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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, 27 December 2012

First Person View - POV-FS Second Annual 'On the Road' Football Tour

    Regular readers may have noticed a severe drop off in posts over the recent weeks. Holidays and end of season lull aside, a good portion of my attention has been focused on the organization of another whirlwind town of the British Isles.

    Departing this evening bound for Manchester, the second annual tour will commence on Saturday and wrap up a week later with six matches spread over the seven days.

    Up first is a return to Old Trafford for United vs. West Brom followed by a day trip to Liverpool and Goodison Park for Everton vs. Chelsea, all before the new year is rung.

    Then off to the City of Manchester Stadium for City vs. Stoke on the first before travelling up north to the wiles of Scotland – Glasgow’s Celtic Park for Celtic vs. Motherwell and Heart’s Tynecastle for the Edinburgh derby vs. Hibs - Hibernian.

    The tour will conclude with a return south to Leeds United’s Elland Road for their FA Cup tie against Birmingham City.

    I had hoped to take in a final FA Cup tie on Sunday, but Mansfield Town’s home draw against Liverpool sold out quickly.

    With the occasional off-day I hope to tour a stadium or two and take some time to check out the National Football Museum.

    I’m not sure whether I will be able to provide live coverage of the trip - as I did last year - given the rigourous scheduling and the paucity – and expense - of internet service, but I shall do my best.

    Either way, expect a full recap of the tour upon my return home and normal service at POV-FS will resume with the build to the new MLS season and the completion of several thoughts from last season.

Happy New Year to all, thanks for visiting, all the best,

    James

Thursday, 20 December 2012

From the Bookshelf – Philippe Auclair’s New Book “Thierry Henry – Lonely at the Top: A Biography”

    Out just in time for Christmas, Mr. Auclair’s latest work looks at the life and career of France and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.

    Given the extreme attention to detail and endless hours of investigation employed in his previous biography, of Eric Cantona, one can only assume it to be a similarly striking work.

    A lengthy interview with Off the Ball of Ireland’s Newstalk 106-108 on Tuesday (December 18th) discusses the scope of the project – give it a listen either on their popup player or via iTunes.

Friday, 14 December 2012

POV-FS Mail it in Friday Video – Messi’s Eighty-Six & Classic Radio from Africa

    Each Friday POV-FS brings forth a footy-related video from the cacophony that is the internet.

    The intent: to share some small aspect of the week that was.

    So, without further ado…

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Thoughts on the Recent Trades at Toronto FC

    Yesterday Toronto FC completed their second trade of the off-season sending Ryan Johnson and Milos Kocic to Portland for goalkeeper Joe Bendik, allocation money, and the third pick in the 2013 SuperDraft.

Friday, 7 December 2012

POV-FS Mail it in Friday Video – 1983-84 Arsenal v Tottenham

    Each Friday POV-FS presents a video with the intent of sharing whichever clip has struck our fancy that given week.

    Without further ado…

Monday, 3 December 2012

Second Annual Unofficial POV-FS Xmas Drinks – Details

    It’s winter in Toronto; the time has come to wrap another year

    The temperature has dropped – only to oddly rise again – though the outdoor rinks are ready to be marked by newly sharpened skates. The MLS Cup has been hoisted – congrats to LA and the Galaxy, the trees have been decorated – well, some of them anyways, and the NHL is in full effect – oh wait.

    It may be some time until Christmas and the holiday season are truly here, but that’s no reason not to get a head start on the celebrations.

    Wednesday afternoon – December the 5th for those more detail oriented, myself in conjunction with friends over at Waking the Red, would like to invite everyone to a get together to watch the final matchday of Champions League action.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Friday, 30 November 2012

POV-FS Mail it in Friday Video – 2011 MLS Cup Final

    With the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo set to meet in a rematch of last season’s final on Saturday afternoon, it is the perfect time to revisit that match with these extended highlights.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

2013 MLS Superdraft – On the Value of the First-Overall Pick & Defensive Depth at the Draft

    At the end of season TFC face the press sessions, Paul Mariner let slip that the club was not sure what it intended to do with the first-overall draft pick.

Beyond POV-FS – Toronto FC Top 31 Countdown: Number 18 - Jeremy Hall at Waking the Red

    My contribution to Waking the Red’s annual countdown of TFC players profiling the season of Jeremy Hall.

    Be sure to have a look and check out the rest of the countdown as assembled by the fine staff at WtR; looking back at the season in such a manner is a laborious, painstaking and often heart-wrenching task.

    Reminding oneself of the failures discarded from memory, assessing whom amongst them is worthy of a return; putting to words the failings of another season.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

First Person View – Soccer on Canadian Television

    It’s been a volatile time for soccer on Canadian television. Counter intuitively, it seems the more the big players get involved in broadcasting and rights holding, squeezing out the smaller boutique outlets, the less is available for viewers.

    It wasn’t so long ago that one could find at least a match or two available live every day and replays of matches dotted the overnight schedules, but now large swathes of the programming calendar are left empty, while the sport plays on.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Beyond POV-FS - Know Your Enemy: Columbus Crew – Meeting the Third at Waking the Red

    Preview of Sunday’s match between Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium in Ohio is up over at Waking the Red.

    Check it out.

So You've Graduated; Now What?

    With the end of season roster cull due and yet another rebuilding project on the cards, the next month will be an important time for several of the Toronto FC Academy Graduates waiting to discover their fate.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Thoughts? - Would Acquiring Alessandro Nesta Have Helped TFC?

    Now, on the morning of the meeting between Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact, seems as good a time as any to look at the half-season of work put in by Italian legend, Alessandro Nesta and attempt to answer the question of whether he would have been a good signing for Toronto.

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: Montreal Impact – Meeting the Fifth & Final at Waking the Red

    Preview of today’s match between Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact at BMO Field is up over at Waking the Red.

    Check it out.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Head-to-head: Canada vs. Honduras – All-time Results

    Mere hours remain until kickoff to the match that will decide whether Canada progresses to the next round of CONCACAF qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Cavellini Debate – Will He See the Pitch?

    Nineteen-year-old Lucas Cavellini joined the Canadian National Team as a replacement for the suspended Olivier Occean - who saw an unjust red card in the second half of action against Cuba on Friday.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

First Person View - TFC Academy v Montreal Impact Academy

    Wednesday night, on a lark, I hopped on the TTC and made my way up to Downsview Park to take in the rescheduled match between the TFC Academy and the Montreal Impact Academy.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Cuban News Rounds

    In preparation for tomorrow evening’s match between Canada and Cuba, POV-FS fired up the Google machine and the old-reliable translate function to dig a little deeper behind the upcoming opposition.

    Information was scarce, with Cuba already eliminated and the nation’s sporting attentions more internally focused on Baseball, Boxing, and most-interestingly, Chess, but there were a few tidbits of information that may be of interest to the anorak-enthusiasts out there.

Head-to-Head: Canada vs. Cuba – All-time Results

    Canada and Cuba take to the pitch on Friday evening in the first of two matches that will determine whether Canada will move on to the final phase of qualification: The Hex.

    Cuba, with zero points, has already been eliminated, but don’t let that cloud the fact that they have been much tougher opposition than would have been expected.

    National Team coach Stephen Hart has reiterated the importance of not looking beyond this first match to Tuesday’s meeting with Honduras.

    The full Men’s sides of Canada and Cuba have met ten times previously. Here’s a rundown of past results:

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

On the Race to Be the First Canadian Team in the MLS Playoffs, Measuring Success, & Long-Term Planning

    The Vancouver Whitecaps, should they make the playoffs this season, will become the first Canadian club to gain entry to the MLS postseason, much to the chagrin of Toronto FC and their fans, who have long used the playoffs as their stated goal, or as a measuring stick of success.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Beyond POV-FS – Know Your Enemy: Los Angeles Galaxy at Waking the Red

    Preview of tonight’s match between Toronto FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center is up over at Waking the Red.

    Check it out.

The Curse of the SkyDome Strikes Again

    Back on March 7th Toronto FC began their 2012 season with a dramatic 2-2 match in front of nearly fifty-thousand fans at the SkyDome in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Upon First Glance – Canada vs. Panama

    Last night in Toronto at BMO Field, Canada defeated Panama 1-0 on quickly taken free kick from Atiba Hutchinson after Simeon Jackson had been fouled on the right-side of the pitch. Hutchinson picked out Dwayne De Rosario, sharply placed onside in the six-yard box for a simple, but ever so important, finish into the unguarded net.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Head-to-Head: Canada vs. Panama – All-time Results

    Canada and Panama will take to the pitch twice over the coming seven days in the latest fixtures of the third round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualification.

    Somewhat curiously the two have only met on six previous occasions. Perhaps even more surprising, Canada is undefeated against the Panamanians, tallying two wins and four draws.

    Here’s a rundown of those meetings:

Friday, 24 August 2012

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Beyond POV-FS - Op-Ed: Interpreting Di Vaio’s Words On MLS at The Shin Guardian

    New piece up over at The Shin Guardian looking at Marco Di Vaio’s comments about MLS to La Gazzetto dello Sport from a while back, getting at what he meant, whether he was right, and if North American fans should care.

    Give it a read.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Upon First Glance – Toronto FC v Portland Timbers

Some initial thoughts from the match:

First Person View – A Matter of Taste

    I made a mistake the other day.

    I’ve delayed in posting this as I battled with the self-aggrandizing aspect of its nature; not sure if this comes across as furthering the issue or truly apologizing. Hopefully it is the latter.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

First Person View – When the Decision Goes Against & Moving On

    Much ink has been spilt over this controversy already, so rather than go over the whole story over again I thought it pertinent to take a look at a few of the parallels that have not yet been mentioned.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Upon Further Review – Toronto FC v Houston Dynamo

    Rewatching the match was a desperate undertaking.

The One that Got Away – And a Few Others

    Well, he’s been off the pitch for some time now, but Carl Robinson has officially announced his retirement. Having last graced the surface of Red Bull Arena, as a substitute for Teemu Tainio at the start of the second half when New York hosted Kansas City on April 30th last season – they won 1-0, by the way, with Robbo helping to hold at lead for the remainder of the match.

First Person View – Carl Robinson Retires. Wait, What?

    A few months ago I wrote about Montreal Impact trying to steal the spotlight away from the finale of the Voyageur’s Cup between the other two Canadian MLS Clubs – Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps – by announcing the acquisition of Marco Di Vaio the very morning after the match in Toronto, choking the airways, not with talk of the match, but of the Italian striker.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

CONCACAF Champions League: Snippets of Info - CD Aguila

    Club Deportivo Aguila - based in San Miguel, the fourth most populous city in El Salvador - translates as Eagle Sports Club. Their kits are Orange and Black, they are known as Super Naraja, or Super Orange.

CONCACAF IS AWESOME!!!

    There are some great club names – both historic and current - in CONCACAF, Jamaican club Humble Lions FC is a good one, as is Robin Hood of Suriname – yes, Suriname is part of CONCACAF. Robin Hood versus the Walking Boys sounds like a good match.

Monday, 30 July 2012

CONCACAF Champions League – Restructuring and Pot-Talk

    The restructuring of the initial stages of the CONCACAF Champions League has made it even more difficult for smaller teams to progress to the latter rounds.

Friday, 20 July 2012

First Person View - Viva La Mexico

    The rebranded Liga MX Torneo Apertura 2012 kicks off tonight.

First Person View – What’s Going On?

    Since Toronto finally has some time off – and I can relax for a moment, if only a moment – I’ll be taking the next week or so to address some of the changes that have come about over the past month or so.

    There exists a graveyard of pieces littering my unfinished folder and desktop, thoughts on the departures of Julian de Guzman, Joao Plata, and Nick Soolsma, the transition from Aron Winter to Paul Mariner, the wonders of Terry Dunfield’s goal, a different view on the potential of a Canadian World Cup, and a few random others swirling around.

    Hopefully I will get around to them all with nearly ten full days between TFC matches.
   
    So keep an eye out.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Monday, 9 July 2012

First Person View - Post #300

    A milestone such as this seems as good a time as any to take a step away from the everyday talk of Toronto FC woes, MLS goings-on, and other such babble.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Honduran News Rounds

    A little bit late, but nevertheless here’s a run down of the Honduran news, history, and story-lines of interest heading into tonight’s match.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Refereeing in CONCACAF

    With Canada in the midst of a World Cup Qualifying campaign it’s only a matter of time before the age-old complaints about the standards of refereeing begin to rear their heads.

Friday, 8 June 2012

First Person View - Cuban News Rounds

    The Canadian National Team is in Cuba to embark on the next round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualification. This is only the first step of many, but an important, if not vital, chance at road points that could prove crucial to progression.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

First Person View – Euro 2012 Previews

    I could feasibly take the time to research and compose detailed previews of each nation’s representatives at the big tournament of the summer. But let’s face it; they would pale in comparison to the following:

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Beyond POV-FS – Birth of a Flagship: An Excursion Through Toronto FC’s KIA Academy and Training Ground at The Shin Guardian

    New article up over at The Shin Guardian, detailing the new Toronto FC academy site, the history of the project, my thoughts on the tour – MLSE was kind enough to include me – and a myriad of topics on the transition from the college system to the academy in MLS.

    Give it a read.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

First Person View – Canada-USA Build-Up – Day One - Press Conference

    Still damp from the morning exposure, but freshly refueled with some coffee and a rather tasty hipster burger, the time had come to head over to BMO Field for the official pre-match press conference with the head coaches and a player representative.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

First Person View – Canada-USA Build-Up – Day One – Canada Training Session

    Lovely weather welcomed the Canadian National Team back home to Toronto. Howling winds and slashing rains, less than comforting conditions especially given it was a return from an extended warm-weather acclimatization camp in Florida in preparation for the midday match in Cuba next Friday.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Front Office Dunk Tank

    If only Toronto FC had thought of this before getting rid of Mo and company. Throw in a few tosses at one of these babies at the end of each year and no one would mind the incremental increases in season ticket prices.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Bringing the Game into Disrepute

    Martin Rennie’s post-match comments moments after last night’s second leg of the Voyageur’s Cup Final ended, those insinuating something sinister behind the selection of an Ontario-based referee for the match, were unseemly to say the least.

Well-Played Montreal

    Montreal Impact took the opportunity of a relatively quiet morning in the Canadian soccer landscape to announce that the club has signed their first designated player, Marco Di Vaio, most recently of Bologna FC.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Upon First Glance – Toronto FC @ Vancouver Whitecaps – Voyageur’s Cup Final First Leg

    A rematch of epic proportions - in a Canadian sort of way. Past editions fraught with controversy; enduring irritation lingers on one side of the divide; cough, Vancouver, cough, bitter, cough.

Canadian Men’s National Team Roster Unveiling – with Video

Coach Stephen Hart announced his twenty-two man preliminary squad for the upcoming round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers this morning.

Beyond POV-FS – MLS Travel Series: Montreal Exposed at The Shin Guardian

    New piece up at The Shin Guardian – part of their travel series featuring a look around Montreal with a few members of the local media. Food, drink, live music, and entertainment; all that good stuff. Check it out.

    Special thanks to Olivier Tremblay and Philippe Germain for their assistance, much appreciated.

Monday, 14 May 2012

First Person View – Umbro Centennial Kit Launch, CSA Media Conference, & the Impending Qualifiers

    I had the pleasure of attending last week’s Umbro kit launch at BMO Field on Wednesday afternoon. Doubtless by now you will have seen the celebratory kit and read up on what Stephen Hart will have had to say - there are many who report such facts much better than I, so we’ll stick to my impressions of the whole affair.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Friday, 4 May 2012

Foresight – MLS Round 9 Weekend Preview

Four questions to be answered in this the ninth round of MLS action.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Some Miscellaneous Thoughts on the Latest Troubles Surrounding Toronto FC – Part III

The third part; a final segment addressing some of the current issues swirling around a troubled Toronto FC; parts one and two.

Some Miscellaneous Thoughts on the Latest Troubles Surrounding Toronto FC - Part II

Second part of three discussing some of the current trouble swirling around Toronto FC; for the first click here.

Some Miscellaneous Thoughts on the Latest Troubles Surrounding Toronto FC – Part I

    It’s been a long few weeks in Toronto FC circles, a lot has gone on. Swirling amongst the disappointment is a series of long-standing issues, speculations, threats, and controversies. This is an attempt to address several of them at once.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Foresight – MLS Round 8 Weekend Preview


Four questions to be answered in this the eighth round of weekend action in MLS.

MLS Weekly Review – Midweek Round 8 – Of Faulty Penalty Kicks, Elbow Locations, and Canadian-Argentine Flicks.

    A single midweek match on Wednesday night saw Dallas welcome Salt Lake to their eponymous stadium in Frisco, Texas. Both sides returned to action on short rest, having lost on Saturday night to Vancouver and San Jose respectively.

MLS Weekly Review – Weekend Round 7 – Place Holder


Toronto v Chicago 2-3; Columbus v Houston 2-2; Colorado v Los Angeles 1-2; Vancouver v Dallas 1-0; Portland v Kansas City 1-0; Chivas v Philadelphia 0-1; San Jose v Salt Lake 3-1; DC v New York 4-1.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

MLS Weekly Review – Weekend Round 6 – Of One Goal Gets the Win, Goal-scorers Doing Their Thing – While Marquez Does His, Lightning Strikes, & More Late Collapses.

    Nine matches this weekend saw all teams bar one – Vancouver – take to the pitch in the latest offering of MLS action. Twenty goals, no red cards – though there should have been at least one – and only two draws – one of which came in Sunday evening’s rain soaked, lightning shortened encounter – these are some of the numbers behind another engaging round of MLS.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Foresight – MLS Round 6 Weekend Preview

Four questions to be answered in this the sixth weekend of MLS action.

MLS Weekly Review – Weekend Round 5 – Watch this Space – Part Three


    Space Holder for Weekly Review.

    Hope to have it posted prior to Saturday afternoon’s kickoffs.
     
    Apologies.


Montreal v Toronto 2-1; Columbus v New York 1-4; Kansas City v Los Angeles 1-0; San Jose v Vancouver 3-1; DC v Seattle 0-0; Salt Lake v Colorado 2-0; Portland v Chivas 1-2.