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I agree that finishing top 3 in the hex was always unrealistic.  And we know that the intercontinental is a draw and out of our control.  So it comes down which is the easier of

- beating two of US/Costa Rica/Honduras/Jamaica in a full group stage, and then beating the playoff winner, or;

- beating three teams (let's say Guatemala, Haiti and Panama) in knockouts, then beating the 4th place hex team (likely Costa Rica or Honduras) in a playoff.

Frankly, both of those seem very hard, but I still think the one-offs are better for us based on the fact that we would struggle to get any results away from home which hurts us more over a longer group stage.

Edited by theaub
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@admin Again this is Robert's new account. It's actually impressive how you and TGAA can singlehandedly ruin intelligent discussion from hundreds of people and turn this forum into a frustrating

It's too early to start individual match threads (even for me!) but here is some  key info for our next window. Our matches: "Away" at Aruba,  Saturday, June 5th "Home" vs Suriname Tuesday

If we can't win this group, we only have ourselves to blame. I don't think anyone in our group would be favoured to make it to the World Cup, so if we think we can make a World Cup, we should have no

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Being optimistic, I guess that means things are decent wither way.

If we get to the hex through some miracle, we will know we are playing among peers and just have to play lights-out in a few key games.

If we go the consolation route, we know that our chances are probably just as good of getting the 4th place playoff, and we get a grace period where we can work on tactics and ramp up to the key matchups later in the process.

 

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I generally agree that the consultation route isn’t as bad for the reasons people say including we have a young maturing team that may grow into itself over the next two years whereby I anticipate fancying ourselves even more against a Costa Rica, Honduras or Jamaica in two years time than in one.  

That being said, the Hex may give us a 15-25% chance of qualifying directly and something similar for being the 4th place side; whereas all we have to play for is the equivalent of the 4th place position if we have the consolation route. I suspect if you did an algorithmic analysis of the possibilities of us reaching the World Cup it would be significantly better if we were in the Hex. 

The one thing that always worries me about a two game playoff is that a bad bounce here or a cheap red card there combined with some bad luck could easily see you out against an inferior opponent.  I remember Guatemala in 1990 qualifying. And we would need to go through 5 rounds of that!

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29 minutes ago, johnyb said:

I've put a lot of thought into this and I think I would prefer the Hex route just for the opportunity to finish top 3 and qualify directly. I don't trust that we could defeat weaker opposition Home and away 5 or 6 times in a row.  

For the record it would be 5:

QF

SF

F

Concacaf playoff

Intercontinental playoff 

Another interesting question is, which route prepares us better for the World Cup, assuming we qualify?

There are no two-legged ties in the WC, but each leg of each tie will pretty much be life or death for us. Is that fair to say about the Hex, or is it more forgiving? 

A lot of people are making the argument that Hex is better for our chances, precisely because it is more forgiving. If you believe in that logic, wouldn't the less forgiving lower seed route be better prep, assuming we can withstand it?

This is more of a question to everyone, I am not asking you specifically, despite the quote.

Edited by Obinna
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I honestly see it as a toss up.

As I noted earlier, and despite the US not being the team they once were, I still consider spots 1 and 2 locked up.  That means we would (if we pipped ES for 6th) be playing essentially for 1 auto qualification spot, and one playoff spot against Honduras, Jamaica, and CR.  Are we likely to have a better hex record than all 3 of those teams?  Not in my opinion.  Thus we are realistically hoping to beat out two of them for 4th place - and then we still have to face the low-route winner. 

Alternatively, I think the lower path is an easier route to facing the 4th place hex team.  Road games would be easier to draw or at least not capitulate (against Curacao for example) and home games would let us build (hopefully) a decent margin of victory. 

At the end of the day, we are likely required to play the intercontinental playoff either way (since I doubt we get 3rd and make the WC automatically) and the lower route seems - to me - to be an easier path to that playoff game. 

The only thing I will say about the hex is that it, in some ways, is like our mini world cup.  The odds of us making Qatar are pretty damn slim if we want to be honest.  So making the hex, a relatively big accomplishment for us, could be seen as the reward.   The games are high profile, it moves us out of the category of CONCACAF also-rans, we would get a realistic look at our team against the best in the region, and it would be pretty damn exciting.  That would be seen as an achievement in itself.  

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Unless CONCACAF draws against OCIEANA in the intercontinental playoff I don’t see how anyone would not want us to be in the hex? You have 3 automatic berths and if you can’t get 3rd then we can still get fourth only 2 out of 6 hex teams are eliminated completely whereas the best you can do the lower route is hope to win and hope not to get drawn against CONEMBOL. 
 

The Hex is the best route hands down there isn’t even a debate to be had. 

Edited by Daryn27
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6 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

I honestly see it as a toss up.

As I noted earlier, and despite the US not being the team they once were, I still consider spots 1 and 2 locked up.  That means we would (if we pipped ES for 6th) be playing essentially for 1 auto qualification spot, and one playoff spot against Honduras, Jamaica, and CR.  Are we likely to have a better hex record than all 3 of those teams?  Not in my opinion.  Thus we are realistically hoping to beat out two of them for 4th place - and then we still have to face the low-route winner. 

Alternatively, I think the lower path is an easier route to facing the 4th place hex team.  Road games would be easier to draw or at least not capitulate (against Curacao for example) and home games would let us build (hopefully) a decent margin of victory. 

At the end of the day, we are likely required to play the intercontinental playoff either way (since I doubt we get 3rd and make the WC automatically) and the lower route seems - to me - to be an easier path to that playoff game. 

The only thing I will say about the hex is that it, in some ways, is like our mini world cup.  The odds of us making Qatar are pretty damn slim if we want to be honest.  So making the hex, a relatively big accomplishment for us, could be seen as the reward.   The games are high profile, it moves us out of the category of CONCACAF also-rans, we would get a realistic look at our team against the best in the region, and it would be pretty damn exciting.  That would be seen as an achievement in itself.  

Did we not see Costa Rica struggle against Haiti and Curaçao? They are not the team they were last cycle and can be beat. Jamaica also lost to El Salvador in CONCACAF Nations League Qualifying and look very beatable. I think it would be a good fight between us and Honduras truthfully for that 3-4 spot.

if Canada makes the hex based on recent results in CONCACAF Nations League.

Predictions                                 Likely outcome

1. Mexico                                     1. Mexico 

2. USA                                          2. USA

3. Canada                                   Toss up for 3rd

4. Honduras                       (Canada, Honduras)

5. Costa Rica                              5. Costa Rica

6. Jamaica                                   6. Jamacia
 

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2 minutes ago, Daryn27 said:

Did we not see Costa Rica struggle against Haiti and Curaçao?

Did we not see Canada lose to Haiti just a little while ago?  Did we not also get owned by the USA even a shorter while ago?  

We have potential, but we're not there yet.  We don't even know what our best formation is at the moment.  Playing more games, even vs minnows will benefit us in the long run.  I'll take the lower tier tournament.

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Either way will give us games. 

We need to play 4 friendlies against decent to good teams for us to have even an okay chance of making the Hex.  And they won't really be friendlies because we will have to win them.  If that were to happen, I think we could beat everyone but Mexico at home.  And that 3rd and 4th places are up for grabs in my opinion. 

The other way is a lot of games we should win.  But we have played a lot of those lately and it did not seem to prepare us for when some unexpected adversary came our way.  Another season of minnow destruction does little (for me) other than getting our players mentioned by European commentators because they scored so many goals in the last international break. 

And then you have the unpredictability of two-legged ties.  Which scare me if you consider yourself the better side.  And then the roll of the dice that could lead to a South American team.

I would plan good challenging, on the edge of winnable friendlies and see if we could make the Hex.   Just my 2 cents. 

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1 hour ago, costarg said:

Did we not see Canada lose to Haiti just a little while ago?  Did we not also get owned by the USA even a shorter while ago?  

We have potential, but we're not there yet.  We don't even know what our best formation is at the moment.  Playing more games, even vs minnows will benefit us in the long run.  I'll take the lower tier tournament.

Costa Rica lost to Haiti just days before we did

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The thing that people who want Canada to play in the house league tournament are not thinking of, is if Canada has one bad road game, it’s over. How anyone would want that is beyond me.
 

In the Hex, you have one bad road game, you move on to the next game. I also would die for the program to play the best of concacaf for more then a full year. 

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I've said this before and I'll say it again. It is a group stage of 10 games. Canada has proven that we can beat the big teams. But we have also proven that we can loose to anyone too.

For example, if we play Hati level teams 4 times, I would expect 3 wins and a loss.  

We play combination of USA/Costa Rica 4 times, I expect maybe 1 win, 2 draws, and 1 loss. That gives us a record of 50%. 

My theory is tested too. Canada's record this year is similar. We are 1-1 against the states. Did decent in the gold Cup, but bombed in the semis. A cup structure is not Canada's forte. 

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8 hours ago, costarg said:

Did we not see Canada lose to Haiti just a little while ago?  Did we not also get owned by the USA even a shorter while ago?  

We have potential, but we're not there yet.  We don't even know what our best formation is at the moment.  Playing more games, even vs minnows will benefit us in the long run.  I'll take the lower tier tournament.

Yes but did Costa Rica lose to Haiti and also struggle against Curaçao, yes we got beat 4-1 against the US but it’s not like they completely dominated us we had 66% possession just were weak defensively, but didn’t we own the US in every category the month before? The point is I’m more worried about Honduras then I am Costa Rica.

What does the lower tier tournament get us if we get through Panama, Curaçao, and Trinidad and Tobago we get what a matchup against probably Honduras or Costa Rica and then if we win that probably go up against CONEMBOL if you keep track of how the rotation has gone?
 

2018 World Cup Playoff Honduras vs Australia 

2014 World Cup Playoff Mexico vs New Zealand 

Where if you play in the Hex chances are we are in the hunt for 3rd or at bare minimum 4th and if we get 3rd me make the World Cup if we get 4th well we are no better than what we would be if we were in the lower tier because I don’t see Canada finishing 5th or 6th in the hex.

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1 minute ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

Yah - that’s what I said would happen a few pages back. Makes no sense for them now. 

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1 hour ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

Official Top 10 after November

image.png.93f2789533c3b893cfbde861df94600c.png

It’s to bad Canada didn’t schedule another friendly in November while they had the team here even if it was against a weak opponent like Cuba we could have got a few more points and maybe be more so like 10 pats behind rather than 15.

 

Not saying it should be Cuba just a country we know we can handle with ease and get some points back.

Edited by Daryn27
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11 minutes ago, Daryn27 said:

It’s to bad Canada didn’t schedule another friendly in November while they had the team here even if it was against a weak opponent like Cuba we could have got a few more points and maybe be more so like 10 pats behind rather than 15.

 

Not saying it should be Cuba just a country we know we can handle with ease and get some points back.

Cuba would have been a friendly not a Nations League match. So we would have gained 2 points with a win not 5. If we want to gain 5 points for a friendly win it needs to be against a nation around our ranking.

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52 minutes ago, narduch said:

If they cancel all their friendlies we are ******.

No way are we scheduling enough friendlies to catch them (never mind needing to win them all as well).

If we play and beat 4 teams around our rank in the March and June we gain ourselves 20 points - enough to overtake them if they do absolutely nothing.

We need to play games no matter what, so I would schedule some friendlies around our rank for March, put the pressure on them to do something.  Then if they schedule and win some minnow games (can get themselves maybe ten points that way) then we need to really roll the dice and schedule some very high ranked friendlies (warm up for Euro teams?)  in June.

Other than money, which I don't know much about either way, there is no downside to giving it a go (or "givin' 'er" - a Canadianism I miss)  in the next two windows. 

Edited by WestHamCanadianinOxford
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