It’s a strange situation for North American players in Major League Soccer, with the league’s domestic player rules fundamentally unbalanced. Dejan Jakovic and Kyle Porter take up a precious international slot at D.C. United (teammate Dwayne De Rosario has a green card), but if they returned to a Canadian club they’d be competing against Americans as a domestic.
Mexican captain Joel Huiqui won’t be the only one disappointed by his Gold Cup finish this year. The defending champions lost their semi-final while Canada went out in the first round with a whimper. Although this was only a ‘B’ Gold Cup – which didn’t make much sense for Canada, considering this is their only action until 2015 and this year’s winner gets a shot at the Confederations Cup – we still learned something about the region’s teams going into the rest of World Cup qualifying this year.
The 2013 Gold Cup showed why the US is the obvious choice to keep hosting the confederation championship, with ticket sales relying on Central American and Caribbean communities across the US. The tournament is held every 2 years, though, with every other version a ‘B’ Gold Cup, so why not spread one around? BMO Field in Toronto is one of the many CONCACAF venues that could host a Gold Cup group.
Earlier today, Spanish sports tabloid Marca announced that Benito Floro would be Canada’s next national team boss. It seemed far-fetched, but Sportsnet quickly confirmed the rumour, leaving one question in many Canadians’ minds – who is Benito Floro Sanz, exactly? Most media outlets have jumped on the “former Real Madrid coach” tag, but in truth the 61-year-old left Real before current national team members Samuel Piette and Keven Aleman were even born.
The Canadian Soccer Association’s history of hiring head coaches has been covered before. It’s what got me first writing on this site. But there’s a chance to change all that with a progressive appointment this year. Dutch and Ajax veteran John van ‘t Schip is one of the managers with a Canadian connection that could be available.
Quebec’s participation in a non-FIFA tournament recently inspired Jonah Freedman at MLS to have a look at what kind of teams each US state could put out. Along the same lines, I’ve been thinking about how the Canadian pro teams would look if they were limited to players from their province, and now seems like a good time to get it down.
Arsenal don’t do North American tours. Not recently, anyway. Their rivals at the top in England have all been in the US lately, but Arsène Wenger prefers to take the club to the Austrian alps – or, at a push, southeast Asia and Japan. There hasn’t been any indication that Arsenal will spread their brand on this side of the Atlantic any time soon, but this hasn’t always been the case.