👀 European clubs are scouting Nathan Saliba. The 19-year-old CF Montreal youth academy product has played a pivotal role this season with 16 starts and 24 appearances in MLS. Saliba has been consistently reliable and plays with a level of maturity often found among senior MLS players. As a result, he has been monitored by clubs in Scotland and Belgium. Biello is also monitoring him as a potential inclusion into the CanMNT. Montreal is starting to emerge as a serious producer of football talent.
🇨🇦 Canada’s U-17 side played a series of friendlies against defending World champs Brazil in São Paulo during key preparations for November’s U-17 World Cup over the past week. They managed to keep the first match close, losing 3-1 on a goal by Toronto FC academy attacker Lucas Ozimec, before falling 5-0 in the second match. Both will be quite good preparations for the World Cup in Indonesia, however, where Canada will be looking for their first-ever win at the tournament.
🇮🇹 AC Milan reportedly all-in for Jonathan David in the winter transfer window. AC Milan is a club on the move, with a new 70,000-seater stadium and a long list of transfers this summer, including Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The legendary Italian club is looking for a new fullback to replace the departed Theo Hernandez and a new striker. Their main target is Jonathan David. After failing to secure a loan for the Canadian striker, Milan is looking to acquire the young striker permanently. A move to AC Milan will be a move in the right direction, or should he wait for a Premier League club? If JD bangs in the same amount of goals in Italy, a Premier League club will come knocking. Serie A will be a real proving ground.
😡 Bobby Smyrniotis and Kyle Bekker hit out at the officiating. Forge FC manager hit out at the refs after their 2-1 loss to Halifax. Smyrniotis argues that the league's quality has significantly improved, but the officiating has yet to keep up. The league's quality needs also to be reflected on the pitch through the officiating. There were moments in the game that looked “iffy” at best: the Loughrey offside call, questionable penalty, and inconsistent officiating from both referee and linesmen. The players looked frustrated. Forge Captain Kyle Bekker expresses that the officiating has worsened over the last five years. Bekker argues that the refs ruin the game by taking the spotlight and focusing the attention on them as opposed to the players. Whatever it may be, it is clear that the officiating needs to be improved.
⚓️ Halifax Wanderers have qualified for the 2023 CPL playoffs. After defeating Forge FC at home, the Wanderers have booked their place in the playoffs. Besides playing good football, one of the most influential factors for Halifax’s season is the Wanderers Ground and the home fans. Wanderer’s Ground has become a fortress for any visiting team.
🏴 A big week for CanWNT players in England as the league season kicked off with a bunch of debuts. Adriana Leon had an assist in her debut for Aston Villa, which unfortunately ended in a 2-1 loss against her former side, Manchester United. Ashley Lawrence, meanwhile, made her Chelsea debut as they beat Tottenham 2-1. Finally, Deanne Rose made her Leicester debut in a 4-2 win over Bristol City, picking up an assist off the bench.
🚨 Samuel Piette calls the overlooking of Mathieu Choinière by the CanMNT a crime. MLS all-star Mathieu Choinière has yet to feature for the senior team. But with former Montreal legend Mauro Biello as interim coach, the likelihood of a Choinière call-up feels plausible. CF Montreal Captain Samuel Piette expressed that the best available players must be selected for the national team. Piette feels that Choinière is among them, calling it a “crime” if Choinière doesn't travel to Japan this coming October. The relationship between MTL and the national team has been mixed in the last few years. MTL was overly represented at the World Cup with six players and only Zachary Brault-Guillard on the Canada team in the recent Gold Cup campaign. The exclusion of Joel Waterman, Jonathan Sirois and Mathieu Choinière was a head-scratcher, as many agreed that two of those three should have been called up. With Biello in charge, maybe things will change. However, playing favourites with Montreal players may not work in his favour for his aim to become a full-time coach. Undeniable performance will influence decisions.