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Hoo in W. Africa

Joined: 08/30/2013 Posts: 26582
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Yes, if we don't qualify for the WC, Berhalter will be fired immediately.


I think that you are probably right in saying that we will have to make it to the knock-out round for Berhalter to keep his job. That said, a lot depends on the draw.

And the problem is that the draw is not fair; it has major shortcomings, which, I think, are "structural".
As I recall, FIFA has in the past put teams in 4 different pools for the draw & it selects (draws) 1 team from each of these 4 pools to make a 4 team group in the WC. The CONCACAF teams go into the pool of weak teams, which makes it much more likely that they will find themselves in a group with strong teams and much less likely that will find themselves in a group with a relatively weak opponent. I don't know if the same system is still used. As I recall, the system is complex, if not convoluted.

In any event, the result is that the teams that qualify for the knock-out round (Round of 16) will probably not be the 16 best teams in the world at that time. One or more teams that finish 3rd in their group will almost certainly be better than one or more teams that finish 2nd in their group. (As you know, the top 2 finishers in the 8 groups will advance to the knock-out round.)

One example is Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) at the 2006 World Cup. They had a really good team, which included Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Bonaventure Kalou (PSG), Kolo Touré (Arsenal), Yaya Touré (later at Man City), Boubakar Barry (a solid GK who played in Belgium), among others. They were put in the pool of weak teams for the draw & they ended up in the 2006 Group of Death, which had Argentina, the Netherlands, Serbia and Montenegro, and Côte d'Ivoire. Côte d'Ivoire lost 2-1 to both Argentina and the Netherlands and beat Serbia & Montenegro 3-2. The last FIFA rankings before the 2006 WC ( http://en.fifaranking.net/ranking/index.php?d=2006-05-17 ) had Argentina at #9, the Netherlands #3, Serbia & Montenegro #44, & Côte d'Ivoire #32. The FIFA rankings immediately after the WC ( http://en.fifaranking.net/ranking/index.php?d=2006-07-12 ) had Argentina at #3; the Netherlands at #6; Côte d'Ivoire at #20 (they jumped 12 places in the rankings!); and Serbia & Montenegro at #36. In other words, Côte d'Ivoire drew a group with the #3 and #6 ranked teams in the world. IMO, Côté d'Ivoire was probably 1 of the best 16 teams in the world at the time, although their post-WC FIFA ranking had them at #20.

All of which is to say that this could happen to us or Mexico or any other CONCACAF team, unless, I assume, we were to climb high enough to be 1 of the teams seeded at the head of one of the 8 groups.

[Post edited by Hoo in W. Africa at 10/15/2021 1:39PM]

(In response to this post by wahoowa94)

Posted: 10/15/2021 at 11:43AM



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