Another week and another in what seems to be a constant stream of international football tournaments this summer.
This time it’s the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Held biannually, this is the 10th Gold Cup and once again it is being held in the US. This year though, some of the shine has been taken off the competition with the competing sides treating the tournament in different levels of seriousness as it comes right in the middle of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Costa Rica and El Salvador, for example, are treating the tournament as a chance to keep their World Cup squads together as part of their qualification preparations. Canada and Jamaica on the other hand have points to prove after missing out on the final round of World Cup qualifying with what were, on paper at least, strong squads. They can start their rebuilding now and look to the future.
A number of the 12 teams taking part though have come out and said that they will be fielding B squads. All well and good, but it devalues what it meant to be the confederation’s premier international tournament (World Cup qualification aside) and it doesn’t add much impetus for watching the events unfold, as the initial crowds are demonstrating.
It just makes you feel what is the point? Are they just continuing to have the tournament for the sake of it? Will it just fizzle out altogether. The MLS and USL, as examples, don’t postpone their League duties when the tournament is on, so the top sides either lose players to the Gold Cup or the players just don’t go and concentrate on their domestic campaigns.
It’s all crazy and another example of an international tournament that should just be held every four years and not in years leading up to a World Cup.
Maybe one day CONCACAF will get the message and reintroduce some prestige to proceedings. Hopefully they do it whilst people still care.