Jump to content
  • Articles

    Manage articles

    Duane Rollins
    For as much change as TFC had made in this off-season, it would have been all for naught if they had started the season with Alex Bono and Quillan Roberts as the keeping options. Nothing against the kids, but they are kids. Bono is known as a “training pitch hero…” at the moment (out of politeness I won’t write the second part of the rhyme) and Q is still prone to the odd adventure in between mind blowing saves (as one keeper coach told me, you ideally don’t want a young keeper making athletic saves as that means he had to make the save athletic).
    In the end it doesn’t matter as @TFCKeeperYet got to Tweet “yes” today after the news that TFC had acquired Clint Irwin from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for Super Magic Beans* and two lottery tickets**
    * Targeted allocation money
    ** Draft picks that are more than likely without value
    It’s a nice piece of business on paper. Putting aside that “on paper” is the worst turn of phrase in the TFC fan’s vocabulary, it’s impossible to be all that upset about the Reds getting a guy that has been a MLS all-star (in his home stadium, so grain of salt) and more or less an above average MLS keeper since 2013.
    Also a keeper that played behind TFC’s free agent signing Drew Moor last year on one of the best defensive teams in MLS.
    If you like stats, Irwin was the second best performer according to the advanced stats blog American Soccer Analysis last year, trailing just Bill Hamid. (Giant caveat here about how even soccer stats people can’t agree on what’s a good keeper stat).
    The thing about being back-to-back-to-back off-season champions is that no fan really cares by the time you get to the third “to back.” So, we will leave it to you to decide whether you’re excited by Toronto’s moves so far.
    Here’s the thing though: It’s hard not to like the type of moves they are making. Stuff happens. It might not work out, but it will be difficult to argue the Reds didn’t do what pretty much everyone wanted them to do if it all ends in tears again.
    The club has gone after proven MLS talent to improve the areas that needed to be upgraded. Will Johnson aside, the signings have not been ones that are at all marketing driven (and suggesting Johnson is marketing driven assumes that anyone other than the nuts*** in (mostly) the southend are even aware he’s a Canadian international).
    ***my friends
    Yes, it finally appears that TFC is prioritizing the steak over the sizzle. Actually, if it all comes together Reds fans might finally have both.

    Duane Rollins
    With the ninth pick the Reds went off the board to select Japanese youth international Tsubasa Endoh. Boy, does he have a back story.
    Endoh was a survivor of the 2011 earthquake that hit his native Japan and that brought the world’s attention to the plight of its survivors. After experiencing that, Endoh bravely went to America to chase his dreams. Not only did he go to university in his second language, but he also excelled on the soccer pitch at a national powerhouse in Maryland.
    Always the underdog, Endoh once again defied the odds today by being selected in the first round of the draft. He was expected to go much lower, but a MVP combine performance made all the difference.
    It’s going to make one hell of an emotional episode on All for One next year.
    And that’s nice. It is. But, it ultimately means nothing on a soccer front. TFC fans are sick of good stories. In fact, they are so sick of good stories that some will likely accuse TFC of selecting Endoh precisely because he has a story they can market – come to BMO (or Vaughn) to see the brave earthquake survivor! Season seat holders can win a chance to hear Endoh talk about his experiences if they renew now!!
    That level of cynicism is a bit much, but TFC has made their own bed when it comes to this stuff. You reap what you sow and all that.
    The thing is it is hard to understand why TFC picked an undersized international player with the ninth pick when they probably could have got him later in the draft (they didn’t have a pick in the second round, but it wouldn’t have cost much of anything to get one). This has been the TFC way for years – do things differently. Be too clever by half.
    It hasn’t worked out well. TFC fans have nearly a decade of evidence to support that. No, it hasn’t always been the same people making the decisions, but the fan doesn’t – shouldn’t even – make that distinction. Not when the club has been as incompetent as TFC has been.
    Frustration and anger isn't only appropriate, it's the only rational position to take.
    Alright, here comes the point that I defend the decision. The 24th Minute has been trying to make sense of the senseless since, well, the actual 24th minute so why stop now?
    So, here it goes: They have the USL team. They can afford to swing for the fences because they don’t need Endoh to immediately contribute. Hell, he was the best player at the combine!
    That's all I've got.
    Listen: TFC isn’t as bad as it feels. They aren’t. But, it’s absolutely fair to question moves like this, especially since they scream of the same old, same old TFC. Just once it would be nice to see the club do the safe, sane thing.
    None of this is Endoh’s fault, of course. He seems like a genuinely good and sincere young man that truly has overcome a lot to get this far. Everyone should be cheering for him and I’m sure all TFC fans are.
    Realistically, he will play most of the year at TFC2. Hopefully, he will excel there and force the club to take a look at him at the MLS level. And, if he doesn’t it is just the draft we’re talking about. The chances of getting something at No 9 were pretty slim to start with.
    Regardless, welcome to the unofficial start of TFC season 10. Surely this is the year they get it right, right? Don't pretend you can't wait to see how it all plays out...

    Duane Rollins
    Here’s how it works:
    By looking at the stat of total appearances, we looked at every player picked in the first round from 2000 to 2015 (there were a few players that we could not find data for. We’ve omitted those players).
    We categorized the players into four levels of success – exceptional, solid, poor and failure. An exceptional player appeared in at least 75 per cent of games over their career (to allow us to compare the older drafts, we considered six seasons to be a typical career and 30 games to be a typical season – i.e. players drafted from 2000 to 2006 were expected to have appeared in 75 per cent of 180 games). Solid players appeared in 50 to 74 per cent of games, poor picks appeared in 25 to 49 per cent and failures appeared in less than 25 per cent.
    2001-2010 More than 134 (exceptional), 90-134 (solid), 45-89 (poor), less than 45 (failure)
    2011 – More than 112 (exceptional), 75-112 (solid), 38-74 (poor), less than 38 (failure)
    2012 – More than 89 (exceptional), 60-89 (solid), 30-59 (poor), less than 30 (failure)
    2013 – More than 67 (exceptional), 45-67 (solid), 23-66 (poor), less than 23 (failure)
    2014 – More than 44 (exceptional), 30-44 (solid), 15-43 (poor), less than 15 (failure)
    2015 – More than 22 (exceptional), 15-22 (solid), 8-14 (poor), less than 8 (failure)
    For this update we added an additional category of “franchise player” – that is a player that played the equivalent of 75 percent of games over 10 seasons (only players drafted prior to 2006 eligible).
    Are appearances the best measure? Probably. Although, it does take any subjective evaluation out of the equation – we don’t distinguish a MLS all-star from a plumber – it is the only stat that transcends all positions. You either play or you don’t and if you are playing then you are a MLS quality player, period.
    The goal is to find players, right? Especially if we acknowledge that there aren’t many stars available in the draft now. It’s pretty well established that the biggest advantage of the draft now is to find depth players. So, appearances works.
    We restricted the analysis to the first round because the numbers for the second round on are, frankly, absurdly bad. A non-first round pick is essentially a ticket to the lottery and nothing more. Unlike other sports there is no evidence of any single club consistently finding useful pieces beyond the first round.
    Here are the results:
    Bold indicates exceptional pick, italics failure
    2000
    1 - Steve Shak – 22 (age in draft year) – 38 (appearances) – New York - Failure
    2 - Nick Garcia – 21 – 296 – Kansas City – Exceptional/franchise
    3 - Adin Brown – 22 – 85 – Colorado - Poor
    4 - Carlos Bocanegra – 21 – 87 - Chicago - Poor
    5 - Aleksey Korol – 22 – 40 – Dallas - Failure
    6 - Danny Califf – 20 – 186 - Los Angeles - Exceptional
    7 - Wes Hart – 23 – 92 – Colorado - Solid
    8 - Travis Mulraine – 23 – 15 – San Jose - Failure
    9 - John Wilson – 23 – 32 – Kansas City – Failure
    10 - Alan Woods – 22 – 19 – Colorado – Failure
    11 - Sasha Victorine – 22 – 239 – Los Angeles – Exceptional
    12 - Bobby Convey – 17 – 164 - DC United – Exceptional
    Total – 12 picks.
    Average appearances – 108 - solid
    Median appearances – 86
    Average age of picks: 21.5
    Exceptional picks: 4
    Solid picks: 3
    Poor picks: 2
    Failures: 3
    Top 5 Ave: 96
    Franchise players: 1 - Nick Garcia (2nd overall), Kansas City
    2001
    1 - Chris Carrieri – 21 – 70 – San Jose – poor
    2 - Ali Curtis – 23 – 50 – Tampa Bay – poor
    3 - Mark Lisi – 24 – 120 – DC United – solid
    4 - Ryan Nelsen – 24 – 81 - DC United – poor
    5 - Joselito Velasco – 19 – 94 - Dallas – solid
    6 - Craig Demmin – 30 -19 – Tampa – failure
    7 - Ryan Suarez – 24 -75 – Dallas -- poor
    8 - Santino Quaranta – 17 -180 – DC United – exceptional
    9 - Brian Mullan – 23 – 273 Los Angeles – exceptional/franchise
    10 - Duncan Oughton – 24 – 136 – Columbus – exceptional
    11 - Isaias Bardales Jr – 22 – 12 – Los Angeles – failure
    12 - José Luis Burciaga – 19 – 127 – Kansas City – solid
    Total – 12 picks.
    Average appearances: 103 - solid
    Median appearances: 87.5
    Average age of picks: 22.5
    Exceptional picks: 3
    Solid picks: 3
    Poor picks: 4
    Failures: 2
    Ave top 5: 83 – poor
    Franchise players: 1 – Brian Mullan (9th overall), Galaxy
    2002
    1 - Chris Gbandi – 23 – 111 – Dallas – solid
    2 - Taylor Twellman – 22 – 174 - New England – exceptional
    3 - Brad Davis – 20 – 271 – New York – exceptional/franchise
    4 - Justin Mapp – 18 – 223 - DC United – exceptional
    5 - Kelly Gray – 21 – 167 – Chicago – exceptional
    6 - Luchi Gonzalez – 22 – 30 – San Jose – failure
    7 - Kyle Martino – 21 – 141 – Columbus – exceptional
    8 - Carl Bussey – 22 – 9 – Dallas – failure
    9 - Daouda Kante – 22 – 26 – DC United – failure
    Total – 12 picks (no stats for three players).
    Average appearances: 96– solid
    Median appearances: 154
    Average age of picks: 21.2
    Exceptional picks: 5
    Solid picks: 1
    Poor picks: 0
    Failures: 3
    Top 5 Ave: 189.2 – exceptional
    Franchise Players: 1 – Brad Davis (3rd overall) , New York
    2003
    1 - Alecko Eskandarian – 21 – 125 – DC United – solid
    2 - Ricardo Clark – 20 – 185 – New York – exceptional
    3 - Nate Jaqua – 22 – 193 – Chicago – exceptional
    4 - Mike Magee – 19 – 286 – New York – exceptional/franchise
    5 - David Stokes – 21 – 24 – DC United – failure
    6 - Todd Dunivant – 22 – 284 – San Jose – exceptional/franchise
    7 - Diego Walsh – 19 – 30 – Columbus – poor
    8 - Guillermo Gonzalez – 17 – 12 – Los Angeles – failure
    9 - Pat Noonan – 23 – 208 – New England – exceptional
    10 - Shavar Thomas – 22 – 174 – Dallas – exceptional
    Total – 10 picks.
    Average appearances: 127 – solid
    Median appearances: 173
    Average age of picks: 20.6
    Exceptional picks: 6
    Solid picks: 1
    Poor picks: 0
    Failures: 3
    Ave top 5: 162.6 – exceptional
    Franchise players: 2 – Mike McGee (4th overall), New York; Todd Dunivant (6th overall), San Jose
    2004
    1 - Freddy Adu – 15 – 133- DC United - solid
    2 - Chad Marshall – 20 – 308 – Columbus – exceptional/franchise
    3 - Joseph Ngwenya – 23 – 118 – Los Angeles - solid
    4 - Matthew Taylor – 23 – 54 - Kansas City - poor
    5 - Ryan Cochrane – 21 – 172 – San Jose - exceptional
    6 - Ramón Núñez – 18 – 75- Dallas - poor
    7 - Clarence Goodson – 22 – 118 – Dallas - solid
    8 - Clint Dempsey – 21 – 126- New England - solid
    9 - Scott Buete – 24 – 21 – Chicago - failure
    10 - Steve Cronin – 21 – 86 – San Jose - poor
    Total – 10 picks.
    Average appearances: 111.5 – solid
    Median appearances: 80.5
    Average age of picks: 20.8
    Exceptional picks: 2
    Solid picks: 4
    Poor picks: 2
    Failures: 1
    Top 5 average: 157 – exceptional
    Franchise players: 1 – Ryan Cochrane (5th overall), San Jose
    2005
    1 - Nikolas Besagno – 16 – 8 – Salt Lake – Failure
    2 - Brad Guzan – 21 – 79- Chivas - poor
    3 - Chad Barrett – 20 – 255 – Chicago – exceptional/franchise
    4 - Danny O'Rourke – 22 – 189 – San Jose – exceptional
    5 - Ugo Ihemelu – 22 – 186 – Los Angeles – exceptional
    6 - Drew Moor – 21- 304 – Dallas – exceptional/franchise
    7 - Hunter Freeman – 20 – 126 – Colorado – solid
    8 - Troy Roberts – 22 – 61 – Los Angeles – poor
    9 - Michael Parkhurst – 21 – 181 - New England – exceptional
    10 - Jack Stewart – 22 – 39 – Chicago- poor
    11 - Scott Sealy – 24 – 144 – Kansas City – exceptional
    12 - Tim Ward – 18 – 71 – New York – poor
    Total – 12 picks.
    Average appearances: 136.9 – exceptional
    Median appearances: 109
    Average age of picks: 20.75
    Exceptional picks: 6
    Solid picks: 1
    Poor picks: 4
    Failures: 1
    Ave top 5: 143.4 – exceptional
    Franchise players: 2 – Chad Barrett (3rd overall), Chicago; Drew Moor (6th overall), Dallas
    2006
    1 - Marvell Wynne – 19 – 265 – New York – exceptional
    2 - Mehdi Ballouchy – 22 – 211 – Salt Lake – exceptional
    3 - Jason Garey – 21-97 – Columbus - solid
    4 - Yura Movsisyan – 18 – 81 – Kansas City - poor
    5 - Sacha Kljestan – 19 – 147- Chivas – exceptional
    6 - Dax McCarty – 18 – 248 – Dallas – exceptional/franchise
    7 - Justin Moose – 21 – 8 – DC United – poor
    8 - Patrick Ianni – 20 – 130 – Houston – solid
    9 - Kei Kamara – 21 – 225 – Columbus – exceptional
    10 - Calen Carr – 23 – 117 – Chicago – solid
    11 - Nathan Sturgis – 18 – 141 – Los Angeles – exceptional
    Total – 12 picks (no stats on one player)
    Average appearances: 128.8 – solid
    Median appearances: 106
    Average age of picks: 20
    Exceptional picks: 5
    Solid picks: 5
    Poor picks: 2
    Failures: 1
    Top 5 Ave.: 160.2 – exceptional
    Franchise players: N/A
    2007 –
    1 - Maurice Edu – 20 – 90 – Toronto – solid
    2 - Bakary Soumaré – 20 – 125 – Chicago – solid
    3 - Michael Harrington – 20 – 221 – Kansas City – exceptional
    4 - Chris Seitz – 19 – 64 – Salt Lake - poor
    5 - Wells Thompson – 22 – 158 – New England - exceptional
    6 - Nico Colaluca – 20 – 11 – Colorado – failure
    7 - John Cunliffe – 25 – 27 – Chivas – failure
    8 - Jerson Monteiro – 21 – 5 – Chicago – Failure
    9 - Anthony Wallace – 17 – 44- Dallas – failure
    10 - Andrew Boyens – 23 – 70 – Toronto - poor
    11 - Bryan Arguez – 17 – 0 – DC United – failure
    12 - Amaechi Igwe – 18 – 22 – New England – failure
    13 - John Michael Hayden – 23 – 18 – Houston – failure
    Total – 13 picks.
    Average appearances: 65.7 - poor
    Median appearances: 31.5
    Average age of picks: 20.4
    Exceptional picks: 2
    Solid picks: 2
    Poor picks: 2
    Failures: 7
    Top 5 Ave: 131.6 - solid
    Franchise Players: N/A
    2008 -- HOMEGROWN RULE STARTS
    1 - Chance Myers – 19 – 133 – Kansas City – solid
    2 - Brek Shea – 17 – 117 – Dallas – solid
    3 - Tony Beltran – 20 – 190 – Salt Lake – exceptional
    4 - Sean Franklin – 22 – 208 – Los Angeles – exceptional
    5 - Ciaran O'Brien – 19 – 1 – Colorado – failure
    6 - Andy Iro – 22 – 71 – Columbus – poor
    7 - Patrick Nyarko – 21 – 196 – Chicago – Exceptional
    8 - Josh Lambo – 16 – 0 – Dallas- failure
    9 - Julius James – 23 – 94 – Toronto – solid
    10 - Pat Phelan – 22 – 80 – Toronto – poor
    11 - Roger Espinoza – 21 – 130 – Kansas City solid
    12 - Dominic Cervi – 21 – 0 - Chicago – failure
    13 - Rob Valentino – 21 – 0 – New England – failure
    14 - David Horst – 22 – 19 – Salt Lake – failure
    Total – 14 picks.
    Average appearances: 88.5 - poor
    Median appearances: 74.5
    Average age of picks: 20.4
    Exceptional picks: 3
    Solid picks: 4
    Poor picks: 2
    Failures: 5
    Ave top 5: 129.8 – solid
    Franchise players: N/A
    2009
    1 - Steve Zakuani – 21 – 97 – Seattle – solid
    2- Sam Cronin – 22 – 199 – Toronto – exceptional
    3 - Omar Gonzalez – 21 – 180 – Los Angeles – exceptional
    4 - O'Brian White – 23 – 40 – Toronto - poor
    5 - Peri Marošević – 20 – 11 – Dallas - poor
    6 - Rodney Wallace – 21 – 159 – DC United – exceptional
    7 - Chris Pontius – 22 – 152 – DC United – exceptional
    8 - Matt Besler – 22 – 179 – Kansas City – exceptional
    9 - Michael Lahoud – 23 – 122 – Chivas - solid
    10 - Kevin Alston – 21 – 148 – New England – exceptional
    11 - Jeremy Hall – 21 – 88 – New York- poor
    12 - Jean-Marc Alexandre – 23 – 40 – Salt Lake – failure
    13 - Stefan Frei – 23 – 140 – Toronto – exceptional
    14 - George John – 22 – 119 – Dallas – solid
    Total – 15 picks (Stats missing on one player).
    Average appearances: 110.4 - solid
    Median appearances: 66.5
    Average age of picks: 21.8
    Exceptional picks: 7
    Solid picks: 3
    Poor picks: 3
    Failures: 1
    Top 5 Ave: 105.4 – solid
    Franchise players: N/A
    2010
    1 - Danny Mwanga – 19 – 102 – Philly – solid
    2 - Tony Tchani – 21 – 151 – New York – exceptional
    3 - Ike Opara – 21 – 63 – San Jose - poor
    4 - Teal Bunbury – 20 – 149 – Kansas City – exceptional
    5 - Zach Loyd – 23 – 163 – Dallas – exceptional
    6 - Amobi Okugo – 19 – 134 – Philly – solid
    7 - Jack McInerney – 18 – 143 – Philly – exceptional
    8 - Dilly Duka – 21 – 117 – Columbus – solid
    9 - Zack Schilawski – 23 – 50 – New England – poor
    10 - Blair Gavin – 21 – 43 – Chivas – failure
    11 - David Estrada – 22 – 50 – Seattle - poor
    12 - Bright Dike – 23 – 34 – Columbus – failure
    13 - Corben Bone – 22 – 20 – Chicago – failure
    14 - Austin da Luz – 23 – 21 – New York – failure
    15 - Collen Warner – 22 – 136 – Salt Lake – exceptional
    16 - Michael Stephens – 21 – 116 – Los Angeles - solid
    Total – 16 picks.
    Average appearances: 93.25 – solid
    Median appearances: 35.5
    Average age of picks: 21.2
    Exceptional picks: 4
    Solid picks: 4
    Poor picks: 2
    Failures: 4
    Ave top 5: 125.6
    Franchise players: N/A
    1 - Omar Salgado – 18 – 26 – Vancouver – failure
    2 - Darlington Nagbe – 21 – 160 – Portland – exceptional
    3 - Perry Kitchen – 19 – 158 – DC United – exceptional
    4 - Zarek Valentin – 20 – 40 – Chivas - poor
    5 - Zac MacMath – 20 – 106 – Philly – solid
    6 - A. J. Soares – 22 – 108 – New England – solid
    7 - Kofi Sarkodie – 20 – 98 – Houston – solid
    8 - Michael Nanchoff – 23 – 22 – Vancouver – failure
    9 - Jalil Anibaba – 23 – 128 – Chicago – exceptional
    10 - C. J. Sapong – 22 – 134 – Kansas City – exceptional
    11 - Will Bruin – 22 – 137 – Houston – exceptional
    12 - Rich Balchan – 22 – 23 – Columbus – failure
    13 - Corey Hertzog – 21 – 12 – New York – failure
    14 - Víctor Mairongo – 23 – 9 – Chivas – failure
    15 - Justin Meram – 121 – 17 – Columbus – failure
    16 - Paolo Cardozo – 22 – 27 – Los Angeles – failure
    17 - Bobby Warshaw – 22 – 32 – Dallas – failure
    18 - Eddie Ababio – 23 – 0 – Colorado – failure
    Total – 18 picks.
    Average appearances: 68.7 - poor
    Median appearances: 17.5
    Average age of picks: 20.1
    Exceptional picks: 5
    Solid picks: 3
    Poor picks: 1
    Failures: 9
    Top 5 Ave: 98 – solid
    Franchise players: N/A
    2012
    1. Andrew Wenger - Montreal 22-- 105 – Exceptional
    2. Darren Mattocks - Vancouver – 22 - 93 – Exceptional
    3. Kelyn Rowe - New Eng - 21- 123 – Exceptional
    4. Luis Silva – Toronto- 24 - 108 - Exceptional
    5. Casey Townsand - Chivas -23- 26 –failure
    6. Sam Garza - San Jose -23-- 12 – Failure
    7. Nick DeLeon - DCU -22- 109 - Exceptional
    8. Andrew Jean-Baptiste -20- PDX - 41 – poor
    9. Austin Berry - Chicago -24- 68 - solid
    10. Ethan Finlay - Columbus -22- 97 – exceptional
    11. Matt Hedges - Dallas -22- 118 – Exceptional
    12. Aaron Maund - Toronto -22- 46 – Poor
    13. Chandler Hoffman - Philly -22- 20 – Failure
    14. Tony Cascio - Colorado -22- 42 – poor
    15. Andrew Duran - Seattle -23- 0 – Failure
    16. Dom Dwyer - KC -22- 80 - Solid
    17. Enzo Martinez - SLC -22- 0 - Failure
    18. Colin Rolfe - Houston -22- 0 - Failure
    19. Tommy Meyer - LAG -22- 33 - poor
    Total – 18 picks.
    Average appearances: 59 - poor
    Median appearances: 46 – poor
    Average age of picks: 21.1
    Exceptional picks: 7
    Solid picks: 1
    Poor picks: 4
    Failures: 6
    Top 5 Ave: 91 – exceptional
    Franchise players: N/A
    2013
    1. Andrew Farrell - New England -21- 91 - Exceptional
    2. Carlos Alvarez - Chivas -23- 51 – solid
    3. Kyle Bekker - Toronto -23- 40 - poor
    4. Kekuta Manneh – Vancouver -19- 81 – exceptional
    5. Erik Hurtado - Vancouver -23- 54 - Solid
    6. Deshorn Brown - Colorado -23-- 62 - poor
    7. Walker Zimmerman - Dallas -20- 35 - poor
    8. Blake Smith - Montreal -22- 19 - failure
    9. Ryan Finley - Columbus - 30 – 22 – failure
    10. Eriq Zavaleta - Seattle -21- 40 - poor
    11. Dillon Powers - Colorado -22- 92 - Exceptional
    12. John Stertzer - SLC -23- 28- poor
    13. Jason Johnson - Houston -23- 41 - poor
    14. Mikey Lopez - KC 20- 13 - Failure
    15. Tommy Muller - San Jose -22- 0 - Failure
    16. Emery Welshman – Toronto-22 - 1 - Failure
    17. Taylor Kemp - DCU -22- 43 - poor
    18. Fernando Monge -23- Montreal - 0 - Failure
    19. Charlie Rugg - LAG -23- 4 - Failure
    Total – 19 picks.
    Average appearances: 37.7 – poor
    Median appearances: 40 – poor
    Average age of picks: 21.9
    Exceptional picks: 3
    Solid picks: 2
    Poor picks: 7
    Failures: 7
    Top 5 Ave: 63.4 -- solid
    Franchise players: N/A
    2014
    1. Andre Blake – Philadelphia 24 – 7 – failure
    2. Steve Birnbaum - D.C. United 23- 40 - solid
    3. Christian Dean - Vancouver Whitecaps 21- 9 – failure
    4. Steve Neumann - New England Revolution 23- 32 - solid
    5. Eric Miller - Montreal Impact 21 – 30 - solid
    6. Tesho Akindele - FC Dallas 22 – 53 – exceptional
    7. Andre Lewis – Vancouver – 20 – 0 - failure
    8. Damion Lowe - Seattle Sounders 21 – 0 – failure
    9. J. J. Koval - San Jose Earthquakes 22 – 37 - - solid
    10. Nick Hagglund - Toronto FC 24 – 37 – solid
    11. Patrick Mullins - New England Revolution 22 – 44 – exceptional
    12. Marlon Hairston - Colorado Rapids 20 – 25 - poor
    13. Marco Franco - Chicago Fire 23 – 0 - failure
    14. Ben Sweat - Columbus Crew 23 – 0 – failure
    15. Pedro Ribeiro - Philadelphia Union 24 – 27 – poor
    16. A. J. Cochran - Houston Dynamo 21 – 26 – poor
    17. Schillo Tshuma - Portland Timbers 22 – 0 – failure
    18. Ryan Neil - Real Salt Lake 22 – 0 – failure
    19. Grant Van De Casteele - Colorado Rapids 23 – 1 – failure
    Total – 19 picks.
    Average appearances: 19.3 -- poor
    Median appearances: 25 – poor
    Average age of picks: 22.1
    Exceptional picks: 2
    Solid picks: 5
    Poor picks: 3
    Failures: 9
    Top 5 Ave: 23.6 – poor
    Franchise players: N/A
    2015
    1 . Cyle Larin - Orlando City SC 19 – 27 -- exceptional
    2 . Khiry Shelton - New York City FC 21 – 15 – solid
    3 . Romario Williams - Montreal Impact 20 – 2 – failure
    4 . Fatai Alashe - San Jose Earthquakes 21 – 28 – exceptional
    5 . Nick Besler - Portland Timbers 21 – 0 - failure
    6 . Alex Bono - Toronto FC 20 – 0 – failure
    7 . Matt Polster - Chicago Fire 21 – 30 – exceptional
    8 . Zach Steinberger - Houston Dynamo 22 – 3 – failure
    9 . Clément Simonin - Toronto FC 23 – 2 – failure
    10 . Connor Hallisey - Sporting Kansas City - 21 – 11 - poor
    11 . Skylar Thomas - Toronto FC 21 – 0 – failure
    12 . Saad Abdul-Salaam - Sporting Kansas City - 23 – 15 – solid
    13 . Tim Parker Vancouver - Whitecaps FC - 21 – 15 – solid
    14 . Axel Sjöberg - Colorado Rapids - 23 – 14 – poor
    15 . Otis Earle - FC Dallas - 22 – 0 – failure
    16 . Cristian Roldan - Seattle Sounders FC - 19 – 22 – exceptional
    17 . Miguel Aguilar - D.C. United - 21 – 17 – solid
    18 . Leo Stolz - New York Red Bulls - 23 – 0 – failure
    19. Sergio Campbell - Columbus Crew SC - 22 – 1 – failure
    20 . Amadou Dia - Sporting Kansas City - 21 – 22 – exceptional
    21 . Ignacio Maganto - Los Angeles Galaxy - 23 – 12 - poor
    Total – 21 picks (Extra pick due to need to honour Chivas trades)
    Average appearances: 12.2 – poor
    Median appearances: 14 – poor
    Average age of picks: 21.4
    Exceptional picks: 5
    Solid picks: 4
    Poor picks: 3
    Failures: 9
    Top 5 Ave: 14.4 – solid
    Franchise players: N/A
    Let’s start with some basic breakdowns, starting with the overall numbers.
    Number of drafts: 16
    Total players tracked: 227
    Exceptional picks: 69 (30.4%)
    Solid picks: 46 (20.3%)
    Poor picks: 41 (18%)
    Failure picks: 71 (31.3%)
    Nearly one-third of all players drafted in the first round all-time were failures and a majority were either failures or poor. So, if you were to spin the draft in its absolutely most positive way teams are flipping a coin in the first round to see if they are going to get a serviceable MLS player – and let’s be candid here: many of the players that are exceptional by our standards are subjectively speaking pretty average players. The chances of getting a true star are pretty thin – there have only been eight franchise players drafted all-time (and one is Chad Barrett, who is underrated, but ultimately still Chad Barrett).
    Again, these are the all-time numbers. There is a clear divide in the draft yield between the drafts pre and post homegrown rule. Let’s breakdown those numbers:
    Pre homegrown
    Players tracked: 88
    Exceptional: 31 (35.2%)
    Solid: 20 (22.7%)
    Poor: 16 (18.1%)
    Failure: 21(23.8%)
    Post homegrown
    Players tracked: 136
    Exceptional: 35 (25.7%)
    Solid: 26 (19.1%)
    Poor: 25 (18.3%)
    Failure: 50 (36.7%)
    The numbers speak for themselves. Before the homegrown rule came into effect nearly four of every 10 picks were exceptional. After, that four in six stat was for the failures.
    One reason for the change is likely the expanding of the first round. It stands to reason that has the round goes deeper the picks get harder.
    There were 74 picks after the top 10. Of that 64 were made post homegrown.
    The numbers:
    Exceptional: 12 (16.2%)
    Solid: 7 (9.5%)
    Poor: 14 (18.9%)
    Failure: 41 (55.4%)
    Is there something that jumps out about exceptional players? Let’s isolate them to have a look.
    2000
    2 - Nick Garcia – 21 – 296 – Kansas City - defender
    6 - Danny Califf – 20 – 186* - Los Angeles - defender
    11 - Sasha Victorine – 22 – 239 – Los Angeles – midfielder
    12 - Bobby Convey – 17 – 164 - DC United - midfielder
    2001
    8 - Santino Quaranta – 17 -180 – DC United – forward
    9 - Brian Mullan – 23 – 273 Los Angeles – midfielder
    10 - Duncan Oughton – 24 – 136 – Columbus – defender
    2002
    2 - Taylor Twellman – 22 – 174* - New England – forward
    3 - Brad Davis – 20 – 271 – New York – midfielder
    4 - Justin Mapp – 18 – 223 - DC United – midfielder
    5 - Kelly Gray – 21 – 167 – Chicago – defender
    7 - Kyle Martino – 21 – 141 – Columbus – midfielder
    2003
    2 - Ricardo Clark – 20 – 185 – New York – midfielder
    3 - Nate Jaqua – 22 – 193 – Chicago – forward
    4 - Mike Magee – 19 – 286 – New York – forward
    6 - Todd Dunivant – 22 – 284 – San Jose – defender
    9 - Pat Noonan – 23 – 208 – New England - forward
    10 - Shavar Thomas – 22 – 174 – Dallas – defender
    2004
    2 - Chad Marshall – 20 – 308 – Columbus – defender
    5 - Ryan Cochrane – 21 – 172 – San Jose – defender
    2005
    3 - Chad Barrett – 20 – 255 – Chicago – forward
    4 - Danny O'Rourke – 22 – 189 – San Jose – defender
    5 - Ugo Ihemelu – 22 – 186 – Los Angeles – defender
    6 - Drew Moor – 21- 304 – Dallas – defender
    9 - Michael Parkhurst – 21 – 181 - New England – defender
    11 - Scott Sealy – 24 – 144 – Kansas City – forward
    2006
    1 - Marvell Wynne – 19 – 265 – New York – defender
    2 - Mehdi Ballouchy – 22 – 211 – Salt Lake – midfielder
    5 - Sacha Kljestan – 19 – 147- Chivas – midfielder
    9 - Kei Kamara – 21 – 225 – Columbus – forward
    11 - Nathan Sturgis – 18 – 141 – Los Angeles – midfielder
    2007
    3 - Michael Harrington – 20 – 221 – Kansas City – defender
    5 - Wells Thompson – 22 – 158 – New England – midfielder
    2008 – Homegrown rule starts
    3 - Tony Beltran – 20 – 190 – Salt Lake – defender
    4 - Sean Franklin – 22 – 208 – Los Angeles – midfielder/winger
    7 - Patrick Nyarko – 21 – 196 – Chicago – midfielder/winger
    2009
    2- Sam Cronin – 22 – 199 – Toronto – midfielder
    3 - Omar Gonzalez – 21 – 180 – Los Angeles – defender
    6 - Rodney Wallace – 21 – 159 – DC United – midfielder/winger
    7 - Chris Pontius – 22 – 152 – DC United – midfielder
    8 - Matt Besler – 22 – 179 – Kansas City – defender
    10 - Kevin Alston – 21 – 148 – New England – defender
    13 - Stefan Frei – 23 – 140 – Toronto – keeper
    2010
    4 - Teal Bunbury – 20 – 149 – Kansas City – forward
    5 - Zach Loyd – 23 – 163 – Dallas – defender
    7 - Jack McInerney – 18 – 143 – Philly – forward
    15 - Collen Warner – 22 – 136 – Salt Lake – midfielder
    2011
    2 - Darlington Nagbe – 21 – 160 – Portland – midfielder
    3 - Perry Kitchen – 19 – 158 – DC United – midfielder
    9 - Jalil Anibaba – 23 – 128 – Chicago – defender
    10 - C. J. Sapong – 22 – 134 – Kansas City – forward
    11 - Will Bruin – 22 – 137 – Houston – forward
    2012
    1. Andrew Wenger - Montreal 22—105 – forward
    2. Darren Mattocks - Vancouver – 22 – 93 – forward
    3. Kelyn Rowe - New Eng - 21- 123 – midfielder
    4. Luis Silva – Toronto- 24 – 108 – midfielder
    7. Nick DeLeon - DCU -22- 109 – midfielder
    10. Ethan Finlay - Columbus -22- 97 – midfielder
    11. Matt Hedges - Dallas -22- 118 – defender
    2013
    1. Andrew Farrell - New England -21- 91 – defender
    4. Kekuta Manneh – Vancouver -19- 81 – forward/winger
    11. Dillon Powers - Colorado -22- 92 – midfielder
    2014
    6. Tesho Akindele - FC Dallas 22 – 53 – forward
    11. Patrick Mullins - New England Revolution 22 – 44 – forward
    2015
    1 . Cyle Larin - Orlando City SC 19 – 27 – forward
    4 . Fatai Alashe - San Jose Earthquakes 21 – 28 – midfielders
    7 . Matt Polster - Chicago Fire 21 – 30 – midfielder
    16 . Cristian Roldan - Seattle Sounders FC - 19 – 22 – midfielder
    20 . Amadou Dia - Sporting Kansas City - 21 – 22 – defender
    By position:
    Forwards 19 (11 post HG) – 27.5% (30.5%)
    Midfielders 27 (16) – 39.1% (44.4%)
    Defenders 22 (8) – 31.8% (22.2%)
    Keepers 1 (1) – 1.4% (2.7%)
    Total 69 (36)
    It’s not surprising that midfielders would dominate the draft. It’s the position that typically has the most players, especially when you consider that a significant amount of players are converted to “utility” midfielders at the pro level.
    It’s also not surprising that only one keeper – Stef Frei – has ever had a significant impact out of the draft. It’s a position that is both in limited demand and that often favours experience over youth. The move to USL reserve teams likely benefits younger keepers more than any other position.
    What is surprising is the reduction in successful defenders to the point that there are now more successful attackers drafted. There is room for further exploration here.
    By age:
    17 – 2 (0 post HG) – 6% - 0% -- overall 5.5%
    18 – 2 (1) – 6% - 2.7% -- 8.3%
    19 – 3 (4) – 9% - 11.1% -- 10.1%
    20 – 6 (3) – 18.1% - 8.3% -- 13%
    21 – 7 (9) – 21.2% - 25% -- 23.1%
    22 – 9 (15) -- 25% - 41.6% -- 34.7%
    23 – 2 (3) – 6% - 8.3% -- 7.2%
    24 – 2 (1) – 6% - 2.7% -- 4.3%
    By and large the vast majority of successful players (57.8%) are drafted when they are either 21 or 22 -- after graduating college. This lends credence to the idea that the draft is best utilized to find “late bloomers.” This idea is backed up by the increase in players drafted in that age bracket post homegrown rule (from 46.2% to 66.6%). If a player is truly talented they are absorbed into MLS (or have left for Europe) long before college is over.
    Since soccer is a sport that inspires partisanship let’s end today with a question ever fan will want answered – who drafts the best? To put an objective value on that question we placed a value on each pick made by a team all-time, weighted by when they were picked.
    Those values are:
    Top 5 pick : 3 points for exceptional, 1 point for solid, 0 for poor or failure
    Pick 6-10: 4 points for exceptional, 2 for solid, 1 for poor, 0 for failure
    Picks 11 and above: 5 points exceptional, 3 for solid, 1 for poor, 0 for failure
    Bonus point for drafting a franchise player
    To compare teams equally we divided the total points by amount of picks made to get a points per pick figure.
    The is exercise is designed to see what teams draft the best, not which teams retain and develop talent the best. Therefore, we don’t concern ourselves with whether the team that drafted the player benefited from their play.
    The results:
    1. New England 2.5 points per pick
    2. Kansas City 2.47
    3. Galaxy 2.05
    4. DCU 2.0
    5. Chicago 1.81
    6. Red Bulls 1.72
    7. Dallas 1.57
    8. San Jose/Houston 1.43
    9. Columbus 1.35
    10. Seattle 1.33
    11. Philly 1.28
    12. TFC 1.26
    13. Vancouver 1.25
    14. Colorado 1.21
    15. RSL 1.05
    16. Montreal 0.8
    17. Chivas 0.67
    Orlando, NYCFC, San Jose 2.0, Tampa Bay and Portland did not meet the minimum amount of total first round picks (5) to qualify for a rank.
    Thanks it for us for this update of the SuperDraft analysis. We encourage others to take the data and dig for more trends.

    Grant
    On Monday, several of the Salvadoran players involved in last October's "work action" apologized publicly for leaving the national team in a protest over pay and training conditions. The temporary strike resulted in El Salvador fielding a considerably weaker team against Canada in the November World Cup qualifier played at Estadio Cuscatlán.
    Canada was unfortunately not able to fully capitalize on their seeming advantage and had to settle for a 0-0 draw and a solitary point. But yesterday's apology from the El Salvador players looks to have settled the dispute with the governing body. That means the Central American nation's finest should be available to take on Honduras in two crucial March qualifiers. Games in which nothing would suit Canada better than those two teams nicking points off each other.
    According to La Prensa Grafica, the players who took part in the walkout have been fined "10% of their salaries" although the report is unclear whether the financial penalties will ever actually be enforced. It seems more like a stayed sentence from my reading.
    The post below originally appeared on October 28, 2015.
    Concacaf, the happy-fun-scandal ball that never stops bouncing. We're still over two weeks away from the next round of World Cup qualifying, and already a minor controversy around comments made in the media has resulted in a refereeing switch for Canada's opening round match against Honduras. Now, another one of Canada's group rivals have pitched into chaos. There are many moving parts involved, but the gist is that the El Salvador squad has basically refused to train because of a dispute over money.
    This week, El Salvador had planned what is referred to in Central America as a 'micro-cycle,' or a sort of mini, mid-week national team camp featuring domestically based players between league matches. But on Monday, the players called in to the training camp simply refused to go out onto the pitch. All of them. And as of Wednesday they are holding firm.
    Local paper La Prensa has outlined the basics of the players' demands: bonuses for being called to the national team; prize money for World Cup qualifiers won, per diems for travel with the national team, better travel arrangements generally, and better training facilities. Foreign-based squad members not at this specific camp have also voiced their support for the quasi-strike via social media
    It's important to remember we're not talking about pampered multi-millionaires. Most of the El Salvador regulars play in the domestic league, with a few others in the NASL or lower level European leagues like Iceland or Azerbaijan. The 'prize money' demands quoted in media reports amount to between $1,000 and $4,500 per player.
    This feud has been simmering for over a month. The players voiced similar complaints about their situation after a friendly against Guatemala in Los Angeles on Oct. 13 via a sort of manifesto that was signed by all players. In the absence of any concrete actions around those demands, the situation escalated.
    The situation reached a nadir on Tuesday evening when El Salvador captain and Orlando City midfielder Darwin Cerén went on one of the most popular drive-home shows on U.S. Spanish sports radio and called his federation's vice-president a 'ridiculous man' who wouldn't even know how to put on a football shirt.
    The past few days have seen players and officials trading accusations in the media. The national federation (FESFUT) has described the job action as 'manipulation' led by certain players. The organization previously assured the players they would be put up in a four-star hotel during their national team stints next month, but that the cash amounts being asked for aren't realistic.
    So what does this all mean for Canada?
    For starters, FESFUT apparently has a Plan B that involves calling in new players to replace those who refuse to train. While that could theoretically mean Canada faces a bunch of second-stringers in San Salvador next month, many of the players involved in this dispute have said they still plan to suit up for the qualifiers. There's a lot of rhetoric around how the beef is with the federation, not the national team shirt. FESFUT has also talked about sanctions and other penalties for players refusing to train, but given the sport's popularity it seems implausible they'd kneecap the national team ahead of such important games.
    What's not in question is that El Salvadoran soccer has had a rough time of it. Honduran Ramón Maradiaga was recently brought in to replace ex-manager Alberto Roca following the team's dismal showing at the Gold Cup. And the program has never really recovered from a massive match-fixing scandal in 2013 that saw several players banned for life from participating with the national team.
    Whether all this off-pitch controversy spurs El Salvador forward depends on whether you subscribe to the 'adversity as motivation' school of thought. Or it could of course have the exact opposite effect. That's the stuff for armchair sports psychologists. Either way, having the entirety of your squad at war with the national federation is not how most fans would prefer to see their team preparing for World Cup qualification.

    Michael Mccoll
    And catch up with our choices from previous years:
    2011 awards / 2012 awards / 2013 awards / 2014 awards

    ********** AFTN WHITECAPS PLAYER OF THE SEASON :
    WINNER: DAVID OUSTED - The Dane was basically the reason that the ‘Caps finished where they did, with a string of crucial point winning and point saving stops throughout the year. With 15 clean sheets during the year (13 for the second successive regular season, one in the playoffs and one in the Canadian Championship) his importance is clear. He knows it. The ‘Caps know it. He’ll be back for next season but no deal has been done yet for a contract extension. Whatever he’s looking for, they need to pay it.
    Runner-up: Cristian Techera Our outfield Player of the Year for sure. After coming to Vancouver in April, Techera showed exceptional qualities during the second half of the season. Finished the year with 7 goals and 5 assists, second on the team in each category. He’s just finding his feet in MLS and we have high hopes of what next season will bring from The Bug.
    2014 winner: Pedro Morales
    2013 winner: Camilo Sanvezzo
    2012 winner: Joe Cannon
    2011 winner: Camilo Sanvezzo

    ********** AFTN WHITECAPS YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON :
    WINNER: TIM PARKER - When pretty much the whole first team, USL side and Residency qualify for this award, it’s a tough one! We could have given it to Techera. He’s only 23 after all. But since he’s an old man in the squad, we went with a player a year younger. Parker excelled in his rookie season. The best performing first year draftee the ‘Caps have taken. Dislodging a wily veteran and a player brought in from South America as a first choice centre back along the way, Parker finished the season as the ‘Caps starter alongside Kendall Waston and the position is his to lose moving forward. He didn’t look out of place or a rookie in his 17 MLS appearances, all but one of them a start. Also grabbed the ‘Caps first ever CONCACAF Champions League goal. Composed and confident, the best is yet to come from the New Yorker.
    2014 winner: Matias Laba
    2013 winner: Kekuta Manneh
    2012 and 2011 winner: Caleb Clarke

    ********** WHITECAPS GOAL OF THE SEASON :
    WINNER: GERSHON KOFFIE v RSL (30/5/15 - 2-1 home win)
    There were a number of cracking goals this year, a lot of them from defenders, but this has pretty much been the unanimous winner overall. What a strike. We just need him to do these things a lot more often. If he’s still here next year that is, which we don't expect him to be!

    2014 winner: Erik Hurtado v Seattle (24/5/14)
    2013 winner: Camilo Sanvezzo v Portland (6/10/13)
    2012 winner: Darren Mattocks v Toronto (11/7/12)
    2011 winner: Eric Hassli v Seattle (11/6/11)

    ********** WHITECAPS GAME OF THE SEASON :
    WINNER: 2-0 HOME WIN v LA (04/04/15)
    There wasn’t really a clear cut winner like previous years. We could have gone, of course, for the win over Montreal that clinched the Voyageurs Cup, just for what it meant. But that wasn’t actually that great a match and it was an understrength Impact side that headed west. The 2-1 win in New York in June was exciting, with two Ousted penalty saves, but the ‘Caps basically struggled against a ten man Red Bulls.
    In the end, we went for the dominant 2-0 win against LA. It felt like a coming of age win for Carl Robinson’s young side against the defending MLS champs. It was also one that sent the ‘Caps to the top of the Supporters’ Shield standings for the first time, setting up a season where winning it wasn’t a far-fetched thought, but a real possibility.

    2014 winner: v Seattle (10/10/14 – 1-0 Cascadia Cup clinching away win)
    2013 winner: v Seattle (9/10/13 - 4-1 away thrashing of Sounders)
    2012 winner: v San Jose Earthquakes (5/5/12 - 2-1 win at BC Place)
    2011 winner: v Kansas City (2/4/11 - 3-3 draw at Empire Field)

    ********** SAVE OF THE YEAR :
    WINNER: DAVID OUSTED v PHILADELPHIA (09/05/15 - 3-0 home win) - So many great saves from the Dane this season, including three penalties, but this one just shades it. Did he know too much about it? Of course he did, he'll tell you!

    2014 winner: David Ousted v New England (22/3/14 – 0-0 away draw, MLS)
    2013 winner: Marco Carducci double save v Victoria Highlanders (28/6/13 - Thunderbird Stadium, PDL)
    No award in 2011 or 2012. New award last year

    ********** WHITECAPS TO WATCH IN 2016:
    WINNER: MARCO BUSTOS - The first two-time winner in this category. This could very well have been his first team breakthrough year but an early season injury derailed Marco’s progress. When he did return, to USL action, he showed what he is capable of with 7 goals, 2 assists and a string of strong performances. Expect more MLS minutes for Bustos next season and that breakthrough year we’re all hoping for. No pressure!
    Runner-up: Ben McKendry - Another player hindered by injury this season. After signing his first pro contract in January with MLS homegrown deal, McKendry started the USL season a little slow before finding his feet and really hitting his stride. Was expected to get minutes in the Canadian Championship and Champions League games before a season ending injury and an operation has left him waiting another year for his MLS debut. Robinson is a big fan of the BC native, telling us that within two years he expects McKendry to be the box to box midfielder the team will be needing.
    3rd: Victor Blasco - Carl Robinson likes what the Spaniard could bring to the MLS squad but just needs to see it on a more consistent basis. Blasco looked good in the early going but once he got his first professional goal, he took his game up to another level, finishing the season with 4 goals and 6 assists. We expect him to get a look in the preseason camp before the 'Caps monitor his progress during another season in the USL.
    2014 winner: Marco Bustos
    2013 winner: Sam Adekugbe
    2012 winner: Ben Fisk
    2011 winner: Caleb Clarke

    ********** HERO OF THE YEAR :
    WINNER: PA MODOU KAH - We hated him at Portland, we love him in Vancouver. That’s football! We were big fans of what Andy O’Brien brought to the Whitecaps, both in the centre of the defence and in the locker room, but Kah has taken that up a level. A big calming and mentoring influence on Kekuta Manneh’s the pinnacle of Kah’s team spirit came when he bought the entire squad rings to celebrate the club’s first ever Canadian Championship win. Riding around and picking up a medal on a hover board also adds to his awesomeness!
    2014 winner: Carl Robinson
    2013 winner: Carl Robinson
    2012 winner: Young-Pyo Lee
    2011 winner: Joe Cannon

    ********** VILLAIN OF THE YEAR :
    WINNER: RICARDO SALAZAR- Refereeing in MLS felt worse than it was last year and that's saying something. There were some terrible decisions throughout the league and a lot affecting the 'Caps. Carl Robinson's breaking point seemed to be reached with his epic rant after the loss in KC, but referee Ricardo Salazar's inept performance in the late, late loss to NYC took the biscuit. He was lucky to get out of BC Place in one piece after awarding Frank Lampard as non a penalty as you could imagine. As the bottles rained down on his head postgame, he bizarrely was not disciplined by MLS or PRO.
    2014 winner: Mark Geiger
    2013 winner: Will Johnson
    2012 winner: David Ferreira
    2011 winner: Tommy Soehn

    ********** TACKLE OF THE YEAR:
    WINNER: MATIAS LABA (at MONTREAL 12/08/15) - Another back to back winner! It was one of those that you just couldn't help sitting at home and screaming "what a tackle" out loud as soon as it happened. It was just such an involuntary reaction and coming with the scores all tied and approaching half time in the Canadian Championship final, a vitally important tackle to boot. Can he grab a hat-trick of wins on 2016? Let's hope we have a few to pick from. You can watch it HERE.
    2014 winner: Matias Laba (Home v Dallas 4/10/14)
    2013 winner: Nigel Reo-Coker (at San Jose) {new award that year}

    ********** MISS OF THE YEAR AWARD:
    WINNER: KEKUTA MANNEH at SAN JOSE (03/10/15)
    - No matter how many times you watch this, you still find yourself asking "how did he, or someone, not score that". You're in to stoppage time, you're tied at 1-1. you need the three points to keep your Supporters Shield hopes alive, there's second left and then a quick breakaway with the ball at the feet of Manneh on a 2 on 1 surge. What could possibly go wrong? A lot as it turned out. Thankfully not as costly as we feared at the time, but lucky it wasn't. This one will likely still give Kekuta the sweats every time he thinks about it! (Watch below from the 3:20 mark)

    Runner-up: Octavio Rivero (home v Toronto 07/03/2015) - Now we're also going to include a runner-up here as it was very close to call between these two. Rivero's First Kick miss made us wonder just what kind of player Carl Robinson had brought to the club. Mind you, one season on, we're still wondering a little! This was a horror miss. Blame the turf! (watch below from 0:22 mark)

    2014 winner: Darren Mattocks (Lifetime Achievement award)
    2013 winner: Nigel Reo-Coker (v Columbus) {new award}

    ********** BEST AWAYDAY :
    WINNER: SEATTLE (3-0 win on 01/08/15) - Maybe we should just retire this award now. A Seattle awayday has won it for the third straight year. There's just something about taking the absolute piss out of the Sounders in front of their own fans that will just never, ever get old. This 3-0 trouncing was magical though thanks to two fantastic goals from Pa Modou Kah and one hell of a free-kick from Pedro Morales. Sadly it was all downhill against our Cascadian rivals after these three points.

    2014 winner Seattle (Cascadia Cup clinching 1-0 win - 10/10/14)
    2013 winner: Seattle (Cascadia Cup clinching 4-1 win - 09/10/14)
    2012 winner: Orlando (preseason Mickey Mouse Cup win!)
    2011 winner: Portland (in general)

    ********** MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT :
    WINNER: PLAYOFF BLANKS - The 'Caps worked so hard to get to the playoffs and to get that previously elusive home playoff game, which is why it was sad and disappointing to see them end the year with a whimper rather than a bang. No goals over two playoff legs against Portland. In the first they were facing a tired team that had just been through 120 plus minutes of football less than 72 hours ago. In the second they had nothing to offer after Manneh went down injured. Embarrassing? You could argue they came up against a tough Timbers side or that it's harsh to call it that after what had been before, but to go out in such a weak way was poor and if the players weren't embarrassed by the lack of fight they put up, then they should have been.
    2014 winner: The Camilo Saga
    2013 winner: Jun Marques Davidson's headbutt against Philadelphia
    2012 winner: Failure to beat TFC in three games
    2011 winner: The Empire grass pitch debacle

    ********** DISGRACE OF THE YEAR :
    WINNER: MLS SCHEDULING - Just who comes up with the MLS schedule and who thought it was a good idea to schedule two crunch Vancouver clashes with Dallas during an international fixture window? The two top teams in the West, battling for Supporters' Shield honours and missing top players to international duty. While we're at it, with 20 teams in the league there is no reason whatsoever for teams to get bye weeks and then force teams to cram in less attended midweek matches. The 'Caps end of season schedule was baffling. In a 22 day stretch between August 30th and September 19th, Vancouver played two MLS matches. Way to help a team's rhythm. And they ended the regular season with two out of three midweek matches. WTF is up with all that? Someone needs to give their heads a serious shake.
    2014 winner: Late "fans"
    2013 winner: Losing the Voyageurs Cup by not having a man on the post
    2012 winner: Sekeres and Price for reaction to "**** You Dallas" chant
    2011 winner: Sportsnet

    ********** THINGS WE'D LOVE MLS TO CHANGE :
    WINNER: THE STANDARD OF REFEREEING - Maybe this should be the other award we should retire, since this has won it four of the five years we've done these awards now. But man, it just never seems to get any better. In fact if anything the standard has regressed. Whether it's awarding penalties that aren't, ruling off goals, missing the point and foul completely, this year felt that the PRO refs had got even worse. Something need to be done to save Carl Robinson from blowing a gasket and having to fork over so much of his money to the fine fund.
    Runner-up: Stop playing MLS games on international dates - (See above). It's not hard. Fans want to see the best players turn out for their clubs. It devalues the league to have crunch games like Dallas v Vancouver played with so many players away on international duty. There are so many other alternative dates. It's beyond ridiculous now and if frankly embarrassing.
    3rd: Reward academy players who show promise - I'd love to see MLS fall into line with leagues and clubs around the world when it comes to rewarding academy talent. I'm not talking about financially here, but in terms of rewarding effort and performance down the ranks. If a youth player has had a stand out week or two in the Residency or USL, then Robbo should be allowed to reward that by putting him on the bench to see how he fares with the first team. A standard practice the world over.
    2014 winner: The standard of refereeing (back from the dead!)
    2013 winner: Transparency of rules
    2012 and 2011 winner: The standard of refereeing

    ********** THE WILLIE JOHNSTON "DID THAT JUST REALLY HAPPEN?" AWARD :
    WINNER: PA MODOU KAH RIDING A HOVERBOARD AFTER CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP WIN - Nothing else needs said. Epic. Legend. And the fact he collected his medal by riding up on it is even better.

    2014 winner: Nigel Reo-Coker's wanking gesture on national TV
    2013 winner: Three goals in 140 seconds in Caps v Portland match
    2012 winner: Darren Mattocks aerial goal in Toronto
    2011 winner: Eric Hassli's double jersey sending off celebration

    ********** THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY AWARD:
    WINNER: DARIO ZANATTA - Former Residency goalkeeper Callum Irving came a close second here, after the 'Caps have lost his homegrown rights and he'll be heading into the draft, but instead we're giving it to another Residency player they've lost out on. Dario Zanatta was looking like a top prospect. He'd banged the goals in at U16 level, he was doing it at U18 level and with the USL team here, that looked like the natural next step. Except the Whitecaps came in with a lowball offer to the striker and he felt he had no option but to continue his footballing career in pastures new. After a few trials in the UK and Europe, he settled in at Hearts in Scotland this summer. He's excelled with the Jambo's U20s and has now made three appearances for the first team, the most recent of which came on December 27th in the 2-2 home draw with Celtic and in yesterday's 3-2 win over Dundee United. Zanatta's future looks very bright, but sadly for the 'Caps, this was a major mess up from the front office in letting him get away.
    2014 winner: The missing link - a new striker (sound familiar?!!)
    2013 winner: Alain Rochat
    2012 winner: John Carew
    2011 winner: Robbie Savage

    ********** QUOTE OF THE YEAR :
    WINNER: RUSSELL TEIBERT - "Every team in this league has stars, we do too. It'll be a match up with 11 men, all humans." (05/03/15) - With a lot of the focus on TFC's expensive players coming to Vancouver for First Kick, Rusty is keeping his feet firmly on Earth.
    2014 winner: Andy O'Brien - "They keep chanting my name for some reason. I don't know why it is!"
    2013 winner: Nigel Reo-Coker's comments on Dallas' divers
    2012 winner: none awarded
    2011 winner: Tommy Soehn - "It doesn't take much to turn a team around"

    ********** THE "PLEASE JUST SHUT UP" AWARD:
    WINNER: POINTLESS JOURNALISM AND CLICKBAIT SITES - If there's one thing that seems to piss me off more year upon year is the seeming non-stop rise of pointless journalism. "How can you say that when yesterday you ran a piece on funny football related TV shows?" I hear you cry, well, let me continue.
    Now it could be argued that most journalism is pointless (!) but there's a number of sites out there, and you know who they are and they know who they are, that seem to feel the need to write an article on every little announcement as if they seem to think that that is actually quality journalism. If the 'Caps put out a press release for example or something is said on twitter and you put that article out as a "news story" verbatim, without any comment or analysis, what point are you actually serving the football community and football media in general? You're a cut and paster, not a journalist or blogger. It's fine once in a while but all the time? Same with humour. We run a lot of nonsense, but at least it's original nonsense that some thought and time has gone in to!
    Sites need to decide - what are you? A breaking news site or a blog/site that wants to actually analyse what goes on behind the initial story? If you want breaking news on the 'Caps, surely their own site is the place most people go. It's like the string of people on matchdays that tweet out things like "1-0 Caps. Rivero". Yeah, like I haven't already seen that a couple of dozen times in my feed.
    Also a two or three hundred word "story" is not quality journalism. It's a facebook post. Are you really proud to have your name to that or something that is just a virtual word for word paste of a press release? I'll admit, in these changing times of technology and low attention spans (you still reading this far?!) and everybody wanting to be first to report something or to make sure that no-one else has some content that you don't, the days of the long form article may be numbered, although we still get an excellent number of visitors every month for such things. For me, it should always be quality over quantity. Don't run five or seven articles a week because you feel you have to or your managing editor it telling you that's the standard. That's why all our writers are told write what you want, when you want. That way you get the stuff people actually want to take time to write.
    When quality football publications like "Plastic Pitch" may go out of business but websites that chase the clicks and ad revenue continue to thrive, it's a sad world. Ok, rant over. Happy New Year!
    2014 winner: People wanting the 'Caps to open the upper tier
    2013 winner: Media who can't grasp concept of football decisions being made above the manager
    2012 winner: Old media fuddy duddies who just don't get football crowds
    2011 joint winners: Craig MacEwen and Martin Nash

    ********** HAIRCUT OF THE YEAR :
    WINNER: CHRISTIAN DEAN'S BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN STREAK- Like my own hair, 2015 was a thin year for 'Caps haircuts. So we're going for the bizarre blonde flash that Dean favoured early in the season. Felt like a cross between the Bride of Frankenstein and some superhero that had been given superfast speed powers. Interestingly, Dean's best performances came once he got rid of that look!
    2014 winner: Russell Teibert's Playoff special
    2013 winner: Tommy Heinemann's Werewolf look
    2012 winner: Greg Klazura's Shaven Locks
    2011 winner: Eric Hassli's Mohawk

    ********** THE MUSTAPHA JARJU "WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY" AWARD :
    WINNER: THE 'CAPS ILL THOUGHT OUT CASCADIA CUP SCARVES - Flashpoints between the 'Caps Front Office and the Supporters' groups have reduced in recent years. Publically at least. But the club gave themselves a PR nightmare when they tried to produce a Cascadia Cup scarf at the start of the season, going against the supporters' trademark rights to the image of the trophy. There was uproar online and in the end profits were donated to charity as a tense agreement was reached late in the day. But it all left some bad tastes in the fans' mouths along the way.
    2014 winner: Nigel Reo-Coker
    2013 winner: Darren Mattocks
    2012 winner: Kenny Miller
    2011 winner: The Empire grass pitch

    ********** THE PAUL BARBER "TALKING OUT OF YOUR ASS" AWARD :
    WINNER: THOSE WANTING THE UPPER BOWL OPENED - Every year it's the same old chatter. A lot of it coming from the vapid non-football talking heads on the radio. "The 'Caps need to open the upper bowl to cash in on their growing attendances". It's absolute nonsense. The market is not there yet to justify it. "But Seattle do it", "they're stunting growth" and "it'll add to the atmosphere" are all thrown out. Well, We're not Seattle and adding a bunch of non regulars and, often, newbies, isn't going to create a cacophony of noise as some expect. Others argue it will make the 'Caps more money to spend on players, forgetting that money has to be spend on increased security, policing, concessions, cleaning etc. Plus opening up a small section of the upper bowl would look terrible, as the Women's World Cup demonstrated.
    I'm all for opening up the entire lower bowl. The Portland playoff game was a success in that regards. But the demand is not there for every game and I think people fail to realise just how tough it has been for the 'Caps to sell out all the games they have. It's a long, hard slog. Even the crucial regular season finale against Houston took a while to sell out. The demand is not there yet and may never be. Opening up the upper bowl for a one-off does little for the 'Caps sustained long term growth.
    2014 winner: Omar Salgado and his string of apologies for his attitude
    2013 winner: Darren Mattocks' Jamaican TV interview
    2012 winner: Media pundits disrespecting Caps achievement in reaching playoffs
    2011 winner: Paul Barber

    ********** And that's the end of our 2015 awards. Share your thoughts on the award winners below. Who knows what next year will bring? Hopefully even more success!

    Michael Mccoll
    MONDAY
    19.00 - 19.30: THE MUPPETS - Documentary series following Seattle's Emerald City Supporters group.
    19.30 - 20.00: TWO BROKE GIRLS - The continuing comedic adventures of Toronto fans Max and Caroline. After selling their cupcakes on the street to cover their TFC betting losses, they now have to sell their bodies after being convinced that with all the money spent, 2015 would finally be Toronto FC's year. Will they ever learn? And can they raise more than ten bucks a time if they're wearing their TFC strips?
    20.00 - 21.00: EMPIRE - Bobby Lenarduzzi and Carl Valentine join the AFTN crew for more chat about the 'Caps NASL days at Empire Stadium. This week, those crazy shootouts and other weird and wacky rule changes.
    21.00 - 22.00: NCIS LOS ANGELES - The NCIS team face their toughest task yet. Can they find where Steven Gerrard's talent has gone? Has it sunk without trace? Having looked all at sea in MLS, they're going to have to dive deep to try and recover it, unaware that it's lost forever.
    22.00 - 00.00: MONDAY MOVIES - THE NOTEBOOK - No romance here in this dramatic re-enactment of real life events from the US Open Cup. Starring a spoiled little brat Charlie Sheen as Clint Dempsey and Stevie Wonder as referee Daniel Radford. Expect tears, tantrums and origami as the Deuce lets rip.
    TUESDAY
    19.00 - 20.00: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - Educational series for MLS clubs analysing LA Galaxy's magical workings of the league's salary cap.
    20.00 - 21.00: LEGENDS OF TOMORROW - Ongoing documentary series chronicling Vancouver Whitecaps' Residency program.
    21.00 - 22.00: KARMA AND GREG - Comedy in which a bumbling Toronto football manager gets his just desserts as once again it's shown that spending a shitload of money doesn't guarantee success in Major League Soccer. Tonight's episode - "It really is a ***** Greg".
    22.00 - 23.00: CHICAGO FIRED - Comedy-drama about an out of touch, no longer with the times manager called Frank who finally gets found out in the Windy City and heads down to where many other elderly Canadians go out to graze, Arizona.
    23.00 - 00.00: THE HEX FILES - Mulder and Scully are called when unexplained phenomena are reported in Vancouver, where not only is a Canadian men's national team match being played in the city, but Canada also beat Honduras in World Cup qualifying in the said match. Paranormal or alien activities are surely at play. With hopes raised, surely horror is around the corner.
    WEDNESDAY
    19.00 - 20.00: HOUSE OF CURDS - Depressed by his Seattle soccer team's futile existence, an overweight football manager puts on his elasticated pants and runs away to Canada on a personal journey to find himself and eat as much poutine as possible. A cheesy comedy.
    20.00 - 21.00: SUITS - Mockumentary series about Major League Soccer's executive. In tonight's episode there's panic when there's no clean napkins left and a new player acquisition rule needs to be written.
    21.00 - 22.00: THE MYSTERIES OF MAURO - Tonight, just how does Mauro Rosales get his hair so soft and shiny?
    22.00 - 00.00: MIDWEEK MOVIE - DEEP IMPACT - An African footballer's desire to move back to London leaves a hole in his Montreal team the size of a comet hitting the Earth. A PR disaster movie.
    THURSDAY
    19.00 - 19.30: KOFFIE OR T? - In our new gameshow, Vancouver Whitecaps players are given five random facts and have to guess whether each one is about Gershon Koffie or Russell Teibert. Hilarity ensues, but who will win this week's much sought after golden milk carton?
    19.30 - 20.00: THE LEFTOVERS - Fly on the wall documentary series telling the sad tales of what happens to the MLS players not selected in the annual Waiver Draft. Tonight's episode - "Why yes, I would like fries with that".
    20.00 - 21.00: ELEMENTARY - Criminal drama set in New York City. Sherlock and Dr Kendall Waston investigate how the city's new expansion team can spend a fortune on star players yet fail to make the MLS playoffs and finish the year with the worst defensive record in the league. Spoiler - after taking one look at their defence, the answer proved elementary.
    21.00 - 22.00: ASH VILE - Shocking reality. After his previous derogatory remarks made about MLS, washed up has-been Ashley Cole shows how shameless he and the Galaxy both are, as rumours swirl around his potential move to LA.
    22.00 - 23.00: SAVING HOPE - Non stop drama in the life of a female goalkeeper. Can anyone help her?
    23.00 - 00.00: THE WELSH LATE LATE SHOW - Robert Earnshaw's talk show. Tonight, the former Welsh international dissects his knack for coming on in the dying minutes and scoring goals. Featuring footage of his late, late winner for Vancouver against Portland throughout the program.
    FRIDAY
    19.00 - 19.30: THE WEAKEST LINK - Our TFI Friday gameshow hour kicks off with a blast from the past. Tonight, Mo Johnston, John Carver, Chris Cummins, Preki, Nick Dasovic, Aron Winter, Paul Mariner, Ryan Nelsen and Greg Vanney battle it out to see who will be crowned the biggest managerial clusterfuck in Toronto FC history. This one is too close to call and is sure to go down to the wire.
    19.30 - 20.00: BARGAIN HUNT - The Whitecaps FO sends Carl Robinson and his blue team to central America with $500 to see what bargains they can find. Remarkably they come back in the allotted one hour with a striker, a midfielder and a bag of balls to swap for Darren Mattocks.
    20.00 - 21.00: LAST MAN STANDING - Documentary chronicling the mass exodus of LA Galaxy players this MLS offseason. Will there be anyone left to turn out the lights?
    21.00 - 22.00: LENNY DREADFUL - The Steven Lenhart story.
    22.00 - 00.00: FRIDAY FILM NIGHT - INGLORIOUS BASTARDS - Biopic set in the world of PRO Referees.

    Michael Mccoll
    You can listen to this, and all previous, episodes of the podcast on iTunes HERE.
    Or download it for your later listening delight HERE.
    We also have an iPhone app, so you can now add our podcast to your phone as an app. Visit the podcast's mobile site HERE and then at the bottom of the screen just click the "Quick Launch" icon and the podcast will be added to your home screen and appear as an app.
    And if that's not enough, we're on Stitcher Radio Network. Download the app and listen to the AFTN podcast on your device, along with over 20,000 other shows HERE.
    Or after all that, you could just listen on the player below!


    Squizz
    Sell-out games for the women
    At their home-turf World Cup
    But when all said and done,
    Things weren't looking up
    LeBlanc's out the door
    McLeod's knee in pain
    A tough one-two punch
    For those Rio Games
    Sure, goal scoring's coming
    From Beckie and Prince
    But the grand team transition
    Can still make us wince
    The kids are alright,
    Early returns would suggest
    But by France 2019,
    Can they be at their best?
    Kadeisha has made it
    As the world got to see
    Might she take the armband,
    One day, from Sincy?
    Transition or not,
    We'll still make a splash
    At next year's Olympics
    (Please please, not a crash)
    Speaking of splashes,
    The men have their chance
    To get a bit closer
    To that big Russian dance
    That's quite a shift
    From this past summer's lull
    And another Gold Cup
    That was goalless and dull
    But along came Tesho,
    Our red-nosed reindeer
    Who led all the others
    To Canadian cheer
    On Junior! On Fraser!
    On Wandrille Lefevre!
    On Luke Cavallini,
    Help us make some waves!
    And on Scotty Arfield,
    If the rumours are true!
    With all these new players,
    Think what we can do!
    That promise, of course,
    Is a dangerous thing
    It creates expectations;
    That's where we get dinged.
    But we beat Honduras,
    El Salvador is a mess
    And as for the Mexicans?
    Well, I must confess
    Perhaps it's the egg nog
    Or the ol' Christmas cheer
    But we will get something
    Off of them next year
    Maybe I'm groggy
    From the holiday starch
    In making that claim;
    We'll find out in March.
    But first, January
    The window is open
    Canadian players
    Make good moves, we're hopin'
    At home, or worldwide,
    Where could those moves be?
    Just steer clear of one club:
    Unattached FC.
    For men and for women,
    That's always the fear
    Can they keep up minutes
    Without a league here?
    The times, they're a-changin'
    At grassroots there's hope
    Of playing-time chances
    To help top teams cope
    An upcoming men's league?
    Widespread LTPD?
    Building skill here in Canada
    Fills good folks with glee
    Those won't be in stockings
    For 2016
    It'll take a bit longer
    To remake the scene
    Right now, there's hard work
    For Benito and John
    As we don our red scarves
    And cheer their teams on
    So just think of the good
    Since the future looks bright
    And just quit fretting soccer
    For one freakin' night.

    Michael Mccoll
    We chat about all of this and more. Have a listen!
    You can listen to this, and all previous, episodes of the podcast on iTunes HERE.
    Or download it for your later listening delight HERE.
    We also have an iPhone app, so you can now add our podcast to your phone as an app. Visit the podcast's mobile site HERE and then at the bottom of the screen just click the "Quick Launch" icon and the podcast will be added to your home screen and appear as an app.
    And if that's not enough, we're on Stitcher Radio Network. Download the app and listen to the AFTN podcast on your device, along with over 20,000 other shows HERE.
    Or after all that, you could just listen on the player below!


    Guest

    Will Johnson-TFC Conference Call

    By Guest, in 24th Minute,

    Until next time, keep on listening!
    Sports Podcasting Network
    http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/sports-podcasting-network/id1018126433?mt=2
    http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/sports-podcasting-network
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/otwstudios
    SPN Social Media
    http://twitter.com/SportsPodNet
    http://www.facebook.com/SportsPodcastingNetwork/
    Support SPN
    http://patreon.com/sportspodcastingnetwork

    Duane Rollins
    I’m sure Buchanan will be fine with it.
    For the past three years this space has been calling for another player to be recognized as the top female player. At times, that could have been interpreted as us “hating” (as the kids say today).
    No, we were just trying to acknowledge that there were others that were deserving to be recognized for what they were doing. Others that, in many ways, may have had even less of a profile today than they would have without Sinclair’s legacy.
    This past summer saw the women become heroes in Canada and an inspiration to young players of both genders. That was because they were hosting a World Cup that Canada might not have even bid for without Sinclair's brilliance. She was reasons one through ten that Canada was a top program for much of the decade that preceded the World Cup bid.
    With 158 career goals, Sinclair sits second all-time on the international goal scoring list. Ironically, she passed Mia Hamm on the same week she lost her title as Canada’s top player. At 0.69 goals per game, she has scored at virtually the same rate as the No 1 ranked player on that list, Abby Wambach (0.71).
    Wambach retired yesterday. She is 26 goals ahead of Sinclair.
    Which begs the question…
    Let’s say Sinclair played through the 2019 World Cup and scored at a 0.50 rate during that time. Since Canada plays about 15 games a year typically that would mean that Les Rouge would have about 60 games until then.
    That’s about 30 more goals. Huh.
    Sinclair would be 36.
    Maybe the Queen isn’t dead yet after all – especially now that she has others that are helping her with her reign…..

    Guest

    Drew Moor Conference Call

    By Guest, in 24th Minute,

    Until next time, keep on listening!
    Sports Podcasting Network
    http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/sports-podcasting-network/id1018126433
    http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/sports-podcasting-network
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/otwstudios
    SPN Social Media
    http://twitter.com/SportsPodNet
    http://www.facebook.com/SportsPodcastingNetwork/
    Support SPN
    http://patreon.com/sportspodcastingnetwork

    Duane Rollins

    TFC gets Moor defense

    By Duane Rollins, in 24th Minute,

    Moor is page S7 stuff, not a Bloody Big Deal. But, he may just be the smartest signing in club’s history.
    At 31, he comes to TFC with eleven years’ experience – split between Dallas and Colorado – and after having captained the Rapids for the last three years. He will be, by far, the most experienced MLS player to ever have played for TFC with more than 300 appearances. He’s won a MLS Cup championship – in Toronto, meaning he will also be the only TFC player to have won a playoff game at BMO Field – and was a MLS all-star last year.
    Some fans may worry that Moor is coming from a club that was worse than TFC in 2015, but the Rapids allowed just 43 goals. That number would have ranked them first in the Eastern Conference.
    Coming off an injury in 2014 (fear not, he’d been freakishly durable prior to that, Moor holds the MLS consecutive appearances record for outfield players at 69) Moor made 22 appearances in 2015.

    Duane Rollins
    Let’s not even pretend otherwise. This is the one we most want to win. Familiarity breads contempt and all that. Also, ATIBA WAS ONSIDE, DAMN IT.
    However, let’s pretend our record is a bit better against them.
    Generously, Canada is on a two game undefeated streak against the Stars and Stripes. Less generously, it’s been 17 games since Canada last beat the USA A team (and 15 since they beat a USA team of any description). April 2, 1985 to be precise. That was Canada's World Cup team. The current president of the Vancouver Whitecaps was on the roster.
    Phil Collins’ One More Night was the No 1 song on Billboard’s Top 100. You get the idea.
    Still, ATIBA WAS ONSIDE.
    Bring 'em on...

    Duane Rollins
    The reason for the mass exodus has next to nothing to do with how the players were treated in Ottawa, or how happy they were there. Rather, it’s simple economics, CSN was told.
    A major factor at play is a 25 percent drop in the value of the Canadian dollar. Since Ottawa makes most of its revenues in Canadian funds (CORRECTED FROM EARLIER VERSION) and also pays players in the loonie, the currency drop has been devastating to the club. Players from the US are understandably reluctant to accept contracts that may be worth significantly less each week with a fluctuating dollar.
    This issue is being compounded by the fact that Ottawa purposely operated with a loss in its first two seasons in the hopes that success on the pitch would drive attendance up, thus allowing the Fury to maintain the strong core they created.
    “They overestimated the market,” one source told CSN.
    Together, the two factors have forced the Fury to make some difficult choices this month. Ownership simply felt that the club would be risking its very existence without a significant decrease in payroll, CSN was told.
    “Expect them to try and get out of every big contract they can.”
    As for 2016, it was suggested to CSN that the Fury will look to get younger, and more Canadian. Another source involved in Canadian soccer at the development level suggested that both TFC and Montreal have already had talks with the Fury to loan USL standouts to them for 2016.

×
×
  • Create New...