On the eve of Canada’s biggest game since 1998, Sportsnet has laid a giant turd on the Canadian soccer news cycle:
Canada is not just playing for a spot in the fourth and final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying Tuesday afternoon.
Veteran Canadian midfielder Julian de Guzman told Sportsnet Monday evening that his younger brother, Swansea City midfielder Jonathan de Guzman, will play for his home country should Canada earn a positive result versus Honduras.
“He will be there. I can put my life on that, if we make it to the next round,” Julian de Guzman said. “He will be here. He says it. He knows it now.”
Julian De Guzman has yet again decided to put his brother in the news cycle right before a major game. Would he have waited a single day, this would have been a sort-of-okay feel good story, perhaps maybe. And of course, Julian does his brother’s dirty work, in addition to flashing Junior Hoilett’s name:
“[Jonathan] brings Junior, he brings the next Owen Hargreaves-type player. He brings all the other guys who second-guessed Canada. I think it makes sense,” Julian said. “When there is success in the national team, it’s definitely going to attract a lot of people. Not just fans, and marketing, but the right players involved.”
I understand the implications here for Canada, for 2014, for the World Cup in what I’m about to write (not that what I write matters a damn fig). But please, PLEASE Stephen Hart: Just Say No to Jonathan. Canada isn’t some Championship side on the verge of promotion. Playing for your country isn’t a “marketing” opportunity. Yes, Jonathan is holding his own in Michael Laudrup’s Swansea, yes Junior Hoilett would be a welcome addition in any national team side.
But if any of this was serious, Jonathan would already be in talks with the CSA, in private, working out the details. In fact, if Jonathan was serious, this move would have happened already. There are guys out there who have already given their all for this country. Canada didn’t need Jonathan or Junior tomorrow, it needed them today, in Honduras, to help them win or draw.
Please Stephen Hart, don’t do it.
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