Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Guinho, Nov 26, 2021.
And we beat Paraguay and Ecuador in 2016, and lost to Colombia twice and Argentina.
well not really.
if it is SO OBVIOUS that the .5 from one region is much much stronger than the .5 from another...perhaps the number of slots given to each region is off-kilter....(which was my original thesis)
And I would say (saying in the other thread) that the World Cup fundamentally is not a tournament against the top teams in the world, but against the top teams in each confederation.
Otherwise, why would OFC get even .5 of a spot? There are dozens of teams better than New Zealand that get eliminated before they even play their playoff tie.
I mentioned this a few years ago and it still holds true. Through some very crazy luck of the draw, we have NOT played a Conmebol team in the WC since 1994. Since then, in the WC, Mex has played Arg twice, Brazil twice, and Ecuador. TnT played Paraguay, Jamaica played Argentina, Honduras played Ecuador, Costa Rica played Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay, Given the already mentioned incredible rate of Conmebol teams advancing out of the first round, we have really dodged some bullets.
Given how the pots and seeds have generally played out, we’ve been fortunate to avoid ARG and BRA as seeded sides, but I’d 100/100 rather draw any other CONMEBOL side in a group over a Denmark-level UEFA side or Ghana-level AFC side. For however much you want to value prior performance against the non-big two sides in that federation, I think we match up far, far better with CONMEBOL sides than we do with the middle and upper middle level in UEFA
We usually get spanked by Colombia. We have a surprisingly good recent record against the other CONMEBOL non-giants. Of course, we never play teams like Bolivia or Peru or Ecuadaor a mile above the tree line, either, and it wouldn't be fun if we did.
Maybe today's Denmark (which is playing excellent) vs today's second tier Conmebol, but the likes of Uruguay, Chile, and Colombia from about 2010 to 2018 scare me even more. We are more susceptible to tricky dribblers and creative passing than we are to organization, size and perhaps speed. The South Americans are imho more likely to pierce our defense. And unlike Mexico, they can defend set pieces. Granted I am generalizing here. Suarez and Cavani were too much for England, Italy, Portugal, and Russia (in Russia) to handle, all of whom went down to to defeat against Uruguay.
We are apparently so relaxed about playing NZ that the biggest discussion here is how we would fare in a match that will never happen this cycle.
Technically, the USA has played NZ, just not in Soccer...
To say it was an asskicking is an understatement. One of the worst beatings in the history of professional sports.
C'BOL vs C'CAF debate is impossible to settle. The isn't any empirical data for qualifying games between these confederations and we don't play enough games against each other in meaningful competition. It is just a guessing game. US and MX are usually hard games for Brazil, not a easy game at all.
I think 4.5 spots is fair. If you make a case that SA teams are competitive in WC and should get more spots. The World Cup isn't a mostly EU vs SA cup or the best ranked teams cup. You do need teams from every region (I wish Oceania had a spot even if the quality is lacking). But, to take away even 0.5 spot would be bad IMHO. How WC's spots are rewarded to each region in the first place.
In a perfect world top three from each region (1 for Oceania) would get a spot and the rest would battle out in a qualifying WC. But besides impractical (impossible even) this could lead to a heavy Euro world cup. There is no perfect solution.
You still have fierce competition for a pot #2 seeding, no? Still depends on how US, Mexico, Colombia and Uruguay do for the rest of qualifying. (Colombia and Uruguay still have 4 games in qualifying). Switzerland and Croatia already qualified so I guess their rankings won't change much.
I totally agree and like it that way. A good comparison is the mens NCAA basketball tournament. Lots of representation but not the best 68 teams. The middle to bottom teams from the big conferences' are better than the champs from the small ones. But none of these teams have a realistic chance of winning it all, and the David versus Goliath games and Cinderella runs are what make it so enthralling to watch and follow. If Europe wants to make sure that all their best teams make it (eg. Italy/Portugal) Then they should revise their qualifying process. That's their problem not the rest of the worlds.
Following up on my post above. The schedule and the ranking of opponents isn't helping US in FIFA's ranking.
Colombia will play Argentina (5), Peru(22), Venezuela (59), and Bolivia (77). A draw agains Argentina (away) would bump them you. Uruguay plays Paraguay (43), Venezuela (59), Peru (22), and Chile (24).
Mexico plays US (better ranked), Costa Rica (49), Jamaica (57) and three others ranked bellow 60.
US plays Mexico (away) (14), Canada (40), Costa Rica (49) and and three others ranked bellow 60.
If US loses against anyone they will drop several points. Colombia and Uruguay can get a bump even with a draw. I don't think US pot #2 place is secure at all.
Euro teams could play a couple of friendlies before the final ranking also.
A draw in Argentina only gets Colombia 3 points in rankings. 16 points if they beat them, but Colombia hasn't looked good.
Knowing Uruguay is higher ranked than their final opponents, a draw against them would cause Uruguay to LOSE points (very miniscule, but losing them nonetheless).
Considering USA would be at the 11th spot currently of teams qualified (since one of Portugal and Italy will be left out), that means both Colombia and Uruguay would have to pass the USA, and even then their qualification isn't guaranteed as you know.
If USA hold serve at home and lose on the road, provided they still qualify, I think that's enough points to keep them in top 15.
It seems to have also calmed a lot of the “waiting for disaster types.”
Nobody really needs to worry about set piece defense against us, apparently, because we have proven to be so absurdly bad at taking them in this qualifying tournament.
Is this Panama team better than 2018?
I’m not sure if they are “better” or not but I do know that they can’t possibly be “luckier” than the 2018 team.
At qualifying, yes. That's all that matters at the moment. Their current chemistry and self-belief seems higher than previous versions even though they aged out a lot of their bigger name players.
Very odd, two cycles in a row we've been utter ---- at set pieces. I can't make sense of it, though I know we've been missing/not using size options like Siebatcheu, JAB, and McKennie for half or more of the cycle to this point, that's basically what, 3 of our best 5 or 6 set piece finishers?
Offensively, it's so weird watching it as well.
Sometimes, we run some really creative plays that create a ton of space. And then the rest of the game, we'll do absolutely nothing to create open guys and pound the ball into the same short spot over and over and over.
The biggest problem, though, is really the service. We're giving up half our chances because literally no one can reliably serve it up.
Among other issues, one of the things that I think comes home to roost here is the fact that we have a lot of talented young guys who are Robins on their big clubs as opposed to Batmans. When it comes time to assemble the WC roster, we could use a couple of Batmans, even at a lower level. It manifests itself in terms of set piece taking, but in other ways as well.
The service has a lot to do with that--a lot of our best players, as I said in another thread, are young Robins as opposed to Batmans on their big clubs, and aren't the ones usually taking the set pieces--but some of it I just find inexplicable.
The value of having Busio on the field is that he should take every dead ball in the attacking half, he’s the only clear “must have” there. Even then, I believe I saw Pulisic take a few against Jamaica when Busio was on the pitch which is ~nonsense.
I do wish there were a way to take the "pre-match" thread off.
I'm inclined now to start a pre-match thread for our opener of the 2026 World Cup, now that I've started a tradition