While the Arsenal news is slow recently, there is a little CONCACAF International action going on that is worth a look.
For those of you unfamiliar with our site’s vision, the third aspect of our mission statement is “To promote the growth of football fandom, discussion, and culture in Canada as a whole“. A major part of this is supporting the game as a whole in this country; whether it is grassroots, Varsity/CIS, NASL (FC Edmonton, Montreal Impact) or MLS (Van’ Whitecaps, Toronto FC). We are aware that Canada is not a “footballing nation”, but we also believe a country as diverse as Canada – with its strong mix of British and French heritage, along with a cultural mosiac of peoples from all over the world – can become a better “soccer” country in our time. To date we have produced some notable international players; although sadly not all of them choose to represent Canada on the world stage, we as Canadians should not be deterred from believing that we can get better.
All of the work done by those helping develop the game, and those who honour us by donning our national team kits, culminates in the North/Central America’s most important regional tournment: the Gold Cup. Typically every 2-3 years, this is Canada’s best chance to put itself in meaningful competition with some of the continent’s major football powers – namely the US and Mexico. It is a great benchmark of the success of our national program and a excellent learning experience for our country’s men and women national team players.
The 2011 Gold Cup started on Tuesday with a tough fixture against the United States, and ended in a 2-0 defeat for Canada’s men who were largely outplayed during the match. The USA Men’s National Team has made significant strides in the last decade and continues to look set for success into the future. However, the Canadians have had much worse performances against the US (who’s squad includes some English Premiership and La Liga players) and having played perhaps the best team in the event, should feel a lot more confident in their coming matches with Guadelope (Saturday) and Panama (Tuesday).
So while the Arsenal news lags, be sure to support our domestic teams; both the men (Gold Cup) and the women (Fifa Womens World Cup); as well, don’t be afraid to get out and support the future generation of national team stars by getting involved with the game. It all counts and will help the country as it slowly emerges as a “better” football/soccer nation.