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CONCACAF Nations League 2022/2023 - General Thread - Group Stage


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So who do we want to draw tomorrow? Here are a few ways to look at it:

  • Draw the best teams
    • Panama & Curacao
    • Stronger teams give us better prep for World Cup.
  • Draw the worst teams
    • Grenada & Honduras/El Salvador?
    • Weaker teams are less useful for WC prep, but lets us test our depth and/or bring new players into the fold.

The only team I would feel comfortable putting out a 2nd string team would be Grenada, to be honest. Even Martinique can be dangerous and at worst we'll need a mixed side. Suriname and Curacao could have bring in more Dutch imports, but even if they don't we cannot take them lightly.

We cannot afford to bottle it during nations league, in my opinion. Winning our group has to be of the upmost importance and gives us more competitive games in the spring of 2023. 

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@Obinna

May not be a popular opinion but I believe our mission is complete, regardless of what happens at the WC. To me we have reached the turning point of sustaining and maintaining our program status in Concacaf. 2026 will be our real measuring stick aka reviewing the 10 year plan where the ‚Äúfinished product‚ÄĚ is evaluated.

With that, I hope we get a ‚Äúweak‚ÄĚ draw to promote the possibility of bringing in a B team. We need more guys to get the opportunity to play international ball, to be on display, to assess where we truly are. Yes, we topped our group, but can we do what Mexico and USA do in sending B teams to tournaments and still win/compete? Atm any answer is hypothetical as we haven‚Äôt seen it.¬†

Winning our group would solidify our threat, and mentality going forward in Concacaf. It’s important that we do. But if that happens, 2023 will be a greater shock to our roster with having CNL finals and the Gold Cup. Not to mention this year might be a swansong for guys like Atiba, Milan, Vitoria….Cavallini.

TLDR: I hope we get a weak draw so we can play a B+/A- squad with respect to preparing for the near future. 

Edited by Shway
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3 minutes ago, Shway said:

@Obinna

May not be a popular opinion but I believe our mission is complete, regardless of what happens at the WC. To me we have reached the turning point of sustaining and maintaining our program status in Concacaf. 2026 will be our real measuring stick aka reviewing the 10 year plan where the ‚Äúfinished product‚ÄĚ is evaluated.

With that, I hope we get a ‚Äúweak‚ÄĚ draw to promote the possibility of bringing in a B team. We need more guys to get the opportunity to play international ball, to be on display, to assess where we truly are. Yes, we topped our group, but can we do what Mexico and USA do in sending B teams to tournaments and still win/compete? Atm any answer is hypothetical as we haven‚Äôt seen it.¬†

Winning our group would solidify our threat, and mentality going forward in Concacaf. It’s important that we do. But if that happens, 2023 will be a greater shock to our roster with having CNL finals and the Gold Cup. Not to mention this year might be a swansong for guys like Atiba, Milan, Vitoria….Cavallini.

TLDR: I hope we get a weak draw so we can play a B+/A- squad with respect to preparing for the near future. 

I like that, particularly the part about doing what Mexico and USA with respect to bringing B teams. We know we don't have the depth of Mexico and the USA, but we only change that by blooding more players. 

Here are some if the fringe players, or players without caps, I would like to see involved:

  • Akinola (depending on form/fitness
  • Mitrovic
  • Jebbison (duh)
  • Paton
  • Rutty (depending on form/fitness
  • Kone
  • one of Hasal or Breza¬†
  • Edwards¬†
  • Gutierrez
  • Choniere

I feel 10 players would be a good start. There are some other deserving players, such as Schaffleburg, ZBG or Brym, and maybe some of those guys find their way on, but I think we'll want to have at least some continuity, I think. We already have a sample size for those particular guys and we know what they offer, so I would be more interested in someone like Petrasso, arguably over Edwards even (though you cannot ignore his form). 

 

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59 minutes ago, Obinna said:

I like that, particularly the part about doing what Mexico and USA with respect to bringing B teams. We know we don't have the depth of Mexico and the USA, but we only change that by blooding more players. 

Here are some if the fringe players, or players without caps, I would like to see involved:

  • Akinola (depending on form/fitness
  • Mitrovic
  • Jebbison (duh)
  • Paton
  • Rutty (depending on form/fitness
  • Kone
  • one of Hasal or Breza¬†
  • Edwards¬†
  • Gutierrez
  • Choniere

I feel 10 players would be a good start. There are some other deserving players, such as Schaffleburg, ZBG or Brym, and maybe some of those guys find their way on, but I think we'll want to have at least some continuity, I think. We already have a sample size for those particular guys and we know what they offer, so I would be more interested in someone like Petrasso, arguably over Edwards even (though you cannot ignore his form). 

 

I would like to see a mix of fringe A team guys mixed with on the cusps. 

A-/fringe:

- Kaye
- Piette
- Kennedy
- Fraser
- Millar
- Cornelius 
- Ugbo

Newcomers/low capped:

- Edwards
- Gutierrez
- Waterman
- McNaughton
- ZBG

- Kone
- Paton
- Petrasso
- Ennin
- Corbeanu 
- Brym


If they commit:

- Jebbison
- Mitrovic 
- Flores

Edited by Shway
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3 hours ago, Shway said:

I would like to see a mix of fringe A team guys mixed with on the cusps. 

A-/fringe:

- Kaye
- Piette
- Kennedy
- Fraser
- Millar
- Cornelius 
- Ugbo

Newcomers/low capped:

- Edwards
- Gutierrez
- Waterman
- McNaughton
- ZBG

- Kone
- Paton
- Petrasso
- Ennin
- Corbeanu 
- Brym


If they commit:

- Jebbison
- Mitrovic 
- Flores

I like your list . I think you can kiss Flores good bye .

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2 hours ago, Shway said:

I would like to see a mix of fringe A team guys mixed with on the cusps. 

A-/fringe:

- Kaye
- Piette
- Kennedy
- Fraser
- Millar
- Cornelius 
- Ugbo

Newcomers/low capped:

- Edwards
- Gutierrez
- Waterman
- McNaughton
- ZBG

- Kone
- Paton
- Petrasso
- Ennin
- Corbeanu 
- Brym


If they commit:

- Jebbison
- Mitrovic 
- Flores

Nice list, although I do wonder if guys like Millar, Ugbo and Cornelius will fall into the "need a rest" category. Those 3 have played a lot of games by the end of the European season. They are also young, but so is David and I suspect we won't see him, though it may instead be the case of a transfer than needing the rest. Unlike David, those other guys have to prove their place in the squad, so they may push through any fatigue and accept a call.

I think Herdman generally wants his best guys there, but lets the players decide whether they can join up or not. That's my sense on how Herdman opperates. Everything is an opportunity, so if the players he wants rule themselves out, it's the next man up mentality (and there are a lot of players licking their lips for a chance to prove their worth, especially now with World Cup around the corner).

One guy we both forgot is Waterman. Now is his time to step up, with Vitoria and Hutchinson a sure bet to need a rest. He may be competing with McNaughton for place in the Nations League squad. 

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1 hour ago, narduch said:

I don’t think you can take a B team to the NL games. It's still Gold Cup qualifying and you run the risk of not making it.

We may only play 6 or 7 games between now and our World Cup opener.

I think we will see our strongest squad with a few new players.

There is no way we do not qualify for the Gold Cup. Even if we finish last in the Nations League group (which we won't with our B team), there is still the last ditch Gold Cup qualifying tournament.

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5 minutes ago, ballerz said:

There is no way we do not qualify for the Gold Cup. Even if we finish last in the Nations League group (which we won't with our B team), there is still the last ditch Gold Cup qualifying tournament.

That may still be the case.

But the idea of taking a true B team to NL while the A team plays WC prep friendlies simultaneously is just a wild pipe dream.

The most we'll do is take an extended roster

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I hope we don't overlook the nations league. I think being in the finals could be a big building block for soccer in this country after the world cup.

If we have a great world cup then it won't matter. However if we have an ok world cup but then lose out on an opportunity to face off against Mexico and the USA shortly after the world cup, then it would be a missed opportunity.

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18 hours ago, Cblake said:

Italy is playing 5 matches in the June window, four NL and a friendly vs. Argentina. 

The Argentina match is not a friendly.  It's the (revived) match between the Euro 2020 and 2021 Copa America winners, organized by UEFA and CONMEBOL.

I doubt they'd have gotten away with it, if it were just a friendly.

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12 hours ago, Shway said:

I would like to see a mix of fringe A team guys mixed with on the cusps. 

A-/fringe:

- Kaye
- Piette
- Kennedy
- Fraser
- Millar
- Cornelius 
- Ugbo

Newcomers/low capped:

- Edwards
- Gutierrez
- Waterman
- McNaughton
- ZBG

- Kone
- Paton
- Petrasso
- Ennin
- Corbeanu 
- Brym


If they commit:

- Jebbison
- Mitrovic 
- Flores

You can add to if they commit 

Ferdi Kadioglu

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Just looking back on the 2019-2020 CONCACAF Nations League, we went into that draw in 7th place in the CONCACAF rankings. We were 221 CONCACAF points behind 5th place Honduras, who we're now 471 points ahead of and 5 places above.

They didn't do a separate draw to determine which group winner plays who in the semi. They ranked the group winners 1-4 based on their group stage total points. 1 vs. 4 in one semi, 2 vs. 3 in the other. If group winners were tied on total points, goal differential was the first tiebreaker. Goals for was the second.

Still don't want Martinique. 1 game at the Gold Cup with no ranking points is bad enough, but this would be 2 out of 4 games with no ranking points (Martinique home and away). Anyone but the non-FIFA team. Let the US or Mexico have them.

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6 hours ago, narduch said:

That may still be the case.

But the idea of taking a true B team to NL while the A team plays WC prep friendlies simultaneously is just a wild pipe dream.

The most we'll do is take an extended roster

Realistically I think this is what happens. Herdman has done it before, if I am not mistaken. Even more likely than an extended squad is a standby list of players who may be called upon, but otherwise will stay with their MLS club teams. I can see players like Choniere and Petrasso falling into this category. ZBG is currently the king of being on standby and then flying into camp last minute, so I won't bet against that for June.

I do hope we see several new faces though.

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7 hours ago, shortofbrillant said:

I hope we don't overlook the nations league. I think being in the finals could be a big building block for soccer in this country after the world cup.

If we have a great world cup then it won't matter. However if we have an ok world cup but then lose out on an opportunity to face off against Mexico and the USA shortly after the world cup, then it would be a missed opportunity.

I agree in principle, but a the chance at a competitive World Cup trumps everything right now imo -  including winning the Gold Cup or Nations League.

  • There will be more Canadians watching those WC games than the cumulative tv audience of every Gold Cup Final in the last 20 years. Maybe ever. We need to get those people onboard.
  • The difference between making the Round of 16 and going out in the group stage is $4M USD. Pretty sure that‚Äôs bigger than anything CONCACAF has on offer.

The NL goal should be to win the group, but it is very much a secondary concern this cycle. Everything between now and November needs to be geared towards the World Cup first.

Prep the roster > Qualify for the Gold Cup (don’t get relegated) > Try to win the group. In that order.

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