Monday, March 04, 2013

Canadian content 2013: Week 1 report

Toronto FC: 26.3%
Montreal Impact: 9.1%
Vancouver Whitecaps: 0%
FC Edmonton: n/a

It has been 4 years now that I've tracked, game-by-game, the percentage of minutes played by Canadian players for Canada's 3 MLS teams and the NASL's FC Edmonton.

The Eddies, as one would expect, being a second division team, featured the most Canadians last season. At the other end of things, the Whitecaps awarded a mere 0.4% of available minutes to Canadian players in 2012.

A running total is tracked on the sidebar of this blog, and you can see my spreadsheet for all the details.

Though I wouldn't expect a rundown of Canadians in MLS matches to become a regular feature around these parts, the beginning of the season is a good time to look at the teams' rosters and those Canadian players that will and will not be seeing much action in 2013.

Canadians refers to players who have represented or are eligible by virtue of citizenship to represent Canada in international play.
"Canadians" refers to players who are Canadian for MLS roster purposes only. They are not tracked by my statistic.


Canadians: Patrice Bernier, Karl Ouimette, Maxim Tissot
"Canadians": Wandrille Lefevre
Week 1 minutes: Patrice Bernier 90

Patrice Bernier made up almost all minutes played by Canadians for Montreal in 2012. Expect more of the same in 2013. There was some buzz about Tissot during training camp, while Ouimette had a few appearances in '12. Lefevre has Canadian residency but lived in France until age 13. Should there be any indication that he intends to represent Canada internationally, he'll be moved to the other category.


Canadians: Kyle Bekker, Terry Dunfield, Ashtone Morgan, Jonathan Osorio, Quillan Roberts, Matt Stinson, Emery Welshman
"Canadians": Ashton Bennett
Week 1 minutes: Kyle Bekker 90, Ashtone Morgan 90, Terry Dunfield 75, Emery Welshman 5

Young Canadians played a lot of minutes for TFC in 2013. They were also a historically bad team. It would be nice to see continuation of the first without a repeat of the second. The likeliest Canadians to see big minutes in 2013 are the three starters from Saturday at Vancouver. Dunfield is a steady, if unsexy, presence in midfield, while there is a great deal of optimism surrounding #1 pick Bekker. Morgan will have to take a step forward this year; after nearly two full seasons of matches for Toronto, big question marks remaining about his tackling and defensive positioning. As long as Toronto only has 1 or 2 proper forwards on the roster, the rookie Welshman will remain an option to come off the bench. Do not expect Roberts (third-string keeper) or Osorio and Stinson (depth midfielders) to see the pitch much this season.


Canadians: Bryce Alderson, Caleb Clarke, Russell Teibert, Simon Thomas
"Canadians": Alain Rochat
Week 1 minutes: none

As was the case most weeks in 2012, no Canadians saw the pitch in week 1 for the 'Caps. In fact, none were dressed for the occasion. The Canadians at Martin Rennie's disposal are y-o-u-n-g, but that hasn't stopped him from starting 18-year olds like Hurtado and Manneh, or Koffie last season. If Alderson, Clarke, and Teibert are good enough, they will play. Of those three, Russell Teibert, with 15 appearances for the MLS Whitecaps, is the most experienced professional. Simon Thomas, as third-string keeper, likely will not be put to work this year.

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