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The Road to Qatar.

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12 minutes ago, CanadianSoccerFan said:

New Zealand 2010 will forever be the easiest in history.  Win the Oceania title with +4 million goal difference and then dispatch the mighty Bahrain 1-0 on aggregate

They will live in paradise forever starting 2026 WCQ.

Unless, Australia come back or Oceania merges Asia which I can't see any clue so far.

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The draw for the inter-confederation play-offs was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw.

For WC2026, Unlike previous tournaments, it was agreed that there will be no general preliminary draw, with various draws to be held separately due to "a different timeline" for various confederations.

So, the suspension could be a long lasting one until end of 2021.

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On 11/16/2019 at 6:47 PM, dyslexic nam said:

So 14-16 competitive matches in the next 2.5 years, with everything after the group stage probably being against reasonable decent CONCACAF opposition.

Mathematically speaking it’s actually 4 to 16 games. We are far from guaranteed 14 games. Especially since I feel like the group of teams outside the top 6 may be the strongest it has ever been. Panama, Curaçao, Haiti, Guatemala, and to a lesser extent T&T are all quality teams. It would be a huge shock for us to not win our group (since presumably it will be seeded), but the QF could be against one of those teams and then it’s certainly possible we stumble at that step. Haiti and Curaçao have tied Costa Rica 3 times in 4 games in the Nations League, not to mention Haiti finishing ahead of Costa Rica in the Gold Cup group stage and then beating us in the QF. And Curaçao finished ahead of 2 would-be hex teams (Honduras and El Salvador) in the Gold Cup group stage as well.

The hex would guarantee 10 games all more high profile than any we would have in the lower route save for the inter continental playoff or game with the 4th hex team, if we are to make it that far.

It wouldn’t be easy by any stretch, but give me the hex any day.

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9 minutes ago, Kent said:

Mathematically speaking it’s actually 4 to 16 games. We are far from guaranteed 14 games. Especially since I feel like the group of teams outside the top 6 may be the strongest it has ever been. Panama, Curaçao, Haiti, Guatemala, and to a lesser extent T&T are all quality teams. It would be a huge shock for us to not win our group (since presumably it will be seeded), but the QF could be against one of those teams and then it’s certainly possible we stumble at that step. Haiti and Curaçao have tied Costa Rica 3 times in 4 games in the Nations League, not to mention Haiti finishing ahead of Costa Rica in the Gold Cup group stage and then beating us in the QF. And Curaçao finished ahead of 2 would-be hex teams (Honduras and El Salvador) in the Gold Cup group stage as well.

The hex would guarantee 10 games all more high profile than any we would have in the lower route save for the inter continental playoff or game with the 4th hex team, if we are to make it that far.

It wouldn’t be easy by any stretch, but give me the hex any day.

I didn’t mean to imply that the 14-16 games was guaranteed - it is just the number we would get if we go the distance in the process.  

Like I said - I think we get through to the semis without worrying too much, assuming the QF knockout round is seeded.  That means we should get 10 games at least - 6 if we are in a group of 4, and then 2 each in QF and SF.  

The opposition is def weaker, but they are at least meaningful games.  And there is the potential for a solid number of games against good opposition if we go far enough. QF, SF, F, and intercontinental playoff would be 8 potential games against decent opposition.  

Just trying to look on the bright side.  

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The reasons the alternate route is not good over many reasons is basically I think everyone involved including, us, players, media etc are just completely over Canada playing all these tiny countries. We're trying to sell this to everyone and now we have 2 more years of slogging thru this. It's enough already

It's definitely leaves no room for a banana peel but I think we'd likely make at least the interconinental either way. But if I have to watch Canada v St Vincent Grenadine in front of 8000 people at BMO field im gonna puke

Edited by SpursFlu

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2 hours ago, Kent said:

I think it’s very unlikely that the QF will be seeded. Can anyone think of a competition where they seed for a knockout round after a group stage? I’m drawing a blank. At best is based on results from the group stage, like the CCL used to do.

Everything other than the initial qualifying (obviously) of the Nations League has been based on the results in the previous stage.  The logical thing would be to continue to do that. ie. needing to blow away minnows.  

That said the logical thing is to know what the stakes of tournament are before it starts, which hasn't always been the case.  

From the announcement of the change this last July:

"The date, location and procedures for the draw which will determine the groups and match schedule for the Hexagonal will be announced later this year"

Question about that though, how do they announced that before they know who is in the Hex and who is not (the deadline is next year) unless it is just very rough window allocations. 

Edited by WestHamCanadianinOxford

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12 hours ago, SpursFlu said:

The reasons the alternate route is not good over many reasons is basically I think everyone involved including, us, players, media etc are just completely over Canada playing all these tiny countries. We're trying to sell this to everyone and now we have 2 more years of slogging thru this. It's enough already

It's definitely leaves no room for a banana peel but I think we'd likely make at least the interconinental either way. But if I have to watch Canada v St Vincent Grenadine in front of 8000 people at BMO field im gonna puke

Tru dat. What's been the average FIFA ranking of say our last 15 opponents. Like... 115?

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12 hours ago, SpursFlu said:

The reasons the alternate route is not good over many reasons is basically I think everyone involved including, us, players, media etc are just completely over Canada playing all these tiny countries. We're trying to sell this to everyone and now we have 2 more years of slogging thru this. It's enough already

It's definitely leaves no room for a banana peel but I think we'd likely make at least the interconinental either way. But if I have to watch Canada v St Vincent Grenadine in front of 8000 people at BMO field im gonna puke

But if that's where we end up, then that's where we end up. It is deserved. We had the chance to solidify our Hex chances with a draw and we blew it as we decided to play (force) an attacking style, rather than being smart.

If the reports are true that Herdman asked the group if they wanted to bunker, it is hard to feel sorry for them.

First of all, what kind of manager asks his players how they want to play in a game like this? It is like asking the kids what they want to eat for dinner...

Cake and cookies you say? Okay then, have at er!

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And that is what I meant about our group being naive. It is not just Herdman, the whole group must take responsibility. 

Our team has Hex-level talent, but we still need to mature to reach our potential. 

Perhaps it is a defense mechanism to deal with the disappointment, but I am increasingly feeling we would have a very disappointing Hex campaign. Is Herdman going to go down to Mexico and Honduras and ask the group how they want to play?

Think about it now. Why should I believe he'd do anything different?

Perhaps no margin for error would force this group to grow up.

Edited by Obinna

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2 minutes ago, SpursFlu said:

Yah i know. I'm saying I'm not concerned as much about qualifying or not qualifying either way. I just feel the optics of the 2nd route is god awful

Agreed. 

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13 hours ago, SpursFlu said:

The reasons the alternate route is not good over many reasons is basically I think everyone involved including, us, players, media etc are just completely over Canada playing all these tiny countries. We're trying to sell this to everyone and now we have 2 more years of slogging thru this. It's enough already

It's definitely leaves no room for a banana peel but I think we'd likely make at least the interconinental either way. But if I have to watch Canada v St Vincent Grenadine in front of 8000 people at BMO field im gonna puke

Hey if you TO guys are sick of games, spread them around..send one to Halifax or Winnipeg.  I'd be happy to watch our B team beat up a caribean team.  

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43 minutes ago, SpursFlu said:

Yah i know. I'm saying I'm not concerned as much about qualifying or not qualifying either way. I just feel the optics of the 2nd route is god awful

We could always go for sexy, huge risk/reward friendlies as a last ditch effort to qualify for the Hex. The straight qualified UEFA teams have nothing to do in March, do they?  Kill a second optics bird with the same stone (until we get blown out). 

Come to England again, just saying...

 

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51 minutes ago, Obinna said:

And that is what I meant about our group being naive. It is not just Herdman, the whole group must take responsibility. 

Our team has Hex-level talent, but we still need to mature to reach our potential. 

Perhaps it is a defense mechanism to deal with the disappointment, but I am increasingly feeling we would have a very disappointing Hex campaign. Is Herdman going to go down to Mexico and Honduras and ask the group how they want to play?

Think about it now. Why should I believe he'd do anything different?

Perhaps no margin for error would force this group to grow up.

The group is Naive because we are still fairly young no doubt, but the organization and ability to teach and get methods right is always on the coach.  We very well may have failed if we approached the game correctly but its hard to judge when the manager doesn't do the minimum to organize us correctly.  The players for sure are not immune to criticism here but the manager took a very talented and extremely young player in Davies and gave him a complex role that doesn't play to his biggest strengths, a smart manager would have realized not to put Davies in that position and given him freedom to attack rather then put him in a position to make complex decisions of when to push forward and attack and when to stay home and defend, which is exasperated by a rather weak CB pairing.  

 

We have the most talented team we've ever had but they are young and still learning, which makes it that much more important that we hired someone who very clearly knows what he's doing and can get the message across to the players and knows when to gamble and when to stick to very common strategy.  There were a bunch of reasons screaming out for Herdman to make different decisions and he bypassed them all, which is really bad.  He chose a strategy to try and take away the ball from the Americans at home? The Americans have struggled mightily and made mistakes in possession and build up while transitioning to Berhlaters style, why on earth would you decide that allowing them possession and pressing them is a bad idea and set up trying to go toe to toe and gain possession?  We're not a great team in possession either, we're better being solid and countering.  Ugh its so frustrating to keep thinking about.  

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20 minutes ago, WestHamCanadianinOxford said:

We could always go for sexy, huge risk/reward friendlies as a last ditch effort to qualify for the Hex. The straight qualified UEFA teams have nothing to do in March, do they?  Kill a second optics bird with the same stone (until we get blown out). 

Come to England again, just saying...

 

If you want to be really shady, we could try to convince a high level team that they should give their B or C team a run out against our A guys.  FIFA points would be agnostic of the quality of the team our opponent chooses to name...

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1 hour ago, SpursFlu said:

Yah i know. I'm saying I'm not concerned as much about qualifying or not qualifying either way. I just feel the optics of the 2nd route is god awful

The problem with the second round with home-away matches in QF, SF and final is that the minimum margin of error can leave out Canada ( remember Canada vs Guatemala in the road to Italy 1990) , this added to how irregular Hermann has been as a coach seems to be a risky route

As long as it is not known against which conference the intercontinental play off will be played, the second route does not look very appealing.

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16 minutes ago, xabuep2 said:

The problem with the second round with home-away matches in QF, SF and final is that the minimum margin of error can leave out Canada ( remember Canada vs Guatemala in the road to Italy 1990) , this added to how irregular Hermann has been as a coach seems to be a risky route

As long as it is not known against which conference the intercontinental play off will be played, the second route does not look very appealing.

Does it matter though? Even if we play in the Hex we still finish fourth, if we are lucky. I definitely don't have confidence we can finish top 3 if we aren't willing to be more pragmatic.

Perhaps Herdman will show us he can do that between now and fall, but I can't put my faith in "maybes".

As things stand now we finish outside the top 3 in the Hex, even with our level of talent.

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23 minutes ago, xabuep2 said:

The problem with the second round with home-away matches in QF, SF and final is that the minimum margin of error can leave out Canada ( remember Canada vs Guatemala in the road to Italy 1990) , this added to how irregular Hermann has been as a coach seems to be a risky route

As long as it is not known against which conference the intercontinental play off will be played, the second route does not look very appealing.

I remember that well, we got CONCACAFed with an awful penalty in Guatemala then gave up away goals at home before we started a failed comeback, I'm still bitter John Fitzgerald didn't go in earlier!  https://www.canadasoccer.com/?gid=286&t=match

Edited by gator

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31 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

If you want to be really shady, we could try to convince a high level team that they should give their B or C team a run out against our A guys.  FIFA points would be agnostic of the quality of the team our opponent chooses to name...

Unfortunately FIFA is a shady and corrupt system, so you almost have to do this to avoid getting gamed by all parties involved.  We absolutely should be looking to find a good team that would be willing to play an experimental side.  

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1 hour ago, Obinna said:

But if that's where we end up, then that's where we end up. It is deserved.

If you said something like "you have to play with the hand you are dealt" I would agree. Saying we deserve what we get is a half truth at best. Our ranking is not an accurate reflection of where we are in my opinion. Yes, we have had a couple chances to rectify that (Haiti and maaaybe the USA away game) but it's not exactly fair to say that if we were a top 6 team we should have been able to beat the number 2 team in the region back to back. Sure, on one hand we haven't been playing friendlies which we could have done to increase (or decrease) our ranking. But we also didn't have the benefit of a Caribbean Championship or Central American championship tournament, which plays a roll in where we started out. We also had the handicap of having a couple of competitive wins (this year alone) stricken from the record because they were against non-FIFA nations.

We lose a game against USA in USA, and that means we don't deserve to be in the hex? El Salvador loses to Dominican Republic in Nations League, and Bermuda in Nations League qualifying, but they (likely) deserve to be in the hex? We lose a game against Haiti and that means we don't deserve to be in the hex? Costa Rica loses a game against Haiti in the Gold Cup, and also tied them 2 times in the Nations League, but Costa Rica still deserves to be in the hex? And Haiti doesn't deserve to be in the hex? I'm sorry, but none of this is deserved.

But yes, the team has to deal with it and play who is put in front of them. We'll have to cheer against El Salvador and get some wins in friendlies, and see where we end up.

To your point about us finishing 4th at best if we were in the hex, I do think we would have a shot to finish ahead of anyone (though not necessarily everyone) outside of Mexico, but you got me curious. I checked our last home and away results against the top 5 teams in the region. In those 10 games we got 10 points. 10 points hasn't been good enough to finish 4th in the hex in the last 4 World Cup qualifying cycles (I didn't look further back than that), so you do have a point there.

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5 hours ago, Kent said:

I think it’s very unlikely that the QF will be seeded. Can anyone think of a competition where they seed for a knockout round after a group stage? I’m drawing a blank. At best is based on results from the group stage, like the CCL used to do.

The Concacaf nations league

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I'm also a bit concerned with the players motivation. Herdman better be the master motivator because asking Alphonso Davies to go from Chapions League 70k people in the stands to playing Montserrat in front of 70 people is gonna start to become a tough sell

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