Tuesday, October 31, 2006

2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup: No Vacancy

CONCACAF announced today that they will not be inviting anyone outside of the CONCACAF region to take part in the 2007 Gold Cup. The entire 12 team pool will be made up of regional sides, excluding any possible guests like Columbia or Japan or such. CONCACAF had been inviting two non-CONCACAF nations to take part in the tournament, South Korea, Brazil, Columbia, South Africa, and Ecuador have all been invited guests for the tournament.

Honestly, I think that is coming from the fact that the Copa America is directly after the Gold Cup and CONCACAF probably only intended to invite two CONMEBOL nations. With the tournaments right next to each other, the CONMEBOL nations most likely declined, for reasons that many thought of why the USA wouldn't play in both. As the USSF announced yesterday that the USMNT will be playing in both, those concerns are nolonger an concern.

I for one think that this decision by CONCACAF is a good one and a horrible one. It is a good one as it will include two more CONCACAF nations in the regional championship, as it should. Expanding the tournament to 16 teams would go even farther towards getting the other regional nations to enter and by some sort of chance, increase their on field abilities by playing in a tournament. That was the good. The horrible is that the big three of CONCACAF; Mexico, USA and Costa Rica will not have even less of a challenge in the 2007 tournament. Without the outside guests, ones that normally are stronger sides than the rest of CONCACAF, the tournament will become more of a "joke" for the rest of the outside world. If we fail to see a USA vs. Mexico final in this years Gold Cup, something is drastically wrong.


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