Monday, March 19, 2012

Is Afghanistan for real?

I reffed an exhibition game between Afghanistan and Botswana on Sunday night. Not surprisingly, Afghanistan won handily and controlled the tempo of the game. What was surprising was how effortless the victory seemed to be.

Botswana is not a strong team, but Afghanistan clearly showed it has skill, poise in midfield, and a capable enough keeper that even in a strong Group B, they have a legitimate chance. The main difference was Jordian Farahani in midfield. I'm not sure what enticed him to jump ship from El Salvador, but he is a major upgrade for any team at any position he wants to play. From purely a skill standpoint, Afghanistan can stand with almost any team in the tournament.

What will be interesting is to see if Afghanistan can stay organized and disciplined enough against three veteran teams in Laos, Canada, and Jamaica. Obviously, Laos has been to the show and knows how to pick apart every crack in a team. Canada is essentially the Enter roster and those guys know what it takes to win consistently. While Jamaica hasn't been that great in the past few tournaments, they're still run by Kevin and that gives them a tactical advantage over most squads.

What could be the tipping point for the Afghans? Height. Definitely not a tall team and not good at winning the ball in the air. It will be fun to see how a small, fast, skilled team will match up with power and organization. I'll cheer for Afghanistan, but I'm guessing they'll have a similar result as 2011.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well I hope those Afghanistan players are for real, because after most of the games I've watched it's all this talk about how amazing they are. I'll be shocked to see them come out of their group to be honest. They pick weak friendly teams to play, and no one ever covers up their midfielders tight enough. Any good team knows that you stick a guy on Chico the entire game, don't let him turn the ball, and watch out for his right foot (all he has is a right).

Also, these Afghanistan guys seem to be going 100% out there in the friendly games from what I've noticed. Some teams haven't even made cuts yet or are missing out of town players. Just wanted people to keep that in mind, because it's not worth taking much from these friendly games.

Anonymous said...

Great comment, I agree

Anonymous said...

Chico is one of the players that Sohiel is paying to play. shame

Anonymous said...

Without Chico afghan is a joke but heard they picked up a few players in stoom whom soheil is paying to play for them so lets wait and see what happens

Anonymous said...

ya its kinda weird how hes having a pro try out, I can understand training and playing games, but what if he gets injured from this tourny?

Anonymous said...

I dnt get the hate against paying players to ply. If they make the tournament better thn why not. It's not like afghans are the only team, laos, Ireland and even Sudan pay to bring in outside players.

Anonymous said...

Chico does not have a pro try out, the combine that he attend is more so a cash grab for the USL rather than anything else.
Almost anyone can try out for a USL team, you just need some sort of connection.
I wouldn't even have a guy cover Chico all game, that's a waste of a player.

Anonymous said...

man I cant wait for the Broncos this yr, there going to be sick, Manning and Tebow, what a sick combo!

Anonymous said...

on another note, afghan is not for real, there fake

Anonymous said...

Tebow going to get traded. Mannning the real deal though. Broncos will go far this year, maybe even win the super bowl. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Afghans are shit, there not gonna win a single game this year and having chico won't change that one bit.

Chico was terrible last year, i'm glad he left ES. Were gonna be wayyyyy better without him.


Go ES Go!!!!!

Anonymous said...

No way there going to keep Tebow and he will learn from Manning

Anonymous said...

First of all sohiel is not paying ANY player to come play for them in WCP. Just the players they are bringing down from Saskatoon are not going pay the extra registration fees. And there is nothing wrong with that!! They got the money through various sponsorships. Now i can name at least few teams who do the same thing. Pretty sure Greece players dont pay, i play for ES and we dont have to pay!! and there are othere teams who do the same thing.
Now they picked up some decent players from saskatoon which will definitely raise their level in terms of experience and physical strength needed in big games and also they will have one of the best Goal keepers in the tournament!!! (who won the GK of the tourney 2 years ago with ES) but they did get Unlucky with a really tough group

Jhanzeb

Anonymous said...

so are you going to get pink shoes this yr?

Anonymous said...

nothing wrong with pink!! are u gona play this year or jst look at my shoes?

Anonymous said...

buddy your probably one of those Spanish fags who thinks there shit don't sink. Go be a pretender with your pink colored shoes

Anonymous said...

nigeria sucks man....

Anonymous said...

Haha u r really tough commenting as an anonymous in a forum!! ....never pretended to be anyone nor I'm spanish!!!

Anonymous said...

U kno who I am so y don't u come talk to my face

Anonymous said...

Everyone is man enought behind there computer screen but face to face there so many cowards who would talk shit behind your back or talk shit about you, your team yet they have no clue

Anonymous said...

Yo spanish wannabe your lucky your not in my group, you wouldn't have legs after im done with you.

Anonymous said...

And Wat group Wld that be?

Anonymous said...

Afghanistan is an elite team full of very skilled players. No team will stand in our way this year. We are what we are because we have all mastered our positions with years of training. No one will get by us this year. No one!!!!!! These teams people talk about like ROI and Poland will lose and not by 1 or 2 goals, but by atleast 3 or 4. I garantee it. Afghanistan is the best. Bring it.

-Rameen Yousefi

Anonymous said...

Rameen you are such an idiot. Afghan is going to get crushed out there. You guys STINK dude. Don't be so cocky and hype up your team. You bunch of losers. Wow. I garantee you won't make it out of your pool. Stupid Afghan team.

Anonymous said...

The only spanish wannabe is that fairly Julio. He sucks at life. Literally.

Anonymous said...

You actually think i would waste my time and argue with a bunch of attention hungry online junkies and brag about myself. hahahaha

Ramin

Anonymous said...

Ramin ... your a tool ...

Anonymous said...

Im not even gonna waste my time with you just gonna laugh cause i know the only time you talk big is online.

Ramin