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TORONTO -- Canada has gone through more than a few
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TORONTO -- Canada has gone through more than a few soccer blueprints in the past with a mixed bag of results. Howie Kendrick Jersey . Next week, the Canadian Soccer Association unveils its latest road map -- a strategic vision for 2014-2018. And while there have been recent successes on the soccer field, the failure of the national mens program remains a sore issue. Still CSA general secretary Peter Montopoli, who says the new plan "is for the long-term," sees positives on the Canadian soccer landscape. "I feel very good about the foundation that weve placed here over the last number of years for the CSA," he said in an interview. "So while a lot of people talk about the end result -- if we were to say that would be, lets say, the mens national team -- I think weve laid a solid foundation to move forward for the sport in our country." That includes restructuring the associations governance, the success of the national womens program, retaining womens coach John Herdman in the face of rival offers, success at the mens under-17 level and hiring a veteran respected coach in Benito Floro for the senior mens squad, among other healthy developments. As the official governing body for soccer in Canada, the CSA oversees everyone from kids kicking a ball around to top pros. But many judge the association on the performance of the mens national squad, seen as the flagship team -- and for many, the face of Canadian soccer around the world. The Canadian men are currently stuck on a bumpy road that stretches back to the 8-1 humiliation in Honduras in October 2012 that knocked them out of World Cup qualifying. Stephen Hart threw himself on his sword in the wake of that lopsided defeat, resigning as manager. His overseers continued at the helm. CSA president Victor Montagliani and Nick Bontis, board member and chair of the strategic committee, will join Montopoli on Jan. 23 in unveiling the new plan. Montopoli says there are many sides to soccer in Canada. "It should not be lost on people that were doing well in terms of where we are with a lot of other things," he said, pointing to player registration and the fact Canada ranks in the top five per cent of qualifying for FIFA competitions. Still, the Canadian men have not won since being knocked out of World Cup qualifying. A 2-0 loss to Slovenia on Nov. 19 in Celje stretched the Canadian mens winless streak to 14 games. Canada is 0-11-3 over the streak and hasnt scored in 10 games. The winless run has seen the Canadian men outscored 27-2. Canada has not won since a 3-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Cuba in Toronto four days before the Honduras debacle. In the national teams defence, Canada has played tough opposition in Australia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Slovenia and the U.S. And Floro has looked to young talent since taking over the squad last summer. The Canadian men were No. 111 in the world, prior to Thursdays new rankings. That put them 11th in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Canada was ranked 86th in January 2009 at the start of the last blueprint. Its highest position since was No. 53 in October 2009; the lowest was No. 114 (an all-time worst) in November 2013. But some may have forgotten that while Canada went unbeaten 15 games straight during Holger Osiecks 46-game tenure as coach -- a streak that including the 2000 Gold Cup win -- Canada was also shut out 16 times under the German. The CSA was hit and miss on the "major 2013 milestones" identified in its Strategic Plan 2009-2013. It succeeded on a medal by the senior women at a World Cup or Olympics (2010 Olympic bronze). And it came through on its goal of hosting the 2015 Womens World Cup. But it failed on World Cup qualification by the men, taking its annual budget past the $25-million mark and has yet to surpass one million registered players in Canada. In 2009, the association budget was $12 million or $13 million. It went on to top $20 million some years but did not make $25 million. The current association budget is around $20 million. As for player registration, the number has come close to 900,000. But the latest figures for 2013 are not yet in. The Canadian senior women are currently ranked seventh in the world as they prepare for the 2015 World Cup. Canada is also hosting the 2014 FIFA-20 Womens World Cup. Montopoli says the CSA is running "one of largest womens budgets worldwide" and looking after the mens youth programs. "Theres no shortcuts taken on the mens youth side or on the womens entire program." Montopoli said it was hard to compare mens and womens senior budgets given the different stages the teams face during the quadrennial cycle. Asked if the women were better bankrolled than the men, he replied: "In certain years the answer would be yes." While the CSA is "putting a lot of emphasis" on the women, it is not "shortchanging the mens senior or youth programs, Montopoli said. He pointed to the fact the men played 13 games during 2013, when in the past the senior program has but all been shuttered the year after a failed World Cup qualification. Aaron Altherr Jersey . Sundays game against the Colorado Rapids at B.C. Place Stadium has important implications in determining Major League Soccers playoff picture and will also mark the final game in the career of veteran South Korean defender Young-Pyo Lee. Darren Daulton Jersey .C. Now hes squarely in the U.S. capital and helping the Washington Wizards playoff drive. John Wall scored 33 points, Gooden got 11 of his 21 in the final quarter and the Wizards overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit for a 101-94 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.HOUSTON - Evan Gattis is returning to his home state to play for the Houston Astros after a trade from Atlanta, and the slugger is thrilled about the move.Im home, said Gattis, who grew up in Dallas. I feel more at home here.The 28-year-old, who can play catcher and left field, was acquired on Wednesday with right-hander James Hoyt for three Houston minor leaguers.He is the third key player the Braves have dealt this off-season after trading outfielders Jason Heyward and Justin Upton in recent months. Gattis says those moves made it clear to him that Atlanta is rebuilding and hes happy to move to a team looking to win now.We are on the rise — trying to push this team and get guys in the direction of winning, he said.Even though his name has been linked to trade rumours for months, the deal took Gattis by surprise.I really didnt think I was going to get traded, he said.Gattis should add more pop to a lineup that has Chris Carter, who tied for second in the majors with 37 homers in 2014 and George Springer, who hit 20 home runs in just 78 games as a rookie last year. He hit .263 with 22 homers and 52 RBIs for the Braves last season and had 21 homers as a rookie in 2013.The way the lineups looking it looks like we should be a pretty good power threat and we should score a lot of runs, Gattis said.Hell be under Houstons control for the next four years, is eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season and will be a free agent after the 20018 season. Richie Ashburn Jersey. Gattis played 48 games in the outfield as a rookie, but didnt appear in a single game there in 2014 when he started 89 games at catcher. His addition gives the Astros five catchers on the roster, bringing up the question of if hell see more time in the outfield in Houston. Hes more comfortable catching, but said hes been working on his skills in the outfield this off-season and is open to playing either place.The bottom line is we go out and play to win the game today, he said. Whatever is going to give the team the best chance to win Ill do it.Gattis spent time on the disabled list with a back injury last season but said Thursday that hes healthy now and ready to roll. He was asked what he feels like his strengths and weaknesses are and admitted that he needs to improve on defence.Defence in general is average or less than average, he said. I think I can make up for that in the lineup and Im eager to get better.Also on Thursday the Astros agreed to a one-year, $975,000, one-year contract with Carlos Corporan, avoiding arbitration with the catcher after agreeing to a $4,175,000 deal with designated hitter Chris Carter on Wednesday. Corporan made $505,300 last year. The remaining Houston players in arbitration are catchers Jason Castro and Hank Conger, outfielder Dexter Fowler, shortstop Marwin Gonzalez and left-handed reliever Tony Sipp.___AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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