World Cup Qualifiers

Gophers_4life

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We want to finish top three though, right? Fourth place you have to go to a play-in playoff thing?
 

mnsportsgeek

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We want to finish top three though, right? Fourth place you have to go to a play-in playoff thing?
Correct. We don't want to fly to Qatar in the same FIFA window that we're playing the group stage of another tournament (Nations League). Would just be a pain and then throw in the nerves of potentially missing the world cup again. Would love to avoid.
 

Full Speed Ahead

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If we beat Panama and get the three, they can't mathematically catch us, even if we drop the games at Mexico and Costa Rica we can't finish worse than fourth if we beat Panama at home. Win and a draw should get us in the top three. I'd feel better about our chances in Qatar if we could pick up one more road win in the next window. If we beat Panama Six wins one draw and no losses is about all you can ask for at home but we only have one road win so far
Yep, your right. Beat Panama, or get a total of 4 points in the three remaining games, and we'll at least be in 4th place - we pretty much have a lock on the Goal Differential tie-breaker. The Mexico game isn't as important as the other two. One items we need to hope for is that we don't get any injuries or red-cards during that Mexico game. As for injuries, Gio Reyna should be available for this final round of games, so that's a big plus for us.
 

ecoperson

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Yep, your right. Beat Panama, or get a total of 4 points in the three remaining games, and we'll at least be in 4th place - we pretty much have a lock on the Goal Differential tie-breaker. The Mexico game isn't as important as the other two. One items we need to hope for is that we don't get any injuries or red-cards during that Mexico game. As for injuries, Gio Reyna should be available for this final round of games, so that's a big plus for us.
I have changed my perspective this cycle... I don't want to even go if they are going to be backing in. If they can't beat at least one of MX or CR away, they aren't likely to get out of the group stage at the WC. Let's get some Ws!
 

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I don't feel good about the last window. Maybe it's the Minnesota sports negativity creeping in, but I sense an upcoming disaster.
 


ecoperson

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I don't feel good about the last window. Maybe it's the Minnesota sports negativity creeping in, but I sense an upcoming disaster.
Negativity breeds negativity. We need to break this mindset. I've argued how this mindset is a vicious cycle where local athletes are less apt to see the U as a destination because the fan base is so fickle. We need to start believing in ourselves. If the low budget Twins can win a WS twice in a 5 seasons, ANYTHING is possible.
 

Face The Facts

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What is interesting at least is that Costa Rica and Panama both play Canada as well.
If Canada wins or ties those games that helps to kill Panama and Costa Rica in their chance to catch us. If Canada chokes, well, then we still have a chance to surpass Canada with a couple wins.

Losing or drawing at home vs Panama would be disappointing. Winning again vs Mexico would be great, and Mexico hasn't looked good. Got their one goal on a questionable PK this last game, and was losing to a 10 player Jamaica team in the game prior.
 

mnsportsgeek

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I have changed my perspective this cycle... I don't want to even go if they are going to be backing in. If they can't beat at least one of MX or CR away, they aren't likely to get out of the group stage at the WC. Let's get some Ws!
? We've advanced out of the group in 4 of the last 7 world cups and have never beaten Mexico or Costa Rica away in WCQ. I'd guess you're going to be disappointed. We're most likely to clinch by beating Panama and drawing one of the other 2.
 

TruthSeeker

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? We've advanced out of the group in 4 of the last 7 world cups and have never beaten Mexico or Costa Rica away in WCQ. I'd guess you're going to be disappointed. We're most likely to clinch by beating Panama and drawing one of the other 2.
Precisely. USA is in big trouble.
 



Full Speed Ahead

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? We've advanced out of the group in 4 of the last 7 world cups and have never beaten Mexico or Costa Rica away in WCQ. I'd guess you're going to be disappointed. We're most likely to clinch by beating Panama and drawing one of the other 2.
If we beat Panama, I think we're in. Panama couldn't catch us then, and I don't see Costa Rica passing us up either as they'd have to sweep all their games. We just need to get out of that Mexico game with a full side (no injuries and no red cards) and then I think we'll handle Panama in a home game and that'll lock our slot to Qatar.
 

ecoperson

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? We've advanced out of the group in 4 of the last 7 world cups and have never beaten Mexico or Costa Rica away in WCQ. I'd guess you're going to be disappointed. We're most likely to clinch by beating Panama and drawing one of the other 2.
My point is that this team is going nowhere in the WC if they can't build some confidence with a victory over MX or CR. As a young team, they need that boost. Sadly, I do not think that they will get out of group play this year without a stunningly kind group placement unless they win an away match against a quality foe this qualifying this cycle.
 

Face The Facts

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I'm not going to get super worried.
We're definitely in a decent spot going into the final three.

If we get three draws, Costa Rica and Panama wouldn't pass us.

Costa Rica has only scored 8 goals so far. They are not a great team this year.
If we lose the first two and beat Costa Rica in the last game we get in the 4th spot assuming Panama wins all three, and Mexico at least gets a draw after beating us.

But if the first night we lose to Mexico and Panama and Costa Rica both win, pucker factor will be there.
 

mnsportsgeek

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My point is that this team is going nowhere in the WC if they can't build some confidence with a victory over MX or CR. As a young team, they need that boost. Sadly, I do not think that they will get out of group play this year without a stunningly kind group placement unless they win an away match against a quality foe this qualifying this cycle.
Our FIFA ranking is likely to give us a favorable draw. You're unlikely to see a group of death situation that we've commonly found ourselves in. Canada on the other hand is probably going to get bounced early because they're extremely likely to end up in a group of death due to them being in pot 3 or 4 in the draw. FIFA ranking plays a big role in the draw even if it is a pretty stupid ranking.

I'm not saying we'll get out of the group. If the WC were tomorrow I would be right there with you worrying, but a lot can change in 9 months and I don't think it all hinges on winning a road game that we've never won before.
 



Face The Facts

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What do you all feel is our best lineup? There are grumbles after every Berhalter lineup.
Curious what you all feel?

I'd go:

GK: Turner

D: Robinson, Robinson, Zimmerman, Dest

Mid: de la Torre, Acosta, McKinnie

Forwards:
Pulisic, Pepe, Weah
 

mnsportsgeek

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What do you all feel is our best lineup? There are grumbles after every Berhalter lineup.
Curious what you all feel?

I'd go:

GK: Turner

D: Robinson, Robinson, Zimmerman, Dest

Mid: de la Torre, Acosta, McKinnie

Forwards:
Pulisic, Pepe, Weah
Here's mine.

GK: Steffen
D: Robinson, Robinson, Brooks, Dest
Mid: Wes, Adams, Musah
Forward: Pulisic, Pefok, Reyna

I could be convinced of about 3 different strikers, but I'll say Pefok just because he's the only one doing anything for his club. Brooks being ostracized from the MNT for 2 bad games while Arriola and Roldan still get call ups is my biggest criticism of Gregg. There's something personal there between him and Brooks.
 
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Face The Facts

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Here's mine.

GK: Steffen
D: Robinson, Robinson, Brooks, Dest
Mid: Wes, Adams, Musah
Forward: Pulisic, Pefok, Reyna

I could be convinced of about 3 different strikers, but I'll say Pefok just because he's the only one doing anything for his club. Brooks being ostracized from the MNT for 2 bad games while Arriola and Roldan still get call ups is my biggest criticism of Gregg. There's something personal there between him and Brooks.
I forgot about Reyna.
Good call.
Also, Adams is one of my favorite players, but I was impressed by Acosta's performance against Honduras. He was on-point on all free kicks.
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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I am confused on the substitution rule.

Does halftime count as one of the windows for 5 in 3 windows substitution, or is it 3 in-play windows?

Meaning: Can you make a halftime substitution, and still have 3 2nd half times to substitute?
 

Face The Facts

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I am confused on the substitution rule.

Does halftime count as one of the windows for 5 in 3 windows substitution, or is it 3 in-play windows?

Meaning: Can you make a halftime substitution, and still have 3 2nd half times to substitute?

I believe each team has the ability to use 5 subs, but must do so in 3 substitution windows. (Whether you use halftime as a window or not doesn't matter, if you do, it counts as one of your windows).
 

mnsportsgeek

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I am confused on the substitution rule.

Does halftime count as one of the windows for 5 in 3 windows substitution, or is it 3 in-play windows?

Meaning: Can you make a halftime substitution, and still have 3 2nd half times to substitute?
I don't know how it works in international soccer, but in MLS halftime does not count as a window. You get 3 substitution windows but halftime is excluded. Heat/water breaks aren't excluded though, so making a sub during a hot weather break would count as one of your windows.
 

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Sorry for the negativity everyone but I miss Jurgen Klinnsman. We got out of the group of death in Brazil and played and actual system that brought the best out of the team. I don't know what we even call this current set up with Greg and these talented but soft young guys. I hope we can use this cycle and get the experience and a new coach for 2026.
 

Face The Facts

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Sorry for the negativity everyone but I miss Jurgen Klinnsman. We got out of the group of death in Brazil and played and actual system that brought the best out of the team. I don't know what we even call this current set up with Greg and these talented but soft young guys. I hope we can use this cycle and get the experience and a new coach for 2026.

I think we're closing the talent gap, and 2026 is the year everyone is circling, but if Berhalter is still coach then, we're in great trouble in my opinion.

His off fascination of not playing what appears to be our strongest lineups frustrates me, and that lineup he used at Panama was just awful, and why we have not already clinched.
 

mnsportsgeek

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Sorry for the negativity everyone but I miss Jurgen Klinnsman. We got out of the group of death in Brazil and played and actual system that brought the best out of the team. I don't know what we even call this current set up with Greg and these talented but soft young guys. I hope we can use this cycle and get the experience and a new coach for 2026.
My only memory of Juergen is his crash and burn that largely contributed to us missing the last World Cup.
 

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I have changed my perspective this cycle... I don't want to even go if they are going to be backing in. If they can't beat at least one of MX or CR away, they aren't likely to get out of the group stage at the WC. Let's get some Ws!
It's a young group and a lot can change between now and December when these guys go to Qatar. Guys who aren't in good form at their Club teams could all of a sudden find their form or vice versa
 

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My only memory of Juergen is his crash and burn that largely contributed to us missing the last World Cup.
Jurgen was out after two matches, Arena was in charge the rest of qualifying, they had plenty of time to turn it around.
 

mnsportsgeek

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Jurgen was out after two matches, Arena was in charge the rest of qualifying, they had plenty of time to turn it around.
Juergen had the team in shambles when he got the boot. He finished 4th (4th!) at the gold cup the summer before qualifying started and then gave us our first 0 point window in as long as I can remember. He shoulders the most responsibility for 2018 because of the dumpster fire he left us in.
 

Fleckoff

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Juergen had the team in shambles when he got the boot. He finished 4th (4th!) at the gold cup the summer before qualifying started and then gave us our first 0 point window in as long as I can remember. He shoulders the most responsibility for 2018 because of the dumpster fire he left us in.
While I agree with that sentiment and that's why Jurgen was sacked, Arena had eight games to be better than two teams and even so all he had to do was not lose to T&T, it's on him and the eleven who embarrassed themselves that night. If anything Jurgen deserves a lot of credit for revamping the youth program that lead to this current upgrade in talent, however I'll acknowledge the Sr team wasn't ready for his cut throat style of roster management
 

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While I agree with that sentiment and that's why Jurgen was sacked, Arena had eight games to be better than two teams and even so all he had to do was not lose to T&T, it's on him and the eleven who embarrassed themselves that night. If anything Jurgen deserves a lot of credit for revamping the youth program that lead to this current upgrade in talent, however I'll acknowledge the Sr team wasn't ready for his cut throat style of roster management
admittedly I’m looking back on them with rose colored glasses. I know we had a bad cold cup and first couple games of 2018 qualifiers. The team was clearly in transition with a lot of the old guard showing their age. If Bruce arena would’ve made it, I would eat my words. We didn’t though and that T&T games was a low point in USMNT history.
 

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Weston McKennie is out for the next round of qualifiers - injury - our chances to land in the top three just took a big drop. Without him I'd focus everything on winning the Panama and Costa Rica games, and just play to tie Mexico.

For the Mexico game I'd literally leave Pulisic, Reyna (looks like his injury isn't as serious as Weston's), Dest and Adams in Florida where they can recover from their seasons and be ready to go against Panama; and go with a defensive line up in Azteca. Both Mexico and the U.S. would be happy with a tie, as with that we're both one win from locking our tickets. We need to beat Panama, that's the key.

For our side against Mexico, I'd go with Zardes on top (big body to bang with Mexico) and in a bit of surprise I'd call up Hoppe as I think he has the right attitude for a Mexico match. Acosta fills in for Adam's roll, and I'd play Steffan in goal (Miller for the Panama and Costa Rica matches).
 


Gophers_4life

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Will Canada be playing to win in this last round of three games, or having already qualified will they rest players?

They "should" give Costa Rica and Panama another loss, having beaten both already, though those games were in Canada and these will be on the road.
 




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