Masters (O45) and
Morrell Cup (open)
Mexico MMFC '19
Written by Dr. Noel Grisdale
The time has come! The draw has been made and Canada’s Medical Football Team is readying itself to start 2019’s #wmfc2019 tomorrow morning vs Brazil. The heat is stifling here in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico but you know the Canadian lads will be bringing their best effort. 🇲🇽 are great hosts and it’s shaping up to be a fantastic 25th World Medical Football Championship. MD Management has been great in it’s support of the team again this year.
I’ll try to provide game reports on a daily basis. We have a number of injuries prior to our first game that will impact the squad however it just means others will need to step up to fill the void.
Go Canada 🇨🇦!!
3rd time in four yrs that 🇨🇦 vs 🇧🇷 has happened at #wmfc
In Barcelona in 2016 a hard fought controversial battle (with four Pk’s all told during the run of play) ended in a 3-2 Brazil win. Last year in Prague Brazil came out on top with a 2-0 win. This year 🇨🇦 was hoping for a different outcome. As a team, Canada has grown in it’s four year existence. New players & stronger bonds have strengthened the squad. A coach, a very good one in Matt Stinson, has buoyed Canada’s hopes as well. New challenges arose before the first game with the loss of key players in Sean Gregg, Danny Jones, and Tarek Kazem. A few more coming in with injuries provided the squad with needed focus on playing within themselves and to their strengths.
An 8am start today during a tropical downpour made for interesting conditions; at least it was cooler than expected! There is no doubt the Brazilians have skill & experience playing together that overall the Canadians don’t possess. However, we were organized and defended well. In fact while Brazil held the ball for much of the game they really didn’t create much in the way of offence. They did score a goal in the first half but that came from a hard pass back to the Canadian keeper on a slick field that he did well to manage under the circumstances. Unfortunately, the velocity & height of the pass back resulted in an opportunity for Brazil that they didn’t waste. 0-1 at half time. The Canadians were feeling optimistic entering the 2nd half that they could catch the Brazilians on the counter attack as they were not as keen to defend as they were to go forward. An unfortunate unforced error early in the second half resulted in Canada’s midfield providing Brazil with a gift of an opportunity in the 18 yd box which they could not miss. Down 2-0 having not played poorly, 🇨🇦 was a bit rattled & frustrated. As much as the team is improving every yr, we still only play together once a yr & it seems start off playing not to lose rather playing with courage and confidence to win. Brazil was gifted the third goal and in injury time they actually scored a goal in the run of play. Final 4-0 Brazil.
Big game tomorrow vs Puerto Rico on 🇨🇦 Day!
Gm #2 Open Tourney 🇨🇦 vs 🇵🇷 Gm #2 Masters Tourney 🇨🇦 vs 🇦🇺 The team was eager to redeem after their start yesterday & even more keen on Canada Day!
A long throw early on by Nic Benoit and pressure at the back post by Darrel Lewis resulted in an own goal by PR and a 1-0 lead for Canada. This helped settle the team and they continued to run the game. A nice finish by Lukas Kwapisz a short while later made it 2-0! Emotions ran high in this game with sig physical play and cards shown. 🇨🇦 finally let go of these distractions and played well as a team. Up 3-0 at half (with a 2nd goal for Lukas) they managed the game well in the 2nd half (unlike the CMNT )finishing with a 4-0 win! A complete game by the team and first clean sheet at #wmfc by keeper, Roman Tulis
The 🇨🇦 Masters are first timers this yr & it’s already clear it will be a big learning yr for them. To start, more players will be needed going forward. The heat was suffocating today & they had a short bench with injuries piling up! They put in a valiant effort down only 2-1 in the second half on their 1st ever #wmfc goal by Chip Doig, only to have 3 scored against late as attrition took it’s toll. A 5-1 loss to the Aussies will help the team learn & grow for the years to come.
Overall, a great Canada Day for the teams...sang the anthem, battled hard, represented themselves & 🇨🇦 well. Big day tomorrow for Open team vs 🇨🇷 While the Master’s will be looking to survive a match vs Ukraine.
Happy Canada Day from Mexico!
Day 3 at #wmfc2019
A possible historic day for Team Canada. 3 points is the most they’ve had coming out of grp stage. A win yesterday vs Costa Rica and they would have 6 pts & a spot in the quarterfinals. 🇨🇷 had tied 🇧🇷 1-1 and beat 🇵🇷 2-1.
🇨🇦 started strong with lots of long balls to wingers, Nubi and Romith as well as in to striker, Lukas’s feet. Costa Rica was under seige and they really didn’t have an answer. Finally 🇨🇦 broke through when Lukas collected a long ball from Prout and went one v one with the defender in the right side of the box, finishing with a nice goal bottom left corner! 🇨🇷 did create a few chances but for the most part it was all Canada for the rest of the half. In the second half they began to really press Canada which was resulting in more possession for 🇨🇷 The heat was beginning to take it’s toll as well. 🇨🇦 recognized they needed to miss out the mid to spring their lone striker. It became a back & forth game. Nic Benoit’s throw ins were a weapon for Canada all game long. With 20 mins left still a 1-0 game. With approx 15 min to go 🇨🇷 scored a highlight reel goal. A loss of possession on the left side and a quick few touches later the ball was played in btwn the 2 CB’s. As contact was made btwn the striker and one CB he somehow still got a shot away that ripped over top of the charging Canadian keeper & into the top corner. 1-1 and Costa Rica was feeling it. 5 mins later an outnumbered situation in the right side of 🇨🇦’s D and 3 great touches later they broke into the box and calmly chipped the Canadian keeper to make it 2-1 🇨🇷! The singing began.
Canada didn’t quit. Multiple long throw ins and corners finally resulted in a powerfully headed goal by Trevor Lewis. 2-2!! With 5 mins left we still wanted the win! No injury time was added and 🇨🇦 ran out of time. Nevertheless, it was still a historic day. Most points (4) coming out of grp stages and still a chance to finish as high as 9th but definitely better than our best finish of 14th. Proud of how the team played, battled, & responded to adversity of 2 heart breaking goals against. The experience will pay off in the next few years to come. A day of rest today.
Game Day #4
#wmfc2019 🇨🇦 vs 🇩🇪 First time these two teams have played at the #wmfc
Canada started quite strong and should have been up 1-2 goals early on. Virtually an open net and the Canadian sent his shot high and somehow the keeper got across and headed the ball off the line. Another chance of a header that looked to go in and the German keeper got a hand on that too! The German’s experience showed over the next 20 mins as they had two good chances and they scored both. They managed to get down the left side and get behind the defensive line crossing the ball in for one tap in and one deflected goal. Canada never quits and came out strong in the second half scoring a goal early off a scramble at the top of the box and a nice strike by Nubi! Germany was looking a bit flat and tired. Yet, what happened next shouldn’t happen...a goal kick by 🇩🇪 with their striker offside at the time of the kick. The Canadian team did not commit to winning the initial header and two players collided resulting in the ball going free and a break for the German striker. The Canadian keeper made the save but uncharacteristicly fumbled the ball back into his path for an easy 3-1 goal. A bit later a German player ended up with a red card. Canada continued to control play but couldn’t break through. Prout from Canada struck a sweet ball to the left corner which the keeper made an amazing save. Unfortunately Canada suffered injuries to two key players in Nic Benoit and Stu McAdam. While the game ended 3-1 for 🇩🇪 we felt a small consolation that we outchanced and outplayed them overall. Part of the team growth will be taking these performances and turning them into victories!
On a positive note, the Canadian Masters team won their first ever game at #wmfc with a 3-1 victory today over the WHO team (a team of Mexican first responders entered to provide an even 16 teams)
Tomorrow the Canadian Open team plays Sweden...they’ve had good matches with them in past years & I’m sure tomorrow will be no different. The challenge at this stage is what kind of team can you field with injuries and fatigue playing a role. Regardless, it’s always a privilege to take the field with this group.
Game day #5
Canada vs Sweden at #wmfc2019
In 2016 in Barcelona Canada and Sweden had a battle royale with a 1-0 win to the Swedes in the group stage. Sweden went on to lose in the final that year. 2 yrs ago in Leogang, Austria the two teams faced off again & 🇸🇪 proved victorious in convincing fashion with a 7-1 win in the group stage. Their prev national team player scored 5 vs the overrun Canadians. This year would be different with the ex Swedish Pro not in attendance and both teams battling injuries and the heat! Sweden opened the scoring with an obvious offside goal when they had the ball played forward high and the scorer stood on the Canadian goal line! Much like yesterday vs Germany, Canada created many quality chances but lacked finish. In the second half their right full back and centre back fumbled the ball into opposing striker’s path allowing Sweden to go up 2-0.
A short while later Canada finally broke through with a goal from Clint Houlie. 2-1 for Sweden. Canada pressed hard the rest of the way! Unfortunately, much like vs Germany we gave another late goal that was due to a defender over committing and a great run and strike from inside the box to put Sweden up 3-1.
While 🇨🇦 never quits they did struggle to turn possession control into goals that matter!
The final score was 3-1.
Canada’s Masters had a great game vs Catalonia but still lost 5-3
Tomorrow the open team has a rematch vs Costa Rica and The Master’s play vs Argentina!
One more day to survive!!!
Yesterday was final games (day 6 of competition) followed by closing ceremonies that evening. Sport & competition provide much in the way of life lessons. Canada’s team experienced many this week! Progress in the level and quality of play year over year. A deeper bond while still adding new faces to the mix. Some painful and poorly timed goals and defeats as well as fight backs that showed they had courage and a no quit attitude. Stifling heat that challenged both physically and mentally. A more serious approach to the games which meant unequal playing time for folks that have paid to be here and and given up time from work & sometimes family! The final game for the open team was vs Costa Rica. It was a back and forth affair. Down 1-0 early only to fight back to tie 1-1 (goal by Lukas) by half. Later part of 2nd half Nato scored off a great run & cross from left side by Sherv. Canada up 2-1!
A shot from 25 yds out by Costa Rica seemed harmless but uncharacteristically the Canadian keeper lost his net and let it go in.
Then hard to believe with 5 mins to go Costa Rica got the winner when they scored off a corner...literally...went in off the top part of the back post. Came close to tying it but no injury time given. 3-2 loss to finish in 16th place.
First time masters team lost their last game to Argentina 5-3 to finish 12th.
During the week the teams did an outreach with a local rotary club and donated shoes and soccer shirts. We did a little spontaneous medicine on the side as well.
Overall a great week. Boys are looking forward to Argentina in Sept 2020
Written by Jonathan Taylor, Lethbridge AB, Canada
The World Medical Football Cup took place from June 29 to July 7, 2019 along the Riviera Maya in Mexico. For the first time ever, Canada was represented in the Vogel Cup, the 45+ masters division.
The Vogel Cup team arrived with plenty of enthusiasm, led by Captain Chip Doig, but short on numbers. However, this small squad of footballers wore the Maple Leaf proudly on the pitch and gave it everything they had in extreme conditions. High humidity and temperatures well in to the 30s were the norm on a daily basis.
In addition to playing football, members of Team Canada’s Vogel team were part of the Canadian delegation that travelled to Playa del Carmen during the tournament. There, having paired with the local Rotary Club, they were able to distribute donated shoes to impoverished local children. Many of the children arrived barefoot to this event, so it was a very meaningful and successful project.
On the pitch, Canada found themselves in a tough pool initially with defending champions Ukraine, Great Britain, and a large Australian team boasting as many substitutes as Canada had players. Canada kept their games close initially, but had a hard time maintaining their pace over full games. The group stage ended winless for Team Canada’s Vogel team.
The first cross-over playoff game saw Canada pick up its first ever Masters division victory with a win over Mexico. This excitement carried through the next two games where Canada played hard but lost two very close games against Catalonia and Argentina.
Canada’s Vogel Cup team finished 12th out of 16 teams, a result the team was happy with for their first attempt at the World Medical Football Cup. The team is already building toward the 2020 tournament to be held in Argentina.
Want to join us?
Thinking about joining us? The Over-45 year old Masters Team Canada Medical Football is actively recruiting players to joint the team. We aim to take a group of 16-20 soccer loving physicians to the World Medical Football Championships each year.
Tournament locations vary with 2020 in Argentina and 2021 in Dresden, Germany. If you are interested in hearing more about the team please sign up to our email list and watch for updates.
The Masters team plays in 6 matches of 60 minutes duration over the course of 7 days concurrently with the Open team which plays in 6x80 minute games.
In addition to the soccer there is an academic component with a sports medicine conference and the opportunity to obtain CME credits while representing Canada at the competition.
The team also participates in social events with physicians from across the country and all specialties participating in the team along with charitable projects.