Interesting read about MLS player Jack Stewart of Real Salt Lake and his journey playing for the Canadian National team and finally some basic coverage of the men's national team camp . http://www.canada.com/topics/sports/story.html?id=95719d0f-4aa3-42fe-9a10-f1ce6637401a&k=74061
It is truly incredible that until this article there has been next to no coverage on the Canadian Men's National team camp in Florida. How can the powers at be in Canadian soccer expect people to take Canadian Soccer seriously with limited coverage of the Men's Senior National Team? At a minimum the CSA should take advantage of their website to keep fans posted and up to date. If we can't afford to dedicate any media or communications people, have one of the players or coaches provide daily reports. Anything, anything at all is better than the silence and half ass media releases we are now all accustomed to.
The World Youth Championships can be a tremendous opportunity to raise the game to even higher levels of popularity in this country. Unfortunately, in Toronto we have had very little discussion and information surrounding this important world event. Sure with World Cup fever last year and the 500,000 dancing Canadians of Italian ancestry in downtown Toronto, together with the buzz about Toronto FC have made it difficult to get the message out, it is still no excuse for a lack of exposure for such an important event. To boot I understand that the Toronto organizing committee is in total disarray and that Toronto is well behind the other host cities in terms of ticket sales and preparations. To top things off the controversy over the CNE Grounds being doubled booked in July with the FIFA World Youth U20 Soccer Championship matches and the Toronto Indy Car Race, has not been resolved (and doesn't look to be at this point).
Pathetic and desperate attempts recently to get the word out about this tournament through a flurry of media interviews have gone unnoticed for the most part. This is actually a good thing, as the spokesperson involved, well intentioned he may be, is making a fool of himself. Of course the last ditch attempt to sell soccer in this market is to focus almost entirely on the hundreds of thousands of Toronto residents connected to qualified countries such as - Portugal, Korea, and Poland to sell tickets. In other words the Toronto organizers are pushing to ensure South Korea are based in the GTA along with Portugal. So don't expect to catch Canada play much in our "National Soccer Stadium" come July. In addition, the non qualification of the Italy has devastated the local organizers.
Sadly without a voice in the media willing to address real issues and expose the obvious inadequacies found within the highest levels of Canadian soccer, change (hopefully positive change) will be very slow in coming. It is apparent what ever so called soccer media we have in this country are concerned with providing fluff pieces, careful not to upset any of the associations, and power brokers in charge of the sport. A few short months before what has the potential to one of the most important soccer events in the history of our country (FIFA u-20's + FIFA Congress), Canada has an association without a CEO, Technical Director, or Mens National Team Coach.
As I was told once by a high ranking official involved in Canadian soccer, too much media coverage is not necessarily the best thing for those running the sport in this country. Accountability is something none of the top officials were ever very interested in, especially those collecting the very generous pay cheques, travel, and other perks. Lets hope this legacy of poor media coverage too, goes flying out the window with the cronies being cleaned out of Canadian soccer recently.
Those in the Canadian soccer media that frequent this blog, you have a duty to ask the difficult questions, expose those that need to be exposed and get the ball rolling on positive change in Canadian Soccer. We the long suffering Canadian soccer fans demand and deserve more. Ask the tough questions it is your duty to your readers, and your chance to leave a legacy to our much loved sport.