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    What to do about Ottawa

    Duane Rollins

    Multiple sources in the CanPL and in Canadian soccer have confirmed that the Ottawa Fury will struggle to be sanctioned after 2019, if not sooner.

    “Who is going to sanction them,” one source said? “They may get a ‘pity’ sanction for 2019, but beyond that?”

    Another person working in the game suggested that the CSA will be reluctant to directly challenge the Fury, but that they are working behind closed doors to challenge the legitimacy of the club playing in the US-based USL.

    “They won’t say anything publicly, but they are hoping CONCACAF steps in.”

    The suggestion is that CONCACAF may ban teams outside the top flight from participating in leagues outside their country. This would be in reaction to not just the Canadian situation, but also in the Caribbean where several teams have attached themselves to US leagues now and in the past. There is a movement within CONCACAF to create a D1 pan-Caribbean league and having clubs play in the US makes that more challenging. This could offer an opportunity to stop the practice moving forward.

    It’s also difficult to justify the three Canadian MLS teams, if you ban teams from below the top flight. Especially if, as the CSA has suggested, the CanPL is launched as a Division 1 league. It would seem that at the very least you would need to acknowledge that CanPL is a D2 league, if you were to allow TFC, the Whitecaps and Impact to remain in the American league, while barring Ottawa entry into USL.  

    Not everyone believes the CSA is ready to take the so-called “nuclear option” of denying sanctioning. There is a significant amount of people that are hoping that the Fury can be convinced to join the league, although everyone I spoke to today agrees that the likelihood of that happening for 2019 is close to zero.

    Regardless, it is clear that the idea that the CSA and CanPL are supportive of the Fury’s choice, as has been reported in Ottawa, is completely false. It is possible that the Fury will be allowed to play 2019 in USL, but it will not be with the blessing of the governing body. The best the Fury can hope for is the CSA’s silence.

    More tomorrow…

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    Yes, I could see a "pity" exemption for 2019 but beyond that, I too hope that CONCACAF would step in but yes, at the same time, it would perhaps be necessary for the CSA to alter the recognition of the league to 1A to open the door for the CONCACAF. Second Division could be damaging.

    Edited by Blizzard

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    • A. For now B.it shouldn't be the case
    • I have no idea what you're talking about here. The CSA is allowing TFCII to play in USL-2 and the three MLS clubs to place all of their academy teams in the USSDA, so maybe you need to remind the CSA of its mandate rather than trying to pointlessly argue with me about it.
    • Canadian soccer matters more than 2 clubs. That's the CSA's mandate and they are acting accordingly. It would be more productive if they helped CPL building a D2 league when they are ready so they could include their reserve teams. Until then, we have D3 leagues of our own The CSA's mandate is to do what's best for Canadian soccer, not 1 multi-billionaire organization which too many are trying to victimize. It benefits more Canadians to be exposed to TFC III, than removing them altogether and giving Americans that kind of exposure which ultimately benefits their program over ours. You can shoot yourself so many times before being unable to make a full recovery.
    • I think moving to the USSDA was more about providing better competition for the younger ages than it was for the U19s. It was likely a case of moving all the TFC Academy teams to USSDA or none at all, and TFC took Option A.
    • I tried to watch a couple of times and just couldn't get into them. The closest I came was when there was a chance we would have played the Whitecraps in the VCup and we were getting plans for a group to go over.
    • Which is kind of funny that they went to USSDA for better competition. TFCIII averaged 2.0 points per game in USSDA and 2.1 points per game in L1O. I realize that doesn't tell the whole story, but it seems like they should have stuck with a league with less travel and more ability to scout Canadian players
    • Yes, their reserve teams would be superior. Yes, they'd raise the bar for the rest of those leagues. But no, VWFC and IMFC wouldn't see any improvement for their reserve squads by having them walk over amateur players week in and week out, so why would already cheap owners invest in that? I already said I agree that IMFC and VWFC (and TFC) should be placing teams in existing or upcoming high-level local amateur leagues, but the fully pro reserve squads shouldn't be those teams. If anything, I'd like to see a combined CPL-MLS reserve league in Canada. As for L1O improving, TFC3 (U-19s) was one of the best teams in that league last year. L1O didn't suddenly undergo a huge jump in quality over one offseason after losing several of its best players to the CPL and losing its entire fourth-place team to the USSFDA league. That's not how it works.
    • Take it to DMs.
    • They are free to help raise the level here in Canada. If their reserve teams would be as superior as you imply, even better...forces everyone help to raise the bar Was... League 1 Ontario undeniably improved since then which CPL is demonstrating. I doubt Anthony Novak would be overwhelmingly out of his element in USL-1
    • They should be doing so, but they also need a higher calibre league for their reserves to play in (if they actually decide to spend money on such teams again, which is a big IF). TFCIII was already one of the best teams in Ontario's D3. TFCII is a step higher.
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