Editorial Note: Please welcome Dan Hernandez to the Waking the Red team. Dan really should be writing his school assignments right now, but to procrastinate he puts together articles for us. Dan will provide some humour to the Waking the Red team, what is humour? We aren't really sure but we are willing to try it out.
With the first phase of this round's CONCACAF World Cup qualifying wrapping up on Tuesday, the crucial question still remains on the minds of Canadian soccer fans. Can we actually make the Hex this time around? Is such an accomplishment even feasible???
Well folks, I come to you today bearing some wonderful, wonderful news. You can think of me in the same vein as the Archangel Gabriel, or Paul Revere, prophetic (and handsome) messengers delivering the kind of divine, ground-breaking news that makes people just spit their morning coffee all over the place, as if they just read some British tabloid about Jermain Defoe.
The revelation I bring to you? An answer to the almighty question. Yes people. Yes we will. The Hexagonal shall be ours. Before all you pessimists out there accuse me of hearsay, let me explain why.
Group A consists of Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador. Four years ago, if this had been our group for 2014 Brazil qualifying, we would've been better off just forfeiting all our matches. But this is a very different time in history. Its 2015 now. It's the future. We now have cars that drive themselves, Donald Trump's about to be the American president, and TFC made the playoffs, all unimaginable things that could only be constructed in the mind of some sort of crazy person are now realities.
More importantly, we have a national team that, for the first time in what seems like an eternity, looks to be headed in the right direction. Our group rivals on the other hand seem the opposite. Mexico will always be Mexico; however Honduras and El Salvador appear to be self-destructing.
The Hondurans, still reeling from a terrible 2014 World Cup haven't looked the same since, barely threatening the Canadian defense in the first game. El Salvador, while earning an important draw with us on Tuesday, is having trouble even fielding a team because of player strikes and bans, corruption and overall general disorganization and dissent within their federation. Their misfortune is our good luck and only increases Canada's chances of reaching the promised land of hexagonal football.
Our Player pool
Cavallini, Larin, Tesho, Hoilett, Aird, Petrasso, Tissot,
Bekker Osorio, the list goes on and on. Our attacking depth is probably the strongest it's ever been. Add to that the likes of Adam Straith, Doneil Henry, Sam Piette, Russell Teibert , possibly even Gershon Koffie and we got a pretty youthful and talented squadron, and one that is hungry for success. It's up to veteran leaders like Will Johnson and Atiba Hutchinon to lead the charge and guide our youngsters to glory.
I personally don't like Señor Floro's tactics. I think he plays a style that is far too defensively focused for the type of firepower he has available. That being said, games are not won on offense alone and Floro has managed to bring defensive consistency to a Canadian side that has desperately needed it (see San Pedro Sula). This year's CONCACAF Gold Cup was an offensive flop, but a defensive step forward. Conceding only one goal all tournament, Canada made an early exit, but managed to redeem its poor defensive reputation from the embarrassing loss to Martinique that happened 2 years earlier. If Floro can continue this consistency and manage to find another win against Honduras or somehow take points against Mexico, he would no doubt solidify Canada's spot in the Hex.
Canada will make the next round this time, rest assured. If we don't, then I'll just delete this article and deny ever making such claims in order to save face. But that won't be necessary. We finally have the talent, the coach and most importantly, the circumstances all in our favor. Canada is finally in a position where it's in control of its own destiny, and Russia is only a skip and a hex away.