Monday, November 24, 2014

Canadians need to applaud Akindele for his rookie-of-the-year award


Tesho Akindele was a sixth overall draft pick in this year's MLS draft. He has a Nigerian father and a Canadian mother. He is eligible to play for Nigeria, Canada and the United States ( he is about to qualify)

Since he has only turned down a Canadian national team invite — and has yet to turn down the Canadian program entirely, it’s OK to applaud Tesho Akindele’s major MLS […]
Since he has only turned down a Canadian national team invite — and has yet to turn down the Canadian program entirely, it’s OK to applaud Tesho Akindele’s major MLS award win as a victory for soccer in this country.
Akindele, who was born in Calgary, but grew up in the United States, was named the MLS Rookie of the Year on Monday. Akindele scored seven goals and added three assists during the MLS regular season for FC Dallas, and scored a playoff goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Between Akindele and the Columbus Crew’s Ethan Finlay, that’s 18 MLS regular-season goals out of players who, ahem, could be playing for Canada. National team coach Benito Floro has been tracking both players, but Akindele made headlines by turning down the invite to join the Canadian squad for its most recent friendly against Panama.
In the most recent issue of Plastic Pitch(CLICK HERE), Akindele told Martin MacMahon that he was gutted by Canada’s 8-1 loss to Honduras that eliminated his birth nation from the 2014 World Cup qualifying process. At that time, Akindele was keen on playing for Canada.

But, it serves no one to throw mud because a player (past or present) doesn’t accept an invitation to play for Canada. If anything, trying to shame guys who don’t play for Canada only helps drive away future prospects who may have options with other nations. The continuous vilification of Asmir Begovic or Teal Bunbury isn’t going to make a young player who may hold more than one passport that Canada is the place where he wants to play internationally.
So, for this reason, we need to applaud Akindele’s achievement. Even though he has yet to play for our national team, he is the first Canadian to ever win an MLS MVP award. If we want players like Akindele or Finlay to play for Canada, we need to use the carrot, not the stick. So it’s time for us to applaud.
Article via www.the11.ca

No comments:

Post a Comment