-12 22:18:19 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe MacCarthy

Like Gravesend & Northfleet, or Hampton & Richmond Borough? It's not likely they'll be in the EPL anytime soon.

There's no sense hoping for a European solution to your problem. This is North America, people came here originally to escape old world traditions and modes of thinking. Aside from a few ex pats who make claims like you are every now and then, the issue is hardly ever raised.

Fans are happy with the way things are, they wouldn't want to see the New York Yankees against the Rockford Peaches. The only real small market high level pro team is the Green Bay Packers and they have decades of tradition on their side.

And after this last World Cup, more European traditions and values are the last thing I'd want to see.

Gravesend & Northfleet are extremely small markets and are simply minor league towns, yet you are telling me that cities like Seattle, Montreal, Portland, Miami should forever wallow in the minor leagues without a chance at promotion. I bet you that a team like Rochester would draw over 20,000 fans because soccer is very popular in that part of the country whereas other bigger U.S. cities it is not as popular, and just because the city is larger does not mean that the soccer fanbase will be larger. The MLS should get rid of the salary cap and let the best markets rise to the top. If not the MLS will collapse. That way a team like D.C. United will not get relegated because they would be at such a high level..... similar to Manchester Utd. & Arsenal.
Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 22:25:47 +0000 #7
Shoulda, coulda, woulda, doesn't really matter, there is no pro/rel in North American sports, nobody wants it and it ain't gonna happen.

If Rochester wants to come up with the dough, they could be in MLS. Joey Saputo has a problem with the single entity ownership or he'd be in the MLS now. As it is Vancouver and Montreal will both likely be in MLS in 4 years time. DC won't get relegated because there is no relegation, so why worry about it.

Just wondering where in the US you're from. What team(s) do you follow?
ulster212010-05-12 22:32:19 +0000 #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe MacCarthy

Shoulda, coulda, woulda, doesn't really matter, there is no pro/rel in North American sports, nobody wants it and it ain't gonna happen.

If Rochester wants to come up with the dough, they could be in MLS. Joey Saputo has a problem with the single entity ownership or he'd be in the MLS now. As it is Vancouver and Montreal will both likely be in MLS in 4 years time.

Just wondering where in the US you're from. What team(s) do you follow?

I go to school near Washington D.C. I've been to 3 D.C. United games but was not impressed by the team or the fans. I also went to 2 Richmond Kicker games just for the hell of it.

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