Canadian Soccer Association calls 2015 a 'watershed year,' reports healthy surplus | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Canadian Soccer Association calls 2015 a 'watershed year,' reports healthy surplus

May 07, 2016 - 1:46 PM

TORONTO - Fuelled by the Women's World Cup, the Canadian Soccer Association posted a surplus of $4.6 million in 2015.

Some $2.9 million of that came from the FIFA women's championship, held in six Canadian cities last summer. Another $1.7 million came from other CSA business.

The figures were announced Saturday at the association's annual meeting in Saskatoon where Victor Montagliani was acclaimed to a second four-year term as president, taking him through 2020. He previously served three terms as association vice-president, was chair of the national teams committee, and been a member of the association's executive committee since 2005.

Montagliani, who is currently running for CONCACAF president, called 2015 "a watershed year" for Canadian soccer. He expects the 2015 surplus to grow when the final figures are in from the World Cup, which drew 1.35 million fans.

In its annual report, CSA general secretary Peter Montopoli said Canada "is now seen as a leader among FIFA member associations."

"Our organization is stronger and more respected than it has ever been," he said.

Montagliani says the association's primary focus between now and 2018 will be "investment in technical leadership. He called it a "football-first" philosophy.

Montagliani has used the same football-first wording in his CONCACAF presidency campaign.

The association says the Women's World Cup, over a five-year period, produced $111.5 million in revenue, with $108.6 million going in costs.

Without the World Cup, the CSA had a surplus of $1.7 million on a 2015 budget of $24 million. Eighty per cent of that budget went to the technical side of the game, including national teams.

"We run a pretty efficient ship and we put the money where it needs to be on the technical side," said Montagliani.

The national men's team played 14 games in 2015, the most since 2000. It climbed 27 places to No. 88 in the FIFA world rankings after going 6-2-6 while outscoring the opposition 18-6. Thanks to a Canadian men's record 564-minute shutout streak, the team's average goals-against of 0.43 per game was a record Canadian low.

Coach Benito Floro used 56 players over the year with 14 making their national team debut.

Montagliani called 2016 an "opportunity" for the men.

"Our goal is to get to the Hex," he said, referring to the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. "And we've put ourselves in a position to execute that. Now it's up to the players to execute that, and the staff.

"But from a federation standpoint, we look at this as we're building (the program). There's a good influx of young players into the program and some that are knocking on the door. Obviously having success in September (World Cup qualifying games) and getting into the Hex will put more fuel into the tank for us to push forward. But we're trying to stay steady here. It's not a situation of crisis and I think we've been victim to that in the past."

Montagliani sees a day where Canada is qualifying for the Hex "on a regular and sustainable basis."

"Obviously we all want it to start now, starting with me. The destiny is in our hands, come Sept. 2 against Honduras."

The 10th-ranked Canadian women, beaten by England in the World Cup quarter-finals, went 11-5-2 last year with coach John Herdman using 37 players — 11 of whom scored. Canada's goals-against average of 0.56 was a record low for the women's program.

Herdman is under contract through the 2020 Olympics while Floro's deal goes through 2018 World Cup qualifying.

The CSA notes that Canadian women also reached the quarter-finals of the U-17 and U-20 World Cups in 2014, making Canada the only country to register top-eight finishes in the three tournaments.

The U-17 and U-20 women's teams have also qualified for their world championships later this year while the national team looks to make a mark at the Olympics

The CSA report does not mention that Canada's men failed to qualify for the U-17 and U-20 World Cups in 2015 or the Olympics in 2016.

"And that's a disappointment, no doubt," Montagliani said of the failure to qualify.

He said both the U-17 and U-20 teams had underperformed while the Olympic team was hampered by clubs failing to release players.

Montagliani said the association continues to invest in all aspects of the game, pointing to the success of the futsal team which upset the U.S. this week to qualify for the CONCACAF championship. The success comes in the wake of appointing a full-time futsal coach for the first time.

Canada had 823,450 registered soccer players in 2015. Almost 40 per cent of those were in Ontario (328,480).


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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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