Armchair Analyst: Highlight bias, Cyle Larin's Gold Cup and Canadian soccer

Welcome back to the Thursday Q&A series, where we focus on one particular topic – today's being open goals and frustrated Canadians – and ask you to react, share, and discuss in the comments section. However, feel free to ask about anything game-related (MLS, USL, NASL, USMNT, CanMNT, etc.) over the next several hours.


HERE is a video of Cyle Larin's incredible miss from last night's scoreless draw between Canada and El Salvador.

Oops! Wrong video. Here it is:

Spoiler alert: Larin, like everyone in those videos above, is going to be fine. I don't think he'll be "world class," but "very good international striker for a decade," along with "contending, at some point, for an MLS Golden Boot" are both within reach. Don't let one highlight discolor your view of a player's potential or, six months into his pro career, his tangible production.

Anyway, HERE is the miss if you really want to see it (and you should, because if you're not Canadian it's hilarious). Larin's made highlight reels all over the world over the past 18 hours, and done so for the wrong reason, but so what? That's the life of a striker, and I'm guessing he figures out how to put it behind him and move on.

Coming along with him will be the Canadian national team, though summer may be too much, too soon (no regrets!). Larin took and deserves a lot of blame for last night's result, but the bigger culprit was head coach Benito Floro, who kept his only truly creative midfielders - Russell Teibert and Jonathan Osorio - on the bench for 80 minutes. Teibert ended up spreading the game out with that Brad Davis-esque left foot of his, while Osorio dragged the Salvadorans around, opening up gaps for the rest of the attack.

Canadian fans were justifiably miffed they only got 10 minutes of that kind of thing:

The good news is that Larin's 20, Teibert's 22 and Osorio is 23. These guys will be around for a long time. Doneil Henry and Will Johnson will be back soon as well, and - most importantly - Canada now have eight professional soccer teams: Three MLS teams, three affiliates in USL, and two more teams in NASL.

There are more young Canadians playing soccer now than there were five years ago (Kianz Froese, Sam Adekugbe, Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, Jordan Hamilton), and five years from now when Larin, Teibert and Osorio are all in their prime, there will be more to add to that pile. Some of them will be really, really good.

So yeah, Cyle Larin swung and missed. It happens. But don't for a second think one highlight tells the story of this team's future.


Ok folks, thanks for keeping me company for a few hours. Check out the comments section below for the back-and-forth.

Five Finals. Five Stories.

Two CONCACAF teams dominate the Gold Cup: the United States and Mexico. Read our interactive presentation about five matches that helped shaped soccer in the region.

Series: 

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