If teams are even on points at the end of group play, the tied teams will be ranked as follows: (criteria 4 and 5 are only applicable to 3-way ties)
1) Goal difference in all group matches.
2) Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.
3) Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned.
4) Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned.
5) Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned.
6) Drawing of lots by the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup.
And of course the US don’t deserve to go through. But this isn’t about justice, this is sport!
Seriously, just beat or at least ####### tie italy. Enough of this goal differential bs. If you can’t show up against italy, you’re just going to get housed in the next round anyway, so you might as well not make it our of the round robin.
So the Americans need a high-scoring loss against Italy and a high-scoring win against Ghana. I feel like this favors the Czechs.
This does favor the Czechs. If the Czechs lose by one goal to the Italians, then the USA are pretty much out. However, the US have every chance of getting a draw against Italy. In 45 minutes, we will see if Arena has a brain.
The Italians lack pace, and play very narrow. This seems to be ideally set up for the US. They need to put 10 men behind the ball, and hit the Italians on the occasional break. Reyna needs to be shifted to the right side of midfield, where he’ll have a bit more time on the ball and won’t have so much defensive responsibility. If the US can do this, they’ll be tough to break down.
I’m surprised at the number of people going “Italy beat Ghana, Ghana beat the Czechs, the Czechs PWN3D the U.S. , so the U.S. has no shot against Italy.” Sample size, people! I know with soccer you can’t get a lot of information, but that doesn’t mean you over-analyze what you have. I’m not saying to be all confident about the U.S. team, but one game (even THAT one) shouldn’t change your opinion too much.
Well, one thing is for sure. If the US is going to lose, I want them to suck early, so that I can get down the street to this awesome street festival that is going on at the same time as the game. I don’t want both teams to do nothing all game, keeping me here, and unentertained.
I was kidding about the law of syllogism, but I do think the U.S. has a major problem, namely that the only team in its group to have a bad game (other than them) is the team that slaughtered them in the first round. If Italy comes out lousy or the U.S. comes out much better, the equation changes, obviously. But right now, the U.S., which already looked like it would have a tough time qualifying out of this group to begin with, looks like clearly the worst side. A draw with Italy would give them a touch of hope, but not much, since I think Ghana is better.
Also, I’m rooting against the United States, largely because I’m sick of seeing Landon Donovan’s hairline and because I’m bearing a grudge against them for Jack “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory” Edwards from the 2002 Cup.
Firstly, obviously the “law of syllogism” is nonsense. But it’s not at all hard to get information about football. You just watch the players playing for their club teams, so you know how good the individuals are, then you look at the ways the teams are set up tactically, and work it out. It’s a lot more based on “feel” than I guess a statistically-inclined crowd might like, but it’s actually very easy once you get used to it. Maybe it needs practice - I’ve been watching lots of football since I was about 5, so I’m more used to it. Whereas the game is much more unfamiliar to an ordinary American audience.
And the US was obviously the worst team from the start, and it’s not close. Nothing has changed in that respect. Every other team in this group has game-changing players. But tactics are very important. Having the worst players doesn’t mean you can’t go through. Of course, Arena is no mastermind.
Two questions: What’s the Jack Edwards story from 2002? And my Mexican father-in-law, a gracious man, says he will root for the US once Arena goes, because he has said some nasty things about the Mexican team. I know Mexico is as bitter a rival as the US team has, but does anyone know what Arena may have said?
Bocanegra is in at left back for Eddie Lewis is the only one I caught. I was in the kitchen protesting to Mrs Fra Paolo about how England fans get sent home for having a swastika paintied on their back while Italians can stick their arms in the air like the most die-hard Nazi.