Posted 2013/10/15 by matthewsf in Uncategorized. 49 Comments
The marbles are already in the bag.
Which “B” teamer shows their wares tonight? Starting line-ups shortly.
Posted by KL on 2013/10/15 at 4:42 PM
Apparently Jozy being given the armband tonight. Odd choice in my opinion.
Posted by D on 2013/10/15 at 5:54 PM
Time for Jozy to play like a man and a leader tonight. I think that is why he was chosen. Another Klinsman challenge.
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/16 at 7:29 AM
I think Jozy showed very well tonight. Was it just the armband or the team playing into his feet instead of his head? I’m leaning towards the latter after being in KC for the Jamaica game.
Posted by D on 2013/10/16 at 9:46 AM
Agreed, Jozy played great, he is maturing very nicely
Posted by Freegle on 2013/10/15 at 5:22 PM
If anyone has a stream, please post it. I am mired in a no BeIn Sports Zone. Much obliged.
Posted by Dirk on 2013/10/15 at 6:55 PM
Posted by Crow on 2013/10/15 at 5:29 PM
Well the lineup is out and it is bizarre. Either you truly put the best lineup out and go for the win, or go experimental or young. Why all fringe players but start Altidore? Why not rest him as well? Why isn’t Johannsson starting?
Posted by mbw on 2013/10/15 at 6:15 PM
Maybe look at it this way. You have to take the game seriously, because to do otherwise with the fourth spot still up for grabs would be unsporting. You need to see Kljestan as a #8 and might as well see Mix as a #10 from the start of the game. Beasley is hurt — or at least close enough to hurt to pull himself from Friday’s game. Guzan has earned the start. Jozy, Zusi, Bedoya, and Beckerman are the best players currently available at their positions. For better or worse, Evans is our first-choice RB. The only really puzzling thing to me is why Cameron didn’t get the run out at CB.
Posted by Dirk on 2013/10/15 at 6:57 PM
Fiscal over Cameron at CB is just plain stupid.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2013/10/15 at 8:26 PM
Can this just be a thread for people who cringed and swore in disgust for the first time EVER when the USA scored in stoppage time?
I have the most mixed emotions right now.
Posted by Spiritof76 on 2013/10/15 at 8:27 PM
From Twitter: “Damn you Mexico for making it weird.”
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/16 at 7:21 AM
I took the position of the anarchist last night…didn’t necessarily want Mexico to miss out because of what that could mean for the region but seeing the apple cart get tipped now and again is what makes sport fun.
And I also felt extremely weird last night…can’t even put the emotions into words.
Posted by FellainisFro on 2013/10/15 at 8:35 PM
I guess the axiom is true. You play to win though I can’t believe we just helped El Tri back their way into the World Cup. Based on their past behavior they will believe they EARNED their way to Brazil.
Posted by john mosby on 2013/10/15 at 8:52 PM
well, mexico still have to beat new Zealand, but if they do, they will know who to thank for getting them there. plus, there is video evidence, so there is no denying it.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/10/16 at 4:11 PM
“Based on their past behavior they will believe they EARNED their way to Brazil.”
Mexico have had an awful Hex. But they have been less awful than Panama.
AJ said he scored because some of the Panamanians simply stopped playing.
Panama did not deserve to go. Mexico doesn’t either,not really, but there is the playoff slot and someone has to fill it.
Mexico did just enough to earn a shot at the Kiwis. And if they beat them, no easy task, they will have earned their their way to Brazil.
This is why WC qualification from CONCACAF is comparatively easy. It’s NOT the weak competition, which is not that weak. Rather it is the 3.5 slots they get. Mexico proves that you can be awful all tournament long and still have a shot at getting in..
There are teams better than the US and Mexico who would jump to have the CONCACAF format for their WC qualifying format.
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/17 at 6:27 AM
It’s not the 3.5 slots on offer…it’s the fact that the 3.5 slots are up for grabs in a 6-team Hex final round.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/10/17 at 9:06 AM
I was comparing CONCACAF’s format to the UEFA qualification format. They have 13 WC slots to hand out.
They have nine groups, eight with six teams, just like our Hex and one with five teams.
The nine group winners automatically advance while the eight runner up teams with the best records get into the playoff round.
The four playoff winners advance to Brazil along with the nine group winners.
Those eight playoff teams are Greece, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Sweden, Iceland, Romania and Croatia. I don’t know who plays who but I can see a seeding system where Greece plays Croatia, France plays Romania and so on.
I haven’t followed all those teams lately but I’m pretty sure Mexico, on paper, would rather face New Zealand than any one of them.
If you look at the point totals of the group winners in UEFA’s version of the Hex, they range from 28-22 points.The lowest point total for a UEFA Hex playoff team is 17. That tells you that there is greater parity between the CONCACAF Hex teams and that the UEFA Hex tournaments have their share of weak teams. By comparison, the US just achieved their highest point total ever with 22 points, CR got 18 points and Honduras got the third and last automatic slot with 15 points.
Mexico is in the playoffs with 11 points. And they get to play New Zealand.
I have seen almost all of Mexico’s games and by and large they looked like a bunch of guys that got to bed at 7AM after a very entertaining all nighter at the Cheetah in Vegas.
So yes, I believe it is a very forgiving format and Mexico should agree with me.
Posted by Herc on 2013/10/17 at 5:15 PM
Ok, for comparision, lets implement a UEFA equivalent qualifying system for CONCACAF. Actually we already had that. Just look at the tables for the round prior to the HEX. Yes, only 4 teams per table, but adding others would just add points to the top teams. So, the winners of those groups? USA, Mexico, Panama. Take the top 2 second place finishers to play a playoff to get to the playoff, result: Costa Rica vs. Honduras. Now, this is pretty harsh, but those are top top teams from the HEX and would probably be what would have been expected if all had gone due to prior form (which didn’t happen, and what makes the HEX so crazy).
So, now that we looked at that, lets for the groups for a 13 spot HEX-equivalent for UEFA. (Lets use final results from the groups as to determine who would be eliminated as there would be less teams involved in the final round). So, for the format, lets go 4 groups, top 3 auto-qualify and top 2 4th place in a playoff for an auto qualifier.
(First and Second, plus top 6 third places from the just finished groups)
So for the simulated groups (Finish in actual group in parens, attempted to be balanced):
(3) Czech Republic
At the look of these groups, I see more of the point totals like those that we see in the HEX than in the UEFA stages. These groups would be MUCH tougher, and more teams would have to be eliminated in earlier stages. Those are some really tough groups, even with 3.25 spots per group.
In all honesty, these UEFA groups would be much more interesting to watch, no more San Marino, or Liechtenstein etc. More losses/draws by the top teams as they are forced to actually play each other. Home/Home HEXes for these groups actually look really appetizing, no off games.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/10/21 at 7:09 AM
Do you think the US, by far the strongest team in CONCACAF WCQ this cycle, would qualify as a group winner in UEFA? I’m not so sure you would.
Part of me likes the geographical variations in the WC, but the football fan wants the best teams.
Posted by Herc on 2013/10/21 at 7:57 AM
It would be tough, that is why UEFA gets 13 automatic spots and CONCACAF gets 3.5.
But to answer the question, I think that our would be possible, depending on the group. I hate to look at friendlies to get meaningful answers, but sometimes it is all we have to look at (and more answers next summer) but the USMNT did win games against group winners Germany, Italy, and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last year or so. Two of those on the road in Europe.
I think that they would compete for the group winner spot and would probably at least get into a playoff.
Posted by john mosby on 2013/10/21 at 3:04 PM
George, if USA is a number one seed, then they win most of the groups in Europe, if they are a number two seed, then they might win four out of nine groups. they at the very least come in second in pretty much every group.
I don’t see European teams traveling well to the USA for a qualifier
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/23 at 1:52 PM
John, are you looking at the current WCQ seeds UEFA used or just in general?
Posted by john mosby on 2013/10/23 at 4:10 PM
nick, I don’t know, but I think USA would beat up on a lot of euro teams in an official match. in fact I think Honduras and costa rica would do well against these teams, and euro teams would have an even tougher time playing in san jose, and Tegucigalpa would be down right impossible for most of Europe.
id love to see some british team travel to that outpost down in Guatemala that has you driving past active volcanoes to get to the stadium. they would have serious trouble with this.
George, we have to call a spade a spade and say that world cups have been dominated in numbers by European teams, and that has skewed the whole perception we have about who is good and who is not.
Europe has never gotten any less than 40% of the teams in any world cup, and in past cups would get closer to 60% of the teams at the “world cup”.
Europe can gain some real bragging rights by winning in brasil, which just aint happening.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/10/23 at 6:48 PM
Like I said in my original post, I understand the geographical argument, but as a football fan, I want to see the best teams in the most prestigious tournament on the planet – especially after actually spending an awful lot of money and time attending World Cups.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/10/24 at 8:50 PM
John, my friend, England have recently played Brazil home and away in friendlies; win and a draw. Using your logic, does that mean I can consider England to be ‘real’ contenders because we beat the tournament favourites (see what I did there?!)?
Posted by john mosby on 2013/10/26 at 5:31 AM
georgie porgie, pudding and pie, why oh why, must you deny. you don’t really think friendlies are the same as competitive fifa sanctioned matches. three blind mice, see how they run….. where the heck are they going?
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/17 at 9:23 PM
My point was merely that you can’t call CONCACAF Qualifying easy due to the number of spots on offer, rather once you get to the Hex it becomes almost a shoe-in to make it if you’re a half-way decent side in the region. So yes, the Hex, once you make it, is a forgiving format.
As Herc is pointing out you can’t compare UEFA and CONCACAF straight up as our format has a home-at-home series to weed out minnows, then a round with 6 groups of 4 to further weed out the minnows before the top 6 teams in the region even get involved. Whereas UEFA throws everyone into the mix and only has the first round league format and then the play-offs for the remaining spots.
Considering the insanity in Africa and Mexico backing into the playoffs against New Zealand, and France and Portgual potentially having to face each other just to get in…it would seem that all of the confederations (except for Asia which seems to do it close to right…) need to re-evaluate their qualifying formats. UEFA would squawk about it but most of the minnows could be weeded out during the Euro Championships since they won’t make it to them anyways…
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/17 at 9:29 PM
Also, in my opinion Asia and Oceania need to merge….
Posted by AdamFromMich on 2013/10/18 at 10:00 AM
To me, it’s not the format (4th place team goes to the playoff) that makes it look easy, it’s the playoff opponent. NZ just doesn’t scare anyone. In the past, the playoff has been between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. It wouldn’t be so forgiving if Mexico had to beat Uruguay in the playoff series.
Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/10/18 at 11:23 AM
Well it’s not a straight comparison but at least Mexico, a very unworthy 4th place team has a shot.
The fourth place team in the UEFA version of the Hex has NO shot.
Granted their playoff teams (second place) get to playoff against teams like France , Portugal or Croatia. but any shot is better than none. And of course the the third place team in UEFA’s hex doesn’t get anything either.
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/18 at 12:22 PM
The Inter-Continental Playoffs have always rotated so Asia doesn’t always play Oceania and CONCACAF always playing CONMEBOL.
You also can’t compare the UEFA playoffs to the Inter-Continental ones because the UEFA playoffs, similar to Africa’s playoffs are for their full spots in the World Cup. Only a confederation’s half spots are forced into a play-off against another continent’s half-spot.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/10/23 at 7:11 PM
I have just about calmed down now. I think it is absolutely scandalous that Italy and Netherlands were not seeded – and (Blatter’s) Switzerland and Columbia are.
Why should the other UEFA countries be afforded ‘confederation protection’? England for example will now avoid Italy, Netherlands and most likely France, Croatia and Portugal/Sweden and have a 50% chance of missing one of the four favorites. Whereas the US could possibly get Spain (pot 1) and Italy/Netherlands (pot 2). Lose 2 group games again, and I cannot see you progressing like you did in 2009. Don’t think that’s fair that, for example, the US has a higher probability to get a tougher draw just because they’re from CONCACAF.
Fairest way would be to seed all 32 countries and place them in eight pots; 8 No. 1 seeds, 8 No. 2 seeds etc. etc.
And before anybody starts bleating, I am perfectly fine with England not being seeded — because we don’t deserve to be.
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/24 at 7:57 AM
Not going to disagree that some of the seeded teams seem a bit “off” to me but this is the exact same format as was used for the 2010 World Cup – the hosts and the next 7 highest teams according to the FIFA Rankings with the nuance that Spain is seeded as Champions instead of simply based on their FIFA Rank.
Even if you think the FIFA Rankings are a joke and shouldn’t be used for anything other than wiping your ass, keep in mind that the SPI rankings would make the following teams Pot 1 seeds for 2014:
1 Brazil – Hosts and #1 SPI
2 Spain – Champs and #3 SPI
8 Uruguay if they qualify, otherwise Netherlands
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/10/24 at 8:38 AM
With Elo rankings it would be:
Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, England, Uruguay, Italy
I guess you can quibble about England getting a seed, but that looks way more sensible than using the FIFA rankings.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/10/24 at 9:10 AM
I think they should look at the average seed over the duration of WCQ and performance at the last two WCs – not sure what the weighting of each should be…
The ELO looks more reasonable, and agree that England are probably more than a question mark.
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/24 at 9:28 AM
If you use the 2006 formula (Performance over the last two world cups 66.7% for most recent) and then the Avg FIFA Ranking from three year-end rankings (12/2011, 12/2012, and 10/2013 vs. 11/2013 to not give points for nations in playoffs) then this is what the seeding looks like assuming all results in Africa hold (Cameroon edging Tunisia) and the “favorite” in the Inter-Continentals and UEFA playoffs win.
5) Brazil – obviously docked FIFA Rankings for not playing qualifiers
7) Portugal if they qualify
8) Uruguay if they qualify
9) Italy if Portugal or Uruguay fail
10) Switzerland if Portugal & Uruguay fail
We could definitely quibble over using SPI, ELO, or FIFA Rankings and which one is a better indicator of projected future results but regardless we’re still looking at the same top 10-12 teams just interchanging places.
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/24 at 9:32 AM
With the exception that Switzerland likely drops out of the top 10-12 altogether
Posted by gino744 on 2013/10/25 at 10:15 AM
George, I see why you and many other fans would want to see the best teams but what about the fans from the countries that would be excluded? Again, this is why its the World Cup. Countries still get to participate in their federation champtionships between WC cycles. On another point, I don’t see it as UEFA having “confederation protection”. I believe they try to group the federations into separate pots as a sort of scheduling diversity.
I also thought Italy and Netherlands would end up seeded up until I went onto the FIFA website and saw the combinations of results needed for them to do so. Italy just had to beat Armenia and they would have made it. It’s on them for either not knowing or not winning that match.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/10/26 at 6:00 AM
Gino, understand and respect your point. I know you believe that because it is the ‘World’ Cup, it requires proper world representation. But my interpretation is that the World Cup is competed by the best teams in the world.
I honestly think the integrity of the competition will suffer if you drastically alter with the balance between ‘continental quotas’ and ‘quality’.
And I think FIFA’s ability to charge a premium to commercial partners and TV broadcasting would also reflect this!
Yeah, I know about that draw being expensive for Italy, but I still don’t see how Switzerland and Colombia are seeded. Compare FIFA to Elo and there’s much of a likeness as you’d expect. But there are a couple of glaring ‘discrepancies’ — I’ll let you guess which countries they are…
Posted by gino744 on 2013/10/26 at 7:52 PM
George, I’ll we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. BTW, you probably already know this but Italy can still be seeded if Uruguay lose to Jordan in their playoff. That’s a BIG if.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/10/21 at 7:13 AM
Mexico played X games, got Y points, and Z GD. They finished 4th. That’s what the record books will say.
But when you drill down, we all know they were lucky as they had to rely on another result, that occurred in injury time.
Posted by Bob on 2013/10/15 at 8:41 PM
I think I just became a New Zealand fan.
Posted by gino744 on 2013/10/15 at 9:24 PM
UnFREAKINbelievable! Mexico were just minutes from humiliation and the Yanquis rescue them from the abyss. My heart goes out to Panama but WTF were they doing pushing forward with a 2 to 1 lead?!
Johannsson redeems himself after Thursday’s disappointment. Zusi makes his case for a starting RM place in Brazil. I’m so pumped up for the World Cup that June seems like an eternity.
Posted by Crow on 2013/10/15 at 9:58 PM
Absolutely gutted for Panama. I will always love the underdog and their fans I have met have been so classy. Just one minute away. I will not understand why they didn’t have more numbers back- they were just asking for the USA to score. I am so glad it didn’t end in a tie or I would have been furious. I’m also glad Mexican fans had to cheer for the USA for those 10 minutes.
Panama blew too many chances the whole cycle- the 2-0 lead vs Costa Rica in the final 10 minutes; not winning vs Jamaica on the road or at home even up a man; blowing the game late vs Mexico. They really didn’t deserve it and neither does Mexico who should have to play someone better. Its ridiculous they can qualify for the World Cup on their form when some of the African or European teams will miss.
A shame we played so poorly those first 10 minutes in Costa Rica or we could have a record winning streak if not a top seed.
Posted by gino744 on 2013/10/15 at 10:09 PM
Agree Mexico has been poor but African teams have consistently underperformed in the World Cup so adding Egypt (6-1 losers today), Burkina Faso or any of their other playoff losers would not be an improvement over Mexico. Also, there’s a reason why they call it the WORLD Cup. European also-rans will get another chance at their (now bloated) 24 team Euro Cup in 2016. Just sayin’.
Posted by johnantimo on 2013/10/16 at 6:24 AM
We’re going to be something more interesting than a top seed in Brasil – we’re going to be the dangerous floater who no one wants in their group, and who can wreck the World Cup dreams of a top contender. Not saying I wouldn’t love to get a seed, but realistically being the 10th-best team is more fun than being the 7th-best and having expectations/pressure that we might not be able to handle just yet.
Posted by Ufficio on 2013/10/16 at 6:47 AM
On the other hand, with Netherlands and Italy not being seeded, we could be drawn into a group of doom. Anyone up for Brazil, Netherlands, Ghana, USA?
Come December 6th, we’ll all be praying for a date with the Swiss.
Posted by Nick on 2013/10/16 at 7:28 AM
Speaking of seeding and the team no one wants to face, based on current FIFA Rankings here’s how the UEFA play-offs will be seeded:
Croatia – #10
Portugal – #11
Greece – #12
Sweden – #22
France – #25
Ukraine – #26
Romania – #31
Iceland – #54
Of course these will change with last night’s results (working on that during down time at work today) but Portugal v France for a berth in Brazil would be a tasty tie…
Posted by Jim on 2013/10/16 at 7:02 AM
I also feel badly for Panama. I will feel even worse for Panama if Mexico ends up falling to NZ. However, how much sweeter would it be if Mexico loses out after yet another opportunity to control their destiny? It’s certainly no forgone conclusion that they take care of NZ, especially given their form as of late.
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