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The Road to Qatar.

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5 hours ago, Binky said:

However, don't most fans grow tried of watching the United States and Mexico contest the Gold Cup final 6 out of 15 times, and win the trophy outright 14 out of 15 times? CONCACAF should just scrap the entire Gold Cup tournament and proceed straight away to a one final match, played in the United States of course, between the United States and Mexico. Like this has to be the most boring confederation championship EVER!!!

Yeah, it's called the Gold Cup for a reason. It's just about digging for gold.

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1 hour ago, Kent said:

Yeah, it's called the Gold Cup for a reason. It's just about digging for gold.

Yeah, but ... it can't all be about just one country. Everybody has to be entitled to a few nuggets. How would the United States' monopoly fly in Europe? or South America? or Asia? or Africa? It wouldn't, right? Only in a soccer confederation as bullied as CONCACAF is by the United States, and where the very distant second best economy is comprised of a bunch of polite yes-men, is such a scenario possible. There's a reason that outside of the United States and Canada, the Gold Cup is not considered a true confederation championship. The only Silver-Lining to the Gold Cup is that in spite of the way its run , it hasn't done a thing for the United States Men's National Team when it comes to their performances in the World Cup. Thank God they'll never have enough money to buy that tournament. Ha, they even came up short of cash to Qatar when it came to buying the right to stage the 2022 World Cup. In fact, I wouldn't it be beautiful if the United States, if they qualify, were drawn into the same group as Qatar, so that Qatar could also beat them on the field as well, in their very first-ever World Cup Final match. That would really be the cherry on top of the cake. Go Ró-Ró!!!

Gold Prices - Historical Annual Data
Year Average
Closing Price
Year Open Year High Year Low Year Close Annual
% Change
2019 $1,320.75 $1,287.20 $1,437.05 $1,270.05 $1,426.35 11.29%
2018 $1,268.93 $1,312.80 $1,360.25 $1,176.70 $1,281.65 -1.15%
2017 $1,260.39 $1,162.00 $1,351.20 $1,162.00 $1,296.50 12.57%
2016 $1,251.92 $1,075.20 $1,372.60 $1,073.60 $1,151.70 8.63%
2015 $1,158.86 $1,184.25 $1,298.00 $1,049.60 $1,060.20 -11.59%
2014 $1,266.06 $1,219.75 $1,379.00 $1,144.50 $1,199.25 -0.19%

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8 hours ago, Binky said:

In order to make the hypothetical format totally fair, as in 100%, which is something that FIFA would obviously never consider, the 45 countries receiving a first round bye should also be drawn randomly out of the hat, instead of awarding those 45 byes to countries based on FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings.

In a completely fair format, countries like the Bahamas and San Marino would have the same chance at receiving a first round bye as would Germany and England. And of course in theory, the numbers 1 and 2 in the world would have the same chance of meeting in the first round as the numbers 210 and 211 in the world.

Disagree.

Suppose you have a 16 team elimination tournament. And suppose for the sake of argument there is a huge gap in quality between the top 8 teams and the bottom 8 teams. The top 8 teams are very close in ability and the bottom 8 are also close in ability but the gap between them is huge. If you were to randomly draw 7 of the top teams into one side of the bracket and the other top team into the other side of the bracket, then you've got a very unfair setup.  On one side the good teams are going to war against each other, getting banged up getting yellows and reds, running hard and getting exhausted. On the other side one team is waltzing thru the stages and resting key players. Then in the final game it is a very close match where the team with the easy path wins on a questionable ref call or some such whim of the soccer gods.  A lot of people are going to question the format of your tournament having decided the best team.

Agree that ideally you don't want to use rankings if you don't have to (eg. CONEMBOL world cup qualifying). But most of the time you reluctantly need to consider the ranking info to help seed the tournament fairly.

 

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21 hours ago, Soro17 said:

For all their efforts, those extra friendlies don’t appear to have benefited Panama much from a points perspective. I see a whole bunch of losses and two draws. 

Agree about Panama, it definitely helped El Salvador & Jamaica though imo.

In the long term the format helps us, if it actually stays past this cycle :

1) You need to actually play friendlies (which all us fans want)

2) Getting a results in the friendlies do matter (better quality game)

Edited by apbsmith

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I know in hindsight It looks bad but it seems this decision was made long ago and since nobody could have predicted we would have drawn 2 non fifa teams. I also think the CSA and rightfully so felt we would have made the final 4. If we beat Haiti I think we'd be sitting pretty

Its also possible that no Concacaf team including TT was willing to play us in an official game because they know we would win and our calibre is disproportionate to our ranking so it would kill their ranking

I strongly believe right now (insert Haiti comment) we beat more often than not any team in Concacaf except the big 2

Edited by SpursFlu

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5 hours ago, CanSuffer said:

Disagree.

Suppose you have a 16 team elimination tournament. And suppose for the sake of argument there is a huge gap in quality between the top 8 teams and the bottom 8 teams. The top 8 teams are very close in ability and the bottom 8 are also close in ability but the gap between them is huge. If you were to randomly draw 7 of the top teams into one side of the bracket and the other top team into the other side of the bracket, then you've got a very unfair setup.  On one side the good teams are going to war against each other, getting banged up getting yellows and reds, running hard and getting exhausted. On the other side one team is waltzing thru the stages and resting key players. Then in the final game it is a very close match where the team with the easy path wins on a questionable ref call or some such whim of the soccer gods.  A lot of people are going to question the format of your tournament having decided the best team.

Agree that ideally you don't want to use rankings if you don't have to (eg. CONEMBOL world cup qualifying). But most of the time you reluctantly need to consider the ranking info to help seed the tournament fairly.

 

Based on your reply, I don't think that I explained my hypothetical format that clearly. What I was proposing, involved have a draw after the completion of each round. Therefore, there wouldn't be two sides as you interpreted. I suppose at the completion of the tournament that you could if you wanted to, draw up a chart that would show the path of each country, and there would be 1 in a gazillion chance (I'm to lazy to figure out the odds, but if you want just multiply 211 by 210 by 209 by 208 by 207 by 206 by 205 and you'll get the exact odds of that happening, which should be fairly close to a gazillion by my estimates, give or take a few billion). However, such a chart would be after the fact, and not something that was drafted up in advance.

I am curious about when you mentioned the reluctant need to consider a ranking system to help seed a tournament fairly. What kind of ranking system do you consider fair? Is FIFA's ranking system fair? Is there another ranking system that is more fair than the one FIFA employs? Doesn't the fact that ranking systems need to be defined, make them subjective in the first place? Personally, I can't think of any method that would be fairer than a random drawing out of a hat!

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3 hours ago, Binky said:

Based on your reply, I don't think that I explained my hypothetical format that clearly. What I was proposing, involved have a draw after the completion of each round. Therefore, there wouldn't be two sides as you interpreted. I suppose at the completion of the tournament that you could if you wanted to, draw up a chart that would show the path of each country, and there would be 1 in a gazillion chance (I'm to lazy to figure out the odds, but if you want just multiply 211 by 210 by 209 by 208 by 207 by 206 by 205 and you'll get the exact odds of that happening, which should be fairly close to a gazillion by my estimates, give or take a few billion). However, such a chart would be after the fact, and not something that was drafted up in advance.

I am curious about when you mentioned the reluctant need to consider a ranking system to help seed a tournament fairly. What kind of ranking system do you consider fair? Is FIFA's ranking system fair? Is there another ranking system that is more fair than the one FIFA employs? Doesn't the fact that ranking systems need to be defined, make them subjective in the first place? Personally, I can't think of any method that would be fairer than a random drawing out of a hat!

Apologies. I didn't understand it right and was making a long-winded argument against something else (unbalanced brackets in a fixed elimination tournament).  I would say your suggestion might be fair. However, it is a bad idea for practical reasons. If the two best teams play in round one, then the winner of the tournament may have already been decided and the interest for spectators (and even the teams involved perhaps) to be engaged in the many subsequent rounds is gone. Also, it will be hard to look at the results of the tournament when it is complete and draw any conclusions of how each team ranks against all the others. A fixed bracket system does a better, but not perfect job of that.

Regarding ranking systems whether there are good ones or bad ones is not the point. Even a good one will be imperfect. That's why I say that when you have to use one you are reluctant. And it's why you try to have it impact the format as little as possible. The one format that is indisputably fair is a round-robin. Everyone plays everyone and so you can compare everyone to everyone. It's hard to argue that the team on top of a round-robin table isn't the best one. CONEMBOL does this. Also, the English Premier League season does this. Every team plays every other in a completely balanced schedule. The Brits get this and that's probably why they see no need for playoffs. The best team has already been decided in a regular season format where everyone had a fair chance.  The problem with round-robin is there's usually too many games to play for the amount of time available.

I don't know about the other top leagues in Europe. I would expect that many of them have fully balanced season schedules and no playoffs too....  I hope someone will inform me.

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2 hours ago, CanSuffer said:

However, it is a bad idea for practical reasons. If the two best teams play in round one, then the winner of the tournament may have already been decided and the interest for spectators (and even the teams involved perhaps) to be engaged in the many subsequent rounds is gone.

Hey, no problem. But does it really make a difference if the best team eliminates the second best team in the first round, or in the last round? The best team, remains the best team. Take for instance the most recent World Cup, where the United States defeated the Netherlands in the final. Would it have made any difference if the United States had beat the Netherlands in the round of 16? To me, the answer to that question is: no. The United States was already the best team before the tournament started, and they confirmed that fact by winning the tournament.

Returning to the hypothetical format of the 211-country men's World Cup, I disagree with you argument that it's bad idea to have the possibility of the best two teams drawn to face each other in the first round and that if this were to happen that the interest for spectators to be engaged would be gone. I would think that exactly the opposite would be true, because for argument sake let's say Brazil and Germany are seen as the best two countries in the world, and as fate would have it, they are drawn to face each other in the first round. Now if you're a supporter of one of the 209 other countries in the competitions, all of a sudden you like the chances of your own country a whole lot better now, as one of the best two countries will be eliminated after the first round, right? Say that Canada in this scenario had received a first round bye. Now for the second round draw they would face a 1 in 127 chance of being drawn against one of the worlds two best countries, as opposed to a 1 in  63.5 chance of being drawn against one of the worlds two best countries if Brazil and Germany had not been drawn against each other in the opening round and if both had ended up winning their first round ties. Suddenly, everybody likes their chances twice of winning as much.

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Maybe you noticed a few weeks ago the men's ranking totally disappeared on the official website of Concacaf.  Anyway all Confederations use Fifa ranking to seed their teams. 

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11 hours ago, An Observer said:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/soccer/article-mens-soccer-coach-john-herdman-still-positive-despite-shock-of/

Interesting article.  Seems to suggest that Concacaf changed the rankings to FIFA from Concacaf at the last minute and we got screwed.  

I don't know. Maybe I'm too cynical of John Herdman, but ...

In the G&M article, dear John expresses that he was shocked and disappointed with Mt. Vic's new CONCACAF World Cup qualifying format, implying that there clearly was no collusion between him the CSA and Mt. Vic.

What a load of B.S. 

Dapper, little John continues with the following quote:

“We were in control of our destiny, moving into 2019, 2020, for the [CONCACAF] Nations League Group A to qualify for the Hex based on that.”

Then the rules changed.

Well, with the greatest respect, I ask you John, "What the F has changed? Don't we still have to beat the United States to make it to the HEX?"

Herdman called the qualifying changes “a tough pill to swallow” because the plan had been to accumulate CONCACAF points.

"Excuse me?" Again, was Canada in a position before Mt. Vic's new format that we could afford to lose to the United States in the Nations League and still make the HEX with CONCACAF points? Or FIFA/Coca-Cola points for that matter? Common on John. Do you really take us for being so stupid that we would believe such B.S.?

In closing, our man John addresses Canada's need to play friendlies as follows:

But it still may not be enough. And Herdman says Canada can’t just schedule friendlies willy-nilly, arguing that playing a game three days in advance of a key showdown with the U.S. would not help his team.

“It’s a risk-reward situation and we have to navigate it very carefully,” Herdman said. “It isn’t just pulling games out of the sky. We have to be very deliberate.”

Willy-nilly? Jesus H C.... John. The CSA announced that you would be taking over as head coach of the Canadian Men's National Team back on January 30th, 2018. So in more than a year and a half what have you done when it comes to scheduling international friendlies for Canada with respect to CONCACAF points, or FIFA/Coca-Cola points, or whatever kind of points you like? I'll tell you John. ONE! Yeah, that's right, ONE! ONE effing friendly, against New Zealand at the Pinatar Arena in front of 75 fans, way back on March 24th, 2018. Now if that's not Willy-nilly then please tell us what is?

Edited by Binky

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According to the chart below, if the longevity of an English Premier League coach is comparable to that of a National Team coach, then at the rate Herdman is going with the CMNT we can expect to play one more deliberately scheduled friendly during the remainder of his tenure.

https://www.businessinsider.com/coaches-managers-tenure-nfl-mlb-nba-nhl-premier-league-2016-12

02

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57 minutes ago, Binky said:

implying that there clearly was no collusion between him the CSA and Mt. Vic.

What a load of B.S. 

There might have been some collusion when the intend was to use the CONCACAF ranking for seeding for the WCQ. They must have been reminded by FIFA that only FIFA ranking applies.

Puzzling how CONCACAF misjudged this and yes, that means huge disappointment in Montagliani. That's his job to know that and plan accordingly. The CSA had little reason to doubt him until he had to do a 180 after FIFA told him that his WCQ seeding method wouldn't fly.

So yes, the CSA has to go back to the drawing boards, which clearly happened when Herdman gave them a presentation.

I'd be curious to see which option he presented

  1. Make the Hex and try to finish top 3 by having to edge Mexico, USA or Costa Rica
  2. Win the "Hunger Games" and face the Hex #4 (Most likely  Jamaica or Honduras) + Intercontinental playoffs hoping PRAYING they draw OFC

Most would argue that Option 2 is easier.*

57 minutes ago, Binky said:

Then the rules changed.

Well, with the greatest respect, I ask you John, "What the F has changed? Don't we still have to beat the United States to make it to the HEX?"

If the CONCACAF rankings were used for seeding (which disappeared from CONCACAF website), Canada was already 6th overall and was in position to advance further. There was 18 points separating #4 to #7 putting Panama somewhat out of reach unless they win the CNL

Would look like something like this

1033103169_CONCACAFranking.PNG.5dcd81814ccc7d72be974c1f54c6fd9e.PNG

I'm pretty sure getting a result was always the plan against the US, however, since we are going with FIFA ranking, it won't be enough... we'll have to reach semifinals and/or finals...possibly win the whole thing to make the HEX, that's what changed.

57 minutes ago, Binky said:

"Excuse me?" Again, was Canada in a position before Mt. Vic's new format that we could afford to lose to the United States in the Nations League and still make the HEX with CONCACAF points? Or FIFA/Coca-Cola points for that matter? Common on John. Do you really take us for being so stupid that we would believe such B.S.?

I don't understand why you're assuming that this is about the US game and throwing it. It's about getting results against the USA won't be enough to get to the HEX while under the CONCACAF ranking, looking at who our competitors have to play in CNL, Canada could have retained #6 or possibly move up, hence his comment about being "in control". Now the script has flipped where it's a long shot to make the HEX, even by winning the group. Then you're hoping you're not drawing Mexico in the semifinals.

57 minutes ago, Binky said:

Willy-nilly? Jesus H C.... John. The CSA announced that you would be taking over as head coach of the Canadian Men's National Team back on January 30th, 2018. So in more than a year and a half what have you done when it comes to scheduling international friendlies for Canada with respect to CONCACAF points, or FIFA/Coca-Cola points, or whatever kind of points you like? I'll tell you John. ONE! Yeah, that's right, ONE! ONE effing friendly, against New Zealand at the Pinatar Arena in front of 75 fans, way back on March 24th, 2018. Now if that's not Willy-nilly then please tell us what is?

It's been crystal clear that the reason we haven't had more friendlies was due to budget reasons and the CSA has last say on that. How do you know that he didn't want more friendlies but was told no until now?

 

Edited by Ansem

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3 minutes ago, Ansem said:

It's been crystal clear that the reason we haven't had more friendlies was due to budget reasons and the CSA has last say on that. How do you know that he didn't want more friendlies but was told no until now?

The CSA has used the same excuse year after year after year. I don't buy it!

With regard to friendlies, suppose you were being interviewed for the job of coaching the CMNT,. Wouldn't one of the topics you'd bring up involve scheduling friendlies? Would John really have been that naive to sign on the dotted line without making any demands? Would you have signed on with the CSA if Mt. Pete told you, "Hey Ansem, we would really love you to coach our CMNT, but unfortunately I just haven't been able to raise the money to schedule any friendlies while your the coach???

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2 minutes ago, Binky said:

The CSA has used the same excuse year after year after year. I don't buy it!

Doesn't change that they have the last say

3 minutes ago, Binky said:

With regard to friendlies, suppose you were being interviewed for the job of coaching the CMNT,. Wouldn't one of the topics you'd bring up involve scheduling friendlies?

Yes, but the CSA has last say

3 minutes ago, Binky said:

Would John really have been that naive to sign on the dotted line without making any demands? Would you have signed on with the CSA if Mt. Pete told you, "Hey Ansem, we would really love you to coach our CMNT, but unfortunately I just haven't been able to raise the money to schedule any friendlies while your the coach???

His name is John Herdman, not Guardiola. This was the best (only?) gig on any men's national side he'd ever get. You're overestimating the leverage he had in making demands besides asking for a long term deal + lots of $$$. Limited friendlies against good teams limits the amount of progress you can make, so negotiating a long term deal makes sense. He must have argued that under the CSA "circumstances" in not scheduling friendlies, he'd need more time to get results.

Don't be shocked if he isn't fired in the eventuality that we miss 2022

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2 minutes ago, Ansem said:

Doesn't change that they have the last say

Yes, but the CSA has last say

His name is John Herdman, not Guardiola. This was the best (only?) gig on any men's national side he'd ever get. You're overestimating the leverage he had in making demands besides asking for a long term deal + lots of $$$. Limited friendlies against good teams limits the amount of progress you can make, so negotiating a long term deal makes sense. He must have argued that under the CSA "circumstances" in not scheduling friendlies, he'd need more time to get results.

Don't be shocked if he isn't fired in the eventuality that we miss 2022

I disagree. John Herdman had the last say. He didn't have to sign. And how can the CSA justify a long term deal + lots of $$$ on a women's coach, while at the same time claim it doesn't have the money to schedule any friendlies?

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28 minutes ago, Binky said:

I disagree. John Herdman had the last say. He didn't have to sign.

Sure, you'd turn down guaranteed money just like that.... That's not how the real world works

28 minutes ago, Binky said:

And how can the CSA justify a long term deal + lots of $$$ on a women's coach, while at the same time claim it doesn't have the money to schedule any friendlies?

Because to his credit, he did turn around the women's side whether you like it or not within the Canadian context. It's clear 2026 is an important date and the CSA wants a team capable of winning games at home and getting out of the group.

Our pathway / structure is a mess... like I said, I don't like the way his nomination was done, but I understand why they picked him. They went with the "devil they knew". They know what they are getting with him and knows that it's likely that the pathway / structure will improve under him. They were not willing to accept the "risk" of bringing someone new, wanting to start over from scratch and still not translating that into results by 2026. It was "unknown" vs. "what & who you know" and if 2026 turns out to be a disaster, they seemed more willing to accept that under Herdman's reforms than someone new which would have them start over "again" and agonizing over regrets of not going with the guy "they knew".

Personally, you let him fix the pathway and structures within the National program but there's nothing stopping the CSA from firing him as soon as said pathway/structures are fixed/improved enough to go on without him. I wouldn't want him as coach in 2026 WC unless he develop some much needed tactical acumen that he's lacking.

Getting a "super coach" with a crap system gives you more of the same...riding a golden generation then back into irrelevancy. That fixes nothing.

I'm not a pro Herdman, but I understand as much. Our program needs a rehaul and he demonstrated that he could do it within a Canadian context. Comes 2025, fire him then hire the best coach/tactical genius and write him a blank cheque.

You only get one 2026 World Cup per generation (if you're lucky), you don't have the luxury to gamble and hope for the best. Minimizing risk was preferred over gambling.

That's my opinion

Edited by Ansem

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Not a Herdman fan boy but everything he said in that article made sense; remember that CNL games count more for rankings than friendlies. No point in playing a friendly vs a tough team and not win it and then be exhausted when playing vs the USA .

He is right, the goalpost did change.

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This is just like  the Gold cup.  We arent going to show all our cards against Mexico, so we sit some players.  They are just trying to be too damn cute for their own good.  We are good in the CONCACAF point system, so dont worry about bringing up the fifa ranking.  Skip camps and friendly tune ups (which if planned correctly could have boosted our fifa ranking).  You cant blame CSA and not Herdman.  Who is more in step with CSA than him??  In fact crap that comes from CSA is probably on his recomendation, hes been in there for so long (women and men;s side).  

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5 hours ago, Olympique_de_Marseille said:

He is right, the goalpost did change.

Everybody in the whole, wide world knew that Mt. Vic was going to move the goalposts more than a year before the CSA announced that John Herdman would be taking over as coach of the CMNT. So unless Mt. Vic told Herdman and/or the CSA what the new format was going to look like before announcing it, then how on earth could Herdman be shocked and disappointed when the new format was announced? Like what was Herdman expecting, free passage to Qatar? If Herdman says that he was shocked, then he must have known something prior to the new format being announced. Which more than likely also accounts for Herdman beaking off months before the announcement by guaranteeing that Canada was going to qualify for Qatar. Interesting how he's really toned that down since "last month’s shocking exit from the Gold Cup." Like why was he shocked? Did he underestimate a quarter-final opponent? By the way, that was the second mention of Herdman being shocked in this article. Is that the kind of guy we want to be coaching our national team? A  guy whose shocked all the time because was wasn't expecting things. Or a guy who has only scheduled one friendly in a year and a half. In the Summer 2019 issue of World Soccer magazine there's an article about Bermuda and the Gold Cup, that discloses it costs approximately 60,000 British pounds to play an away match. Now if I was getting paid $1,000,000 Canadian a year, and guaranteeing the country that Canada was going to qualify for Qatar, and the CSA couldn't afford to play an away friendly, the I would gladly pay 60,000 British pounds out of my own pocket every year to get a least one away friendly in a year. 

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/2991440

This must be John Herdman's favourite song:

 

Edited by Binky

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On 7/28/2019 at 10:21 PM, xabuep2 said:

Maybe you noticed a few weeks ago the men's ranking totally disappeared on the official website of Concacaf.  Anyway all Confederations use Fifa ranking to seed their teams. 

Since all confederations are required to use the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings for seeding countries for World Cup qualifying, does that render for all intents and purposes the CONCACAF rankings as basically being irrelevant?

Being that the rules have now finally been clearly defined and understood by CONCACAF, where will Canada end-up in the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings come June 2020?

With Canada having no friendlies scheduled between now and the Nations League matches starting in September, John Herdman's record against CONCACAF countries that are ranked in the top 100 of the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings will look as follows at the end of the year:

2019-06-19  -  #12 Mexico  1-3 loss

2019-06-29  -  #83 Haiti  2-3 loss

2019-10-15  -  #22 United States  _ - _

2019-11-15  -  #22 United States  _ - _

Let's just say for instance, God forbid, that the United States wins both the Nations League group against Canada. Should that happen, how many friendlies are the wealthy John Herdman and the cash-strapped CSA going to arrange between the middle of November 2019 and June of 2020? Likely not too many, right? With Curacao and Haiti nipping at our heels in the current FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings, and others not all that far behind, would a Canadian drop in the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings adversely affect us in the Best of the Rest group seeding on the Road to Qatar?

The only reason I bring this up is that I don't want John Herdman to be shocked again. I mean really, our million dollar boy's learning curve has to end somewhere, doesn't it? Like when is Johnny boy finally going to win a big one? If he doesn't win either of the two matches against the United States, at least he will be able to pad his stats against the minnows in the Best of the Rest route and make the CSA and a few on this board proud!

Edited by Binky

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It's neither here nor there at this point, but I did some searching to see if anyone still had one of the recent CONCACAF rankings before they were scrubbed from the CONCACAF website. Here's how things looked at the start of April, after the end of Nations League Qualifying but before the Gold Cup:

1. Mexico 2009
2. USA 1879
3. Costa Rica 1776
4. Honduras 1641
5. Panama 1558
6. Canada 1502

7. Jamaica 1473
8. Guatemala 1431
9. El Salvador 1424
10. Haiti 1392

15. Curacao 1069

We certainly had the upper hand on El Salvador, but those tables have been turned now with the FIFA rankings currently giving El Salvador an automatic spot in the Hex. I included Curacao as well just because they must be loving the change. They were nowhere close to challenging for a Hex spot, but only find themselves 3 points behind us in the current FIFA rankings, 1312 to 1309.

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I still don't fully understand how the new CONCACAF World Cup qualifying format will work.

I understand the part where the top six CONCACAF countries in the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings of June 2020 will compete in the Hexagonal section of qualifying, and that the top three countries in the HEX will qualify for Qatar 2022. I also understand that the fourth place finisher of the HEX will play the winner of the Best of the Rest section in a home and home series for the right to contest a country from another confederation in a home and home series from a place in the 2022 World Cup Final.

However, the part I'm not understanding clearly is how the Best of the Rest countries will be divided into groups for the Group Stage.

1) Will each of these 8 groups contain one seeded country?

2) If so, will these 8 seeded countries be the top 7th to 14th CONCACAF countries in the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings of June 2020?

3) How will the remaining 21 countries be divided into pots for the draw?

4) Has this part of the format already been announced?

5) If not, when will it be announced?

I sure hope that Mt. Vic will not wait until May of 2020 before announcing the full details of his new format, in order to give FIFA ample time to correct things, just in case Mt. Vic makes a meal of it again!

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