That is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports activities’ every day e-mail e-newsletter. Keep in control on what’s occurring in sports activities by subscribing right here.
Jonathan David had an Alphonso Davies-like season — however with a lot much less fanfare
Final yr, Alphonso Davies was the toast of Canadian soccer. Earlier than his twentieth birthday, the electrifying Edmontonian received the Bundesliga’s rookie-of-the-season award and helped Bayern Munich seize each the German league and UEFA Champions League titles. The latter made him the primary Canadian national-team participant to win probably the most prestigious title in males’s membership soccer. Mix that on-field brilliance (do not forget that help vs. Barcelona?) along with his youth and a wealthy backstory — he was born in a refugee camp in Ghana to Liberian mother and father who’d fled a civil conflict — and it is no marvel Davies captured the creativeness of Canadian sports activities followers and media. He closed out 2020 by successful a share of the Lou Marsh Award for Canadian athlete of the yr.
Quick-forward to this yr, and one other very younger Canadian soccer participant simply put the ending touches on an exceptional rookie season in one in every of Europe’s high leagues — however with a fraction of the fanfare Davies obtained.
Jonathan David drew some consideration final summer time when the French membership Lille paid a reported $35 million US to accumulate the then 20-year-old striker from Belgium’s Ghent, the place he’d simply received a share of the league scoring title with 18 targets in 27 matches. That switch price broke the report for a Canadian participant — beforehand held by Davies, who commanded $22 million when Bayern purchased him from the Vancouver Whitecaps two years earlier.
David bought off to a gradual begin in France’s Ligue 1, however the New York Metropolis-born, Ottawa-raised rookie completed robust. His purpose Sunday, on the ultimate day of the season, was his thirteenth — tied for second-most on his staff and Twelfth-most in Ligue 1. It is also a single-season report for a Canadian participant in one in every of European soccer’s “large 5” leagues. David added an help in that season-ending 2-1 victory over Angers, which gave Lille the league championship by one level over Paris Saint-Germain — the deep-pocketed powerhouse that had received seven of the earlier eight French titles and boasts superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappé on its roster.
David is not just a few egocentric, one-dimensional, Jamie Tartt-esque scorer, both. Because the Liverpool-focused weblog Rousing the Kop famous on this put up earlier within the season (after Liverpool had reportedly thought-about shopping for David from Gent), he is additionally a superb defensive ahead. Per the superior stats tracked on FBref, David is the most effective ahead in all of Europe’s large 5 leagues at pressuring opponents who’re both carrying, receiving or releasing the ball in his attacking third of the sector. Over your complete pitch, he pressed opponents a mean of 19.59 occasions per recreation, which put him within the ninetieth percentile of big-five forwards. 5.38 of those pressures per recreation resulted in his staff taking possession of the ball, which ranked within the 93rd percentile. The stats additionally present David is elite for his place at intercepting passes and at tackling opponents who attempt to dribble previous him.
In contrast to Davies final yr, David will not have an opportunity to frost his sensible rookie season within the Champions League closing, which takes place Saturday between English rivals Manchester Metropolis and Chelsea. Lille did not qualify for the 2020-21 Champions League event in any respect as a result of it completed simply fourth in Ligue 1 the yr earlier than. But it surely’ll be there subsequent season (together with PSG) after its stunning domestic-league title.
David additionally missed Canada’s first two World Cup qualifying matches, in late March, as a result of the French league refused to launch its international gamers at the moment because of coronavirus considerations. However Davies led Canada to lopsided wins over Bermuda (5-1) and the Cayman Islands (11-0), and David needs to be obtainable for the ultimate two matches of the opening spherical: on June 5 vs. Aruba and June 8 vs. Suriname. Having a pair of younger stars like this on the roster bodes properly for Canada’s World Cup hopes — if not for the 2022 event in Qatar, then in 2026 when Canada will co-host with the U.S. and Mexico and presumably be granted an automated spot. Learn extra about David’s large yr and the opposite Canadians who made an impression in European membership soccer this season on this piece by CBC Sports activities contributor John Molinaro.
WATCH | David leads Lille’s title-clinching victory:
Ron MacLean apologized. This controversy is getting harder and harder to comply with, however right here goes: In the course of the second intermission of final evening’s Toronto-Montreal playoff recreation, the Hockey Night time in Canada host responded to analyst Kevin Bieksa calling himself “in all probability probably the most optimistic man on this panel” by joking (or making an attempt to joke, anyway) that “You’ve a photograph of a man along with his tarp off, you are undoubtedly optimistic for one thing.” Tarp means shirt, and MacLean was referring to an image displaying a shirtless Anthony Stewart (one of many different panellists) that Bieksa had jokingly positioned on a shelf over his shoulder in his residence studio. It is unclear precisely what the 61-year-old MacLean was getting at (nothing new for him), however some individuals on Twitter took it as a doable homophobic slur. MacLean responded right this moment with a tweet saying “I remorse and apologize for what occurred final evening” and explaining that he meant Stewart would take a look at optimistic for “rum” as a result of within the picture Stewart was “having fun with a rum get together.” Learn extra about MacLean’s remark and watch it right here.
Wayne Gretzky bought a brand new gig. The Nice One introduced yesterday that he is stepping down from his ceremonial-seeming put up as “vice chairman” of the Edmonton Oilers. At the moment, Gretzky revealed he is signed a multi-year deal to be a studio analyst for U.S.-based Turner Sports activities, which just lately landed the rights to broadcast some NHL video games beginning subsequent season. Learn extra about Gretzky’s transfer to American TV and whether or not he is a great match for it right here.
Luka Doncic is at it once more. In final yr’s NBA playoffs, the younger Dallas Mavericks star made a run at single-handedly upsetting Kawhi Leonard and the closely favoured Los Angeles Clippers within the first spherical. Dallas fell in six video games, however Doncic averaged 31 factors, 9.8 rebounds and eight.7 assists for the collection. Now, it seems to be like he would possibly end the job. Doncic scored 31 in Sport 1 and poured in 39 final evening to steer the Mavs to a shocking 2-0 collection lead over L.A., with the subsequent two video games to be held in a Dallas area that can enable about 15,000 followers. Doncic, 22, got here into this season because the betting favorite to win the NBA MVP award earlier than he and the Mavericks squandered it with a gradual begin. However they’re now 19-9 since April 1 and taking part in like a contender within the abruptly wide-open-looking Western Convention.
And at last…
Bear in mind this picture?
Taken 10 years in the past by photographer Richard Lam in the course of the riot following the Vancouver Canucks’ loss to Boston in Sport 7 of the Stanley Cup closing, it grew to become an prompt sensation and remains to be beautiful to have a look at a decade later (some individuals on the time even accused it of being staged). ESPN hockey author Greg Wyshynski had the nice concept to do a “the place are they now?” story on the younger couple within the picture, and it seems they’re nonetheless collectively. Alex Thomas and Scott Jones now reside in Australia, the place they just lately opened a bar and are elevating a three-year-old daughter. Wyshynski’s piece has some good tales from Lam, Thomas and Jones about what went down that evening and their ensuing quarter-hour of fame. You may learn it right here.
Arising on CBC Sports activities
3-on-3 basketball Olympic qualifying event: A staff from Edmonton can win a spot within the males’s occasion in Tokyo, the place 3-on-3 ball will make its Olympic debut, by ending within the high three of this 20-team qualifier in Austria. Canada performs its first two video games Thursday: at 12:40 p.m. ET vs. Croatia and a pair of:45 p.m. ET vs. the Netherlands. Watch them each reside right here, the place you’ll be able to stream the complete males’s and ladies’s morning session (5-10 a.m. ET) and afternoon session (11 a.m. ET to 4 p.m. ET).
Seashore volleyball: Watch Canadian Olympic gold-medal contenders Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes play in a World Tour cease in Russia reside Thursday at 2 a.m. ET on CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports activities app. Their match will probably be adopted by two others that includes Canadian duos.
Common volleyball: Watch Canada face the Dominican Republic within the girls’s Nations League event in Italy reside Thursday at 8:45 a.m. ET. In case you’re studying this earlier than 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, it’s also possible to catch the conclusion of right this moment’s Canada vs. U.S. match right here.
You are in control.