Saturday, October 29, 2011

FC Edmonton most Canadian team in '11, Whitecaps barely register

In their inaugural competitive season, FC Edmonton have made an emphatic claim on the title of "most Canadian" pro team in Canada for the year 2011.

This title is based upon the highest percentage of minutes played by Canadian (Canada-eligible) players.

A brief summary shows that it wasn't at all a close race:

SUMMARY
TEAM CDN Total Percent
FC Edmonton 23598 30529 77.3%
Montreal Impact 6410 30013 21.4%
Toronto FC 8698 45444 19.1%
Vancouver Whitecaps 2179 37800 5.8%
Totals 40885 143786 28.4%

It is interesting to note that the total percentage of minutes played by Canadians on all Canadian teams of 28.4% is the lowest of the last 4 years (34.0% in 2010), but the total number of minutes played by Canadians of 40885 slightly exceeded last year's total (39357) thanks to the addition of a new team.

I've already reported in detail on the Canadian content for the two NASL teams upon the conclusion of their seasons several weeks ago:
In addition, you may be interested in comparing this year's report with previous editions:

Now for a quick glance at the two MLS squads, who recently ended their seasons without gracing the MLS playoffs:

TORONTO

TORONTO FC
Competition CDN Total Percent
MLS Regular Season 5995 33565 17.9%
Canadian Championship 567 3960 14.3%
Champions League 2136 7919 27.0%
Totals 8698 45444 19.1%

Toronto FC put out a less Canadian squad, statistically, than in 2010. The latter benefited from featuring a regular central back line pairing of Adrian Cann and Nana Attakora, as well as a having Dwayne De Rosario as a fixture in the team. Losing those three to a combination of injury and performance/attitude related trades hurt the 2011 number, but the team should be commended for giving significant competitive minutes to youngsters Matt Stinson, Doneil Henry and especially the recently-capped Ashtone Morgan.

With the possibility of a healthy Cann and a healthier Julian de Guzman in 2012, I'd expect their number to rise.

VANCOUVER

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS
Competition CDN Total Percent
MLS Regular Season 1557 33510 4.6%
Canadian Championship 622 4290 14.5%
Totals 2179 37800 5.8%

What more needs to said about the Whitecaps pitiful showcasing of Canadian talent in 2011? After lobbying MLS to lower it's minimum domestic requirements, the Whitecaps did the bare minimum to meet them. The only Canadians to get into a competitive match for the Whitecaps in 2011 were Kevin Harmse (remember him), the since-traded Terry Dunfield and the mostly injured Russell Teibert.

The team made my information-gathering life much easier by not fielding a single Canadian player after Dunfield's final appearance on July 6th. I'd expect the team to improve on their 5.8% showing next year, if only because they've set such an impossibly low standard, though I'd have to see some further evidence of commitment to Canadian players before I'll really start to believe it.


ANOTHER NUMBER: TOTAL CANADIAN JOBS IN CANADA

For the first time, I also tracked the total number of Canadian players that got into a competitive match for each time. This stat is imperfect as it doesn't count academy players, but does count players who may have made only a single 5-minute appearance over the course of the season. It is easier to track than the number of Canadians on team rosters, since those tend to be in a state of flux.

It is, however, a good way to get a rough idea of Canadians employed in pro soccer in Canada, which is kind of the point.

And in 2011, the total number of Canadians appearing for a Canadian team in a competitive match was 40. Once again, FC Edmonton did the heavy lifting:
  • Edmonton - 19: Surprenant, Oppong, Hamilton, Rago, Yamada, Kooy, Saiko, Lemire, Porter, Sidra, Duberry, Lam, Saler, Craig, Semenets, Jonke, Cox, Monsalve, LeRoy
  • Toronto FC - 11: Cordon, Cann, de Guzman, Henry, Morgan, Stinson, Zavarise, Dunfield, Attakora, De Rosario, Makubuya
  • Montreal - 8: Pizzolitto, Mayard, Ribeiro, Gerba, Gatti, Ilcu, Agourram, Terminesi
  • Vancouver - 3: Teibert, Dunfield, Harmse
You'll note that the club totals add up to 41, but the total is 40 because Terry Dunfield played for both Toronto and Vancouver in 2011.

This total of 40 is not far off from 2010's number of 37 (Vancouver and Montreal - 13 Canadian players, Toronto - 11).


With Montreal making an MLS move in 2012, it will be interesting to see if more Canadians are playing more minutes in Canada next season.

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