Review of 2008 Soccer Season by Rocket Robin
I didn't expect it would take me until mid February to write a summary of my year in soccer and what I'm looking forward to in 2009. I didn't finish my expanded game reports until a month ago.
Canadian National Team games
I saw the three games held at BMO Field in Toronto this year.
The Canadian Under 20s tied Argentina in a friendly. Canada's Women's national team tied with Brazil in a friendly before the Olympic tournament. Canada's Men's national team tied Jamaica in their first game of the World Cup qualifying. Who knew that they would be out of qualifying for 2010 in South Africa within a few months? I got to see each game from the press box and attended the post game interviews with coaches and players. Another highlight for me was getting a ballot to vote as a member of the media for the player of the year for different sexes and age groups.
I'm not sure what 2009 will bring for either national team in regards to playing games in Toronto as there won't be any qualifying.
Toronto FC of MLS (15 regular season games, 2 Canadian Championship games, 2 international friendlies, and 4 reserves games and the MLS All-Star Game)
This was TFC's second year in the league and they played better than in their first year but still missed the playoffs. Some player's drew boos when they weren't playing well showing fans weren't accepting any longer of the city just having an MLS team. I have six row season tickets but they're near the aisle so I could see the habit of fans coming late and leaving early. "Excuse me, excuse me". Only other bad thing and that's only because I'm a note taker is I got caught in the rain for three games this year and that sure messed up my notes. The best game I saw was the MLS All Star game. I was glad I added that to my season ticket package. I got to see David Beckham play as he'd missed the two regular season league games and there's no guarantee he'll be with the Los Angeles Galaxy all five years of his contract. Dwayne DeRosario was one of the heroes in the game and now we find for 2009 that he'll play for TFC. I saw him play as a teenager the first year of the Toronto Lynx in 1997.
2009 looks quite promising for the team as they've acquired some good players and the head coach John Carver will not be taken by surprise with the calibre of play or the quirks of the league. MLS killed off the Reserves division which I saw four out of their six games but it was hide-and-seek sometimes finding out where and when they would play. In their first year I tried to cut and paste every story from any print media, by the second I only was pasting league stories but both years couldn't keep up; this year I'll just post my own stories because I know I won't have time for anything more.
Toronto Lynx and Toronto Lady Lynx (Lynx 8 regular season games, Lady Lynx 7 regular season games and 1 playoff game)
I act as about the only reporter for these two teams. They deserve more coverage than they get. This year was the first time that the the Lynx have made the playoffs since 2000. They finished with an 8-6-2 record. The Lady Lynx finished 11-2-1 for their best record ever but were knocked out of the playoffs early. The teams played at different locations around the GTA
For 2009, the teams won't be playing any double headers so they can have separate gates for each game. The two teams drew from a different fan base anyway.
CSL Canadian Soccer League (40 regular and playoff games)
I saw every team (all 11 of them) a minimum of three times during the year. TFC Academy was a last minute addition to the clubs of the previous year and started off fast but faded at the end. This year had Serbian White Eagles making the playoffs as usual but this year winning the championship. There was no Canada Open Cup this year and it left some of the holiday weekends open so I could catch up on other things. There was no long drive to London this year for the Open Cup finals.
At time of writing, I am not aware if there are any new teams added for 2009. Most of the games for this upcoming year have once again been promised to take place on weekends.
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