The problem with playing minnows is that it creates optimism.
I knew that there was no possibility Canada was good enough to qualify this World Cup cycle. Heck, before the groups were even drawn I was calling for Canada to bring up some youth players and get some experience since there was no chance whatsoever of us getting through barring the most unlikely miracle.
But we had just about the easiest draw imaginable for our qualifying groups: avoiding every reputable team in the second round, avoiding Panama and the United States in the third round... it would have been difficult to ask for more than we got.
We scraped out a win over St. Lucia at home; it was actually a dismal game considering how pathetic St. Lucia was but hey, a home win, that'll get some people cocky. Then we won at Puerto Rico away; a proper game and a decent test but, again, not an inspiring performance with a score made lopsided by Puerto Rico's blatantly surrendering in the last twenty minutes. Then we destroyed St. Lucia 7-0, and while it's difficult to ask for anything more it was still just St. Lucia, the worst team I've ever seen on television.
Today against Puerto Rico, I expected our opposition to be going for goals in a literal must-win game. Instead they bunkered from the kickoff, wasted time, and generally tried to end their own World Cup qualification campaign. Congratulations on your draw, retards. I hope it was worth giving up all your hopes and dreams.
Canada reacted to this as it reacts to all adversity: by failing.
Look at Canada's competitive games since 2008. There were a handful of good results (a 2-2 draw with Mexico in 2008, victories over Jamaica and El Salvador in the 2009 Gold Cup) and a heaping pile of crap. Every time the chips have been down it's been Canada who was found wanting. This is the weakest team we've assembled in years; a team made weaker by Kevin McKenna and Will Johnson's injuries and Andre Hainault's sleaze.
Canada will still get out of this group, of course. There's no doubt whatsoever; I'd bet my life savings on it. But they're not good enough to qualify. Their latest pathetic performance in a proud history of pathetic performances will hopefully put to rest any hope the fans might have had left.
So why do we pretend to ourselves? Why don't we just call up young players and build for the future? Let's get some promising kids tied to Canada, get them used to each other, hopefully snatch an upset along the way, but all in all ensure that we have the best possible team for 2018 when we have a chance instead of jerking around for 2014 when we don't?
Dwayne De Rosario, the self-absorbed piece of crap he is, had another game where he thought he'd be the hero and break Dale Mitchell's record. Julian de Guzman was typically incompetent, Olivier Occean looked out of shape and out of his depth. None of these useless slabs of meat will be of any value in 2018, not that they're of much value now. So why not bring in young kids with something to learn? Replace fringe veterans like Terry Dunfield and Kenny Stamatopoulos with quality youngsters like Matt Stinson and Michel Misiewicz. What, we wouldn't qualify for the next World Cup if we did that? I've got news for you: we're not going to qualify anyway.
Because we're Canada, and our inability to make a single far-sighted decision is why we have such an incredibly awful soccer team, that's why. Ah, well. A man can dream.