Fanshawe FC: It's time to support Canada
Bashing the Canadian Men's National team has almost become a national pastime to us, but frankly, it doesn't make sense to discourage the team. We can turn a leaf — a maple leaf, that is — this time around. Right now, Canada is on the long road to the 2014 World Cup, and Canadians need to get into it.
World Cup qualifying for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) is past confusing. The first round is devoted to the complete minnows of the region (such as the U.S. Virgin Islands playing the British Virgin Islands). That round serves as a play-in to the second round, where a team like Canada would enter. Countries ranked between seventh and 25th would be added with the winners of the playin to a group stage. This is where we are at this point in time for the 2014 World Cup Qualifying. Save a few losses from St. Kitts and Nevis, Canada will breeze through this part of the tournament.
The third round, however, could be a little bit harder for the Canucks. Here, the winners of the six groups in the previous round get mixed in with the top six of the region (the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica, to name a few) into three groups. It was here that Canada encountered trouble last year, as they couldn't get points against teams like Honduras in their group. However, if they finish in the top two of their group, they will advance to the final group of six. 'The Hex,' as it's called, gives the top three direct trips to the World Cup, with the fourth place team playing the fifth place team in South America for another chance to make it to the finals.
Canada does have a shot at making it that far. You may think it's a crapshoot, but they have made it far in tournaments like this in previous years. They won the 2000 Gold Cup, a tournament devoted to the entire CONCACAF region after handling teams like Mexico and Columbia. Performance is not important; what is important is supporting the nation you reside in and the nation that you are (hopefully) proud to be from.
A lot has been documented about the poor support the Canadians get, especially at home. In the last qualifying cycle, Honduras played Canada and because most of the fans were Honduran at the match, the stadium staff handed out blue and white noisemakers. We need to get behind the national team. We need to be proud to be Canadian football fans. I highly recommend watching a video called 'Support Local Soccer' (tinyurl.com/supportlocalsoccer) on YouTube. It's time to get behind your country.