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 though...you 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.
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
Why 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.