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


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4 minutes ago, toontownman said:

Wow. Yanks commentating? Without bias. 

"Honduras with a picture perfect tackle..apparently."

I liked the "their livelihoods are literally dependent on this" line from the colour man. Yes, no doubt MLS will cut all of the US players from their club and ban them from ever playing professional soccer ever again.

 

I suppose if we get depressed during our S-F match we can enjoy reading the Taylor Twellman twitter meltdown that is no doubt about to ensue.

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26 minutes ago, ghostknownunknown said:

Teams did it pretty often against Barca in the Ronaldinho days. 

Right. After Ronaldinho scored an amazing free kick under the wall against Werder Bremen, a lot of teams tried different tactics. Mostly it was not jumping, and it is true: a lot of walls no longer jump, as that creates a problem for the keeper.

Nowadays, in La Liga, almost every Messi free kick is defended that way, with a player lying behind the wall, so they can jump and get the edge defensively.

I was sitting in 2nd tier behind the goal.

 

Edited by Unnamed Trialist
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3 minutes ago, Floortom said:

This is a silly take though because almost all of those U23 (Pulisic, musah, Reyna , dest etc) would have never been released for the Olympic tourney just as Phonzie, JD for us 

He’s a clown but omg what an upset I am thrilled they were convinced they were going.

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9 minutes ago, Floortom said:

This is a silly take though because almost all of those U23 (Pulisic, musah, Reyna , dest etc) would have never been released for the Olympic tourney just as Phonzie, JD for us 

You’re probably right, but there’d still a meltdown on this board anyways.

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1 hour ago, Gian-Luca said:

Well, one thing I can't help but think about is that it was pretty much unanimous among US soccer pundits and fans (that I saw) that it didn't matter to the US who they played in the semi-final round, Honduras or Canada, because they fully believed that the US would smoke/destroy/annihilate either team. That has proven not to be the case so far against Honduras at least.

I never saw destroy , annihilate or smoke yes the US was heavy favourites but let’s not exaggerate what American soccer pundits were saying yes most American soccer pundits felt the US would win but annihilate ? Anyways Honduras was the better and smarter team and looked more technical and better tactically. This is the second time in a row that Honduras beats the US at the  Olympic Qualifying in the semis . Honduras deserved the win and were the better team . Moreover, this should be a wake up call to even the teams that make it to the final 8 of World Cup qualifying and to Canada if they make it . Honduras is still one of the favourites to make it to the World Cup , I know we want to think that we are one of the top three nations in CONCACAF but we can’t think that we have overtaken a country like Honduras just based on where a lot of our players play compared to them. I know it’s Olympic qualifying and not World Cup Qualifying but still Honduras showed me today that they have a lot of talent to pick from and have a lot of good young talent . As we have seen today they are a country that should never be taken lightly.

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So someone correct me if I'm wrong... but from my understanding FIFA decided to postpone the Canada vs Cayman Islands game due to the Cayman Islands not being able to provide the COVID test results for their team in time... yet CONCACAF forced Haiti to field a depleted squad due to a similar situation? Always though COCACAF was a joke, but this just reeks of incompetence/lack of common sense.

Edited by LeoH037
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1 minute ago, LeoH037 said:

So someone correct me if I'm wrong... but from my understanding FIFA decided to postpone the Canada vs Cayman Islands game due to the Cayman Islands not being able to provide the COVID test results for their team in time... yet CONCACAF forced Haiti to field a depleted squad due to a similar situation? Always though COCACAF was a joke, but this just reeks of incompetence/lack of common sense.

Yup makes no sense CONCACAF is a joke and FIFA is right there behind them!

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1 minute ago, SoccMan said:

I never saw destroy , annihilate or smoke yes the US was heavy favourites but let’s not exaggerate what American soccer pundits were saying yes most American soccer pundits felt the US would win but annihilate ?

Everywhere I looked they kept saying that it didn't matter whether they would play Honduras or Canada because they were clearly better than either team, which implies annihilation/destruction/smoking them whatever adjective one cares to use. Even the guys in the MLS Extra time podcast (who I often agree with, who's opinions I respect - hence why I take the time to listen to them - and who are very Canada-friendly), even they said that Honduras & Canada were well below what the US had already faced (and defeated) in the form of Costa Rica. Yes, they didn't say they would beat either team 7-0 (if that's what you think I meant by those adjectives), but the implication overall was clear - that they had nothing to fear from either team. That's the gist of what the received wisdom coming out of the US was, which now looks like overconfidence in the extreme.

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Central American teams seem to be able go up another level in intensity, skill & shithousery when the match is on the line. The managers also seem to make the right tweaks and player selection changes.

Yet, US commentators and fans never seem to factor this in. Edge could be because Central Americans are absorbing futbol culture from the day they're born. Since this doesn't happen in the US, it becomes a blindspot.

US youth teams also tend to look good in friendlies and show flashes in group stages but rarely step up when it matters. US commentators and fans also discount the success of teams like Honduras - 4th place in last Olympics and now in 5/6 past Olympics. 

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Mish mash of thoughts on the conversation since I just got caught up.

I'm not sure who I like to see lose more, USA or Honduras, but those are my top 2 in the world I am pretty sure (though I do enjoy Italy getting beat too).

I didn't read USA pundit/fan thoughts, but to be fair it maybe didn't matter which of us or Honduras they faced because Canada and Honduras were similar quality. If they thought it would be easy either way, obviously they were wrong about that.

I've seen teams have a player lying down behind the wall before Godinho did it this tournament. Not often, but I have seen it. My favourite tactic was in a preseason game in 2018 for TFC against a Mexican team (might have been Tigres, but I'm not sure). They had about 4 people in the wall, then two people on the near post to make a secondary wall, a defender on the far post as well, and an 8th guy further back than the wall, but not on the goalline, kind of in the middle of the net. There was a goalie in there somewhere too. And Giovinco still scored!!! (I think over the heads of the two guys on the near post).

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For the USYNT, the problem was that they didn't choose any skill or offensive ability. The top rank U24 skill players are on the full NT. They loaded up on veteran MLSers who all seemed to be defensive midfielders. Compared to the last Olympic team, these players are already more successful than the last 7 or 8 guys will ever be in soccer (Where have you gone, WIll Packwood and Charlie Horton?). But they doesn't have a Steffen or a Morris or a Miazga, except for maybe Araujo, who is young.

 

Since people here think I can be cruel to Canadian players ..... during one of the USYNT games, I posted: 

See the best future MLS defensive midfielders! All at the same time !   

Edited by One American
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In the end where we thought we would end up. Our soft centre was the achilles heel from the moment the squad was announced. 

Next cycle we likely won't class with world cup qualifying and will have more talent expendable from the full mens team. I still think we could and should have put a few more of the full mens U23 players in this team. Maybe we couldn't gamble that European leagues would let as many players come out as they did but St. Clair, Corbeanu, Miller and Millar would have been difference makers, maybe even Sturing who is still an unknown. As of course would have been the TFC players, maybe even Ayo. 

As it is and was this became a great depth experience tournament. Man I loved that Farsi got minutes. 

I really hope we can start putting more importance into this, especially given its timing, will be a great chance to get exposure on Canada Soccer two years ahead of hosting.

  • James Pantemis:  B-        
    On the whole some fantastic goalkeeping but cost us the lead against Honduras and condemned us tonight. A learning experience.
  •  Zorhan Bassong: C
    Maybe biased here as I like Zorhan, got caught out a bit too much defensively but linked up well with Tabla in the tournament. I am looking forward to what he can do with Montreal.
  • Zachary Brault-Guillard C-
    One of a core of leaders in terms of experience. A victim of lack of fitness and game time maybe but he didn't make an impact when we needed him to. 
  • Derek Cornelius: A
    Stock definitely up, clearly a level higher than most. Gutted he missed the Mexico game.
  • Marcus Godinho: B+
    Not many lauded his inclusion in the squad but he earned it this tournament. Great going forward and was always stuck in. Big plus for him and us.
  • Mo Farsi: N/A
    Didn't really make an impact as a sub but didn't get a ton of minutes either.
  • Diyaeddine Abzi: N/A
    Same as Farsi but even less minutes
  • Callum Montgomery: C+
    Real shame he got injured in the first game, he looked good against Mexico. Hope this season is a breakthrough one for him.
  • Michael Baldisimo: B
    A bit of a mixed bag of performances in maybe not his best utilized position. Thought he was excellent against Mexico and showed lots of improvement in the areas of his game people have been critical of
  • Aidan Daniels: C
    Another less than popular inclusion but he battled well, just didn't have enough to make a huge impact to our offensive play.
  • Lucas Dias: B
    Showed flashes of why he is highly rated. Hope this isn't the last we see of him in a Canada shirt.
  • Patrick Metcalfe: B
    Stepped up, battled and put in some fantastic performances. Hugely encouraging tournament from a player we thought would quickly become an afterthought at the caps. Maybe he can break through after all.
  • David Norman: B+
    He isn't beating many for pace is he, but did so admirably filling in at CB. Composed and physically dominant at times. Going to be a big year for him at Cavalry. They might have got an absolute steal.
  • Ryan Raposo: D
    I am yet to see much from Raposo at club level or international, maybe harsh there. Some quick feet and graft but not enough to impact a game on any level. 
  • Theo Bair: D
    How to solve a problem like Theo? Don't include him. Harsh indeed but he and his coaches need to work out what to do with him. It is like the Caps have done a Teibert to him by playing him out wide, now he is useless in both positions. The talent is there but he didn't show or impact during this tournament. Huge disappointment for me. I rate him. I just don't know why. 
  • Charles-Andreas Brym: D
    Similar to Bair, Brym was just a real disappointment. Didn't look like the player that suited up for Canada just over a year ago. Skill is there decision making is not. He needs consistent minutes and he isn't getting it at club level. Hope it works out for him. 
  • Tajon Buchanan: A
    One of the few that can clearly step straight up into the full squad. Excited for his future.
  • Ballou Tabla: C-
    Well the upside here is that he got minutes, at times he showed glimpses of the old Montreal Impact Ballou. He needs minutes and a manager to pump his tires. More urgency, hunger and desire which were all too lacking need to return too.

Mauro Biello :   C-

           I like Biello and he made lots of good decisions under very tough circumstances. His substitutions were inconsistent and bemusing at times and his tactics like playing out of the back and not going for the win vs Honduras in the final 20 really put us out of the tournament. I don't think many would have done a whole lot better with a very watered down U23 side. He could have though.

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6 hours ago, toontownman said:

In the end where we thought we would end up. Our soft centre was the achilles heel from the moment the squad was announced. 

Next cycle we likely won't class with world cup qualifying and will have more talent expendable from the full mens team. I still think we could and should have put a few more of the full mens U23 players in this team. Maybe we couldn't gamble that European leagues would let as many players come out as they did but St. Clair, Corbeanu, Miller and Millar would have been difference makers, maybe even Sturing who is still an unknown. As of course would have been the TFC players, maybe even Ayo. 

As it is and was this became a great depth experience tournament. Man I loved that Farsi got minutes. 

I really hope we can start putting more importance into this, especially given its timing, will be a great chance to get exposure on Canada Soccer two years ahead of hosting.

  • James Pantemis:  B-        
    On the whole some fantastic goalkeeping but cost us the lead against Honduras and condemned us tonight. A learning experience.
  •  Zorhan Bassong: C
    Maybe biased here as I like Zorhan, got caught out a bit too much defensively but linked up well with Tabla in the tournament. I am looking forward to what he can do with Montreal.
  • Zachary Brault-Guillard C-
    One of a core of leaders in terms of experience. A victim of lack of fitness and game time maybe but he didn't make an impact when we needed him to. 
  • Derek Cornelius: A
    Stock definitely up, clearly a level higher than most. Gutted he missed the Mexico game.
  • Marcus Godinho: B+
    Not many lauded his inclusion in the squad but he earned it this tournament. Great going forward and was always stuck in. Big plus for him and us.
  • Mo Farsi: N/A
    Didn't really make an impact as a sub but didn't get a ton of minutes either.
  • Diyaeddine Abzi: N/A
    Same as Farsi but even less minutes
  • Callum Montgomery: C+
    Real shame he got injured in the first game, he looked good against Mexico. Hope this season is a breakthrough one for him.
  • Michael Baldisimo: B
    A bit of a mixed bag of performances in maybe not his best utilized position. Thought he was excellent against Mexico and showed lots of improvement in the areas of his game people have been critical of
  • Aidan Daniels: C
    Another less than popular inclusion but he battled well, just didn't have enough to make a huge impact to our offensive play.
  • Lucas Dias: B
    Showed flashes of why he is highly rated. Hope this isn't the last we see of him in a Canada shirt.
  • Patrick Metcalfe: B
    Stepped up, battled and put in some fantastic performances. Hugely encouraging tournament from a player we thought would quickly become an afterthought at the caps. Maybe he can break through after all.
  • David Norman: B+
    He isn't beating many for pace is he, but did so admirably filling in at CB. Composed and physically dominant at times. Going to be a big year for him at Cavalry. They might have got an absolute steal.
  • Ryan Raposo: D
    I am yet to see much from Raposo at club level or international, maybe harsh there. Some quick feet and graft but not enough to impact a game on any level. 
  • Theo Bair: D
    How to solve a problem like Theo? Don't include him. Harsh indeed but he and his coaches need to work out what to do with him. It is like the Caps have done a Teibert to him by playing him out wide, now he is useless in both positions. The talent is there but he didn't show or impact during this tournament. Huge disappointment for me. I rate him. I just don't know why. 
  • Charles-Andreas Brym: D
    Similar to Bair, Brym was just a real disappointment. Didn't look like the player that suited up for Canada just over a year ago. Skill is there decision making is not. He needs consistent minutes and he isn't getting it at club level. Hope it works out for him. 
  • Tajon Buchanan: A
    One of the few that can clearly step straight up into the full squad. Excited for his future.
  • Ballou Tabla: C-
    Well the upside here is that he got minutes, at times he showed glimpses of the old Montreal Impact Ballou. He needs minutes and a manager to pump his tires. More urgency, hunger and desire which were all too lacking need to return too.

Mauro Biello :   C-

           I like Biello and he made lots of good decisions under very tough circumstances. His substitutions were inconsistent and bemusing at times and his tactics like playing out of the back and not going for the win vs Honduras in the final 20 really put us out of the tournament. I don't think many would have done a whole lot better with a very watered down U23 side. He could have though.

Agree on most things except Tabla.  For me he was fairly effective when he was on.  It seemed like he was subbed off too early and I think we could have used him from the start against Mexico. For a guy that was basically exiled from the Impact last year, his play in this tournament seemed like the first step on the tea of to redemption.  I would have him at a B or B-   

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26 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

Agree on most things except Tabla.  For me he was fairly effective when he was on.  It seemed like he was subbed off too early and I think we could have used him from the start against Mexico. For a guy that was basically exiled from the Impact last year, his play in this tournament seemed like the first step on the tea of to redemption.  I would have him at a B or B-   

I agree that Tabla was fairly effective when he was on the field.  However, he was also one of the most experienced and highly touted players on the squad. He should have been (or I hoped he would be) one of the most influential players going forward, like Buchanon.  For that reason, I would give him a rating in the C range, rather than in the B range.

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This tourney didn’t change much in my mind. Pre tournament I only rated the following three players (in order) as being able to regularly contribute to the Senior team 1) Tajon 2) Cornelius 3) ZBG. I didn’t have an opinion of Dias as I had never seen him but he looked skilled too. The rest I didn’t really rate and they performed as expected with the following exceptions:

1. Godinho - he was quite solid defensively and going forward. Not sure if he can make it to the next level. I would be interested to hear how he’s rated at his club and whether he can make a push to move up a level.

2. Baldisimo - played worse than I expected. I saw plenty of him last season and he showed a very good and distinct skill that didn’t come through during this tourney. There could be many reasons for that but hopefully he proves himself in the upcoming season.

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