Spoof story dupes soccer fans into needless outcry


CBC Radio program This is That caused a stir over the weekend with a segment that claimed an Ontario athletic association removed the ball from youth soccer games, thus ensuring everybody wins.

The This is That piece hit the blogosphere, and the pallbearers for athletic integrity readied themselves to lower the proverbial casket. There’s only one problem: This is That is a satirical program, comparable to a Canadian version of The Onion.

To be fair, the hoax included some totally believable quotes, such as:

"We want our children to grow up learning that sport is not about competition, rather it’s about using your imagination. If you imagine you’re good at soccer, then, you are."

In the same vein, we guess if you imagine a completely ridiculous story is true, then, it is.

Oh, wait.

(h/t Deadspin)

(Image: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)


Martinique substitute scores last-second golazo vs. Canada

Fabrice Reuperne’s strike in the dying seconds of stoppage time stunned Canada in the 2013 Gold Cup opener.


Entire U-14 Canadian team wear turbans during match despite regional ban


Image via Montreal Gazette

The Quebec Soccer Federation has banned players from wearing turbans on the soccer field, citing safety as the main reason. The ban has resulted in over 100 Sikh children not being able to play, causing backlash in soccer and political circles around the globe, as well as causing the Canadian Soccer Association to suspend the provisional association.

When FC Brossard coach Ihab Leheta had an opportunity to stand up to this injustice, he took it.

Despite having no Sikh members on his undefeated U-14 team, Leheta asked his players to wear turbans to stand up against the QSF ban. Though his Brossard team ended up losing the match 2-1, the message the team sent was loud and clear.

Leheta told the Montreal Gazette:

“I told them you can either say: ‘It’s not my problem,’ or you could decide to do something to help out.

“I was so proud of them, (they understood) that today it’s Sikhs (being banned) and tomorrow it’ll be someone else.”

The Quebec Premier Pualine Marois announced that she is backing the decision by her province’s soccer federation to ban youngsters from wearing turbans during games. Marois said that it is unacceptable that the CSA would suspend her province’s federation.


Sydney Leroux’s key to success: Prancercising


US women’s national team forward Sydney Leroux is making a name for herself both on and off the field.

In this weekend’s friendly against Canada, Leroux scored the final goal in a 3-0 victory. Unfortunately, she was also subject to racist and sexist tweets leading up to the match.

For those paying attention, the 23-year-old recently revealed her pregame secret that leads to success: Prancercising. Described as an “exercise revolution,” this hilarious exercise was made famous by a viral video which is a must-watch.

Here’s a peek into her mock pregame routine prior to the Canada match:

Not only is it an effective pregame warmup, it’s a great postgame cool down. She even got Alex Morgan and a few other USA teammates to join in on the routine:


US U-20s defeat Costa Rica, inch closer to World Cup berth


By: Kyle McCarthy

The United States’ U-20s will face either Canada or Nicaragua for a place in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup after securing a straightforward 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on Friday night.

Jose Villarreal notched the winner with a majestic header shortly after the hour mark to seal top spot in Group A. The triumph ensured the Americans must dispatch either the Canadians or the Nicaraguans in the CONCACAF U-20 quarterfinals on Tuesday night to claim one of the four available berths to the showcase in Turkey later this year.

Although the likely date against Canada presents a difficult challenge, the Americans will enter that match in the wake of an improved performance from the display offered in the 2-1 win over Haiti on Monday. As the U.S. starts to prepare for the do-or-die clash on Tuesday night, here are three points worth noting from the final fixture in Group A:


1. US coach Tab Ramos and his players spent the past four days working on possession: Ramos made four changes (including both fullbacks) and preached the need to keep the ball against the Costa Ricans. His players heeded those directives. The back four looked more solid with a pair of natural fullbacks on the field. The midfield dictated the proceedings and moved the ball around more freely. The forwards checked back often enough to provide an outlet. The entire deportment and structure provided the side with a firmer foundation to search for the result.

2. The emphasis on keeping the ball blunted the American attack: The revamped approach did not produce an enthralling match. Neither side increased the tempo to the level required to carve out opportunities. In the match against Haiti, the Americans sidestepped their dearth of creativity by relying on quick movements through midfield. The slow cadence of the game restricted those openings in this affair and shifted the emphasis to free kicks and set pieces.

3. One well-taken chance decided the affair: Villarreal separated the teams after 63 minutes by exploiting slack set piece defending from the Costa Ricans. As the Costa Rica defense watched Luis Gil’s looping corner kick drop at the far post, the LA Galaxy forward climbed over everyone and thumped his header toward the far post. In this dour contest, it only took one predatory piece of finishing – and, admittedly, a save from Cody Cropper and the intervention of the crossbar after that juncture – to secure top spot in Group A.