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Discussion in 'CONCACAF' started by MoRado, Jun 18, 2008.
Not that i'm overly confident or anything, but our record against Cuba in Port of Spain in the last 15 years is 7 wins to 1 loss.
I'm a whole lot more worried about the possibility of us GETTING to play this match in Port of Spain (or on T&T at all) than about us beating Cuba there...
This is why I don't bet on soccer.
Wow, just wow.
Right. I don't think T&T is going anywhere unless they get they're domestic federation problems solved. Of course, if they actually had all they're best players available, I would consider them a serious challenger for a World Cup spot, or at least the playoff.
It would've been a tough bet in-game. But they do sometimes work out. A few years back in the Champions League Final when AC Milan had a 3-0 halftime lead the in-game line was 330-1 against Liverpool coming back to win, so for the hell of it I laid $50. $16,500 (which for comparisons sake is higher than the average yearly income of every CONCACAF nation other than Canada and the U.S.) later and I fear no soccer bet. As Cam and Gabe would say on "Drive This" or "Game On" it's all about value.
Sometimes laying a small wager on extreme lines ($10 or $20) is worth it.
To be fair though, I don't often bet games straight up. Prop or in-game lines usually have much more value. A free tip I'll give you about prop betting on soccer. You almost certainly have noticed how during TV broadcasts they routinely show a players running distance (-ie- total ground covered during the game). If both teams have wingbacks, midfielders and forwards who average over 10.5 KM a game, it usually means both teams play a faster, more attacking game creating plenty of chances so games like that usually have a very good chance at going over the score (most books offer 2.5 goals as their over/under on soccer games). For example, during today's Italy-Spain game, most of the players late in the second half had still only covered less than 8 KM, which was attested to by the low number of decent scoring chances. If the lines are indeed 2.5 for the Semi-Final games I'd suggest going with the over on both of them.
Their 'best players' are mostly retired from international competition. Even then age would be a terrible enemy to that team with those players.
Who are all these mythical "best players" that they're missing? 36 year-old Dwight Yorke? He's retired from international play. Russell Latapy, who's 40 in August? Shaka Hislop?
The team that played against Bermuda pretty much is their team, minus Kenwynne Jones who was hurt against England and Birchall who hasn't been called in since the WC for whatever reason. They don't have a secret good team hiding in the background.
I don't call myself an expert on T&T or anything, but are those two really the only ones missing from their team right now?
Agreed. I think T&T's World Cup Qualification was more a factor of ridiculously good fortune when it came to their Semi-Final round (being drawn in a group where they only had to finish ahead of St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to advance) and a "Golden Generation" of players rather than being indicative of a institutionalized strength in their National Program.
Yes. Look at their WC roster, everyone else either played against Bermuda, or is retired/injured/washed up.
Looking at T&T from a historic perspective, they were never a very good team in the 90's and 00's, even when Yorke was in his prime. Beenhakker performed a minor miracle and turned them into a decent team for a short time. Now that he's gone, they're back to being not very good.
IOW, they're not playing below their level now, they played above their level in 05-06.
I dunno about that, a favorable semifinal draw doesn't mean much because you still have to go through the hex. And they qualified out of the semifinal group of death in 2002 qualifying with a team that wasn't any better. As for their "golden generation", the same group of players had been around for years without much success.
It was all due to the coach, IMO.
Did you see the second goal they scored on us in Trinidad? Our GK was out on the floor when they scored. That is unsportsman , our goal was way different. The ref did not see them trying to make a sub when we had a corner
The player started heading off without the ref's signal, this is not T&T fault.
I agree that our goal wasn't very fair either and I'm not blaming T&T. Like I said if the Ref allowed it's nothing that T&T should be blamed for same with our goal. If the ref would have seen it as unfair maybe he'd have disallowed it and made them take it again. It's all water under the bridge now and I wish T&T the best of luck in the next round. I would have loved to see Kenwyn Jones play though. With him you'd have smashed us no doubt. The class of a professional definitely showed as Edwards looked like he was on a different level from the other 21 players out there.
Since everyone is suddenly becoming an expert on T&T football, I'll put in my 2cents.
We may not have been "a very good team in the 1990's" but it didn't stop us from being the best team in the caribbean for about 8 years (Caribbean cup champs 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 01. In fact until the reggae boys suddenly became some sort of power with their mass recourse to UB40s around 1998 T&T had no equal in the area. This is not to say we were as good as Mexico, or even the US after 1994, but the fact of the matter is Concacaf was even more top heavy then than it is now. Costa Rica had pretty much gone into a tailspin after WC90, Honduras was nowhere to be found, neither was Guatemala, Panama was a baseball nation, Canada was a hockey nation, El Salvador was still mourning Magico...Concacaf as a whole lacked "very good teams" in the 1990s
Despite what many people think, until the 2006 campaign, Dwight Yorke had been more of a hindrance to our campaign than a help. Not only was he frequently unavailable, but he rarely gave 100% in games after 1995, and frequently sewed team discord with his star boy status, culminating with his disciplining and subsequent "retirement" in the middle of the 2000 hex.
However in 2000, we made both the semifinals of the Gold Cup and the Hex, with two different coaches, and none of whom were named Beenhakker. In the semifinal round, we creamed Panama, Canada, and beat Mexico at home.
This was a team that had Ancil Elcock, Stern John, Arnold Dwarika, Marvin Andrews, Yorke and Latapy at the top of their form before it all fell apart in the Hex.
I daresay that this team was playing even better than the Soca Warriors did in 05 under Beenhakker. It definitely was more talented.
I know its very tempting for quite a few of the other Concacafers to lick their lips in anticipation of T&T's demise, and quite frankly, I won't blame them, but outside of the two powers, T&T has been more consistent than any other caribbean team, any central american team not named Costa Rica and Canada in the last 15 years.
For those who question the claims that our "best players" are not available or being chosen, here's the list - and we're not talking about Hislop - the ESPN sports consultant people :
Avery John (USL)
Brent Sancho (Scottish Div 1)
Christopher Birchall (English Championship)
Cornell Glenn (TT Proleague)
Denzil Theobald (TT Proleague)
Silvio Spann (English league 2)
Scott Sealy (MLS)
Colin Samuel (Scottish Div 1)
Julius James (MLS)
Anthony Wolfe (TT Proleague)
Randy Patterson (USL)
Kenwyne Jones (injured - EPL)
Kelvin Jack (injured - English league 1)
Cyd Gray (injured - TT Proleague)
Marvin Andrew (injured - Scottish Div 2)
Andrews John and Gray are the only ones that can be considered as being "too old" for the 2010 campaign, and Dennis Lawrence, who played against Bermuda and was just promoted to the Championship with Swansea is older than Gray and the same age as the other two. Yorke and Latapy, despite their ages and the fact that i don't believe we should still be relying on them, both still play in the top league in their respective countries (England and Scotland)
These are only those that have had proven experience in professional leagues abroad or with the national team in the past. I can add at least 5 decent guys who were very prominent under the last coach with gold cup and caribbean cup experience and have been consistently ignored by the new one.
Not counting the injured, that's more than a whole team right there...
33, not re-signed by the Revs, and playing in USL-1
Released by Gillingham and Millwall in the last year
MLS reject, never really recovered from his injury in the WC, failed some trials with lower-division English teams earlier this year.
TT Proleague says it all. Not one of the blacklisted players either; he even played in the Gold Cup.
Make that Nationwide Conference for Wrexham...but he's not being re-signed by them anyway. Only made 9 league appearances.
1 goal in 10 matches this year
Couldn't buy a goal for TFC
Good prospect, but only two games of pro experience
"TT Proleague" Played in USL-1 last year as well.
Agreed of course on Jones, I doubt Jack is much of an upgrade on Ince or Williams, Gray is 34 and another domestic-based player, Andrews is also washed up and was released by Raith Rovers. His injury is a major one and who knows what level he will play at in the future.
Your collection of obscure domestic-based players, USL-1 nobodies, and aging Scottish lower division hacks isn't scaring anyone.
Which is a different issue than we're addressing here, the perception that there are a bunch of good players that aren't available because of the labor dispute from last year. You're just disagreeing with Maturana's selections.
I don't want to get in a back and forth with you, but in case you're suffering from temporary amnesia - that collection of obscure domestic based players (in particular gray, whitley) - scottish lower division hacks (Scotland, Andrews, Jack, Theobald, Jack) and English lower division nobodies got us to the World Cup, in front of many more "big named" players.
The fact is Concacaf globally speaking, doesn't have much better to offer.
As far as the "disagreeing with Maturana goes, I'm just explaining that this thing goes way deeper than a simple problem of having the best players available. There's a huge problem of chemistry, caused not only by players not being able to play together, but by bad blood between the blacklisted, former blacklisted, Wim's gold cup "scabs", and Maturana's young bloods.
I'm just saying that if T&T is running on fumes (and we saw that clearly against Bermuda) its not because there isn't anymore gas available, but simply that the powers that be have decided to stop tapping into the reservoirs because of their own hidden agendas. Also, in a country with such a small player pool as T&T, its kind of counterproductive to short circuit competition, which is the effect the blacklist/brownlist/favourites list has been having on the pool in the last 2 years...
A few notes on the players:
Avery John might be 33, but its pretty interesting that Miami FC had 5 straight clean sheets with him and then promptly gave up a goal as soon as he was out of the lineup. 3 MLS playoff finals is nothing to be sneezed at. In any case, his absolute worth is not important, the fact is that he's better and far more experienced than ANYONE we can put in the left back position, where we have been consistently found out in our last games.
Sancho has been in the wilderness for a year for a lot of non footballing reasons. I'm not worried about him though, he's a fighter.
Samuel adapted very badly to Toronto. He went back to Scotland to be with his wife and kids, and i'm pretty sure it'll do him a world of good.
Glenn was only let go from the Galaxy because of his recurring injuries, not because of his inherent quality. You may be right about him, but he's stil young enough to come back from it. At his best he is devastating, and you can't deny that if you ever saw him play.
Theobald went from being team captain to not even making the training squad, without any noticeable change in ability or injury. You can't tell me that's normal, whatever your opinion on his skill level.
Spann was transfer listed by Wrexham. Meaning most likely, he will be playing in league 2 and NOT in the amateur leagues. He's young enough to improve as well.
I'm only citing USL people because the current administration has not shown any reticence to use/call up USL people, (Telesford in particular). Patterson hit 6 goals in 5 games. I'm not saying that he's Luca Toni, but that has to be worth something, even if only at semifinal level. Where are Cuba's players playing again?
Kansas City has globally stunk. Its kind of hard to blame that on Scott.
Scott needs to get out of there. Hardly any playing time this year either.
As for the rest, yes they may not be world beaters but thats not the point. In many cases they are better than what we have now, and if not, they are good enough to at least make the bench and to help the younger players who may be starting ahead of them. Most forward thinking programs would see their usefulness.
Three years makes a big difference for players at that age. In 2005 Andrews was coming off a season where he was Rangers' player of the year (certainly not a lower-division hack at the point), now he's got serious knee problems and is without a club. Same with John and Gray, if you are counting on defenders in their mid 30's to leads you to the WC you are in big trouble.
But again, all those guys were around before Beenhakker got there, and didn't have much success to show for it. Even in 2000, T&T's strong semifinal performance really just amounted to one upset home win over Mexico, which was avenged with a 7-0 thrashing at the Azteca in the game where Elcock hurt Blanco. Then that group finished dead last in the hex.
Leo made all the difference.
That may be true but it's not the point of this discussion.
I apologize for not knowing the qualification process. Probably it has been explained, I just miss it. From what I understand there are 3 groups now, each with 4 countries. After everybody play their two games against each other, then what...? Do 1st and 2nd go into yet another round...? How many countries qualify at the end, is it 3 or 4?
Thank you for any soul out there caring enough to explain.
The top two from each of the three groups go into a final group of six countries. The top three of that group qualify for the World Cup, and the fourth placed team gets a playoff against the fifth placed team in CONMEBOL.
Thank you evangel.
Defenders and goalkeepers tend to be the oldest players on any given football team, because youth can give you speed and vigor, but experience is what gives you composure. Nevertheless, you're harping on the three guys that I purposely stated could be considered "too old" (whatever that means). Examples are rife of experienced guys who get you through the earlier stages of qualifying, shepherd the younger ones and are not even considered by the time the World Cup comes around. In my mind, John and Andrews (when he's healed) can be those guys. I don't count on them to "lead" anything.
Far be it from me to downplay Beenhakker's role in giving the team tactical discipline, but I hardly doubt the Gold Cup champions were expecting us to put 6 goals past them in those qualifiers. Similarly Mexico's "vengeance" came in a meaningless (for the TTFF) rubber against what was essentially a second XI with no altitude prep (guys were actually gasping for air at the half). The team's implosion in the hex is well documented so i won't go back into it.
However, apart from Latapy (who finally played essentially 4 games of the 2006 campaign), Yorke, (who dropped back into midfield in 06), and Stern John (who actually missed most of the 02 semifinal round), the only regular common starters to both teams were Lawrence and Andrews. (Avery was only used in the qualifiers after the campaign was mathematically over)
Beenhakker's was a different team : add Birchall, Whitley, Jack, Avery, Theobald, Edwards, Gray as main players - Jones, Glenn, Spann, Scotland, Samuel, Sancho as subs stir in a bit of Dutch pragmatism and nononsense attitude..And that was the 2006 Soca Warriors.
As far as i know, the thread title isn't about T&T's blacklisted players.
Someone made a comment about T&T's best players not being selected. As an "insider" I chose to add to the much publicised blacklist, the existence of another less known brown list. IMO, some of our "best players" are there as well, which makes it completely on point.
We'll just have to disagree here. If you want to take the position that a 33 year-old USL left back and and 32 year-old central defender with bad knees are key absences, you can have it.
Eh, no one's ever gone broke betting against Canada in WCQ. The 4-0 in Trinidad was one of the great CONCACAF punkings of all time, but if you want to ignore the Azteca match you should probably throw that one out too as Canada was already practically eliminated
Well, you can't just cherrypick a couple good results and ignore all the bad ones.
Glen didn't appear in qualifiers after Beenhakker took over, Samuel and Sancho barely featured.
Maybe "all these guys were around" was a little strong--change "all" to "most of" (and of the new players all of them are either still in the team or well past their prime)--but my assessment of T&T's historical results is surely correct.
Wasn't really cherrypicking. The desastrous showing in the hex had a lot to do with off field events - THATS what i didn't want to get into. However, supposedly, getting into the hex should be reserved for the top 6 teams in the region (even if that remains purely theoretical and this years group c will continue to bear witness to that), and imo in 2000 T&T was definitely one of those. Thats my point.
As i originally stated, your original premise is akin to saying that Americans have repeatedly failed to take flight by flapping their arms. While factually true, it makes it sound like if Italians and British people succeeded where the Americans failed.
T&T isn't Brazil. But they definitely arent Nicaragua either, nor even Panama. By concacaf standards, T&T doesn't have any reason to blush. History will determine if our World Cup attendance will be a fluke, but 4 straight semi final appearances (and hopefully 3 hexes) in the last 4 cycles is more than most can claim. If you think T&T is a "not very good" team for it, then there's not much I can do to change that.
Anyway, I think this interesting side discussion has run its course. If you need to get the last word in, be my guest.
Awesome combination of heart and luck from ES to get to the next round.
By the way, it's kind of unfair to ES and Panama to have to eliminate each other, isn't it?
IMO, they should have been paired with caribbean teams for this first round.