League News

Soccer player cheering on his country

Posted & categorized League News.

by neiL HoDge from Times & TranscripT June 11
For almost a decade, Ivory Coast made headlines for all the wrong reasons due to a civil war. Now, it’s in the spotlight for something positive.

When the 2014 FIFA World Cup begins tomorrow in Brazil, it marks the African country’s third consecutive time qualifying for this tournament. The first World Cup took place in 1930 and the Ivory Coast’s only previous appearances were in 2006 and 2010. “We love soccer, but we’re a small country,”said Christian Yapi, a 22-year-old Ivory Coast native who plays for Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators First Touch in the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League.

“This is our third participation in the World Cup so we’re still new to it. It’s a big thing for our country to qualify for this tournament. If we can get out of (opening round) group stage play and make it to the quarter-finals, that would be a really big achievement for our country.”

There are 32 countries in the 2014 World Cup. Following are the groups for opening-round play; the top two teams in each group advance to the quarter-finals.

Group A – Brazil, Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon

Group B – Spain (defending champion), Netherlands, Chile and Australia

Group C – Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan

Group D – Uruguay, Costa Rica, England and Italy

Group E – Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras

Group F – Argentina, Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria

Group G – Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the United States

Group H – Belgium, Algeria, Russia and Korea

Eight countries have won the previous 19 World Cups: Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, England, France and Spain. Brazil leads the way with five championships, followed by Italy with four and Germany with three.

Ivory Coast failed to make it past the opening round in its first two World Cup appearances. Various publications predict that Columbia will be the top seed in Group C with Ivory Coast standing a good chance of being the second team to advance.

“It was especially good the first time that Ivory Coast qualified for the World Cup in 2006,” said Yapi. “It was during a period of war back then and people were scared. It moved the mind of people from politics a little. It was something positive that distracted people a little.”

Yapi believes that Germany or Brazil will win this year’s World Cup.

The 19 previous World Cups saw 10 champions emerge from Europe and nine from South America. Three of the past four champions have come from Europe.

The betting firms list Brazil as the favourite in this year’s World Cup, followed by Argentina, Germany and Spain. Ivory Coast is considered the strongest among the five African countries in the tournament with the continent’s other qualifiers being Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria.

“I started playing soccer at age six or seven in Ivory Coast,” said Yapi. “It wasn’t organized.

“There are some fields, but it’s mostly played in the streets. People weren’t teaching us how to play when I started. We just had a ball and we played in the streets.

“We love soccer in my country. Everybody plays it. It’s like hockey in Canada. Everybody in my country will be watching the World Cup on television.”

P.E.I. FC, 7-1-0, sits atop the Mc-Cain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League. Moncton is runner-up at 3-0-0, followed by the Fredericton Reds at 2-2-0, Fredericton Wanderers at 1-3-1 and Fundy United at 0-7-0.

Moncton will continue the 16-game regular season with a pair at home. It will meet the Reds tomorrow and the Wanderers on Friday, both 7:30 p.m. starts at the Crandall University field.

Wanderers settle for weekend split

Posted & categorized League News.

Soccer | Big win Saturday, tough loss Sunday for McCain league champs
The reigning McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer league champion the FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers lost 4-3 Sunday in a very exciting game against the Codiac First Touch of Moncton at Scotiabank Park South.

“It was a great game to coach, exciting for the fans, it’s really everything you want in a soccer game,” said Wanderers head coach Joe Ross. Everything except a win.

Thibault Pascale scored both the tying and game-winning goal in the second half for First Touch. Daniel Mallet and Florian Ntima-Nsiemi were the other goal scorers for Codiac.

Colin McIsaac had two for the Wanderers, while Zack Wood-Seems notched his third of the year.

It was the second meeting of the season between the teams. They battled to a scoreless tie May 30.

Fredericton had a 3-2 goal lead late in the second half, but couldn’t hold on as the First Touch pounced on the tired legs of the Wanderers who played Saturday as well and posted a 2-0 win over previously unbeaten P.E.I. FC.

The win continued Codiac’s undefeated record to start the season at 3-0-1, while the loss dropped the Wanderers to 1-3-1 on the year.

The game was chippy from the start, with the teams exchanging words throughout the match.

Codiac coach Patrick Gautreau said it was the maturity of his team which allowed them to stay focused.

”Maybe a couple of years ago we wouldn’t have been as composed, but now we have a group that is a bit more experienced with high level games that are able to stay composed,” he said. “It’s a game inside of a game being able to maintain your composure.”

Though it was a high scoring game, both goaltenders had moments of brilliance in the match.

Mackenzie Hill was in top form for the Wanderers early on and was the main reason Fredericton was only down one goal at half.

On the other side it was Samuel Charron for Codiac keeping his team in it when they were down 3-2 in the second half to give them a chance to make the late comeback.

Ross considered it a successful weekend for his club.

“We are going in the right direction; the boys are getting more comfortable in the system we are playing,” he said. “I think we are going to be a tough team to beat in the near future.”

He said minor injuries to players late in the game, and late substitutions may have thrown off his team.

Codiac and the Wanderers get right back at it next Friday as they play each other in Moncton.

Island squad runs roughshod over P-Reds

Posted & categorized League News.

Maybe it was Andy Scott making his debut as a keeper, or facing the top team in the New Brunswick Premier Soccer League which had just lost its first match of the season the night before. Or maybe it was a short bench because the team wasn’t supposed to play this weekend. Whatever the case, the Fredericton Picaroons Reds just didn’t have their stuff Sunday afternoon.

The Reds were outworked, outshot and ultimately outscored against P.E.I. FC yesterday, shut out 5-0 on a scorching BMO Centre field by the league-leading Island squad.

P.E.I. got a pair of goals from Jared Murphy and Dan McAleer, and another from Adam Lowther. Brett Mac-Donald picked up his fourth clean sheet of the year as the Island squad improved to 7-1-0 on the season after suffering a 2-0 shutout to the rival FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers Saturday night.

“Yeah, I suppose that’s a response (to Saturday’s loss),”said P.E.I. head coach Bruce Norton. “We were able to get the ball out wide today.”

And out wide was their bread and butter all afternoon. The Islanders got on the board early as Scott couldn’t handle a rebound from about 20 yards out and McAleer was right on the doorstep with an easy tap in. Midway through the first half McAleer was at it again cleaning up another rebound in the box for his second of the game.

Murphy also added an assist to his pair of goals, playing a beautiful cross into the box for Lowther on the far side, then about 40 seconds later Murphy quickly got possession just passed midfield and booted a 45-yard strike over Scott’s head and in.

Late in the second half Murphy added to the lead, nailing a 20-yard strike off the far-side post and in for his league-leading ninth goal of the season.

All game long the Reds struggled to get the ball to the wing to create chances and had a hard time keeping possession to set anything up.

“We haven’t played well for several games,” head coach Dave Rouse said “I don’t know what the reason is. We certainly have enough talent out there to be doing better than we are, but we just didn’t show up to play today. Each of the guys has to look at themselves for that.”

The P-Reds have dropped to 2-2 with the loss and have struggled with consistency all year, scoring only five goals through four games. Both losses were clean sheets.

“We’re working a lot of young guys in too,” said Rouse on newcomers who made the jump from under-16 to the Premier League since there is no under-18 league in New Brunswick this year. “This is a great place for them to be. They all have flashes where they’re doing very well, but it takes a while to get up to this speed.”

Both teams observed a moment of silence before the game in honour of the three RCMP officers who were killed in Moncton last week, while across town against the Fredericton Wanderers, Codiac First Touch sported black armbands in honour of the officers.

Wanderers ready for pair of key home games

Posted & categorized League News.

Senior soccer | FDSA to host P.E.I. FC, Moncton
The FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers are looking to get back on the winning track this weekend in McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League action.

But it won’t be easy.

The Wanderers (0-2-1) host P.E.I. FC (6-0) at 7 p.m. tonight and meet Moncton First Touch on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a rematch of last week’s game which ended in a 0-0 draw. Both take place at Scotiabank Park South.

The Wanderers lost a pair of games to the Island 2-0 and 2-1 three weeks ago in P.E.I.

Wanderers coach Joe Ross said it’s early, but he’s confident his team is headed in the right direction.

“We had a couple of tough games to start off the year in P.E.I.,” Ross said. “But as a coaching staff we’re not worried. The players are staying calm and we’re going to go out, play every game hard and try to get as many points as we can.”

Wanderers midfielder David Jamael said both games will be tough tasks, but says the club will be ready.

“They’re both going to be extremely tough games,” Jamael said. “We’ve played them both already and fought to some good results … We’re expecting to build on those and hopefully come up with some more points this weekend.” The Wanderers tried a new system against Moncton last week and it worked better in the second half. The Wanderers had several good scoring opportunities and managed to keep the ball out of their own end for the most part.

“I think we’re starting to get used to it and it’s starting to come,”Jamael said, “but again it’s the start of the year and we’re looking to build some chemistry, so hopefully we can build off those results and get better going forward.”

With the practices the Wanderers have had this week, Jamael thinks they will be fired up and ready to go.

Jamael and the rest of the Wanderers would like to see even more people come out to their games. The best crowds the Wanderers receive is when they play the Fredericton Picaroons Reds, but Jamael would like to see more fans throughout the season.

“I think people enjoy the physicality of the league and the excitement that comes with it,” Jamael said.“We’ve had some good crowds so far this year and hopefully they continue to grow. That always helps having big crowds. It’s easier to play in front of a big crowd, rather than empty bleachers.”

As for the league itself, Ross said he’s impressed with the level of play from all the teams and said the future bodes well for Soccer New Brunswick.

“Every single team can compete and any team can win on any given night, which is a great thing for soccer in this province,”Ross said.

Also on Sunday, P.E.I FC will face the Picaroons Reds (2-1) at 1 p.m. at BMO Centre.

In McCain New Brunswick Premier Women’s Soccer League action, the Fredericton Reds (2-0-1) defeated the Crazy Babes FC (1-2-0) of Edmundston 3-1 on Sunday, June 1. Kayla Painter, Sarah Myatt and Emilie Pelletier scored for the Reds. Melissa Beaulieu replied for the Crazy Babes.

FDSA Wanderers Under 21(0-2) team lost 6-0 to Fundy United (2-1-0) on Wednesday night in Saint John.

Jenn Bergeron fired three goals for Fundy. Melissa Bishop, Erica Adams and Breanna Kettlewell had the others.

The FDSA Wanderers U21 team is on the road Wednesday, June 11, when they travel to Saint John to face Fundy United at 7 p.m.

The Reds host Funday United on Saturday, June 14, at 4 p.m. at BMO Centre.

First Touch blanks Fredericton Reds

Posted & categorized League News.

› Moncton soccer team improves its record to 2-0-1 with victory
Times & TranscripT sTaff

Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators First Touch remain unbeaten in the early going of the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League season.

First Touch blanked the Fredericton Reds 3-0 yesterday to post a victory in their home opener at Crandall University.

Moncton improved its record to 2-0-1. Fredericton dropped to 1-1.

Connor McCumber and Daniel Mallet scored first-half goals as First Touch took a 2-0 lead into the break.

Harouna Ouedraugo struck for Moncton in the second half, finishing off a nice cross from Alexandre Theriault to extend the lead to three.

Samuel Charron registered the shutout for First Touch. It was his second shutout of the season.

Moncton hosts Fundy United on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Crandall University Field.

Fundy Drops Road Game to Crazy Babes in NBPSLW Action

Posted & categorized League News.

Fundy United Women lost 2-0 to the Crazy Babes in Edmunston on Saturday. After a 0-0 first half the Crazy Babes scored early into the 2nd half on a missed header resulting in a breakaway. Liz Nelson made the first save but the Crazy Babes scored off the rebound. A second goal was added late in the 2nd half to seal the win.

Coach Jason Brown indicated that “We had most of the possession in the first half and after giving up a couple of chances early in the game we settled in well and controlled the ball and the tempo but were again struggling in front of goal hitting a couple of posts and missing some easy chances. We simply cannot miss those chances at this level as it will come back to bite you. The second half we were even better in terms of possession and controlling the tempo but again we were very soft and lack precision in front of goal. Crazy Babes on the other hand were not—they had two chances on goal and finished both. We made two defensive errors and it cost us the game. We let the Crazy Babes stay in the game and credit to them they defended with a lot of courage and intensity in front of their own goal and their goalkeeper showed a lot of courage late in the game in challenging our forwards. Today we controlled the game and the ball but they outworked us and played with more desire. We were the better team overall but they deserved this win because they never stopped working and they finished their chances. Our young players can learn a lot about how far hard work and desire will take you as today was a prime example. Overall we were happy with our quality of play but were not pleased with the result . We need to tidy up defensively and be more decisive and precise in the final third if we are to get back on track.”

The Fundy United Women square off against FDSA Wanderers on Wednesday June 4th 7:30pm kick-off at UNBSJ Stadium.

Wanderers battle to scoreless tie

Posted & categorized League News.

The FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers and Codiac First Touch of Moncton battled it out to scoreless draw Friday night in McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League action.

Wanderers rookie goalkeeper MaKenzie Hill put on a stellar performance to pick up the clean sheet. His counterpart Samuel Charron was just as equal to the task, picking up the clean sheet for Codiac First Touch.

“I was seeing the ball really well out there. All the 50-50 balls when I came out I thought my hands were really solid today. The backline, what can I say? We kept it really solid,”Hill said.

Codiac controlled the play early and managed to get the majority of their scoring chances in the first 30 minutes. The tables turned as the Wanderers started to get used to their new system. Alex Fredericks had the Wanderers’best scoring chance. He just missed putting in a header, the ball going just over the crossbar.

Minutes later, Klinton Doucette of the Wanderers was issued a yellow card after Said Mekary went down hard.

“We only had one practice to try and implement the new system,” said Wanderers co-coach Joe Ross. “In the first half we were a little unsure of how to do things. We made some changes at the half and the boys played really well. We’re really happy with it and we’re starting to mesh as a team.” The Wanderers’ best chance to break the scoreless tie in the second half came in the 70th minute when Marco Riedel blew down the centre of the field, past both Codiac defenders and just missed putting the ball in the bottom left corner. “It was a character match today. It’s always like that when you play the Wanderers,” Codiac coach Patrick Gautreau said in French. “For both teams from a technical perspective it was a match that wasn’t all that great. Both teams can play better than that, but it was still a well-played game defensively on both sides.”

The Wanderers record now stands at 0-2-1 while Codiac is 1-0-1. The Wanderers host PEI FC next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Park South.

Picaroons Reds post shutout win

Posted & categorized League News.

The Fredericton Picaroons Reds, who had a win wiped out when FC Chaleur folded, picked up their first official win of the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League season last night.

Galen Smith, Eric Karosan and Robert Leblanc scored for the P-Reds in a 3-0 win over Fundy United at BMO Field.

Adam Grant picked up the clean sheet in net.

“We’re pleased with the result but not necessarily pleased with the process,” said Picaroons player coach Jon Cross-land. “For long periods of the game, we controlled and dominated and we scored three, but I thought we could have had more to show for.”

Regardless, a win is a win, and the P-Reds will take it.

The game started to turn chippy, with both teams pushing and giving extra shots while battling for possessions.

Smith put the P-Reds up 1-0 in the 10th minute. Smith was battling for the ball with Fundy United defender PJ Ward, who blew a tire and fell to the ground. Smith placed a perfect shot in the bottom corner past keeper Jason Demerchant.

Things would only get worse for Ward and the visitors from the Port City.

Late in the first half, Ward was fighting for the ball and fell to the ground and ended up separating his right shoulder.

Ward was taken off the pitch and, at the half, taken to the hospital by ambulance.

In the second half, the P-Reds generated some good scoring chances early, but Demerchant stood on his head.

Demerchant, 26, is one of the oldest players on the young Fundy United team, which dropped to 0-4.

“Everyone else is either in their teens or their early 20s,” Fundy head coach David Vicente said. “We are a very young team, and that’s some of the things that show: the lack of experience and the know-how. But we’ll get better.”

After Mackenzie Tamblyn rang a shot off the post in the 65th minute, Karosan made it 2-0 10 minutes later and Le-Blanc scored in the 80th minute.

First Touch visit defending champions

Posted & categorized League News.

Moncton soccer team is 1-0 on the season
Neil Hodge Times & TranscripT
It’s a grudge match for the Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators First Touch.

They will visit the defending champion Fredericton Wanderers tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Scotiabank North Field in McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League action. The Wanderers defeated Moncton 2-0 in the league semifinal last season.

“It’s a redemption match for us,” said Moncton head coach Patrick Gautreau. “It’s also a measuring stick to show how we compare to them at this stage in the season. The Fredericton Wanderers lost a couple of players, but the core of their group is still there.

“They have a lot of the same character players back from last season. They’re a physical team and they move the ball around very well. They play a lot of long balls out of the back so that’s something we need to look out for.”

Prince Edward Island FC, 4-0, sits atop the five-team league and Moncton, 1-0, is next. The Wanderers, 0-2, and Fundy United, 0-3, are looking to break into the win column and the Fredericton Reds haven’t started their 12-game regular season.

All four New Brunswick teams make the playoffs. P.E.I. doesn’t participate in the playoffs. Moncton will play its home opener against the Reds on Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Crandall University field.

Moncton has never won the championship and the league is in its fifth season. Moncton, which expects to have its best team ever this season got started with a 3-1 win over Fundy United.

“We talked before the season about the depth of our team and we showed it in that game,” said Gautreau.“It was really the substitutes that made the difference. It was 0-0 at halftime and we made a couple of substitutions. The new players came in hungry to make a difference and they did make a difference.

“That was our first game and it was Fundy’s third game so they already had their legs. They were used to battles on the field and we hadn’t played in two weeks since winning the (pre-season) Maritime Champions League Tournament. We were a little rusty, but we got things going full throttle in the second half.”

Picaroons Reds back on the pitch

Posted & categorized League News.

The Fredericton Picaroons Reds (0-0) are a little bit antsy.

The McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League team hasn’t played a game in two weeks and will finally get to hit the pitch tonight against Fundy United.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at BMO Centre. Fans should expect an exciting game between a youthful Fundy United team and the veteran P-Reds.

“We’re just excited to play a game,”said Picaroons Reds player-coach Jon Cross-land. “We’re ready to get out onto the field and play an actual game.”

Crossland said a lot of players have been showing up to training sessions that have been of good intensity. Fundy United is coming off a tough 3-1 loss at the hands of Codiac First Touch on Thursday.

“We feel ready,”Crossland said.“We’re going to start a stretch where we play three games in six days, so we’re going to get our match fitness back”

Midfielder Ken Morrison said this is probably one of the seasons where the league has been the strongest.

“We played them (Fundy United) in Moncton (at the Maritime Champions League tournament) earlier this month so we know them reasonably well. They are a pretty young team at this point,” Morrison said.

With the exception of P.E.I. outscoring Fundy United 14-1 in two games three weeks ago, every game has been decided by one or two goals.

“In the past, there was quite a bit of parity with the top-level teams compared to the lowest level, so it’s coming along,” Morrison said.

FC Chaleur dropped out of the league two weeks ago after back-to-back losses to the P-Reds and the FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers. The two wins will not count in league standings and the FC Chaleur team page has been deleted from the league website.

The Petit-Rocher-based team couldn’t field enough players for the rest of the season and had to drop out.

“It’s too bad,they’ve been in the league for the last few years and had one of their best seasons last year, but I guess they lost some of their key players,” Morrison said.“It becomes tough at the senior level when you lose key players,especially when you go on the road”

Crossland said it has a negative impact on the league because it doesn’t include the entire province.

“It hurts the league in terms of where it reaches in New Brunswick. In New Brunswick, the league is in the three major centres. It would be nice to be a true New Brunswick league where we had a team in Bathurst and last season we had a team in Edmundston”Crossland said.

Brett MacDonald of P.E.I. FC leads the league in goaltending wins with three and clean sheets with two. Teammates Jared Murphy and Adam Lowther lead the league in scoring with three goals each.

On Friday night at 7:30 p.m., the Wanderers (0-2) will host Codiac First Touch (1-0) at Scotiabank Park South.

On Sunday,the P-Reds are off to Moncton to play Codiac at Harrison Trimble High School turf field for a 6 p.m. start.