It's Gold Cup Time - The Keyword Being Gold

I have never really understood why CONCACAF has to play the Gold Cup every two years. But then I take a look at Mexico’s possible itinerary, and it become$ abundantly clear. I hope Mexico’s players have frequent flier accounts. If they somehow make it the Gold Cup final later this month at the Meadowlands, they will have played in 6 venues, made 5 flights, crossed over three time zones, and traveled a total of 5036 miles (as the golden goose flies). Someone's gonna make some bank.

The USA is getting ready to host Gold Cup, again. There have been Gold Cup games in the US in every tournament since its inception in 1991. There have also been games in Mexico, in some of those tournaments. This year CONCACAF plans to spread the wealth, or at least expand their reach, to 13 markets for the 2009 tournament. I have nothing against making money, but does CONCACAF have to make it so obvious? Is it really a surprise that the US and Mexico have a chokehold on the trophy, save for one Canadian title? Do we think that would be the case if the Gold Cup were staged in other CONCACAF countries? Doesn’t necessarily sound like fair play to me.

Yes, I know the US has the best stadia in the area. But unless Mexico or the US is playing, we get to see more of the stadium because of the empty seats. Last I checked, other countries, particularly those in Central America, have thriving leagues. Their stadia may not be up to par, but then again, they really don’t need 13 venues. They can get away with a minimum of 3. They may not make as much money, but I bet the games might turn out a little different. Anyone remember the group stages of the concachampions?

One last thing about CONCACAF… I really don’t understand why they put the kibosh on Puebla and Monterrey, or any other CONCACAF team, on playing in the Sudamericana. They claim they wanted to put the spotlight on their own CCL, while still allowing the Mexican clubs to play in the Libertadores. Puebla's coach, Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, never one to mince words, sees things a little different. “This is a decision that benefits only the ones who run CONCACAF, two people who want to make sure that if Mexican teams play anywhere outside Mexico, it will be so that the fans will fill the seats in the US.” Chelis believes that this is the first step to a future where Mexican Clubs would be contractually obligated to play all their games outside of Mexico in the US. Sadly, he may be right.

It really is too bad. Puebla would have made the Sudamericana very interesting.