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MLS Player Development

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So a clear "ignition moment" (The Talent Code) is missing from soccer in Canada. So Larin has done it, AJH is on the verge and Hamilton, Tabla & Davies all look like they could. 

The idea of youth spending 2-3 months training as a group every summer in Montreal, Toronto & Vancouver followed by a "mini-V's Cup"? That sounds interesting as the 3 clubs all have programs that run throughout the summer. Some national exposure for the youth? 

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4 hours ago, Stryker911 said:

I agree they MLS teams should be doing more to help Canadian players, however I think soccer in this country will take a similar path in this country as basketball. The raptors started in 1995. By 2013 and 2014 the city of Toronto in large part due to the raptor influence produced first overall picks with another to follow in a couple of years. I think it will take a whole generation to start producing high level players. It may even take longer with soccer because MLS wasn't in the mainstream media until only recently. In another 5-10 years is when we should start seeing results.

NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

God I hope you are incorrect.

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From the inception of the league in 1949 through 2011, only 19 players with Canadian citizenship had ever played in an NBA game. But in the past five years, that number has risen to 31, thanks to an impressive influx of young Canadian talent into the league. 

Nine Canadians have been selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since 2011, including back-to-back first-overall picks, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins in 2013 and 2014.

 

I found this in an online article while wondering how many Canadians we had in the NBA and while I did not verify it to be 100% accurate, when looking at the Wikipedia list of Canadians in the NBA it looks close to the truth.  We've gone from barely having any footprint in 60 years of the league to having over a dozen players on rosters and many of them are becoming impact players.  Barrett is going to be next and in 5 years we will compete with any country in the world.  (Sidenote - is there a basketball site like this where I can bemoan duel nationals like the Voyageurs and have my heart ripped out when Barrett somehow finds out he can play for the US!) :-)

It will be a patriots sporting paradise when the CMNT catches up and we will be competitive in three of the major four sports!  

 

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8 hours ago, TRM said:

Yes from 2000-2002 Bernier played with the Impact when he was 20-22. Before that he was at Syracuse University 1998-1999 (NCAA Div 1). There is no listing of the youth clubs he played with. 

As I stated previously AJH is the only player I can see as a true starting 11 (aside from Larin). He was with the Impact youth from 2010-2014. 

You view it as being an apologist and I view it as being fair. So why start this thread? I was hoping for some interesting discussions on what makes a good development system and is that transferable to the MLS setup we have in Canada? 

After 5-8+ years of the 3 MLS clubs having academies I was expecting a lot more starting players. I am curious as to why it isn't happening. 

If you want to know why there are not more starting players why don't you read the years of old threads in which I and many others here were criticizing the MLS and the MLS teams and often the Caps as the worst offender of a bad bunch and making suggestions about what should be done to improve the situation. During this time you were defending them and saying it was just important that they won and made a lot of money and that would automatically improve the player pool. Guess what, it didn't work and now you want us to explain again the exact same things I and others said over the years that you didn't agree.

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34 minutes ago, Grizzly said:

If you want to know why there are not more starting players why don't you read the years of old threads in which I and many others here were criticizing the MLS and the MLS teams and often the Caps as the worst offender of a bad bunch and making suggestions about what should be done to improve the situation. During this time you were defending them and saying it was just important that they won and made a lot of money and that would automatically improve the player pool. Guess what, it didn't work and now you want us to explain again the exact same things I and others said over the years that you didn't agree.

You mis-state my position either intentionally or accidentally. I've stated that having 3 MLS teams that are successful on the field is the most important factor because that brings in the casual fans and fills stadiums. That is what pays for the academies which are to develop players. 

Over the years I've seen little analytic thought on this subject but some interesting ideas that may work. What I have seen a lot of is bashing the Caps for no reason. If this is to devolve into yet another anti-Caps thread than let it die now.

If on the other hand you have an opinion or idea on what ALL 3 of the MLS clubs should be doing to get more players up to the MLS level then lets hear it.

So far for starters in MLS (1/2+ a season's minutes) we have Larin and some older players like Bernier & Johnson (Tesho is close at just under 50%). None of which were developed by the 3 MLS academies.

 

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7 hours ago, harrycoyster said:

I don't think it will that that long. There are always going to be good and bad years (the Caps u16/17s are dominant, the u15s are bad), but in general the academies should each be producing an MLS player every year by 2020.

 

 When I first started lurking on this board in 2012  people were saying the exact same thing.  Give the new MLS teams 4-5 years, let the kids work naturally through the system, the next batch of youngsters should be better.  I think we have already passed the 1 player per year threshold long ago.  Edmonton almost seems like they are doing better moving kids up (although to a lower level).  Maybe its just the nature of MLS, easier to bring in foreign players or US draft picks than take the patience and effort to nuture a CDN kid along.  

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11 hours ago, Bison44 said:

 Maybe its just the nature of MLS, easier to bring in foreign players or US draft picks than take the patience and effort to nuture a CDN kid along.  

I think you are partly correct because MLS seems to have the same concern. They have done some moves to allow homegrown players to be off the salary cap. That is a huge advantage for a player but they still end up mostly being the 19-28 roster spots. 

I used to think that the academies would beat the NCAA for bringing players to the MLS level but results have proven me wrong. If you send players off to university that is great for the player but the club can lose rights to them so there is no incentive for the team to do so. 

And just to get a plug in here for CIS, one player, Levis has shown that it can be done in the modern era so it isn't just NCAA that can get them a shot. . 

 

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13 hours ago, Bison44 said:

  Edmonton almost seems like they are doing better moving kids up (although to a lower level).  Maybe its just the nature of MLS, easier to bring in foreign players or US draft picks than take the patience and effort to nuture a CDN kid along.  

Those foriegn players (many or some of whom have played at the highest levels of the game) ARE an important part of the development for the younger academy players.  What could better for development than playing and training alongside or against a Kaka, a Piatti, a Giovinco...etc?   Or having to compete for a spot against an international?

The strenght of development system lies in its competitiveness, Not just its teachings.  If it were too easy to break into the first team from the academy and if you favoured academy developed players too much at the expense pros from abroad, you would be lowering the standard and quality of the league. Which, in turn, would lower the quality of the of talent you are trying to develop.  Breaking into the first team is supposed to tough and exclusive.

I dont know how often i have mentioned this refrain over the years:  quality is more important than quantity.   

Edited by Free kick

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Like Endoah or Ben Spencer are helping develop Hamilton or Edwards?  Cooper has helped Osorio or Chapmans career?  I see what you are getting at, but geesh some of these guys just take up spots (they are not Piatti or Gio) and are not much better than what they had as homegrown local talent already.  Nobody is talking about breaking in easily, but it seems like  we go out of our way to put roadblocks infront of players. After seeing AJH's form this year there was no reason to keep him out of the starting lineup for so long. Vanney has stuck with Delgado, and brought him along, helped him develop.  But it sure seems like if Hamilton, Edwards, Chapman etc have a bad outing they are out of the 18 for months.   And to quote Uncle Joe, Quantity has a quality all of its own.  We need more guys getting shots if anyone is to show any sort of quality.  Who could have predicted AJH going on a scoring tear like he did??  If he had stayed rooted to the bench no one ever would have seen his quality.     

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http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/big-read-victor-vazquez-like-no-player-toronto-fc-history/

Here is good example (the above article) of what i am talking about.  Vazquez talks about his time at Barcelona and at their academy.  Is Barcelona’s player development bad because it failed to graduate more players to the first team?  Vazquez, due to injury, lost his chance. Was that fair?  Of course not.  But it shows that over there its tough as hell to break into the first team. And they dont have roster restrictions on foreigners.   So does that make their development system bad?  Of course not.  It might be the best that there is.  And its because its competive.  You have to be good.

Again, quality over quantity, is what counts.  Eventually he found a spot in belgium and was player of the year over there.  Our NT could sure use a player of that ilk.  Some or many years you may not have any players graduate make the first team.  And it will be because the quality wont be there.  Nothing wrong with that.   Maybe there havent been more CND int’l talent from the academies because the quality just wasnt there. 

For every AJH that makes it. Or Edwards.  There will be hundreds who wont.  So far i am happy with that.  I would rather this than lowering the standards to let more in Cnd’s in.   

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1 hour ago, Bison44 said:

Like Endoah or Ben Spencer are helping develop Hamilton or Edwards?  Cooper has helped Osorio or Chapmans career?  I see what you are getting at, but geesh some of these guys just take up spots (they are not Piatti or Gio) and are not much better than what they had as homegrown local talent already.  Nobody is talking about breaking in easily, but it seems like  we go out of our way to put roadblocks infront of players. After seeing AJH's form this year there was no reason to keep him out of the starting lineup for so long. Vanney has stuck with Delgado, and brought him along, helped him develop.  But it sure seems like if Hamilton, Edwards, Chapman etc have a bad outing they are out of the 18 for months.   And to quote Uncle Joe, Quantity has a quality all of its own.  We need more guys getting shots if anyone is to show any sort of quality.  Who could have predicted AJH going on a scoring tear like he did??  If he had stayed rooted to the bench no one ever would have seen his quality.     

Yes, they are helping.    Those players have to work and develop their talent to beat out Endoh, Cooper and Spencer.   If they cant, then how are these guys ever going to help our national team impove? The standard is pretty low with Endoh and Spencer. Unlike at Barcelona.  But better to start somewhere.  

Your suggesting that coaches have been unfair to AJH.  But why would Biello be unfair to AJH?  He is getting his chance.  But he has to keep it and deliver.  What more can we expect?     .  Regarding Delgado,  maybe its because he is better (and more consistent) than the alternative.    We just cannot assume that coaches are biased against Canadian players, thats just not going to get you anywhere.  Coaches, in MLS or in Barcelona,  are on a contract that is based on performance.  Its insane and ludicrous to think that they have time to worry about a players nationality when thinking of who starts and who sits on the bench.  The academies are giving CND players a chance not a guarantee.  Thats ALL you can for. And all that we should ask for. 

Edited by Free kick

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Is saying Barcelona over and over supposed to be like a magic spell?? 

Explain to me why Mancouso was given every chance to keep his spot when AJH was performing better.  Why is Spencer given shots when Hamilton has performed better ?  This mantra of competition/preformance solves all is baloney.  Management spends money on big pedigree foriegners and they are given every chance to win a spot so the club (ie Joey) doesnt look like an idiot for bringing them in.  He doesnt want to get roasted over the coals for another big signing bust.  The MLS teams (TFC in particular) have draft picks that they want to succeed and they seem to bend over backwards to help them along, so they look good because they picked them.  Not so for ACADEMY KIDS, many of them have been there alot longer than Vanney.  Everyone has a bias.  Mine is obviously for the CDN kid, no matter which team they are playing for.  And all things being anywhere remotely equal I would hope the CDN club would give the first run out to the CDN kid.  

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I think one of the main things needed for player development is cup competitions with more games. The more extra games, the more the Canadian kids get to play. Davies wouldn’t have made it to the MLS if it wasn’t for the voyageurs cup. For Chapman, Hamilton, and Edwards it was those games where Vanney got a good look at them. Almost every country has more games than Canada does. That is the main problem. Right now, the coaches can sit back and just run with their top players. The cup games force them to look to the bench. Once they get a chance, the Canadians need to earn it though. Chapman sucked in the voyageurs cup, and as a result, he hasn’t played much since. Now that TFC is in the Champions league the bench players will get more of a look. The problem is that now Vancouver and Montreal only have a couple games for their Canadians. Even the MLS needs the CPL for player development. The more games, the more oportunity to prove yourself.

That being said, I don’t understand why AJH didn’t get more playing time last year. But besides him, maybe only Hamilton deserved a couple more minutes. The other guys didn’t really earn it.

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1 hour ago, Free kick said:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/big-read-victor-vazquez-like-no-player-toronto-fc-history/

Here is good example (the above article) of what i am talking about.  Vazquez talks about his time at Barcelona and at their academy.  Is Barcelona’s player development bad because it failed to graduate more players to the first team?  Vazquez, due to injury, lost his chance. Was that fair?  Of course not.  But it shows that over there its tough as hell to break into the first team. And they dont have roster restrictions on foreigners.   So does that make their development system bad?  Of course not.  It might be the best that there is.  And its because its competive.  You have to be good.

Again, quality over quantity, is what counts.  Eventually he found a spot in belgium and was player of the year over there.  Our NT could sure use a player of that ilk.  Some or many years you may not have any players graduate make the first team.  And it will be because the quality wont be there.  Nothing wrong with that.   Maybe there havent been more CND int’l talent from the academies because the quality just wasnt there. 

For every AJH that makes it. Or Edwards.  There will be hundreds who wont.  So far i am happy with that.  I would rather this than lowering the standards to let more in Cnd’s in.   

They do have roster restrictions on foreigners.. very strict in fact, JDG took up a foreign slot at deportivo.

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35 minutes ago, Bison44 said:

Is saying Barcelona over and over supposed to be like a magic spell?? 

Explain to me why Mancouso was given every chance to keep his spot when AJH was performing better.  Why is Spencer given shots when Hamilton has performed better ?  This mantra of competition/preformance solves all is baloney.  Management spends money on big pedigree foriegners and they are given every chance to win a spot so the club (ie Joey) doesnt look like an idiot for bringing them in.  He doesnt want to get roasted over the coals for another big signing bust.  The MLS teams (TFC in particular) have draft picks that they want to succeed and they seem to bend over backwards to help them along, so they look good because they picked them.  Not so for ACADEMY KIDS, many of them have been there alot longer than Vanney.  Everyone has a bias.  Mine is obviously for the CDN kid, no matter which team they are playing for.  And all things being anywhere remotely equal I would hope the CDN club would give the first run out to the CDN kid.  

Mancuso is gone.  AJH beat him out.  Mancuso was veteran who, at professional level,  had proven himself.  The younger Canadian developed kid has to beat him out and prove he belongs.   And he did.  Not because of just one or two outings.  How is this different than on any professional team in any sport.  

I HAVE BIAS FOR THE CND KIDS AS WELL.  but its not by lowering the standands for them to make it,  that its going to help them.  Its not by making it easier for them that we are going to help them.   When i know that one of our developed players can beat out Cooper for playing minutes in TFC (or take a spot away from Cooper), then i know that we have a chance against Panama in Concacaf. Or that we are closing the gap against Panama.   When you saying so and so has perform better than so and so “non canadian” thats probably because we are biased.  Thats ok, we are entitled to that.  But a coach whose job is always on the line and sees these guys more than we do is going to see things differently.

 Canadian kids also need to develop consistency.   I look at that game in Ottawa in the v cup game.  That was their chance.  But the game ended nil nil.  That was disappointing.  I was one who was extremely disappointed when i saw Giovinco and others dp’s in the lineup for the return leg.   It was saddening to think that TFC needed Giovinco to beat a team like Ottawa.  Cant blame Vanney for that.

Edited by Free kick

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1 hour ago, Keegan said:

They do have roster restrictions on foreigners.. very strict in fact, JDG took up a foreign slot at deportivo.

Thanks for shedding some info on this.  Good to know.   

Edited by Free kick

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11 minutes ago, Keegan said:

They do have roster restrictions on foreigners.. very strict in fact, JDG took up a foreign slot at deportivo.

As with any EU country, "foreigner" meaning players from non-EU countries.

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Who is talking about lowering standards? You keep repeating that.  I am giving you examples of when the CDN was playing better and the other guy still got more minutes.  On a CDN club in front of CDN fans that should never be the case.  Unless they are trying to lose the fanbase.  And I would argue that Chapman/Osorio couldnt have done any worse than Cooper if they were given those minutes.  Plus MLS isnt Spain or England, there is a salary cap, there will always be younger players on low wages that will be on the roster and get minutes, its a facts of life.

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2 hours ago, Free kick said:

Yes, they are helping.    Those players have to work and develop their talent to beat out Endoh, Cooper and Spencer.   If they cant, then how are these guys ever going to help our national team impove? The standard is pretty low with Endoh and Spencer. Unlike at Barcelona.  But better to start somewhere.  

Your suggesting that coaches have been unfair to AJH.  But why would Biello be unfair to AJH?  He is getting his chance.  But he has to keep it and deliver.  What more can we expect?     .  Regarding Delgado,  maybe its because he is better (and more consistent) than the alternative.    We just cannot assume that coaches are biased against Canadian players, thats just not going to get you anywhere.  Coaches, in MLS or in Barcelona,  are on a contract that is based on performance.  Its insane and ludicrous to think that they have time to worry about a players nationality when thinking of who starts and who sits on the bench.  The academies are giving CND players a chance not a guarantee.  Thats ALL you can for. And all that we should ask for. 

are you saying Spencer has performed better than Hamilton either at TFC or TFC II and that's why he gets minutes ahead of Hamilton?

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2 hours ago, Bison44 said:

Who is talking about lowering standards? You keep repeating that.  I am giving you examples of when the CDN was playing better and the other guy still got more minutes.  On a CDN club in front of CDN fans that should never be the case.  Unless they are trying to lose the fanbase.  And I would argue that Chapman/Osorio couldnt have done any worse than Cooper if they were given those minutes.  Plus MLS isnt Spain or England, there is a salary cap, there will always be younger players on low wages that will be on the roster and get minutes, its a facts of life.

But those guys (the non Cnds) you cited didnt get more minutes.   Cooper has hardly played this year and is probably on his way out.   Edwards and Chapman have gotten far more minutes than Cooper, Endoh and Spencer this year. In league play Hamilton slightly less than Spencer.  The later is somewhat puzzling.  But doesnt change my basic point.  Besides, nobody is going to dislodge Giovinco and atidore and ricketts at the fwd position.

Osorio lost his spot to Vazquez this year.  Vazquez is arguably the team MVP.  Osorio is more and more the first choice of the bench but has gotten some starts. He has taken minutes away from Cooper who is pretty much expendable now.  Other than in Justin Morrow’s spot where where can you put edwards?  Morrow was nominated for defender of the year in MLS.  Edwards has played well but he is a leftsided player . How is he getting screwed by anyone.  Chapman, looked great in the game in seattle,  but (i agree with others) i was expecting him to be more influential in games like the one versus Ottawa.  

The part i bolded in your post is key.  I think you edited it a little and you may have removed the word “CLEARLY” somewhere.  Thats good and i agree with that edit.  Because the key question here is this:  yes, we are all biased in favour of the canadian players,  but how much is bias influencing the the agument of whether the system is failing or not?   Because, if it is influencing your assesment, then thats tantamount for lowering the standands.  If the clubs were to look at it that way(as i believ you are) you are setting different standards.  I respect the fact that you have that bias because so do i.  But honnestly, if you try looking at it in a different way, more objectively, you will see that when you look at all the opportunity and minutes, it been damn fair.  The AJH example, best shows to me the system is working.   As is the case for others. 

The point made by Ben Fisk is worth repeating.  We need more non league type of matches.  Matches like the v cup and the CCL.  Those were great opportunities.  TFC and MTL did not have heavy schedule this year because of this.  It, along with the fact that the club set all kinds of records, hurts these guys.  

https://www.mlssoccer.com/stats/season?franchise=2077&year=2017&season_type=REG&group=goals&op=Search&form_build_id=form-w0JYgmP7vImj7zcmuUwscC6R4nMW61P1AFUe-5X9zTU&form_id=mp7_stats_hub_build_filter_form&sort=desc&order=MINS

Edited by Free kick

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OK...I didnt edit anything..if you edit it says so... like on almost all your posts. 

Cooper (906min) only got 150min less than Osorio, and he didnt deserve or do anything with those minutes and they could have gone to chapman (385min) or osorio or even delgado for that matter.  That was what I was saying...and I was trying to compare like for like mids to mids, strikers to strikers. And you are the one bringing up Vasquez and Gio and Rickets, obviously they deserve the minutes they get.  

 Spencer got 179 to Hamiltons 142min.  i dont think this is a CDN bias to say even for TFC2 Spencer got 1 g in 9 games whereas.....wait what the hell am i arguing for...Do you really believe SPencer is better than Hamilton? Why the F%ck am I wasting my breath arguing with you.  Go on with your verbal gymnastics about CDN bias and how it is tantamount to lowering standards. I hope you'll be happy when Spencer dresses for the rest of the playoff games, cause that seems "damn fair"............CHEERS!!  

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5 hours ago, jpg75 said:

We will have reached the pinnacle of development when NO Canadians make it onto the field for any of the 3 Canadian MLS clubs. 

What if the clubs developed them from ages 12-18 and then they went to NCAA, got GenA contracts and got drafted by US based MLS teams? What if there are 10+ starters in MLS but just not on the 3 Canadian teams?

Of course I'd love to see them on our teams but currently we are seeing neither. 

 

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51 minutes ago, Bison44 said:

OK...I didnt edit anything..if you edit it says so... like on almost all your posts

I edit to correct typos.  To clarify. Or to add to point.

where did i say that i thought Spencer was better than Hamilton? 

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6 minutes ago, TRM said:

What if the clubs developed them from ages 12-18 and then they went to NCAA, got GenA contracts and got drafted by US based MLS teams? What if there are 10+ starters in MLS but just not on the 3 Canadian teams?

Then no WC for us, try again.

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