"What was your biggest struggle to go pro in Canada?"
JB: My biggest struggle when I was younger was that we did not have any pro clubs. I was very fortunate that my parents are European which allowed me to play in England. Today kids do not have to worry about that because they can play in Major League Soccer.
"Jim, is it true that there was a divide in the locker room near the end of your playing career at Toronto FC? Would you like to address the rumour that you were an intermediary in the locker room for Mo Johnston? Thanks!"
JB: There wasn't a divide in the locker room. When the team is not performing fingers tend to get pointed and stories created. I had a good relationship with Mo and all my coaches I played for. As for an intermediary for Mo that is news to me. If I was that close I should of asked him for a longer contract with more money. Lol
"What did your role as "Assistant General Manager" at TFC consist of on a day to day basis?"
JB: It consisted of working alongside the General Manager and trying to build a club with good players and a financially stable budget. You are always watching players and finding ways on how you can improve the roster. It is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and long hours.
"You joined Bristol City at such a young age. How did you go about getting signed by the club in terms of joining them from Canada?"
JB: I was playing with Canada in the U-17 World Cup in Japan at the time. When the tournament was over I arrived back in Toronto and I asked a man by the name of Tony Taylor to set up a trial for me in Europe. I was originally headed to Celtic but Tommy Burns who was gaffer ended up getting fired which meant my next stop was Bristol City. I had a week trial and signed a two year deal.
"Which club had the best food?"
JB: Toronto FC had the best food out of all the clubs
"How awesome is Atiba Hutchinson?"
JB: Atiba is a great player and one of the best Canadian players I played with. True professional.
"How far do you think the Canadian MNT can progress? I've certainly seen improvement over the years, but how long would it take to reach the levels to compete at a world cup for example."
JB: They have a good team at the moment and if they can go on a good run they have a great chance for this coming World Cup. They are actually a good team to watch at the moment.
researching you for this AMA I found out that Canada doesn't actually have a nationwide league. Most canadian professional or semi-professional teams play in various leagues in the US and 5 of those teams (3 from MLS, 2 from NASL) play in a tournement each year to determine the canadian champion. The biggest league apparently is the semi-professional League1 which is entirely based in Ontario. At least there is a nationwide amateur cup.
What do think of that? Do you know of any plan that that might change soon? I think it's kinda sad. I get that soccer/football might not be the biggest sport in the country. But is it really that small that it doesn't even warrant it's ow nationwide league? Or do the people just don't care because they all follow the canadian MLS teams?"
JB: I am hearing that it wont be long until Canada has its own pro league. I am not sure if we have the player pool right now to support it. MLS has made a big impact on Canadian soccer and the NASL is playing a role for development in Edmonton as well as Ottawa. I would like to see more Canadian teams join MLS but who knows what the plan is. The other problem is cost of travel because the country is so big.
There is plenty more great stuff you can see in the full AMA such as Ronaldo being the toughest player he has marked, Brennan's path to professional soccer and his view of Aparicio/Hamilton being Canada's brightest prospects.