December 29, 2008
A list of wishes in '09
By GARETH WHEELER, SUN MEDIA
Christmas has come and gone and I'm still not content -- my wish list was disregarded, overlooked and ignored.
So to make up for it, I have a lot of expectations for 2009 and I'm setting my sights on the soccer world.
Here's my wish list for 2009:
- For the USA to win the Confederations Cup -- that would really put North American soccer on the map. And even more important than an American win, for South Africa to be able to stage the tournament problem free.
- For a playoff game at BMO Field. The Bank would be rocking like no other stadium or sporting event Toronto has seen.
- For Carl Robinson to be moved back into a central defensive role. It's the next stage in the evolution of his play.
- For the "Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid" rumours to die a fast death and for the world player of the year to start playing like the world player of the year.
- For the Brazilian Ronaldo to shed some weight, get into shape and to have one final successful run with Corinthians.
- For Diego Maradona to be the latest star-player-turned-coach to find success in the managerial ranks.
- For another entertaining display of how to throw away a Premier League title, courtesy of Liverpool. We all know things are too good to be true at Anfield and the collapse is inevitable.
- For Jose Mourinho to return to the Premiership where he belongs.
- For more wealthy Middle East businessmen with a passion for soccer to purchase every bottom-feeder team in prominent European leagues. For them to overpay overrated players to join their clubs where any other half decent player refuses to go.
- For former New England Revolution centre-back Michael Parkhurst to wake up one day and ask himself: "Why am I playing for some random no-name team in Denmark?"
- For Major League Soccer to refuse to give Vancouver a team until it builds a soccer specific stadium.
- For the expansion Seattle Sounders FC's Freddie Ljungberg to play at least half of the season after being ruled out the next 12 weeks because of injury. The signing already looks like a bust.
- For Toronto FC's future designated player not to be a player such as Freddie Ljungberg.
- For more Canadian Internationals to return to North America to play in MLS
- For MLS to make it more enticing for players to play in North America by substantially raising their salary cap.
- For the Montreal Impact's dream run through the CONCACAF Champions League to continue.
- For the Canadian men's national team to put its head coaching situation to bed, by removing Dale Mitchell from the position while bringing in a seasoned manager from another country to take the reins, with full autonomy to act in the best interest of the program.
- For Stephen Hart to remain with the CMNT in some capacity, and for him to be provided with the necessary resources to enhance the scouting and development of players across Canada.
- For the women's national team to find a head coach as inspirational as the outgoing Evan Pellerud.
- For the Canadian women to play more possession, attacking soccer, instead of just trying to find Christine Sinclair on the counter-attack.
- For Canadian striker Iain Hume to have a full recovery from a fractured skull and return to the outstanding form he had shown over the past couple seasons.
- For Ali Gerba to be a transfer target for Toronto FC.
- For German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger to start playing like a star instead of just living the lifestyle.
- For Frank Lampard to be dropped by the English national team. The side performs better without him.
- For striker Carlos Tevez to find more first-team opportunities with Manchester United.
- For David Beckham to do well at AC Milan, but return to the Galaxy.
- For Newcastle to give Canadian defender David Edgar first-team opportunities.
- For more of the MLS' top players to be like Chad Marshall and resist the temptation of playing overseas.