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Dub Narcotic

Malik Johnson

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4 minutes ago, An Observer said:

I am no expert on youth development but something TFC has been doing over the last almost 10 years of their existence is not working.  If you look at Canada U17 and U20 teams, they are dominated by Ontario based players the most of which play for TFC (although some for the Whitecaps and a sprinkling of club sides).  Over that period, they have pretty much developed only Henry and Morgan.  Henry was elevated to the senior side pretty early so most of his development can be contributed to the senior side rather than the academy.  Morgan is a journeyman back up.  Osorio played youth in Uruguay and the CSL (not with TFC) so he doesn't count.  Chapman played some academy football with TFC and that was seemingly realized and developed further with Michigan State and KW United.  The rest of the players that have come through have amounted to nothing once they left TFC.  So in all that time they have developed pretty much nothing.  Sigma on the other hand has developed Larin, Becker, James, and now Laryea (who may or may not pan out).  The Whitecaps have a number of players on their roster but also guys like Haber, Alderson, Straith, Edwini-Bonsu, Stanese, etc. playing overseas.

I assume some of this is because of the revolving door of coaches; and perhaps because they don't play in the USSDA (although that doesn't seem to be hurting Sigma).  And when you consider the fact that they effectively have the cream of the soccer talent in the greater Toronto area and the amount of youth stars that have come through, their academy system has completely failed.  If I was MLSE, I would be demanding serious explanations from the management with a plan to turn it around or I would be considering shrinking that program extensively as the investment is simply not working. 

Therefore, I am inclined to agree with Dub Narcotic. And I must confess that I have not seen a TFCII match live and only watched a couple on the internet but having a revolving door of players throughout the whole year is not good.  Start the best 11 that you have and provide some stability over a number of matches.  Of course, utilize the 5 or 6 subs to give players on the bench a chance to take the other's places.  The rest can bring it in the practices to compete for a spot on the starting 11.  Run it like a professional team that it is suppose to be and compete to win.  Of course, development is a priority and there is no need to stack the side with overage journeyman players that will never amount to anything just to get results...but you need an atmosphere of competition for places to create the right environment for the players.  And of course, you need coaches that can teach.  How Bent and Dicchio still have jobs after their complete failure over the years is beyond me?

Petrasso, Aleman, Carrerio all spent time with the TFC academy. They've also had very few players from early age groups and we're trying to make up lost time with a lot of them, hence the failures. The academy system is only really complete from the u12 level as of about last year. These things take a lot of time to start and get running correctly

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There's been mistakes in TFC management, I think we can all agree on that. However, I think recently they have made strides into the right direction. Yes in ten years they should have had more to show, but it's an ongoing process. It would definitely have been beter if they had less chances in upper management (especially in the development department). 

But think of it like this, if the three MLS teams together could produce 1 MNT starter per year (a player that's an upgrade to a specific position), in ten years you'd have a far better MNT. If they could all produce 1 such player per year, things would go even faster. (In addition to the players that take other pathways which will always be there).

Think of it, for this scenario you'd only need 1 player p team p year to eventually develop into that strong MNT contributor. I don't think that's farfetched at all. Bustos, Manella and Crepeau could be the ones for 2015, for instance. But you can only tel that looking back, starting 5 years from now. 

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4 hours ago, shamrock said:

Your point being? 

Aleman was there for less than a year so TFC likely did not have a big role in his development. The other two were there for 2 years so they probably can claim more of a role with them. On the other hand they recruited the 3 of them because they were standouts on the provincial team after they had been developed in other academies so it is debatable how much they were developed by TFC. To be fair though that is how it works at many academies world wide even those with good reputations, ie. they scout smaller clubs and sign all their top talent and then take all the credit for developing them. 

I think we can all agree that all 3 MLS academies have been disappointing in what they produced so far. TFC should have more to show after all these years, the MLS Caps seem to have produced less than their NASL academy and the Impact should have got more seriously into the academy process years earlier. Still we can't really judge where they are at now for another few years when we see how many of the current players become professionals. And while one can debate whether each USL team should modify its approach, the addition of the USL teams has been positive for development for all 3 academies. 

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2 hours ago, Ivan said:

Ferreira also spent a couple years at TFC academy, just saying!

Ferreira left to Porto in Aug. 2008, so about 4-5 months or so at TFC.

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4 hours ago, Ivan said:

Ferreira also spent a couple years at TFC academy, just saying!

God, I'd love to see him in Vancouver. Last time he's been on a Portugal side was 2012 and he seems to be contributing to a 4th place Braga side, mind you only 6 of those are league appearences (3 cup and 1 Europa League)

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In response to Shamrock, the point is that the 3 of them spent fairly little time at the academy and left young to pursue opportunities elsewhere that likely played a major role in their development. TFC academy has taken very few players from 15 or 16 to 20 or 21, and produced a professional player anywhere (and I am not counting USL).  Morgan is really the only one.  Henry was such a talent that he went to the senior team very young after only about a year in the academy if memory serves.  That is an absolutely abysmal record especially compared to Sigma in the same city which has a lot less resources. 

If they were working in my business, they all would have been fired long ago and the program would have been closed or significantly scaled back as its proven to be an utter failure. 

The Whitecaps have a much stronger record in this regard (although we all know they hate Canada).

I am a huge Canadian soccer fan and really hope these academies work but ignoring the blinding obvious failure of TFC's academy is not helpful. 

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10 years am I missing something, TFC first season was 2007 so the whole club is not 10 years old never mind the academy which I would be surprised did not start until what 2009 2010 so basically what maybe 7 years if even that. Let's have this discussion in about 10 years then we can really see if it has been a success, it's way too early to judge now.

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1 hour ago, 1996 said:

10 years am I missing something, TFC first season was 2007 so the whole club is not 10 years old never mind the academy which I would be surprised did not start until what 2009 2010 so basically what maybe 7 years if even that. Let's have this discussion in about 10 years then we can really see if it has been a success, it's way too early to judge now.

I disagree that it's way too early and I've posted this opinion quite a few times.

In that same amount of time and with less resources Sigma has managed to develop James, Larin, Bekker and Layrea.  

Let's say that the typical kid in world football joins an academy system at 14 and debuts at 18 or 19.  That is a 4-5 year cycle... TFC is on year 7 with amazing resources.  Where are the results?  And if there are no results who is to blame?  

Even if you discount the first two generation of kids we've still gone quite a few years without seeing results and it's not as if TFC is competing with other professional clubs in the area.  The area is a hotbed and the only contribution to the first team has been Doneil Henry (Ashtone Morgan, if you wanna have it both ways since he would have joined the academy at 17).  There's no denying that TFC has underachieved in developing players, all you need to do is look at Sigma, a L1O team that is running the scene in Ontario at the moment.  MLS rules and management of the club from the top down has contributed to this but it's no excuse... development is the responsibility of the whole club and if everyone hasn't bought in it won't work.  i.e. if Ajax and Barcelona never gave chances to their youth players they wouldn't be the developmental powerhouses that they are today.  Young players would choose to go elsewhere and that's the reputation TFC is beginning to get, young players are choosing to go elsewhere.  

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The facts are getting cherry picked here a bit.  TFCs efforts get downplayed with the kids that left (at a early age) and the fact many only spent a year or two in the academy.  But then they heap praise on Sigma who hands their kids over to US college programs at 18 and then I would imagine the coaches there would have to get some of the credit of the kids develoment.  Cant have it both ways.  Petrasso, Aleman Carrero have to give a SMALL tip of the hat to TFC and SIgma has to give some of the credit for Larin, Bekker, Lareya to UCONN, AKROn etc.  

And you cant disparage TFC and say they have no other pro clubs to compete with, and then say SIGMA and their L10 team is running the scence in ontario.  And you say youngsters choose to go elsewhere than TFC...well then they do have competetion then right? Even if its not pro Sigma is competing for youngsters with TFC.    Well, all that being said, you are totally right about Sigma has done a better job getting to the pros.  TFC academy is a huge dissapointment.  And I wish there was a SIGMA like academy in every province

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I keep coming here thinking there is going to be a highlight video or something in regards to the player in the thread title. But I keep getting fooled with the off topic TFC academy semantics discussion.

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Dunfield just mentioned on the TFC II broadcast that Johnson picked up a knock against the Battery and will be out roughly 6 weeks. 

Also, interesting to look back on this thread and the debate over developing talent vs winning games a few months later. I think Johnson has looked pretty good so far I would argue, even made his first team debut. Were TFC II to have prioritized winning over development of young players this year he wouldn't have made the strides he has so far. Likewise with Hundal, Uccello, Fraser, Daniels, and maybe even Edwards....

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yea, there are situations where it makes sense to pick up a veteran like Vancouver did with Grieg but for TFC2 that situation wasn't now.

There is a lot of promising talent in the pipeline for TFC2 and it's only going to get better as time goes on.

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You sure can pay for it in the short term with horrible results (FCMontreal) and nasty growing pains.  Hopefully all 3 academies can keep turning out promising pups that turn into phenoms with the USL teams and finally starters in MLS and beyond for the really special talent.  

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I'd like to see one or two vets on TFCII to stabilize things. It seems like the players they have produced are primarily guys who don't need service to produce (Babouli, Edwards, Johnson) and instead use speed and skill to get a window. That's great, and we need guys like them, but I think attackers like Hamilton stagnated because there was no service. In the games I've watched (admittedly not that many), TFCII has real difficulty building up any real attack, and goals are mostly individual efforts. 

However, those vets could very well eventually be guys TFC have developed but never quite get to MLS level

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#14 in the USL 20 under 20.

 

TopDrawerSoccer.com Scouting Report
The young Canadian scored one of the best goals in the USL in 2016, a scintillating solo effort where he dribbled the entire half of the field against FC Montreal’s defense. That moment showcased what makes the hybrid midfielder/forward an enticing prospect. Dangerous on the dribble, capable and unafraid of looking to create something positive, Johnson’s one of the most promising players in the Canadian system. The brilliant goals certainly earn Johnson the headlines, and if he can find the formula to dial up moments of magic on a regular basis, keep an eye on this dazzling 18-year-old.

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Can someone enlighten me on why there isn't more hype on this guy?

Every time I have seen him (limited sample size), he's impressed me. He's fast, good with the ball under pressure, beats guys on 1v1, passes well, has a great shot - he looks like the central attacking mid we've been waiting for! And he's a 98 playing at USL.

What am I missing?

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