• Duane Rollins

      Covering the world’s game from a Canadian perspective, the 24th Minute has been at the forefront for Toronto FC coverage since 2008. It is the source for breaking news, analysis and all things Canadian soccer.

    • Michael Crampton

      Mike Crampton has been an avid follower of Canadian club soccer and participant in the emergent Canadian soccer supporters scene for over a decade. When not playing, watching, or writing about the game he continues to serve the grassroots as an administrator at the local level. You can follow Mike on Twitter @BHTC_Mike

    • James Grossi

      James began covering the game in 2011 after a slow process of two decades saw him gradually consumed by it. He contributes to The Shin Guardian, Waking the Red, and had a piece featured in Issue Two of The Blizzard, as well as maintaining his own site, Partially Obstructed View. He covers the rest of MLS in the hope of providing context to fans on the edge.

    • Taking care of our own: CSA looks to increase pro opportunities for Canadian men at home and in MLS

      The CSA is committed to finding a homegrown solution to the lack of professional playing opportunities for Canadian men.

      At a press conference in Toronto on Thursday, CSA president Victor Montagliani confirmed that starting a coast-to-coast semi-pro division 3 league is part of the CSA's 5-year strategic plan.

      Montagliani did not place a specific timeline on starting such a league, but pointed out that it would be regional in scope and that two provinces -- Ontario and Quebec -- will be operating D3 leagues by 2014.

      He said that such leagues would provide players opportunity during "gap years" between academy/college graduation and being able to turn fully pro.

      Although Canadian-based MLS academies have helped in this regard, Montagliani stressed that they weren't "a magic bullet" that will fix all problems.

      In the past, Canada has tied itself to the American system. In the past year, the CSA has made it clear that it needs to move away from that approach at lower levels.

      To that end, the Association will no longer sanction new Canadian D3 teams in American leagues. MLS academies wishing to play in USL-Pro could be excluded from this as the parent club sanctioning would cover their participation.

      Central to the CSA's frustration is the lack of control it has in dealing with American leagues. A specific concern is MLS's unwillingness to make Canadian players domestics for American-based teams.

      The CSA rejects MLS's position that U.S. labour law prohibits that for happening and has been "in dialogue" with MLS for at least a year to change the rules.

      Montagliani said that progress has been "minimal" on the subject, but that he expects a resolution soon.

      The CSA's position that it should be possible to make Canadians domestic players in MLS seems to be backed up by the rules in two other U.S. leagues.

      USL-Pro has a seven-player limit on international players, but does not count Canadians against that limit. The National Women's Soccer League excludes both Mexican and Canadian allocated players from its international quotas as well.

      MLS claims that all foreign nationals must be treated the same and thus it is impossible to exclude Canadians from their international player quotas.
      Comments 11 Comments
      1. mowe's Avatar
        mowe -
        What does this mean for MLS teams fielding their own USL Pro teams in Canada?
      1. Duane Rollins's Avatar
        Duane Rollins -
        CSA told me last year that so long as the USL-Pro teams were an extension on the MLS academies that they would not require further sanctioning--I.e. the MLS sanctioning would cover them.
      1. carnifex2005's Avatar
        carnifex2005 -
        Quote Originally Posted by mowe View Post
        What does this mean for MLS teams fielding their own USL Pro teams in Canada?
        I'm guessing that they never will. It's no coincidence that TFC announced that Wilmington will be their USL PRO affiliate a few days ago after looking at maybe putting a USL PRO team in Hamilton.
      1. carnifex2005's Avatar
        carnifex2005 -
        Quote Originally Posted by Duane Rollins View Post
        CSA told me last year that so long as the USL-Pro teams were an extension on the MLS academies that they would not require further sanctioning--I.e. the MLS sanctioning would cover them.
        Would be nice for U-23 academy teams to be part of USL PRO if that is the case.
      1. Vic's Avatar
        Vic -
        Taking care of our own: CSA looks to increase pro opportunities for Canadian men at home and in MLS

        The CSA is committed to finding a homegrown solution to the lack of professional playing opportunities for Canadian men.
        I have been in meetings all day and had to miss the presser, but the document read:

        2.1 Support the development of elite-level, semi-professional regional leagues that provide a bridge between high-performance youth players and national/professional team selection.
        Is the gendered translation of this something they offered up or your interpretation?
      1. Trillium's Avatar
        Trillium -
        Victor needs to man up and hire a lawyer well versed in NAFTA and go after MLS.

        He should file a claim first with FIFA for a decision, then the Court for Sport Arbitration and then bring the NAFTA case for fair treatment of persons from another national entity.

        The Case would then open places in MLS to nationals of the three NAFTA countries on a equitable basis.

        I doubt he will do it as it would open the door to more Mexican born players in MLS squads.

        The Mexican federation has no interest in making mexican players have easier movement to MLS as it weakens the Mexican league, Canada will not move because they will upset Mexico and USA and Victor will just give it lip service in terms of selling fluff to the soccer fans.
      1. Ossington Mental Youth's Avatar
        Ossington Mental Youth -
        Im confused, does that mean its likely for TFC to continue in the USL or are they likely to put a team in teh OPDL? or both?
      1. Duane Rollins's Avatar
        Duane Rollins -
        Quote Originally Posted by Vic View Post
        I have been in meetings all day and had to miss the presser, but the document read:



        Is the gendered translation of this something they offered up or your interpretation?

        There was no reference to women's semi-pro leagues starting, nor plans for them. That, combined with the MLS aspect of the article, was to root of the pronoun choice.
      1. Duane Rollins's Avatar
        Duane Rollins -
        Quote Originally Posted by Ossington Mental Youth View Post
        Im confused, does that mean its likely for TFC to continue in the USL or are they likely to put a team in teh OPDL? or both?
        There is nothing stopping affiliating with US-based USL-Pro teams, nor for a Canadian team to operate a USL-Pro team in the US. Additionally, the CSA has told me in the past that they consider the MLS academy teams to already be sanctioned and that they are free to play in any league of their choosing. So, if TFC wants to put a u23 team in USL-Pro the CSA won't stop them.

        What they will do is refuse to sanction NEW tier 3 teams. They want new investment to be focused on building Canadian D3 leagues.
      1. Vic's Avatar
        Vic -
        Quote Originally Posted by Duane Rollins View Post
        There was no reference to women's semi-pro leagues starting, nor plans for them. That, combined with the MLS aspect of the article, was to root of the pronoun choice.
        Appreciated, thanks for that.

        These excerpts are also genderless:

        1.2 Fully implement a National Player Development Pathway that coordinates the identification and development of elite players through professional clubs, training centres and a scouting network in order to provide a continual pipeline for all National Teams.

        2.0 Our National Team coaches do not have the benefit of selecting players who regularly compete in an elite level domestic league. The world’s top national teams draw from their domestic leagues. The development of a home-grown system in which our best players can compete is of paramount importance.
        How do we expect to develop elite women's soccer players when there are no full-season programs beyond beer league that practice once a week?

        The word "professional" and women's soccer should never be in the same sentence together because it makes people freak out. Throw it out the window. What we need are programs coast to coast that allow women to take the game seriously and not have to play recreationally when they leave youth programs and school.

        If half the players coming out of youth leagues are women, and they comparatively have an absolute barren wasteland with zero options to continue to develop, would we not want to put half our energy into solving their problem?
      1. Fhurion's Avatar
        Fhurion -
        Quote Originally Posted by Ossington Mental Youth View Post
        Im confused, does that mean its likely for TFC to continue in the USL or are they likely to put a team in teh OPDL? or both?
        Quote Originally Posted by Duane Rollins View Post
        There is nothing stopping affiliating with US-based USL-Pro teams, nor for a Canadian team to operate a USL-Pro team in the US. Additionally, the CSA has told me in the past that they consider the MLS academy teams to already be sanctioned and that they are free to play in any league of their choosing. So, if TFC wants to put a u23 team in USL-Pro the CSA won't stop them.

        What they will do is refuse to sanction NEW tier 3 teams. They want new investment to be focused on building Canadian D3 leagues.
        IMO they should definitely have both, as TFC would want all of their Academy squads playing at the highest level possible. TFC Reserves to launch in 2015 in Hamilton or elsewhere in the GTA and play in USL Pro, TFC Academy U-18s to play in the League 1 Ontario. Add the U14 & U12 teams to the OPDL and we're flyin'!
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