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|La belle ville was abruptly woken up early Wednesday morning as it suffered through its first snowstorm of winterlude. Marko Grujic Jersey . By mid-morning, those grey skies were getting replaced with blue ones. Rays of soccer sunshine began appearing over at City Hall as the great and good of FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup Canada 2014 began descending on the building. The last such time I had managed to wangle myself into one of Montreals most iconic of structures was shortly after your Montreal Impact were crowned 2009 USL playoff champions. I felt like a kid again that late fall early evening, as I waited on City Hall steps for the Impacts team bus to show up; packing the trophy, inside to receive a civic honour and back on the bus for their White House moment. The entire Impact squad, coaching staff and exec feted on that fabled Montreal Canadiens ice surface. As one, a sold out Bell Centre crowd rose to their feet to applaud their soccer champions. Tears were shed, and you knew at that exact moment, soccer had landed most firmly on Montreal terra firma. The roots of that arrival though are traced back to the spring of 2007 when, not only a key host city for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Canada 2007, the organizing committee bestowed on Montreal the honour and privilege of opening the tournament. It was June 30 when Brazil played Poland with over 55,000 rocking Stade Olympique, including some Carlito football geezer best known as Carlo Ancelotti (I think he manages Real Madrid these days). Start as you mean to go on then, as FIFA Under-20 World Cup Canada 2007 blew up the FIFA record book on previous U-20 or Youth World Cups as they were previously tagged. Through the three weeks, close to 1.2 million supporters flocked to the venues across this fertile football land, all occurring under the watchful eye of Peter Montopoli, Canada 2007s National Event Director. Wednesday morning at City Hall, Montopoli rose to the podium as Chief Executive Officer of FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup Canada 2014. On Friday, he briefly took time out to reminisce about 2007. "The success of the 2007 competition was really a result of the people who came out and supported the players and organization. In Montreal, clubs made a huge impact on the attendance numbers and created a really dynamic environment, and the volunteer community was phenomenal." Since taking over as the highest ranking administrator in Canadian soccer, as CSA General Secretary in early 2008 reporting directly to FIFA and overseeing an organization that ticks as Canadas soccer nerve centre, Montopoli has stared down immense challenges both structurally and performance related over the intervening years. Even a possible mutiny from a band of merry ladies who shrugged over Deutschland 2011 disappointments by going on to achieve unprecedented soccer fame and glory a mere 12 months later in London. As optimistic as he may well be for Canada 2014 before that, Montopoli is realistic. The biggest mistake any organizing body for a national tournament can make is to expect much the same the second time around. "We hope to replicate that in 2014, but we need the support of the community, and Wednesdays press conference was an important first step towards developing those strong relationships with the business, government and soccer community in Montreal," Montopoli disclosed. "We are proud and very happy to be hosting the largest number of matches for the FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup Canada 2014 in Montreal. The City of Montreal will really be our headquarters for the competition, for both the National Organizing Committee and for FIFA, starting with the Official Draw on March 1." Spoken like a seasoned diplomat, at City Hall on Wednesday morning, Montopoli stood four square with Montreals highest ranked municipal officer Denis Corderre. Elected mayor just earlier this month, Corderre didnt waste much time displaying his sporting credentials when taking to his personal Twitter account to take a pop at an underperforming extremely well-paid member of les Habs. In an instant, Corderre went from little-known well-regarded local politician to Twitter celebrity. That fame only fleeting, on Wednesday when he took to the podium at City Hall, Corderre deftly handled his introductory soccer speech in the same manner Messi waltzes around opponents. Corderre may have been speaking to a hushed room but he was wise enough to know he was also speaking to a growing demographic of the Montreal electorate. Montopoli was suitably impressed with his administrative team mate. "We are thrilled to have the support of Montreals Mayor, Denis Coderre," he said. "His participation in this weeks announcement at Montreal City Hall of the FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup Canada 2014 venue pack on sale and official draw information demonstrated his commitment to supporting us as we move towards the competitions in 2014 and 2015." The final part of the Canada 2014 podium in Montreal is Francis Millien. Instrumental in Montreals extraordinary 2007 legacy, Millien is a veteran of the beautiful game with over 35 years service, mainly as an administrator. Not many even in the Canadian media though can claim to have sat down with Zinedine Zidane but Millien has. There at Stade Olympique in full force for FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007, Millien is well aware of la belle villes football pedigree. "Montreal is a soccer city. You can feel the excitement in the soccer community when big matches are taking place. I have always been confident that Montreal would be an excellent host city for international competition. We proved it in 2007, and well prove it again in 2014 and 2015," Millien told TSN.ca. As Montreal will be Canada 2014s beating heartbeat, so was the city of Edmonton when the nation last hosted this tournament back in the summer of 2002. No prizes for guessing which London 2012 medal-laden international soccer superstar waltzed off as tournament MVP and top scorer. Crushing all English hearts as she smashed five into the English net in the quarter-finals, Christine Sinclair is no recent football phenomenon. A decade before that crushing London 2012 semi-final defeat, 19-year old Sinclair and many of the London 2012 heroes suffered the agony of defeat in that 2002 final played at Commonwealth Stadium in front of a very loud and very knowledgeable crowd. Compounding the misery? It came at the hands of the US in extra time with a second half so termed golden goal resulting in Canadian silver. Montopoli recollected the heartache but like all bad, goodness ultimately prevails. "The last time Canada hosted this competition back in 2002, we won a silver medal and helped set a still-standing record of 47,784 fans in the final. I have no doubt that Canadians will once again rally behind our U-20 team like they did in 2002." "Canadians will remember how Christine Sinclair, one of this years FIFA Womens World Player of the Year nominees, wowed fans in 2002 and received both the adidas Golden Boot and adidas Golden Ball for her efforts. "Today, many of the 2002 Canadian players who captured the hearts of a nation are representing Canada on the senior womens national team," concluded the chief executive officer of FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup Canada 2014 Set August 2014 aside. Mark it in your calendars now. The world will be watching and Montreal will not disappoint. You can reach and follow Noel Butler at:Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter Danny Ings Jersey . The fourth-year guard from Carleton University kicked off his varsity career with rookie of the year honours in 2011, before racking up three straight Mike Moser Memorial Trophies for outstanding player. Ovie Ejaria Jersey . The 20-year-old Barkley, whose impressive form this season could earn him a place in Englands World Cup squad, was hurt in Evertons 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup on Jan. http://www.soccerliverpoolproshop.com/c-15-simon-mignolet-liverpool-fc-jersey.aspx . With newly minted president of hockey operations Trevor Linden looking on from above one day after being handed the keys to the franchise, it was more of the same on Thursday night.DETROIT – Anibal Sanchez and Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, John Lackey and Justin Verlander, take a bow. You can, too, Clay Buchholz, if we ignore the sixth inning of Game 2. Doug Fister and Jake Peavy, youre up next in Game 4 and theres a lot to live up to. The starting pitching in this American League Championship Series has been brilliant, the efforts of Sanchez and Lester and Scherzer we thought would be hard to top. Yet, there was Lackey and Verlander duking it out, pitch for pitch, and not even a 17-minute power outage delay in the middle of the second inning could slow them down. Verlander whipped through the Red Sox with an eight-pitch first inning, walked David Ortiz in a grueling at-bat to start the second but then struck out the side. Then, he struck out the side in the third. Six consecutive strikeouts and after five innings, Boston had a measly infield single from Jonny Gomes to account for its offence. Lackey, the forgotten man in this duel, was equal to the task. He stranded two Tigers in the first and went on a stretch of 10 straight retired, which included a span of four straight strikeouts in the second and third innings. Those two first inning singles would be all Lackey would allow until the fifth, when Jhonny Peralta led off with a double. Hed get to third with one out but Lackey, true to form in this series, got a big strikeout of Omar Infante before getting Andy Dirks to ground out. Inning over, potential crisis (a run against) averted. The games lone mistake came with one out in the top of the seventh. Verlander, at that point working on a two-hitter, left a 3-2 fastball in Mike Napolis wheelhouse. Napoli, struggling to a 2-for-24 (.083) playoffs at the time, belted the pitch over the left centerfield fence. "I knew he wasnt seeing the fastball that great," said Verlander. "I decided to challenge him and thats, I made a little bit of a mistake. It was a little bit up and over the middle. You have to give him credit." The Napoli home run would be all the Red SSox could get. Lazar Markovic Jersey. It would be all the Red Sox would need. Lackey was pulled after 6 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. He didnt like manager John Farrells decision and made it clear as he gave his skipper the ball before departing. Afterward, Farrell didnt feel hed been shown up. "You never want a pitcher to come out of the game," said Farrell. "If something is made of that, we dont want John to change who he is as a person and certainly who he is as a competitor." "Its definitely probably the biggest game Ive pitched (for Boston,)" said Lackey. "And probably a pretty big one, I guess." Through three games, two of which have finished with 1-0 scores (each team has won one of those), the Red Sox and Tigers have combined to allow eight earned runs in 39 2/3 innings for a 1.82 ERA. Of the 159 outs recorded in the series, 53 have been via the strikeout, exactly one-third. Imagine how the numbers would look if Buchholz hadnt hit a wall in Game 2. Individually, the numbers break down like this: Tigers starters: 21IP, 2ER (0.86 ERA), 6H, 9BB, 35K, 1HR, 0.714 WHIP. Red Sox starters: 18.2IP, 6ER (2.89), 18H, 1BB, 18K, 2HR, 1.018 WHIP. Just for fun, eliminating Buchholzs sixth inning in Game 2 turns the line into this: 18IP, 2ER (1.00 ERA), 13H, 1BB, 18K, 0HR, 0.778 WHIP. Including the National League Championship Series, each of Verlander, Lester, Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke and Adam Wainwright has taken a loss despite pitching at least six innings. In that group, only Wainwright has allowed as many as two earned runs in his start. The Tigers also lost Scherzers start (seven innings, one earned run) but he wasnt tagged with the loss. Its happened to all of those great - not good but great - pitchers in the last 96 hours. This, as the Cardinals get great efforts from Joe Kelly and Michael Wacha, the Dodgers from Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Red Sox from the veteran Lackey and the Tigers from Sanchez. These playoffs are about pitching. Brilliant pitching. 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