Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why Canada IS playing Macedonia

I know that many of you have read my post about why Canada should not be playing Macedonia. Like you I want Canada to be in the best position going into qualifying for 2014. With that in mind I was prepared to not see Canada take to the field for another 7 months, solely to preserve our high FIFA points totals that we earned in the Gold Cup. As I mentioned on Canadian Terrace Talk when Sam first mentioned that Canada would be playing a friendly in November, I went to talk to the CSA to present my case about why we shouldn't be playing Macedonia. I wasn't able to meet with Peter Montopoli when I went to the office (a perk of living in Ottawa) but I met with his assistant and was able to set up a chance to talk with him. That happened yesterday. I told him that I wanted to understand the other issues that led to scheduling a friendly against Macedonia, and make sure that the CSA was aware of the numbers ahead of a potential qualifying draw in May 2011. What I heard was encouraging. We are playing Macedonia because we need to play matches otherwise we won't be good enough to qualify. We are also going to be playing other friendlies some of them even in Canada! I mentioned that the key thing was to play 5 matches between May 2010 and May 2011 and that didn't sound like it was going to be a problem. Which is great news for Canadian Soccer fans. As I mentioned in my post about the whole process Canada really dropped the ball between May 2006 and May 2007. We didn't play enough matches and we didn't play the right kind of opponent. I told Peter that I would keep him updated with the numbers. If Costa Rica lose their playoff with Uruguay (we should all hope that they do) then Canada is competing for three spots with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Jamaica, & Trinidad and Tobago. Right now we are in second. With a sizable lead over third. Things are looking good for Canada. The main thing for us is to win the matches that we play, and hope that Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama etc lose any matches that they play. This should see Canada seeded as a top six team going into World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014. Which ideally means that we will be in the Hex, which would give us a shot at Brazil which I know we could take. Play Up Canada!

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