FIFA Throws Canada A Bone

Does Dwayne De Rosario have one more qualifying campaign in him?

Canadian fans over the past couple years have expected an improvement, if not a sort of renaissance for Les Rouges. But with the recent debacle in the Gold Cup, life hasn’t been peachy for the Canadians. They haven’t qualified for a World Cup since 1986, and last won the Gold Cup in 2000. With the explosion of the U.S. game and Mexico’s dominance over the past 10 years, any Canadian successes could be flukey.

This is what everyone was thinking as of yesterday morning. The 2014 World Cup Qualifying draw now has restored that hope in the nation’s chances. Canada has the easiest road to the Hexagonal, and it is this writer’s belief that Les Rouges will make the most of it.

Breaking it down, Canada starts out against minnows St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia in Group D. From September 2 to November 15, the Canadians should clean up. Avoiding such sides as Guatemala and Nicaragua was important. These sides are certainly beatable, but the easiest road is the best road.

So after Canada takes care of that group, the Third Round awaits from June to October of 2012. The biggest issue was to avoid Mexico and the United States, which was accomplished.

Who do they get in the Third Round? Honduras and Cuba and the winners of Second Round’s Group C (probably Panama). Oh, and in that group, Canada has to only finish second. Not an insurmountable goal.

It isn’t a foregone conclusion that the nation will qualify for Brazil 2014, but they just got a huge boost. It is likely that Canadians don’t feel like world beaters at the moment, but they were just given an opportunity that only comes once every 28 years.

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