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    I'd eight to be the USVI!


    Duane Rollins

    They really should have put one in their own net just for the symbolism of it. I mean, 8-0 is nice – historic, even – but 8-1 would have been a delicious result in the first competitive game of John Herdman’s men’s coaching career.

    If you’re reading this site, I don’t need to explain why.

    Alas, the Red and White played it straight and find themselves solidly in second place of the CONCACAF Nations League qualification after most of match-day one is completed.

    The plus 8 is the vital number here. As I wrote Friday, there are some games where the sports clichés don’t factor. This was one. The US Virgin Islands, as they currently stand, would never beat Canada. Never. It doesn’t matter that the ball is round. It was literally impossible that they could win. The talent gap was that great.

    What they might have done, however, was hold Canada to a relatively small score – say 3-0 or 4-0. That doesn’t sound that bad, but in this format the big teams need to beat the minnows up. Otherwise they could easily find themselves on 10 points and out of group A (since the pot A teams play each other any team with 12 points will be guaranteed a spot in the top group once the full competition starts).

    So, Canada needed to run the score and run the score they did.

    Beating up USVI isn’t to be taken too seriously, but it is refreshing to have seen Canada so quickly get off the mark. That’s not always been this countries strong suit, after all.

    There haven’t been a lot of surprises thus far in the Nations League, but it has proven to be a lot of fun. As previously stated, this is about getting consistent games for countries that have struggled to book friendlies in the past.

    It’s also Gold Cup qualifying and although Canada would have to bomb in unimaginable ways to bring that into play, the expanded format of the 2019 tournament could make for some great drama towards the back end. A country like Saint Lucia, who won 3-0 this week, is suddenly in the mix and we should not dismiss how important it would be for a nation like that to make a Gold Cup.

    All in all it was a good weekend for Canada and CONCACAF.

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    • It was about managing things for the QF game, not the opponent.  Same strategy applies be it Haiti or CR.
    • So in hindsight are you happy we played the Mexico game the way we did? Had we gone all out for the win we would have ended up with Costa Rica.
    • Haiti also had some squad rotation I believe - they're Belgium-based striker who got the two goals against Bermuda didn't play last night, and neither did a couple of their first choice back four. Each team has two players who could have played for the other team. Each team may also be considering themselves the favourites to win, which was also the case two years ago in the QF against Jamaica.
    • On paper  they’re a easier opponent. They’ve never got past the quarterfinals of the gold cup and haven’t been close to qualifying for the World Cup in forever. Their squad consists of players in Europe and North and Central America but have very few playing on first division teams. Their biggest strength is their speed and quick feet of their wingers who were able to expose Costa Rica on the counter attack. While when we play them we’ll likely keep possession when they get the bell they’ll try and break quickly down the wing or use their striker as a target man. Costa Rica on the other hand is stronger on paper they have many players on top teams around the world and are very technical gifted. They like to play it slow but with precision but as you saw from the game yesterday they didn’t know what to do when Haiti pressed their players. In my opinion I’d prefer Haiti because if you can cut them off from breaking quick and don’t just sit back and let them attack like Costa Rica did in the second half then we should be able to beat them and move on.
    • Great post!  I'll add my thoughts: - Like you suggested, we need to get Kaye in there.  Speaking of which, is he healthy now? - Kaye > Osorio right now, especially vs Haiti. - Anyone watching us will target our backs.  Godinho and our rotation on the left both look vulnerable. - We've been doing well with the usual 4-3-3, but we need more width vs Haiti. I feel the 4-3-3 might leave us vulnerable to their counter attacks and fast flanks.  My answer to all this would be a 4-4-2: ------- James - Cavallini Davies - Hutch - Arfield - Hoilett Kaye - Cornelius - Henry - ZBG  
    • Outside the paywall 🙂 At least some of it... https://headtopics.com/ca/blame-bungled-tactics-and-absurdly-cautious-coaching-for-canada-s-exit-from-the-world-cup-6541625  
    • The new training facility being built will probably take some of that load off. It will not just be PFC using the training fields.
    • I don't think that is limited to Edmonton (or sports). Here in Victoria theaters and concert venues are regularly still 2/3 empty 5 minutes before start times. 😂
    • This is what I think we'll go with as well. If Kaye is carrying a knock, no need to risk him unless we are chasing the game and/or Osorio needs to come off. We can also push Davies forward and bring Morgan on if we need a goal. I trust him more than Teibert at full back against Haiti. Teibert is better on the ball, but lacks the athleticism of Morgan. I'll go with 3-1 for this one. We'll jump out to an early lead and they'll respond at some point. Then, we'll put them to bed in the second half as they tire.
    • Earlier in the tournament, in another thread, I said that the refereeing was sub-par.  Man, did that offend people!  I said that using only female referees was unfair to the players who earned the right to be here.  My flame retarding underwear was barely up to the task.  I said VAR was so intrusive here precisely because the all-female officiating staff were unable to call offside correctly, and that they weren't good enough for the level of the games (not is so many words, but that was the gist).  Well, I think I am being rather soundly vindicated by the last few matches.  When the US was hammering Thailand the referee wasn't important.  When the US was jobbing Spain out of at least a regulation draw now we see how poorly prepared the referees are.  The referee blew Canada's chances in 2012 due to the overt pressure applied by the USWNT and  Wambach, and here the referee was taken in by the US professional diving team.  I support women in sports, especially soccer, and that includes referees.  That doesn't mean that only women should coach, or officiate, or organize, or work the concessions at a Women's tournament.  The women who have earned the right to play at a WWC should not be knocked out because someone thinks that it is more important to give female referees a training opportunity.  Let female referees earn the right to be there.  They can get their training in league play and earn their right to progress just like any other referee.
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