Saturday, December 24, 2011

USA U-23 coach Porter will try to mold the youngsters for the senior team

Celeb Porter (Akron coach) will guide the U-23 USA team for the March Tournament

U-23 CONCACAF Championship

This Championship will take place in the States again. Group A (USA, Canada, El Salvador and Cuba) will play in Tennessee. Group B will play at the Home Depot Center (Mexico, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago). Only the top 2 teams will quality for the Olympics. The final will be in the beautiful Livestrong Stadium in Kansas City.

The USA is taking the U-23 Championship very serious. There is a new coach who was just hires in October. Akron head coach Caleb Porter is the new U-23 USA head coach. He was picked because of the program he created at Akron University. Porter has proven he can work with and mold this age group. Porter will also work closely with USA head coach  Jurgen Klinsmann to get players ready for the senior team. Klinsmann has already announced that he has a list of players at each position. This list is always changing the debt of each position. Klinsmann has stated that he expects 6 to 7 players from the U-23 team to make the USA World Cup roster in 2014. There are 2 U-23 players in Breck Shea and Agudelo who have played regularly for the senior team. I believe Klinsmann will want these experienced players participating in the qualifying and Olympics. This age group will soon be taking over for the senior players at one time or another. These experienced players will help the younger players and they will be building continuity with each other once they graduate to the senior team.

The tournament is in March and the January camp is already finished. Porter will have another camp in February. Then Porter will play a few friendlies against Central American clubs in March to get his team in top form before the qualifying games in March. “While time isn’t on their side, Porter said he’s explained the next steps to the group and is planning on holding a few more camps prior to the March qualification tournament.

“The next camp, we’ll start to hone in on a little bit more on the pool, but it doesn’t mean if we don’t invite a guy to the next camp that he’s out of the mix,” Porter said. “That’s certainly one of the things we’ll tell the guys. Everybody needs to be ready, everybody needs to continue to work hard, we’re going to continue to watch and monitor all the players with their clubs.”

That next camp is tentatively scheduled to start the second week of January in Los Angeles and will last 10 days. At the end of that stretch, a trip to Central America is in the works to play a pair of friendlies as the preparations for March continue.”

It is rumored to have the U-23 team play the top clubs in Costa Rica, being Saprissa and Alajuelense and a third club unknown at this time. These games will really get the lads good playing time in a real competitive match. This U-23 team will be well prepared for this qualifying tournament that they are hosting.

Remember Honduras beat the yanks in the States 4 years ago to win the U-23 Championship. I do not have to mention what a thorn in the side Mexico has been to the USA at all international levels. My yanks will be facing one of these formidable teams in the semi-finals.

Friday, December 23, 2011

CONCACAF v Asia Football Confederation AFC

          How about a new tournament! I love the Gold Cup but the competition with in CONCACAF is lacking. The USA and Mexico always seem to make the final. The USA plays on the home fields which gives them a huge boost. Mexico has almost 3 times the number of fans in the states than any other country. This support gives Mexico a really boost. I think the USA and Mexico need another tournament to compete in besides the Gold Cup. The World Cup action is great but it is only every 4 years. The Gold Cup needs a change. Looking back the USA hosted the 7 US Cups. These Cups had 4 very competitive teams. This tournament brought in famous European National teams like Italy, England, Germany and Brazil. I think it is time to bring these famous national back to the states. Since the FIFA is such a corrupt organization the USA will not be hosting in 2014, 2018 nor 2022. We can not let FIFA be in charge of the future of soccer in the states.

Here is my idea to create an exciting tournament in the states. I think the Gold Cup should be every 4 years. So the year after the Gold Cup or 2 years ofter the Gold Cup the states can host a tournament. I would like to see a 16 nation tournament. A tournament that will have 4 groups of 4 teams. This will put more emphasis on the group games. The top 2 teams can advance to the knockout round.

My first idea was to have a CONCACAF vs. Asian Football federation. The top 8 ranked nations from each group. The top seed and bottom seed from each group would play the

How about CONCACAF vs. Asia Football Confederation AFC? I was thinking of that the top seed of each CONFEDERATION would be paired with the lowest and they would play the 4th and 5th from the other Federation. Here is what the groups could look like.

Group A     Mexico, Iran, China, Canada

Group B    Australia, Honduras, Jamaica, Iraq

Group C    Japan, Panama, Costa Rica, Jordan

Group D    USA, Korean Republic, Uzbekistan, El Salvador

I think a tournament like this would create more interest than the other Gold Cup. You know the Gold Cup, that the yanks send their B team to. The Gold Cup that does not qualify the winner to the Confederations Cup. In four year stime CONCACAF could schedule the top 8 African nations. OR even a combination of European of Confederations. Since there will not be a World Cup US soccer has to do something to create interest. I mean big interest. Something to look forward to......What do you think?

Friday, December 2, 2011

CONCACAF Second round review Group E

CONCACAF second Round Group E. Guatemala dominated and advanced to the semi-finals.

Guatemala's celebrates their return to the semi-finals
This was Guatemala’s group from the beginning. Guatemala was the big Central American country (population of close to 13 Million.) Guatemala has the well established Liga Nacional de FĂștbol de Guatemala. Guatemala competes with the very competitive national teams in Central America. They played the top national team in the group (Grenada) in the Gold Cup and beat them convincible 4-0. Guatemala scored 19 goals for and only let in 3. Close to 24,000 fans came out in Guatemala every game. Guatemala has a very competitive team going into the semi-finals. They will be grouped with regional power USA, Caribbean Champion Jamaica and new comer Antigua and Barbuda. Since the top 2 team advance the Jamaica vs. Guatemala games should be the most interesting.  ..

               Belize is trying to get it Federation, its domestic league and its act together. FIFA’s goal project gave Belize a small but beautiful national stadium where they could host World Cup Qualifying matches. Belize not only earner more points that higher ranked Saint Vinny’s twice but also beat Grenada 3-0 in Grenada. Belize was the biggest surprise in this group. Belize’s play also reinforces the belief that Central American nations are much more competitive that the Caribbean national teams. Belize’s next national games will be the Central American Cup 2013. They are over due to host this regional tournament.

          Saint Vincent and the Grenadines only had 1 win. They wound up in 3rd place …ahead of Grenada.

         Grenada.....The Gold cup darlings flopped in this World Cup Qualifying tournament. They were the biggest disappointment since they were the top ranked nation in the group and failed miserable and wound up in last place.