Monday, March 26
Stories Of the Day: Split for Canadians, Unfortunate Remarks
National Pride: Canadians all across the country united behind a splendid start to the day as the Canadian women’s national team delivered a bit of a surprise. Though it was a friendly, the lady Canucks upset no. 4 ranked Brazil, 2-1, on a pair of Christine Sinclair tallies.
Later in the day, the U23 Canadian men registered what will likely go down as the upset of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament when they shocked the United States, 2-0, in Nashville. Two corner kicks doomed the US squad as Doneil Henry and Lucas Cavallini took advantage of a “listless performance... [and] criminal defensive work.” Now the US men must beat El Salvador, who played Canada to a scoreless draw, to advance as the second seed from the group to the semifinals, where they will face Mexico, which demolished T&T and dominated Honduras.
The day, as a whole, was a disaster for the US. Before the game it was announced striker Juan Agudelo’s meniscus was torn, knocking him out of the tournament and sidelining him for the New York Red Bulls.
Club Calamity: While there was much to celebrate from national team results, there was literally nothing to celebrate at the club level as all three Canadian MLS teams went scoreless on the day. The only consolation, perhaps, on the day was that Vancouver managed a draw, though it was against previously pointless DC United. Toronto lost 3-0 at home to San Jose and Montreal fell, 2-0, on the road to Columbus, which picked up its first positive result.
It is not a good sign as Toronto heads into a Champions League semifinal series Wednesday against Mexican power Santos Laguna.
Red Card for Intolerance: On Friday, I brought up a point where supporters clubs were upstaging FIFA at the organization’s own mantra, FIFA Fair Play, with their “Show Racism the Red Card” initiative. Well, the well-planned event will undoubtedly take a back seat this week following the incident in the first game of the weekend, Houston at Seattle. During the match, Dynamo player Colin Clark approached the touchline expecting the ball, but when the ballkid rolled it to his feet instead of with a toss, the veteran MLS player stunned many when he turned to the kid uttered a gay slur at him (f***ing f****t), which was caught on NBC Sports audio and from fan video cameras.
Clark, apologized online via twitter and to a gay advocacy group following the match, but the incident will be long remembered and will most likely result in league penalties.
It is a shame an incident of this sort occurs so soon after the offseason announcement from David Testo, a veteran MLS and lower division player, that he is gay. At the time I commented (on Extra Time @ TheCup.us) that I was very surprised he was open with his friends and teammates, but that it had been respected by those who knew around the sport, but had not said anything publicly.
It was noted at the time by former coach Marc Dos Santos that Testo was occasionally the target of homophobic abuse while playing, but no response came from any league officials (MLS, NASL, USL), so far as I know, at the time about stamping out the offensive action. Perhaps it had been addressed, this innocent youth would not have been placed in this position and homosexuals around the nation would not have been offended.