It's got all the ingredients. A petty minor soccer system over zealously protecting its little fiefdom--player development be dammed, we've got an OSL u-18 title to chase--and an unorganized elite system that is scrambling to play catch-up and, in turn, putting undue pressure on the pyramid below.
Should the Toronto FC academy have had its stuff together earlier and signed these five kids prior to the eve of the season. Of course. However, the TFC academy is in start-up mode and some growing pains should be expected. It should also learn from this and there will be no excuses if the same things happen again moving forward.
The truly alarming thing here is the pathetic protectionism of the Erin Mills Soccer Club. Instead of patting its kids on the back and wishing them luck as they pursue a professional dream, Erin Mills is worried about how their loss will affect its Ontario Cup chances. Could you imagine a minor hockey program being compelled to write a nasty letter after it had lost a top player to the CHL?
There is a reason that this country's three professional soccer teams--TFC, the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps--are wrestling elite development away from the minor clubs. The pro teams need young Canadians to develop for their long-term success and the minor clubs are, well, more or less incompetent.