I don't get the obsession with getting the MLS teams into CPL.
As I see it, a league with 10 or 12 or even 14 teams with an average attendance at around 6 or 7 thousand remains compatible with the MLS teams averaging just over 20 thousand. It also enables an ownership group to seek a club in the catchment area of an MLS side without that being seen as direct competition.
That is better than wiping out the fan base and the scale of MLS in Canada, as I see it. Better to have both, apart from the fact that it is a way to hedge our bets, to not put all the eggs in one basket.
I personally don't think this league will actually get to 14 teams, or to anything close to a national D2. Nor do I think we'll ever see promotion and relegation, though if they were smart they could use results to rank for the Voyageurs Cup, just to add an incentive for late season play. My ambitions are modest, but hey, a stable 12-team league plus 3 MLS teams, not bad.
It also looks like the NHL, NBA, CFL and NFL, so don't think that's true. The reason North American leagues do this is that a single table is easy when you can drive from one end of a country to another in 3 or 4 hours as is the case in many European countries, but makes less sense if you have teams in cities stretched out over a distance comparable to Amsterdam to Tehran.
The league is for the players, but it doesnt exist without interested owners.
Perhaps this is oversimplifying, but assuming the players want more money, the league will become less profitable for the individual owners. To what extent, I don't know. If I was on the fence about buying a business with existing employees, I would much rather they be unorganized and poorly paid.
What power do the players have right now? What, are they going to strike if they don't get raises? The league would fold.
Let it grow. Let it stabilize. Don't bite the hand that feeds.
Scored a beauty in a preseason match against Colorado over the weekend. Goal is at 0:48 of the highlights.
Here's another interview with David earlier this week. The goal they were describing at the beginning of the interview was this one:
Does Jonathan David , barely 20 years old, give AA Gent the title? No lack of self-confidence with the icy Canadian. "I knew I could do this. It was only a matter of time for the others to realize that. "
He made his best action in the match against Antwerp. AA Gent flirts with a loss, but a late free kick gives the Buffalos a sparkle of hope. After a header carom, the ball lands at the feet of Jonathan David . An unclear poke of an Antwerp defender, the attacker of AA Gent goes down. Commotion. Is this penalty? The eyes of the Antwerp players are shooting fire. They are still in full discussion with the referee, Davidturns away from his guards and simply puts the ball into the goal. A goal based on cleverness and the presence of mind.
The 20-year-old Canadian enjoys while we describe the scene. "However, it was a violation, no doubt possible," he says. 'I see the ref from the corner of my eye, while I am already falling. I read in his body language that he will not whistle. What are you doing then? In my experience, complaining makes no sense at all. I let go and played football. I received many compliments for my cleverness in that phase, but it happened on a whim. And in the end we lost that night. The good feeling of that goal quickly passed away. "
The roots of Jonathan Davidare in Haiti, but he grew up in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. How does a Canadian teenager become one of the best players in the Belgian league? "By working hard," he answers with a disarming aplomb. 'As long as I can remember, I dream of becoming a professional footballer. In Canada that is not a natural dream, but I was obsessed with it and I realized that it would not happen by itself. I trained hard, I stayed focused on the final goal. It was a conscious plan that started around the age of ten: I would perfect myself as a football player. After that it was a matter of seizing my chances. "
You have arrived at AA Ghent through an internship period, not through a transfer. Such internships are merciless exams. At your very first training in Ghent you made a terrible impression, I heard.
Jonathan David : I still don't understand what was going on with me then. Nothing succeeded! Bad checks, passes that did not arrive. I was sixteen and knew nothing or nobody here. It is normal that I was impressed by the circumstances. After that first disastrous training, I picked myself up: "Okay, now you're going to show that you belong here." Training two wasn't fantastic either, but enough to build on. I was able to prove myself systematically.
AA Gent then had just eliminated Tottenham in the Europa League. That impressed me, because I barely knew anything about Ghent or the Belgian competition. I thought: that would be a nice club for me. Not long after that I signed my first contract.
How important was the month of August 2018? You, an anonymous Canadian banker, scored five goals in four rounds.
David : That has started my career. In those few weeks, I grew from someone they doubted was worth his place on the couch to reinforcing the first team. Those were crucial goals.
Was it also important for yourself? To realize that you can do it?
David : Not really, no. I knew I could do it. It was a matter of time for the others to realize that.
What a confidence.
David : I'll tell you the way it is.
This season you scored 12 times, plus 4 goals in Europe. How many should that be at the end of the season? 20?
David: I don't want to mention a target but ... twenty seems realistic to me, yes. Although it can turn quickly. Look at Roman Jaremchuk. He scored on the assembly line, but he injured himself and is now standing aside.
With him and Laurent Depoitre it clicks great. Those two bring out the best in me. I find them blind, they seem to feel where I'm going to turn up. The strange thing is that we have completely different backgrounds. Roman is from Ukraine, Laurent is a French-speaking Belgian and I am a Haitian Canadian. Yet for some reason I feel related to those two. Football brings people together.
We will miss Roman in the coming months, and not just for his goals. His movements, his insight, how he keeps a whole defense talking. He made it easy for me to excel, even when I wasn't playing my best match.
What is a typical Jonathan David goal?
David : A running action in the penalty area where the organization of the opponent is disrupted. I pick the ball out of the air and deviate in goal in one time. This is how you can describe about three quarters of my goals. My strength is reading the game and finding the openings. Infiltrate when the defenders are not paying attention.
Is it true that you run 13 kilometers per race, as assistant trainer Peter Balette claims? That is very much. In the Premier League, the average is around 10.5 kilometers.
David : No! That's a joke from the assistant trainer, I guess. In my best matches I come close to 12 kilometers, but 13 kilometers is an exaggeration. Am I the best player at Ghent? I think so. And yet I am not a fan of running on training - but which football player is that?
People who run a lot are generally less sharp when it matters.
David : I have to watch out for that. I have to learn to dose. My walking ability is a weapon, but it cannot turn against me.
Another quote from Balette: "Jonathan has no hobbies. He sleeps and he plays football, nothing more. "
David : He believes that too! (laughs) No, that's a joke between us. When Balette asks how I am doing, I always answer: "Tired, trainer!" But I certainly have hobbies, don't panic. I'm not the type that goes out, but I don't shut myself up either. I know the city center of Ghent, you know.
The fact that Peter Balette thinks I am such a sleeping head is related to the many trips to Canada for the national team. Long flights, always adapting to the time difference. Your body craves sleep and just then the training begins. Anyway, I will often have to cross the ocean in my career. I better get used to it.
At first I thought it was a mistake: in your 12 matches for the Canadian national team you have already scored 11 times.
David : Yes, but that wasn't against the strongest teams. There were two goals against the US Virgin Islands, for example. At Canada I am in the rush with Cyle Larin van Zulte Waregem. It is strange that we both ended up in Belgium. It seems destined.
My most special goal was against Haiti, my parents' country. I really couldn't celebrate that goal: too many mixed emotions.
You were born in New York. Is it true that it was more or less accidental? Your mother did not think she would give birth so soon.
David: My parents were visiting family when I was born. Then we returned to Haiti, six years later we emigrated to Canada. I always say: I grew up in Canada, but raised as a Haitian. That country and culture are close to my heart, even though I have not been to Haiti since 2012.
Do they say 'football' or 'soccer' in Canada?
David : Soccer. Football is another sport. I know that Canada is more likely to be linked to ice hockey abroad, but I have never done that. I can't even skate.
The Canadian football training is not as structured as here. I was lucky that I ended up on a very good youth team; I owe everything to that. One teammate from back then plays professional football in Latvia, another is picked up by a large Canadian club. And there are others who want to break through, because we are still young. We were very busy with the entire team from the beginning. A trainer said: "You have a good sports body, of course you can become a professional in Europe." The seed was planted, I can still perfectly remember that conversation.
Is it true that you gave your PlayStation away to your coach on the 15th?
David: Really happened! It was summer, I had nothing to do for a while and I played a lot of computer games. Until I started to worry about it myself. Wouldn't it distract me on my way to my big goal? The trainer caught my eye when I gave him the PlayStation.
Before your arrival, Tomasz Radzinski, goal-keeper of Germinal Ekeren, Anderlecht and Lierse, was the most famous Canadian football player in Belgium.
David : I met him in Canada last year, at a game of the national team. Radzinski said that I was doing well, that I had to keep working hard and not let my head be made mad by journalists or managers. I didn't know him before. As a young soccer player, I followed international toppers such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar. The Canadian players were not on my radar.
Where does the nickname "The Iceman" come from?
David : John Herdman, the Canadian national coach, invented him because I am so relaxed. Not only next to the field, but also when I come for the goal. I'm not working on that - I don't know if you can. That cool is in me. And as I get older and train more, I just get calmer.
Speaking of cool: last season, until you were not as highly regarded as now, you took the penalties at Ghent without hesitation. Few eighteen year olds get away with that.
David: A penalty is of course something special, but on the other hand: a free shot of eleven meters, with no defenders nearby ... That is not difficult, is it? I can't imagine it would make me nervous. As an eighteen year old I also missed penalties at AA Gent. Painful, but next time I offered up again. Without doubt.
Don't you ever think: what happens if I miss?
David : You can't allow that. He who hesitates misses. No, the pressure will never paralyze me. That is sliding away from me.
Do you have a career plan? Something like: Leaving Ghent in the summer for a mid-engine in a better competition, then a top club in the Premier League?
David: I am not going to stay at AA Ghent my entire career, that's for sure. And I think I may have the ambition to reach the absolute top one day. What you just described is pretty close to the ideal scenario, but I have to choose my next steps with care. I flourish in teams that want to build and attack. It is not only the reputation of the club that counts or how much they pay.
What is your best foot?
David : The judge. Although I have scored a lot in Belgium with links. Maybe more, I don't know the statistics outside. In my youth I consciously worked on becoming biped, like Ronaldo.
The newspapers said that after the Golden Shoe gala, you were disappointed because you were not elected Promise of the Year. Was that true? It doesn't seem to fit your character.
David : Everyone likes to win, but to be honest, I wasn't at all concerned with that election. Maybe they were disappointed at the club? My luck is that I don't understand what's in the papers. All praise, all controversies: it passes me by. I don't understand Dutch, except the football terms.
The first thing foreign football players learn are abusive words.
David : Not me. I'm a well-educated boy. (laughs)
The American Fox Sports Radio asked you if AA Gent is still thinking about the title. "Anything can happen," was the answer.
David: Club Brugge is strong - they radiate that they can't lose - but I think it's too early to throw in the towel. Certainly because in the play-offs the points are halved. A good thing for the pursuers, because it makes the competition exciting again, but the players of Club, who see half of their lead melt away, will curse. Two matches win and the ranking is upside down. So yes, Ghent can certainly dream of the title.
You will meet Anderlecht on Friday. Last time it was 3-3.
David : We were able to save a draw at the end, with two goals in the last five minutes. In that regard, it was a key match for us. Don't pay too much attention to the score, never give up, keep fighting and you'll be rewarded.
Anderlecht are going through a difficult season, but I thought they were a young, enthusiastic team that could make it difficult for everyone. It is strange that they apparently found no stability in other matches. It seems quite possible that they still get Play-off I. It will only be decided on the last match day.
AA Gent will play against AS Roma in the Europa League soon. Another account is still open with the Romans: the last time the teams met, Roma won 1-7.
David: I did not know that yet. Then our supporters will be keen on a good result, with such a history. I love Italian football: it's sharp and fast, with teams operating in unison. AS Roma brings big names such as Edin Dzeko and Henrich Mchitarjan. They are a favorite, and yet I give us a good chance.
Roma may think: a Belgian club is going to be a health walk.
David : Then they will be surprised, but I cannot imagine that experienced professionals would start a competition that way.
Finally, with your last goals you pointed to heaven for your recently deceased mother. Has she been sick for a long time?
David: Cancer was diagnosed seven years ago, and yet her death came unexpectedly. The final phase went very quickly. She's in a better place now. Her suffering is over, that comfort.
I heard the news as I waited for my connection at Heathrow Airport on the way to Canada. I sat there alone, it was hard. Nothing can prepare you for the death of your mother, but that tragedy has brought our family together. We comforted each other, pulled each other up. You have to appreciate the people around you. You never know when they will no longer be there.
He had a trial set for Tfc but he had to decline last minute because of the whole Werder Bremen trial. That connection was through a friend and Belal’s connection aswell. And he also was training in Spain as mentioned earlier.