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Part of the Problem...not the solution

johnnybluenose

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found this belter of a comment on Ryan Johnston's blog on soccer at Sportsnet.

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I apologize if this is slightly off topic but I think this needs to posted where Canadian soccer fans can publicly discuss a major problem concerning the national team.

I find it pathetic that Canadians won't be able to watch their own national team on live television when it begins the next round of World Cup qualifying. I can understand if Sportsnet Ontario elected to show the Blue Jay game but why do Canadians in other regions have to be deprived of watching their team at the expense of one of 162 Toronto games this season? The NATIONAL soccer team is surely much more national in importance than the TORONTO Blue Jays. What is the point of having multiple Sportsnet channels if not for a situation like this? This game didn't come out of nowhere. We knew years ago that Canada would be playing qualifying games in August/September of 2008.

Many are quick to point the finger at the CSA for its failure to take advantage of the recent rise in popularity of soccer in this country and significantly improve the national program. The media, however, have thrown their share of obstacles into the way of continued growth, most notably CBC and Sportsnet. People read articles on Sportsnet and CBC's own websites about the importance of certain landmark games (e.g. Canada's friendly v. Brazil, Montreal Impact v. Toronto FC, Canada v. St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Canada v. Jamaica, etc). By not broadcasting any of these games live, Sportsnet and CBC are sending a message to fans that in essence says, "Forget what we wrote on our website and said on TV. Those games aren't really that important." Who are we to believe? I for one will side with Gerry Dobson, Craig Forrest, Ryan Johnston and their soccer colleagues, whom I respect much more than whoever makes the broadcasting decisions.

In order for soccer to really hit the mainstream in Canada it is true that the CSA must get its act together. But so does Sportsnet. It was in position to be the home of soccer on Canadian television when it picked up the sport that nobody wanted to broadcast 10 years ago. I thought it was instrumental in popularizing a sport Canadians didn't know much about. There has been a surge in enthusiasm on the part of soccer fans but the CSA and the media have been remarkably slow in picking up on it. Now the network seems to be blowing each opportunity to solidify its position as a soccer leader, just as it's failing to take advantage of opportunities to bring the sport to the next level.

I'm eagerly awaiting big clashes against Mexico this fall and possibly a historic World Cup qualifying clinching match next year. But I'm already cringing at the prospect of finding out that I'll have to watch those games on tape delay because Sportsnet has a commitment to broadcasting poker.
link: No lack of mettle here - Sportsnet.ca

Hits the nail sqaurely on the head imho...

We get the Blue Jays rammed down our throats because the scrotum that owns Rogers Sportsnet owns the Jays, and he is the rights holder for the CSA.

If you aren't going to show the game, sell the sub-lease on the rights to someone who could (GOL tv, FSW, etc)

This nonsense of it needing to be available on basic cable is just that, nonsense, all of us proper Soccer fans have digital cable boxes or satellite to watch the Bundesliga, EPL, SPL, La Liga, Serie A etc..
 

johnnybluenose

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CanadaSoccer.com | Official Site of the Canadian Soccer Association
August 20th, 7:30 Kick off EST...

And Sportsnet: Rogers Sportsnet TV Schedule - Sportsnet.ca

I guess the epic Toronto Blue Jays (11 games back as of today) Vs New York Yankees (9 games back as of today) is more important than the first game in Stage III of World Cup Qualification to the Honks at sportsnet. :rolleyes:

Specifically on Sportsnet Pacific (where your viewers are probably more partial to Mariners games than Jays games) The Soccer is being delayed to tape from live to make way for Pratt & Taylor, The Jays Game, and then Sportsnet Connected.
 

johnnybluenose

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If you go back to the link I posted above, a small victory may have been realized for western Canadian soccer fans.

It seems that the whining must have got to them, because although the TV Schedule doesn't reflect his comment, Ryan Johnston has commented back on his own blog that RSN Pacific and West will be airing the game live in it's entirety on Digital.
 

freddy

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If that lady had written a catchy song, "Soccer Night In Canada", it would have been picked up and we would be watching Soccer live.
 

johnnybluenose

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A chartered jet does not cost 10 million.

The Canucks are being business class flown home and away for Nat's matches.

The money (if it ever came, the CSA operates on an 18 million CDN budget per year) should be used for a proper manager, and to operate a tonne of glamor friendlies.

Our issues (Short term) lie in the Coaching dept.
Our issues (long term) lie in the facts that our best athletes often choose other sports over Soccer (Hockey, Baseball, Football, and MMA) And that grassroots Soccer is flawed immensely with bureaucracy and politics with no provincial to national link up.
Two Examples of players that effectively 'defected' from the CSA and capped elsewhere:

Jonathan De Guzman: Left Ontario at 15/16 to Holland. His pro club get a call saying the Ontario Soccer Association 'owns' his rights and they are due a transfer fee. Frequent poor treatment of De Guzman by the OSA has his father fed up prior to this, which is why he was sent to Holland, because he couldn't get the training etc here needed to properly develop his skills (as per his father's interview with the CBC prior to his announcment that he would be joining the KNVB)

Owen Hargreaves: Left off the Canadian U-17 National Team, but somehow is good enough For FC Bayern Munich as a youth academy recruit at 16 years old. Leaves Calgary Foothills and Signs with FC Bayern, quickly develops and plays his first professional match in the Bundesliga at the age of 19. Gets his first England U-21 callup same year, gets England A callup year following.

The Aussies are doing the right thing, not only in footy, but in every sport. Following their debacle at the Montreal Olympics they started spending big on Athletics. Their thinking is that making sports accessable and fun to all encourages healthy lifestyles and in the long term will spend less on healthcare as a positive spinoff.

There are a host of countries in the world that are smaller than us both geographically, financially, and population-wise that would kick our arse up and down football pitches anywhere in the world with their B-Squad.
 

Grimm

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JBN,

I agree with you about the coaching issue and most of your other points.

Not so sure about the point you make regarding athletes in Canada choosing other sports. Last time I checked, Rugby was the number one sport in Australia with Cricket, Basketball and Swimming also being quite popular so this problem is not unique to Canada.

Further, most countries are divided into states or provinces (Australia included) so what is it about Canada's setup that makes it so uniquely "political and bureaucratic":confused: I hear this alot in soccer circles but can never get a good answer.

Grasshopper
 

djones

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Our issues (Short term) lie in the Coaching dept.

Coaching department is right... and I don't mean Dale at the National level. This is actually a long term issue. This is where so many people really miss the two true problems in this country - development at the mid to late teen years and a proper coaching development model that provides top, up and coming coaches a place to learn the craft and aspire for something more!

As much as we need a proper, abundant, professional developmental level at the U16- U19 level for players (like junior hockey has in this country), we need this level for coaches as well so that we can start producing professional coaches who can step up and improve their coaching skills and tactics against other up and coming coaches. The Americans have been doing this for years without professional club attachment or State teams that handicap club teams from going to top notch tournaments to find this competition for their players and coaches.

As much as the player stream in this province and country is way, WAY too narrow, the coaching stream is almost non-existant! If you had a junior league much the way hockey in this country has, with it being THE top level on an even playing surface, you would catch more players who fall through the cracks and/or develop later (or leave to other countries with bitter feelings) as well as a great training ground for coaches to learn and develop.

We could now do a better job of putting our better youth players in a league that actually matters over all else (no more 1 BC team or 1 Prospect group that one coach's "opinion" dictates whether this kid has a future in the game or not!) that will also attribute to player identification as well as potential coach identification. The league could have a draft for players coming out of U16-U17 much the way the junior draft in hockey is run. Junior soccer teams would have to do a better job of player and coaching identification if they want to be successful.

Being heavily involved in player development over the last 10 years of youth players in Coquitlam and the Fraser Valley, I can honestly say that, at the younger age groups, most top clubs in BC (the Richmond's, the Surrey's, the Coquitlam Metro-Ford's, the Burnaby's, the Abbotsfords and the Langley's etc...) have drastically invested in player identification and development (as well as coaches) and has increased the talent pool of players coming through the system drastically. Being coach of the Fraser Valley BC Summer Games team for the past few years and seeing the difference in players and coaching tactics over the last couple of years is remarkable. The players have more talent than ever before in the lower mainland and the potential of these players has never been higher. These players need a place to go when they get to that U16-U20 age group and most of these clubs want to provide that opportunity but are handicapped but outside forces who not only want to keep these clubs down but want these players the clubs have produced to push their own agendas leaving too many holes for players to fall through and nowhere for coaches to continue to develop. We need a "charter club" membership that will allow for these clubs to provide the next level without the beaurocacy that cripple them and drag them into the slags that youth soccer is all about babysitting.

If other provinces set up the same system and/or an intra-provincial leagues, than the boys and girls (players)/ men and women (coaches/managers) would have a real future of progressing Canadian soccer along, have a better chance of playing in the MLS and rid the issue of a "lack of players" here in Canada resulting in more MLS teams or a need for a Canadian league. We may see the day that we actually have depth at our national U20 and Men's/Women's teams to compete with the Hondurans and such!

Now, if we only had wealth people in this country who wanted to invest in a noble idea that would really improve soccer in this country. If only we had wealthy basketball star or a successful interweb developer or search engine maker, or a hockey team owner or... :rolleyes:
 

Fastshow

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interesting hobby.......

Last time I checked, Rugby was the number one sport in Australia with Cricket, Basketball and Swimming also being quite popular so this problem is not unique to Canada.

How often do you check what the number one sport in Australia is?

Do you check on an hourly, daily or weekly basis?
 

Mr Base

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Refgs that is the soccer player i would like to play with. Luck would be on my side all the times. You are the best.Now i know what is wrong here. Dale and Nick need more of your front page fun and our boys will win. Dam tight is no fun to be as a coach.
Local U 23 League at Provintial level and two A League soleey for National players from U20 to 23 will do all we need. I coach silver and gold players it is more fun at least kids can klime up. And then send them to PCSL Soccer league. From there lots get to play for University and some goe to US and few make it in Europe. PCSL by far the best league in BC.
 

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