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Who here is fed up???!!!!


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Hi...

I just wanted to know how many people here are FED UP with the apparent lack of action from the CSA to support the MNT program. We have not had any proper preparation for this 2007 year, and knowing now the opponents in this year's Gold Cup I see Canada once more being a disappointment.

I wanted to know if there was a way that as group, we could get the CSA to get some answers and influence it to take some action. I think that something is gotta get done.

I know that the U20 World Cup is a big event, but the main goal of a national association is to take your team to a FIFA World Cup. If Canada does not take the steps right now, then I might as well forget of them actually doing any progress in qualification.

I love this country, and I want them to qualify just like most people in this forum. But we have to get the CSA to do something! There's no coach no friendlies aligned before the tournament, no visionary plan on how to qualify for 2010. What are we as supporters suppose to expect from our national team then??? We might as well enjoy the individual success that our Canadian players have in other leagues (DeRosario in MLS for example). But this is not what we want.

I am sure the entire Voyageurs community want Canada to qualify to 2010. So what is missing from the CSA?

Is it money?

Is it lack of power?

Lack of competent people?

Lack of effort on projects?

No vision plan?

Please, I need an answer from the CSA regarding these questions. Soccer has grown tremendously in this country in the last couple of years. It would be a complete shame if the CSA let's it go to waste by showing a POOR effort with the MNT program.

I apologize if I sound very cynical about our national organization. But when I see El Salvador (actually getting to the semis of the UNCAF championship, and the country where I was born), I feel frustrated that Canada (my national citizen and loved country) can't have the same number of games and preparation as a third world nation.

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Its as much the whole system and the culture, as it is the fault of only the CSA. The CSA, IMO, is nothing more than an extension or outgrowth of the system. Have you ever wondered:

1- why there are so few goals scored by canadians in Europe this year?

2- why TFC can only find defensive minded players to fill out their roster but there are so few to none that are decent enough to play offenive roles?

3- why the vast majority of our our players who go overseas end up playing holding positions or non central roles? Specifially tactically minded defensie roles rather than the technical and creative offensive roles.

4- Why our womens teams plays such an antiquated anti-soccer kind of game?

5-Why, for as long as I have been alive, do we have so much trouble scoring goals in international play?

6- Why is it that, save for small handfull, there are no decent players to be found on our national teams outside of the usual three or four areas of Canada? ( whereras in Hockey or curling for example, talent can come from aywhere in Canada; urban or rural).

The CSA cant be entirely blame for these problems. Rather, I would look at what happens at the grass roots stage. Also, I have a hard time believing that its all the fault of the CSA when you look at the fact that there are many successfull national sides come from some of the poorest and most corrupt areas of the world. So are we supposed to conclude that the national associations in those countries are so much more competent? - I would find that hard to believe.

As far as culture, we havent had real pro soccer in Canada since the demise of NASL and thankfully we are on the way to changing that. therefore, up to now, we were missing a soccer culture. By that I mean a game that attracts wider segments and ultimately helps creates roles models amongst the very large masses. Roles models are also important for, not only coaches and players, but also for associations to learn from on the administrative side of things. For example, they could learn a thing or two from private interests about how to sell tickets to soccer gmes or why you dont seat supporters groups right next to each other. Again, you need big money ( eg.: MLSEL, SAPUTO, KERFOOT) to step up for REAL pro soccer to exist. And, up until very recently, we didnt real have that. Again, how much can you blame the CSA for the lack of private investment in the pro game for the past 20 years.

Amongst the 20000 people who show up ( or watch on the CBC) in the big hype to see Beckham or Zidane next summer, there will be many who play the game at the youth level. They might pick up something signifant ( in preparation or in game situations) from watching these guys. If they take that back to their club and implement it individually or collectively, then what will be the impact over the next 2 to 5 or 10 years? Or how about the impact of TV commentary that discusses these things on a wider scale than the usual niche mediums? Again, that is not something that the CSA can accomplish by itself.

The role of the national association is to adminster things. The development aspect is in private hands. Sure the CSA, can give direction but that is pointless if there is no one strong enough to actually oversee the development. Also, yes, they can and have screwed up things at the adminstrative side in the past as I am sure every other FA in the world. But, ultimately, if we would have scored a few more goals here and there over the past 20 years in important matches, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. The CSA cant score goals for us.

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I understand what your trying to say FreeKick: I can't completely blame the CSA because there is an overall lack of resources and initiative at all levels of the Canadian soccer game (both government and priate)...

SO...

What do you think we can expect from the MNT program, we can't be supporters always living on some faint hope that things will improve if there's no action by someone. I thought that action needed to be done by the CSA, but as you mention I guess it is also up to the private firms as well...

SO, what can we expect from our men's national team program then?

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quote:Originally posted by Canadiense

I understand what your trying to say FreeKick: I can't completely blame the CSA because there is an overall lack of resources and initiative at all levels of the Canadian soccer game (both government and priate)...

SO...

What do you think we can expect from the MNT program, we can't be supporters always living on some faint hope that things will improve if there's no action by someone. I thought that action needed to be done by the CSA, but as you mention I guess it is also up to the private firms as well...

SO, what can we expect from our men's national team program then?

There is no lack of resouces. The resources are there! Surely, You cant tell me that there are more resources in your former country of El Salvador?..

Now, how you allocate resources though is another story. By the way, how is the El salvador's womens national team doing these day? See!!!, there is part of your answer.

As far as 2010. As we speak today, I am not confident. I have yet to see anything in these treads about the progress or successes of our players in Europe to give me any confidence for 2010. In fact, I would say that this is the worst period ( news wise) since the time that I have started lurking in these boards. Other than Atiba in champions league and Edgars goal against Man U, there has been no other reason to lurk in the " Mens National Team" section of this forum. 2-5 years ago, the mens National team dissussions was all I cared about on this forum. Strangely, now ( with me ) its the opposite now.

The strikers situation for canada really struck last week in thread regarding possible FWDs for TFC. If you eliminate those who are too old or too young to make meaningful contributions in 2010, I was left with two players. Neither of whom are exactly filling the onion bags in Europe. As far as the rest, well they cant even peak the interest of TFC.

Granted, that all could change very quickly. But for now, unfortunately, the full effect of the MLS will not IMO yield any benefit to the national programs in time for 2010.

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Right on!!!

I agree that the allocation of resources is different as oppose to having them...

Maybe that is part of the issue...

But it seems to me that you think (FreeKick) that Canada just does not have the talent for qualifyig to 2010, is this what your tryint to tell me??

I have always believed that Canada does have the skill, even soccer experts (here in Canada), like Craig Forrest also agree that the ability is there to qualify but the CSA needs to step up.

So I am, I guess, confused on what to expect for the Canada MNT. I want to be a supporter of something that shows promise and hope.

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quote:Originally posted by Canadiense

But it seems to me that you think (FreeKick) that Canada just does not have the talent for qualifyig to 2010, is this what your tryint to tell me??

No.... not necessarily. Once WCQ starts, anything can happen. Just like when Carlo Corrazin won the golden boot at the GC 2000. But only a blind optimist can sit here today and say that we are favourite for 2010 qualifying.

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While you may be underwhelmed by the performance of Canadian strikers in Europe, Freekick, the same is true of all of our CONCACAF opponents: McBride has 8 and Suazo 7 in top 4 leagues. A Panamanian in Columbia - Perez I think - scored 17 or 18. Not sure how good the Columbian League is, but aside from those three, there are no CONCACAF Stikers tearing it up in Europe. I suppose we can add Ruiz to the list as well because of his dominanace in MLS and last WCQ qualifying. Mexico and the US should not have any trouble scoring over the qualifying cycle, in large measure because their teams are more talented and deeper than the rest, but I do not see us as being any worse than any of the other CONCACAF nations, even with Suazo and Ruiz in the mix.

Get a decent coach, play 10+ Nat games per annum and we will be in the mix for 2010. Piss around like we did in 2006, and thus far in 2007, and 2010 ends next year. And all of that is in the CSA's hands.

As for the absence of "skill" players being developed, I think a large part of that lies with our grassroots development which discourages creativity. Its a mindset that we see played out in all sorts of organized sports, including Hockey. If we did not have outdoor rinks in every neighbourhood we'd produce far fewer creative skill players than we do.

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Originally posted by Free kick

Have you ever wondered:

1- why there are so few goals scored by canadians in Europe this year?

Now you know thats not true there quite a few doing very well

2- why TFC can only find defensive minded players to fill out their roster but there are so few to none that are decent enough to play offenive roles?

Because its easier to defend and requires less work.....

3- why the vast majority of our our players who go overseas end up playing holding positions or non central roles? Specifially tactically minded defensie roles rather than the technical and creative offensive roles.

you make it sound that there are more going then there are here// not in italy all forwards or midfielders that I know of

5-Why, for as long as I have been alive, do we have so much trouble scoring goals in international play?

you may have to be alive for a very long time till you see the light of "It takes 10 players to score a goal and one to know how to put it in"

6- Why is it that, save for small handfull, there are no decent players to be found on our national teams outside of the usual three or four areas of Canada? ( whereras in Hockey or curling for example, talent can come from aywhere in Canada; urban or rural).

Again I dont think that's true statement

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

Look free kick it requires lots of energy on a team to score a goal in a game but less energy to defend it and not have a goal scored.

The same applys to the players "defenders are not lazy, but lack the explosive power to score and yet they have their eyes in front of them, but forwards are powewrful ..plus the hate to look at what's behind them because they are lazy.

now apply to the rule of a typical job. Majority of people go to work and not know they are at work, but only a few go to work looking to take over the bosses job.,...

So I guess maybe proper training has alot to do with it I would say

because

I will hire anyone that wants to take over my job, ( forward or offensive player)

but most likely he will be a defensive minded and just go to work every day and just do his job...

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quote:Originally posted by Gordon

As for the absence of "skill" players being developed, I think a large part of that lies with our grassroots development which discourages creativity. Its a mindset that we see played out in all sorts of organized sports, including Hockey. If we did not have outdoor rinks in every neighbourhood we'd produce far fewer creative skill players than we do.

The point about outdoor rinks is key. But outdoor rinks are really myth when it comes to urban Canada. Nobody has the room for them nor the time to maintain them. But its different in Rural settings or small town Canada. Ever notice that the most creative and skilled hockey players produced in Canada come from places like Parry Sound, Brantford, Floral, Cole Harbour, Thurso, Flin Flon etc.... Numero 66, is the only one amongst the greats that I can think of who is a city slicker.

The outdoor rink analogy can easily be applied to "time and space" to practice and hone your skills. With urban sprawl and crowded subdivisions, Time and space is at a premium for Urbanites. Many of whom spend anywhere from 3-10 times more time commuting to and from school or work. Similarly green space and recreational areas is also at premium in cities compared to smaller centres. Not to mention the fact that Urban kids face any more distractions compared to small town kids as far as recreation and extra curriculr activities.

When I look at the press releases from the CSA announcing the roster of their next side to compete internationally, I never see any kid from places like Parry Sound, Brantford, Floral, Cole Harbour, Thurso, Noranda or Flin Flon. Aside from recently seeing Dieppe NB, its always all suburban locations in the Tor, Van, Mtl, Cal, Edm and a few might be in London, Kitchener and Victoria. Thats pretty much it. This is where this game differs from say Curling, Hockey and figure skating. The first hint that we are turning the corner might be when you start seeing Parry Sound, Brantford, Floral, Cole Harbour, Thurso, Noranda or Flin Flon more often.

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I don't want to nit pick too much because I agree that we tend to overorganize at the younger age groups and as a result we lose a lot of creativity.

On smaller towns (and Brantford is fairly urban), soccer arrived there late and is probably still 15-20 years behind urban Canada in its development. I think, at least in southern Ontario, we may be turning the corner and maybe especially now after David Edgar received front page coverage in the Record (the daily that many rural folks read in central western Ontario).

There is also the logistics of getting elite training. Imagine trying to live in a town like Parry Sound, Ontario and get your kid to an NTC in winter. The parental comitment necessary is substantially more. But then again, I also don't think you see many Brazilian National team members from States like Amazonia, Rondonia, Roraima, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Alagoas either.

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Response to big bird:

Cnd strikers in Eurpe from the CSA player pool:

Friend, Rob

Gerba, Ali

Hume, Iain

Occean, Olivier

O’Neill, Riley

Radzinski, Tomasz

Simpson, Dave

Please elaborate in detail to my points rather than giving me attitide like:

"Now you know thats not true there quite a few doing very well "

I am not going to go through the trouble of looking it up unless you can elborate as to who amongst the above list had a stellar season and been scoring. Or who has been playing regularly. Its not worth my trouble nor do I have the desire to look through pages of statistics. All, I will say, I follow these boards quite regularly. If you feel strongly that a particular forwd has done well, then tell me which one and tell me how many goals he scored.

Your response to "why TFC can only find defensive minded players to fill out their roster but there are so few to none that are decent enough to play offenive roles?" was quite funny.

You said: Because its easier to defend and requires less work.....

Are you serious? You have just reinforced my point.. So tell us why the cnds are being placed in the easier roles and the more difficult roles ( as you say) are going to foreigners. It is at this stage where i wonder whether it is even worth my time to repond to the rest of your post. I enjoy good on-line discssions on these topics and will gladly debate views that are based on good info and well infomed points such as the contibutions raised by Gordon and Canuck Orange and Jamit. Otherwise, its not worth my time. In fact, I think I'll stop, I would rather do laundry. sorry to be rude, but give me something better than:

"Again I dont think that's true statement." In other words, look it up and prove me wrong! I would be happy to counter point.

If you are just trolling here, Let me know so I can ignore and move on.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

Response to big bird:

Please elaborate in detail to my points rather than giving me attitide like:

"Now you know thats not true there quite a few doing very well "

I am not going to go through the trouble of looking it up unless you can elborate as to who amongst the above list had a stellar season and been scoring. Or who has been playing regularly. Its not worth my trouble nor do I have the desire to look through pages of statistics. All, I will say, I follow these boards quite regularly. If you feel strongly that a particular forwd has done well, then tell me which one and tell me how many goals he scored.

Your response to "why TFC can only find defensive minded players to fill out their roster but there are so few to none that are decent enough to play offenive roles?" was quite funny.

You said: Because its easier to defend and requires less work.....

Are you serious? You have just reinforced my point.. So tell us why the cnds are being placed in the easier roles and the more difficult roles ( as you say) are going to foreigners. It is at this stage where i wonder whether it is even worth my time to repond to the rest of your post. I enjoy good on-line discssions on these topics and will gladly debate views that are based on good info and well infomed points such as the contibutions raised by Gordon and Canuck Orange and Jamit. Otherwise, its not worth my time. In fact, I think I'll stop, I would rather do laundry. sorry to be rude, but give me something better than:

"Again I dont think that's true statement." In other words, look it up and prove me wrong! I would be happy to counter point.

If you are just trolling here, Let me know so I can ignore and move on.

First of all I was not given you attitude nor to prove you right or wrong and I did not miss your point. Just a simple different view on things so chill out. This must mean more to you then me!

How many goals would you say one needs to say, he had a good season as you indicated in number 1 of your question that had a few. I answer it there are many

Come on it is easier to play defensively and require a lot less work and effort on a team. So I don’t know what the hell your talking about and you have had 2112 posts are sure it not beers.

And it does take 10 players to work the ball to get a goal and one to put it in.

And that requires a lot more of effort from all the player then so then defending a goal.

Foreigners are well prepared where as Canadians are not, what so diffcult to understand that. Change it and things will work out for Canada you see. Just like you free kick I am here to have some fun reading amongst my friends and really I don’t think your prepared mentally to understand what I am saying when I live in it every day. Maybe you want to be involved but infortunatley being a puppet on a string is diffcult aye!

Nobody ask you to reply to my comments keep that way thanks. Geeze by the way, Im sorry too for being so rude I should never talk to a puppet like that.

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Ok, there are so many points raised here that I know I can't get them all. I'll try to be brief.

* Iain Hume is top scorer for Leicester in a very respectable league

* Radz is still playing well, but he assists more than scores now

* Give Friend and Johnson some time in Holland and they will improve

* The level of depth has never been better. We can name quality NA-based squads and Eu-based squads for friendlies if needed. With the full A squad, we no longer need USL1 players for the starting XI - or even the bench for that matter. MLS level is probably now the minimum to make the squad, and soon MLS will only be good enough for the bench.

* How many former professional players will you find in rural Canada? Anyone living in Parry Sound or Flin Flon who trained at the Ajax, Manchester United, or Juventus academies? How about a UEFA A/B Licence? Creating highly skilled strikers is asking alot of a volunteer parent who didn't play but is coaching because his/her kid is on the team and someone needs to run the CSA's local babysitting service.

* If you want the MNT to qualify for 2010, then you need the CSA to dramatically change, for the better, very quickly. There are only three ways to do that:

1) A massive infusion of cash

2) Get Cruyff AND Beckenbauer to come work for free

3) Sniper rifle, or loaded Ryder truck parked on Metcalfe Street

Any of these options would instantly improve the state of Canadian soccer. Unfortunately, the apparent lack of a sugar-daddy makes the first option almost as unlikely as the second. The third option would be the easiest, but there may be some legal difficulties, so I DO NOT recommend that.

* I'm sure that as a non-profit organization, the CSA has rules about deliberately going into debt. The CSA should, however, change the way it views the MNT. Instead of seeing the MNT as a costly nuisance that distracts them from their very important job as the nation's largest organized babysitting service, they should see the team as the organization's flagship. With respect to the ladies and the U-20 squad, nothing would create more interest, and generate more money, then the guys playing in the World Cup. The CSA needs to realize this and INVEST in the team to achieve future gains.

* If the CSA doesn't change, then you will just have to wait for them to sink into irrelevence as the private sector takes over and does the job for them. If Vancouver and Montreal get MLS teams, then Canada will eventually qualify for the World Cup, but maybe not for 2014 as their teams and academies will not be fully up to speed

for WCQ in 2012. So it is up to the CSA to get its' act together if Canada is to qualify for 2010, otherwise they will largely be shunted aside in later years.

* BTW, does anyone know a Canadian sugar-daddy who likes soccer?

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I suspect we will have a more clear picture after we see who is hired in the vacant positions (CEO/Ex. Director, MNT Coach, Tech. Director) whether the CSA is serious about stepping forward or not.

For example, if you get the right person in the CEO/Ex. Director's position, finding a couple hundred thousand dollars more to get a good international coach should not be a problem (and they can be had, if you aim just a little lower than the Scolari's and Hiddink's). Who gets named Head Coach presents a CSA image to the world, to those volunteers who really do, in most cases, try their best to develop players and to potential sponsors who have money to allocate. I am a little sceptical but let's see where they chose to take us. The CSA did say that they intend to have a coach in place by March 1. Even inaction without explanation will tell us something.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

The point about outdoor rinks is key. But outdoor rinks are really myth when it comes to urban Canada. Nobody has the room for them nor the time to maintain them. But its different in Rural settings or small town Canada. Ever notice that the most creative and skilled hockey players produced in Canada come from places like Parry Sound, Brantford, Floral, Cole Harbour, Thurso, Flin Flon etc.... Numero 66, is the only one amongst the greats that I can think of who is a city slicker.

The outdoor rink analogy can easily be applied to "time and space" to practice and hone your skills. With urban sprawl and crowded subdivisions, Time and space is at a premium for Urbanites. Many of whom spend anywhere from 3-10 times more time commuting to and from school or work. Similarly green space and recreational areas is also at premium in cities compared to smaller centres. Not to mention the fact that Urban kids face any more distractions compared to small town kids as far as recreation and extra curriculr activities.

When I look at the press releases from the CSA announcing the roster of their next side to compete internationally, I never see any kid from places like Parry Sound, Brantford, Floral, Cole Harbour, Thurso, Noranda or Flin Flon. Aside from recently seeing Dieppe NB, its always all suburban locations in the Tor, Van, Mtl, Cal, Edm and a few might be in London, Kitchener and Victoria. Thats pretty much it. This is where this game differs from say Curling, Hockey and figure skating. The first hint that we are turning the corner might be when you start seeing Parry Sound, Brantford, Floral, Cole Harbour, Thurso, Noranda or Flin Flon more often.

Simply put, hockey requires a basic un-natural skill that needs to be learned — ie skating. I think the fact that the most basic and fundamental skill has to be learned is a great equalizer for young rural kids. If you live in Leroy, Sask, pop. 420 and you grew up with a key to the rink and quite frankly there was nothing else to do, it makes sense you will be a good skater. Esp if you skated on your own for two hours every day. Ice time is harder to come by in the bigger cities, so I think the urban players don't have that advantage. However, that disadvantage is off-set by the fact that the urban hockey player plays better competition at a younger age.

And the rural player only gets that skating advantage for a few formative years. By the time they're 13 or 14 no quality rural player is truly a rural player, they're playing on a city team or in a province-wide league. If they aren't they're being left behind.

I think there are vastly fewer rural players than urban players these days. It's part straight demographics and odds (by definition there are more people in urban areas), but part of it is that serious urban kids are getting the ice time that is comparable to rural kids and have the advantage of facing the better competition.

On my local major junior team, there are 24 players on the roster. 15 come from centres with more than 100,000 people. 18 from centres with 50,000 or more. The cities that are between 50-100,000? St. Albert and Sherwood Park, Alta (suburbs of Edmonton) and Gresham, Oregon (pop 94,000). Of the six that are smaller than 50,000 one is Brandon, Man and only two are smaller than 1,000 people. On the flip side a quarter of the roster are from the general Calgary, Vancouver or Los Angeles areas.

The problem is that in Canada we don't have the infrastructure for a young rural soccer player to get quality competition. Being rural isn't going to automatically make them a better runner. They may have more time to juggle the ball and work on individual skills, but I think the lack of competition makes it that much harder to translate those skills. And even if at 13 or 14 they are strong players. Where do they go?

Your mention of Dieppe, NB is telling. Who is that? Olivier Babineau. Where does he play his club soccer? Boston. With the Boston Bulldogs of the PDL and the Super Y League. I believe he's spent three years there. That's where our young rural player went to develop his skills — a big city in the US.

Where did Sidney Crosby, the pride of Cole Harbour play when he was 14? Dartmouth playing midget AAA (and he played in the national finals and was therefore challenging himself against the best in the country). and 15? Faribault, Minn at Shattuck St. Mary. Which is the top midget hockey team in the US. There he played against some of the best midget-aged players in the world. The next year he was in the Q playing against some of the best U21 players in the world.

How about Brad Richards from little Murray Harbour, PEI (pop 356)? Well he was at Notre Dame in Sask at 14. Where he was linemates with Vincent Lecavalier from Ile Bizard, PQ playing against some quality competition and receiving great coaching. A young man named Brandon Gormley is at Notre Dame right now as a 14-year-old. He's from Murray Harbour too. I would be shocked if he doesn't go first overall in Q draft in two years.

Right now he's playing against the best Bantams in Sask which isn't bad. He also gets a few Midget AAA games which is even better. And he'll play all of the best Bantams in western Canada in tournaments before the year is out. He'll also rep his province at the Canada Games which will give him an even bigger range of competition. It will mean at 14 he's played probably 200-250 of the best 300-400 players born in 1993 in the country. He's also playing with some of the best Bantams in western Canada and that might be just as important.

If you're a soccer player from Murray Harbour how do you do that? Moving from small-town PEI to small-town Sask isn't easy I'm sure, but it's a hell of a lot easier than moving to Madrid or London or somewhere. And that's even if anyone ever notices you to give you that chance.

Without a Midget AAA team for a 14yo Crosby to play for; without elite private academies like Notre Dame and Shattuck St Mary; without a Major Junior league for 15 year-old phenoms like John Tavares to play in, do our young players, esp. our young rural players have anywhere to go in soccer? That's assuming that these kids even exist, which I doubt, but we could have the best U15 soccer player in the world in Murray Harbour, PEI and what their next step? Atlantic NTC? Then the U17 national team? They have to leave the country to continue developing. How do they get spotted to make that leap?

For now and for the foreseeable future soccer is going to be an extremely urban game. I can't see any scenario to change that and I think we're producing players of skill at a level that will provide the framework for success. Now having those players actually play for us and taking the talent we have and maximizing its potential are huge side issues and I think are the roots of the problem.

As far as the title question. Yes when I think about it I feel like crying and or burning the CSA head offices to the ground. It's almost inconceivable to me that we've thrown away our shot at 2010 a full three years before the tournament. It's so depressing I'm trying not to even think about it. I didn't think it was possible to be worse prepared than in 2003, but we really are trying hard to do it.

We won't be ready for the Gold Cup this summer. We will be experimenting with our lineup up until the first qualifier if we're lucky and get lots of friendlies, but more likely we won't get the friendlies we will need and will struggle to get our team together for the games we will get. We will be tinkering with our lineup once qualifying starts and either way we will not prepare for qualifying with a settled side of players who are familiar with each other. And we will lose.

We needed a head coach 8-12 months ago and they needed to have looked at our pool of 30-40 players by now. So we could have an idea of the pecking order for the top 25 that realistically will figure in qualifying by this summer. That allows us to use our best 11-16 in a short tournament like the Gold Cup. It's an ideal time. It's a dry run against some of the teams we will need to beat in 2008. Then we have 6-8 mos to make small adjustments and build familiarity with the team. We don't have a head coach. Even if we're great in the Gold Cup does that mean we're ready or does it mean we were good for two weeks? All we needed was six friendlies a year for the last two years. And one or two of the Barbados-level friendlies per year would have been fine. We don't need to play Brazil every couple of months.

And I don't think our failure to qualify is because we don't have talent and I don't think it's because the players aren't committed, but it's because no one seems to understand this mind-blowingly simple premise — teams that play together develop cohesion with each other and with what their coaches want and also develop chemistry both on the field and more importantly as a group of personalities. Teams that win either have that familiarity and chemistry. There is no short-cut to this. It requires time. Time we had, but are running out of.

cheers,

matthew

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quote:Originally posted by matthew

And I don't think our failure to qualify is because we don't have talent and I don't think it's because the players aren't committed, but it's because no one seems to understand this mind-blowingly simple premise — teams that play together develop cohesion with each other and with what their coaches want and also develop chemistry both on the field and more importantly as a group of personalities. Teams that win either have that familiarity and chemistry. There is no short-cut to this. It requires time. Time we had, but are running out of.

Amen - and the clock ran out months ago while Nero fiddled....

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"Being rural isn't going to automatically make them a better runner."

See I disagree there cause I growed up rural and I was always runnin. You have to chase everythin if you live in the woods, your food, your woman, your best friend runnin after your woman, with your food... not to mention if youre not chasin somethin there's probably somethin chasin you...and if he's carryin the lard bucket then that must mean it's Saturday night...but anywho I did a lot of running growing up and it seems to me you put a ball in front of one of these runnin fools and point em in the right direction and you got yerself a soccer player, just like that Forrest Gump character they made a movie about. Smart fella he was, got hisself a college education just on account of his ruralness. Rural Runners, that's the way to go!

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Thanks to all the people who are responding back to this forum.

To all due respect we have to try to keep this as much in topic as possible.

I have seen some great points so far. We have to come down to a common ground that we can agree on.

How can we get the CSA to react and demonstrate that they are serious about the MNT program.

I am sure that most of us agree that this 2007 year is a very important year for Canadian soccer:

TFC is doing its part (although success depends on their aility to win games in MLS).

Whitecaps are the current A-league champ, so it gives Canada more credibility in that league for this year.

The U20 World Cup, it is not only about hosting it, but is also about Mr. Mitchell's team to @ least make the 2nd round to keep pushing the sport here in Canada.

So...

Gold 2007 is important, should be starting point for the MNT program towards the 2010 qualification.

Alright, the U20 World Cup is big then, then I must see Canada get to @least the 2nd round. And as soon as that finishes qualifying to 2010 should be the very 1st priority for the CSA.

So like I said before, what are the things that we agree most on?

Most of us are fed up with the CSA's lack of inactivity towards the MNT. How can we agree together on how to make the CSA react and begin to take some action. The CSA can not let this important year to go by without making improvements on itself and the MNT program. It has to take advantage of it.

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I suspect that if the folks at the CSA weren't concerned by the fallout, they'd tell you straight up that the biggest single problem facing the association and the development of soccer in Canada is money. Period.

The last annual report the CSA has posted is 2003 (never a sign of a solid organizational strategy, but I digress) and it makes it clear these guys run on bupkus. They only got $620,000 from the feds that year, which these days will just about pay for six months of free MP haircuts on parliament hill. Their overall budget was only $9M (expected to rise to a -- gosh!-- whopping $11M by 2005). Their federal grant was, the association claims, one of the lowest if not the lowest in all Canadian sport.

They don't have much of a budget; they can't recruit a topline coach because they can't afford a topline coach. They can't budget a ton of top line home friendlies because they can't guarantee decent income to an incoming team. They can't budget a bunch of euro friendlies because picking up the travel costs for NA based players is prohibitive.

They can't properly align the various youth programs and leagues around Canada to get them to work together, instead of the ridiculous, overbearing-soccer-parent run systems of infighting we have riht now.

They can't get proper technical coaching in becuase they have no professional terms to offer them for when they're not working with kids.

The biggest problem with the CSA, and Canadian teams in general, is the lack of money and the lack of a cohesive plan on how to spend it. The results we're seeing in the U.S. over the last decade stemmed from exactly such a plan, bankrolled by more than $100M from Nike and others. Ditto with Australia's improvement in recent years.

If it's not going to come from government (and given how much money federal governments have traditionally wasted annually, why the heck not) then it has to come from private sponsors. But at no point have we seen anyone in soccer step up and say 'our principle focus should be finding the people to bankroll all of this."

Imagine if Nike came out tomorrow and said 'hey, here's an extra $10M each year for the next five. See what you can develop with this." We'd have structure, support, a league, teams, a travelling men's national team, seed money for TV broadcasting development, angel investor money for capital project startups etc etc etc.

What we need is someone in corporate Canada to step up and fix the debacle that is soccer in this country. AS things are, the CSA couldn't -- in its most successful year sinc 1986, no less -- even hang onto McDonald's, a company that is desparate to tie itself to anything healthy these days.

The ridiculous in-crowd system now is akin to comparing a social club to a fully functioning corporation. We need a big biz approach, not a 'hey, let's get all the soccer folks to work together', approach. All that has result in is massively out-of-date "success blueprints' that read like community charity mission statements, for crying out loud.

What organization in today's cutthroat marketplace spends 70% of its income on TRAINING before it has even developed itself as a business? As much as I like funding youth soccer, wouldn't a horse-before-the-cart approach that develops a reasonable revenue stream first be more sensible? You can spend as much on training as you want once you have the funds, but you have to be willing to spend money to make money, and right now that doesn't happen much.

Yes, they have a partnership with IMG, which to date has spawned a TV deal with sportsnet. What else? A milliion in guaranteed annual revenue? That's a joke. A good tv shows can make $200,000 in revenue from a single hour-long episode of a drama. The CSA couldn't make that off 20 GAMES on tv.

Let's look at the CSA's finances for a sec:

• they spent almost the same amount that year on their own staff ($2.13M) as on the two national teams combined ($2.8M).

• They spent MORE administering "other domestic program" $1.8M than on the youth development programs ($1.3M).

• Sportsnet paid a measly $117,000 for up to 20 games a year, and drew an audience for the women's u-19 final that year of 949,000, the largest in the network's history. Their commercial revenue from that ONE GAME likely eclipsed what they paid to get the rights. So regardless of how badly the CSA thinks it needs TV, it was screwed on that one big time.

• Let's talk about the fact that in the same year that they cancelled three friendlies so that the CSA could afford Tomasz Radszinski's insurance for the Gold Cup, they put more than $500,000 of surplus into reserve funds. That's almost the value of the entire federal grant, and they wonder why the feds won't upgrade their Sports Canada funding rating?

Come on. Even a cursory look clearly indicates the CSA is yet another Canadian sports bureaucracy, unaware of the value of the sport it is promoting and without any indication of how to properly exploit that value. And money makes all of this stuff happen: training, exhibition games, decent player insurance, decent travel budgets. We're running our men's national program on the budget of a USL team and people wonder what's wrong.

Simple: money.

And to the CSA: Update your damn website. As far as we can tell, the CSA's plan for the development of soccer is to increase the presence of the A-League, which would be a neat trick given that it doesn't exist over here anymore!

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That was a very good post bu Jeremy...

I also believe that aside from the CSA's lack of vision, it is also the fact that there is no money to support the resources of the program.

So guys...

What do you ALL expect from the MNT in this Gold Cup?

Do you expect them to qualify to 2010?

Do you think that TFC is a better organization than the MNT?

Personally given the current cirmcustances of the CSA:

I expect Canada to have a bad Gold Cup (eliminated in Round 1)

I don't expect the U20 to make the playoff round of the U20 World Cup

I perhaps the way things are going Toronto FC may actually be better than the Canadian men's natioal team.

Sorry that I sound very cynical, but I can't continue to support an organization that has promised so much and delivered so little and continues to do so.

I do understand that there's no money for the sport here in Canada, but the CSA has to take charge and ask the corporate side for support.

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