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USA vs Canada - Friday Nov 15th, Orlando FL

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I thing Davies is a very solid LB and can play there for Canada but then he would primarily be a shut down defender and only occasionally venture forward just like the way he does at Bayern. The problem with Canada is that he goes forward too often, tries to do too much and then leaves a weak back line exposed. So either you play him higher up the pitch to benefit from his strengths there with a weaker LB behind him; or you have him play LB but conservatively especially the first 30 mins or so away from home and that gets you another offensive player on the pitch. It’s a tough call but what you don’t do is have him play LB but allow him to bomb forward, play like a winger and lose the ball so that your defence is exposed. 

So people are wrong that he can’t play LB for Canada, he can but he just wasn’t used properly in this regard by Herdman

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8 hours ago, SkuseisLoose said:

I know everyone freaking out but really I think we were just outclassed on the night. I don’t think we need to throw the whole team or even make to many changes. Borjan is still better then Crepeau. I don’t even think he made a mistake tonight and it’s hard to blame him for the goals because are defence fell apart on each one. Eustaqio looked good when he came on and I think Cornelius showed he should be paired with Vitoria. I also think tonight has shown Davies shouldn’t play LB for us and the RB spot is still very much up for grabs.

Borjan couldve done better on the second goal. No need to commit to challenge the player moving away from goal leaving the entire net open for a crossed tap in. 

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After sleeping on this I awoke feeling no better, maybe my expectations were too high against a clearly weakened US side in a bit of crises but this was a major missed opportunity! I still think Herdman got this terribly wrong, that post match interview is cringe worthy, we will be playing nothing but minnows now so he has a chance for more self promotion, I expect we will slip up along the way, at that point do the CSA make a move?

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25 minutes ago, king1010 said:

Borjan couldve done better on the second goal. No need to commit to challenge the player moving away from goal leaving the entire net open for a crossed tap in. 

It's hard to for Borjan to actually try and play keeper when his club team plays in a fixed league and he doesn't actually have to try to play. He mostly just stands around for Red Star in the league games and he's been pretty bad in the CL, as has all of Red Star.

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Was in the stands so I still haven’t watched it with the benefit if replays etc, but it seemed like a totally shared failure last night.  No one covered themselves in glory. Our offence was anemic, our defence was porous, and our mid was largely invisible.  Borjan decided tonight would be a good night to be adventurous and basic marking during both set pieces and open play as lacking.  

Herdman may have gotten the selection wrong but none of our starting 11 were effective.  

 

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We've had two windows to schedule friendlies to widen the defender pool yet Herdman and the CSA haven't done so and as a result guys like Didic and Zator can't get any game time. What a joke. How are we supposed to integrate them, Cordova and others if they can't see the field?

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3 minutes ago, VinceA said:

We've had two windows to schedule friendlies to widen the defender pool yet Herdman and the CSA haven't done so and as a result guys like Didic and Zator can't get any game time. What a joke. How are we supposed to integrate them, Cordova and others if they can't see the field?

And now the March Friendly window is really us trying to play to win to pick up points so would we be willing to try out new guys if the friendlies arent realllly friendlies and more must wins?

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On 11/9/2019 at 11:16 AM, Floortom said:

I think the US has a pretty sizeable taken gap in their favour. Look at the guys in Tier 1 leagues versus us. They’re also not calling in low level CPL talents or part time starters in MLS. If I’m a US soccer fan I’m expecting to beat Canada everytime. They are lacking in true difference makers though - outside of Pulisic and Adams I don’t think they really have any.

 

This bears repeating given all the apoplectic reactions. The US team is MUCH more talented than us. While we call in players from low level leagues (CPL, Norway, etc) and START part-time MLS  (Laryea, Cornelius ) or mediocre MLSers (Piette) their guys are all in Tier 1 leagues or above average MLS players. 
 

The 2-0 result in Toronto was amazing and joyous  but shouldn’t  be expected as a normal outcome. The US should beat us and especially on their home soil. I would have been ecstatic with a draw but for some reason many here were penciling in a win so Ofc the reactions will be angry.

I wasn’t a Herdman fan from the beginning of his tenure but this isn’t on him - it’s just a talent issue.
 

The next step in the next 3-5 years is to consistently be level with Honduras. I think a home and away win-loss with the US puts us on that path.

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58 minutes ago, VinceA said:

It's hard to for Borjan to actually try and play keeper when his club team plays in a fixed league and he doesn't actually have to try to play. He mostly just stands around for Red Star in the league games and he's been pretty bad in the CL, as has all of Red Star.

He was poor, you have zero evidence it’s a fixed league though.

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1 hour ago, dyslexic nam said:

Was in the stands so I still haven’t watched it with the benefit if replays etc, but it seemed like a totally shared failure last night.  No one covered themselves in glory. Our offence was anemic, our defence was porous, and our mid was largely invisible.  Borjan decided tonight would be a good night to be adventurous and basic marking during both set pieces and open play as lacking.  

Herdman may have gotten the selection wrong but none of our starting 11 were effective.  

 

Exactly this. We were poor in every every area of the pitch.

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Been lurking this forum way too long, need to add my 2 (3? 4? 10?) cents on a frustrating night which left me with a lot to think about. Be warned this becomes more and more of a rant, especially the Borjan consipiracy theory part. Tl;dr stuff is in bold.

 

The biggest issue really was Davies in a back 4, and you just have to compare last night to the October game at BMO and Der Klassiker last weekend to see why. When he plays for Canada Davies is our most talented player and needs to get the ball in dangerous spots for him and us to be at our best. In October he dropped back or pressed at times to help in defense but he had essentially free reign to get on the ball and go at the US any chance he got. He was magnificent. When he plays for Bayern he's surrounded by world class players, including world class defenders and his role is a lot simpler. Against Dortmund (and from what I've read to a certain extent in all his Bayern starts) he only occasionally pushed up for attacking support or pressing and his main job was to stay back and neutralize/eliminate his opponents' threat on the right wing, as he did last week taking Sancho and Hakimi out of the game. In short concentrate on 1-vs-1 defending. He was magnificent.

Last night he was tasked with being ready to stop the US attack with limited support from the rest of his defenders (I know they were out of position but cmon going from Alaba and Martinez and a converted CB in Pavard to Vitoria and Henry and a converted midfielder in Laryea is a colossal leap) while also getting on the ball and pushing forward as much as possible; in short DAVIES WAS ASKED TO DO EVERYTHING, WHICH IS AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK. Herdman's post-match Davies-is-our-best-LB quote is terrifying - this match should be proof beyond doubt that Davies has to play in attack for us. There will be rare situations where having him at LWB or LB with a much more defensive RB could work, but an away game in the US isn't one of them. That said Davies made a lot of poor decisions, especially the totally unnecessary giveaway before the first goal plus the juggling back pass (more on that later) and was partially to blame for at least two of the goals, if not all of them due to his positioning.

 

This brings me to the rest of the back 4. The U.S. is still the second-best team in Concacaf on talent and when they're at home they tend to play like it. Why did we have two attacking fullbacks leaving only Vitoria/Henry/Piette back to put out fires? Cornelius should have started, not necessarily because he's better than Vitoria or Henry, but for continuity. A lot have mentioned the Vitoria-Cornelius partnership but that was really only one game. Henry-Cornelius was a partnership we saw throughout the Gold Cup and at times with the Caps. Either of those would have been better than Henry-Vitoria, which I don't think we've ever seen for Canada, at least not recently and they never looked comfortable playing together. Vitoria went from worst player in the first half to solid in the second which may have had something to do with the forced Henry-Cornelius switch.

And yes, I'm not big on Henry but I thought Vitoria was a culprit on all three goals. First one everyone especially David was asleep but Henry at least did his job and closed down the ball, Vitoria and Davies just stood there and let Morris run free. Second one was an awful attempt at a header, though to be fair to him he was off-balance partly due to his position; Henry could have maybe stayed with Zardes' run better but he was kind of let out to dry by his GK and CB partner there. Third goal both CB's were equally at fault imho - marking the same area and neither of them dealt with it - and again overall poor set piece defending which reflects badly on all the players and especially on the coaching staff. Vitoria was rewarded for a much better second half with a goal.

 

Now let's look at our GK, who is always, ALWAYS guaranteed to lose his mind at least once every game. Borjan often isn't punished but today he had two brainfarts and paid for both. For the second goal from what I saw it was a bad decision but I could see the logic behind it. He started coming out when he didn't need to, realized exactly that, and then thought he was at a point where he had to commit, so he went all out to close Morris down. I may be harsh but I have more of an issue with his role, including almost being sent off, in the Davies back-pass - and to be clear this is all an educated guess since the only thing we know for sure is it was Davies who passed it back illegally, something he has to take responsibility for as well. I'd need to wait for the replay to be available to try to read Milan's lips and which I don't really want to do after spending so much time writing this post. But I don't think that back-pass happens without Borjan being in Davies' ear to give it back to him. (monday edit: based on this clip https://www.clippituser.tv/c/genmea Borjan doesn't actually seem to say anything so take everything I said here with a barrel of salt) If Borjan says that then it's tough for an outfield player with the ball so close to goal to go against his keeper's word, so I can see why Davies makes the one second decision to play it back. After the call Davies seems to kind of accept it but Borjan goes absolutely mad. He reacted like someone who had no idea what the rule was, gave his defender bad instructions, and lashed out as a defense mechanism to knowing he'd done something wrong. This isn't the first time he's reacted like this either - see Haiti's first goal in the gold cup where him and Godinho both screwed around but which ended with Godinho getting verbally lacerated by Borjan. And look I used to play keeper and I think GK's should be expected to lead and even yell at their defenders, especially someone with Borjan's relative experience. But Borjan is, and I swear this is largely a compliment to him, like a poor man's Barthez in a way - capable of standing on his head and saving us on his day but regularly prone to huge gaffes. At his age, he's also likely to have just started declining. Crepeau needs at least a look in 2020 because on current trajectory I think either he or Carducci could replace Borjan as our #1 as early as 2021.

 

The keeper and back four, especially Davies, were kind of the main difference. We weren't lacking effort and we actually won a lot of 50/50s in the first half, but we made too many mistakes defending and the Americans finished well. Credit to the USA for a very professional win and credit to Berhalter (!) for a good tactical setup. I thought Piette was excellent again in the first half winning almost everything and actually being solid on the ball, but he faded in the second and him and Cornelius and Davies were at fault for the fourth goal. Our attacking players were increasingly poor as the game went on and the Americans dropped back - Davies and Osorio each went on a jinking run in the box late in the game but had nowhere to go and no movement to give them options. Hoilett added some guile which sparked us for a few minutes and got us a goal but this was also a really poor attacking performance. 

 

A final point - Herdman's subs. He clearly got the original gameplan wrong but should have corrected it at half time. I would have replaced Cavallini (who was lucky he wasn't sent off tbh and who had the worst game I've seen him play) for one of Cornelius/Miller/Adekugbe to play LB and push Davies up. I might even have considered swapping one of our midfielders for Hoilett since the Americans were countering our box midfield pretty well. And that would have still left a second of the defensive sub trio I just mentioned to replace an injured Henry. Instead for a reason I still can't for the life of me accept Herdman made the Kaye for Eustaquio sub.

Let's start with Kaye - he's the best player on our roster at hitting through-balls and a huge defensive presence. I get he may not have been 100% and probably wasn't expected to play the whole game but he was one of our better players last night and created a few threatening looks in the first half. For what it's worth, he didn't look gassed or unfit in the second half - I reckon he could have played the full 90 if he had to. But I'm an observer and the coaching staff should know better so fair enough if I'm wrong.

Now Eustaquio - he was good last night. Don't remember him putting a foot wrong. I'm glad he's beyond doubt a part of the program now and think he's got a great future. But he really shouldn't have played, even if he was at or near full match fitness. His sub didn't change the fundamental problem which was that we played a back four with two wing-backs for an entire away game. I can't find for sure if he ever filed a one-time switch, but he's played for Portugal's U21s so I think he did and in all likelihood is already cap-tied. But even if he wasn't this is a player who from everything he's said is committed to Canada and more importantly doesn't have a clear path back into the Portuguese NT in the near future. He's barely played in a year. From a Portuguese standpoint he's just been banished from a team in another league, nay, in another continent. He would have to find a club at a high enough level and preferably closer to home (let's face it, Liga MX is a high level, but due to familiarity bias Europeans likely wouldn't see it as being as good as similar European leagues - like the Portuguese league) and become a starter or at least important contributor there. Our next official game will almost certainly be in September for the non-hex WCQ, unless the US somehoe outdo the T&T performance and fail to beat Cuba. Portugal are one of the top 10 or so NT's in the world - I think it's extremely unlikely Eustaquio would work his way up to being on their radar, and even then it's not a guarantee he would be interested...and even then, I'm pretty sure he's been cap-tied to us for months anyway.

Just poor setup and game management by Herdman. He deserves a lot of credit for the win against the USA - one of, if not the best performance from the MNT this century - but also deserves scutiny for last night and for Haiti. But it's nowhere near all on him - our players have been really inconsistent in their performances over the last year and that's not a huge surprise given their age.

 

I'll end it with this quote which I think sums everything up.

On 11/16/2019 at 2:32 PM, dyslexic nam said:

Herdman may have gotten the selection wrong but none of our starting 11 were effective.  

 

Thanks for coming to my TED-Talk everyone

Edited by DavemTFC
formatting/spelling

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Having Crepeau in net wasn’t going to change tonight’s result; we would’ve probably lost by more. Borjan is probably one of ours, if not our best all time goalkeeper and he has saved us time and time again so I don’t why people are getting all reactionary over one game. Also I would like him to move leagues because red star is the only team with tons of money in their  league so they dominate every year. I think he could make a decent goalie in many stronger European leagues but on weaker teams.

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2 hours ago, gator said:

that post match interview is cringe worthy, we will be playing nothing but minnows now so he has a chance for more self promotion,

You've misrepresented what he said. What he said was, "When the system changed we went through a deep analysis on different scenarios...but you play against France, you beat France in France, you get 8 points. That's the reality with these windows. You have be strategic.

 

'The big question is who wants to play Canada in that (March) window?"

 

You're free to not like Herdman but what he said is not untrue. I did the math. We would indeed only pick up 8 points if we were to beat France and they're #2 in the world. It's not like that calibre of team would even want to schedule us either. It doesn't matter who we schedule, we're not going to be picking up a lot of points.

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2 hours ago, king1010 said:

And now the March Friendly window is really us trying to play to win to pick up points so would we be willing to try out new guys if the friendlies arent realllly friendlies and more must wins?

Spot on.  These friendlies are going to be must win, so it's going to be difficult to experiment with players at this point.

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38 minutes ago, DavemTFC said:

Been lurking this forum way too long, need to add my 2 (3? 4? 10?) cents on a frustrating night which left me with a lot to think about. Be warned this becomes more and more of a rant, especially the Borjan consipiracy theory part. Tl;dr stuff is in bold.

 

I got to say that this is a pretty spot on analysis of the game that I watched and an excellent breakdown of the goals as well. 👏

Edited by Corazon

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My two cents on the Davies at LB situation.  I actually thought that having one of our natural LB's start (Miller or Adekugbe) and having Davies in front of that defender would have been more beneficial and a more defensive formation.  It would allow Davies to be more free in attack (which was the only positive of his game last night).  But given his defensive training and responsibilities at Bayern, he would have been able to help our LB defensively throughout the game without leaving Davies the burden of doing both attack and defend on his own.

As everyone has stated as well, this is not Bayern Munich and the team around Davies cannot pick up the slack for him when he attacks.  Davies also would have had a much better defensive game likely if he was more conservative but he was clearly caught out attacking far too often.

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17 minutes ago, adrenaline11 said:

You've misrepresented what he said. What he said was, "When the system changed we went through a deep analysis on different scenarios...but you play against France, you beat France in France, you get 8 points. That's the reality with these windows. You have be strategic.

 

'The big question is who wants to play Canada in that (March) window?"

 

You're free to not like Herdman but what he said is not untrue. I did the math. We would indeed only pick up 8 points if we were to beat France and they're #2 in the world. It's not like that calibre of team would even want to schedule us either. It doesn't matter who we schedule, we're not going to be picking up a lot of points.

 

 

I mentioned this in another thread.  The best way to do this is through a rather ethically questionable route of playing crap teams a ton of times.  For example, invite Tahiti or an overrated Caribbean minnow to Vancouver in January.  Using a squad of offseason CPL/MLS players you could play that opponent again and again and again and again every single day for a few weeks until you've racked up a ton of points.  Even if each win is only worth 1 or 2 points due to the low multiplier(see below) , it adds up if you just do it by volume of games.  Of course, the CSA won't have the balls to do this but the fact remains that the rankings can be gamed using this method.  

 

image.png.0c041d8312c508546f5c44a984ff989d.png

Edited by CanadianSoccerFan

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3 minutes ago, CanadianSoccerFan said:

 

 

 

I mentioned this in another thread.  The best way to do this is through a rather ethically questionable route of playing crap teams a ton of times.  For example, invite Tahiti or an overrated Caribbean minnow to Vancouver in January.  Using a squad of offseason CPL/MLS players you could play that opponent again and again and again and again every single day for a few weeks until you've racked up a ton of points.  Even if each win is only worth 1 or 2 points due to the low multiplier(see below) , it adds up if you just do it by volume of games.  Of course, the CSA won't have the balls to do this but the fact remains that the rankings can be gamed using this method.  

 

image.png.0c041d8312c508546f5c44a984ff989d.png

I remember you mentioned this and it really piqued my interest. Think there are some problems with this idea :

1. Would essentially troll our way to the hex and not exactly cover ourselves in glory.
2. I think the cost would be prohibitive too.

3. Would be difficult to get payers released I think. 

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I don’t think a lack of talent is our issue. It is a lack of big game experience. We can talk about the tactical flaws all we want, but it was our individual errors and inability to control our emotions which stand out the most. Good response in the second half, but once again the panic got the best of us.

We have the talent, but we need more big games like this. The collective experience in big games is where the gulf is between us and the USA, not talent. They have played in the WC and Hex and gone deep in Gold Cups and have won them, we haven’t. There is no substitute for that.

It would have been nice to crush the confidence of the US and possibly do some irrevocable damage to their psyche. I am annoyed we let them off the hook. But this is about us, not them. We miss a chance at more high stake games now and put the Hex in real jeopardy.

If we do manage to find a way there, I hope this nations League and Gold Cup were enough prep. It does not feel like enough prep though. Maybe we are better off going the minnow route because if we have a poor start in the Hex due to our naivety, it could be over after 2 games. We saw last cycle how the USA could not recover from their poor start and I don’t know if we are mature enough to compete in the Hex starting this fall.

It wouldn’t be the worse thing in the world to beat up on some small islands this fall. We can slowely bring in some fringe cpl guys in the process. Then we can grow into these two-legged do-or-die fixtures with a Guatemala, then a T&T, then a Panama, each one more challenging than the next. There is no margin for error, but if we can get through these games we gain the experience we are lacking right now and they are match ups we should win based on talent, even with our lack of experience. In the Hex we may have the talent to compete, but we may lose games because of inexperience.

So whether we make the Hex or not, I will try not to be too concerned. The Hex was never a golden ticket, we must remember. For our talented, yet inexperienced group, the Hex may be a trap. We should pull out all the stops to get there, but if we fail we fail and our journey and dream continues.

Edited by Obinna

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12 minutes ago, Floortom said:

I remember you mentioned this and it really piqued my interest. Think there are some problems with this idea :

1. Would essentially troll our way to the hex and not exactly cover ourselves in glory.
2. I think the cost would be prohibitive too.

3. Would be difficult to get payers released I think. 

1) This is a mess of CONCACAF's own making with the asinine format.  This would teach them a hard lesson.  We need to stop being so damn Canadian and start being ruthless bastards. 

2) True.  Probably not cheap.  

3) We don't need the euro players released for this.  If it's January then all the MLS/CPL guys are available.   

Edited by CanadianSoccerFan

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11 minutes ago, Floortom said:

I remember you mentioned this and it really piqued my interest. Think there are some problems with this idea :

1. Would essentially troll our way to the hex and not exactly cover ourselves in glory.
2. I think the cost would be prohibitive too.

3. Would be difficult to get payers released I think. 

The costs would be insane. But one inexpensive game would be to play the US in their Jan camp. Problem is I don't love our chances against the US without our European players.

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1 hour ago, DavemTFC said:

Thanks for coming to my TED-Talk everyone

Thank you for this well-thought out, well written post... you said it a lot better than I tried.  Hopefully we get more post-game / overall analysis and thoughts from you after by some miracle we qualify for the Hex.

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Herdman said adekugbe played 2 of the last 6..wrong because he started 2 of the last 6..also subbed in 3 of them..but still davies played much more minutes then him in oct and nov..herdman didnt talk about minutes since the gold cup but the last 6 games

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