FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 (soccer)

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

  1. Montegriffo

    Montegriffo Well-Known Member

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    Yup, they kicked off when one of their number was arrested for racially abusing a steward.
     
  2. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Bummer. With their quality it sounds like they've been cruising (tie against Bulgaria?).

    And you and I are back on the USMNT roller coaster tonight (I think I'm gonna hurl) - 7pm ET on ESPN2. A win at home is a MUST:

    https://www.ussoccer.com

    From what I've read, the lineup we had against Jamaica last week should be back on the field in Columbus tonight (no definite word on McKennie yet), and I think it's time Gregg stopped tweaking it till Christian and Gio return. It would be nice to get those two back on the field for the WCQs in November - El Tri are coming to Cinci on the 12th.
     
  3. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Yes, that game against Bulgaria was a low point, but Italy did improve in the Nations Leagues 3rd place match. If we play on November 12 against Switzerland at home in Rome like we played against Belgium, I'm confident that we'll beat them and then we just need a draw against Northern Ireland to stamp our ticket (or we would qualify even with a loss to Northern Ireland if Switzerland draws or loses against Bulgaria).

    Yes, go USA tonight! I'll watch delayed, from my DVR, because my wife and I have a sort of movie date night that will overlap with the game. Once I finish washing the movie with my wife and she goes to sleep, I will then watch the recorded game as if live so I won't be here until I'm done watching, to avoid spoilers.
     
  4. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'm sure they'll be fine. Everyone has a bad night and I guess the Azzurri had one against Bulgaria. It happens....

    Enjoy date night. I hope our boys don't ruin your nightcap.

    I'm feeling pretty good about our chances this evening. Fortress Columbus has been very good to us over the years: 7-1-2 in WCQs.

    [​IMG]

    Nice hat - I want one! :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
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  5. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    I would not worry about Italy. They are just to good.

    It is fun to watch how Germany is playing. Every player puts his heart into it for 90 minutes
    With Flick there is a new fresh breeze in the game and in the team.
    But there is still a lot of work to be done, to get back into the top ten and be a serious contender.
    This was a great start for Flick.
     
  6. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Flick's a great coach, and we can relate to what a difference a new coach can make.

    Our new coach Gregg Berhalter has done a remarkable job with the youngest squad in the program's history. They'll probably make it to Qatar next year, but they're so young I don't expect them to start reaching their potential until the 2026 WC in North America.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  7. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    Its actually rather amazing what happened to Flick. He accidental became interims coach for a few month at Bayern, till they could find a new headcoach. In a few weeks he turned Bayern around and was suddenly on the front page, the always assistant coach. He was so good, that Bayern hired him as head coach and than he stunned Football World, by winning every Cup.
    The guy went from nobody to the winningest coach in a year and than National Coach and Manager of all National male Teams in Germany.

    I think he sometimes sits there in a quiet and private moment and turns and squeezes the skin on his to see if he wakes up from this wild dream.

    Berhalter sounds German, hihihihihi, I hope the US has a good game today, will be watching and make it to the WC.
     
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  8. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'm a casual fan of Bayern so I'm familiar with what a great job Hansi did there. Not only did he make them a great team again he did it with the aggressive style of play I love. I'm happy to see him coaching the national team, and I fully expect Germany to become a force again.

    German-Americans are our largest ethnic group - I have some German blood in me, too. That might explain my fondness for Märzenbier (I actually brew it myself). :D

    Thanks. I think we're going to get back on track tonight. The lineup we played last week against Jamaica will be back on the field and they were much more aggressive than the lineup that played against Panama. Our team is far better when it pushes the ball up the field and maintains the attack.
     
  9. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    I hope more of those young players get to play in Europe, so they can develop their potential to the fullest. MLS is ok, but just 2. grade at best compared to the leagues in Europe. Even if they do not play in a top team, it would raise them to the next level.
     
  10. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    Oooooooooops, 2 minutes
     
  11. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    The equalizer was just brilliant.
     
  12. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    The US got away with one, that was a penalty
     
  13. Montegriffo

    Montegriffo Well-Known Member

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    Canada drawing 1-1 with Panama.
     
  14. Montegriffo

    Montegriffo Well-Known Member

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    Leafs drawing 1-1 with Habs.
     
  15. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    It was nice to see how they dealt with this early goal.. Well done.

    One thing I noticed, they sometimes go for the ball but than hesitate to follow through. They have to get more aggressive, risk a penalty, a yellow, but if you go, you go. I think that hurt the US game a lot.
    But other wise rather good.

    Don't understand why they called the second an own goal, but what do I know.

    The US goal keeper did not look to good on the goal, but he did good later.

    Canada will go into the play offs. Its now US and Mexico.
     
  16. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Whew, that was nerve-wrecking. The youngest US team ever to play in a WCQ and we suffer a goal with 60 seconds! More psychologically fragile players could have fallen apart. Our goalie, 60 seconds into it, conceded a goal with rather poor defending.

    But then, no. These very young guys did not fall apart, including the goalie. They fought back, very rigorously, and prevailed.

    Dest was a monster. Wow! that was something. And his goal was a thing of beauty; not only what he did, but also the whole play which started with the goalie and had 11 precise and fast passes until the ball got to Dest who scored the kind of goal that Chiesa and Insigne score, at times. This was one of the prettiest plays I've seen the USMNT perform.

    McKennie finally played in this WCQ like he plays for Juve. Except for a couple of attempts at scoring that were off-target, he was the perfect aggressive midfielder, distributing the ball beautifully. He was like an aggressive Jorginho...

    Tim Weah was great too. And yes, I have no idea why that goal was credited as an own goal. Tim scored that goal, no doubt.

    We did get lucky due to the absence of VAR; we could have conceded a penalty if VAR existed.

    Antonee Robinson didn't play well. Lots of failed crosses. He was instrumental in taking the ball to the box but then consistently wasted it. Musah was good. Aaronson was a mixed picture; pretty aggressive and keeping their defense occupied but finishing poorly.

    Pleasant surprise was Busio. It was nice (especially for me) to see Gianluca, this dual national Italian-American who currently plays for Serie A club Venezia (which is the second team I root for after Milan, due to my family coming from the Veneto) coming in as a sub and making an immediate impact. I would like to see Busio starting a game. He played for just 10 minutes or so and almost scored a couple of times, was dynamic, fast, passing well to his companions, and generally bringing panic to Costa Rica's defense and keeping the ball on their side of the pitch, which was important at that point, to avoid a counter that might have tied the game.

    We had multiple opportunities to put the game away with a third goal, but Costa Rica did defend well, many of our shots (like two or three by Pepi, many others by other players) were blocked in the last second by a defender sticking a leg and deviating the ball away from the goal. In one occasion that block/deflection almost resulted in a real own goal, but the goalie miraculously saved it. One negative part of our performance tonight was not being able to score a third goal against a rather mediocre, old, and tired Costa Rica team.

    Another concern is that unsurprisingly, these young guys play much better when they have a home crowd behind them (this Columbus, OH crowd was great!); they still tend to panic when they play in a raucous away stadium. It's coming from their inexperience, I'm sure.

    But anyway, what counts is the win, and we got it. We came from behind, we scored in the first half for the first time in 9 games, and while it wasn't pretty and there were problems, we have 11 points, 3 clear of Panama who occupy the 4th place. So far so good; we are progressing towards qualification.

    Berhalter changed no fewer than 10 players as opposed to the starting team in Panama City! That was bold, but it did pay off. Our guys were really fresh, while Costa Rica were gassed.

    OK, now, much bigger opposition in one month against Mexico, in Cincinnati. Arriola got a groin injury. Against Mexico we need everybody. I'd love to have Pulisic and Giovanni Reyna there...
     
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  17. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Quite a few of them already play in Europe, including our best players Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Weston McKennie (Juventus) and Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund). Sergio Dest, who had a huge game last night, plays for Barcelona:

    https://ussoccerplayers.com/usmnt-players-abroad

    There's been talk about young rising star Ricardo Pepi (18 yrs old) leaving FC Dallas for Europe - it's only a question of when - but the downside to that is he'll probably get less playing time and on-field experience if he leaves MLS. As far as the USMNT is concerned, it would be better if he stayed in MLS for at least another season. It's a double-edged sword - the step up in competition in Europe would be nice but so is the extra playing time he's getting in the U.S.. If he decides to stay here a little longer, I suspect he'll make the jump after the WC in Qatar.
     
  18. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I had a feeling you'd mention the goal Steffen coughed up. Before the game even began I questioned why Berhalter sat Matt Turner - another tweak in the lineup - and sure enough Zack gave up a goal at the beginning of the game. It seemed to me that he was a little out of position, and one of the reasons why Turner has been so good in goal is that he never gets caught out of position - he has a knack for anticipating where he needs to be even before a shot is made. As far as I' concerned, I hope the Zack Steffen experiment is over.

    I agree with you on the rest of your post. It would have nice to pick up at least a tie in Panama, but we did what we needed to do in this round, which was to win our home games and pick up 6 points. I also hope that this round taught Gregg what he needs to do with the lineup and stick with it. I know there's a reluctance to go with such a young lineup but they're playing better together than the one that started in Panama (save for Matt Turner).

    In the meantime, I hope Christian and Gio get healthy in the next month. Like you said, we need all hands on deck when we play Mexico on November 12th.
     
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  19. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Current CONCACAF WCQ Standings

    Screen Shot 2021-10-14 at 12.24.04 PM.png

    Things are starting to shake out as most people expected...
     
  20. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    Yes I know, the 5 or 6 top players of the US play in Europe, same for Canada. It is a rather rough from MLS to the European teams.
    That's why I said take the second tier of the top league teams were you would get play time. Not the top 5, teams that are consistently in the top 15. There you do not sit on the bench, if you have talent. You play and will play against the very best in the world. 2 or 3 years, if you are good they come knocking on your door. Even for example 2. Bundesliga, that is hard competition, because of relegation and promotion, which the US does not have. Look at Raum, German defender. His team just got promoted to the first Bundesliga, Wolfsburg picked him up, or is it Hoffenheim, but he became a starter in the last game against Macedonia. Basically he is just fresh out of the 2. class Division and already a starter for the National Team, I think he is 23. You see what I mean, even the second class divisions in Europe are so tough, that they breed instant national players. Most of the U21 European Champions of this years from Germany, were 2. Division players, who are now at the tender age of 18-21 first Division players and even National Team players.
    Players like Pepi have to get their but out of the US as fast as possible. MLS will not teach them anything anymore.
    If they have reached US National Team level, through MLS, they have to find a team in Europe, not first class, to advance and than fight through this relentless competion, that is part of it. MLS is a franchise, you are last ok, you are first ok, your team will never get relegate, your team will never be promoted, its all sugar, inbred. Same with Canada
    18 and I am that good, I would be talking to any European professional football team, first and second Division.
    MLS dead end.
     
  21. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    One more thing.
    If you watch European or South American Football, it is very physical, @Center Field, he always complains how rough they are and they are.
    They play a very physical and aggressive style, if they go for the ball, they go for the ball, no hesitation, if it end up in a foul, ok, yellow ok, if I get hurt, ok, part of the deal. It is rough extremely athletic and physical, tremendous speed.
    Compare the guys the US has playing abroad, they do not take any prisoners, to the ones from MLS, they hesitate in the last second, you see the same in MLS games.
    Look at the yellow cards the US had over the last 2 games, were there any.
    You know what I mean
     
  22. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Really impressive exhibition of football by Neymar and Company tonight. Brazil 4-1 Uruguay, and frankly, it should have been something like 8-1 if not for Uruguay's excellent goalie who made some truly miraculous saves. Brazil's offense was just incredibly good tonight, constructing some extremely beautiful and fast plays with lots of talent and great finishing that didn't result in the double of goals thanks to a world-class goalie who was profoundly inspired tonight. He still couldn't stop four of the balls, but if not for him, this would have a historical humiliation.

    Today, Brazil served to the soccer world this warning: "We'll definitely be strong title contenders in Qatar 2022. Beware. We're coming for you." Given that Argentina have been playing just as well, the two South American giants will be a force to reckon with, in Qatar.

    The one aspect of Brazil that is less than reassuring is that they continue to profoundly depend on Neymar's talent. While many other players did well today, it was Neymar who orchestrated the whole thing, from passing, to scoring himself, to assisting his companions. Brazil is very likely to win when Neymar is playing like he did today. But if he gets injured, then, bye-bye World Cup title.

    Neymar didn't play well last time... Brazil dropped points for the first time, in a 0-0 draw against Colombia. Neymar played great today: Uruguay never stood a chance. Raphinha was also unbelievable.

    Tite is slowly upgrading this team, incorporating young talent from the Olympic gold medalist team.

    This was the best Brazil exhibition in a long time, and they are likely to continue to improve, as they'll start using the South American WC Qualifiers as a laboratory for improving their team, given that it is all but certain that they will qualify (of 11 games played, they won 10 and drew 1). So, the last part of the qualifiers, with Brazil likely clenching it several rounds before the end, will serve as practice.

    Brazil scored with Neymar, Raphinha (twice) and Gabigol. Uruguay got one back thanks to a superbly taken free kick by Suárez. Otherwise, Brazil completely destroyed them. Olé!

    Argentina won 1-0 against Peru but almost dropped points: Peru wasted a penalty kick some 15 minutes before the end, hitting the crossbar.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  23. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Interesting, I authored this post but never hit the post button. So here it goes, belatedly
    -------------

    Wow, what a coming-from-behind victory! Milan 3-2 Verona full time, while at halftime the score was 0-2. A tale of two halves... we played horribly in first half, then came back aggressive and dominant in second half! Yes, we showed depth, resilience, and heart. Even Castillejo played well! An anemic Giroud who did nothing in first half, woke up in the second half, scored a goal, even defended well, and suffered a clear penalty not given by the ref. Ibra had a cameo but did worry Verona's defense in a couple of plays. Leão made the offense more creative. The shaky defending seen in first half got a lot more solid in second half. We also need to credit Pioli, he obviously made adjustments during halftime. Our 4-2-3-1 formation wasn't working in first half, and with a few touches things started working again.

    While Verona is not great, they are still a mid-table team in competitive Serie A, who beat Roma, so, this comeback was impressive. Bravo, Milan!

    Maignan being out for several weeks is really concerning, though. We also missed Theo (who has Covid).

    Inter lost today so we moved 5 points away from them. Now, one must hope that Napoli will lose tomorrow, which is seeming unlikely.

    Napoli has conceded only 2 goals so far. They are definitely the team to beat this season, which is kind of surprising, but it is what it is. If you look at their stats, they are first in the league in a large number of fundamentals, so, it's been no fluke that they remain with 100% of the points they contested for.

    Tomorrow they get another mid-table team, Torino. Of course, in Serie A, mid-table teams beating top teams is not unheard of... so, fingers crossed that Torino trips Napoli and makes them drop some points.
     
  24. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Milan today, disgraceful and embarrassing against a 9-men Bologna with two red cards (both correctly applied; Bologna can't blame anybody but themselves for the two reds that doomed them).

    OK, we won 4-2... so this score line appears inconsistent with a disgraceful and embarrassing display, no? Well, if you watched the game, you'd agree. We were lucky to score two goals at the end when a tired Bologna had only 9 men. Up to that point, 2-2 and they were down one man and still playing better than we did.

    Calabria, Bennacer played well. Ibrahimovic was terrible; his worst performance I've ever seen. He did score a goal, but he scored an own-goal for Bologna too. I think Ibra should consider retirement.

    With 10 injured players, some of them very essential (like Maigna, Theo, Brahim) it's a miracle that we're still winning the games. We actually are on top of the table now, and will remain so if Napoli loses to Roma tomorrow. But this situation of being the top team is weird because we're definitely not playing like one.
     
  25. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    Sort sum up of the Bundesliga Teams in the Championship league.
    Dortmund as usual is a super team or a third leagua team. Against Ajax the third league team showed up. They got wooped 4 nill and had not one good chance. Horrible performance
    Leipzig had been struggling all season long. So I expected a wipe out against Paris. Did not happen. till a sleazy penalty, Messi was the great actor, they were leading in Paris 1:2. They lost in the end 3:2. With 0 points they are out.
    Wolfsburg got themself a serious beating by the Red Bull talent shop Salzburg. The German U21s stole the show. That would be one of those clubs, young talented US players should look into.

    Than Benefica against Bayern. First half, was the half of missed chances for both clubs. Than in 70s or Sane scored a rather beautiful free kick goal. most important change after the goal, Gnabry came for Pavard and than it was game over. Gnabry was like a tornado. A very hard flank from the goal line, looking for Lewe, ended up on the head of Emerson, on goal. Felt sorry for the guy he just had come in. Than it became typical Bayern. Benefica was stunned and they went in for the kill, 2, 3, 4 under 10 minutes. Every single goal by Lewe and Sane was initiated by Gnabry, plus the own goal. After that Bayern substituted and turned it down.
    Neuer kept his goal clean with 2 very good saves. 2 goals from Bayern were denied, Arm ball by Lewe and off site at a Mueller score, plus 2 post hits.
    Chief coach Nagelsman was sick and not on the field, in his hotel room, later tested positive for c19. Fully vaccinated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021

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