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Gold Cup

Gold Cup night one thoughts

Group A of the 2007 Gold Cup could be the most competitive of all the groups based on tonight’s action. The weather here in south Florida didn’t help the playing conditions, but all four teams played up to their potential. Canada who I think is now has the third best team in the region showed a remarkable ability to attack against a Costa Rican team that has made the last two World Cups. Canada put six shots on target and just missed the target with three others in a 2 to 1 victory. Canada’s attack led by Dwayne DeRossario, one of the best players in MLS, Julian DeGuzman the first Canadian to play in LaLiga and Paul Stalteri who scored Spurs winning goal in the epic 4-3 win over West Ham earlier this year was in high gear for most of the match despite the pouring rain. This match should be a wakeup call to the fans of the United States and Mexico who think advancing to the finals in this tournament will be a cakewalk. Nations like Canada, El Salvador, Panama and others in the region take this competition very seriously because for most of them it is the biggest the tournament they play in.

That was also obvious in the second match at the Orange Bowl tonight. Guadeloupe, as I mentioned in my post earlier today qualified for its first international competition by finishing 1st in its Gold Cup Qualifying Group, a truly remarkable achievement. Haiti itself had missed the past three Gold Cups, so the intensity was that of a do or die World Cup qualifier. Guadeloupe seemed to have the better of the play but they couldn’t finish in the final third and conceded a silly penalty to essentially gift Haiti a 1-1 draw. The draw was unfortunate for both sides as it is a blow for those of us that hoped one of the Carribean clubs would advance beyond the group stages in this year’s tournament. (Tomorrow I’ll tell you why Trinidad and Tobago, who played England to a standstill for 70 minutes in last year’s World Cup will not advance under any plausible circumstance.)

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  1. Mike H

    June 7, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Canada did look good and their talent pool is only growing.

    Wonderful review of the matches.

    By the way, to the above anonymous comment, a strong Canada only helps US Soccer. It will be great to have another neighbor as a rival. The matches against Mexico bring out the best in our team and fans. If we can get a second game like that, it can only be seen as good.

    Also, Concacaf has a rep in World soccer of being weak. Increasing the number of strong teams in the region will help reverse that idea.

    Perhaps the problem is it being a MLS side that is helping stir this on, but that also helps US soccer. Since the league shares much of the expenses and profits amongst the teams, some of the money TFC is making from tickets/gear is going into US based sides.

    It is great to be a big fish, but right now we are in a pretty small pond. The only way to make the pond bigger is to make other teams better and facing tougher competition more often will help our players just like it has for Europe and South America.

  2. Anonymous

    June 7, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Well it’s very nice that OUR LEAGUE gave Canada a team where they could anchor their players and the impetus to build a national stadium. I’m glad we are so generous in helping the opposition in the CONCACAF region. Toronto FC maybe good for MLS but it is horrible for US Soccer.

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