St. Lawrence Laurentians will be competing in the National Challenge Cup competition in Calgary, Alberta from October 5 -10, 2004. At this time, I will take a look at the National Seeding. This grouping is done according to the placing by the clubs that represented their province in 2004. Here’s a look at the various provinces seeding, followed by their respective clubs that will compete for the 2005 National Challenge Cup.
1. British Columbia - Portuguese Sporting Club of Vancouver
8. Newfoundland and Labrador - St. Lawrence Laurentians
9. Alberta - Edmonton Green & Gold
2. Ontario - Scarborough GS United
7. Prince Edward Island - Papa Joe's Eastern Eagles
10. New Brunswick - Hampton Labatt United
3. Quebec - Panellinios Soccer Club
6. Nova Scotia - Coldwell Banker Celtic
11. Yukon - Yukon Selects
4. Saskatchewan - Saskatoon Arsenal
5. Manitoba - Lucania S.C.
12. Alberta (2) - Calgary Dinosaurs
The Laurentians will have a monumental task ahead of them just to get out of their division. No doubt, they are in a tough division. To win a National Challenge Cup Championship, the Laurentians will need to be at their best in all aspects of the game and certainly getting the breaks is as big a factor as having the ability to win.
NL - St. Lawrence Laurentians vs. AB - Edmonton Green & Gold
The final result of game one will determine the Laurentians outcome in this National Tournament. In St. Lawrence’s opening game on Friday October 7th, the Laurentians will compete against the Alberta 2005 champions, the Green and Gold Team from Edmonton. Alberta’s representatives in the past ten seasons have won three National Challenge Cup Championships. This factor, combined with the fact that they are the host entry, certainly makes this squad a legitimate contender. The Green and Gold Team defeated Alberta’s second entry, the Calgary Dinosaurs, in their provincial championship game by a whopping 5-0 victory.
NL - St. Lawrence Laurentians vs. B.C. - Portuguese Sporting Club from Vancouver.
Should St. Lawrence win their opening game, they could pull a big surprise against British Columbia. Momentum gained from a victory against Alberta could lead the Laurentians to an upset victory for them over the British Columbia representatives. If the Laurentians lose to Alberta in their opening game, this game could be a very one-sided affair with British Columbia holding the edge. British Columbia has won the National Challenge Cup Championship an astonishing 34 times. They are the defending champions and the Portuguese Sporting Club won their Provincial Championship on penalty kicks. This team won four of their victories en route to their provincial final by penalty shots and their other victory came in overtime. British Columbia is without a doubt the hot bed of Canadian soccer.
The best opportunity for St. Lawrence to compete with the country’s best is for the Laurentians to focus on defence. The Laurentians will have to play against at least two of the best amateur soccer teams in Canada and I feel the only way to victory is, when St. Lawrence are defending they should flood the middle of the field. The sweeper should have two other defenders in the centre back position with him along with his two wingbacks, and the middle of the field should have three midfielders besides the wing mid-fielders playing with them. While on the attack, St. Lawrence would have Rudy and Richard strike when the ball is in the opponent’s zone. We are not going to defeat Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec or Ontario by playing a wide-open attack. We could beat them by slim margins of 1-0 or 2-0 score but we’re not going to beat those powerhouses by any blowouts.
This is the twentieth time that we will be competing for this National Championship and we have won a silver medal in 1975, 1977 and in 2002 and hopefully it’s “Gold” this year. After all, we’ve got Richard Kelly who led us back to provincial supremacy in 2005 and with his talents it could be enough to lead us to win the National 2005 Challenge Cup Championship. I’m hoping that destiny for the Laurentians may seal the fate of St. Lawrence’s outcome. I feel the fans, players and citizens of St. Lawrence deserve nothing less than a, "National Soccer Title" for its 101st birthday.
Again, this year I will be joining with CHCM’s Russ Murphy’s doing the colour commentary as he does live broadcasting of the games for the Women’s Jubilee Trophy and the Men’s Challenge Cup
Gord Dunphy is a former 1990’s Challenge Cup All - Star coach of the St. Lawrence Laurentians and National Bronze Medallist. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com