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The Road to Qatar.

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But granted if we get to Qatar, we would in all likelihood have to drop our old players and some of the players who we currently have right now are getting old/up there in age 

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Posted (edited)

But you have to allow for some kind of play in. You can't completely close it off. Maybe 2 groups of 6 with a 24 team play in. 4th plays winner, similar to the previous set up

Edited by SpursFlu

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18 minutes ago, SpursFlu said:

But you have to allow for some kind of play in. You can't completely close it off. Maybe 2 groups of 6 with a 24 team play in. 4th plays winner, similar to the previous set up

Yeah I'm definitely in favor

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Posted (edited)

What about the top-12 seeded teams split into 3 groups of 4?

Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, Antigua & Barbuda

Group B: USA, Honduras, Curacao, T&T 

Group C Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, Haiti 

Group winners qualify for the World Cup. For the half-spot, 2nd place teams either enter a play-off with lower-seed winner, OR (more likely due to time) best second place team just enters play-off with lower-seed winner.

I realize being drawn with Mexico is not ideal, but more focused on the mechanics of the format.

There are definitely issues with it, but that may be the best way to do it if we get short on match days...

Also, not sure how fair would be to second place group B & C if we (Canada) beat up on Antigua and finish 4th on goal difference. Imagine the meltdown if the United States slips up and finishes 2nd and looses out to us on goal difference. Also, note that T&T fall into their group. They would have an absolute savage meltdown.

Another flaw is that potential weakness of the loser-seed champion. Strongest teams are likely Guatemala, St. Kitts, and Bermuda. Should any of them get a crack? A top 12 waters down the lower-seed tourney a bit too much.

Edit: And I also didn't consider what the format would be for a lower-seed tournament...

Edited by Obinna

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35 minutes ago, Obinna said:

What about the top-12 seeded teams split into 3 groups of 4?

Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, Antigua & Barbuda

Group B: USA, Honduras, Curacao, T&T 

Group C Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, Haiti 

Group winners qualify for the World Cup. For the half-spot, 2nd place teams either enter a play-off with lower-seed winner, OR (more likely due to time) best second place team just enters play-off with lower-seed winner.

I realize being drawn with Mexico is not ideal, but more focused on the mechanics of the format.

There are definitely issues with it, but that may be the best way to do it if we get short on match days...

Also, not sure how fair would be to second place group B & C if we (Canada) beat up on Antigua and finish 4th on goal difference. Imagine the meltdown if the United States slips up and finishes 2nd and looses out to us on goal difference. Also, note that T&T fall into their group. They would have an absolute savage meltdown.

Another flaw is that potential weakness of the loser-seed champion. Strongest teams are likely Guatemala, St. Kitts, and Bermuda. Should any of them get a crack? A top 12 waters down the lower-seed tourney a bit too much.

Edit: And I also didn't consider what the format would be for a lower-seed tournament...

 

Probably the best approach I have seen on here suggested...no argument from me

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47 minutes ago, Obinna said:

What about the top-12 seeded teams split into 3 groups of 4?

Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, Antigua & Barbuda

Group B: USA, Honduras, Curacao, T&T 

Group C Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, Haiti 

Group winners qualify for the World Cup. For the half-spot, 2nd place teams either enter a play-off with lower-seed winner, OR (more likely due to time) best second place team just enters play-off with lower-seed winner.

I realize being drawn with Mexico is not ideal, but more focused on the mechanics of the format.

There are definitely issues with it, but that may be the best way to do it if we get short on match days...

Also, not sure how fair would be to second place group B & C if we (Canada) beat up on Antigua and finish 4th on goal difference. Imagine the meltdown if the United States slips up and finishes 2nd and looses out to us on goal difference. Also, note that T&T fall into their group. They would have an absolute savage meltdown.

Another flaw is that potential weakness of the loser-seed champion. Strongest teams are likely Guatemala, St. Kitts, and Bermuda. Should any of them get a crack? A top 12 waters down the lower-seed tourney a bit too much.

Edit: And I also didn't consider what the format would be for a lower-seed tournament...

The problem I keep coming across when playing with scenarios is the minnows.  Even with this format you would need 5 windows (10 match days) to get from 23 minnows (ranked 13 to 35) down to 1 challenger.  Add the crossover and you're at 12 match days required.  It's hard to find any format that can sort everything out in less than 12 match days when you factor in the minnows.  

 

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1 hour ago, CanadianSoccerFan said:

The problem I keep coming across when playing with scenarios is the minnows.  Even with this format you would need 5 windows (10 match days) to get from 23 minnows (ranked 13 to 35) down to 1 challenger.  Add the crossover and you're at 12 match days required.  It's hard to find any format that can sort everything out in less than 12 match days when you factor in the minnows.  

 

Then what would you suggest as an alternative 

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2 hours ago, CanadianSoccerFan said:

The problem I keep coming across when playing with scenarios is the minnows.  Even with this format you would need 5 windows (10 match days) to get from 23 minnows (ranked 13 to 35) down to 1 challenger.  Add the crossover and you're at 12 match days required.  It's hard to find any format that can sort everything out in less than 12 match days when you factor in the minnows.  

 

I think not only Concacaf will have this issue but some other confederations as well (probably Africa and Asia).  I think part of the solution is playing into the summer of 2022 for qualifying at least the intercontinental playoffs and possibly the 4th place match in Concacaf (and some of the other two leg play offs in other confederations like UEFA) which frees up some dates.  I would bet on two groups of 5 (or possibly 4 depending on the match days) with the winners going through; the two second place sides playing for the 3rd automatic slot and the 4th one playing the winner of the minnows (perhaps in March 2022 or even June for a right to play in the intercontinental playoffs in June or July).  If they go to 10 though, the issue there is that you are giving the winner of the minnows (who could be 11th, or 12th or so best team in Concacaf a shot at a home and away against a Canada or Honduras where if they squeaked through they then just have to beat NZ (assuming we are playing Oceania) in a home and away to get to the World Cup.  I would take that if I was Guatemala or Suriname.  That may push this more to a 8 team round which then has the issue of sides only having to play 6 times to qualify which seems a bit light.  So I would expect the 2 groups of 5 if they can swing it in the dates as that means 8 matches each to qualify and I doubt the 4th place side would object to playing the 11th or 12th best side for the right to play in the intercontinental playoff.

Obviously, the two groups means that Mexico and the US wont play each other which surely they will object to but these are extraordinary times and they only need to play 8 matches to qualify (and their great rival is not standing in their way which makes that path easier).  Plus if for some reason they finish second, they would fancy their chances against any of the other sides in a two leg playoff (and worse case, fancy their chances against NZ).  

Anyway, my two cents worth.

 

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Posted (edited)

The way I see it there’s really only 2 ways to go.  First there’s probably no way to make a viable tournament with 35 teams.  They have to get to 32 either by coin toss or a special game.

Option 1) Have a senior tournament.  2 groups of 4 with the 1st place teams qualifying and the higher 2nd place team qualifying.  The lower 2nd place team would play the winner of the junior tournament for the right to play Oceana.

Canada’s 4 team group would probably be:  7 Canada, 2 USA, 6 El Salvador, 3 Costa Rica.

The other group would be:  1 Mexico, 4 Jamaica, 5 Honduras, 8 Curaçao.  

Option 2). Have a home and home seeded tournament 32 to 1 with the semi final losers playing each other for the full right to make it.

I think the fairest way is to go with Option 2.  It gives  everyone a straight chance and it’s a make it or not tournament over 5 windows.

 

So in a seeded tournament who would Canada play- (assuming no upsets)

Round 1

7 Canada vs 26 Cuba

Round 2

7 Canada vs 10 Haiti

Round 3

7 Canada vs 2 USA

Round 4

7 Canada vs 3 Costa Rica

Round 5 (contingent)

7 Canada vs 4 Jamaica

Edited by baulderdash77

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57 minutes ago, baulderdash77 said:

 

Round 3

7 Canada vs 2 USA

 

This is why this won't happen.  After the autumn matches, there is no way the US would want to play us in a QF in a home and away where if they lost they go out.  While it is clear they would be favourites, they know there is every possibility they would lose that home and away.  Whereas, in a 4 or 5 team group, they are far more likely go through as the winners or at least take the second place slot and playoff for the 3rd and even if they lost that they still have a decent shot at qualifying

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7 hours ago, neuker said:

The proposed formats that have Canada and the United States in the same group sets up a potentially interesting scenario. If we happen to beat the United States in both our matches against them, AND if one of the other countries manages to get a win against the United States, then there is the possibility of Canada going to Qatar and the United States staying home. Wouldn't that make for the best World Cup EVER!!!

Yeah it would but Canada being drawn with USA or Mexico in a group either way you look at it is inevitable and who would you rather face? Mexico who is a much stronger side than the USA or the USA who on their best day can actually be just as strong as Mexico

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6 hours ago, baulderdash77 said:

The way I see it there’s really only 2 ways to go.  First there’s probably no way to make a viable tournament with 35 teams.  They have to get to 32 either by coin toss or a special game.

Option 1) Have a senior tournament.  2 groups of 4 with the 1st place teams qualifying and the higher 2nd place team qualifying.  The lower 2nd place team would play the winner of the junior tournament for the right to play Oceana.

Canada’s 4 team group would probably be:  7 Canada, 2 USA, 6 El Salvador, 3 Costa Rica.

The other group would be:  1 Mexico, 4 Jamaica, 5 Honduras, 8 Curaçao.  

Option 2). Have a home and home seeded tournament 32 to 1 with the semi final losers playing each other for the full right to make it.

I think the fairest way is to go with Option 2.  It gives  everyone a straight chance and it’s a make it or not tournament over 5 windows.

 

So in a seeded tournament who would Canada play- (assuming no upsets)

Round 1

7 Canada vs 26 Cuba

Round 2

7 Canada vs 10 Haiti

Round 3

7 Canada vs 2 USA

Round 4

7 Canada vs 3 Costa Rica

Round 5 (contingent)

7 Canada vs 4 Jamaica

Your option 2 as a suggestion works but would we even get past Round 3 or 4 because we would have to face USA and Costa Rica both who we have difficulty against

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Posted (edited)

But then besides all this, for 2026 since we are co hosting the FIFA World Cup with USA and Mexico, I wonder how those qualifiers will work especially if we are hosts? I mean if FIFA gives us automatic qualification especially then that means us, USA and Mexico do not have to take part in qualifiers. But then how is that Hex going to work with other teams like Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago unless the Hex for 2026 will be for those countries in CONCACAF ranked from 7th and onward?

But at least for us if we are given automatic qualification we don't have to even do anything but sit pretty until the 2026 FIFA World Cup begins. Yeah sure we would have to play friends with a whole slew of countries as well as play in Gold Cups as well to prepare but still either way it works out well for us Canadians anyway.

 

Unless FIFA decides not to give us automatic qualification and we have to take part in the qualifiers but even if we do and let's say we don't qualify, we more or less qualify regardless anyway being co hosts.

Edited by TGAA_Star

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11 hours ago, An Observer said:

This is why this won't happen.  After the autumn matches, there is no way the US would want to play us in a QF in a home and away where if they lost they go out.  While it is clear they would be favourites, they know there is every possibility they would lose that home and away.  Whereas, in a 4 or 5 team group, they are far more likely go through as the winners or at least take the second place slot and playoff for the 3rd and even if they lost that they still have a decent shot at qualifying

The thing is there’s no easy way for anyone.  Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Canada are all capable of beating the US.  
 

Even in a 4 team group the US would have Costa Rica and Canada in it so if they can’t win the home and away vs Canada they don’t get through.  So no matter what it’s tony easy to qualify- for anyone.

It can be argued that Mexico and Honduras get easier paths to qualifying but there are no freebies.

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14 hours ago, An Observer said:

I think not only Concacaf will have this issue but some other confederations as well (probably Africa and Asia).  I think part of the solution is playing into the summer of 2022 for qualifying at least the intercontinental playoffs and possibly the 4th place match in Concacaf (and some of the other two leg play offs in other confederations like UEFA) which frees up some dates.  I would bet on two groups of 5 (or possibly 4 depending on the match days) with the winners going through; the two second place sides playing for the 3rd automatic slot and the 4th one playing the winner of the minnows (perhaps in March 2022 or even June for a right to play in the intercontinental playoffs in June or July).  If they go to 10 though, the issue there is that you are giving the winner of the minnows (who could be 11th, or 12th or so best team in Concacaf a shot at a home and away against a Canada or Honduras where if they squeaked through they then just have to beat NZ (assuming we are playing Oceania) in a home and away to get to the World Cup.  I would take that if I was Guatemala or Suriname.  That may push this more to a 8 team round which then has the issue of sides only having to play 6 times to qualify which seems a bit light.  So I would expect the 2 groups of 5 if they can swing it in the dates as that means 8 matches each to qualify and I doubt the 4th place side would object to playing the 11th or 12th best side for the right to play in the intercontinental playoff.

Obviously, the two groups means that Mexico and the US wont play each other which surely they will object to but these are extraordinary times and they only need to play 8 matches to qualify (and their great rival is not standing in their way which makes that path easier).  Plus if for some reason they finish second, they would fancy their chances against any of the other sides in a two leg playoff (and worse case, fancy their chances against NZ).  

Anyway, my two cents worth.

 

Good post. 

Wouldn't they need to determine 1st and 2nd for the FIFA WC pots? Or do they just use the rankings for that? If not, the group winners (probably USA and Mexico) could face each other.

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18 minutes ago, baulderdash77 said:

The thing is there’s no easy way for anyone.  Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Canada are all capable of beating the US.  
 

Even in a 4 team group the US would have Costa Rica and Canada in it so if they can’t win the home and away vs Canada they don’t get through.  So no matter what it’s tony easy to qualify- for anyone.

It can be argued that Mexico and Honduras get easier paths to qualifying but there are no freebies.

I wouldn't mind this format

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54 minutes ago, RS said:

Wait, why would the US and Mexico object to not facing each other?

I think CONCACAF would. That's the match they want all the time, for $ sake. They set up the Gold Cup every time to ensure that they never face each other until the final. 

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I think the US and Mexico we need to juice it for all its worth and run the rivalry in to the ground needs to be put on hold a bit. They'll still have Gold Cup, potentially Nations League final. Let it breath anyways. Besides, wait till we start beating them both 

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57 minutes ago, maplebanana said:

I think CONCACAF would. That's the match they want all the time, for $ sake. They set up the Gold Cup every time to ensure that they never face each other until the final. 

I don't think CONCACAF would. They don't really make money off WCQ's. USSF and FMF do. 

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18 minutes ago, Blackdude said:

I don't think CONCACAF would. They don't really make money off WCQ's. USSF and FMF do. 

Exactly my point. And neither federation makes nearly as much money off WCQs than they do from friendlies. In WCQ, USSF hosts Mexico in a small stadium (Columbus) while FMF hosts at Azteca, which while big doesn't pull in nearly as much money as a friendly in LA, Dallas, Houston, etc.

Not to mention, why would either side want to face their toughest rival in World Cup Qualifying if they don't have to?

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The obvious answers are 2 groups of 4 or 3 groups of 4.  I've been thinking that with limited matchdays the most fair thing is to use a version of the Matchvision pot format that they used for Nations League qualifying but instead of 34 teams, only include 8,10, or 12 teams.  

Say you only have 6 match days to work with.  With any combination of 8, 10, or 12 teams each team plays 6 games against 6 different opponents of varying strength and are measured against each other in a single table (3 home and 3 away).  Instead of having a draw for groups, you instead have a draw for fixtures.  

For an example of 12 teams, each team (including Mexico and USA) would have a schedule like this

Game 1 vs #1 Mexico or #2 USA

Game 2 vs #3 Costa Rica or #4 Jamaica

Game 3 vs #5 Honduras or #6 El Salvador 

Game 4 vs #7 Canada or #8 Curacao

Game 5 vs #9 Panama or #10 Haiti

Game 6 vs #11 Trinidad or #12 Antigua

 

I prefer this for several reasons

1) Removes the unfair advantage of being a top seed.  Group systems have a self fulfilling prophecy where top seeds do not have to face other top seeds.  In a system with 3 groups of 4, Mex, USA, and Costa Rica would play ZERO games against their fellow top seeds.  Meanwhile, everyone else has to play two games against top seeds.  If 33% of your games are against top seeds, you are being required to clear a higher bar than teams playing 0% of their games against top seeds.  Contrast that with the pot system where the average strength of fixtures is mathematically even for ALL teams.  There is zero advantage to being seeded.

2) Play a larger sample size of opponents.  The chances of drawing a group of death are far higher than drawing a schedule of death in the pot system because the sample size is doubled. 

3) Easier to compare teams against one another in a single table.  The criticism would be "not all teams have played each other so how is that fair".  Many of the formats proposed using groups have some element of "best 2nd place finisher" which already has the exact same problem but worse.  In that case you are not only comparing teams guaranteed not to have played each other, you are comparing teams with zero common opponents.    

 

If I had to guess on a possible schedule, assuming the rest of this year is out the window and they still had to finish qualifying by the end of 2021 it could look something like this.

March 2021:  2 leg knockout round with bye for top 5.  Nations League final 4 would happen concurrently which Vic has stated will still happen

June 2021: Another 2 leg knockout round 

July 2021: Gold Cup (Vic insists it is happening)

Sept, Oct, and Nov 2021: 6 game pot system involving 10 or 12 teams.  (To do it with less than 10 teams you need more than two preceding knockout rounds)

That's 10 games to sort everything.  The top 5 ranked teams would only play 8 games.

 

 

 

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