Sunday, December 11, 2016

Canadian content in 2016: Final numbers

Ottawa Fury, of the likely-now-defunct NASL, had the highest proportion of their minutes played by Canadians at 34%.

While FC Edmonton saw their Canadian content drop from the previous year, all of the other teams were up in 2016. The Whitecaps reached a (laughable) MLS-era high of 15.5% in all competitions.

Here are the numbers by team:

NASL Regular Season112633159335.7%
Canadian Championship982396024.8%

The USL-bound Fury tweeted this the other day, so my numbers may be off slightly:
This was Ottawa's "most Canadian" season of their three-year existence, narrowly edging out their number from 2014. Canadian semi-regulars included Eddie Edward, Carl Haworth, Mallan Roberts, Maxim Tissot, Jamar Dixon and pre-injury Julian de Guzman.

NASL Regular Season69363158622.0%
Canadian Championship419198021.2%
NASL Postseason19099019.2%

FC Edmonton were consistent in their use of Canadian players across all competitions. As you can see from the graph above, their Canadian content rate has been on a consistent downward slide since their inception. Their signing of Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood and the mid-season acquisition of Ben Fisk were more than offset by the departures of some of their big 2015 minute-earners (Mallan Roberts and Eddie Edward to Ottawa, John Smits to the USL, Hanson Boakai to oblivion). Eighteen-year old Shamit Shome was a bright spot in '16, while Ledgerwood had the most minutes among Canadians (2455 in NASL play).

MLS Regular Season69853356320.8%
Canadian Championship1316396033.2%
MLS Playoffs750660011.4%

Toronto's Canadian content in 2016 was their highest since 2012. The biggest contributing factor was a stretch in early summer when international absences and injuries provided significant playing time for youngsters Jordan Hamilton, Jay Chapman, and Mo Babouli. With the full squad healthy, as we saw when playoffs rolled around, there was often only one Canadian in the starting lineup, either Jonathan Osorio or, less often, Will Johnson. The addition of goal-machine (and a blog favourite) Tosaint Ricketts made TFC's deep playoff run a bit more palatable for this writer.

MLS Regular Season39673338111.9%
Canadian Championship1094396027.6%
CONCACAF Champions League1325396033.5%

Can we still say #WhitecapsHateCanada? Probably. This is by far their highest Can-con number in the MLS era, which illustrates just how little Canadians have been playing for them in the past. Russell Teibert was a contributor but injuries made it a struggle for him to stay on the game day roster, let alone in the starting eleven. Fraser Aird, on loan from Rangers, played a fair bit, mostly poorly and out of position at right back. Summer transfers of Canadian internationals Marcel de Jong and David Edgar helped their numbers a fair bit. Teenager Alphonso Davies offers hope for the future (unless he plays for Liberia) while Marco Bustos, Kianz Froese and various other WFC2 starlets made small impacts over small amounts of minutes.

MLS Regular Season42003352312.5%
Canadian Championship475190524.9%
MLS Playoffs42152808.0%

Patrice Bernier. Wandrille Lefevre. Some early season work from Kyle Bekker. A few cameos from some other hyphenated Quebecois academy products. Hard to see this number going up next year with Bernier likely to be in a reduced role (if he doesn't retire) and Lefevre seemingly 4th or 5th choice at centre back.

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

For comparison's sake, here are the end-of-year reports going back to 2009.
  • 2015 (Edmonton 28.1%, Ottawa 25%, Toronto 11.9%, Vancouver 8.6%, Montreal 7.9%)
  • 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...

Get over your OCD of the Caps not playing enough Canadians. Is it their fault that nobody from their academy except Davies has shown great things when on the field at the MLS level or even against D2 side Ottawa? Is it their fault that Rob Friend turned down more money from the Caps to play another year in Germany? Is it their fault that when he did move to MLS he chose LA? Is it their fault that most of the players with a choice have chosen Toronto or Montreal?

Look for whatever reason (turf? family?) the players returning have mostly chosen not to play in Vancouver. We finally landed 2 MNT quality players last year who look like they will fit in. So if they stay healthy maybe we'll see an improvement next year.

If the players can't take and hold a MLS level position then they are just not good enough yet. Is that too hard to understand? The vast majority of them will need a lot more time. Very few will be like Davies.

The younger players will get more chances but they need to step it up a notch from what I've seen so far.

jonathan said...

I don't even think I was particular hard on the Caps this year. They've been one of the few teams to consistently give their young Canadian players a chance (we saw more of this from TFC this year). I agree they can't be blamed if few have taken the bull by the horns yet, but I do think some have been given a short leash while middling American or Latin American vets skate on bad performances.

My larger point is that, as a whole, there aren't a lot of jobs for Canadians on Canadian teams. I have no solution.