Soccer: Canada’s National Team: They only needed a tie to move on to the next World Cup Qualifying round, Instead they lost 8-1 to Honduras and Canada again will have no world cup representatives. They had set themselves up to get it done. They won 1-0 over Cuba on the road – took two matches at home (1-0 against Panama, 3-0 over Cuba). They dominated Honduras but could only manage a 0-0 draw, They then lost 2-0 in Panama which left them needing only a tie against Honduras to qualify, instead they were humiliated 8-1 and World Cup hopes were dashed – again. (Canada’s only World Cup appearance was in 1986).
Some players have said they will now have to take some time to decide on their future as a Canadian team member. All-star Dwayne De Rosario, 34 (he did not play in the final game due to injury), Julian de Guzman 31, Lars Hirschfield 34 and Ante Jazic 31 are likely going to re-assess their commitment. Coach Stephen Hart, despite coaching the team to their best showing in more than 10 years quit saying the World Cup was a priority. His decision to quit does not sit well with the players. Most say their failure to qualify for the World Cup had nothing to do with coaching. Hart, a Nova Scotia native was well respected and loved by the players many of whom have said publicly that they are responsible for the embarrassing 8-1 loss that quashed their World Cup dreams.
Toronto: TFC: Toronto’s MLS (Major League Soccer) team are ending another losing season. It’s their 6th in a row. At this writing their record is 5-20-8 and they were winless in their last 13 matches (last win was July 18). They will finish last in the MLS. Their last game will be October 28th and they need a win in order not to set a record of fewest wins – they have already set a record for most losses. Attendance is down and the fans are complaining.
In an effort to recoup fan support MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment) President Tom Anselmi announced ticket prices would be rolled back to 2007 levels. Season tickets will be reduced from $1,292 to $1,007 – BMO Field’s Red Zone drops to $53 from $69 and south-end cheap seats roll back to $10 from $19 per game or $190 from $361 for the season. The move is to reward fans and “Thank them for their loyalty and thank them for sticking with us while this thing get turned around” said Anselmi. The new prices apply to all past and present season ticket holders. New season ticket holders will pay “a couple of bucks more per game” he added. Walk-ins will also pay more (i.e. Red Zone $77-89).
Hall of Fame: Soccer star Charmaine Hooper was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame October 18. She was joined by Scott Niedermayer (hockey), Derek Porter (rowing), Jeremy Wotherspoon (speed skating), Pierre Lueders (bobsled) and Jamie Sale and David Pelletier (figure skating).