Since we launched the Quintessential Canadian Power Rankings this spring, which catalogues the minutes played by Canadian players in MLS and NASL, there have been readers who’ve written in asking why we don’t also include USL numbers.
The answer is simple; comparing USL to NASL or MLS is apples to oranges. There are two major reasons for this:
1. The Canadian Soccer Association mandates that six of the starting 11 players on the three Canada-based USL teams be Canadian; NASL and MLS teams don’t operate with those restrictions.
2. In USL, Canadian players are considered domestics no matter if they play on teams in Canada or the United States. In NASL and MLS, Canadians are only considered domestics if they sign for Canadian clubs; if they sign for American clubs, they are considered foreigners.
But, don’t say that we don’t occasionally cave to reader pressure! We’ve crunched the numbers as best as we can (please let us know if you notice we’ve missed a player) and evaluated USL minutes.
As expected, the three Canadian teams are well on top. But what’s interesting is that FC Montreal and TFCII are both well ahead of Whitecaps2 when it comes to playing Canadians. By our math, FC Montreal gives Canadians a whopping 950 minutes per game; keep in mind that a “perfect” score would be 990 minutes. TFCII is at 827.6.
The Whitecaps deux come in at 592 minutes per game. That’s an average of just over six players getting 90 minutes each. Remember that the CSA mandate is six out of 11 starters be Canadian. So, the cynic would note that, in terms of Canadian standards and minutes played, the Caps are doing just a little more than the bare minimum — even though they put three players into the top four when it comes to minutes played.
Here are the minutes: Read the rest of this entry »