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Cyberpunk 2077’s PC Player Base Has Shrunk 79 Percent Since Launch

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Cyberpunk 2077’s launch may have been a dumpster fire, but it was undeniably a successful dumpster fire; the company reported 13 million copies sold after taking refund requests into account. The game ran far better on PC than on consoles from launch, but new data suggests PC gamers are quitting in higher-than-expected numbers.

A report from GitHyp, a website that bills itself as a front-end for various gamer statistics, notes that while the game launched at over a million players, its total number of players of late has been much lower.

Even this graph actually understates things — yesterday’s maximum daily player count was only 155,000. GitHyp notes that while this isn’t necessarily unusual for a single-player game, open-world titles tend to be much stickier and to engage players for a longer period of time. Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t following this same trend line. GitHyp notes that the Witcher 3, while putting up much lower numbers in an absolute sense, held on to a larger percentage of its player base. It took The Witcher 3 three months to lose as much of its player base as CP2077 has lost in one.

Is this a long term problem for the company? I suspect not. First, with 13M overall sales, CDPR is going to be well-funded for quite some time. The company claimed it recouped development costs on preorders alone, and the 5M+ additional sales, plus what’s sold since it released that statement, is going to put them solidly in the black.

Second, I suspect a lot of players are waiting until the game is in better condition. If you were planning to play the game on a reasonably high-end PC, the issues swirling around the PS4/Xbox One mostly don’t apply to you. But the game is still buggy, even on PCs. CD Projekt Red has announced that it will put out a major patch in January, followed by a patch in February. If I was a PC player unhappy with the current state of the game, and I knew two large patches were coming, I’d probably just wait until they dropped and see how much the game improved. Visit forums talking about the game, and even a lot of people who are unhappy with the title today expect CDPR to fix it in the future. Given the long-term evolution of The Witcher 3, that’s not a crazy assessment.

A lot of the criticism of Cyberpunk 2077 that isn’t based on bugs or the console problems has pointed out that the plot, setting, and quests often feel incomplete or loosely stitched together. Combat and overall difficulty have also been criticized. These are issues that CDPR can address to some degree, either with patches or DLC. There’s a lot more precedent for believing the company will fix the game, based on how titles like No Man’s Sky, Final Fantasy XIV, Battlefront II, Destiny, and The Division 2 evolved after launch. One of the relatively new trends in gaming has been the emergence of titles that are not allowed to fail, and publishers willing to pour money into them until they’ve been rescued from the bottom of the bin.

Cyberpunk 2077’s launch will go down in history as a cautionary tale of how unscrupulous actors will mislead investors, the public, and reviewers about the state of a game. It may also evolve into a beloved title, especially if patches, DLC, and the eventual addition of multiplayer are seen as redeeming the game.

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Lewandowski facing Messi, Ronaldo for FIFA best player award

It’s Robert Lewandowski’s turn to try to stop Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo from winning the FIFA best player award.

The Bayern Munich forward joined the two standout players on the three-man shortlist announced Friday.

Lewandowski’s goals led Bayern to a sweep of titles this year — the Champions League, the German league, the German Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.

One of his 55 goals last season came in Bayern’s 8-2 rout of Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Lewandowski could become only the second player — after Luka Modric in 2018 — to deny Messi or Ronaldo since their run of FIFA domination started in 2008. Messi has won the award six times while Ronaldo has won it five times.

Two Bayern players are among those whose career years were good enough only for third place in previous votes, Franck Ribery in 2013 and Manuel Neuer in 2014.

The women’s best player shortlist includes Lucy Bronze, Wendi Renard and Pernille Harder. Bronze and Renard are teammates who won the European title with Lyon last season. Harder played on the team that lost in the final, Wolfsburg.

Harder won the UEFA award as the best women’s player in Europe last season. Lewandowski won the men’s award.

Neither Messi nor Ronaldo made it onto the three-man shortlist for the European award, voted on by coaches of top European clubs and media. Kevin De Bruyne was runner-up and Neuer finished third.

The FIFA award was voted on by a four-part worldwide jury: national team coaches and captains, media and fans.

Voting has closed and the winners will be announced on Thursday at a virtual ceremony hosted by FIFA.

Bayern coach Hansi Flick, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa are in the running for the men’s coaching award. The coaching award in women’s soccer will be between Jean-Luc Vasseur of Lyon, Emma Hayes of Chelsea and Sarina Wiegman of the Dutch national team.

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Alejandro Pozuelo 2nd Toronto FC player to be named MLS MVP

Toronto FC playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo is Major League Soccer’s most valuable player for 2020.

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder from Seville, Spain, was named Landon Donovan MLS MVP over Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake, Seattle midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro and forward Jordan Morris, and Los Angeles FC forward Diego Rossi on Monday.

All five were named to the league’s Best XI, while Blake was also voted goalkeeper of the year.

“I am honoured to be named MLS MVP,” Pozuelo said in a statement. “I want to thank my teammates and our coaching staff as this individual award shows we had a very good season. I am happy to be able to celebrate this award with my wife, my kids and all my friends here in Spain.”

Pozuelo tied for the MLS lead in assists with 10, while finishing tied for eighth in goals with nine in 23 games. He led the league in combined goals and assists (19), chances created (70) and game-winning goals (5).

“Poz had a great season, and we are very happy that he is receiving this award,” said Toronto general manager Ali Curtis. “We also believe that while the MVP is given to one, it is an award that is reflective of the group. This year was challenging in so many ways, but Poz is a competitor, he’s passionate about the game, and he is more than deserving of this award.”

Missed only 55 minutes of regular season

Signed as a designated player in March 2019, Pozuelo has 23 goals and 25 assists in 61 appearances in all competitions for Toronto.

He showed his durability by becoming the first TFC player to start in every regular-season match in a season. He ranked ninth in the league in minutes played (2,015 minutes), missing just 55 minutes of the regular season.

Toronto (13-5-5) went 9-1-4 when Pozuelo scored or had an assist this season.

He joins Italian star Sebastian Giovinco (2015) as the only Toronto player to win the MVP award.

Pozuelo won 35.35 per cent of the vote by MLS players, club officials and media. Rossi was second (17.80), ahead of Lodeiro (10.58), Morris (8.49) and Blake (4.91).

“Congratulations to Alejandro on being awarded the highest of honours in MLS,” said Toronto president Bill Manning. “Since joining our club in 2019 Alejandro’s contributions on the field and in the locker room have been incredible. This year he emerged as one of our leaders and was the chief catalyst as our team finished with the second-highest points per game in the league. This is a well-deserved MVP award for Alejandro.”

Pozuelo was named the MLS player of the month for September and to the MLS team of the week on five occasions.

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CBC | Soccer News

Toronto FC’s Pozuelo, ‘arguably the best player in MLS,’ awaits MVP announcement

An unfulfilled Toronto FC season that ended in a first-round playoff exit and the departure of popular coach Greg Vanney could still deliver something to celebrate Monday.

Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo is a leading contender to win the Landon Donovan Major League Soccer MVP Award. The 29-year-old from Seville is up against Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake, Seattle midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro and forward Jordan Morris, and Los Angeles FC forward Diego Rossi for the honour.

All five were named to the league’s Best XI, while Blake was also voted goalkeeper of the year.

Also selected to the league all-star team in his 2019 debut season, Pozuelo is bidding to join Italian star Sebastian Giovinco (2015) as the only Toronto player to win the MVP award

For Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin, Pozuelo is the cream of the current crop.

“He’s one of the most fun, entertaining players to watch, plays with both feet, can get goals and assists,” Curtin said prior to meeting Toronto on Oct. 3.

The Spaniard tied for the MLS lead in assists with 10, while finishing tied for eighth in goals with nine. He led the league with five game-winning goals.

Pozuelo has also durable, the only Toronto player to start every game this season. He ranked ninth in the league in minutes played (2,015 minutes), missing just 55 minutes of the regular season.

‘He finds pockets and picks passes’

“In my eyes, he’s arguably the best player in the league,”Atlanta midfielder Mo Adams said prior to facing Toronto in mid-October.

“You’ve just got be mindful of not giving him too much space in terms of him getting his head up and threading passes between the lines,” he added. “He’s not as much of a dribbler like [Darlington] Nagbe or someone like that. But he’s really capable of splitting teams with his vision.”

“He’s definitely a great player,” added Atlanta defender Miles Robinson. “He finds those pockets and picks those passes that makes him elite in the league.”

Toronto’s reliance on Pozuelo was shown by the fact the team went 9-1-4 this season in games he registered a point. Including the playoffs, TFC was 4-5-1 when he didn’t.


Pozuelo, right, is among five finalists for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Nursing an undisclosed injury for the stretch run, Pozuelo was held off the scoresheet in four of Toronto’s final five regular-season games (2-0-3). He scored the 84th-minute winner from the penalty spot in a 2-1 victory over Inter Miami on Nov. 1.

Still ailing, Pozuelo was not at his best in the 1-0 playoff loss to Nashville SC on Nov. 24. Injury, fatigue and months of living in a hotel room away from family appeared to take their toll.

Whether Pozuelo’s form in the final games of the season impacts MVP voting remains to be seen. Voting closed Nov. 9, the day after the regular season ended.

But he was dominant for stretches of the campaign.

  • He returned from lockdown with a vengeance in July at the MLS is Back Tournament, setting up Toronto’s first five goals, including four by Ayo Akinola. He was also red-hot in September, earning MLS player of the month honours with four goals and two assists in six games.
  • He scored in Toronto’s first match in October, but cooled off after that with two goals and one assist in TFC’s final nine games, including the playoff loss.

Pozuelo registered 12 goals and 12 assists in 30 games in his debut year despite joining Toronto on the heels of a full season in Belgium with KRC Genk.

He came into this season refreshed, with more time off during the lockdown. The energy showed in his renewed commitment to defence.

“People will talk about his right foot and his left foot and his ability to play a final ball and his ability to shoot from distance with both feet,” Curtin said in the leadup to Philadelphia’s decisive 5-0 win over visiting Toronto on Oct. 24. “But what I actually like the most with his game is just how hard he works defensively for a team.

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CBC | Soccer News

TFC’s Osorio suspended for kicking Nashville player in groin during playoff loss

Midfielder Jonathan Osorio has been handed a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine for violent conduct in Toronto FC’s 1-0 playoff loss to Nashville SC.

Hacked to the ground in the 32nd minute by Nashville midfielder Alex Muyl, Osorio kicked up with his left leg while on the ground, catching Muyl in the groin area during the Nov. 24 match at East Hartford.

While Osorio escaped punishment from referee Robert Sibiga, the play was subsequently reviewed by the MLS disciplinary committee.

The committee is allowed to step in in cases where the Professional Referees Organization (PRO) acknowledges an on-field referee or video review error — and the committee is unanimous that the play warrants at least a one-match suspension as a “clear and unequivocal red card, is egregious and/or repeat behaviour in nature, and/or the committee must act to protect player safety or the integrity of the game.”

Osorio will serve his suspension in Toronto’s first match of the 2021 regular season.

WATCH | Toronto FC eliminated by Nashville:

Daniel Rios scored in the 108th minute as Nashville SC upset Toronto FC 1-0 in round one of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. 1:40

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Kadeisha Buchanan named Canada’s top women’s soccer player

Hard-nosed Olympique Lyonnais defender Kadeisha Buchanan, who won her fourth Champions League title in 2020 and helped Canada qualify for the Olympics, has been named Canadian Women’s Soccer Player of the Year for a third time.

Like Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies, voted Canada’s top men’s player on Thursday, the 25-year-old from Brampton, Ont., lifted the Champions League trophy this year. But while it was a first for the 20-year-old Davies, Buchanan is a four-time winner of the European club competition with French powerhouse Lyon.

“For Kadeisha to have played an integral part in her fourth UEFA Champions League speaks to one of her many accomplishments and contributions to both club and country in which she should be very proud,” Canada women’s coach Bev Priestman said in a statement. “It has been a fantastic season for Kadeisha and it has been great to see her performances and the goals she has scored, too.

“She has world-class qualities that any country would be proud to have and she is a highly valued member of the squad both on and off the pitch, so we are thrilled for her personally in receiving this well-deserved recognition. As a team, to know you have a centre back that opposing forwards hate to play against, it fills the group with confidence.”

WATCH | Lyon wins Champions League title for 5th-straight year:

Lyon have won seven of the last 10 Champions League championships with a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg. 1:05

Buchanan finished ahead of Canada captain Christine Sinclair in voting by Canadian coaches and media. Manchester City’s Janine Beckie and Paris Saint-Germain’s Ashley Lawrence and Jordyn Huitema completed the top five in voting.

Sinclair also had a memorable year.

The 37-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., moved atop soccer’s all-time goal-scoring list — for both men and women — on Jan. 29 at the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Edinburg, Texas.

WATCH | Bring It In with Morgan Campbell, Pilot Episode:

In the pilot episode of Bring It In with Morgan Campbell, panelists Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin discuss the history made by Sarah Fuller, debate the need for novelty events in sports and participate in a rapid game of In or Out on this week’s biggest stories. 34:24

Sinclair, a 14-time winner of the Canadian Player of the Year award, notched goals No. 184, 185 and 186 at the tournament to pass retired American Abby Wambach.

While Sinclair is a soccer legend, one can argue that Buchanan is Canada’s most decorated soccer player, among men and women.

She has won the women’s European club crown and French league title all four years since making her pro debut in 2017. She has also won the French Cup three times. A winner of the Canadian Player of the Year Award in 2015 and 2017, Buchanan’s trophy case also includes an Olympic bronze medal (Rio 2016) and three CONCACAF silver medals.

At the 2015 World Cup, she won the Hyundai Young Player Award and was chosen to the tournament all-star team.

Buchanan has remarkably lost just four competitive club matches since joining Lyon from West Virginia University in January 2017. An athletic, physical defender who is good in the air, Buchanan has been paired with French star Wendie Renard at the heart of the Lyon defence.

Buchanan featured in 17 games for Lyon this year, scored three goals and was a major part of the team’s 20-match unbeaten streak across all league, cup and UEFA competitions from Jan. 12 to Nov. 13.

Lyon on a roll

Lyon had gone an amazing 73 matches without defeat prior to a 1-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain last month. PSG was the last team to beat Lyon in any competition, 1-0 in the French Cup final in May 2018.

The streak was even longer — 80 matches — stretching back to December 2016 in French league play.

Buchanan played in all seven of Lyon’s Champions League matches in 2019-20. And she played every minute at centre back in August when Lyon dispatched Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals, Paris Saint-Germain in the semifinals, and VfL Wolfsburg in the championship game in San Sebastian, Spain.

Buchanan helped blunt Wolfsburg’s Ewa Pajor and Pernille Harder, the Bundesliga’s back-to-back scoring leaders, in a 3-1 win as Lyon completed a 2019-20 treble.

Buchanan was 14 when she made her debut in the Canadian youth program in 2010 and 17 when she made her senior debut in January 2013.

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Alphonso Davies voted Canada’s top men’s soccer player

Alphonso Davies, who drew worldwide acclaim while helping Bayern Munich fill its trophy case in a remarkable 2020, has been named Canadian Men’s Player of the Year.

The 20-year-old from Edmonton also captured the award in 2018, then the youngest-ever winner of the men’s award at age 18. He was named Canada’s U-17 Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017.

Canada Soccer, which will announce the women’s award winner on Friday, said Davies earned a record vote total from Canadian media and coaches, finishing just ahead of Christine Sinclair’s record set in 2012.

News of the men’s award comes the same day that Davies, now a fixture at left back for the German champions, returned to first-team training after tearing ankle ligaments in Bayern’s 5-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in late October.

WATCH | Bayern Munich beats PSG to claim Champions League title:

Kingsley Coman scored the only goal of the match as Bayern Munich defeats Paris Saint-Germain. 1:21

“To see what Alphonso Davies has accomplished this year is awe-inspiring for the next generation of players,” Canada coach John Herdman said in a statement. “His achievements have raised the flag in our sport higher than anyone else in our lifetime on the men’s side of the game and he has helped put this country as a football country on the world map.

Converted to fullback by Bayern, Davies has turned heads with his speed and ability to create attacks. Bayern veteran Thomas Mueller dubbed him the Bayern Road Runner after the pacey cartoon character.

In June, Davies was named Bundesliga rookie of the year in voting by fans, clubs and the media. Kicker magazine, a German sports magazine that focuses mainly on football, included him in its Bundesliga team of the season.

This week ESPN ranked Davies as the second-best left fullback in the world, behind Liverpool’s Andy Robertson.

He was third in voting for the Golden Boy award won by Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. The annual award, run by Italian newspaper Tuttosport, honours the best young player in Europe.

And he was shortlisted as a nominee for UEFA’s Team of the Year and Defender of the Year,

Davies shone on the biggest stage.

In an 8-2 beatdown of Barcelona in Champions League quarterfinal play in August, he set up Bayern’s fifth goal in the 63rd minute with a sensational run down the left flank. Davies beat three Barca players, befuddling Portuguese international Nelson Semedo before racing past several more defenders into the penalty box and sending a perfect pass to Joshua Kimmich to slot in from close range.

“That was unbelievable,” Kimmich said later. “Even I was a bit ashamed when I celebrated. He gets 99 per cent of the credit for the goal. I only had to get the ball over the line.”

WATCH | The breakdown: Alphonso Davies and Canadian soccer:

Joshua Kloke, writer at The Athletic, speaks to CBC Sports about the Canadian’s historic title and if it changes the national soccer landscape.  6:55

Davies, who turned 20 on Nov. 2, also excelled in Bayern’s 3-0 win at Chelsea in the first leg of their round-of-16 Champions League tie in late February. Davies made a lightning run down the left flank and crossed to Robert Lewandowski for a tap-in in the 76th minute.

The six-foot, 165-pound Davies set a Bundesliga speed record out in a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen that earned the Bavarian powerhouse an eighth straight league title. He was clocked at 36.51 km/h in the first half against Bremen, according to the Bundesliga. That erased the fastest recorded speed in league history (36.19 km/h by Dortmund’s Achraf Hakimi) since detailed data collection began in 2011.

In 2020, Davies has helped Bayern to the Champions League and Bundesliga titles, the DFB Cup, UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup. He is the first Canadian male to lift the Champions League trophy.

Covering the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons from January through October 2020, Davies featured in 33 matches and scored two goals and six assists. Along the way, he was chosen Canada Soccer’s Player of the Month in February, July and August as well as FC Bayern’s Player of the Month and the Bundesliga’s Rookie of the Month in May.

The young Canadian international joined Bayern from the Vancouver Whitecaps in a then-MLS record $ 22-million US transfer. The deal was done in July 2018 but Davies finished out the MLS season before joining Bayern in January 2019.

In April, he signed a contract extension with Bayern that will keep him with the German champions through June 2025.

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Toronto FC declines Pablo Piatti option, begins search for new designated player

Barring a new agreement, Toronto FC is parting ways with designated player Pablo Piatti.

The MLS club says it is not exercising the option on the Argentine midfielder who joined Toronto in February from Spain’s Espanyol. He was on a one-year contract plus an option.

GM Ali Curtis said while TFC will talk to Piatti and his representative about returning next season, the club wants to bring in a new designated player.

“The year did not end how we wanted it to, but I am very proud of what the team accomplished under unique and difficult circumstances,” Curtis said in a statement detailing Toronto’s end-of-season moves.

“We’ll be able to return a core part of the group, including some young, exciting and hungry homegrown players, but also, we’ll look to make some important decisions that add to the quality of the team. In a lot of ways, the [salary] cap next year will be less than it was this year, so we’ll have to be creative.”

The 31-year-old Piatti, who will be eligible for the MLS re-entry draft, had four goals and four assists in 17 league games.

Defenders Laurent Ciman, Justin Morrow and Eriq Zavaleta will be out of contract at the end of the year. The loan deal for defender Tony Gallacher also expires at the end of the year.

Curtis said the club will talk to Morrow and its other free agents about returning.

WATCH | TFC’s season ends early with loss to Nashville:

Daniel Rios scored in the 108th minute as Nashville SC upset Toronto FC 1-0 in round one of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. 1:40

Impact extend top scorer 

Romell Quioto feels like he’s finally found happiness with the Montreal Impact, so when the opportunity came to cement his future with the club, the star forward jumped on it.

Quioto signed a two-year extension with the Major League Soccer club on Monday. The deal also includes an option for 2023.

“Montreal is very special to [me] because [I] came here after a difficult year, professionally speaking and personally speaking as well, and the club opened the doors for [me]. And [I’m] eternally grateful for that,” the 29-year-old Honduran forward said through a translator on Monday.

“For [me], the priority is to be happy and for [me] that happiness is here in Montreal and with the Impact.”

Quioto joined Montreal in a trade with the Houston Dynamo late last year.

He was limited to just eight starts and 794 minutes in the 2019 season.

A move to Montreal seems to have reinvigorated Quioto. He led the Impact in scoring, registering eight goals and six assists in 19 appearances.

The Impact finished the regular season with a 8-13-2 record, good for ninth in the East. The club made the playoffs, thanks to a late Quioto goal that sealed a 3-2 win over D.C. United on Nov. 8.

It was the first time since 2016 that Montreal had played in the post-season.

Quioto also scored in the Impact’s 2-1 loss the New England Revolution in the opening round of the playoffs.

It was important for the dynamic forward to stay with the Impact, said the club’s sporting director, Olivier Renard.

“All year long he has proved his value on the pitch through his performances, but also with his winning and leader mentality,” Renard said in a release. “That’s the fruit of his labour, now it’s up to him to continue that work in order to achieve the club’s goals in the years to come.”

CONCACAF Champions League play up next

Quioto feels it was a successful year, both for himself individually and the club as a whole.

“[I] feel good with what [I] gave to the club this season, but [I] feel [I] can give even more,” he said. “[I’m] going to work to be able to give everything [I] can to the Montreal Impact, [I’m] here to work and [I’m] already looking forward to the next opportunity to do so.”

Quioto’s next chance to contribute on the field will come on Dec. 15 when Montreal faces his former team, Honduran club Olimpia, in CONCACAF Champions League play.

One Impact player who won’t be available for the game is forward Maximiliano Urruti.

The club announced Monday that the 29-year-old Argentine international has undergone surgery to repair an injured meniscus in his right knee and will be out for six to eight weeks.

Urruti appeared in 15 games for Montreal this year, tallying five goals and two assists in his second season with the team.

Whitecaps exercise all options

The Vancouver Whitecaps are keeping much of their roster in tact next season, but are still working to secure the services of two veterans long term.

The ‘Caps announced Monday that the club has picked up options on seven young players, including forward Theo Bair, midfielders Michael Baldisimo and Patrick Metcalfe, centre back Derek Cornelius, right back Jake Nerwinski, and goalkeepers Isaac Boehmer and Thomas Hasal.

“We see for all of those players next steps and development in the future that makes us believe that they can be an important part of our MLS team, maybe not at the starting point of next season but in the long term,” sporting director Axel Schuster said on a video call Monday.

The ‘Caps opted not to pick up an option for veteran midfielder Andy Rose.

Schuster said both Rose and the club agreed the contract that the option would trigger wasn’t the best fit.

“We are now in an ongoing process to find a better deal or better construction of a contract for him in our club. But there’s no question that we would like to keep him,” Schuster said, noting that Rose has been key helping to develop the club’s young talent.

Discussions also continue with forward Fredy Montero, whose contract runs out at the end of December.

Schuster said he was in contact with Montero’s agent on Monday morning.

“I can tell you that our first idea of a new contract was not exactly the idea Fredy and his agent had. So that’s part of negotiations,” Schuster said. “Everyone is a little bit fighting for his position. But I can tell you that the communication is very open.”

Whitecaps staff are also working with David Milinkovic to try and find the winger a new team. If they can’t find the 26-year-old French winger a new home, he will remain with the club, Schuster said.

“He’s showed that he can help this team,” he said. “If it ends in another way, this is nothing that concerns us or would be a bad scenario for us.”

Milinkovic had a goal and four assists in 16 appearances for the Whitecaps last season.

Vancouver has opted not to exercise its option on academy product Georges Mukumbilwa, and ‘keeper Bryan Meredith has not been offered a new contract.

The Whitecaps finished the season with a 9-14-0 record, missing the playoffs for the third year in a row.

Schuster said he’s happy that the club isn’t overhauling the roster this off-season.

“We are confident with this squad that we are able to make next steps,” he said, adding that the ‘Caps are still looking to bring in a few key pieces.

“For this quality that we want to add, you are never alone in the market and it costs always a little bit more.”

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Marta, 6-time world soccer player of the year, tests positive for COVID-19

Brazil’s six-time world player of the year Marta has tested positive for COVID-19, the country’s soccer governing body (CBF) said on Saturday.

Marta, 34, has been withdrawn from the national team that is set to face Ecuador in two friendly matches at home on Nov. 27 and Dec. 1.

The CBF did not give any details about the forward’s condition but they have informed her club, Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League, saying they would provide any assistance necessary.

Marta was the first player, male or female, to score in five World Cups with 17 strikes in total – also a record.

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Canadian NBA player Kelly Olynyk grew up around Raptors as mom made history as team’s scorekeeper

On Nov. 3, 1995, the Toronto Raptors played their first game in franchise history, defeating the New Jersey Nets 94-79 in front of more than 33,000 fans at what was then called the SkyDome.

It was a big night for Canadian basketball as across the continent in Portland, Ore., expansion cousin the Vancouver Grizzlies were also playing their first game, defeating the Trail Blazers 92-80. 

The pair were the first NBA teams in Canada since the Toronto Huskies in 1947, which were part of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), the forerunner to the NBA. (The Grizzlies would have less success than the Raptors, however, and relocated to Memphis in 2001.)

Less obvious, however, was the history being made courtside at the SkyDome, where Arlene Olynyk served as scorekeeper, the first female to do the job in NBA history.

Soaking it all in was her four-year-old son Kelly, who would grow up to be an NBA player and member of Canada’s national team.

“He grew up as a gym rat there,” Arlene Olynyk told CBC’s Sarah Penton of Kelly, now 29 and a member of the Miami Heat who recently played in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, losing in six games.

LISTEN: Sarah Penton’s interview with Arlene Olynyk:

Arlene Olynyk talks about her career working for the Toronto Raptors, which started during their inaugural season, her son Kelly’s NBA career, and how the game has grown. 12:59

Kelly was 14 when his mom wrapped up her time as scorekeeper for the Raptors, and having special access to the team on game days during those 10 years helped his early development as a player.

‘He would see some of these players behind the scenes’

With free tickets to every game and behind-the-scenes exposure to the team, Kelly got an up close look at the life he would grow up to live.

“He liked to go to as many games as he could, and he would come into the players’ room,” Olynyk said. “He would see some of these players behind the scenes; he would see how big they were. He would see how they were warming up before the game because he had to come down with me.”

They moved to Kamloops B.C., where Kelly won the province’s high school player-of-the-year honours in Grade 12.

When Kelly would tell his mom he wanted to be an NBA player when he grew up, Arlene responded by telling him he needed a backup plan, as there was no predicting he would eventually grow to be six-foot-eleven, having just completed his seventh season in the league. He spent his first four with the Boston Celtics.

“I’m really, really happy that he’s enjoying the journey,” Olynyk said of her son’s success.

1st female scorekeeper in NBA

While being the NBA’s first female scorekeeper was an important league milestone, it also had its challenges.

Women employees of any kind were rare at the time, and Arlene said she had deal with sexism during games when referees would report to the score bench.


Arlene Olynyk, pictured third from left behind score bench, was the first female scorekeeper in NBA history and the first scorekeeper hired by the Raptors. (CBC)

“They would report to the closest male, and I wouldn’t get it all,” Olynyk said. “So I had to teach them in Toronto who they were looking at and who they were looking for.

“That was the little bit tougher part — a couple of referees just didn’t get it that they were reporting to a female.

Olynyk also had to record statistics as part of her role with the Raptors, something she and her co-workers were adamant to get right.

“They [players] get paid in bonuses by what they do, and they want their stats,” Olynyk said.

Statistics dispute with Michael Jordan

But Olynyk still dealt with disputes over statistics with players, including an incident with NBA legend Michael Jordan.

“We had one time when Michael Jordan was still playing, at quartertime he gets his stats printed out, he looks at them and then came and sat on the score bench and looked at us and said, ‘you’ve missed two assists,'” Olynyk recalled.

“He made sure that we knew that he was counting.”

Olynyk said one of the most enjoyable parts about her time with the Raptors was being involved in the pre-game ritual of some players as they stepped onto the court.

“Some of the early players, some of their good luck thing was to fist bump the whole row of the score table,” Olynyk said. “So you come down and you’d be fist bumping Tracy McGrady or whoever had that in their part of superstition before they went out to play.”

Olynyk was an important part of the early history of the Toronto Raptors, and her son’s NBA journey is a testament to the influence the league has had in Canada since the Raptors arrived 25 years ago.

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CBC | Sports News