Getting a BCPL buy-in from parents should not involve coercion

The new ‘product’ is out there now and players and parents are in the process of deciding if BCPL is for them or not. Like buying a new car they are looking at it carefully, kicking tires, reading up on various models, comparing options.

It’s a different season, considerably more money and the coaching on offer ranges from top end to quite disappointing. Some are wondering why one extra training session a week and a trip or two to the Okanagan is resulting in a much bigger bill, particularly if they aren’t over-enthused about the coach their prospective team has. Some are very happy with what’s being offered and have enthusiastically signed up.

Some though are deciding it’s not for them. Most of these decisions almost certainly start and end with a family deciding what works and what doesn’t work for them. But as the number of those saying ‘no thanks’ to BCPL increases, there was been a reaction to those decisions from those wanting and needing BCPL to succeed that ratchets up the tension by suggesting that some players are being coerced not to participate in BCPL.

There seems to be two strains to this argument. Some argue that coaches are actively soliciting current players to drop down to Metro (MSL) soccer to protect paying gigs they have as coaches. Others say it has more to do with volunteer parent coaches wanting to keep strong teams together after they were overlooked fro BCPL positions so they can run the table and win everything. The reaction to this has been for BCSA to decree that only BCPL can participate in A Cup competitions.

Making A Cup exclusive to BCPL smacks of desperation and moves like that are the hallmark of a monopoly. It’s not inclusive and indicates a willingness to try to bully people into participating.

There are already letters being sent by BCSA at the behest of the franchises to teams looking at opting out of BCPL. They are being told that they will not be allowed to play Metro. I would love to know what mechanism they are trying to enable that will now compel strong players to pay up to $2500 to play soccer next season. How can players be forced, whether individually or as part of entire teams looking to play at Metro, to participate in a league that has fees that are unprecedented in the Lower Mainland? I haven’t seen the wording of these letters and would welcome comment from those who have, or BCSA directly, on the contents of what is being sent.

As I said in an earlier post, BCPL is a very good idea but the implementation is both heavy handed and shoddy.

The carrot they assumed they could dangle in front of players and parents was seen for what it is. Average. This was supposed to be so good that people would be lining up with cheques in hand to be a part of it. But the donkey did not bite (as much as was thought it would) and now, very quickly, out comes the whip.

One of the reasons I was an early advocate for this league was that it got rid of the Out of District rule. I have always voiced the opinion that players and parents should have as much choice as possible when it comes to their soccer experience and giving them that choice forcing accountability on the service providers (clubs, leagues, teams, coaches, academies). It was a great step forward but because the sheep aren’t behaving (yes, I’m going to switch animal references…guess how I’m going to work dinosaurs into this) as they were supposed to so the herding process is being stepped up a notch.

I emailed Valleysoccer and Rasta, knowing who they are, and asked if I could share their names and their particular situation vis a vis BCPL and they have agreed.

Rasta is Clive Clarke, a well known soccer coach in Richmond (and along with his wife, a small factory that has produced four (five?) excellent young soccer players). He coaches the Richmond U16 Girls Metro team. This team, the Red Hot Selects, won the league by a massive margin this season. They tied one game and won the rest. I believe they’ve also won the league at U14 and U15. Clive is not paid to coach this team. He’s not happy with the BCPL setup at Fusion FC and has asked his team if they want to stay together and play in the U17/U18 Metro league. As a comment he wrote earlier said, having been successful at the top level of play, he’s hardly motivated to win trophies at the second tier.

If we value giving players choices and there’s no ulterior financial motive or coach vanity at issue, is there any reason why these players should not be able to stay with a coach they value (I have heard from parents on Clive’s team and they clearly see Clive’s coaching and the friendliness of the team in general as why they would stay rather than play BCPL)? In a perfect world, the girls on the Red Hot Selects should be playing BCPL but for me the issue revolves around coercion. This league starts losing credibility very, very quickly when it has to start compelling players to join it. There’s a strong whiff of hypocrisy when you resort to coercion to combat perceived, yet unproven, coercion by coaches. This is the inverse of accountability. It harkens back to the ’empire-building’ days when players were bullied by coaches who did indeed want to keep players together for their own purposes and there were no checks and balances (ie. Technical Directors overseeing coach selection, evaluations and team formation processes) to stop it from happening.

Sukhi Sandhu posts as Valleysoccer on here. He is a well known coach and community advocate in Surrey. He has a very strong U12 girls team that seems to want to stay with him at U13 Metro rather than playing BCPL.

Talking with Sukhi yesterday, who has some real life experience in public policy development, he made the very good point that the initial mistake with BCPL was the lack of stakeholder consultation in determining what needed to change and what it would take to get players and parents to buy into this new venture.

Sukhi has put together a sophisticated spring program for them that involves travel to Bellingham and California. It will be a similar amount of travel to what some Provincial teams do, he says, at a fraction of the price. Strong players want to play on his team. Are their parents not capable of making decisions regarding what works for their daughters and for them as a family?

Sukhi is also not paid to coach this team and like Clive his daughter is on the team. He has won Provincial Cups on the boys side already so, again, the claim that some of the coaches looking to keep strong players together and play second tier soccer  are doing so so they can win trophies there and boost their egos doesn’t seem to hold water.

I’ll even use my own team as an example of what will be the next level where there’s conflict. I have a U16 girls gold team (see header image). They won the league this year. They will be faced with the choice of continuing with me for their last two years of youth soccer or playing Metro at VFC. Do they want to move to a coach they’ve never heard of, pay about three times as much and train downtown at Andy Livingstone rather than on turf fields closer to where they live on the west side? I work closely with Jason Jordan at VFC at this time of year and have strongly urged him to consider some of my players for Metro each year. I haven’t and won’t be trying to convince my players to stay with me at Gold next season but there is very little interest from the info I’ve gathered from them in moving to Metro (ie. the only interest is if we could move en masse). Should they also be compelled to move clubs and play at what will at best be a marginally better standard of play just because it is now deemed the second tier of play? Am I one of ‘those’ coaches if they don’t?

As I’ve said, BCPL made a huge strategic mistake in keeping Metro soccer around as the second tier of play. They should have done everything in their power to make their league distinct. Even though the player pool really isn’t changing, the perception changes if you keep the existing top league around. You blur the lines. Is there really much difference between Metro and BCPL? If you can have the same coach you already had a Metro and a sizeable number of players decide to stay at that level? Factor in that for most it will be far more affordable and you have created a choice for people what wouldn’t have existed if they were looking at ‘dropping’ to gold if they opted out of BCPL rather than ‘staying’ at Metro. Someone familiar with the four P’s of marketing (price, product, placement, promotion) should have been in that room helping make decisions.

If you can’t distinguish yourself in the marketplace as being unique and having value commensurate with what you want to charge, people will look at competing options. That’s what’s happening now and despite charges that it’s more due to nefarious coaches, it’s not. People are not nearly as impressed with the BCPL offerings as the franchises thought they would be. So they are looking at Metro as being a competing option.

Entrepreneurs like Colin Elmes thrive on this sort of confusion in the marketplace. BCPL has made a mess of the U18 divisions. They have changed their minds a few times on how it will look and because there is no point person to communicate all this newness to the soccer public, another point made by Sukhi, they have opened the door for a common sense plan like the one Colin has presented to 1994 born girls. TSS will be putting a team in the Women’s Metro League (they hope to go in the Premier division but need to play a challenge game against Burnaby to ensure they can compete) and then in the Pacific Coast League. They are doing it in a manner similar to the Caps Residency Program. No cost except kit and any travel expenses if they go somewhere for a tournament. No training fees and it fits the calendar for girls in Grade 12 who plan on being in post-secondary schooling in September. He has a good number of the best players in the age group signed up and many more who want to be involved overall than he has space for.

Is this wrong? Should players not have this option? Should they be compelled to play BCPL? The argument that college scouts will only watch BCPL players just does not hold water. These players know that TSS will get them exposure to college scouts. Clive Clark will also get his players that exposure.

It is BCSA and the BCPL franchises jobs to demonstrate the value of being a part of this new league. They need to persist with the carrots and put the stick away (now back to the donkey). Make the carrot more tempting by lowering fees, getting better coaches, making policies surrounding playing a second sport more clear, specify exactly whether and when families will have vacation time at spring break and summer. They are alienating players with the increasing use of the stick rather than looking for ways to increase the buy-in.

Note to those posting for the first time: Your comment comes to me and I have to approve it. Sometimes I can do that right away either at my laptop or on my iPhone but sometimes it takes a bit of time. Once your first comment is approved you can post (assuming it’s from the same IP address) and it will go straight up on the blog. I still check posts to make sure they’re not personal attacks or malicious but that’s really not been an issue.

This entry was posted in BCPL, Coaching, Get a Grip and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

287 Responses to Getting a BCPL buy-in from parents should not involve coercion

  1. K says:

    Yes, BCPL needs to prove its value to attract new quality players each year. Beyond winning a league title. They need to show kids are moving on to university, Whitecaps, other professional clubs, and oh ya, having fun too. They probably also need to be beating the metro teams much more often than not in tournaments, exhibition games, etc. Prove the value. It’s no trick why Nike is now so huge. They were made fun of in the 80’s, and have increased their product value.

    • Rasta says:

      Hey will the BCPL allow Metro Teams to play exhibition games against them? That would be great.

      I know if I were a BCPL coach I would RELISH the chance to beat up on those ‘Tier 2’ (Banjo-Man wants me to make sure I call it the right name) teams. When I do apply for and get a BCPL team any of you Metro coaches please give me a call and I willl be glad to play you.

      I know if I were a Metro Coach I would RELISH the chance to beat up on those BCPL Teams. Hey if I coach a Metro team any of you BCPL teams please give me a call and I will be more than happy to play you. Actually I would be giving you a call.

      • K says:

        I wish there was a sarcasm button on the internets. 🙂

        Why not play games with metro teams? If anything it’s good advertising for the BCSPL teams to attract the best metro teams if they beat the metro teams those kids play on….but if they lose…..

      • Valleysoccer says:

        I will money to charity to see this. Go rasta go!

    • scott says:

      On the boys side they have promotion/relegation and it can work well. It is not a rigid pro style. After the first 4 games if your team is hammering everyone or getting smoked bad, you can request a move. If administered properly it is a good thing.

  2. James says:

    I heard at a meeting last night that on Friday there is a meeting where they may be changing the names to Div1, Div2, Div 3 ….
    I have spoken somewhat to my U15 duaghter about this new league and the different levels. While I tried to explain the Premier is Metro and Metro is Gold and on and on her words were “Why can’t they just make it easier to figure out what level we are playing”.
    Such a small issue I know but just a microcosm of the whole process so far.

    • Gregor says:

      Yes, BCCGSL is looking at moving away from gold, silver and bronze labels and creating five divisions. That’s not the controversial part though. What’s also on the table is promotion and relegation between divsisions. With all the to-do over BCPL, this one is definitely flying under the radar.

      There’s been expressions of concern submitted (I was one) about the promotion/relegation element and how it will put pressure on coaches to get results. That will of course lead to benches being shortened and players not getting playing time. Some may say that’s justifiable at higher levels… but at silver and bronze?

      • Bruce says:

        Interesting concept, but it is completely comical given the inconsistent structure in place. In Vancouver bronze – gold is managed by the communities, MSL is managed by VFC at the district level, and Fusion manages BCSPL across multiple districts. So, what happens (horror of horrors) if a Fusion team is relegated? MSL team is promoted? Gold team promoted 2 years running? How are the newly formed U13 teams placed in this structure?

        By adding a new layer of play on top of MSL and then promoting the creation of a new layer of club, BCSA has seriously hampered their ability to effectively implement a promotion/relegation scheme. It’s bad enough that players are (forcibly) bounced around from club to club as they move up and down the ranks (only to be given a club option at tier 1), but to have the club tiers basically rendered meaningless will be even more confusing to parents and players. Gregor, you could be TD for a couple of BCSPL teams… maybe even have your girl’s team promoted :o).

        I hope this one is actually thought through, but I won’t be holding my breath.

      • Gregor says:

        It wouldn’t affect BCPL and MSL as BCCGSL only runs gold to bronze. There’s a total disconnect (in more than one way) between what will be the top two tiers and the rest of the divisions.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        Promotion relegation for everyone but BCPL teams…….

      • Bruce says:

        My bad. I assumed the 5 levels included MSL and BCSPL. What problem is the promotion/relegation meant to address? Is sandbagging a big issue on the girls side? or are there teams that year after year thrive on winless seasons?

      • Rasta says:

        Hello Gregor

        I would hope that there is no shortening of the bench. At Metro, whether people want to say it or not, coaches do try to win every game. We train and develop to go out there and use those skills, technique and tactics we learned to best the other team.

        I know all my players got lots of playing time in that Ultra-competitive Metro division.

      • K says:

        Promo/releg BAD at youth soccer.

      • scott says:

        That will of course lead to benches being shortened and players not getting playing time. Some may say that’s justifiable at higher levels… but at silver and bronze?

        Enforcing promo/relegation based on one seasons results carrying over to the next would be ridiculous as kids and teams change from year to year. On the boys side they have promotion/relegation and it can work well. It is not a rigid pro style. After the first 4 games if your team is hammering everyone or getting smoked bad, you can request a move. Scheduling is re-done at thanksgiving. If administered properly it is a good thing.

      • Coachrich says:

        BCCGSL has been talking about promotion and relegation for years. They have been doing soft promotion and relegation based on the Board Members scouting teams and looking at the the stats of teams year after year.

        The toughest variable to consider are the teams that only show up for cup and are not interested in winning league. It makes promotion and relegation really hard but if a team has a cup track record of more than 2 years, they shouldn’t be there.

        Personally, I would support a promotion and relegation process in BCCGSL as it’s what the league needs to stop teams and clubs parking a team at a level they are too good for. The big clubs or a group of clubs that work together to form super teams have a huge advantage of creating teams too competitive for the majority of the league tiers/groups. Those super teams might be the 4 best team in their club at a tier/group level but when they are put into the league tier/group they have it too easy.

        For the coaches that want to win all the time they find themselves moving up pretty fast and soon have to start developing the players and the team. Most teams in the middle are there for the long term. Teams in the lower side are teams that come and go.

        IMO one of the biggest factors that effects tiering is whether teams are long term development projects of a coach and players in a club. If clubs have a huge thing for always winning by finding the best players and coaches for a team via tryouts, its’ not good for anyone long term. Especially for female teams as they can stay together from Mini and into adult.

        the group there have a good level of understanding with what is going on.

      • post apocolypse says:

        I have to say I have seen the BCCGSL proposal and it looks quite fair.

        The relegation/promotion model is mostly about pausing and restructuring. That is, there will be a reassessment of teams in all divisions at Thanksgiving AND Christmas. This allows those teams who are getting hammered to move and those doing the hammering to also be moved.
        This is already done to an extent in the league but now is more transparent.

        Oh the lowest division will have no cup…just league winner medals. This allows a schedule that is not interrupted by those cup games which the bronze teams do not take partake in the latter half of the season (since they almost always lose).
        Purely recreational.

        Forget the MSL and roll all the girls (with the exception of the BCPL) into the BCCGSL!

      • Gregor says:

        I find it frustrating, as a BCCGSL coach and a TD, that I get this info here rather than from my District. Much appreciated PO. This does seem like a more reasonable proposal than the information I’ve received to this point.

  3. Bruce says:

    Great post.

    It does seem that for some the fact that non-BCSPL programs are simply providing compelling options is equal to coercion. I agree that BCSA allowing MSL to exist in conjunction with BCSPL is a key issue. Particularly on the girls side. It seems that demographic was completely misunderstood or even possibly ignored. The girls often work as a cohort and they and their parents have been given very little reason to change from the status quo. As a parent I have heard a number of stories, not discussed in Gregor’s blog, of girls moving or staying put en masse. This may be shocking news to BCSA, but girls are actually different than boys.

    On the boys side, there seems to be fewer issues around drumming up interest for BCSPL. They’ve been provided with the Whitecaps residency carrot and they are less inclined to work as a cohort. Simply knowing a couple boys or the coach on a team is usually enough to get them to the try-outs (in their general region).

    There are still tons of other issues around the actual BCSPL implementation and how it fits into the 100 other layers of youth soccer, but that’s another topic.

  4. X says:

    so much information….my brain hurts….can one of you just tell me where my daughter SHOULD play and we’ll show up?!

    ; ) kidding.

    She’s signed on with a U13 BCPL team and we’re cautiously excited about the new team. We’re reseverving ultimate judgement to the end of the intial season at least.

  5. Joe says:

    I’m not buy-it . It was sold as the same product with the same coaches only it came with a higher price tag . Now we have two competing leagues.

    • K says:

      It’s not the same product though. Different season, loss of boundaries, more selective entry process meaning “should be” more competitive matches (should be!), longer season (10-11 months depending how they run the off-season). Some of the same coaches, but some new ones too. The cost is roughly metro + SYL, and since SYL gets large numbers at trials this suggests there is the player pool to feed BCSPL. As with any league, the best won’t all be in one (ie, SYL and Metro – not all the best are in BOTH leagues nor in ONE of the leagues). It’s not the same product.

      • Joe says:

        Your right “K” Metro/ academy is a much better option.
        I’m paying $1,400 for 10 month of soccer and I have a quality Coach
        HPL is double the price for 9 month and the coach is not qualified. As far as when the season starts or finish I couldn’t careless . ½ of the present Metro players are staying at the metro level so the quality of soccer should be the same

      • APL says:

        I’m not trying to be argumentative as I feel some of the back and forth commentary has got extremely personal and embittered. I would question the idea of a “more selective entry process” and more competitive matches. Some trials I have seen have had 16 players out, only 5 of which are metro players. In the same age group there are the predictable rumours of the creation of a “super team” of ntc and provincial players. Team A it would seem will have to take what it can and when it comes to play Team B I would hardly think it would be competitive. Again, my comments are not disputing K’s view of the situation, just telling what I have seen and am hearing.

      • K says:

        Don’t really have a POV, APL. Just saying BCSPL is not “the new metro.” It’s a different entity.

      • K says:


        My POV is that BCSPL=good for soccer. BCSPL will take time to “prove” itself. Just as any new product.

      • APL says:

        K, I agree with you that BCSPL in principle should = good soccer. What I am afraid of is while the system works its bugs out, will the opportunities for maximum development of our U16-18 players be compromised.

      • APL says:

        I’m focused on U16-18 because my son is in the age group and these ages are at the tail end of their youth soccer career. If a child is U13 +- then you have time to allow the system to work itself out. For the older age groups it is their last crack at the cat as to development that will potentially open the doors and put them on the right path to scholarships etc…

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        It’s not the same product though. Different season, loss of boundaries, more selective entry process meaning “should be” more competitive matches (should be!), longer season (10-11 months depending how they run the off-season). Some of the same coaches, but some new ones too. The cost is roughly metro + SYL, and since SYL gets large numbers at trials this suggests there is the player pool to feed BCSPL. As with any league, the best won’t all be in one (ie, SYL and Metro – not all the best are in BOTH leagues nor in ONE of the leagues). It’s not the same product.

        K – I wouldn’t call it a more selective entry process unless you are arguing that there is additional scrutiny by better-qualified independent evaluators at the tryouts but that hasn’t been the case as far as I’ve heard. I think you may have meant that fewer teams will make the player pool more selective, but at this point such a statement is more opinion than fact.

        Well-attended SYL tryouts is, in my opinion, not so much an indicator that there is a pool to feed BCSPL as it is an indicator that there are only four teams per age group in this region. Again, the argument is based on quantity not quality. In fact, BCSPL tryouts have in some instances not been well-attended suggesting that quality is an unknown (as are, in fact, a great many other things about the league).

    • Valleysoccer says:

      Interesting that the CSA today just announced the hiring of an Outreach Coordinator!!!!!

      Hint hint bc soccer and hpl please turn the light switch on. This would be the best use of $40,000-$60,000. It would provide a human face for parents, clubs, coaches and even players to ask questions. Outreach also means NOT being behind the desk but rather seen in the community. Probably would become most important staff person in office. If they did this I would even donate an iPad to charity.
      person in the provincial office.

      • post apocolypse says:

        BC soccer has a self appointed outreach person….
        His name is Steve.
        He is the architect behind the BCSPL and now this mess.

  6. X says:

    LOL….nice work Gregor…that’s a good way to keep the banter going…just hit ‘reset’.

    ; )

  7. Julie says:

    Brilliant post and much appreciated. From tryout numbers it looks like the BCPL system is more suitable for boys than girls. My U13 daughter didn’t just want to compete, she also wanted to play with her friends.

    • Gregor says:

      There’s definitely far more concerns about attracting girls to this than boys. It’s probably only a matter of days before the first franchise announces they won’t be able to field a team in one of the girls age groups. I heard the coach resigned the other day as he felt it was untenable to field a team based on the interest shown to this point.

  8. Canadian Spur says:

    Great post Gregor,
    I agree whole heartedly that the implementation of BCSPL was deeply flawed. The lack of consultation and communication was and is appalling. The coercion that is occurring from both sides is quite simply wrong. The “Player First” mantra that was so readily bandied about in all of the early documents seems to have been nothing more than a marketing slogan with no real meaning in reality for some. There are no doubt many others like those you have highlighted who have the best interest of the players at heart and offer an honest choice to their players but unfortunately there are others who do not. Are they coaches protecting a paycheck or chasing trophies or simply making sure that their child has a viable team at the level they have chosen? I’m sure there are examples of each of these and there are likely other reasons that these individuals choose the tactics that they have employed to advance their position.

    There has been a huge leadership void from BCSA throughout the process and with the absence of leadership, inevitably chaos ensues.

    The value proposition for BCSPL still remains unclear at best, especially on the girls’ side. The average consumer of this particular soccer product in most cases does not really know what they are purchasing.

    Do we really have any idea what the secret cabal of BCSPL governors is doing? Or for that matter what is happening at the MSL level? Girls’ leagues may be talking about changing the names of their levels to Div 1, Div 2 etc. but tryouts are being advertised under the old Gold and Silver names. Clubs which in the past could barely field competitive gold teams are suddenly saying they will have Metro or Select programs. Clubs are holding tryouts for teams with no coaches being announced. We were originally told that BCSPL would replace the Metro and Select leagues but now they are potentially competing leagues. It is no wonder that people are frustrated and don’t know what route to take.

    The following is taken from a BCSA presentation to my club regarding why we should have the BCSPL now:

    “No structured programming or vision
    Limited communication, members and partners (Professional included)
    Corrosive environment
    Programming competition and confusion
    Lack of professional guidance and direction
    No technical strategy
    Limited players advancing through the system
    Lack of professional coaching staff”

    Does that not sound like where we are now?

    • Gregor says:

      “There has been a huge leadership void from BCSA throughout the process and with the absence of leadership, inevitably chaos ensues.”

      I’d have to agree. BCSA wanted jurisdiction over this league and both Sukhi and Colin E have raised the issue of their presence in overseeing the technical side of things and the communication side of things. BCPL’s internet presence should not be this blog. It should be league driven and that should probably, at this stage, be coming from BCSA staff.

      • Soccer Dad says:

        Void? BCSA’s public leadership has been more like a black hole!

      • Rasta says:

        I would really want to know first what BCSA would have to offer in overseeing the technical side of things before we ask them to.

        I’ve heard about ‘periodisation’ a lot (I can’t believe I said that word) but instead of making sure that the players are well rested I would want to see the substance of how BCSA would plan to improve the technical capability of our players.

        I would want to see what would be offered first before giving over the leadership reins.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        BCSPL’s official internet presence should not be this blog but you’re kidding yourself if you think this (and others such as TTP) will cease to be a forum for PL discussion. For starters, we wouldn’t allow you to give it up. We would find you.

  9. Colin Elmes says:

    Very good post Gregor.


    My self confidence has just gone up.

    Feel free to ask questions about our U18 program.

    Transparently yours….

    • Gregor says:

      Will Brendan be coaching it and if so is that because he has an iPad?

      • Stuck in Bridge Traffic says:

        Brendan has to use an iPad because a full size laptop won’t fit into his cherryiot when he also has the practice balls in it (how does he fit them in there?).

        Good post!

      • Brendan Quarry says:

        I simply have a shinier tracksuit than Colin.

        Stuck in Bridge Traffic, I didn’t renew the lease on my Smart Car (cherryiot). Rob Dattilo kept threatening to pick it up and hide it in his office.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Right. Instead he now drives the massive Fit, or Yaris, or something. Plenty of room for those big #5 balls of his.

  10. Colin Elmes says:

    Brendan will be coaching and for that opportunity he has handed over his ipad(doesnt know that yet)

  11. Dan says:

    Great post.I have a son who plays at the gold level ,we barely had enough kids to make a team.Most of the kids have no interst in metro,and now with all the disruption the hpl is creating,many have decided to quit the game altogether.

    • K says:

      That makes no sense. What disruption is there to a Gold team that has no interest in moving to higher levels anyway? They will still have 8-10 teams in their league next year…..and it will still run fall-winter-spring. You barely had enough kids….this was just an excuse for them to hang it up. Sorry to be harsh, but that isn’t BCSPL or metro soccer’s fault.

      • J Larkins says:

        K – it can happen. I have a U16 Silver1 team. I started it a few years ago since we did not offer anything from Gold to Silver2. The boys have been together for a few years, mostly kids cut over the years from local Gold teams. Great group (many could easily play Gold), great results and the Silver1 committment I think fits well with their every increasing High School sports committments. It is, for many, keeping them in community footy. At U15/U16, and at that level, they (like many girls teams it appears) are happy with having a stable team of friends playing some fun, competitive games. There are no wholesale ambitions to travel further (BCSPL/MSL) or get on some pathway to provincial or national soccer – although each year one or two of them venture out for brighter things which is wonderful.

        BCSPL removed MSL players. MSL gaps will remove Gold players. Now everything is in flux again and teams will be reconstituted, folded, moved. I try to keep these kids involved in community footy based on good organization, fun and friendship. I can see a quarter of them deciding to hang-up the boots now if required to start again with try-outs, friends are moved here or there, new coach, differing levels.

        I don’t want to see that – just saying it could and probably is happening. It is always good to keep an eye for the top, committed players in our province and provide a venue for those players but the soccer community as a whole is so much more than that and sometimes we need to consider what keeps kids of all ages and genders participating in the game through the existing clubs. It seems now that MSL is an afterthought to BCSPL, Gold with be an afterthought to MSL, Silver will be an afterthought to Gold. Once you pass BCSPL/MSL now, and particularly with mid-teen kids with lots of distractions, how many want to keep being an afterthought – something that will be put together from whatever is leftover?

        Just saying it is there.

      • Dan says:

        K,the situation my kids are in is exactly what J Larkin mentioned.Some kids do actually play to have fun and be with there friends,and yet still want to be competetive.When there team gets broken up and they are no longer around their friends some of the fun get’s taken away,and isn’t that why we play in the first place?Some times we forget what the majority of kids will take from the game once they are done playing.

      • C says:

        K: you wrote: “BCSPL removed MSL players. MSL gaps will remove Gold players. Now everything is in flux again and teams will be reconstituted, folded, moved.”
        Amen. But: at the U13 girls level, BCSPL is wiping out gold teams. My daughter — who didn’t want to do BCSCP because of time, travel, and other interests — lost 50 percent of her gold team to the BCSPL. Not to Metro. Frankly, no one in the north district (where she currently plays) can figure out what is going on with Metro.

  12. RR says:

    What an incredible mess this has turned out to be.

    The question that comes to mind now is: Would it be more expedient for the BCSA to scuttle the entire BCPL now, before its maiden voyage, and return to dry dock with a revised schematic? Or should the leaky vessel hope to weather the storm with all hands manning the bilge pump or patching? Cue the Celine Dion soundtrack…

    • Colin Elmes says:

      Toothpaste is out of the tube…….

      Plus, who exactly would try and put it back?

      Who is in charge?

      If this thing was flying along smooth as a baby’s bottom there would be a parade down past the Water Street offices and multiple press releases of a high five nature.

      The first rule of leadership- everything is your fault!

  13. Everton#1 says:

    Last year I coached a U-12 Select 1 team, now moving into U-13. We had a solid season, third in the league and our strong player development program has consistently seen the players come back every year. When BCPL came around I e-mailed all of the information on tryout dates and info that was available to the parents to try and educate them in this new direction. I encouraged them to go and kick the tires and make their own minds up on what is the best thing for their daughter. Even at all that, of my 14 players only 4 players went out and two decided to leave. The two that came back were the two that should have been on the team. In fact they were both offered positions but declined because the quality of the teams was just not there.
    I am holding out hope that the bigger factor was some of the parents were thinking why pay big bucks to play three months this year when I can play the whole winter season and then go back in Spring to start up with BCPL. This has been a huge mess that was destined for failure and Gregor is bang on with the carrot and the stick thing.

    We have just wrapped up our U-13 Metro tryouts (see you in the fall ValleySoccer) and I am impressed with the quality of players that are still at this level. I attended both sets of BCPL evaluations at the local franchises in our area just to see who was out there as after several years I am fairly familiar with the players at each club. There are some very good players on each of the teams but not the numbers that are needed for a quality team. Not picking on anyone in particular but as SUS has their roster posted they have roughly equal amounts of Tier 1 players and Tier 2 players from U-12. Not saying the Tier 2 players are poor by any means but the assumption would be that they would not be as good quality right now. It is a great thing for these Tier 2 players as they will get some quality coaching at this level and their game should improve but I could go to TSS for the same type of thing and supplement my fall game time. This is what my team has done over the last several years.

    I am sure plans are in the works to try and force players and parents down certain paths but as one of these parents who’s daughter should be in BCPL told me “Why would I pay a bagload of money to a program when I get the same or better quality coaching, player development, etc with you. She plays at a high level, is improving in her skill sets, has great team mates and oh yea she is having a lot of fun” The last part really got to me as BCSA are just draining every last part of the players, parents and coaches enjoyment out of teaching this best of sports. Susie wants to play softball too bad make a choice, Susie wants to take some time off in the summer too bad make a choice, Susie’s parents dont want to pay huge prices for mid level coaching too bad make a choice.
    Well BCSA the parents are making choices and you aint listening.

  14. Pingback: HPL Founding Franchises

  15. Stephen Burns says:

    MacGyver, excellent post, big man. Unfortunately, the e-mail which was sent out by BC Soccer has had a major impact on a lot of parents/kids…….and players are now going to HPL team, not because they want to go there but they feel they have to go there. 😦 I’ve seen it happen first hand with a group in one of the areas I coach.

    • APL says:

      Steve, when was this e-mail you mention sent out and who was it sent to? We are “paid up” members as far as I know and I dont think we got it.

    • Gregor says:

      And thank you Burnsie for persisting with that nickname for almost 25 years despite the fact that no one else has ever called me that! ‘Far stick MacGyver’ may well be what goes on my tombstone (just to confuse people).

  16. Coachrich says:

    Awesome post Gregor plus many thanks to Clive and Sukhi for coming out of the shadows and for their contributions.

    What always get lost on the admin side of the soccer community and maybe it has to due with the leadership and antics of the CSA is that the sport is member driven. Members who pay a fee and hence have a right to determine their own destiny in a try-out environment.

    I’ve found that players, especially females will stay put on a team with their friends and a good coach. Even though you will help them individually develop by taking those that want to Provincial, Super Y, arrange university tryouts and etc for them. Point them in the right direction, they decide in the end whether they want to move on up or not. After all they are the one’s paying the fees.

    BCSA like the CSA has over reached by manipulating the structure to try to stabilize the pending short comings of the BCSPL. Sukhi has it right and I agree that BCSA missed the boat by not involving the stakeholders.

    Ultimately what has to prevail here is that the BCSA and the soccer admin’s are the support staff of the members. It is not the other way around or like a pro soccer environment.

    I’m one of the 1st to say the sport needs to be more run like a sports business but where I lock horns with the status quo is when they forget who is paying the bills, volunteers are not employees, that running a business is not like running or playing in a sports business. It’s one of the reasons, I don’t coach or admin locally and only time I give is nationally to soccer reformers.

    Great to see all the BS being talked about here as it’s what is needed to make the sport better for the players and their families.

  17. Lugann says:

    Metro Girls is not second tier. BCSA and BCPL won’t play Metro Girls because the end result would mean the proverbial nail in the coffin. Can you imagine the outrage from BCPL parents/costumers watching their High Price League daughters dispatched by Metro Girls? Can’t wait to add more, but have to get to work.

  18. fifa 2015 says:

    Just received email from our club executive there is a metro meeting tonight and one of the proposed rulings is HPL franchises arbritarily be granted metro teams at every age group. Does anyone know if this was promised in the original HPL document or bid material. So if I understand this correctly these HPL franchises are unfairly being given metro teams despite tryouts having already occured at many age groups.
    Where is the fairness and isn’t this creating monopolies? Behind the scenes if this type of manipulation is occuring how can the soccer community have any faith as this being done at the 11th hour without any consideration to the players.
    Does anyone know if this is just a rumour or has been truth to it.

    • APL says:

      If I dare ask, which club is this you are talking about?

    • X says:

      I am just a layman / parent but, with the original intent and the intent for the future being a system of BCPL – Metro – Gold – Silver…..wouldn’t this make sense?

      I’m sure there are many other factors and perhaps I’m oversimplifying but….that’s how it should be assuming the tiered system above is the goal no?

      If they’re to be two competing leagues then I would understand the concern but they’re not supposed to be.

      • K says:

        BCSA wants all the players streamed easily into view of the Whitecaps and BC PTP…so having BCPL franchises given metro squads automatically would support this directive from BCSA.

        Next question, why were these clubs having metro tryouts when the metro spots had not yet been granted – to the best of my knowledge. ???

    • James says:

      What and how does this help the girls side? I have not heard that the Women Caps have anything to do with BCSPL or MSL but maybe I have missed something. If the female parents are being asked to fork over the dough just so there is a possibility that a PTP scout is there to watch them play it may be cheaper to hire one of them for a private tryout.

      K- When do the Metro teams gets allocated? Clubs surely need time to coordinate tryouts and schedules. I believe Metro teams need the teams in place by the end of May. All clubs I am sure cannot wait for the “Franchisees” to complete their process and then make schedules.

    • Gregor says:

      Metro has been on the back burner for a month or so but the latest I remember hearing was that BCPL clubs would get a Metro team and the others would be decided by a BCPL committee after being vetted by the Districts. There’s supposedly a cap on the total number of Metro team at each age group but those numbers seem to vary wildly.

      • C says:

        This is where I get frustrated: if my kid or her teammates want to play Metro, by the time the franchises are set up, she’ll have committed to a gold team. The timing on this is crazy-making.

    • One foot on the pitch says:

      BCSA Board = There is connection between BCPL and MSL
      BCSA Technical Staff = There should be a connection between BCPL and MSL
      BCPL Chair = There has never been a connection between BCPL and MSL
      BCPL Technical Committee = There has been a connection between BCPL and MSL since day1.

      There is a huge disconnect between the executive and technical tracks on this issue but as we all know, if on paper, BCPL and MSL were connected, BCPL would have never been agreed to by the districts – convenient that it has re-emerged after BCPL was ratified. In my opinion the automatic granting of MSL teams to BCPL franchises (yes, this is what is proposed) will lead to the creation of a hierarchy in MSL (see “you have to play for our MSL team to be on the BCPL radar”) and the consolidation of talent at U12 (to get in line for BCPL). The idea of a broad base player pool to draw into BCPL is out the window. Those without BCPL franchises might as well fold up shop now, those BCPL center of the universe franchises should be able to run the whole show, no?

    • Lugann says:

      Reminds me of the fat, chocolate faced-schoolyard bully who needed to change the rules (of his own stupid game) as things started to slip out of his control.

  19. Victorian says:

    HPL is not the problem (programs are not the problem), ignorance is the major problem when it come to football in Canada. Who is ignorant ? – BC Soccer because they put this together. The HPL structure should have taken the USSF Academy structure where a franchise is only awarded based on merit not on geographic or political reasons.
    A professionally run organization like TSS should have been granted a HPL franchise full stop…. – trying to develop players in a recreation club invironment is just not going to work. Simple put – HPL can not be fully supported in a recreation volunteer based club system with no standards – no merit considered.

    It’s time for recreational clubs to focus recreational soccer – Gold, Silver and Bronze teams.

    • K says:

      That last line is about the most sensible statement yet.

    • valleysoccer says:

      well said based on the USSF academy, but then your power brokers would lose their affluent positions. Either run it like a business, with new entities arms length from existing clubs or create more fairness and transparency.

      Run it like a business without free rides or political manipulation behind the scenes because under this scenario, as it is is a functioning business your are compelled to face the public and listen.

      Like junior hockey have investors willing to risk their investment in order to provide quality programming and have a $50,000 franchise fee. Then you watch the openness and respect for the public. Its just now there are monopolies and the average joe is so far removed from the decision making process. There is no risk factor in the hpl for the next two years and everything behind the scenes is being navigated to create these super clubs. Was this the true meaning of the HPL? A Wal Mart of 8-10 super clubs with any consideration for those community clubs running quality programs. And the super clubs were actually created by the “super technical people and the super board of directors.” SHHHH we portray we wear different hats for our various boards. Ya right, keeping the hpl weed

  20. Left Right Out says:

    This is the prisoners dilemma all over again.

    “Fear of loss” is a great motivator for consumers to buy. This tactic has been used for centuries .

    If you don’t pay the money and have your child play in BCPL than you are not giving your child the same opportunity as the other parent that is paying and putting them into BCPL. As mentioned no chance to compete for A cup and your child will not be scouted by colleges , provincial programs and pro scouts. That is the Fear of loss being implied.

    The potential payout would be better for everyone if everyone cooperated and stayed at MSL. You pay less money and because there is no other avenue to view the kids all college scouts, pro scouts and provincial program reps will have to view the children at the MSL level. Not to mention you don’t have to get used to new coaches, parents etc.

    However as in the prisoners dilemma there will be a percentage of parents that will do whatever they have been told is the best way to get a “leg up” on all the other children and pay the money and play BCPL. It is human nature!

    That is where we are now some buying in, others wanting to hold back and no level of cooperation. That is why police always interegate prisoners in seperate rooms. They don’t want cooperation. As a matter of fact in that example you can be charged for cooperation.

    As proven in the prisoners dilemma ultimately everyone (mast majority) will move towards the BCPL. It might not happen this year, it might not happen next but it will happen. You don’t have to like it and rational cooperative types won’t because they know the payout is better if you don’t play BCPL but it ALWAYS tends that way. This is a basic game theory model. BC Soccer knows this and probably expected the initial resistance.

    I am certain that is why MSL has been kept around during the transition phase for the 1 year. It is like a holding cell for those parents that are last to give in. Once the prisoners in the holding cell recognize that the other prisoners have already given in they will follow suit. MSL soccer will than be dropped.

    I am neither for or against the BCPL, I do know however that it is inevitable and the quicker everyone can just accept that it is human nature proven over and over again throughout the centuries the better it is for all the kids involved. You might not like it but that is what is going to happen.

    Holding your teams back to play MSL or your child back and hoping that BCPL will fall apart is only hurting all the children in the short run. Even though in reality the payout is better if you do but only if everyone does and every team holds back. This of course is not happening.

    It sucks but the shorter the transition the better for all the kids not just your own but all playing soccer.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Wow. Game theory. Where’s John Nash when we need him? (Or better yet, Jennifer Connelly!). I can’t decide if the preceding post is incredibly naive or completely disingenuous. By the end of the post, the poster seems to have turned into the policemen who make the offering that leads to the dilemna. What I do believe is that no one at BC Soccer or on the HPL Committee ever considered pareto-suboptimal solutions or Nash equilibriums or orchestrated the situation to create MSL holding cells for non-comforming prisoners parents.

      Yes everyone could join the premier league to “shorten the transition” or because it is “inevitable” or because otherwise it will be “hurting all the children”. Has kind of a nice Hamelin feel to it, no?

      Or, maybe, people could, you know, choose what they want to do. And maybe their choices could be based on information, observations, and value. And not pied pipers.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        “This is a basic game theory model. BC Soccer knows this and probably expected the initial resistance. ”

        Is Nasim Taleb working for BC Soccer now? Cmon, there is no way this situation has had that layer of thought put into it!

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        A Nassim Taleb reference? There is no end to your layers! Lord knows what else there is in that onion of yours.

        I’m failry sure BCSA didn’t see this ‘black swan’ coming…

      • Colin Elmes says:


        Contrary to what people might say I am not all consumed with Football. I Like Taleb. A true outlier

  21. fifa 2015 says:

    I think we are all tired of the closed door meetings and people making decisions for us. It seems bc soccer’s consistent attitude of scaring everyone is now taking place in tier 2.
    What happened to feeder systems or quality development programs at non hpl clubs. Can’t seem to understand this. HPL franchises have been given to certain exisiting clubs, many of whom were in a conflict of interest as members of the board. Now each of their metro teams have been depleted as the players are being routed to HPL and after the fact I hear there is a BC Soccer coach memo to people instructing the metro league to give first preference of metro opportunities to the HPL franchises when in many cases there are better quality metro programs or even gold teams elsewhere.
    What the hell is going on here? is there any regard for the all of the volunteers, players, coaches and parents who are being held in darkness every day in this state of total chaos
    It is april 13 and the kids enjoyment in youth soccer is being greatly determined by by closed door meetings being held in desperation. Where is the leadership BC Soccer? Somehow this is simply not right and not fair for the players as everyday they are in confusion. “Dad where are we playing next year, is our club getting a gold team. Dad I heard this at school and johnny’s club coach said we should tryout at their club as they announced gold tryouts .” No system in place, no vision and only second hand information.

  22. Victorian says:

    Volunteer based football = no standards, no vision, conflict of interest and prisoners dilemma.

    Again it’s time for recreational clubs to focus recreational soccer – Gold, Silver and Bronze teams.

  23. Canadian Spur says:

    Actual statement from a club Head Coach at an MSL evaluation last night:

    – We don’t know if our district can have one or two Metro teams so we may not be able to tell you if you made a Metro team until June.

    Players are potentially being asked to wait to 6 or 7 weeks to hear if they made a team. Absolutely ludicrous!

    If every club that is advertising MSL team tryouts actually fielded a team we would end up with former Silver players playing in MSL and the talent and competition would be so diluted that proper development would surely suffer. Almost every community club now wants to be part of elite soccer development when many are not qualified or capable of delivering the goods.

    Gregor was right. Metro/Select League should have been eliminated when HPL was created. The extra layer of league bureaucracy is painful.

  24. K says:

    Why were clubs holding metro tryouts to begin with if they didn’t know they had a metro team???

    • X says:

      build it and they will come?

      ……err but kinda in reverse ‘get them to come….and they’ll HAVE to build it’?

      ; )

      • MJ says:

        In fairness to the Clubs they have to assemble assessment information in the next little while before the kids wander off to other activities and summer. We all know that team formation at all levels will be drawn out until this all gets sorted out — the uncertainty goes right down to Bronze (Tier 54/5?)…..

      • Canadian Spur says:

        MJ, rather than “In fairness to the Clubs” shouldn’t we being worring about fairness to the kids!

      • Canadian Spur says:

        …and what happens to the players who think they have made an MSL team only to find out later that the club wasn’t granted a team? Where do the go then if other tryouts are over? Do the clubs say “sorry, but you’re now on a gold team.”

  25. Geoff Pegg says:

    Great post Gregor.

    With the lack of collaboration (TD’s, coaches, parents, players) from the outset, really no surprise there appears to be multiple “issues” arising. I will echo one of Colin’s comments – there clearly has not been a deep level of thought/analysis from BC soccer on many of the topics discussed in this forum and elsewhere. The shear number of questions is the best indicator of this lack of forethought.

    Let’s face it, in these times, value for money is at the forefront of family decisions on how they invest in their kids and sports. With the larger price tag associated with HPL, parents naturally compare based on the criteria that matter to them (coaches, travel, training, playing time, fun…). In the decision to keep the metro level, those behind the HPL have provided a comparison point that may often not work in their favour, thus resulting in many of the issues raised in this forum (such as restricting A cup participation).

    Good leadership would dictate that it is never to late to make the right decisions. One can only hope that the powers that be change their process to be inclusive and transparent with any “agendas” set aside for the good of the game and the players.

  26. MJ says:

    Well I don’t think the clubs exactly asked for all this, what do you suggest they do?

    • Steve says:

      I’m a confused parent
      Did the clubs ask for HPL teams? or did they ask for Metro?
      Wouldn’t the clubs that already had tryouts be assured they had a slot/team already in that division?
      What happens if the HPL clubs now get an additional metro team? Parents that couldn’d/wouldn’t pay for HPL can now play metro for less $ and still gain the benifit of being part of an HPL club (what is that benefit anyway?)
      Clubs had a hard time (on the girls side at least )getting qualified players for HPL so what kind of quality will the metro teams be?

      If the “path” is supposed to be to develop the players to be the best they can be what is the difference if a player learns from a volunteer coach or has to pay $2500 + travel etc to get there?

      • X says:

        to me, the “arbitrary granting” of MSL teams to all BCPL clubs makes sense.

        More than one Metro team? Would only make sense if the BCPL team is stacked, the 1st Metro team is very strong and there is a need for a second.

        Does this scenario exist right now somewhere?

        Clubs holding evaluations when it’s not know if a Metro team will even exist? Seems odd for sure. Perhaps the chiefs in thos clubs all but “know” they are getting one but simply can’t / don’t want to announce it officially?

    • MJ says:

      This is from the North Shore Metro program (

      Programs and Team Formation:
      Our Metro Select teams will not be District run programs this year. The teams will be based upon where the players originate from. For example, a WVSC team will be made up of primarily West Van-based players and a NVFC (Boys) or NSGSC (Girls) team will be made up of primarily North Van-based players. District players from the other member Clubs, will have equal opportunity to be selected for an MSL / Tier 2 team, and will be placed on a team based on positional needs and geographic logistics.

      Up until now, the Metro Select League has told Districts that there can only be one team per District at each age group that is guaranteed a spot in the league.

      However, the Clubs / District are now pushing back, and recent events have led us to believe that we will be allowed to enter two teams per age group for boys and girls. (i.e. two Boys U15 and two Girls U15 teams etc.) District Chairs will vote on this issue towards the end of April / beginning of May.

      In the meantime, MSL tryouts are scheduled to begin in early April. The NSYSA has given the Clubs permission to proceed with the formation of two Club-based teams. In other words, where there is sufficient talent at an age group to put together two teams, we will do so.

      We are not 100% certain at this point that we will achieve our goal of two teams per age group for both boys and girls. It is felt, though, that it’s better to proceed this way, rather than forming a single team, and then told that we can have two teams after MSL tryouts have concluded.

      The teams formed from these upcoming tryouts will have Club-appointed coaches. These coaches may be selected from former Metro or Gold team coaching staff, Academy staff or the Clubs’ professional staff.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        With nine boys districts in the lowere mainland does this mean that there could potentially be 18 Select teams at each age group? Wasn’t there supposed to be team limits at each age group? Who decides which district can have more than one if the limits are stil in place? Too many questions, not enough answers.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      I would suggest that the clubs provide open and honest information to the parents/players. Don’t advertise a a product that you are not sure you can deliver.

      They may not have asked for this but it is here and they will be judged on how they handle it and I for one think that many are getting a failing grade.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        MJ, I hadn’t refreshed my screen before to see your post before posting. Many of the clubs are not providing this information. At least the local clubs in my area are not.

  27. Steve says:

    I’m a little bit of an outsider here but is this something you all should be aware of? With talk of being involved and the names (and “voices”) I recognize I would expect this is already known about and someone with some time and interest should be promoted as “in the running”

  28. Sir Alex says:

    People on this blog and elsewhere are starving for information. Misinformation is rampant and rumours are flying fast and furious.

    In order to understand the flow of power, on the girls side, parents should be going to the Girls Metro Soccer League website:

    The GMSL executive is made up of club representatives from each district as follows:
    South District
    North District (2 members)
    Central Fraser Valley (2 members)
    Vancouver (2 members)
    North Shore

    Upper Van Isl
    Lower Van Isl (both of the Island districts have voted not to participate in MSL going forward)

    The district representatives are obligated to vote at the GMSL meetings in line with the direction that they are supposed to get at District Meetings. The District Meetings are where the club representatives come together to get consensus on policy.

    The question that you need to ask your club is what stand they are taking? E-Mail your club President and club executive to let your feelings be known and to express your concern. As parents, we run the clubs and in turn the clubs run the districts and from there, the districts run the leagues. GMSL has no power independently to do anything without the direction of the district, and district takes direction from club…and the ultimate power holder is you who direct your club.

    Tonights meeting is for the District Chairs and representatives from GMSL and Boys Select Leagues. It is to go over proposed rules and to determine who gets in the league. All that I can confidently speak towards is the direction that the North District clubs have given. The direction given our district chair is that we are NOT in favour of the MSL guidelines as currently stated.

    This is significant because it shows that there is a building tide of grassroots displeasure and a desire to debate and get this out in the open. BCSPL is not currently linked to MSL and it should NOT be linked. The non-BCSPL clubs need the autonomy and ability to field MSL teams if they are shut out of BCSPL.

    What direction did your club give your district? It would be interesting to know who is brokering this MSL power concentration play and why the clubs haven’t fought back. Maybe now the tide is turning.

    • Steve says:

      “As parents, we run the clubs and in turn the clubs run the districts and from there, the districts run the leagues”

      Really? In the world I dream of this would be the way it worked…but I spent 50 hrs researching HPL this spring without finding any info through my “club” and no one asked the paying club parents if we wanted to BID for HPL or MERGE with another club or promoted any benifits to being part of HPL. I had to scrape together bit’s and pieces push people to release information all along the way to making my own decision.
      That is a very good question “what direction did my club give?”

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Sir Alex,

      The problem is that parents do not even know these meetings are taking place or what issues are being decided so how can they be expected to give direction to their clubs. The clubs need to get information out to their members so they can have an informed opinion. We as parents have not been provided with the proposed MSL rules that the North District is opposed to. Maybe I would agree with you and maybe I wouldn’t. I can’t answer that until I have all of the relevant information. The MSL, districts and Clubs seem to be jealously guarding this information to prevent us paying members fron actually finding out what is going on.

      • X says:

        Steve & Canadian Spur both have nailed it bang on in a nutshell.

        Steve….little M should just come join us, stop thinking about it and just jump in!

        ; )

      • Steve says:


        OK I’ll move M in the fall for the promised Ipad and a smart car…oh yeah I want a cool track suit as well

      • Post apocolypse says:

        The proposed MSL rules were discussed at a GMSL meeting and revised with feedback from one district that provided feedback. The district was hoping for the revisions to be brought back and discussed but it was not. Hopefully it will be discussed tonight and there can be some consensus.
        The rules were basically a merger of the two leagues. The sticking point seems to be :
        1) How many teams per division.
        2) The district forward the teams to the league. There is no mandate for only district teams, but the league will have a say in which teams are in the league. That criteria could be set at the district level to weed out teams or the league can make the criteria. Previous performance could be a factor. eg. Should a club be granted a team at say….U16 when they had no team at U15? The question is, was this a previous gold team who thumped everyone? Is this a new entity with a bunch of previous U15 MSL team members?
        Not going into that can of worms.
        The question remains do we need another league or can we go with (at least on the girls side) the BCCGSL?

      • Rasta says:


        What does that stand for?

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Uh…just in case you are not being sarcastic, it stands for British Columbia Coastal Girls Soccer League. It’s the sub-Metro League for the six girl districts in the Greater Vancouver area (from Pemberton to Chilliwack)

  29. Sir Alex says:

    Don’t kill the messenger people, I’m trying to get you to realize your power.
    All of the districts are obligated to keep minutes of their meetings. Those minutes are available, but buried and rarely accessed. In truth though, bringing them to light and posting them would reveal a lot (who voted for and against various initiatives…).
    I’d suggest that you all ask for the minutes from your various districts.
    Gregor, maybe your blog could be the central depot for things like this? There really hasn’t been somewhere accessible for people to get access to this kind of detail.
    Can you imagine how much more professional and accountable the district, and chair and league meetings would be if everyone at the table knew their actions were being scrutinized

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Since you appear to be somehow involved in the North District Sir A, are North District minutes posted on their website? And if not, why aren’t they?

      • X says:

        Steve….I will “lend” you an Ipad, arrange a carpool with you in my Nissan and BUY you and M matching tracksuits if that’s what it takes.

      • Sir Alex says:

        I’m just a parent asking questions Spur. I actually fired off the question to my club rep asking for the past 12 months of minutes. When I get them I’ll be more than willing to share.

      • Steve says:

        None of the clubs post the minutes (that I have found so far) You have to request them, provide specific time frames and in some cases the reason you are requesting the information. Very intimidating process. Some of the sites indicate the information is “available for viewing” so obviously you get to sit in front of the executives you are checking up on while you review the info

      • Steve says:

        X As soon as I can see the VALUE for the $$ we will move up. But at this point the benifits of training where I am are far above any program I have seen/read about..I know MSL is lowly 2nd tier but…

    • Gregor says:

      Really don’t think people will forward me minutes from meetings but if they started coming in I’d find a way to post them in a logical area. I’m looking at a different template for this blog so that some topics (like BCPL) can be differentiated.

  30. Mario says:

    Surrey United BCPL website has just added a copy of a letter that supposedly went to all provincial team players for 2011, worth a read
    Provincial Players Letter From BCSA:

    • Steve says:

      Harmonize all levels of programming?
      eliminate congestion and provides greater clarity for all involved?


    • Lugann says:

      Everything except the signature has been blurred over…is it my computer?

    • Valleysoccer says:

      How about ipads for provincial coaches when they attend hpl games. And a vip beer garden for all directors with tracksuits/golf shirt/ adidas runners/
      Gotta do it the bc soccer way
      Ipads will also remind them of leaque/cup games as they sometimes forget A cup games like one provincial coach/hpl td and metro coach. Nothing like neglecting your metro coaching duties and asking a parent to coach. Don’t worry I have a great accent to win them over for another year!! What a great gig lad and advertising for your hpl franchise. Rule#1 must have accent and nothing less than FA badge, these are ice hockey parents

  31. valleysoccer says:

    I hope I am not insulting anyone’s intelligence but I cannot believe this. In the fall expressions of interest are fast tracked for an new elite. HPL franchises with a number of questions relating to the process, vision and organization of the league. In bid presentations, there was NEVER any proposed link or guarantee to the successful applicants they would receive automatic metro teams. I am sorry I cannot think of any successful HPL in its present state that had the ability to competitve HPL team at each age and the depth for an excellent metro team. Correct me if I am wrong, but there maybe exceptions, but the norm is the existing metro teams are flowing into HPL franchises along with individual players from other clubs. So now you do not have the “breaking our doors down” (as proudly stated a couple of months ago by one TD) response from the public and you now are attempting arbritarily to create more favourtism in the metro or second tier. Why as a coach and parent was this “hidden agenda” not communicated in good faith in January or even last month. It seems to many of us, this is now a desperate tactic to “ensure” the talent pool of each HPL franchise is stabilized at each age. Please understand there are still rumblings over the manner of how these franchises were awareded and if a conflict of interest existed. Sorry for my ignorance but where is the transparency and consideration to those clubs who were given district direction to announce metro tryouts. Mr. BC Soccer, your wing it decisions are becoming a public relations nightmare. We all agree change takes time, as this is a transition year and if the BC Soccer/HPL vision long term is to have this type of HPL/Metro link why not be reasonable and understand at this stage this type of announcement maybe further jeapordize the public trust. Just implementing the HPL has already been a huge task which I would respectfully suggest many have mistaken its magnitude of change and scope.
    Though many of us have contributed to bring awareness to the proposed changes we are all in agreement this lack of communication or dialogue is greatly tarnishing youth soccer. As coach, I would strong suggest some flexibility and outreach in the new metro/select alignment be granted as a way of accomadating those who have already selected their teams or in the process of such. I think such a gesture would greatly restore some integrity in the public with regards to the complaints on this blog and others that this is entirely being decided without discussion.
    It is never too late to accept some responsiblity for an idea’s shortcomings and be reasonable in proceeding forward. Otherwise if I see this unfolding to satisfy the selfish agenda’s of some aggresively pursuing this HPL/Metro link immediately you are creating havoc in a framework which you have announced to the public you will reconsider franchises till 2013. The onus should be on the HPL franchises to work with the other non successful club and their metro coaches in a harmonious manner and not be automatically be given this “free metro status by default.” This would allow Hpl clubs to build positive relationships with surrounding clubs and EARN their further rewards in the form of additional quality players

    • Lugann says:

      So the efforts of those u/12 teams who have legitimately qualified for u/13 Metro get the big whatever, because now any club can have, or rather, get the nod/pat on the back…nice work.

      • K says:

        Lugann: I guess if your criteria for success at u12 is “winning” (referring to your “legitimately qualified” statement) then yep the boys can’t move as a group to u13 metro. I guess they have to find another elite environment to play in…..hmmmmm……

    • Rasta says:

      Hey Valley Soccer

      You need to put some space breaks in your manuscript so I can read it more easily. My eyes were starting to water in making sure I was not skipping a line.

      • K says:

        Then you put more effort into it than me. My eyes did blur, did water, and I did skip lines….or maybe my track suit just blinded me?

  32. Steve says:

    isn’t that just more of the same? Clubs consolidating power and not focusing on what is best for the players? not to mention what is best for the PAYING PUBLIC

  33. islandsoccer says:

    finally someone saying what needed to be said! thank you Gregor!

    key points:

    -Vancouver has gone from having 4 tiers of soccer to suddenly having 6 tiers!

    -the lower mainland DOES have room for more teams because the Lower Mainland does have critical mass, HOWEVER, critical mass + club structure DOES NOT equate to more competitive teams!

    – it was a FUNDAMENTAL MISTAKE to keep MSL *AND* HPL! You can rename Gold/Silver/Bronze all you like, you can allow for more OODs, heck you can even allow for more club mergers BUT YOU WILL NOT create more competitive Divisions/leagues below HPL.

    – With the Whitecaps in US Dev that is the logical top team in the development pyramid (in theory) *HOWEVER* as others have said here and on TTP, as long as the expectation is ‘pay to play’ many good players will not rise to the top. In an ideal world (as happens in some of Europe) the Pro ranks or the Federation subsidizes or sets a unified fee rate for member clubs. That is not obtainable in this country and likely never will be.

    – HPL *IS* STILL the Right idea! A reduced number of teams *IS THE RIGHT IDEA*, expecting franchises to place teams in all divisions *IS THE RIGHT IDEA*…the big bang approach probably was misguided.. a phased approach may have been the better idea.

    – BCSA leadership is needed. They should have mandated a HPL based on District teams and private sector providers (aka: TSS)

    – this being the transition year it is a mistake to have a pseudo mini season, the right approach would have been to start in the Fall and define for the transition year three phases (in the standings) then remove a phase in the next season

    – someone needs to revisit U18 or fold it into a u21 league..maybe make u21 part of HPL

    – as for Island, we are in total disarray right now, it is doubtful LISA presidents will be forward thinking enough to adopt the recommendations of their own committee (see ) as for UISA they still have a rogue ‘club’ that wants to be in MSL, sorry but there is just so much talent on the island and you can have HPL (maybe) or you can have MSL… you can’t have both, if UISA has courage they should not sanction UVI into MSL ! They should be encouraging an Island league.

    -As for LISA the silly inner-district transfer rule, with their 75% constitution amending formula will mean that the bid clubs will resist progressive change because player fees mean more to them than does player mobility.

    -my money is on HPL collapsing, MSL being reconstituted and players going to TSS (and the Highlanders on the Island).

  34. Coachrich says:

    Has someone told BCSA that they are out of line with giving or even suggesting to give BCSPL clubs Metro and Select teams?

    Maybe they should Rule 14 –

    a) Teams forming a senior league shall make application for sanction to the Association. The league, once sanctioned, shall be under the jurisdiction of the Association. A league must be composed of a minimum of four (4) teams.
    b) Matches shall not be played until the league constitution, league rules and regulations and league member teams are approved by the Association, Senior League or Youth District having jurisdiction.
    [b]c) A league is not entitled to alter its constitution or rules and regulations without the consent of the Association, Senior League and/or Youth District having jurisdiction.[/b]
    d) Leagues and teams must not play matches other than those comprising the league schedule without the prior consent of the Association, Senior League and/or Youth District having jurisdiction
    e) Leagues are not permitted to run cup competitions without the prior consent of the Association, Senior League and/or Youth District having jurisdiction
    f) Senior Leagues or Youth Districts wishing to sponsor a tournament must obtain the consent of the Association.
    g) Leagues shall pay match fees as are approved of by the Association, Senior League and/or Youth District having jurisdiction, to referees and assistant referees officiating in their matches. Officials shall neither ask for nor receive a larger fee than that fixed.
    h) Youth Districts forming an inter-district youth league shall make application annually for sanction to the Association 45 days before commencement of the season. The inter-district league shall be under the jurisdiction of the districts in whose areas they will operate. An inter-district youth league must be comprised of a minimum of four (4) teams.

    It would seem the Youth Districts have a lot to say in what happens with the leagues.

    Further one needs to read the BCSA Constitution as it’s doubtful that BCSA has any authority to form or run a league as their mandate is to govern and sanction the sport at the pleasure of the voting members.

  35. Gregor says:

    Some odds and ends:

    * South Fraser struggling to field at least one BCPL boys team; actively looking for players from other areas
    * Not one Fusion FC BCPL has had strong interest from Richmond players; Richmond players, en masse, are expressing almost no interest in Fusion.
    * Strong concerns on the Island about upcoming BCPL tryouts as there is already very weak demand for Y League. Traditionally Island Y League teams roll over to become the top tier team in Metro and it’s expected that this will be the case for BCPL.
    * BCSA letter to Provincial team players exhorting them to play at the highest level they can is not nearly as damning as was thought. There’s nothing that could be called ‘coercion’ in that.
    * But the email that has gone out to some players from one franchise warning them that playing up a year at Metro is a little different. While there is nothing threatening in it, it points out that it would be a difficult process for such a team to get permission to play up a year at Metro and it could lead to a dead end and that would only be known after it’s too late to try for a BCPL team. It’s true and factual but clearly tries to draw players to BCPL.
    * Abby had 5 players attend their first U15 girls evaluation. Strong concern about being able to field a team at this age group.
    * Currently, 11 girls teams are planning to enter in the U17/U18 girls BCPL division with 13 on the boys side. That means only three franchises plan to field a second, purely U17 team, on the girls side and five on the boys side. Expect the girls side to lose at least one more. This league is not 1995 born – friendly.

    And yesterday was the second busiest day ever, traffic wise, on this site. Busiest was the day franchises were awarded.

    • Colin Elmes says:

      Richmond- here is my guess.

      Sit in the weeds while the first year of Fusion FC spins its wheels and struggles to compete and populate teams( girls side in particular) then in 2012 when the powers that be are looking around for answers to improve the Van Rich entity someone will swoop in and white night this environment back on track( lets call that person Doug) with a plan and infusion from coaching staff who are currently on the sidelines. This will just happen to run parallel with the new but not completed disclosed park booking policy in Richmond which has removed the 60% residency requirements moving forward.

      • Rasta says:

        And remember White Knight it (you) would do well to start learning to include the coaches input before a decision is made so that they are on board.

        Just like HPL, a good idea can be made better with input from the people on the ground – the coaches. Believe it or not, they have a good relationship with the parents and will actively sell a good idea.

        I think for the most part (and most coaches will agree) coaches do care to improve things for league and players and will do so when they feel they have some input in good ideas that White (phrase only) Knights put forth…help make a good idea better.

        What do you say White Knights in Vancouver and Richmond. Meet with the coaches and (and some parent reps) and let’s make a good (but broken) idea better.


      • RR says:

        All sounds rather Machiavellian — the kind of thing only a lawyer might come up with…

    • K says:

      Richmond players mostly playing metro then next year? Vancouver FC has had good metro teams, so they should have a decent Vancouver-core BCSPL team(s) should they not?

      I realize the purpose of the arrangement was to make the Van-Rich squad that much stronger by combining though.

      I have heard the same re: SYL in Victoria. Also consider the Highlanders influence/effect. I have been in contact with Highlanders on other matters and it seems they have teams for a number of age groups which overlap/coincide with SYL/BCSPL groups.

      Yes, it seems the girls side is the biggest issue.

      PS-time to start putting ads on the site and making some coin GY!

      • Gregor says:

        Already got some sniping at me starting to happen over this blog. Putting ads on here would only increase that. Only mentioned the traffic to point out that the interest level in BCPL has not gone down now that franchises are up and running and teams are being formed. Average daily traffic is 40% higher in April so far than it was in February and March.

      • K says:

        Was just kidding about the ads of course!

      • Gregor says:

        Not kidding about people who are wishing this blog would just go away

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      * But the email that has gone out to some players from one franchise warning them that playing up a year at Metro is a little different. While there is nothing threatening in it, it points out that it would be a difficult process for such a team to get permission to play up a year at Metro and it could lead to a dead end and that would only be known after it’s too late to try for a BCPL team. It’s true and factual but clearly tries to draw players to BCPL.

      Which email is that?

      * Currently, 11 girls teams are planning to enter in the U17/U18 girls BCPL division with 13 on the boys side. That means only three franchises plan to field a second, purely U17 team, on the girls side and five on the boys side. Expect the girls side to lose at least one more. This league is not 1995 born – friendly.

      OK I know the U18 thing has been turned over more times than a home-cooked burger but can you confirm that the ‘latest’ is that teams can field up to two teams in the U17/18 ‘division’ but if they do, the second team must be U17 only? And that U18 will still be ending after Competition Phase 1?


      • Gregor says:

        The email was forwarded to me. I think there’s a difference between the letter from BCSA to Provincial team players (which has now been widely circulated and posted on club websites like the Surrey United BCPL site) and an email that was sent by an individual to a small number of players. In other words, I don’t think it’s right that I say who sent the email, who it was sent to or the specific contents.

        My understanding is that what you say about U17/U18 is still the case but it’s just another example of people who want this to work and want to be informed having no official communication about important details despite the fact that teams are being formed and cheques are being cashed at this stage of the BCPL process. This league has got to appoint a communications person and get a website up with official info.

  36. Canadian Spur says:

    Does anyone know what (if anything) was decided at the MSL meetings lat night?

    • Gregor says:

      I’ve emailed the VYSA Chair and a rep who was likely there and asked what was discussed and passed. If anyone else knows though, it would be great to hear what happened as it has far reaching implications for many players.

      • rose says:

        Gregor, are you going to start a new thread when you are passed any verified info re MSL decisions?

      • Gregor says:

        what kind of MSL info? All I can really do with this current template is separate by category and tags.

      • rose says:

        The meeting referred to above where their decisions will have ‘far reaching implications…’ 😉
        I guess someone will eventually post at the very bottom…

  37. Paul Chapman says:

    That Richmond scenario shows exactly what is wrong with this whole process, people manipulating things for their own benefit and own interests. If Richmond weren’t interested in the process, why even partner with Vancouver? If this was going to be the outcome Vancouver, and the players (god forbid anyone think of them) would have been much better off going in partnership with Burnaby.

    • Both Sides of the Fence says:

      In terms of Richmond’s participation, or lack thereof, my guess is that the overriding sentiment is something along these lines:

      * We have good/excellent programming in place with professional coaching for all of our high level teams.
      * Every training session and home game is on a turf field which is always open and in good condition.
      * Depending on where I live in Richmond, it takes me 1 to 20 minutes to get to practice 3 or 4 times a week.
      * We have a very good stable of qualified and committed Metro and Gold coaches.
      * The BCSPL season is in direct conflict with my other favourite high-level sport which I’m not yet prepared to give up.

      Why would I leave all that to travel great lengths to train and play for a coach I may not know very well and pay 300% to 400% more for the experience? And all of the PTP players in my age group are playing on the same team and I’m not particularly excited at the thought of getting waxed by them every 7th game.

      There are probably good reasons to leave all of the above behind and go play for a BCSPL team, but I would humbly suggest that no one has articulated enough good reasons to the customer base for them to do so. I don’t think people in Richmond are against the BCSPL. They just don’t see any or enough good reasons to move to it.

      And the notion that people in Richmond are acting in any sort of coordinated and organized fashion is severely misplaced. I’ve had easier times herding the cats at the cat shelter than trying to get Soccer Parents to do anything in a coordinated fashion. Do you know of any Soccer Parent who makes decisions based on the good of the club or association or district? In my experience, parents make decisions based on what they feel is best for their individual child. Period.

      We have it pretty good here. Give the people good reasons to change what they’re doing and they’ll consider it. And threatening to shut off access to PTP, NTC, Prospects, A Cup and other stuff are not good reasons. That’s just taking your ball and going home with it.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        I am not suggesting people are acting in this way in Richmond. I am suggesting a person. Whether that person helps BCPL get traction in Richmond down the road remains to be seen

      • Valleysoccer says:

        Very well articulated “both sides of the fence ” as the hpl board must be scratching their heads that some of these parents have brains!!!!

        I guess these discrediting theories of collective resistance or secret meetings are becoming more and more baseless fear tactics

        Time to hire a business consultant for hpl as the “toothpaste is now on the ipads, business cards and track suits.”

        Someone with objectivity and arms length away who will “guide” this product in the right direction.

        The td’s are not business people and nor are the board when they represent the franchises’s interest/agenda.

      • Rasta says:

        Whoever you are Both Sides of the Fence

        You are right on!!!

        By the way could the Fusion TD have helped “Fused” the relationship between the namesakes of the Fusion?

        Could the Richmond ‘person’ have helped “Fused” the relationships between the namesakes of the Fusion?


      • Paul Chapman says:

        1. The same conditions as all those you mentioned existed for kids in Vancouver and they participated.
        2. Why partner with Vancouver then? The participation is bordering on less than 10 per cent, why not just stay in Metro and let the kids who want to go, go.

      • Colin Elmes says:


        No one asked the soccer consumer in Richmond. Nor did they ask them in Vancouver or anywhere for that matter. That is why this thing is spinning in the wind. No one bothered to check with the actual people who would populate these environments if this was a product worth producing

      • valleysoccer says:

        Blame it all on Colin and TSS

        What a political spin machine TSS has become. Colin, do you put something in the TSS water fountains to have this much influence.
        I am going to ask our Liberal Party to nominate you in Richmond, much easier than becoming a BC Soccer Board of Director.
        Colin for MLA, oh the HPL guys will be steaming. Maybe you will then get a franchise too !!!!!!

      • Both Sides of the Fence says:

        1. The same conditions as all those you mentioned existed for kids in Vancouver and they participated.

        So my question would be why Vancouver kids have participated in such proportionally large numbers? If things are as good in Vancouver as they are in Richmond, why move to HPL?

        I can personally attest to the fact that I have not felt any coordinated coercion on the part of anyone associated with Richmond soccer. That may be because I’m hopelessly out of the loop, but I have not had any conversations with anyone where we it was suggested that we not support Fusion.

    • Valleysoccer says:

      While your on this subject why give a franchise to south Fraser if you objectively ask what have they accomplished in past 5 years (peace arch/semi) their metro teams are always in the bottom half.

      So their player pool is average at best with the present metro and now are scrambling for players. Many of there coaching appointments are recruitment based rather than focusing on merit. Some even call it Uk united.

      So why give an hpl franchise to an entity which is not successful at present? I do
      not seem to understand the logic when you compare this to the other franchises such as metro ford. Where is the standard of excellence at south Fraser in present programing?

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        I’m not sure its at all relevant what measure of success the local pre-franchise soccer club has had. Franchises were not awarded on that basis, and should not have been, so the selection panel got that right. Which is not to say that we agree wholeheartedly with the criteria that was used but that’s different story.

    • Rasta says:

      Not a good idea Paul.

      We just have to have the courage to sit down and roll up the sleeves to get it to work. Better representation from both Richmond and Vancouver – coaches, and a parent rep or two.

      The courage!!!

      So forget that Burnaby/Vancouver idea. Or Gregor will be telling us about busy his blog got on that topic.

      • Paul Chapman says:

        I am not suggesting Vancouver do anything with Burnaby now. I am suggesting that with the lack of support in Richmond, they should not have been so forthwith on joining with a franchise, and at the time Vancouver and Burnaby were talking about partnering. If Richmond weren’t interested in participating, then Vancouver would have been better off going with Burnaby. Spilled milk and all that now though and I”m focussed on making this the best experience it can be for kids at all levels instead of complaining about it.

  38. Colin Elmes says:

    The guys from Sportstown Fc would have let this happen! 😉

  39. soccerconfusion says:

    This league is joke at the older age groups!! They should have started small with only the U-13 andU-14 age groups, then move up an age every year until you get to U-18. As it is now, kids and parents would be stupid to pay $2500 to for a watered down U-17 and U-18 division. By the way, are they not supposed to be seperate divisions (17, 18)? All they have accomplished is ruining the last year or two of youth soccer for those involved in Metro/Selects!!

    Rasta, is it 100% sure your girls will be staying in Metro?

    • Rasta says:

      May I be so bold as to answer.

      Do you have a daughter looking for U-18 (U-17) team to try out for?

      • Canadian Spur says:

        I do…But Richmond is a long drive 🙂

      • soccerconfusion says:

        I have a daughter on the Langley team that played your girls. We went out for tryouts with Langley’s U17 HPL team. Pretty much the same girls with 8-10 from other teams. Everybody just wants to stay together, but paying $2400 for that privlege is ridiculous. Also will now lose one of our top players because she is a top notch track athlete, and track season runs at the same time as this stupid new league will.

  40. Gordon Johnson says:

    I don’t understand why Richmond players would not participate in and support THEIR OWN Vancouver/Richmond BCSPL franchise to make it successful?

    • Gregor says:

      I’ve just asked that very question, in a slightly longer email that involved liberal use of bold type and italics, of the VYSA Chair. Extended the question to include why east side players are not buying in to Fusion or VFC Metro teams.

      • RR says:

        It would be interesting to know how much involvement (personnel, coaches, etc.) Richmond (or the east side clubs) have in VR Fusion. Was it a merger in name only, or is there a good degree of inclusion/collaboration?

      • Gregor says:

        Very little to none. At this stage knowing some specifics about rosters and who has been attending tryouts, it is a ‘merger’ in name only. There is great disappointment and frustration regarding this at the Vancouver end.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Wouldn’t it be better to ask Aiman El Ramly (

      • Rasta says:

        Oh by the way Gregor.

        The article was well done.

    • Rasta says:

      Yes Gordon

      Gregor has explained quite well why the girls could/would/may/woundn’t choose Metro over HPL.

      Gordon what age is your daughter and where would she play – if you may be so bold?

    • Rasta says:


      That would be interesting to find out how much involvement.

      • RR says:

        I’m not well connected at either end of the VR spectrum, but I didn’t recognize any names from Richmond among the Fusion coaches. I may stand corrected, and that was why I asked Gregor.

        “Both Sides of the Fence” made some excellent points earlier –and those coupled with the lack of any degree of Richmond “identity” within Fusion would be my best guess for the lack of enthusiasm.

        PC seems to think this is being orchestrated, but in my view it’s more plausible that the reluctance is symptomatic of poor planning, and not causal.

    • Rasta says:

      “Both Sides of the Fence”.

  41. Valleysoccer says:

    Congrats to rasta for having three of his players selected for residency . Not bad for a metro coach who has continually developed good technical teams and never acknowledged by bc soccer. Rasta man I would nominate you but the rules clearly stipulate the districts must forward your name.
    Maybe we can introduce TSS coaching awards .

    Congrats once again and the public respects your contribution to youth soccer.

    • X says:

      re: Valley Soccer’s comment of

      “While your on this subject why give a franchise to south Fraser if you objectively ask what have they accomplished in past 5 years (peace arch/semi) their metro teams are always in the bottom half.

      So their player pool is average at best with the present metro and now are scrambling for players. Many of there coaching appointments are recruitment based rather than focusing on merit. Some even call it Uk united.

      So why give an hpl franchise to an entity which is not successful at present? I do
      not seem to understand the logic when you compare this to the other franchises such as metro ford. Where is the standard of excellence at south Fraser in present programing?”

      X commentary now –
      One thing to maybe keep in mind that I think I’m picking up on here, is the perceived success / legitimacy with the BCPL ( & BCPL Metro combo ) so far to date seems to really differ from Club to Club and even moreso between the divisions.

      IE; one club over here at the U17G level is in a shambles and this club over there at U13B seems to be falling apart, there are certainly mixed in there, age groups / divisions at various clubs where things look great.
      It seems that many of the clubs have “holes” that seem to be problem areas, such as inadequate numbers at a certain gender / age group.

      I just throw this out there so parents don’t think that it is a complete gong show top to bottom because I don’t think that is accurate.

      Not picking on Valley Soccer but rather just using his comment as a one single example; his comment about South Fraser above, he is clearly speaking of what he knows based on certain divisions.

      I personally feel that the U13G & U14G squads look great. ( & yes I know the U14G BC team connection & no, my kid isn’t on either team )

      I’m just pointing out that I don’t think that’s its healthy or even accurate for us to think that every division within every club is a mess as I don’t think this is true. The commentators here are all in different communities and are parents or coaches of players of both genders, at all ages, all I’m saying is that our experiences maybe shouldn’t be lumped together too much.

      The fact that the U16Boys squad in North Van has only 6 players at evaluations doesn’t mean the U15Girls in Coquitlam is a mess.

      Each Club definitely seems to have “holes” as well as areas of high quality depending on the player pool at that age group / gender, the coach of that specific team, etc.

      Know what I mean?
      Baby…bathwater? Tis all I’m trying to say.

      • valleysoccer says:

        I live in the south fraser community and am quite tapped into the “tactics” being employed at the grassroots level. You must realize these franchises were awarded to EXISTING clubs not new entities.
        So my legitimate criticism is why risk awarding a elite soccer franchise to an area which has no record of consistent success or achievement as per the past five years of Metro/GMSL standings? Why award this franchise if the player pool is going to come OUTSIDE of their bid application club player profile and those of secondary partners.

        Yes I understand there are no district boundaries etc, but part of this regional separation of franchises was based on the premise there are existing talent pools in each franchise which provide the core/foundation. The under 13 and 14 girls I would agree with and you acknowledge how the 14’s arrived at south fraser.

        I understand there are holes with every franchise at a particular level due to the HPL’s infancy. But if we compare this to Surrey United, Metro Ford or North Shore/Burnaby it simply is not on the same standard.
        This is compounded further now by the questionable coaching selections which are not bringing in players in large numbers.

        I am just explaining a fact which is readily available for everyone to see on the Metro/Select standings this year. A criticism also expressed on the coaching selections by many publicly and privately.

    • Rasta says:

      Do it becaue I love it.

      And I’m good at it.

  42. valleysoccer says:


    If regional representation was not a indirect criteria, then why not give the franchise to TSS as they would have attracted players from all over the lower mainland.

    My point is there was an expectation that each franchise would have a base of talent to begin with, which in my opinion simply did not exist at South Fraser.

    I believe they are the one franchise which is heavily reliant on players outside their bid application.

    • X says:

      good point Valleysoccer but between you me and the goalpost this brings us full circle doesn’t it. ( at least in my daughters age group ).
      SF and SU in my mind were expecting to be drawing on ( splitting ) a pretty good sized pool of talent counting just Surrey alone, north to south, but….a large group of players have chosen to not come out at all.

      Had they, the numbers and talent would be different. It’s the fact that many didn’t come that may have shorted their ( SF ) expectations?

      ** speaking only of my own daughters age group.

  43. X says:

    Thanks Valley Soccer, it’s clear you’re more in tune with the South Fraser dynamics than I and perhaps I should have more clear or maybe not copied your entire previous comment into mine.
    My point was really not SF specific ( although the U13 & 14G are an example ) but rather an overall ( all clubs ) comment on how they each have strong and weak divisions.

    I suspect this is true no?
    Eg; is SF weak in all other div’s other than the two I mentioned? Or are there varying degrees of strength / weakness throughout?

    This is my main point; that Mr & Mrs Jones and their 15 year old boy in Coquitlam shouldn’t necessarily get too worked up about the BCPL as a concept just because they hear that the U16B team coach in North Van is terrible and the turnout is bad.

    This is really my message, that for the layman reader here it may appear that nothing BCPL is working, that every team is on the verge of crumbling when I don’t think this is accurate.
    Any blog is certainly where things fall under a microscope and get hyper dissected…as it has here.

    ** This not to say that we don’t have some of the most knowledgeable individuals commenting here, I realize we do.

    • Steve says:

      I am not as concerned with who has a weak team at what level. I want to know what my kid will gain for all that expense

      • X says:

        for sure, like most rational parents I too am not concerned about the team necessarily being “good” or “bad”, winning or losing, I’m concerned about developing my kid, she’s going pro after all ; ) but if the quality of the talent is reflective of ( because of ) the turnout ( or lack there of ) to evaluations then it IS a real factor.

        Of course I’m referring to again, having the elite train and compete together.

        Is this MORE important than having the right coach, likely not but we can’t say that it has no importance. If it didn’t matter at all then we could just assign the best coach to the squad and simply pick the players names randomly from a Metro, Gold, Silver & House league hat to form the teams.

        Simply put, I think Valley Soccer and I agree on this point and I’ll quote him;
        “here was an expectation that each franchise would have a base of talent to begin with, which in my opinion simply did not exist at…”

        Another thought that I could relate to your situation specifically Steve is that, not all players and parents are coming from the same ( or equal ) place when looking to BCPL.
        IE; some are coming from a club team where they have been for the past one, two or five seasons and their coach is of a very high calibre, some have had coaches who have been terrible and others somewhere in the middle.

        This would make the decision to move process very different for each of them.
        IE; ( am I using IE too much? ) the “upgrade” in coaching cannot be the same for all. ( for a lucky few, maybe it wouldn’t even be an upgrade? )
        Some parents may be correct that the upgrade from your current and past coach(es) may be minimal to none whereas the parent in another club may be getting a huge upgrade by making the move and investing the bigger money.

        The perception is real for some?

        Just a thought.

      • Steve says:

        That is exactly the case. If I was getting a significant upgrade in quality of training I wouldn’t hesitate to move to (HPL/BCSPL/EABCSPL did I miss any?)but as it stands I would get lower quality training. maybe getting my kid “exposure” will be more important in the coming years but at U13 it seems more important that she learn the game and have fun doing it

  44. K says:

    It might be worthwhile to have some discussion about how South Fraser can be supported as it is in everyone’s best interest that the “elite” level of soccer in BC be successful for our youth and adult programs (PDL, PCSL – eventual (semi)pro Canadian League’s Pacific Conference….I dream, I dream).

    One suggestion I have is “combines” of some sort. Not showcase tournaments for scouts (though I support that also), but combines run by the coaching staffs of the clubs or by the TD’s of the franchises?

    • Colin Elmes says:

      K- this type of stuff needs leadership. Dont know if you noticed but as this thing has spun its wheels there is no leaders to be found

  45. Dave Ipcress says:

    Surely, the problem here is BCSA. Why can’t we have a different SA for BC? A competitor. One that is actually interested in promoting the game at a competitive and recreational level, one that actually administers the game across the province with a single set of rules, one where the boundaries are the municipalities, one where there are no club differences. If competition between clubs, districts and leagues were eliminated we could all go back to playing soccer.

    My son could then play at his level, at his local club or with a coach he enjoys. You can’t make him play BCPL, Select or Gold — you have to entice him. You also need to keep him happy. I hate the politics in this beautiful game.

    • Coachrich says:

      The problem is the whole soccer structure in Canada and who is running it. Basically too much politics, fiefdoms, BS, forgetting about the kids and love of sport.

      The BCSPL issue is the committee gave franchises to the status quo. Hence the BCSPL is a newly named league being run by those who have had decades of running the structure to reshape the sports structure for the benefit of the kids and their development but they haven’t have they.

      Under Sports Canada they only recognize 1 National Sports Organization (CSA) who in turn only recognizes 1 PSO (Provincial Sports Organization) in each province and territory. BC at one time was 2 organizations, one for youth and one for adults but they had to be 1 to be sanctioned by Sports Canada.

      Hence because of this there is basically only 1 youth pathway whereas in the US there are 4 different youth associations which offer the family different levels of competition and recreational soccer.

      US Youth Soccer – rec and competitive
      AYSO – rec everyone plays
      SAYS – academy league, this would be TSS
      US Club Soccer – rec and competitive

      Image of USSF Structure is here –

      On how wacky the sport is, today is was revealed that the CSA is facing suspension by FIFA.

      This has to do with a long term saga in Alberta over a fiefdom that the Reformers took on in the courts and won. Issue is, FIFA and the CSA have a no court clause that they want mandated at all levels. Problem is the Alberta Appeals court has already told the CSA everyone has a right to access the courts under the CCRF and that threatening people who us the courts with discipline maybe a criminal act. You can read more here –

      Soccer Suffragist –
      Canadian Soccer News –
      Reform Alberta Soccer –

      In all likelihood the Federal government and the courts will be involved as it deals with the CCRF and the current Alberta Appeals judgement.

      And you thought the BCSA and it’s BCSPL has problems 😉

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Well fry me in oil and call me crispy. May as well move to the Excited States. I hear my dollar is worth something down there. Give me a call Colin if you’re ever in Southern Cal and need a spare.

    • Colin Elmes says:

      Wont happen Dave. After 76 Olympics Provincial Sport Orgs given monopoly power in their jurisdictions. “Canada Club Soccer” ( to mirror US Club Soccer) was a group a few years ago( with Whitecap involvement) who looked at creating a “WHA” to the current “NHL” of soccer. Walked away from it even after lawyers looked into its formation.

  46. Valleysoccer says:


    Don’t ever say never. If this chaos continues Bc soccer and the hpl will soon be called upon by the public and others to be accountable.

    Just had.a meeting with some senior government people and they asked how’s soccer. My comment “don’t get me started”

    You can’t keep acting above accountability forever!!!! Change will occur if the public is

    • Colin Elmes says:


      Go See Coach Rich post above. you want to try and undue that structure we will see it all finally change from our retirement homes…..

  47. southofthefraser says:


    Can’t say that I agree with everything but a great post nonetheless. You’ve truly mastered the art of stirring the pot ; )

    160+ comments.., most of them oddly well reasoned and articulated.

    …and the war of words rages on

    • Gregor says:

      I truly am not trying to stir the pot. Every day the ramifications of the new league run deeper and deeper yet there is a wall of silence from those running BCPL. My hope is this discussion spurs them on to quickly and effectively address the concerns being raised here.

  48. valleysoccer says:

    Blame it all on Colin and TSS

    What a political spin machine TSS has become. Colin, do you put something in the TSS water fountains to have this much influence.
    I am going to ask our Liberal Party to nominate you in Richmond, much easier than becoming a BC Soccer Board of Director.
    Colin for MLA, oh the HPL guys will be steaming. Maybe you will then get your committee appointment and HPL franchise too !!!!!!

    I think our mla’s do have IPAD II’s also.
    Just imagine MLA Colin with his crew cut, and business suit being the main speaker at the BC Soccer Convention. Oh my god, some of the directors just _____ their pants.

  49. soccerconfusion says:

    Can anybody fully explain why the HPL even needed to be formed? The way I see it, things were not broke, so why try and fix it?

    –It’s a well known fact that playing several sports before settling on one sport is way better for an athlete than playing one sport for 10-11 months a year. The way it is now, kids can play at a top level of soccer for half a year, then do other things, or continue playing if they desire (SYL, etc.) There are a bunch of kids out there who play soccer almost all year who can’t tie the boots of kids who only play 6 months. With HPL, good athletes will be lost because of the cost, desire for time to do other things, and the new schedule messing up activities. This results in less quality players playing top level soccer.

    –The HPL league schedule is pathetic. Teams play from March to July, during which time the Provincial Cup will be played. Well, after that all the league games played from Sept. to Nov. are absolutely meaningless!! The Cup is all that matters so who really cares if you win the league if a team that you play against has won a Provincial Cup and possibly a National Championship. Half the league schedule will be gorified exibition games!!

    –In adult soccer, as well as youth, I’ve always heard the argument that the rest of the country has an advantage at Nationals because they are playing all summer. What the HPL proposes is that after Provincials there will be a month long break, then pick up again in August to prepare for the remaining “league” games, with teams going to Nationals in October. Excuse me, but is that not more or less what we are doing now? Of course it is, with the exception being that right now league games and Coastal Cup games only go until late April instead of late June(?) in the HPL.
    On a side note, playing on turf (which I believe all the HPL franchises will be doing) in hot, 85 degree weather reeeeeeaaaalllly makes for ideal soccer conditions!!! Keep the soccer that matters in the fall to spring schedule. If it’s good enough for the rest of the world, why not us here in B.C.?

    –Lastly, with the Whitecaps plucking boys from U14 on up to their development teams and the Whitecaps also taking the best U17 and U18 girls to a development program, the HPL is not about the best playing with and against the best. It’s exactly the same as what we have now, only at 3-4 times the cost. It’s a money-gouging waste of time and will not develop more players than are being developed now. A bunch of players will be there because their parents will pay the freight, even though they are not good, and don’t have the athletic ability to ever be good.

    • APL says:

      While I agree that playing multiple sports can be beneficial to athletic ability I find the comment “There are a bunch of kids out there who play soccer almost all year who can’t tie the boots of kids who only play 6 months.” a little exaggerated.

      Knowing most of the boys who play in Metro and then Y-league, I honestly cant think of a player that does not participate in these two leagues and then who runs circles around everyone in league play, which is what your comment surely would suggest.

      As to the final line of your post “A bunch of players will be there because their parents will pay the freight, even though they are not good, and don’t have the athletic ability to ever be good.” who knows how a player can develop and hopefully blossum under good coaching. “ever” is a long time.

      • soccerconfusion says:

        Exaggerated maybe. All I know is that over the years I’ve seen kids that play their regular winter soccer, then play spring soccer, or go to camps, or play SYL and then come back the following season with a worse first touch, slower, etc. than kids that have thrown the boots in the closet for 6 months and played lacrosse, or basketball, or baseball. The point I was making is that some good soccer players/ athletes will not commit to playing for 10-11 months if it isn’t their number one sport but by playing the current 7 months or so they keep the quality up overall.
        As for my other comment, I should have clarified that I was talking about 16-17 year old kids, not 12 year olds. If your 17 and slow, then it’s the old saying “you can’t teach speed” and you won’t ever be fast. With the low turnouts at the older age groups, inferior kids will be picked to fill out rosters.

    • TM says:

      ” It’s a well known fact that playing several sports before settling on one sport is way better for an athlete than playing one sport for 10-11 months a year….There are a bunch of kids out there who play soccer almost all year who can’t tie the boots of kids who only play 6 months”

      Really?? So you truly believe Rooney, Ronaldo, Messi, etc. were playing anything other than soccer as kids? Somehow, I can’t see those guys playing softball and football in their (1 month) off season but if you say so…. Or maybe we should wonder how much better they would have been if only they had a lacrosse league around…

      Please..Exposure to multiple sports is excellent for the general population but there is absolutely no evidence that it maximizes the potential of high performance athletes. Actually, early specialization is the norm outside of North America and, BTW, U14 generally would not be considered as “early”.

      I do agree with lots of points raised over the (poor) implementation of the HPL, its shaky value proposition, etc. but this “less is more” argument is so far off the charts that it’s no even funny….

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        “Exposure to multiple sports is excellent for the general population but there is absolutely no evidence that it maximizes the potential of high performance athletes.”

        While I don’t disagree with most of what you say, this statement is offside. There is in fact, plenty of evidence. To wit:

        In particular, check the references below the article.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        As implied in other posts above, the primary reason, in my opinion, that soccer in Canada fails (relative to our investment/population/socio-economic status that is) is that, like it or not, our identity is not about soccer. Never has been. We are a winter sports-oriented, hockey-first nation, an identity further cemented after last year’s Olympics. We know it, and the world knows it too. Ex-patriot world-class football coaches are simply not drawn to Canada. Soccer may be more popular among the youth of the country but that’s just economics – its cheaper to play and requires far less infrastructure. And while this argument addresses the national soccer ‘crisis’, the effect trickles down to the provinces. Some would say it pours. What is our ultimate purpose in leagues like the BCSPL? Increasing BC presence on national teams? Because that’s what’s going to move our 83rd in the world rank up to 27? Really? Or increasing the number of BC-born Whitecaps? There are times when everything seems so hopelessly confusing or confusingly hopeless that I just don’t want to think about it and instead just watch the NHL playoffs…because that’s who we are. This is one of those times.

      • Gregor says:

        I think that’s why my approach is to “enjoy now” more than “chase the future”. I have a daughter who’s a good player. Not great but at a level that with my knowledge of how things work and who decision makers are, I could drive her around to tryouts and wedge her into a BCPL squad desperate to fill out their roster with increasingly hard to find 1995 born players. She’s technically strong and smart with the ball but below average speed and not nearly ‘hard’ enough to be effective at this level. Some team would take her though.

        But why do that?

        As Phil says, to what end? Even if she blossomed and was good enough to get one of these cherished US scholarships, frankly I don’t want my kid going to school in Nebraska or Missouri, or North Carolina. We live next to one of the best universities in the world and eventually all these kids, especially the girls because pro soccer is even less an option for them than the boys, have to decide where to live and work. How may people from the Lower Mainland really want to leave for greener pastures? Yeah, almost none. So if your kid is almost certainly going to end up living here and having to compete and find a job here, does that Cornhusker degree really measure up well in this job market with a UVic, SFU or UBC degree. Of course not.

        The absolute best players from here rarely make a career of this game. You have to go back to buys like Mark Watson and Mark Rogers to find players who actually made a living over an extended period of time in Europe. There are some scraping by in lower divisions, bouncing from team to team and while I’m hardly up to scratch on all the national team players, I’m pretty sure that the ones we have in Europe right now who are doing well are not from Vancouver. On the women’s side, the most famous Canadian players ever make about the same annual salary as an entry level secretary.

        So I’m quite happy to keep my kid at a level where she contributes to her team’s effort, gets reasonable playing time, enjoys the game, plays on a team with friends that serve as a second social network to school and save enough money compared to higher levels of play so it’s financially viable for us to do something like our trip to Spain which provides life long memories and broadens their horizons.

        I just want to clarify that I think most of the kids pursuing BCPL are the ones suited for it. I just have never understood the minority of parents chasing levels of play that their kids aren’t suited for and won’t enjoy. It’s not worth the tracksuit.

      • Everton#1 says:

        In the last two years two of my friends kids were given full ride scholarships to play hockey in Minnesota and Michigan. First questions out of the recruiters mouths were “we know you have a great talent for hockey but what other sports do you play”. Focus is obviously on one sport but they are also looking for some well rounded kids. Agree as you get older single sport needs to become more focused but telling 12 year old kids to choose a sport wont get you too far. IMHO.

      • TM says:

        Phil, we can beat this dead horse forever but just wanna point that almost all studies don’t refer to that minuscule minority of the children that become elite athletes AND that all counter-examples of the latter that I have seen focus in athletes of N. Am. sports (which arguably have more in common with each other from a biomechanical standpoint than, say, soccer). To take an (radical I know) example out of soccer, do you think multisports help one become an olympic level gymnast?

        Anyhow, I can point you to many scholar studies (in portuguese) focusing on soccer and while they DO condemn specialization of pre-teens most agree that the starting point of exclusive training in soccer should be by 12-13 years old (U13-U14, just like Metro and HPL). And forget us geeks, look at the reality of professional soccer players and tell me how many you think went the “I’ll just play 6months a year” route?

        So that’s why the original post got me going, of all issues we can have with the HPL, age of entry and length of season are NOT problems IMHO, if what we are trying to accomplish with it is take some steps to level the playing field with other countries re development of elite (Olympic, MNT, Pro) soccer players.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        She’s (He’s)technically strong(ok maybe a stretch) and smart( yah OK) with the ball but below average speed(most definately) and not nearly ‘hard’ enough to be effective at this level(didnt get Dads genes here). Some team would take her(him) though(SW Marine Drive Dolphins).

        Flashback- Gregor Young circa 1981

      • Gregor says:

        She’s (He’s)technically strong(ok maybe a stretch) and smart( yah OK) with the ball but below average speed(most definately) and not nearly ‘hard’ enough to be effective at this level(didnt get Dads genes here). Some team would take her(him) though(SW Marine Drive Dolphins).

        Flashback- Gregor Young circa 1981

        First paragraph about as accurate as the last line (ie. NOT). 1984 was the year we played together at SW Marine Dolphins. Still have no idea why I’ve got this tag as being slow…

      • Colin Elmes says:

        So I am off by a couple years. You seem to have a better memory of our time together than I do 😉

      • Brendan Quarry says:

        re: “enjoy now”. Very well said, Gregor. All parents of young female players should read your post over and over again. As Colin always says, “kids today are too goal-oriented. Whatever happened to playing soccer because it gives you joy?”

        The only qualifier is that developing one’s skills to a high level usually makes the game far more enjoyable. Kids that aren’t good at something usually quit.

        You’re also right about university ambitions. The majority of older girls at TSS want to attend Canadian universities. They don’t want to go to North Dakota or Wyoming. Playing varsity soccer on the girl’s side is simply a life experience and hopefully a positive one. It’s not a career.

      • Mark Berry says:

        I’m sorry, I cant help but reply to this one…. not only did some guy named Wayne Gretzky play multiple sports in his youth, he is also of the view that it is good for elite player development…

        Quantity of training is far less important than the quality of the training… BCPL is focussed on the latter…

      • TM says:

        Wayne who?
        Don’t remember watching him play in the World Cup.
        I do remember however Maradona, Platini, Zico, Zidane, etc. etc. all single-sport jocks….

  50. Coachrich says:

    Did we see this yet from MSL VFC and BCSPL Fusion FC?

    Employment Opportunity – Club Administrator
    “Work from Home”

    Vancouver FC is currently looking for a Club Administrator to provide a diverse range of administrative support functions to Vancouver FC and Fusion FC.
    Our ideal candidate would have:
    An understanding of youth soccer or other youth sports.
    Experience with budget preparation, tracking expenditures and identifying sources of variance.
    Proficiency in the use of a variety of software packages and applications including data bases, word processing, spreadsheets and web sites.
    The ability to work both independently and as a team leader to organize work and manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment.
    A high school education and graduation from a formal secretarial program plus four years of recent related experience or an equivalent combination of skills and experience.
    To apply please forward your resume and cover letter including your salary expectations to
    – applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

  51. K says:

    I’ll take this a bit further – I’ll suggest it is *some* of these beliefs that are *part* the issue in BC.

    -soccerconfusion says:
    April 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm
    Can anybody fully explain why the HPL even needed to be formed? The way I see it, things were not broke, so why try and fix it?

    >Not Broke? Please review recent national team squads from both genders and count how many BC kids were on them. How many BC kids were on the Whitecaps in even Division 2 last year? The last 2 or 3 male young players of the year awards were to Whitecaps, yes, but they were from Ontario. The best u17’s that qualified for WC? Not from BC.

    I gotta be honest….the rest of your comment is not really worth commenting on as the holes are far too large to repair. You mean well, you are concerned, but your perspective falters. As for “why switch” to a spring-fall when fall-spring is good enough for the rest of the world. Because we are in Canada, not the rest of the world. Canada is spring-fall. To be fair, I don’t agree with provincial separation from Canada either, as it seems any that have discussed it want to have their cake and eat it too. Which is the basis for your argument.

    • scott says:

      It was broken and needed a fix. The customer needed to go on a road trip. The mechanic was in a hurry.The mechanic decided to change some parts so added a shiny new part but forgot to take out some of the old parts. The customer took it around the block and noticed some very odd noises. When he went back to talk to the mechanic the door was locked but a sign was taped to the window. It said it may run rough for a few hundred miles but after that it will run smooth and fast. Have a nice trip.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        too funny Scott. I would add that the mechanic was not really a mechanic after all. He was an egomaniac and was just pretending that he understood cars.

      • Everton#1 says:

        TSS now offers Air Care!! LOL

      • The Kop says:

        Well I am about to embark on a road trip and don’t really know which car to ride in and which one will go the distance.
        Tryouts this weekend and what do I know ( or don’t know)

        I know who is coaching (good) but I also know he is coaching two Metro/Select teams.Will his coaching differ on the three sides that he runs.I doubt it, so Metro/Select price tag looks more appealing.
        I think I know that I will not be able to travel on Spring Break as the league will be in full swing in Mid March.
        I think I will be able to go on vacation in July or August but not quite sure as I believe different clubs/coaches are training through the break.
        I know a number of parents whose kids are trying out have stated that their child will continue to participate in secondary sports even if it means missing training and matches.
        Not my philosophy but I am just stating the truth.
        I think I know that the tryout is for both the mini season and next years full season and no further tryouts will be held but honestly I don’t really know.
        I am presuming that as Metro/Select coaches have been named by the club that they will run these sides.
        Reading the blog above though I am guessing that that may not be the case.

        I like others have many more uncertainties so that mechanic needs to come back to his shop.
        Actually the cars designer needs to show up and tell me why I am choosing this nicer vehicle and tell me how it will run.

        Thanks to all of you who have posted as even 3rd party info is a lot better than nothing.

      • Gregor says:

        As per my reply to Phil somewhere below above, I think it’s worthwhile opening our minds to other options…like bikes and just enjoy the scenery in the here and now. Good analogy though. Up there with the Celine Dion/sinking ship one the other day!

  52. Brendan Quarry says:

    I agree with Phil’s points regarding our lack of soccer identity in this country. I would go one further and say that soccer is also at odds with our cultural values.

    From a technical perspective, soccer is requires an extraordinary amount of skill and finesse. The latin american countries, in particular, value that kind of artistry. They value showmanship and “peacocking”. Canadians value braun and work ethic. That’s why we tend to choose the big, strong kids on our select teams rather than the skilful ones. I remember watching the 2007 U20 World Cup at Swanguard and was struck by how the Costa Rican backline was so small – and yet they could really play. On the girls side in particular, we always say, “give me the athletes and I’ll teach them soccer.” So we select the “athletes” but then we rarely teach them soccer.

    I would even argue that we discourage flair and skill. I remember kicking a ball around with my 9 year old nephew and after I put the ball through his legs, he said “Brendan, that’s not soccer – that’s just tricks.” I asked him who told him that and he said “my coach.” I remember thinking: “we’re doomed.”

    From a tactical perspective, it’s also a game of patience. It’s more like a chess match in terms of possessing the ball and trying to find a way through the back line. Canadians have little time for that. We want goals, speed, and action. “Get the damn ball forward.”

    For these and many other reasons, it’s going to be very difficult for us to get beyond the soccer wilderness. But the first step is recognizing our deficiencies. But I’m not sure we even fully understand what those are yet.

    • K says:

      First deficiency? How about allowing parents to succesfully complain about 3 practices a week when in other sports they are going 4-5 days a week of practices on top of 1-2 games and it’s accepted without question.

      @The Kop – I think BCSPL will take a bit of a break over spring break surely? (guess). Maybe BCSPL should just start after spring break? Or use spring break for league-wide camps in various locations for those not on vacation? (ya, ya, CE, I hear you already!) Re: July/August – I’d check the periodization and maybe it coincides with enough time for vacations? I haven’t checked.

    • Colin Elmes says:

      Very good Brendan. Your views on the game are very similar to mine. Strange.

      North American sports are mostly “gladiator” rewarded. NFL, CFL, NHL all reward courage power and strength. We here on this continent constantly look for the male side of team sports to prove our manhood and that we are tough and unforgiving. NHL players play wounded all the time, return from the dressing room stitched up or overcome broken bones to return to action. That is always given the highest level of admiration from commentators and fans. Artistry with out the gladiator variable has always been held in suspicion in these parts. It is the way we are cultured.

      • Larry says:

        Australia as a comparative example (Not those guys again!). Aussies probably have even more “manhood” sports than we do, such as Aussie Rules Football and Rugby…and yes, they like ot fight. Yet what is interesting are the efforts they have undertaken to build a national soccer program from the top down. The FFA (Federation Football (soccer) of Australia) acknowledged what their weaknesses were. They brought in experts from Europe to teach them the game, and lay out a top down framework. Now they regularly qualify for the Men’s World Cup every four years.

    • Larry says:

      I had a talk with one of the staff coaches (Romanian background with a pro license in Europe) at the Roman Tulis school last week. It was his day off, however loving the game as much as he does he still came by Burnaby Lake to watch the players train.

      The heart of the problem is in what we (in general) value. His comments were almost identical to Brendan’s:

      “We value the strong physical players who will fight for the ball as they hold onto the ball too long. We do not value what the players are doing without the ball. We spend to much time having the young players play in competitive leagues, before they can master control of the ball.”

      Here’s an example of what the Barcelona Soccer club values. Most would agree that Barca is the pinnacle of soccer and youth development today.

      La Masia Director, Carles Folguera (Barcelona Soccer Academy) on the recruitment of youth players to the Barca system.

      “We’re always looking for a type of player who’s not physical but a very good thinker, who’s ready to take decisions, who has talent, technique and agility. Physical strength is not important.”

    • Gregor says:

      I’ve said to a few people I’d like to do sound recordings of coaches and parents at games. Then before I play it back to them, have them fill out a questionnaire asking what they would ideally like their kids soccer games to look like. I suspect more often than not their aspirational soccer experience (for their kids) would not line up with their actual shouts during games.

      There’s still way too many coaches, even at higher levels, who fall back on cliches, platitudes and gibberish during games (and I suspect training).

      • K says:

        It’s an excellent point about choosing gladiators. I’ve seen a lot of small, technical “thinkers” quit by xmas because they are just getting kicked around the park and they leave the pitch crying every other weekend as the kids a foot taller push them around.

        Almost makes me wish we did away with any leagues at all and clubs were given a window to arrange exhibition games. 10-11 months maybe. Each club responsible for tiering their players appropriately. No assigned numbers, no scores, no league trophies….

      • scott says:

        Tough to coach during a game. Best to just be a cheerleader.

    • Rasta says:

      I agree with you Brendan.

      But be careful though. speed, goals, and getting the ball forward quickly are very important in addition to the skill, finesse and flair.

      Barcelona and Arsenal are my favourite teams and speed, goals and getting the ball forward quickly are what they do best BUT they do it with skill, flair and finesse (without using Gladiators – see Messi, Iniesta, Xavi). At least that’s what I see every Sunday on SETANTA/FOX/GOL TV.

      I like to think these attributes are what I endeavouring to teach my players.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        My daughter has played on Brendan-coached teams and has also attended the academy where the trainer has most often been Brendan. I can tell you unequivocally that speed, goals, and getting the ball forward are absolutely part of his/TSS’ curriculum. It’s not like they’re being trained to dance around ad infinitum with the ball. Brendan’s first instructions are: “always look to move forward first but if your path is blocked, don’t be afraid to go back.” (These are usually accompanied by “change your angle”, “be creative”, and “use your skill”, among others.)

        I suspect TSS may slightly overemphasize the creative/flair side of the game but if they do it’s only because a typical community coach (especially at the younger age groups, i.e., U11 or younger) has little time to spend on these aspects. I would argue that it is an academy’s job to not only re-inforce (and unfortunately in some cases, introduce) the fundamentals but also to close the gaps that come with having only 60 minutes per week to coach your community club team.

      • Rasta says:

        C’mon Phil

        Dance around ad infinatum???

        Who suggested that.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        By cautioning Brendan, as you did, to “…be careful though. speed, goals, and getting the ball forward quickly are very important in addition to the skill, finesse and flair…” you are suggesting that ‘skill, finesse, and flair’ should not be over-emphasized.

        But this is beside the point. Do I really have to explain the use of literary devices (look up hyperbole) in presenting an argument? Do you really think that I was affirming that players actually ‘dance around infinitum’?

        As you like to say – “Not!!!’

  53. Left Right Out says:

    on a side note does anyone know any information about the U15 SF Coach Aleksander Borojevic. There are claims he has his UEFA A Coaching License. They don’t hand those out in cracker jack boxes so somebody should know something about him. Apparently he has been coaching in Vancouver for at least 15 years.
    Don’t respond with dirt, I am more interested in anything positive someone can tell me to make our decisions a little more comfortable.

    • Gregor says:

      Sorry, haven’t heard of him but agree that a UEFA A License is a totally different kettle of fish compared to UEFA B.

      • Left Right Out says:

        that concerns me a bit Gregor, that you have not heard of him.

        The only info I found was at

        The website claims that they get tryouts for kids in several European countries. The site is outdated, inconsistent and seems to make some pretty radical claims.

        Coaches are Aleksander Borojevic and his brother who both have the A lisence. No other info as to where they played, who they have coached or anything and everyone I ask has no knowledge of the guy.

        Looks like they have done some elementarty school coaching classes.

        Currently i am not convinced. Wish someone had some more info.

      • K says:

        took about 10 seconds to find on google. CSA “B” at least…certainly could have others.

      • Gregor says:

        Seems, according to that temposoccer site, that he works out of Langley so that’s probably why I don’t know him. I’d have been pretty surprised if there was a pro coach with a UEFA A and CSA B license who had been working in (the city of) Vancouver for 15 years and I hadn’t heard of him.

    • southofthefraser says:

      Aleksander Borojevic was a staff coach with Guildford Athletic Club this year

  54. Vancouver Island says:

    TSS guys – as much as I am a fan of private academy – where did you play or get your coach education from? Just not convinced that you are the real deal. U have a successful business that in my opinion doesn’t make you professionals. Whitecaps are the only pros here

    • Brendan Quarry says:

      If you don’t agree with the points being made then share your ideas. This isn’t a pissing contest of “who has played at the highest level.”

    • X says:

      a bit off topic….?

      • Vancouver Island says:

        It’s okay to question – Aleksander Borojevic and his brother – regarding their UEFA A Coaching License??

      • Gregor says:

        In fairness it’s not entirely off topic. TSS want to run a team of top U18 girls that are choosing between BCPL (where everything is currently under heavy scrutiny) and them. Do they have coaches qualified to run this team and would they have been able to adequately staff 10-12 BCPL teams should they have been given a BCPL franchise? Reasonable comment.

        As I’ve said to Colin, it’s very different coaching in an academy setting with no results table. Parents and even some Club personnel want to see results and it’s a very different experience picking, training and leading a team through an entire season of play than a series of training sessions. I know in the past TSS staff have called it “coaching in a vacuum” when there’s no or little game feedback to inform the direction of training sessions and I think that’s true.

        I don’t think when, in general terms, BCPL coaching appointments are being derided, by Colin among others, that it’s a pissing contest when someone says they have doubts about TSS coaches being the “real deal”.

        Yes, TSS take travel teams to tournaments but that’s just not the same as coaching a team from September to April.

    • Colin Elmes says:

      Debate! Good fun.

      What is your definition of the real deal?

      What is your definition of professional?

      Then I can reply.

      • Gregor says:

        My definition of the real deal? Evander Holyfield!

      • Vancouver Island says:

        Real Deal: Is your academy staff good enough to produce players that have the technical and tactical requirements to play at the highest level. I have read your papers on why BC doesn’t have players at youth national teams for instance. I then ask myself that since TSS has been in existance for so many years and I think your players are Canadian – if you are so good why are those players not on the national team?

        2. professional – in terms of football and player development =>to have that standing u need to have a professional team/level where your players aspire to one day play. Investing in players for tomorrow and not the other way round. Like I said you are a business that helps average players get scholarship and that in football circles is not professional.

    • Colin Elmes says:


      Maybe you re right. At the BCPL level we will never know. U18 team and program. Thats about preparing the individual player for Adult/University level soccer. Standings will not be a big part of the formula here. If it is, I guess we will fail when we end up near the bottom at the end of the season. Kind of like PCSL( which btw is a league we are involved in as coaches) but I guess that one doesnt count because it is only 3 months….

      Just depends on what lens you look at things through….

  55. Colin Elmes says:

    Left right out. I dont know them either….

  56. madristas says:

    The technical aspect is overlooked completely. I could not agree more on that. It’s not very apparent to people that the there is more to the game than being athletic. You must vision, 2 good feet, control and touch… There is also more to coaching than winning.

    How about this: go away from linebackers and start building technique. Never-mind the UK way of short-short-long; it’s total garbage. It shows as England, Ireland and Scotland do not fair well in International competitions and yet we still follow their teachings. To me, you need to focus on coaching the coaches as well as consistency in any club’s philosophy throughout all the coaching staff and volunteer coaches. Players will come and go but what may keep them there longer is consistent quality of teaching.

    In summary, get the clubs to mandate to coaches about what they need to teach and teach them how to teach it. We need these technical directors to commit to this and it will change the whole scene.

  57. soccerconfusion says:


    My comments probably do have holes in them……………….just like the HPL. The HPL will have the same kids in it that would be playing in Metro Selects in the current system and many coaches in Metro are the same ones now in HPL. All they are doing is changing the time of the season, extending it by a few months, and charging a bunch more money. The HPL itself will not develop more players than are being developed now. The development of high level players will continue to be done by(in no particular order): Provincial team, NTC, and especially the Whitecaps on the boys side now that they have 3 development teams in the U.S. League. You could probably add academy teams and SYL to the mix as well. If top notch players are not being produced, then blame them, because they have our top players to work with. The premise of the HPL is to have fewer teams, thereby creating a higher quality of play. However, it will be a league like all other leagues. There will be good teams and there will be bad teams. If rumours are true that certain teams are loading up on talent, then how does humping teams 6-0 game after game develop players? Again, I see nothing better in the HPL than what we have in Metro Selects. The changes need to be made above these two entities.

    When National teams are selected, should there not be more players from Ontario and Quebec? I don’t know the numbers, but I would think they have many more players there to choose from than we have in B.C. just because of the larger population base. Also, being a National team, do you not think there is always some Eastern bias to picking players (we better get some Frenchies on the team!!!)?

    • K says:

      Yep, I hear ya. However, the number of BC players does not balance with the percentage of registered soccer players in BC compared to Ontario. Yes, Ontario and Quebec should have more on the squads.

      Yes, there are/were issues with PTP, NTC, and Whitecaps scouting. The idea of BCSPL is to streamline that so more of the elite kids aren’t being missed. We all know the best of the best of the best are not at NTC and PTP because those kids are not all being scouted or trying out for PTP. Through BCSPL this “is supposed” to be repaired.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        I have looked at this in detail. 2008 numbers most recent.

        Ontario 42%
        Quebec 21%
        BC 15 %
        Alberta 9 %

        or there and abouts.

        in 2010 our boys programming placement is hovering at 4%. Ontario and Quebec both placing players HIGHER than theri demographic percentage. I think we are level with Manitoba…..

      • Rasta says:

        One did not need HPL to streamline elite kids.

        Almost all elite kids are seen – the question is were they selected?

    • Gregor says:

      “The development of high level players will continue to be done by(in no particular order): Provincial team, NTC, and especially the Whitecaps on the boys side now that they have 3 development teams in the U.S. League. You could probably add academy teams and SYL to the mix as well.”

      I’d have to say that of the four you mention, I’d only agree with the Whitecaps because the others only have limited or seasonal access to players. Now that the Caps are pulling what they feel are the best players out and having them training and play with them exclusively through the whole year, they have a suitable environment to move these players forward. NTC is still going to be occasional. Provincial team and Y League is seasonal. Three months is not enough time to assemble a team, learn enough about the players and implement the training they need. It’s also not enough time to hone technique via repetition.

      Steve K and I were talking about this recently. We both agreed that if we could find parents that would give us 3-5 years to work exclusively with their kids, we could make substantial improvements to them as players but it would take that long to really make a difference. Players need a consistent approach, a well thought out curriculum and coaches who can isolate areas that need work and coach to that. Coaches need players and parents that have the patience for a long term approach.

  58. Colin Elmes says:

    Hello Vancouver Island,

    My reply below your text—- Thanks for the discussion!

    Real Deal: Is your academy staff good enough to produce players that have the technical and tactical requirements to play at the highest level. I have read your papers on why BC doesn’t have players at youth national teams for instance. I then ask myself that since TSS has been in existance for so many years and I think your players are Canadian – if you are so good why are those players not on the national team?

    About 5 years ago, when the Whitecaps began to forge their partnership with BCSA(which BTW co incided with the start of the reduction in BC Players being selected for National Teams), we started to lose access to these types of players, generally not because of choice, but because of the “Player Dev Pyramid” or “Path” as it was called. Consequently players had no choice but to participate in these programs and there was a policy of NO MULTIPROGRAMMING- which meant dont get involved with groups like TSS.

    Off the top of my head the list below are players who represented our country(some still do) and were involved in TSS programming over multi years( as my memory fades)

    Christine Sinclair, Terry Dunfield, Jod ann Robinson, Chelsea Buckland, Sari Raber, Gavin Hobbs, Catherine Warman, Greg Sawer, Jenna Richardson, Nicole Ambrose.

    I am certain there are more. Apologies to the ones I have left out.

    2. professional – in terms of football and player development =>to have that standing u need to have a professional team/level where your players aspire to one day play. Investing in players for tomorrow and not the other way round. Like I said you are a business that helps average players get scholarship and that in football circles is not professional.

    Canadian English Dictionary- Professional- adj, working in a profession, taking part in an activity such as sport or music, for money
    Coach- trainer, tudor. v- to train or teach.

    So based on your interpretation of the definition of professional coach, if I was to get hired by the Whitecaps to coach in their program today I would become a professional coach instantly with no increased certification, sophistication, or experience?


  59. Mitch says:

    I have been reading these blogs for 6 months now and the 1 thing that sticks out is that no one was happy with the way things were. I don’t know how long Metro has been around but if it was so bad then why didn’t it get fixed? I have an idea why…no one was willing to compromise or work together. It seems to me that every club expected to have their own Metro team ( and were unwilling to give up their few players) to build district teams. So an unwillingness of cooperation has now led us to where we are.

    BCSA has now come in with a big stick and has forced change and no one likes it. Is the cost out of wack? absolutely!! Have they been up front with everything? Nope. Is everything a mess right now? Yup. Does BCSA need to appoint a communication person? Big time. Will BCPL be the ‘end all be all’ of leagues? Nope. Will we be back here 5,10 years from now bitching? Probably. Because BCSA forced the issue (clubs having no choice but to partner up), it seems more about clubs losing control then about youth developement.

    If BCPL is not the answer..then what? Do we just continue ‘same old same old’? or what’s the ‘right way’? Let’s hear it…….

  60. Colin Elmes says:

    Mitch, did your daughter just make a BCPL team? 😉

  61. Colin Elmes says:

    more about her hard work and perseverance. Thanks for coming clean on her successful selection. I would suggest this now changes the lens you peer through now when it comes to BCPL.

    • Mitch says:

      She was selected a month ago but I am still not 100% convinced this is the best route but she wants to do it. As most parents do we make sacrafices for our kids and hope for the best.

  62. soccerconfusion says:


    On a side note, I noticed your girls lost to a very average Surrey United team in the Cup. What the hell happened? Just a case of every dog has it’s day?

    • Gregor says:

      Wouldn’t say they’re average as there’s really good parity in our division. We went undefeated in league play but 9 wins and 7 ties indicates how close a lot of the games were.

      Anyways, we did go up 2-0 inside the first ten minutes and were looking good. We don’t have a keeper so after 25 with game under control I took out one of the four girls who does it quite well and put one in who doesn’t play it too much. Two soft ones before the half saw it 2-2 at the break. My girls never got back into their game and got caught playing to Surrey’s strengths rather than ours. Two late ones by them and it was season over. Credit to them for not giving up when it looked like it could be a long day early in the game.

      Disappointing end to the season but obviously winning the league and going undefeated without a keeper meant they had lots to be happy about. Great group of girls.

  63. zico says:

    was at my son’s cup game and parents chirping about this new high performance league. Many frightening stories going around about teams being held up on tooth picks. Why didnt they have a draft in the first year or keep it regional at the beginning to permit everyone to get off the ground.
    One of the moms was mentioning only 11 players at the U-15 Semi HPL tryouts. She seem to know a fair bit as having a daughter in this age and mentioned the VCR and Abbotsford teams were also in trouble.
    Is this true

    • Gregor says:

      I was at the Vancouver/Fusion tryout for U15 girls and it had a healthy number of players at it. Just over 30 I believe. Abby is the one that seems to be struggling at this age group.

  64. Gordon Johnson says:

    Given the apparent lack of interest by Richmond Players and Coaches in their own VR BCSPL franchise, what is the thinking behind Richmond posting this on their site?

    Richmond Soccer Association (RGSA and RYSA) Officially Supports Fusion FC
    To: Fusion FC Vancouver Youth Soccer Association and Richmond Soccer Association have affirmed their unqualified support for their new High Performance League Club, Fusion FC. Fusion FC is a partnership of Vancouver and Richmond youth soccer districts for the purpose of fielding elite youth boys and girls soccer teams in the new High Performance League. Both Vancouver and Richmond urge all current Metro and Selects players in their Districts and other qualified players to attend try-outs for the Fusion FC HPL teams. For further information, please visit the Fusion FC website at . Signed, Vancouver Youth Soccer Association per Karen Thompson Richmond Soccer Association per Aiman El-Ramly

    • K says:

      ^Because these mergers mean little to nothing to the families registering. They will play where they feel it is best for them. For example, how many kids from Whalley were about to drive to Alouette for training and games?

      There will always be some good coaches and good environments in the “2nd” tier that players will be happy with and remain there rather than going up a tier. In my little experience in Washington state the top tier has clearly the best players but make no mistake, there are some very good teams and players at 2nd tier that do belong in the 1st tier as individual players – I am sure for the same reasons we are seeing it here.

      • X says:

        curious K, in Washington, whats the difference between tier 1 and 2 in terms of cost, schedule, training commitments, coaching qualifications etc?

        Just wonder if there is the same type of dilemma for parents and players there?

    • Gregor says:

      That’s pretty interesting.

      I think Both Sides of the Fence definitely laid some very reasonable reasons as to why so many Rmd players are opting out of this but I can add more.

      1. Cost. Rmd Metro players are used to a very affordable Metro program. They are now looking at four to five times as much to play BCPL for Fusion.
      2. On the girls side, Rmd girls is actually quite small (between 900 to 950 players). There are several BCPL age groups where they do not have Metro or strong gold teams that would even have a decent pool of BCPL type players. It was perhaps unrealistic to expect a lot of girls from Richmond for Fusion teams.
      3. On the boys side, it was interesting that as soon as the arrangement with Vancouver was announced the first thing they did was tie up their TD, Roberto Sciascia, and then promote, quite early, all the programming that he would offer at the Metro level. It seems to have appealed to a lot of their players. At the same time, I’ve heard from Rmd parents that BCPL info was scarce compared to the info for Metro.
      4. Both Sides of the Fence mentioned the great facilities and proximity to where he lives. He politely stayed away from commenting on Andy Livingstone Park. The perception of AL is that it’s a war zone with hard drugs being injected in the centre circle by armies of junkies. It’s not like that but it definitely has its problems. The bigger problems though are parking and the lack of amenities that Rmd parents are used to having at their parks like community centres (although there is a Starbucks within two blocks). Just the idea of trying to drive into downtown for a 6pm start is not appealing to people used to Boyd.

      What I’m still waiting to hear from Fusion is confirmation about where their teams will actually play. Van FC currently use Livingstone for their Metro teams. They’ve just doubled the amount of space they need by adding another 10-12 BCPL teams yet they have not secured permits for any other turf fields in Vancouver. They were recently turned down for time on the new Memorial South turf at 41st and Fraser due to (a) not meeting residency requirements and (b) the size of the club (too small compared to other applicants).

      VFC teams already are three to a field at Livingstone so while the (fingers crossed) hope is that there are fewer applicants for turf at what will be a reconstituted Empire Field once the stadium is torn down, the reality is that Fusion needs fields and it’s unlikely they will even be at Livingstone because it’s already jammed full of VFC teams.

      • Capsfan4ever says:

        “Cost. Rmd Metro players are used to a very affordable Metro program. They are now looking at four to five times as much to play BCPL for Fusion.”
        Just fyi, the cost for MSL in Richmond is $825 – about double what it was in the past. Still significantly cheaper than the new league, but a big jump for a lot of people used to paying substantially less.

    • Rasta says:

      “■Fusion FC: plan to run a U17 team but contingent on having sufficiently strong players try out. 50-50 at this stage given they lost six ’95s to Mountain.”

      It seems their might be some lack of interest from Vancouver kids for their own franchise as well.

      By the way is Vancouver Youth Soccer Association called the Fusion FC Vancouver Youth Association or is the HPL segment called the Fusion. Curious???

      Did Richmond have input in choosing the name or just a Vancouver choice?

  65. K says:

    ^Couldn’t tell ya!

  66. JB says:

    It may all be a moot point for my daughter as the HPL tryout time conflicts with her cup game tonight. So, if I’m reading this right there is little interest from the Richmond metro girls and the Vancouver metro girls won’t be able to make it to the try-out. Well planned indeed.

  67. Stuck in Bridge Traffic says:

    Gossip re South Fraser U16 Girls tryout – 10 showed up. Not sure if it is true.

    There was a coaching change/shuffle announced there last week – something to the effect Bob Birada (this years Tsawwassen U15 Girls Metro coach) was going to come over and join the previously announced coaches. Again, I have no confirmation of what is really happening – just field side chatter at cup games.

    • K says:

      ^then why post it? 😉

      • Stuck in Bridge Traffic says:

        Because there is an element of fact in it and that Tsawwassen team was said to be one of the ones that was going to go Metro a year up and play US tournaments, yada yada yada….. and they were told by their club executive “no” at the last minute…. and kids and parents are being torn as to where they are to go. Seems to fit Gregor’s post.

        If TSS had had an EABCSPL (did I get that right? likely not, it seems to change daily) franchise they would have probably had no problem fielding teams at all age groups and would have drawn in from Tsawwassen, Richmond, and Vancouver.

        Anyone heard how many have showed up for U16 Girls at “Fusion FC”?

        Looks like there will be only 4 Lower Mainland U16 girls teams plus maybe 1 from Island and 1 from Interior. Maybe 4 LM teams will be more intense; should make it easier for college coaches to cover off games (/sarcasm off).

        Was this what the not-a-mechanic had in mind?

  68. m says:

    Well said Mitch… someone finally willing to list the truth / facts

    heres a crazy thought…

    If elite level soccer was supported properly like it should be (in a financial manner) then we would be getting the best players flocking to these BCSPL franchises.

    Its unfortunate that for some reason we feel we need to charge the better players more and the rec players less which means now we have the better players playing in the rec levels as they dont want to pay and nor should they have to.

    When i played on the BC team, it cost my family a ton of money… money that should have never ever had to leave their pocket.

    Here TSS doesnt get a franchise as they are considered a private business but if this whole league was run like a proper business then there would be zero issues and every top class player and coach would be chomping at the bit to be apart of it.

    BC Soccer needs to get a grip on the situation and realize that charging players / families more for programs means you will never ever get the best.

    Ill say it again… this league will come and go faster than the Vancouver Grizzles as it has a poor business model attached to it.

    here is proof… Vancouver Islands BCSPL fees will be the same if not slightly lower than the Vancouver fees yet the Island travels away for 7 games while the mainland teams travel to victoria twice.
    whoever is creating these budgets has no clue what they are talking about or doing and i like to think about the fact that TSS was only charging $1800 for the season which was reasonable especially for what those players would have recieved for that money.

    One problem is that Soccer never saw inflation in fees so now that fees have begun to increase, everyone is crying the blues and calling bloodly murder but it is what it is.

    What needs to be done is start treating the elite players properly and have their programs covered in FULL so the elite level players actually come and be apart of it.

    To Vancouver Island: I would be interested to hear your take on what or who is a professional coach in this province…

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Interesting perspective m. I would question a few of your underlying premises, for example:
      “If elite level soccer was supported properly like it should be (in a financial manner)… and
      “now we have the better players…[who]…dont want to pay and nor should they have to…”
      “…start treating the elite players properly and have their programs covered in FULL…”

      Really? Since when is it ‘proper’ that elite players should be supported financially? It may be your opinion or desire that they should but that is far from saying that it is their right, as you imply. When it comes to soccer, we live in a user-pay environment. Yes I know we live in a country known for its liberal leanings, but that doesn’t mean we should or even want to subsidize everything. And if it ever came to full subsidization for elite-level sports programs (or even substantial subsidization a la “Own the Podium” Olympics programs, surely one of the largest publically-funded investments in sport this country has ever seen), soccer would not be first on the list. Nor second. In fact, you’d have to look way down the list. (See earlier posts re soccer identity and cultural values to see why).

      “Here TSS doesnt get a franchise as they are considered a private business but if this whole league was run like a proper business then there would be zero issues.
      Zero issues? What world do you live in? Certainly not the real one where “proper business” deal with issues every day. Even TSS is not issue-free as Colin will attest. And I note in passing that TSS, even though a private business, was still going to charge fees. So what is your point?

      “BC Soccer needs to get a grip on the situation and realize that charging players / families more for programs means you will never ever get the best.
      So if I understand you correctly, it is OK to have elite soccer programs, but its not OK to charge for them. So listen up BC Soccer (or any other upstart group that thinks it has the answer to creating and running elite level programs) – we want you to create an excellent development and identification soccer program, get all the best coaches and facilities, but don’t bother offering it to us unless you find a way to completely subsidize it because here in Canada, we don’t pay for elite-level sports programming. If you do charge for the service, then your programs are going to include a significant number of sub-elite players because some of the elite players will go and pay (almost as much in some cases) to play Tier 2 simply because you had the audacity to charge anything at all.

      The reality is the programs will cost money. Somebody has to pay. A few will be subsidized but most will pay their own way absent a full-ride sponsor. The second-tier players in BCSPL will not be identified for further programs. The first-tier players in Tier 2 may not be identified period. (If they were, they would have to turn down the provincial program anyway.) Sad? Yes. Can we solve every problem by taxing everyone? No. Can you find a sponsor to cover the $3-$4 million annual budget required to run this league? Dream on. Despite the constant references to running this as a business, this ain’t hockey.

      “Vancouver Islands BCSPL fees will be the same if not slightly lower than the Vancouver fees yet the Island travels away for 7 games while the mainland teams travel to victoria twice. Whoever is creating these budgets has no clue…

      Have you seen all the budgets of all the clubs and know exactly how they have allocated the revenue to expenses? Isn’t it possible, for example, that the VI team might be allocating more to travel and less to coaching than, say, Fusion? You call it “proof” but then later say “whoever is creating the budgets”. In other words, you don’t know and your proof is merely speculation.

      The business model of this league is user-pay. Will that be its demise? Hardly. The league will live and die based on, in my opinion,
      – Value not cost
      – Leadership from the top
      – Results both in terms of players identified for bigger and better things (good) and, like it or not, for win-loss record (bad)
      – Enjoyment
      – Coaching
      – Coaches
      – Communication

      • Gregor says:

        Phil, my hope is that you get heavily involved in the running of this league and/or BCSA. You have the ability to recognize what’s important, what’s realistic, what’s not, communicate clearly and persuasively and are not afraid to get involved and look for solutions. I don’t think we’ve met but hope to some day.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Thanks Gregor; likewise on the meeting part (checked out 1:38 just to see who you were). Truth is, I’m really just a parent and don’t have your (or many others on this blog) soccer pedigree. Briefly a part of MUFC as a rep for BGSC but decided to scale that back for a variety of reasons. Not closing the door on further involvement somewhere though as I believe its not enough just to talk.

  69. Post Apocolypse says:

    Why should 99% of the players pay for 1% that are “elite” players?
    Try some expensive sport such as gymnastics or swimming. The parents not only pay for training (up to 30 hours a week), they pay all travel costs including the one coach traveling with them. This can be to Europe or Asia.
    So, no I don’t feel we should be paying for elite players. If they (parents) want it they can pay for it. Nothing wrong with sponsors though to help allay the cost.

    • m says:

      Where did I say that 99% should pay for the 1%?

      What i did say was that at some point, the elite / advancing players need to rewarded for their talent / efforts and need to be taken care of.

      do BCJHL or WHL players pay to play? This is the model we should be emulating as its a proven one.

      If we want to draw the top end into a league that is suppose to support the top end (MNT / WNT and professional teams) then they need to be supported financially… end of story.

      all this bitching and moaning about programs, fees, coaches etc is such a waste of time as nothing is going to get changed by talking / whining on this blog… fix the business model so the customer can afford the product and you will have a situation where everyone wins.

      • Post apocolypse says:

        The hockey leagues you are referring to are privately owned and operated. They are also sponsored. None of them are supported by minor hockey fees. That is my point!
        I don’t disagree that if we have privately owned teams with sponsorship that can afford to support these players then I say go for it. I do disagree that the elite players are supported by everyone else. If that is the case then we could also make a case for supporting young coaches and officials. We need those too!

    • X says:

      On this note…depending on the club and who has been appointed to the coaching staff and what their qualifications are ( paid? how much? etc )….some BCPL parents may now see or perceive that it’s going the other way.

      IE; that their BCPL dollars are indirectly subsidizing the clubs OTHER divisions.

      • Steve says:

        Again X
        After all this talk/debate we come back to the question of what value was added for the additional cost? I like the concept of HPL (or whatever today’s name is) but the reality is different.

      • X says:

        yes Steve this is what I’m saying. I’m personally excited about the ‘value’ I feel we’ll be getting but yes, if one was to feel that their own BCPL dollars were not getting them anything more than what they received before and / or they felt that $2500 was simply over the top in general, that’s a concern for them of course.

        My comment was really more in response to the subsidizing commentary above. There was some talk about whether the BCPL level ( or whatever level is to attract the highest talent ) should have the cost subsidized to eliminate the high cost factor in order to ensure no elite athlete misses the opportunity due to cost.

        My point was that, the funny thing is, some might say that the reverse is happening, that the BCPL payers in some clubs are indirectly subsidizing the clubs other levels.
        Am I saying this IS happening now? No, I’m not.
        I’m just saying that if one pays $2500 this year for the perceived same level of training they paid $500 for last year, one may ask…..where is that extra $2k going?

        **Disclaimer; I personally do feel that my child will be getting a higher level ( and quantity ) of training in BCPL so I don’t fall into the above group but I could see scenarios where others would see it that way.

      • Steve says:

        The only costs I was aware of would be coaching for HPL since the clubs were to hire paid professional coach’s….it appears only 1 club made any attempt to hire outside the club right? at least according to all the web site announcements of hpl coaching staff that I found. If I was paying for professional coach and got the same coach I had last year for 25% of the cost I would be concerned with club decision makers taking advantage of me

  70. Late to the Game says:

    All interesting but some clarification required:

    At least 24 players attended the U-16 SFC assessment last week (not 10 as posted above).

    Meetings were held with the Richmond MSL teams upon the announcement of the BCSPL where information was provided on the BCSPL and the MSL.

    IF the BCSPL was truly going to be run as a business, the franchises should do whatever they could to understand their customer. Unfortuantely, this was missed. Stand on the side of the field and you will hear the following reasons why Richmond players are potentially not selecting BCSPL:

    Cost, Andy Livinstone Park or Empire Field, currently have a good development program in Richmond, rumor of limited spots on the Vancouver/Richmond BCSPL teams for Richmond players, no Richmond coaches involved in BCSPL, other BCSPL clubs to choose from (remember geography no longer matters), friends are not going. Loudest of all is the increased cost and for what.

  71. APL says:

    Almost 40 boys out for trials for Fusion U16 boys last night. Decent quality of player from cross section of clubs.

  72. Dad says:

    So far BCSPL is MISERABLY failing the grade…..Coaches don’t show up to practices…..Parents are getting involved where the “paid” people were supposed to be looking after things….We’re being asked for more money at multiple levels than the current $500 per month we’re paying…..Jason Jordan and his team, despite his ridiculous “swagger” of past success can’t schedule practices at the right times (we’ve been double booked more than once) let alone show the required PR skills to show interest in Fusion teams at a great tournament in Seattle….Instead he parks his fat ass at a picnic table with his hands between his head at an early morning practice. So far a complete loser. I’m sure we paid for his hotel room and meals.

    Step it up Fusion. So far, the parent volunteers have done a better job than the new paid professional coaches, and that most certainly also goes for our Slurpee Sipping Leader.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s