Saturday, February 14, 2015

Canada should play in the Central American Cup...


1 Guatemala330062+4
Final and Gold Cup
2 El Salvador32014
+26Third place match and Gold Cup
3 Honduras310223−13Fifth place match
4 Belize300316−50

Group B

1 Costa Rica211052+34Final and Gold Cup
2 211042+24Third place match and Gold Cup
3 Nicaragua200205−50Fifth place match

            The Central American Cup is lacking since it only has 7 nations playing in the Central American Cup. Only 7 nations creates an odd group of only 3 nations. The group needs a 4th team to complete the group. I believe they should invite Canada to participate. This would finally complete the odd group and not give the advantage anymore to the winner of the 3 team group. This group always plays one less game than the other group.
 Canada should offer their guaranteed Gold Cup slot as bait. Presently the CA Cup places the 4 top teams in the Gold Cup. The 5th place team plays the 5th Caribbean Cup team for the last spot. If Canada offered their spot, CA Cup would place the 5 top teams from the tournament directly into the Gold Cup.  
The tournament could have the top 2 teams in each group earn 4 slots for the Gold Cup. They would play in a knockout round for the Central American Championship. The bottom 4 teams would also play in a 4 team knockout round. Group A 3rd plays Group B’s 4th place and Group B’s 3rd place plays Group a’s 4th place finisher. The 2 winners of the consolation knockout play each other for the last guaranteed spot. The loser of this consolation round would play the 5th place Caribbean nations for the last spot for the Gold Cup.
The arrangement would guarantee at least 4 competitive games for every nation which is badly needed in CONCACAF. The top teams would get 5 competitive games in the tournament. This seems like a win-win for each side.
Good for Canada 
            First of all Canada badly needs competitive national team games. They just do not get enough. Playing in another tournament to warm up for the Gold Cup is a great idea. Playing against teams that are about your equal is even better. The Central American Cup is a perfect tournament that Canada should play in. These teams are great with the soccer ball at their feet. They do not panic with the ball and are skillful dribblers. Canada was bigger, faster and more athletic however need this type of competition to sharpen their skills. This tournament would provide 4 to 5 very competitive games that mean something. Friendlies against Iceland, Moldova and Bulgaria are just not the same.  

            As for the Gold Cup, Canada shouldn’t just get an automatic bid, they should have to qualify for it. Entering the CA Cup would solve this issue. Canada did not advance out of the group stage in the 2011, or 2013 Gold Cup. This left Canada with only 3 competitive games for the year, for their national team. The 2009 Gold Cup was only one better they advanced but lost in the opening game of the knockout round, thus playing in only 4 competitive games. This give the Canadian faithful an empty feeling after only watching your national team play only 3 games. Playing in the Central American Cup as a guest would provide the Canadian faithful with a nice competitive tournament besides the Gold Cup. Since Canada doesn’t make the World Cup, a tournament like this would do great to raise the interest of the sport in Canada.
            I think Canada should offer their guaranteed slot to the Central American Cup to entice the nations (tournament) to invite them.  As for those of you who say this is crazy, why miss out on the Gold Cup….I say if Canada cannot get at least 5th place in the Central American  Cup then they don’t deserve to go anyway. Canada would still have a chance to make the Gold Cup if they lose the final of the knockout round (in the consolation bracket). They would be playing the 5th place Caribbean Cup nation.  Now if Belize or Nicaragua beat Canada in the losers bracket…well then, we will realize Canada has more work to do.

Canada soccer
            If this was the case and Canada played the CA Cup, went to the consolation bracket and lost the final. Then had last chance to play the 5th place Caribbean Cup participant (French Guiana) I say this would be better for Canada. Why …well they would have played in 5 competitive, meaningful games of the CA Cup and 2 more playoff games against a Caribbean nation. This would have given Canada 7 competitive games to develop the national team. 7 games are much better than only 3 games in the Gold Cup. And if Canada didn’t make the Gold Cup…then they don’t  deserve to be there in the first place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At first this sounded stupid....but after reading this I have to say I agree, Canada would benefit as much playing in this tournament. They would hit the home run if they played in the Nations Cup and qualified for the Gold Cup.
They are risking a lot but potentially a much better retunr