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NFT: CONCACAF gives USMNT a leg up on qualifying for World Cup

BronxBob : 7/10/2019 6:44 pm
The qualifying process will be split into two separate competitions, a hexagonal and a knockout phase. The “Hex” used to represent the final stage of qualifying with six teams playing a double round-robin to determine World Cup berths. Now those six teams won’t have to play their way in. The Hex will be determined instead through the FIFA rankings published after the June 2020 window. So the top six ranked teams from CONCACAF will just qualify automatically. From there, the top three finishers earn World Cup berths, and the fourth is still alive for another.

CONCACAF Format for 2022 FIFA World Cup Confederation Qualifiers - ( New Window )
Seems like a shaft of smaller countries  
bhill410 : 7/10/2019 7:38 pm : link
Though I can see the benefit they get. But not sure it’s that big of an advantage for USA. Hex qualification has never been an issue. The bigger issue is going to be for the t&t, Nicaragua, hondouras group. Mex - USA - costa - I think Canada - Jamaica (tho they didn’t make it last time) are probably all safe. That middle group is subject to very arbitrary fifa ranking now.
It's fewer games but I don't think it increases our chances.  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2019 7:45 pm : link
As noted, getting into the Hex hasn't been our problem.
Until USMNT can consistently beat  
ColHowPepper : 7/10/2019 8:22 pm : link
the Trinidad Tobagos of their region, won't matter...who knows where USMNT will be in FIFA rankings in June 2020?
right now, the six highest-ranked CONCACAF teams by FIFA are:  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2019 8:32 pm : link
Mexico
USA
Costa Rica
Jamaica
Panama
Canada

... in that order. Mexico is #18 and USA is #30. Staying in the top six *shouldn't* be a problem but you never know. (T&T is not in the top six - they are #92.)
... but as CHP says, it won't matter if we can't beat most of  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2019 8:34 pm : link
the other teams in the Hex, and we did a piss-poor job of that last time.
If the US ever missed the hex they should just blow up  
Zeke's Alibi : 7/10/2019 8:50 pm : link
the soccer program.
Am I reading the website wrong?  
Pete in MD : 7/10/2019 8:51 pm : link
It looks like Honduras and El Salvador are currently ranked ahead of Panama and Canada. The ranking date is June 14th which is pre-Gold Cup.
RE: Am I reading the website wrong?  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2019 8:54 pm : link
In comment 14496292 Pete in MD said:
Quote:
It looks like Honduras and El Salvador are currently ranked ahead of Panama and Canada. The ranking date is June 14th which is pre-Gold Cup.


My bad, you are correct. Honduras and El Sal ahead of Panama and Canada.
and yes, Gold Cup may change things some  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2019 8:55 pm : link
but since we made it to the final and lost to Mexico, I don't think it's going to change much for either USA or Mexico.
There is absolutely 0 excuse for the US not to qualify to the World Cu  
HumbleGiant : 7/10/2019 9:01 pm : link
In one of the shittiest conferences in the world that is designed for Mexico and USA to qualify every single time.
The problem with CONCACAF qualifying has  
BigBlueBuff : 7/10/2019 11:40 pm : link
never been what to do with Mexico, USA, and Costa Rica but rather what to do with the numerous minnows of the region who rarely get to play in competitive matches and gain experience in matches that matter. What this format does for all of these small island nations is give them a REAL tournament with a group stage and knockout rounds. That's a real positive and kudos to CONCACAF for doing something good for these countries.

The crappy part, from their point of view, is that even if they win the mini tournament, that only gives them the right to play the 4th place team in the Hex and if they win that match, they then get to play a team from another region for the right to go to the World Cup. Kind of crazy that it's not all 35 teams in the group and knockout stages, but I guess they don't want the larger countries eliminating smaller countries early in the group stage.
I understand what they are doing...  
FatMan in Charlotte : 7/11/2019 8:18 am : link
but for the lesser countries, this format blows. I don't mean the worst of the worst, but someone like the 7th - 10th countries face a much more challenging road to qualify.
Berhalter Has Some Time  
Jeffrey : 7/11/2019 8:23 am : link
to get this team ready for the World Cup, but he needs to schedule as many upper echelon teams as possible from Europe and South America. He needs to jettison the players who realistically are not going to be thee for the next World Cup. Thank these men for their service and move on. Who cares about the record in friendlies.

The Europeans have their big tournament coming up next and many of those national teams will be looking for some competition. You need not try to get Belgium, Germany or France, but target teams from Croatia, Slovakia, Italy, Netherlands, etc. Same for South America let's schedule Chili, Paraguay, Uruguay etc. No gimmes. Challenge the top 30 FIFA teams.
RE: Berhalter Has Some Time  
Joey from GlenCove : 7/11/2019 8:29 am : link
In comment 14496477 Jeffrey said:
Quote:
to get this team ready for the World Cup, but he needs to schedule as many upper echelon teams as possible from Europe and South America. He needs to jettison the players who realistically are not going to be thee for the next World Cup. Thank these men for their service and move on. Who cares about the record in friendlies.

The Europeans have their big tournament coming up next and many of those national teams will be looking for some competition. You need not try to get Belgium, Germany or France, but target teams from Croatia, Slovakia, Italy, Netherlands, etc. Same for South America let's schedule Chili, Paraguay, Uruguay etc. No gimmes. Challenge the top 30 FIFA teams.


It will be hard to schedule UEFA teams for friendlies now because of the stupid nations cups.

I really liked when they went to Europe and played 2 games there. Go there and play Croatia and Poland. Something like that
They..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 7/11/2019 8:34 am : link
should schedule a European Retribution Tour for the teams the women beat.

Let Spain, Netherlands, England and Sweden have a crack at our lesser squad:)
If you  
Pete in MD : 7/11/2019 9:09 am : link
look at the rankings over the years, it's Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, and everyone else. I would either have three automatic berths to The Hex and three qualifiers or expand The Hex to an Oct and have four and four.
RE: The problem with CONCACAF qualifying has  
Jerry in DC : 7/11/2019 9:10 am : link
In comment 14496424 BigBlueBuff said:
Quote:
never been what to do with Mexico, USA, and Costa Rica but rather what to do with the numerous minnows of the region who rarely get to play in competitive matches and gain experience in matches that matter. What this format does for all of these small island nations is give them a REAL tournament with a group stage and knockout rounds. That's a real positive and kudos to CONCACAF for doing something good for these countries.

The crappy part, from their point of view, is that even if they win the mini tournament, that only gives them the right to play the 4th place team in the Hex and if they win that match, they then get to play a team from another region for the right to go to the World Cup. Kind of crazy that it's not all 35 teams in the group and knockout stages, but I guess they don't want the larger countries eliminating smaller countries early in the group stage.


This is right on. It's good for the little countries- gives them a real tournament against their peers. They're never going to qualify, but it does actually give them a chance to play in a big game and hope for some miracles.

It's good for the big teams- we don't have to muddle through nonsense formalities against curacao or Barbuda.

Overall I think it's great. I like the idea that federations are setting up opportunities for smaller countries to play meaningful games. Europe is doing something similar. In any sport, it's cool to have a platform to compete against your peers.
RE: If you  
Pete in MD : 7/11/2019 11:12 am : link
In comment 14496495 Pete in MD said:
Quote:
look at the rankings over the years, it's Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, and everyone else. I would either have three automatic berths to The Hex and three qualifiers or expand The Hex to an Oct and have four and four.

Actually the math works out perfectly. CONCACAF has 41 member countries but 6 aren't eligible for FIFA competitions, minus 3 automatic Hex qualifiers gives you a 32 team tournament, top 3 teams advance to The Hex.
RE: Berhalter Has Some Time  
BronxBob : 7/11/2019 4:30 pm : link
In comment 14496477 Jeffrey said:
Quote:
to get this team ready for the World Cup, but he needs to schedule as many upper echelon teams as possible from Europe and South America. He needs to jettison the players who realistically are not going to be thee for the next World Cup. Thank these men for their service and move on. Who cares about the record in friendlies.

The Europeans have their big tournament coming up next and many of those national teams will be looking for some competition. You need not try to get Belgium, Germany or France, but target teams from Croatia, Slovakia, Italy, Netherlands, etc. Same for South America let's schedule Chili, Paraguay, Uruguay etc. No gimmes. Challenge the top 30 FIFA teams.


Actually, in the original Yahoo Sports article I saw, this was pointed out as the principal "advantage" for the US. They will now have the opportunity to do this instead of having to compete in the earlier qualifying stages. Will they manage to turn that into an actual advantage entering the Hex? I'll believe it when I see it ... but I can always hope.
I didn't even think about the opportunities this opens up  
Zeke's Alibi : 7/11/2019 4:36 pm : link
for US and Mexico. This is a great thing for CONCCAF all around. US and Mexico need to play more middle and top tier comp. Nothing is gained or learned from playing these minnows.
Opportunity Does not Guarantee  
Jeffrey : 7/11/2019 9:34 pm : link
Success unless a big part of scheduling is devoted to development. With the Olympics up next fill that squad with the best prospects, without leaving any off. Use the friendlies to find 6 capable defenders who will be hitting their prime in 3 years. Nice start here with the showing of some of the newer players on the Gold Cup roster. Get Tyler Adams back in midfield where he belongs, paired with McKennie perhaps. Time to find strikers not named Altidore and Zardes.

Yes the opportunity is there but Berhalter cannot return to tried and true vets with whom he is familiar. Time to play for the future not the present or the past.
Another..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 7/11/2019 9:44 pm : link
dig at Altidore?

He and Zardes shouldn't be put in the same sentence together.
Why was Sargent left off the roster? Why wasn't someone like Soto  
Zeke's Alibi : 7/11/2019 9:58 pm : link
given a shot? Why couldn't we give anyone other than Bradley a chance? This tournament was a perfect opportunity to see what you have in these young players. But we needed to bring "respectabilty" back to the program.
I like Altidore, but he is constantly unfit or hurt. He should be a  
Zeke's Alibi : 7/11/2019 10:02 pm : link
role player when we need excellent hold up play. That is it. Strikers need to score goals in my mind and it is hard to find out who can do that at the international level unless you give them a chance. This was a meaningless tournament and the perfect opportunity to do so. Giving guys a chance upfront isn't a total team killer like it can be in the back if they aren't up to it. Seeing Zardes makes me want to puke.
I agree that..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 7/11/2019 10:10 pm : link
we should have seen some younger players.

I'm just tired of people acting like Altidore is some type of albatross or that he's not a very good player.

That type of talk should be reserved for Zardes.
I try to give people the benefit of the doubt but this Berhalter hire  
Zeke's Alibi : 7/11/2019 10:51 pm : link
has my bullshit meter up to ten. We'll see going forward. Soto should have been included to cap tie him.
Actually, Big Altidore Fan Since he Played with Metro Stars  
Jeffrey : 7/11/2019 11:15 pm : link
But cannot be a hypocrite. He is not the future and it seems ridiculous to say go young, except for Altidore. Now is the time for youth to be developed and while I have enjoyed the play of several older players it is not realistic to see them hold onto roster spots during a period for development.
Altidore..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 7/12/2019 8:06 am : link
is only 29 and could certainly still be a key player in the next world Cup
RE: Altidore..  
Bobby Humphrey's Earpad : 7/12/2019 8:26 am : link
In comment 14497129 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
is only 29 and could certainly still be a key player in the next world Cup


I like Altidore personally but he was done by halftime against Mexico. He should be in the squad, but this is Tim Weah's time.
RE: Altidore..  
Jeffrey : 7/12/2019 3:06 pm : link
In comment 14497129 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
is only 29 and could certainly still be a key player in the next world Cup


Yes but during the next 1-2 years what is the real value in giving Altidore much playing time ahead of younger players who are going to absolutely have to step up if the program is ever getting off the ground. It has to be all about development and that only comes on the pitch and not on the bench. We cannot have another coach who is not fully committed to the future. Clearly Altidore gives them a better chance to score today, but given his injury history and his age it would be a mistake to delay developing others and bank on his health and age in 3 years.
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