OneSoccer Hangout: Roundtable on World Cup qualifying, analytics vs. the eye test in CPL

Friday’s OneSoccer Hangout episode was a soccer roundtable between pundits Oliver Platt, Adam Jenkins, Asa Rehman, and Kurt Larson.

The group recapped the week that was in OneSoccer programming, before launching into a few of the hottest topics around the footballing world at the moment.

They began by debating how the World Cup qualifying process might change in the wake of COVID-19, after Concacaf president, Victor Montagliani suggested that it won’t be feasible to play the regularly scheduled “Hex” format.

“The interesting thing now is what you do with what will be a compressed schedule from whatever point you restart international football,” Platt said, pointing out that FIFA has indicated that club football will take priority in the coming months.

Larson offered a format similar to Asia’s, wherein nations are divided into smaller round-robin groups, with winners getting spots in the World Cup or playoffs.

“I don’t think it’s possible to play home and away in a 10 or 12 team situation,” Larson added, explaining why the Concacaf pool may need to be divided.

The pundits also discussed North American club football, including the prospect of a potential MLS-Liga MX super-league, as well as an expanded Concacaf Champions League format (which Montagliani also mentioned).

They also looked back at U.S. legend Landon Donovan’s OneSoccer chat with Gareth Wheeler and his family ties to Nova Scotia, calling on the former superstar to pay a visit to Wanderers Grounds.

Finally, the group got into a debate over analytics versus the “eye test” in soccer, with Larson and Platt pitting competing CPL fantasy squads against each other — Larson assembling a team based on his own opinion, with Platt countering with a group composed of the top CPLers in terms of statistics.

To watch Friday’s OneSoccer Player & Pundit Hangout in full, click here

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