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Canada's Octo Schedule


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If it looks like there'll be restrictions in Ontario going into September AND things look like they'll be more normal in Quebec the match defaults to Saputo in my mind.   Trips out west just aren't going to happen when the European players are in-season.

Or shouldn't.  Lots of factors to consider of course and some decisions will be made for the CSA by others.

 

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15 minutes ago, Obinna said:

@BrennanFan BC Place scores low on travel, jet lag and surface, which shows those factors are not the end all, be all. We also had friendlies scheduled for Westhills stadium, don't forget.

I don't disagree with any of that but I think the CSA has made it clear Vancouver is #2 after Toronto. 

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All people can talk about is where to play what match? I am surprised.

The only thing folks are making sense about is getting to a base and not moving once there when home. We need comfort, easy travel, low jetlag risk, and grass. So here I would favour BMO over all other spots. 

What everyone is missing is how the entire tournament will look, how we have to progress, and how our options work from fixture to fixture.

We play 4 of our last 6 matches away. We play our first set of fixtures mostly at home. This sets us up with a difficult proposition: we are going to have be in contention and getting results early, from the start, because making up ground later will be extremely hard playing away. I would even say we have to be already in the top 3-4 by Fixture 8, after three home matches in a row. We will probably need to have four wins and at least a draw to be even close, 13 points after November. And in the last 6 matches get half the points, meaning winning away. Draws away could be valuable because taking points away from tough rivals also has to be a priority. I figure 22 points may put us in third, or very close.

We know the teams we need to strive to not lose to, to beat at home and at least draw away: El Salvador and Panama. We need another win over the US probably. And then 3-4 more wins, with Mexico likely discounted as a possible victim. We need to beat Jamaica, Honduras and Costa Rica at least once as well.

Laying out this way you can see how hard it is going to be. If we get behind and don't get serious results in 2021, we are probably not going to be in contention any more.

Edited by Unnamed Trialist
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22 minutes ago, Obinna said:

@BrennanFan BC Place scores low on travel, jet lag and surface, which shows those factors are not the end all, be all. We also had friendlies scheduled for Westhills stadium, don't forget.

i believe we played WCQ at BC Place in late 2015 / early 2016 only because BMO Field was undergoing renovations at the time.

BC Place may be a better option than Saputo tho.

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43 minutes ago, BrennanFan said:

Training facilities with multiple fields, boardrooms for team sessions and video review, hotel close to the fields, all that stuff.

The team's usual training base in Nottawasaga, north of Toronto, has all of this.  

They've actually moved away from holding camps at Nottawasaga when preparing for games in Toronto in the Herdman era. They now just use TFC's training facility and stay downtown.

Herdman actually used to do the same when he was in charge of the women's team and they had games at BMO. Something about giving the players freedom to use their downtime in an actual city rather than cut off from the rest of the world (even if it was at a high-quality resort like Nottawasaga).

I suspect he'd employ a similar strategy in Vancouver and Montreal if/when the MNT plays there in the future.

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7 hours ago, BrennanFan said:

Factors to be taken into account in deciding where the games will be played, in order of importance:

1. Grass surface 

2. Jet lag reduction

3. Nearby training facilities

4. Media centre 

5. Avoiding local away fan populations

6. Avoiding below freezing temperatures (cold weather will simply not benefit our squad used to milder European conditions)

 

Irrelevant Factors:

- "growing the game" by spreading games around the country (only winning grows the game)

I am in agreement with all your points but based on what I saw in the last cycle, BC place has to figure prominantly in getting games ( even though they dont have a grass surface).  I thought the that the overall organization and fan experience was first rate.  It was an experience commesurate with what we should expect for Soccer and world cup qualifying games.   I would have no objections to travel out to games in Vancouver again to catch some games.   
 

PS: i have travelled to away games in the past several cycles to locales in Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal, Kingston, On.    For home experience and home support,  and overall organization, found Toronto and Vancouver to be a clear notch above all other options in Canada. 

Edited by Free kick
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5 minutes ago, Free kick said:

I am in agreement with all your points but based on what I saw in the last cycle, BC place has to prominantly in getting games ( even though they dont have a grass surface).  I thought the that the overall organization and fan experience was first rate.  It was an experience commesurate with what we should expect for Soccer and world cup qualifying games.   I would have no objections to travel out to games in Vancouver again to catch some games.   

I will wager the players are going to veto Vancouver. And I am fine with that. Frankly, we have key players coming mostly from Europe, with hard enough connections as it is. Eliminate 4 hours of flight and three hours jet lag: I am all for it. For me to go to Vancouver from Barcelona I need 17-18 hours. To Toronto, could be about half that.

I am not only from Vancouver, but when there am usually a 15 min walk from BC Place, just over the Cambie Bridge. Just that I prefer our guys to be in an optimal state in this very high pressure tournament. Keep it simple. 

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43 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

The only thing folks are making sense about is getting to a base and not moving once there when home. We need comfort, easy travel, low jetlag risk, and grass. So here I would favour BMO over all other spots.

I'm not sure how much sense it makes to establish a base, given that most home matches will anyway be separated by either away match travel or weeks of league play.  Here is the schedule of home matches only...

1- Honduras (September 2nd, 2021)

3- El Salvador (September 8th 2021)

6- Panama (October 13, 2021)

7- Costa Rica (November 2021)

8- Mexico (November 2021)

10- USA (January 30, 2022)

13- Jamaica (March 27th 2022)

So really only matches 7 and 8 will be consecutive home games without the players travelling elsewhere in-between.  And it does make sense to stay in the same city for consecutive matches against two of the top three teams.  For all other matches, there is no constraint for staying in one city.


Also, unlike you (and many others), I see no compelling reason to prefer BMO Field over, say, Stade Saputo.

Edited by spinrack
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20 minutes ago, spinrack said:

I'm not sure how much sense it makes to establish a base, given that most home matches will anyway be separated by either away match travel or weeks of league play.  Here is the schedule of home matches only...

1- Honduras (September 2nd, 2021)

3- El Salvador (September 8th 2021)

6- Panama (October 13, 2021)

7- Costa Rica (November 2021)

8- Mexico (November 2021)

10- USA (January 30, 2022)

13- Jamaica (March 27th 2022)

So really only matches 7 and 8 will be consecutive home games without the players travelling elsewhere in-between.  And it does make sense to stay in the same city for consecutive matches against two of the top three teams.


Also, unlike you (and many others), I see no compelling reason to prefer BMO Field over, say, Stade Saputo.

I'd also go for Saputo, no problem, even less hours on a plane for the European players. 

But for the first set in September we are home, then to the States, then back home. We just did a Chicago-Port-au-Prince-Chicago route and it worked for us to return to the same hotel, same stadium.

From Toronto we access flights to everywhere. The States starts in El Salvador, home to us, back to Honduras, tough: they'll likely set up in the south, say Texas. Their flights from El Salvador back to Houston are about the same time as ours Toronto to Houston. If they go to Dallas we have an even shorter flight than they do. Bring it on. I like that setup, and playing in a stadium many of our players will be familiar with.

If they set up in Florida it almost the same for us, a negligible difference.

We have to be ruthless, I think the word that Herdman uses.

Edited by Unnamed Trialist
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41 minutes ago, BrennanFan said:

i believe we played WCQ at BC Place in late 2015 / early 2016 only because BMO Field was undergoing renovations at the time.

BC Place may be a better option than Saputo tho.

We played at BC Place last for nations league qualifiers in 2019.

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23 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

I will wager the players are going to veto Vancouver. And I am fine with that. Frankly, we have key players coming mostly from Europe, with hard enough connections as it is. Eliminate 4 hours of flight and three hours jet lag: I am all for it. For me to go to Vancouver from Barcelona I need 17-18 hours. To Toronto, could be about half that.

I am not only from Vancouver, but when there am usually a 15 min walk from BC Place, just over the Cambie Bridge. Just that I prefer our guys to be in an optimal state in this very high pressure tournament. Keep it simple. 

I'd wager the players really don't care as long as they're playing in front of a full crowd or at least a passionate one. People always like to bring up the turf field as some kind of deal breaker but any of our MLS players are used to playing on it and any of our players who grew up playing in Canada would've played on it throughout their youth.

Also just to point it out because it gets posted here often that the flight to Vancouver only adds 1-2 hours depending on where you're flying from in Europe because they go over the arctic.  

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It seems odd to ignore the financial element in all of this.  If the CSA can make some lucre by holding a game in front of 20,000 in BC vs an empty stadium in Toronto, that seems like a very real factor to me.  I don’t know what they clear in a well attended home game but foregoing hundreds of thousands over the first few windows seems like a self defeating move for a cash strapped association that often looks like it is operating in a shoestring budget.   

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Just now, dyslexic nam said:

It seems odd to ignore the financial element in all of this.  If the CSA can make some lucre by holding a game in front of 20,000 in BC vs an empty stadium in Toronto, that seems like a very real factor to me.  I don’t know what they clear in a well attended home game but foregoing hundreds of thousands over the first few windows seems like a self defeating move for a cash strapped association that often looks like it is operating in a shoestring budget.   

I repeat this in every thread on this subject, but BMO Field costs the CSA (relatively) next to nothing to rent due to agreements in place with MLSE (thanks to the strings attached to the government funding that got the place built in the first place), whereas every other stadium in the country would presumably be charging full price.

In addition, concession-sharing is far more favourable for the CSA at BMO than anywhere else.

That means games at BMO need to pull in fewer fans to make the same amount of money as they would with much larger crowds elsewhere.

Obviously having a big, partisan crowd on hand means more than simply $$$, but this is something to keep in mind if we're talking about the financial element.

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8 minutes ago, RS said:

I repeat this in every thread on this subject, but BMO Field costs the CSA (relatively) next to nothing to rent due to agreements in place with MLSE (thanks to the strings attached to the government funding that got the place built in the first place), whereas every other stadium in the country would presumably be charging full price.

In addition, concession-sharing is far more favourable for the CSA at BMO than anywhere else.

That means games at BMO need to pull in fewer fans to make the same amount of money as they would with much larger crowds elsewhere.

Obviously having a big, partisan crowd on hand means more than simply $$$, but this is something to keep in mind if we're talking about the financial element.

 But if there are no fans in the stands; there is no ticket revenue and no concession money.  Free or not, an empty BMO makes the CSA no money.  

I am not lobbying to hold it somewhere else just in an effort to try and sell more tickets.  I am just pointing out that if the options are an empty BMO and a well-attended game elsewhere, it isn’t so straightforward to claim that the home games will still be in BMO.  I suspect the CSA bean counters will look at other options.  

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The key is win our home matches and cheer like hell for Mexico too win all their games (except vs Canada). Mexico is the only lock imo The USA is stacked now but they had a very good team last cycle and still choked. Hopefully sports media in this country market these games like they deserve.

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6 minutes ago, dyslexic nam said:

 But if there are no fans in the stands; there is no ticket revenue and no concession money.  Free or not, an empty BMO makes the CSA no money.  

I am not lobbying to hold it somewhere else just in an effort to try and sell more tickets.  I am just pointing out that if the options are an empty BMO and a well-attended game elsewhere, it isn’t so straightforward to claim that the home games will still be in BMO.  I suspect the CSA bean counters will look at other options.  

Yes that makes sense, although by September I believe BMO will be able to hold some fans.

I'm fine with matches being played wherever the team feels is best. My personal opinion is that Toronto/BMO checks the most boxes and thus is the front runner for most games (with obvious exceptions like the January fixture or when it's unavailable to due conflicts) but I acknowledge the case for other venues.

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32 minutes ago, BearcatSA said:

I wonder what their preference would be for the January 30 game?

This is a really good question. We keep saying there’s no other option but Vancouver, but is there?

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4 minutes ago, Califax said:

This is a really good question. We keep saying there’s no other option but Vancouver, but is there?

Olympic Stadium, except it's really not in great shape.  If there is a chance of significant snowfall, the match will be postponed, for fear of roof collapse.  No lie.

Edited by spinrack
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9 minutes ago, spinrack said:

Olympic Stadium, except it's really not in great shape.  If there is a chance of significant snowfall, the match will be postponed, for fear of roof collapse.  No lie.

Also, this time they can put the lines down improperly deliberately so as to delay the start of the match and get the Americans unsetled.  A Canadian soccer version of the lucky loonie???

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22 minutes ago, One American said:

I take it the second game against the USMNT that you'll play a B team. I would play the January game in the Yukon, if I were Canada. 

There's a better chance of the USMNT hosting in Alaska. At least there is a population base there. Every man, woman and child in the territory would have to be in attendance to sell out a 30,000 seat venue. Not that such a venue exists...

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2 hours ago, SkuseisLoose said:

I'd wager the players really don't care as long as they're playing in front of a full crowd or at least a passionate one. People always like to bring up the turf field as some kind of deal breaker but any of our MLS players are used to playing on it and any of our players who grew up playing in Canada would've played on it throughout their youth.

Also just to point it out because it gets posted here often that the flight to Vancouver only adds 1-2 hours depending on where you're flying from in Europe because they go over the arctic.  

I'm not sure how many of our European based players would fly direct to Vancouver.  As bad as the added travel time can/could be I think it's more the added time zones.  It easy to forget these players have to do it all over again to get back to their clubs.  They have to show up Monday morning ready to work and that has to be so much harder when all that's factored in.

Vancouver, just ike everywhere else in Canada, is blessed and cursed by geography.

P.S.  Makes no difference to me. Takes just as long and costs just as much to jet to Vancouver as it does to Toronto from here.

 

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