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CONCACAF previews group of death


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It's ironic that CONCACAF is pumping the Group of Death angle when it's their incomptence that has led to it

http://www.concacaf.com/view_article.aspx?id=4237

excerpt:

Group B, which features Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Honduras and Mexico, will be required and intriguing viewing when the six-match semifinal round gets underway on 20 August. The group showcases three of the confederation’s top four nations, according to the FIFA World rankings, in Mexico (No. 1), Honduras (No. 3) and Canada (No. 4), along with a rejuvenated Jamaica. Each country is playing well, led by some of CONCACAF’s top players, with Honduras, in particular, on a 12-game unbeaten streak. The group is also home to some the confederation’s toughest venues in which to win in Mexico’s Estadio Azteca, the National Stadium (The Office) in Jamaica and the Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

On top of these factors, a number of tantalizing storylines leap out and will be the focus of fans’ and media attention over the next four months. How will Mexico fare under new coach, former England boss, and Swedish native Sven-Goran Eriksson? Will Canada’s growing confidence and new attacking style of football produce the goals that have been so scarce in past World Cup qualifying matches? Can the return of Brazilian Rene Simoes bring back the magic that led Jamaica to a berth in the 1998 World Cup? Is Honduras capable of maintaining its unbeaten streak in games that really count? These questions and others will all be answered by the end of the semifinals on 19 November.

Canada: While Jamaica’s recent revival is noteworthy, the most interesting development might just be Canada’s new-look style of offensive soccer. Long-known as a defensive-oriented team that has had trouble scoring, Dale Mitchell’s side is playing an attractive style of soccer not seen from a Canadian team in many years. The style, which debuted at last year’s Gold Cup, takes advantage of the speed and higher skill level of the players, many of which have benefited from playing in Europe’s top leagues. The result? Goals – at least two in the last four matches, with some of the highest quality.

Deportivo La Coruna’s Julian de Guzman, MVP of last year’s Gold Cup, drives a creative and speedy midfield that includes Dwayne De Rosario of the Houston Dynamo and FC Copenhagen’s Atiba Hutchinson. They will look to set up striker Ali Gerba, who scored four goals in Canada’s defeat of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (7:1 aggregate) in its second-stage qualifier.“I'm very excited about qualifying and I'm anxious to start playing right away,” said DeRosario. “We've been in really good form and in order to be the best we have to be able to beat the best.” Following a recent 3:2 friendly loss to five-time FIFA World Cup Champions Brazil, Mitchell proclaimed his collection of players the best the country has ever had. Better talent combined with growing confidence and a refusal to be intimidated make Canada a legitimate threat to get one of the top two spots in the group.

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As someone else said in a thread about a week or two ago, bring it on. It's time for us to shatter some dreams and kick down the door. We've been the bridesmaid on too many occasions, it's our time to shine. Irrespective of our competition or where we play and on what kind of pitch, I like our chances. This group of players don't look easily rattled to me, there's a confidence I haven't seen before and if we are to make the world cup and actually compete, the adversity they'll experience in the group of death will make them all the better when the big dance begins. I believe damn it!

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After reading the other team previews in the article, the concensus is that we are a darkhorse, a very very legitamate darkhorse. That is the best position for us IMO. I think our players have alot less pressure than Honduras, who will try and sustain their 12 game unbeaten streak. Mexico also has alot of pressure as usual, especially with their new coaching situation. The only pressure we have is prove we are the real deal.....

I like our chances.

All games will be tough, and it will bring the best out of our team.

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There's no reason to say we can't qualify. The Hex is a piece of cake and the Group Of Incopetance has Mexico who are better on paper and basically Honduras and Canada who are pretty comparable, and then Jamaica who we can't take for granted anymore but should be beatable with speed and possession. We should NOT be surprised if we beat Honduras once 2-1, draw Mexico once 1-1, and beat Jamaica twice 2-0 and 1-0. I beleive too!

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"group B, which features Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Honduras and Mexico". There's obviously a fix in if Mexico is in the group twice. Combine that with Estadio Vomito (Canadian players have been known to vomit at half time due to the playing conditions there)and they're sure to qualify every time.

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As mentioned above, now is the time! My way of looking at the group of death is that, if we make it out of it, then the final stage (hex) should not be a great challenge, when considering the level of talent in Group C. The key to making it out of the this stage is getting results at home and pulling out a draw or two away from home. This is easier said than done, but I believe that our MNT can pull it off. I think we finally have the depth at midfield with players such as JDG, Dero, and Hutchinson.

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quote:Originally posted by Tintin

[br Combine that with Estadio Vomito (Canadian players have been known to vomit at half time due to the playing conditions there)and they're sure to qualify every time.

Fortunately they're only playing the first game against Honduras there. They play us in Chiapas and Jamaica in Puebla.

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quote:Originally posted by theaub

I like how the other three teams have intimidating stadiums :(

BMO should be intimidating

if all PHONY Italians, Portuguese etc. would support CANADA instead of their parent's country. Support TFC but not Canada? Please just stay at home then.

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Honduras have great strikers and decent midfield (Canada's better though), but their backline isn't that great and I am not too sure how good their goalkeepers are at all. I think Canada can beat Honduras if they can contain their strikers. Mexico is beatable too! Just watching their recent friendlies, they don't look that great and I am not sure if Sven can apply his European style of game to this Mexican team or coach more Latin style of game at all. Jamaica (like ST. V& G) aren't organised and discipled enough to beat Canada.

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Keegan, Trident, Theaub

I am a Canadian with Italian parents and grandparaents and I am born in Toronto. I love Toronto FC and love the Canadian National Team. In the 2006 world cup I was extatic when Italy won, but I would much rather cheer on Canada and I love Toronto FC and the Canadian team to death.

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quote:Originally posted by michaeltfc91

Keegan, Trident, Theaub

I am a Canadian with Italian parents and grandparaents and I am born in Toronto. I love Toronto FC and love the Canadian National Team. In the 2006 world cup I was extatic when Italy won, but I would much rather cheer on Canada and I love Toronto FC and the Canadian team to death.

Glad to see we got one cheering for Canada, that only leaves a couple of hundred thousand Italians left to convert in Toronto alone.

[|)]

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quote:Originally posted by Trident

Glad to see we got one cheering for Canada, that only leaves a couple of hundred thousand Italians left to convert in Toronto alone.

[|)]

I don't really care with those people from foreign countries who aren't cheering for us. My biggest problem is with all those canadians cheering for Brazil, Netherlands or Portugal while they are completly indifferent to Canada...that I can't stand.

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I also don't mind if Canadians of a previous nationality continue to support their team. As Voyageurs, we should know the seduction of football has - it's a religion and a key part of most countries' culture. We wouldn't dare ask a Canadian of Italian origin to stop eating Italian food; likewise, you can't expect to stop supporting their home country cold turkey.

But at least show a modicum of respect for the Canadian team as some are a bit snobbish - reminds me of NFL fans who diss the CFL but still call themselves hardcore football fans.

And certainly they shouldn't cheering against Canada which has happened in many games I was at in the 90s - though it is hard to separate the Americans of Turkish, Iranian, Polish etc.. origin who were at the matches.

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quote:Originally posted by Aljarov

I think Canada's job gets that much harder if the rumours of Luciano Emilio finally agreeing to play for Honduras are true.

He'll need to go back to Honduras to fill out his residency requirements - unless he still has residence there. Based on his wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luciano_Emilio he joined Real Espana in the summer of 2002 and left them for DC Utd. in early 2007 prior to CCL prelims.

..And i just noticed that he left Olimpia for a short stint in Mexico in 2005.

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