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Olympic Qualifying U24 Tournament - Guadalajara Mexico - March 18 to 30 2021


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Is Herdman the best coach that was available in 2018?  No.

Is Herdman the best coach that we could afford and was available?  Probably still no.

Is Herdman the most qualified coach we've had?  No, I think that title would go to someone like Floro and look how that trainwreck ended.  But after that, if you compare Herdman to Yallop, Mitchell, Hart, Fonseca, Findlay, Miller and even Zambrano, I wouldn't think he's the least qualified.  He actually has had success on the international stage, albeit in the women's game.  But success is success, especially in the international game because you don't get to work with the same players day in and day out like you do in a league setting.  It is a different mindset and approach to the game.

The one thing that most people on here complain about is his bluster and pop psychology, but that is actually the one thing that he brings to the table that this team needs.  For years Canada has underperformed when it counted.  We've had stellar individuals play for this team over the last 20 years but have never been able to put it together on the field.  We were always missing that intangible.  This is where Herdman excels and maybe this is what the team needs.

And this is why the loss to Haiti was so disappointing.  The team turned off in the second half.  No, not just one player, but the entire team turned off.  And that was on Herdman.  I remember seeing him in the Air Canada lounge a day or two after that game in Ottawa and it looked like he was going through video, but I was still too pissed to say anything.  But at least he was working on it.  So I can only hope that he learned from that game too and it doesn't happen again.

All that to say, if you compare him to the other coaches we've had over the last two decades, he's definitely above average.  And he's the first that brings something to the table that we've needed for awhile.  The women's team punched above their weight during his tenure, so maybe the men's team will too.  And if that happens, we may see something special.

 

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29 minutes ago, Shway said:

 

26 minutes ago, Gian-Luca said:

So there is one member of the TFC delegation who doesn't have (or has recovered from) COVID, any chance they can send Jayden Nelson, Noble Okello and Liam Fraser down while they are at it?

 

Additionally, Danny Dichio is part of the CANMNT coaching staff. I assume with the U24s and MNT playing simultaneously that Herdman and Biello are beefing up their respective staffs with temporary help.

Related: Today is the last day of quarantine for most of TFC's staff and players. Those who tested negative were allowed to resume training on Monday.

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1 minute ago, ghostknownunknown said:

Looking forward to seeing Tajon play. He looks to have the tools to really dominate at this level. 

Yeah, as much as Ballou may need the tourney to try and jumpstart things, Tajon could use it to really cement his status as an elite prospect for us.  He looked really good in the games I saw last year.  

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58 minutes ago, Kent said:

The bigger question is what if he does succeed? I bet there will be people in here that will say it was all the players, and that we need to get a better coach before the World Cup starts.

To be fair, Herdman got a lot of love on this board after we beat the US 2-0 and rightly so. There will always be detractors but the vast majority will jump on the bandwagon if he gets us to the WC. I am sure he will beef up his coaching staff if that happens.

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50 minutes ago, El Hombre said:

Is Herdman the best coach that was available in 2018?  No.

Is Herdman the best coach that we could afford and was available?  Probably still no.

Is Herdman the most qualified coach we've had?  No, I think that title would go to someone like Floro and look how that trainwreck ended.  But after that, if you compare Herdman to Yallop, Mitchell, Hart, Fonseca, Findlay, Miller and even Zambrano, I wouldn't think he's the least qualified.  He actually has had success on the international stage, albeit in the women's game.  But success is success, especially in the international game because you don't get to work with the same players day in and day out like you do in a league setting.  It is a different mindset and approach to the game.

The one thing that most people on here complain about is his bluster and pop psychology, but that is actually the one thing that he brings to the table that this team needs.  For years Canada has underperformed when it counted.  We've had stellar individuals play for this team over the last 20 years but have never been able to put it together on the field.  We were always missing that intangible.  This is where Herdman excels and maybe this is what the team needs.

And this is why the loss to Haiti was so disappointing.  The team turned off in the second half.  No, not just one player, but the entire team turned off.  And that was on Herdman.  I remember seeing him in the Air Canada lounge a day or two after that game in Ottawa and it looked like he was going through video, but I was still too pissed to say anything.  But at least he was working on it.  So I can only hope that he learned from that game too and it doesn't happen again.

All that to say, if you compare him to the other coaches we've had over the last two decades, he's definitely above average.  And he's the first that brings something to the table that we've needed for awhile.  The women's team punched above their weight during his tenure, so maybe the men's team will too.  And if that happens, we may see something special.

 

JH, to his credit, admitted that he panicked after Haiti tied the game and that the players noticed it.  Amazing  he shared that during an interview... takes guts. Hopefully he and the players are past that and are mentally stronger. Even though we were up 2-0  at the half vs Haiti we were not playing well. There was no change at the half and no tactical adjustment after they started to target Godinho with long diagonal passes to his area. If there is   concern it's whether he has the ability to adjust tactically during the game. He got it right at BMO vs US  and it worked from start to end. The away match the set up was wrong from the start and again no adjustments were made. I want John to succeed..it means we all win but I'm not sure his previous international experience has been an asset with the CMNT tactically.

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55 minutes ago, RS said:

Greg Vanney still has detractors to this very day.

Let's see how he does with the Galaxy this season. He's already brought back one member of the old band (Vazquez) to help him get the winning mojo established.

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39 minutes ago, Kadenge said:

The away match the set up was wrong from the start and again no adjustments were made. I want John to succeed..it means we all win but I'm not sure his previous international experience has been an asset with the CMNT tactically.

Tactically, I completely agree.  In game adjustments is where the league manager has an advantage over the international manager because they are playing week-in and week-out.  They've been in 10x the situations, so they should be better.

The reason I brought up the international experience is because the game-day preparation is different.  The coach that took over with the most hype and the most success prior to joining the CMNT was Frank Yallop.  This board was, for the most part (@nascarguy excluded), overjoyed with the selection as he was just coming off back to back titles with the Earthquakes and MLS coach of the year honours.  However, the team fell flat on its face in WCQ in the following summer in spectacular fashion.

So, that's why I tried to make the distinction between international versus league experience, because I think its important.  But you are right about the lack of in-game adjustment.  The best situation would be to have that on the bench as an assistant.  The best of both worlds.

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31 minutes ago, El Hombre said:

So, that's why I tried to make the distinction between international versus league experience, because I think its important.  But you are right about the lack of in-game adjustment.  The best situation would be to have that on the bench as an assistant.  The best of both worlds.

That's ostensibly Biello's role.

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2 hours ago, Kadenge said:

JH, to his credit, admitted that he panicked after Haiti tied the game and that the players noticed it.  Amazing  he shared that during an interview... takes guts. Hopefully he and the players are past that and are mentally stronger. Even though we were up 2-0  at the half vs Haiti we were not playing well. There was no change at the half and no tactical adjustment after they started to target Godinho with long diagonal passes to his area. If there is   concern it's whether he has the ability to adjust tactically during the game. He got it right at BMO vs US  and it worked from start to end. The away match the set up was wrong from the start and again no adjustments were made. I want John to succeed..it means we all win but I'm not sure his previous international experience has been an asset with the CMNT tactically.

I remember that admission.

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3 hours ago, El Hombre said:

Tactically, I completely agree.  In game adjustments is where the league manager has an advantage over the international manager because they are playing week-in and week-out.  They've been in 10x the situations, so they should be better.

The reason I brought up the international experience is because the game-day preparation is different.  The coach that took over with the most hype and the most success prior to joining the CMNT was Frank Yallop.  This board was, for the most part (@nascarguy excluded), overjoyed with the selection as he was just coming off back to back titles with the Earthquakes and MLS coach of the year honours.  However, the team fell flat on its face in WCQ in the following summer in spectacular fashion.

So, that's why I tried to make the distinction between international versus league experience, because I think its important.  But you are right about the lack of in-game adjustment.  The best situation would be to have that on the bench as an assistant.  The best of both worlds.

Over the years there have been some good, in depth articles comparing/contrasting NT with club managers but one thing that has stood out for me in all of them is the tendency for NT gaffers to stick too long with favourite, out of form guys or players not playing regular first team action at club level, especially in tourney situations where every outcome is crucial in four to five day intervals.  Though I could draw on numerous examples, one germane to this thread was Herdman's persistence to use the out of form and lacking in confidence Sesselmann in central defence after she had not that long before returned from a serious knee injury for the WC 2015.  I don't know the back story there so posters can add to it but it seemed like he was reluctant to go with the depth to partner Buchanan:  perhaps none was truly seen as an upgrade, I don't know.

Edited by BearcatSA
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There was a big dropoff after Sesselman. There was a promising but inexperienced Zurrer and on their last legs in unattached Nault & Moscato.

I agree most national team managers tend to stick with the horses that have delivered for them. But Herdman wasn't that type when he was the managing the women's team. He kept on bringing in teenagers during his tenure.

I believe Herdman thought the Canada women's player pool was weak or at least the women's game had already passed most of the veterans. But you have seen him bring promising young talent to men's camps/tourneys like Okello, Nelson & JMK. So, I think he is very open to new players more than your typical men's national team manager.

 

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7 minutes ago, trc2014 said:


Is this an old interview from Jan?  We talks about putting on the senior team jersey in March - unless they would somehow pull him from the u23 squad mid-group stage?

Maybe he will be at Cayman game?

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1 hour ago, red card said:

There was a big dropoff after Sesselman. There was a promising but inexperienced Zurrer and on their last legs in unattached Nault & Moscato.

IIRC Moscato started the round of 16 match vs the Swiss but Sesselmann returned for the quarter vs England.  I remember a few media commentators were choked (particularly Donnovan Bennett from Sportsnet) but like you, my initial impression was that he didn't feel that he had the horses and it was a case of hoping that Sesselmann would get back her mojo.

A big kudo I would give Herdman and his WNT players at the time was that I didn't hear of any dissidence in the media from members of the squad while Sesselmann was struggling in the early round games, so the collective was on display for the public.  Historically with our MNT, we've had more incidents of public unhappiness with the coach's decisions during the middle of a WCQ campaign.

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On 3/15/2021 at 12:57 PM, BearcatSA said:

I fear that this will be a team of individuals, with some key guys not putting in the work needed while some others will be running around trying to be a hero and compromising the shape and tactical set up.  Heck, I've seen this in even limited pro action from some of the projected starters here.

I just hope they do the job needed and get out of the group:  underpromise and overdeliver.

If i have learned anything about this tournament over the past several years if that we do best when little is expected.   Like the 2012 cycle. There was little fanfare over that squad but they beat the americans in group play only to lay and egg the next game and draw against Cuba. Which meant a knockout stage match versus Mexico instaed of Honduras for a spot at the olympics 

https://web.archive.org/web/20120412140056/http://concacaf.globalsportsmedia.com/page.php?sport=soccer&language_id=us&page=tournament&view=match&match_id=1234089

But that was still pretty good considering what the previous editions accomplished.  Anyways the deck is always stacked against canada in this tournament for a whole host of reason but mainly that there is just two spots up for grabs. 

 

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15 hours ago, Gian-Luca said:

The MLS website agrees, listing Montgomery & Tabla as two of the MLS players with the most to gain from this tourney:

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2021/03/16/mls-players-most-gain-during-olympic-qualifying-greg-seltzer

That's one of the very few Olympic qualifying preview articles I've seen on-line and almost no video previews on youtube of any depth or substance, its' like this tournament is being held in secret and on onesoccer, and that's about it.

it does seem that way Gian -Luca

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