Jerrad Peters

  • Bayern no longer a sure thing

    Could the Bundesliga be there for the taking? It's not exactly a common question, and of late the answer has typically been a resounding "no."
  • Match a CONCACAF-ing disgrace

    I can't decide if I care about Sunday's Gold Cup final. Which probably means I don't. I mean, I'd like to see Jamaica win the thing. They've never gone this far in the tournament -- the top competition of the North, Central American and Caribbean region known as CONCACAF -- and they've not even contested a semifinal since 1998, when they lost 1-0 to eventual champions Mexico.
  • Women's World Cup shows what could be possible

    Something happens when we play sports. Something fantastical. For the duration of the contest we are transported to an alternate reality -- one where strength, skill, smarts and expression are the currency; where the rigours and worries of everyday life are left to that other, real world in which human interaction is affected by rather less honourable, organic attributes.
  • Canada can't stay dirt-free off pitch

    It wasn't the much-maligned turf that introduced controversy to the host nation at the ongoing Women's World Cup. The Canadian national team just doesn't strike one as a group much interested in excuses.  
  • Defence standing on guard

    They don't do things the easy way, this Canadian women's soccer team. But they get them done. They get them done. (Repetition, in times like these, provides just enough reassurance to keep the faith.)
  • Christine Sinclair needs to make it happen

    Canada’s national women’s soccer team is a task-oriented group. At the outset of this Women’s World Cup, they targeted top spot in their section and then went out and claimed it.
  • The unlikely Group A winner

    Had you offered the Canadian national women's soccer team top spot in Group A ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup, they'd have bitten your hand off. Had you offered them a single win and just two goals (one from open play) they'd have likely taken a pass.
  • No trace of concern in Canada camp

    "Dread of disaster makes everybody act in the way that increases the disaster." -- Bertrand Russell
  • Nigeria, fellow Africans surprise

    At a Thursday lunch, I was asked to divulge what, for me, had been the biggest surprise of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to date. I don’t do well on the spot. I prefer time to think — typically alone — before revealing my verdict, especially when extremes such as “most, best, toughest and biggest” figure into the question.
  • The rhythm of the World Cup

    It’s funny, the things you notice on game day. Whether you're a player, writer or hard-core supporter, your senses are heightened. Things you might not have otherwise noticed are suddenly there in the plain of day, almost asking to have meaning attached to them. All those unfamiliar licence plates on the drive to the stadium. I remember trying how many I could spot on family road-trips.
  • Beginning today, the World is our oyster

    So here we are.
    After more than four years of build-up that began with Canada being appointed hosts of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and just more than three since Winnipeg was named among its host cities, the moment has arrived.
     By now most of us are aware of youth soccer’s scale in everything from the number of participants across genders to the magnitude of its value as a social tool. It was important to point out those facts, to tell those stories, and over the past few weeks, in particular, the Free Press revealed some of the best of them.
     No doubt a good many serious outlets throughout the country did likewise, as is befitting the run-up to a truly global competition.
     Incredibly, the feel-good factor surrounding this World Cup (notwithstanding the occasional pocket of bitterness that remains regarding the artificial surfaces) not only survived the latest revelations of FIFA scandal that threatened to diminish it, but thrived in spite of it.
     And what we have as a result is a month of soccer celebration of the purest sort possible in a cynical industry — a sort of righteous foil to the evil forces that all too often detract from those heartening stories we see on the pitch, experience from the sidelines and feel in our fibres.
     Soccer really does bring us together, often in a figurative sense but, every now and then, in a literal one as well.
     It is right now — today, here — bringing the world to our neighbourhoods and making us — Canadians generally and Winnipeggers specifically — at once its safeguard and emissary.
     The moment has arrived. Here we are.
     

    World Cup Winnipeg

  • Liverpool has been left behind

    Ever since he first indicated he'd not sign a new contract with his club, two narratives have emerged concerning Liverpool and England attacker Raheem Sterling. In the first -- and it's a lazy assessment, as knee-jerk reactions tend to be -- Sterling is a spoiled, disconnected, money-grubbing brat who, at just 20 years of age, has both failed to pay his dues and looks set to depart Anfield with two years remaining on his current pact.
  • Great things await Leicester, Montreal

    Two teams; two leagues; two continents, and two objectives that, just a few weeks ago, seemed as distant as the space between them. Geographically, Leicester City and the Montreal Impact are separated by more than 5,000 kilometres. And, given that Leicester play in the lucrative English Premier League, while Montreal operates in Major League Soccer, the financial and competitive gulf is similarly vast.
  • Klopp taking his cool out of Dortmund

    Last month Jurgen Klopp left the Westfalenstadion on foot. It wasn't the first time. But in the hours after his Borussia Dortmund side's heavy defeat to Juventus the manager's lonely walk home was captured by an observant passerby, who shared the image of a jean-and-jacket-clad millionaire strolling among the garbage of game-day, hands in pockets and backpack flung casually over the shoulder.
  • Heavyweights slug it out on Sunday

    Sergio AGUERO scored the winner in the season's first Manchester Derby back in November; Wayne Rooney's spectacular bicycle kick was the difference in a crucial 2011 encounter of the city rivals. Both players -- Manchester City marksman Aguero and Manchester United captain Rooney -- will no doubt be central to Sunday's duel between the Premier League heavyweights, but it's a pair of rather more unheralded actors that could well play the hero's role at Old Trafford (10 a.m., TSN).
  • Der Klassiker could be wild

    The biggest match on the German football calendar will look a lot different a year from now. In the spring of 2016 both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery -- the feared "Robbery" duo that helped deliver the 2013 treble for Bayern Munich -- will be 32 years old, and there's a chance at least one of them will leave the club this summer.
  • Madrid reeling, no sure cure

    Cristiano RONALDO isn't talking. A Real Madrid teammate has slammed Gareth Bale in the Spanish press. Iker Casillas can't make a save. Florentino Perez thinks hard work can salvage the season. And quietly, peaceably, Carlo Ancelotti has risen above the chaos, conducted himself with maturity and serenity and advised, in his typically soft-spoken style, for everyone associated with Los Blancos to take a deep, calming breath.
  • Thoughtful questions outweigh whining

    Are you up in arms over the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar? Are you aggravated by the notion, as recommended by a FIFA task force earlier this week, that the tournament is likely to be staged in November and December of that year? Does the governing body's handling of the bid process have you in a huff? If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," you may want to respond to one more: Why?
  • Costa should bolster Chelsea

    BARCELONA -- Europe's most prestigious club competition resumes next week with matches in France, Ukraine, Germany and Switzerland. Tuesday, Premier League leaders Chelsea will look to take something back to Stamford Bridge when they visit Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 matchup while Shakhtar Donetsk will welcome Bayern Munich to Lviv.
  • Defoe era is mercifully over

    Park the double-deckers and swallow your tea. The Jermain Defoe era at Toronto FC has come to an end, and with its conclusion the Major League Soccer outfit can close yet another bizarre chapter in its brief but wacky history. It was barely a year ago that the then-Tottenham Hotspur striker signed off on a surprising move to North America, and in their giddiness at acquiring him the brand-merchants at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment embarked on a kitschy advertising regimen that pictured flummoxed Londoners spitting their midday beverages from taxicab windows.
  • Soccer thriving amidst adversity

    Last May, Ashraf Nu'man Al-Fawaghra couldn't stop scoring goals. He opened his account at the 2014 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup with an insurance-marker against Myanmar and then bagged a brace in a 2-0 win over Afghanistan.
  • Top-rung footy on tap in 2015

    The Premier League rang in the New Year with some wildly entertaining matches during, and they got me excited -- excited for what soccer has in store for 2015. In addition to the rigours of club competitions, the next 12 months will feature a handful of compelling international tournaments involving men's and women's teams in various age categories from all over the world.
  • And the winner is... Winnipeg

    Winnipeg was the big winner at Saturday's 2015 Women's World Cup group stage draw in Gatineau, Que. With Canada previously scheduled for matches in Edmonton and Montreal, a section including one or two high-profile teams and their well-known players was always going to be the next-best thing for the other host cities. And it's exactly what Winnipeg got.
  • This time, Revolution could succeed

    They are the nearly-men of Major League Soccer, and they have come as near as near can possibly be. On four occasions, in 2002 and then in 2005, 2006 and 2007 consecutively, New England Revolution contested the annual final to determine the winner of MLS Cup.
  • Ballon d'Or voting a bloated farce

    One of the few things FIFA fully discloses is the voting breakdown for the Ballon d'Or. It makes for interesting, if not frustrating, reading. The highest honour available to male footballers, the trophy has been lifted by the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff, Zinedine Zidane and, more recently, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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