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Hart reflects back on WCQ + reaction to OO comments


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I posted under the article, but I'll post the same thing here as well:

I don't think this situation is all one way or the other. Players were bad but the coaching was terrible as well. I remember stories about players fitness going into that game, including Kevin McKenna who was rumored to be under the weather but still selected by Hart to start and did very poorly. Shouldn't a professional coach be able to evaluate a players fitness prior to the game and avoid those sorts of issues? It was one issue of many I thought came up over the cycle.

Unfortunately for Colin Miller and the rest of the CSA crew, I think this result was anything but freakish. Maybe running it up to 8-1 was extreme, but we've never played well away in concacaf and have failed to qualify for the HEX in the last 3 or 4 cycles.

When are they just going to call a spade a spade and say it's broken? I'm not taking any solace in the fact we lose every time but it's not by seven goals.

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I find nothing objectionable about what he said. Occean was disrespectful and wasn't available which makes it strange for him to be the one to speak out. If our best players aren't performing, we lose. Plain and simple. We have little depth as can be seen in the players that would replace said underperformers or missing/injured players.

Hopefully, a new coach with credentials can attract the players that have not signed on. But it's about the horses and we have very little in the stable.

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I don't see what is wrong with Hart's comments. OO wasn't available for some crucial games. He goes back to Germany with a sore back before one of the biggest games and then suddenly is ok in Germany? Give me a break. Hart had no control over his players missing some early sitters in Honduras which may have changed the game.

His comments regarding lack of depth and not having a league as fair.

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Personally have no problems with what Hart said, and always thought he seemed like a nice guy. However I still believe that some of his starting 11's and subs to be mind boggling... Sorry to stray off topic but did Jackson really miss a sitter vs Honduras @ BMO? I remember him missing one vs the US but not in that game.

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At the end he is right about nobody remembering anything but how it ended. I wish I could and as much as I think "we were a single point away from the HEX" it really does stick in your mind. Crash and burn in epic fashion is what will be remembered. In hindsight the players and coaches got us closer and like someone's tag line says "we were the nicest of the damned". We were still damned and will be.

OO is entitled to his opinion but whether someone is an amatuer or not is not the question. Did they get the result? Even a highly paid professional like Sven in Mexico in the previous qualifiers doesn't guarantee results.

At the end of it all the whole team didn't get it done but I am still proud of all the players and coaches for suiting up and playing for us. With the exception of the last game they all made me proud.

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“It’s 2012, we don’t have a league,” he continued, when prompted for a solution. “Everywhere I’ve travelled and sat down with some very respectable coaches, they want to know how you can do a job in a place that doesn’t have a league.”

Other than MLS, that is, which Hart said isn’t doing an adequate job of facilitating an environment to produce Canadian talent.

“It might need to be a league underneath MLS. Right now you have three MLS teams … Only one of those teams seems to have a solid commitment towards Canadian players."

MLS is about making money, not developing Canadians. Any league operating in Canada that counts Canadians as imports, should be shut down today.

With no national league, we are getting exactly what we deserve. 20 years ago, the CSA decided to take the easy way out. It bailed on the CSL and decided to just add teams to whatever American league was in existence. At that time, we were arguably number 2 or 3 in CONCACAF. While we were pulling the plug on a national league that was successful in developing world class talent, the rest of CONCACAF was busy building humble national leagues. Now after 2 decades, CONCACAF third tier nations that used to be our doormats, can kick our ass, and routinely develop players that star in the biggest leagues around the world.

Until we have a national league committed to developing Canadians, Canada will continue to slide down the CONCACAF pecking order. It won't matter who the coach is.

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Until we have a national league committed to developing Canadians, Canada will continue to slide down the CONCACAF pecking order. It won't matter who the coach is.

Mission accomplished for the CSA bigwigs and failed former coaches when it comes to managing people's expectations. Meanwhile, in 2014 there will be lots of teams qualifying without a single player from their domestic pro league in their starting lineups. This whole national league thing is a very convenient excuse when no effort has been made by the CSA to attract a credible national team coach. Players from the three MLS academy systems now dominate the roster of youth level national teams. The time to judge the long term contribution of MLS in developing Canadian players will be when those players reach their mid-20s.

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Mission accomplished for the CSA bigwigs and failed former coaches when it comes to managing people's expectations. Meanwhile, in 2014 there will be lots of teams qualifying without a single player from their domestic pro league in their starting lineups. This whole national league thing is a very convenient excuse when no effort has been made by the CSA to attract a credible national team coach. Players from the three MLS academy systems now dominate the roster of youth level national teams. The time to judge the long term contribution of MLS in developing Canadian players will be when those players reach their mid-20s.

Despite having not a single domestic player on their roster, those nations will be able to say that each player likely started out in their domestic league. Nations like Belgium, and even the Netherlands are exporters of players, and can't sustain the wages in their domestic leagues, but the players start there.

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Part of what I am arguing is that the whole idea that Canada lacks that right now because MLS is neglecting the development of Canadian players is a myth:

http://www.canadasoccer.com/canada-sends-youth-development-team-to-costa-rica-p145218

The Canadian Soccer Association has announced its men’s U-18 development group will hold an 11-day camp in San José, Costa Rica. The national camp, led by coach Robert Gale, will run 16 to 26 November and will feature 20 players born 1995 or later.

The men’s U-18 development group has been established to provide additional international experience for Canada’s youth players in the coming years. The 1995-born players are no longer eligible at the U-17 level, so they must work towards the U-20 international competitions in 2013 (when they are 18) and 2015 (as the CONCACAF and FIFA events are held every two years). The group is also eligible to play in the Olympic U-23 category in 2016 (held every four years)...

CANADA

GK- Marco Carducci | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

GK- Joseph Kuta | CAN / Erin Mills Eagles U-16

CB- Stephen Almeida | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

CB- Mitchel Bringolf | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal

CB- Jackson Farmer | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

CB- Luca Gasparotto | SCO / Glasgow Rangers

FB- Quinton Duncan | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

FB- Christopher Flores | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

FB- Deon Rose | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

M- Adam Bradshaw | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

M- Dylan Carreiro | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

M- Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal

M- Ali Musse | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

M- Mitch Piraux | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

M- Michael Wagenknecht | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

M/F- Sebastian Cabrera | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

M/F- Michael Petrasso | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

F- Yacine Ait-Slimane | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal

F- Sadi Jalali | CAN / Edmonton Juventus U-16

F- Mark Wadid | CAN / Erin Mills Eagles U-16

Beyond that the key is whether enough players in years past made it through the Canadian youth club system and the CSA's elite player development program (MLS has usurped the CSA's role on this hence why noses are out of joint) and wound up overseas on pro clubs in Europe or in MLS to form a credible roster for qualifying for the hex. I think there was and I don't think too many people on here would have argued otherwise six months to a year ago.

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Part of what I am arguing is that the whole idea that Canada lacks that right now because MLS is neglecting the development of Canadian players is a myth:

http://www.canadasoccer.com/canada-sends-youth-development-team-to-costa-rica-p145218

The Canadian Soccer Association has announced its men’s U-18 development group will hold an 11-day camp in San José, Costa Rica. The national camp, led by coach Robert Gale, will run 16 to 26 November and will feature 20 players born 1995 or later.

The men’s U-18 development group has been established to provide additional international experience for Canada’s youth players in the coming years. The 1995-born players are no longer eligible at the U-17 level, so they must work towards the U-20 international competitions in 2013 (when they are 18) and 2015 (as the CONCACAF and FIFA events are held every two years). The group is also eligible to play in the Olympic U-23 category in 2016 (held every four years)...

CANADA

GK- Marco Carducci | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

GK- Joseph Kuta | CAN / Erin Mills Eagles U-16

CB- Stephen Almeida | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

CB- Mitchel Bringolf | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal

CB- Jackson Farmer | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

CB- Luca Gasparotto | SCO / Glasgow Rangers

FB- Quinton Duncan | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

FB- Christopher Flores | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

FB- Deon Rose | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

M- Adam Bradshaw | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

M- Dylan Carreiro | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

M- Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal

M- Ali Musse | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

M- Mitch Piraux | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

M- Michael Wagenknecht | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

M/F- Sebastian Cabrera | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC

M/F- Michael Petrasso | CAN / Toronto FC Academy

F- Yacine Ait-Slimane | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal

F- Sadi Jalali | CAN / Edmonton Juventus U-16

F- Mark Wadid | CAN / Erin Mills Eagles U-16

Beyond that the key is whether enough players in years past made it through the Canadian youth club system and the CSA's elite player development program (MLS has usurped the CSA's role on this hence why noses are out of joint) and wound up overseas on pro clubs in Europe or in MLS to form a credible roster for qualifying for the hex. I think there was and I don't think too many people on here would have argued otherwise six months to a year ago.

And how many senior minutes did the best youth players in Canada log on these MLS rosters ? The best young talent in Canada rotting on the MLS bench ? But heh, they are 'developing'. What a convenient line of BS. Any league that counts Canadians as imports has NO interest in developing Canadian players.

Players aren't going to develop to their full potential unless they have meaningful senior matches. It is exactly why Canada developed it's best players during the CSL and why clubs around the world with promising players, loan their youngsters to lower league clubs for valuable playing time.

Radzinski would not have played for Everton if he had not been playing in a professional environment (ie, meaningful senior matches) as a 15 year old. Pesch was 15 yrs old when he was ripping the best men to pieces in the CSL with the Blizzard. Bunbury would not have been Portuguese Player of the Year and Maritimo all-time leading scorer if he had not been able to foster his talent in the CSL as a youngster. Fernando Aquier was 15 yrs old starting in the CSL, went on to Benfica. Jason Devos, was 15/16 with London Lazers, went on to European success. Paul Fenwick, Pat Onstad, Carlos Corrazin, etc.......

If the CSA wants to develop Canadian international talent, then it has to provide the opportunity for that to happen. They had that opportunity in the past with the CSL and blew it. MLS is a great venue for second rate US internationals, and retiring Canadians from Europe, but it is not the answer for Canadians hopeful of seeing Canada in the World Cup.

Every national team coach in the past twenty years has said the same thing. We need a professional, senior environment for our developing youngsters. That has not been provided by trying to latch on to US leagues like a parasite and it most certainly won't be provided by a US league that counts Canadians as imports

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While I agree that having a pro league of some sort would be a great help you have to ask yourself "just how pro is a league in which 15/16 year olds can start?". I know there are teens who can play at the adult level and for them having that next level of competition to compete against is crucial but is that type of league really pro?

All the players WF named benefitted from competition against adults at a young age. That much is obvious. That and it was crucial in their development cycle. But to compare the old CSL to current MLS is not fair either. How many 15/16 year old teens, regardless of talent level, can actually play at the MLS level? Not many on either side of the border.

The real question now is how do we get the 0.1% of teens (or less) that can out compete their peers easily the level of competition that they need so their development doesn't stagnate? The academy system does provide it to some extent in reserve matches, PDL, USL, CSL, and other leagues. Hopefully more NASL teams will provide it as well.

So yes it would help but it should not be accepted as the biggest reason we haven't made the world cup (or even the HEX for that matter) in ages. There are lots of things in play and they are synergistic. No one item will do it for us. If we accept that not having a pro league is the main reason then we are accepting defeat forever because given the reality of our current (yes opportunities were squandered in the past) situation we will probably never have even a national D3 league much less anything higher.

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And how many senior minutes did the best youth players in Canada log on these MLS rosters ?

They are only 18. It is still early days. Ashtone Morgan is not much older than they are and has made the breakthrough so it isn't mission impossible. What is missing right now is a stronger stepping stone between playing for academy teams in league like the CSL and PDL and the MLS senior roster level. If MLS were doing nothing to bridge that gap I could understand the cynicism but what they have recently announced is a set of affiliations with USL-Pro teams as a way to get players who do not go to the NCAA and are not quite ready for prime time to get competitive pro level experience. Five years from now it is far from inconceivable that there could be MLS teams in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, NASL teams in Edmonton, Ottawa and hopefully one of the other larger cities and USL-Pro/MLS reserve teams in three cities like, for the sake of argument, Victoria, London and Quebec City. That could easily provide upwards of 50 pro contracts for Canadian players. The time to judge the true long term impact of MLS (pun not intended) expansion into Canada will be in a decade or so.

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There has to be an all out push for Canadian content in MLS, and the Canadian NASL teams need to be feeder/loaned out youngsters not ready for minutes in the MLS. Overall MLS should treat Canadians as domestic, we have 3 teams in the league, and our players are still viewed as imports? Someone needs to put pressure on the MLS, there should be fan protests at games and the heads of the CSA should be vocal about this and put pressure on the MLS and its brand. The US national team is doing fine, we do not have a massive player pool and helping soccer in Canada will help the league and help soccer in the US. If Canada can develop as a meaningfull rival to the US similar to the Mexico rivalry that is good for soccer overall in the North America, especially considering that Mexico is pulling away from the US and may thump the US for a few years to come with the players they have coming through.

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The problem with MLS is there is still no motivation for MLS coaches to play young players. Their mandate isn't to develop talent, it's to win. Young players who are age 18-20 and are roster numbers 25-30 on an MLS squad aren't going to play because MLS coaches are better served by bringing in 30 year old seasoned pros who can compete at a higher level from day one and help their team make the playoffs. No question that MLS academies will produce better players if they start with 10-12 year olds but those players still need to find meaningful pro playing time at an early age in order to fully make it. That's missing right now.

USLPRO affiliation may be a small step in the right direction but it's going to take a long to see if it has any effect. Look at FC Edmonton. After a one year exhibition season, and two years in the NASL, people were expecting them to be selling players and developing future internationals and MLS players. Even though it is very early right now, it just doesn't seem that it will work out that way.

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The problem with MLS is there is still no motivation for MLS coaches to play young players. Their mandate isn't to develop talent, it's to win. Young players who are age 18-20 and are roster numbers 25-30 on an MLS squad aren't going to play because MLS coaches are better served by bringing in 30 year old seasoned pros who can compete at a higher level from day one and help their team make the playoffs. No question that MLS academies will produce better players if they start with 10-12 year olds but those players still need to find meaningful pro playing time at an early age in order to fully make it. That's missing right now.

USLPRO affiliation may be a small step in the right direction but it's going to take a long to see if it has any effect. Look at FC Edmonton. After a one year exhibition season, and two years in the NASL, people were expecting them to be selling players and developing future internationals and MLS players. Even though it is very early right now, it just doesn't seem that it will work out that way.

Agreed.

I've made this argument before. Young players simply weren't in the culture previously and teams are still trying to figure out what to do with them.

For the longest time in MLS the only domestic players coming through the pipe were the very rare teenage phenoms and frequent college graduates. All of a sudden there are academies and Preki is looking at a 17 year old Nicolas Lindsay. He has no idea what to do with him. He starts him out of position for a CCL match and the kid is struggling heavily and he gets the hook after 25 minutes. He might never have seen the field again if Dasovic hadn't taken over. Within a few weeks Lindsay was playing like the best pure winger on the entire team. Too bad that damn accident put a cap on a promising career, otherwise he might have been the best player TFCA ever developed to date.

Anyway, extreme example but just making the point that these coaches are often winning focused, as you've said. They don't know how to handle young players or know how to easy them into a system where they can expect to contribute. That's not to say it isn't possible but it looks to be outside of the skill-set of a lot of MLS coaches at this point.

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The comments about the MLS coaches being focused on winning is very true. That is what they are measured/fired by and that isn't going to change in any league. Loan outs of 18-22 year old players who are not going through CIS/NCAA is probably the best way to get them game time at a meaningful level.

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They are only 18. It is still early days. Ashtone Morgan is not much older than they are and has made the breakthrough so it isn't mission impossible. What is missing right now is a stronger stepping stone between playing for academy teams in league like the CSL and PDL and the MLS senior roster level. If MLS were doing nothing to bridge that gap I could understand the cynicism but what they have recently announced is a set of affiliations with USL-Pro teams as a way to get players who do not go to the NCAA and are not quite ready for prime time to get competitive pro level experience. Five years from now it is far from inconceivable that there could be MLS teams in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, NASL teams in Edmonton, Ottawa and hopefully one of the other larger cities and USL-Pro/MLS reserve teams in three cities like, for the sake of argument, Victoria, London and Quebec City. That could easily provide upwards of 50 pro contracts for Canadian players. The time to judge the true long term impact of MLS (pun not intended) expansion into Canada will be in a decade or so.

MLS systemically f*cks Canadian development by considering them imports. It's nothing short of an outrage. MLS has been a complete bust in terms of player development. The CSL was around 6 years and look at the results.

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MLS does more to impede development than progress it because of its structure. A single entity with a salary cap has been the greatest asset to its financial viability and its biggest impediment to player development. The single entity creates the following road blocks:

- Transferring players to higher leagues due to high transfer fees - business first/player second/leave when free agent

- Transferring players from lower leagues under contract - won't pay transfer fees/not part of the pyramid

- Infrequent loans because the need for warm bodies and replacing their cap number is difficult in case of injury

- The talent disparity between MLS & NASL isn't great enough to allow NASL to grow - new CBA should address that

MLS is making the effort but unless it actually starts loosening the purse strings and makes this a top 5 league in the world it will continue to suffocate the second division, player development and continue to alienate fans who want higher level soccer. The Harvard business case of how it will achieve it 2022 better result in a higher level product because the promise of a better league based on the DP rules is will not deliver a quality league on it own. I'm sure some owners would rather spend that money evenly across the team.

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MLS systemically f*cks Canadian development by considering them imports. It's nothing short of an outrage. MLS has been a complete bust in terms of player development. The CSL was around 6 years and look at the results.

I watched the old CSL religiously on TSN and was at just about every game that was every played in London by both incarnations of the Lasers. None of the teams in that league (even the 86ers) were even close to MLS in quality terms, and some were far from being fully pro in their approach and playing standards. The potential of what MLS can do for the national team in a decade or two is way beyond what the CSL could ever have done. Give it time. The CSL wasn't sustainable as an economic model back then and wouldn't be now, MLS is, represents the future and needs to be embraced by the CSA and fully utilized rather than being treated as something alien to the body politic.

Beyond that I think you maybe need to let the CSL go emotionally and move on. The Fury aren't coming back and neither are the Blizzard (I am fully aware of the irony of writing that given my username) or the Lasers, but a London team won PDL last summer, Toronto has TFC and the NASL is not completely out of the question in a Winnipeg context in the years ahead.

As for players development being Donald Ducked by MLS, I agree that the domestic content ideally should be changed but it is based on US labour law and isn't something that was unilaterally imposed by MLS or the USSF as part of some dark conspiracy. Also, if they were good enough to make the grade like Dwayne DeRosario, it didn't represent an insurmountable obstacle even before there were Canadian teams in the league. EVEN RICK TITUS PLAYED THERE FOR A BIT VERY LATE IN HIS CAREER AFTER ALL (long time users of this forum and its predecessor will understand what the caps locks are all about).

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MLS systemically f*cks Canadian development by considering them imports. It's nothing short of an outrage. MLS has been a complete bust in terms of player development. The CSL was around 6 years and look at the results.

+1.

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