World Cup: Rodriguez scores twice to give Colombia 2-0 win over Uruguay – National

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – With a spectacular swivel-and-strike, James Rodriguez provided one of the highlights of the World Cup and gave Brazil reason to worry.

Rodriguez scored one of the best goals of the tournament and added a second to put Colombia into the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time with a 2-0 win over Uruguay on Saturday – setting up a meeting with the host nation.

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Rodriguez added to his growing list memorable moments in Brazil when he gave his team the lead with a long-range volley as he turned in the 28th minute. He scored the second from close range shortly after the break as Colombia dominated an Uruguay side that sorely missed banned striker Luis Suarez.

READ MORE: Neymar with winner in shootout as Brazil beats Chile in World Cup thriller

“I think now the toughest is coming up,” Rodriguez said of the quarterfinal match against Brazil. “I’m happy because we are making history and as a young man I dreamed of being here. And of course we want to do even more.”

Rodriguez now has a tournament-leading five goals in Brazil and further enhanced his status as perhaps the World Cup’s biggest revelation. In the absence of injured star Radamel Falcao, the Monaco winger has become the focal point of a Colombia team that won all three of its group games with impressive attacking play.

Uruguay, meanwhile, simply couldn’t find anyone to fill the absence of Suarez. The team struggled badly in attack and replacement striker Diego Forlan was substituted in the 53rd after a disappointing performance in what was likely his final World Cup appearance.

Colombia is playing its first World Cup since 1998 and has already achieved its best-ever result.

“Congratulations to all the Colombian people,” said coach Jose Pekerman, who is from Argentina. “The people in Colombia deserve this.”

Colombia will play Brazil in the quarterfinals on July 4 in Fortaleza after the host nation beat Chile in a penalty shootout earlier Saturday.

But Rodriguez showed once again that the Brazilians have every reason to be wary of Colombia.

READ MORE: FIFA bans Suarez for 4 months for biting opponent at World Cup

The opener was his most spectacular goal yet. He chested the ball down with his back to goal well outside the area and in one fluid motion turned around and fired a left-foot volley that went off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.

It was a goal that came seemingly out of nowhere and provided another example of the technique and creativity that has made Rodriguez one of the standout players of the tournament.

Uruguay defender Alvaro Pereira tried to clear the ball with a diving header, but it went straight to Abel Aguilar, who headed it forward toward Rodriguez.

His manoeuvr only took a split second and left goalkeeper Fernando Muslera flailing helplessly as the ball looped over him and into the net. Rodriguez ran over the corner flag and thrust both hands out to his sides in a “how about that” gesture.

“I think he is the best player of the tournament so far,” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said.

Rodriguez’s second was a perfectly executed team move as Colombia worked the ball over from the right flank to the left, where Pablo Armero sent in a cross that was met by Juan Cuadrado at the far post. Cuadrado headed back across goal toward Rodriguez, who slotted in from just a few yards (meters) out.

This time, the entire team ran over the corner flag for a celebratory dance.

Tabarez tried to respond with a double substitution, taking off Forlan and Alvaro Pereira for Gaston Ramirez and Cristhian Stuani. That livened up the attack, with goalkeeper David Ospina having to make good saves from Cristhian Rodriguez and Maxi Pereira before diving to push away a shot from Edinson Cavani in the 84th.

But in the end Uruguay simply couldn’t cope without Suarez, who was banned for four months for biting an opponent in the group-stage victory against Italy that sent the team through to the next round. Suarez also missed Uruguay’s first game of the tournament, a 3-1 loss to Costa Rica, before scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over England.

“We all knew what happened, but we had to forget about it and think positive,” Tabarez said. “Suarez is a great player, and I don’t need to say it. He is very important. But we knew he wasn’t going to play.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Verdun homes expropriated for Champlain Bridge construction – Montreal

VERDUN – Residents of May street in Verdun received notices Wednesday stating they will have to sell their houses in order for construction on the Champlain Bridge to get underway.

“I can’t begin to tell you the reaction we had,” said a teary Therese Lemay, who has lived on May Street for 32 years.

So far, 16 families have received letters telling residents their homes will have to be torn down.

“They’ve been asked to sell their homes, which is causing a number of people a bit of distress,” said Tyrone Benskin, the NDP MP for Jeanne-Le Ber.

“These are heritage homes. These are some of the first homes in Verdun.”

According to Hoang Mai, the NDP Transport Critic and MP for Brossard-Laprairie, the federal government had promised one year ago that the homes would not be touched.

“I was shocked to hear that people are getting evicted,” he said.

“Especially when I asked almost a year ago whether or not they were going to be any evictions.”

Watch: NDP Transport Critic and MP for Brossard-Laprairie on Verdun evictions

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The homes are being expropriated to make way for a larger Autoroute 15 between the new span and the Atwater exit heading toward downtown.

“With regards to the deal, we are offering fair market value, all expenses and all costs associated with a transaction like this,” said Marc Brazeau, a Project Director for Transport Canada.

READ MORE: Design for new Champlain bridge unveiled

The expropriation was only briefly mentioned at the unveiling of the new bridge Friday.

The federal minister of infrastructure Denis Lebel said he regretted the impact this decision will have on the population.

The government says it will do its best to help residents through the transition, but those who oppose the expropriation say that isn’t enough.

“The fact that this was done in such a clandestine way behind closed doors where they tried to keep everything under wraps is concerning to us,” said Benskin.

“It’s transparency. It’s people’s lives that the government is playing with.”

Benskin, along with Mai, have promised to spend as much time as necessary speaking with residents of May street in order to hear what they have to say so they can bring those concerns back to Ottawa.

Watch: Funds earmarked for Turcot and Champlain

At least 15 die as 2 buildings collapse in India – National

NEW DELHI – A dilapidated building and another under construction collapsed in India on Saturday, killing at least 15 people as rescuers searched for dozens of others feared trapped, police and fire officials said.

In New Delhi, a four-story 50-year-old structure toppled in an area inhabited by the poor. The collapse killed at least 11 people and one survivor was being treated in a hospital, said fire service officer Praveer Haldiar.

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Hours later, a 12-story building under construction collapsed on the outskirts of Chennai, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state, as heavy rains pounded the area.

Police said 17 construction workers had been pulled out so far and the search was continuing for nearly 30 others. Four of them died in a hospital, said police officer Mansur Ali.

Nearly 300 policemen and fire service workers were working through Saturday night, scouring the debris for survivors.

Most homes in the New Delhi area where the first building collapsed had been built without permission and using substandard materials, police officer Madhur Verma said.

The Press Trust of India news agency said the New Delhi collapse was triggered by construction work on an adjacent plot.

Building collapses are common in India, where high demand for housing and lax regulations have encouraged some builders to cut corners, use substandard materials or add unauthorized extra floors.

©2014The Canadian Press

Libyan militant in the Benghazi attacks pleads not guilty – National

WASHINGTON – The Libyan militant accused of masterminding the deadly Benghazi attacks that have become a flashpoint in U.S. politics awaited his first court appearance Saturday amid heightened security at a federal courthouse.

Ahmed Abu Khattala was scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He is charged in connection with the assaults on the U.S. diplomatic compound in the eastern Libyan city on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

U.S. special forces captured Abu Khattala in Libya two weeks ago, marking the first breakthrough in the investigation. Officials had been questioning Abu Khattala aboard a Navy ship that transported him to the United States.

This undated image obtained from Facebook shows Ahmed Abu Khattala, an alleged leader of the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, who was captured by U.S. special forces on Sunday, June 15, 2014, on the outskirts of Benghazi. (AP Photo)

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The prosecution reflects the Obama administration’s stated position of trying suspected terrorists in the American criminal justice system even as Republicans call for Abu Khattala and others to be held at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Critics say suspected terrorists don’t deserve the legal protections afforded by the American court. The administration considers the civilian justice system fairer and more efficient.

Abu Khattala was flown early Saturday by military helicopter from the ship to a National Park Service landing pad in the Washington’s Anacostia neighbourhood, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the transfer publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

READ MORE: Female activist assassinated in Benghazi on election day

A criminal complaint filed last year and unsealed after Abu Khattala’s capture charges him with terror-related crimes. They include killing a person during an attack on a federal facility; that crime can be punishable by death.

At the initial hearing, the government was expected to outline the charges against him. He almost certainly will remain in detention while the Justice Department seeks a federal grand jury indictment against him.

The violence in Libya on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon quickly became a political controversy at home.

Republicans accused the White House, as the 2012 presidential election neared, of intentionally misleading the public about what prompted the attacks. The White House said Republicans were politicizing a national tragedy.

Abu Khattala was a prominent figure in Benghazi’s circles of extremists. He was popular among young radicals and lived openly in the eastern Libyan city, spotted at cafes and other public places, even after the Obama administration publicly named him as a suspect.

He is accused of being a member of the Ansar al-Shariah group, the powerful Islamic militia that the U.S. believes was behind the attack.

WATCH: Video shows U.S. capture of terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi

He acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press in January that he was present during the storming of the U.S. mission in Benghazi. But he denied involvement in the attack, saying he was trying to organize a rescue of trapped people.

In the attack, gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades and stormed the mission, with many waving the black banners of Ansar al-Shariah.

The compound’s main building was set ablaze. Ambassador Chris Stevens suffocated to death inside and another American was shot dead.

At the time, several witnesses said they saw Abu Khattala directing fighters at the site.

Later in the evening, gunmen attacked and shelled a safe house, killing two more Americans. No evidence has emerged that Abu Khattala was involved in the later attack.

Abu Khattala is one of just a few cases in which the administration has captured a suspected terrorist overseas and interrogated him for intelligence purposes before bringing him to federal court to face charges.

Those cases include Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was arrested in Jordan in March 2013 and turned over to U.S. agents. A jury in New York City convicted him in March of conspiring to kill Americans.

©2014The Canadian Press

Iraq launches operation against Sunni insurgents in Tikrit – National

BAGHDAD – Iraqi troops backed by helicopter gunships launched an operation early Saturday aimed at dislodging Sunni militants from the northern city of Tikrit, one of two major urban centres they seized in recent weeks in a dramatic blitz across the country.

After watching much of Iraq slip out of government hands, military officials sought to portray the push that began before dawn as a significant step that puts the army back on the offensive. They said the operation includes commandos, tanks and helicopters, as well as pro-government Sunni fighters and Shiite volunteers.

Tikrit residents reported clashes on the outskirts of the city and to the south, but the extent of the fighting was unclear.


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Jawad al-Bolani, a security official in the Salahuddin Operation Command, said the immediate objective is Tikrit, the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein and one of two major cities to fall to the al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and allied Sunni militants. He said there was no concrete timeline for the operation to conclude.

Helicopter gunships conducted airstrikes before dawn on insurgents who were attacking troops at a university campus on Tikrit’s northern outskirts, Iraqi military spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said. There was no immediate word on casualties.

READ MORE: Syrian rebels that US aims to support weakening in face of ISIS

Government troops established a bridgehead on the sprawling campus early Friday after being ferried in by helicopter.

A senior security official said there were sporadic clashes around the University of Tikrit, as well as south of the city. Iraqi forces, which are moving north toward Tikrit from the shrine city of Samarra, are making slow progress, he said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Tikrit residents reached by telephone confirmed that air raids took place at the university around dawn Saturday. They reported fighting between the Islamic State and Iraqi forces to the southeast as well, but said militants are still in control of the city and patrolling the streets. Some residents described black smoke rising from a presidential palace complex located along the edge of the Tigris River after army helicopters opened fire on the compound.

They spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern for their safety.

READ MORE: Why you should be concerned about ISIS recruiting children

Another Tikrit resident, Muhanad Saif al-Din, said the city has emptied out in recent days as locals flee ahead of anticipated clashes.

“Tikrit has become a ghost town because a lot of people left over the past 72 hours, fearing random aerial bombardment and possible clashes as the army advances toward the city,” Saif al-Din said. “The few people who remain are afraid of possible revenge acts by Shiite militiamen who are accompanying the army. We are peaceful civilians and we do not want to be victims of this struggle.”

He said the city has been without power or water since Friday night.

The military also carried out three airstrikes on the insurgent held city of Mosul early Saturday. One of the air raids hit a commercial area that did not have obvious military target, residents said.

South of Baghdad, heavy clashes between security forces and Sunni insurgents killed at least 21 troops and dozens of militants, officials said.

The fighting raged for hours near the town of Jurf al-Sakhar, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside the capital. The town is part of a predominantly Sunni ribbon that runs just south of Baghdad.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures among government troops.

READ MORE: What does the future hold for Kurdistan?

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were authorized to brief the media.

The Islamic State and its allies have overrun much of Iraq’s Sunni heartland, a vast territory stretching west and north from Baghdad to the Jordanian and Syrian borders. After a dramatic initial push, the onslaught appears to have slowed as the militants bump up against predominantly Shiite areas stretching south from Baghdad.

Iraq’s large, U.S.-trained and equipped military melted away in the face of the offensive, sapping morale and public confidence in its ability to stem the militant surge – let alone claw back lost ground. If successful, the Tikrit operation could help restore a degree of faith in the security forces.

It also would provide a boost to embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is fighting for his job as many former allies drop their support and Iraqis increasingly express doubts about his ability to unify the country. Al-Maliki, however, has shown little inclination publicly to step aside, and instead appears set on a third consecutive term as prime minister after his bloc won the most seats in April elections.

The United States and other world powers have pressed al-Maliki to reach out to the country’s Sunni and Kurdish minorities and have called for a more inclusive government that can address longstanding grievances. Al-Maliki has widely been accused of monopolizing power and alienating Sunnis, who have long complained of being unfairly targeted by security forces.

READ MORE: Kerry confronts threat of new war in Iraq

Iraq is grappling with its worst crisis since the last U.S. troops withdrew in December 2011, raising the spectre of the fragmentation of the country along sectarian and ethnic lines. The United States has watched the turmoil with a wary eye. Already, Washington has already deployed 180 of 300 troops promised by President Barack Obama to assist and advise Iraqi troops.

The U.S. also has started flying armed Predator drones over Baghdad to protect American interests, a Pentagon official said Friday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the new flights on the record.

More than 1,200 Chinese workers who were trapped in the embattled northern Iraqi city of Samarra have been evacuated to Baghdad, China’s Xinhua state news agency said Saturday. It said the Chinese arrived safely at a Baghdad hotel, with the Iraqi military providing security.

The report said that China Machinery Engineering Corporation employed the workers at a power plant construction site in Samarra, near where security forces are battling fighters from the Islamic State.

The report didn’t specify who evacuated the workers but said 45 were transported by helicopter on Wednesday, with the rest arriving in two separate groups by bus over the next two days. More than 10,000 Chinese are in Iraq, many of them employees with Chinese firms.

©2014The Canadian Press

Neymar with winner in shootout as Brazil beats Chile in World Cup thriller

WATCH ABOVE: Brazilian fans jubilant after nail biting World Cup match

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – Neymar scored the winning penalty Saturday to give Brazil a 3-2 shootout win over Chile in the second round of the World Cup. The match had ended 1-1.

The Brazil striker scored the third penalty after David Luiz and Marcelo also scored from the spot.

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Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who played for Toronto FC this season before heading to the World Cup, saved the first two penalties from Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez and then watched Gonzalo Jara’s final attempt hit the post.

READ MORE: In letter to FIFA, Suarez says bite was not deliberate

Brazil will next face either Colombia or Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

Neither team managed to score after first-half goals from Luiz and Sanchez.

When Jara’s final penalty hit the post, some of Brazil’s players celebrated wildly while others fell to the ground, exhausted and emotionally drained.

READ MORE: Top 5 things to do when you can’t watch World Cup

Willian, who missed a penalty for Brazil, sobbed uncontrollably, as Fred helped him to his feet.

As the crowd at the Mineirao Stadium roared, the Brazilian players joined hands in a human chain as Chile’s team stood motionless.

Brazil has reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup every time since 1994. Its last elimination in the second round was against Argentina in 1990.

©2014The Canadian Press

Oilers bide their time in NHL draft before adding size and goaltending depth – Edmonton

PHILADELPHIA – The biggest moves the Edmonton Oilers made to affect Day Two of this NHL draft came well before they were ever on the clock.

Within the last year, they sent their second-round pick to the St. Louis Blues for winger David Perron and their third to the Los Angeles Kings for goaltender Ben Scrivens. So general manager Craig MacTavish expected to sit on his hands for a while until Edmonton’s first pick in the fourth round, and that’s exactly what he and his staff did.

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“It was difficult sitting there, but we just didn’t want to use assets to move ahead,” director of amateur scouting Stu MacGregor said Saturday. “We’d already used an asset on (defenceman Nikita) Nikitin and a (fifth-round) draft pick, so we really didn’t have an excess number of picks to move forward. So we just felt we would remain where we were and let the cards fall the way they would.”

A day after taking big German centre Leon Draisaitl third overall, the Oilers used the five picks they had in rounds four through seven to take defenceman William Lagesson (91st), goaltender Zachary Nagelvoort (111th), centre Liam Coughlin (130th), centre Tyler Vesel (153rd) and goaltender Keven Bouchard (183rd).

READ MORE: German Leon Draisaitl excited to join young but tradition-rich Oilers

MacGregor said he had to fight to take the two goalies, especially after the Oilers just acquired prospect Laurent Brossoit this past season as part of the deal that sent defenceman Ladislav Smid to the Calgary Flames.

In Nagelvoort, the Oilers got a 20-year-old goaltender who MacGregor described as a “late developer” but one who will get good training at the University of Michigan. Bouchard, who expects to be Val D’Or’s starter next season, is a goalie MacGregor believes is willing to put in the work to improve.

“You want to look at kids that have potential,” he said.

“These guys have some potential, we feel, and if we can do it right and they can develop well, they’ll give us an opportunity to have some more depth than we have.”

Bouchard played one period at the Memorial Cup, and MacGregor also got to see him in Val D’Or. He’s looking forward to getting more playing time next season and make the most of it.

“I’m going to prove myself to the Oilers,” he said.

MacTavish was hoping the amateur scouting staff would be able to find some “impact players” on Day 2, despite a lack of second- and third-round picks. If these players become that, it’ll take time.

Draisaitl, on the other hand, has the size at six-foot-one and208 pounds to play in the NHL next season. But MacGregor cautioned that the team doesn’t want to press him into duty there if he’s not ready.

“He’s still a junior-aged player and he may need time and we’ll just give him that time that’s required for him to become the player and prospect we would hope he’d be,” said MacGregor, who added that Draisaitl will be given an opportunity to either play in front of or behind centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the future.

By taking Coughlin and Vesel, the Oilers added depth at a position they’re thin at beyond Nugent-Hopkins. Throw the six-foot-two defenceman Lagesson in, and Edmonton spent this draft bulking up.

“You’ve been telling us we need to be a little grittier and edgier, so we’re trying,” MacGregor said. “Obviously size isn’t everything but it’s a factor. The biggest thing is passion to play the game and want to get into battle.”

To find out more about the Oilers’ 2014 draft picks, click here.

Bouchard, Raonic advance at Wimbledon

LONDON – Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic set records as they became the fourth and fifth Canadians respectively to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon after straight-set wins on Saturday.

Both had to wait out a rain interruption lasting nearly five hours before taking comprehensive third-round victories to join Carling Bassett-Seguso (1983, 1986), Patricia Hy-Boulais (1996-97) and Daniel Nestor (1999) as Canadians who made it into the second week of a major.

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Bouchard, semifinalist in Melbourne and Paris already this season, posted a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of German Andrea Petkovic.

Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., joined Bouchard in Wimbledon’s second week by beating Poland’s Lukasz Kubot in the third round 7-6 (2), 7-6(4), 6-2. He fired over 30 aces and 50 winners, breaking twice with just six unforced errors on the way to victory.

“I was able to be dominant on my serve, I only lost nine points on it,” said Raonic. “This definitely makes my life a lot easier and puts pressure on him.

“But at the same time, I didn’t really have my opportunities. I played a few good points in tiebreaks and he was able to of hold on.”

Raonic has won three straight Wimbledon grass matches for the first time, after doing the same at Halle, Germany in 2011 and 2012.

“I’m starting from very low comfort level on grass but now I’m feeling pretty comfortable,” said Raonic. “I’ve made pretty significant progress on this surface this year.”

The 13th-seeded Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., started her match in the early afternoon but found herself in the locker-room for nearly five hours after 15 minutes of play as rain wrecked the schedule.

But the weather cleared up in the early evening with Bouchard and Petkovic returning to the court with the Canadian leading 2-1.

Bouchard picked up where she left off, putting the pressure on a player who had defeated her in three previous meetings including the Rogers Cup in Toronto three years ago.

She took victory on her third match point when Petkovic hit the net with a return.

Bouchard produced 30 winners and 14 unforced errors, breaking five time in the match lasting less than 90 minutes.

She next plays France’s Alzie Cornet, who beat top seed and five-time champion Serena Williams for the second time this season, winning 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a stunning upset. Cornet won their previous meeting on clay at Strasbourg last year.

“I played well, even though it was straight sets it was a battle,” said Bouchard. “It was tough with the lone rain delay, but it was the same for both girls

“I’m happy I was able to close it out with any serve, being aggressive and taking the ball early. During the rain delay I tried to conserve energy — I wanted to give it all on the court.

Bouchard said she didn’t actually mind the wait.

“Rain is part of the Wimbledon expedience,” she said with a laugh. “We’ve been lucky so far, you have to have some rain at Wimbledon.”

Impact looking to start a winning streak – Montreal

MONTREAL – It would be hard to find a better time for the Montreal Impact to get on a roll than now.

Coming off an impressive 0-0 draw in Vancouver despite a depleted squad, the Impact face the slumping Houston Dynamo on Sunday night.

Houston is missing its star midfielder Brad Davis, who is in Brazil with the U.S. World Cup squad, while their scoring ace Will Bruin is doubtful to play due to a hip pointer. However, they may have midfielder Boniek Garcia back now that Honduras is eliminated from the World Cup.

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And the Impact have a history of playing well against the Dynamo in Montreal, having beaten them 2-0 and 5-0 in two meetings last season at Saputo Stadium, even if they fell 3-0 in Houston in their first Major League Soccer playoff game in October.

“Coming back from the break and having a good result on the road was positive,” coach Frank Klopas said this week. “Now we have to follow that up because it’s about being consistent.

“It doesn’t do anything for us if we don’t follow it up with a good result on Sunday.”

The 2-7-5 Impact, last in the 10-team Eastern Conference, need to start winning soon to avoid falling so far back in the playoff race they won’t be able to recover in the second half of the 34-game season.

Circumstances seem to be on their side against seventh-place Houston, which has lost its last four league games by a combined 10-0.

Montreal will have midfielder Felipe back after missing the Vancouver game while his wife gave birth to a son. Their top midfielder this season, Justin Mapp, and striker Marco Di Vaio may be ready to return from injuries.

They will be without Canadian midfielder Issey Nakajima-Farran, who injured a hamstring on the synthetic surface in Vancouver.

“With these guys coming back, it will give us an opportunity to make a couple of changes,” said Klopas. “Having everyone ready as we start the second part of the season is a positive.”

The Vancouver game saw centre back Matteo Ferrari return from injury with a strong outing, and Spanish midfielder Gorka Larrea was impressive at the back of the midfield beside captain Patrice Bernier in his Impact debut.

Larrea played the position formerly held by designated player Hernan Bernardello, who is set to join Mexican club Cruz Azul.

“It was nice,” said Bernier. “He’s been here a while even though he’s just signed, so it feels like he’s part of the family.

“He’s a hard worker. He plays simple, moves the ball well. It was easy to play with him. It’s a first game and we just scratched the surface of what he can do.”

The Impact felt ready to start turning their season around just before the league’s two-week World Cup break, but suffered a crushing 4-2 loss at home to D.C. United on June 11.

Now they’ll try again against Houston, which hopes to have some injured players back as well.

But the main missing piece is Davis.

“It’s a difference,” said Klopas. “You have a high quality player.

“His service for set pieces and dead balls, his ability to deliver quality balls in the box that are very dangerous. You take a piece like that out of the equation and it’s not the same. But Dominik (Kinnear) is an excellent coach. Their team will be committed and they are a very good side.”

Garcia is expected to join the Dynamo in Montreal and Klopas expects him to be ready to play, even if he is still smarting from an early exit in Brazil.

Klopas has been moving players on and off the roster in a bid to add depth at every position and find a squad he’s comfortable with. More moves were made this week when veteran left fullback Krzysztof Krol was signed and Haitian defender Meshack Jerome was let go, although Krol won’t officially join the team until July 8.

The club is also looking at signing another designated player, attacking midfielder Ignacio Piatti of Argentina, although there was no news on that front this week.

Klopas just wants to start winning soon.

“We were in a good spot before the D.C. game and now we can’t let moments like this slip by,” he said. “We have games in hand.

“With one or two wins we’re right in the pack with the rest of the teams fighting for a playoff spot. We have to make sure we close the gap. We can’t keep falling back.”

10 ways to celebrate Canada Day in Montreal – Montreal

MONTREAL – Just a week after the Fête nationale du Québec may seem a bit quick to some to have yet another party celebrating nationalism, but that’s how we roll in la belle province!

From fireworks in the Old Port, to a Sortilèges on Mont Royal, to Abbamania in the Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School parking lot, here’s a look at where the Canada’s 147th birthday celebrations are happening in Montreal.

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TAKE THE QUIZ: How well do you know Canadiana?

What will you be doing for Canada Day? Let us know in the comments section below.

We’d love to share your Canada Day celebration photos – just email them to us here.

Canada Day Parade
A tradition for 36 years, the Canada Day Parade sets off at 11 a.m. on Sainte Catherine Street at Fort Avenue.

The parade wends its way through downtown Montreal, ending up at Philips Square, where an enormous birthday cake will be served.

The 1.22 metre by 2.44 metre dessert can feed up to 2,500 people, who can then take in the live shows and a dance troupe and take a moment play on the on-site inflatables.

All activities, cake and water are free of charge.

For more information, check out the Montreal Canada Day Parade website.

GALLERY: Montrealers celebrate Canada Day

Tim Sargeant/Global News

Tim Sargeant/Global News

Tim Sargeant/Global News

Old Port celebrations
The biggest Canada Day event in the city takes place on federal land at the Old Port of Montreal.

The celebrations kick off at 11 a.m. with an official swearing in ceremony for new Canadians, followed by a taste of traditional Canada Day cake and a 21-cannon salute.

Until 8 p.m., there are activity tents with historical and thematic tours of each of the Canadian provinces and territories, an inflatable village and face-painting fun.

Leading up the the fireworks display at 10:15 p.m., there is a closing show featuring Michael Murphy, Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, Élizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite, Sunny Duval and more.

For more information, visit the Old Port Canada Day celebrations website.

A glimpse of the fireworks display in Montreal’s Old Port.

Mario Beauregard/The Canadian Press

Mont Royal
On Canada Day, the Friends of the Mountain are holding a concert from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Chalet du Mont-Royal.

It features Odaya, a group of young women from the Association of Indigenous Women of Quebec in Kahnawake, who create, sing and celebrate the richness of First Nations cultures.

Visitors will then be invited to take part in traditional folk dancing with the Folklore Ensemble Les Sortilèges.

After the show, the Friends of the Mountain will share the history and architecture of the Chalet with bilingual guided visits.

For more information, visit the Friends of the Mountain website.

Montrealers take part in traditional dancing with the Folklore Ensemble Les Sortilèges in 2013.

Les Amis de la montagne

Beaconsfield family fun
Celebrate Canada Day with an action-and-fun-filled day in Beaconsfield playing inflatable games and Cross Canada mini golf, watching dance performances from The Bernadette Short School of Irish Dance, Les Pieds Légers de Laval and Les Bons Diables and enjoying a “reasonably priced” BBQ.

There’s an impressive circus act scheduled at 7 p.m. by Les improbables, some great Celtic-Canadian music by Salty Dog starts at 8:30 and the fireworks are set to go off at 10 p.m.

It all kicks off in Centennial Park at 1 p.m.

For full details, visit the City of Beaconsfield website.

Salty Dog is a Canadian band from Montreal, specializing in Celtic, Maritime and Irish music.

Salty Dog

Dollard-des-Ormeaux gets its Canada on
Come out and show your Canadian pride as Canada celebrates its 147th anniversary with lots of fun and free entertainment for the whole family, including inflatable games, live bands, fireworks, arts-n-crafts for kids and the Becket Players.

Food and drinks will be sold on site at the Dollard-des-Ormeaux civic centre.

The festivities begin at 5 p.m. and end at 11 p.m.

For more information, visit the DDO city website.

The Becket Players are volunteer performers based in Montreal who create shows to raise money for children’s needs around the world.

The Becket Players

Celebrate Canada Day in Dorval with the Hellbound Hepcats
Bring your family and kick off the summer with friends and neighbours at the Dorval Canada Day celebrations.

There will be games for all ages, kiosks, a BBQ and some super shows, including a variety of local performers and the Hellbound Hepcats at Millenium Park along Lakeshore Drive at Sevigny from 3 p.m.

The Pyromusical fireworks are set to kick off at 10 p.m.

For more information, visit the City of Dorval website.

Montreal rock-a-billies and hardworking rock’n’rollers The Hellbound Hepcats.

Alexander Brown/Hellbound Hepcats

Abbamania, parades, fireworks and more in Pierrefonds
Sure to please both the young and the young-at-heart, Canada Day celebrations in Pierrefonds kick off at 4 p.m. on the grounds of the Borough Hall with a family show with Henri Godon, which is followed by line dancing in the street.

At 8:15 p.m., the Evening Fireflies Parade leaves from the corner of Des Sources and Pierrefonds Boulevards, headed to the Borough Hall. This inspiring parade brings together representatives from over 20 local organizations, who will walk along Pierrefonds Boulevard carrying all sorts of different types of lights and lanterns.

Then it’s an outdoor concert extravaganza with Abbamania in the Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School parking lot.

The fireworks are scheduled to go off at 10:30 p.m.

For full details, visit the City of Dorval website.

Abbamania are coming to Dorval to celebrate Canada Day!

City of Dorval

Pointe-Claire family fun
Bring your family to Bourgeau Park to celebrate Canada Day with activities and entertainment for the entire family starting at 1 p.m., including giant inflatable games, musical performances, a parade in the Village, face painting and BBQs on site.

There will be red and white yoga, free swimming at the pool and fantastic music from the Big Band Club Orchestra, That Darn Kat, G12, McZees, The Contractors, The Lincolns, Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra and Standby Blues.

If you’re one of the first 50 people in the park with your bike, you can get $3 in free concession tickets by showing a photo of yourself with your bike and the event schedule on your mobile device at the information booth.

For more info, visit the Pointe-Claire website.

The Standby Blues are playing in Pointe-Claire for the city’s Canada Day celebrations.

Standby Blues

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue’s dance at the branch
Everyone is welcome to come watch the raising of the flag, listen to live music, including bag pipes, get their face painted and enjoy supper and dancing at local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

To find out more, visit the City of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue’s website.

Flag raising on Canada Day in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in 2010.

City of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue

Westmount camping, BBQ and splash bash
Come celebrate Canada’s 147th birthday in Westmount Park with activities for the whole family, including camping, a toonie pankcake breakfast and a BBQ held on the roof of the Westmount Recreation Centre.

From 2 p.m., there will be a splash bash at the Westmount Pool with games, prizes, and of course, Canada Day cake.

For more information, visit the City of Westmount website.

Westount Park in Montreal.

Tourisme Montreal