Home MLS More MLS ISSUE 5 OF PLASTIC PITCH: What is Canada getting out of participating in U.S.-based soccer leagues?

ISSUE 5 OF PLASTIC PITCH: What is Canada getting out of participating in U.S.-based soccer leagues?


When a magazine comes out, its all shiny and brand-new to the reader.

To the editor, it’s the end to a long process that takes months to come to fruition.

And, Issue 5 of Plastic Pitch, out now, represents our most pain-staking effort. This issue is a labour of love, of passion for the Canadian game — and asks questions about our Canadian identity within the game. It should easily become the most talked-about issue we’ve put out.

It’s our biggest issue ever, and all of the features relate back to a central theme: Is Canada benefitting from having teams in U.S.-based leagues? Is it the way forward, or do we need to find a new solution?

Inside, you’ll find:

• A look at a history of promises and pledges MLS has made to Canadian soccer fans, many of which we’re still waiting to see followed through;

• Paul Hamilton, David Monsalve and Shaun Saiko talk about the difficulties of being Canadian players in a North American league. You’ll read about contract offers that skirt minimum wage. You’ll read about Monsalve’s trial with the Jacksonville Armada, and how the team looked for ways to get him U.S. status so he wouldn’t count as an import. And Saiko opens up about a move from FC Edmonton to the Montreal Impact that went from being a sure thing to blowing up.

• Bryce Alderson talks about his decision to turn down the Whitecaps’ offer to come back to the franchise and play for its USL affiliate.

• CSA President Victor Montagliani says the relationship with MLS was “non-existent” before he became president in 2012, even though Toronto FC has been in the league since 2007.

PP - Spring 2015 FINAL• Former CSA president Dominique Maestracci alleges that MLS broke its promise to him; that the three-Canadian-player minimum for Canadian MLS teams was ONLY supposed to be in effect for one year — and that it was supposed to rise by a player per year until it was a minimum of six Canadians per Canadian-team. He also alleges that Canada had the legal right to protest the Americans’ Olympic semifinal win back in 2012, for reasons other than the controversial calls made on the field that day.

• We look at growing Canadian dissatisfaction with how our players are treated in the NWSL.

• Former NASL front-office employee Kartik Krishnaiyer writes how Canada needs its own leagues, that in the long run we can never benefit from having Canadian teams in U.S. circuits.

• Richard Whittall writes on the history of failed domestic leagues in this country, and examines what we can learn from them,

• We also speak to former Canadian Soccer League execs and players about our most recent attempt to establish a coast-to-coast domestic Division 1. We look back at the Fury, 86ers, Steelers, Rockets and the other CSL teams.

• We talk to fans in Montreal about if they would embrace a national league. What they say may surprise you.

• Plus: Concussions in soccer, 100-day countdown to World Cup and our CanAm cover, drawn by Canadian artist Keil Hunka.

If there’s an issue that will change your perceptions of the current state of pro soccer in Canada, it’s this one.

To find it at the Apple Store, CLICK HERE.
To find it on Google Play, CLICK HERE.
And, you can also order it through our SHOPIFY STORE. If you order it here, you have the option of having the issue simply e-mailed to your desktop (if you prefer to not read it on the tablet or phone). When you order, just specify “desktop.”

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  1. Cristian Tane

    March 18, 2015 at 4:02 am

    If I bought the subscription and asked to have it emailed, shouldn’t I have received this issue? I didn’t get it yet.

    • Steven Sandor

      March 18, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      I re-sent out the link to you just now. Let me know if you didn’t get it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

      • Cristian Tane

        March 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm

        Got it. Just noticed it went to Spam the first time, about a week ago. Thanks 🙂

  2. Chris Steedman

    March 14, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Protesting is the only way to draw attention to the issue of Canadians being internationals in a split country league. Im curious as to how many supporter groups in Canada, have Tifo’s expressing their displeasure with the domestic rule. How many people have written letters or e-mails to clubs and the league it’s self. What about pressuring the sponsors into saying something. The more pressure both the NASL and MLS feel, the sooner something could happen. Time to be less passive aggressive Canadians. https://www.change.org/start-a-petition?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=GDN_USER_GEOT2_SCHT1_start_online_petition_exact
    Here’s a link for an online petition, it means nothing, but hell, it’s a start.

    • bostonredsoccer

      March 20, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      You would be better off with a lawsuit. MLS is being very conservative in their approach giving any nationality an advantage over another. Only a lawsuit would change that.

      Does NASL have international slots? If they don’t, the issue doesn’t really apply there.

      • Steven Sandor

        March 20, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        Yes, NASL has a maximum of seven international slots per team. And, like MLS, Canadians are domestics only in Canada, but Americans are domestics in USA and Canada.

  3. italk2u

    March 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Putting “mr negativity” aside, this is a must-read issue for anyone who truly cares about the future of soccer in Canada.

  4. Kahkakew Yawassanay

    March 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Sounds like another very slow day to report on this..simply put without USL based leagues these clubs north of the 49th would not exist or be semi pro/amateur at best in small regional leagues aka the CSL…and with the limited quality if immigrant players here, the growth in caliber has been slow and uninspiring which is not a surprise….quit the whining and start your own league…oh yeah.. been there, done that and it failed miserably everytime….USL is better than nothing

    • DoyleG

      March 15, 2015 at 3:13 am

      Not a slow day when you have time to troll.

      • Kahkakew Yawassanay

        March 16, 2015 at 9:04 pm

        facts show that even with the MLS, NASL and PDL, Canadian football has not improved and it can be argued its overall quality has greatly diminished based on results of all national teams from seniors to U17 and overall FIFA rankings which sees the MNT ranked 100+… Easy to label comments relating to this reality as trolling BUT the results or lack of them prove the game north of the 49 th has not improved inspite of involvement and support of TFC, IMFC and the whitecaps. One can’t argue with these facts no matter how biased their view points are!

        • italk2u

          March 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm

          Nobody is arguing your “facts”. The whole point of the issue is to show that Canadian players are getting the raw end of the deal when it comes to pro soccer on this continent, and until that changes, Canada will remain about where it is right now.
          Quit lingering on your negative facts and admit that the entire issue of PP is right on the money when it comes to what changes must be made to improve our game.
          Unless of course you have a better solution.

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