Pro Soccer update

[url=http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/4501903-development-ticats-to-sit-down-and-talk-soccer-with-local-groups/]http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/450 ... al-groups/[/url]

[b]The movers and shakers of local soccer are finally getting their collective chance to meet with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Tuesday night, and one of the main things they'll hear is this: The Cats want to have a professional soccer team playing at Tim Hortons Field by 2016 and there's some chance it will be in a Canadian or Canadian-based league.

Between 80 and 100 coaches, administrators, local league officials and Ontario Soccer Association officials will be introduced to the soccer configuration of the Pan Am Stadium at a reception, and hear how the Canadian Football League's Ticats want to be an integral part of an intensified development of local players to the highest levels: professional and national team play.

They'll also learn, if they didn't know already, that the two biggest Hamilton names in soccer development have been hired by the team. John Gibson, president of the Hamilton and District Soccer Association, and John McGrane, who played and coached pro soccer and played in the Olympics, are soccer advisers and consultants to the Ticats.

"No one can speak to pro soccer in Hamilton more in Hamilton than John McGrane," says Ticats CEO Scott Mitchell, "and I would say the same in amateur soccer about John Gibson. They're there to help us wade through this opportunity."

Mitchell says confidentiality restrictions during the long three years it took to finalize the stadium lease prevented the Ticats from discussing the stadium with local soccer organizers.

"This (reception) is really about Hamilton pro soccer and aligning it with the other soccer stakeholders in the city," Mitchell says. "There is zero chance for any pro soccer team without the support of the local organizations."

Their public silence doesn't mean the Cats have been idle on the soccer front.

They've had lay-of-the-land meetings with Mark Abbott, president of Major League Soccer, the only Division-1 league in North America; have met with Bill Peterson, commissioner of the North American Soccer League, the current Division-2 league in the U.S. (which also has teams in Edmonton and Ottawa); have spent time with the Canadian Soccer Association; and are in step with the CSA's aim of providing a place for more Canadian players to play at a higher level.

Canada is one of the world's few soccer nations — along with Wales, San Marino, Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco and their tiny ilk — that doesn't have its own national league and also has teams playing in another country's top league: Major League Soccer teams in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

The MLS is off-limits to Hamilton because, in a distinct echo of hockey, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment owns the territorial rights.

Division 2 is Hamilton's natural level but the North American Soccer League may not be the end game here because there is no quota for Canadian players and Mitchell, Gibson, McGrane and, above all, Cats owner Bob Young agree with the CSA that the country's dismal men's soccer results won't improve unless its pro teams are compelled to play a minimum number of Canadian players.

"The vision we all have for Canada at some point is our own league," McGrane says. "The CSA is the second oldest soccer association in the world and we don't have our own league."

The Cats aren't talking aloud about negotiations to either join or form a pro league, but are known to have contacted soccer interests in other CFL cities without MLS teams about the all-Canadian concept.

For the moment, they're celebrating the soccer-friendly Pan Am Stadium — "as good as any soccer-specific stadium built in North America in the past 10 years," Mitchell says — and exploring how they can work with local organizations.

"All of us want to have as many (local) players on the field as we possibly can," Gibson says.[/b]

The MLS is off-limits to Hamilton because, in a distinct echo of hockey, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment owns the territorial rights.
We have to start public demonstration or civil unrest over this.. I am sick of Hamilton being denied top tier sports competition because a Toronto business claims it as its territory.. and always by teams in Toronto that hardly need Hamilton. Why not just move the Tiger-Cats to Quebec City.. the Argos could use the market after all.

If a community (a "market") can demonstrate it can support its own club, it should be allowed to organize one. This is another reason why the Argos Suck but Go Leafs Go train of thought is asinine to me.

I despise EVERYTHING about the Toronto sports scene.

Territorial rights or not, Hamilton isn't getting an MLS team. I'm not even sure why this was mentioned in the article.

There was never any intention or talk of Hamilton ever getting an MLS team, it was always about the NASL or an MLS farm team.
I think what they are getting at is if an NASL team became hugely successful in Hamilton they wouldn't be allowed to step up to the MLS level the way Montreal did.

Simple fix

Ottawa, Edmonton, you are not sanctioned or allowed to play in the NASL unless you have at least x number of Canadians and x number of starters on your team. You can kiss the Canadian championship goodbye (and lucrative matches vs MLS teams) until you fall in line. Sadly, the CSA doesn't quite have the clout to oppose the MLS on this level, as most would likely forgo the Voyageurs Cup.

Anyone else, we're building out own Tier 2 league, and if you do field this many Canadians, you qualify for the Canadian Championship. We are also expanding the Canadian championship to operate more like the FA Cup until there are enough teams to make a Canadian league.

However, I just hope this doesn't end up as a Tier 3 development league of little impress. I'd much rather be playing Ottawa and Edmonton then starting from scratch, that is unless suddenly 6 division 2 caliber teams suddenly appear out of the woodwork.

Here here!

Like it or lump it though, Toronto controls the Hamilton sports scene except for the Cats I'm thinking. Most people would rather the Marlies here than the Bulldogs, I'm sure.

The bit about having a minimum number of Canadians is a bit of a strawman argument.

FC Edmonton has 23 players on it's roster and 12 are Canadians.

Ottawa Fury FC has 11 Canadians from it's 23 player roster.

It's pretty clear that these teams are going to have a big portion of their roster domestically just because of budgetary reasons.

I think the CSA could make a minimum roster requirement for sanctioning of D2 teams- say 10 players, and everything would be fine in terms of developing the game.

Any word on yesterday's meetings?

It was not a big meeting, mostly soccer team and association folks from around the region. Clearly no one (other than maybe me) who posts to these forums regularly came out to the meeting. :wink:

The Spec story quoted at the top of this thread pretty much summed up the meeting. This was an effort to get everyone involved in soccer in this region to help us think through how to do professional Soccer in Hamilton as effectively as possible.

After all - Tim Hortons Field will be one of the best soccer stadiums in North America. We’ve committed to the City of Hamilton to ensure our community benefits from this investment to the maximum extent possible.

Thanks for the update Caretaker!

The consultative process I think will yield good results hopefully. When you do decide to put up a team, I'm sure it will be well supported. I think the interest level will surprise you.

Baulderdash, Thanks, that's the whole point of the consultative process, namely to ensure any "surprises" are good ones!

Caretaker wrote: After all - Tim Hortons Field will be one of the best soccer stadiums in North America
And it won't have the issues with grass chunks all over the place like BMO from what I hear! Of course Toronto chose to do the chunky monkey thing at considerable cost so what do I know. :? :wink:

I just hope that the CBA gets resolved and that the Ti-Cats are opening the stadium. I guess though if the CBA doesn't get resolved, Bob is going to have quite a bit of time to work on a Soccer team.

[b]CSN has confirmed that the CSA is involved in negotiations with the CFL and NASL to launch an all-Canadian league.

There could be as many as seven teams involved, all affiliated with local CFL teams and playing in CFL stadiums.

Hamilton's Bob Young is said to be the leading voice on the CFL side. The Ti-Cats owner was previously involved in professional soccer in Carolina. Although he had a falling out with Traffic Sports, sources say that relationship has been healed.

The league would likely begin play in 2016, which the possibility of up to two teams coming in for 2015 (Hamilton and Calgary have been suggested).

The three MLS markets will likely opt out. There is no word on whether teams independent of CFL teams (with the exception of the pre-existing FC Edmonton) will be considered. It's likely that such arrangements would be considered after the league was established.

The league would be affiliated with the American NASL. The format would likely resemble Major League Baseball with two distinct leagues operating in close cooperation. There would be some inter-league play and the Soccer Bowl would likely be played between the two champions.

CSN reached out to the CSA. We will update their response when we receive it. Attempts were also made to reach the CFL. [/b]

[url=http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/index.php?/page/articles.html/_/world-cup-2014/csa-cfl-and-nasl-to-launch-canadian-league-r4701]http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/index ... ague-r4701[/url]

From NASL Commisioner

[b]NASL Commissioner talks about Canada’s long-term plans, expansion and league format
BY STEVEN SANDOR – 07/10/2014

NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson says his league is looking closely at one unnamed Canadian market as an expansion candidate, and is supportive of the long-term goals of the Canadian Soccer Association.
In a state-of-the-NASL conference call held Thursday morning, Peterson said he would be talking with CSA officials later in the day to discuss the organization’s long-term vision for the game in Canada. And he said the NASL would support the CSA’s vision, even if it includes the eventual launch of a Canadian Division “1A? league.

“We will have discussions with the CSA looking at the long-term future, what it looks like,? Peterson said. “We are open and supportive to what the long-term goals are going to be.?

CSA president Victor Montagliani, in an interview with Plastic Pitch(see the end of the post for subscription details on how to get the magazine), said that a long-term goal for the organization would be a Canadian only Division 1, which would “coexist? with MLS and NASL. It would not be directly tied to Canada’s bid for the 2026 World Cup, and investors would need to be found.

Peterson said that NASL will add more Canadian markets — adding to teams already in Edmonton and Ottawa. And he’s interested to see what that means for the future, and how it fits into the CSA’s vision. He called the CSA a “great partner".[/b]

Always assumed it will be NASL like ottawa.

Apparently, they Cdn league idea is dead, as well as the MSL D-league after this season.
Most MLS teams are looking to set up farm teams instead of the MSL D-league.
The Whitecaps have already announced at USL team Whitecaps 2 - a farm team located in a 3000 seat stadium in suburban New Westminster, BC.
USL seems a little small for THF, but TFC might be interested in placing a MLS farm team in hamilton given the locational benefits.

[url=http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/index.php?/page/articles.html/_/world-cup-2014/csa-cfl-and-nasl-to-launch-canadian-league-r4701]http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/index ... ague-r4701[/url]

CSN has confirmed that the CSA is involved in negotiations with the CFL and NASL to launch an all-Canadian league.

There could be as many as seven teams involved, all affiliated with local CFL teams and playing in CFL stadiums.

Hamilton's Bob Young is said to be the leading voice on the CFL side. The Ti-Cats owner was previously involved in professional soccer in Carolina. Although he had a falling out with Traffic Sports, sources say that relationship has been healed.

The league would likely begin play in 2016, which the possibility of up to two teams coming in for 2015 (Hamilton and Calgary have been suggested).

The three MLS markets will likely opt out. There is no word on whether teams independent of CFL teams (with the exception of the pre-existing FC Edmonton) will be considered. It's likely that such arrangements would be considered after the league was established.

The league would be affiliated with the American NASL. The format would likely resemble Major League Baseball with two distinct leagues operating in close cooperation. There would be some inter-league play and the Soccer Bowl would likely be played between the two champions.

CSN reached out to the CSA. We will update their response when we receive it. Attempts were also made to reach the CFL.

Looks a little less dead.

This is fantastic news

An all Canadian NASL sanctioned league along with the CFL is perfect
TSN would surely want coverage

HAM,SASK,WPG ,CGY all in
EDM and OTT already in
BC,TOR and MTL are MLS
I could see Victoria,London, QC, Halifax
Maybe a 10 team Division.

From managing editor of the Canadian Soccer News

Duane Rollins @24thminute · 1m
If Vancouver and Montreal came on board they would likely put the teams in Victoria and Quebec City.
Duane Rollins @24thminute · 1m
Little more detail. Hearing that 4 of 7 relevant (-Ott & Edm) CFL teams on board with plan. Argos won't be. Van and Mtr undecided.

Well, if you are looking for new ways to thank Bob Young and try to see if he can finally make money, this would appear to be a way. :wink: