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    Spruce Meadows and Their CanPL Learning Curve


    They are building a league. None of it existed before. It is easy for fans and followers to lose sight of what was so obvious only a few short months ago. Now people are paying attention to players, coaches, teams, formations, and results. But the challenge of winning games, learning your trade as a player or coach, or making tactical adjustments is undergirded by a league infrastructure which has an entire set of its own challenges, difficulties, and pitfalls. From marketing the teams to broadcasting the games to running your venue on game day, everywhere one turns there is a new challenge for the Canadian Premier League. And each of the teams face hurdles to overcome that are unique to their context.

    For Cavalry FC, their contextual challenges have included weather, transportation, and stadium creation. Their home base at Spruce Meadows required a significant amount of construction to get ready for this season including the construction of a large grandstand. Ian Allison, president and COO of Spruce Meadows Sports and Entertainment describes how the combination of weather and construction combined to negatively impact their playing surface.

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    Read more on the NSXI Network.

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    • Notice I pointed out that all games could be played in daylight hours. The low cameras are only really a problem when using the lights at night. A game broadcast live from 8-10 pm in Halifax will be played from 4-6 pm in Victoria. That only becomes a problem for lights at the very end of the season (assuming they go to October).  
    • But the difference is the format was agreed upon and that was what was taking place. Because you didn't like it or someone else didnt like it is irrelevant. Nobody agreed on a format that would suddenly stop due to a global pandemic. Is it a bit of a sigh of relief for some(cough cough, us) sure but there is definitely legitimate reasons to change the format
    • Why discuss unlikely hypothetical formats at this stage? We already know the road to Qatar is going to be 3 groups of 4 teams. Leagues are opening back up, so I hope more wcq news is just around the corner. I am particularly interested in the repechage format. How will the best 2nd place team be determined? They haven't said it'll be group stage determined, right?
    • Newcastle works but if they are trying to buy their success and David playing alongside world class players may not be a bad idea. However, wouldn't he sort of get lost in the shuffle? At least at Arsenal he would have much more of a better chance at not just playing time but being a bigger star under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal especially since they appear to be going young with their players. Hell, you can even throw Everton into the mix for Jonathan David.
    • I am concerned that Gent will take the Newcastle money. I don't think any Bundesliga clubs are going to offer Gent 35 Million Euros. Again, I am concerned, but the Newcastle move could be good. He may get to play alongside some world class players, but sadly we have seen this story before ... I think it depends on how hastily Newcastle go about rebuilding the club. Talent only takes you so far. You still need consistency and leadership. I kind of scoff at how Man City bought their success, but at least they did it the right way, to their credit. They gradually added a few pieces every year until they reached critical mass. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but QPR did not do that. They basically gutted the team who survived relegation by a single point, in their first EPL season in 15 years, and replaced them with new team full of brand-name talented players who just couldn't gel quick enough. They brought in Ryan Nelsen, Park Ji-Sung, Julio Cesar, Stephane Mbia, Loic Remy, Jermaine Jenas, Jose Bosingwa, Andy Johnson, Christopher Samba, Robert Green and more... all in the same season. That was kind of insane now looking back at it. On a positive note, Newcastle already have a decent base of players. They sit 13th in the table right now. The temptation to gut the team shouldn't be so great. If they just get rid of a few Yedlin-types and replace them with Danny Rose-types, it may not be so bad. Just a few incremental upgrades and not too many, that is the key. Sure a couple of them can be youngsters like David, but for sure they'll need one proven match winner and at least one veteran leader with experience winning, just to bring a good influence. A James Milnar type, although nobody linked to them strikes me as that sort. Maybe Shaqiri? He's won a lot with Liverpool and Bayern.
    • This is exactly what I thought of when I saw JuicyHam's comment.
    • And to elaborate on this, it's not like the European representatives were all pro soccer players or something. The following sports were represented. Rugby - Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia Field Hockey - Netherlands Water Skiing - USA Soccer - Canada American Football - USA x3 Judo - France Auto Racing - Germany High Jump - USA Pole Vault - USA So exactly 1 soccer player, and he didn't compete in the soccer competition. I wonder if there were 7 events that he thought he was better at than soccer, or whether he thought the Europeans would be better than him at his sport, despite them specializing in something else. Anyways, it worked for him!
    • Some other players linked to Newcastle recently: - Philippe Courtinho - Danny Rose - John Stones - Ross Barkley - Valentino Lazaro - Edison Cavani - Gonzolo Higuain  - Wilfred Zaha - Xherdan Shaqiri - Facundo Pellistri
    • It only makes sense for David to go there or he may as well go to Arsenal since under Arteta, they are set to go through a youth movement 
    • I disagree. There wasn't integrity in the system in the first place. When they announced it there were plenty of teams that had 0 chance of making it to the hex, even if they suddenly became as good as France overnight. Your objection is specifically because Canada still had a shot of making it to the hex and now they don't. I don't think they are going to change the system for that reason. If they change the system it is going to be because they don't have as many days to fit in games as they did before, not because a couple of friendly windows were missed.
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