Last week, the Canadian Soccer Association took over the U15 and U17 groups of the Montreal Impact Academy with training sessions and presentations for the players. The Canada Soccer technical staff also took this opportunity to exchange and do meetings with the Academy staff.
The week was also marked by the change operated at Canada Soccer, as the federation is now going to the MLS academies instead of inviting players to a camp.
“It’s a new initiative to visit the MLS academies instead of inviting players or the staff to a camp in Canada or abroad,” said the new Impact Administrative Director of Soccer Operations, Patrick Leduc. “It’s the other way around. They do presentations, but they also have the will to exchange. They want us to participate and to share our views.”
The Academy staff was facing an unknown situation by giving total control of its teams to John Herdman and his staff. But in the end, the experience benefited both sides.
“At the end of the week, it was a positive and meaningful experience,” added Leduc. “Their presentation initiated discussions and our goals and methods are similar. It’s reassuring to know that the national team will give a positive experience to our players and it validates the work that is done here. We are all pushing for the success of soccer in our country.”
A chance in red for the Bleu-blanc-noir
The only time we like having our players wear red is when they represent the country. With events like last week, the Academy players will be put forward and observed closely.
“If we compare our players with cars, it’s like if we gave the keys to John Herdman and his team and let them drive for a moment,” added the ex-Impact player. “After each session, there was an evaluation. Our players need to deserve their place. If they work hard, they will be invited and be seen.”
In the CSA coaching staff, there was Mauro Biello and Andrew Olivieri, two ex-members of the Montreal Impact. The contact was even more natural between both parties.
A big year
The year 2019 will be eventful for the Bleu-blanc-noir players with the national team. The younger players will have a spot to fight for Concacaf U17 Championship to qualify for the U17 FIFA World cup, in Peru, from October 5 to 27.
The senior team will have a Nations League game on March 24, against French Guyana, and then the Gold Cup, from June 15 to July 7.