Advanced Trigonometry: Canada v Costa Rica Preview

We’re still in this. Despite a terrible tournament for Canada thus far, a win tomorrow would pretty much guarantee its progression to the knockout phase (maybe, we’ll see, depends on other results).

One of the quirks of the Gold cup is that 12 teams show up, and eight of them make the knockout phase. It’s easier to make the playoffs in this tournament than in the MLS. It means that every first and second place team from the 3 groups advance, as well as two of the three third-place teams. According to Daniel Squizzato, here’s what Canada is hoping for from Monday’s matches:

 

 

In essence, I don’t know what Daniel’s background is, but I’m going to just guess it’s a doctorate in mathematics.

 

That’s a problem for this tournament’s format. The sooner it goes to 16 teams, the better it will be for fans to figure out what their team needs to do to advance – but that’s an argument for another day.

 

Costa Rica has not been as formidable in this tournament as they were expected to be. Two draws from two matches, one of them against El Salvador, might just give Canada that spark of hope it needs to pull off a result.

 

Canada will have to do it without Samuel Piette, who incurred his second yellow card of the tournament against Jamaica and will thus be suspended Tuesday. That should open the door for Jonathan Osorio to start his first match of the tournament, but the way head coach Benito Floro has continued to baffle fans of the team with his selections, don’t bet the farm.

 

Costa Rica boasts a lineup with some very recognizable names: Bryan Ruiz (Porto FC), Joel Campbell (Arsenal FC) and Christian Gamboa (West Bromwich Albion) for example. Whatever the problem, though, they haven’t been able to show the flair and team play that sent them steamrolling over world heavyweights all the way to the quarterfinals of last summer’s World Cup. Could a change in coaching have had to do with it? The coach that accomplished this feat, Jorge Luis Pinto, is now head coach of Honduras, who are turning many heads with their play of late. Coincidence? If the players do miss their former head coach, let’s hope it extends to Tuesday night’s match.

 

The conditions should be much more favourable than they have been, especially the humidity encountered in Houston. Toronto’s stadium is the Canadian team’s home, and some temperate weather will allow Floro to fully deploy his style of play without having to worry about tired legs.
We know Canada needs a result tomorrow. It might not be crystal clear just what needs to be done, but winning the match would obviously give us the best chance to progress – so let’s just go do that.

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Theo Gauthier

Theo Gauthier

Théo Gauthier was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, which has zero footballing heritage. It is only upon moving to Ottawa that he was able to plug into the global energy generated by the Beautiful Game.

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