Casual Friday: Super Overdue Edition
It’s been nearly three months since our last Casual Friday, where we informally shine a spotlight on the odds-and-ends of all things CPL.
I meant to publish this before Christmas, and then before February. In true John fashion, here we are now within none of those timeframes.
Now, listen, I’ll admit: I’ve let too much time go by as this list built. Some of the things here stretch all the way back to the World Cup, so it’s a fairly large dip into the the odds and ends of CPL culture. Strap in and enjoy the ride!
Waiting For Forge FC News? Just Watch A Different Forge FC!
I wrote this a long, long time before the CPL simply dropped the Forge roster, but…I wanted to keep this in anyway.
Canadian Premier League fans who have ever awaited a new season know that Forge FC is one of the quietest clubs in terms of timely roster transparency. To be fair, Bobby Smyrniotis has retained the majority of his key players throughout the club’s first four seasons, so there’s less news to share overall – though the club is also the least transparent regarding any of the process.
So, if you’re stuck waiting on Forge FC news, maybe just root on for the Lincoln & District Sunday League version of the club (no relation), with The Forge FC – from Gainsborough, we’re told – who recently featuring in the County Cup fourth round. They also look to have some orange stylings, so it’s an easy team to root for if you’re a very bored Forge fan.
You can’t fight fate, though – even the British Sunday League edition of Forge FC hasn’t revealed their line-up, and they’ve already played a match last week.
What Could Have Been
Someone on Twitter pointed to a UEFA Ones To Watch list from 2018, and on it featured a name that, to be honest, even some Canadian Premier League familiars might not know: Martin Graiciar.
He was 17-years-old at the time of the list, with the Fiorentina youngster already progressing in the Czech Republic U-19 side. Touted as a promising youngster amongst the likes of Phil Foden, Rodri, and Matthijs de Ligt, his career hasn’t exactly continued in a similar trajectory – in fact, he had nearly quit the game by the time 2022 rolled around.
A spell with York United was supposed to put things back on track, but a preseason injury put Graiciar out for the season. The 23-year-old quietly agreed to mutual terminate his contract with the Nine Stripes following the season, and it remains to be seen what will come next for him.
Canadian Premier League x World Cup
This ought to tell you how late we are in putting up a Casual Friday – we’ve still got content from the World Cup sitting here! The 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup is now done and dusted, but it was wonderful to see Canadian Premier League fans proudly touting their local clubs on the world’s biggest stage.
Oh, and the Forge fan who posted from Tim Horton’s in Doha? Chef’s kiss.
Hey, CPL Merch People? Look.
Look, I’m not saying I’d play with 3D miniatures of Canadian Premier League athletes if they made them, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t.
Local Toronto company Selftraits joined in the football festivities late last year with a tweet that went largely unnoticed, but I’ve got to give this love. Out of everything that could have been made, we’ve got a 3D mini of a Guelph University athlete, and I just love how local that is.
FIFA 23 Mod Brings CPL To Your PC
While the Canadian Premier League officially graces our screens in Football Manager, fans are still waiting for Vancouver-based EA Sports to add CPL content to the world-acclaimed FIFA franchise – heck, we’ve been asking them about it before we even launched Northern Tribune.
An intrepid York United fan is modding the Canadian top flight into FIFA 23 on PC, allowing for some really slick visuals and matchups for gamers to take in. You can even watch York United take on Toronto FC in a virtual recreation of 2021’s Canadian Championship clash, too.
By the way, this is the same fan who nearly got a Yorky tattoo. This man is dedicated: Dread him. Run from him. Coach Juan still arrives.
Forge-y The Snowman
Hamilton has always been a sports town, and plenty of houses around the city are proudly representing the city’s sports teams. Forge staffer Tom Walker caught sight of a rather unique one while out and about recently: a snowman draped in a bright orange Forge FC cape.
Frosty – or Forgey, if you rather – was there smiling away all through the night after last weekend’s bout of snow. You’d be smiling too if your three-time league champions began announcing the returnees!
Together From Aways: Even In The English Premier League
Eagled-eyed observers taking in Everton’s match against Southampton earlier this month spotted a familiar flag sported pitchside: it was none other than that of the Halifax Wanderers.
Together from aways, indeed!
Halifax fans Mike and John Kirk were responsible for putting the CPL on the big screen for viewers around the globe, though their beloved Everton fell to a 1-2 defeat on the day. While you can catch both the Wanderers and Everton on fuboTV, it’s usually not in the same match!
Zator’s Support Never Limited By Geography
One thing that has always been fun to watch is how dedicated Zator’s family is when it comes to supporting him. Their giant cardboard heads and spandex body suits got their start back in his Cavalry FC days, making the trek to Tim Hortons Field for the first leg of the CPL Final and eventually trading red-for-green when he signed with York United.
Now that Zator has signed with Korona Kielce in the Polish top flight, his family still represents him well, decked out in club gear with giant heads aplenty. You just love to see it.
AI Generates Horror – Er, We Mean Canadian Soccer Mascots
If you think Yorky was questionable, check out what Casey Telford had an artificial intelligence generate. We’ve got a horror football, a creature missmatch, a…thing* (*not a guarantee), and a Rorschach clown who will probably spring up in your dreams tonight.
We don’t know what’s even behind the clown guy, either. It’s like a football pitch and stadium is there, but at the same time it’s not. Is that Langley?
Next Stop: Christmas
This was the original closing line I had for this, so I just wanted to leave it in as a reminder for how belated I am with these things sometimes. Anyone want a Tass Mourdoukoutas interview from, like, August? I’ve got it. Then I went to Australia and never posted about an Australian player from there. I’ve got 169 old posts in drafts. I weep.
That’s All, Folks!
If you journeyed with me throughout what became a very long post, bless your soul.
I half-heartedly promise it won’t be too long until the next one of these. It’s always fun to post about the little odds and ends that happen – after all, the Canadian Premier League is a lot more than what happens on the pitch.