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  • Canada's task is simple - and not impossible.


    You can’t win when you play Guadeloupe. The “country” (let’s just go with country for the sake of ease) is tiny, Caribbean and doesn’t even have much of a tourism industry. It screams minnow to the casual football fan. And, that’s even before they are told that it’s not a FIFA recognized country.

    Yet they are more than that. First of all their status as a French colony means that they aren’t just drawing from the Island. They are drawing from anyone living in France that has has as little as one grandparent that lived there.

    Thierry Henry is eligible to play for them, for God’s sake.


    Nine of their current roster play professionally in France – eight are playing in Ligue 2. That’s not the Premiership, no, but it isn’t your local pub team either. They have players and they know how to play the game.

    To get to the Gold Cup, Guadeloupe finished second at the Caribbean Cup. Jamaica beat them in the final. On penalties after going 1-1. If Canada beat Jamaica 1-0 on a penalty, dodgy or not, there wouldn’t be the handwringing that we are seeing now.

    Guadeloupe beat Panama and Nicaragua at the 2009 Gold Cup and only lost 2-0 to Mexico. They beat Honduras 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Gold Cup.

    There is literally no evidence whatsoever to suggest that they are a pushover – even if they go down a man five minutes in.

    So, those suggesting that Canada is “doomed” or “screwed” based on its play against Guadeloupe are, well, being a little bit hysterical.

    But, what about Panama, many might be saying right now. Aren’t they flying high and a step above? They beat the States!

    Yes, they did beat the States. Yes, that was impressive. Before that they allowed two goals against 10-man Guadeloupe (less impressive) and only beat Grenada 2-0 in their last pre-tournament friendly (the same Grenada that just lost 7-1 to Honduras).

    In short: Panama – not Brazil.

    Unless Grenada pulls a major upset tonight, Canada will go into tomorrow’s game with a very simple task – win and go on, lose and go home. The task is in front of them.

    And, that’s all you can ask for.

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