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Patrick

Voyageur
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About Patrick

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  • Biography
    Long time supporter of the Women's national team. I wrote a few articles for Canada Soccer Magazine and organized the shirt signing thing for the 1999 Womens World Cup team. Now I'm teaching my own daughter about soccer.
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  1. Sorry, didn't see that was a request for Voyageurs to make a statement. This response is for the Whitecaps, BCSA, and CSA. They have to address this soon: How about "we're sorry we didn't act in the interest, and for the future protection, of female athletes". How about "We will forward all complaints of sexual misconduct to the police, not our in house ombudsperson or our internal security personnel". Perhaps the Whitecaps, BCSA, and the CSA could state that going forward they will not work for the protection of corporate reputations but will instead work for the interests and protection of players in their care. If they can't make simple, obvious statements like that then we have to ask if these organizations are worthy of the trust we place in them when we give our children in to their care. As well, what Ciara McCormack has asked for isn't unreasonable. The BCSA has to disentangle itself from the Whitecaps and offer varied paths to elite training and competition. One path controlled by one club, especially for female players, is an invitation to abuse and an attraction for the type of predators that would use that power.
  2. I suggest that BC Soccer not get in bed with Whitecaps such that every talented player has to play for them. I suggest provincial programs should be open try-outs, that elite training can be more regional with centralized camps periodically for the best performing players, and training regimes designed by the BCSA. There are many very good academies that can accomplish the job, and if we continue down the pathway Jason DeVos is championing then those academies will become accredited members of the BCSA. Residential academies like the Whitecaps programs are simply too open to abuse.
  3. She says quite clearly that the team president outed her and two team mates who complained, that she felt she had to leave and the other player lost her starting position, and that both of them were never invited to a National Team training session again. She is also quite clear that she thinks the club should have called the police when allegations of sexual misconduct were made, not call in an investigator internally. She's right, too. Any club that fails to notify the police when someone says a coach is sexually abusing players is absolutely in the wrong. When the Whitecaps suggested that they keep the sexual assault of a male player internal they were doing that to protect themself, not the boy who was assaulted. It seems, however, that you are perfectly OK with the Whitecaps deciding if an assault was worth reporting to the police. That's scary, and that's exactly the attitude that puts children and youth players at risk. The Whitecaps are not arbiters of the law or guilt and sexual assault allegations are very serious.
  4. Maybe I am being tacky by quoting myself, but this is the part I really want to talk about. If a girl wants to make it to the CNWT or even play at a level that might garner US scholarship interest she has to go through the Whitecaps system. There is no other route. At 12 years old you have to play in the Whitecaps-linked BCSPL in order to be scouted by the Whitecaps REX staff or be allowed to try out for a provincial team. Then, once selected to the REX program you had better toe the line because that's the only way to be seen by the Canadian youth national team evaluators. That is simply too much power in the hands of too few people. And frankly, I am not sure I trust the Whitecaps front office much after reading this and the stories about the boy who was assaulted.
  5. That's the whole point. The players were pressured by the team and the CSA to keep quiet because if they spoke up they would lose the chance to play. There is an example of exactly that in the post. The mother of the boy who was assaulted says the Whitecaps DID try to stop her calling the police. She said they were given two options: bringing in a private investigator or a Vancouver Police Department contact who does game security. Neither choice involved the RCMP, she said. It shouldn't be upon the players to go to the police, the club should have called them in. We're talking about teenage girls, high schoolers, someone should have been thinking about them. Now we find out that Birarda continues to coach teenage girls, and Busby is coaching the Seattle women. Secrecy hurts future players.
  6. Here is the post. The condensed version: Whitecaps women's coach, Bob Birarda, is accused of abusing his position as Whitecaps Women's coach and Canada U20 coach to pressure teenage girls in to unprofessional relationships. After an internal investigation by the Whitecaps and the CSA Birarda was removed from his position but no further action was taken and no police were involved. Birarda went on to coach in the BCSPL at Coastal FC where his U17 girls team recently won the Canadian Championship. He has been suspended after this post was published. Further, in 2011 the Whitecaps are alleged to have again swept sexual misconduct under the rug after coach Hubert Busby Jr. was alleged to have forced a player to share a hotel room with him under false pretexts. Busby was let go at the end of the 2011 season and again the investigation was handled internally with no police involved. Busby is now coaching the Seattle Sounder women. The author also points out that the Whitecaps attempted to bury the sexual assault of one of their male academy players until the mother of the player called police herself. She criticizes the pathway that female players must participate in in BC in order to get access to the National Team because it concentrates power in the hands of a few coaches, mostly men, and is ripe for further abuse.
  7. It looks like England is the place to be for Canadian strikers. I am very happy for both Leon and Beckie that they can play for clubs that are truly professional. The NWSL seems like another sinking ship right now.
  8. Nice video, I can only imagine how Beckie feels going from a one shower trailer and cow pasture in New Jersey to playing in the academy stadium and using the same training facilities as a Premier League side. Wow!
  9. Unfortunately not so. She subbed in late and fired one in to the side netting. Still good to be in the match and a 4-0 win is a great start. Beats playing for Sky Blue. > ...and the Foxes were almost punished as substitute and new recruit Janine Beckie sliced a shot the wrong side of the post.
  10. It's not that I don't appreciate Fleming, but she is another example of an early bloomer. She was on the National team at 15. Honestly, if you're not on the team by 15 it seems you may as well give up, at least if you are a Canadian who grew up here. If you have dual Canadian you can get noticed in the NCAA, but it sure seems you better be streamed in to the national program by 13. It's not just for the women, though, look at Alphonso Davies. At 15 he likely needed to shave more often than me. My son, at 14, hasn't hit the hard parts of puberty yet. And my daughter is 10, in the developmental stream at her club, but as a smallish 10 year old she is being dropped a level despite having a lot more skill and a more developed kick than many of the much bigger girls in the "A" stream. She can't compete with their speed and aggression. Maybe I'm just sensitive because of her but I do think Canadian development is based more on a win-now attitude that discards a lot of talent that isn't ready at the first blush of teen-hood.
  11. I don't know what to think, but I fear you might be right. The golden days may be dying. I remember when Sinclair burst upon the scene just after the disaster that was the '99 World Cup (why she didn't get selected...). I remember the end of Charmaine Hooper's career, going out knowing the team was only getting better. There were some hiccups on the way, sure, but we had good coaching for a lot of years under Even Pellerud and John Herdman (let's forget the Carolina Morace interregnum), but we have also cycled in a consistent stream of serviceable players. Still, we have no new Sinclair, and while that might be asking a bit much, I can't name anyone who is even close to her level. Other countries are catching up and somehow seem to find high level replacements for their retiring heroes. I just don't see that player coming out of our youth squads yet, and I have to ask where is our player development? Sinclair wasn't a result of the CSA, she came through youth clubs and provincial squads. Our next great hope, Kara Lang, flamed out in injury, and since then who has there been? In more than a decade we haven't produced a single serious offensive threat (except Sydney Leroux, right?). We have poached a couple from the US college programs, but we haven't developed anyone in that role. That's scary, and it also makes me question our coaching philosophy. Are we stifling our best and most creative girls? Are we failing to identify those players in favour of more "athletic" girls? I'd suggest the latter based on the teams I have seen. The "best" teams are full of tall, athletic early bloomers, with speed and physicality and utterly lacking any creativity. And why would they be creative? They're big and strong! They can play a system and win. Jordyn Huitema is exhibit A. She's tall and strong but I haven't seen anything that really impresses me. And where are the smaller players, the creative midfielders? I hope we didn't lose all of them because they didn't hit puberty fast enough to be noticed, and quit.
  12. https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/45134558 I know this is being discussed in the old Janine Beckie thread but I think this deserves its own topic. That's pretty bloody awesome for her, moving from the dumpster fire that is Sky Blue to one of the best football organisations in the world! Now I have to buy a Man City Jersey, and that kinda hurts...
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