“Judas” de Guzmán Chooses TulipsBy: Daryl | February 8th, 2008
Bad news for Canadians yesterday as 20 year old attacking midfielder Jonathan de Guzmán turned his back on all things maple leaf and decided to play for Holland instead. De Guzmán was born in Toronto, but snapped up by Feyenoord Rotterdam at the tender age of 12. He’s been playing in the Eredivisie since he was 18 and Canadian fans have been salivating to get him into a red shirt. Official word until this week was that de Guzmán was still deciding who to play for, but his recently acquired Dutch passport settled the matter pretty quickly.
Canada had been given hope by Jonathan’s older brother Julián de Guzmán, who plays for Deportivo de La Coruña in La Liga but comes home to play for The Canucks. Seems brotherly love wasn’t enough to lure Jonathan back, and apparently he’s been given the nickname “Judas” de Guzmán on some Canadian messageboards. It’s no surprise that the fans are angry. Owen Hargreaves was lost to England in similarish circumstances and between those two players that’s a pretty impressive Canadian midfield that will now only exist in the imagination.
But there’s an argument in The Globe and Mail from de Guzmán’s dad that this is really the Canadian Soccer Association’s fault. Not for failing to pursue de Guzmán, but for failing to be anything close to organized. Though Canada made the semi-finals of last year’s Gold Cup (only exiting via a questionable offside decision) and have talent like Julián de Guzmán and Dwayne De Rosario to call on, the administration doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. For example, they’re still waiting to appoint a new chief executive after screwing up the last hire. Seems that if Canada wants to persuade future talent to wear the national team shirt then the CSA needs to get its house in order first. Certainly the fans agree that something has to change in Canadian football.
Here’s a quick look at what the Canadian national team will be missing out on: