July 2007

Cup of Soup

Sun, Jul 1, 2007

It's Gonna Be Huge

A year ago, I bought a pair of seats to all of the Toronto-based games of the FIFA U20 World Cup. Finally, after a long, long wait, the tournament has arrived, and I got to see our team kick-off the tournament against Chile. The game itself (a 3-0 loss) was further evidence that the state of soccer development in Canada is rather dismal, as the Chileans ran foot-fancy circles around the Canucks (though I wasn't pleased at all with their diving antics), but it was great to see that quality of football in person. Events like this, as well as the emergence of Toronto FC, can only improve the state of the game here.

Tue, Jul 2, 2007

Forca Portugal!

When I bought the U20 tickets last year, I did it in the hope that Portugal would qualify for the tournament, and I'd be able to watch the Fatherland's junior team with my Dad. Fortune smiled upon us, as today was the first of two such games. Dad and I sat among the disproportionately pro-Portuguese crowd, as Bruno Gama - surely a future star - led the team over woeful New Zealand, in a match that showed the immense gap in football prowess between the two nations. It was a wonderful thing to share something like that with Dad, and as he stood up and cheered for every wave the went by, I could tell he was enjoying it too.

Mon, Jul 9, 2007

The Downside (Backside?) of Camping

Having a sunburned ass is a rather uncomfortable state. I would not recommend it.

Fri, Jul 13, 2007


The knockout round of the U20 World Cup is under way, and I have just seen why Argentina are considered favourites in the tournament. That is one super-skilled team. Sergio Aguerro's over-the-head spin-around volley will likely prove to be the goal of the tournament.

Mon, Jul 16, 2007


Today, my manager leaves for a 3-week vacation. While he is gone, I am left essentially doing his job. It's going to be a long three weeks. I don't expect to sleep much.

Tues, Jul 17, 2007

Mmm... Doughnut

Last night, I played what was probably my best hockey game ever. We faced the top team in our division. They outskated us. They outplayed us. They outshot us by a whopping 31-9 margin.

We won the game 2-0.

Rock on.

Fri, Jul 20, 2007

The Melee

Despite the quality of soccer played, the record-setting crowds, and the spirited atmosphere, the big story thus far is unfortunately the melee between the Chilean team and Toronto police. After the Argentina-Chile semi-final match was sapped of any flow and fairness by horrendous officiating, Chilean players vented their anger by attempting to attack the referee after the game, and then continuing their violent behaviour against the police (and their team bus) outside.

While it's saddening that one event like this can mar an entire tournament in some people's eyes, what I find most infuriating is the scores of people - the Chilean president included - automatically crying police brutality. The Toronto police put their own safety on the line every day to serve and protect, and that's what they did last night. The general rule of thumb is that whatever occurrence is most likely tends to be what actually happened. Tell me, then, what seems likely? That the police attacked Chilean players "like dogs" for no reason? I think not. How about a group of justifiably frustrated and infuriated 19-year olds got egged on by a rival fan, and as an officer stepped in to prevent any confrontation, the player took a swing at the officer? That sounds about right. The officer is attacked, out comes the taser - which is perfectly justified - and then a bunch of other frustrated and infuriated 19-year olds see their teammate on the ground without seeing how it happened, and a melee ensues.

Some young punks, used to being idolised at home, cause a rucous over here, and people go and blame the police? Shut yer bloody trap. Assign the blame where it's deserved. If those players went down in the parking lot as easily as they go down on the pitch, then I expect the most any officer did was accidentally step on someone's toe.

Also saddening, is that while that melee was taking place on the west side of the stadium and grabbing all the media's attention, the other side featured a mixed crowd of hundreds of fans celebrating and singing Argentinian and Chilean songs in turn. That's a sight you would rarely - if ever - see in South America, and is much more reflective of the reception and atmosphere at the tournament thus far.

Sun, Jul 22, 2007

Six-Time Champs

Argentina pulled out a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic to secure their sixth U20 World Cup. Janet accompanied me to the game, and since she of Czech heritage, the result wasn't quite what we were hoping for. Nevertheless, it was a good game, and I enjoyed cheering along pretending to be Czech for a day. Thus, the tournament comes to a close, with plenty of exciting memories to keep. I'm going to miss my centre-pitch seats.

Archive Index
(C) 2000-2007 David Faria