CONCACAF to change WC qualifying format?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by garbaggio, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. garbaggio

    garbaggio Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Arlington
    Costa Rica's La Nacion reports that CONCACAF will do away with the previously announced format for 2006 WC qualifying. This would eliminate the earliest round where the US would face off against what would likely be a pair of Caribbean minnows.

    Here's the link (articles in Spanish and site requires registration):

    http://www.nacion.com/ln_ee/2003/octubre/30/deportes2.html

    The newspaper article is based upon another article on the Costa Rican federation website in which the FEDEFUT president says CONCACAF general secretary Ted Howard described the changes.

    The early round would have been held in January. Instead the USMNT probably wouldn't start qualifiers until June (assuming we keep a schedule similar to the Ticos).

    Assuming this come to pass, it should have a major effect on the USMNT schedule.

    Thanks to Martin Cutler on Soccer American Grafitti for pointing this out.
     
  2. GIO17

    GIO17 Member

    Nov 29, 1998
    Till there is official confirmation from CONCACAF I believe that the USA will be playing in the Quarterfinal round. I'm not saying that your source is B.S. but I think that unless CONCACAF changes it at the last minute I'll wait and see on their website and FIFA's website.

    Still good job in finding this.
     
  3. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish New Member

    Feb 2, 1999
    W. Orange <-> NYC
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  4. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=ap-wcupqualifying-concacaf&prov=ap&type=lgns

    Here's an AP report saying the revised format has been submitted to FIFA, which implies that the previous format has been scrapped.

    Summary:

    - Same 12 teams seeded (12 semifinalists from 2002 WCQ)
    - Preliminary round with 20 non-seeded Caribbean teams playing home-and-away to reduce to 10 teams.
    - The 10 winners, plus Belize and Nicaragua, will be each matched against a seeded team and play home-and-away to qualify for semifinals
    - 12-team semifinal round proceeding to 6-team final round as before
     
  5. Thomas Flannigan

    Feb 26, 2001
    Chicago
    Thanks to garbaggio for digging this out. I think it makes sense to get rid of the first round, but this revised format is very bad for the U.S. A 2 game series is more dangerous than a 6 or 10 game series. If we "draw" Haiti or Cuba and get Hugh Dallas and Rodolfo Sibrian as refs, we won't be going to Germany in 2006. On the other hand, we may be treated fairly. I will watch the "draw" with great interest.
     
  6. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How effed up are they that they can't get a consensus on a format before releasing it? Morons.

    This will be nice in a way for the guys because this means less traveling and more of a chance to get friendlies in during the winter - matches we can control.

    Little less predictability in results from a shorter series, but as I have always felt, if you can't beat these teams over two legs, you really don't deserve to go.

    Two fewer games isn't that big of a deal. Five extra months of being able to have camps and friendlies is.

    But the incompetancy of this federation is astounding. Anschutz needs to take it over.
     
  7. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't like it. I'd rather play the 4 times. I mean, what if the US (or Mexico, for that matter) draws one of the stronger winners. The minnow will have the advantage of having played together in meaningful matches. What if they luck out a 1-0 win in the opening leg, at home. Man, that would suck.

    It's one thing the way Europe does it, where two biggish teams play a two-leg playoff at the END of qualifying.
     
  8. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Let me get this straight. You think it's a crapshoot if we play Cuba in a home-and-home series, but if we play Honduras in a home-and-home series, that's perfectly fine?
     
  9. Eric B

    Eric B Member

    Feb 21, 2000
    the LBC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We wouldn't play Honduras in the HHTG, as they are also seeded.

    I see Dave's point, however. There would be less of a chance of a fluke exit if we had four matches instead of two, unless we were drawn both Cuba and Haiti (possible under the system first proposed). But as Monster said, if we can't score more than Aruba in two matches, then we have no place in Germany '06.

    Interesting that Blazer said that smaller nations complained as well. Only the two dates in January weren't at least FIFA friendly dates. However, I'm sure some of those minnow nations have oriundi that would be playing in the lower divisions of the UK and France whose clubs would complain about losing them for even a short time.

    Not to mention that the threat of spending a February weekend in Halifax or Columbus might have had something to do with it, too...
     
  10. Lanky134

    Lanky134 New Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    134, 3, 6
    So basically they're going back to the way it was for 2002?
     
  11. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Dave seemed to be promoting a European-style system, with home-and-home playoffs at the end. IMO, that's a terrible idea.
     
  12. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not exactly. Last time, the 1998 qualifiers, plus Costa Rica, were given a bye to the semifinals. This time everyone will have to win at least one home-and-away tie to get to the semifinals. Also, the preliminary rounds for the remaining 8 semifinal slots were quite different (more complicated).
     
  13. Eliezar

    Eliezar Member+

    Jan 27, 2002
    Houston
    Club:
    12 de Octubre
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Overall this is great.

    The original proposal was silly (matches on nonfifa dates, etc).

    The first home and away should be over in the first leg for us though. I just wish the semifinal round would get here because that will start to get interesting.
     
  14. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This REALLY blows. Two games? Two?

    Dear lord what a bunch of absolute chuckleheads run CONCACAF!

    Name a single other confederation where a team that qualified for the last World Cup could theoretically be eliminated after two games?

    $%#%##%###$#%!!!!
     
  15. NASL Fan

    NASL Fan Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Los Angeles, USA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're right. Not even Africa has that system. There's a single elimation first round in Africa but all the 02 qualifiers and some other are exempt and go straight to the group round.

    I'm bummed because I was looking forward to a Turks and Caicos match in the HDC.
     
  16. Crewmudgeon

    Crewmudgeon Member+

    Sep 3, 1999
    Crewdom
    The 12 semifinalists form 2002 (seeded teams) are:

    Costa Rica, Mexico, USA, Honduras, Jamaica, T&T, Canada, Panama, El Salvador, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Guatemala and Barbados.
     
  17. NASL Fan

    NASL Fan Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Los Angeles, USA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, here's the way it breaks down. The only way it works out is if they don't include Antigua, which I guess will remain suspended from FIFA... Otherwise, there's 21 Carrib. teams for the first found.

    Hopefully, they'll seed the 24 teams that play the home and home second round: put the 6 final rounders from 02 in one pool, have them play the 6 weakest teams as per the rankings or some other criteria--it's only fair and gives the teams near the middle (a Cuba or a Haiti) a better chance at reaching the semi-final round.

    Final rounders from 02
    Mexico, United States, Costa Rica
    Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica

    losing semis from 02
    El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama,
    Barbados, St. Vincent, Canada

    Nicaragua, Belize

    top 10 of the remaining Caribbean teams, plus Antigua, as per FIFA rankings

    Cuba, Haiti, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis,
    Grenada, Surinam, (Antigua and Barbuda), Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guyana,

    bottom 10 of the Caribbean teams
    Bermuda, Dominica, Netherlands Antilles, Bahamas, Aruba, Anguilla, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, Montserrat
     
  18. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you treat our qualifiers in the last two world cups as if they were all home and homes, we would have went:

    10-5-1 in those home and homes. 3 of the five losses would have been on away goals. Only one of the 10 wins (Costa Rica in the Hex in 98 quals) would have been on away goals. We went:

    1-2-1 v. Costa Rica
    2-0-0 v. Guatemala
    2-0-0 v. T&T
    1-1-0 v. Jamaica
    1-0-0 v. Canada
    1-1-0 v. Mexico
    1-0-0 v. Barbados
    0-1-0 v. Honduras
    1-0-0 v. El Salvador

    We better come with the full artillery for whoever we play. This is WAY to scary to mess around with.
     
  19. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    We had a perfect record against teams that finished outside of Concacaf's top four. And in the series ahead, we'll be paired with an opponent who couldn't even crack Concacaf's top 12.

    In Concacaf, there's a big drop-off from #4 to #12. I don't see much cause for concern.
     
  20. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    So basically, this is a compromise between the version of the format I proposed in the last thread regarding qualification and the originally proposed 2006 format.

    I still think it's a waste of time, and I think the minnows should have to duke it out for the privilege of playing in the semis, but what the hell. We get an island nation in the random draw, blow them out, and on we go. I agree with voros - we've got to bring the best team possible to secure the victory in the 2-game playoff.

    If we lose that home and away, we have no business thinking about Germany anyway.

    Also, just for discussion's sake, does anyone have any ideas on how the Gold Cup and its qualifications could be integrated into WC qualification?
     
  21. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No we didn't. We'd have had a loss against Jamaica.

    The only two we beat comfortably were Canada and Barbados.

    Even if we have a 98% chance of winning, that 2% chance of going out after two freakin games is WAY too high. Stupidity. The only way it isn't stupid is if it's automatic, and if it's automatic, why on earth do we have to play the games in the first place?
     
  22. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    When we "lost" against Jamaica, they finished 3rd in Concacaf.

    Barbados is the closest thing to our likely opposition, and we beat them 11-0 on aggregate.

    Why is this stupid? It's part of the ritual to let every country enter, even the no-hopers.

    In the NCAA tournament, no 1-seed has ever lost to a 16-seed, but you don't hear the 1-seeds complaining that they shouldn't have to play the game.
     
  23. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm not saying they can't enter, I would just rather not play one home qualifier this cycle. Think about how much money that would cost the USSF.

    If we wind up drawing Cuba, I do not want to have to go to Havana with qualification on the line, especially having played one other qualifier. It's ridiculous and no other team of our caliber outside of CONCACAF is subjected to it.

    WE should do this the way they do it in European Leagues. We have a 10 team league, just like CONMEBOL, and each of the 10 teams play each other twice, just like CONMEBOL. The top three qualify for the WC.

    The rub is that the other 24 teams play in three lower 8 team divisions where the teams play each other twice. Each division winner plays each other twice and the team with the most points (with GD, Goals and head to head being tie breakers) after the four games plays the 4th place team from the main group of 10 in a home and home for the final half spot. Furthermore, the bottom three in the main group of 10 get "relegated" and wind up in the lower divisions (albeit separate divisions for each) next qualifying cycle. Meanwhile, the three division winners get "promoted" and will be in the main group of 10 the next cycle.

    This way everybody gets lots of games (14 minimum, 22 maximum counting the Asia playoff) and a fluke result here or there isn't quite so devastating.

    More games equals less chances for flukes, equals the best teams will tend to qualify.
     
  24. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: CONCACAF to change WC qualifying format?

    I agree, but I also agree that it should be more than a home-and-home the more I think about it. I'm not really concerned that we'll slip up, but I don't like the margin for error.

    What I find funny is that in the Copa AMerica threads, there were some people saying we should go because getting through the semifinal stage is just a formality. This development has brought it into clear focus that qualifying is a razor edge no matter what the format.
     
  25. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think it should be used to set the seeding, but not until it's truly the continental championship and stops being the Jack Warner Great American Shootout.
     

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