Saturday, November 21, 2015

Canadian content in 2015: Final numbers

All of Canada's professional teams could make the case that their 2015 season was a successful one. FC Edmonton gave a creditable performance in the Voyageurs Cup for the second year running. Toronto advanced to the MLS playoffs for the first time in its history. Vancouver and Montreal each won a playoff round, with Montreal also completing a run to the CONCACAF Champions League final this spring, and Vancouver taking its first Canadian Championship this summer. Ottawa, in only its second season of existence, went on extended unbeaten and clean-sheet runs on its way to an NASL final loss to New York.

If you are one to make the argument that part of the role of these teams is to bring along young Canadians to the point where they are able to play first team minutes then the year was less successful. All but Vancouver saw a decrease from their 2014 numbers, with Vancouver's additional minutes coming when they ran out a reserve side in some of their CCL matches.

The overall trend, year-over-year, has not been positive:

There was also a general decline over the course of this season, with Canadian minutes peaking during the early rounds of the Voyageurs Cup. Montreal's mid-season bump came when I re-classified Wandrille Lefevre's minutes as Canadian after he became a citizen:

In 2015, as in 2013, Edmonton fielded the most Canadians, by percentage of minutes played, with a less-than-creditable 28.1%. Montreal, despite Lefevre's conversion, brought up the rear, though all 3 MLS sides did little heavy lifting in this regard.

Here are the numbers by team:

NASL Regular Season84782955528.7%
Canadian Championship952396024.0%

NASL Regular Season76702970025.8%
Canadian Championship400198020.2%
NASL Postseason427228818.7%

MLS Regular Season40063354111.9%
Canadian Championship277198014.0%
MLS Playoffs709907.1%

MLS Regular Season2228335526.6%
Canadian Championship465396011.7%
CONCACAF Champions League961396024.3%
MLS Playoffs9019804.5%

MLS Regular Season2583335547.7%
CONCACAF Champions League15159402.5%
Canadian Championship710390018.2%
MLS Playoffs23733007.2%

You can view a match-by-match summary here.

For comparison's sake, here are the end-of-year reports going back to 2009.
  • 2014 (Ottawa 31.8%, Edmonton 29.1%, Toronto 19%, Montreal 13.4%, Vancouver 8%)
  • 2013 (Edmonton 37.3%, Toronto 18.4%, Montreal 10.2%, Vancouver 5.9%)
  • 2012 (Edmonton 59.8%, Toronto 25.5%, Montreal 6.5%, Vancouver 0.3%)
  • 2011 (Edmonton 77.3%, Montreal (NASL) 21.4%, Toronto 19.1%, Vancouver 5.8%)
  • 2010 (Montreal 35.4%, Vancouver (NASL) 34.0%, Toronto 32.8%)
  • 2009 (Vancouver 42.1%, Montreal 39.2%, Toronto 37.6%)
  • 2008 (Vancouver 56.4%, Montreal 44.8%, Toronto 22.1%)


Unknown said...

Great stat collection. Thanks for doing it.

Very interesting that Montreal and Vancouver had such different strategies for the CCL games. Due no doubt to Montreal going a lot deeper and almost winning it but 2.5% vs 24.3% is a huge difference.

All 3 MLS teams played a lot more CanCon in the V's Cup games.

I agree with counting all 3 competitions because the level is similar. In V's Cup games you will face a hungry D2 team or 2 other MLS sides. In the CCL you'll face very good Mexican and MLS sides.

Also interesting that the MLS teams seem to be levelling out at 8-12% and the NASL teams at 20-25%. Hopefully it will increase from here on out. Now that all 3 MLS teams have academy players graduating every year we should see a gradual improvement.

jonathan said...

When it comes to comparing Vancouver and Montreal in CONCACAF Champions League, a more useful comparison is to Montreal's CCL matches last year, in early rounds before they had any reason to believe they'd be making a final. In those three 2014 CCL matches for the Impact they were at 14%.

What Vancouver's CCL campaign this season suggests is that the team's Canadian talent pool is still so shallow that upping the Canadian content means sacrificing quality competitiveness.

Unknown said...

The second string for Vancouver was just very disjointed during the CCL games. Everybody on different pages of the playbook. We played one decent game against Seattle but very poor outside of that. Some decent individual moments but you could see a huge drop off not so much in skill but just unable to cope with the faster close downs against higher level competition.

The injury to Sam also cut into the CanCon for Vancouver. He had taken the starting spot from Jordan Harvey but then once injured he didn't recover form until very late and Harvey was very solid.

Similar was Teibert. He goes for international duty with Canada and Gershon takes the opportunity with both hands and was the #2 DM for the rest of the season.

jonathan said...

Agreed. Barring any more roster moves, Vancouver has a better chance than Montreal or Toronto to see their number go up significantly next year.

Unknown said...

Silly me I had picked Caleb Clarke as the player who would breakout in 2015. He did okay in the USL team but nothing that would make you say "he should on the first team". Tim Parker was clearly the breakout player. From draft pick to second CB. Obviously that doesn't help us for Canadian Content.

Of all the Canadian players I've seen on the USL team I think Kianz is the closest to breaking into the first team. Pity that he plays the same position as Teibert. Bustos I don't know about. Very good some ways and not so others.

Hopefully some Canadians will breakout of the pack and establish themselves on the first team.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Jono!