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  1. This team definitely has the talent to compete for the last WC spot. The coaching staff/management is a different issue. This management team that took over on January 2018 gets the tactics and player selection wrong, and is unable to strategize the all important FIFA ranking system. The loss against Haiti costs us points in the FIFA ranking, while Canada went 2-0-1 in the GC group stage. El Salvador went 1-1-1 in the Gold Cup. But different to Canada, El Salvador also sneaked in 4 more friendlies than Canada in 2019 (3W, 1L): - March 6/2019 - El Salvador 3-1 Guatemala - March 26/2019 - El Salvador 2-0 Peru - June 2/2019 - El Salvador 1-0 Haiti - June 9/2019 - El Salvador 0-2 Japan In retrospect, perhaps if Canada had played more friendlies.....
  2. This article is more self-promotion by JH. Maybe he should ask Haiti who they had as a motivational speaker.
  3. The expectation was that Herdman would get us improved results vs the previous Gold Cup. And in that he has failed. Yes, the players played a part in the failure but let's me honest, if they had progressed, then all the credit would have been given to Herdman. Already seven days ago, the BS machine was spewing out headlines on Sportsnet like "Canada finds tactical and organizational clarity under John Herdman". Or sportswriters saying how Herdman played his B-team because he did not want to show his hand against Tata Martino (really, he was out-smarting Tata Martino, do these guys even know who Tata Martino is??) Up to this moment, many of the players have also been drinking the Herdman Koolaid with even Osorio contributing to the BS machine, indicating that Herdman had changed the culture within the program. Although after Canada's 2-0 friendly win against Jamaica under Zambrano, Osorio was equally positive about Zambrano. Confidence is earned based on results and actions, not slide show presentations or motivational speeches. Maybe I'm biased but for the most part, Herdman threw his players under the bus during the press conference, how they couldn't handle the physicality, direct play from Haiti. True, but part of the blame goes to improper preparation, poor player selection/tactics,etc. things the coach is responsible for. I feel he will have alot of damage control to do internally. And maybe, just maybe, the honeymoon with the press is over and they can start to be more critical and hold Herdman accountable.
  4. Aplogize for arriving late to this forum.... I agree with many that it is extremely disappointing to not have the MNT playing exhibition games during these FIFA dates. I sends a wrong message to the players (nevermind the fans). It must be frustrating for players to see your US counterparts play France, and the CSA does not think it necessary to organize anything.
  5. Probably will be Canada vs Haiti for Qualification to the U17 World Cup. Deja vu of the U20 qualifiers. Don't want to sound negative, but if we fail to qualify, what does it say about the much lauded EXCEL program.
  6. Canada vs Russia on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_r2PkYWpL0
  7. "Tactical periodization"....is that why he sits in the stands at the start of the games?! I don't expect he will be able to continue that habit at some of those CONCACAF stadiums during WC qualifiers. I have to admit I am not a great JH fan, just a bit too much "sizzle" or self-promotion. I understand the importance of sport psychology but if winning is as simple as believing you can win or having the right mentality, then how do you explain the "failure" of the WNT in the 2015 World Cup.
  8. I like the combination of veterans and youngsters. Hope the young midfielders get some decent playing time, since the veterans are getting a bit "long in tooth".
  9. I guess she didn't have the slideshow prepared because it was really lacking any coherency or consistency. Also, lacking any accountability.
  10. 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)."
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. According to OSA site, OPDL (or League 1 Ontario) is the PRIMARY program in which potential Provincial Team Players are identified. The alternative method is the player recommendation process into a Talent on Location Day (TOLD) at the U13, U14 or U15 level, from a OSA member club or academy. With about 15-20 OPDL teams per age group (or almost 400 players), I would say the alternative (a single opportunity versus a year long "evaluation" with OPDL) is truly a long shot. According to OSA, they utilize data collected by OPDL and player rubrics to assist the selection of approximately 90 to 120 players to attend the Provincial Screening. I wonder what data they are referring to and who compiles the player rubrics. It sounds like the Provincial coaches do not actually scout games, which is a shock to me (but I may be wrong). At the Provincial Screening, 40 players will be selected and in final selection process, 22 players will make the Provincial Team. So from a 30,000 foot view, the selection process seems suspect. Again, the big, strong kids would seem to dominate (the only data that I know the OPDL collects is goals and assists). With regards to the 10,000 hour theory, the gist of it is that it will take 10 years for a person to master a skill. From a purely mathematical point-of-view, 10,000 hours over 10 years translates to 20 hours per week. I can tell you it is not uncommon for figure skaters, competitive swimmers or rep hockey players in Canada to have 18-20 hours of practice per week. Perhaps our soccer players are not getting enough practice time compared to the other sports that Canada excels on a world level . For certain, the quality is not world class. IMO, it is at the U14-U15 level, that this becomes more apparent. Look at the recent 2017 Danone Cup results, Canada Boys topped their group which included heavyweights like Uruguay and Belgium. And they ended up tournament ranked 6th! ahead of Spain (8th) and France (11th). The Canada Girls were finalists! losing to Brazil. At age 14, at least for the men, other countries have professional teams with academies and that is where the physical ability gets overtaken by skill. It is interesting to note that typically a rep team will get 3-4 sessions per week (1.5-2 hours per session), so maximum 8 hours. We definitely must be doing something wrong because that is consistent with European youth academies. The ECA Report on Youth Academies reports an average team session for 13-15 years olds is 7 hours/week plus 2 individual sessions of 1.5-2 hours (8.5-9 hours per week), for 16 and over, 7-9 hours/week plus again 1.5-2 hours of individual sessions (up to 11 hours/week) plus games.
  14. The cost can vary per club. I have seen it between $3.5-5K range, for player fees only. The argument is that it is still one of the cheapest sports compared to baseball or hockey. And I am certain the costs will rise, because they there is still a large margin compared to those others sports, before there is any kind of revolt or pushback. My experience is that soccer fees have more than doubled in the last 10 years for any level of soccer, be it HL or rep. The four clubs closest to me are charging about $1600 for non OPDL teams (for 11 months, 1 month off).
  15. My personal experience is as follows. Basically the "selection" process takes place at the U10 level. The fastest, biggest, most aggressive kids are selected for the clubs A team. The rest are assigned to the clubs B and C teams. Movement up from the B and C teams into the A team is almost impossible. New players to the A team normally consist of A team players from competing clubs. It is the A teams that play in the higher tiers (e.g OPDL in Ontario) once you get to the U13-U14 level and it is these players that get the exposure required for consideration for provincial teams. Some of these kids truly love the game, other might be doing it as a summer activity and some are doing it for scholarship reasons. The kids who love the game are the kids who will take a ball to the park on the "off" day to kick at the net, play with friends, or even watch games on TV. These are the kids that actually develop because to be world class it is not enough to just practice with the team. Rep teams typically practice 3-4 times per week, typically 1.5-2.5 hours per practice, so that’s 10h/week. How many weeks until you get to the theoretical 10,000 hours require to become an expert? Sidenote: You would be surprised to find out how few kids actually watch soccer. You would think it would be almost automatic for someone who made it to the university level but I once attended a prospect camp where one of the speakers had played soccer at an American university and she re-counted a story of how when her coach invited her team to watch the Champions League finals, only seven teammates attended. One aspect where our national teams are lacking is what has been referred to as “Soccer IQ”. I remember reading an interview with Pele where he said that if he wasn’t outside playing soccer, he was watching it. That is one way to acquire “Soccer IQ”. At age 14, basic skill development ends, and the focus on team tactics begins. As the years progress, the strength and speed advantages of some players are minimized, either because other kids have caught up physique-wise or due to team tactics (i.e. that kid that could run through a whole team and score, can no longer do that). Still, for many teams, success depends on having a speedy striker and playing kick-and-run. That has been my experience the last 10 years, but maybe it is changing.
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