News: New World Cup Qualifying Format For CONCACAF

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Sebsasour, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    Omagarsh. Can people quit with the "why do we have to play minnows" (eg Cuba) stuff like it is our personal burden? In UEFA odds are you get Gibraltar or Faroe in your qualifying group. In Africa someone gets Swatini, South Sudan, and the Seychelles. In Asia you might play Guam or Bhutan. Don't even get me started on Oceania.

    The only reason CONMEBOL looks like it does is geographical anomaly and grandfathering. I did a report on the Guyanas when I was a kid. They are in equatorial South America. TnT are less than 10 miles off Venezuela's coast. We just played 2 South American teams. In Concacaf. Ditto Suriname. At some point when this was all being decided, the Spanish heritage teams didn't want in with the Caribbean French/English territories. So they got punted to Concacaf. Count your blessings we don't have to endure CONMEBOL carnage. Pure arrogance coming from a team that finished behind Honduras and Panama last time. You are not a special snowflake. Be glad qualifying is not unrelenting harshness because it would not always favor us.

    At the end of about every Concacaf process it winnows down to good teams eg Hex, LoN semis, GC knockouts. What we have is fine, and last year should have dispelled the illusion that you are who you schedule, or lining up Brazil Colombia England etc. should have already made us awesome. You still have to do your own hard work of development, selection, coaching, and playing the games. Focus on us for a change. When we are beating everyone including CR and Mexico 3-0 even away, we can start up with the "too good for Cuba" stuff again.
     
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  2. skim172

    skim172 Member+

    Feb 20, 2013
    As has been already pointed out, this system basically stifles the ability of fringe teams to improve and crack into the tourney.

    But I think this will hurt the top teams, too, in different ways. Because it now means for the top six countries, WCQs now consist of 5 games. WCQs, are the most competitive matches we can compete in in our region - the one competition where we can be sure that every team will bring their best game. Friendlies are fine enough, and Gold Cups and now Nations League are better - but those matches will never carry the weight of the WCQs. Losing 1-0 to drop out of Gold Cup sucks - but it doesn't hurt anywhere near as if we lost 1-0 to drop out of World Cup qualification.

    This means meaningful games, with significant results and opportunities for us to scout and test out the talent pool under live-fire condition, to blood newbies and youths in real, meaningful action, and to develop and experiment with strategy in the actual field. While fewer qualifiers makes the road to qualification shorter (and easier), it also will mean less time to develop our team.


    In a broader sense, it hurts CONCACAF because fewer rounds of qualifying means it's more likely that the actual top teams in the confederation don't make it. You have fewer games, a smaller sample size, and a greater probability of random events having an impact on the final result. That's what happens in Africa - a hot streak or a poorly-timed injury or freak chance will often knock out a team based on a single match result. We also see that, in a different form, in Europe - there's usually at least one team that qualifies when it shouldn't have and a team that didn't qualify when it should've, based on their terrible qualifying format that minimizes the number of games played. For Europe, it's less of an issue because they just get so many spots in the WC anyway.

    It'll probably also be less an issue in CONCACAF as well, because it's a confederation that is so top-heavy. CONCACAF usually has a top 2 (3, at most) who will win it, maybe 2 to 4 who can challenge them, and maybe 1-2 more who might take some points off the others. And then the rest, which is far behind. So a deserving team getting screwed over by the format is less likely to happen.

    But it will still crop up - a situation where one team gets in because of the qualifying format. For example, a team in the Hex will have fewer games but tougher opposition than a team in the "other 29" - which means if you finish 5th in the Hex, you're completely out of qualification, but a lower-ranked team that beats the field will still be in the playoffs - and again, they'll need just one strong game, one injury, or one freak chance to win.
     
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  3. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    Arsenal
    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Who the hell are you replying to, and how is this at all relevant to this thread?
     
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  4. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    SUM Cabal Executive Director
    Jan 9, 2004
    3 blocks from "SoccerHouse", Chicago
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    10.
     
  5. whitecloud

    whitecloud Member+

    Jan 25, 2009
    Gulf Shores, AL
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In what universe is El Salvador better than Panama or Canada.
     
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  6. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    It would be dumb to have the 4th team play the 7th team.

    To me this is intended to fool the gullible that weak teams have a better chance. When in reality 3 slots are gone to the best 6 and their window has shrunk to one slot. When before at least in theory they had 3.5 chances and were as eligible as the next team to make the Hex, based just on qualifying and not on general schedule.

    To me the intent of things like the LoN is to cement in the elite even better than before. It is merely tempered with LoN pro/rel and then a playoff for a half slot for qualifying, against a team that will be inherently higher ranked.
     
  7. yurch10

    yurch10 Member+

    Feb 13, 2004
    I thought I posted this, but maybe not...

    This stinks to high heavens. Now with this Gold Cup meaning zilch (no confed cup), we now have 10 games of Hex qualifying and 3-4 WC matches.

    Unless we figure out how to combine CONMEBOL, the US will play 14 important games max every 4 years. What a joke.

    This is not good for anyone trying to start or maintain an interest in this team...

    I can only think/hope that the USSF cronies already know that we're going to become a permanent part of Copa America.
     
  8. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    I think it's gross, qualifying should be earned on the field in controlled schedule games, and no teams should get special treatment. Even getting to skip to the semis was kind of bull. To me you should have to prove each time you belong there.

    I also think it is potentially bad for us in down cycles because bad feedback will be delayed until the last, worst possible minute. Last cycle the Fed and fans began to have concerns as of the semis. Do it this way and you would only figure out you are in any trouble two games deep in the Hex.
     
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  9. whitecloud

    whitecloud Member+

    Jan 25, 2009
    Gulf Shores, AL
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We don't need to worry about it beyond this cycle, though. Do we? The Cup expands to 48 in 2026 where we are also the host, and the Cup surely won't contract back to 32 in 2030 after expanding, FIFA likes money too much.
     
  10. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The inter-confederation playoffs are slated for March 2022, but there's also supposed to be the second CONCACAF Nations League in 2021-22. The October, November, and March FIFA dates could be used for the CNL group play, except it will be a scheduling problem for the WCQ playoff teams. There's also the empty 2022 summer that could be used for CNL purposes. The elimination of FIFA dates in February and August has made all this scheduling more perilous in recent years.
     
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  11. Marius Tresor

    Marius Tresor Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    So, the USMNT is in the Hex already. I do not see how that is a bad thing for the USMNT.
     
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  12. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    SUM Cabal Executive Director
    Jan 9, 2004
    3 blocks from "SoccerHouse", Chicago
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    ah, ok, yeah, the Nations League is going to make things ridiculous.
     
  13. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    Re combining with CONMEBOL, our recent (since 2016 CA started) results are:
    Colombia 0-2 H 0-1 H 2-4 H
    Argentina 0-4 H
    Brazil 0-2 H
    Venezuela 1-1 H 0-3 H
    Uruguay --
    ----- [WOULD PROBABLY FINISH AHEAD OF US]
    Peru 1-1 H
    Chile 1-1 H
    ---- [OUR COMPETITION, WHO WE CAN ONLY TIE AT HOME]
    Paraguay 1-0 H 1-0 H
    Ecuador 2-1 H 1-0 H
    Bolivia 3-0 H

    CONMEBOL had 4.5 slots last time.

    If you combined the 2 regions and had 8 total slots, add Mexico to consistently above us, that's 6 slots gone, if CR stays ahead, that's 7.

    I hope that puts to rest the arrogant self serving moping.
     
  14. drt2k3

    drt2k3 Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    Wilmington, NC
    Club:
    Wilmington H.
    I dont mind it too much. From the US perspective we eliminate 6 games in the pre Hex round of WCQ and now have 4 Nations League games of equal calibar as the pre Hex round. So mostly a wash.

    From a format perspective, I think using FIFA rankings yo determine the Hex stinks. Instead, I would use the Nations League to determine the 6 Hex slots therefore making Hex qualification more equitable. The Hex should be composed of the 4 League A group winners, the winner of a 4 team playoff of the League A 2nd place team, and the winner of a 4 team playoff of the League B group winners. If a Non FIFA team qualifies for the Hex via nations league, THEN the highest FIFA ranked team to not qualify for the Hex should get that slot
     
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  15. Roger Allaway

    Roger Allaway Member+

    Apr 22, 2009
    Warminster, Pa.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't really mind it ending when it does. Only a month earlier than it did in the 2018 World Cup cycle.

    But it appears that we've now gone from no Hex games being played in the year two years before the World Cup year (2014 cycle), to two of the 10 Hex game dates in that year (2018 cycle) to six of the 10 Hex game dates in that year (2022 cycle). I suppose that is to make up for the absence of a semifinal round.

    Maybe my problem with the schedule is that I enjoy the excitement of World Cup qualifiers. Knocking six or eight of them off the USMNT schedule is disappointing to me. But I suppose that the person who writes checks to the airlines at the USSF doesn't agree with me, nor do the coaches of European teams that have USMNT players on their rosters.
     
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  16. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    Who appointed you hall monitor?

    Funny but you should recognize your own comment. You said "Games against Cuba aren't any better, but that's a format problem more than anything else." I then went on A VERY GERMANE rant about how no one in the other federations gets some constant barrage of difficulty designed to test them, because that is not the purpose of open qualifying. The purpose of open qualifying is everyone enters and someone gets to play the minnows. That is the flip side of open entry we are now trying to avoid.

    The only Fed that gets to end run this is CONMEBOL -- that does have hellacious qualifying -- and only the ill informed don't realize that this was constructed that way on purpose. Suriname on South America were founding entrants in Concacaf. The minnows came to us. This is why they don't have their own minnows. They chose to be elsewhere. Or Brazil would get to play Suriname and Guyana and TnT.

    And then I just detailed the counter-factual arrogance of assuming we do any better in a combined federation. And you're like how does this relate? Well, the Cuba bit is arrogance. We finished 5th of 6 last hex. We have it hard enough already. A decade ago the argument would have been we are TOO GOOD for Honduras or Panama. Oh, how things change.

    Like I said, UEFA plays minnows alongside the challenging teams to get where they are going. The idea we are relatively held back by our schedule is silliness or last year would have vaulted us to elite status. We instead got our butts kicked.
     
  17. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    But haven't you lost some of the value of LoN if it basically washes with the loss of the semi round? What this was going to give us was the extra first-half-of-cycle games that count that UEFA would get and we wouldn't. So we get those games but give up just as much.

    I don't think strength of schedule is good for us -- until we are already ready for it. But I do think more games that count -- against anyone -- would help us avoid last cycle's issues where coaches focused on the wrong older players and backs and didn't fix the lineup in time. Do it this way and that feedback will be just as postponed as ever.

    And if there was any coach who is going to need a reality check on how his oddity fares under a game that counts, it's this one.
     
  18. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    @juvechelsea you'rve lost me.

    A page back you complain that the US won't challenge itself now to protect the ranking. Now you are arguing that we should play more minnows? :confused:

    Anyways wait till the expanded field gets CONCACAF 5 spots. 5 groups of 7 and we're done...everybody gets a chance...awesome.

    Right now, a snake draft gets us this group:

    USA, Curacao, Antigua&Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Montserrat, and BVI.

    Good news is, that's 10 years from now and all my kids can fend for them selves by then. My wife has sort of agreed that we'll follow the USMNT around as a way to see some of the world. Looks like my tan will vastly improve.

    Downside, the USMNT will still be meh.
     
  19. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I’m confused....

    LoN, automatic qual to the Hex, 29 team tournament...

    Don’t get it.

    Someone care to demonstrate a working model of what the hell this is supposed to look like?
     
  20. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Watch the video on page one of this thread.
     
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  21. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I’d argue for this....

    1. Immediately following the World Cup through start of Gold Cup... Gold Cup Qualification.

    Automatic Seeds: (based on placement in last Hex)
    1. Mexico
    2. Costa Rica
    3. Panama
    4. Honduras

    Qualification:
    Group A
    1. USA (bye)
    2. Aruba Vs Antigua and Barbuda
    3. Guyana Vs Dominica
    4. Turks and Caicos Islands Vs Puerto Rico

    Group B
    1. Trinidad and Tobago Vs British Virgin Islands
    2. Guatemala Vs Nicaragua
    3. Cuba Vs Barbados
    4. Grenada Vs Saint Kitts and Nevis

    Group C
    1. Canada Vs Anguilla
    2. Haiti Vs Dominican Republic
    3. Saint Lucia Vs Belize
    4. Bahamas Vs Curaçao

    Group D
    1. Jamaica Vs Bermuda
    2. El Salvador VsMontserrat
    3. Suriname Vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines
    4. US Virgin Islands Vs Cayman Islands

    Gold Cup:
    Group A
    Mexico
    Honduras
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Jamaica

    Group B
    Panama
    Costa Rica
    USA
    Canada

    World Cup Qualification begins on the summer after the Gold Cup - preferably after Copa America.... and lasts 2 yrs instead of 1. Ie 18 games instead of 16, 10 (hex) + 6 (semi-final)

    Automatic (Top 4 from Gold Cup)
    1. Mexico
    2. USA
    3. Canada
    4. Jamaica

    Note: this makes the Gold Cup worth playing in.

    6 other teams to qualify
    *Use similar format for qualification to Gold Cup; except add top 2 second placed teams...

    Hypothetically...
    1. Mexico
    2. USA
    3. Canada
    4. Jamaica
    5. Honduras
    6. Panama
    7. Haiti
    8. Trinidad and Tobago
    9. Guatemala
    10. El Salvador

    I’d strongly advocate too to do away with the third year Gold Cup and replace it with the Copa Americas. Initially, I thought to do it in the 2nd year, but since there is no longer the Confederations Cup, it would serve the Americas as a good warm up before the World Cup.

    Qualification for that tournament....

    Top 10 South American and 6 North American based on FIFA rankings...

    Group A
    Brazil
    Venezuela
    Mexico
    Honduras

    Group B
    Colombia
    Peru
    Ecuador
    Canada

    Group C
    Uruguay
    Paraguay
    Bolivia
    USA

    Group D
    Argentina
    Chile
    Costa Rica
    Jamaica
     
  22. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No habla
     
  23. alslammerz

    alslammerz Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Staten Island, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I mean, basically putting Mexico and the USA into the hex doesn't really fix any issues from 2014 or 2018 because in both cases the teams almost (or sadly) actually blew the Hex.

    Honestly this feels like something put in place with 2026 in mind. Assuming the US and Mexico (and not Canada - because they said everyone might not get one) get auto bids, then you take your next 6 teams (let's say Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Canada, Panama, Curacao) and have them play the Hex, with the 4th place team playing the winner of the 27 team tournament for the final of Concacaf's 6 spots.

    Hopefully by the 2030 cycle where circumstances will be different, we will have come up with a new system and a better regional calendar (for instance, maybe only 1 Gold Cup and 1 Nations League).
     
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  24. Marius Tresor

    Marius Tresor Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    Got that, but the USMNT has had some problems in the pre-Hex groups before, needing to win some high pressure games.
     
  25. pirozhok

    pirozhok Member

    United States
    Jul 20, 2007
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, conmebol and concacaf combined will have 12 slots starting with wc26 (plus shot at 1 playoff slot).
     

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