2014 WC Brasil - CONCACAF WCQ opponents watch [all R's]

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by TimB4Last, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

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    I'm never sure how well this will work, but I like having a place to discuss our CONCACAF WCQ opponents, their teams, players, coaches, results, preparation, etc. as the WCQ process moves along. Posters supporting these other teams are of course welcome to share their insights.

    As a start I have listed the teams in all three groups, including - because it's our natural focus this year - the 2012 friendly match schedules of our three Group A opponents.

    Guatemala, with 2 matches v Paraguay, 1 v Guyana, and 2 late tune-ups v Costa Rica, looks to be all set.

    Jamaica, with 2 matches v Cuba, 1 v New Zealand, 1 v Costa Rica, and 1 v Panama, is preparing seriously and has room for another match in early June.

    Antigua and Barbuda, with a loss yesterday to Trinidad and Tobago, and just 1 match scheduled, v St. Kitts and Nevis this Saturday, not surprisingly needs to do more.

    We can also discuss the fortunes of the Group B and Group C teams, of course.

    Group A

    Antigua and Barbuda
    Guatemala
    Jamaica
    United States

    Group B

    Costa Rica
    El Salvador
    Guyana
    Mexico

    Group C

    Canada
    Cuba
    Honduras
    Panama

    2012 Pre-WCQ Schedules [as of March 1, per FIFA.com]

    Group A

    Antigua and Barbuda (ATG)

    29.02.12 ATG 0:4 (0:0) TRI

    03.03.12 SKN ___ ____ ATG

    Guatemala (GUA)

    22.02.12 PAR 2:1 (1:0) GUA

    29.02.12 GUY 0:2 (0:1) GUA

    25.04.12 GUA ___ ____ PAR

    26.05.12 CRC ___ ____ GUA

    01.06.12 GUA ___ ____ CRC

    Jamaica (JAM)

    22.02.12 JAM 1:0 (0:0) CUB

    24.02.12 JAM 3:0 (2:0) CUB

    29.02.12 NZL 2:3 (0:1) JAM

    21.03.12 JAM ___ ____ CRC

    27.05.12 JAM ___ ____ PAN
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  2. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

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    For perspective ... February 15, 2012 FIFA rankings of CONCACAF teams ...

    FIFA/CONCACAF {Top-ranked 16 - 12 qualified}

    21/1 - Mexico
    31/2 - USA
    49/3 - Panama
    50/4 - Jamaica
    54/5 - El Salvador
    59/6 - Honduras
    63/7 - Costa Rica
    71/8 - Canada
    71/9 - Haiti
    84/10 - Guatemala
    85/11 - Trinidad and Tobago
    90/12 - Antigua and Barbuda
    92/13 - Guyana
    105/14 - Bermuda
    113/15 - Puerto Rico
    116/16 - Cuba

    Yes, FIFA rankings leave much to be desired; yes, they are just a snapshot in time; yes, we are better than 31st; and yes, we'll be moving up soon.
  3. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

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    Yesterday's relevant CONCACAF results

    New Zealand 2 - 3 Jamaica

    Antigua and Barbuda 0 - 4 Trinidad & Tobago

    Guyana 0 - 2 Guatemala

    Wales 0 - 1 Costa Rica

    Mexico 0 - 2 Colombia

    El Salvador 0 - 2 Estonia

    Armenia 3 - 1 Canada

    Paraguay 1 - 0 Panama

    Bolivia 1 - 0 Cuba

    Ecuador 2 - 0 Honduras

    Next up ... Saturday, March 3 {'and to 'and combat}

    St. Kitts and Nevis v Antigua and Barbuda
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  4. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    Agreement of course with your caveats on the FIFA rankings, though I think there are some indicators to be gleaned. To whit, that big knot of similarity of quality (and reasonable quality it is) between Panama, Jamaica, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and possibly Canada and Haiti. These semifinal groups are probably going to be tight and unpredictable for most...

    And though they got the bye to the semifinal round due to their good ranking at the right time, Cuba's definitely fallen off from last cycle and is unlikely to make the Hex this time.


  5. Paul Calixte

    Paul Calixte Member+

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  6. whitecloud

    whitecloud Member

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    Jamaica beating New Zealand in Auckland looks pretty good for CONCACAF's chances of getting a 4th team in the World Cup. Jamaica is a contender for 4th, but I would probably put them as about the 7th or 8th best team in the region. If Jamaica can get a win in NZ then everyone in the hex should be able to.
  7. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

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    Jamaica is fourth in CONCACAF in both FIFA and ELO rankings.
  8. Dr. Gamera

    Dr. Gamera BigSoccer Supporter

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    But sixth in ESPN's latest SPI. I don't think it's wildly irrational to consider Jamaica seventh or eighth best in CONCACAF, although I wouldn't put them quite so low myself. Beating New Zealand in New Zealand is one more piece of evidence that Jamaica's rebound from the abyss is real.

    Right now I see CONCACAF as:
    Mexico
    USA
    Costa Rica/Honduras/Jamaica/Panama (in some order)
    El Salvador/Guatemala (in some order)
  9. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

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    I have no idea if anyone is watching this evening, but here's a preview of tonight's battle of the (b)ands.

    http://sknfa.com/?p=1278

    What a great question!
  10. LyotoM

    LyotoM Member

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    nz would probably beat canada :( but we got the better fifa ranking
  11. Dr. Gamera

    Dr. Gamera BigSoccer Supporter

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    Yes, they can!

    Sugar Boys 1-0 Benna Boys.
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  12. Dr. Gamera

    Dr. Gamera BigSoccer Supporter

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  13. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    If Trinidad & Tobago can put 4 past Antigua & Barbuda, we better be racking up our goal difference in that game. I want to be sportsmen, but I wouldn't mind if we won 14-0 like the women.

    At some point stop celebrating and don't be cruel, but the goals matter. Just in case we F up somewhere.
  14. john3628

    john3628 Member+

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    The game against Antigua would be a great opportunity to cap-tie some players.
  15. FirstStar

    FirstStar Hustlin' for the USA

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    . . . except that they are the first opponent we play in both halves of the 6-game cycle. That means that we will have our first team on the field for the first match and probably still need our first team to (potentially) lock-up qualification on gameday 4. If they were last in the cycle, using it as a throw-away would make more sense.
  16. john3628

    john3628 Member+

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    You actually think that we can lose to them??
  17. FirstStar

    FirstStar Hustlin' for the USA

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    Bob took us to Barbados in 2008 for a qualifier . . . and we left a 1-0 victor. Shit happens all the time in CONCACAF qualifying. First law of qualifying- do not f*$% up qualifying. Take care of business first- there's always matchday 6.

    One edit to above, though, looks like we have a single-week home-and-away with Jamaica in September (that's really f'ed up scheduling by CONCACAF, but we should probably expect no less), so our trip to Antigua is really matchday 5. If all goes well, we clinch qualification in Jamaica and we can have a more experimental camp for the October friendlies. But the first Guatemala match is away, so it's reasonable to assume that we may not clinch until matchday 5, which means we will have a full A-team camp in October.
  18. Master O

    Master O Member+

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    Remember, when the US traveled to Barbados, the aggregate score was 8-0 and the US was fielding a very weak lineup.

    Barbados was not scoring 8 goals on the USA in any way, shape, or form, not as long as Howard or Guzan were in goal.
  19. NGV

    NGV Member

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    Absolutely - Since Jamaica and Guatemala are also pretty much guaranteed to win big in their home matches against A&B, simply picking up three points in that game doesn't get us very far. A positive result would be one in which we tallied enough goals to be in a good GD situation.
  20. irish56

    irish56 Member+

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    Yes, the famous 4-6-0 formation for that match.
  21. Dr. Gamera

    Dr. Gamera BigSoccer Supporter

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    To add to the point, il Bruce took us to Grenada in 2004 for a qualifier... and we left a 3-2 victor. Now, part of the first half was played in near-monsoon conditions, and thus the rest of the game was played in a mud pit. Also, we had a 3-0 result from the first game, and we ran out to a 6-0 aggregate lead before Grenada clawed two back ("clawing back" sounds over-harsh; Grenada's second goal was a thing of beauty.) But still, it's important to maximize our chances of not dropping points to Antigua and Barbuda.
  22. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

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    We want a great goal differential but I certainly hope we don't need the goal differential tiebreaker to advance to the Hexagonal. Last cycle we finished 10 points ahead of third place Guatemala in the Semifinals. In qualifying for World Cup 2006 we finished 5 points ahead of third place Jamaica in the Semifinals.
  23. Dr. Gamera

    Dr. Gamera BigSoccer Supporter

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    By way of contrast, in qualifying for World Cup 2002, we finished just one point ahead of Costa Rica and Guatemala in the semifinals.
  24. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    Exactly right. We need more goals than the others. Period.
  25. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    I don't either. But you play safe. No mercy.

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