FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 (soccer)

Discussion in 'Sports' started by CenterField, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    We've had threads discussing the EURO 2020 (played in 2021), Copa America, Olympic soccer, and the Gold Cup.

    So let's continue the tradition and discuss our region's FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which are about to start.

    The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) unveiled matches for September and October in the "Octagonal" round-robin tournament to decide 2022 Qatar World Cup berths.

    There are 8 nations. The USA (current Gold Cup and Nations League champions, Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama and Honduras. The top three finishers advance to Qatar while the fourth-place squad has a playoff next June to decide another berth.

    Each team will play 14 matches, seven home and seven away, over windows in September, October and November 2021 and January and March 2022.

    The USA will open at San Salvador on September 2, then return home to face Canada at Nashville on September 5 and then travel to Honduras on September 8.

    The following month, the Americans will play Jamaica at Austin, Texas, on October 7, at Panama on October 10 and against Costa Rica at Columbus, Ohio, on October 13.

    Here is the schedule for the upcoming windows:

    September-October qualifying matches (home team listed first):

    Sept. 2: Canada v. Honduras, El Salvador v. USA, Panama v. Costa Rica, Mexico v. Jamaica

    Sept. 5: USA v. Canada, El Salvador v. Honduras, Costa Rica v. Mexico, Jamaica v. Panama

    Sept. 8: Canada v. El Salvador, Honduras v. USA, Panama v. Mexico, Costa Rica v. Jamaica

    Oct. 7: Mexico v. Canada, Honduras v. Costa Rica, El Salvador v. Panama, USA v. Jamaica

    Oct. 10: Jamaica v. Canada, Mexico v. Honduras, Costa Rica v. El Salvador, Panama v. USA

    Oct. 13: Canada v. Panama, Honduras v. Jamaica, El Salvador v. Mexico, USA v. Costa Rica

    --------------

    So, my friends, let's discuss the teams, the games, and the expectations.

    I have high hopes for the United States. We failed to qualify last time, but this time I'm quite optimistic that we'll make it. Now we have youth, depth, talent... and many of our starters are playing for good European clubs.

    Go USA!
     
  2. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Oops, I said in the title, Qatar 2020 when I obviously meant Qatar 2022. Will ask a moderator to edit the title. @Adfundum please.
     
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  3. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'm ready...

    USMNT SCARF.jpg

    Bring on El Salvador!
    Thursday September 2, 10:05 EDT

    It'll be great to see the whole gang - Pulisic, McKennie, Reyna & Co. - back together again.

    What will the USMNT roster look like for September World Cup qualifiers?
    http://americansoccernow.com/articl...-look-like-for-september-world-cup-qualifiers

    Brian Sciaretta's 'fearless prediction':

    GOALKEEPERS
    1)
    Zack Steffen
    2) Matthew Turner
    3) Ethan Horvath

    DEFENDERS
    4)
    Sergino Dest
    5) Reggie Cannon
    6) Antonee Robinson
    7) Sam Vines
    8 ) John Brooks
    9) Miles Robinson
    10) Mark McKenzie
    11) Chris Richards
    12) Matt Miazga

    MIDFIELDERS
    13)
    Tyler Adams
    14) Kellyn Acosta
    15) Weston McKennie
    16) Yunus Musah (Cristian Roldan or Gianluca Busio)
    17) Eryk Williamson
    18 ) Sebastian Lletget
    19) Brenden Aaronson

    ATTACKERS
    20)
    Christian Pulisic
    21) Giovanni Reyna
    22) Tim Weah
    23) Matthew Hoppe
    24) Josh Sargent
    25) Jordan Pefok
    26) Gyasi Zardes

    The big question coming out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup was whether or not goalie Matthew Turner (my MVP for the USMNT in that tournament) should start at goalie over Zack Steffen.

    Charlie Davies: Matt Turner should be the USMNT No. 1 for World Cup Qualifying
    https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/char...ld-be-the-usmnt-no-1-for-world-cup-qualifying

    Either way we've got a solid group of goalies and the competition will be good for the team.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  4. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    @Talon today FIFA released its updated ranking and we went from 20th to 10th!!!
    Yeah, yeah, people say that the FIFA ranking is bogus... but it is the one that is used for WC seeding so actually it is very important to make the top 10, and for now we got it.
     
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  5. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Hey, Doc - that's awesome news! When's the last time the USMNT has been ranked #10?

    I certainly can't remember.

    No doubt, sweeping Mexico and beating the defending Asian champs (Qatar) boosted our rankings, but that's all behind us. Our boys still have a lot to prove to themselves and their fans, but I'm confident Gregg will have them ready.

    Cheers! :beer:
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  6. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    The last time the USMNT was ranked 10th was in May of 2006.
    Yes, I said, for now we got it.
    We need to conserve it until the seeding definition; it would allow us to be in a group that would avoid the big dogs, making it easier to advance to the knockout rounds.

    For this, of course, we need to qualify first... but I'm confident we will.

    Cheers.
     
  7. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    IT'S GAME DAY!!

    10pm ET on CBS Sports Network

    I think it's streaming live on Paramount+

    Latest news c/o CBS Sports:

    USA: Christian Pulisic will not play after testing positive for COVID while with Chelsea ahead of the international break. Pulisic trained with his teammates and wasn't in isolation during the lead-up to the game, but he did not travel with the team for the match. So, that means we likely see Brenden Aaronson or Konrad de la Fuente at left wing. Additionally, No. 1 goalkeeper Zack Steffen did not make the trip after waking up Wednesday with back spasms. Berhalter said ahead of the match that New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner, the hero from the Gold Cup, will start.
     
  8. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Yes, I was about to post the same thing. Pulisic is done with isolation but apparently his fitness suffered from the Covid-19 pause and he wasn't considered to be fit to play. I hope he will play at least some minutes against Canada. I'm not as upset with the absence of Zack Steffen given that I think that Matt Turner is just as good or better.

    I'll be watching live on TV although my attention will be divided with Brazil v. Chile which overlaps a little. Brazil maybe will lose its 100% in WC qualifiers so far, because they are missing no fewer than 9 essential players who weren't released by their EPL teams (despicable; I hope FIFA punishes the teams).

    Off-topic:

    Italy play Bulgaria today at 2:45 PM on ESPN+ and we have the exact same starters that started the Wembley Final except for Acerbi starting for a benched Chiellini. It's a bit weird that Mancini is sticking with Ciro after his bad Euro 2020 form but Ciro scored 4 goals in his first 2 Serie A matches.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
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  9. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I was kinda pleased to hear Matt's getting the start in goal, but I'm a bit bummed that Christian can't play. I watched Chelsea's last two games and he missed both of those, so I was hoping he'd be back tonight.


    I just found out about this, too...

    El Salvador asks to play qualifier in US amid virus surge
    The head of El Salvador's soccer federation says he will ask CONCACAF to allow his country to play its Sept. 2 World Cup qualifier against the U.S. team in the United States
    ByThe Associated Press
    September 2, 2021, 10:03 AM
    https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/el-salvador-asks-play-qualifier-us-amid-virus-79788895

    Talk about last minute - checking to see if the venue has been moved...

    PS. That's ridiculous about Brazil.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
  10. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Nothing about the game getting moved.

    I guess they be playing in an empty stadium in San Salvador, which sucks...
     
  11. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Yikes, I hope our players will be safe from the virus. But you know, we're having a surge here too, so maybe that's why the confederation didn't honor El Salvador's request. Going from a place with a surge to another place with a surge, what's the difference?
     
  12. Hey Now

    Hey Now Newly Registered

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    Interesting that this does not include South America as I think it would make the league more competitive. Given that, I think the US will do very well.
     
  13. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Moving the match on a day's notice is asking a bit much. I don't know what the Salvadorans were thinking.

    I take it Italy and Brazil are playing their first qualifiers today?

    Barring injuries, etc., I'm expecting those two to meet in the WC final next year...
     
  14. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    We should be able to handle El Salvador - the teams they've beaten were a bunch of cupcakes.

    Our first tough match will be this Saturday in Nashville against the Canucks:

    https://www.ussoccer.com/competitio...alifying-2022/matches/united-states-vs-canada
     
  15. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    What? Of course it doesn't include South America. They have their own confederation, CONMEBOL, the second strongest in the world after the UEFA (formerly the strongest but UEFA did take over lately); why would the South Americans want to join the lowly CONCACAF???

    I take it that you're not very familiar with the history of soccer. There is just no comparison between the strength of the South American confederation (they have among their teams no fewer than 9 World Cup titles versus zero for the CONCACAF) and the Central/Caribbean/North American confederation. South America features five among the best national teams in the world (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Colombia) and some of the lower-table ones, like Peru, Ecuador, and Paraguay, are no pushovers either. Only Bolivia and Venezuela are low-quality teams. Meanwhile the CONCACAF has the USA and Mexico as decent teams (still much inferior to Brazil and Argentina) and a couple of others that sometimes are decent, like Costa Rica, or Canada, or Jamaica, or Honduras, or Panama depending on the year (usually never too many are sort of decent simultaneously). And then, CONCACAF has 34 other teams of a very, very low quality. Why would the very high quality CONMEBOL want any part of that???

    If CONMEBOL and CONCACAF merged, we'd see the South Americans perennially winning the competitions, with very rare and occasional exceptions.

    CONMEBOL is not interested because it would dilute their quality, and CONCACAF wouldn't want it either, because they'd turn into eternal losers.
     
  16. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    No, Italy and Brazil are not playing their first qualifiers. This is the fourth WCQ game for Italy; we won the first three. And it's the 7th WCQ for Brazil; they won all first six.

    I just learned that I won't be able to watch Brazil v. Chile. FUBO TV has exclusive rights, and I'm not about to pay $70 per month to them. I used up my 7-day free trial a while ago so now I'm out of luck. It sucks. I hate this exclusivity deals; they leave most of the fans with no options.

    I'm glad at least that I do subscribe already to the service that shows the European qualifiers, ESPN+.

    On the other hand, the USMNT will have my undivided attention tonight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
  17. Hey Now

    Hey Now Newly Registered

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    Because it would make the lowly CONCACAF more darn interesting! :) Yet, I agree totally with your post.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
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  18. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Silly me - I haven't been following the other regional qualifiers. It has been interesting to see some of the biggest names in the sport moving around - Lukaku, Messi and now Ronaldo. I can't hep but wonder how Montegriffo took the news of his favorite player returning to dive across the pitches of the Premier League. :lol:

    That does suck.

    About a month or so ago I was afraid U.S. Soccer might pull a stunt like because they only had Paramount+ listed as a broadcaster. Now I see that CBS Sports Network and FS1 are carrying the USMNT's games. I have no idea if ESPN got in on the action.
     
  19. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    We'll show those CONMEBOL bastards at the WC!! :oldman: :D

    (Maybe not next year but in 2026...)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
  20. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    LOL, good point! @Montegriffo , care to respond?
    Oh well, I ended up biting the bullet. I've just subscribed to FuboTV. I learned that there is a "Latino" package for $32 per month and it gives access to all 15 CONMEBOL WCQ games in September, and all of them in subsequent months. Given that the Pay-Per-View fee for EACH game is $30 plus taxes, for the price of one PPV game I get to record and/or watch live all of them, so even though it sucks to be paying more and more for subscription TV, I couldn't pass on the offer.

    So, OK, yes, I will have divided attentions tonight. The Brazil v. Peru game's second half will overlap with the USMNT first half. My attention will be undivided again for the USMNT in second half.
     
  21. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Here's one for old time's sake :D

    [​IMG]

    And down he goes.

    It's gonna be deja vu all over again! :lol:

    Good for you. It's why we work, right? :beer:
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
  22. Hey Now

    Hey Now Newly Registered

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    They do say hope reigns eternal! :D
     
  23. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The future looks bright!

    We've got a very talented young squad - arguably the best I have ever seen - and they are only going to get better over time.

    I'm not sure how deep a run they'll make next year but if all goes well they should make a splash in 2026.
     
  24. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Italy playing much better than Bulgaria, Chiesa scored a spectacular goal assisted by Immobile; both Immobile and Insigne played well and had scoring opportunities. But then Florenzi screwed up big time in defense and Bulgaria equalized. Had to be the guy from my team AC Milan who failed miserably... darn. I'm hoping for a second and third goals in second half. But it's a tough game, the Bulgarians are very physical. Halftime.

    England-Hungary 0-0 so far. England is dominant but hasn't found the back of the net.

    I saw part of Spain 1-1 Sweden, I don't know if the score remains 1-1.
     
  25. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    LOL, this one deserves an Oscar!
     
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