I don't want to do that any longer. Here are the groups, with FIFA ranking data.
** Guadeloupe isn't ranked by FIFA, so I made the assumption that they are roughly equal in quality to Bermuda. Which, I feel, is being generous to Bermuda.
A few posters on the Voyageurs forums were complaining that, once again, Canada appears to have been drawn into the Group of Death. Such claims, though, really depend on Canada being considered a top 5 or 6 team in CONCACAF. With the recent World Cup disqualifying results, I no longer feel justified making that case.
A quick glance at the numbers above suggests that the American group is numerically tougher. However, in that group, as in the Mexico group, there is a significant drop-off between the top two and the bottom two teams.
Canada's group promises a full slate of interesting and competitive matches. If they qualify from that group, they will be worthy quarterfinalists. If they fail, they will be able to claim to be no better than the 7th or 8th best team in CONCACAF.
I'm OK with that.
Where Canada may be getting screwed is the travel arrangements. Quickly, here's how it plays out:
- Group A: Los Angeles -> Columbus -> Miami: 5464 km
- Group B: Seattle -> Washington -> Boston: 5158 km
- Group C: San Francisco -> Houston -> Phoenix: 4993 km
If you're wondering, Canada's all time record against their Group A opponents:
Again, it looks pretty balanced. By the way, Canada and El Salvador haven't played since 1999.
Maybe I'm crazy, but I honestly expect Canada to qualify from Group A. I am very much looking forward to this tournament.