The Honduras national soccer team was on the lookout for Canadian spies on Tuesday, ahead of their match against Canada this week.
A drone was spotted in the sky, forcing Honduras to pause practice for fear of falling victim to Canadian espionage. Canada and Honduras kick off the final round of World Cup qualifying on Thursday with a match at BMO Field.
Their coach had to “take action on suspicions of possibly Canadian spies,” according to a report in Honduran publication Diez.
Honduras stopped practice until the drone left the airspace.
Se reportan espías…
Desde la concentración del equipo de todos hay malestar por lo que evidentemente es un acto de espionaje en torno al trabajo de preparación previo al juego de este jueves.
— Carlos Ordóñez (@ocarloshn) September 1, 2021
“Spies are reported,” reporter Carlos Ordonez said in the above tweet, translated from Spanish. “From the concentration of everyone’s team there is discomfort for what is obviously an act of espionage around the preparation work prior to the game this Thursday.”
Team Canada head coach John Herdman had a different explanation when speaking to reporters about the drone today.
“I imagine that there’s probably a lot of people in Canada that fly drones, I’m sure,” said Herdman. “And when a big team like Honduras turn up, I’m sure people are probably interested in what they’re doing when they come into our country.
“We won’t be heading into people’s countries too early because… with drones these days people can obviously capture footage. You’ve got to be really careful. So, yeah, you got to be careful in CONCACAF. It’s a tricky, tricky place.”
Fans trying to influence the outcome of matches with off-field antics is nothing new in CONCACAF.
Canada often has to deal with rowdy fans in Central America trying to disrupt their sleep prior to away matches. Prior to a match in Panama in 2012, fans held a street party outside of Canada’s hotel, which included the lighting of fireworks the night before a World Cup qualifier.
While we don’t know who flew the drone in Toronto, Honduras does have reason to be a bit paranoid.
The top three teams in the upcoming eight-team competition will qualify for the World Cup, with the fourth-place team advancing to an inter-confederation playoff. Canada and Honduras both have a great shot to earn World Cup berths, as the fifth and sixth ranked teams in Concacaf, so the matches between them are of heightened importance.
With elite talent like Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David on the roster, there’s real optimism that this generation of Canadian players can get our country back to soccer’s brightest stage.
This is the first time in 24 years that Canada has reached the final stage of qualifying in Concacaf. Canada last qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1986 — the first and only time in our country’s history.
As a bonus, it appears the games will be televised in Canada. National team matches in recent years were only seen on online streaming site OneSoccer, as fans wondered why TSN or Sportsnet wouldn’t step up to secure the television rights.
All three of Canada’s 2022 World Cup qualifying matches this window will be shown live on major Canadian TV networks.
— Ben Steiner (@BenSteiner00) September 1, 2021
That appears to be a thing of the past, as Thursday’s match against Honduras will televised on Sportsnet, beginning at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT. Sunday’s match will be seen on TSN, while the September 8 match against El Salvador can be seen on Sportsnet.
Lululemon named official Canadian outfitter for next four Olympics | Offside – Daily Hive
Lululemon will be officially heading to the Olympics.
The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees announced Thursday a partnership with the Canadian clothing brand Lululemon, making it the country’s official outfitter of Team Canada for the next four Olympics.
“As a Canadian and lifelong fan of the Games, I could not be prouder for Lululemon to partner with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee,” said Calvin McDonald, the CEO of Lululemon in a release. “Supporting these incredible athletes as they prepare to compete on the world’s largest sporting stage is a privilege. Through this partnership, all of us at Lululemon are honoured to play our part to inspire, unite and transform the world through sport and share in this excitement alongside all of Canada.”
A small selection of Lululemon Olympic apparel is available online and in-store already, with more to be revealed next month.
The partnership will start at the Beijing 2022 Games, continuing through 2024 in Paris, 2026 in Milan, and 2028 in Los Angeles.
This replaces the Hudson’s Bay partnership that first began in Torino 2006 and expired after Tokyo 2020.
While it’s Lululemon’s first official Olympic partnership, they actually launched a collection that appeared to be heavily inspired by Vancouver 2010.
— Zarah Al-Kudcy (@zalkudcy) July 28, 2016
San Jose Sharks open training camp without Evander Kane amid NHL investigation – ESPN
The Sharks took the ice for the first time this season Thursday, a day after Kane was cleared by the NHL of gambling allegations. But with the league still looking into allegations of physical and sexual abuse made by his estranged wife, Kane and the Sharks decided he will not take part in practice until further notice.
“It’s not ideal, but there is an ongoing investigation from the NHL,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “The focus has to be on our group here, the guys that are here today and the things that we can control, but also respect the process of dealing with some very serious allegations and some things that need to be addressed with the right process.”
The Kane saga has been hanging over the Sharks for weeks after Anna Kane alleged in an Instagram post this summer that Kane bet on NHL games and was “obviously throwing games to win money.”
That launched a probe by the league, and the NHL said Wednesday there was no evidence to back up those charges and that the investigation “raises doubts about the veracity of the allegations.”
But Anna Kane also made additional allegations this week of sexual and physical abuse in a restraining order application filed in Santa Clara County Family Court.
Kane’s attorney denied those charges, but the team said it came to an agreement with Kane that he won’t participate in camp until further notice while the league looks into the allegations.
None of the players made available to the media would comment on the specifics.
“No one knew about anything and no one still knows about anything,” defenseman Erik Karlsson said. “We’re here to focus on the things that we can control and everything other than that is out of our hands.”
There was also a report this offseason from The Athletic that there was a rift between Kane and his teammates, many of whom don’t want him back on the team.
Kane’s teammates said any issues would be dealt with privately in the dressing room and they were happy with the mindset of the group that was on hand for the start of camp.
“I thought today was a real good day,” captain Logan Couture said. “When you get to the rink, you show up, you play hockey, you work hard. You play for the guy next to you. Everyone that’s here is proud to be a San Jose Shark and we want to win for this organization.”
Kane’s absence will be felt on the ice as he was the team’s most consistent forward last season, when he led the Sharks with 22 goals and 49 points.
If Kane can’t play, San Jose will have a hard time reversing the dramatic fall the team has taken the past two seasons after making it to the Western Conference finals in 2019.
“We all just play,” defenseman Brent Burns said. “It’s no different than anything else. At the end of the day, we just make coffee in the morning, come to the rink, get ready to play and you do it. I don’t think it’s any different than guys getting hurt, not being there for lineup. We don’t worry about that stuff. We can’t. There’s too much other stuff.”
The Sharks finished last in the Western Conference in 2019-20 — firing coach Peter DeBoer in December — and they took only small steps forward last season when they finished near the bottom of the West Division with 49 points in the first full season under Boughner.
They made few big moves in the offseason outside of buying out ineffective goalie Martin Jones, acquiring Adin Hill from Arizona in a trade and signing James Reimer for a second stint with the organization. The Sharks’ .891 save percentage over the past three seasons is the lowest in the NHL.
They also added some depth forwards in Nick Bonino and Andrew Cogliano, but there will still be questions about whether there’s enough firepower on the top two lines, which will be an even greater concern if Kane doesn’t play.
Canadian Hubbard replaces injured McCaffrey as Panthers beat Texans – Sportsnet.ca
HOUSTON — Thanks to another efficient performance from Sam Darnold and continued dominant play by their defense, the Carolina Panthers are 3-0 for the first time since 2015, when they reached the Super Bowl.
That combination was certainly too much for the Houston Texans in Carolina’s 24-9 victory on Thursday night. But a hamstring injury to star running back Christian McCaffrey could cause serious adversity for Darnold and the Panthers’ offense going forward.
“Losing Christian is tough, but I thought we did a great job of bouncing back,” Darnold said. “We were able to put the first half behind us and do a good job in the second half.”
Canadian rookie Chuba Hubbard replaced McCaffrey. The native of Sherwood Park, Alta., finished with 11 carries for 52 yards and added three catches for 27 yards.
Darnold threw for 304 yards and ran for two touchdowns as the Panthers eased past the Texans despite losing McCaffrey early in the second quarter.
“In the second half we trusted Sam,” coach Matt Rhule said. “We were throwing more verticals and pushing the ball down the field.”
Carolina’s top-ranked defense put the squeeze on Houston rookie Davis Mills in his first career start, sacking him four times and holding him to 168 yards passing. Mills was pressed into action after Tyrod Taylor suffered a hamstring injury last Sunday and was placed on injured reserve.
The Panthers have allowed 573 yards and totaled 14 sacks in three games.
Darnold topped 300 yards passing for the second straight game as he continues to revitalize his career with the Panthers after being cast aside by the New York Jets.
McCaffrey came in leading the league in scrimmage yards, the same thing he did in the 2019 season. But he missed all but three games in 2020 with various injuries as the Panthers sputtered to 5-11 in Rhule’s first year.
Rhule said McCaffrey had a strained hamstring.
“I don’t know the severity level of it yet, to be quite honest with you,” Rhule said. “But I knew the minute it happened I said: `Hey, he’s out for the game.’ That’s all I knew. I saw him in there, and he’s moving around, but it’s a wait and see.”
Darnold rushed for Carolina’s first score in the first quarter and put the game away when he bulled in from 1 yard out to make it 24-9 with about four minutes left, losing his helmet in the process.
Mills threw for a touchdown and avoided big mistakes after he threw an interception in the second half of Sunday’s loss at Cleveland. But the Texans (1-2) couldn’t run the ball, finishing with 42 yards on the ground, and that forced Mills into tough down-and-distance situations as Houston punted six times.
“We just weren’t very good on offense tonight … because we weren’t able to run the ball,” Texans coach David Culley said.
Mills’ favorite target was Brandin Cooks, who had nine receptions for 112 yards.
“I thought he was great,” Cooks said of the rookie. “He handled himself well.”
Darnold’s 5-yard run put the Panthers ahead early and McCaffrey was injured on Carolina’s next drive. Hubbard was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the Houston 5 to end that possession.
Hubbard, a fourth-round pick from Oklahoma State, finished with 11 carries for 52 yards and three receptions for 27 yards.
Anthony Miller grabbed a 1-yard touchdown pass about 30 seconds before halftime, but Joey Slye missed the extra point. Miller made his debut with the Texans after he missed the first two games with a shoulder injury.
Tommy Tremble dashed untouched into the end zone from 7 yards out to put Carolina ahead 14-6 in the third quarter. The teams traded field goals before Darnold’s short rush on third-and-goal capped a 12-play drive that put it away.
Carolina rookie CB Jaycee Horn, the eighth overall pick in the draft, suffered broken bones in his right foot, Rhule said. … Panthers S Juston Burris pulled a groin muscle and Rhule said he would miss some time.
HE SAID IT
“We just didn’t execute. We missed tackles. They were just making plays they were supposed to make and we weren’t making plays we were supposed to make.” — Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey.
Carolina visits Dallas on Oct. 3.
Houston visits Buffalo on Oct. 3.
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