The Gold Cup starts July 7th, and Canada could very well be the dark horse of the tournament. Canada have generally not been very good at soccer, seeing they have only qualified for the World Cup once in their existence.
However, Canada have been on the uprise recently. Some notable players to watch are Alphonso Davies, Scott Arfield, and Cyle Larin. These young talents have turned a team that would be an easy three points for most opposition to a team that can put up a good fight.
Although, one big concern Canada is the situation with Cyle Larin. Larin was arrested on June 15th in Florida for drunk driving. Canada then went on to say that since he was arrested for drunk driving and that he would not be named to their 23 man roster which they submitted for the group stage.
However, Canada submitted a 40 man roster. If they are to advance past the group stage to the knockouts rounds, they are allowed to swap up to 6 players from their 23 man roster and their 40 man roster. Cyle Larin is on the 40 man roster.
Canada’s manager, Octavio Zambrano, said if they were to advance, he would definitely bring Larin into the team. This is all such a big deal because, even though Larin had probably the worst miss in Gold Cup history 2 years ago, he is still probably Canada’s best player and will be a huge improvement to their team if he does play.
Without Larin in the group stages, Canada is really going to struggle to get goals. Canada always struggles to score in matches and with their only true striker being Tosaint Ricketts, Canada may only get a goal or two in the group stages.
Canada’s defense can fall apart at times, but they generally play pretty well. As long as they can avoid any major collapses, Canada should be fine in the defensive end of the pitch.
Prediction: Canada is in a tough group with Honduras, Costa Rica, and French Guiana. Canada will barely beat French Guiana, tie with Honduras, and lose to Costa Rica. Canada will finish third due to goal differential, but will advance as one of the top two third-placed teams.
Canada will then head to the quarter-finals. In the quarterfinals, they will fall apart offensively, even with the addition of Larin and will make a couple of mistakes at the back.
Overall, Canada have a good team on the rise and adding Larin could be big. However, they just aren’t there yet. They will make it past the group stage, but will lose in the quarterfinals.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Star forward Cyle Larin won’t be on Canada’s initial Gold Cup roster. (<a href=”https://twitter.com/JohnMolinaro”>@JohnMolinaro</a>)<a href=”https://t.co/3B9RectkkL”>https://t.co/3B9RectkkL</a> <a href=”https://t.co/dU0BtCRfnV”>pic.twitter.com/dU0BtCRfnV</a></p>— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Sportsnet/status/878387950383398913″>June 23, 2017</a></blockquote> //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>In which I make the bold, daring prediction that, yes, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CanMNT?src=hash”>#CanMNT</a> will score at least one goal at this year’s Gold Cup: <a href=”https://t.co/PbAdo7dhY5″>https://t.co/PbAdo7dhY5</a></p>— Daniel Squizzato (@DanielSquizzato) <a href=”https://twitter.com/DanielSquizzato/status/880113656041684992″>June 28, 2017</a></blockquote> //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js