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If you had to build a hypothetical starting 11 for 2026


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Too early..there are players who are currently unknown who will probably make it at least for a couple spots..now if we ask what would be the 11 if 2026 world cup was today thats something else..maybe without players who are currently of a certain age like 35+ or 33+

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12 minutes ago, Big_M said:

Too early..there are players who are currently unknown who will probably make it at least for a couple spots..now if we ask what would be the 11 if 2026 world cup was today thats something else..maybe without players who are currently of a certain age like 35+ or 33+

I know that it is too early but what I am saying is if you had to put together a starting 11 right now, today, for 2026, then what would yours look like...obviously it isn't going to be the starting 11 for that tournament but if you had to do it now then what would yours look like?

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If I am picking a starting 11 today, with an eye on developing players for the WC 2026, perhaps it would/could look like this:

-----------------Borjan--------------

--------Henry------Cornelius-------

--------------Eustaquio---------------

ZBG----------------------------------Davies

----------Osorio-------Kaye-------------

------------------David----------------------

----------Cavallini---Hoilett-------------

Bench: Crepeau, Layrea, Larin, Millar, Bassong, Miller, Piette

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Who am I playing? I guess in this exercise I don't know, it's just at the World Cup. Gun to my head:

-------------------------Borjan-----------------------

ZBG---------Henry-----Cornelius----Laryea

-----------------------Eustaquio---------------------

--------------Osorio----------Kaye------------------

Davies------------------------------------------Millar

------------------------David----------------------------

Weird hypothetical though.

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GK- Maxime Crepeau (32 years old; 2026)

LB- Sam Adekugbe (31 years old; 2026)

CB- Thomas Meilleur-Gigere (28 years old; 2026)

CB- Derek Cornelius (28 years old; 2026)

RB- Zachary Brault-Guillard (27 years old; 2026)

CM- Samuel Piette (31 years old; 2026)

CM- Jonathan Osorio (captain) (34 years old; 2026)

LW- Liam Millar (26 years old; 2026)

RW- Alphonso Davies (25 years old; 2026)

LS- Theo Bair (26 years old; 2026)

RS- Jonathan David (26 years old)

(4-4-2)

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1 hour ago, Alex said:

Ask yourself how many starters on the 2014 team are a starter today. 

Even 5 years back..2015 gold cup with Floro.  Stama, Ledgerwood, Edgar, Jakovic, Dejong.....Straith Deguzman, Akindele, Piette, Ricketts, Larin.  With HAber, Tiebert, Osorio and Hainault as first off the bench.  So lets say a 15man rotation, there is only Piette, Osorio, Larin maybe Tiebert and Akindele that would still be there only 5 years later.  Hoilet, Cavallini and Borjan prob should have been in 2015 and 2020, but its a hell of a turn over.

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Fun exercise to look at 2014 World Cup squads... here's a list of the youngest members of each squad that hasn't been capped since 2018 (note this was very quick research and may not be fully accurate):

Brazil (Bernard)

USA (Julian Green)

Chile (Miiko Albornoz)

Colombia (Eder Balanta)

Ivory Coast (Sayouba Mande)

England (Luke Shaw)

Uruguay (Gaston Ramirez)

Ghana (Rashid Sumaila)

Russia (Pavel Moglivets)

 

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Posted (edited)

Bernard was a funny inclusion at the time. In Brazil style they wanted to feature a domestic "next one" but he has definitely ended up to be a good player. One of my favorite players to watch

Edited by SpursFlu
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28 minutes ago, SpursFlu said:

Bernard was a funny inclusion at the time. In Brazil style they wanted to feature a domestic "next one" but he has definitely ended up to be a good player. One of my favorite players to watch

Yeah I'm mindful of the fact that national teams call up young players to these tournaments for promise rather than actually being one of the 23 best players. I hadn't heard of Albornoz but it looks like he was a Swedish youth international who switched to Chile to play in the World Cup. Julian Green of course we know was in a similar boat. Sayouba Mande was a third keeper so he barely counts, and Luke Shaw would certainly be more involved if it wasn't for that awful injury.

Still, goes to show the unpredictability of players.

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17 hours ago, Bison44 said:

Even 5 years back..2015 gold cup with Floro.  Stama, Ledgerwood, Edgar, Jakovic, Dejong.....Straith Deguzman, Akindele, Piette, Ricketts, Larin.  With HAber, Tiebert, Osorio and Hainault as first off the bench.  So lets say a 15man rotation, there is only Piette, Osorio, Larin maybe Tiebert and Akindele that would still be there only 5 years later.  Hoilet, Cavallini and Borjan prob should have been in 2015 and 2020, but its a hell of a turn over.

Not to toot my own horn here but about that time I had suggested that we overhaul our team with younger players but wasn't agreed by to many on here saying the most we could change at a time where 3 or 4 players. Seems I was right. 😎 ( at least I'm right sometimes).

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12 minutes ago, MtlMario said:

Not to toot my own horn here but about that time I had suggested that we overhaul our team with younger players but wasn't agreed by to many on here saying the most we could change at a time where 3 or 4 players. Seems I was right. 😎 ( at least I'm right sometimes).

By 2026, we will most likely have one of the youngest squads or maybe even one of the oldest at our own tournament. Yeah our team is younger right now but by 2026 all of them will either be getting older or hitting their peak years.

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20 hours ago, Alex said:

Ask yourself how many starters on the 2014 team are a starter today. 

Fun exercise! Here is every player that played in any part of a WCQ in 2012.

Lars Hirschfeld, Nik Ledgerwood, Kevin McKenna, André Hainault, Julian de Guzman, Will Johnson, Tosaint Ricketts, Simeon Jackson, Atiba Hutchinson, Dwayne De Rosario, David Edgar, Olivier Occean, Milan Borjan, Ante Jazić, Iain Hume, Marcel de Jong, Patrice Bernier, Pedro Pacheco, Mike Klukowski, Lucas Cavallini

And here is every player that played in any part of a Gold Cup or Nations League game in 2019

Derek Cornelius, Samuel Piette, Russell Teibert, Scott Arfield, David Junior Hoilett, Liam Millar, Alphonso Davies, Atiba Hutchinson, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Milan Borjan, Lucas Cavallini, Jonathan David, Jonathan Osorio, Marcus Godinho, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Will Johnson, Cyle Larin, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan, Kamal Miller, Steven Vitória, Richie Laryea, Samuel Adekugbe, David Wotherspoon, Liam Fraser, Stephen Eustáquio

The guys in bold are the only players in both lists. Hutch is pondering retirement, Borjan only got into games in 2012 because of a red card and the resultant suspension for Hirschfeld, Cavallini was brought on for garbage minutes in a game that was in damage control at that point. Will Johnson isn't first choice these days, but useful depth. So yeah, it's tough to pick a team that far into the future.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kent said:

Fun exercise! Here is every player that played in any part of a WCQ in 2012.

Lars Hirschfeld, Nik Ledgerwood, Kevin McKenna, André Hainault, Julian de Guzman, Will Johnson, Tosaint Ricketts, Simeon Jackson, Atiba Hutchinson, Dwayne De Rosario, David Edgar, Olivier Occean, Milan Borjan, Ante Jazić, Iain Hume, Marcel de Jong, Patrice Bernier, Pedro Pacheco, Mike Klukowski, Lucas Cavallini

And here is every player that played in any part of a Gold Cup or Nations League game in 2019

Derek Cornelius, Samuel Piette, Russell Teibert, Scott Arfield, David Junior Hoilett, Liam Millar, Alphonso Davies, Atiba Hutchinson, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Milan Borjan, Lucas Cavallini, Jonathan David, Jonathan Osorio, Marcus Godinho, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Will Johnson, Cyle Larin, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan, Kamal Miller, Steven Vitória, Richie Laryea, Samuel Adekugbe, David Wotherspoon, Liam Fraser, Stephen Eustáquio

The guys in bold are the only players in both lists. Hutch is pondering retirement, Borjan only got into games in 2012 because of a red card and the resultant suspension for Hirschfeld, Cavallini was brought on for garbage minutes in a game that was in damage control at that point. Will Johnson isn't first choice these days, but useful depth. So yeah, it's tough to pick a team that far into the future.

Great post!

It is cool to just compare those two lists. It`s a reminder to me just how solid the 2012 group was, from top to bottom. The defense in particular was more developed and dependable. Imagine if we could insert Mckenna into the 2019 backline...

The left back depth on that team was very good too, Klukowski had quality and experience, Jazic was a dependable veteran, and De Jong was entering his prime with Augsburg. It would be far less tempting to play Davies back there with those options. 

Obviously we struggled to fill the hole left by Stalteri back then, but Ledgerwood was serviceable and so was Edgar when he was played there. Neither made critical errors that I recall, which Godinho and ZBG have been guilty of, but they are young players. That`s the risk you take with young defenders in defense. The veteran presence of the 2012 defensive unit really stands out.

On the other hand, the attacking talent of the 2019 group is very sexy by comparison. We are really spoiled by historical standards and the best part is the age profile. Hoilett is the veteran of the group at 30 (next month), Cavallini is in his prime, Larin is just entering his, and David, Davies and Millar will not be in their prime until the next cycle. That is very, very exciting. 

And an aside on Hoilett versus Derosario, if I may..

I think it is fair to say that Dwayne was the most dangerous attacker for the 2012 group, but is it fair to consider Hoilett as equally dangerous? He does have 9 goals in 27 games for the national team. Similar style player. Both can score from range, create on their own, etc. If we say that Hoilett and DeRosario are comparable (and I think we can), that would speak volumes to how good our offense is now, since Davies and David are even bigger threats.

Can`t forget about Cavallini either, for me he is better than Occean, who was pretty good in his own right. 

At first glance, the 2019 group seems to be head and shoulders above the 2012 group, but I think it is more so because most of the best players are young attackers, not seasoned defenders and midfielders, who may not catch the eye as easily. The factor of potential is at play, I think.

Either way, respect to that 2012 group, but I am very, very happy with where we are now at. 

Edited by Obinna
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2 hours ago, MtlMario said:

Not to toot my own horn here but about that time I had suggested that we overhaul our team with younger players but wasn't agreed by to many on here saying the most we could change at a time where 3 or 4 players. Seems I was right. 😎 ( at least I'm right sometimes).

Well in 2015 we did have 20 year old Larin and Piette playing big roles...Tiebert, Oso and Akindele were early 20's.  Which youngsters were you advocating for?  We are spoiled now with so many bright teenagers coming up and forcing their way past vets.  

Father time knocking out 3-4 starters every cycle would probably be the norm if a guy did a deep dive into the rosters over the years.  How long is a player at the top of his game...maybe 10 years, age 20-30??  Look at Kents list with a 7 year spread and there are only a handful of carry overs.  

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