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Ben Massi

Ben Massi - This should come as little surprise, but Ben Massey of 86 Forever is one person happy to hear about the Canadian Soccer Association's moratorium decision.

The American soccer leagues have never been as stable as their defenders pretend, while professional soccer in Canada is at an all-time high point in popularity.

Obviously, Massey is using entirely different standards for the two sides to make this argument. Division 2 instability is not simply about butts in seats and the relative popularity of the sport in Canada does not guarantee league stability.

He does, however, make some compelling points about the need for a truly national domestic league, something the country of 33 million people has lacked since the demise of the Canadian Soccer League in 1992.

A Canadian league, with Canadian quotas, would assure our players of a home. It would also allow for an all-Canadian development path: players could enter a Canadian soccer academy, make one of our MLS teams if they were good enough, and if they weren't still catch on with a selection of second-division teams that would allow them to make a living, or in one of dozens of third-division clubs that would at least give them a place to play.

Whether or not that league can be financially viable is, of course, another matter. Massey points out several Canadian markets that are currently untapped for summer sports dollars, but he also mentions metro areas like St. John's, Newfoundland that has fewer than 200,000 people as one of those untapped markets. In all of Canada there are only nine metro areas with as many as 500,000 people.

There is obviously more to a successful team than raw population size, though. Massey says he'll lay out a more complete plan in coming days, which should be interesting.

Ben Massi


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