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Canadian Soccer Roundtable 2009


squizz1402635577

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Hey all, some shameless self-promotion here, but this is something I thought you'd be interested in. Over at Some Canadian Guys we've got our three-part "Canadian Soccer Roundtable" up, which is our big year-end recap. Part 1 looks at 2009 in soccer in a general way, Part 2 focuses on the Canadian game and Part 3 looks ahead to the future.

Participants include Jason de Vos, John Molinaro, James Sharman, Paul Beirne, the It's Called Football crew and a few Voyageurs - VPjr (Dino Rossi), Lord Bob and jonovision.

Head over to http://www.canadiansoccerblog.ca and give it a look, won't you?

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Thanks to everyone who's stopped by and had a read. Part 3 will be up tomorrow. I would hope everyone treats this as what it is: a hopefully-interesting collection of quick year-end thoughts on general issues.

And for what it's worth, there was no intentional effort to include/exclude anyone based solely on where they are geographically based.

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Some interesting stuff squizz, but, masster has a point you should keep in mind for future tries. 3 guys have basically said the same thing for every topic, and that was eminently predictable from position and body of work. Whether one thinks they are right, or wrong, is irrelevant. It is the differing perspectives, ideas and opinions that makes a roundtable discussion interesting. In any event, I enjoyed the read. Thanks to you and your gang for putting that together.

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Interesting read. Is John Molinaro always that negative about Canadian soccer?

About Stephen Hart - JM: "Frankly, I don’t think it matters who the coach is because Canada won’t qualify for the 2014 World Cup."

About what fans can do to help Canadian soccer grow - JM: "Nothing, really."

About Canadian soccer in 2009 - JM: "It was very rough. Toronto FC failed to make the playoffs, Canada bowed out in the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup and the Canadian club championship failed to live up to the hype."

Canada bowing out in the GC quarters by one goal is a failure, and the Voyageurs Cup as hype?

Fair enough, but I'm not too sure I would agree with those comments.

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^ Agreed. Though he's right about one thing, the 5-5 draw between Lyon-Marseille was the game of the year! 5 goals in the last 10 minutes with Lyon looking like they'd pulled off a massive come from behind win in injury time, only for Marseille to equalize a minute later.

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I agree with the answers on how to move the game forward. The CSA leadership structure needs to be reformed so that it's professionalized and can better manage our national teams. Once that change is made, there shouldn't be a problem with the NT not playing enough games.

Also, the men's professional game needs to expand. Most importantly we need more teams in MLS and NASL and they need to have academies to train the teenagers who will be the stars of tomorrow. We also need more clubs and professionalism from the semi-pro level in this country. For the secondary prospects who are keen on a pro career but aren't good enough to make it on the MLS academy teams they need to be able to play at a higher level then OYSL or equivalent level in other provinces. Allowing the biggest youth clubs who have the will to field a semi-pro senior men's team to do so will create a pathway for the best teenagers in their system to continue playing. If Erin Mills, Clarkson, Oakville etc. had teams in the CSL we probably wouldn't see their best teenaged players moving en masse to train in the academies of 2nd division Hungarian clubs.

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quote:Originally posted by bettermirror

JPG - we'd still see kids leave for overseas's en masse .... maybe not as frequently though. Europe is the goal, as that's where the money and prestige is.

BUT YES - we desperately need more semi-pro/professional enviro's for these talented teens to say the least.

Not saying it would stop happening, because the top prospects would obviously still see the youth academy at a big club being a great opportunity for them. What i'm refering to is the 2nd and 3rd tier of prospects who aren't good enough for the Whitecaps, TFC or Impact youth systems going to some obscure youth academy where only the lucky ones with Euro passports will end up scratch out a living.

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quote:Originally posted by bettermirror

JPG - we'd still see kids leave for overseas's en masse .... maybe not as frequently though. Europe is the goal, as that's where the money and prestige is.

BUT YES - we desperately need more semi-pro/professional enviro's for these talented teens to say the least.

And we frequently see them coming back en masse after a few years in Europe or elsewhere. (and then disappearing completely) Definitely agree we need a better environment for these players to develop in.

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quote:Originally posted by jpg75

Allowing the biggest youth clubs who have the will to field a semi-pro senior men's team to do so will create a pathway for the best teenagers in their system to continue playing. If Erin Mills, Clarkson, Oakville etc....

Nothing is stopping them right now from having OSL teams at a level highly comparable with the CSL in playing standard terms but it doesn't happen very often. The problem is that the people involved at many/most youth soccer clubs tend to see youth soccer as the be all and end all in itself and have no interest in having a senior level team as part of their club because their worst nightmare would be losing out on youth level championships because their most outstanding 17 and 18 year olds have been called up by the coach of the senior team. In southern Ontario (may be different in BC) staying in the game by playing for a senior level club in a highly competitive environment beyond the U-18 youth level tends to be very much a first and second generation immigrant thing in cultural terms with certain ethnicities (e.g. the Croats and Portuguese) much more into it than others.

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Since I know the above noted JM from CBC will probably be reading this thread:

I just wanted to write a bit of an open note suggesting that I don't see what it is that you actually bring to the Canadian soccer community?

Yes, you do a nice job of informing us when Jason de Vos, Greg Sutton and others are doing special things with the CBC - and we do appreciate that, thank you....

But as one of the few soccer journalists in this country with the right kind of platform to make a positive impact, in an informed and supportive manner: I have never seen you do anything that is remotely approaching that target.

Canada has 3 years to really gather itself before the next round of WCQ, and I am disapointed that you have taken the opportunity to sell your product short at such an early stage. So I take it we shouldn't bother reading any of your articles between now and 2014 sine we already know the outcome?

Here's a New Year's resolution for you...try and attend at least one national team game next year. Perhaps seeing Canada go toe-to-toe with teams from this round's HEX might convince you that our team isn't as short on quality as you suggest.

Merry Christmas,

MB

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^

Awesome! I agree 100%. JM's comments really stand out from the others. While I enjoy and encourage differences of opinion, I don't condone ignorance, or malicious comments, especially as noted above from someone in a position to make a positive impact.

We should be trying encourage a culture of CANADIAN soccer identity as oppose maintaining the status quo of old world allegiances (god love them).

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I don't think it is Molinaro's job to cheerlead and while he is habitually negative (I remember him encouraging Hargreaves to pick Wales over Canada before England was really in the picture), I do not think his comments are malicious nor - even though I disagree with him somewhat - particularly ignorant. We need a lot of players to up their game over the next 2.5 years if we want to advance to the Hex and beyond. Because we have been on a downward trajectory over the last decade in terms of our WC qualifying results. And what little depth is depleted by defections (with potential looming on the horizon).

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I like Molinaro being the "anti-guy". People like him create friction, stimulating more debate in the process. I have no problem with this because frankly I found the discussion here to be quite bland: as Gordon pointed out in an earlier post there was no real debate, no challenging of other people's opinions (like Molinaro's), which is what's supposed to happen, isn't it? Each person said his (or repeated someone else's) bit and then moved on to the next question.

There are too many cooks in the kitchen here: I'd rather ditch a bunch and have the few remaining ones countering each other's points of view. And keep Molinaro on there so the others can put him on the seat of heat.

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quote:Originally posted by Tonka

^

...We should be trying encourage a culture of CANADIAN soccer identity as oppose maintaining the status quo of old world allegiances (god love them).

Does being "CANADIAN" mean suddenly transforming yourself into a cultural clone of Anne Murray, Stompin Tom Connors and Don Cherry? Given soccer isn't traditionally part of that type of Canadian culture and for the most part has penetrated it no further than being a recreational activity for kids at this point, would that not mean being a baseball, football and/or hockey fan who views soccer with disdain? The reality is that soccer is first and foremost an integral part of this type of cultural experience in a Canadian context at the moment:-

People need to relax about the old world allegiances, in my opinion, and realize that soccer very much goes hand in hand with the spirit of multiculturalism in which it is possible to have a strong allegiance to Canada as well as to a country of birth/ancestry. It isn't possible to turn those sorts of visceral level emotions on and off like a light switch and it is not reasonable to expect people to suddenly do it overnight and treat them with scorn if they don't.

More than anything else the CSA need to give people a reason to believe that they are actually taking the CMNT seriously and running it in a professional manner before they will start to make the same deep emotional investment in it and will slowly as the decades pass transfer the passion seen in the youtube clip linked above over to the Canadian team. Whether people like it or not appointing Stephen Hart does not send that signal for many people and John Molinaro isn't being ignorant or malevolent in his views. He is just providing people with the reality of the situation as he sees it.

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quote:Originally posted by BringBackTheBlizzard

Having seen these celebrations first hand...although I'm sure some are legitimately excited the vast majority are there for the party. The post World Cup final party at College and Clinton was made up of a lot of very Canadian kids of Italian heritage that were making a pit stop before heading down to Richmond Street. I'm pretty sure a lot of them would have been a lot more excited if the Leafs had won the cup.

There is nothing wrong with promoting a pride in things that are Canadian. We are beginning to see it in the build up to the Vancouver Olympics. Most of us would agree that duel loyalties are understandable. Self-hatred towards the Canadian aspects of ourselves -- which we see far too often -- is not healthy, defendable or attractive in the least. Far too often it isn't a case of "my father was born in Holland so I support Holland," but rather a case of "Canada sucks so why would I support it. Dad is from Holland. Go Orange!"

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it is up to us to educate our friends and family about canadian soccer. most of them are ignorant to it because of the simple fact that our media hasn't covered it up until recently and they DO in fact have allegiances to their "home" leagues and teams.

i for one educate them whenever i can. i tell them about what is going on with some of our import players playing in some decent leagues around the world (which they are usually quite surprised by) and bring them up to speed on some of the latest canadian results. or go back to games such as our one of our most recent great games (against brazil) and how we actually had a shot at a draw or a win against one of the best teams in the world.

i will not stop. it's my mission TO DO MY PART in leading canada to another world cup berth and beyond.

expect that our first friendly here in toronto that we will all band together once again and buy all the tickets.

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quote:Originally posted by Gordon

I don't think it is Molinaro's job to cheerlead and while he is habitually negative (I remember him encouraging Hargreaves to pick Wales over Canada before England was really in the picture), I do not think his comments are malicious nor - even though I disagree with him somewhat - particularly ignorant.

Forgot about the Hargreaves thing. While I respect any person having a differing opinion, Molinaro's tone (overly negative without alternative suggestions, anti-Canadian rhetoric, etc.) reminds me of the bush-league Fox-type journalism that exists south of the border. Very negative spins in light of possible positives that can come out. Absolutely nothing will appease him until we win the World Cup, in convincing fashion. And yes this also applies to many Old-World fans, or the average Canadian sports fan who cannot even name five Canadian soccer players that play in Europe. Nor really care.

This is a new phase in Canada's WCQ for 2014. I really do not appreciate Molinaro's doubts about our MNT considering no one has an accurate crystal ball, especially for an event two-four years away.

I have a suspicious feeling that even if Canada makes it to 2014, he would cleverly pronounce our early exit in the first round, even before any draw was announced or any soccer ball kicked in the tournament.

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quote:Originally posted by redhat

While I respect any person having a differing opinion, Molinaro's tone (overly negative without alternative suggestions, anti-Canadian rhetoric, etc.) reminds me of the bush-league Fox-type journalism that exists south of the border. Very negative spins in light of possible positives that can come out.

I understand your point and I certainly don't want to see any discussion deteriorate into an O'Reilly/Hannity/Beck yellfest. And it doesn't have to be Molinaro who brings the contrarian side of things, either. But I think the other side of opinion needs to be recognized in some way. From my perspective, it makes for a better read and debate, that's all. So I give squizz and the gang props for at least putting that voice in their roundtable.

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