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The Soccer Thread (Version 9)

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Webster, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    September friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay, then CONCACAF Nations League games in October and November against Canada and Cuba (home and away), and Camp Cupcake in January. 2022 World Cup qualifying starts in March 2020, and if the CONCACAF president's comments are any indication, there's no guarantee the usual Hex participants won't be thrown in right at the start.

    Berhalter has been in charge for less than 9 months and won 8 of 12 with a draw and 3 losses (including the Gold Cup final, according to some the only 'important' game of the 12). Not spectacular, to be sure, but as the USSF isn't likely to cut bait this early into his tenure I'm not sure what else there is to do except find a young core to build around for the next cycle and develop it. Only five of the guys on the Gold Cup roster were 29 or older (Altidore, Bradley, Ream, Gonzalez, Johnson), so that's a start. It'd be damn helpful if the likes of Steffen, Miazga, Pulisic, Adams, Holmes, and the other YAs get consistent minutes, but that's beyond Berhalter's control.

    I can't speak for others, but my USMNT fandom will continue as before -- cautious optimism tinged with a sincere sense of dread. CONCACAF gets 3.5 bids for 2022, and a top-three Hex finish (while still hoping for a friendly inter-confederation playoff draw) isn't an outlandish expectation, despite the events of the last cycle.
    Azrael and Inky_Wretch like this.
  2. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Thanks, TB!
  3. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    No serious reason to panic. Gregg Berhalter wasn't going to overhaul this thing overnight - certainly not as far as the program has been torn down.

    Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and some other holdovers seemed to have helped. Yeah, they didn't convert any of three excellent chances in the first 10 minutes and it came back to haunt them against El Tri, but the defense looks a lot better than it did under Jurgen Klinsmann. Didn't see anywhere near the number of WTF defensive moments. Yes, they looked like crap against Curacao, but given this side at this stage, that's a learning opportunity, not a reason to sound the alarm.

    U.S. Soccer cannot affort to cut bait at this stage. As many steps as they've taken back, how many more can they afford to take in terms of talent, psychology, structure or development?

    Yes, it lost to El Tri. Frankly, that was expected. They showed well, and they showed that things are generally looking up.
  4. Della9250

    Della9250 Well-Known Member

  5. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

  6. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Well-Known Member

    Top six CONCACAF teams in June 2020 FIFA rankings go straight to the Hex, top three go to Qatar. Everyone else gets to fight it out for a chance to play the fourth-place Hex finisher for a spot in the inter-confederation playoff.

    Your top six as of today: Mexico (18), US (30), Costa Rica (39), Jamaica (54), Honduras (61), El Salvador (69). Panama (75), Canada (76), and Curacao (79) are the next closest.

  7. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Maybe I'm being dense, but how does that make the CONCACAF qualifying process more inclusive to teams outside of the six or seven that usually occupy the hex? Wasn't that the goal? I guess you can argue that one minnow will now have a fair shot at Panama or Jamaica or whatever, but 29 teams playing for essentially 1/4 of a WC qualifying spot seems weird.
  8. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

  9. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

  10. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I read that thinking that Canada's only hope of qualifying, ever, is if they let all three hosts in for 2026. And FIFA rankings are always a little hinky.
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Equal pay, and a pronunciation guide.
  12. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I know people like this. They thump the Bible with one hand, and I'll let what they do with their other hand to your imagination.
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