Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Canada Soccer - We're Just Not Good Enough

I know it's easy to take a shot at someone right after they've just been eliminated in the most embarrassing fashion as in Canada being eliminated from the 2014 World Cup Qualifications losing 8-1 to Honduras and if we were able to win/draw and advance I would be giving this team my undying support, but the truth is and has always been we're just not good enough.

Most of my friends do not follow or care about soccer. Yet because of my connection to the game, when a soccer story hits the local news like Canada qualifying for the World Cup they always ask me the questions. Are we going to qualify? and Why at our home games there are more fans for the other side? My response is probably not and that most likely the team we are playing against have a greater soccer culture and their players are probably better/more exciting than ours. Which my friends tend to dismiss this, because they can't imagine a country like Honduras could be better than us until it's proven like in this case that i was right.

Truth is we have a very naive soccer media, audience, and for the most part structure in Canada. Our National team is based on 25 jobbers who will basically play anywhere in the World to earn a living from soccer and as long as they are willing to play for Canada, they will make the side and play until they wish to no longer.

To show this here are the ages and career club statistics for Canada's starting outfield players against Honduras on 10/16/2012

It is true some players we're hurt including Dwayne DeRosario although he is also 34 years of age. Looking at these players one might argue where they were  2010 might of been our year although at that point players such as Paul Stalteri, Ali Gerba, Tomasz Radzinski, and Adrian Serioux were consistently in starting 11 towards the end of their careers creating the same problems and same result.

In comparison Honduras a country with 1/4th the population and 1/40th the resources has Maynor Figuera a 5 year everyday stater in the Premier League as well as  Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic)  and Victor Bernardez (now San Jose from Anderlecht) who play for clubs regularly in UEFA Champions League. They also have six MLS players in their squad equal to Canada's total but what I find more significant  is the ages of some of their starters including Juan Garcia 24, Mario Martínez 23, and Luis Garrido 21 

I understand that creating a Canadian National Soccer team that will qualify for the World Cup is very difficult and I don't have the answers in terms of picking players that will take us there. Although a sense of realism will help as we need to stop idealizing and accept where we are  and what we have done to this point is just not good enough. 

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