I'm going to be completely honest here. I'm going to bare my soul, make myself completely vulnerable and give my 100% honest prediction for the USA vs Canada match that's happening tonight.
I don't think Canada is going to win.
Shocking, isn't it? Ha, Well, actually no, it isn't.
Yes, the last time these two teams met, it resulted in a 0-0 draw. Yes, I completely understand that. However, this is a different team. This is a young team. They don't score a lot. They were embarrassed by Denmark last week. They enter the match as severe underdogs. If you have an ounce of Canadian optimism, I suggest you don't go near any betting sites, because the odds for Team Canada will depress the hell out of you.
To begin with, if you're sick and tired of reading blogs blasting Soccer operations in this country, then skip the next couple of paragraphs. I realize I am beating a dead horse here, but I have the blog and you don't.
I understand that Team Canada enters this match with no one believing in them, and I truly wish I could be the kindred spirit that dyes my skin red and white and paints a maple leaf on my belly, but I don't see it happening.
Yes, the Americans are missing some big names, most notably Clint Dempsey. That being said, last time I checked, MLS heavyweights like Chris Wondolowski and Eddie Johnson were shotgunning up front, just two of the names in an MLS heavy squad.
Here's a funny question for you; is it my fault? What I mean is, is it on me that I have so little faith in the Men's Canadian Soccer Program? Maybe I've just succumbed to years of mediocrity, to a country that invests all of it's athletic money into hockey programs, leaving every other sport to fight over the scraps.
Maybe I'm cynical because I've expected some elite Canadian Soccer players to feel the maple syrup coarse through their veins and unleash their inner beaver on the pitch, only to have them play for other, better, national teams.
There are some who will disagree with me. There are those people who will point to the Canadian women, who triumphed with a bronze medal at the London Olympics, and most will say should have gotten more. I honestly have no idea why the Canadian women can aspire to greatness, while the men continue their slide into, well, pick an adjective. (Abysmal, dismal, etc)
In any case, maybe I'm just tired of Canadian National Soccer. (If they do win, I am going to look like the worlds biggest wanker)
In any case, let's move forward with my prediction.
The Americans have firepower, they have names, and they are entering this match as Goliath. Canada is young, inexperienced and will be solely relying on 35 year old Dwayne DeRosario to score all of their goals. The good news is, he's coming off that MCL injury, so he should be well rested.
Other than that, this will probably be nothing more than getting some guys experience, as besides De Rosario, Nik Ledgerwood and Lars Hirschfield (who might not play due to back injuries), no one on Team Canada has 20 caps. If they were a pro team, this would be called the 'rebuilding stage.'
Unless Team Canada can pull a rabbit out of their hat, this is going to be a rough match. It won't be as bad as Denmark, as I suspect playing their rivals to the south will give Team Canada a boost.
It won't be nearly enough, though. 3-0 USA.
*I know this is a grumpy blog post. If you give me one reason why I shouldn't be grumpy at the state of the Canadian MNT, I'll give you a cookie.