Another Conditional Canadian: Marco Bustos Joins Chile U-20

By Benjamin Massey

July 6th, 2014 · 17 comments

Marco Bustos is a good player and seems like a good guy, but making excuses for his turning his back on Canada is all wrong.

Benjamin Massey/Maple Leaf Forever!

Benjamin Massey/Maple Leaf Forever!

This past Canada Day I was at Minoru Park in Richmond, BC cheering on the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23s and one of their star players, Marco Bustos, as he scored a lovely goal against the hapless Washington Crossfire. It was a very small crowd but sometimes lively, brightened up late by a set of drunk patriots, blissed out on Canada, trying to steal the corner flag. This, it turns out, was more than usually ironic.

Bustos, a long-time Canadian youth international who featured at the U-17 World Cup, was on Friday named to the Chilean U-20 roster for an upcoming United States training camp[1]. A youth camp this doesn’t mean the end of Bustos’s potential career in Canadian silks. But young Canadians taking our resources then rushing off to represent other countries and deciding later who they’re going to represent is a problem in our country that’s seldom ended well. This is another example of the endless player drain from Canada to countries people want to escape in any context but soccer.

By every account Bustos is a nice guy, a young gentleman. He’s an exciting young player who I remain high on, a natural playmaker with a quality shot from distance whose hard work in the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency will likely be rewarded with a professional contract. So take my reaction, with yet another Canadian deciding their nationality is just a badge of convenience, as disappointment that Canada is losing both on-field and what before Friday I’d been sure was off-field class.

This isn’t a case of a player going back to the homeland or a player who was neglected by Canada finding a soccer home elsewhere. Bustos was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has accepted Canadian development resources for several years. His soccer career is financed by the Canadian taxpayer, receiving the maximum $10,800 for a men’s soccer athlete in 2014[2], so even the sneering satisfied selfishness of “what does this complete stranger owe you?” is off the mark.

I will say little against Bustos in particular, though if you’ve come far enough to read this article you can guess what I think. Being honest, not betraying those who have helped your career, and giving back to a community you’re part of are not soccer-specific virtues: they are what we demand from any member of society. Taking limited Canadian time and money then saying “thanks anyway” when something better comes along is worse than a slap in the face. Answering “he’s only got one career!” is trite apologia: we all only have one career, with less chance to make it rich than an elite professional athlete, but we still expect each other to be decent citizens.

It’s been suggested, or maybe hoped, that Bustos is going to this camp not out of any interest in the Chilean program but to further his own career with some exposure and different technical training. I’m not here to defend the honour of Chile but that would be cynical even for me. Then it would be Chile, not Canada, spending resources on someone who had no intention of paying them back, and a dishonest act wouldn’t lose its taint because it’s not against us. Somebody, somewhere, is being deceived: that’s what makes this a character issue. With all that said, Bustos is 17 and we all did things we wish we hadn’t when we were 17. I have enough confidence in Bustos’s character to not close any doors, and to shake my head at ill-advised supporters who tweet abuse or declare him dead to them.

What infuriates me is the trend of demanding less pride, less citizenship, less decency, and less honesty from a man (seldom a woman) just because he’s good at kicking a ball rather than writing a program, flipping a burger, driving a truck, or whatever else humans do for a living. You can’t swing a stick without hitting people insisting that any antisocial act which isn’t actually illegal but would get a normal human spat on in the street is fine, because this guy’s a soccer player.

So let’s consider those grown adults who, for whatever reason, have decided to carry the water of players who turn their backs on us. It’s a familiar crowd. In this corner, the people who go “canada has a soccr teem? lololololol” and define their nation in terms of an inferiority complex. In this corner, people who don’t care about Canadian soccer as such and prefer to prop up their preferred, generally American or European, form of the game. (This group is very large: witness the Vancouver Whitecaps enjoying large attendances despite a losing team with almost no Canadian content.) And in this corner, fans and media members who’ll defend any player who’s nice to them, who is a good interview, who makes time for their questions and maybe shares a little something off the record. Canadian sports consumers will be very, very familiar with this last group.

We’ve heard a lot from all three of these groups in the past few days, although they have been with us for years. The mere fact that I’m sitting here defending, in print, the idea that people should be honest is probably an indication of how degraded this conversation has become.

Anybody who steps into the Canadian soccer conversation for ten seconds will hear, for example, people saying that anybody doing anything to screw Canada is justified because “why doesn’t the Canadian Soccer Association get its act together?” These people usually cannot name a single member of the CSA board, let alone show awareness of the changes there in recent years, of new player development models, of successful youth national teams, of that act being gotten together. Naturally they don’t nearly explain how incompetence would excuse habitual dishonesty anyway. Instead they measure the entire CSA by the recent success of the senior men’s national team, success partially prevented by the loss of top players these non-fans encourage to play for other countries. It’s marvelously circular, incredibly ill-informed, craven, stupid on an elementary school level, and this paragraph is already more attention than these so-called arguments deserve.

Then take the media, such as Vancouver Province Whitecaps writer Marc Weber, who I choose for criticism because he’s good. Asking that we “hear from the young lad first” as Weber did[3], besides displaying the chumminess that’s part of the problem, misses the point. The facts are not in dispute. Bustos has happily retweeted his callup, the Chilean soccer association has carried it, we have the Government of Canada’s website with his name next to his subsidy, we have the records of the games he played for Canada. The quality of any subsequent interview is irrelevant; what could be said to alter history? Sure enough, Weber’s article the next day was a list of vanilla quotes that changed nothing[4].

Then there are those who throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. Whitecaps radio voice Pete Schaad[5] asked on Twitter whether we Canadian fans would get upset at Bustos playing for Canada if he were a naturalized immigrant. This represents a particularly smelly red herring. We’re not talking about immigration but about a Canadian by any definition representing another country based on 19th-century-style blood quantums; for defenders to raise leering suggestions of xenophobia is a bit too rich.

Schaad’s tweet was retweeted as a “gotchya” by the usual suspects, though, so I may as well answer: no, I don’t object to an immigrant who has embraced Canada playing for their new homeland. Who would? Possibly there’s some psychotic blood-and-soil supporter outraged at nefarious foreigners polluting our national team, but I doubt he speaks for the mainstream. All supporters I know have nothing but love for Carl Valentine (31 caps; born Manchester, England), Milan Borjan (18 caps; born Knin, Croatia), Randy Edwini-Bonsu (4 caps; born Kumasi, Ghana), and many similar players.

Likewise I don’t begrudge those who moved out of Canada and played for their new countries. You will search in vain on this site for a bad word about Canadian-born Swiss international Alain Rochat. I’m more liberal than the usual fan but I have defended Canadian-born Dutch international Jonathan de Guzman on precisely those grounds[6]. And a fair few Canadian men and women have gone to represent other countries when Canada showed no interest. Half of Haiti’s women’s national team is made from Canadian women; who among us complains? On the other hand not a few fans, including myself, have been against the arrival of American born, raised, and trained Rachel Quon in the Canadian women’s program[7] because she isn’t a Canadian immigrant, but an American with the FIFA-requisite drop of “Canadian blood” who can adopt our passport for convenience.

I don’t answer Schaad at such length because the question is germane to Bustos’s situation but to illustrate that this is something Canadian soccer fans think about: it’s not hypernationalism, it’s not “us versus them”. It’s a question of character far more than of country.

We shouldn’t overlook the role of the Vancouver Whitecaps in all of this. One hates to play the “Whitecaps hate Canada” card, but they could have done something to defend their country. Even setting aside the hopes that the Whitecaps would cut or exile a promising prospect for the sake of Canada, Bustos would have needed their consent to accept the invitation to this training camp on a non FIFA date. Instead, they have let Bustos go, and the club website has a news article with an approving quote from Carl Robinson[8]. Given that, even ignoring the near-total dearth of Canadian content in the men’s first team, the MLS-era Whitecaps have given a serious trial and several reserve games to Canadian-turned-Czech-international Jacob Lensky and a USL W-League contract to Canadian-turned-American-international Sydney Leroux back when the Whitecaps had a W-League team, they demonstrably do not care. As a Whitecaps fan, you may argue that the Whitecaps are a private club and owe Canada nothing, but presumably you’d have no objection to the facts being printed for those who do long for the days of a connection between club and country.

In these cases, one is inevitably asked if there’s any serious chance of the ex-Canadian making the senior team of this other country. I don’t know the Chilean U-20 pool, but I do know Bustos is a very good player. He’s dominated the U-16 and U-18 leagues and as of this writing he is the second-leading goalscorer per minute with the USL PDL Whitecaps; extremely impressive for a 17-year-old midfielder in a U-23 league. I was as sure as anybody can be about a 17-year-old that he would have a role to play with Canada for many years. I’m not at all sure today, and if he does it looks like we’re a second or third choice. Let’s take the time to appreciate our young players in countless sports for whom Canada isn’t just “better than nothing.”

[1] — ANFP. “Seleccion Sub 20: Nomina de convocados para la Copa NTC USA 2014.”, July 4, 2014. Accessed July 6, 2014.

[2] — Government of Canada. “Athletes Receiving AAP Support as of February 1, 2014.” Sport Canada – Funding Programs, February 1, 2014. Accessed July 6, 2014.

[3] — Weber, Marc. “@aftncanada @tylergreenFC @SoccerTalk650 why don’t we hear from the young lad first. And then discuss.” Via Twitter, July 5, 2014. Accessed July 6, 2014.

[4] — Weber, Marc. “Canada? Italy? Whitecaps’ Bustos chooses to play for Chile, for now, leaving fans feeling chilly.” The Province, July 6, 2014. Accessed July 6, 2014.

[5] — Schaad, Peter. “Last thought on Bustos. If he was born in Chile then moved here & naturalized, would you say, “sorry Marco, we don’t want you on CMNT?”” Via Twitter, July 4, 2014. Accessed July 6, 2014.

[6] — Massey, Benjamin. “I Find I’m Starting to Like Jonathan de Guzman.” Maple Leaf Forever!, February 7, 2013. Accessed July 6, 2014.

[7] — Massey, Benjamin. “The Rachel Quon Quandry.” Maple Leaf Forever!, May 22, 2013. Accessed July 6, 2014.

[8] — Vancouver Whitecaps FC. “Marcos Bustos called up to Chile’s U-20 national team.”, July 6, 2014. Accessed July 6, 2014.

Comments are closed.

17 responses to “Another Conditional Canadian: Marco Bustos Joins Chile U-20”

  1. Chris Corrigan says:

    Ben: I totally respect this piece. I am sad that Bustos might not end up playing for Canada, but as you know I’ve been a little wary of the vitriol being spat at him. I appreciate your dismissal of some of that poison too.

    Bustos isnt breaking any rules. The rules are stupid. But he isn;t breaking them. I don’t know enough about him to know if he is rejecting Canada or choosing Chile, and the difference is important. I sense it’s more the latter than the former just from the media, but who knows? If he’s actually saying “No, Canada isn’t worth playing for” I’d be surprised and could see more basis for the outrage, but I’m not sure we know that yet.

    But solutions. What do you think of the CSA only funding players who are eligible only to play for Canada, or receiving a binding condition of their subsidy that they play only with Canada? Or perhaps a player agreeing to pay back his subsidy if he moves to play for another nation? I don’t know if FIFA would sanction this or not, but it strikes me that the way to stop this from happening is either to tie prospects to the country, or refuse to fund anyone who might bolt.

    Barring that, the only option is to hope that a core of great players devote themselves to a career rebuilding Canada’s chances for a World Cup finals berth. Bustos would clearly be one of those “strange attractors” that might build up a team good enough to make it to 2022, especially if the tournament is moved to the USA. With quality players in the side, and a substantial rise in FIFA ranking, we might finally get a critical mass of this generation of players to stick around and build a national team of substantially better quality. I believe this is a part of the CSA’s plan, but clearly the tools are strong enough to ensure that these investments can pay dividends to Canada.

  2. Seathanaich says:

    Fuck him. If playing for Canada is just some mercenary thing he does to advance his career or because nobody he likes better asked you to dance, then fuck him. Permanently. If you can’t figure that out by your late teens then you never will. Fuck off and don’t ever come back.

    If players move overseas at age 12 and spend their teen years elsewhere, then fine. If they represent Grenada or Lichtenstein because they can’t get called up by Canada, fine. If they are from Brazil or Germany, move here, and play for Canada because they’ll never play for where they came from, fine.

    Youth isn’t an excuse, it’s a rationalisation, and a pathetic one. If you have chosen your parent’s country over your own, it doesn’t matter what lies you say, you clearly are NOT a proud Canadian, you’re a mercenary or prostitute when it comes to your sporting career.

    Fuck the sycophantic broadcasters who kiss the arses of these players, fawn all over them, and act like Canadians should cheer them.

    If the players wearing the jersey on the field don’t love the it as much as the people wearing it in the stands, then FUCK THEM.

  3. Chris Corrigan says:

    And so what do you think the CSA needs to do to stop the flood of kids leaving the country for other pastures? Cause just saying “FUCK ‘EM” is probably not going to get us the national side we believe is possible.

    Personally I think we need to give them an incentive for staying…a higher subsidy, better training opportunities, maybe balanced with a signed commitment not to flee or to return resources if they do. But given that less than 10% of all Canadians have all of their grandparents born in this country and given this country’s low low ranking on the FIFA list, this is not going to stop any time soon. Great players will go to good national sides like JDG and AB, and poor players who might not make Canada can at least try their luck with Barbados or Vietnam if they want a taste of international football.

    It’s a systemic issue and I haven’t seen anyone addressing it effectively enough. My hope was that with the great showings lately of our youth teams and a solid development path through the MLS academies and good players coming through and committing to the project we would get through this generational transition. Bustos leaving sets the project back, he’s that good. It demands new tools and new thinking, because clearly we haven’t got it right yet.

    • Seathanaich says:

      Canadians are welcome to play for Barbados or Vietnam if Canada doesn’t select them; just as they’re free to play for Switzerland or Italy in hockey. That’s a Straw Man Argument. The problem isn’t with Canadians who aren’t wanted by the CSA; it’s with born-and-raised Canadians who are, and don’t answer the call (Bustos, LeRoux, Hargreaves, Hoilett). I don’t have a problem with de Guzman, he grew up and was trained in the Netherlands; nor with Teal Bunbury since he grew up in the US.

      The only thing that will help is for Canadians to stop applauding and apologising for people who do this, i.e. a change in Canadian societal attitudes towards traitors. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen.

      The programme itself can’t improve unless the top players stay to improve it, which is a feedback loop that either works, or (in the case of the CMNT), doesn’t. If Canadian players themselves don’t improve the CMNT, then anything done by the CSA, fans, etc is peripheral and secondary.

      I’d rather cheer for people like Gershon Koffie in Canadian colours, who appreciate what this country has given them, then pieces of shit like Bustos who do not.

  4. Chris Corrigan says:

    The guys you are calling “traitors” are not breaking rules. That’s why I say the problem is systemic. I certainly wish we had a national team set up that had Hoillet and DeGuzman, Rochat and Bunbury and Begovic for that matter.

    Positive feedback loops need to get started. The Bustos situation should be a wake up call to shock the system into a situation that bootstraps the positive feedback loop. If FIFA won’t allow players to be tied to a country for merely accepting development money then perhaps the CSA needs to do it. You are welcome to a training subsidy if you promise to play for Canada.

    That isn’t going to stop promising young players who have options from just privately funding their own development and bolting anyway if they are mercenary in their intent. But hopefully with a solid core, a FIFA ranking in the top 5 in CONCAF and a shot at a World Cup Finals and Gold Cup and other bits of silverware, good players will feel like the choice is always going to be Canada.

    I can’t muster the vitriol for Bustos that so easily comes to others. But I’m disappointed by his choice especially if it means we lose him. I don;t like the precedent, I don’t like the reversal of trends that it represents and I don’t like our chances for the future. But to me, it is less about the player and more about seeing the player as a symptom of the system. It points to something bigger that needs to be addressed, properly, strategically and innovatively. I hope we can get it right, because there are some talented young players coming up that could take us into contention by 2022, but that window is closing fast.

    • Seathanaich says:

      Having morals and ethics is doing the right thing, even when nobody is looking; or in this case, doing the right thing even when there are loopholes that let you do the wrong thing. Making excuses like “but, it’s in the rules” to excuse traitors is part of the problem. As long as there is no backlash from Canadian fans and society, we are all enablers for sports traitors.

      The Bustos situaion isn’t a “wake up”. This has been in the spotlight of Canadian soccer since at least Hargreaves. I’m no apologist for the CSA, but this player was playing for them, getting paid by them, part of a relatively successful youth programme with Benito Floro coaching the mens team. I disagree with our ability to host a World Cup, but at least they’re dreaming big. No matter what the CSA does, and no matter how much our CMNT improves, we will never catch Mexico and USA; Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, and Ecuador; most of Europe; some of Africa; and some of Asia. Therefore, we will continue to bleed soccer traitors EVEN IF THE CMNT RISES 50 PLACES ON THE FIFA RANKINGS.

      The cure to soccer traitors, we were told in the past, was more Canadian professional clubs giving more Canadian players a chance to train at home with the best facilities, coaches and prospects. We are getting that. Despite that, Bustos chooses his parent’s country over Canada.

      Increased elite Canadian training opportunities does not tie people to Canada as long as our society excuses and apologises for traitors on the sporting field. Of course more and better pro training in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal should be encouraged and continued; but other countries are good and trying to improve too.

      The problem in these cases is Canadian societal acceptance of sports traitors. Jody Vance licked the arse of Sidney LeRoux’s mother in Vancouver a year or two ago, and appeared genuinely surprised that some fans of Canadian soccer weren’t as arse-kissy to traitors as she is. Whenever people like Bustos are criticised, a host of apologists come out, often with high levels of ignorance (not understanding the difference between club and country sport, not knowing the specific details of people who pick other countries rather than Canada, etc).

      That’s part of the problem. The other part is a lack of honour, pride, and loyalty on the part of individuals. There is nothing the CSA can do to change that. It’s bigger than them.

  5. Chris Corrigan says:

    So Seathanaich, I’m genuinely curious. If you think the problem is a mix of societal indifference and questionable individual morality, what do you think the answer is? What know what needs to happen. I’m interested in how it happens.

    • Seathanaich says:

      As fans, there are only a few things we can do. One is support local soccer, if possible. I support a USL PDL team that has ambitions to get into USL Pro. I support Whitecaps as much as I can from a distance. I watch televised national team games. Money is what Canadian soccer needs in order to grow. Not stupid money on the Enlgish League or Real Madrid scale; but money to actually give Canadian youth a shot at a pro career which starts in Canada, or maybe even plays out an entire career here.

      Secondly, we need to stop apologising for and enabling traitors, because as individuals they have the most control over the quality of our national teams, and therefore over the degree to which those teams inspire Canadian fans and Canadian youth.

      That’s all I can control. It’s all you can control. As coaches and parents, of course, we can control a bit more; but I’m sticking here to what we control as fans. I’m a fan of Canadian sport. I don’t care about the career opportunities of individuals, nor should I. I care about the badge on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back. If pro athletes want my money to live their affluent lives, then it is my right to demand that, when they’re Canadian born and raised, they give all of us who pay for them a small part of their sporting excellence back: loyalty to what we have in common in the form of our national teams. I expect that, in exchange for my money at the ticket booth, players respect the difference between mercenary club soccer, and national team programmes.

      What did Greg Rusedski being Canadian ever do for Canadian tennis? Nothing, because he choose to represent the UK internationally. In contrast, Daniel Nestor made a difference. The effect from Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard is just beginning to take off, and will dwarf Nestor’s contribution, I think. Both have greatly raised the prestige of their sport domestically, and this nation globally.

      Steve Nash has lived in the US for years, and went to a US university. As an NBA MVP, he could have played for the US. But he didn’t. He chose to represent Canada, the country he was born and raised in. He has made a huge difference to Canadian basketabll by doing so – the top NBA draft pick two years in a row now was Canadian. Nash has raised the profile of Canada with class and dignity in the US and in basketball.

      What has Owen Hargreaves being Canadian done for Canadian soccer? Absolutely nothing. Who looks up to him? Nobody, not even the people who apologised for him and defended him. Yet the same people will apologise for and defend Bustos, with the same false hope that this is somehow “good for Canadian soccer”.

      It’s not. It’s bad for Canadian soccer. It’s one less player in our elite player pool, thereby lowering our chances of international success, which lowers the interest of future youth in playing the sport professionally and/or representing Canada, which creates a continual spiral downwards rather than upwards.

      This is pretty simple cause and effect. Anyone who defends Bustos et al does so because they would make the same decision, and use international soccer as a club career advancing tool rather than as an opportunity to promote the wider community they are part of. Such people are part of what’s wrong with modern pro sport: overly commercialised, players only in it for the money, no respect for the fans upon whom all the money relies. Players who do that are to blame. Fans who rationalise and support them are to blame. They need to stop doing so, and see where they’re actual interest as a fan lies.

      So secondly, fans need to stop enabling players to screw them, and Canadian soccer, over. We need to demand the same collective pursuit for victory that we demand of our hockey players, or our curlers, or many of our Winter Olympians.

      Thirdly, we need to grow pro training environments in Canada over the long term, even though doing so won’t keep people like Bustos, who have no pride in where they come from, from whoring themselves out to other countries if they can in the short term. We need the academies in Van, Tor, and Mtl to not only train young men but also young women.

      We need viable D2 teams in Edm, Cgy, and Ott to do the same.

      We need the CSA to devote energy and effort (if they can’t afford money) to assisting D2 soccer in those three cities, and in getting one or two NWSL teams in Canada.

      We then need them to devote energy and effort to soccer specific stadia in Edm, Cgy, and Ott; and then the same plus more D2 teams in Wpg, Ham, and Que, to truly give us a national network of pro teams and pro youth development opportunities.

      That’s what we need to do. It’s long term. It involves slow gradual change. Except in attitude. In our attitude towards what we demand of Canadian players, we can change that tomorrow. The first step is to stop pretending that people like Hargreaves, Bustos, etc are somehow “good” for the Canadian game when they demonstrably are not.

  6. Chris Corrigan says:

    BTW, the reason I called it a wake up call is because, yes, this has been happening for years but the CSA has been taking steps to address it, and yet here it is happening again. That is an early warning that more needs to be done, and the problem hasn’t been fully addressed.

  7. Benjamin Massey says:

    The question of incentives gets into paying guys for loyalty, and that’s a fraught one. But I mean, offering a guy of Bustos’s calibre and age almost $11,000, I believe taxfree… that’s a pretty strong incentive. Young players are getting regular call-ups to senior teams under an experienced, respected head coach. Teenagers are featuring in Gold Cups. It doesn’t appear to necessarily be enough.

    I do think we need some stick to go along with what’s already quite a bit of carrot. Those grants should certainly come with a “if you go elsewhere then you’re getting a bill” proviso, if they don’t already. And then there’s hitting them in their careers, even if only in little ways. The best idea I heard was that players who represent countries other than Canada shouldn’t count as domestics in our leagues; unfortunately, that might well require our own league. Maybe someday…

    And those of us who disapprove of the whole idea that people need to be bribed to be decent should say so, preferably in multi-thousand-word blog posts.

  8. Chris Corrigan says:

    It’s not so much about paying for loyalty as it is solidifying a mutual commitment to make Canada’s national team better.

    It a simple reframing actually. CSA could declare a campaign to qualify for the World Cup, give it a fancy tag like “own the podium” had and commit to an intensive and branded development project. Anyone with promise gets picked to receive training subsidies and playing time in the youth sides and makes a public signed commitment to the project. Imagine a press conference where 60 young Canadians sign on to this idea and commit themselves to it. Then we have a solid core of players determined to make it happen and the profile gets high. Bailing on the project just doesn’t become an option after that. And we can end these ridiculous distractions whereby our national team only makes the news when someone turns his back on it.

    • Seathanaich says:

      That would be a good idea.

      If the CSA can do what they’re doing for women players in the NWSL (which is fantastic), then can they afford this?

      They probably don’t think it’s necessary with three D1 pro clubs, and two D2 pro clubs.

      • Benjamin Massey says:

        The CSA is funding, what, 19 senior WNT players? And not too heavily at that.

        Doing something with the senior players would be silly (hey, you think playing for Chile will help you get into the English Premier League, well would an extra $20,000 a year change your mind?!), so I presume you’re talking about subsidizing youth players in a similar fashion. The trouble is that the pool of quality youth is so much wider than the pool of senior players you really need to keep a finger on that I think the costs would add up fast. And besides, as we can see above a fair chunk of Canadian U-23s are already getting their $7,000+ from the government.

        I think the answer is, well, culture. How many coaches from the old country do we have running academies around here, talking about how the highest honour is representing Chile or England or the Netherlands or Romania or whatever? Man, I ran into a fair few in my youth career and I played rec! The more strong Canadian-developed coaches we have who do this for Canada, who take their boys after practice to watch that MNT friendly in Ruritania, who say “model your game off Jason de Vos”, the more that culture will start to shift. And the obvious benefit of this approach is: training and certifying more coaches is a thing we desperately need to do anyway. We just need to make the culture stronger at the top and let it seep down.

  9. Chris Corrigan says:

    Oh yeah. My son had an old school, old world referee that was checking the team cards at a u13 game. Every time he came to a Spanish, Portuguese or Italian namei he’d say “now THERE’s a soccer name!” Shocking actually.

  10. Anomie says:

    Thrilled for the young man. Glad Vancouver supported him. Would have been disgusting if they hadn’t. Gale commenting …just looked at his twitter page and don’t recognize the silvery jersey as Canadian. A bit of a joke. I’m sure if the premier league asked him to coach, he’d be there. He’d have to pay back all monies earned in Canada though while he developed as a coach I guess. Vancouver is mature enough to support Bustos development. Good for them. I’ve read lots of comments on Vancouver program’s philosophy. I’m sure they know what it is. Vancouver and Bustos have class. Canada needs to keep supporting this young man. New respect for Whitecaps.

    • Seathanaich says:

      Gosh, “anonymous”, spelled oddly. Could you possibly be a family member? Canada most certainly does NOT need to support this young man. What kind of moral and ethical vacuum do parasites like you live on? It’s like reading George Orwell’s “1984”.

      • Anomie says:

        Had been looking forward to commenting and reading different perspectives. I’m clearly way out of my league here so came to the wrong place. I disagree with you – I’m immoral. I feel genuinely happy for Bustos – I’m a family member. Anomie means anonymous but spelled oddly? I’ve been quoted the title (wish it could have at least been a poignant quote from the text) from a wonderful piece of literature handed out to every grade 11 class in Canadian high schools. Sigh … okay, you are right, your perspective is the only one worth reading about. You are incredibly moral. If I live ON the ethical vacuum, you live IN it.