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Canada vs Iceland - Jan 15th (Camp Poutine Match #3)

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The main takeaway is clearly the lack of dynamic attackers on the field.  I have little doubt that Borges would have shown more and I'm really disappointed in his lack of chances.  Why is Jayden Nelson getting a run out?  Let's be honest, I know people want to praise him because he's young but he's clearly not at this level yet.  He's barely even played in the US 3rd division.  When Davies was playing at that age it was because he belonged.

Adekugbe was really poor.  It's now clear why we've avoided him like the plague for other options at LB.

Didic I cannot understand the hype for the life of me.  He wasn't even a top 5 Canadian CB in CPL last year and he's sloppy.  Now suddenly at 25 we're all pretending like he's some young prospect that is going to break into MLS... it's not happening.

Good news is that the guys who I would expect to actually feature looked pretty good (Osorio, Piette).  

Edited by CanadaFan123

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2 minutes ago, CanadaFan123 said:

The main takeaway is clearly the lack of dynamic attackers on the field.  I have little doubt that Borges would have shown more and I'm really disappointed in his lack of chances.  Why is Jayden Nelson getting a run out?  Let's be honest, I know people want to praise him because he's young but he's clearly not at this level yet.  He's barely even played in the US 3rd division.  When Davies was playing at that age it was because he belonged.

Although he may not have the experience I don't think Nelson looked out of place.

The only logical answer is that Borges picked up a knock in training.

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Nelson looked better than I expected to be fair.

with Ricketts and Tesho up front it was going to be tough sledding against a well organized side. We had two very good chances (tesho and Miller) and blew them. Had to put at least one of those away.

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Still pissed off. We were out coach again when it mattered. 
 

the lose to Haiti put us in this hole, this lose was the nail in the coffin. It’s a big fuken deal, we now go on to play minnows for the foreseeable future instead of competitive match’s against the best in our region. Making the Hex would have been massive for the program and players alike 

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28 minutes ago, hamiltonfan said:

Still pissed off. We were out coach again when it mattered.

How did we get out coached? I honestly didn't see anything in the Iceland tactics that made me think they were better tactically. We got beat on lax defending and a Crepeau screw up.

I also blame the players for not listening and implementing. We seemingly had a good plan that worked at times, with long spells of possession in their zone but didn't seem to have the offensive weapons to create chances or willingness to take chances. You could here JH screaming at the wing backs to get forward and take space, Miller and Adekugbe didn't on many occasions. You could hear him screaming at the forwards to press, Ricketts did but I found Akindele didn't always. You could hear him screaming at the midfield to take shots, Piette did, Osorio didn't always, Fraser didn't.

There was also a couple iffy offside calls that I'd like a second look at. The near side assistant was overruled by the referee on numerous throw in directions yet both his offside calls that either pulled back a goal or glorious chance stood and seemed very close.

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On 1/8/2020 at 6:48 PM, Big_M said:

Crepeau should not be anywhere near number 1 for national team..even in vancouver if they go with him as no1 this year they will have trouble in goal..seen too many weaknesses from him to really believe he would be a strong no1 at mls level

When a comment like this is made its based on analysis and watching many of his games as commented below but unfortunately seems like there is not a will to understand but simply a will to rate a player highly no matter what..in this series of 3 games again he is very weak on crosses and gives 2 goals on them

On 5/11/2019 at 12:34 PM, Big_M said:

Coaching staff really needs to make crepeau understand he doesnt have to go get every cross even when its too far and better to stay in goal..thats really his big weakness right now..trying to hard to be out there and get everything and sometimes even leaving the near post too open

 

On 3/31/2019 at 12:08 AM, Big_M said:

Good defensive game plan and execution to finally get a first point..big game from henry hilarious celebrating like he won it..crepeau way off on a couple crosses needs better judgment..in-beom not a great start to the season needs to be better

 

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Tactics wise I don’t think Herdman was out coached but the team didn’t really look dangerous too me. I feel like herdman gets lost in the game and doesn’t manage the game like with his subs. He made 4 subs when he could have made 6. He’s subs were very late in the game. Again this was a must win/draw game in my book and it seems like they took it  as a tune up camp for u23/young players. Iceland was a decent team, was our best XL out there ? Answer is no it wasn’t and I have an issue with that. I feel like herdman is just inexperienced and messes around in key moments and games. Mexico, Haiti , 2nd USA game and in my opinion this game. There is no excuse why we’re not in the hex, we are too talented to be out, this falls on Herdman but again nothing will get done. The CSA loves to throw out 12-4 record. But we all know we played against minnows and the USA. 

Edited by SpecialK

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Wow. People are still talking about Didic and Nelsen. Who knew they would be such polarizing figures...

I had an open mind about Nelsen and Didic (less so about Didic) and walk away impressed by both. Call me an optimist, but I think both of these guys did pretty good with the chances they had. The arguments against both seem to revolve around club play or level, but judging them solely on their play at this specific camp, I would say both did well and we all should be happy about that.

The other thing I want to say is regarding Borges. I like Borges and really hoped he got more of a shot this camp. I am disappointed he didn't. That said, Nelsen played just as well as Borges and had a similar impact in Barbados game 2. If Herdman decided to give more minutes to Nelsen thereafter the logical thing would be that coach rates him higher. Why assume Borges is injured, because we expect our CPL star to out perform a 17 year old TFC II player? Borges is great and has a great future (I believe), but I think the Borges hype train pumped up by the CPL is colouring some of the anti Nelsen comments...

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4 minutes ago, SpecialK said:

Tactics wise I don’t think Herdman was out coached but the team didn’t really look dangerous too me. I feel like herdman gets lost in the game and doesn’t manage the game like with his subs. He made 4 subs when he could have made 6. He’s subs were very late in the game. Again this was a must win/draw game in my book and it seems like they took it  as a tune up camp for u23/young players. Iceland was a decent team, was our best XL out there ? Answer is no it wasn’t and I have an issue with that. I feel like herdman is just inexperienced and messes around in key moments and games. Mexico, Haiti , 2nd USA game and in my opinion this game. There is no excuse why we’re not in the hex, we are too talented to be out, this falls on Herdman but again nothing will get done. The CSA loves to throw out 12-4 record. But we all know we played against minnows and the USA. 

Who else should he have called?

Seemed like he called the best players available, no?

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2 hours ago, CanadaFan123 said:

Why is Jayden Nelson getting a run out?  Let's be honest, I know people want to praise him because he's young but he's clearly not at this level yet. 

Okay, I will bite.

Honesty time: I am praising Nelsen for his play. I don't care how old or young he is.

FYI...this camp was the first time I watched him play a match. I never watched any of the U17 or TFC II stuff...

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11 minutes ago, Obinna said:

The other thing I want to say is regarding Borges. I like Borges and really hoped he got more of a shot this camp. I am disappointed he didn't. That said, Nelsen played just as well as Borges and had a similar impact in Barbados game 2. If Herdman decided to give more minutes to Nelsen thereafter the logical thing would be that coach rates him higher. Why assume Borges is injured, because we expect our CPL star to out perform a 17 year old TFC II player? Borges is great and has a great future (I believe), but I think the Borges hype train pumped up by the CPL is colouring some of the anti Nelsen comments...

I agree.  I am a big Borges fan but clearly if Nelson was selected for all 3 games and Borges only once then perhaps in the two weeks of training Nelson showed more than Borges and/or Shaffelburg.  We watched 180 minutes of Canadian football but did not watch one of the games or the two weeks of training.  What Nelson did on the pitch in the two appearances I watched is probably one of the least of my concerns from this camp to be honest.  I thought he was one of our brighter spots to be honest.

Edited by Corazon

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17 minutes ago, Obinna said:

Who else should he have called?

Seemed like he called the best players available, no?

Well James , Cornelius, Chapman, Teibert did not play vs Iceland. They are senior experience players.
 

Potential missing call ups: Jordan Hamilton, Tajon Buchanan , Mathieu Choinière,Raheem Edwards, Caniggia Elva ( he has barley played lately) . 

Edited by SpecialK

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In regards to game management with the 6 available substitutions, I am a little torn on this.  You expect to utilize all substitutions in a friendly but to be fair, the 2nd half unit was playing very well together and perhaps Herdman did not want to disrupt the momentum so I am not that upset with the decision.  However, unfortunately the two worst players on the pitch in that better 2nd half were Ricketts & Akindele.  I guess my problem is that given we were losing, we essentially only made one attacking substitution (Bair substitution not including).  Bassong sub made sense and clearly Adekugbe needed to come off but Bair should have been on much sooner in my opinion.  I thought the central midfield trio was good but perhaps one of the more defensive midfielders could have gave way late to a more attacking player like Chapman.

Edited by Corazon

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Just now, SpecialK said:

Well James , Cornelius, Chapman, Teibert did not all play vs Iceland. All are MLS and or senior experience players. 
 

Potential missing call ups: Jordan Hamilton, Tajon Buchanan , Mathieu Choinière,Raheem Edwards, Caniggia Elva ( he has barley played lately) . 

Of all the missing call ups, the only one worth mentioning is Elva in my opinion. Even if we did have him I don't think he would have changed the result against Iceland. He is having a very good winter camp with his club right now so leaving him alone seems to have worked out for him indirectly.

If we called the other guys you mentioned it would have been a camp of 30, but that would have meant less minutes to go around. I hope those other guys get involved in the future, but you can't call everybody. That's the beauty of having depth. 

As for the guys in camp who weren't used, yes I guess it's fair to question Herdman's wisdom. Considering the formation, I think Osorio was picked over Chapman and Fraser was picked over Teibert, which may be controversial but it is what it is. Fraser is more physical and it was Iceland so perhaps that was the logic. Miller got picked over Cornelius may of been premeditated or again due to Miller's physical nature, we can only guess but none of those decisions by Herdman stand out as absolutely terrible.

And I won't rehash the James vs Didic stuff.

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12 minutes ago, Corazon said:

In regards to game management with the 6 available substitutions, I am a little torn on this.  You expect to utilize all substitutions in a friendly but to be fair, the 2nd half unit was playing very well together and perhaps Herdman did not want to disrupt the momentum so I am not that upset with the decision.  However, unfortunately the two worst players on the pitch in that better 2nd half were Ricketts & Akindele.  I guess my problem is that given we were losing, we essentially only made one attacking substitution (Bair substitution not including).  Bassong sub made sense and clearly Adekugbe needed to come off but Bair should have been on much sooner in my opinion.  I thought the central midfield trio was good but perhaps one of the more defensive midfielders could have gave way late to a more attacking player like Chapman.

I see it like this too. You want to use the subs you have but a goal felt like it was just around the corner for the entire second half.

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I don't see how we can blame Herdman for this one.  Making all 6 changes wasn't gonna change anything, continuity is important in soccer.  Its like changing all 5 cards in poker, it rarely gets you a better hand.  

Lets face it, even if they weren't all Iceland starters, we faced a good, well organized, physical and experienced Iceland team.  We had limited weapons up top and it showed.

Iceland was very organized defensively.  We just couldn't break them down.  Their CB's seemed quite an upgrade compared to ours.  Miller and Didic were ok, but not as quick mentally and physically, however i feel they'll get better.

I saw no sense of urgency from either Ricketts or Tesho.  Seems they just didn't grasp what a win last night meant for CANMNT.

Bassong, Nelson and Brym seemed to understand and left it all on the field.

Osorio, Piette and Fraser clicked and played well.

Crepeau could've done better.

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4 minutes ago, costarg said:

Lets face it, even if they weren't all Iceland starters, we faced a good, well organized, physical and experienced Iceland team.  We had limited weapons up top and it showed.

Iceland was very organized defensively.  We just couldn't break them down.  Their CB's seemed quite an upgrade compared to ours.  Miller and Didic were ok, but not as quick mentally and physically, however i feel they'll get better.

I agree.  I believe it comes down to having to play with what we had. 

I think our biggest problem was generating offense through the center of the pitch.  Almost everything generated came from out wide.  Swinging crosses into Ricketts isn't going to be much of a threat.  Both Ricketts & Akindele were our attacking options centrally along with Osorio but both are better in open field and space.  Given our possession in their final 3rd in the second half, those two didn't have much opportunity to utilize their strengths.  Neither are particularly strong at holding the ball up and creating plays off them and therefore Osorio and the midfield wasn't able to work well off of them.  This is where we truly missed our attacking players.  Cavallini & Larin both much better in the air on crosses and much better at creating opportunities off of them in the center of the park.  Both Hoilett & David can easily drift inside and contribute to the attack centrally as well.

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If anything, I thought this game could have used more Nelson, not less, given the stodgy way Iceland was playing once they had the lead and especially in the 2nd half. When a team is bunkering like that, having a player who can take on and beat guys one one one who can help to break such a team down. Nelson clearly wants/demands the ball and has the confidence to be creative with it and take players on. We don't have that many players in our player pool who can do that (most of them are in Europe at the moment).  We also saw a bit of that with Brym although he never seemed to be able to find his man when he got in a position to cross (same with Bassong).

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Given how they played in the second half, more subs would have disrupted the flow.

To beat teams like Iceland, you need players who have the skill and/or speed to unlock their defensive structure. So, Nelson was an ideal sub. Borges would have been only other player to consider but not as energetic as Nelson.

Speed wise, there wasn't a choice up front off the bench beyond Tesh & Ricketts. Bair would have added more freshness if subbed earlier but otherwise not a difference maker. This camp further proves the latter two are firmly in the lower range of 23-40 of our player pool while Brym has moved up to the upper part of 23-40.  Fraser also needs to make sure he is playing regularly somewhere. 

Likewise, Adekugbe didn't do much to move up to 1-23 while Bassong has. For Didic, I'll have to see if sticks with the Caps and how he fares against players with pace. The backline was never really tested in these matches. But we do need to improve our set piece defending.

 

Edited by red card

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1 hour ago, SpecialK said:

Well James , Cornelius, Chapman, Teibert did not play vs Iceland. They are senior experience players.

Which of those three starting midfielders would Teibert have replaced where his inclusion would have made a difference in this match?  By all accounts, it seems that Piette, Fraser, and Osorio were controlling the midfield.

Fraser looks to have taken Teibert's job on the NT.  That's what competition for places does.

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3 minutes ago, red card said:

To beat teams like Iceland, you need players who have the skill and/or speed to unlock their defensive structure. So, Nelson was an ideal sub. Borges would have been only other player to consider but not as energetic as Nelson.

The more attack minded Borges in place of either Piette or Fraser might have been a latter match midfield move, perhaps Chapman (another attacking mid type), but not Teibert, as some may have been implying.

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Anyone else think Iceland played really hard for that win?  Even to the point of time wasting. The Icelandic players are not flashy but tough as nails and know how to use that to their advantage. They were knocking our players off the ball, clutching, dominant in the air and on set pieces. Its no surprise that their NT has had success vs top teams. We have to up our compete level and our set pieces.  There is a massive drop off from our A & B forwards. For vets,Tesho and Tos were very poor. Playing minnows like we did in CL over the past 2 years will not give us an accurate assessment of our players/team/coach. I say we go for it in March/June and if we fail we go down fighting. We will have plenty of games vs minnows if we fail.

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Bair should have replaced Tesho 45-60 minute 

At the 70-75 - Piette should be sub for Chapman - fraser to take over Piette 

bassong sub was the right one 

Morgan sub was necessary. 
Borges should have taken off Ricketts and Brym moved over to CF.

nelson comes on 88-90 min for a Hail Mary or James for Miller  on a set piece. 
 

in my view that’s what should have happen. 
 

 

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17 hours ago, costarg said:

I'd still rather give the depth a runout vs the minnows and reserve the decent opposition for our starters.

I understand your point of view from the perspective of risking FIFA ranking points.  On the other hand, what have you really learned if Brym and Bassong do well vs Barbados?  Can you extrapolate that they would do well against a stronger opponent ranked in the 30s - 50s?  Conversely, (despite the crappy fact of us dropping points, and undeservedly so I think) running out Brym and Bassong vs Iceland and learning that they can do okay against that level is very helpful to know.  It surely means that they would do okay against lesser opposition, and it suggests they are ready to be trusted if need be to come in when in counts.  For example, in a full international now when you already have Cavallini, David and Larin as your first choices up top, do you bring in Akindele or Brym as a hypothetical fourth choice?  They offer different things to be sure.  Akindele definitely worked hard pressing and off the ball, but his finishing didn't inspire confidence, whereas Brym offered more direct attack, energy and verve.  A week ago, most would have chosen Akindele over Brym.  Today, I think it's a more difficult choice, and the kind of difficult choice that we all say it's good to have.

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1 hour ago, Corazon said:

I agree.  I believe it comes down to having to play with what we had. 

I think our biggest problem was generating offense through the center of the pitch.  Almost everything generated came from out wide.  Swinging crosses into Ricketts isn't going to be much of a threat.  Both Ricketts & Akindele were our attacking options centrally along with Osorio but both are better in open field and space.  Given our possession in their final 3rd in the second half, those two didn't have much opportunity to utilize their strengths.  Neither are particularly strong at holding the ball up and creating plays off them and therefore Osorio and the midfield wasn't able to work well off of them.  This is where we truly missed our attacking players.  

We are at an interesting point where we have enough depth to roll out a good B side, but not enough depth to roll out a B side with the type of players we want.

Before we couldn't even roll out a good B side, so we have come a long way. We still have a ways to go though...

Ricketts and Akindele, for example, were part of our A team a few years ago. Now they are part of our B team, but that is not because those two have gotten worse. If anything they have gotten better, but we have just added so many creative attacking players of higher quality in recent years.

Thing is, although Ricketts and Akindele are decent enough, our attack becomes far less creative with both of them on the field at the same time.

David and Davies will likely be the main attacking stars for the foreseeable future, but my hope is that our young creative attackers such as Tabla and Nelsen can realize their full potential.

Here is what I want to see for January 2021:

Tabla and Nelsen come into next year's camp poutine after terrorizing MLS, each reaching double-digit goals and assists during the 2020 season - flanked by one of Akindele or Ricketts playing up the middle for Canada. 

That's where we need to get.

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