When you are forced to use the word "mathematically" to describe your team's chances at glory you know that you are in trouble. But, when your team is the Canadian men's national soccer team, all you really know is trouble.
In the end it was respectable. A 2-1 loss to Mexico in Mexico is nothing to be ashamed of. Now, a 2-1 loss to Honduras in Montreal...that's something to hang your head in shame about.
Let's get the hopeless optimism out of the way off the top:
Trailing Honduras by five points Canada's job is simple. Win out. If they do that--and Mexico does what it is supposed to do against Honduras--then Canada will go through (if they win out and Honduras draws Mexico at home then it will come down to goal differential).
At least no one is flipping a coin yet (if you get that reference, I'm sorry. You're a long suffering nats fan too. I'll buy you a drink one day).
Watching tonight's game at Toronto's Duke of Gloucester was a bit surreal. After dodging your way through the beautiful people Tiff-ing in Yorkville, you found yourself surrounded by only the true believers in an atmosphere reminiscent of a funeral. This was not a crowd that needed to be reminded of the group standings. Many were around in '86. All will be around in '26, provided the chicken wings don't get us first.
Every last one of us knew it was hopeless. You don't go 50 years without winning in a country without a good reason. And the mess in Montreal assured us that a draw would mean little more than a moral victory (not that the two for 50 years record in that department was inspiring confidence). That we still show up is testament to, well, something anyway. As life burdens go, supporting Canada isn't that bad, I guess.
Look, here's the thing. We get that it would be easier to just pretend that we are from somewhere else--maybe we could grab a hold of out great grandparents' ancestry. We've heard the jokes, we know where Canada is ranked on that God awful FIFA list. We get it. We're just not that good. We might even suck. Whatever.
We support Canada because we are Canadian. Period. Full stop. And, we will always support Canada because it just feels right. We'll take more from a Gold Cup quarterfinal win--that was watched by no one in Canada but us--than we would from watching an adopted team win the World Cup. Many reading this don't get that. That's OK, because we don't get you.
So, we'll lick our wounds and refocus now. One point from three games is pretty bleak, but there are still three games to go. All we need to do is win them all.
Really, how hard can it be?
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