Now the World Cup will feel more like March Madness. With the penalty shootouts in group play, every game except the first one will feel like an elimination game.
They are opening the door for some score collusion like the famous 1982 West Germany - Austria game.
Imagine the following scenario:
Game 1: France defeats Egypt 3 : 0
For the next game, Egypt must win so this is like an elimination game:
Game 2: Egypt defeats United States 2: 1
Now for the last game, the US must win, so this is an elimination game
Games 3: France vs United States.....
Egypt has 3 points and a -1 goal difference.
France already has 3 points and a +3 goal difference.
The US has zero points and a -1 goal difference. The US desperately needs a win...1-0 will give them 3 points and a zero goal difference. As long as France doesn't lose by 4 goals, they don't care, so they play their U23 youth team, lose 1-0 and US and France are through.
Or worse, Austria can agree to lose by a gentlemanly 1-0 giving away a penalty in the first 10 minutes and then playing keep-away for 80 minutes against their friends the West Germans to screw Algeria out of a fair chance.
They have to ensure that the worst-seeded team gets to play the last game to prevent this chicanery. First games can be boring, so you have to make the lowest seed team play the first game as well. It would never do for the headline game of the group to be a cautious, dull 0-0 affair settled on a shoot-out. So the highest seeded team gets a warm-up game. The second seeded team has to jump into the fire against the best seeded team who has had a game to stretch their legs already. Then the final game is most likely against the 2 and 3 seed fighting for their lives. On the odd chance that the #2 seed wins its game against the #1 seed, the final game is the #3 seed fighting for its own life. If we are going to screw a team with collusion, make it the #1 seed because that is less likely to happen.
March Madness is cool in an American sort of way, but the last day of group play was the closest thing to the old New Year's Day in college football where the results, not only winners and losers but each goal scored, across different games played at the same time mattered to everyone. Groups A and B in the 2002 World Cup were good examples of this.
The downside of the last day of group play is two simultaneous games. The new way, each game can gave its own time slot for more TV money.
or whether they're simply OK with collusion. It is FIFA, after all.
16 1-seeds (likely 10 Euro clubs, 5 SA ones, and 1 Africa or CONCACAF)
16 "2-seeds" which will be another 10 Euro clubs and then maybe 6 AFrican clubs?
16 "3-seeds" of 6 CONCACAF clubs, 5 Asia clubs 1 Oceania, and then something, something, math
The point is...if that goes down, either Africa or CONCACAF is going to end up in pot 3 and the good teams in those federations are going to end up in a group of death every 4 years. It happens now for sure...but the margin for error is even smaller for the USA in this system.
The only way to prevent it (and help the US) is a federation blind potting system. 16 1-seeds, 16 2-seeds, 16 3-seeds based on the FIFA national ranking which, while biased, would at least prevent Groups of Death for us. (usually)
and FIFA will set an attendance record that won't be touched for at least 30 years.
shootouts in the group stage too.
More games, more stadiums needed.
Makes no sense. Mexico has the largest soccer stadium in the hemisphere, why not use that? Plus Guadalajara is the nicest soccer stadium in the hemisphere? Oh, wait, we're talking about FIFA, so it's straight cash $$$ they care about.
was Neil Barnett and Charlie Stilitano as the Football Show hosts. Charlie admitted US getting 2026 as backroom deals on the FIFA indictments and such.
Pretty bold statement to make for Charlie.
The CFB arms race ensures that even CFB fields will get a look.
though there are lots of overlapping metro areas.
And some metro areas that will be non starters.
I suspect that there will only be 16 sites used (one for each group). Placement will largely correspond to metro areas.
1. New York (Metlife; grass could be paletized, 82,500)
2. LA (Rosebowl (92,542))
3. Chicago (Soldiers Field (61K)
4. DFW (Jerry's World 80,000; grass could be paletized)
5. Houston (NRG Stadium)
6. Baltimore/Washington (FedEx Field 82,000)
7. Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial 68,532)
8. Miami (Hard Rock 65,326)
9. Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium ?????, grass could be paletized)
10. Boston (Gillette 68,756)
11. SFO (Levi 68,500)
12. Phoenix (Sun Devil 73,378 or UoP 63,400)
13. Detroit (Ford Field 65,000 grass could be paletized, or Spartan Stadium 75K, or Michigan Stadium 108K, grass could be paletized)
14. Seattle (Husky Stadium 72,500, grass could be paletized or CenturyLink 67,000, grass could be paletized)
15. MSP (US Bank 66K, grass could be paletized)
-- Could see 4 NE cooridor sites reduced to 2 or 3.
16. San Diego (Qualcomm 71,294)
Lots of options without having to go to far a field college stadia like Bever or Neyland).
Giants Stadium and Pontiac Stadium. They also used Orlando, which had grass then but FieldTurf now.
In Arizona, only U. of Phoenix Stadium is a realistic option. They're not going to play Cup games outdoors in 100+ temperatures, not even at night.
Baltimore's football stadium went back to grass this year, so it could host. The Redskins might have a new stadium in DC by 2026.
Cleveland didn't host in 1994, as the Mistake by the Lake was still in use. It could host in 2026. Pittsburgh is another possibility, as is Columbus (Ohio Stadium, which would need palletized grass).
When the Crew were playing there, they had the narrowest field in MLS.
But I would expect them to stick with large stadia in major metro areas and not venture into college stadiums.
I would expect no more than 16 sites, though LA could certainly host two pods. And Baltimore-Washington could also easily host two pods.
I'd be shocked to see Cleveland and Pittsburgh get games at the expense of other larger metro areas.
I think they would struggle to sell 108K tickets for two group round matches.
Ii'm sure there's enough CFB stadiums with grass in the south to get the job done.
Isn't that the logic against expanding playoffs?
The WC is a regular season -> postseason system after all. Will it hurt interest in the Hex? I know Ireland was big on WC qualifying matches and they probably still will be just with a slightly better chance of getting in.
qualifying could be merged into one competition.
Clearly a lot of the details around who gets the extra spots, and how qualifying will work need to be worked out.
I think it will make our qualification harder than it is now...but so much more fun. And the increase in spots should still ensure qualification whenever we deserve it.
with the expanded field, but the event itself is going to be boring. Three team groups (or, god forbid, shootouts in the group stage) will kill the event.
I really think they should get it to 64 if only to maintain the competitive construct in the Finals.
I still remember when he said how sad he was because the Qatar (or Russia?) decision would likely mean he'd never see another WC in the USA in his lifetime.
What a fucking sad post...I'm too young to contemplate my own mortality and stuff like that. Don't depress me like that sherm! YOu'll be there brother and I'm sure there will be at least 10 matches in your backyard.
But the actuarial tables are in my favor if the US hosts the 2026 Cup. And contrary to what I apparently assumed in that earlier post (which you appear to recall better than I do), it now seems quite likely that the US will host in 2026, unless FIFA changes its rules again to make European nations eligible to host that year (as of now they can't host until 2030). Given the super-sized Cup, I suspect FIFA won't change its rules to keep the Cup out of the US. (They also might want to curry favor with prosecutors.) All 80 matches will sell out and many will get gigantic TV ratings.