Posts Tagged ‘Doneil Henry Whitecaps FC’

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VANCOUVER, B.C – The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7. Fans from around the world will be tuning in for a month of fantastic women’s football. Twenty-four teams will compete in France, for a chance to hoist the World Cup on July 7, in Lyon.

Canada will take on Group E opponents, Cameroon, New Zealand, and the Netherlands in Montpellier (June 10), Grenoble (June 15), Reims (June 20). There will be a sense of familiarity for no.5 ranked Canada, who also faced New Zealand and the Netherlands when Canada hosted the 2015 World Cup. Canada earned a draw vs both countries.

Just like fans across the country, Vancouver Whitecaps FC players will be cheering on Canada. Many Whitecaps FC players know the Canada’s women’s national team, and have met, trained, and been in the same environment representing Canada.

While on an MLS Gold Cup break, several Whitecaps FC players shared their thoughts on Canada’s chances at the World Cup, and the brilliance that is, Christine Sinclair.

“Yeah, I support them,” Doneil Henry explained to Har Journalist. “I love our women’s national team. Jordyn Huitema, just signed at PSG, and (Janine) Beckie at Man City. We have some really talented women on the national team. I’m excited to see them continue to go far. Knowing that John (Herdman) has a lot of history with the women’s side, and the respect that he has for them. I just wish them the best. I just know that they’ll do us all proud.”

“They’re a great team,” Russell Teibert said. “From what I know, from Canada Soccer, they’re going to be a hard working team. They’re going to do everything possible to keep Canada at the top of women’s soccer. We’re familiar with the team, because John (Herdman) was the women’s national team coach. I think we’re all together as a family in Canada Soccer.”

“They’ll get out of it (Group E) for sure,” Max Crepeau predicted. “No pressure on the women’s team, but they’re really really good, honestly. In the last few years, they’ve been dominate, I’m pretty confident that we’ll get out of the group. I hope they go to the semis, but one game, at a time.”

“I’ve been in the Whitecaps program since I was fifteen ” Theo Bair revealed. “I made some friends at school along the way. Elite Girls players, Julia Grosso, Jordyn Huitema, and Jayde Riviere. All three, really good players, promising players for Canada, and my good friends. I’ve seen all of them work, not only on the field, but off the field. They’re great athletes, people, great students, and I think that applies both ways.”

Christine Sinclair is arguably the greatest professional football player Canada has ever had. As she closes in on U.S. Soccer great, Abby Wambach’s, all-time goal-scoring record of 184 goals. Whitecaps FC players can’t wait to see Sinclair make history and set the record. It’s quite likely that Sinclair won’t remain on her 181 goal total for very long.

“Sincy’s been doing it forever,” Henry said. “Since I was a young one with Toronto, I’ve been seeing her score goals, everywhere, at every stage. I can’t wait for her to beat it, because she’s definitely going to do it.”

“I just think she’s the best Canadian soccer player,” Derek Cornelius added. “She carries herself very well. She’s a good role model for a lot of the ladies coming up. She just leads our country in the right way, and of course she’s a great soccer player.”

“I think it’s going to happen,” Brett Levis said with confidence. “I think it would be huge for soccer players all over Canada, for us to hold a record like that. It’s pretty unbelievable.”

“The killer instinct,” Crepeau said of Sinclair. “You have half a chance and you create a goal out of it. This is why she’s on top of the list for sure.”

As we witnessed four years ago, Canada’s women’s national team has the ability to capture the entire country from coast to coast. Canada is in with a real shout to make some damage at the World Cup. Twenty-three players will represent the red and white in France. Whitecaps FC players will be among the biggest supporters of the women’s team.

“We love our women’s national team,” Henry beamed. “While the men were in a slump for a very long time, the women have held the country really proud. The women are great. They’re tenacious. I think we’re definitely one of the few nations on the women’s side who can definitely win it.”

“Absolutely, I’ll follow,” Teibert said. “I’m a big supporter of Canada Soccer. I was a big supporter of the women’s team when they were here. I really enjoyed going to watch the games at B.C. Place.”

“I’m excited, I think it’s a very exciting team,” Levis explained. “I know they have a lot of young players. They’ve got some Whitecaps REX Girls players, hopefully they get their opportunity. It’s always fun to see the country rally around when the World Cup comes around. I’m just excited to watch.”

“As long as they played united,” Bair explained. “They’re a very strong group. I’ll tune in when I can, as long as I don’t have training. I’ll try to watch them because I want to support them.”

The football world, isn’t all that big. When Canada is on the biggest stage, they can know that there will be support in all corners of the country. Whitecaps FC players want to see them do well and succeed. Canada Soccer is one big family.

 

 

 

 

 

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VANCOUVER, B.C – The Toronto Raptors will make history tonight when they host the Golden State Warriors in the first NBA Final game outside of the United States. The Raptors have the support of the an entire country behind them from coast to coast.

The support extends to Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s biggest Raptors fan, Doneil Henry. The 26-year-old Henry, has fond memories of going to games with his family, well before the ‘We The North’, Drake, Raptors brand took off to unexpected levels.

“I had an aunt that use to bring me out to the Raptors games,” Henry explained exclusively to Har Journalist. “When Vince Carter was there. Just when Toronto started to have a buzz around basketball. Carter, the Junk Yard Dog (Jerome Williams), Mo Pete (Morris Peterson), these are the type of guys I think about when I think about the Raptors.”

The Brampton, Ontario native is a primo Raptors fan. He has lived through all the ups and downs from Alonzo Mourning, Rafael Araujo, to Andrea Bargnani. Henry knows that building a championship contender takes time, it can’t be build overnight. Seeing the Raptors in the NBA Finals after twenty-four years makes it all that more enjoyable.

“I’m a real fan, I’m not a hater,” Henry explained. “I’m the type of guy, it doesn’t matter how the team is doing. We trust the process. I’m a sportsman, I understand the game from a professional level. I know it’s not easy for a player, or management. Everybody wants to do well, and sometimes it takes time to get all the pieces right.”

Toronto Raptors President, Masai Ujiri, has found the right pieces to put his team in a position to upset one of the best NBA teams to take to the hardcourt. Kyle Lowry was always an x-factor, but adding Kawhi Leonard has helped the Raptors reach new heights. It has also helped having nemesis, LeBron James in the western conference with the LA Lakers.

The Warriors are a once in a generation NBA franchise. They have re-written the book on how to play basketball. There is no poor shot when Steph Curry pulls up. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala all know what it takes to win an NBA title. Even with Kevin Durant waiting on the sidelines. Henry isn’t wavering.

“I have no fear, I have no worries,” Henry revealed. “I believe in the team, we have really good players. If any games I felt like we were in any trouble, it was the (Milwaukee) Bucks. No-one can mark (Giannis) Antetokounmpo. He’s a great player, young player, explosive, and aggressive.”

“I think that with Golden State, we match up better with them,” Henry continued. “We have lock down defenders that can defend the perimeter. Now it’s the question of who is going to guard Kawhi…”

Toronto could be the toughest team the Warriors have faced in the previous four NBA Finals. The Cleveland Cavaliers tried, but only managed to win once. For Henry, it’s not a matter of if the Raptors will win, but how many games it will take.

“Six, in The Six.” Henry said with confidence.

“I love the Toronto Raptors,” Henry beamed. “It’s really good to see that we’re in the finals.”

If the Raptors win game six at Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California, Henry will be ready to celebrate in his own special way. You won’t see him in his favourite purple Tracy McGrady jersey cheering on Yonge Street during a potential parade.

“Nope, I’m not into all of that.” Henry said.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s going to be an all Canadian battle on Friday night at B.C. Place as Vancouver Whitecaps FC take on bitter rivals, Toronto FC. Vancouver will be looking to continue their recent run of form with a victory over a 5-6-2, (17 points) Toronto FC squad that’s winless in their last five matches (0-4-1).

Vancouver has picked up valuable points over Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas. Whitecaps FC have 17 points, from a 4-6-5 record this season, and they’ll be looking to head into the MLS Gold Cup break on a high.

Even with the Canadian Championship, Vancouver and Toronto don’t play each other often enough. When they do get together, there’s always fireworks, and plenty of bragging rights, for several Canadians from ‘The Big Smoke’.

“It’s important, we want to finish off strong,” Ajax, Ontario native, Derek Cornelius explained to Har Journalist. “We want to end this difficult stretch on the right foot. Yeah, it’s my hometown, so of course I want to do well, and get the three points for the club.”

Vancouver goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau, is locked in and playing some of the best football of his career. Crepeau has solidified his role as a number one MLS shot-stopper, and he has recently come up with several quality saves of the spectacular variety.

The 25-year-old, Crepeau, relishes the opportunity to go up against a versatile Toronto FC side that features the ever dangerous Jozy Altidore, and first-year MLS magician, Alejandro Pozuelo. The dynamic duo lead Toronto’s offence with five goals each.

“Toronto is a team that’s been successful over the years,” Crepeau told Har Journalist following training. “They went to the cup final. Toronto is a team that can play with both systems. They can play 3-5-2, 4-3-3, and 4-4-2. They’re a good team, and we just have to maintain them, and we’ll be good.”

Vancouver skipper, Jon Erice, knows just what kind of exceptional talent, Altidore brings to a pitch. The former La Liga talent was a young prospect with Villarreal, when Erice first had a glimpse of his future potential.

“I saw Jozy Altidore when he was young, and playing in Spain,” Erice revealed. “He’s improved a lot, he’s a very very strong guy, strong player. A quality player. Michael Bradley, is one of the best players in MLS. One of the best midfielders, and we know him very well. They are a very good team, not only these two guys, and Pozuelo. They have a lot of good players.”

Whitecaps FC will be without the services of Brampton, Ontario native, Doneil Henry. The avid Toronto Raptors supporter will miss his second consecutive match with a left hamstring strain. Striker Joaquin Ardaiz, and winger, Lass Bangoura will also be unavailable. However, left-back, Ali Adnan, and winger Yordy Reyna are in contention.

Toronto FC also faces an injury crisis. Jonathan Osorio (hip / groin), Michael Bradley (hamstring), and Auro (hamstring) are all listed as questionable. It’s uncertain if any of the trio will travel to Vancouver today. Despite facing a depleted roster, Whitecaps FC coach Marc Dos Santos, isn’t about to underestimate Toronto FC.

“We know what we want to do,” Dos Santos explained. “I believe that there are seven to ten teams in the league that are just kind of vintage, top teams. Toronto is part of that group. How they invest, the fans, the fact that in the last three years, they went to two MLS Cup finals. Eight of the eleven starters are the core that went to the final. I know what they’re about. We’re always going to respect an opponent like Toronto. It’s going to be a tough game regardless of who comes here.”

While there might not be an edge on paper for either side. Vancouver can boast an advantage by just being at home. MLS western conference teams are on a fantastic run of form against their eastern conference foes. Western teams are 11-0-2 in their last thirteen matches against the east.

Might there be a new west coast v east coast beef underway on the pitch?

“It would be unfair for me to say that the western is stronger,” Dos Santos pondered. “I think that maybe in this moment right now, the teams of the west are just in a better form. Maybe travel affects, I’m not sure. It doesn’t mean that at any moment, teams like Atlanta have a lot of quality in their roster. New York Red Bulls can jump and become stronger.”

Whitecaps FC will be looking to jump all over a Toronto FC side that hasn’t found their stride in 2019. Vancouver’s key off-season pieces are finally starting to clicking, and the club looks to be finding some consistency. The centre of the universe could be in for tough night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s back to back results for Vancouver Whitecaps FC at B.C. Place after earning a 1-1 draw at home to the Philadelphia Union. Doneil Henry opened the scoring with his second goal of the season, only to see Kacper Przybylko score in the second half.

A crowd of 17,835 was on hand to see Whitecaps FC improve to 1-5-3 on the season.

While Vancouver created numerous scoring opportunities they had trouble finishing in the final third. Coach Marc Dos Santos was left feeling frustrated by the result.

“We did enough to win the game,” Dos Santos said post-match. “We created enough opportunites, but if you don’t finish your chances, you’re always playing on the edge. In this league the teams are good, everybody has some qualities. So you can’t play like that all the time in the edge. I felt that we did enough in the 90 minutes overall to win the game and today we lost two points.”

In his first career MLS start, Pennsylvania native, Matt Freese, made four saves. The 20-year-old, was cool under pressure as he made sure his team earned a valuable point on the road.

“It felt really great to be in net,” Freese told reporters. “Looking back at the whole game, it was definitely an exciting game. It was fast paced, especially on the turf. That was a pretty even match, both sides getting some chances. I think we played well, it wasn’t our best game, but I’m really happy that we fought back and got the point in the end.”

Yordy Reyna was the most noticeable Whitecap in the opening forty-five. The Peruvian international was had his best showing of the season. Reyna hit the crossbar in the 14th’ minute. He also had an opportunity to score in the 35′ minute, when Freese was forced into making a terrific point blank save.

“Yordy does everything that I think a number nine should do,” Dos Santos explained. “He deserves the goal, but it’s an example for the other number nines also to look at. When he doesn’t have the ball he’s very loyal to the team. He runs, he steps, he presses, not only the centre back but if their defensive midfielder has the ball, he turns and he comes in and presses them.”

Whitecaps FC broke through with the opening goal of the match in the 41 minute. Centre back, Doneil Henry smashed home a header off a Ali Adnan corner. The Union failed to cover Henry, and his second goal of the season gave Vancouver a 1-0 advantage.

Vancouver looked to double their lead after the interval. Reyna was off to the races, but he was just too fast. He chipped Freese, and began his goal celebration before his tally was called back for being offside.

“He’s always in movement,” Dos Santos said. “Always trying to make important runs. Then again he needs to be sharper when he’s around the box, but he knows that, he’s working on it. Today he deserved a goal, it’s very sad that he had to come out because I felt that we were good in the game. Coming out it forced a substitution, and we lost a bit of [momentum] once he came off.”

It wasn’t all good news for Yordy Reyna, and he was forced to exit the match in the 65′ minute. Reyna pulled up and looked to be favouring his left hamstring. He was helped off the pitch, and replaced by striker, Joaquin Ardaiz.

Philadelphia quickly tied the match 1-1 in the 66 minute. Ali Adnan lost the ball, and Kacper Przybylko was in a prime position to race in on Max Crepeau. The 26-year-old picked the perfect time to score his first career MLS goal, in his first MLS start.

“When I scored the goal, there was no feeling, but I just wanted to continue and to win the game, and to score the next goal.”

Whitecaps FC did everything they needed to do, except earn all three points. The Caps dictated play, had plenty of scoring chances, but could not break the Union. Philadelphia played a strong road match. It was clearly a match of two points lost for the home side.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Maxime Crepeau; Ali Adnan, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Jake Nerwinski; Russell Teibert, Jon Erice(C), In-Boem Hwang; Victor PC Giro, 79 (Lass Bangoura), Yordy Reyna, 65 (Joaquin Ardaiz), Lucas Venuto. 4-3-3

Philadelphia Union Starting XI: Matt Freese; Ray Gaddis, Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott, Olivier Mbaizo; Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya(C), Brenden Aaronson, 60 (Picault), Jamiro Monteiro; Kacper Pryzbylko, David Accam, 75 (Warren Creavalle). 4-4-2

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my latest story on Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

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VANCOUVER, B.C –  Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, an opportunity to help open doors, shine a spotlight on mental health issues and raise awareness to help end the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Everyone knows somebody battling mental health issues. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or what you’ve done in life. There are no days off. Mental health awareness is important and it’s crucial that people are more open to talking about it.

How important is mental health?

“Extremely important,” Whitecaps FC’s Russell Teibert told reporters this week. “It’s a topic of conversation globally now in any work place, setting. Whether it’s a kid in elementary school or someone working a nine to five job, or even in professional sports. It’s a topic that needs to be talked about.”

“We’re fortunate to have Bell as a sponsor. They’re on the front of our jerseys, our super cool jerseys. It’s important for it to be talked about. That’s what it is, Bell Let’s Talk.”

Athletes are constantly under pressure to perform and live up to their contracts. Players, fans, and media demand to see them at their best. Just like you, when you’re not always at your best, athletes sometimes don’t deliver in the crunch.

“A lot of people probably don’t even know that they suffer from something like this,” Whitecaps FC’s Doneil Henry told Har Journalist. “It’s good to just engage in conversation, and let people know that it’s good to get things of their chest and raise awareness of what it is. That’s the key.”

We live in a society with less, and less privacy. Social media is a great online tool that allows you to express yourself, but it can also cause hurt. Everyone goes through life’s challenges. Talking about those challenges can help end the stigma and raise awareness.

“I think now with even social media, information, and everything that you have as information,” Coach Marc Dos Santos explained. “Just regularly everyday, people are becoming more aware of a lot of different types of issues. It’s a good initiative from everybody to highlight that, and make everybody aware, and sensitive to a cause like this.”

The 26 year-old Teibert doesn’t want people to be afraid of opening up and sharing life’s obstacles. The more you talk about something, the less likely you are to be consumed, worried and afraid of it.

“Everyone goes through mental health,” Teibert said. “No matter who you are, how extreme, or severe, everybody goes through mental health. A friend of mine who I met through a charitable organization explained mental health the best to me.”

“Mental health is like weeds in the garden. If you don’t do the weeding in the garden, what you’re trying to grow will not prosper. If you talk about it. If you’re open with it and you understand that mental health is not something to be hidden or to be afraid of. You’ll end up being able to talk about it with ease and confidence, and know that it’s not something you should hide or fear.”

If you get hit in the head, sprain your foot, or break your hand, you get treatment and a return to play recovery schedule. There’s always a plan to bounce back from a physical injury. The same can’t be said for mental health issues. You can go to the doctor for both, but only one is generally talked about and visually seen.

That needs to change.

“If you have a hamstring strain, you do the necessary things to treat that injury,” Teibert explained. “It’s not something that…. oh the hamstring will get better on its own. It’s something that you need to address. There’s things that you can do to address your mental health. Whether that is talking about it or seeing a professional that can help you. I think the most important thing is having a strong background whether that’s your family, support team, that’s able to help you and coach you through it.”

If you need help or someone to talk to find support among your family, and friends.

“In life we go through different situations that are unique,” Dos Santos added. “It’s always good to be surrounded by good friends, family, and people that love you to make sure that you’re in the right environment to grow, and achieve your dreams regardless of the position you’re in.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day is a once a year innovative, but it’s a strong reminder that we all can do more to continue raising awareness to help our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbours dealing mental health issues.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for Whitecaps FC player reaction on Canada Soccer’s hiring of John Herdman for the men’s national soccer team.

http://bit.ly/2nf22i3

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