Some continental news for you guys this morning. It's being reported that the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) is reporting that FIFA has confirmed to them that our continental conference, CONCACAF, will be allotted four spots in the upcoming 2014 World Cup instead of the usual 3.5 (where the .5 would play a home/away game against South American conference CONMEBOL)
This essentially means that the 2014 World Cup will look like this: Africa 4.5, South America 4.5 plus Brazil, Asia 4.5, Europe 13, Oceania 0.5, And CONCACAF 4.
The extra spot was taken from Africa (who had 5.5 in 2010) and given to CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, respectively.
So what does this mean for our little continental conference? Well, for the United States national team it means very little. At this stage in our nation's development as a team we're pretty much a lock for every World Cup (we haven't missed one since 1986). It'll be the usual tug-of-war for first place in the conference with Mexico, but other than that business as usual.
For our neighbors to the north, however, with the Vancouver Whitecaps entering MLS this year and the Montreal Impact next year, this is a huge opportunity for them to finally secure a stable spot in the World Cup. For years now Canada has struggled due to their lack of a solid major league option. Sure, Toronto FC has been involved with MLS since 2007, but a singular team that only uses so many Canadian players doesn't bode well for the Canadian national team as a whole. Montreal and Vancouver should help boost this level given the technical level of MLS being higher than that of the division 2 league.
Overall, however, getting an additional guaranteed spot in the World Cup is just great for our conference. I can't speak for all CONCACAF-ians, but I'm of the mind that I root for all CONCACAF teams in the World Cup no matter what, even Mexico so long as we're not playing them. It's a matter of continental pride. This added spot just guarantees that I will be rooting for one additional team.
FIFA will formally announce the addition on March 3rd.
[via: Canadian Soccer News]