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For those fearful of Guatemala, I would expect they should be cracking the top twelve by virtue of their Gold Cup qualification.

Guatemala's "successful" qualification for the Gold Cup comprised losses to Costa Rica and Honduras, and a single win over Nicaragua (then ranked 157th in the world). Guatemala's not getting anywhere near 12th in CONCACAF by May; perhaps by July if they do really well in the GC.

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Its not about only Canada. Its also about sides like Jamaica, El salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Haiti, Surinam and Honduras (what I call the middle class of the region). Look what happened in 2004, all of these sides got pitted in two groups whereas T&T got mex, St. Vincent, and St.Kitts. As a result of the easy path, T&T got to play 10 more valuable games in the hex. Think of what that means for player experience and how it hinders in the long term those sides that I mentioned by not playing those extra games. Most of those sides were better than T&T.

Perhaps. I guess it always seems that we are the only ones aggrieved at the qualification process. We'll just have to "trust" FIFA to have a WC draw free from the clutches of Jack Warner. Yeah, I know...I'm pretty naive.

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To reiterate. Its not about looking for the easiest path to success for Canada. Its about development and growth of the game in Canada. The format has a lot to do with how you progress as a side from world cup cycle to the next. And, it has a lot to do with growing the fan base.

1) You are not going to grow the fan base by playing the minnows in tournament one year before anybody is even thinking about World cup soccer

2) Our up and coming players will not get the experience (to carry over to 2018) and the development as a player because they will play fewer games against quality sides.

You're right, but we can use these first group games as a way to work younger players into their first caps. Yes, it would be nice to play stronger sides, but it's also nice that we can take an A- team into a game, and make 3 subs of youth players to cap them.

More games is still beneficial, just in a different way. At the end of the day, we've been playing more games against stronger sides, than last time, even with the WCQ games, we'll still have played proportionally more strong teams than weak teams than we did last time.

Bad habits may be developed, but more likely our players will have their habits developed already. What the minnow games will do is build confidence.

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I like the new format. More games to move around smaller stadiums in Canada. 10,000 seats for a minnow team would be perfect. I hope they continue doing the full draw like 2010 qualifying draw. Everything was mapped out before the first kick. No surprises except using May 2007 rankings to help T&T.

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/preldraw/2010_fwc_preliminary_drawinformation_north_central_america_caribbean_e_28448.pdf

I am more worried about playing minnow nations than Guatamala. Over confidence can lead to quick downfalls and waiting four more years.

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Its not about only Canada. Its also about sides like Jamaica, El salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Haiti, Surinam and Honduras (what I call the middle class of the region). Look what happened in 2004, all of these sides got pitted in two groups whereas T&T got mex, St. Vincent, and St.Kitts. As a result of the easy path, T&T got to play 10 more valuable games in the hex. Think of what that means for player experience and how it hinders in the long term those sides that I mentioned by not playing those extra games. Most of those sides were better than T&T.

Hmm... About T&T - those 10 valuable games didn't actually help them in the end. They failed to qualify for the Gold Cup. What's their strength these days?

I like the new format. More games to move around smaller stadiums in Canada. 10,000 seats for a minnow team would be perfect. I hope they continue doing the full draw like 2010 qualifying draw. Everything was mapped out before the first kick. No surprises except using May 2007 rankings to help T&T.

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/preldraw/2010_fwc_preliminary_drawinformation_north_central_america_caribbean_e_28448.pdf

I am more worried about playing minnow nations than Guatamala. Over confidence can lead to quick downfalls and waiting four more years.

The MedioTempo seems to imply the March 2011 ranking will be used to seed the teams.

I think we'll see something like this:

Pot 1: USA, Mexico, Honduras

Pot 2: Jamaica, Costa Rica, Cuba

Pot 3: Panama, Canada, El Salvador, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti

Pot 4: Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Suriname, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guatemala, Dominica

Pot 5: Puerto Rico, Barbados, Curacao, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cayman Islands, Nicaragua

Pot 6: Bermuda + 5 First Round winners

Pot 7: Belize, Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands

Pot 8: Bahamas, Aruba, US Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat

Mapping everything out like 4 years ago:

Each semifinal group will contain one team from Pot 1, one team from Pot 2 and two Second Round group winners.

The easiest group (based on Elo ratings would be):

Canada, Dominica, Cayman Islands, Bahamas

Hardest group:

Canada, Guatemala, Barbados, Bermuda

Third round (semifinal)

Easiest group: Honduras, Cuba, Canada, Grenada

Hardest group: Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Panama

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So we only play this extra (2011) round because we're worst than 6th place in the continent?

Means if we were where we should be (3rd to 5th ish) we'd actually have less qualifying games to play than for 2010?

I think I'd simply prefer that everyone plays the 3rd round, and there be 22 teams that have to play the preliminary home-and-away to get into it. Then there'd at least be a few decent group round games this year. And really, we should still get in to the second round.

Basically I don't like what I see as the reduction of games for teams ranked 1 to 6.

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So we only play this extra (2011) round because we're worst than 6th place in the continent?

Means if we were where we should be (3rd to 5th ish) we'd actually have less qualifying games to play than for 2010?

I think I'd simply prefer that everyone plays the 3rd round, and there be 22 teams that have to play the preliminary home-and-away to get into it. Then there'd at least be a few decent group round games this year. And really, we should still get in to the second round.

Basically I don't like what I see as the reduction of games for teams ranked 1 to 6.

It some ways it would be nice to have those extra games. However, being outside the top 6 creates a much greater chance of having a tough semi-final group. I'd rather just play friendlies this fall if it meant we'd have a better draw for the semi-final group stage.

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A successful Gold Cup combined with blowing out some crap teams could actually build some general public momentum heading into the 2012 round though. Even with a tough group, the possibility of three legitimate home games is a nice thing to think about.

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Why is everyone freaking out over Guatemala we beat them in the gold cup and they by far not as powerful as Honduras. They only have one weapon that I know of and its Carlos Ruiz unless they have gotten stronger either way Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama are deinately possibilities to get some points off. Im more worried about Costa Rica and Honduras. Honduras games seem to have a lot of controversy surrounding them but well have to see. I think we can make it but we need to enlarge our player pool. Hart needs to scout more talent maybe try and get JDG2 if he isnt selected by Holland or the half Canadian impresive striker at Blackburn :) What are our chances that we get T&T and Guatemala in the same group in the second round?

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Why is everyone freaking out over Guatemala we beat them in the gold cup and they by far not as powerful as Honduras. They only have one weapon that I know of and its Carlos Ruiz unless they have gotten stronger either way Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama are deinately possibilities to get some points off. Im more worried about Costa Rica and Honduras. Honduras games seem to have a lot of controversy surrounding them but well have to see. I think we can make it but we need to enlarge our player pool. Hart needs to scout more talent maybe try and get JDG2 if he isnt selected by Holland or the half Canadian impresive striker at Blackburn :) What are our chances that we get T&T and Guatemala in the same group in the second round?

We're not comparing Guatemala to Honduras and Costa Rica. We are comparing Guatemala to the other minnows in the Carribean that Canada could face in the First Group Stage. It's clearly the team that is worrying me the most on the teams that we could face in that round. Oh and dero. Jack wouldn't put T&T in our group. He's worried that his team couldn't go to the next round.

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Honestly, looking at the Guatemala squad on Wikipedia for the Copa Centroamericana, a heavy majority come from the Guatemala league. We should be able to beat guys from the likes of Communicaciones and Municipal.

While I agree, one thing you may not consider is that Communicaciones/Municpal are the dominating sides in their national league. These guys basically play together regularly, while nobody on our team plays together other than the couple guys on TFC. There's a lot to gain from playing together everyday.

But again, I do agree we need to be stickin it to this nation without much of a scare.

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While I agree, one thing you may not consider is that Communicaciones/Municpal are the dominating sides in their national league. These guys basically play together regularly, while nobody on our team plays together other than the couple guys on TFC. There's a lot to gain from playing together everyday.

But again, I do agree we need to be stickin it to this nation without much of a scare.

Yeah I know these teams, I also know that Municipal has drawn the mighty Joe Public (at home) and that Xelaju lost against CD FAS this year in CCL :P So they're the best teams in the country, but it does not mean much to me.

Anyway, we agree so there's not much to discuss.

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So in theory who would we be facing in the first round potentially? Belize or Caicos maybe Surinam? I seriously think that with Hoilett and JDG2 added to our squad we could at the minimum reach the hex

I think we can make the hex with the boys who want to play for Canada

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So in theory who would we be facing in the first round potentially? Belize or Caicos maybe Surinam? I seriously think that with Hoilett and JDG2 added to our squad we could at the minimum reach the hex

Jonathon De Guzman is not going to play for Canada. Ever. It's time to move on from that one. We have lots of firepower potential that we can just stop talking about that kid.

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Unfortunately we dont have the firepower because our build up play is good the problem is the finishing touch. It has always been our achilees heel. We need a quality striker since teams usually double up on dero and friend isnt consistent with us. Ali is a good option but against a high quality defence like US or Mexico he is ineffective. Even against Honduras in the last Gold cup semis he was shut down

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Unfortunately we dont have the firepower because our build up play is good the problem is the finishing touch. It has always been our achilees heel. We need a quality striker since teams usually double up on dero and friend isnt consistent with us. Ali is a good option but against a high quality defence like US or Mexico he is ineffective. Even against Honduras in the last Gold cup semis he was shut down

Ya 2 goals in 2 matches vs. Mexico and a good match vs. US in the 2007 semis but hes ineffective

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