I honestly don’t know. I promise this is not going to be a classic troll job in which I get high and mighty about which tournaments are legit and which are not because I somehow know better than you, but seriously: what is this thing for?
Yesterday on the Counter Attack Podcast, Sean Keay made a very good case for why winning the Gold Cup would be the worst possible scenario for Canada. I know, I know.
But you can instantly see why: here’s a team with a bunch of Unattached FC stars, some fairly significant absences, and an interim national team coach who is now about an hour away from transforming in front our eyes into a lame duck (Watch it happen LIVE on Sprotsnet 1080). If Canada wins the damn thing (don’t worry, ain’t going to happen), then suddenly the nation convinces itself that all is well, and efforts to reform the national program are ignored and the pressure is off for a while.
If instead they do as expected and do okayish before going out in ignoble fashion, then Canada are further derided as a national embarrassment and the classic, familiar, soul-crushing apathy kicks in. Maybe we go back to the days when the nats play “away games” at BMO Field.
And then there’s the Klassik Kanada option: a spirited, if sloppy, team performance. Some incredible bright lights shine. Will Johnson becomes the tournament’s goal-scoring leader (somehow). Then the team goes out to, oh, I don’t know, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in the semifinal on the back of some incredibly dodgy calls. Conspiracy theories ensue. Self-loathing comes after that. Annnnd: scene.
And then the final, as it is already engineered, will be a glorified friendly between the US and Mexico. The US will lose, there will be some tepid comparisons to the fall of Bob Bradley and the questionable pedigree of Juergen Klinsmann, and then no one will speak of the 2013 Gold Cup ever again.
I am willing to put money down on ZERO available Getty images on the tournament prior to the final, always the canary in the coal mine for relevance. I’m not saying they should scrap the Gold Cup, but dignity please. We’re in the midst of an MLS summer season, there are, as ever, bigger fish to fry. Something needs to be done.