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FC Montreal is way younger than the Whitecaps Usl squad. And the tfc squad is as well. The whitecaps side is a pretty veteran group for the Usl reserve sides. Just go to the Usl website and look at the age's of the players with the most minutes.  Big differences between the whitecaps and the other two (particularly with fc Montreal)

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6 hours ago, Dub Narcotic said:

Rennie didn't have a USL team and the academy was just getting started. He had Teibert in a more critical role than he has ever seen since, and he was really the only young Canadian in a position to contribute. 

The academy has been around since 2007, well before Rennie's time.

Yes, Teibert was the only young Canadian ready to contribute, but that didn't stop people on this board calling for the likes of Clarke and Alderson to get into games.

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3 hours ago, Dub Narcotic said:

I think your view of Robinson is at odds with reality. Robinson has repeatedly signed unknown South Americans (strangely, often with the same agent) on these weird loan deals that have handicapped the team again and again rather than take chances on younger and domestic players. The Whitecaps actually set a MLS record for least domestic minutes played last year.  Also, the USL team wasn't his idea, it was the organizations doing, and it's stacked with good young players because the Whitecaps had one of the best academies in North America before he came along.

How are the loan deals handicapping the Whitecaps? If they play well, like Techera, you can sign them. If they play poorly like Flores and Smith, you can let them go. If they are middle of the pack, like Fernandez, make a decision based on the finances. Sounds like smart business to me.

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3 hours ago, masster said:

How are the loan deals handicapping the Whitecaps? If they play well, like Techera, you can sign them. If they play poorly like Flores and Smith, you can let them go. If they are middle of the pack, like Fernandez, make a decision based on the finances. Sounds like smart business to me.

The loan deals have unequivocally been a complete disaster!

First, most of the players aren't any good. In addition, agreeing to a loan versus a permanent deal is not only adding undue stress to a player but really prevents them from fully committing to the team.

Second, the team has been forced to play them senior minutes over better options to justify the loan expenditures and see what they have (remember Diego Rodriguez?). 

Third, that has led to lot of wasted minutes on players who aren't part of the roster for more than a year and has also tied up cap space, international slots and roster spots on all of these temporary players. Christian Techera's deal screwed up the cap for the entire off-season last year.

Fourth, even with all the problems above it's still hard to really evaluate a player based on limited first team minutes. Techera, again, is a prime example. He looked like a world beater in his first half-year with the club but after his permanent transfer it was obvious the league had figured out his game and he was a non-factor this year.

Fifth, it's been by far the number one issue preventing the Whitecaps youth and USL players from progressing to the first team. Flores, Techera, Rodriguez, Mequida, Smith etc... are average players at best but take away minutes and opportunities from players coming up.

 

Given that you tout Techera as an example of the success of this policy (he's actually a near-disaster) shows had bad it's been. Weirdly, Robinson has been able to skate on the debacle that is his Central and South American scouting and recruitment but it's failure shows in the weakness of the current roster (the team doesn't even have a RB signed right now) and the stalled careers of several youth prospects. 

The club made a big investment in the youth program and the USL team and Robinson has instead gone with this strange South American recruitment program. It's a real disconnect and it will likely and hopefully result in Robinson's dismissal next year.

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4 hours ago, masster said:

The academy has been around since 2007, well before Rennie's time.

Yes, Teibert was the only young Canadian ready to contribute, but that didn't stop people on this board calling for the likes of Clarke and Alderson to get into games.

Well, yes, and given how their respective careers have turned out Rennie was absolutely right not to play them. Ben Fisk was the only player from that era who deserved more of a shot.

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4 hours ago, Dub Narcotic said:

Fifth, it's been by far the number one issue preventing the Whitecaps youth and USL players from progressing to the first team. Flores, Techera, Rodriguez, Mequida, Smith etc... are average players at best but take away minutes and opportunities from players coming up.

No, their lack of being ready and able to take a spot is the number one reason. Face it, if any were that good (and some are) they would breakout and take a spot. Davies and Adekugbe (before injury) were examples of that. But from what I've seen of the rest of the first team signings nothing screamed "first team material" yet. Glimpses of potential coupled with too many mistakes.

That doesn't mean they won't be next year or the year after. They will get second and third chances but they have to start nailing it when they are on the field for the first team.

So far out of the youth I can only think of Osorio and Larin as examples of players who've taken a spot. Osorio is in his 4th year and has steadily taken more minutes each year.

The rest of your post I agree with. Most of the players brought in have provided early promise only to fall flat in their second year. They get shipped out. That is normal in sports. Nico, Bolanos, Ousted, Waston, have all done well but there have been busts like you mention.

 

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First, signing cheaper to lower salaries in the Central and S American market is in fact a good strategy. In theory, anyways. It is cheaper than going to Europe, for example, and quality tends to be strong. It is also hard to do from a perspective of the Caps, with no real tradition in exploring south of the Rio Grande. So in principle, not a bad way to go, and one that a few other MLS teams have gone with relative success. 

Also, you have to account for a coach who has no idea what sort of game they are used to playing and has to learn to adapt to them. Robbo is poor at this: instead of arguing that Rivero or Techera dropped off badly second year, why not argue that they did well when they had not been coached yet by Robbo, and as soon as they adapted to his demands, they dropped their performance. Most South American curves going down at Caps after signing suggests they are not being managed correctly. 

Add to this bad management of their contracts. Starting with Camilo, who is still scoring goals BTW for Querétaro though their season is poor and he had a bad injury last year. Speaking of which: our scoring went well with Camilo as a second striker poaching behind the target, moving in and around. We lost Camilo, and promptly decided that any of Rivero, Pérez, Hurtado had to be a target striker all alone with no one nearby at all to work off of. That is a huge, glaring tactical error that has not been rectified over two seasons. Why not? Because they were seduced into the counterattack with speed up the wings with Manneh, and forgot their main strikers were all alone. So bad tactical management, and bad types of signings for player profiles.

In any case, I don't think you can say, strictly, that those loans from clubs in Uruguay etc take away spots from Canadian youth coming up through the USL team. This year you could only say this for Smith at the back position. Perhaps you could argue for more time for Bustos and Froese, but you would have had to leave out a few of the mids who actually work well, like Bolaños. We had no clear striker option, no speedy pure wing option, and no right back option in fact, to push into the first team. More like we had multi-use midfielder options in Froese, Bustos and Levis, which were the harder kind to use effectively. Even Teibert is that kind of player, not really DM, not really attacking, not really speedy, multi-use. 

I am against Robbo continuing, but Lenarduzzi as well--for me, hell, they could sell the team to some owners who actually want to win and are not satisfied with having the Caps as a plaything. These guys (and gals) have no ambition for the team, I got my proverbial email from the club salespeople this week, and you think: sorry, you are trying to sell me a bad product without blinking an eye. Give me ambitious owners able to hire a professional technical director (not a glorified amateur like Bobby), a pro coach, commit to the Canadians coming up, and do it the hard but beautiful way, with home growns mixed in with quality talent from the outside. And then you can do your marketing campaigns for next season.

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8 hours ago, Dub Narcotic said:

The loan deals have unequivocally been a complete disaster!

First, most of the players aren't any good. In addition, agreeing to a loan versus a permanent deal is not only adding undue stress to a player but really prevents them from fully committing to the team.

Second, the team has been forced to play them senior minutes over better options to justify the loan expenditures and see what they have (remember Diego Rodriguez?). 

Third, that has led to lot of wasted minutes on players who aren't part of the roster for more than a year and has also tied up cap space, international slots and roster spots on all of these temporary players. Christian Techera's deal screwed up the cap for the entire off-season last year.

Fourth, even with all the problems above it's still hard to really evaluate a player based on limited first team minutes. Techera, again, is a prime example. He looked like a world beater in his first half-year with the club but after his permanent transfer it was obvious the league had figured out his game and he was a non-factor this year.

Fifth, it's been by far the number one issue preventing the Whitecaps youth and USL players from progressing to the first team. Flores, Techera, Rodriguez, Mequida, Smith etc... are average players at best but take away minutes and opportunities from players coming up.

 

Given that you tout Techera as an example of the success of this policy (he's actually a near-disaster) shows had bad it's been. Weirdly, Robinson has been able to skate on the debacle that is his Central and South American scouting and recruitment but it's failure shows in the weakness of the current roster (the team doesn't even have a RB signed right now) and the stalled careers of several youth prospects. 

The club made a big investment in the youth program and the USL team and Robinson has instead gone with this strange South American recruitment program. It's a real disconnect and it will likely and hopefully result in Robinson's dismissal next year.

I never said the loan deals have been great, I said they don't handicap the club, which is what you said previously. By definition, they are the opposite. Try before you buy.

Most of the players have not been great. I put that down to the poor recruitment, not on the logistics of the loan system.

Robbo has not been forced to play any of his loan players. You site Rodriguez. He played near the beginning of the season. When he wasn't good enough he tumbled down the depth chart and did not play. How are they being forced to play them if they in fact are not playing? Flores is another example. He has gotten a couple of looks...not good enough (or maybe just not ready yet)...not playing.

In pro sports, all players are temporary. Not everybody you sign is going to be a success. If a player ends up being a bust, I'd rather he be on loan, and not an outright signing where you have wasted a transfer fee.

Evaluating players is hard, but its a lot easier when they are part of your group as opposed to just scouting them in a different league. You get to see how they fit into the city, the team environment, how they adjust to the travel etc. I see so many more positives.

Techera had a great 2015 when he arrived. Every pundit was in agreement in saying that the Whitecaps needed to keep him. Its so easy for you in hindsight to say that signing him was a mistake. But to call it a near-disaster is hyperbole in the extreme. He is a quality player that under performed this season. I expect him to be a serviceable player next season.

You spew so many negatives on the fact that they have brought players in on loan while obviously ignoring the fact that it allowed them to bring in a Canadian as well, Fraser Aird.

I really can't disagree more with your post above.

 

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If Robinson's loan policy worked, the team would not have been one of the worst in the league this year! In addition, they have a disastrous roster going forward (no right backs at all, no strikers, and not much cap space) and a plethora of young players who are disgruntled, on loan or stuck on the bench. Where are the tangible benefits of this process? Please name them! The team was **** this year and the roster sucks! The RB position had two loanees playing all year and was the worst position on the team and was the only change in the back four that went from one of the best in the league last year to one of the worst this year.

You are trying to make a very weird and self-contradictory argument (as is @Unnamed Trialist) you are saying this loan policy is great because you get to evaluate players, but then you use examples like Techera who absolutely were not able to be evaluated properly by Robinson or the team in the time they had them. Rodriguez, Fernandez and the like took tonnes of time away from permanently-signed options, often cost points (Rodriguez and Smith and Aird all had major, point-dropping errors during their stints) and the uncertainly around their contract demands and transfer fees tied up the team roster for months.

It's telling that no other team in MLS operates like this. Robinsons wastes loads of time and money on his South American jaunts every year and the best he can show for this sort of signing is Nicolas Mezquida, a bog-average player. Rennie was able to get players like Mark Watson who were just as useful from NASL for magnitudes less money and effort and Robinson has the advantage of a fully humming and well-stocked USL team to draw from.

It looks like the Whitecaps are being smarter going forward by doing these long-shot loans at the USL level with players like Christopher Diaz but there is literally no argument to be made that the South American loan process has been a success. They don't even have one starter on the team who came to the club that way.

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Seems like this flew under the radar

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/vancouver-whitecaps-fc-saskatchewan-soccer-association-1.3924575

Sask. soccer association, Vancouver Whitecaps offer path to the big league

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Saskatchewan Soccer Association have agreed to a formal pathway to help young players transition from initial dreams on the pitch to playing in the big leagues.

"Canada is a vast country, but through this partnership we are able to bring our common goals together to strengthen player development and hopefully, by design, see more young talents emerge from Saskatchewan," said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi in a press release.

The Whitecaps and the association will work together to fine tune the current high-performance opportunities that exist for soccer players in this province. Top prospects from the program will then move up the pyramid and into the professional environment in Vancouver through residency programs.

The progression would, for some, end as a player in the Major League Soccer.

If making it to the pros still seems like an impossibility for young players, the Whitecaps are quick to remind everyone that Saskatoon's Brett Levis is on the top team's roster, and that Saskatoon goalkeeper Thomas Hasal is on the Vancouver club's under-18 team.  

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