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Canadian Soccer Roundtable 2009


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quote:Originally posted by BearcatSA

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.

I agree that a differing voice is ideal because a love-in makes for pretty boring reading. However, Molinaro brings nothing to the table other than:

1) Canada is not good.

2) Canada will never be good.

3) We should hire Guus Hiddink if we want to be good.

Why not present something constructive rather than being dismissive. Maybe something along the lines of: We don't have the talent right now, but if we get A, B and C by 2012 then maybe we might make the Hex.

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Molinaro is partially right. We currently do not have enough depth IMO to be a sure pick for the HEX (not saying we can't make the HEX or qualify from it). It is not entirely a quality issue with our team. I just think we need to learn how to win at home, and to do that we have to play more at home and play at the same venue. That should be BMO.

Also, suggesting that we hire a Guus Hiddink type is not even realistic so why would he even go there.

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I'm sick of hearing people that we don't have depth and/or talent to make it to WC. These things do help but in no way will guarantee a spot. What Canada need is match experience, tactical awareness and most importantly, TEAM COHESION. Just look at Chile. None of the starting 11 is a big time talent and most of them play in the domestic league with exception a few players playing in 2nd tier league (Turkey, Portugal, English Championship and so on...). How is this any different from our current Canadian setup?

I sincerely hope that coach Hart will get his s*(t together and play a real solid team football. We don't have the funding or balls to go after hiddink or bielsa so make those 30 some odd games count til the 2012 WCQ begins and f&%k those pessimists.

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quote:Originally posted by 442_lover

...We don't have the funding or balls to go after hiddink or bielsa so make those 30 some odd games count til the 2012 WCQ begins and f&%k those pessimists...

Hiddink wouldn't take the job right now. Anyone with a few functioning brain cells realizes that. It should still be possible, however, to get someone with a wealth of experience in the game without having to pay an arm and a leg for their services. For example Nevio Scala was interesed in the Scotland job recently:-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/8407608.stm

I doubt very much that was about money. It was probably more about a desire to get back into the coaching side of the game again because he's bored with his semi-retirement as a radio pundit.

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There are several different issues here and I could go on about each of them for hours, but instead, Im going to focus on one of the unique yet overlooked viewpoints which in my mind, is focusing on the big picture.

BringBackTheBlizzard had a very articulate yet overlooked point when he stated

quote:“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… 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.”

This is very true. Were often seeing a black-and-white type argument when it comes to cultural association. Despite being born here, as a visible minority with a strong cultural background, I associate to my culture before identifying myself as hard-blooded Canadian. I would say Im very ‘Canadian’ playing hockey growing up and continuously being teased even today for saying “Eh,” but my choice has to do with morals, values and perspectives on life. With this said, I do not forget how my family has been blessed with an opportunity to live in one of the greatest countries in the world. The scary part</u> when dealing with the issue of multiculturalism, is how complex the issue is yet youth and people often look at it through a one-dimensional lens. I have an allegiance to my culture yet I am very proud to be Canadian. We take a lot for granted living in Canada.

With youth coming from cultural and visible minority backgrounds, they don’t demonstrate this same type of awareness and appreciation and it is very scary. Part of this has to do with lack of experience when visiting other countries so they don’t see the harsh realities of what other people have to face and the privileged lifestyle they have had. Thus, their allegiance is to the culture that they know of. This transcends to sports as well.

On the flip side, how can you expect anyone to fully embrace their ‘Canadian’ culture when more pragmatic issues like racism still exist today? Ideologies and stories of racism have been told from generation to generation, so even the modern techn-loving kid is still going to think like his grandparents. Furthermore, what happens if you play like a Brazilian on the soccer field? You have artistic flair and skill, but you cant adjust to a rugged British-influenced type of style that dominates Canadian soccer at the high level? What do you do? You drop out. You might have the talent, skill, flair, creativity ect, but you CANNOT adjust. Just another obstacle

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  • 2 weeks later...

I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THIS EURO STUFF AND RUNNING DOWN CANADA IN A CERTAIN WAY. I CAME TO CANADA IN 1960 AND I WAS ALREADY BRAINWASHED IN BELIEVING THAT CANADA WAS GREAT AND NOW THE GREATEST NOTHING HAS CHANGED AND JUST THAT SOCCER IS NOT THE MAJOR SPORT. HECK, I CAME TO CANADA FOR HOCKEY.GOT MY SEATS IN 1963 AND SPENT WELL OVER 400K TO PROVE MY POINT.CANADA IS THE GREATEST AND THE ONLY THING MISSING IS THAT PALM TREE.

OUR LIVES TO A VERY GREAT EXTEND ARE ABOUT SOCCER AND IT SEEMS IN A POSITION TO REPLACE HOCKEY IN POPULARITY AND THAT IS THE MAJOR FEAR AMONG MANY CANADIANS.REALIZING THAT FEAR WE MAY UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE COMMENTS AND ATTITUDES. THE MEDIA IN PARTICULAR HAVE THAT INBORN FEAR AND WHO KNOWS IT MAY EVEN INFLUENCE THEIR READERSHIP OR VIEWING AUDIENCES.

TO BAD I WAS NOT PART OF THAT FORUM.ANYWAY ULTIMATELY CANDADA WILL BE A TOP SOCCER NATION IT IS IN THE NATURE OF THAT GREAT CANADIAN.I REALLY WHISH YOU WOULD ALL TAKE SOME TIME TO READ THE STORY OF DAVID FORSYTH,THE FATHER OF CANADIAN SOCCER,HE ALONE DEMONSTRATED WHAT THIS CANADIAN GAME IS ALL ABOUT.

Back to the fine print I am sorry,yes we need to concentrate on the coaching development,etc etc etc.

Nothing has changed and yet we all seem to care a lot more ever since we got into that media "the Internet". This "weapon" alone will ensure that we will be also the greatest in soccer and although I forecasted a very succesfull pro team in Toronto ,the only thing I was wrong in was the time. I said 20 years from 1990 well we sure got this a lot sooner.With Montreal their 50 k fans ,the West coast with all these great players and the White Caps in particular, it all will fall in place and in my life time as well.

Molinaro has to learn to embrace soccer,but my fear is that these guys got hired saying during the interview that they don't like soccer and here we go ,they get that job.

2010 will be greater than any previous year and I would love to see another MLS team in Toronto so that we can have a game every Sunday.Their is no reason why not,since I am convinced that selling the seats would be an easy one.Can you imagine TFC playing against the other team,talking about a revolution in sports.

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quote:Originally posted by john tv

Molinaro has to learn to embrace soccer,but my fear is that these guys got hired saying during the interview that they don't like soccer and here we go ,they get that job.

I always get the impression that John Molinaro is absolutely fanatical about soccer (have you ever watched him discuss serie A on TLN?) and is the exact opposite of the Cathal Kelly types who deliberately run our sport down and accentuate the negatives about it for career advancement reasons. Unlike certain other soccer writers whose knowledge seems to extend no further than one overseas country he can write sensibly and knowledgeably in his blog about a wide range of overseas leagues and national teams.

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Molinaro is ABSOLUTELY one of the most avid soccer loving journalists in Canada. The man is an encyclopedia and watches more live games than should be allowed by law.

He is very opinionated (which I like) and doesn't seem inclined to kiss anyone's ass (which I also like). He's someone I personally hope continues to work on the soccer beat.

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quote:Originally posted by 442_lover

I'm sick of hearing people that we don't have depth and/or talent to make it to WC. These things do help but in no way will guarantee a spot. What Canada need is match experience, tactical awareness and most importantly, TEAM COHESION. Just look at Chile. None of the starting 11 is a big time talent and most of them play in the domestic league with exception a few players playing in 2nd tier league (Turkey, Portugal, English Championship and so on...). How is this any different from our current Canadian setup?

Good example but far from our reality, Chile's MNT has one of the best coaches in the world and a whole professional system underneath that supports him, full of other excellent coaches like Sulantay. Here we have none of that and in order to have something similar to that Canadian soccer needs to be open for everybody in the positions that count, the positions in our governing body that can make a difference with our youth, until that changes soccer will still be a recreational sport and you can't qualify to a world cup with a recreational mentality, unless of course your confederation is Oceania.

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quote:Originally posted by Eric

Good example but far from our reality, Chile's MNT has one of the best coaches in the world and a whole professional system underneath that supports him, full of other excellent coaches like Sulantay. Here we have none of that and in order to have something similar to that Canadian soccer needs to be open for everybody in the positions that count, the positions in our governing body that can make a difference with our youth, until that changes soccer will still be a recreational sport and you can't qualify to a world cup with a recreational mentality, unless of course your confederation is Oceania.

outstanding post Eric and 100% bang on

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quote:Originally posted by Eric

... Canadian soccer needs to be open for everybody in the positions that count, the positions in our governing body that can make a difference with our youth, until that changes soccer will still be a recreational sport and you can't qualify to a world cup with a recreational mentality, unless of course your confederation is Oceania.

Very good point, Eric.

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My apologies to John Molinaro big time,for some reason I got him confused with Cathal Kelly. John you are doing a masterfull job and your enthousiasm and participation on all levels of soccer is very commendable.

John and Cathal look a bit alike I guess.

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as the soccernomics guy said on the Score today, the factors behind success in football are

- sizeable population - check for Canada

- high gdp/capita - check for Canada

- have depth of football savvy re training, strategy & tactics i.e. import Western European know how - nope for Canada since the CSA seems hell bent on promoting from within (other than Holger)

- have players with lots of international match experience - nope for Canada since CSA seems busy doing other useless things

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as the soccernomics guy said on the Score today, the factors behind success in football are

- sizeable population - check for Canada

- high gdp/capita - check for Canada

- have depth of football savvy re training, strategy & tactics i.e. import Western European know how - nope for Canada since the CSA seems hell bent on promoting from within (other than Holger)

- have players with lots of international match experience - nope for Canada since CSA seems busy doing other useless things

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Than how do you explain Holland with a much smaller population than Canada never mind the size of the country.Canada at one time was way ahead of any other country in the development of soccer.We got sidetracked by baseball and football as THE North American only sports.Soccer lost out and we are still experiencing and paying for this seperatist attitude.We simply still do not belong unless we readopt soccer again as our main sport.This is were we have that conflict.I believe very strongly in the two main sport system,hockey and soccer only.

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Than how do you explain Holland with a much smaller population than Canada never mind the size of the country.Canada at one time was way ahead of any other country in the development of soccer.We got sidetracked by baseball and football as THE North American only sports.Soccer lost out and we are still experiencing and paying for this seperatist attitude.We simply still do not belong unless we readopt soccer again as our main sport.This is were we have that conflict.I believe very strongly in the two main sport system,hockey and soccer only.

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quote:Originally posted by red card

as the soccernomics guy said on the Score today, the factors behind success in football are

- sizeable population - check for Canada

- high gdp/capita - check for Canada

- have depth of football savvy re training, strategy & tactics i.e. import Western European know how - nope for Canada since the CSA seems hell bent on promoting from within (other than Holger)

- have players with lots of international match experience - nope for Canada since CSA seems busy doing other useless things

I found the soccernomics analysis of international soccer boring and lacking in anything original or noteworthy. The link between population and gdp is quite well documented by various studies of olympic performances although generally the important element arising from that is leisure time as opposed to nuitrion, although frankly, the two often run in tandem.

Similarly the thesis regarding importing oaching expertise is well known through other international sports. It has been discussed to death, for example, around the spread of hockey. Nothing unique in that analysis, but then totally nullifies its focus on western europe - as if 9 World Cups have not been won by South American nations. Additionally, the merit in their argument is then completely obliterated in their evaluation. The example, for example, of national team coach Guus Hidink is ridiculous. The presence of Guus may improve the team and tactical performance of a national team in a short term scenario like a World Cup tournament, or convey advantage in qualifying over countries not so blessed, but it does not make modestly trained & talented socer players into anything more than that. The value of importing coaching expertise is in its broad and long term application - particularly in training domestic coaches. And of course, that is a gdp and a cultural issue.

Lastly, the notion of experience - and in the context of Soccernomics that means national team experience over a long period of time - is a fairly useless indicator beyond its obvious evidence of the application of gdp to the international game. This later point highlights the gapping hole in the authors anaylis: Soccer culture. It is not simply enough to have population, high gdp, etc. etc., you have to apply those resources to soccer i.e. soccer has to rate high in the sports culture of a nation.

Frankly, while I enjoyed the book as it applied to club soccer, the last portions regarding international soccer struck me as a rehash of well known old ground along with a dash of the questionable.

So, until soccer gains in the national conscience 9i.e. become part of our sporting culture) to such a degree that we are willing to apply our poplation and gdp (through training, coaching and games) in sufficient quantities, Canada will not emerge as the 3rd CONCACAF Power.

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quote:Originally posted by Gordon

I found the soccernomics analysis of international soccer boring and lacking in anything original or noteworthy. The link between population and gdp is quite well documented by various studies of olympic performances although generally the important element arising from that is leisure time as opposed to nuitrion, although frankly, the two often run in tandem.

Similarly the thesis regarding importing oaching expertise is well known through other international sports. It has been discussed to death, for example, around the spread of hockey. Nothing unique in that analysis, but then totally nullifies its focus on western europe - as if 9 World Cups have not been won by South American nations. Additionally, the merit in their argument is then completely obliterated in their evaluation. The example, for example, of national team coach Guus Hidink is ridiculous. The presence of Guus may improve the team and tactical performance of a national team in a short term scenario like a World Cup tournament, or convey advantage in qualifying over countries not so blessed, but it does not make modestly trained & talented socer players into anything more than that. The value of importing coaching expertise is in its broad and long term application - particularly in training domestic coaches. And of course, that is a gdp and a cultural issue.

Lastly, the notion of experience - and in the context of Soccernomics that means national team experience over a long period of time - is a fairly useless indicator beyond its obvious evidence of the application of gdp to the international game. This later point highlights the gapping hole in the authors anaylis: Soccer culture. It is not simply enough to have population, high gdp, etc. etc., you have to apply those resources to soccer i.e. soccer has to rate high in the sports culture of a nation.

Frankly, while I enjoyed the book as it applied to club soccer, the last portions regarding international soccer struck me as a rehash of well known old ground along with a dash of the questionable.

So, until soccer gains in the national conscience 9i.e. become part of our sporting culture) to such a degree that we are willing to apply our poplation and gdp (through training, coaching and games) in sufficient quantities, Canada will not emerge as the 3rd CONCACAF Power.

Very good post Gordon, I fully agree with you.

I believe what is really stopping Canada from advancing in the soccer world, is the eurocentric mentality that most of our soccer decision making minds in our country have. As Gordon stipulated, half of the world cups have been won by South America and that's just because Italy won the last one, and if we want to talk about Intercontinental cups, South America is still ahead even though European clubs won the last three and unless somebody proves me wrong, I'm certain that never a SA club used a EU player in any of the finals, which is not the case with the EU clubs, some links here for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercontinental_Cup_(football)#By_continent

My point is, I understand that 99% of the people running soccer in Canada are of European background but the reality is that probably less than 50% of the participants of the sport in our country are of that background. In my case I'm half, EU mother SA father, but I spend many of my youth year in Europe because of my dad's job. I have never seen in European football the prejudice I've seen in Canadian soccer. Here it is like if you don't talk about the top four EU leagues, automatically you don't know what you're talking about so don't even bother giving your opinion because nobody cares, even if you support it with facts. It's just sad, because that attitude does not support or reflect the make up of our population and principals our country stands for. There is a deliberate discrimination against non Europeans to get in the system in decision making positions to bring in fresh views and ideas to turn things around. Stephen Hart is the exception, but he spent most of his life here listening and learning from the same European school. Worst of all the European teaching here is not even a true representation of the best football in Europe but just an interpretation of the few frustrated and displaced football fans with dreams of power back home who saw in Canada an opportunity to make money and a name for themselves disregarding the fact that they were never experienced or prepared enough to be of any positive influence to the sport. Some of the early European immigrants realized this fact and they didn't want to fake it or lie about it, so they've got involved in hockey and we all know the outcome. These were humble hard working people, who learned about a sport they didn't know in most cases and that's where the difference was, humbleness, humility and willingness to learn, and who are we in hockey today? the best and most successful country in the world of course. Well, that is exactly what we're lacking in soccer, humbleness, humility and willingness to learn and till our "soccer brains" in the CSA admit to that, we will just keep going down hill from here.

We need to bring knowledgeable and experienced SOCCER SPECIFIC people into our system if we want to move forward, we need to step aside from the Eurocentric views that have been ruling the sport for more than a century in our country. Coaches from other continents with coaching experience outside of Canada have to be given a chance to bring different philosophies to represent better our multicultural make up. The CSA has to stop preparing our national teams in Europe to play Central American countries once and for all. The yanks have realized this two decades ago and look where they are now!!! their U-20 coach is a Colombian and they have South and Central Americans everywhere in their system, if you want to understand how to beat those countries, then you need inside intelligence, it is very obvious to me!!!

I compare the attitude the CSA has towards the directions the sport should take in Canada with the Os and Xs coaches who go through the game plan before the game, but when they see the game plan is not working, they decide to stick to it because they believe it will turn around to the happy ending they predicted, even if by doing so they will lose the game, the players confidence and ultimately their job, without any regards for the club or in this case the country. Flexibility and adaptation are key for success, but you can't fully take advantage of those, unless you're open minded and willing to accept the fact that you can make mistakes too.

We have too many none soccer people involved and calling the shots in the sport and they are not wiling to learn or even open the door to people who do know about the sport.

The CSA needs a bath of humbleness and a doses of respect for the sport if they ever want to cure the flu like symptom they've been trying to "cure" for so long.

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He talked about the overachievement of Brasil (low GDP) and Holland (small pop.) based on his statistical methods. He spoke of a 'culture of excellence' and that both countries benefit from the tradition of success, that the kids there play for the love of the game and their game thrives through a survival of the fittest mentality. He also mentioned the passing on of knowledge from experts within those countries.

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