Welcome to Partially Obstructed View. We are each restrained by the limits of our own perspective, but when we meet to share information a clearer picture of the truth can be revealed. Comments & criticisms are welcome.

Thursday 30 June 2011

First Person View – The US Open Cup

    For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this tournament gets no respect.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

MLS Weekly Review - Weekend Round 15 – Of Useful Returns, Goalkeeping Heroics, Formation Changes, Brazilian Fire, Home Cookin’, the Return of the King, Draws, Trades & the Red Card Crew.

     Nine matches played; twenty-nine goals scored. Six Home wins, three draws, and no losses. The road woes continued for most clubs, whether a result of scheduling peculiarities – all but 3 matchups saw the higher positioned club hosting the lesser – or exemplary of the difficulty of road travel in MLS.

Quote of the DWW*

     On the realization of Tony Pulis’ cunning plan to transform his Stoke squad having secured their place in the Premier League for a fourth straight season.

Saturday 25 June 2011

MLS Weekly Review - Weekend Round 14 - Of Living Strong, Trouble in the Fort, a Community Shield of Sorts, Charlie Davies Poor Balance, Whitecaps Cresting and Madness in Portland.

    The weekend slate of matches kicked off Friday night with Sporting KC hosting San Jose at the glitteringly new Livestrong Sporting Park. Their second home match in their new home was more fruitful than the first. After the impressive performance in Dallas by Graham Zusi he once again rose to the occasion. It was his free kick that was turned in by the outstretched leg of CJ Sapong that tallied the first goal ever at the new park. The 1-0 score line was enough to earn Sporting their first win at Livestrong and continue their strong run of performances of late that has seen them go undefeated in seven matches, winning two straight.

Friday 24 June 2011

Quote of the DWW*

    "We recognise that the failure to relocate the goalposts is a real own goal."

Thoughts? - They Just Don't Get It

     Mainstream North American sports pundits have long had a troubled relationship with soccer. From simple ignorance to despicable denigration the refusal to accept and engage in the world’s game is sometimes comical and sometimes baffling.

     When they do acknowledge the existence of the beautiful game their lack of knowledge of either the domestic or international game is sadly lacking.

     Why is it that these top minds on the realm of sport have no time for proper football? Are their minds so full of American football, baseball, basketball and hockey that there is no space for anything else?

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Quote of the DWW*

     Chris Pontius and Charlie Davies of DC United on the controversial penalty awarded to Davies in their weekend match against Real Salt Lake.

England's U-21 Failure & the Tenure of Stuart Pearce

     The consternation at England’s failure to progress past the group stage of the UEFA U-21 Championship has begun. Questions about the tenure of Stuart Pearce as the manager of the program have arisen. Granted things could always have been done differently as the defensive attitude of holding firm and attacking opportunistically is not necessarily the approach best suited to such a skilled offensive team, but the error lies much deeper than management and tactical plans.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

A Farewell to Alen…

     … Stevanovic that is, as the irreparable hamstring was recalled by his Italian overlords at Torino. The 20 year-old Swiss-Serb spent 87 days on this Turin-to-Toronto work-exchange program – curiously Torino did not accept any Toronto FC players in return.

Quote of the D/W/W*

On LA’s decision to conceal that David would not be travelling with the squad to Colorado.

Monday 20 June 2011

Thoughts? – Why Canada Should Continue to Watch the Gold Cup

    The Quarterfinal round has finished. Eight teams took to the field, four move on. Canada was depressingly sent home after the group phase, relegated by that last minute equalizer that drew the match level and allowed El Salvador to sneak in at the Reds expense.

    The USA, Mexico, Honduras, and Panama move on to the Semifinals; Jamaica, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador go home. Aside from the action, the theatrics and the drama of the matches, what reason is there for Canada and their fans to continue to watch the tournament?

Saturday 18 June 2011

MLS Weekly Review - Midweek Round 14 – Of the Lesser Canada-Boston Showdown of the Night

The lone midweek match of this MLS week took place on Wednesday night as Toronto FC visited Gillette Stadium to take on New England Revolution.

Friday 17 June 2011

Thursday 16 June 2011

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Thoughts? - A Radical Transformation: Wages to Percentages

     The ongoing financial arms race between clubs in European football will surely strangle the game. As each new billionaire garnishes lavish wages on their new acquisitions the pay scale of each and every other footballer is ratcheted up in accordance, eventually it will reach a breaking point, an event horizon, from which there will be no coming back, perhaps it has already gone too far…. What if this adversarial relationship was reworked and players were paid with percentages of revenue rather than wages?

MLS Weekly Review - Midweek Round 13 – Of a Classy Professional Move & a New Stadium in KC.

    Two MLS matches dotted the calendar this week. Wednesday night saw Columbus’ Crew play host to Real Salt Lake. The Columbus, still struggling with the roster overhaul that saw them jettison fan-favourite Guillermo Barros Schelotto and some of the more experienced heads, entered the match winless in five. Leading scorer Emilio Rentería was absent with quad strain; DP Andrés Mendoza has increased his production (2 goals in last two matches) but still finds his Latin style not meshing with the blue-collar workman nature of the team and the town.

Monday 13 June 2011

Paul Chapman

     Sad news out of Germany as long-time German and English football correspondent for Deutsche Welle and BFBS passed away following a short illness.

El Salvador - Sign Them up

     El Salvador has been one of the more entertaining teams at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Granted they have yet to face the toughest of competition, but several of them could be expected to make moves out of their native league following the tournament.

Saturday 11 June 2011

Thoughts? - Wenger, Wilshere & England

    Arsène Wenger’s decision to pressure the England set-up into not calling Jack Wilshere to the UEFA U-21 European Championship – kicking off today in Denmark today – is just the latest in an ongoing battle between Club and Country.

Thursday 9 June 2011

What’s Up with Julian?

    Julian de Guzman was, until recently, Canada’s brightest footballing star. Following a youth career that saw him soar from Scarborough to Marseille, he began his professional career in the 2nd German Bundesliga, worked his way up to the 1st division, and earned a transfer to La Liga’s Deportivo La Coruña where after a slow start to life in Spain he adapted and was named the club’s player of the season.

    The downfall began as a dispute between himself and the Spanish club over financial matters. Monies owed to him for appearances, image rights and bonuses failed to materialize prompting difficulties as the two parties discussed a new contract. At the time rumours of interest in the solid midfielder were coming from Germany, England and within Spain.

First Person View – Thoughts on USA vs. Canada in Detroit

    I just got back from Detroit earlier this evening – if you ever find yourself in the Motor City, the Motown Museum is worth the trip and the burgers at Five Guys are equally excellent- sitting down to re-watch the USA-Canada match. I haven’t had a chance to read any of the other post-match diagnostics but I thought I’d share my initial impression.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

First Person View – Why Support Canada

     On this, the eve of our opening Gold Cup match against the US in Detroit, I’m readying myself for the trip south to cheer on our team. While many fans prefer to cheer on the big teams of Europe, regardless of how vague or passive their association to that country is, a select few endure with a smile the trials and tribulations of being a Canadian soccer fan. There is one selling point for me on this decision of loyalty and it is simply that this is our team.

Monday 6 June 2011

MLS Weekly Review - Weekend Round 12 – Of Late Drama, Stellar Goalkeeping, Honours Even, the Return of Casey Conor, the San Jose-Houston axis, and a New Record for Futility in Year One.

     Though week twelve saw only 12 goals in 11 matches there was plenty of action to behold. Late drama in New York saw Columbus rookie Rich Balchan erase an early Mehdi Ballouchy goal, leveling the score at 1-1 in the 92nd minute. Fellow first-year Crewman Justin Meram found space behind substitute right back, Matt Kassel, the highly touted academy product who replaced the injured Jan Gunnar Solli (hamstring) in the 28th minute. Meram exploited Kassel’s inexperience down the flank and cut a ball across the top of the six-yard box. The clever pass was met by the onrushing Balchan who slammed it past Red Bull keeper Greg Sutton for his first career MLS goal. Ballouchy’s strike in the 9th minute had given New York the lead; Solli found Rodgers on the right-hand side of the pitch, he cut out towards the touchline dragging defenders with him and threaded a ball through a tangle of legs to Ballouchy. A deft chip over a scrambling Will Hesmer nestled in at the far-post. The New York squad decimated by international call-ups could only name four players on the bench and only made a single substitution; though Thierry Henry returned to action should the injury to Solli prove serious this could be a lean month for the Red Bulls. Columbus’ frustrations in-front of goal continued as designated player Andrés Mendoza missed two glorious chances while looking nonplussed at the action around him. 

Toronto FC - Xmas in July

     The mid-season transfer window opens on July 15th. Toronto FC is in dire need of some reinforcements, these are not rumours, just desires. Depth at two positions, striker and defender, would greatly enhance the team.

Friday 3 June 2011

Gold Cup & International Action Shines on MLS Rosters

    With the Gold Cup kicking off on Sunday night, and a day of Euro 2012 qualifiers and friendlies having just past, it seemed a good time to analyze the effect on MLS action these absences will have on this weekend’s action. 

Letters to the Editor

    Some of the mainstream media response to the Canadian National Team’s match versus Ecuador in Toronto Wednesday has been less than adequate.

MLS Weekly Review - Midweek Round 12 – Of a Few Changes, But Really Just the Same

    In the lone match of mid-week action Vancouver traveled to Los Angeles to take on Chivas USA. Having jettisoned their manager Teitur Thordarson on Monday, Tom Soehn took charge of his first match for the Whitecaps and brought about the expected changes.

Thursday 2 June 2011

The Canadian Home-Match Experience

    Fantastic scenes at Canada’s friendly match last night hosting Ecuador at BMO Field in Toronto. A stunning first half strike by Terry Dunfield, followed by his leap into the South End of Voyageurs, gave Canada a lead at the half. Ecuador sprung to life in the second half, ‘Chucho’ Benitez heading an equalizer from a corner and Michael Arroyo lashing the go-ahead strike from 30-yards two minutes later. Quick thinking from Julian de Guzman, as Ecuador was pre-occupied protesting the award of a free kick, found Tosaint Ricketts alone in front of goal. He slotted past the Ecuadorean keeper to level the score, a bit of controversy went Canada’s way – for once- to earn a 2-2 draw.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

First Person View - I Support Canada

    Tonight the Canadian Men’s National Team takes on Ecuador at BMO Field in Toronto. Like most National Team matches here in Canada there is a high probability that the home support will be dwarfed by rows upon rows of Ecuadoreans who will appear as out of thin air to support their heritage against their home. Far be it from me to tell anyone who they should or should not cheer for, but due to a local campaign to support Canadian Soccer there may be an air of change amongst the South End of Voyageurs at BMO.