Pascal Siakam deal still hangs in the air

We’re sitting there in the workroom at the Raptors practice facility yesterday afternoon and I turn to My Learned Pal Laura, who’s doing double duty on the day, and say something along the likes of:

“The lads got no chance in the big soccer match, right?”

In her infinite wisdom, which in things football is far more infinite than, say, mine she kind of scoffed at the notion the Canadian men could beat the Americans.

As did just about anyone I talked to, as a matter of fact. My buddy Kyle The Saloonkeeper, a gigantic soccer fan, basically chuckled at the prospect of a Canadian win when I was killing time on a stool in the post-work period yesterday.

Well, well, well.

I don’t know where it ranks up there on the list of Canadian sports upsets but the 2-0 win down at BMO Field last night was certainly a shocker and the Canadian men haven’t tended to pull off too many shockers in, like, 30 years or so.

I’ve come to kind like this iteration of the men’s team, as a matter of fact. They have an ability to, you know, score goals and attack and win games while playing a more entertaining brand of the game than we’re used to seeing up here.

Now, they have long way to go to gain any measure of true international relevance and last night’s victory might have just been one of those crazy shockers that make sports so wonderfully unpredictable.

But there’s much to like about this group, it seems. And for the longest time, I’m not sure how many people could have legitimately said that.

The issue, of course, is that so few had a chance to see the game and I understand attendance at the park was a bit lacking.

The TV thing irks me, though.

I don’t know who is responsible for the fact it was only available on a live-streaming site but someone dropped the ball big time.

Not that anyone could have really seen the Canadian victory coming but, regardless, it was the first legit game between two North American rivals in something like 20 years. It’s a step on the World Cup qualifying process and either Soccer Canada should have made it financially feasible for the end of the seven or eight all-sports networks to show it or one of those said networks should have found a way to do it.

It was a bad decision by whoever ultimately made it — and I don’t really care who did — and I’d hope that the next time the burgeoning men’s team takes to the pitch, more people are able to see it.

End ‘o rant.

Dump all your pertinent questions of the week into askdoug@thestar.ca, please.

It’ll make you feel better, I promise.

So we’re what? Five days out from the federal election?

It’s funny but in the entire campaign period, there hasn’t been one single canvasser or candidate to come and knock on the door of Casa Doug and the mailbox has certainly not been filled with any information trying to convince me to vote or this person or that one.

Seems odd, doesn’t it?

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They got Kyle’s signature on a contract, which is a good thing and it gave us a relatively painless off-day story; and now the thing hanging in the air is a deal for Pascal Siakam.

We all know they want him, there’s never been any indication he’d explore other opportunities — and who knows which legitimate high-paying ones will exist next summer anyway — but Monday’s the deadline to get something done.

Of course, Bobby Webster got asked about it when he did a rare scrum with the ink-stained wretches yesterday and here’s the transcript.

“We’re talking. I think there’s a deadline next Monday and we’re hopeful. We’re talking.”

Great. On behalf of all the beat grunts that should have started grinding out preview stuff yesterday, not having something as substantial as a Siakam extension dangling out there would be nice.

I don’t get a feeling either way on whether they’ll get it done.

Makes sense for the Raptors to wait until July for various cap and cap hold rules; I imagine Pascal and his people would rather get it locked in now for peace of mind.

I presume there’s a middle ground to be reached — maybe Siakam takes slightly less than the total max to sign for five years before Monday — and I hope it’s reached like today.

I also hope it’s not reached at some ridiculous hour in the morning like the DeRozan trade, the Kawhi departure and the new Lowry deal.

Some of us need our rest.

I was getting ready to do a Hoop Talks thing the night the Cardinals scored 10 in the first inning to win their NLDS with Atlanta and I was all settled on the couch with a handful of Fudgeos to watch the Nationals/Cards last night when Washington made a moot point with seven in the first.

Guess playoff baseball isn’t always good or great or dramatic or even at least mildly interesting.

Doug Smith

TORONTO STAR

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