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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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Has anyone bothered to analyze the quality of Costa Rica's team? Or is it just were Canada they're Costa Rica. Most of their team will be available because none of their players seem good enough to play anywhere but MLS or Costa Rica. They don't even have players who you would consider LigaMX quality

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28 minutes ago, SpursFlu said:

Has anyone bothered to analyze the quality of Costa Rica's team? Or is it just were Canada they're Costa Rica. Most of their team will be available because none of their players seem good enough to play anywhere but MLS or Costa Rica. They don't even have players who you would consider LigaMX quality

To be fair the Costa Rican league is still a few levels above the CanPL. Joel Campbell is still a regular for Leon in the Mexican League. They still have arguably about the same level maybe stronger still if you factor in our European guys wouldn't be there. 

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I thought when you said this...

23 hours ago, Ove said:

100%! The 15 points we lag behind El Salvador must absolute be reduced by the end of January, but sooner or later the CSA will have to roll the dice. Might as well start negotiating right now for a big point score in March, before it is too late.

you were saying we need friendlies in January.

But this...

1 hour ago, Ove said:

Only in Canada, eh! What other country would hold a camp after playing a match their World Cup fortunes hinge on?

sounds like you don't want us to have friendlies?

What am I missing here?

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1 hour ago, Stryker911 said:

And what did he say about it?

Yeah, I'd like to know too. Or know at what time in the podcast at least that he talks about it. I don't have an hour sitting around waiting to be used on a podcast just to confirm he will say something like "more games for minnows! Less games against minnows for giants! We all know there are only 6 teams in the conversation for a World Cup spot anyways". OK, I don't think he would say that last part.

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17 minutes ago, TFC2017 said:

To be fair the Costa Rican league is still a few levels above the CanPL. Joel Campbell is still a regular for Leon in the Mexican League. They still have arguably about the same level maybe stronger still if you factor in our European guys wouldn't be there. 

I don't really have any CPL guys in my 11. Maybe Didic at CB. I'm not saying we're way better, we're definitely not way worse. It's a game, it's a challenge. We have to go out and win. I think we can. Let's make it happen

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1 hour ago, TFC2017 said:

To be fair the Costa Rican league is still a few levels above the CanPL. Joel Campbell is still a regular for Leon in the Mexican League. They still have arguably about the same level maybe stronger still if you factor in our European guys wouldn't be there. 

In addition to Campbell...

OGs Bolaños and Venegas are still alive and well in the Costa Rican league. Both have been involved recently for the Ticos too, so they could play a role.

Venegas in particular has been playing nations league games and has 28 goals in 69 games for Saprissa since going back to Costa Rica.

Leal is a player from their domestic league (also Saprissa) who has gotten starts for the national team, so he could feature as well. He's a wide player who I like, but doesn't really seem to fill the scoresheet for club or country. He can be dangerous though.

Then, you have the usual suspects from MLS: Waston, Matarrita, Calvo, Guzman etc... I would be particularly wary of Allan Cruz of FC Cincinnati. He was a bright spot in an otherwise dull season for the expansion side.

Bryan Ruiz now plays for Brazilian side Santos, but doesn't really "play" (if you know what I mean). Last played in a friendly against Uruguay in September. Not sure they bother to bring him in for a friendly against Canada in January.

Tejada is a defensive mid who is a mainstay in the side with 52 caps. Now plays with Herediano after years in France and Switzerland. He probably gets the call with Borges still being in Turkey.

Finally, Ortiz has been their preferred no. 9 as of late. Plays in Colombia and is scoring goals down there after not really sticking around at DC United. I think he scored for Costa Rica in nations league too.

@SpursFlu those are some of the players I would expect to see. As you can see, there are more Ticos playing on this side of the Atlantic than in years past. I think it will be a tough game, but we have a good core from MLS as well. If we can somehow get Davies involved I would like our chances, but Bayern usually have a winter camp in the middle east, at least they did last season, so we'll see what transpires there...

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9 minutes ago, Ove said:

I get it that some don't understand or appreciate my sense of humour and that's okay.

Seriously though, we are in a position where if we want to take part in the HEX, we really do have to play a friendly in January. And like I also said, it's a must win situation, because if we fall any further behind, there will not be enough opportunities left to catch El Salvador.

At this point, not knowing who will finish where come June, I feel quite confident in stating that whoever finishes 4th in the HEX will defeat whoever ends up being the best of the rest. In other words, we are putting everything on the line in this next "friendly!"

Interesting. Why do you see it like that?

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1 hour ago, Kent said:

Yeah, I'd like to know too. Or know at what time in the podcast at least that he talks about it. I don't have an hour sitting around waiting to be used on a podcast just to confirm he will say something like "more games for minnows! Less games against minnows for giants! We all know there are only 6 teams in the conversation for a World Cup spot anyways". OK, I don't think he would say that last part.

The relevant part starts at the 5 minute mark and lasts about 10 minutes.

Big takeaway is that they were not allowed to combine Nations League with WCQ because the commercial rights were already sold off before Vic was even in office.  These rights were were not centralized like UEFA so individual countries were free to sell them way in advance.

He also indicates he's not happy with the format and would have preferred to do it differently.  It's pretty clear he doesn't have absolute power and must herd some cats at board level.

 

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52 minutes ago, Ove said:

Because, as in any sport, one only gets better by playing against the best. After playing in 10 grade A matches, a home and home series against a grade B opponent should be no contest.

I'll just add the following blind as well. Chances are that the country finishing 4th in the HEX will probably get to host the second match of the home and home series against the winner of the best of the rest, which after our recent two matches against the United States proved to be a fair advantage, no? 

Fair enough.

The way I see it is that the lower seed winner would be better prepared, because they will be able to draw on the experience of successfully managing two-legged ties. What are your thoughts on that?

The fourth placed Hex will not be able to do this and I feel this could make the difference between two teams that should be relative equals talent wise, unless the US or Mexico slip to 4th, which is unlikely (or a small nation like Bermuda makes a shock run).

Baring that, we are likely left with one of Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, or ElSalvador and one of Panama, Canada, Curacao, Haiti or T&T...all these teams can realistic square off in this match and talent wise they are all pretty close, more or less.

And I am not sure the Hex teams from that list would have gotten much better by virtue of playing in the Hex.

Remember, Gold Cup 2021 will take place a few months before that match, so Canada could theoretically play in the lower tournament, make a run in the Gold Cup and beat Hex teams along the way. Basically, a strong GC from a lower team could negate any advantage the Hex teams have in terms of playing those A grade Hex games.

That said, I do think you are right when you say the Hex team will get to play the second game at home, which is widely considered an advantage. 

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17 minutes ago, Ove said:

No disrespect implied, but would we be having this discussion if Canada was currently ranked fourth in CONCACAF?

That being said, my counter argument to your perspective is: There is a reason that there are 6 countries in the HEX. Hopefully, we can agree that this is more than likely because they are better than the countries that didn't qualify. Whatever the format, a six-country-pool, two-legged ties, or a one off, the bottom line remains the same. Momentum from coming out on top in 3 two-legged ties is nothing more than a winning streak, and they all come to an end.

Personally, I feel that the Gold Cup is an important tournament, but it doesn't compare with the HEX. Again, I think we can both agree on which one we would prefer to win, no? Besides, I would much rather watch a Mexican broadcast of Canada playing at the Estadio Azteca, then some Mickey Mouse stream from the Raymond E. Guishard Technical Centre, in Anguilla

Of course, soccer is a sport, and upsets do happen once in a while. 

If Canada finished fourth in the Hex and squared off against El Salvador, I would obviously fancy Canada because A) I am a Canadian fan, b) I believe we have better players and C) We have generally had El Salvador's number.

But in general terms, I believe my theory holds true. All things being relatively equal, the team that survived multiple two-legged ties should be favored over a team who hasn't survived any. Obviously it is not a guarantee, but from a mental perspective they would have the upper hand.

TFC has (probably) played more two-legged ties than any other MLS team over the last few years, thanks to the Canadian Championship and back-to-back MLS cup runs. No surprise then that they made it all the way to the CCL final, beating Tigres and Club America, two teams that were better on paper, but (probably) didn't have as much experience with aggregate ties. They almost knocked off Chivas too. 

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15 hours ago, Ove said:

Besides, I would much rather watch a Mexican broadcast of Canada playing at the Estadio Azteca, then some Mickey Mouse stream from the Raymond E. Guishard Technical Centre, in Anguilla

Lolz. Quick poll... What's your favourite "mickey mouse" venue Canada's played in? I'm assuming the cat meowing in Belize(???) has gotta be top 3 for most. 

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I was convinced that Canada being now head of CONCACAF had rigged this thing to ensure we'd be in the Hex.  Now I'm depressed that we are so bloody honest that maybe we didn't rig anything, even though I thought there was perhaps a Quid pro quo around the 2026 World Cup hosting.  What happened?  And to think we don't even seem to have guaranteed entry to 2026? 

 

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12 minutes ago, Ruud said:

I was convinced that Canada being now head of CONCACAF had rigged this thing to ensure we'd be in the Hex.  Now I'm depressed that we are so bloody honest that maybe we didn't rig anything, even though I thought there was perhaps a Quid pro quo around the 2026 World Cup hosting.  What happened?  And to think we don't even seem to have guaranteed entry to 2026? 

 

We tried to rig it with the CONCACAF rankings and failed. :D

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23 minutes ago, Ruud said:

I was convinced that Canada being now head of CONCACAF had rigged this thing to ensure we'd be in the Hex.  Now I'm depressed that we are so bloody honest that maybe we didn't rig anything, even though I thought there was perhaps a Quid pro quo around the 2026 World Cup hosting.  What happened?  And to think we don't even seem to have guaranteed entry to 2026? 

 

I expect that Vic will set a precedent on this one and not give us automatic entry as a partial host!

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1 hour ago, Ruud said:

I was convinced that Canada being now head of CONCACAF had rigged this thing to ensure we'd be in the Hex.  Now I'm depressed that we are so bloody honest that maybe we didn't rig anything, even though I thought there was perhaps a Quid pro quo around the 2026 World Cup hosting.  What happened?  And to think we don't even seem to have guaranteed entry to 2026? 

 

I have said it before and will say it again.  If we had simply done the job against Haiti in the GC, we would have gained valuable points and had another high point game to cement our spot in the hex.  All we had to do was not muck it up and we would be toasting Vic because he would have basically handed us a spot in the hex.  Hard to blame him for us blowing a 2 goal lead against Haiti.  

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3 hours ago, dyslexic nam said:

I have said it before and will say it again.  If we had simply done the job against Haiti in the GC, we would have gained valuable points and had another high point game to cement our spot in the hex.  All we had to do was not muck it up and we would be toasting Vic because he would have basically handed us a spot in the hex.  Hard to blame him for us blowing a 2 goal lead against Haiti.  

Blame for the Haiti game remains solely on Godinho.  I can't let it go!

 

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