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The Finger-Pointing Has Already Begun

The finger pointing has already begun -- it didn't even need Stephen Hart to resign before the starting gun was fired.

Hart talks to media, now they talk about him.
Hart talks to media, now they talk about him.

The pundits didn't need Stephen Hart's resignation to start the finger pointing on what is wrong with Canadian soccer. There's sure to be more as the next few days go on, but here's some of them so far.

Most do agree that Hart's position after the loss was untenable, and recommend his resignation. But it's Jason de Vos, writing for TSN, that perhaps lays the first knife into the still-warm carcass, by going right for what he believes to be the heart of the problem:

"We, as a nation, do a terrible job of developing soccer players.

From the time young players in Canada begin kicking a soccer ball, they encounter a player development system that is a broken, fractured mess. They often have unqualified, volunteer coaches, poor (if any) training facilities, an over-emphasis on winning over skill development and programs that are set up by adults who have no idea how to develop young soccer players."

He does go on to say that change must be mandated, something that could be very difficult given the regional squabbles that the CSA has been plagued with. But to be able to keep up, especially in the women's game, de Vos argues -- it's a bitter pill that everyone has to swallow.

Over at Sportsnet, Stephen Brunt lays the blame again at the feet of the CSA, blaming them for electing Victor Montagliani, who he claims has at least partial responsibility for the creation of this team.

"...But the buck stops with the Canadian Soccer Association, whose membership earlier this year opted to ignore the wishes of those MLS teams, to ignore pleas for reform, for new blood, and to award the presidency to Victor Montagliani, whose fingerprints are all over the current Men’s National Team program."

Brunt argues that while Hart may be to blame for not preparing his players for what was a crunch tie, he also blames the players for their mental errors, and how in the face of adversity, they crumbled.

Over at CBC Sports, Nigel Reed says it's time for Canada to admit that it doesn't have the answers, and also for the older generation to start moving on.

"It is time to admit we do not have all the answers. If we did, Canada would be celebrating and getting ready for The Hex in 2013. It is time to take a leap of faith and go head hunting. The right man must have a successful track record in international football and command respect, not only from his players, but also from club managers wary of releasing their employees for Canadian duty."

Reed goes on to say that unless a big gamble is made, Canada will remain adrift in the wilderness, regardless of how much money we toss at it. It could also signify the direction of players who are wavering between playing for Canada or another nation that they qualify for.

And then, there's Ben Massey at 86 Forever, who rails against CSA insistence that all games played in Toronto, and in turn Canadians as a whole received nothing for this sacrifice:

"We 80% of the country who raged against a Canadian Soccer Association that had abandoned its responsibilities, were told that in exchange for sacrifice we'd receive victory.

Canada had been handed the best chance to advance to the hex in its history and anyone outside of Toronto was to be denied a chance to witness it, but constantly we were said that it was worth it if Canada won, that losing the country was to the benefit of the team, that it would push us over that small hump into the final six and 8-1. We lost 8-1 for you. That was our reward."

As a Calgarian, I think I can't help but agree.

And finally, we have Paul Marhue over at Red Nation Online's East Side Stand Up! with this gem...


Sort of reflects how we feel, eh?

We'll have more as this story develops.