Copa de Oro America Anyone?

May 3, 2014; By Stephane

With the recent announcement of USA and Mexico taking part in the Copa America with guaranteed spots. I begin to wonder what does Canada have to do to become serious? We can all do the typical Canadian response and put down our side but whatwe do not need to do is pick a victim, blame ourselves or the system. I say, lets share the blame. So in simple terms, let us line up CSA (Canadian Soccer Association), CONCACAF(The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football ) and the Canadian National Team and fire rotten tomatoes at them. Let us enter my weird analysis of the situation and see what happens.

Okay, so Gold Cup, we may have won one but Canadians are still not impressed. The Gold Cup is CONCACAF's version of the Euro Championship but we still look at it and say “That’s the best we can do”. For those who do not understand, Canada gets automatic entry into the tournament along side of USA and Mexico. Caribbean and Central American teams have their own qualification process. Blah Bah Blah, I am not going to lie, a team like Canada NEEDS a qualification process, I mean, I, Honduras anyone THANK YOU. For a tournament that is supposed to be our regional tournament,we get a bye. With our track record it is like hiring an alcoholic to be in charge of a drinking hall. If everyone was to go through a qualification process, the tournament may seem worthwhile and only the host gets the bye. Again here is another issue, name me a Gold Cup without the USA hosting a game, merci. CONCACAF needs to realize that USA has money and numbers but that doesn't equate to passion. Just look at NHL teams in Florida and Phoenix.

Copa America is an AMAZING tournament for the skill level that countries have, they make the Gold Cup look like U-16 div 2. But the area doesn’t have the numbers nor the system in place to create an epic tournament like Euro. Again the countries involved play the game like it was meant to be played, with skill, pace and of course tactics (maybe less diving but that’s majority of the game anyways). Unfortunately this tournament has to outsourced to include other teams including Japan. Whenever I hear Japan and America in the same sentence I think trade deal or baseball. I am not going to lie but I am not a fan of this orientation of the competition just like the previous one. The numbers are too small and everyone gets into the the tournament. Everyone gets a shot at the prize from day one, but not very competitive.

Many of you reading this may be saying “This guy is an idiot”. I wont lie, I would join in but hear me out. Let us SCRAP both competitions and create the “Copa de Oro America”. This tournament would only let one bye or maybe three (in the case of smaller countries hosting the event , please refer to the West Indies hosting a Cricket World Cup). The tournament would be set up like Euro, every four years, qualifying groups and this would help the  smaller countries plan and budget for these games. Even if Canada does not qualify for the tournament it gives the manager and the CSA a good enough learning curve to plan and work with our National Team systems. Also it would give some credibility to the tournament. The issue some people may think of is ”What about the Confederation Cup?” The answer is quite simple, just use the two finalists from the competition. Ask any person in the CONCACAF region what they think of Gold Cup and I am willing to bet they laugh at it.

In short, all I am asking is for both regions to sit down and discuss this. Combining both regional tournaments actually may help Canada get better and also remove this every two years Gold Cup competition. Making the competition more difficult may even help improve the game and possibly help give young Canadians quality exposure. We have enough to worry about as Canadian fans. ut useless tournament every two years that we automatically qualify for, when there are more quality teams out there. It sounds so Canadian.