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masster

2015 Pan Am Games

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There is an utter lack of killer instinct by anyone with a red shirt who is within 15 yds of the goal. It seems like any of our players--men's, women's (save Sinclair)-- who go one-on-one with the goalie or are presented with a gimme and, you're both right on this JOGAKANATA and theaub, they are by all indications afraid to just stick the ball in the back of the net. It's a mental block. 

 

You cannot tell me that someone who has grown up playing soccer at a high level (even in the dysfunctional Canadian system) is unable to physically summon the skill to slot a ball past a keeper at least some of the time in a one-on-one situation or in a gaping cage. We're clearly afraid. Of what, I'm not sure.

 

We saw it with Ricketts, we saw it with Larin, we saw it last night in the women's game against Colombia (over the bar from 7 yds out with empty net), we saw it in the WWC. Over and over and over. It's pathetic to watch.

 

I grew up playing soccer for at least 10 yrs, never at a very high level granted but I remember very well that when I got the ball within 15 yds of the net with only one defender and/or the keeper to beat my only thought was "this is going in one way or the other, there will be no other outcome". Did I score every time? No, of course not but more went in than not. When any Canadian player gets the ball close to the goal their thought process appears to be "I will try to put this past the goalie, but i have to wait until the right moment when it will be a sure thing....oh, I have waited too long, I will shoot/pass it now I guess. I hope this works out...***ball goes off keeper/over the bar/rolls wide***"

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We're scared to take defenders on in a one-on-one.

 

Its pathetic.

 

Its not scared. Its the culture.

The moment a player loves to "dribble" or take players 1v1. They don't fit the prototype. 

As long as your strong, fast, fit and can whip a cross in...your good.

 

We need an influx of Latin american coaches or a complete overhaul of the training philosophy from U10. 

 

Because Boakai is probably the only player that we have in the pipeline with actual dribbling skills...and its a toss up to say that it was developed in Canada.

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But therein lies my only issue with Floro, who if you go back and read the CSA press release when he was hired was lauded for his 'attacking tactics'

 

I see guys like Osorio, Teibert, Aleman etc on the bench, and yes I know that there were injury reports on them and stuff.  But in a way I feel like the players who try to take guys on are punished by the coaches.  DeRo was the only one who really ever got away with it consistently because he was the most well known player and benching him would have made zero sense.  But freedom for the most part was punished under the old managers who wanted direct, slow possession soccer.

 

I expected that to change when Floro came in, and yet there has been zero change in this.  Doesn't seem like there is any encouragement from either Floro to tell a guy to take on someone 1 on 1 because they're too afraid of getting crushed on the counter.  

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But therein lies my only issue with Floro, who if you go back and read the CSA press release when he was hired was lauded for his 'attacking tactics'

 

I see guys like Osorio, Teibert, Aleman etc on the bench, and yes I know that there were injury reports on them and stuff.  But in a way I feel like the players who try to take guys on are punished by the coaches.  DeRo was the only one who really ever got away with it consistently because he was the most well known player and benching him would have made zero sense.  But freedom for the most part was punished under the old managers who wanted direct, slow possession soccer.

 

I expected that to change when Floro came in, and yet there has been zero change in this.  Doesn't seem like there is any encouragement from either Floro to tell a guy to take on someone 1 on 1 because they're too afraid of getting crushed on the counter.  

 

 

QFT

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Its not scared. Its the culture.

The moment a player loves to "dribble" or take players 1v1. They don't fit the prototype. 

As long as your strong, fast, fit and can whip a cross in...your good.

 

We need an influx of Latin american coaches or a complete overhaul of the training philosophy from U10. 

 

Because Boakai is probably the only player that we have in the pipeline with actual dribbling skills...and its a toss up to say that it was developed in Canada.

Yup. The stuff they I are teaching at  U10 is toxic.

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Canadian inferiority complex. Scared to go out of our comfort zone. That is why we don't excel at anything outside Hockey and Curling. Even more revealing is our lack of desire to excel in any sports outside of our comfort zone. We're happy to aim for the stars for Winter Olympics and treat Summer Olympics as an afterthough by comparison. Stick only with the things we are good at. We are risk adverse by nature. It's such a shame. We are one of the wealthiest nations on earth and there is no good reason why we can't pour massive amounts of money into Soccer, Basketball, Baseball and any other sports.

End rant.

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Dribbling--let's not lose perspective here.

 

Most professional footballers on top teams cannot dribble and do not even try it in matches. The majority.

 

Also: there are teams without dribblers or with just a few that do just fine, in top flights everywhere. Teams that dribble little, never at the back, a bit in the middle, the wings, the odd striker. That is it. The reason is it is hard. How many times have I seen Messi, the world no one, closed down in a Cup match by a 3rd tier defender. Lots in fact.

 

 If you can pass properly you can get around dribbling, that is what a classic give and go does, it gets around opposing players and you don-t have to dribble. The ball moves faster than humans, so if you can move the ball well, you can avoid dribbling.

 

In any case: you really cannot teach dribbling, sorry. You can teach passing, but not dribbling, I refer to dribbling an opponent, not a cone or alone practicing. Dribbling an opponent to get behind him. Can't be taught. You can teach a player to use two feet, you can focus on ball skills in practice, you can do exercises on keeping the ball under pressure (I recall one my kid did at age 6: put 20 kids in a small space each with a ball, have to keep yours and kick anyone else's out of the space. Last player in with his ball wins). But cannot really be taught.

 

Kids learn to dribble by playing pick up soccer, number one way. Why? Because it is what you do to have fun, hog the ball, dribble and laugh at other kids. It is cocky and needs character. It is a little triumph in pick up that is often bigger than scoring, like that famous play at the Bernabeu when Maradona had an open net after dribbling the keeper and waited for the defender to come back to dribble him before scoring. 

 

Play keep away from your little brother. No dumb adult yelling at you to pass, and no one caring if you lose it since every kid tries to dribble. Free for all chaotic pick up, or playing at recess EVERY day, and at lunch, and you' learn dribbling skills, or at least what you are supposed to do. The good ones at it, then become the good dribblers on their teams. But even they, if they can't pass, will eventually lose the ball all the time because it is way easier to defend than attack in football.

 

Ask Boakai where he learned to dribble, and he'll look at you like it's a dumb question.

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Kids learn to dribble by playing pick up soccer, number one way. Why? Because it is what you do to have fun, hog the ball, dribble and laugh at other kids. It is cocky and needs character. It is a little triumph in pick up that is often bigger than scoring, like that famous play at the Bernabeu when Maradona had an open net after dribbling the keeper and waited for the defender to come back to dribble him before scoring. 

 

Play keep away from your little brother. No dumb adult yelling at you to pass, and no one caring if you lose it since every kid tries to dribble. Free for all chaotic pick up, or playing at recess EVERY day, and at lunch, and you' learn dribbling skills, or at least what you are supposed to do. The good ones at it, then become the good dribblers on their teams. But even they, if they can't pass, will eventually lose the ball all the time because it is way easier to defend than attack in football.

Bingo. And yeah, let's not freak out because every kid isn't DeRo. If we have a few guys who can provide dangerous attacking play one on one than we're doing fine. The bigger problem is team play and confidence on the ball. I want to see players tracking back and presenting themselves for a pass so their defenders who are passing back and forth to each other can eventually have an option for a forward pass and not send it back to the keeper. (btw, within 5 seconds of turning on the TFC vs. Sunderland replay last night the ball was played back to the Sunderland keeper by a defender under pressure and he booted 60 yards right to a TFC player, so it's not just us)

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Surely it can be taught can't it? After all, it's all about practice. I played for a Portuguese team once, and their philosophy seemed to be that you couldn't pass until you had beat at least one player...if an opponent wasn't around for you to beat, wait until one shows up. They were all pretty good at it although it probably cost us a few games of course. 

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We just need more professional players, which we'll only get with a pro league...or double the number of MLS/NASL clubs we have now.

 

The latter.

 

Having our own pro league will definitely create more Canadian professionals......but what does more mean when quality is absent. Although its the first year, this is what we are seeing with these USL teams. IMO a brand new 10 team 'Elite Canadian League" would struggle for support, quality, and attention when it would be a league full Manny Aparico's, Ben McKendry's, and Allando Mathesons. 

 

My theory is "double the number of MLS/NASL/USL clubs we have now" FIRST.

By allowing each club to establish their culture, fan bases, identities, infrastructures, academies ect the growing pains will be masked rather than having 8 new expansion teams in a brand new league. It will also allow the clubs to take advantage of the conference alignments (depending on the league) that facilitate with less cross country travelling which reduces overall costs.

 

I know I may sound like a pessimist, but i'm a realist.

And the reality is that a 100 avid Canadian fans/ Voyageurs forum posters cannot determine the success of that league.

 

It's sad to say it, but we are not ready. 

Edited by Jahinho Guerro

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Surely it can be taught can't it? After all, it's all about practice. I played for a Portuguese team once, and their philosophy seemed to be that you couldn't pass until you had beat at least one player...if an opponent wasn't around for you to beat, wait until one shows up. They were all pretty good at it although it probably cost us a few games of course. 

 

It can be taught 100%.  You can't be taught to expert it, that is all on the player but without a doubt dribbling can be taught.

 

As an applicable example.  As a kid I would spend my summers on the ice 15 hours a week (3 hours a day x 5 days) at a school that specialized in only stick handling.  Now am I world class?  Of course not, but I would be confident teaching any kid in the world how to "dangle", I guess that's the equivalent to dribble lol.

 

Can I take the puck end to end in 6 seconds and stickhandle with the precision of McDavid?  Hell no but I could definitely tell you how to skate at a defender, what to look for when you're looking to make a move, how to sell a move to make another move etc.

 

It's no different in football.  The best dribblers aren't necessarily the guys who do 1000 stepovers and elasticos but they know how to run at defenders, how to keep the defenders back to the ball and have them scrambling just by simple touches.  And of course tight control (just like basic stickhandling control) can be taught so that you can be in control when the time comes to make a move, whether it is a simple push around a defender or an elastico nutmeg.   

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I agree strongly with Obinna that our fullbacks, in both the Pan Ams and the GC, were looking to boot the ball up the sidelines the vast majority of the time they faced any pressure, as opposed to finding a quick short pass or cutting in into the field. And this was the single biggest failure offensively for both of the Canada teams, resulting in a high number of aimless and useless long balls that had maybe a 10% success rate at best.

 

I thought the short passing from the CBs to the midfield and then to the wingers, particularly in the Panama game, was quite good at times and decent overall in the tourney and I hope they continue to encourage all the Canada youth teams to play that way. I'm fine with backpasses to the keeper when it's needed to reset the offense, top European clubs and countries do it all the time. What we did differently for the worse was that the keeper would either hoof the ball up, or the fullbacks would themselves. Still, I would far rather see Canada as a whole committed to short passing and movement off the ball and 1-2's to get out of pressure than just hoofing the ball up and always conceding possession and hoping for a lucky goal on the counter.

 

But for that gameplan to happen, yeah, youth players all over in Canada have to be encouraged to learn how to cut infield and dribble their way out the pressure. Yeah, it starts at the youth level for sure.

 

I agree with Jahinho that increasing the number of NASL/USL clubs in Canada and seeing youth academies sprout from these clubs is the far more logical way to go compared to a CPL/C-League.

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It can be taught 100%.  You can't be taught to expert it, that is all on the player but without a doubt dribbling can be taught.

 

As an applicable example.  As a kid I would spend my summers on the ice 15 hours a week (3 hours a day x 5 days) at a school that specialized in only stick handling.  Now am I world class?  Of course not, but I would be confident teaching any kid in the world how to "dangle", I guess that's the equivalent to dribble lol.

 

Can I take the puck end to end in 6 seconds and stickhandle with the precision of McDavid?  Hell no but I could definitely tell you how to skate at a defender, what to look for when you're looking to make a move, how to sell a move to make another move etc.

 

It's no different in football.  The best dribblers aren't necessarily the guys who do 1000 stepovers and elasticos but they know how to run at defenders, how to keep the defenders back to the ball and have them scrambling just by simple touches.  And of course tight control (just like basic stickhandling control) can be taught so that you can be in control when the time comes to make a move, whether it is a simple push around a defender or an elastico nutmeg.   

 

I think the keys are the basics: two-footedness, balance and tight ball control (a low centre of gravity helps) for the cut. Guys who can do that have been my nemesis for the 4 decades I've been playing....fortunately they've been rare in recreational soccer. I got Boetanged last summer and it was frustrating...if I gave him more space for recovery he could have just stepped to the side and have a clear shot. 

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