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Women's Team in Turmoil?

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Guest Ed

Also, it is 'ALLEGED', Richard, that Charmaine Hooper,her husband and baby were 'escorted' off a flight minutes before taking off for Vancouver to scout out her proposed accomodation as per the residency program on August 9th. She has stated that she was told she was off the team at that point. This was weeks before the series she supposedly bailed on that you have taken such umbrage with. I don't know how you run your life, but I would certainly have no inclination to have anything to do with the coach or team if my family had to endure such a humiliating experience. The most plausible explanation for the very one-sided cancellation of this visit was the news that Charmaine had expressed her disgust at the fact the she and Katrina were called up against the USA while the Ottawa Fury players were allowed to stay with their club and pull the upset win in the W-League Eastern championship final.

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Here's the article from The Star which expands on the whole Hooper flight issue that Ed's talking about.

Canuck women to tackle CSA over suspension

Oct. 19, 2006. 08:34 AM

MORGAN CAMPBELL

SPORTS REPORTER

Three members of Canada's national women's soccer team — including all-time leading scorer Charmaine Hooper — have been suspended from the squad, and are threatening to sue the Canadian Soccer Association to end a dispute over money and a controversial plan to move the entire team to Vancouver.

The CSA maintains it suspended the women after they skipped a pair of August exhibition games against China.

But Hooper and Christine Latham say the problem started two weeks before those matches, when national team officials withheld their supplementary pay — a $20,000 annual stipend funded by Vancouver software mogul Greg Kerfoot — who rents a mansion to head coach Even Pellerud.

They allege the national team slashed their pay because they balked at Pellerud's plan to move the entire team to Vancouver to train for an Olympic qualifying tournament that begins in November. Without that money, they opted out of the China matches, and now it's not clear whether they will play for Canada again.

Defender Sharolta Nonen also left the team in solidarity with Hooper and Latham. All three women have hired lawyers.

"If we can rectify this situation and get us back on the field, that's obviously best," said Hooper, who has scored 71 goals in her 20-year career with the national team. "We didn't want it to get to this point but (Pellerud) has given us no other option.

"We all want to play for the team, but as long as he's there I'm not sure that's going to happen."

All three women say they weren't against moving to Vancouver, but needed reassurance before they could do it. They said the team took a long time to finalize important details, like where the players would live.

"Everything was up in the air, yet they wanted us to commit," Hooper said.

Hooper, who lives in suburban Chicago, didn't want to uproot her family, and says she agreed to consider the move only after the CSA promised to find her husband a coaching job.

In early August Hooper boarded a plane with her husband and young daughter, to fly to Vancouver in advance of a possible move there. Before takeoff, national team manager Les Meszaros called and told her not to fly to Vancouver, Hooper said. She and her family got off the plane, then were detained by security at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and forced to explain their actions.

By the time she arrived home, Meszaros had already emailed the team, telling them Hooper and Latham had been dropped from the Full Time Funding Program because they wouldn't move to Vancouver.

"I was heading out there to look at a proposal," Hooper said. "(Cutting off funding) was like tit for tat. It was really petty."

Both Hooper, who plays club soccer in New Jersey, and Latham, who plays in Atlanta, said they also hesitated to move to Vancouver because they felt Pellerud would pressure them to play for the team Kerfoot owns, the Vancouver Whitecaps of the semipro W-League.

The CSA issued a statement on Tuesday saying it wouldn't comment on Hooper and Latham's allegations, but in reports published earlier this week, CSA chief operating officer Kevan Pipe said Kerfoot's money came with "no strings attached."

Latham disagrees. Pellerud emailed her several times last winter, telling her to leave her current team, the Atlanta Silverbacks, and join Kerfoot's squad.

"You must relocate to Vancouver and play W (League) here," Pellerud wrote in a message dated on Feb. 1, 2006.

After Latham explained she has already signed with Atlanta, Pellerud told her that playing there could cost her the stipend. Pellerud wouldn't comment on Hooper and Latham's allegations yesterday.

"I would love to, but it's not in my best interests," he said.

The dispute has raised questions about the relationship between Pellerud and Kerfoot.

A title search revealed that the house where Pellerud lives is worth more than $6.5 million, but Pellerud wouldn't say how much rent he pays.

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If you're interested in knowing how the women currently in the national team camp feel about what's going on, watch Soccer Saturday this weekend. The players apparently requested an opportunity to speak out.

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I am not interested in hanging either side in this dispute out to dry on the basis of newspaper reports with only one side as their source. Without doubt however the behaviour of these three players led by Hooper should cost them their future with the national team. This dispute could and should have been resolved in private if their intentions were honourable.

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Do we know the whole story? Probably not, like when were the 3 players first told to consider moving to Vancouver, was it before any of them signed to play elsewhere? Richard does have a point that we need more information.

They lost the $20,000 from Kerfoot, which was meant to help players reside in Vancouver so the team could be more successful, but did

they also lose their funding from Sport Canada.

But I think there's enough information in the EMails from Pellerud for us to indict Pellerud. Ther's not enough information to exonerate the three women, but enough to nail Pellerud.

The controversy helps sell papers.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

If you're interested in knowing how the women currently in the national team camp feel about what's going on, watch Soccer Saturday this weekend. The players apparently requested an opportunity to speak out.

Gerry Dobson was already out there doing stories on the girls when this story broke and yes the girls will back their coach and the Canadian Soccer Association, but that certainly does not surprise me. That reminds me of a saying I once heard that goes something along the lines of "don't rock the boat..."

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Guest Ed

Well trotting out Gerry Dobson and some young ladies offering testimonials to the camaradie of team, their love of the left coast residency, their love and respect for the coach, their gratitude to Mr Kerfoot and the Whitecaps FC club and, of course, their assurances of steadfast support from our wonderful CSA is not going to change my very high regard for Charmaine Hooper and Christine Latham. I would be quite happy if my young daughter grows up to have the backbone of either of those two women. I would be absolutely shocked if those emails and/or Charmaine's airport story are fabricated

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When the camp started the players were not allowed to comment on the absence of the three stalwart players. If everything was above board, why prevent players from expressing themselves.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

I am not interested in hanging either side in this dispute out to dry on the basis of newspaper reports with only one side as their source. Without doubt however the behaviour of these three players led by Hooper should cost them their future with the national team. This dispute could and should have been resolved in private if their intentions were honourable.

I reiterate from my earliest post that these players likely tried in private to get resolution but were frustrated by a power-play, and some very petty moves ...

I said earlier, and stand by now, "Nobody resorts to a legal action unless they have been frustrated, manipulated, or lied to in some way. My guess is that something of this sort has taken place between coaches and players.

However, the recipe of the national team, the Whitecaps, the game and player hijinks associated with the recent W-League playoffs, special payments, housing arrangements, and so forth, all add up to really bad optics and the smell of conflict of interest.

You’d think that someone with some sense would have intervened before it got to this stage."

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

I am not interested in hanging either side in this dispute out to dry

Sure you are.

It's pretty clear from your posts that you'd like to hang it on the three players for violating some kind of unwritten power-authority ethics principle that you believe vests all authority with the coaches in this case.

In the absence of court statements you believe nothing you've read, and you've already suggested that their careers are over. Yet at the same time, you argue against open legal action and in favour of some kind of quiet, private, old-boy resolution behind closed doors.

So which is it: transparent resolution based on facts you want, or your own brand of resolution that has made the decision on the players in advance?

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I dont pretend to know enough to pass a judgement but Charmaine has a history of bickering all the time. Yes playing in Vancouver would make it more likely some ladies would play for the Whitecaps, but If she doesnt want to go, then don't go, don't get your $20,000 and dont whinge about it to the media.

On the flip side getting a new coach that actually encourages passing instead of just booting it to the corner flag every game might go a long way to player development.

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Guest Ed
quote:Originally posted by Soccerpro

I dont pretend to know enough to pass a judgement but Charmaine has a history of bickering all the time. Yes playing in Vancouver would make it more likely some ladies would play for the Whitecaps, but If she doesnt want to go, then don't go, don't get your $20,000 and dont whinge about it to the media.

On the flip side getting a new coach that actually encourages passing instead of just booting it to the corner flag every game might go a long way to player development.

If you've read the posts I've made you would know that she stated that she had already boarded a flight in Chicago to go to Vancouver with her husband and baby for the express purpose of looking into the setup for her and her family in Vancouver when she was forced to disembark after receiving a phone call from the CSA telling her she was no longer part of the team. So your ignorant comments about her statements to the media are uncalled for.

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Any player that is unwilling to accept the terms laid out for participating in a national team program is welcome to decline the invitation any time. Same applies if you don't like the way the program is run, the personnel involved or the money you will or won't receive. There is no need whatsoever to whinge to the media and threaten to sue because you don't like the terms, there are always plenty of others waiting in line to take your place.

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Guest Ed

Well Richard, you seem to be missing the point here. She was told she was off the team well before the China games and just after she had made some public statements about the Ottawa Fury players being conveniently left off the roster for the friendly with the US that coincided with the W league conference final. You keep trotting out the line about her being unwilling to accept the terms of the program when it seems she was in fact going out to Vancouver with good intentions to do exactly that. I think she has good cause to go after the CSA as they have no right to drop her from the program for exposing their underhanded dealings with players and clubs. WTF is a 'whinge' anyway? Is that how you ex-pats in the old boys network say 'whine'?

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quote:Originally posted by Ed

Well Richard, you seem to be missing the point here. She was told she was off the team well before the China games and just after she had made some public statements about the Ottawa Fury players being conveniently left off the roster for the friendly with the US that coincided with the W league conference final. You keep trotting out the line about her being unwilling to accept the terms of the program when it seems she was in fact going out to Vancouver with good intentions to do exactly that. I think she has good cause to go after the CSA as they have no right to drop her from the program for exposing their underhanded dealings with players and clubs. WTF is a 'whinge' anyway? Is that how you ex-pats in the old boys network say 'whine'?

Making fun of previous posters spelling mistakes is very mature of you, you should be complemented for your ability on making personal digs on others instead of sticking to the topic because you don't agree with their stance.

It's clear your a big Charmaine Hooper supporter, theres nothing wrong with that. I'm not an "old boy" (you mean to tell me theres actually an old boys network in Canada? how many people are in it? 3, 4 people?) I think the CSA are morons most of the time but if you take your rose coloured glasses off for a moment and look at Charmaine Hooper's history, she is constantly complaining. If she doesnt like the way the team is run, than she should consider a career change. If your a manager of a program you can select anyone you want. What underhanded dealings are you talking about? Someone making the single biggest investment in Canadian soccer history? Thats terrible! The national team manager renting a property from someone who funds the national program is a crime? What law does that break?. Show some proof of these "underhanded dealings". If it's true she was told to leave after she boarded the plane, thats unfortunate and should have been dealt with earlier, but the CSA can do as it pleases. How does the CSA not have the right to drop any player it wants at any time from any team? Should Charmaine hooper be an automatic selection forever because she's Charmaine Hooper?

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quote:Originally posted by DoyleG

The fault here is more and more at the feet of the CSA. Too bad the apologists can't think with their heads in this case.

Why do you insist on making a judgement with only newspaper articles with a one sided source as your basis? This is just plain silly. How would you like to find yourself publicly condemned based on one sided stories in the newspaper. You would be bleating much better about how unfair it was and why don't people wait to hear your side of the story before jumping to conclusions!

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quote:Originally posted by Soccerpro

It's clear your a big Charmaine Hooper supporter, theres nothing wrong with that. I'm not an "old boy" (you mean to tell me theres actually an old boys network in Canada? how many people are in it? 3, 4 people?) I think the CSA are morons most of the time but if you take your rose coloured glasses off for a moment and look at Charmaine Hooper's history, she is constantly complaining. If she doesnt like the way the team is run, than she should consider a career change. If your a manager of a program you can select anyone you want. What underhanded dealings are you talking about? Someone making the single biggest investment in Canadian soccer history? Thats terrible! The national team manager renting a property from someone who funds the national program is a crime? What law does that break?. Show some proof of these "underhanded dealings". If it's true she was told to leave after she boarded the plane, thats unfortunate and should have been dealt with earlier, but the CSA can do as it pleases. How does the CSA not have the right to drop any player it wants at any time from any team? Should Charmaine hooper be an automatic selection forever because she's Charmaine Hooper?

Pellerud is vindictive to the players so the fact that he would pick the worst time to cut her funding is not surprising

The Dealings are

1: Pressuring a player to break their contract (2 Players that were signed in atlanta did for fear of retaliation)

2: Suggesting they contact the Whitecaps and "Get a good deal"

3: telling her at that time her funding was in jeopardy

4: PELLERUD Scheudeled the game with the US, he waited until AFTER the whitecaps had been selected to host the championship, this negated them having to play in a playoff. He attended the finals in NJ in 2005 and knew how valuable LeBlanc was to the team.

IF Vancouver was not selected, the game would not have taken place on that weekend.

He influenced the outcome of the game by not allowing LeBlanc to play and allowing the Fury members of the canadian national team to play in a NON paying, amatuer league game instead of representing Canada. He denied Canada the best chance it has ever had of beating the US(they were without a couple of Key players that day)

At that time, Charmaine called out the PLAYERS, not the coach, and informed them it was their responcibility to be there.

----------------------------------------------------------------

I have never heard anyone say Charmaine is anything other than a competitor who fights to make soccer better for the players that follow her. I have spoken with her in the past and she is one the most principled person, who is not afraid to tell anyone when she disagrees with you that I have ever met. I respect her for what she has done and what she is doing.

She should be part of the Soccer team for the fact that she is playing some of the best soccer that I have seen from her. (I go back to watching her play in the WUSA days)

As long as she continues to be more productive on the field than any other player and is willing to do what is asked of her, she is a key player n the team

I Aplaud what Kerfoot has done, If the Coach had located the camp elswhere, this would be a non issue, and he would not have sent the "ID ten T" email

For the Record, I was associated with the NJ Wildcats, and would watch her play against the Charge. I did not care for her playing style with the beat, but her game matured past that(Coaching style maybe)and has been fun to watch.

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Seems all kinds of accusations have been made concerning Pellerud but I see no hard facts presented anywhere. He may well be guilty of what you're charging him with but everything you have presented is nothing but circumstantial hearsay. If you're going to make such grave public accusations it might be wise to have proof that would stand up in a court of law or you lay yourself wide open.

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... when you wash your dirty linen in public....

Damning statements are written on websites and emails. He said/she said, denials and accusations with hubris.

What's for sure is that there are high stakes involved here, not some petty squabblings that can be resolved with a mutual press conference to kiss and make up. It's not a matter of heads will roll, but from how high and how far. Hold on tight kids, this is only get messier.

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I think that playing for the whitecaps would have been use as an outfit for the players to play for while the residency program was in full swing guaranty the players in camp competitive club soccer weeks in weeks out and keeping the traveling cost of keeping the together down.

the whitecaps were probably more than willing to accomodate the players by offering playing spots should players desire to do so by contacting the whitecaps organization to give the residency program every chance to succeed in providing Canadian a well oiled national

womens soccer team providing the coach have a sense of direction where womens soccer is heading and what it will take for Canada to be part of the elite in womens soccer which does not seems to be the case with either Pelerud or Bridge.

for sure it is a mess that Canadian soccer program dould have done withoutit is also and indication how mickey mouse the state of soccer is at the national level

I have doubts about the effectiveness of the residency program with Pelerud being the coach all is going to do is keep pushing for his kick and run style for 60 consecutive days it would be a complete waste of money,players time and talents.

if getting rid of Pelerud and bring in someone that is willing to play a more modern and attractive style where skills and creativity is the criteria for women soccer to florish and please no Ian bridge as his successor then this mess would have had a silver lining to it.

kerfoot should postponed his sponsorship of the resisdency program

probably he was naive enough to beleive that soccer in this country is being run by peoples that earned their highly paid positions by merits just like it is done in his highly successful software company

Kerfoot welcome to the mickey mouse world of the CSA.

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quote:Originally posted by near_post

So, flipping things onto a constructive track for a change, Richard.

How would you see bringing optimum resolution to this set of events?

Thanks to the actions of the Hooper crew threatening legal action it is now all in the hands of the lawyers who will no doubt strive to work out a resolution because clearly there is a problem. The CSA may believe it has the stronger case and call their bluff with an offer to 'see you in court'. I would expect the Hooper crew will look to avoid costly and drawn out court action where the CSA will have a distinct advantage due to its deeper pockets. I think the mostly likely and pragmatic outcome will see the Hooper crew back down or accept a small settlement to go away and shut up and there will be some mealie-mouthed joint media release saying all is well again in the world of WNT soccer. I doubt these players, Hooper especially, will ever play for Canada again no matter what the outcome of this dispute but I've been wrong before :-)

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

[brI think the mostly likely and pragmatic outcome will see the Hooper crew back down or accept a small settlement to go away and shut up and there will be some mealie-mouthed joint media release saying all is well again in the world of WNT soccer.

She will see this as a chance to Make soccer better for the players that follow her. She did not back down in her last coach's argument.

She clearly perceives a wrong being done to her, she will see this until the end i.e. Pellerud is gone before she is done playing for Canada.. I think this is a personal competition beween her and Pellerud.

As for accusations of scheduling the game with the US... That is the series of events that took place earlier this year, read into it what you may. he scheduled the game with the US but did not confirm the game until after the announcement. Many in the W-League were aware - I am sure Atlanta was since it could have impacted them as well as the Wildcats for the playoffs.

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Guest Ed
quote:Originally posted by Richard

Thanks to the actions of the Hooper crew threatening legal action it is now all in the hands of the lawyers who will no doubt strive to work out a resolution because clearly there is a problem. The CSA may believe it has the stronger case and call their bluff with an offer to 'see you in court'. I would expect the Hooper crew will look to avoid costly and drawn out court action where the CSA will have a distinct advantage due to its deeper pockets. I think the mostly likely and pragmatic outcome will see the Hooper crew back down or accept a small settlement to go away and shut up and there will be some mealie-mouthed joint media release saying all is well again in the world of WNT soccer. I doubt these players, Hooper especially, will ever play for Canada again no matter what the outcome of this dispute but I've been wrong before :-)

Well Charmaine Hooper will still have soccer fields named after her in west end of Ottawa (formerly Nepean) and deservedly so. Pellerud on the other hand will be long gone.

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