Canadian Men’s Soccer Team Mediocre…Again

February 2, 2010 at 5:52 am | Posted in General Football | 9 Comments

Canada’s national mens soccer team lurched to yet another defeat this weekend in a friendly with Jamaica.  They lost 1-0 and failed to score for the fourth consecutive match.    I feel sorry for Stephen Hart because the players are, lets face it, mediocre.  I am coming to the view that until we get three MLS teams up and running our national team will continue to suffer.  It was no coincidence the only time Canada qualified for the World Cup in 1986 was after the North American Soccer League had been in operation, thought the league had folded by the time of that World Cup.  Young players in the NASL got to play with great players and benefitted from the excellent coaching which existed in the league.

We need to establish national training centres for players to train.  Proper training facilities attract players, and make them want to be a part of the team.   They give young players pride and inspiration. The Whitecaps recently had the City of Delta pull out of a planned national soccer training centre.  Governments in Canada at all levels need to get their heads out of the sand and see the great future that soccer holds in this country.

Once the three Canadian MLS teams get going in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, and the MLS changes its ways to allow teams to actually develop their own players in youth systems, the Canadian MLS teams should have a major say in the development of young players. Canada simply does not develop soccer players in any kind of  organized way.  Until we get organized with player development, we can kiss qualification for any foreseeable World Cup goodbye.

Why are we surprised at mediocre results when our efforts are themselves mediocre?

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9 Comments »

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  1. What I always wonder about is since Canada is such a dominant ice hockey power is why doesn’t that manpower translate to better football/soccer teams? Unless of course, some of the best go to play ice hockey. Likewise it is said in the USA some of the best athletes go on to play other sports than soccer, being a similar drain. I have brought this up before to other people, maybe it’s not worth asking.

    • There is really no excuse for not qualifying for the World Cup. We are a nation of more than 30 million, and much smaller nations qualify frequently. The difference between Hockey and football in Canada is that the former enjoys good coaching and player development at all ages. Football in Canada lacks a cohesive player development system, where players are coached by volunteers (usually the parents of the youth) who know very little about soccer. Consequently our youth are behind in soccer skills. Recently we hosted the FIFA under 20 mens tournament. We lost all three games and failed to score a goal. With the wealth and resources we have, this is a disgrace. This is why I hope the Three Canadian MLS teams will take a major role in developing Canadian players from youth through to senior players.

      • http://www.soccerway.com/teams/canada/

        I don’t know the ins and outs of the soccer teams listed at Soccerway, but it has also seemed to me that with the ethnic pools Canada has, it just seems it wouldn’t be as much of a problem. One can see the names of the teams on that page like Italia Shooters, FC Portugal. They must be very low-tier teams, not sure if they are even full professionals.

  2. We already have NTCs, run by the CSA. I think they are part of the bigger problem. What we need, and what I would think you really should have stated, is that the NTCs, run by non-professional CSA appointees, need to be replaced by training centres run by the professional teams, with professional qualified coaches and with the mandate to produce players for their own professional squads. Then the NTC coaches are accountable. The present NTC coaches are not accountable and in many provinces have gone way past their shelf life.

    • Great points, I could not agree more… If anyone can save the situation it will be the Canadian MLS teams.

  3. Lets cut to the chase. The problem with youth soccer is at the grassroots level. Don’t blame the national team, blame your provincial soccer association, whitecaps and most of all our youth soccer clubs. Soccer for the past 15 years, is a free for all, all undermining each other without any concrete plan or unity. The provincial program in BC is a mess, as in the past we expected to be in national finals. The club system is even worse. Name me more than 3-5 clubs in the province that routinely develop players at the rate of san diego surf, crossfire or other notable us clubs. Soccer is too recreational and casual, it lacks standards or a state of accountability. This is why soccer has the highest “drop out” rate of select players at the grade 8 level and beyond. These kids put more value into basketball, football or other sports. Whereas in the states or europe and under 13/14 is just beginning high level academy or club soccer to eventually lead to a scholarship or pro contract. Here club soccer is so inudated with politics, and petty battles.

    We are simply not developing of players at the youth levels to compete with other countries at the early years. Whereas in hockey, there is a wealth of talent being developed consistenly across the country. Here great club programs are the exception not the norm. People are too caught with winning this weekend, rather than developing kids the right way. Kids are not challenged for fear of a backlash or hurting someone’s feelings. They are basically coddled or mom/dad will write letters to the club.
    Even our technical directors across the province should have some accountability. Maybe clubs which consistently produce national or provincial players be given stipends/honariums of recognition.

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head. Canada should be challenging for WC qualification on a regular basis, but there are not enough competitive pro teams active in the country. MLS is part of the puzzle, but teams playing in a renewed and more stable NASL is also important. It is very difficult to get team cohesion when your good players play in Europe, and have to travel trans-Atlantic for qualifying.

    More MLS and NASL teams with good youth/reserve facilities and things will start turning around.

    Great blog by the way, glad I found it!

    Cheers,

    Nick

  5. Hello
    Good day sir /ma
    my name is dare aworinde , i am a young player in Nigeria
    we seek your help in our club, we have a lot young player
    that are in good forum, it will be nice if you can come and take a look at them , i am a player too i am just 15 year old, i am just try help the youth in in my country and myself too

    thanks if you can get back to us, for you to believe us you can come down by your self
    Thanks
    Dare Aworinde


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