Jump to content

Jamaican striker wooed by Canada's national team


nolando

Recommended Posts

http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100202/sports/sports1.html

"Canada's head coach, Stephen Hart, said he has approached St Ann-born striker O'Brian White more than once to persuade him to represent Canada. According to Hart, he talked to White before and after his permanent appointment as coach late last year, in an attempt to convince the player to switch country allegiance."

Wish we had more insightful articles like these. Getting a bit tired of the old fanboy fodder out of Canada, with all of the stock, uber-positive answers. Takes a decent reporter to get a decent quote on a potentially contentious issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A promising young Jamaican player has become a prime recruiting target for Canada's men's national football team as it cranks up its efforts to qualify for World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Canada's head coach, Stephen Hart, said he has approached St Ann-born striker O'Brian White more than once to persuade him to represent Canada. According to Hart, he talked to White before and after his permanent appointment as coach late last year, in an attempt to convince the player to switch country allegiance.

"I have spoken to him," Hart said while still in the United States last week with his team, preparing for Jamaica. "I wouldn't say that I have pressured him. I've let him know of my interest."

According to the Trinidadian-born coach, he had no problem recruiting White, or any other talented player, if they are eligible to play for Canada.

"Yeah, I mean, why not?" Hart said. "If they show me that they can help what I'm trying to do, I will do everything to convince them that, you know, I have something to offer them and they have something to offer us and we are open to them to come and play."

White represented Jamaica at several youth levels (under 15, under 17, under 20), but is eligible to play for Canada as well after migrating there with his family years ago.

Most valuable player

He was named most valuable collegiate player in 2007 while at the University of Connecticut in the United States, where he scored 46 goals over four years.

White was selected in the first round of the 2009 US Major League Soccer SuperDraft - fourth overall - despite tearing ligaments in his knee late 2008, which sidelined him for most of the first part of his MLS rookie season as a professional with Toronto FC (TFC).

The 24-year-old White recovered in time to finish the '09 season with two goals in nine games for TFC, where he lines up alongside stars Dwayne De Rosario and Julian de Guzman, two players with strong Jamaican ties but who also expect to be part of Canada's push for Brazil in 2014. Other current Canadian natio-nal players at TFC include Ali Gerba, Nana Attakora and Adrian Serioux.

But even before Hart approached him, White had been targeted by Canada. Early last year, White explained that while he had no problems with the North American country, he has always wanted to play for Jamaica.

However, there was some disappointment with Jamaica's lack of interest in his services.

Hart made his interest in the 6' 1", 175-pound White perfectly clear before and after his perma-nent appointment as head coach. However, he insisted that the player has not given him any indication of what his final decision will be.

No definite answer yet

"I said 'look, you know, I saw the game and I think you have a lot to offer'," Hart said, explaining his conversations with White. "And he said, 'Well, would you have the job?' And I said, 'Well, I don't know if I will have the job'. And after I did get the job, I called him and said 'Well, I got the job'. So, we had a little laugh about it and, as I said, he'll make that decision when it comes around.

"I think he was very polite in his answers and he never came and said 'I will definitely do this, I will definitely do that'. He was very respectful, very polite and we left it a very informal sort of discussion. I didn't want to make it feel like I was all over him, or pressuring him to make that decision. As I said, I think players are gonna make those decisions when they feel comfortable with it."

If White gets too comfortable with Canada, it could prove an unsettling time for Jamaica, as the CONCACAF rivals could end up tangling for places at World Cup 2014 in a couple years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tough call since this is basicially a sort of Jamaican Begovic. Sure, he has the Canadian link, but the Jamaicans invested a lot of time and energy into his development from a young age and throughout the various youth team set-ups.

He's just out of college, sure, he impressed but scored all of two goals in his first year the MLS (albeit an injury shorteded one), and suddenly he's miffed he's not making the senior team even though they are hardly playing any games due to being eliminated early from WCQ. Sound familiar? (By comparison, San Jose MVP and fellow Jamaican Ryan Johnson just finally got his second cap yesterday after making huge inroads in the league last year and waiting almost four years since his first call-up).

I may be impossibly naiive on this issue, but I kind of like Canada taking the higher road on these guys, and not encouraging the same kind of trecherous actions to which our poor national program has been subjected, leaving us with valid beefs about those who "got away." It's one thing if it's a Marc Bircham, unwanted by his home country and surely never to be capped, but another if it's an impatient young rising star that is possibly pouting because he can't control his own national team destiny as early as he would like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ I would say never mind taking the high road, we've been burnt too many times! It's about time we start playing the game everyone else is playing, nice guys finish last! We have to get as many eligible players on board as possible, these other nations don't think twice about capping our players, it's time to play by the same rules!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Screw the high road. We have lost some of our brightest potential stars to the 'poaching' of other nations, so if Canada can benefit from the same rules that allow this kind of player migration than I say we take advantage of it as much as possible. Personally, I'd rather take the low road all the way to the world cup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ is that a joke? Hart is actively persuing this guy and he may not even be eligible for Canada. That doesnt make any sense.

Besides, how long has he been in Canada for. Even while he was in the US, I'm sure his permanent address was still Canadian like all of ours were. But maybe I am wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he's not a citizen, and has no Canadian born family, then I don't see how he is eligible to play for us.

White moved to Toronto in 2002, so there is no doubt that he is eligible for Canadian citizenship, if he isn't a citizen already. You can become a citizen after having lived in Canada for 3 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he's not a citizen, and has no Canadian born family, then I don't see how he is eligible to play for us.

White moved to Toronto in 2002, so there is no doubt that he is eligible for Canadian citizenship, if he isn't a citizen already. You can become a citizen after having lived in Canada for 3 years.

If White applies for Canadian citizenship, then that'll mean he very likely wants to suit up for Canada.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Citizenship is not the minimum requirement for national team eligibility if you were not born in that country. FIFA rules now state that the player must have resided for 5 consecutive years after the age of 18. The only way he can play for us is if his residence is recognized as being his parents home in Toronto while he was attending the U. of Connecticut, which may work for tax purposes with the Canadian gov't, but probably won't fly with FIFA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Citizenship is not the minimum requirement for national team eligibility if you were not born in that country. FIFA rules now state that the player must have resided for 5 consecutive years after the age of 18. The only way he can play for us is if his residence is recognized as being his parents home in Toronto while he was attending the U. of Connecticut, which may work for tax purposes with the Canadian gov't, but probably won't fly with FIFA.

How does Jacob Lensky play for Czech Republic if these are indeed the rules?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because one of his parents is Czech.

edit: It comes down to three ( i can't think of any more right now) ways you can be eligible:

Birth - Where were you born?

Bloodlines - Where were your parents born?

Residency - How long have you lived there (consecutively)

The way i see it, we're going to have a tough time getting kids who were not born here to play for us in the future. We've typically always had a few immigrants come up through our youth ranks, but unless there's an exception for kids who move to a country for non-footballing purposes (i don't think that's the case) we're going to have to wait for these kids to turn 23 years old - and make sure they lived in Canada between 18 and 23 to be eligible for us.

The flip side is that it makes it really hard for our Canadian born players (who are not dual citizens) to jump ship. Junior Hoilett is going to have to wait until 2014 if he wants to play for England. This doesn't stop us from losing the Owen Hargreaves types who can still play for their folks homeland.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lensky has Czech blood and maybe speaks Czech, so he's Czech as well as Canadian. What it sucks it's the fact he switched allegiances.

It sucks because he was able to switch allegiances based on that bull sh*t rule. I have no problem with JDG2 switching since he has lived in Netherlands for a good portion of his life and probably has citizenship, but to switch countries because your dad was born there? Get the f*ck out of here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This issue always crops up :) People, in my opinion, get too emotional over this. It is just a sport. It's not war. It's the 21st century. People move around, marry different races, different nationalities, move around again, etc. There is always going to be some arbitrary rule because nationality is not an objective concept. Look at the male/female controversy in running recently with the SA runner, where you'd think it might be a tad easier to get an objective rule...

"Which means he has Czech blood. But that's not the real problem. The problem lies here in Canada. The question should be instead what must be done here to avoid this kind of defections in the futur?"

I agree with that as well. This is what we must do. And you cannot do that by expending energy on fighting about rules and shaming individuals. The former is a Quixotic fight, the latter a band-aid solution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...