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  • 2009 Gold Cup Meaningless? Tell that to the boys in red


    by Gian-Luca

    I keep hearing, even from some Canadian fans, that this year's Gold Cup is a "meaningless" tournament. The argument for this is that some teams are not sending their best players to the tourney, and because the winner of the tourney doesn't get an invite to the Copa American or qualify for the Confederations Cup.

    As Tom Baker once said, what a load of empirical poppycock. Fans and teams in this region complain that Concacaf doesn't get enough respect, doesn't get enough World Cup Qualifying spots, and isn't taken seriously enough - yet the same people making this complaint are themselves guilty of not taking their own region's championship seriously enough. How exactly do we expect others to take us seriously if we don't do it ourselves? Quite frankly, I find the suggestion that our regional championship is not a worthy enough thing in itself to strive to win and that it is only "meaningful" if it automatically leads to an allegedly more prestigious tournament somewhere else to be completely pathetic and shows signs of insecurity for the region.

    There are some people for whom this Gold Cup has a great deal of meaning. The 19 men still in camp for Canada who are proudly wearing the Maple Leaf, giving it there all and restoring the pride, success and some belief in the program. Two games in and they are rising to the challenge in the group of death. With yesterday's very comfortable 1-0 win over El Salvador the team is virtually assured a spot in the Quarter-Finals. They have clinched at least a 3 place spot in their group, and it would seem very unlikely that even if they finished in 3rd that two other 3rd place teams would also have 6 points and a superior goal differential. The boys are doing us proud and we should be supporting them all the way, rather than trying to diminish their accomplishments thus far. With a long way to go still, they will need all the support they can get.

    By the way, if any game demonstrated the serious flaw in the World Cup qualifying system in this region, this was it. A non-Hex team missing 5 or 6 top players from its roster comfortably dominates a team that is in the Hex (and very much alive) which was missing just a single player of note. Yes, Canada can only blame itself for what happened in 2008, but the logic of having a semi-final group that is overall tougher and has less margin for error than the final group still escapes me.

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