Jump to content
  • Sign in to follow this  

    Believing in the possible


    Duane Rollins

    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. 

     

       

    Edited by Duane Rollins

    Sign in to follow this  


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.



    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • CANMNT_CNL_Toronto_Carousel.jpg

  • Categories

  • Viewing Parties
    WWC & GC

    *** Important. Due to the wide range of times these games are shown at and unfortunate collisions with local professional teams you MUST check to ensure the bar is open and the game is on. 

    Victoria - Yates Taphouse
    Vancouver - Library Square 
    Calgary - Home & Away
    Edmonton - Urban Tavern
    Saskatoon - Finn's Pub
    Regina - The Lobby
    Winnipeg - Nicolina's 
    Toronto - Duke of Gloucester. 
    Ottawa - Senate Tavern on Bank
    Hamilton - End Zone Pub
    Montreal - Frappe
    Halifax - Niche Lounge
    Waterloo - RIM Park
    Kitchener - Budd Park

  • Raffles

  • Posts

    • I think Jamie Peters is already rooming with Boakai.  
    • I think we are getting too broke up over Telfer, the way things are going its a real stretch to say he might be important to the CMNT, get 20-30caps etc.  Maybe, but he would really have to up his play though.    Ie: Akindele is a solid MLS quality player, only has 14 caps, and might not get to 20 the way things are going.  Edwards has 50+ Mls games, a fistfull of goals and assists with some lively play on the wing, still only 24, 4 caps, and might not hit 10caps.  AJH, 70+ mls games, 15 goals, 26years old, only 14 caps and prob wont get to 25.  The competition is getting fierce for spots, for games.  The guys that havnt broken into the CMNT by their mid 20's are in real danger of being passed over because the under 20 kids are looking so promising.  
    • Lol it's certainly still looks like a construction site in some of those pictures, but the new stand looks amazing. I'm looking forward to this weekend. Hopefully it fills up.
    • 8 Int slots/yeam, ,most teams have 25-30 players on the books in MLS  So that is probably at its highest 33/67% split, maybe 36/64% if you pare it down to a 22man roster.  CPL has roughly 5-6 INT per team, say a 22man roster average or roughly 75% CDN.  The total numbers arent that much different, its the 6 starter quota that makes the difference.  Plenty of MLS teams trot out the bare minimum of domestics and give most of the playing time to INT.  Thats the real bonus for CPL player development, and it doesnt seem to hurt the quality of play at all.  
    • PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24 Home to the Premier League soccer team, which approached the City in spring 2018, as well as Rugby Canada and the Westshore Rebels football team, the stadium has undergone significant upgrades costing about $8.8 million since Langford City Counil approved the expansion last July. Once complete, the expanded stadium will accommodate 6,000 spectators in the purple or white plastic seats that were added to the new and existing grandstands, on the folding bleachers on the field, or in one of 18 VIP suites. https://www.saanichnews.com/sports/photos-inside-the-opening-of-the-expanded-westhills-stadium/  
    • The percentage of domestic to international players in MLS is close to 50%. Of those domestic players, I am sure the majority of them are not starters. So you can say the development of US players is well below it's potential, and with 28 clubs, that potential is vast. Contrast that with the CPL, where the percentage of domestic players is closer to 80 or 90%. Much better for development. Furthermore, with a CPL team getting a concacaf league spot every season, young canadians are going to end up playing more in concacaf than Americans. Perhaps not in terms of absolute numbers, but we'll be more efficient when it comes to giving our players concacaf games. I think our young players may become better equipped for concacaf as a result.
    • Hopefully a good turnout for the Cuba game but I’m not necessarily expecting a lot considering the opponent.
    • I would like to see a couple players get an opportunity, perhaps even earn a cap. However, we shouldn't go full-on experimental mode, in my humble opinion. We need to win both games and cream Cuba. If we can rack up the goals and split with the US, they'll be under pressure to match it when they play Cuba.  
    • I think with the two games against Cuba we should look to be calling some CPL players regardless. I think it would be silly to ignore 
    • The annoying thing is that we could have capped him last year and his call would have been based on merit at that time. He was deserving in the opinion of myself and others. Now we may lose him to Trinidad, which is probably the team where Telfer can have a longer international career, but it is a direct rival.  Guyana is not really in the same class, so Welshman and Roberts joining them shouldn't come back to bite us. On the other hand, Telfer makes the T&T squad more dangerous. Say what you want about Telfer's consistency, he is capable of popping up with a moment of brilliance. Such moments can define world cup qualifying campaigns. And it's not just about keeping him out of the hands of T&T - I genuinely believe we could use him. He may never earn 30, 40 or 50 caps for Canada, but should we need to plug a gap, he's there waiting in the wings. His athleticism is evident and could be useful and perhaps it is under appreciated. He's a left-footed player too, which are harder to come by. And he's got a good left foot, the guy can play. He is not just an athlete. Anyways, should he not wish to wait, that is totally cool. It's his career. We just shouldn't brush it off in my opinion. It should be considered a missed opportunity. Not the end of the world, mind you, but a missed opportunity nonetheless.
×
×
  • Create New...