Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Trails 129-124: Exit the Hexagon...

It's not quite like losing a bout in Ultimate Fighter, but the losers we discuss here might feel just as battered, bruised and beaten. Left in the lurch by grim misfortune, they have to head back to the drawing board and dream of four years from now when they might redeem themselves.

But enough about the Republican party, let's talk about the teams that bowed out of CONCACAF Qualifying in the penultimate group stage. (You know...five months ago when I meant to publish this but apparently didn't.) Failing to make the final hexagonal hurdle is no great shame (the U.S. flirted with that possibility up until their final match), but still that means no trip to Brazil, no fame and fortune, no Vanity Fair cover shoot, just quiet preparation for going to Russia...ugh.

So let's sound a solemn samba for the departed (before starting a joyous Livenka polka for their next chance!)

129: Goodbye Guyana
Why they lost: As we outlined in the WIBD edition for the second round, the Golden Jaguars simply don't have the experience or talent on the roster to make themselves a viable contender in North America.

What we'll miss: Other than sincere satisfaction of seeing a little ol' minnow elevate themselves to the level of a regional spoiler? Just saying the nickname "Golden Jaguars" as often as possible.

128: And we'll see you soon Antigua and Barbuda
Why they lost: Like Guyana, A & B got a single point out of six matches. Facing off against recent Cup qualifiers from Jamaica and the US probably wasn't a tremendous help either.

What we'll miss: There's a serious boom of Antiguans, Barbudans and Antinguan/Barbudans popping up on the rosters of English clubs: Nottingham Forrest, Oxford United, Reading, Motherwell and Wycombe. Plus it'd be cool to see a match in the glorious Cricket Castle of Sir Vivian Richards Stadium

127: Adios Cuba

Why they lost: After FIFA set Cuba up with a bye into round three, the "Lions of the Caribbean" acted much more like pussy cats than kings of the jungle (or tropical sea...or whatever). It didn't help that their players have a nasty habit of seeking asylum whenever they get a breathe of fresh air on foreign soil.

What we'll miss: Cuban pulled pork sandwhiches...oh wait! This is America, we can get those anytime!! (Seriously can't go wrong with a good [or bad] Castro joke)

126: Hasta luego El Salvador

Why they lost: Despite a rather stellar legacy as a Central American soccer state, El Salvador couldn't get over the hump of the more recent continental darlings Costa Rica or true goliath Mexico

What we'll miss: The chance for a touching homage to Forward and international team lynchpin Rudis Corrales who suffered a stroke in April 2012 and would have made for a great angle on the up-and-coming Salvadorans.

125: Farewell/Adieu Canada

Proof that Cuba's better than Canda
at pork products.
Why they lost: Finishing just a point short of both Honduras and Panama, the Canucks have to be grimacing and the lost chance to get a win at home against Honduras (a result made all the more bitter by a subsequent 8-1 drumming in San Pedro Sula).

What we'll miss: Are you serious...there aren't enough jokes about the other countries in the world COMBINED to make up for the mockery we can make of Canada! Like this one: Hey Canada is that Bacon or are you just looking at Ham through Maple Syrup goggles? [crickets chirp]

124: Ciudata Guatemala

File:Gtlogo.pngWhy they lost: Two goals. Two gol' durn goals! That's all that stood between Guatemala and a berth in the next round. If they'd just given up two fewer goals, or scored two more (or split the dang difference for all I care). A 3-1 win at home versus Jamaica? A 3-2 loss against the US? And voila...problem solved!

What we'll miss: Fun times with the Guatemalan immigrant community here in Minnesota, plus the super avant-garde federation logo which win our Happy Trails logo contest for this round.

No comments: