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TFC's international dilemma


johnmolinaro

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"The club-vs-country dilemma is one that has bedevilled European soccer's glamour teams for years. Toronto will now get a small taste of what Chelsea, Real Madrid, and AC Milan go through every time the national teams of England, Spain and Italy schedule a friendly in the middle of the season."

Was planning on writing a post about just this topic - you beat me to it. I can fully understand and respect the TFC fans who are upset about losing so many players just as they are starting to get rolling.

But the opinions I am most interested in are those of the guys who support equally the MNT and TFC. This is the first big wave (of many, one would presume) of such club-country issues that they are facing in Toronto. If Mo held guys back from the Gold Cup or put undue pressure on them behind the scenes, who would you be supporting in such cases? Are you happy to see the younger TFC guys (who are almost exclusively Canadian) get a chance to come in and play, making it an equal trade-off? I am genuinely curious.

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quote:Originally posted by nolando

"The club-vs-country dilemma is one that has bedevilled European soccer's glamour teams for years. Toronto will now get a small taste of what Chelsea, Real Madrid, and AC Milan go through every time the national teams of England, Spain and Italy schedule a friendly in the middle of the season."

Was planning on writing a post about just this topic - you beat me to it. I can fully understand and respect the TFC fans who are upset about losing so many players just as they are starting to get rolling.

But the opinions I am most interested in are those of the guys who support equally the MNT and TFC. This is the first big wave (of many, one would presume) of such club-country issues that they are facing in Toronto. If Mo held guys back from the Gold Cup or put undue pressure on them behind the scenes, who would you be supporting in such cases? Are you happy to see the younger TFC guys (who are almost exclusively Canadian) get a chance to come in and play, making it an equal trade-off? I am genuinely curious.

Mo is doing the right thing. He is not standing in the way of the players going to play for their countries. In regards to the Gold Cup, Sutton is the only starter we will be missing and in that respect we are fortunate. Unfortunately, without an experience back up, that really hurts.

All one can do is sigh (sigh) and say, what can one do. That's the way it is. Let's just make the best of it.

db

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Why, ffs, can't MLS just shut down for Gold Cup? How long does it last, 2.5 weeks? Seems retarded that the majority of the league's players could be forced to make this club vs. country choice in the first place. The North American championship should be use for MLS marketing and vice-versa. Bizarre really. I say restrict it to every four years, and make sure all venues are SSS. And give Mexico a few games too in the smaller markets. It could be a winner if the organizers actually seemed to give a great about the tourney.

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I agree. I dont get why MLS does not shut down for 3 weeks. I mean, MLS could use the regional championship for North, Central America and Caribbean championship as a marketing tool, ditto with CONCACAF. Their is a lot of potential in making something big out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup into something big down the road, with the right marketing.

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If it was World Cup Qualifiers, it might be a different story for Jim Brennan. The Euro is every 4 years (even though the qualifying is longer than the finals) and The Gold Cup is every 2. Canada needs matches...period. Sometimes some of the "next" players need to step up.s will help build depth (I hope). Same can be said for Toronto FC, time for some of the reserves to step up to the plate. In other sports you might have to wait for an injury of another player to get a chance, here you don't have to wish ill on anyone.

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quote:Originally posted by nolando

But the opinions I am most interested in are those of the guys who support equally the MNT and TFC.

Well that would be me. Good questions. I have to admit that my views have evolved a little on this topic in the recent months. Having TFC around slightly changed my perception and views on the question of my personal priorities. For example I used to look forward to the Gold Cup with anticipation. My interest in the gold cup hasn't disappeared, but if you were to ask me on the spot right on: when is canada first game and against who at the Gold cup? or when does the gold cup start? or who is in Canada's group at the gold cup?; These are questions that I would not be able to answer for you without looking it up. Whereas in the past, I could have told you on the spot and maybe even have gone so far to wonder WTF you didn't know these things. On the other hand when I learned that the GC final would be in Chicago, I actually was thinking of going if Canada ever makes it that far. But Canada in the WCQ still ranks tops in terms of importance in my mind. far and awere given a choice between a attending a TFC match where the club has an MLS championship on the line or a deciding match in involving Canada qualification for the WCQ, the WCQ match would win hands done as far as my interest.

Its with those thoughts in mind that I now view, as a fan, the club versus country conflicts between TFC and Canada. For example, I wasn't upset when I first heard that TFC were reluctant to release Sutton or the fact that Brennan decided to forgoe the event. Whereas if it were a Euro club, it would have ticked me off. Same with Friendlies involving Canada, The have fallen further down on the list of my priorities altough I fully apprecaite and understand that they are important in the long run.

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not only a problem with Toronto FC....

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=434158&cc=5901

Lalas warning over Beckham England recall

David Beckham's England recall could put him on a collision course with Los Angeles Galaxy if he remains part of Steve McClaren's set-up this year.

England have four crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers during September and October and that would put Beckham out of domestic action for the Major League Soccer outfit, for whom he has signed a five-year £125million deal.

McClaren axed the Real Madrid midfielder after replacing Sven-Goran Eriksson as England coach but he has made a dramatic U-turn and recalled Beckham for the friendly against Brazil on June 1 and the Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia.

Galaxy have sold thousands of season tickets on the back of his arrival, but Beckham's surprise recall could mean he could be on duty for England against Israel, Russia twice and Estonia instead of playing in the MLS.

Galaxy general manager Alexei Lalas admits they are concerned over Beckham's international situation from a business point of view, and hinted he may not be released for any non-competitive games.

Lalas, speaking on BBC Radio Five's Sportsweek programme, said: 'From a business perspective it is not the greatest news because we are selling the team with David Beckham and a lot of people are excited to see him play with the Galaxy.

'We will deal with it from a business perspective, but for us to say one of our players is representing England internationally is a great thing.

'There are business challenges but there is an educated public here when it comes to this international game we play. We recognise that when we are going out and getting these stars, they have responsibilities domestically and internationally.

'It is no different than when our American players are called up to play in different tournaments. We lose them at different times and we deal with it on the field and off it.

'I don't want to stand in the way of a player representing his country but we have to be prudent and understand they have to be the appropriate games. I would think they would have to be competitive matches.

'If it works out scheduling wise, we would be happy to let him go. But he has a responsibility on and off the field to our organisation and to our support. I think he is excited about pursuing that responsibility.'

The Galaxy chief added: 'He recognises that responsibility to the Galaxy and to the sport in the United States. I represented my country and I know what it means. It is something above money, it is something you take with you forever.

'I would never stand in the way of a player doing that as long as it is reasonable and they understand they have responsibilities to the club.

'But we have a responsibility to make sure David's health is looked after. This is a hell of a trip he is going to be taking by coming to the United States and it can take its toll.

'We know when we have players playing in England and they have to come back here for games, it is a very difficult proposition. I think he is up to it to a certain extent, but we will sit down and talk to him.

'Having said that there is a bigger picture and I would never stand in the way of any of our players representing their country.

'When you sit down and talk to David, his time representing England and his time as captain was something he holds dear.'

Lalas also believes Beckham's decision to quit Madrid when his contract ends on June 30 and move to the MLS should not have a bearing on future call-ups as he insists the player's fitness levels will remain high.

But he is realistic enough to understand that the 32-year-old Beckham is probably in a no-win situation by playing in a league that many others regard as being inferior to the rest of the world.

Lalas added: 'I don't think fitness is a problem. I would argue it is much more physically taxing than other leagues. We understand we are still a developing league but I refuse to think a player cannot come to Major League Soccer and develop as well, if not better, than in other leagues in the world.

'If he is lucky enough to be called up while he is playing with the Galaxy, I believe England will be getting a player who is physically and mentally fit and going through a unique experience that is ultimately going to make him a better player.

'But he probably can't win either way. If misses a cross or doesn't score a goal people will say it's because he is playing in America for the Galaxy. If he does do well people will say it is because he is a brilliant player and it doesn't matter where he is playing.'

Galaxy coach Frank Yallop has insisted Beckham will not return to a European club on loan later this year.

Reports have suggested Beckham could return to the Premiership in November following the conclusion of the MLS season.

Everton, Tottenham and Blackburn have been linked with a move, while Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has already expressed an interest.

Yallop told Sky Sports News: 'He won't be going on loan anywhere. He'll be taking a break at that point and getting ready for our pre-season.

'He's shown he's a world-class player, he doesn't need to go back and go on loan anywhere.'

Yallop believes Beckham`s performances will make it difficult for McClaren to drop him again.

'I think David is going to have such an impact when he joins the squad again it will be difficult to leave him out to be honest,' he said.

'We realise David wants to get to the 100-cap plateau and we will never stop him doing that.'

Madrid coach Fabio Capello again praised Beckham's recent form after he helped keep the Spanish giants on course for their 30th Primera Liga title.

Beckham played a pivotal role as Madrid beat Deportivo La Coruna 3-1 at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

Capello said: 'I said (on Friday) that David Beckham was playing better than he has over the last two years.

'He is in extraordinary physical condition. When he puts the ball into the centre he does it with much precision, speed and quality. He is in great shape.'

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But didn't CSA cheerlead the formation of TFC to develop Canadian players and thus Canadian Internationals?

What's with this club or country debate? TFC has an obligation to send players to Canadian International. Why else would CSA cheerlead their formation?

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For any FIFA date, the CSA can call up a player and he HAS to be released. If he is not released, or does not go, he is suspended two games for every international that he misses. Why doesn't the CSA do this? Why isn't Jim Brennan going to the World Cup, given the form that he is on?

Look at Claude Makelele with Chelsea, who in fact had retired from International Football but was still called up, and when he didn't want to go he was threatened with a suspension.

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quote:Originally posted by RJB

For any FIFA date, the CSA can call up a player and he HAS to be released. If he is not released, or does not go, he is suspended two games for every international that he misses. Why doesn't the CSA do this? Why isn't Jim Brennan going to the World Cup, given the form that he is on?

Look at Claude Makelele with Chelsea, who in fact had retired from International Football but was still called up, and when he didn't want to go he was threatened with a suspension.

Because a NT and a club can make certain arrangement for that matter. I don't think the Brennan situation was a tough one to handle for Hart, he already has Hastings and Jazic who can play at left back. Also, the MLS calendar is another issue here.

I'm not sure our MNT is in a great position to start talking about possible suspension for players like Hirsch and Brennan.

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quote:Originally posted by loyola

Because a NT and a club can make certain arrangement for that matter. I don't think the Brennan situation was a tough one to handle for Hart, he already has Hastings and Jazic who can play at left back. Also, the MLS calendar is another issue here.

I'm not sure our MNT is in a great position to start talking about possible suspension for players like Hirsch and Brennan.

You see, we all talk about the need for the MNT to play games in order to get familiar with each other, but most of the time the top players aren't there. To me, this tournament should include the core of those that will make up the WCQ campaign, of which Jim Brennan is an important part. No matter how many games we play, if the top team isn't together, then what's the point?

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quote:Originally posted by RJB

You see, we all talk about the need for the MNT to play games in order to get familiar with each other, but most of the time the top players aren't there. To me, this tournament should include the core of those that will make up the WCQ campaign, of which Jim Brennan is an important part. No matter how many games we play, if the top team isn't together, then what's the point?

Clap, Clap, Clap!

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quote:Originally posted by Alberto7

He's been named to the U-20 roster for the two games vs the USA. Anyone else have an idea?

Begovic is likely to start and Kalthoff is there too so I guess Monsalve will stay with TFC for this weekend game just like Lombardo and will join the U-20's for the June 6th game.

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This article notes that Kevin Goldthwaite has been injured in practice and is "questionable" for Saturday's game. Ronnie O'Brien (still nursing that knee injury) has also missed practice this week, but Mo thinks he'll play. If Goldthwaite can't go, I imagine we'll finally see Poz or Braz get a start.

Regarding the backup keeper, MLS retains three goalkeepers on developmental-level salaries as "pool players" to be assigned to teams that are in need of a backup keeper in an emergency. According to this list, http://www.mlsplayers.org/files/5_2_07_salary_info_club.pdf, their names are Boris Pardo, Samuel Reynolds and Kenny Shoeni. I imagine that one of these three guys will be joining TFC until Sutton returns.

***

Globe & Mail Link

Toronto FC finds itself shorthanded

LARRY MILLSON

Globe and Mail Update

The combination of injuries and international call-ups have left Toronto FC short-handed for its Major League Soccer game Saturday at BMO Field against the Colorado Rapids.

Midfielder Carl Robinson is still playing for Wales although defender Andrew Boyens has returned after playing for New Zealand in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Wales.

Goalkeeper Greg Sutton and defenders Marco Reda and Adam Braz are with the Canadian team as it prepares for the Gold Cup.

Toronto FC also has five players including forward Andrea Lombardo going with Canada's Under-20 team that is preparing for the World Cup in that division.

"I'm happy when guys are called up to national teams because it's an honour for them," said head coach Mo Johnston, a former Scottish international striker.

The injuries include one to the ankle of defender Kevin Goldthwaite that occurred in practice on Tuesday and makes him questionable for Saturday's game.

Ronnie O'Brien who has been hampered by a right knee injury has missed practice this week. "Knowing him he'll play," Johnston said after Wednesday's practice. "He's carrying a brace that's really heavy and it rubs against his other leg."

With the departure of Sutton, TFC is left with Srdjan Djekanovic as its only goalkeeper and the team will be receiving a back-up goalie from the league. Johnston said other MLS teams will be receiving similar league assistance because of international call-ups.

With the shortage of players, practices are short this week. Johnston was taking part but denied joking questions about the possibility of a comeback at the age of 44.

"Are you kidding?" Johnston said, "did you see the way I played today?"

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quote:Originally posted by RJB

You see, we all talk about the need for the MNT to play games in order to get familiar with each other, but most of the time the top players aren't there. To me, this tournament should include the core of those that will make up the WCQ campaign, of which Jim Brennan is an important part. No matter how many games we play, if the top team isn't together, then what's the point?

I agree that our top players have to play as much as possible together but the situation is kind of tough on our MNT and TFC at the moment. The fault is on the MLS not respecting the FIFA calendar. If TFC let go Sutton, Brennan, Pozniak, Reda and Braz they won't have enough canadians in the team (Canizalez and Guzman being the only one remaining considering the U-20's are also involve with their NT).

The problems with the GC is that you have a possibility of loosing your players for 4 or more games (Scandinavia and MLS). I think it will be easier for those players and their clubs to release them once in a while during the year (missing only one game at a time for MLS'er).

Blaming the CSA for making compromises in this case is excessive IMO. Not an easy situation and deals were made. I think you as a fan are expecting unrealistic things to happen in this case, it was clear that we would've encounter situations like this one and that everybody wouldn't be there (Lars, Brennan, Radz, Occean).

I would've had a problem if the CSA would've let all 5 canadians with TFC while demanding to Scandianvians and other players to report for the GC. We're only loosing one to TFC, not the end of the world and I don't think we can accuse the CSA of being complacent here.

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Further to the backup goalkeeper point, the match report for the visit to KC earlier this season Link list Sam Reynolds as a substitute not used for TFC. They must have gotten Reynolds from the league to fill in when they cut Tomer Chencinski but hadn't yet picked up Djekanovic.

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EPL teams have the same problem during the African Cup of Nations...how do you think Chelsea is going to feel losing Drogba/Kalou/Essien for a month or more during the season. So I have no pity on TFC and am still upset that Brennan will not be at the World Cup.

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