Jump to content
  • Long live the Nations League!


    Duane Rollins

    The controversy in Ottawa this week is distracting Canadian soccer fans from what will mark John Herdman’s competitive debut as manager of the men’s national team. That’s maybe for the best, as the first game is hardly a page turner. The US Virgin Islands haven’t played a game since 2016 and have been outscored 14-0 in the last two games they played.

    USVI has won five games in its history, three of which have come against the British Virgin Islands in what I do hope is called the Virgin Derby.

    They do not have a single professional on the roster. The highest level any of the players are at would be either Marshall University or the NPSL’s Dallas City.

    This is arguably the weakest team Canada has ever faced in its history. It’s no hyperbole to suggest that you could field a stronger side by taking to top players from Toronto’s TSSL. Hell, you might not even need to take the top ones.

    The weakness of the match-up is likely why John Herdman is lukewarm about the CONCACAF Nations League. It’s hard to see what Canada gains from playing this game. And, this is not time for the peanut gallery to chime in about how you can’t take anything for granted and any team can upset another, etc. That’s not actually true. The gap is that large. The only question will be how big the victory is.

    However, it would be wrong to dismiss the Nations League’s importance based on this game. Even if Canada somehow completely bottles this classification period they still won’t be anywhere close to playing these types of teams again. This is the one and only match up they’ll get with the absolute bottom of CONCACAF. The worse shape Canada will realistically be in next year is in Group B, which will be against the Saint Kitts and Nevis and Guadeloupes of the world.

    Best case is a home and home with the US or Mexico next year. That’s a realistic outcome as the top 12  nations will be in league A. Even after 8-1, Canada was still in the top 12.

    Most people understand how important it will be to blood the young Canadian players in Central America and the Nations League provides the opportunity to do just that. San Pedro Sula? Bring it. Please.  

    Beyond Canada, the Nations League will also help countries like the US Virgin Islands by simply giving them games. Once they settle into the bottom group they’ll play competitive games against competition that is suited for them. The hope is that they’ll improve to the point where if there is a next time that Canada has to play them there might actually be a slight chance of the upset.

    That’s probably a while away, but it’s nice to see CONCACAF addressing this issue, which has been around for a long time. The truth is they aren’t asking the bigger nations to sacrifice much. The US and Mexico will still have plenty of windows available to book glamor friendlies (and will probably get a competitive game against each other in the Nations League every year). Basically, everyone wins.

    So, sit back and enjoy a rare stress free game involving Canada on Sunday. Bet the over.  



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    So far I love the Nations League format in UEFA and CONCACAF. Seeing bottom feeder teams actually have chances at victories and in the case of UEFA, automatic qualification to the Euros. The more games these smaller countries get, the better it will be for the rest of the countries.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • CANMNT_CNL_Toronto_Carousel.jpg

  • Categories

  • Viewing Parties
    WWC & GC

    *** Important. Due to the wide range of times these games are shown at and unfortunate collisions with local professional teams you MUST check to ensure the bar is open and the game is on. 

    Victoria - Yates Taphouse
    Vancouver - Library Square 
    Calgary - Home & Away
    Edmonton - Urban Tavern
    Saskatoon - Finn's Pub
    Regina - The Lobby
    Winnipeg - Nicolina's 
    Toronto - Duke of Gloucester. 
    Ottawa - Senate Tavern on Bank
    Hamilton - End Zone Pub
    Montreal - Frappe
    Halifax - Niche Lounge
    Waterloo - RIM Park
    Kitchener - Budd Park

  • Raffles

  • Posts

    • I agree with most of what you're saying. The only thing is, these mega-rich people and companies all got to where they are because of how ruthless they are with their primary businesses. Soccer is a play-thing for them, and they can swallow some losses, but despite all that, the number of people coming out to Wednesday games is becoming a flag that's hard to ignore. I think the York Region thing is allowing us hardcore soccer fans in the York Region and North York to become really attached to this club. But I think we lose some casuals in Vaughan that might have got attached to this club if it was marketed for Vaughan instead. The thing is, the marketing budget has been so weak overall from the club that we aren't really even having a chance to find out what is really the case. And with the stadium being in North York, it can't even be marketed for Vaughan anyways.
    • Well thats 1 strike for me against Herdman.  He failed the Mexico test, even Benito Floro would’ve grinded a 0-0 result.  Herdman is being judged by me on the Hex competition, not Pre-Hex round where we always end up.  If as expected we beat Cuba, then Costa Rica QF match, then that’s Test No. 2.  If we botch that up, then Herdman is in a worse place than Zambrano, because he has more young upcoming talent at his disposal compared to what Floro and Zambrano had.  This Gold Cup is telling us so far that we only have 5-6 calibre starters, the rest are hope for the best.
    • Yeah, I think they probably will have to lower prices for next season. It’s no good (for the optics at least) to have many of your sold tickets not materialize into attendance. 
    • No way. It was a bad turnout, but it was way higher than that. 
    • I didn't mind him having a pop at the guy he was fired for, it's fair game and Herdman has a lot to do to convince some of us on here he is the guy for the job, this was his first real test and it remains to be seen if his plan will pay dividends moving forward!
    • For what it’s worth, I live in Aurora and go to every game. I do agree that the ‘York Region’ thing is a challenge, but not necessarily the problem. I think that attendances definitely need improving, but the club is very unlikely to be folding any time soon in my opinion. I’m pretty sure that all of the owners went into this with eyes wide open. These are serious business people, and though they won’t carry a financial loser forever, it’s not hard to break even in this league. I think they’ll get there eventually. 
    • Hopefully we get another shot at Mexico with a different game plan, there is hope as we saw in the last part of this match, also as it has been said, all 3 goals were very preventable, you have to limit mistakes against an opponent like this or you will be punished as we were! On another day Davies finishes his chance that just missed the post, Osorio also came very close, let's get by the Ticos and have another go at these guys!
    • "If they thought they could powerpoint their way through it, think again". 🤣
    • 6 goals and 5 assists in 7 appearances now.
    • In the pregame on TSN, Herdman was interviewed and said that the current squad (vs last gold cup) has a better player pool and a stronger coach lol Zambrano probably saw that and took offence 
×
×
  • Create New...