World Cup Qualifiers

Discussion in 'Prem talk, Those Other Leagues, and International' started by BarryWhite, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    You just KNEW this was gonna happen (insert numerous curse words here). I don’t think there’s too much disagreement that McKennie’s been our best player during the last, what, year, year and half? Qatar’s not a slam dunk yet, and this makes the job exponentially harder. Couple that with the fact that, even with McKennie, we still haven’t proven we can get a road win, with the exception of at hapless Honduras. That’s a recipe for disaster. Our odds of getting a result at the Estadio Azteca and the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica are worse without him. If we only get 3 points from the Panama match in Orlando, that should be enough to finish no worse than 3rd. Another point from either Mexico or Costa Rica would make it more comfortable. A gentle reminder: at this point in WC qualifying for 2018, we were in 3rd place, six points behind co-leaders Mexico and Costa Rica, one point ahead of Panama. The Ticos had just beaten us 2-nil at Red Bull. You know what happened next. A draw, a win, and a loss at Trinidad & Tobago, combined with two wins by Panama and two draws and the unlikeliest of wins by Honduras against El Tri, and we were out. Are we in better shape this time? Yeah…but four points out of nine didn’t do it last time. Will four do it this time? Probably. That would put us at 25 points. 4th place Panama, at 17, would need to win out, beating Honduras at home (likely), us in Orlando (somewhat less likely) and Canada at home (considerably less likely). 5th place Costa Rica, with 16 points, has to win out to get to 25. Home vs. Canada, at El Salvador, home vs. us. Umm, no. Even without McKennie, it would require a choke of epic proportions for us to blow this one. Let’s hope Weston heals quickly and completely before the plane for Qatar leaves. Foot problems can be tricky due to the relatively remote location on the body potentially reducing adequate blood flow to promote healing. That, plus guys and their docs putting them back into training too quickly and, boom, it gets worse or reinjured, requiring really long recovery time. Let’s all light a candle and pray mightily that doesn’t happen.
     
    #101
  2. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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  3. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Getting ready for El Tri and the rest of the qualifiers. With the loss of key players due to injury, it's nice to see that we got a little gift from Man City, who put our boy Zac between the pipes for their most recent match.

    I really thought we had a shot at beating Mexico, but ... . If we get 6 points out of the other two matches, we'll be whistling all the way to Qatar.
     
    #103
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  4. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    The Azteca is one of the few road venues we've been competitive in this cycle (except for Honduras, who are the worst team left in CONCACAF WC qualifying). A point at Mexico is certainly not a given, and if we get the expected three points in Orlando against Panama, could we be heading to San Jose needing a point to qualify? The Ticos are also down this cycle, but still pose a significant threat at home for us. If we get a point in Mexico City and three in Orlando, I'll be pretty happy. If not, squeaky bum time? Let's hope not.
     
    #104
  5. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    I’m a bit pessimistic here (and even more so with recent USMNT injuries) but I’d be over the moon with 4 points from Mexico and Panama. Truth is, we’ve never won away matches in WCQ at Mexico or Costa Rica so that’s a tall task to start with. Very few of the US performances have been inspiring so I am certainly concerned that we’ll endure at least a couple more pedestrian efforts. Hopefully Berhalter (and the players) can prove me wrong and generate inspiring performances, though I’m not too upset that I don’t have paramount+ and therefore won’t have to sit through the matches.
     
    #105
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  6. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Our best hope is to squeak out third (El Tri has
    the US, @ Honduras, El Salvador, for sure they will get second).. Desperately need Canada to do us a solid and get a result at CR. The Ticos started this cycle slowly, but the veterans are on a roll.

    Only getting draws at Jamaica & ES could come back to bite us hard (listening to GB say those results were good made me want to throw up! He was either lying or is completely incompetent…perhaps both, 1 draw fine, but the other had to be 3 pts).

    @astroevan hit it on the head…so many uninspiring performances. and now we are missing 3 starters. Glad to see Gio back, but how many min can he play? Same thing w/Pulisic. Tuchel is very careful w/him, zero chance he can go 90-90-90. I’m guessing he goes 65-90(maybe subbed off if up 2 goals)-and wait and see if we need a result on whether or not he plays at all in the Final.
     
    #106
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2022
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  7. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    @astroevan Do you have any of the Spanish channels? Maybe it’s LA area thing, we have 3 on basic cable and one of them will show it for sure. Arizona is playing Houston in the Sweet 16 at the same time, so will be DVRing the US game in Spanish and hoping I’ll want to watch it later (no discipline not to check score).
     
    #107
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  8. sacffc

    sacffc Well-Known Member

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    Here in Sacramento it's listed on CBS SN in English and Univision in Spanish.
     
    #108
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  9. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    In the past I’ve watched matches in Spanish but now I have Hulu + Live TV. Espanol is an add-on. The good news/bad news is that I do have CBSSN which means now I am very likely to stay up way past my bedtime stressing over the match. I could also record it but, like socaljoe, won’t be able to avoid hearing or seeing the result before I get to watch. And in my case, if I know the result there’s a 99.9% chance that I’m not going to watch anything more than the highlights.

    As far as the match is concerned, I think you have to start your best team. Don’t hold back to hope for a result on Sunday. If the game gets out of hand, use the subs early. You have to utilize all of them anyway given the conditions and short rest between matches.

    I think you need Acosta in the lineup and would also start Yedlin. Those two have veteran experience and familiarity with Mexico and Azteca. I’m not sure what to do up top though. Do you go with Pefok (the hot hand that hasn’t been involved with the team lately) or Ferreira (also hot for club and was involved last cycle) or Pepi (not playing much at all but could make a statement against the national team that he snubbed) or play a false 9? I never know what Berhalter is thinking (and half the time don’t understand even after it’s made public).
     
    #109
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  10. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

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    Good news is the USMNT got a point.

    Bad news is they didn’t finish well.

    Good news is Reyna looked really good.

    Bad news is no Weah or Yedlin on Sunday due to yellow cards.

    Good news is Adams didn’t pick up a yellow.
     
    #110
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  11. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Did the least we needed to do. Sunday is HUGE! HUGE! Three points is a must. We don't want to go to Costa Rica needing anything. If we do....
     
    #111
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  12. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Elsewhere, The Ticos took advantage of a red card (haven’t seen highlights), got a goal in first half stoppage, then held on (Canada hit the post twice) to climb into 4th. Not great, but….

    Panama blew it and only drew at home to cellar dweller Honduras. Now they must play to win in Orlando. A US win on Sunday and Costa Rica would have to win their last two and make up 7 goals on the GD.

    Pefok looks like he got caught between 2 minds and split second chose his left foot (obviously the wrong choice)…Pulisic has to put that chance away, went straight down the middle. However, a point at Azteca is nothing to sneeze at, and puts the team in a great spot.
     
    #112
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
  13. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    Here we go. Win and you’re in (more or less).

    Lineup thoughts: de la Torre good. Arriola bad. I’m also a bit concerned about Shaq Moore. He’s been solid in the past but hasn’t been involved lately (and wasn’t even called in initially) and there can’t be too much familiarity with his teammates.

    Side note: Pulisic with the armband. Why does Berhalter insist on the captain by committee? How is it beneficial to switch the captain game to game? Is there not a true leader among them?

    In all though, it should be enough to beat Panama at home.

    Let’s go USA!
     
    #113
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
  14. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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  15. sacffc

    sacffc Well-Known Member

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    Nice win. They looked great today. Glad it wasn't a nail biter.
     
    #115
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  16. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    It's time to give Jedi his due. The kid gets a lot of crap from some of the Fulham faithful on social, but the thing I like about him is this: he makes errors of commission, not omission. He tries shit. Not like Dempsey, but he's got good instincts, even if he doesn't pull off something. His mistakes are compounded because of their boldness. Yep, he makes some real boners. But I'd rather have someone who tries to push things, take chances, rather than retreat, play it safe, and try not to lose. He's got his weaknesses, for sure. In my opinion, he's a substandard defender, considering his position. But his offensive instincts are spot on. One of the things he's really good at is timing a forward run. His Fulham teammates seem to have figured out his "delayed" sprint forward, his USMNT mates, not so much. But it works. And his crosses, his decision when to cross, and the weight and trajectory, are very good, and improving. His cross last night that found Arriola perfectly was a world class play. He appears to play with a little more freedom under Berhalter than Marco, but he's still a no brainer to be penciled into the starting 11 for both sides. And he's only 24. It's a little scary to thing how much better he can get, and be around for a long time. I think he's really a key guy for the US right now, and it'll be fun to see how much he improves and, ultimately, impacts our chances come time for Qatar. The future is bright and, in many ways, now. He's got a chance to be a top player for a long time. I hope he realizes that chance sooner rather than later. And, perhaps most importantly, I think his teammates know that, and appreciate what an asset he is. So do I.
     
    #116
  17. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    @astroevan Had same reaction when I saw Arriola in the lineup. Good energy guy but….
    His header was as beautiful as it was unexpected.
    Reminded me of The Captain aka Danny Murphy (both guys not exactly tall in stature) at Portsmouth to finish off the Great Escape.
     
    #117
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  18. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    If I ignore the hattrick, MotM for me is Antonee. Can't ignore the three goal effort.

    I really enjoyed watching us ... with the exception of the sound. American TV is continuing its 40 year old belief that Americans think soccer is boring, so they have to have two [and sometimes 3] gits yakkiing non-stop so we all won't fall asleep. Watching us win a ball and move to attack while the announcers are talking about something that happened in training is nuts. Where is the "Robinson ... cross ... Arrioal at the post ... goal" reportage from England?
    I'm almost dreading watching the World Cup if there's an American in the box.
     
    #118
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  19. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

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    It’s down to the final match but tonight should make qualifying official.
     
    #119
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  20. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

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    Glad to see Berhalter is going for it!

     
    #120
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