Written by Will Parchman

On Oct. 12, 2012, Canada beat Cuba 3-0 in a World Cup qualifying match in Toronto. Over the following two years, which spanned 16 games, Canada didn’t win again. Not once. The Canadians went 0-11-5 during a period of futility that started with a humiliating 8-1 loss to Honduras that knocked them out of World Cup contention. Canada was out-scored 29-4 over that stretch. Brutal.

Good news, though, ye mounties. Canada broke that streak to pieces on Tuesday with a resounding 3-1 win over Jamaica, which, ugh, guys. Take in all the glorious highlights above.

Perhaps the futility is turning around. Perhaps Canada is quietly building a WORLD POWER in some snow-covered bunker north of the border. But here’s what we do know – the Globe and Mail is now trumpeting a three-game unbeaten streak. Which includes draws against Moldova and Bulgaria. The excitement is real. Have to start… somewhere?

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Written by Will Parchman

The Columbus Crew are girding for a final playoff push, which means the end of the regular season is closer than a great many of us realize. To shore up a back line weakened by the departure of World Cup breakout star Giancarlo Gonzalez, who left for Palermo last month, the Crew signed Emanuel Pogatetz, an Austrian with the nickname “Mad Dog.” And whoever you are, he probably wants to break your leg.

That there is a horrific tackle on former Manchester United player Rodrigo Possebon, who’d just made his United debut a month before the Reds faced Middlesbrough. Pogotetz went in like that, Possebon was sent to the hospital and he only barely avoided snapping his leg in half.

He also has a somewhat contentious history with managers, and he became the first player in history to serve a ban through friendly matches, which FIFA instituted just as he had a falling out with coach Josef Hickersberger in 2007. He also has a history of, ahem, “fury.”

In any case, Pogatetz played 23 matches for Nuremberg last year and scored a goal. So we’ll see.

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Written by Will Parchman

hazing

In August, New Mexico was hammered with brutal allegations that its women’s soccer program was involved in some ugly preseason hazing. Coach Kit Vela was suspended for one week along with the rest of the team. The night of debauchery ended with two players in the hospital, and twins Danielle and Devin Scelsi both quit the team and withdrew from school. New Mexico is playing soccer again.

Another hazing-related earthquake hit women’s college soccer on Tuesday. Former Clemson player Haley Hunt filed a lawsuit against her former team for heinous acts she was forced to commit in the run-up to the 2011 season. You can read more about the specifics of that here.

Here’s what we know.

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Written by Will Parchman

This video is a boatload of greatness.

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Written by Will Parchman

It’s true that the vast majority of freestyle videos involve guys, but anyone who’s spent any time around a field knows girls have their own sense of freestyle as well. Which makes this video an unsurprisingly fun jaunt through some uncommonly fluid moves most guys would find impossible. I’m going to go ice down my hamstrings after watching this.

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Written by Will Parchman

We’re going to have some fun here on College Goal of the Week this week. We don’t usually get golazos like these stacked on top of one another, let alone in Week 3.

Our first entrant this week comes from Buffalo’s Russell Cicerone, who let fly from half-field at the start of the second overtime against Bryant. That gave the Bulls a walk-off 3-2 win, and Cicerone was appropriately excited about this turn of events. It was, it should be said, one of the most incredible goals you’re ever likely to see.

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Written by Will Parchman

In 1999, the NFL adopted coaching challenges. With the outcry over glaring missed calls soaring into the red, the league gave coaches the opportunity to challenge two close calls every game (this was expanded to a conditional third in 2004). The move has been roundly praised, but it should be noted that, as with all change in sport, a handful of the old guard were resistant.

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Written by Will Parchman

porter

MLS is home to many different styles of coaching. Some of them are grandfathers. Some are sad. Some will not be deprived of their scarves. This is a power ranking of those coaches in current form. The rating is on a scientific scale of four to iridium, which is obviously from best to worst. Or worst to best. Who knows, really?

Grandpa in Residence

Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy: Every time Bruce Arena talks, he’s about three degrees away from telling you about that time in Nam with a glassy look in his eye before wandering aimlessly into the backyard to weed-whack some pebbles with a flamethrower nobody’s all that sure how he acquired. But he’s so damn effective with that flamethrower nobody thinks to ask questions. You don’t take the machinery away from grandpa. He’s busy burning down everyone’s houses. Bruce Arena is basically Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino.

Dom Kinnear, Houston Dynamo: Dom Kinnear hates young players, values hustle, has the 4-4-2 manifesto tattooed on the back of his eyelids and has probably at one point derided Neymar because of his hair and/or THOSE FLASHY SHOES. There’s literally nothing else to say.

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Written by The 91st

TYP1

The U.S. men’s national team got a jolt of youth when a handful of YNT vets were called into the most recent 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in Prague. How’d they do? Why is Brek Shea still playing? That and more, including U20 MNT talk, in this week’s scintillating episode of the world’s premier soccer development podcast: The Young Professionals.

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Written by Will Parchman

gulati

Sunil Gulati engaged in some repartee with reporters on Thursday, and some of the usual tropes were thrown on the ground and walked over like so many bath mats. Here we are on some subsection of pro/rel, that mystical white whale off in the blinking distance.

And then more, the crown of the whale’s cranium breaking the frothy white caps just long enough for you to know he’s there before disappearing from sight.

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