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15 minutes ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

Also something to consider but may not be feasible given the added costs of hosting a friendly, we would have a huge advantage playing in Toronto in March against warm weather nations. I would be super confident in us coming out with 7 points from a Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago doubleheader.

But that's against 4 teams!!!! ;)

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45 minutes ago, JuicyHam said:

I would love a friendly against Jamaica in Toronto in March. Tougher but not unbeatable, people might show up, and it'll be chilly 

I actually like that idea. We get the home field advantage, home weather advantage and Jamaica get support at BMO. They might go for it.

What do we get from them? +6 for a win, +1 for a draw and -4 for a loss?

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1 hour ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

Also something to consider but may not be feasible given the added costs of hosting a friendly, we would have a huge advantage playing in Toronto in March against warm weather nations. I would be super confident in us coming out with 7 points from a Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago doubleheader.

No more Toronto games please.

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19 minutes ago, SkuseisLoose said:

No more Toronto games please.

When is the last time we took an L at Toronto?

Geo-politics aside, all I care about is a WIN! Pretty sure we have an awesome record and win rate at BMO.

Full Disclosure: I'm basically an 8 hour drive away now, so all I care about is the Win.

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20 minutes ago, SkuseisLoose said:

No more Toronto games please.

It can be in Saskatoon. I don't care as long as its cold and outdoors. In response to Juicy, if we draw or lose to Iceland, I agree we should get two of Jamaica, Curacao, Panama and Haiti to come.

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3 hours ago, Obinna said:

First of all our chances of beating Ukraine are much greater than 1 out of 10 times.

It's subjective, but I say 3 out of 10 times we win, 2 out of 10 we draw and 5 out of 10 we lose. 

I think we tied them last time we played (in Ukraine), although both squads were much different. Simeone Jackson was at Norwich City and Josh Simpson was tearing it up in Turkey. Those were our top attackers...

Secondly, we may grab 5 points with a win against someone of our calibre, but we lose 5 points if we lose, which is equally likely. That for me is the real gamble, isn't it?

The benefit of playing stronger teams is that we lose less if we lose, gain more if we win, and get a small increase if we draw. 

I do believe we are better than our ranking because a) for years we have done without official games, which dragged our ranking down and b) we have a young, talented generation coming up.

And since we are better than our ranking suggests I am comfortable with playing higher ranked teams. Not the super teams, but your mid tier uefa or south American teams.

We already played these teams in friendlies in the recent past and did decently well, and that was with a weaker squad. When we played Equador or Peru they never had to deal with Davies or David.

Like I said though, the real risk, if you ask me, is losing to a team around our ranking and lose as many fifa points as we could win. I think that proposition has the lowest value to us.

Unless we are playing such a team we are comfortable beating, like Curacao and to a lesser extent Panama, I would stay away from teams in the 60 to 80 neighborhood...

I really don’t think it matters that much that we’d lose more points against a team around our ranking than a team like Ukraine. Even if we lose only 3 points, we’re cooked either way. We can’t lose any games in March or it’s essentially game over. If the goal is to force ES to play competitive matches, we need to finish March within at least 5 points of them. That can’t really happen if we lose 3 points in 1 of the matches, unless you want to play 2 teams of that caliber, which would be suicide IMO.

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49 minutes ago, apbsmith said:

When is the last time we took an L at Toronto?

Geo-politics aside, all I care about is a WIN! Pretty sure we have an awesome record and win rate at BMO.

Full Disclosure: I'm basically an 8 hour drive away now, so all I care about is the Win.

I believe we have only lost once at BMO. 2-0 versus Peru in 2010.

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, archer21 said:

I really don’t think it matters that much that we’d lose more points against a team around our ranking than a team like Ukraine. Even if we lose only 3 points, we’re cooked either way. We can’t lose any games in March or it’s essentially game over. If the goal is to force ES to play competitive matches, we need to finish March within at least 5 points of them. That can’t really happen if we lose 3 points in 1 of the matches, unless you want to play 2 teams of that caliber, which would be suicide IMO.

Interesting perspective. I am not sure if I agree, but let me entertain both scenarios for a second...

Assuming we gain maximum points in this camp, we are 9 back of El Salvador,  right? Then if we lose 3 points against Ukraine in March, we are still only 12 back. Difficult but not imsurmountable.

We could pair a difficult Ukraine game with an easy one against a minnow (a "guaranteed" 2-3 points), so that way we could also make up the lost points against Ukraine and still be 9 back with 1 offical window remaining.

That's the loss against Ukraine win against minnow scenario.

Now, if we look at the "easier" path and opt to play 2 or even 3 games in March against minnows we can perhaps gain a maximum of 5 to 6 points. That would put us 3 to 4 points back of El Salvador before June, assuming they remain inactive, of course.

I guess that may be the safest play, but we'd have to be certain of victory. The minnows would have to be Barbados level and we'd probably need to play 3 matches. Just to be super duper safe.

That also makes me nervous though, because I kinda want to be ahead of El Salvador before June if possible, just to be on the safe side.

I would almost rather 2 march games, 1 being a guaranteed 2-3 points and the other a bit of a risk where we lose no more than 2-3 points (Ukraine, let's say). 

The guaranteed win would negate a "probable" Ukraine loss, while an "improbable" win against Ukraine would put is ahead of the Salvadorians going into June. 

Then we can safely ride out the June window with 2 or 3 more guaranteed wins against minnows, giving us a little bit of cushion.

Even if we only draw Ukraine, which I think is a realistic result, we end March with 5 points (draw + beating a minnow).

That basically puts us in the same situation as playing and beating 3 minnows in March, except we give ourselves a chance to overtake El Salvador before June, not to mention getting a quality game. We don't learn anything against these minnows anyway and furthermore, taking the easy road in March cannot put us level or ahead of El Salvador going into June, no matter what.

Thoughts?

 

Edited by Obinna

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Obinna said:

Interesting perspective. I am not sure if I agree, but let me entertain both scenarios for a second...

Assuming we gain maximum points in this camp, we are 9 back of El Salvador,  right? Then if we lose 3 points against Ukraine in March, we are still only 12 back. Difficult but not imsurmountable.

We could pair a difficult Ukraine game with an easy one against a minnow (a "guaranteed" 2-3 points), so that way we could also make up the lost points against Ukraine and still be 9 back with 1 offical window remaining.

That's the loss against Ukraine win against minnow scenario.

Now, if we look at the "easier" path and opt to play 2 or even 3 games in March against minnows we can perhaps gain a maximum of 5 to 6 points. That would put us 3 to 4 points back of El Salvador before June, assuming they remain inactive, of course.

I guess that may be the safest play, but we'd have to be certain of victory. The minnows would have to be Barbados level and we'd probably need to play 3 matches. Just to be super duper safe.

That also makes me nervous though, because I kinda want to be ahead of El Salvador before June if possible, just to be on the safe side.

I would almost rather 2 march games, 1 being a guaranteed 2-3 points and the other a bit of a risk where we lose no more than 2-3 points (Ukraine, let's say). 

The guaranteed win would negate a "probable" Ukraine loss, while an "improbable" win against Ukraine would put is ahead of the Salvadorians going into June. 

Then we can safely ride out the June window with 2 or 3 more guaranteed wins against minnows, giving us a little bit of cushion.

Even if we only draw Ukraine, which I think is a realistic result, we end March with 5 points (draw + beating a minnow).

That basically puts us in the same situation as playing and beating 3 minnows in March, except we give ourselves a chance to overtake El Salvador before June, not to mention getting a quality game. We don't learn anything against these minnows anyway and furthermore, taking the easy road in March cannot put us level or ahead of El Salvador going into June, no matter what.

Thoughts?

 

The only way I’d be comfortable playing Ukraine is if we knew that Ukraine would be sending a B team. Against their A team, I think our chances would be too low to be worth it. To be fair to your argument, the fact that we’d be fighting for our lives while they don’t really care about the result could level the odds a bit. Hopefully if we do get risky, this will help us, but I still don’t think it’s necessary if we win these next 2 matches 
 

To my understanding, we can only play 2 matches in March, so we can’t just beat up on 3 minnows.

If we’re only down 9 points I wouldn’t mind playing 2 “minnows” depending on your classification of a minnow. For example, beating Suriname and Solomon Islands would get us about 6 points, putting us down by only 3 with 2 games to go. This would force ES to play 2 matches, where they’d likely trip up on at least 1. 
 

What I’d really like to do is play someone like Suriname and someone like Curaçao, both games that I like our chances in. That would put us 1 point back of ES and force them to play the same caliber of team that we do in the final window, where both teams would have to earn their way into the hex.

Edited by archer21

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2 hours ago, apbsmith said:

When is the last time we took an L at Toronto?

Geo-politics aside, all I care about is a WIN! Pretty sure we have an awesome record and win rate at BMO.

Full Disclosure: I'm basically an 8 hour drive away now, so all I care about is the Win.

I mean fair enough but most of our home games are minnows at this point. I know I’m biased but it would be nice for them to play around the country more often.

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44 minutes ago, archer21 said:

The only way I’d be comfortable playing Ukraine is if we knew that Ukraine would be sending a B team. Against their A team, I think our chances would be too low to be worth it. To be fair to your argument, the fact that we’d be fighting for our lives while they don’t really care about the result could level the odds a bit. Hopefully if we do get risky, this will help us, but I still don’t think it’s necessary if we win these next 2 matches 
 

To my understanding, we can only play 2 matches in March, so we can’t just beat up on 3 minnows.

If we’re only down 9 points I wouldn’t mind playing 2 “minnows” depending on your classification of a minnow. For example, beating Suriname and Solomon Islands would get us about 6 points, putting us down by only 3 with 2 games to go. This would force ES to play 2 matches, where they’d likely trip up on at least 1. 
 

What I’d really like to do is play someone like Suriname and someone like Curaçao, both games that I like our chances in. That would put us 1 point back of ES and force them to play the same caliber of team that we do in the final window, where both teams would have to earn their way into the hex.

I like your suggestion and I like our odds in those matches. Even if we play away games and fail and miss the Hex as a result, the silver lining would be that we gain experience in two new Caribbean environments none of our players have experience in. It wouldn't be happy experience, but it's experience nonetheless that could prove valuable if we face either team in the lower qualification phase.

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9 hours ago, CanadaFan123 said:

our last matches against Ukraine and Austria were a draw and a win respectively and we have improved significantly since then.

This is a total nitpick, but the long memory of voyageurs always amuses me. The Ukraine friendly was nearly 10 years ago in october 2010, while the Austria friendly was 14 years ago in february 2006!

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29 minutes ago, Scottie said:

This is a total nitpick, but the long memory of voyageurs always amuses me. The Ukraine friendly was nearly 10 years ago in october 2010, while the Austria friendly was 14 years ago in february 2006!

Feels like yesterday :)

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What it kinda feels some of us are forgetting here is that we need to amass way more points than ES to make up the ground and get ahead. Sure they maybe stayed “in hiding” this month but that won’t remain true. They’ve shown a willingness to play friendlies. Assuming that picks back up they can just play the same likes of teams we are suggesting we play to stay ahead forcing us to roll the dice big. At some point we have to do something BIG that they can’t. 

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1 minute ago, grigorio said:

What it kinda feels some of us are forgetting here is that we need to amass way more points than ES to make up the ground and get ahead. Sure they maybe stayed “in hiding” this month but that won’t remain true. They’ve shown a willingness to play friendlies. Assuming that picks back up they can just play the same likes of teams we are suggesting we play to stay ahead forcing us to roll the dice big. At some point we have to do something BIG that they can’t. 

Agreed, but let’s make them start playing games first of all. Say we do what I suggested and go for 8 points in March. They may decide to play 2 weak teams to try to get 6 points. If they lose one of those games, now we’re in the lead heading into the final window. If they win, THEN we go all out in the final window and play some really big teams.

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Yeah, all we can do is just put pressure on them by winning games and getting points.  If they waste the next window as well with “pointless” games, we can close the ground even more.  After that, we can reassess what is needed and whether or not we need to go for the Hail Mary by playing risky teams for higher potential points.  

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15 hours ago, CanadaFan123 said:

You're heading down a confusing path if you want to do the 3rd party results comparison.. the USA also drew France in 2018.  

I followed Ukraine in qualifiers, they are very impressive but I still think we could take them.   We have some pretty impressive players too..  3 of the players on Ukraine are David's club mates at Gent, including one who scored against Portugal, but none are as valuable as him.  Then they have Zinchenko... we have Davies who is arguably better as well.  Still, I'd say they're a tier ahead of us but there's nothing overly intimidating about them where I would rule out a result.  In 10 matches they would probably win 6, draw 3 and lose 1 against us.    

Ok yes we have Davies, and David they have Zinchenko, Yarmelenko, Tskangkov and Konyplanka Ukraine is in the top Tier of Europe now they just won their Nations League Group and are now in League A, they easily won their Euro Qualifying group and can easily compete it seems with the top nations of Europe. If you think we shouldn’t be “overly intimidated” by them then Canada and we can compete on an consistent basis with them we should have no problem in the Hex or with Mexico or the USA on a regular basis.

 

Ukraine would be the team to beat right now in CONCACAF if they had the squad they do now and played in our region or atleast on even par with Mexico as atleast Ukraine had made it to the Round of 8 in a World Cup.(And yes I know you said we would only beat them 1 time but I think that’s a stretch when was the last time we beat Mexico it took us 34 years to beat the USA and Ukraine is way stronger than them).

Edited by Daryn27

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12 hours ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

Also something to consider but may not be feasible given the added costs of hosting a friendly, we would have a huge advantage playing in Toronto in March against warm weather nations. I would be super confident in us coming out with 7 points from a Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago doubleheader.

If we have a home match in March it will be in Vancouver. Canada has never (in modern history, anyway) played a home match outside BC in March or even April. No nation will agree to play a friendly in Toronto (or Edmonton, etc.) in March.

On 1/8/2020 at 2:50 PM, N1ckbr0wn said:

For March window, I think viable opponents who will get us good ranking points AND we have a chance of beating are:

Sweden, Poland, USA, Wales, Ukraine, Austria

theyre all tough bouts but that’s the type of situation we’re in right now. I feel like we’re around the level of all those teams

The USA won't play us again so soon after the two Nations League matches.

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image.png.9ee27f243e12ecbbbfd615dc45ce5cdc.png

There's been a June FIFA ranking published every year since 2010, so I don't know how much I believe this schedule. But, if Concacaf base the seeding on July rankings instead of June it makes this process even more complicated.

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8 hours ago, Daryn27 said:

Ok yes we have Davies, and David they have Zinchenko, Yarmelenko, Tskangkov and Konyplanka Ukraine is in the top Tier of Europe now they just won their Nations League Group and are now in League A, they easily won their Euro Qualifying group and can easily compete it seems with the top nations of Europe. If you think we shouldn’t be “overly intimidated” by them then Canada and we can compete on an consistent basis with them we should have no problem in the Hex or with Mexico or the USA on a regular basis.

 

Ukraine would be the team to beat right now in CONCACAF if they had the squad they do now and played in our region or atleast on even par with Mexico as atleast Ukraine had made it to the Round of 8 in a World Cup.(And yes I know you said we would only beat them 1 time but I think that’s a stretch when was the last time we beat Mexico it took us 34 years to beat the USA and Ukraine is way stronger than them).

We would have a better chance of beating Ukraine than Mexico, period.  I think that's all you need to know about this conversation.  Ukraine is good but not a team that is super scary.  Ukraine is not "way stronger" than the USA - they're both tier 2 teams. 

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1 hour ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

image.png.9ee27f243e12ecbbbfd615dc45ce5cdc.png

There's been a June FIFA ranking published every year since 2010, so I don't know how much I believe this schedule. But, if Concacaf base the seeding on July rankings instead of June it makes this process even more complicated.

Crazy.

Honestly if I'm the CSA, I wait until the very last minute to officially announce our March friendlies.  That will put even extra pressure on ES,  especially if they don't know what we are going to do. Keep chipping away and really force them in June.

 

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10 minutes ago, apbsmith said:

Crazy.

Honestly if I'm the CSA, I wait until the very last minute to officially announce our March friendlies.  That will put even extra pressure on ES,  especially if they don't know what we are going to do. Keep chipping away and really force them in June.

 

Exactly. 

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I think the strategy has to be to play 2 friendlies in March against “good” beatable opponents to pick up 5 points.

Then it will all come down to the June window.  Honestly it would be great if CONCACAF could somehow persuade El Salvador to play is 2x in June.  Then it’s right out in the open.  I realize they won’t of course.  

It’s likely that El Salvador plays 2 winnable games in June to stay in front of us unfortunately.
 

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