2026 WC USA (et al): Worldwide Opponents Watch [all R's]

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by TimB4Last, Mar 27, 2023.

  1. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    While I think we're better than Sweden (didn't Azerbaijan hammer them 3-0 in Euro quals?), they're a terrible match-up for us and wouldn't want having to play them in a home/away for anything meaningful.
     
  2. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    I think, in part, it’s because our pool is so weird when measured on those 3 dimensions. Morocco, Nigeria, Japan, Denmark, and Uruguay are the other very similar ones. They are ranked by Elo:

    8 - Uruguay
    15 - Japan
    18 - Denmark
    23 - USMNT
    27 - Morocco
    47 - Sweden
    63 - Nigeria

    Avg = 28.7

    Sweden has a pretty capable front 6 but little depth and it drops off. Isak missed that window and that loss dropped them down 10 spots.

    I’m guessing that Nigeria is underperforming, at a minimum when it comes to results. Also seems like they might be suffering from a poor positional distribution of talent.

    Morocco had that Cinderella run but have taken some upsets since then and fallen back to earth. Based on their pool they should be right around where we are. Maybe they win some more dual nationals going forward and get more consistent.

    Denmark have a better pool.

    Japan have been on a very strong run for two years. Probably have a better pool.

    Uruguay have that high end talent with a strong culture. They also have emeritus World Class old guys who no longer count on these metrics but can do a job in a limited role.
     
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  3. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Uruguay has by far the better high end players but I don’t know they have great depth. Which is probably just due to the fact it’s a very small country population wise.

    Denmark has better talent probably but they are at the end of a generation whereas we are at the beginning. And other than Højlund I have no idea what they have waiting in the wings.

    With Japan and Nigeria I don’t know enough about their pool to be able to say confidently how they stack up.

    Morocco seems like roughly a good proxy for where we are at current.

    The better question though is where are we going to be in when the missing generation fills in next cycle. As while lots of national teams have positional imbalances, I don’t know how many have a generation that’s basically completely nonexistent the way we do.

    Obviously 2026 is important but feels like 2030 is going to be the true test of the program. And there’s also the question of whether the Cavan Sullivan generation is the one to take things another level (as he’s not the only very good prospect around that age).
     
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  4. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dystopia
    #BuildingBlocksTo2030! :thumbsup:

    Over the weekend, in Panama, in the buildup …

    Panama 0-1 Paraguay

    Presumably our staff is studying all the relevant matches involving known upcoming opponents.
     
  5. tomásbernal

    tomásbernal Member+

    Sep 4, 2007
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Surely they are. Will they draw the right conclusions for the day?
     
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  6. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    Crazy to think, if the ref doesn't butcher the call on a late foul against Czech Republic here, it's 1-1, but he does butcher it, and a goal seconds later for Portugal. In fairness, Portugal dominated the match, but so what, you have to score goals for dominance to matter, as we learn repeatedly. Disappointed for the Czech's, even if it let me win my bets/parlays.
     
  7. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Wow.................Croatia looks really poor again.

    Love how Albania is playing. This is going to be a tough slog for an old Croatia group. Particularly in that midfield.
     
  8. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Albania also acquitted themselves well against Italy. Croatia does have one of the older teams in the tournament and they just may be at the end of the cycle for this generation.
     
  9. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    So excited for Albania that first hour but man did they take their foot off the gas and beg to get their hearts broken, you just can't do that against teams w/the level of quality, if age, of Croatia. You can't defend for 70 mins.
     
  10. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    I have to say, credit to Albania and Georgia for coming to play and not looking hopeless like Scotland. They may not be good enough for this level in talent, but the fight and self-belief have made the tournament so much better, getting good games out of games you figured would be --- kickings.
     
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  11. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Albania in particular was very unlucky in their draw. The way they are playing they’d probably be able to advance from an easier group. Whereas they probably need to beat Spain to do so here.
     
  13. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States


    Copa America projected to make more money than 2016 (and as a result I won’t be surprised if they try and come back and do it again soon in the US).

    But less money for USSF
     
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  14. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

    Jul 26, 2007
    Germany continue their strong run since firing Flick.

    Hungary has been solid over the last decade, particularly in the last 5 years. But still not quite there against better national teams, unless it is Nations League where the better UEFA sides are less engaged.
     
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  15. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    I definitely thought Hungry just looked better at Euro '21. I thought with their NL run and their qualification performance they'd pull at least a point out of the first two matches but no such luck. They are almost certainly out unless they score a bazillion against Scotland and even that may not matter (probably won't).

    Albania, well hell, w/this performance, they might be able to qualify for WC '26 if they land a nice group in the December '24 draw. They've looked capable of tying Italy and Croatia alike, and if they're at that level, they're probably a top 20-30 team in UEFA, and if you're at that level, it just takes a friendly draw and some luck and who knows? Euro '28 is certainly possible if WC '26 goes sideways on them.
     
  16. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In the knockout rounds after three tournaments in a row of not making it.

    And Naglesmann’s contract extension automatically kicks in.

     
  17. USOutlaw16

    USOutlaw16 Member+

    Green Bay Voyageurs
    United States
    Jan 22, 2011
    On the Gringo Wall of Shame
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In all fairness they did make the knockouts of Euro 2020(1), but were promptly swept aside by England.
     
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  18. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Albania did also finish first in their Euro qualifying group (ahead of Poland and Czech Republic).
     
  19. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    Another young coach making an impact in the international game. Scaloni won the WC with Argentina at 44. Tedesco is 38 and still learning the ropes with Belgium.
     
  20. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    Nevada
    It's worth noting that Muller came within inches of making that a 1-1 game with what, 15 miins left before they grabbed their 2nd? My memories of it were totally unreliable (I thought he had that chance when it was 0-0), and it was harder than he and the German fans felt, but he was in on goal 1v1, but w/an English defenders flying in from either side when he shot it just inches wide of the left post. I tend to think that England would have folded like lawn chairs like they always do, if he had tucked that just inside the post. Alas, it wasn't to be, and we got the grotesque stupidity of the Final at Wembley (just watched the Doc on it, crazy to think the security detail at the stadium was put in a situation where they were rooting against their own national team to avoid death's in and outside the stadium in a fan crush that they appeared to deem "guaranteed" if not for defeat on penalties), and thankfully a reprieve w/their choke during penalties a few rounds later. What a crazy tournament.
     
  21. Ghost

    Ghost BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Sep 5, 2001
    Germany in pink is wrong. Hungary looks like they're waring hand me downs from 1990s El Tri.
     
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  22. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  23. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've always felt Crocker feels comfortable with Berhalter because of Southgate. Both are builders and do well with team chemistry. England is to the point where their talent is good enough that building and chemistry aren't the #1 objective. if they fall apart again I could see a move to try and get a Klopp or another high profile guy to improve their WC chances. Their time to win is now. US isn't in that position yet so building is still the biggest objective. 2030 or 2034 maybe the talent has improved with the missing generation aging out and the team finally having a full pool again.
     
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  24. papermache16

    papermache16 Member+

    Jan 30, 2009
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With regards to Southgate, I don't see why he's so polarizing. He's taken the team to places they haven't been since 1990 and 1966, and detractors say it's because of the talent that they're doing so well.

    Well, it's not the first time they've been heraldic as a team full of talent, but then they lose to Iceland in 2016, or miss getting out of a group like in 2014, or get smashed by Germany in 2010, or miss Euro qualifying altogether as they did in 2008.
     
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  25. gomichigan24

    gomichigan24 Member+

    Jul 15, 2002
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Like with Berhalter the detractors think Southgate is underperforming the talent level.

    I don’t agree with that but it’s a very similar dynamic. And just wait till Southgate succeeds Berhalter as USMNT coach.
     

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