Teams: Toronto FC, Fiorentina, Barça
Thanks for this, Jeff.
Now that the initial euphoria has worn off, I think a more sober look at what Canada accomplished in this WC would reveal that, apart from a narrow upset of an overrated China team, Canada didn't really do any better than they were expected to do.
Granted, even winning a WC match was a first for the team. But even the most conservative estimates had Canada reaching the Quarterfinals this time, which is exactly what they did. The upset of China, though not unforeseeable, was certainly not taken for granted.
After that, however, Canada was clearly outclassed by the other three semifinalists, and lost the final two matches.
Don't expect Canada's ranking to change on October 24 when the FIFA list comes out.
Canada did lose a lot of defenders both before and during the tournament. One thing Pellerud must do is make sure we develop more defenders so that we have the necessary depth to handle a situation like this if it comes up again. It is ludicrous to have to use strikers in the back four at a World Cup tournament. It is also ludicrous to put players on the final roster who are unfit to play, simply because you need to fulfill your quota of warm bodies on the bench.