CSA pissed at TFC, Whitecaps

Many words have been written by people who know more than me in regards to MLS chucking out the Canadian quota next year for TFC and Vancouver Whitecaps. But this is the first I’ve read about the CSA being publicly upset about the situation.

From the article:

“This goes against the reason why we were pushing for MLS teams in Canada — to help our national team program,” Canadian Soccer Association vice-president Victor Montagliani said. “We feel let down a little bit by MLS, but the Canadian clubs have really let us down.”

And then this:
“This just goes to show you can’t rely on professional clubs to develop Canadian players,” Montagliani said. “They can wax poetic that they’re here for Canadian development but at the end of the day, their No. 1 priority is to put a winning team on the field, regardless of where the players come from.”
Montagliani suggests that the CSA should look at launching… a new league! Complete with Canadian content rules. Wow.

The CSA has started doing some good things — scheduling more friendlies, addressing governance — and I say they should continue with the small steps in the right direction. Like, say, increasing revenue from corporate sponsorships and shirt sales? Or wait, maybe the CSA wants to create this new league so they can charge its players annual membership fees the same way they do to amateur players across the country. It’s basically their current revenue model, so why not?

But Montagliani has a point. Haven’t we (many in the Canadian soccer blogosphere) been preaching as gospel to anyone who’ll listen that our three MLS teams will act as a pipeline for our national mens’ program? Eventually delivering the players that will get us back to the World Cup. But if TFC, the Whitecaps and the Impact don’t have to play Canadians, will there really be an incentive to invest in developing them?

What do you think? Is Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi right when he says that Canadian MLS clubs (or the Whitecaps at least) will continue to pay to develop homegrown players and that the elimination of the quota won’t make a difference to the future prospects of the mens’ senior team? Or are the three MLS teams in Canada perhaps not quite any longer the wonderful thing for the national team we all thought they were?

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17 Responses to “CSA pissed at TFC, Whitecaps”

  1. Good point. But looking at how MLSE likes to operate, they find value, if only the marketing kind, in having homegrowns to sell their story to the local press when things are quiet/depressing.

    I believe that the way Kerfoot has built the Caps, that his commitment to player development is serious and ongoing. Wish I could say the same for the “TFC Academy”, which feels more like grandstanding than actual playing elite players.

  2. I think it’s simply good business for the Caps, TFC, and Impact to develop homegrown players through their academies. We all know that it is a massive revenue stream for smaller clubs to develop players, with the hopes of a big club picking them up for a decent chunk of change. Or at least, it’ll go like: Whitecaps –> Lyon (who apparently only buy young) –> Chelsea/Utd/etc… Ok so it’d be beyond massive if a product of the Whitecaps Residency actually got picked up by a club like Lyon and then on to a club like Chelsea, but you get the point.

    Why is everyone so down on TFC Academy? Are they not running a development system equal to that of the Whitecaps Residency? Are they not successful at bringing players into the first team? (Attakora, Henry, Lindsay)

    Has the Trois-Riviere Attak taken the shape of a true academy yet? What does Montreal actually have for player development?

    • When Jeremy from Onze Montreal was on our podcast he mentioned that the Impact don’t even really have an academy. I’m wondering if the elimination of the Cancon rules will be an disincentive to fully develop one?

    • SSince the Impact Academy started up in the spring of 2010, the TR Attak went on a one year sabbatical. They will be back in the CSL in 2011.

  3. Appallingly for my contrarian instincts, they’re both right.

  4. For all that we like to dream the reality is that TFC and the ‘Caps are Canadian clubs in an American league. USSF has only one objective and that is to make the USMNT as good as it possibly can. There is nothing in it for the USSF to have an emphasis on Canadian development.

    If the CSA is really wants to help the development of Canadian players within the MLS how about removing territory rights that the Whitecaps and TFC academies currently have. Vancouver has territory rights over BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and TFC in Ontario. So if the Whitecaps find a kid in Sudbury that TFC didn’t the kid can’t be signed to the Caps residency program and vice versa for any kid in the western provinces. How is this good for development? There are potentially hundreds of kids that won’t ever be found in this setup.

    TFC is currently travelling the world studying academies and are looking to invest up to $25 million in their academy system. What is the point of this if they are restricted in who they can invite to train in their system within their own country? If Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are going to put money into academies wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the future of the game in Canada if they could invite any kids they deem as potential future professionals? Removing the territorial rights would put even more emphasis on making sure that each club doesn’t miss a kid because if they do it could come back to bite them 10 years down the road.

    So how about this CSA. How about you stop trying to change the rules in an American league becasue they don’t emphasis Canadian development. How about you focus on making the development systems in our country good enough so that rules like this don’t matter.

  5. CSA should get in line; everybody is pissed at TFC right now, LOL!

  6. Kevin Smith Says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The CSA should go to the CIS and figure out a way to make University soccer similar to the CHL for hockey.

    Target kids 16-22 or so, play more games, come up with soccer scholarships (or pay the players a tiny wage, like they do in the CHL). Each university has their coaches, but the league could hire a few extra regional coaches who would travel around the region and lend a neutral hand in order to aid development – some former CMNT or CWNT players, for example, who are doing their coaching badges.

    I don’t really know all the details, but since Universities already have most of the infrastructure in place to have a team, and they have a significant community of potential fans that can be brought in, I really do feel that they would be the perfect partners in a development system. Local TV, at least in Ottawa, already covers University sports, so that’s another aspect that just needs to be improved, rather than started from nothing.

  7. Ok as much as i agree with the general point of Canadian MLS teams need to do more…

    Montagliani and the rest of the CSA clowns need to step down so some real professionals can run the show.

  8. The CSA can vent their spleen all they want. They wanted the MLS in Canada because that’s where North American pro soccer players want to be.

    Well, Pandora’s box is open and we are suddenly upset with what we find coming out. Ha!!

    A sports franchise is a business. MLS is American (ever heard of their parent organisation, the “US”SF? hellooo)

    Canadian owners/sponsors also want financial results. Who the hell can be surprised that a winning team is first priority? Doh! Flamboyant, well-spoken players can capture a strong fan base, but winners do it better (eg: revenues from playoff games)

    The CSA are upset, sure, I get it. But coming out and whining about it? Makes me embarrassed to be a Canadian soccer fan.

  9. I don’t think this will affect the canadian academies… every respectable club in the world has an academy, it would be extremely stupid to get rid of them because ”ah, we don’t need canadian players anymore”!

    Academy players can be sold for profit or can join the first team without any transfer fees… why not?

  10. there is still a huge incentive for the clubs to develop their own players (profits from transfer fees, sign for free, sign to cheaper entry level contracts ect.) as well as the fact that it sounds like the clubs(at least the whitecaps) actually want to help the national team I actually this this will be better for player development because it will make the teams/league more competitive which will lead to better experience for the young players not to mention increased fan interest and therefore more corporate sponsorship opportunities and therefore more money to give the young players the best training possible.
    Also I agree that the territorial restrictions are STUPID! and will be the biggest thing that holds back the development of players, players should be able to play where they want and where they will have the best opportunity. Clubs should be able to make use of their scouting resources and sign players form anywhere they want. this would create greater competition among academies and result likely in a higher level of training.
    is it the CSA that imposes these rules or MLS? I always thought it was MLS.

  11. “No one across the country is investing in player development the way we have,” Lenarduzzi said. “This whole Canadian content issue is a direct byproduct of no one taking player development seriously and it’s time for that to change.”

    He said the major Canadian professional clubs should form a closer relationship with the CSA and even consider a joint task force that could recommend a future player-development action plan.

    “You can’t just have national training centres (for young players) that are a sham,” he said. “Do something about it. But you need money to do that.”

    and that’s why Bob Lenarduzzi is a badass and the CSA is a joke

  12. Why does Montagliani blame MLS? The ideal situation would be to have Canadians recognized as domestic all over the league, but that’s not MLS’ call to make; US labour laws prevent favouritism of one nation’s workers over another. This rule change is the best that could be negotiated. It will allow the Canadian teams to compete despite a limited crop of MLS-ready Canadians, and strong Canadian teams are more important than teams with forced Canadian-content quotas.

  13. I don’t quite see their concern. Did they really think that profits wouldn’t be a major motive before? Then again this IS the CSA. I suppose we can’t assume anything with their thinking process.

    The fact is that a good proportion of TFC players are Canadian and we just signed our first two players out of the all-Canadian Academy. 4 years on, the process isn’t as fast as I may have liked it to be but to say Canadian MLS teams haven’t affected Canadian soccer is a little harsh. With Vancouver coming next year and Montreal the year after that, this process will accelerate some more.

    It’s a bit bold for the CSA to come out publicly against these teams.

    P.S. Thanks to the commenters for the info on the territorial restrictions, btw. I did not know about that and it is quite interesting.

  14. Ossington Mental Youth Says:

    Couple small points-

    1) All MLS teams HAVE to have academies

    2) All MLS teams benefit from having academies whether its to make up numbers in the squad, find local talent or otherwise, in turn the Canadian Nats will benefit as well

    3) TFCs academy is only 4 years old, they are doing relatively well (unlike its older brother), Paul Beirne has recently said alot more money is going into the academy, they are looking at modelling themselves after some of the top academies in the world (went to Pachuca recently and saw some state of the art ish that blew their minds)

    4) Canadian talent is not going to grow over night, the CSA is in no place to point fingers

    5) The MLS was created to bring the WC to the USA and to help develop AMERICAN talent. Its not the job of the league to help develop CANADIAN talent, thats up to the CSA and the Canadian MLS teams.

  15. The title should read: “TFC, Whitecaps pissed at CSA for being incompetent in pretty much every area.”

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