June 10th Edition

Marschball has officially arrived, CanWNT draw with Mexico, and Canucks down at TST

It was another action-packed week in Canadian footy as both national teams took the pitch ahead of big summer tournament appearances.

We got our first look at Jesse Marsch’s Men’s National Team against some top-tier competition, and a second duel against Mexico for the Women’s side in their send-off series finale in Toronto.

In other news, three Canadian teams went south of the border to play in the second TST, Canucks Abroad (and at home) and so much more ahead in this week’s edition of The Northern Pitch.


🇨🇦 Marschball is here, and the results are mixed

Photo: Canada Soccer

Marshball is officially here for the CanMNT and after 180 minutes against two of the top teams in the world, there are a lot of takeaways.

In his coaching debut, despite a solid first half, Canada were humbled 4-0 by a clinical Dutch side in Rotterdam on Thursday. Jeremie Frimpong masterclass, have to recognize game when you see it. All was lost, fold the program, sack Marsch. Why do we even try, said Canada Soccer Twitter.

But then Canada turned the tide just four days later, and showed they had learned many of those lessons so harshly dolled out by the Dutch in an impressive 0-0 draw with France in Bordeaux. They easily could have won, we are still all imagining a world where Liam Millar’s effort was just a touch lower and went bar down.

This was Canada’s best performance since their 2024 World Cup opener against Belgium and an important confidence boost for the group as they look to take their game to new heights.

During the camp, several players balled out and showed their class. Ismaël Koné is clearly deserving of a spot in a top-five league, and was outstanding in both fixtures. Derek Cornelius and Moïse Bombito, meanwhile, look like a real answer to Canada’s central defence questions. Plus, big shouts to Tani Oluwaseyi for making his Canada debut.

Messi, the World Cup champs and Copa América are next on June 20. But now at least Canada have an idea of what they are up against. Not only that, but they’ve shown they can hang, and honestly sometimes that is half the battle.


🍁 Canucks down at TST

Photo: TST 7v7

The Soccer Tournament — aka TST — was back for 2024, once again offering up two winner-take-all $1 million USD prizes for the winners of the 7-on-7 footy tournament. The tournament, won by Newtown Pride over Canadian side SLC FC last year, saw an expanded format for 2024, featuring 48 teams on the men’s side (up from 36) and an all-new women’s bracket, featuring eight teams.

TST brings some new rules to the game, similar to your local rec league: 20-minute halves, no offsides, rolling subs, kick-ins instead of throw-ins, and most famously, Target Score Time. That’s right: a target score of one goal more than the team with the most goals at the end of regulation is set, and the first to reach that mark wins the match — meaning either one more goal for good measure, or an unanswered comeback for the team that was down.

Canadian involvement will be high for the 2024 tournament, with three teams travelling south of the border; Toronto Athletic FC and FitBodega Vancouver in the men’s bracket and Streetball FC in the women’s bracket.

Other Canadian names will also be at the tournament — #CanMNT legend Dwayne De Rosario joins Toronto FC favourite Sebastian Giovinco on Jimmy Conrad and DaMarcus Beasley’s Kwik Goal FC, while retired #CanWXNT-er Lindsay Agnew will dress for Wrexham Red Dragons. Dual-national Luca Koleosho is an assistant coach for the Manhattan Kickers.

All three Canadian-backed teams made it out of the group stage. FitBodega Vancouver would top Group C with a perfect 3-0 record. SLC FC, with a fresh name and coat of paint, took their Toronto connections also to a perfect 3-0 record in Group L as Toronto Athletic FC. Streetball FC would lead the way in Group A in the women’s bracket after defeating a USWNT alumni side, 3-0, in their WTST debut.

Toronto Athletic FC, in their round of 32 match, were drawn against the hometown Raleigh Rebels FC. Damion Graham would set up twice in this one, finding Kai Martin and Raheem Rose to cut the deficit back to one on both occasions. John Smits would also come up with some big saves — but a long throw down field would ice a 5-2 loss in their return to TST.

FitBodega Vancouver, meanwhile, drew Tenfifteen FC for their RO32 tie. The group of UBC ballers would play the first 20 minutes scoreless. They’d take the lead twice, first from a Yigal Bruk penalty earned by Maksym Kowal, then a Victory Shumbusho finish working one-on-one. Tenfifteen would score twice in Target Score Time, though, to sink the Canadians, 3-2.

Streetball FC would draw yet another local side in their semi-final matchup, getting the North Carolina Courage reps. The side, having already knocked off the USWNT alumni in a game that reportedly made Carli Lloyd ask if they were a futsal team, would look for a repeat performance. WNT hopeful Melissa Dagenais came up with a few strong saves — but Madison Wolfbauer would hit twice for NC to end Streetball’s hopes in a 2-0 finish.


🇨🇦 CanWNT earn draw with Mexico in Toronto

Photo: Canada Soccer

The Canadian Women’s National Team put in a strong showing in their 2024 summer send-off series finale, but in the end were left to settle for a 1-1 draw at BMO Field with Mexico.

Kadeisha Buchanan’s lovely lofted header opened the scoring for Canada, but Mexico responded with a STUNNING strike from Jacqueline Ovalle.

CanWNT clearly would have liked to have come away with a dub, but at the end of the day these matches were about figuring out which players should be part of the Olympic squad. Simi Awujo, Evelyne Viens and Shelina Zadorsky, among others, made strong cases to be included on the plane.

There was also a special buzz around BMO, with AFC Toronto merch and flags flying around, the city can imagine a day soon when it will be able to watch professional women’s footy very soon.

Paris is calling, and now we see which 18 players are selected to answer the call.

Canucks Abroad

🌍 Canucks Abroad

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Tottenham released Shelina Zadorsky. The North London club released the Canadian international after falling out of favour over the season. Shels had spent the latter half of the campaign on loan with West Ham. Despite being let go, she still featured for CanWNT in both matchups against Mexico in the send-off series. Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to move to the NWSL? Or NSL’s first major signing? We see golden opportunities.

🧤 Kailen Sheridan hits 500 NWSL saves. It’s the big 500 for Canada’s number one. Sheridan marked the milestone this week in the first half of a 1-1 stalemate against Orlando, making five saves in the draw. San Diego’s first-choice became the youngest to reach the mark in NWSL history, joining Americans Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher in the club.

⚽️ Jordyn Huitema with a brace. And no, thankfully not a back brace after only just coming away from a hard challenge against Mexico in the send-off series. Huitema made two smart runs inside the first half, both resulting in goals from within ten yards out. It was a valiant effort in an otherwise disappointing 5-2 loss to KC.

🐂 Liam Fraser did a nice. Lams held down R1+O (or RB+B for the heathens) and put away a top bins banger for FC Dallas. Former Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illaramendi set up Lams for his equalizing one-timer. FC Dallas walked out of Minnesota with a 1-1 draw. Minnesota are feeling Tani Oluwaseyi’s absence.

🙌 Woobens Pacius is back. Woobz officially made himself known to the Nashville faithful, scoring his first goal just eight minutes into his debut for their MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, Huntsville. The ex-Forge striker had been injured up until this point… but now looks set to be banging them in — and in good time, with HCFC’s 4-2 win over Crown Legacy being just their second of the season.

Follow Canucks Abroad on Twitter.

Canucks at Home

🏡 Canucks at Home

Graphic: Concacaf

🌊 The inaugural Women's Cup group stage was drawn. Two groups, with five teams each, were drawn. However, the fifth club in group B has yet to be determined. Alianza Women will host the Caps in a single-match preliminary round on August 13-15th this year. The competition officially begins on August 20th–22nd, with the finals (semifinals, third place and final) on May 22nd–25th, 2025.

🔄 CS Saint-Laurent makes its first transfer. After going viral for its run into the CanChamps, the Ligue1 Québec club has made its first transfer. Vice-captain Yann Toualy has been transferred to USL League Two club Vermont Green FC.

Follow Canucks at Home on Twitter.

Other news

📰 In other news this week

Photo: Canada Soccer

🇨🇦 The CANM20 roster was announced for the CONCACAF Championship June camp. Head coach Andrew Olivieri has selected his squad for the camp leading up to the competition in Chile. Canada will play Chile on 19 June, Ecuador on 21 June and Peru on the 23rd. The U20 CONCACAF Championship will occur from 19 July to 4 August in Mexico. Canada has been drawn into Group B with Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. The competition winners will qualify for the U20 World Cup in Chile.

🏆 CANW20 in FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup. There’s a lot of footy this summer. Colombia will host the 2024 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup from the 31 August to the 22 September. Canada is among the 24 teams that have qualified. This past week, the group stage was drawn in Bogota. Canada was drawn in Group B alongside France, Brazil and Fiji. This is going to be a good group.

📰 Northern Super League launched a newsletter. We are here to inform you, and this information is vital. Canada’s first women’s professional league has launched a newsletter to help you stay in the loop about tickets, merch drops, player signings and other news to keep you informed. You can subscribe at the bottom of the page.

😳 Whitecaps fans are suing over Messi's no-show. We’ve seen this before. South Korean fans sued the organizers (and won) for promoting CR7 to play in Juve’s friendly in Seoul. Inter Miami travelled to Hong Kong for pre-season friendlies earlier this year, but Messi did not play. Chinese fans demanded refunds. You know how this story goes. He didn’t even travel to Van. Similar to the CR7 case in Seoul, fans are accusing the Whitecaps of “bait-and-switch” by using Messi, Suarez and Busquets in promotional materials. Upon learning of Messi's absence, the club offered discounted food and drinks for the game and have offered complimentary tickets for future games. Ultimately, fans spent a lot expecting to see Messi and felt duped.

Northern Picks

🎧 What to listen to

Kaytranada, the legendary Haitian-Canadian groove god / producer is back like he never left with his third full length album: Timeless. If you know anything about Kaytra, you know he never misses. With end-to-end infectious energy and an impressive list of features, this whole project can go straight to your summer playlist. Listen here and thank us later.

Who to follow

Jon-Paul Wheatley is to footballs what Michelangelo was to marble. The designer and ball maker never ceases to amaze us with his unique and beautiful creations. Do yourself a favour and follow both Jon and his studio (12 Pentagons) on IG and try not to drool too much.

⚽️ What to buy

Lucky for you (and bad news for your wallet), Jon is releasing his first ball for sale this Wednesday, June 12th. If you’re looking for a tasteful piece of footy art this might just be for you. Sign up to get the drop link at 12p.com.