Sunday, July 26, 2015

CONCACAF 3rd Round predictions

3rd round match ups

The winner will be placed with Mexico and Honduras
Match 1 El Salvador big over Curacao. El Salvador just crashed out of the Gold Cup. They will be determined to regain their dignity. Curacao, formally the Netherlands Antilles will have their Dutch pride up to beat them.
Match 2  Canada has to rebound after having high hopes for the Gold Cup and crashing out. They were not able to score on Costa Rica, Jamaica or El SAlvador but they should get a few past lowly Belize.  They should beat the English speaking Central American country of Belize. Canada was going to advance but they were placed with perennial power Mexico who always seems to qualify for the HEX. Canada will have to face their demons and play Honduras again. That right the same country who beat them 8-1 in the last cycle. This game eliminated Canada. Even El Salvador will be hard to beat at home. The Maple Leafs did not have any luck here.

These winners will play  Panama and Costa Rica
Match 3  Haiti played well in the Gold Cup and should get by 3 time Gold Cup participant Grenada...will we see Sharlee Joseph
Match 4 Jamaica over Nicaragua. Should be a great crowd in Managua.
    This group will have 2 Central American nations pace off against 2 Caribbean  powers (probably). I can see anyone getting through here.

The winners of game 5 & 6 will play T& T and USA
Match 5 St Vinny & G over Aruba. Well USA wants Aruba as a destination to play.....either way one of these teams is going to get smacked next round.
Match 6 Guatemala is very difficult at home. They should eat A&B.

Canada should play in the Central American Cup....

The Central American Cup is lacking since it only has 7 nations playing in this nice little tournament.  7 nations create an odd group of only 3 nations. The group needs a 4th team to complete the group. I believe they should invite Canada to participate. This would finally complete the odd group and not give the advantage anymore to the winner of the 3 team group. This group always plays one less game than the other group.

 Canada should offer their guaranteed Gold Cup slot as bait. Presently the CA Cup places the 4 top teams in the Gold Cup. The 5th place team (Honduras) plays the 5th Caribbean Cup (French Guiana) team for the last spot. If Canada offered their spot, CA Cup would place the 5 top teams from the tournament directly into the Gold Cup.  

The tournament could have the top 2 teams in each group earn 4 slots for the Gold Cup. They would play in a knockout round for the Central American Championship. The bottom 4 teams would also play in a 4 team knockout round. Group A 3rd plays Group B’s 4th place and Group B’s 3rd place plays Group a’s 4th place finisher. The 2 winners of the consolation knockout play each other for the last guaranteed spot. The loser of this consolation round would play the 5th place Caribbean nations for the last spot for the Gold Cup.

The arrangement would guarantee at least 4 competitive games for every nation which is badly needed in CONCACAF. The top teams would get 5 competitive games in the tournament. This seems like a win-win for each side.

Good for Canada 

            First of all Canada badly needs competitive national team games, especially before the Gold Cup. They just do not get enough. Playing in another tournament to warm up for the Gold Cup is a great idea. Playing against teams that are about your equal is even better. The Central American Cup is a perfect tournament that Canada should play in. These teams are great with the soccer ball at their feet. They do not panic with the ball and are skillful dribblers. Canada was bigger, faster and more athletic however need this type of competition to sharpen their skills. This tournament would provide 4 to 5 very competitive games that mean something. Friendlies against Iceland, Moldova and Bulgaria are just not the same.  

            As for the Gold Cup, Canada shouldn’t just get an automatic bid; they should have to qualify for it. Entering the CA Cup would solve this issue. Canada did not advance out of the group stage in the 2011, 2013 and 2015 Gold Cup’s. This left Canada with only 3 competitive games for the year, for their national team. The 2009 Gold Cup was only one better they advanced but lost in the opening game of the knockout round, thus playing in only 4 competitive games. This give the Canadian faithful an empty feeling after only watching your national team play only 3 games. The teams in the Central American Cup are almost the same teams they face in the Gold Cup. Playing in the Central American Cup as a guest would provide the Canadian faithful with a nice competitive tournament before the Gold Cup. Since Canada doesn’t make the World Cup, a tournament like this would do great to raise the interest of the sport in Canada and improve the national team.

            I think Canada should offer their guaranteed slot to the Central American Cup to entice the nations (tournament) to invite them.  As for those of you who say this is crazy, why miss out on the Gold Cup….I say if Canada cannot get at least 5th place in the Central American  Cup then they don’t deserve to go anyway.

This is how things could work. The top 2 teams in each group get the converted 4 Gold Cups spots. These 4 teams then play in the Championship knockout rounds, just like it is now. The bottom 4 teams enter their own knockout round for Canada’s extra Gold Cup spot. Here is an example.

Canada is placed in Group A and plays 3 competitive games against Costa Rica, El Salvador and Belize. These games are played away from home.  Canada loses to CR, ties El Sal and beats Belize for the sake of argument. They lose out to El Sal because of goals scored. Costa Rica and El Salvador enter into the knockout rounds for the Central American Cup title against Panama and Honduras. Canada Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua also enter their own knockout rounds for the last guaranteed spot. This knockout group will be playing for Canada’s Gold Cup spot. Let’s say Canada beats Nicaragua and Guatemala in this knockout round. This would get Canada into the Gold Cup with 5 competitive games under their belt right before the Gold Cup. These games would be invaluable for Canada.

Now I know what they nay sayers are thinking. Now let’s say Canada beats lowly Nicaragua but loses to Guatemala in the final. Canada would then still be able to enter the Gold Cup as the 6th best Central American Cup finisher and play against the 5th place Caribbean Nation on a playoff. This would give Canada 6 competitive games leading up to the Gold Cup that same year if they qualify. If Canada can not qualify in this scenario against this competition then so be it. This I believe is better. IT is better since Canada would have played at least the same amount of games it would have played in the Gold Cup. More than likely Canada will play 5 or 6 competitive games and made the Gold Cup which is what Canada badly needs.
This is good for the Central American Cup for a few reasons.
  1. First they will complete the 3 nation group and stop giving the advantage to the 3 team group winners.
  2. Give all nations at least 4 competitive games. The loser of the 3 team group only plays 2 games.
  3. The host nation will be able to host double headers in the knockout rounds to keep the tournament interesting.
  4. Gives more exposure to these Central American nations.

USA crash out of Gold Cup

It is not as bad at it seems. The Jamaica game took a lot out of the USA. They wanted to play for the title. There was no emotion. After Panama was robbed again , by a USA official from participating in the know Klinsman lectured the team about not "getting into it emotionally"

This was a problem. The USA wanted to pass the ball in the "triangle", a lot like Spain, Germany, Barcelona ect does.    The problem with this 3rd place match was Michael Bradley. Bradley was the focal point of this attacking, ball possession game. Bradley lost the ball numerous times going on the attack,,,,why....well our poor captain was exhausted.

Bradley played every minute of every game. This 3rd place game meant nothing to him or the team. Bradley will never complain, just like a good captain. 

  1. The big problem I have is the player selection. Klinsmann plays Demarcus Beasly the 3rd place game. This game should have a game for the youngsters. 
  2. Should have rested Bradley with Corona or Mix Diskerud up top from the start.
  3. I like Tim Ream better than Chandler
  4. I like the veteran Gonzo better than Brooks in the important games
  5. Fabian Johnson was the most consistent defender.
  6. Yedlin is fast but can not dribble past anyone.
  7. Bedoya i liked since he did not lost the ball much at all.
  8. Did not mind inserting Dempsey in to spark the USA. He seems to be the only one to know how to take a foul. I give him a 10 on the acting side,,,but the Central American's flop all over the field.....
  9. Zardes and Johannson seem to be the only one to dribble forward. The are always on the attack. 
  10. Landon Donovan absence is missed with his dribbling and attacking forward. The USA team wants to keep possession, kick it around from side to side and open up a lane. This is what the good teams do. However the USA does not have Donovan to receive the pass and attack. Dempsey is good at it however the ball did not reach the forwards that much.
  11. Glad Rimando at 36 didn't play in the same breath I wish we saw Yarbrough. Guzan blew the throw out, that lead to the free kick goal. That goal was on him......and he is yelling at the ref. The ref called it right....accept your mistake...apologize to your team...and realize you can not do this. Howard is a much better goalie....
I do not mind Klinsmann's desire to have a possession game, side to side, looking for a weakness. I think the forwards are capable of scoring. Our biggest problem is the attacking midfielders. We need another Donovan. Zardes show great attacking skills, didn't lost the ball much and was a threat. We need Yedlin to learn how to dribble. 

Jeremy Jones 33 is a lot better than Beckerman 33 but both are 33 and we need another defensive dominant player to join the mix. 

The USA has scheduled games against Peru and Brazil in September, before the play Jamaica/Mexico winner for the CONCACAF playoff. Klinssmann has to find a midfield that works, that can connect and attack. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

USA dispatch Germany in soccer---take it east--it was the women

       The soccer world is not without it's excitement, Blatter resigns, claims he didn't .....Will the corruption ever end.

  Brazil was knocked out of the Copa America in the quarter finals. Now  Brazil knows how Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia feel. Messi is awesome, not flamboyant, just goooooooooood. I am hoping Chile can win their first Copa America on home soil, and if they do, not because the ref gave them a call.

The only CONCACAF team remaining in the 'World Cup is the USA. It looks like Mexico womens were put in a very difficult group with # 3 ranked France, #6 ranked England (who are still playing tonight) and upstart Colombia, who gave the USA a devil of a time in the opening knockout round.
    Costa Rica only lost one game 0-1 to Brazil, so hat off to them ladies.
     Canada women did well and lost 2-1 to England who scored 2 goals early and hung on. The Canada women believed they could win the World Cup and you could see the disappointment in their faces. I like their attitude and their young coach who preached to them. My yanks totally dominated the Germans......they starting to feel confident and have a dominating defense.

The Gold Cup is only a week away.....and I have to go on vacation,,,,,