Imagine if the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup included the likes of Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, Rick Nash, Alex Pietrangelo, Jeff Carter, Matt Duchene, Corey Perry, Mike Smith and John Tavares. Do you think the Leafs would be perennial Stanley Cup contenders? Now imagine if that team also contained the likes of Patrick Kane, Eric Staal, Mike Richards, Bobby Ryan, Marc Staal, James Neal, Jordan Staal, Logan Couture, Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Jeff Skinner, Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Galchenyuk. How do you like their chances now? Before anyone jumps in and shouts, "But theyd never get those guys under the salary cap!" let me explain. Every single one of those players is a product of the Ontario Hockey League. What if the Toronto Maple Leafs had actually created the Ontario Hockey League. What if they had started the league from scratch and picked up the cost through its early years of development? And what if, because they created the OHL, they now have the first option on every player in the league? You see where Im going with this? What if Toronto FC did the same thing for youth soccer in Ontario. What if they created a high performance development league that harnessed the bottomless pit of potential that currently exists among the 300,000-plus soccer players in the province? Even better: What if they created an entire development system for kids as young as eight, ensuring that they got the best football education imaginable? What do you think that would do for their long-term success as a professional club? What if Toronto FC turned its Club Affiliate Program into such a development system? Its goal would be to produce a continual stream of talented young players for its academy, and ultimately, for its first team. Do you think they would be perennial MLS Cup contenders? Here is how I would set it up: • Expand the Club Affiliate Program to 20 clubs, ensuring that there is geographical representation across the major areas of the province. • Hire qualified, professional coaches to work with players between the ages of eight to 16, implementing a periodized training curriculum to ensure that the focus is on mastering technical skills. Allow players to come into the program at any age, focusing resources on the most promising young players (20 per age group per club). • Remove the 20 clubs from the current competitive system in Ontario, ensuring that they play regularly scheduled games against other CAP organizations. • At the top of the development system, create the equivalent of the OHL - a high performance league for players between the ages of 15-20 - where the best players from the 20 clubs would compete against each other on a weekly basis. • Pick up the entire cost for every player at every club. The last point is especially important. One of the major challenges that is faced when developing young soccer players in Canada is that our system of player development is pay-for-play. What that means is that the end user (the player) carries the full cost of their development. This system often sees players participating in sub-optimal development programs, and also restricts talented players whose parents cannot afford the cost of the best development programs - which can cost anywhere from $2,000-$5,000 per year. So what would it actually cost Toronto FC to make soccer free for every participant in its CAP program? If TFC had 20 clubs in its Club Affiliate Program, with 20 players per club, that would be 400 players per age group. If such a program ran from U8 - U15 (with the OHL-equivalent league sitting on top of those age groups), there would be nine age categories. That is 3,600 players, from the age of eight onwards. Conservatively, a program such as this one could be run for as little as $3,000 per player, annually. That is just over $10 million per year. Not very much for a club that just spent close to $100 million to sign two players, is it? Im not arguing against the signings that TFC just made - in fact, I think that the club needed to sign Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley, not least of which to give the fans a reason to care again. But while the club will be hoping that their off-season moves will quickly turn them into an MLS contender, their long-term success can come through developing the countless talented youngsters currently playing the game across the province, rather than through hiring expensive foreign professionals. Otto Porter Jersey
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. First, Ivan Nova decided to have season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery. Then Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games for using pine tar.Barcelona, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Barcelona will be eager to return to the win column on Sunday at the Camp Nou against Atletico Madrid in a top- three clash with Barca boss Luis Enrique coming under fire this week. The Catalan side opened 2015 with a disappointing 1-0 defeat in the league to Real Sociedad, which was followed by a 5-0 thrashing of Elche in the Copa del Rey in midweek. Yet that result did little to ease the pressure on Enrique, who is believed to be the main reason for stories surfacing about the potential departure of star forward Lionel Messi. It has been reported that Messi is unhappy with the current coaching situation, and unless Enrique is able to produce results on a consistent basis, he could find himself in danger of losing his job. Despite all the unrest surrounding the team, Barca still enters the weekend just one point adrift of leaders Real Madrid and level on 38 points with Atletico. The visitors will have fond memories of their last league meeting at Barca as it took place last May and ended in a 1-1 draw on the final day of the season, allowing Atletico to clinch their first league title since 1996. Diego Simeones side has once again remained firmly in the title picture this season and has gotten off to a great start in 2015 by recording a 3-1 win over Levante in the league to pull level with Barcelona, while a 2-0 first-leg victory against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey followed on Wednesday. The cluub also welcomed back a fan favorite in forward Fernando Torres, who joined Atletico on an 18-month loan spell from AC Milan last week.dddddddddddd Torres made his debut against Real on Wednesday and played 60 minutes before being withdrawn, and he should be in contention for a place in the side on Sunday. Real Madrids fantastic form took a dip over the past week as the club lost for the first time in 23 games at Valencia last weekend before losing 2-0 to Atletico in the Copa del Rey. Carlo Ancelottis team will now try to get back to winning ways on Saturday when the team hosts Espanyol, which has lost its last two games. Valencia will be boosted by its upset over Real and the fourth-place side attempts to keep that momentum with a win at Celta Vigo, while Malaga hosts Villarreal in a battle of top-seven sides. Eibar has been one of the surprise packages in La Liga this season, entering the weekend in eighth place, and the club meets up with a Getafe side that is winless in its last seven league outings. Sevilla is only one point from a Champions League place and will travel to 15th-place Almeria on Sunday, Real Sociedad tries to build on its win over Barcelona with three more points at second-from-the-bottom Granada, while relegation-battling Cordoba travels to Rayo Vallecano on Monday. Fridays match saw Levante and Deportivo play to a 0-0 draw, moving the bottom-half sides just a bit further from the bottom three. Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Cheap Jerseys Online Stitched Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL White Jerseys
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