CONCACAF announced the groups for this summer's Gold Cup. There were no surprises here. CONCACAF seems to always "announce" groups. Teams aren't drawn into groups as much as they are appointed. For a region whose game has gotten considerably better over the past 25 years, their governing body is stuck in the past.
I watched the event today. All the coaches were there. Happy to see the fans in Philadelphia get rewarded with the Final. Then it was time to get to the groups. Instead of picking names out of a hat, we got a decree. What a shame.
The groups and schedules are as follows:
Call me a romantic, I prefer my tournament fields to be determined by the hand of fate, not a dedazo. Besides, it makes for good TV.
I get. We all get it.
It's not an accident that Mexico will be playing in the stadiums with the largest capacity....
...that Canada is playing in Toronto...
... once again, the draw is set up for a US-Mexico final. There are other teams that have plenty to say about that, of course, but notice the first two slots in group and group C are on opposite ends of the draw. Again. Like in 2013. And 2011. And 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003 yawn...
Costa Rica does not have a particularly large base of fans in the US, but El Salvador does, and they just so happen to be in group B together.
CONCACAF doesn't have the best reputations, which soccer governing body does? And they are doing themselves no favors when pass up opportunities to show a little transparency, even if it is just a silly draw. I have been smitten by international tournaments since I was just a wee one. A big part of their charm is the complete randomness of where team plays and against whom. Random is certainly not the word to use to describe the Gold Cup draw.
The teams in the region have gotten so much better over the past 25 years, as evidenced by last summer in Brazil. Let a draw figure out who and when, not a white board. It's time to take off the training wheels. Let's stage a tournament where the play on the pitch takes precedence over the profit in the pockets.
Eventually, let's try having one outside the US as well.