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MSantoine
Post #1
Tuesday January 10, 2017 12:29pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,642
So its official. They unanimously voted to expand the World Cup in 2026 to 48 teams. That means we have just two more World Cups before they are forever diluted into a March Madness style free for all. Really a shame FIFA had to go and ruin the best tourney in the world. Wont announce new allotments until May but early reports are we'll have 16 UEFA, 9 Africa, 1 OFC, 8 Asia, 6.5 CONCACAF, 6.5 CONMEBOL The vote passed to be 16 groups of 3 teams so each group will likely be composed of 1 UEFA, 1Asia or Africa, 1 Americas

Get ready to watch Syria vs Jamaica, Greece vs Fiji, and Peru vs Uganda.

USAGunner
West Palm Beach
Post #2
Tuesday January 10, 2017 3:42pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,304
So I just looked at the current Qualifications and did it with Russia in mind.
16-UEFA
9-CAF
9-AFC
1-OFC
7-CONMEBOL
6-CONCACAF

They are going to have 16 groups of 3, with the top 2 teams advancing to a 32 team knockout stage.

Here is a brief look at how the groups could look (using 2018 qualification).
A-Argentina, Greece, Burkina Faso (not a bad one)
B-Brazil, Serbia, Egypt (not a bad one)
C-Germany, Ecuador, South Africa (not too bad)
D-Chile, Ukraine, Morocco (not too bad)
E-Belgium, Paraguay, Cameroon (pretty good)
F-Colombia, Slovenia, Tunisia (pretty good)
G-France, Mexico, Iran (pretty decent)
H-Portugal, Costa Rica, New Zealand (so-so, NZ might be the weakest team, but shouldn't be outmatched too bad in these matchups)
I-Uruguay, Ireland, Qater (Uruguay v Qatar could be ugly)
J-Spain, Honduras, Syria (Spain v Syria would be ugly)
K-Switzerland, USA, UAB (wouldn't be too bad)
L-England, Panama, Australia (not bad)
M-Croatia, Trinidad, Japan (I like this group, would be entertaining)
N-Poland, Congo, Saudi Arabia (perhaps worst group)
O-Italy, Nigeria, Uzbekistan (might be best group)
P-Russia, Ivory Coast, South Korea (definitely best group)

So you would have maybe 2-3 matchups that are just pure crap (2 crap teams). For the most part it would be good football (by at least one team, but mostly both teams).

Knockout round (I would assume the group winners are paired with the group losers)
Serbia v Argentina
Germany v Morocco
Belgum v Tunisia
France v Costa Rica
Uruguay v Honduras
USA v Australia
Japan v Congo
Italy v South Korea

Brazil v Greece
Chile v South Africa
Colombia v Cameroon
Portugal v Mexico
Spain v Ireland
England v Switzerland
Poland v Croatia
Ivory Coast v Nigeria

You have some rivalries in that grouping and maybe 1-2 so-so games.
Round of 16:
Argentina v Germany
Belgium v France
Uruguay v USA
Japan v Italy

Brazil v Chile
Colombia v Mexico
Spain v England
Poland v Ivory Coast

Quaterfinals
Germany v France
USA v Italy

Chile v Colombia
Spain v Ivory Coast

Semi-finals
Germany v Italy
Chile v Spain

Finals
Germany v Spain

3/4
Italy v Chile

I don't think it's as bad as you make it out to be MSantoine. I think it could be very good addition. Lot of extra football and mostly it'll be good games that are added. If we get 16 more games and 12 of them are good games and 4 are bleh, I'll take that. Especially since that is really only adding 1-2 bad games. So you go from 62 good games to 74 and 6 bleh games. I'll take that.

I think it'll make for an intriguing Round of 32 (with mostly UEFA and Conmebol teams). and a BETTER round of 16.
www.westpalmbeachchurchofchrist.com
admsghs27
Post #3
Tuesday January 10, 2017 10:08pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 5,953
Horrible idea should of just left it at 32. Fifa just ruined the WC. Now WC qualifiers will be pretty much meaningless all the good and descent teams are pretty much in already they won't put in much effort in qualifiers.

admsghs27
Post #4
Tuesday January 10, 2017 10:19pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 5,953
http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/story/world-c...

mmee
Culver City, CA
Post #5
Tuesday January 10, 2017 10:40pm

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 1,674
3-team groups (or any odd numbered group where one team sits while the others play), all by itself, is so unspeakably stupid that I will stop watching.

48 teams is pretty stupid, especially when some semi-pro dude on a minnow team deliberately hurts a great player (for pay-off or political reasons).

So we have the WC in two piece-of-shit countries in a row, then this bullshit to look forward to afterward? Yikes.

TheTruth
Post #6
Tuesday January 10, 2017 11:33pm

Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts: 950
Great to see USAgunner has worked out the results so now I don't even have to watch. Basically agree why mess with something great. But I don't think it's a disaster (hopefully I'm right about that).

A few things I'm not looking forward to:
1. With the increased knockout stages, more variability (upsets) in outcomes. I think there is plenty of variability already and I don't need any more one-off upsets to knock out better teams.

2. More 0-0 draws w/ penalty kicks. Lot of mismatches in that round of 32. Park that bus and hold out for penalties. Will be some shitty games.

3. Will be a long, long time (after some mental expectations adjustments) before a shock exclusion from the WC (eg, U.S., England, Netherlands, etc.). Bummer IMO. I like the fact that it's not a lock for the US to qualify.

And what the fuck is this joint bid between US & Mexico. For fuckssake. Why don't we just have a whole western hemisphere bid. . .

cudevil
Post #7
Wednesday January 11, 2017 12:03am

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 448
The negative soccer that would take place in the group phase would be horrific. Two draws and you're through? Now that's faaaaaantastic.

admsghs27
Post #8
Wednesday January 11, 2017 12:13am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 5,953
so basically 16 teams will only play 2 games only. 4 years of waiting and working hard just to play 2 games. The 48 team format will be a nightmare just terrible. But if tehy do a first round knockout even worst just 1 game many teams will play.

mmee
Culver City, CA
Post #9
Wednesday January 11, 2017 3:55am

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 1,674
Everything is stupid.

EKneezy
Atlanta
Post #10
Wednesday January 11, 2017 8:51am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 2,871
Yeah its a demonstrably bad idea. But when you can line your pockets in unspeakable amounts of FIFA TV money you do it. Sepp's old ass would've done the same.

There are gonna be some TURRIBLE games but maybe this will be a showcase for the lower teams stars to rise to the occasion and get bought by bigger teams in Europe.

Sage of the Soccer P
LA, California
Post #11
Wednesday January 11, 2017 9:17am

Joined May 2014
Total Posts: 212
http://soccer.nbcsports.com/2017/01/10/the-me...

Tried to have an open mind and read this article. In it is a mock WC like the one @Gunner did. Some fair points in favor. I don't mind upsets either. That's what makes exciting stuff. Like Greece or Portugal in the euros.

My issue is fatigue. The WC is a grueling process already. Many teams don't have their star players towards the end of the tournament bc of injury or card accumulation, or worse the players are just flat out tired and aren't playing at 100%. Wouldn't adding more games just fatigue the players more? And it's not like you can expand the cup that much longer in time frame... meaning more games will be packed in the same schedule meaning less rest. If I was a player I'd be worried. Also it seems more likely that the teams with the best bench will win. Either way quality takes a hit.

MSantoine
Post #12
Wednesday January 11, 2017 12:29pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,642
My main issues with this expansion-

-Barring some gigantic realignment with CONMEBOL the CONCACAF qualifying is practically dead after 2022. Either the qualifying will end two years before the world cup (ie end in 2024, would have ended this time in 2016) or they'll have to change the format to bigger groups with more crappy teams hanging around to the end. Something like instead of going to a hex you go to a round with 2 groups of 12 (top 3 advance from previous round instead of top 2). Then you'd have 2 groups of 6 where top 3 in each group qualify and 4th place do the playoff thing. Pretty much we could see a group of US, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad, Canada, Nicaragua and we only need to finish in third in that group. Joke.
-For the actual world cup after looking at it again it looks like they will do 3 pots of 16. Pot 1 is UEFA. Pot 2 is CONMEBOL/Africa, Pot 3 is CONCACAF, AFC, OFC, Host. So pretty much the US will always be in a tough spot as they'll likely never get Asia/OFC in their group. (Plus Im sure they'll "seed" the top 16 teams which we know will be 12 or so UEFA and 4 CONMEBOL).
-Group Stage. This will be awful. As previously said having teams have differing amounts of rest, and playing different days will make the quality of play plummett. Lets say the group is US, Chile, Belgium. Lets say 1st game is Chile vs Belgium, and Belgium beats Chile 4-0. Then lets say US plays Chile. They will go all out for a draw as a draw gives Belgium the group win (they are happy) and likely gives US 2nd place (barring 4-0 loss in last game). I see that scenario playing out constantly. Or even better the last game means something but one team has had 11 days off and one team has had 4 days off. Thats a fair set up there.
-Knockout Round. Much like the recent EURO garbage the knockout rounds have the potential to be awful too. Its not going to take much to happen to have a completely skewed bracket where 6 or 7 of the top teams are in one half and only 1 or 2 in the other. Then a decent not great team (Portugal) gets to walk into the semis without really beating anyone while Brazil, Italy, Spain, France, Argentina, England go toe to toe and beat each other up. Its going to suck.

I really cant find any good reason for the expansion. They didnt need more teams. If they wanted to disperse the money to those other feds than they should have doen that. Burkina Faso, Syria, Antigua and Barbuda arent winning the world cup. Going and getting spanked in two games, or going and playing two embarrassingly unwatchable games isnt going to help them out.

USAGunner
West Palm Beach
Post #13
Wednesday January 11, 2017 3:14pm

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 1,304
Truth, it's not a matter of "predicting" it was a matter of showing what the 48 team World Cup could look like. It helps everyone get a better idea of what to actually look forward too (or NOT look forward too).

I did it to show that the 48 team world Cup isn't complete trash with NO redeeming qualities like some are saying. It's just not. I think the round of 16 knockout stage could actually be better on a normal basis then it is now (of course each year will be different depending on the individual match-ups and upsets in the round of 32). But generally speaking the Group stage and the round of 32 will generally get rid of the minnows, so by the time you get to the round of 16 it'll be for the most part the best teams. Whereas now you quite often have a team that doesn't particularly belong in the 16.

Now there are some legit issues, especially regarding the qualifying. The issues regarding qualifying for the Concacaf is particularly alarming.

The idea of penalty kicks to not have any draws, AWFUL idea. Perhaps instead of the top 2 from each group you take the top team in each group and then the 16 teams that have scored the most. That would put an emphasis on getting one win. Get one win and you are essentially in to the next round. That would make for much more exciting soccer. But this idea of penalty kicks so there are no draws. Awful idea. Nothing worse than watching a minnow park the bus and then win in penalty kicks and advance to the knockout stages. Much rather see a minnow GO FOR IT and knock a team off by attacking and attacking and attacking some more and pulling off like a 3-2 upset of a bigger team.

They need to do things without changing the rules of the game to make it more of an incentive to attack and win in regulation time and not on penalty kicks and not draw.

As far as how many games the teams play.
48 WC - 2 Group stage games, max of 5 knockout stages for a max of 7 games.
32 WC - 3 Group stage games, max of 4 knockout stages for a max of 7 games.

So there is no worry in terms of fatigue on the players part. They won't play anymore than they have in the past and for many of them they will actually play LESS, just MORE players will actually play.

In regards to differing amounts of rest, etc. I don't think that will necessarily be an issue. We thought it would work in our favor at the Copa America...it absolutely did NOT. We got pasted all the same by Argentina. Teams with good coaching won't be affected by it, teams with bad coaching will be. Teams with depth won't be affected by it, teams with no depth will be.
So essentially the "better" teams won't be affected by it...I think that is a net positive.

But lets look deeper. You can finish the Group stage in 12 days, with 4 games each day in their own time slot. You have the teams that are paired up in the Knockout stages play on the same day. Every team will have at least 4 days rest between games. It's not going to be much different than a club team playing a cup game mid-week and then playing a league match on the weekend against a team that didn't have a cup match in the middle of the week.
www.westpalmbeachchurchofchrist.com
mmee
Culver City, CA
Post #14
Wednesday January 11, 2017 10:33pm

Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts: 1,674
...just found out about how there will be more kicks from the spot to settle games.

Yeah, that's what we needed.

TheTruth
Post #15
Thursday January 12, 2017 4:08am

Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts: 950
Not following the fatigue thing. More or less agree that depth (more or less = the top teams in the world) favors any packing in of schedule and/or more games, but is my math wrong that it's fewer games (vs. current format) for most teams and maybe same number of games for teams that go far.

And penalties in group stages is the worst idea ever - that will get re-thought. I suppose you could always give 4 points for a win.

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