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Patrick

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About Patrick

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    Long time supporter of the Women's national team. I wrote a few articles for Canada Soccer Magazine and organized the shirt signing thing for the 1999 Womens World Cup team. Now I'm teaching my own daughter about soccer.
  1. Are you Bob Birarda's lawyer? 'Cause if you're not you shouldn't be threatening legal action on his behalf. The Whitecaps have referred the allegations to the police, there are 14ish women making these allegations, and the media has reported extensively on this. AFAIK none of these people have been served with a libel notice. As for Bob Birarda's licence to coach, yes, he would have a right to appeal any removal but so far the CSA hasn't done that. I think it is more than fair to question why the CSA have not done that given the fact that the allegations of sexual misconduct were made and both the CSA and the Whitecaps felt there was enough there to fire him. So far neither the Whitecaps, the CSA, nor Bob Birarda, have denied these allegations. In fact, the Whitecaps have claimed they investigated the allegations made and fired Birarda because of them. So unless you have something up your sleeve that will turn this scandal on its head all you're doing is trying to scare people, the exact same tactic that was used to silence these women in 2008. It's disgusting, really.
  2. It's the CSA's fault because they are the body mandating this development pathway. The BCSA isn't blameless but they never hired nor fired Bob Birarda. In implementing the CSA's development pathway they are only doing what yhey are told to do. Can they be more flexible in how they do things? I think so. I think limiting the number of teams in the BCSPL to eight is a problem. In fact, I think they do it for their convenience to make scouting easier. If so, its a lazy and hurtful policy.
  3. It's a start but it misses some key points. First, Bob Birarda had those certifications and they were not revoked after he was dismissed from both the Whitecaps and the CSA. If he was dismissed for cause and that cause was inappropriate contact with players, especially if it was sexualized contact, then why weren't his licences revoked? How did he end up coaching youth girls again? The second issue is the narrow pathway for girls. I can only speak to BC but here the pathway is so narrow one coach can block a talented girl's progress with ease. At U13 girls either get selected to a BCSPL team or they are pretty much done with developmental soccer. There are 8 teams in BC at that level, 6 in the lower mainland and 1 each in Kelowna and the Island. If you are lucky and live in Burnaby, Coquitlam, or Surrey, you might be able to try-out for two or even three of those teams but interior or Island girls have one option. The potential for abuse is huge. You have to be on one of those teams to be considered for the provincial team program, the Whitecaps HPP, or the REX program. Imagine the pressure to excel at 11 years old or your career in soccer is over! Then imagine you have beaten all the odds and are 16 or 17 and your chance to get in to the HPP or REX is dependent on whether your coach plays you. The potential for abuse is huge. The fact that Bob Birarda was coaching one of those gate-keeping teams should scare anyone with a daughter showing soccer potential. The system as it stands today not only allows gatekeeping by coaches, it also puts enormous financial and physical demands on players who haven't even hit their teen years. God forbid a girl doesn't develop in to a mature body by age 12! And let's hope her parents have $3000 in disposable income for the BCSPL fees, and more if she wants to train with a private academy, too. The system forces parents to make decisions about their daughter's potential ability and desire when they are still more interested in Barbie's than soccer balls. It's nuts, frankly, and this is the CSA's fault.
  4. Sorry, didn't see that was a request for Voyageurs to make a statement. This response is for the Whitecaps, BCSA, and CSA. They have to address this soon: How about "we're sorry we didn't act in the interest, and for the future protection, of female athletes". How about "We will forward all complaints of sexual misconduct to the police, not our in house ombudsperson or our internal security personnel". Perhaps the Whitecaps, BCSA, and the CSA could state that going forward they will not work for the protection of corporate reputations but will instead work for the interests and protection of players in their care. If they can't make simple, obvious statements like that then we have to ask if these organizations are worthy of the trust we place in them when we give our children in to their care. As well, what Ciara McCormack has asked for isn't unreasonable. The BCSA has to disentangle itself from the Whitecaps and offer varied paths to elite training and competition. One path controlled by one club, especially for female players, is an invitation to abuse and an attraction for the type of predators that would use that power.
  5. I suggest that BC Soccer not get in bed with Whitecaps such that every talented player has to play for them. I suggest provincial programs should be open try-outs, that elite training can be more regional with centralized camps periodically for the best performing players, and training regimes designed by the BCSA. There are many very good academies that can accomplish the job, and if we continue down the pathway Jason DeVos is championing then those academies will become accredited members of the BCSA. Residential academies like the Whitecaps programs are simply too open to abuse.
  6. She says quite clearly that the team president outed her and two team mates who complained, that she felt she had to leave and the other player lost her starting position, and that both of them were never invited to a National Team training session again. She is also quite clear that she thinks the club should have called the police when allegations of sexual misconduct were made, not call in an investigator internally. She's right, too. Any club that fails to notify the police when someone says a coach is sexually abusing players is absolutely in the wrong. When the Whitecaps suggested that they keep the sexual assault of a male player internal they were doing that to protect themself, not the boy who was assaulted. It seems, however, that you are perfectly OK with the Whitecaps deciding if an assault was worth reporting to the police. That's scary, and that's exactly the attitude that puts children and youth players at risk. The Whitecaps are not arbiters of the law or guilt and sexual assault allegations are very serious.
  7. Maybe I am being tacky by quoting myself, but this is the part I really want to talk about. If a girl wants to make it to the CNWT or even play at a level that might garner US scholarship interest she has to go through the Whitecaps system. There is no other route. At 12 years old you have to play in the Whitecaps-linked BCSPL in order to be scouted by the Whitecaps REX staff or be allowed to try out for a provincial team. Then, once selected to the REX program you had better toe the line because that's the only way to be seen by the Canadian youth national team evaluators. That is simply too much power in the hands of too few people. And frankly, I am not sure I trust the Whitecaps front office much after reading this and the stories about the boy who was assaulted.
  8. That's the whole point. The players were pressured by the team and the CSA to keep quiet because if they spoke up they would lose the chance to play. There is an example of exactly that in the post. The mother of the boy who was assaulted says the Whitecaps DID try to stop her calling the police. She said they were given two options: bringing in a private investigator or a Vancouver Police Department contact who does game security. Neither choice involved the RCMP, she said. It shouldn't be upon the players to go to the police, the club should have called them in. We're talking about teenage girls, high schoolers, someone should have been thinking about them. Now we find out that Birarda continues to coach teenage girls, and Busby is coaching the Seattle women. Secrecy hurts future players.
  9. Here is the post. The condensed version: Whitecaps women's coach, Bob Birarda, is accused of abusing his position as Whitecaps Women's coach and Canada U20 coach to pressure teenage girls in to unprofessional relationships. After an internal investigation by the Whitecaps and the CSA Birarda was removed from his position but no further action was taken and no police were involved. Birarda went on to coach in the BCSPL at Coastal FC where his U17 girls team recently won the Canadian Championship. He has been suspended after this post was published. Further, in 2011 the Whitecaps are alleged to have again swept sexual misconduct under the rug after coach Hubert Busby Jr. was alleged to have forced a player to share a hotel room with him under false pretexts. Busby was let go at the end of the 2011 season and again the investigation was handled internally with no police involved. Busby is now coaching the Seattle Sounder women. The author also points out that the Whitecaps attempted to bury the sexual assault of one of their male academy players until the mother of the player called police herself. She criticizes the pathway that female players must participate in in BC in order to get access to the National Team because it concentrates power in the hands of a few coaches, mostly men, and is ripe for further abuse.
  10. It looks like England is the place to be for Canadian strikers. I am very happy for both Leon and Beckie that they can play for clubs that are truly professional. The NWSL seems like another sinking ship right now.
  11. That's my daughter... "How was school?" "Good" aaannd??
  12. Nice video, I can only imagine how Beckie feels going from a one shower trailer and cow pasture in New Jersey to playing in the academy stadium and using the same training facilities as a Premier League side. Wow!
  13. Unfortunately not so. She subbed in late and fired one in to the side netting. Still good to be in the match and a 4-0 win is a great start. Beats playing for Sky Blue. > ...and the Foxes were almost punished as substitute and new recruit Janine Beckie sliced a shot the wrong side of the post.
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