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Robert

Clearly Canadian

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Clearly Canadian.

The recent decision by the CSA to change the format of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship from a league structure to a cup competition raises a serious concern, namely, will the club that wins this championship still be eligible to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League? I pose this question because at the time the Nutrilite Canadian Championship was launched in 2008, it was done with the specific intention to qualify a Canadian club for the CONCACAF Champions League. The Nov./Dec. 2006 issue of Inside Soccer magazine featured an article by Stan Adamson, the executive director of the CSL, that was entitled “Getting closer to a Canadian club championship.” In the article Mr. Adamson quotes Ted Howard, the deputy secretary of CONCACAF, as follows: “The club entry (for the CONCACAF Champions League) must come from a league competition, not from a cup competition.”

In light of the CSA’s alteration, has CONCACAF rescinded that rule in order to allow a Canadian club to enter the CONCACAF Champions League from the cup format adopted by the CSA? As per CONCACAF Champions League Regulations:

Section 3 – The Competition: Entries and Withdrawals. Entrance Criteria.

Sub-section 3.3 – Additionally the CONCACAF Executive Committee may determine the right of entry of any other team.

Will there be any grounds for protest from other clubs competing in the CONCACAF Champions League over the validity of Canada’s entry? Subsequently, will there be any grounds for protest from other clubs competing in the FIFA Club World Cup over the validity of Canada’s entry? If clubs need to qualify from domestic leagues to enter the UEFA Champions League and subsequently the FIFA Club World Cup, then why would CONCACAF be allowed to enter a club from seeded FA cup competition?

It would be a devastating blow to Canadian soccer if the FC Edmonton defeated a club like Manchester United or Real Madrid in next year’s Club World Cup final only to have the European club cry foul and have the championship taken away from them. What is even more disturbing is the fact that the CSA’s action might provide those opposed to FIFA’s prized Club World Championship with the necessary ammunition to dismantle this competition.

The argument that the Nutrilite Canadian Championship format was altered because of fixture congestion is sheer poppycock, as this competition’s primary intention is to earn the right to play more matches against attractive foreign clubs. Are clubs like Barcelona and AC Milan allowed to opt out of their domestic league obligations because they prefer to play against the Montreal Impact or Vancouver Whitecaps? A domestic league comprised of four teams requires each club to play only six matches, just two more than the cup format that has been implemented by the CSA this season. What would the CSA do if one of the current four professional clubs in Canada were to fold next season, or if a new club was started up in another city? Award the Toronto FC a bye? Revert back to a league structure?

The CSA has for years stated publicly that its sole objective is to manage the affairs of Canada’s national teams and that it is not responsible for organizing a domestic league. Considering this current conundrum, the CSA would do well to adhere to its original mandate and quit obfuscating the professional structure in Canada.

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The winner of the U.S. Open Cup qualifies for the CONCACAF Champions League, as do the top three participants in the CFU Club Championship.

Neither is a league, and CONCACAF allows them in.

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The argument that the Nutrilite Canadian Championship format was altered because of fixture congestion is sheer poppycock, as this competition’s primary intention is to earn the right to play more matches against attractive foreign clubs. Are clubs like Barcelona and AC Milan allowed to opt out of their domestic league obligations because they prefer to play against the Montreal Impact or Vancouver Whitecaps? A domestic league comprised of four teams requires each club to play only six matches, just two more than the cup format that has been implemented by the CSA this season. What would the CSA do if one of the current four professional clubs in Canada were to fold next season, or if a new club was started up in another city? Award the Toronto FC a bye? Revert back to a league structure?

This paragraph is sheer poppycock.

1) It is fixture congestion. We have a limited amount of time to finish qualifications, and it would be sabotaging our pro clubs in Canada to have them playing a wednesday match in addition to their league schedules each week for six weeks.

2) All of the clubs are involved in deciding the structure of the tournament along with the CSA. Without a domestic top-flight league of our own, we have to meet the needs of the few clubs that we do have.

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I think all 806 clubs that contest the English FA Cup should have to play each other home and away.

It's only 1610 matches... what fixture congestion?!?

This would be good! By the time the cup rolled around the original players would have retired. The club has to think ahead by generation! What a boon to development it would be!

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Is it sabotage to have our pro clubs in Canada having to play CONCACAF Champions League matches on Wednesday? The bottom line is that Canadian sports will always play second fiddle in a league where American teams are involved. Canadian teams will never qualify from the MLS for the CONCACAF Champions League. Just like Canadian teams never win the Stanley Cup in the NHL. The CONCACAF Champions League is more important than the MLS, in the same way that winning the Stanley Cup is more important to most professional players than winning a gold medal at the Olympics.

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Is it sabotage to have our pro clubs in Canada having to play CONCACAF Champions League matches on Wednesday? The bottom line is that Canadian sports will always play second fiddle in a league where American teams are involved. Canadian teams will never qualify from the MLS for the CONCACAF Champions League. Just like Canadian teams never win the Stanley Cup in the NHL. The CONCACAF Champions League is more important than the MLS, in the same way that winning the Stanley Cup is more important to most professional players than winning a gold medal at the Olympics.

I can't begin to disagree with you more, i don't know where to start.

1. Canadian teams will always play second fiddle to American Teams? How? Explain? In 2 of the 4 "major franchise sports leagues" the NHL and NFL have Hard caps, and the MLB and NBA have luxury taxes. hard caps guarantee a level of parity... and the population base dictates that, depending on the sport, you will have far less Canadian teams than American teams. You don't need a degree in Rocket Science to figure that out. It's not a matter of money or will, it's simple math. They have more teams, which essentially guarantees more balls in the bingo machine.

2. Canadian teams CAN'T make the CCL from MLS. It's a rule. They have to Qualify via the NCC/V's Cup

3. A Canadian team hasn't won a cup in a while because of the lack of a cap and financial situation the Canadian teams were in pre-cap, but the Oilers and Flames came ever so close just prior. Now the odds on favorite to win this year is canadian. I don't know how you make this point.

4. Who said the CCL is more important than the MLS? I'd say it depends on perspective. Odds are that the Whitecaps have a better shot at qualifying for the CCL than they do of winning the MLS Cup...

5. I think the only players that care more about an Olympics Gold Medal vs a Stanley Cup are overseas born players who come from Nations where sports is more country over club than the other way around. That being said: I'm sure as much as the Sedins and Samuelsson on the Canucks cherish their Gold Medals from the Turin Olympics in Hockey, Daniel and Henrik would love the Cup ring more... it's a generational thing. the same culd likely not be said for a Sergei Makarov or Igor Larionovwho won Olympic Golds and Stanley Cups... they came from a generation of fierce nationalistic pride... we don't exist in that headspace anymore.

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1) In the NHL one needs to look no further than keeping a team in Phoenix, rather than moving it to Winnipeg. The Gary Bettman formula of NHL parity doesn't vary much from season to season. Two or three Canadian clubs get to make the play-offs. One gets to move beyond the first round, and once every few years a Canadian club gets to go to the finals, but is not allowed to win the Stanley Cup. We have all heard the mantra that there's no way two Canadian clubs will ever get to contest the Stanley Cup finals because no one in the United States would watch such a series. None of the players complain about this because they all receive millions of $$$ sticking to Gary's master plan. Aw, aren't we a bunch of nice Canadians. There's my Rocket Science for you.

2) No arguement here. The fact that if the MLS championship is won by a Canadian club then that team still would not qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. To me that does not feel fair. Hence, this is just one example where Canadian clubs play second fiddle to our American cousins. Monaco can qualify for the UEFA Champions League from Ligue 1, as could Welsh clubs from the Premiership, both at the expense of French and English clubs respectively.

3) Haven't won the cup for a while? For the past 17 years the Stanley Cup has been in the exclusive possession of American teams. Close but no cigar doesn't cut it, and neither does being the odds on favorite.

4) My perspective is that the clubs competing in the CONCACAF Champions League are of a higher calibre then those competing in the MLS. I agree with you that the Vancouver Whitecaps, as well as the Toronto FC, have a better shot at qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League than they do of winning the MLS Cup.

5) From a Canadian perspective, Roberto Luongo was quoted last week as saying that the game seven victory over Chicago meant more to him than winning the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics.

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3) Haven't won the cup for a while? For the past 17 years the Stanley Cup has been in the exclusive possession of American teams. Close but no cigar doesn't cut it, and neither does being the odds on favorite.

Doesn't matter. What Johnny Canuck says is more valid than whatever it is your trying to say. The reason a Canadian team hasn't won a cup in 17 years is because there are 6 Canadian teams and 24 American teams. It's simple math and odds don't really favour us.

As for what you say in paragraph number 1, I enjoyed that. You basically summed up NHL playoff results in the last little while and try to put some sort of conspiracy spin on it, but have no concrete evidence.

I would love to hear your reasons for why Canadian MLS clubs will always play second fiddle to American ones.

Edited by Macksam

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1) In the NHL one needs to look no further than keeping a team in Phoenix, rather than moving it to Winnipeg. The Gary Bettman formula of NHL parity doesn't vary much from season to season. Two or three Canadian clubs get to make the play-offs. One gets to move beyond the first round, and once every few years a Canadian club gets to go to the finals, but is not allowed to win the Stanley Cup. We have all heard the mantra that there's no way two Canadian clubs will ever get to contest the Stanley Cup finals because no one in the United States would watch such a series. None of the players complain about this because they all receive millions of $$$ sticking to Gary's master plan. Aw, aren't we a bunch of nice Canadians. There's my Rocket Science for you.

Gary Bettman controls the business end of the NHL. He does not control the way teams are run, nor games called. You've just concocted the lamest conspiracy theory that I have ever seen, and I've watched every one of those $hitty Zeitgeist movies...

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We will never all agree on which is more important, capturing the Stanley Cup or winning an Olympic gold medal. As to America's total domination of the Stanley Cup, the facts speak for themselves. 17 years and counting. The MLS point of view just reaks with supportive evidence. How many Americans are on Canadian club rosters as opposed to Canadian players? The injustice that a Canadian team doesn't get the same reward from winning the MLS Cup that their American counterparts do is another.

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We will never all agree on which is more important, capturing the Stanley Cup or winning an Olympic gold medal. As to America's total domination of the Stanley Cup, the facts speak for themselves. 17 years and counting. The MLS point of view just reaks with supportive evidence. How many Americans are on Canadian club rosters as opposed to Canadian players? The injustice that a Canadian team doesn't get the same reward from winning the MLS Cup that their American counterparts do is another.

^^^ THUD! THUD! THUD! That's was me reading this thread and banging my head on my desk at work.

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1) Two or three Canadian clubs get to make the play-offs. One gets to move beyond the first round, and once every few years a Canadian club gets to go to the finals, but is not allowed to win the Stanley Cup. We have all heard the mantra that there's no way two Canadian clubs will ever get to contest the Stanley Cup finals because no one in the United States would watch such a series. None of the players complain about this because they all receive millions of $$$ sticking to Gary's master plan. Aw, aren't we a bunch of nice Canadians. There's my Rocket Science for you.
Great conspiracy theory. So do the players throw games on Gary's instructions, does he do it with crooked referees or does Bettman beam his instructions directly into their brains?

2) No arguement here. The fact that if the MLS championship is won by a Canadian club then that team still would not qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. To me that does not feel fair. Hence, this is just one example where Canadian clubs play second fiddle to our American cousins. Monaco can qualify for the UEFA Champions League from Ligue 1, as could Welsh clubs from the Premiership, both at the expense of French and English clubs respectively.
When a Canadian club wins the MLS Cup I wouldn't mind awarding them the Canadian birth in the Champs League and playing the Voyageurs Cup purely for pride. It'll never happen though.

3) Haven't won the cup for a while? For the past 17 years the Stanley Cup has been in the exclusive possession of American teams. Close but no cigar doesn't cut it, and neither does being the odds on favorite.
Not if you believe it's all fixed.

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Dear Headbangers,

How easy it is to change the focus of this thread. The main point centered around the CSA's decision to change the format of the of the professional Canadian championship, which in its current form is not an undisputed championship. In a league format, after playing every club twice and coming out on top, a team can claim the undisputed championship of a country. This, of course, goes against the fibre of every North American sports fan, who can not be content with such a system. They need play-offs to decide whose best. Ties are equally repulsive in this part of the world, as a tie is considered the equivalent of kissing one's sister. Utter poppycock! The NHL is a prime example of this foolishness. Did the CSA discuss relegating the Voyageur's Cup?

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Robert, you are out to lunch. - Just sayin. Your logic makes no sense.

Since we are talking NHL as an example. The "Original 6" only had 2 Canadian Teams. Toronto & Montreal vs Boston, Detroit, NYR, & Chicago. Canadian teams made up for 1/3 of the teams, or 33%

Now there are 30 teams and Canada has 6, which is 1/5 of the teams, or 20%...essentially meaning (all things being equal, and they're not- because not all teams are managed equally or spend to the cap etc) that the Canadian teams have an even tougher time (13% less) of qualifying for the playoffs and winning the Cup than in days of yore. Back in the good old O6 days, IIRC, the top 4 teams of 6 made the playoffs, first to win 8 games/2 series (hence the Octopus in Detroit) won the Cup. Now you have to win 16 games/4 best of 7 series.

It's simple math, there's no conspiracy. Take off your tinfoil hat and realize that everyone is not out to get you, Elvis (and bin Laden) IS dead, 9/11 was NOT an inside job. Canadian Teams vs American Teams in Franchise Run leagues will always be facing long odds to win championships solely based on the number of teams. Canadian viewership is always as high or higher than Yank viewership come NHL Finals, regardless of who is in the race. It's not like people in Phoenix are going to tune in to watch a NYR vs Detroit Redwings series any moreso than a Canucks v Habs final. FYI: as far as base city populations, there's only a few NHL cities with larger poplulation bases than Montreal or Vancouver, so again that theory doesn't hold water. The hypothetical Cities (Metro Areas) of Montreal and Vancouver are larger than: San Jose, Edmonton, Calgary, Denver, Nashville, Columbus, Raleigh, Ottawa, Buffalo, & Pittsburgh and are very close to the same size as other teams like Tampa, and there are two teams in closet suburb communties like Phoenix/Glendale and Sunrise/Miami. Take a look at the cities with more people (Chicago, New York, LA, etc) and how many hockey fans are there per capita?

You're out of your depth.

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Dear Headbangers,

How easy it is to change the focus of this thread. The main point centered around the CSA's decision to change the format of the of the professional Canadian championship, which in its current form is not an undisputed championship. In a league format, after playing every club twice and coming out on top, a team can claim the undisputed championship of a country. This, of course, goes against the fibre of every North American sports fan, who can not be content with such a system. They need play-offs to decide whose best. Ties are equally repulsive in this part of the world, as a tie is considered the equivalent of kissing one's sister. Utter poppycock! The NHL is a prime example of this foolishness. Did the CSA discuss relegating the Voyageur's Cup?

The concept of playing a full additional 6 games (3 teams home and away) per team in a schedule as congested as the current MLS one would make this a second class tourney, and as such the managers would likely field weaker lineups. So that argument doesn't hold water- quality wise. Again, the NHL has no ties... just sayin... "playoffs" happen all over the world, in England there is a playoff to determine certain amounts of teams for promotion to the EPL from the CCC.

What do you mean by "relegating the Voyageur's Cup?"

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The Voyageur's Cup currently employs a seeded cup-format, which essentially makes it the CSA's FA Cup. In Europe, FA Cup winners used to compete in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup competition. When that structure failed, the FA Cup winners were allowed to enter the UEFA Cup (currently known as the Europa League). Neither of these competitions come close in stature to the UEFA Champions League, hence the relegated status of the Voyageurs Cup. I don't know what conditions the Voyageurs attached to the Voyageurs Cup when they donated it to the CSA, but whatever these were they probably don't apply to its current status.

I wonder when it's a Canadian teams turn to win the Stanley Cup? Did we suddenly forget how to win? Maybe after another 10 or 20 years of futility more will see my point.

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The Voyageur's Cup currently employs a seeded cup-format, which essentially makes it the CSA's FA Cup. In Europe, FA Cup winners used to compete in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup competition. When that structure failed, the FA Cup winners were allowed to enter the UEFA Cup (currently known as the Europa League). Neither of these competitions come close in stature to the UEFA Champions League, hence the relegated status of the Voyageurs Cup.

Um, what?

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Rudi, can we at least agree that a national championship is more important than a FA Cup competition? If so, there is no further need to discuss that the merits of the UEFA Champions League by far outweight those of the UEFA Europa League.

Obviously, CONCACAF is still light-years away from forming a second continental competition as such the Europa League, as it is still struggling to organize a Champions League that allows countries like Canada to enter a FA Cup winning club.

Originally, the Voyageurs Cup was awarded to the club gaining the most points from a league structure that was based on results of matches between Canada's three clubs competing in the USL. Three years ago, when the Toronto FC joined the MLS, the Nutrilite Canadian Club Championship was started up and the league format was maintained. This year, with the Vancouver Whitecaps joining the MLS, the CSA decided to switch the format of the Voyageurs Cup to a seeded FA Cup competition. What will the CSA do next year when the Montreal Impact join the MLS? Will Edmonton still be allowed to play? Will any additional Canadian clubs that join the NASL be allowed to compete? Or will the competition switch back again to a league format between the three MLS clubs. All these changes compromise the credibility and legitimacy of both the Canadian championship and the Voyageurs Cup.

Edited by Robert

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Rudi, can we at least agree that a national championship is more important than a FA Cup competition? If so, there is no further need to discuss that the merits of the UEFA Champions League by far outweight those of the UEFA Europa League.

Obviously, CONCACAF is still light-years away from forming a second continental competition as such the Europa League, as it is still struggling to organize a Champions League that allows countries like Canada to enter a FA Cup winning club.

Originally, the Voyageurs Cup was awarded to the club gaining the most points from a league structure that was based on results of matches between Canada's three clubs competing in the USL. Three years ago, when the Toronto FC joined the MLS, the Nutrilite Canadian Club Championship was started up and the league format was maintained. This year, with the Vancouver Whitecaps joining the MLS, the CSA decided to switch the format of the Voyageurs Cup to a seeded FA Cup competition. What will the CSA do next year when the Montreal Impact join the MLS? Will Edmonton still be allowed to play? Will any additional Canadian clubs that join the NASL be allowed to compete? Or will the competition switch back again to a league format between the three MLS clubs. All these changes compromise the credibility and legitimacy of both the Canadian championship and the Voyageurs Cup.

There's only been one change thus far, the change to this year's format.

All signs point to the format staying the same next year (assuming FCE are still around). The NCC/VCup is only going to grow, which would reflect a growing presence of pro soccer in this country, so what's the problem, exactly?

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