By: Keveren Guillou, SFU student
Hello readers of The Peak sports section,
My name is Keveren Guillou and I’m this week’s host for the soccer themed Peak Sports Mailbag. Thanks so much to all of our readers for submitting their soccer-related questions, and our apologies if your question didn’t make it into this week’s edition. Usually, the Mailbag host will only answer three or four questions. Don’t worry though, as all questions submitted count for an entry into the raffle draw. Now, onto the questions!
Question 1: “Are there any local soccer teams I can follow other than SFU and the Whitecaps?” – Felix.
Answer: The first club I would recommend is the TSS (Together Standing Strong) Rovers. The Rovers, founded in 2017, play from May to July at Swanguard Stadium. They compete in the USL (United Soccer League) 2, northwest division, which is an amateur U23 league equivalent to the fourth division in the US soccer pyramid. The club allows young Canadians the opportunity to get minutes and develop their skills, and Clan players play here during the off-season.
If you have the means to do so, I would also recommend checking out Victoria’s team, Pacific FC, who play in the brand new CPL (Canadian Premier League). This team is a mix of young Canadian prospects, as well as former Canadian men’s national team regulars. Taking a day trip there is possible by bus/ferry and is a fun way to get away from the city. There are also rumours that there will be a new CPL team coming to the Fraser Valley in the coming years, so keep an eye out for that.
Question 2: “What do you think the SFU Men’s Soccer team needs to do to get over the hump this season? They always perform well in the regular season, but they can’t seem to find playoff success.” – G.
Answer: The SFU Men’s Soccer has been quite successful in recent years with three GNAC titles under coach Clint Schneider. However, things have never gone their way once they’ve reached the playoffs. They have crashed out in the first round for the past three years at the hands of the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos. As heavy favourites to win the GNAC once again this year, they will most likely be returning to the playoffs. This is already a good sign as it shows that the Clan’s success is not just generational, but that they are doing a good job at recruiting and developing young talent. I would say their main issue last season was a lack of depth in some areas of the pitch. This became apparent when many players were dealing with injuries at the end of last season. Coach Schneider has addressed this heavily in his roster decisions this year, in an effort to field a less worn down team come playoff time. In terms of recruiting, the coaching staff has made their search for talent more global, bringing in players from Ontario and Europe. This should help solidify this year’s lineup and build a more rugged team for years to come.
Question 3: “Could you explain the offside rule in soccer? I see it all the time but still don’t get it and it seems super complicated.” – Kathyrn.
Answer: The offside rule is one of the most influential and highly contested parts of the modern game. The purpose of the rule is to make sure players don’t just stand around the other team’s goal and have their teammates kick the ball up to them. If a player on team A is closer to team B’s goal than the second-to-last player on team B (usually the last defender) when a pass is made to them, then they are in an offside position and a freekick is awarded to team B.
However, there are many complexities that add to this. For example, a player can be onside when a pass is made to them but can run into an offside position to retrieve the ball. A player cannot be offside in their own half or if the pass goes backwards. Most controversially, a player can be called for offside even if they don’t touch the ball. If a player makes a play off the ball (for example, screening a player, pretending to touch the ball, etc.), then they are considered offside. Lastly, there is no offside if the ball is passed directly from a goal kick, a corner kick, or a throw-in.
If you would like to participate in future editions of the Peak Sports Mailbag and be entered in a raffle for an end-of-semester prize, here’s what you can send to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Sports-related questions that our weekly host will answer
- Weekly theme ideas to guide our questions
Or: sign up to host the Mailbag (and get paid)!
Thanks to all of you SFU sports fans for blowing up my inbox!
Next week’s theme is: Football
Next week’s host is: Grant Simms
Send in your questions to email@example.com.