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    L1O Playoff Review: Expect the Unexpected

    “Three is the magic number”

    Last week I told you to expect the expected but maybe, just maybe, I spoke too soon because we have a few games on our hands here. Here’s a quick recap of the 1st legs.

    The only game that could be done and dusted is the game between this seasons two surprise packages Alliance and N.Miss. Alliance came out away from this away leg with a 3-1 victory. United stormed into a three-goal lead in an hour. Nicholas Osorio scoring the first and then setting up the next two for teammate Kevin Da Silva. N.Miss pulled one back with a ‘glol’ about 25 mins from time where Nicola Russo’s cross was ‘cleared’ by Kenny Lioutas but his header hit the head of Sebastian Lach who was challenging for the ball and it ended up back on net evading Denys Rylskyi and giving N.Miss a slight chance in the tie.

    This, of course, means that N.Miss would need to inflict on Alliance something that hasn’t happened all season to Ilya Orlov’s side and that is to beat them by two goals. The Panthers were one of the sides to score more than one goal against Alliance during the season, although on that day Alliance scored three, so it is possible if they can keep it tight at the back. That said, Alliance could be without several the players if Orlov’s recent tweet is anything to go by as they will be heading back to Uni. It will be interesting to see what this team that has stayed pretty consistent, player turn over wise, all-season look like in the second leg and onwards. I know form the commentary during the London game that a few of the Western boys are allowed to continue with the playoffs as long as the university team comes first, I wonder if coach Orlov could make similar concessions to his players as he is the coach of both UofT and Alliance?


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    • I think the reply to this is that many players entering NCAA now are doing so as homegrown. NCAA still plays a huge role in the developmental system in MLS. But it doesn't happen through the draft anymore. The whole USSDA agenda is bring players into NCAA, and they've been quite dominant in this regard. Of all the ****** up things about MLS, the relationship with NCAA is near the bottom of my list. Like the US, Canadian Universities have an athletic infrastructure that would be crazy to ignore in the developmental process. It's also a platform to scout and sign foreign players with very little risk. If you had $1m to spend on transfer fees, I suspect you'd get much more bang for your buck by send 100 18 year olds to 4 years of university and then signing the top 10 or so. If anything, MLS has gotten away from this aspect of recruitment. $1m used to be precious to MLS and now they will throw it in a dumpster and watch it burn like any large European side. Caps took a $1m flyer on a 22 year old from a lower table club in Israel ffs.
    • Given its only active for 7 months, it shouldn't be a shock if the players are working jobs the other 5 months. The main thing is whether they train five days a week in the mornings during the season.
    • Give it another year and they will probably look to increase the cap. If there's growth in revenue next season that should help the cap increase. 
    • Chance he is the CB going to Cavalry with the Waterman money?
    • How am I not surprised at this?! 😁
    • The league isn’t even fully professional. If anyone watched the YouTube video that Camargo and Niko posted, Camargo was going out to job interviews. He was one of the best players in the league last year and has to work a part time job.  This should not be the case. If the league truly wants to develop talent, and sell players off we need these guys focus on football 100% during the season. Lets speculate the starting 11 eats up 60% of the cap. The average starter would make around 40k. However if we bump the cap even too 1M. That number jumps to 55ish which makes it significantly easier to live as a full time pro. I hope the league tries to bump up the cap even slightly ASAP. It makes a big difference for the players and hardly any difference for multi millionaires.  If we are looking at 2026 as the year this league should take off. Even bumping to cap to 1M would only cost the owners 1.5M from now till then. 
    • I saw our first friendly under Floro in Oliva, near Valencia, Spain, vs. Mauritania.  I think me and my son were the only Canada fans there. There were about 35 Mauritanians, including the ambassador. Then, because the camp was a big one, there were about 10 Canucks not dressed for the match. The best part of that game was that the reffing was very good!
    • The csa has been doing this for years- playing friendlies in front of nobody in neutral sites in Europe. Playing New Zealand in Spain, Belarus in Turkey, and more recently Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan In Austria. 
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