The Euros continue to be the most entertaining sporting event casual fans forget about until it actually happens. While they may be ending, sports fans around the world can rejoice because the CONCACAF Gold Cup starts on Saturday!
The Gold Cup. The Euros is UEFA’s confederation tournament and The Gold Cup is ours, CONCACAF’s. In theory they’re the same thing but in practice share very few similarities. It even used to have an absurdly large trophy! Can you guess how the tournament got it’s name? I wonder what came first, the name or the trophy.
The Euros were headlined by global powerhouses such as France and Belgium while the Gold Cup is headlined by Mexico and the United States. To make matters worse, it’s not remotely competitive. The United Sates and Mexico have combined to win 17 of the 25 Gold Cups. They’ve won every gold cup since 2002 (Good job Canada!). The average FIFA Ranking of the teams competing in the 2021 Gold Cup is 73. Remember how fun it was seeing North Macedonia in Euro 2020? So quaint! I forgot that was even a country! Well, North Macedonia is the 62nd ranked team in the world.
So the Gold Cup is basically a tournament of North Macedonia’s plus America!
Kind of… Guadeloupe and Martinique aren’t members of FIFA so they don’t have FIFA rankings. There are three teams in this years Gold Cup ranked in the hundreds: Trinidad & Tobago (103rd), Suriname (136th), Grenada (160th). If eligible, I’d bet my life that Guadeloupe and Martinique would make it five teams in the hundreds. BUT WAIT THERES MORE! Qatar is competing in this year’s Gold Cup. Because why the fuck not! Qatar (58th) are reigning AFC Asian Cup champions and since their confederation tournament isn’t being contested prior to the World Cup in 2022 they a$ked if they could compete in The Gold Cup. So really that average ranking isn’t an accurate representation of quality of CONCACAF teams let alone the ones competing in this tournament.
It’s not lost on me, an American, that I’m completely trashing CONCACAF even though the same teams (except Qatar) I’m trashing prevented the United States of America from qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The US will be looking for redemption then.
Ehhhhhhhhhh… The United States called up their B Team for the tournament. No Dest. No McKennie. No Reyna. No Pulisic. No one anyone really cares to watch at all. You see UEFA scheduled Euro 2020 to end this weekend because at the end of July European club teams begin training camp. The Gold Cup overlaps with those training camps. As a result the USMNT called in their A Team to compete in the CONCACAF Nations League Final (A competition too dumb to waste my time explaining) in early June so their top guys can report to their training camps on time.
So I hope you enjoyed Euro 2020 because you’re about to watch the USMNT B Team take the field against countries you forgot existed in a meaningless tournament which Mexico will ultimately win. I love CONCACAF.