Duane Rollins

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Duane Rollins last won the day on March 10

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  1. When the news was finally confirmed it was no longer news. More than two years after CSN first reported that Canada was working towards its own league, current CSA president Victor Montagliani out right confirmed it on Red Card Radio last week. "The league is a go," was how he simply put it. Two days ago, the Halifax regional council released a document that detailed plans for the creation of said new Canadian league. August 2018 was listed as the start date, with a May 2017 announcement suggested. As someone who was accused of making all this up two years ago allow me this single indulgence: I TOLD YOU SO Alright, now that that's out of the way let's instead focus on just how important this confirmation is. Simply put, it is the single most important accomplishment of the CSA in 31 years -- bigger than bringing WWC 2015 here, bigger than the 2007 U20 World Cup and much bigger than helping get MLS established in the nation. Make no mistake, all of those things mattered. There is no CanPL without them. They laid the groundwork that created an environment that allowed the CSA to even dare to dream of something so outlandish as starting our own league. When Canada landed the 2007 U20s -- around the time Christine Sinclair was introducing herself to the nation at the also important 2002 women's U19 event -- the idea of a national league was dead in the water. The CSL had failed and with it any chance of ever having top flight soccer in this country was seemingly buried with it. Even the idea of having a single MLS team seemed far-fetched (partly because no one was betting on MLS lasting long-term either). But, a new generation of Canadians was starting to enter their peak spending years and the older generation -- the generation that thinks soccer is a commie sport, mostly -- was starting to lose its grip on power. Suddenly, the Gen Xers and the generation that we now call millennials were to be paid attention to and that generation didn't have the same hang ups about soccer that their parents and grandparents did. They grew up playing the sport in the boom years of the 1980s and '90s and then later in their living rooms in video game form (make no mistake. EA Sports has played a vital role in popularizing soccer in North America). Those young(er) fans packed bars, pubs and cafes every two years to watch the World Cup and Euros. Still, the older generation said that they would never watch the game outside of those big tournaments. It's just a party, something to do while waiting for the NHL season to start again, the grumpy boomers said. Except those same fans were starting to buy Juve, Manchester United and Real Madrid strips and show up at all hours of the day to watch European games. Yeah, but they won't support teams from here, grunted the talk radio shock jock. Then BMO Field opened and fans made Toronto FC the hottest ticket in town. Vancouver then Montreal followed and years later nearly 100,000 watched the Impact and TFC play for the Eastern Conference championship over a wild two legged tie that will probably be referenced by an 18 year old rookie in 2022 as being the reason he or she decided to become a professional soccer player. Yet, the old voices remain and are now telling us that the CanPL can never succeed. This is despite soccer proving the doubters wrong at every step of the way over the past 25 years. Every. Single. Step. of. The. Way. It's time to shout them down. The burden of proof no longer lies on the side of the soccer-lover. No, it's the soccer-doubter that needs to show their work. I suspect their work would include references to the NASL, New York Cosmos and Pele before it drifted off into a 40 minute rant about how music was better when Meat Loaf was on top of the charts. The sport has fans -- huge fans -- in every corner of the country. Sure, many of those fans support one of the three MLS teams (or another level team), but more than enough either don't live near a MLS/NASL/USL team or are open to supporting both their current team and a CanPL side. This isn't 1992 and it sure as hell isn't 1984. There are people in Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax and more than have seen the Southsiders, UM02, Red Patch Boys or (insert your supporters group here) and want the same thing for themselves. The new CanPL teams will find their fans and the teams have enough money behind them to allow the initial fan base to grow to a point that no one will ever fear for the long-term health of the league again. One of the underappreciated goals of the CanPL is to bring the game to more fan's back-yards. We focus on player, coach and referee development -- and clearly that is very important -- but the reality is that spreading the sport to every part of the country is probably the single most important thing the CanPL will do. Putting pro soccer in smaller markets is a goal in of itself, but it's not like having those pockets of passion isn't without a player development angle too. Just look at the amount of young American players that currently talk about how important going to MLS games was to developing their love of the game. That will hapen with the CanPL too (and already is happening with the three MLS teams). The CanPL is going to happen. And, It's going to succeed. It's time to embrace what is possible and stop looking for what might go wrong. Most of all it's time to embrace the undeniable -- soccer in Canada doesn't need the approval of the mainstream to be relevant. It is the mainstream now and has been for at least a decade.
  2. When the news was finally confirmed it was no longer news. More than two years after CSN first reported that Canada was working towards its own league, current CSA president Victor Montagliani out right confirmed it on Red Card Radio last week. "The league is a go," was how he simply put it. Two days ago, the Halifax regional council released a document that detailed plans for the creation of said new Canadian league. August 2018 was listed as the start date, with a May 2017 announcement suggested. As someone who was accused of making all this up two years ago allow me this single indulgence: I TOLD YOU SO Alright, now that that's out of the way let's instead focus on just how important this confirmation is. Simply put, it is the single most important accomplishment of the CSA in 31 years -- bigger than bringing WWC 2015 here, bigger than the 2007 U20 World Cup and much bigger than helping get MLS established in the nation. Make no mistake, all of those things mattered. There is no CanPL without them. They laid the groundwork that created an environment that allowed the CSA to even dare to dream of something so outlandish as starting our own league. When Canada landed the 2007 U20s -- around the time Christine Sinclair was introducing herself to the nation at the also important 2002 women's U19 event -- the idea of a national league was dead in the water. The CSL had failed and with it any chance of ever having top flight soccer in this country was seemingly buried with it. Even the idea of having a single MLS team seemed far-fetched (partly because no one was betting on MLS lasting long-term either). But, a new generation of Canadians was starting to enter their peak spending years and the older generation -- the generation that thinks soccer is a commie sport, mostly -- was starting to lose its grip on power. Suddenly, the Gen Xers and the generation that we now call millennials were to be paid attention to and that generation didn't have the same hang ups about soccer that their parents and grandparents did. They grew up playing the sport in the boom years of the 1980s and '90s and then later in their living rooms in video game form (make no mistake. EA Sports has played a vital role in popularizing soccer in North America). Those young(er) fans packed bars, pubs and cafes every two years to watch the World Cup and Euros. Still, the older generation said that they would never watch the game outside of those big tournaments. It's just a party, something to do while waiting for the NHL season to start again, the grumpy boomers said. Except those same fans were starting to buy Juve, Manchester United and Real Madrid strips and show up at all hours of the day to watch European games. Yeah, but they won't support teams from here, grunted the talk radio shock jock. Then BMO Field opened and fans made Toronto FC the hottest ticket in town. Vancouver then Montreal followed and years later nearly 100,000 watched the Impact and TFC play for the Eastern Conference championship over a wild two legged tie that will probably be referenced by an 18 year old rookie in 2022 as being the reason he or she decided to become a professional soccer player. Yet, the old voices remain and are now telling us that the CanPL can never succeed. This is despite soccer proving the doubters wrong at every step of the way over the past 25 years. Every. Single. Step. of. The. Way. It's time to shout them down. The burden of proof no longer lies on the side of the soccer-lover. No, it's the soccer-doubter that needs to show their work. I suspect their work would include references to the NASL, New York Cosmos and Pele before it drifted off into a 40 minute rant about how music was better when Meat Loaf was on top of the charts. The sport has fans -- huge fans -- in every corner of the country. Sure, many of those fans support one of the three MLS teams (or another level team), but more than enough either don't live near a MLS/NASL/USL team or are open to supporting both their current team and a CanPL side. This isn't 1992 and it sure as hell isn't 1984. There are people in Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax and more than have seen the Southsiders, UM02, Red Patch Boys or (insert your supporters group here) and want the same thing for themselves. The new CanPL teams will find their fans and the teams have enough money behind them to allow the initial fan base to grow to a point that no one will ever fear for the long-term health of the league again. One of the underappreciated goals of the CanPL is to bring the game to more fan's back-yards. We focus on player, coach and referee development -- and clearly that is very important -- but the reality is that spreading the sport to every part of the country is probably the single most important thing the CanPL will do. Putting pro soccer in smaller markets is a goal in of itself, but it's not like having those pockets of passion isn't without a player development angle too. Just look at the amount of young American players that currently talk about how important going to MLS games was to developing their love of the game. That will hapen with the CanPL too (and already is happening with the three MLS teams). The CanPL is going to happen. And, It's going to succeed. It's time to embrace what is possible and stop looking for what might go wrong. Most of all it's time to embrace the undeniable -- soccer in Canada doesn't need the approval of the mainstream to be relevant. It is the mainstream now and has been for at least a decade. View full record
  3. Former LA Galaxy and MetroStars manager Octavio Zambrano will be named Canadian men's national team head coach on Friday. The news was first reported in the Italian source, GazzoMercato. Anthony Totera reported this morning that the new hire would be Ecuadorian. It's thought that Javier Livia will be Zambrano's chief assistant. Zambrano has a .587 career MLS winning percentage as a manager, second to Bruce Arena all-time. He most recently managed El Nacional in Ecuador. View full record
  4. Former LA Galaxy and MetroStars manager Octavio Zambrano will be named Canadian men's national team head coach on Friday. The news was first reported in the Italian source, GazzoMercato. Anthony Totera reported this morning that the new hire would be Ecuadorian. It's thought that Javier Livia will be Zambrano's chief assistant. Zambrano has a .587 career MLS winning percentage as a manager, second to Bruce Arena all-time. He most recently managed El Nacional in Ecuador.
  5. Pictured above is likely the first manager of LAFC The CSA has a St. Patrick's Day surprise for us. Today, Canadian Soccer announced that it was holding a press conference at Toronto's Westin Harbour Castle at 10 am on Amateur Day. The posh hotel is where the CSA usually holds its really important announcements. I met Sepp Blatter there once. Initially this press release got the heart fluttering a little, as it was thought that maybe, just maybe, the Premier League announcement was finally upon us. However, a closer look relieved that it was labeled as a men's national team announcement, rather than an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING THE FUTURE OF CANADIAN SOCCER!!1!1! A little asking around allowed me to safely conclude that Friday's surprise is very likely confirmation on who the manager of the national team will be for the Gold Cup. One source suggested to me that the announcement could be a short term band-aid for just the Gold Cup, rather than a long-term contract. However, most people seem to think the CSA has found their man. As for who that is...? Hats off to the CSA on this one. For once they've kept a pretty tight lid on things. We knew about Benito Floro's appointment about a week out, but so far there is pretty consistent silence on this. One person told me that it was likely that we've not heard of the appointee. They said that he probably won't be Canadian and he might be younger than typical. That would represent the CSA looking for a "Herdman-type" to take over the men's team with a long-term vision and a desire to move to Canada and settle here long-term. One well known Canadian soccer observer, Anthony Totera, reported today that the manager would be coming from Ecuador. The reality of the CSA's financial situation is that hiring someone that is a bit unknown, but hungry, is likely the smart thing to do. We simply can't afford a name, and a name is unlikely to come to a country that is five years away, at minimum, to a World Cup. Someone like, say, Bob Bradley. It's been suggested to me that the CSA did, at least, reach out to Bradley and there is an obvious connection to Toronto in that his adorable grandkids (and intense son) live here. That connection has allowed this long shot of a rumour to live despite very strong evidence that he's likely to end up in LA, if he decides to give up on Europe at all, that is. As much as Bradley might make sense for Canada, Canada doesn't really make sense for him. And, by the time it might his grandkids probably won't live here anymore. If any specific names emerge we will update with a new story. View full record
  6. Pictured above is likely the first manager of LAFC The CSA has a St. Patrick's Day surprise for us. Today, Canadian Soccer announced that it was holding a press conference at Toronto's Westin Harbour Castle at 10 am on Amateur Day. The posh hotel is where the CSA usually holds its really important announcements. I met Sepp Blatter there once. Initially this press release got the heart fluttering a little, as it was thought that maybe, just maybe, the Premier League announcement was finally upon us. However, a closer look relieved that it was labeled as a men's national team announcement, rather than an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING THE FUTURE OF CANADIAN SOCCER!!1!1! A little asking around allowed me to safely conclude that Friday's surprise is very likely confirmation on who the manager of the national team will be for the Gold Cup. One source suggested to me that the announcement could be a short term band-aid for just the Gold Cup, rather than a long-term contract. However, most people seem to think the CSA has found their man. As for who that is...? Hats off to the CSA on this one. For once they've kept a pretty tight lid on things. We knew about Benito Floro's appointment about a week out, but so far there is pretty consistent silence on this. One person told me that it was likely that we've not heard of the appointee. They said that he probably won't be Canadian and he might be younger than typical. That would represent the CSA looking for a "Herdman-type" to take over the men's team with a long-term vision and a desire to move to Canada and settle here long-term. One well known Canadian soccer observer, Anthony Totera, reported today that the manager would be coming from Ecuador. The reality of the CSA's financial situation is that hiring someone that is a bit unknown, but hungry, is likely the smart thing to do. We simply can't afford a name, and a name is unlikely to come to a country that is five years away, at minimum, to a World Cup. Someone like, say, Bob Bradley. It's been suggested to me that the CSA did, at least, reach out to Bradley and there is an obvious connection to Toronto in that his adorable grandkids (and intense son) live here. That connection has allowed this long shot of a rumour to live despite very strong evidence that he's likely to end up in LA, if he decides to give up on Europe at all, that is. As much as Bradley might make sense for Canada, Canada doesn't really make sense for him. And, by the time it might his grandkids probably won't live here anymore. If any specific names emerge we will update with a new story.
  7. As most know, the Vancouver Whitecaps became the third Canadian team to reach the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals after their two leg win over the Red Bulls last month. In doing so they added to Canada's argument to be seeded in the new format, which starts later this year. With 16 teams in the knock-out phase it's hard to argue against Canada being placed in the top eight, actually. Gaining more spots is another story. Let's wait until the Canadian Premier League is involved before opening that can of worms. At any rate, if the Whitecaps are to become the second hoser squad to make a final they have their work cut out for them. They have drawn Liga MX power Tigres -- they of three Mexica titles since 2011 and fresh off a CCL finals appearance. In the requisite YouTube hype video released today the Caps have called the match-up David v Goliath. That might be doing a disservice to Goliath. Speaking of the hype video: I'll leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide whether a team that claims it plays in #SoccerCityCanada (which by virtue of that claim means that they think the city you live in isn't) is deserving of #Canada4Caps. No one should feel an obligation to cheer for a club team just because they play in the same country as you, even if there are only five fully professional teams in your country. I doubt many Caps fans were cheering for TF...actually they might have been because, well. Seattle. That was a bad day for them, wasn't it?. If you do watch that video you'll note that it appears that the Caps are now fully boarding the Alphonso Davies hype train. Not gonna lie, the idea of seeing Davies line up against a top Mexican side is very appealing. Unless he decides to represent Liberia. I'm sure it will be fine. View full record
  8. As most know, the Vancouver Whitecaps became the third Canadian team to reach the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals after their two leg win over the Red Bulls last month. In doing so they added to Canada's argument to be seeded in the new format, which starts later this year. With 16 teams in the knock-out phase it's hard to argue against Canada being placed in the top eight, actually. Gaining more spots is another story. Let's wait until the Canadian Premier League is involved before opening that can of worms. At any rate, if the Whitecaps are to become the second hoser squad to make a final they have their work cut out for them. They have drawn Liga MX power Tigres -- they of three Mexica titles since 2011 and fresh off a CCL finals appearance. In the requisite YouTube hype video released today the Caps have called the match-up David v Goliath. That might be doing a disservice to Goliath. Speaking of the hype video: I'll leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide whether a team that claims it plays in #SoccerCityCanada (which by virtue of that claim means that they think the city you live in isn't) is deserving of #Canada4Caps. No one should feel an obligation to cheer for a club team just because they play in the same country as you, even if there are only five fully professional teams in your country. I doubt many Caps fans were cheering for TF...actually they might have been because, well. Seattle. That was a bad day for them, wasn't it?. If you do watch that video you'll note that it appears that the Caps are now fully boarding the Alphonso Davies hype train. Not gonna lie, the idea of seeing Davies line up against a top Mexican side is very appealing. Unless he decides to represent Liberia. I'm sure it will be fine.
  9. Philadelphia Union (0-0-1) v TFC (0-0-1), Match Day 2 TSN 4 – 4:30pm, Saturday CSN Away Viewing is upstairs at Pauper’s Pub (Bathurst and Bloor). Check the usual suspects (Wheat Sheaf, Shoeless Joe’s, etc.) for others or add your viewing in the comments. Last meeting: TFC won its first ever playoff game in rather convincing fashion to launch a magical run that lasted through to the end of November. I’m not sure what happened in December. Most famous game: In what was possibly Aron Winter’s darkest moment the exceptionally average Union put six – yes, SIX – goals by the Worst Team in the World to win 6-2 in front of a grumpy BMO Field back in 2012. Key Union player: Let’s go with Super Keeper Andre Blake, who is arguably the best shot stopper in all of MLS. Thankfully, TFC has not been robbed blind by a keeper standing on his head in almost three months. Former Red alert: With the man responsible for BMO Field’s lack of plastic, Mo Edu, still recovering from his broken leg the former Reds alert is Warren Creavalle. The utility player most famous in Toronto for the drunk guy two rows back of you insisting he’d be a better option at right-back has actually found some half-decent form for the Union. Key TFC player: Gotta be Seba, no? After yet another week of MLS’ tried and true defensive strategy of hack-a-little-Italian, the Atomic Ant will be looking to open his account in style this weekend. Home advantage: Meh. Unless you’re trying to park your car after sunset there isn’t much intimating about Chester’s best soccer stadium. The weather on game day is going to be positively Canadian -- -4C expected at kick-off. No orange ball likely though. What opposing fans are saying: REVENGE!!!!1!!!!1! They are also mostly calling for a tight game and possibly a draw. Yippee. TFC panic level (as expressed by the name of a former player): Danny Koevermans (He’s really good, but we’re scared it’s all going to go wrong at any moment) Our view: It says here that TFC gets its first three points of the year and Seba opens his account with a brace. 3-0 Reds. View full record
  10. Philadelphia Union (0-0-1) v TFC (0-0-1), Match Day 2 TSN 4 – 4:30pm, Saturday CSN Away Viewing is upstairs at Pauper’s Pub (Bathurst and Bloor). Check the usual suspects (Wheat Sheaf, Shoeless Joe’s, etc.) for others or add your viewing in the comments. Last meeting: TFC won its first ever playoff game in rather convincing fashion to launch a magical run that lasted through to the end of November. I’m not sure what happened in December. Most famous game: In what was possibly Aron Winter’s darkest moment the exceptionally average Union put six – yes, SIX – goals by the Worst Team in the World to win 6-2 in front of a grumpy BMO Field back in 2012. Key Union player: Let’s go with Super Keeper Andre Blake, who is arguably the best shot stopper in all of MLS. Thankfully, TFC has not been robbed blind by a keeper standing on his head in almost three months. Former Red alert: With the man responsible for BMO Field’s lack of plastic, Mo Edu, still recovering from his broken leg the former Reds alert is Warren Creavalle. The utility player most famous in Toronto for the drunk guy two rows back of you insisting he’d be a better option at right-back has actually found some half-decent form for the Union. Key TFC player: Gotta be Seba, no? After yet another week of MLS’ tried and true defensive strategy of hack-a-little-Italian, the Atomic Ant will be looking to open his account in style this weekend. Home advantage: Meh. Unless you’re trying to park your car after sunset there isn’t much intimating about Chester’s best soccer stadium. The weather on game day is going to be positively Canadian -- -4C expected at kick-off. No orange ball likely though. What opposing fans are saying: REVENGE!!!!1!!!!1! They are also mostly calling for a tight game and possibly a draw. Yippee. TFC panic level (as expressed by the name of a former player): Danny Koevermans (He’s really good, but we’re scared it’s all going to go wrong at any moment) Our view: It says here that TFC gets its first three points of the year and Seba opens his account with a brace. 3-0 Reds.
  11. Official preview video
  12. Talk about burying the lead. Toronto FC fans got a surprise yesterday and not one that they would have been looking forward to. That Champions League spot that many were looking forward to is not just delayed until next February -- it's been taken away completely. The news was almost hidden in a release announcing the extension of the Canadian Championship to include the winner of the PLSQ and League1 Ontario. So, to re-cap, the CSA got one thing right and one thing very wrong. Let's start with the wrong. Appreciating the fact that a lot of people in this country love it when Toronto gets screwed, there is no denying that they did, in fact, get screwed here. Yes, there was a bit of an issue to fix -- CONCACAF's change in format made it a long wait for the qualifying team -- but the CSA chose quite possibly the least sporting solution available to them. TFC won the Voyageurs Cup on the field and the CONCACAF spot that went with it should have stayed with them. A year where the Cup did not have a CCL spot would not have been the end of the world. In fact, it may have given more opportunity to young Canadians to play in the competition as the teams would have very likely rotated (as an aside, the CSA also added a Canadian quota for starters this year -- each team will need to start three Canucks each game. The CSA did provide a slight advantage by allowing TFC to host the one game playoff. Obviously, if TFC wins the 2017 Voyageurs Cup they do not need to play itself for the berth. Unfair or not, it's done now and the Reds will need to get down to the business of repeating as champions if the CCL is to make a long awaited return to T.O. For the D3 level teams the long wait to get a shot at the Canadian Championship is almost over. The specific format of the 2018 Cup has not been released yet (hopefully because they are waiting to add a few more teams in a, say, new league...), but whatever it is it will include at least two D3 teams. It won't include the Canadian PDL teams. The likely reason? The CSA wants those teams to play in Canadian leagues and this might be the incentive to get them to make that choice on their own.
  13. Talk about burying the lead. Toronto FC fans got a surprise yesterday and not one that they would have been looking forward to. That Champions League spot that many were looking forward to is not just delayed until next February -- it's been taken away completely. The news was almost hidden in a release announcing the extension of the Canadian Championship to include the winner of the PLSQ and League1 Ontario. So, to re-cap, the CSA got one thing right and one thing very wrong. Let's start with the wrong. Appreciating the fact that a lot of people in this country love it when Toronto gets screwed, there is no denying that they did, in fact, get screwed here. Yes, there was a bit of an issue to fix -- CONCACAF's change in format made it a long wait for the qualifying team -- but the CSA chose quite possibly the least sporting solution available to them. TFC won the Voyageurs Cup on the field and the CONCACAF spot that went with it should have stayed with them. A year where the Cup did not have a CCL spot would not have been the end of the world. In fact, it may have given more opportunity to young Canadians to play in the competition as the teams would have very likely rotated (as an aside, the CSA also added a Canadian quota for starters this year -- each team will need to start three Canucks each game. The CSA did provide a slight advantage by allowing TFC to host the one game playoff. Obviously, if TFC wins the 2017 Voyageurs Cup they do not need to play itself for the berth. Unfair or not, it's done now and the Reds will need to get down to the business of repeating as champions if the CCL is to make a long awaited return to T.O. For the D3 level teams the long wait to get a shot at the Canadian Championship is almost over. The specific format of the 2018 Cup has not been released yet (hopefully because they are waiting to add a few more teams in a, say, new league...), but whatever it is it will include at least two D3 teams. It won't include the Canadian PDL teams. The likely reason? The CSA wants those teams to play in Canadian leagues and this might be the incentive to get them to make that choice on their own. View full record
  14. Talk about burying the lead. Toronto FC fans got a surprise yesterday and not one that they would have been looking forward to. That Champions League spot that many were looking forward to is not just delayed until next February -- it's been taken away completely. The news was almost hidden in a release announcing the extension of the Canadian Championship to include the winner of the PLSQ and League1 Ontario. So, to re-cap, the CSA got one thing right and one thing very wrong. Let's start with the wrong. Appreciating the fact that a lot of people in this country love it when Toronto gets screwed, there is no denying that they did, in fact, get screwed here. Yes, there was a bit of an issue to fix -- CONCACAF's change in format made it a long wait for the qualifying team -- but the CSA chose quite possibly the least sporting solution available to them. TFC won the Voyageurs Cup on the field and the CONCACAF spot that went with it should have stayed with them. A year where the Cup did not have a CCL spot would not have been the end of the world. In fact, it may have given more opportunity to young Canadians to play in the competition as the teams would have very likely rotated (as an aside, the CSA also added a Canadian quota for starters this year -- each team will need to start three Canucks each game. The CSA did provide a slight advantage by allowing TFC to host the one game playoff. Obviously, if TFC wins the 2017 Voyageurs Cup they do not need to play itself for the birth. Unfair or not, it's done now and the Reds will need to get down to the business of repeating as champions if the CCL is to make a long awaited return to T.O. For the D3 level teams the long wait to get a shot at the Canadian Championship is almost over. The specific format of the 2018 Cup has not been released yet (hopefully because they are waiting to add a few more teams in a, say, new league...), but whatever it is it will include at least two D3 teams. It won't include the Canadian PDL teams. The likely reason? The CSA wants those teams to play in Canadian leagues and this might be the incentive to get them to make that choice on their own.
  15. In the words of the great modern poet that is Demi Lovato: So how did you get here under my skin? I swore that I'd never let you back in Should've known better than trying to let you go 'Cause here we go go go go again After nearly a year of...let's call it re-charging...CSN is back with a slightly new mandate and hopefully a revitalized zest for writing about the always frustrating but rarely dull world of Canadian soccer. We would have been back sooner, but we had a lot of work to accomplish first. Most importantly, we needed to change the look of the site and to get rid of a truly staggering amount of spam that had overwhelmed us and that played a significant role in creating the burn-out that necessitated that above mentioned re-charging. The comments section, once the best check of my ego I could have ever hoped for, but yet an important part of making CSN a community rather than just a news site, became the bane of my existence. Unless you were in the market for Russian pharmaceuticals there was no point checking the comments. Without the understanding that people are reading it becomes difficult to motivate yourself to take time out of your schedule to do that hard work of writing -- especially when you spend a lot of time commenting in audio form as the host of SoccerToday. Speaking personally, the burn out was also just a product of doing it for so long. You feel that you are repeating yourself after a while. But, eventually you start to miss it and you start to feel that you need to get your voice back out there in a consistent way. A lot remains the same about Canadian soccer, but a lot has changed as well. Part of CSN's (slightly) new mandate will be to address those changes -- specifically the Canadian Premier League project that is (frustratingly still) on the horizon. Additionally, D3 level leagues like League1 Ontario, the PLSQ and the new BC initiative are becoming more and more important in the system and reporting on them will become a big focus of CSN 2.0. That's not to say we won't still talk about MLS and the three Canadian teams. There was a time when I felt that maybe we should step away from that kind of coverage (and I still think we should focus a bit less on it compared to the topics outlined above), but when nearly 100,000 people attend the Eastern Conference Final in Canada and a million more watch it on TV it's hard to say that it shouldn't be covered. So, it will be. As will the national teams and issues that impact Canadian soccer at all levels, regardless of where it originates from. It's going to be a lot of work. But, it's work I'm excited to get back to after a little time away. In the words of retired Canadian soccer poet Ben Knight... ONWARD!