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Canada boss won't cap-tie possible defectors


SocaWarrior23

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Sorry if this has already been posted.

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/canada-boss-wont-cap-tie-possible-defectors

TORONTO – Stephen Hart feels no pressure to select players simply to keep them in the Canadian program.

Canada’s national-team head coach addressed the issue of players with multiple international options last week, saying that he will not use the CONCACAF Gold Cup or other competitions to cap-tie certain players — as in, select them so they are committed to the national team — but that those he does select will be chosen for competitive reasons only.

“The decision to simply cap a player to play for Canada in terms of picking a team, I will not do,” Hart told reporters. “If the player can contribute, and we definitely think he can contribute, he will be invited.”

Hart’s comments come on the heels of a string of defections by players who could have represented Canada but chose to play for other countries. The highest-profile defector is Calgary native Owen **********, the Manchester United midfielder who has donned England’s jersey 42 times over the past decade, including matches in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Since **********’ decision to forgo his birth nation for that of his father, several other players have also spurned the Canadian program. Jonathan de Guzman, the younger brother of Toronto FC and Canada midfielder Julian de Guzman, has represented Holland at the U-21 and U-23 levels. Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic actually played for Canada at the FIFA U-20 World Cup before making himself available for Bosnia, with whom he has earned four senior caps.

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Jacob Lensky (Czech Republic), Teal Bunbury (USA), Daniel Fernandes and Steven Vitória (Portugal) have all pledged their soccer allegiances to other countries.

With all of those defections in mind, Canadian fans have become anxious whenever a young Canuck-born players hedges against declaring for Canada at the first opportunity. When Blackburn Rovers starlet David “Junior” Hoilett spurned the chance to play for his native country, talk immediately began about the possibility of him representing Jamaica (his parents’ birth country) or even England.

Hart said that he was in regular contact with Hoilett and reconfirmed his interest in the 20-year-old striker in a face-to-face meeting in England earlier this month.

“He knows he’s wanted,” Hart said. “The door is open and it’s his decision.”

Hart’s dealings with Hoilett are consistent with his philosophy to only bring in players that want to play for Canada.

“I can only open the door, show them where they fit in the program, their importance to the program and country,” he said. “But in the end, it’s their decision.”

One player who has chosen Canada over other options is 23-year-old goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who was born in the former Yugoslavia but moved to southern Ontario when he was a teenager. Borjan actually rejected interest from Serbia — where he now plays professionally for FK Rad — to represent his adopted country, although his two Canada caps have come in friendlies, leaving the door open for him to switch.

However, Borjan has already established himself as a legitimate challenger to veteran Lars Hirschfeld for the number one spot and he will likely see action in the Gold Cup this summer.

My question for you guys is does anybody know if he has tried to make contact with Steven Vitória & Jacob Lensky. It doesnt seem like they are gonna be part of their respective national team set ups since the time since the last call ups suggest Czech and Portugal arent interested.

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Doubt Vitoria will be called he's just not good enough especially with all of our center back options, if Attakora can't get a call I see no reason why he would

Lensky is a joke footballer who I want nowhere near our squad, plus I don't think hes eligible anymore after he screwed Hart/us over

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^Bingo.

Also, this happened after he came back home to Canada to get away from the pro game. He rediscovered his passion in Canada, practised with the Caps, and then played for our U-23s, which helped get his career "back on track". And now he is doing well again and...oh look, ""I'm czech"" :/

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^Bingo.

Also, this happened after he came back home to Canada to get away from the pro game. He rediscovered his passion in Canada, practised with the Caps, and then played for our U-23s, which helped get his career "back on track". And now he is doing well again and...oh look, ""I'm czech"" :/

Actually he played for our U23s before the whole retirement saga, good riddance. His head and heart clearly aren't in the game, I think him leaving was a blessing in disguise talk about bad apples.

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I agree with Hart's approach but who would be worth 'cap-tieing' in this Gold Cup?

I don't consider a player like Holiett part of this conversation because if he's good enough to be in the starting 11 and therefore would be on the team regardless (if he was willing).

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I agree with Hart's approach but who would be worth 'cap-tieing' in this Gold Cup?

I don't consider a player like Holiett part of this conversation because if he's good enough to be in the starting 11 and therefore would be on the team regardless (if he was willing).

Well you could make an argument that leaving Borjan on the bench for the whole tournament in favour of a better performer (Lars) could be a dangerous game because he wouldn't be cap tie to Canada.

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Well you could make an argument that leaving Borjan on the bench for the whole tournament in favour of a better performer (Lars) could be a dangerous game because he wouldn't be cap tie to Canada.

I agree... Our depth in goal is still an issue and if Borjan isn't cap-tied by Gold Cup, you are still opening up a possibility of losing him. Who do we have after Lars? Text Fernandes to see if he's still interested in suiting up for Canada?

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Well you could make an argument that leaving Borjan on the bench for the whole tournament in favour of a better performer (Lars) could be a dangerous game because he wouldn't be cap tie to Canada.

Yes, but I agree with Lurker that this is really a moot point at the moment because those players who we would want to cap tie would be selected on merit alone. Hoillet would definitely be a starter and even if Lars were the number 1 for the GC, you would probably still want your number 2 keeper in a short tournament like this to play at least one game against a lesser team. There are not many if any borderline cases that could get favoured for selection over a similarly talented player in order to cap tie them. The only ones I can think of would be Lensky and Vitoria. Lensky is too much of a headcase even if he was willing so Vitoria would be the only guy in this situation. If Vitoria is the player in question I would agree he should not be called up and should be made an example of in the good of the program long term. If he were ever to become a strong 1st division player in Portugal maybe we could hold our noses and call him up but until that happens I think it is better to use him as an example to show other players that if you play for another country we are not going to necessarily give you the opportunity to play for us if things don't work out for you with the other country. Mostly I think Hart is just trying to get this message out to potential Canada players with options as opposed to saying he currently has a lot of tough decisions to make in this regard.

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Yes, but I agree with Lurker that this is really a moot point at the moment because those players who we would want to cap tie would be selected on merit alone. Hoillet would definitely be a starter and even if Lars were the number 1 for the GC, you would probably still want your number 2 keeper in a short tournament like this to play at least one game against a lesser team. There are not many if any borderline cases that could get favoured for selection over a similarly talented player in order to cap tie them. The only ones I can think of would be Lensky and Vitoria. Lensky is too much of a headcase even if he was willing so Vitoria would be the only guy in this situation. If Vitoria is the player in question I would agree he should not be called up and should be made an example of in the good of the program long term. If he were ever to become a strong 1st division player in Portugal maybe we could hold our noses and call him up but until that happens I think it is better to use him as an example to show other players that if you play for another country we are not going to necessarily give you the opportunity to play for us if things don't work out for you with the other country. Mostly I think Hart is just trying to get this message out to potential Canada players with options as opposed to saying he currently has a lot of tough decisions to make in this regard.

I've been advocating for years that our coaches at any level should play the best players available base on merit. I would never want to see a player starting ahead of another one because our coach fears he might suit up for another country.

I just gave Borjan name because something similar to what happened with Begovic could happen if he doesn't play in the GC. But even if that can still happen, I would never want to see Borjan start because we don't want to lose him to another NT.

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Hart could be refering to some of the young players coming up through the youth teams who are eligible for other NT's. Not that I think some of them would switch, but guys like Stillo, Nana, Roberts, Morgan, Fresenga, Cebara, Cordon, Aleman etc. could still play for someone else...just a thought, these guys are young and (some) are not ready for the Sr. team so maybe that's what he's not willing to be cynical about?

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Anybody who is in the mix right now would be making the team on merit. If Hart does'nt cap tie Borjan, its a pretty big mistake imo. If the guy is close to a starting job, you should take the extra benefit and cap tie him, if a guy is no where on the radar or a 17 year undeveloped potential talent then you really should not cap tie, its not a good message to send to your players. Regardless of any of this if he does choose to cap tie someone he should'nt admit to it publicly as it can create animosity and question decisions with the players.

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Guys I honestly think Milan is a legit guy who has good intentions for Canada, I'm sure he wouldn't like to see these comment doubting his loyalty. Lars isn't likely to make it to the Gold Cup anyways so I'm sure he'll be the #1 barring innury.

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Best to focus in a positive way on building a team out of the players who actually want to be there rather than losing too much sleep over those who do not. Think indirectly that's the point Stephen Hart is making. Given Borjan's father is heavily involved in Canadian soccer he has a stronger tie to the sport in Canada than some of the players who have defected in the past so best to take his statements at face value and proceed normally rather than creating an issue where there was none before.

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I guess I am in the minority here, but I would use the GC and every WC qualifier against minnows to systematically cap tie every player willing to accept the call. Sure you can publicly state the kinds of things Hart is saying in the article, but given the history of defections we have sufferred I think we need to be a bit less sentimental about building our squad. It would be great if every elligible player kissed the maple leaf before they went to bed at night, but the fact is that many are viewing their national ties solely as a business decision. I think we need to start looking at their national affiliation with that same kind of clinical and calculated perspective.

People keep saying they only want guys who really want to play for canada, and I agree. But one way of doing that is by ensuring that a player's only option for international competition is through the Canandian national team. If their options are to watch the World Cup on TV or suit up for Canada in the opening round, I guarantee that they will want to play for the nats.

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I guess I am in the minority here, but I would use the GC and every WC qualifier against minnows to systematically cap tie every player willing to accept the call. Sure you can publicly state the kinds of things Hart is saying in the article, but given the history of defections we have sufferred I think we need to be a bit less sentimental about building our squad. It would be great if every elligible player kissed the maple leaf before they went to bed at night, but the fact is that many are viewing their national ties solely as a business decision. I think we need to start looking at their national affiliation with that same kind of clinical and calculated perspective.

People keep saying they only want guys who really want to play for canada, and I agree. But one way of doing that is by ensuring that a player's only option for international competition is through the Canandian national team. If their options are to watch the World Cup on TV or suit up for Canada in the opening round, I guarantee that they will want to play for the nats.

Yeah I'd be taking at least 3 uncapped players to every minnow WCQ for capping purposes.

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Guys I honestly think Milan is a legit guy who has good intentions for Canada, I'm sure he wouldn't like to see these comment doubting his loyalty. Lars isn't likely to make it to the Gold Cup anyways so I'm sure he'll be the #1 barring innury.

No one doubts his loyalty. But the possibility of him capping for Serbia does exist, and will continue to exist until he is capped by Canada in a tournament. I'd say he's99.9999% ours, but in writing the story I had to mention it.

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I find the title of the article a little disingenious .. But then the MLS site can be a bit like that. How do you cap-tie a possible defector? Lure them to the Gold Cup with candy? Tell them its a series of friendlies? If they are thinking of defecting, they won't allow themselves to be cap-tied, obviously.

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Borjan is cap-tied. "Official" match doesn't mean qualifier/tournament match, it means "recognized" match by FIFA and friendlies are recognized.

He's capped, but he's most certainly not cap-tied.

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