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Old 06-13-2018, 09:34 PM
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Hoek Hoek is offline
Steven Stamkos' One Timer
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
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Originally Posted by pete View Post
I confess I haven't read up on the mechanics of the joint bid... who automatically qualifies for the tournament? All three countries, or just the United States because the US is hosting 80% of the matches? It'd be cool if Canada got an automatic bid. Their program needs it.
2026 will be the first 48 team World Cup. The hosts will all get automatic bids, but the increased spots means three other CONCACAF teams will get to go as well, so the others won't be too upset. CONMEBOL goes up to 6 spots, which means 60% get to qualify for the World Cup. I don't know how the math works elsewhere.

Now this is where it gets really kinda stupid: There will be 16 groups with 3 teams each, the top 2 teams in each group advance to a round of 32. Because there are only 3 teams in a group, this could lead to collusion in the final game of a group stage. Bleh.

Each host is guaranteed the two group stage games at home, and Mexico and Canada get another two home games if they advance as the group winner and win their round of 32 game. USA will host all the games from the quarterfinals onward.

Watching the US/Bolivia match the other day and seeing them steal that 1-1 result against France, I'm actually feeling a little optimistic about the future of the American program again. If I were the GM, I'd probably tap Columbus' coach, Gregg Berhalter. The style he coaches seems to me to be almost South American, in a way (which I like, because I think it's an entertaining as hell style), but he's ex-US National Team and has the first hand knowledge of the program's past.
Pulisic's generation seems to be a lot stronger than the one that preceded it, which seems to be a bit of a lost generation. I think what the France game proved is, as boring as bunker ball might be, what we need most is some tactical smarts to exploit what abilities we do have. Yes, our kids are more technical than ever, but they still aren't at the level where you can expect them to boss the game possession wise against all but the weaker sides. I'd like to see us build a lethal counter so we be solid defensively while still being a serious threat to grab an early lead and give ourselves more room to work with against good teams. Berhalter wouldn't be a bad pick. If we were look at a foreigner again it needs to be someone who isn't as arrogant as Jurgen was and assume we can just freewheel against anyone.

Last edited by Hoek; 06-13-2018 at 09:46 PM.
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