🏆 Champions League baby! As usual, all three Canadians started for their clubs and were pivotal features in the game.
🟨 Alphonso Davies picked up a yellow card in Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win over Galatasaray. The foul conceded by Phonzy led to a free kick that resulted in a goal that was called offside. Regardless, this Bayern Munich side is proving to be among the favourites in Europe—a well-rounded team.
🇵🇹 Meanwhile, Stephen Eustáquio scores against Royal Antwerp. Staqs is slowly becoming Porto’s breakout player. Regularly featuring in the starting lineup, he has become one of the main fixtures for the club’s midfield. In Porto’s 4-1 win away at Antwerp, Eustaquio scored the second goal with a calm technical finish in the Champions League. R1+O side net goal. It’s that type of clinical finish.
🏴 By far, the best stadium to be in on a European night is Celtic Park. Why, you may ask? Listen to the stadium when the Champions League anthem plays. The roar of Celtic Park is a battle cry that physically makes the away team uncomfortable—pure hostility. Alistair Johnston started for the Hoops as they hosted Atlético Madrid in Glasgow. Celtic were strong in the first half with standout performances from AJ and their Japanese players Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda. Despite the positives, Morata’s equalizing goal for Atletico resulted in a 2-2 draw for Celtic.The Hoops currently are bottom of the group with 1 point.
🤕 In more bad news, Johnston was subbed off against Hibernian FC after receiving a ball to the head. Celtic have moved AJ into concussion protocol, and we hope for a fast recovery.
👀 Another name to watch is Jamie Knight-Label. You may wonder who this youngster is, but don’t worry, we’re here to inform you. Jamie Mathieu Knight-Label was born in Montréal and moved to Bristol when he was five years old. His father is Québecois, and his mother is Welsh. The 18-year-old is a product of the Bristol City youth academy and has been moving up the ranks, currently playing the U21 squad. He made his debut off the bench in the Championship this weekend and looked class despite a 2-0 loss to Iké Ugbo’s Cardiff City. The defender has featured for Canada in the 2022 Concacaf men’s U-20 Championship. Jamie Knight-Label is a name to keep in mind. Again, did we mention that he’s a defender?
🇮🇹 Juventus looking to extend Julia Grosso’s contract. With her contract coming to an end in June 2024, Juventus are keen on prolonging the contract of the 23-year-old as opposed to letting her leave on a free transfer. Moreover, to prevent other major clubs from acquiring her in the winter transfer window. Juventus have set Grosso’s price at €400,000. The Bianconere want to keep the Canadian in Turin as they attempt to build a dynastic team that will dominate both domestically and in Europe. Grosso is at the heart of those plans.
🌊 The Vancouver Whitecaps travelled to LA to play their first playoff round. This game was a seven-goal thriller and far more entertaining for LAFC. Vanni Sartini’s squad walked into a hostile BMO Stadium where the home side drew first blood; Vancouver gave a fighting performance with goals from Ryan Gauld to make it 1-all and later by Sam Adekugbe to make it 2-2. Unfortunately, LAFC outperformed the Caps by sealing the game 5-2 at full-time. The Caps will need to rebound on November 5 when they return home for the second match in this new best-of-three series at part of the latest MLS playoff format. The good news, they have been quality at BC Place this season. If they win that match, they would force at third and decisive match on November 9, back in LA.
😬 CF Montréal had a tense end-of-season media day. It’s been a turbulent season with a disappointing end for MTL. Missing out on playoffs in a dramatic last-minute fashion, rumours circulate about Hernan Losada’s position as head coach in 2024. It is important to note that CFM had one of their most successful seasons in 2022, finishing second in the regular season, reaching the second round of playoffs and then losing AJ, Koné, Milhailovic, Kamal Miller and coach Wilfried Nancy. A major change. With that context in mind, Losada had a massive job ahead of him. However, the front office wasn’t fond of his performance. Sporting director Olivier Renard stated, “I’m not happy with what we’ve seen throughout the season. […] Away from home, we were non-existent both in terms of personality and style of play.”
😳 Montréal’s only DP, Victor Wanyama, expressed his concerns with the head coach. Wanyama was replaced by 19-year-old Nathan Saliba, which frustrated him, but he respected the decision since the team was winning and the youngster was performing well. However, when the team started losing and asking for an explanation for being benched, “I asked for explanations, and I didn’t get one. I was surprised that he couldn’t give me the reason.” Wanyama further expressed that communication with the manager was unclear and that “our opinions didn’t matter.” When Losada was asked about Wanyama’s comments, he replied: “I can understand his frustration. Sometimes, it can be difficult to accept that a young player plays in your place because he is better than you.” So, things are tense. There are a lot of moving factors with CF MTL at the moment. Canadian players remained diplomatic during this affair. However, at the end of the day, the supporters want results. That will only come once the internal tensions between manager, player and front office can be resolved. Here’s the full press conference.
🔵 Also, Romell Quioto could be gone next season as rumours emerged that Turkish club Konyaspor is interested. On a positive note, Mathieu Choinière won club MVP, while Jonathan Sirois won the club’s defensive player of the year.