Thursday, April 21, 2011

The new CONCACAF WCQ format

I am getting anxious as to how the next CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying will shake out. The new proposal is a good one because of Round 1. This provides most CONCACAF nations a chance to host home World Cup Qualifying games. This alone will do wonders for the domestic leagues of each member. Preliminary round nations ranked 26-35 will play a home and away to see who qualifies for round 1

1. Top 6 get a bye to the semi-final group (3 groups of 4) That group right now is

(USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica and Panama).
I do not know when the last ranking CONCACAF will use but the Gold Cup could shuffle Canada in and someone else out. Remember Canada has won it’s group 2 of the last Gold Cups. Panama is in the same group. This game could be pivotal in ranking.

2. Round 1 will be nations ranked 7-25. ( I will assume that there will be 4 pots to divide this Rounds groups up) Pot 1 will have nations ranked 7 to 12, Pot B nations ranked 13-19, Pot C nations ranked 20-26 and pot D nations ranked 27-32)

3. The Hexagonal. Referred to as the “Hex” top 6 play home/away and top 3 get World Cup slots. 4th place team enters into a playoff w/ another confederation.
       The Hex and the semi-finals will be the same as the previous World Cup Qualifying campaign. The preliminary rounds and Round 1 is the major difference. The way things stand now these are the preliminary nations.

(Belize, Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas, Aruba, US Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat.)

Here are my winners: I believe they will be placed in Pot D.

Belize, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands.

Round 1

         Round 1 is the biggest change for World Cup Qualifying in CONCACAF. Round 1 will have nations ranked 7-30 (24 nations). This group of 24 will be divided into 6 groups of 4. There will be home/away games for each group. Only the winners of each group will advance. These groups will be the most exciting for me. We will finally see just how good some of these smaller nations are. They will all play 6 games which will give us more data to crunch. This round will have the hero’s of each group emerge.

I hope CONCACAF officials have 4 Pots of groupings. Nations ranked 7-12 are in pot a, 13-17 Pot b
Pot A. Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Trinidad &;To, Haiti, Grenada
Pot B Antigua & Bar, Guyana, Suriname, St Kitts and Nev, Guatemala, Dominica

Pot C Barbados, Puerto Rico, Curacao, St. Vincent and G, Cayman Isle, Bermuda,

Pot D Nicaragua, Belize, Dominican Rep, St Lucia, Turks & C Isle, British V Isle.
          Since I think there will be 4 pots Pot A will have their own group. I think the strong teams in group B which would be very difficult are Guatemala, Atigua & Barbuda and Guyana in that order. Guatemala is extremely tough at home. Guatemala also made the semi-finals last World Cup Qualifying. Antigua & Barbuda beat both Guyana and Suriname if the last Caribbean Cup at a neutral site. They also beat Guyana in the 2008 Caribbean Cup. They have a club team that plays in USL Pro league. Guyana finally has a stadium they can call home after FIFA Goal program.

Pot C also has Barbados, Puerto Rico and Curacao to look out for. Barbados has played well in the last 3 Caribbean Cups. We all have heard of the Puerto Rico Islanders, now can they finally take their national team serious. Curacao is the old Netherlands Antilles. They could be a very tough out if they pack their roster.

Pot D The Dominican Republic I have been waiting 10 years for take off. Nicaragua has a new national stadium and a lot of momentum. They should be in Pot C.No one wants this tough team in their group.

I believe most Pot A teams will advance however there will be one upset. I believe if Guatemala is placed in any group besides Canada Guatemala goes through. I believe if a Pot C nation like Puerto Rico could go through if grouped with Grenada and Dominica. I also think Nicaragua will have a good campaign. I held my breath for The Dominican Republic to long however i hope they have a great showing. What I do not want to see is rediculous calls in T&T favor when they are at home....The Warner influence....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spot on with Canada they play well in CONCACAF.
The pots A-B-C-D is great but where have you heard this info?
The Britidh Virgin Island and the Caicoa Islands will be a walk over if they advance from preliminary..
thanks for info on Ant & Barbuda but the name jsut sounds like a tiny insig island..which they are..