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The Road to Qatar.


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Just now, Ruud said:

Anyone else feel we’d be better off having no travel in next cycle and having all our games in Florida.  Avoid trips to Central America would be great 

Na I still want to play at home.

We would kick off with Honduras at home. Time to kill our demons and finally make things right but smashing them at home.

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1 hour ago, ADP10 said:

And here I thought Honduras and Costa Rica dropped off in quality but their experience allowed them to have really close games against Mexico and the USA...

Honestly, that is why my true objective for this cycle is making the Ocho.  Obviously it would be amazing to make Qatar, but finishing in the top 4 while competing against Mexico, the US, Honduras, CR, and Jamaica will be a massive challenge.  I will be disappointed if we don’t make it. It I don’t think I will feel like we underachieved.  The reality is that there are multiple competitive sides realistically vying for spots 3 and 4.  For me, the real indicator of failure is not making the Ocho.  

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19 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

Honestly, that is why my true objective for this cycle is making the Ocho.  Obviously it would be amazing to make Qatar, but finishing in the top 4 while competing against Mexico, the US, Honduras, CR, and Jamaica will be a massive challenge.  I will be disappointed if we don’t make it. It I don’t think I will feel like we underachieved.  The reality is that there are multiple competitive sides realistically vying for spots 3 and 4.  For me, the real indicator of failure is not making the Ocho.  

I completely agree and just have a real desire to watch us play all the top sides in meaningful games. It always feels like there’s a giant party and all the cool people are going but the bouncer at the door keeps saying no. 

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1 hour ago, MtlMario said:

With all due respect, a lot of people here are worried we can't beat Suriname and now we hope Bermuda can beat them?

I should he worded that different. I meant if Bermuda fails to win, which is likely (as @narduch points out) we invite pressure on ourselves to get a result, which is not the end of the world and may be viewed as even desirable for a program lacking big tests.

That said, I want us to actually get to the second round, which is test in itself, so from that perspective I am really hoping for a Bermuda win.

If it doesn't come I expect us to take care of business.

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1 hour ago, Ruffian said:

Toronto held a CONCACAF Champions League game in February a few years ago. I forget the actual temperature but it might have hit -20. I couldn't feel my hands or feet!

If I remember correctly it was the leg in Colorado that was -20 Celsius. It was a bit warmer in Toronto, but still very cold, probably more like -10 though.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ruud said:

Honduras and Costa RIca are better than us until proven otherwise.  They don’t need to speak of golden generation- they have so much quality and depth.  

The Nations League semi-finals last night were a reminder of that for sure.

Like many others, I convinced myself we are anywhere from 3rd to 6th in the confederation. There was even a discussion on that in one of the threads a few weeks, if I recall correctly. 

I think we have to be more humble though, and put less stock in where our players play club ball. That is the exact same delusion the Americans are trapped in. I never saw the US game, but I was following the reddit thread and it was full of panic and frustration and criticism for the players and coach, questioning the team and the program, etc. Yes they were expected to win, but this was a semi-final against Honduras, they weren't going to let the USA walk all over them. The fans seemed more relieved than happy, and most chalked it up to luck, instead of an excellent and timely substitution by Berhalter.

Anyways, back to Canada. I haven't yet seen the same confidence and conviction that Honduras and Costa Rica demonstrate time and again, so until I do I can no longer put us in that category. For now I am saying we are 5th at best and probably 7th at worst. Jamaica have gotten better results than us in the past, getting to the finals of the 2 of the last 3 gold cups. Meanwhile, we haven't been to the semi final since 2007, that is literally 7 tournaments ago (and we've had Alphonso Davies for two of them). 

So yeah, I hate to say it, but getting to the Ocho is a success, and we are certainly on the outside looking in as far as World Cup Qualification goes. However, I am optimistic this is the cycle we join Costa Rica and Honduras in that second tier in the region....anything is possible!

Edited by Obinna
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2 minutes ago, Obinna said:

The Nations League semi-finals last night were a reminder of that for sure.

Like many others, I convinced myself we are anywhere from 3rd to 6th in the confederation. There was even a discussion on that in one of the threads a few weeks, if I recall correctly. 

I think we have to be more humble though, and put less stock in where our players play club ball. That is the exact same delusion the Americans are trapped in. I never saw the US game, but I was following the reddit thread and it was full of panic and frustration and criticism for the players and coach, questioning the team and the program, etc. Yes they were expected to win, but this was a semi-final against Honduras, they weren't going to let the USA walk all over them. The fans seemed more relieved than happy, and most chalked it up to luck, instead of an excellent and timely substitution by Berhalter.

Anyways, back to Canada. I haven't yet seen the same confidence and conviction that Honduras and Costa Rica have, and until I do there is no way I can put us in that category. So for now I am saying we are 5th at best and probably 7th at worst. Jamaica have gotten better results than us in the past, getting to the finals of the 2 of the last 3 gold cups. Meanwhile, we haven't been to the semi final since 2007, that is literally 7 tournaments ago. 

So yeah, I hate to say it, but getting to the Ocho is a success, but we are on the outside looking in as far as World Cup Qualification goes. Hopefully this is the cycle we join the Costa Rica's and Honduras' of the region....anything is possible!

This is an excellent reminder.  From my perspective, 5-1 and 11-0 wins look fun but in fact, do us no favours.  Although we should get through this round, we have no right to be cocky against the elite of CONCACAF...and yes, Honduras and Costa Rica are still in that group and we are not, yet.

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14 minutes ago, Obinna said:

The Nations League semi-finals last night were a reminder of that for sure.

Like many others, I convinced myself we are anywhere from 3rd to 6th in the confederation. There was even a discussion on that in one of the threads a few weeks, if I recall correctly. 

I think we have to be more humble though, and put less stock in where our players play club ball. That is the exact same delusion the Americans are trapped in. I never saw the US game, but I was following the reddit thread and it was full of panic and frustration and criticism for the players and coach, questioning the team and the program, etc. Yes they were expected to win, but this was a semi-final against Honduras, they weren't going to let the USA walk all over them. The fans seemed more relieved than happy, and most chalked it up to luck, instead of an excellent and timely substitution by Berhalter.

Anyways, back to Canada. I haven't yet seen the same confidence and conviction that Honduras and Costa Rica demonstrate time and again, so until I do I can no longer put us in that category. For now I am saying we are 5th at best and probably 7th at worst. Jamaica have gotten better results than us in the past, getting to the finals of the 2 of the last 3 gold cups. Meanwhile, we haven't been to the semi final since 2007, that is literally 7 tournaments ago (and we've had Alphonso Davies for two of them). 

So yeah, I hate to say it, but getting to the Ocho is a success, and we are certainly on the outside looking in as far as World Cup Qualification goes. However, I am optimistic this is the cycle we join Costa Rica and Honduras in that second tier in the region....anything is possible!

Yes, nothing like a splash of icy cold water in your face to wake you up.. Just curious, if we are "7th at worst", who would you put at 6th?

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Just now, Kadenge said:

Yes, nothing like a splash of icy cold water in your face to wake you up.. Just curious, if we are "7th at worst", who would you put at 6th?

In truth, we are probably 6th, but any of the following teams could leapfrog us: Curacao, Haiti, Panama, and yes even El Salvador. That's why I say 7th worst case. Our roster is too strong for all of those teams to emerge ahead of us, but I don't doubt that at least 1 could. 

We might even be adding Suriname into this bracket in the near future, who knows. 

There is a reason why we didn't qualify directly for the Octagon and we deserve to be where we are, painful as that is, and it is not because we got shafted out of FIFA points for having to play Martinique or whatever story we were telling ourselves.

 

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15 hours ago, Shway said:

@nfitz last I heard it’s not possible to host soccer games at sky dome anymore. 

The sad reality is these games aren’t being played in Toronto anytime soon. 

My understanding is the costs to do so - particularly the first time, are more than they used to be with the current infield. But nothing precludes it during the winter, other than more $ than previously. And that it's less work to convert, even now, than Yankee stadium is for New York City.

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10 minutes ago, nfitz said:

My understanding is the costs to do so - particularly the first time, are more than they used to be with the current infield. But nothing precludes it during the winter, other than more $ than previously. And that it's less work to convert, even now, than Yankee stadium is for New York City.

Ahh I see. 

Do you think the CSA would stump up the money required for this?

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Like for Canada if we have to play games and if those games happen to be in Toronto...during spring, summer or fall you play those games at BMO Field

During winter, you play said home games inside Rogers Centre

But that is only if the games are in Toronto in the future

But for our home games if we are even allowed to come back if our federal government allows it, games will probably all be at BC Place in Vancouver

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1 minute ago, Olympique_de_Marseille said:

All this hypothetical talk is giving me bad vibes.

It's like listening to a guy who has just matched with a girl on Tinder tell you about where he will take her on the 5th date.

Luckily for me I don't believe in superstitions.

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Posted (edited)

Few more hours to the Suriname Bermuda match, but in case anyone needs something to tie them over...

 

Haven't watched it all, but my impression is that everything goes through Donk if he's playing as the DM. His playmaking came from long balls or lobs over the top, rather than line splitting passes. He can also be pressured into turning the ball over, a la Michael Bradley when Scott Arfield closed him down at BMO. They never really created a whole lot, except for playing balls into the box from the flanks. Very few line splitting passes, though I don't know if that changes with Chery and Donald in the team. It was Alberg and someone else with Donk on this occasion..

Hard to get a read on how the back line actually defends. Obviously they weren't tested much in this game (or in any game), so it will be interesting to see how they cope with players like Davies and David. They all look good on the ball, technically competent, but I don't see a huge difference between their guys and ours. I get the sense that dankerlui, the right back, is a smart and confident right back who will get in advanced positions if allowed the space, but he won't be going on overlapping runs or taking players on, like Laryea. He is more in the mold of Adekugbe in my eyes, a pass-and-move kind of full back. 

I like Abena, one of the center backs who will start next to Pinas if Donk is at CDM. He actually kind of resembles Adekugbe with the dreads and how he moves and passes the ball and stuff, but he's a center back. He actually looks like he could play center midfield too, if needed. 

Edited by Obinna
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On that note, gonna share this lil highlight video of Haps. Looks like an all-around good fullback. We'll have to be careful of him getting into shooting positions by the sounds of it. Looks to combine well with others, and like Dankerlui he probably will look for the one-twos more than going on a Davies or Laryea esque run down the flank. Seems to be a great crosser of the ball as well. 

Perhaps we want a player like Buchanan on his flank, rather than Hoilett. I don't think we can let this guy get involved in the play and I don't trust Hoilett to track back for 90 minutes. Buchanan's got a much higher work rate, and his directness would also keep Haps occupied and hopefully pinned back.

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3 minutes ago, CanadaFan123 said:

How do we watch the Suriname match tonight?

I assumed one soccer, but we may have to settle for a rando facebook stream or something...

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