Most weeks, we use ‘3 Things’ to highlight stories that deserve more attention but aren’t worthy of a full post. This week, the story’s probably each deserve multiple posts each. However, that’s not the editorial schedule, so here we are.
Uruguay Dominates USA, Claims Americas 1
It was a day that felt inevitable. While the Eagles continue to improve, Uruguay has improved just as much or more. The result is Los Teros claiming Americas 1 for the first time, and the Eagles needing to wait until next year to claim a Cup spot.
The US looked tired from the kickoff. Great players made small mistakes even there was no margin for error. No one on the American side looked as threatening as we know they can be.
Full credit to Uruguay. This looks like a side that’s ready to compete with the top Tier 2 sides. But, we have to acknowledge that the…
Eagles Struggle on the Road
The 2021 international men’s campaign has been a tale of two cities: Glendale and Other.
No one expected a victory in London, but a strong Eagles second half raised American hopes.
No one expected a victory in Dublin, but no one expected the overpowering forces of Ireland to beat the Eagles so cleanly.
The sloppy loss in Saint John’s to a Canadien side that won’t make the Cup was embarrassing. It looked even worse when we all saw what the Eagles can be when they’re focused.
The narrow victory over Uruguay a week ago was not the win they needed. Letting a 16 point margin slip to 3 by the final whistle only sat the US up for failure. Uruguay knew what they needed, and they went for points early to build scoreline pressure. Then, they ripped through the tired Eagles in the second half to claim the dominant win.
The Eagles have one test left, and they’ll have to leave Glendale once again. The flight to DC will be shorter, but the 80 minutes against the All Blacks will feel even longer.
Soon, a disappointing international campaign will come to a merciful end.
Canada Will Miss It’s First World Cup… Ever
Speaking of endings…
You’d be hard pressed to find a reputable source that picked Chile to make Americas 2 qualification. In reality, it should’ve been clearer.
Chile, like Uruguay, has been growing away from the global eye. Everyone watches the US and Canada due to the potential media exposure the two markets could provide to flank rugby. Meanwhile, Chile and Uruguay have gained strength in the SLAR. The competition’s format (one team from each country) allows for combinations to develop and transfer to the national side. There’s fewer chances for raw talent to develop, but it’s a strong system for team building.
For Canada, this is a complete failure. The 2023 cycle is over. 2027 starts now. But what changes can be made? Kingsley Jones will certainly be out at the end of the year, if not before. Further investment would be beneficial, but this is a union that won’t have Cup participation revenue to fall back on. In many ways, Canada will need to focus less on competing with bigger teams and more on avoiding a potential slide outside of Cup potential.
The extended Toronto Arrows ‘tour’ does deserve more attention than its received. The northerners sacrificed immensely to make an MLR campaign possible in the pandemic era. Was it worth it? The long time away from family, the increased demands that come from limited squad numbers, and the general mental challenges of the last year and a half were extreme. Heck, Justin Trudeau recorded a message for a team that didn’t even make the playoffs!
One way or another, change will be necessary. The biggest hope is that those that let this mess start are not the ones tasked with ending it.