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Discussion in 'Swamp Gas' started by gatorchamps0607, Jul 24, 2013.
Im confused, I was watching highlights of the game and one guy said that we needed to win against Mexico and have Honduras or some other team lose or draw to qualify? Do they just mean we clinched it or if we lost that game we wouldn't be going? I thought we were #1 in our group so it threw me off.
The US and Costa Rica clinched a spot in the World Cup after Mexico lost and Panama tied. Had either Mexico or Panama won, there would have been a very slim MATHEMATICAL possibility that Costa Rica or the US could have been knocked off qualifying for the World Cup.
It just meant the U.S. clinched a birth even though there's two more qualifying games left. If the U.S had lost, then they would need to get results in the last two qualifying games to gain a spot.
This is the golden age of American football. Klinsman has come in and changed the very culture of the sport in the United States. What he was criticised for early in his tenure is now reaping rewards. He has changed our style drastically. Instead of sitting back and simply deflected the attack of our opponents, we take the match to them and not just in a single form. There are matches where we have a lot of possession and others where we rely more on a counter attack. We have depth like never before which is the foundation to ensuring that this isn't a flash in the pan. We've never had in this country the youth programs that are associated with all of the clubs in football associations around the world. Klinsman is trying to lay that foundation. It's something I wish we had when I was growing up.
The true test comes next summer to to be sure but we shouldn't at all downplay what we've seen the past few months. It's a great accomplishment and this team is definitely for real.
The final stage of CONCACAF qualifying is called the hexagonal. The top six teams in N. America, C. America, and the Caribbean play each other the year before the World Cup a full round-robin, home-and-home series. Each team plays 10 games, with 3 points for a win, and 1 point for a tie. Top three finishers qualify for the World Cup, and the 4th place team plays a team from Oceania (Pacific Rim) for another spot. (New Zealand is already awaiting CONCACAF 4th place finisher).
Last Tuesday's games were the 8th for each team in the hex. Costa Rica entered the day with 14 pts, USA 13, Honduras 10, Mexico 8, Panama 7, and Jamaica 3. USA beat Mexico Dos A Cero, and the other 4 teams played to ties. At the end of the day, the USA sits atop with 16 points, CR has 15, Honduras has 11, Panama has 8, Mexico 8, and Jamaica 4. Both the USA and CR have qualified, because the worst they can finish is 3rd, since the most either Mexico or Panama can finish with is 14 points.
Our last two qualifying games are meaningless in terms of qualifying. We host Jamaica 10/11, and at Panama 10/15. The big game in the group on the 11th is Panama at Mexico. Winner will have the inside track to either 3rd or 4th, and loser will need help on the 15th. If the game is a draw, Panama holds the tie-breaker (goal differential, or goals scored - goals allowed).
As for the USA's draw in Brazil, there will be a big to-do in Brazil on December 6. The exact procedure has not been announced it, but generally, FIFA seeds team 1-8, then holds a random drawing for the groups, using a few rules. For example, teams must be spread out so they are not in a group with another team from their region (with the exception of Europe, which has 11 teams). In that case, no group can have 3 Euro teams.
The USA is guaranteed to be in a group with 1 Euro team. What we want to avoid is a group with 2 Euros and a team from S. America. Best case scenario is 1 Euro, 1 Asian, and 1 African. Our luck with draws is usually bad, however, but we'll just have to wait and see. Last, being seeded a top 8 seed really doesn't change much for us. We'll still have a Euro team to deal with, and no control over the other 2 teams in the group.
^You are correct throughout but one quick note, the 4th place finisher plays a playoff with Oceania THIS year. That rotates. Last World Cup cycle was South America and Uruguay (tough playoff team!).
Also, I disagree on the top 8. It changes things a lot. We avoid (most-likely) Holland, Brazil (you don't want Brazil imo as the home team almost always advances, South Africa was the only exception to this rule), Argentina, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Sure we could end up with Croatia, England, Portugal, etc but they are all better than drawing any of the top 8. Even getting two Euros if one is a Ukraine type or France if they qualify, the US could handle that (not a great draw but doable). Getting top 8 would be huge. Mathematically, it is also highly unlikely given there aren't many games left to jump three to six more spots.
Also, I wouldn't say we have had terrible luck. 2006 was a brutal draw with 2 Euros (Italy and Czech both of whom are very good, Italy won the thing that year) and the best African side in Ghana. 2010 wasn't bad despite 2 European teams. Both were pretty weak. I can't recall off the top of my head our other draws so perhaps you are right.
One other quick note on the top 8, while it might not be much easier to finish 2nd in your group if you are not in the top 8, it certainly is easier to finish 1st if you are in the top 8. In other words, say the US is not in the top 8, they will draw one of the powers. Odds of them winning the group are dramatically reduced unless we get lucky and get a crap top 8 (see England!). However, finishing 2nd still may not be any easier because you could still get a Portugal or Croatia in your group meaning even top 2 is challenging.
Now if you are in the top 8, your worst case is Portugal or Croatia plus Ghana and South Korea/Japan. Now finishing 2nd is still tough but finishing 1st is far more likely than it is with Germany, Brazil, Argentina, etc.
This matters because finishing 1st means you get a 2nd place finisher in the knockout rounds which can be huge. See 2010. The US won the group on goal differential over England and the US drew Ghana while England got Germany. I think everyone on the planet would take Ghana all day over Germany.
I still argue top 8 is a very big benefit if you can get it.
You really don't want to draw this host team...in this world cup
This Brazilian side looks like a well deserved favorite and should thrive
playing at home.
Good post, hopefully Klinsmann stays for a while. He seems to be having fun. The more success our professional leagues have, the better chance we have to identify young talent. The more talent we can get playing in the top European leagues, the better off we will be.
I have to admit when I saw the number of pages on this I assumed it too had been overrun by trolls. I admittidly don't know much about soccer, however I found this thread extremely informative and helpful. I love watching the World Cup only because there is so much at stake, but find anything else tough to watch. Much like olympic sports I can only watch every four years. The only thing I would love to see is the return of the golden goal. I mean if scoring is so difficult why not just end it when a goal is made in overtime.
Thanks for a great thread, nice to have one around here again.
2002 we were paired with Portugal, a top 5 team and a favorite to win the Cup. We were also paired with host South Korea and Poland. Tough draw though not the group of death that year. We managed to advance by surprising Portugal (even though one of our backs tried to give the game away, I've blocked his name out of my memory for good) and tying South Korea who went on to the semi finals. We lost to Poland but the other teams took care of business for us.
Jeff Agoos. Solid defender, but way past his prime in 2002.
The big advantage of being in the top 8 is avoiding the top 5 teams, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany, and Spain. But if we in the top 8, it just means displacing another one of those teams hovering around the top 8. And say it is an Belgium. Are they really a worse team ranked 10 instead of 8? Of course not.
Currently, the top 12 teams in FIFA ranks are all from either Europe or S. America. At 13, we're the highest ranked team from outside those two regions! Again, our best case scenario is to be in a group with one Euro, one S. American, and one from Asia or Africa. Will it really make a big difference if the group is USA, England, Chile, Ghana, or USA, Uruguay, Denmark, Algeria? Both would be dream scenarios, and out of the 6 countries mentioned, only 1 is currently top 8 (Uruguay at 7).
Personally, I'd love to see FIFA adopt a March Madness approach and seed all qualifiers 1-32 and us a S-curve to create the groups. Move teams up or down so there aren't 2 teams from the same region in a group (or no more than 2 from UEFA). But in the past, FIFA has only seeded top 8 and did a random draw for the rest.
The point is to avoid the top 5 AND a fringe. No one in Africa or Asia are scary as you have indicated. So in my mind, getting Portugal and Croatia (plus 1 Africa/Asia) is a lot better than Germany, Portugal, plus 1 Africa/Asia. Two fringes is still tough (Portugal and Croatia) but it is much easier than top 5 andPortugal or Croatia.
All I am saying is you have to finish only top 2 so if you can avoid one of the top 5-7 teams, your odds of finishing top 2 dramatically increase.
It is a moot point. The US won't finish top 8 by December.
Considering they have been stomping on everyone they have been up against i think they are legitly good not to mention they punched there ticket to the World cup next year on Tuesday.
The ranking system for the 2014 WC was released today:
Interesting that Belgium, Colombia and Uruguay are likely top 7 seeds and England, France and other traditional powers are not. Just shows you how far the traditional powers have fallen.
We just gifted Mexico a trip to the World Cup in all likelihood.
Not that they will ever acknowledge it.
Crazy final 15 minutes of qualifying.
Mexico should give us a huge gracias. Doubt we'll ever get it, but Mexico probably has a 95%+ chance of beating New Zealand and grabbing a spot in Brazil. And thanks to two extra time goals the US scored that meant nothing to us in terms of qualifying.