Originally Posted by Loco
Hey, even CONCACAF's giants Mexico would have to go at it tooth and nail to end up 5th, the play-off spot.
In case you haven't noticed, Mexico is not the CONCACAF Giant, the USA easily is the biggest team within CONCACAF.
Anyways, I understand what you're saying, but I don't agree with it all. I have watched CONMEBOL qualifiers, I've seen the stadiums, the crowds, I've read about it. I know it would not be easy, but apart from the big 2 CONMEBOL is a pretty average region. It's much like the Scottish Premier League. There's the big two (Celtic/Rangers) and then there's a scattering of smaller sides with about equal talent, and they generally take turns appearing from the pack, and one or two tend to do a little better than the others.
I believe, should the USA and Mexico be in the South American region, they would not struggle as much as you say. I believe they'd be the one or two to be a little better than the pack each time.
I'm not saying they wouldn't struggle, I just believe that overall, talent would prevail. It's not an easy task to come to the USA for a qualifier anymore, so it wouldn't be like they could come here and have their way either. They'd have to play just as hard or harder as we would going to their respective nations.
Any record that the US has against any South American team on firendlies and/or mickey mouse cups can be thrown out the window.
So can the World Cup be thrown out then? Is it just a Mickey Mouse competition setting the stage for a bigger tournament...such as the Confederations Cup? No, the USA performs when it matters. When against inferior competition we use better technical skills to overwhelm and defeat them. Against better teams, we know how to use tactics and generally smart football to grind out draws and victories in matches we should perhaps not win.
For example, against Mexico in the World Cup. Since the tables have shifted and we are the better team, but then they were playing better football and had played better up to that point in the tournament. However, we came out and defended brilliantly and scored two fantastic goals to go through to the quarterfinals.
It was in the quarterfinals that we also showed we can play a good game of football as well. Dominating the Germans for 90 minutes, no real supporter can we weren't the better side. What's more, it took a bad piece of officiating to keep us from a penalty, a German sending off, and a likely place in the semi-finals.
In CONMEBOL, the USA would know how to get results. We know how to play in difficult situations away from home, having to travel to notoriously unruly and anti-American zones such as Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and of course huge rivals Mexico. Travelling to South American nations such as Uruguay or Paraguay would be no different from this. It would be difficult, yes, but we have the knowledge and skill required to do so.
The most difficult thing for the USA to have to adjust to would be the increased number of games. Going from 10 games to 18 would no doubt be a shock, but with all due respect, like I've said, our players would be fresher because of less league games, so we'd have the stamina to fight on despite the increased number of games.
South American countries bring the top-level teams and are pressure to the extreme to get three points specially at home.
And Central American teams don't? Do you really think Ecuador and Peru are better than Mexico away? Or 'The Ticos'
in their intense, frightful central American home? The pressure is on for them and all CONCACAF teams to get the victory at home just as much or more than CONMEBOL sides.
That brings up another point. In CONCACAF, the USA is looked at as the
team to beat. Every time we play, we have a big bulls-eye on our backs. It's comparative to Manchester United or Chelsea in England. Whenever they take on a littler team, their opposition always play that little bit better to try to take the big scalp of the big money teams. For us it's no different. No matter who we play, they have extra support and extra effort just for us. Every game is that little bit harder than it would be for someone else because we are the biggest team in the region, the big-money artistocrats, so they are under added pressure to beat us.
Should we be in CONMEBOL, we would not have this same pressure at every game. Sure, we would still be looked upon as the rich men to beat, but we wouldn't have as big of a bulls-eye as we do in North and Central America. Brasil and Argentina shoulder this burden in South America, which means we'd lose that pressure. This would lead to us being able to play our game without that added tension, leading to better results.
American players have played in the Old Firm Derby, the Tyneside Derby, the Manchester Derby...they have experience with the harshest situations in the world. They've played Mexico away, possibly the hardest place to go in the world for a football match - they had not lost a qualifier there, ever
, before qualifying for the last World Cup and Costa Rica.
It's not like our players would be in this strange world they'd never experienced. They'd be used to the abuse, they'd know how to play. They'd know what to do, and they'd qualify.