Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do we want the Gold?

Mr. Rollins, of the 24th minute, has been analysing the 2009 MLS schedule to death over the past two days, ending with speculation about Canada hosting a group for the 2009 edition of the Gold Cup.

The salient bits:
"We are still discussing the possibility with CONCACAF and can do it from a logistics standpoint," one high ranking official wrote in an e-mail. "Ultimately it is their call. I am confident we can get it, if not in '09, (then) for 2011 (more important strategically as it counts for Confed Cup)."

However another official was less positive.

"I don't think it will happen for 2009," he wrote.
I'm not privy to his sources, but I don't doubt that this info is from legit correspondence. There is a dearth of matches scheduled at BMO in June-July (although the Voyageurs Cup will undoubtedly claim two of the empty dates) that suggests hosting a group is a possibility.

If Canada (read: Toronto) hosts a group during the Gold Cup tournament, is this a good thing? I'm not so sure. Let's break it down.

  • Canada will be forced to play more than a couple of "home" games in 2009
  • Knowing the way CONCACAF "draws" groups, Canada will almost certainly be placed together with Jamaica, allowing for a measure of revenge of the WCQ matches
  • Holding a major continental championship in 3 cities (you can bet the other two groups would be split between USA's east and west coasts) makes CONCACAF look even more Mickey Mouse than they do already
  • Countries like Mexico deserve a chance to host the tournament (full stop) before Canada
  • It's another chance for Canada to be embarrassed by lack of support
Am I being too negative here?

Jamaica fans at BMO, August 2008.

(I'm not picking on the T-dot, we all know that Montreal and Edmonton were worse, and just as bad, respectively)

If you're filling up your soccer calendar for this summer, take note that the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps schedules are also available.


squizz said...

I'm torn on this. On one hand, I was hoping Canada's prelim games would be played in the US northeast so I could go on a road trip and see the games without having to worry about, as you said, being embarrassed by a lack of home support. Then again, having the games in my hometown means lots of money saved on travel, and the "fun" opportunity to stand outside BMO Field before and after TFC games, desperately handing out flyers promoting a Canada match (yeah, that's what I was doing last summer). We'll see what happens but, somehow, Canada is going to get screwed in all of this, that much we know.

Duane Rollins said...

Me beat something to death?