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how do you think the semi final round will end??


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I wanna know how you think the group of death will end? I think it will be:

1.Costa Rica




but anybody in this group could go through its very hard to say who will finnish 1st or 2nd! One thing for sure is that it will be very close and everything will be decided the last day!

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couple of thoughts:

Costa Rica: A good side based on what they accomplished at the WC the last time. They should have made it to round of 16 if not for stupidity. The good news is that: when playing in a neutral site, we were able to beat them. I thought we were full marks for that win given that IMO we traded possesion time with them quite well for much of the game but I might be inclined to give them a very slight edge in scoring chances given the crossbar they hit twice I think and based on some neutral post game reports that I read. But on the upside, we definitely didn't steal that game IMO and we have better personel now than we had at the Gold cup. Radzinski and deGuzman were not there. While they do have some world class players, we are also a better team than at that time. The professional experience and upside of our younger players is greater than CRC IMO, despite the fact that they have Winston Parks . Therefore, I could see this two game series being split.

Honduras: In the last round of qualifying ( WCQ 2002), they have shown that they can score alot of goals and were firmly in a qualifying spot ( in the hex) until the very end when they seemingly blew it. There were reports alleging that they threw some games in favor of Mexico. The Honduran defenders must be suspect given the number of goals they concede. What makes this matchup versus canada tough to call, is the fact that we really have't seen Canada play these guys recently. What sticks out in my memory about these guys is that they are more likely than CRC to employ cynical tactics against us ( eg>; Diving and play acting). Saw one or two of their games on TV in the last Copa America and although they played surprisingly well, they did not erase from my mind the belief that they are divers and play actors. Their key scorer, as I recall, Pavon has been around for a while and must be up there in age, if he still on th team. With our personel and Yallop's attacking style, I think that we can win the home game against them in Edm given that officiating will always help the home side in int'l soccer when two attacking teams meet. BUT the away game IMO will determine our fate and IS THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME for canada in the semi final round. Earning at least a draw in Honduras will be paramount for Canada.

Guatemala: They are the main reason why I was unhappy with the group canada drew. While other groups ended up with at least one minnow, we ended up with a side that took cost Rica to a playoff game in the last WCQ semi final to ensure that they reach the HEX. Saw their last home WCQ game versus the US and yanks were very fortunate not to lose. They do have a highly regard player Pedrassi (sp) who recently signed on with a premiership club. Still, You have to think that we will have the edge from an infrastucture standpoint. I am not aware of any other highly regarded Guatemalan at an international level. Plus, given their economic and social well being, I cannot imagine that their professional infrastructures are suprior to ours. Therfore our opening game versus them in Canada is the one that I ma most confident about. The away game will be the last in semi final round and could be insignificant. But it could also become the SECOND MOST IMPORTANT GAME WE PLAY.

Canada: The squad we assembled against Belize is the Best ( on Paper) that we have ever assembled IMO. Its a squad that can score goals and that could be very critical given that you could very well envision this group coming down to goal differentials or even playoff games. The down side: A central defence that has not much pace and secondly, a team who depth chart beyond the current 18 man personell, that is lacking in meaningfull professional experience. A few cards to certain key players could seal our fate. Particularly for someone like Devos who is sitting already on one yellow. Thirdly, our recent results in Friendlies don't inspire much confidence. But on the other hand, they were all away matches and verus Euro sides only.

If we can earn results in the away matches in Honduras and, if needed, Guatemala, we could go through.

I am not going to predict who'll finish 1st or second since its meaningless in the game of international soccer. The objective is to advance simple as that. So I predict CRC and Can to advance. But my head says that I says that anyone among the four could fail to qualify

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quote:I am not aware of any other highly regarded Guatemalan at an international level.

Well, here's another one: LA Galaxy playmaker Carlos Ruiz, I've seen him play and he could be very dangerous at times.



Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz, making his first appearance in an official match since suffering a severely sprained right ankle on May 15 in a 1-1 tie with the Colorado Rapids at The Home Depot Center, made a triumphant return to the Guatemalan national team Sunday. Ruiz, who will be eligible to play for the Galaxy this Wednesday night against the MetroStars, scored twice as the chapines defeated Surinam 3-1 at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City to win the home-and-home series between the countries and advance to the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.

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quote:Originally posted by Jarrek

1. Canada

2. Honduras

3. Costa Rica

4. Guatemala

I think Jarrek's right. CAN-HON-CRC-GUA, in that order.

Although Costa Rica may change places with Honduras. If the current

lineup gels like in the recent games, it's offensive-minded. Other

than Hume's last outburst, Yallop's team is pretty disciplined,

even Bircham. ;)

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quote:Originally posted by ballboy

I saw Hondurous played recently (Feburary) when they were playing in a tourney in the Far East. They had some speedy and skillful forwards and I do wonder whether their speed might cause our back-four some problem... ...

We've got options with Stalteri, Hutchinson, Jazic, Klukowski,

and even Brennan able to add some speed and defend. Honduras is good,

but from what I've seen can be easily frustrated, and they haven't played Canada in a very long time.

I'll tell you why I like our current team: we're not playing that

bunker-style defense of Holger's which just invites a lot of pressure

to absorb. We now have players that can be offensive and play defense. Check out Julian de Guzman. But you've got a point,

Canada shouldn't proceed without caution.

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We need to be honest with ourselves that if Canada qualifies from this group it will have to be considered an upset. It's definitely an achievable upset, but it will be an upset nonetheless.

I think the firing of Sampson will actually make Costa Rica better than they would have been had they not fired Sampson. Look at what a new manager has done for Canada. Sampson had them playing like crap already so they'll probably improve.

As for Honduras, never underestimate Bora Milutinovic. The guy gets results. This may well be the time he finally strikes out, and I hope it is, but there's no guarantee of that.

As for how the group will end, I expect that it will go something like this: on the final match day, Canada will need a victory in Guatemala and a helpful result in the Costa Rica-Honduras match in order to qualify. We'll pull out the victory on an injury time goal from Iain Hume, similar to the one he scored against Spain in the WYC, only to find out that Costa Rica and Honduras colluded to ensure that their match would end in such a way that both of those team go through to the Hex on goal differential over Canada. Or perhaps I'm just cynical. [}:)]

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I too believe that in this sport when you need help, it won't arrive. That is why I would have preferred at least one Carribean side in the group. I've never bought the theory that as regional rivals, they will do everything possible to eliminate each other. Soccer and the the WC are much bigger than simple sports competitions and very much influenced by Geo-political forces. These are afterall Latin american countries. Therefore they share a ceratin kinship when facing the world and looking at themselves in the bigger picture. The Rivalries really just make the fans feel good but in truth they are bound by common language, geography, belief and culture. Plus their playing philosophies are not drastically distinct. Even In canada, if you looked at the old Nords versus Habs rivalry. Supposedly a very bitter rivalry but in truth, no one was happy in Montreal to see the Nords really stuggle or worst of all, move to Colorado.

In the political areana and amongst the FA's, I doubt that it would sit well to see a developed country like Canada excell at their expense since it could be perceived as a jab to those common beliefs that I alluded to earlier. More examples, We often hear of Germans and Austrians as great rivals, but they didn't try very hard to eliminate each other in the 1982 WC. How about the stories of Scandinavian rivalries, but how hard did they really try to eliminate each other yesterday in the final 4 minutes

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