Chris Young

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Chris Young is a writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of sports and news for the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, including seven World Cup finals and one glorious Euro 2004.

  • James Corden plays Wenger for a day, takes over at Arsenal

    On Saturday, Arsene Wenger marks 20 years as manager at Premier League side Arsenal, a longevity record that few coaches can match nowadays.

    But for one day during the club's preseason trip to Los Angeles, Wenger turned over the reins to James Corden of the Late Late Show, for a training session in which he leads the club through a singalong on the bus, some creative drills and of course, goal celebrations, including "Bellerin's frying pan." ("An hour totally wasted," deadpanned the titular Hector Bellerin.)

    "There's no 'I' in team," says Corden. "But there is me."

    Well played, mate. And maybe this Saturday, we'll see the frying pan. We can only hope.

     

     

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  • Oh baby! Bob Cole gets his Order of Canada

    Bob Cole received his Order of Canada on Friday. At this point, the honours seem almost redundant: for so many years now, Cole has been the voice of Canada, the soundtrack to our ongoing national obsession with hockey. And the man can tweet. In his own. Voice!

    At 83, Cole is English Canada’s answer to Vin Scully, both of them having gone from heirs to a tradition to gold standards -- in Scully’s case, taking over from legendary baseball voice Mel Allen, while Cole has been the follow-on from Foster Hewitt (trivia note: while Hewitt was winding up his career by calling Henderson’s goal in the ‘72 Summit Series nearly half a century ago, Cole was doing the same for CBC Radio as he moved along the road that took him eventually in the late 1980s to lead duties on Hockey Night in Canada).

    On the occasion of

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  • That's cold: Iceland left out of FIFA 17 reboot

    Remember Team Iceland at last summer's Euro?

    Course you do. After qualifying for the first time as the smallest nation to ever reach a major soccer finals, the unheralded side from the Nordic island country of 330,000 got out of their group to beat England in the knockouts and finally were dispatched at the quarterfinal stage by France – but not before sending the country into delirium, winning fans around the world and introducing the VIking Clap that's since become a staple around stadiums this season.

    But if you've got the FIFA 17 reboot on your fall shopping list, you won't be able to play Gylfi Sigurdsson & Co. After an offer of $15,000 U.S. from game developer EA Sports for the rights to include them for the first time, the country's FA said no thanks and had its counter-offer rejected, according to its president Geir Thorsteinsson in a BBC report:

    "They are the ones buring these rights and they almost want it for free. I really feel if we are giving away rights, or offering

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  • Team North America wins a classic, if not the chance to go on

    Team North America's Auston Matthews celebrates with teammates after scoring against Sweden during the first period on Wednesday. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP)Team North America's Auston Matthews celebrates with teammates after scoring against Sweden during the first period on Wednesday. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP)

    If this was indeed the last act of hockey’s North American team this week, they couldn’t have gone out in more rousing fashion.

    Nathan McKinnon’s overtime goal finally decided a 4-3 win over Sweden and ended the latest instalment of a show that has been the most irresistible thing going at this otherwise quite resistible World Cup of Hockey renewal. To find out whether there will be a curtain call, though, we’ll have to wait until Thursday afternoon at Toronto's Air Canada Centre when Russia, holding the tiebreaker thanks to a 4-3 win earlier, can send them all out of the last semifinal spot and on to their NHL training camps with a win over Finland, a team that’s managed to score but one goal in two losses for their tournament.

    No matter how that works out, it shouldn’t diminish one way or another just how much glitter and glam the Under-24 side has brought to a stodgy continental bottom line so far. While the United States imploded in a cloud of grit and Canada has marched

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  • Canada still waiting for a challenge at the World Cup of Hockey

    TORONTO  Two games into the World Cup of Hockey, and we’ve yet to see Canada seriously pushed. Or play their best hockey, as they kept insisting after comprehensively beating the United States and in the process embarrassing the Americans’ hockey setup on Tuesday night.

    Perhaps it was always going to be this way for Canada, with the last two Olympic gold medals in their drawers at home and the Air Canada Centre ice in Toronto the only spot for this occasional non-Olympic “best-on-best” renewal. The manner in which they've gone about their business has only underlined that.

    Canada vs. U.S. was supposed to be one of this tournament’s touchstone rivalries. Instead, the 4-2 dispatch of the visitors was tepid stuff, spectacular only in terms of how ineffectual and even inane the USA’s “gritty” approach in team-building ahead of this renewal turned out, and how divergent a path the teams have been on since their epic overtime gold-medal game in Vancouver six years ago.

    Put it on top of a

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  • North America U23 on the rise, including on the odds board

    That sure didn't take long. About as long as McDavid to Matthews to Eichel, turns out, as this Team North America have gone from longshot on the World Cup of Hockey odds board to favoured to knock off Russia in Monday night's feature, and now the third choice to win the whole tournament.

    That's a pretty staggering turnaround in terms of perception. Online sportsbook Bodog pegged Team North America's 23-and-under young 'uns as 11-to-1 to win the tournament just before it began, with Russia the four-to-1 second choice behind favoured Canada. Earlier in the summer, the kids were as long as 20-to-1.

    Now, off a pair of contrasting openers - NA was way too much for Finland in their opener, while Russia looked humdrum in losing to Sweden - and the kids are favoured to beat the Russians and go to 2-0 according to the latest odds on Monday's game, and sit right behind Sweden at 4-to-1 to win the tournament, while Russia has dropped to fourth in the reckoning at 9-to-1. In Europe the spread

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  • Welcome to the club, Adrian Peterson - mind the beer and nachos

    The new home of the Minnesota Vikings was unveiled Sunday night – the US Bank Stadium, it's called, and already it's being hailed for something other than state-of-the-art design at public expense.

    When Adrian Peterson was helped off the field with a knee injury, his route took him through the Delta Sky360 Club, one of the stadium's club districts located between the Vikings' locker room and field level, including a patio behind the team's sideline bench.

    With new and redesigned stadiums adding these kind of features to "improve" – read monetize – the well-heeled fan's experience, these sort of moments may well become more norm than exception. Unless someone figures out either an alternate route to the infirmary, or realizes that maybe something like a torn ACL isn't the most appetizing a la carte option

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  • Triathlon's Brownlees deliver winning display of brotherly sportsmanship

    A world triathlon title was up for grabs in Cozumel on Sunday, but sometimes there are more important things to take care of: like your brother.

    So it went for the Brownlees of Britain, when Jonny headed into the final kilometre in the lead at the Triathlon World Series and on the verge of the 2016 WTS championship but suddenly in trouble, weaving and bonking in the hot and humid conditions.

    His brother in third place Alistair Brownlee, the two-time Olympic champion, coming up from behind, helped Jonny up and the two made their way to the finish while South African Henri Schoeman ran by for the victory. Jonny, meantime, propped up by his brother, made it one step over the finish line before collapsing to the track. A win would have won him the world title, but the result in Mexico meant he finished second in the world championship race to Spain's Mario Mola.

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  • World Cup of Hockey's big show about nothing set to begin

     

    It’s a money grab, a tournament with a sporadic history and without much of an identity, a chest-beater, and the grandest gathering of hockey talent ever -- much of the conversation ahead of the optimistically named “World Cup of Hockey” is on point, even if it seems to also miss the point. As an event, this appears to be headed into the territory suggested in that oft-quoted line describing Seinfeld -- a show about nothing.

    Its elements run from the improvisational -- the mix of national and made-up teams to make up a field of eight -- to the avant, as in the Frank Gehry-designed trophy that victorious Canadians passed around as if it was radioactive 12 years ago. As for the exclusively Air Canada Centre schedule, it merely confirms the general national perception that Toronto should just get over itself.

    TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 14: Wayne Gretzky, center, and the rest of Team Canada pose for a group photo with the championship trophy after defeating Finland in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey Championship game on September 14, 2004 at the Air Canda Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Canada defeated Finland 3-2 to win the World Cup of Hockey. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 14: Wayne Gretzky, center, and the rest of Team Canada pose for a group photo with the championship trophy after defeating Finland in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey Championship game on September 14, 2004 at the Air Canda Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Canada defeated Finland 3-2 to win the World Cup of Hockey. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

    Whether anyone will care about this strange thing in great detail isn’t much in question -- we will, for sure, and not always by choice, witness the relentless advertising blitz

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  • North America's kids trying the impossible at World Cup of Hockey

    This group with North America on its shirts, a made-up concoction that’s equal parts youthful branding exercise and hockey team, is the closest thing this World Cup of Hockey has to a true wild-card.

    Pretty much everyone else, including the home-country favourites and even the patchwork that’s wearing the uniform of battered and beleaguered Europe, are known quantities. Then along come these punks, each of them according to the tournament format 23 years old and under, most of them oozing puck-carrying skills and skating like the wind, all of them apparently fearing nothing, and it’s an intriguing experiment. At least until they go splat all over the Air Canada Centre ice.

    Because they will. An inevitable rule that plays out over and over again in any team game concerns finding the right mix of youth and experience. It’s been left up to Todd McLellan to assemble something resembling coherence out of the unformed potential he’s been dealt as head coach of the North Americans, and the

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Pagination

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