Category Archives: North American Soccer

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Alejandro Pozuelo Scores, Toronto FC Draws Season Opener 2-2

Alejandro Pozuelo’s penalty kick goal was the highlight in a 2-2 draw between Toronto FC and the San Jose Earthquakes in the season opener.

Pozuelo’s goal came at the 40th minute in the first half, after taking a penalty in the box. The Reds midfielder is coming off a season in 2019 where he recorded 14 goals and 15 assists.
Alejandro Pozuelo Scores, Toronto FC Draws Season Opener 2-2
Richie Laryea also scored for the Reds (1-0). Toronto improved its season opener record to 5-7-2.

Andres Rios and Oswaldo Alanis responded with goals for the Earthquakes (0-1). San Jose’s historical record against Toronto is 6-5-6.

The Reds controlled the scoring chances in the first half, despite losing the possession battle 63%-37% to the Earthquakes. The Toronto midfielders were finding their strikers in open space, while the Reds defense was active in the box.

Pozuelo got pushed in the box late in the first half, en route to the Reds’ first goal.

In the 51st minute, Laryea recorded his first goal of the season off of a rebound caused by Tsubasa Endoh’s shot towards the San Jose net.

Rios cut the deficit to one goal in the 53rd minute, thanks to an assist by Cristian Espinoza. In the 95th minute, Alanis’ strike secured the draw between the Earthquakes and Reds.

Quentin Westberg of the Reds made three saves in the victory while Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega stopped two shots on target.

Both Michael Bradley (ankle surgery) and newly acquired left-winger Pablo Piatti (hamstring string) were out for the Reds in the season opener.

The Reds record against the Earthquakes has improved to 5-6-6. Toronto is looking to have another successful season, after making it to the MLS Cup Final last year.

Toronto FC will play its first home game of the season on Saturday, March 7th against New York City FC.


Main Photo: Alejandro Pozuelo registered his first goal of the season off of a penalty kick.  (Getty Images)The post Alejandro Pozuelo Scores, Toronto FC Draws Season Opener 2-2 appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

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Olivia Smith & Jayden Nelson named Canada Soccer’s Youth Players of the Year

Soccer is becoming one of the top sports in Canada. Almost three million players, young and old, graced the pitch in the North American country in 2006, according to the Big Count. Most Canadian footballers play in the Canadian Premier League, the United Soccer League, and the Major League Soccer. Betway offers different betting options for Canadian soccer. Recently, Canada Soccer named Jayden Nelson and Olivia Smith as the Youth Players of the Year. In this post, we discuss the two Canadian players and the football award.
Canada Soccer Players Awards
Canada Soccer organized the voting for this year’s Canada Soccer Player Awards from November 27 to December 8, 2019. It awards amateur and experienced footballers. The awards include the male and female Canadian Players of the Year and the Youth Players of the Year. Coaches and media personalities vote for nominated players.

Canadian Soccer allows coaches alone to vote of the Canadian Youth International Players of the Year. It celebrates Canadian youth who have made many achievements at the National Youth Teams. The soccer organization assesses how young footballers have performed in international championships.

Canada Soccer named Olivia Smith and Jayden Nelson as the 2019 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year. It recognized them for their stellar performance in international youth tournaments. Punters can use a soccer betting app to predict which players will receive certain awards.
Jayden Nelson
Nelson was part of Canada’s U-17 squad that competed in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The nation hadn’t competed in the tournament since 2011. The young player scored five goals in the CONCACAF tournament. He received two Man of the Match awards. Also, Jayden scored a hat trick when his team thrashed Guatemala 4-2. He won the Player of the Match award in Canada’s last group game against New Zealand.

Jayden has had a successful year representing the country in various competitions, according to Andrew Olivieri, the Program Director of Canada’s Soccer Men. The player has great dribbling and scoring skills. He is still developing his football career in local and international games. Jayden mentors other young footballers since he makes an impact in each game. He has the right mindset to improve his gameplay.
Olivia Smith
Kenneth Heiner-Moller spotted Olivia Smith in 2018 while on a tour with Canadian youth teams. He called Olivia for an invitational competition in January in Yongchuan. The 15-year-old midfielder has caught the attention of other coaches since she started her football career. She might be the youngest Canadian international footballer to play in an international match. Jordyn Huitema, Jessie Fleming and Kara Lang also played their first international senior games at the age of 15.

Heiner-Moller said in a conference that she is planning to improve Canada women’s squad after losing 4-0 to Japan. The coaches and players had lengthy discussions after the game. The country was eliminated from the World Cup tournament after it lost 1-0 to Sweden.

Many Canadian footballers play in local and international tournaments. The nation has several professional soccer leagues. Canada’s national women’s team was ranked 7th in the latest FIFA World Rankings. Jayden Nelson and Olivia Smith won the 2019 Youth Players of the Year award. You can wager on any Canadian footballer at Betway.

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Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’UBLT5TaxSJBICGgD8ghy_w’,sig:’kCF0qCbxgJEjwpbfCmtbwumVCTWfrZIYAxKetZo2_tE=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’1179391219′,caption: true ,tld:’ca’,is360: false })});The post Olivia Smith & Jayden Nelson named Canada Soccer’s Youth Players of the Year appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

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Toronto FC Remains Unbeaten in Last Ten, Hosts D.C. United in Playoffs

Toronto FC needed a win. And they needed a bunch of help.

On MLS’ Decision Day, Toronto FC not only defeated Columbus FC 1-0 but got the help they needed to finish fourth in the MLS East Standings. With Philadelphia United losing 2-0 to the Montreal Impact and FC Cincinnati and D.C. United draw, the Reds will now host a playoff game in two week’s time.

The match was a cagey affair to start between TFC and Columbus. Both squads were nervy, looking to keep the play in the midfield. Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney said in the first half interview that he wanted his team to “have more tempo and urgency,” given the playoff implications.

The second half was a complete contrast. Unlike the first half, where Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore could not convert on their chances, Alejandro Pouzelo saw nothing but net in the 58th minute. His 12th goal in his inaugural MLS season came from the free-kick, providing the Reds the lead that they rode to the final whistle.

The Toronto FC win did not come without consequences. In the second half, Jozy Altidore, who has seven goals for TFC this season, had to leave the game with an apparent ankle injury. After taking a hard tackle in Columbus’ end, Altidore gingerly walked over to the locker room, ending his regular-season campaign.

For Toronto FC, the 2019 season has epitomized transformation and perseverance. Coming into the year having not made the playoffs in the 2018 season, the Reds were in search of an identity and finding consistency all season long. But the resiliency and experience this team has demonstrated the last two months of the season have seen TFC go unbeaten in their last 10 games.
Toronto FC’s Resiliency Makes Them Difficult Playoff Opponent
No better example than in stoppage time, when Toronto FC had to stop a corner kick from Columbus. Their defenders, including goalkeeper Quintin Westberg, were never phased and cleared the ball out of their own zone. Sealing the season-ending victory.

In two weeks, Toronto FC will host D.C. United at BMO Field. Two previous matches against the two clubs have resulted in draws.

Given the consistent form and hot streak Toronto FC has been on the last few weeks, expect the Reds to be marching into the MLS Playoffs with a fervent chip on their shoulder.

 The post Toronto FC Remains Unbeaten in Last Ten, Hosts D.C. United in Playoffs appeared first on Last Word on Sports.