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2018 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship

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OK, so...we have a pool of probably 900 kids nation-wide who are playing high level soccer (OPDL or equivalent);  we have "scouts" evaluating these kids; after several processes, the best 18 kids per province are selected; and from these kids, we pick the best ones to be on the national team. ..

 Unfortunately this is not the case, see TC in BC's response ...

 

[  1  ]  I think some people on this board already know this and some  people  may not,  but Canada is not really trying hard to win youth tournaments anymore.  Basically the EXCEL program is  prioritizing player development over  winning youth tournaments,  which is why they are not selecting their strongest age eligible  youth rosters anymore.  Even if Canada  qualified for the 2018 FIFA U20 WWC France  then they still would probably not be selecting Deanne Rose or Jessie Fleming and would  prefer to select EXCEL prospects for those two roster spots . Furthermore, the EXCEL program goes on to contend that this is absolutely necessary now in order to compete at the international  level in women's  soccer.

Can you imagine if hockey Canada tried this model? There would be a rebellion.

IMO roster spots should be earned, based on results and performance rather than by affiliation with some program. As soon as REX accepts certain players it becomes in the coaches interest to play that player at the National level to support their selection decision .

The selection objectives become foggy. What other sport would claim that international youth tournaments are not worth winning. 

 

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IMO, U20 is not a "youth" tournament. But you may be right in that is how the CSA sees it. I just know that every other soccer federation in the world competes to win U20 FIFA tournaments.

I wonder what the expiration date is on this kind of thinking, because it is already starting to stink.

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12 hours ago, Yorktown FC said:

OK, so...we have a pool of probably 900 kids nation-wide who are playing high level soccer (OPDL or equivalent);  we have "scouts" evaluating these kids; after several processes, the best 18 kids per province are selected; and from these kids, we pick the best ones to be on the national team. 

Also, we are providing these kids with equivalent (at least, time-wise) training that kids in European academies are getting; the cost for participating in these top leagues is under debate but whether it is $5K-8K per year...

We lost to Haiti. I don't know about these players but their women's team in 2014 was playing with second hand equipment. The average annual per capita income in Haiti is $350-$409 (the price of a nice pair of cleats).

What are we doing wrong?

That is a very, very good question.

In Haiti's case they probably train all year round together. Combine that with the physical play and a lot of passion and they can be competitive at young ages where the game is very naive and the opposition can't manage it.  At the senior level both Canada and the Americans would handle Haiti with a yawn.

I've been in acadamies across Europe and we are not providing equivalent training. The facilities and infrastructure in most quality pro academies over there are hugely better, and the coaching is usually not just badge-able but top notch too.

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14 hours ago, Yorktown FC said:

 

What are we doing wrong?

Several years ago, we were playing Mexico and beating them.   It was a young Mexican team. The game was on in a bar, I really can't remember what it was.

I turned to Kevin and said, we are winning, but those Mexican girls are soccer players.  Yes they were losing the game, but look at the things they did and were trying to do. The little things, they would move and act like soccer players.  The stuff you get from being immersed in a culture of the game, the stuff you can't read in a book.  

Mexico is going to dominate in women's soccer if they continue with the league and program they have now.  

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, admin said:

Several years ago, we were playing Mexico and beating them.   It was a young Mexican team. The game was on in a bar, I really can't remember what it was.

I turned to Kevin and said, we are winning, but those Mexican girls are soccer players.  Yes they were losing the game, but look at the things they did and were trying to do. The little things, they would move and act like soccer players.  The stuff you get from being immersed in a culture of the game, the stuff you can't read in a book.  

Mexico is going to dominate in women's soccer if they continue with the league and program they have now.  

 

 

 

 

I call that the Cuellar legacy.

 

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The Brazilians have a lot more individual skill, passion and creativity than say... the Germans, who do ok against them.

We will never be Mexico but we can focus on our strengths and still do well against them.

Read something on the wire from the Guardian today on the US Soccer presidency campaign. It was from one of the candidates:

"[Hope] Solo maintains the federation’s priority should be youth development and making the game accessible to all - not just “rich white kids” who can afford pay-to-play development programs, a system where talented players have to pay fees to join elite pathways."

It also had some really interesting commentary on a non-transparent marketing company which includes some of the top executives of US Soccer in it's ownership.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/07/hope-solo-interview-i-was-told-to-shut-my-mouth-and-play-soccer

The Guardian has pretty good coverage of not just soccer but women's as well.

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32 minutes ago, Vic said:

The Brazilians have a lot more individual skill, passion and creativity than say... the Germans, who do ok against them.

We will never be Mexico but we can focus on our strengths and still do well against them.

Read something on the wire from the Guardian today on the US Soccer presidency campaign. It was from one of the candidates:

"[Hope] Solo maintains the federation’s priority should be youth development and making the game accessible to all - not just “rich white kids” who can afford pay-to-play development programs, a system where talented players have to pay fees to join elite pathways."

It also had some really interesting commentary on a non-transparent marketing company which includes some of the top executives of US Soccer in it's ownership.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/07/hope-solo-interview-i-was-told-to-shut-my-mouth-and-play-soccer

The Guardian has pretty good coverage of not just soccer but women's as well.

Thanks for the link.  Hope Solo is someone I admire and respect.  Wish she gets the job.

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5 hours ago, Matol said:

Yes really.  Her life and her soccer career encompass far more than such incidents.

 

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I have respect for Solo as a goalkeeper, and think she's probably the best that ever was.  But those comments about the Swedes after losing to them in the Olympics are not the kind of thing you want to hear from a future federation president.  If she can't respect her opponents, then she is going to be a despotic ruler if she gets power.

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> It’s about youth development, the Latino community, top-down governance, the possible demise of MLS side Columbus Crew, and the role of SUM.

The US is certainly having difficulty convincing Mexican and Central American immigrants that playing for the US is a good idea.  Worse though, and something that gets to the heart of Pay to Play, is the lack of African Americans on US squads.  Look at Canada and count how many non-white faces there are on the teams.  There's a lot, and Canada's Afro-Canadian population isn't that big.  I'd like to see Canada tap in to the Chinese and South Asian communities a bit more, but generally I don't see any racial issues like the Americans obviously have.  I am concerned about how much it costs to get to the level where a provincial or junior national team will look at you, and I am especially concerned that we are beginning down the same road the US has taken where playing elite sports has become prohibitively expensive.

Player development in Canada, from the perspective of this parent, is badly broken, fragmented among hundreds of little amateur clubs that are possessive of their talent, and slowly being crushed by the weight of top-down elite programs that cost too much for the average parent.

Edited by Patrick

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There's a saying something like "you don't know what's too much until you get there." Think that may be somehow relate to where we are in North America.

The ideal is of course the best players with the best coaches in an inclusive manner, but as we've learned it's an long evolution and easier said than done.

Small point of note, One of every seven people in the USA are African Americans whereas the majority of Black Canadians are from the Caribbean.

Glad you went the distance and read the Guardian link in the Solo quote, it was quite well written. For anyone who missed it:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2016/jun/01/us-soccer-diversity-problem-world-football

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Another interesting article from the Guardian regarding Jonathan Gonzalez' desire to play for the US.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/19/jonathan-gonzalez-usa-mexico-switch-soccer

"González, an 18-year-old American-born midfielder who never quite fit the US youth system, dreamed of playing for the US. The feeling wasn’t mutual. He wasn’t included in an experimental US squad that faced Portugal in a friendly last November – the Americans’ first run out since their World Cup qualification failure – nor the current national team winter camp. No big deal, maybe. Except in Mexico, González is considered an exceptional talent.

The backstory reads like a love-gone-wrong romance novel. He appeared for US youth teams but was hardly a central cog. He did, however, stand out at the 2013 Sueno Alianza, a free-to-enter talent contest pitched at Hispanic players in the US that is heavily scouted by Liga MX clubs.

While US Soccer remained unconvinced of his quality, González received offers from 13 Liga MX teams after his Sueno performances. He signed with Monterrey where he climbed the youth ladder and made his senior first team debut in July last year alongside veteran internationals from Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia.

It got better. Monterrey finished Liga MX runners-up last season, the kid from California was named to the league’s Best XI – and the US had a new star. Except January kicked off with González, who says he only spoke “so-so” Spanish when he arrived at Monterrey, saying he wanted to represent his parents’ birthplace – Mexico – in international soccer (this is not a decision motivated by a chance to go to the World Cup this summer: Gonzalez is unlikely to win a starting spot)."

 

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I see no reason not to think Bev Priestman is a good person to have involved with female youth teams at a delivery level carrying out and implementing curriculum.

I just wish I had a better feeling there was someone who can think outside the box looking after that and the bigger issues in the women's game in the country.

Is spending kids registration fees on Christine Sinclair's pro salary really necessary? Is that a good use of our limited funds? We've contributed millions to her development. Surely she can command fine compensation let alone marketing income. Surely it's time to invest that elsewhere.

At the other end - is sending a 16 year old to the Mediterranean who struggled and had no success against top-25 U20 teams merited? U20 soccer is very naive and night and day from senior. If you can't succeed there why are you in Europe? Because you might be a good player? That's disrespectful to the spirit of competition and fairness to the women in the country who work hard to be one of those top 20-something. She's probably a great kid and Godspeed she keeps getting better and becomes very successful in the game. Hopefully she has decades on the senior team; but when she's at the level and earned it.

I think we have some fairly significant issues in women's soccer (the association monopoly and the lack of enablement of groups across the country outside that, the troubling approach to competition) and I really worry about who is going to address these.

If we've learned anything over the past two decades - it's not our coaches. 

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