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Northern Exposure: TSN ranks top 10 CanWNT players

Plus more in this edition of your weekly Canadian Soccer wrap up

International Friendly”Women: Canada v The Netherlands”
No. 10 Ashley Lawrence of Canada looks intently as her opponent controls the ball in an international friendly vs. The Netherlands
(Getty Soccer)

TSN ranks the top 10 CanWNT players

TSN released their ranking of the top ten Women’s National Team players last week. Congratulations to the 2019 Canadian Player of the Year Ashley Lawrence for her well-deserved top place finish!

Ashley’s playing resume is impressive. She burst on the scene at 20 years old in the 2015 World Cup where she scored her first international goal. She played every match for Canada at the 2019 World Cup and is a regular starter for the Paris Saint-Germain FC women’s team in France. Also in 2019 she received two Canadian Soccer Player of the Month awards. The quiet rise of this Canadian soccer star has been fun to watch, and at only 24 Ashley still has a long bright future ahead of her.

MLS exploring creative opportunities

Commissioner of Major League Soccer Don Garber was recently interviewed by Kristian Jack of TSN where they discussed scenarios for the league’s possible return this season. Although there is still much uncertainty about the future Commissioner Garber spoke about some of the opportunities that could come from an eventual return to play.

The commissioner mentioned that if given the okay to start back up, a shortened season with crowd restrictions could offer the MLS an opportunity to break with formal traditions and experiment with some novel concepts. Details were not talked about but he did mention that there could be some interesting tinkering done with the league format and schedule as well as testing out some different ways to produce and broadcast games.

CPL commissioner talks about possible start to the season

The Canadian Premier League Commissioner David Clanachan was a recent guest on the OneSoccer Hangouts show. The burning question for Commissioner Clanachan was about possible scenarios the CPL have discussed for a return to play this season. Although the start date is out of the hands of the CPL the commissioner did highlight a few changes that the league made this season that could improve their chances of starting back up rather than if things had remained the same.

Moving from a spring/fall season last year to a single table this season gives the league maximum flexibility when it comes to rescheduling games. They now have until the late fall to complete their season. This season also started two weeks earlier than last season giving the league a longer time frame to work within where the weather will be cooperative. And the expansion to eight teams balanced the schedule eliminating the need for mid-week games. If league play resumes these empty mid-week slots could be filled so that enough games are played to make the season worth it.

Concacaf considering changes to World Cup Qualifying

With World Cup Qualifying scheduled to begin in September there is a real possibility that these games could be postponed due to social distancing restrictions. Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani has been monitoring the situation and depending on how long restrictions are in place he has stated that the qualifying format may need to change.

According to Mr. Montagliani, “What we’re committed to is ensuring that whatever the format will be, [it] has to be a fit into whatever the new calendar is going to look like.” And although there has not yet been an official confirmation from Concacaf that the schedule will change, Mr. Montagliani acknowledges that the disruption to international windows, “brings in a little bit of an integrity issue when teams haven’t been able to play.”

Have you gotten Concacaf’ed yet?

How much do you know about the various countries and member associations that make up the Concacaf region? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a fun newsletter that could keep you up to date on all things Concacaf? Jon Arnold, BBC Concacaf soccer expert and long-time sports writer for Goal, has done just that. He started a newsletter called Getting CONCACAFed...and it’s fantastic.

Often considered a wacky region where inexplicable things happen both on the field and in the board room, Jon puts a face and a personality to Concacaf by actually going to the countries that make up the member associations to meet the people and tell their stories. Concacaf is a region on the rise thanks to inclusive initiatives such as Champions League, Nations League and the Gold Cup. Sign up here to subscribe and start learning more about it.