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Friday, June 07, 2019

OT Soccer Thread - Baldrick Reports Live

Sum-sum-summertime thread.

June 7 (that’s today!) - Women’s World Cup.  BTF correspondent Baldrick is on the scene (link takes you to his preview of the tournament)
June 14 - Copa America begins (no Neymar)
June 15 - Gold Cup begins
June 18 - US first Gold Cup game
June 21 - Africa Cup of Nations begins
July 7 - Women’s World Cup Final/Copa America Final/Gold Cup Final - Can we get some discussion about the ridiculousness of the WWC being just one of a series of finals on the same day? Of note is that the Copa America final is the exact same time as the WWC final. 
July 19 - Africa Cup of Nations final

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 07, 2019 at 12:22 PM | 1414 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1101. spivey Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5860993)
I like Zaha, but I'm not convinced he's better than Ziyech. I'm kind of surprised Ziyech has so few suitors.
   1102. Fourth True Outcome Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5860995)
Ellis seems to have done a fantastic job regaining the confidence of the veteran players.

The veteran players of the team lobbied Sunil Gulati to have Ellis fired in 2017, but were rebuffed. The team is clearly closeknit today, but it happening under Ellis may or may not mean she deserves any credit. It was also interesting how no current players stuck up for her when Hope Solo lobbed some pretty direct ad hominem attacks at her around the start of the world cup.

I am on record as an Ellis critic, largely for the reasons given here. The team's success under her has usually come despite her baffling tactical moves, not because of them. They won the last world cup only when injuries forced her to play their best lineup. This world cup she benched the best midfielder in the world in favor of playing direct up the wings. Her roster construction is a mess in a way that would be a liability if the US pool weren't so comically deep. (Explain to me why Ali Krieger and Allie Long were on this team ahead of Casey Short, for instance.)

Obviously she's a good enough coach to get the job done the last two world cups, but the idea that those wins mean her coaching is above critique is ridiculous. To turn 1099 around, there are a number of NWSL coaches I think would do better than Ellis. Riley, Parsons, Harvey, and Vlatko seem like obvious picks, but I don't know that I would stop there, either.
   1103. bunyon Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5861010)
I agree with this. If the US fails to get better coaches than Ellis, the other teams are going to catch up. That's the whole reason for my criticism.

The other teams are going to catch up regardless.

I totally agree it's time for a change but more from the complacency argument. That isn't the same as "she's bad".
   1104. J. Sosa Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5861015)
Early prediction:

The critics get their wish, Ellis steps down. Next cycle USWNT pulls a France 2010.

But Ellis is gone, and things are better and worth it, right?
   1105. Topher Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5861030)
I do think that myself and other critics of Ellis aren't giving enough credit to the off the field forces/obligation that the job entails. I appreciate those of you that have reminded me of that fact.

It's also worth reminding myself that it can be a fairly easy and kinda lazy move to hit at the "weakness" of an otherwise excellent coach. Andy Reid might be the second best coach in the NFL but lots of folks can't wait to bring up "clock management" when his name comes up in conversation. Roy Williams has 3 national titles and might be the best non-Krzyzweski men's college basketball coach but he gets lots of criticism for his teams not playing defense even though on the offensive side his teams run you off the court.
   1106. J. Sosa Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5861036)
Thank you for the kind words, Topher. I do think there is some talking past one another. Ellis does do some batshit things at times. But for example there was talk here surrounding Poch playing Kane in the CL, but what wasn’t generally discussed here or elsewhere is that Klopp played Firmino. Firmino clearly wasn’t right either. There is a price to be paid for coaches when it comes to managing elite talent.

Klopp and Poch are better tactically than Ellis, but the point remains that both chose to do something they knew was detrimental to success in squad selection. In a CL final. Two of the best managers in the world.
   1107. Topher Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:26 PM (#5861087)
It's probably also worth noting in Ellis' defense that the USWNT won the ESPY for Best Team.
   1108. Mefisto Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5861100)
I think we all agree that Ellis has done well managing the players. The criticism is about tactics and, to some extent, lineup selection.
   1109. bunyon Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:15 PM (#5861104)
I have no problem with criticism. I just think there seems to be an assumption they’d be much better with a different coach. Much better, to me, implies better results. And there just isn’t much space for better results. There is a lot of space for worse.

Perhaps Ellis is just a lucky beneficiary of great timing. Life works out that way sometimes.
   1110. Mefisto Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5861109)
Not *any* different coach. As I said above, there are obviously worse coaches than Ellis. I just think the US will need to do better in the future and I'd like that process to begin sooner rather than later.
   1111. Topher Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:33 PM (#5861110)
One thing that I'd like to know is if it is Ellis or if it is a variety of factors is how the vast majority of the starting lineup are forwards or are converted forwards.

I know that men's teams also have a number of players that have had to move back as they age. But the USWNT seems to have a lot more converted forwards compared to your average team. Meanwhile, the men seem to move back as they age whereas the USWNT seems like an effort to get the greatest aggregate amount of talent into the starting 11 regardless of fit.
   1112. Mefisto Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:46 PM (#5861112)
At the risk of saying what everyone knows, most good players begin as forwards at the youth level. They gradually get pushed back as they face higher levels of competition. That process us usually complete by late teens, though it can happen later. What's unusual about Ellis is that someone like Dunn gets moved to left back even though they're very successful forwards at high levels of club play and older than is typical.
   1113. Fourth True Outcome Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:46 PM (#5861127)
One of the hallmarks of the Ellis regime has been her using forwards in non-forward positions for reasons that are less than clear. My read has always been that she wants her fullbacks to be threats up the field, even at the expense of her defense, and so is more than willing to plug forwards into her defense to see how that goes. It's been a consistent theme that any time there is a position on the USWNT that needs to be filled, you can be sure an attacking player will get tried out of position there. (Allie Long as centerback was the most recent truly odd thing there.)

I know I'm very negative about a coach who just won the World Cup, but to me there have to be coaches available who can manage a team's personalities as well as Ellis (and, as I said, given the attempted player coup against her two years ago, I'm not convinced she deserves all the credit for how tight this group is) while making fewer confusing tactical choices and roster moves.
   1114. Sean Forman Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:46 PM (#5861148)
The WNT should lend the MNT some forwards. I'm not sure Christian Press would be a worse choice than what I saw from Zardes the last two matches of the Gold Cup.
   1115. Mefisto Posted: July 11, 2019 at 09:24 PM (#5861173)
Zardes was worthless against Mexico. The US attack collapsed completely after he came on for Altidore. Press or Morgan would probably be an improvement.
   1116. Sean Forman Posted: July 11, 2019 at 10:18 PM (#5861184)
He was worse in the semifinal.
   1117. J. Sosa Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:49 AM (#5861267)
Gooners are taking the Saliba news well I see.
   1118. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5861276)
Gooners are taking the Saliba news well I see.

I don't know anything about Saliba but I want this to be true just for the LOLZ. If it is true, I suppose the idea is to keep Alderweireld for this last year and then have Saliba ready to replace him next year. I don't know, though, this just sounds like some high level trolling.
   1119. spivey Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5861277)
This transfer offseason is exciting, but also nerve wracking as a Tottenham fan. A lot of balls in the air right now, both incoming and outgoing.

Unrelated, but I purchased a Tottenham shirt from Score Draw. I was struggling to find soccer shirts that didn't seem like cheap knockoffs or weren't like $100. This ended up only being $35 all together, including the shipping for sending from England, and I got within like ~7-10 days. It looks like they have some nice stuff across teams/leagues. I give a hearty recommend.
   1120. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5861292)
Antoine Griezmann has joined Barcelona from Atlético Madrid after
the Catalan club announced they had paid his €120m (£107.6m) buyout fee.
   1121. J. Sosa Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5861294)
I think Toby is off to Roma.
   1122. spivey Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5861298)
Re: 1121

I don't know where Roma is getting the money for these wages, Toby is likely going to break their wage structure, but the potential gazumping does seem like Toby is likely going out. Tottenham damn well better extend Jan. Toby was a legend, one of the few vets holding the team together last year. Happy for him if he does get his payday.
   1123. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5861301)
Also, godspeed Crouchettino ...
   1124. J. Sosa Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5861306)
I haven’t seen Saliba play, but last offseason I mentioned how highly regarded Diop was by scouts. Saliba is viewed as much better than Diop FWiW. Crushing blow for Arsenal if it happens, they also missed on Andersson who is going to Lyon, maybe because they passed in favor of Saliba.
   1125. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5861308)
Thing is, Toby's not actually asking for so much (if what is reported is true), it's the years that Spurs seem to be balking at, which, as previously stated, seem a silly sticking point to me ...
   1126. Baldrick Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5861310)
At the risk of saying what everyone knows, most good players begin as forwards at the youth level. They gradually get pushed back as they face higher levels of competition. That process us usually complete by late teens, though it can happen later. What's unusual about Ellis is that someone like Dunn gets moved to left back even though they're very successful forwards at high levels of club play and older than is typical.

Dunn did actually come up as a fullback. Obviously, she's been far more successful as a forward/attacking mid, but she is a case of someone who theoretically had experience as a defender.

I have many thoughts about the ways that college soccer disincentivizes specialization and contributes to the lack of decent fullback options for the national team.
   1127. Mefisto Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:59 AM (#5861320)
Ah, I forgot about that. Yes, Dunn did play FB in college.

So, let's hear your thoughts. Write them up and link them if you don't want to waste them on just us.
   1128. Baldrick Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5861326)
It's on the agenda, but after taking a month off from actual work for the WC, I'm now in the middle of running a full-time institute, writing up a conference paper, and finishing a revise-and-resubmit so it'll be a little bit before I can dive back into stuff.
   1129. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5861338)
Hilarious!

I mean, I don't really believe it's true but I believe Arsenal fans believe it's true. If Levy pulls this off it will just add to the legend.
   1130. Mefisto Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5861345)
Geez Baldrick, get your priorities straight. :)
   1131. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 13, 2019 at 05:55 PM (#5861660)
Somebody who has the new thread post in it, I forgot to bookmark it.
I just had to google my handle and bbtf. I post to this thread too much...

Speaking of which: I'm feeling a tad unmoored without much soccer on these days. I don't really care for transfer news.
   1132. Mefisto Posted: July 13, 2019 at 07:27 PM (#5861668)
538 rankings here. As with predictions about the league table, I'm not sure about the point of doing this before transfer season ends. Still, very interesting.
   1133. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 13, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5861720)
As far as I can tell, those are just last year's rankings, end of year. If they are being consistent with prior years, they will also to league adjustments before the 2019-2020 season starts. For example, the EPL should see a boost v La Liga, though that might not be reflected at the very top.
   1134. J. Sosa Posted: July 13, 2019 at 11:20 PM (#5861721)
Thought you might enjoy this Shooty:

Saliba
   1135. Mefisto Posted: July 14, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5861737)
Ah, ok. That wasn't clear to me and I got the link from MCOA, who seemed to think it was current.
   1136. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 14, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5861747)
#1134 Oh, dear Jebus, thank you. That was lovely.

   1137. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 14, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5861752)
16.10 BST: Harry Maguire's proposed move ot Manchester United is progressing very quickly today, The Sun claims.

According to the paper, United have agreed a to pay £80m for the England centre-back, and he will have a medical at the club's training ground on Monday.


That is ... a bunch.

Not saying he's not good, or not HG, but that's ... a bunch.
   1138. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 14, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5861753)
It's only money... and United hasn't spent it efficiently since Ferguson left. He's better than what they have there. I can't believe Bailly or Rojo haven't sodded off to Turkey or China yet.

Lukaku transfer seems to be hung up because United wants the money up front - I guess I wouldn't want to deal with any potential Italian finance shenanigans.
   1139. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 14, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5861757)
Why not just poach Toby for 25?

Resale value won't be there, but it's United, so that's a rounding error and he's a legit top class CB ... AND you weaken a Top 4 rival.
   1140. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 14, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5861758)
I think Toby is looking for a long-term deal on big money. Ole has said he wants to buy younger players (although Maguire isn't especially young) plus United are leery of paying super big salaries to older players. The Alexis contract is a millstone, even for United because all the other players look at that salary and think they should be getting it.
   1141. Mefisto Posted: July 14, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5861776)
That's stupid money for Maguire (not that he's a bad player), but United are pretty desperate. They still need to fix the midfield, and that'll cost too.
   1142. Baldrick Posted: July 14, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5861777)
For those who were interested in checking in on the NWSL, this afternoon's game (3 PM eastern) between Portland and Orlando is on ESPNEWS (or the ESPN+ app, which is how I'll be watching). Production quality and announcing will be much higher than the normal league streams, so this wouldn't be a bad place to start.
   1143. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 14, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5861778)
I think Toby is looking for a long-term deal on big money. Ole has said he wants to buy younger players (although Maguire isn't especially young) plus United are leery of paying super big salaries to older players. The Alexis contract is a millstone, even for United because all the other players look at that salary and think they should be getting it.


Supposedly Toby was looking for 150 per week from Spurs, that's not close to Sanchez/Ozil stupid money for what he's going to give for the next 3-4 years.

Will you probably eat a year of the contract at the end, sure, but he's very good and 25 million is very cheap in this market.
   1144. Baldrick Posted: July 14, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5861803)
Orlando had one of the worst halves of soccer I can ever remember seeing and somehow are only down 1-0.
   1145. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 14, 2019 at 10:30 PM (#5861875)
Speaking of Toby (from CFC):

The summer of change at Tottenham Hotspur continues to crank out transfer rumor after transfer rumor with no signs of it stopping anytime soon. This weekend, the rumors heated back up around Roma attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo. Specifically, there’s a new report from Italian journalist Alfredo Pedullà that claims that not only are Spurs still interested in Zaniolo, but the player has agreed to come to Spurs in a player-plus-cash deal that includes Toby Alderweireld and that would total €50m.

The basics are this: Alderweireld, who has had no suitors willing to pay his £25m release clause, would be sold to Roma as a makeweight for €23m (~£20m). Spurs would then include an additional €27m for Zaniolo, who would move to north London on a permanent transfer. The idea is that Alderweireld would get his move away from the club and a modest increase in after-tax wages in Rome,


Statsbomb on Zaniolo
   1146. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 15, 2019 at 05:41 AM (#5861887)
I cannot believe it, but I'm actually recommending a Bill Plaschke piece


“The hardest job we have, the first job we have, is convincing parents that the best player in your family might not be one of your sons,” Muhlfriedel explains.

His players have been late to practice because they have to cook dinner for their brothers. His players have missed practice because they had to baby-sit siblings while their brothers played on other teams. He has pleaded with parents to give their daughters the same sports priority as their sons.

“In our culture, this is a sport loved by the male community, your best player is your son. If you’re a woman, you stay at home, you do the chores, you wash the dishes,” says Jimena Torres, former club player and one of the program’s coaches. “We try to get the girls out here and give them wings.”


LA Times
   1147. Sean Forman Posted: July 15, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5861894)
re: Maguire

Seems like this is the same type of move as Sanchez. City was interested and then United decided to swoop in and other more money and are likely to see eventually see this as a pyrrhic victory over City.
   1148. Mefisto Posted: July 15, 2019 at 10:04 AM (#5861906)
There are 2 significant differences between Maguire and Sanchez (aside from cost): Maguire is younger; and he fills an actual need. I don't think it will work out quite as badly, but it's still stupid money.
   1149. spivey Posted: July 15, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5861913)
Am I off base, or does it seem like big signing CBs flop a bunch of the time?

Stones I would argue hasn't worked well. Otamendi has been ok but hardly world class imo. And those guys were both picked by Pep, I think. It seems like Man U, Chelsea, and pre-Pep City also cycled through a lot.

Maguire seems to be a locked in starter on the national team, but what is expected of a CB is different for a team like Leicester as compared to where Man U want to be as well. This isn't meant to be a slight at Maguire, but that feels like a deal that could look really bad in a bit.
   1150. Sean Forman Posted: July 15, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5861937)
FWIW, Stones is a year and a half younger than Maguire, but yeah, he hasn't been spectacular. He had a decent run at the start of the year last year, but just fell aside. I found it a bit distressing how much Kompany played the second half of the season, but he was truth be told really good.
   1151. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 15, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5861987)
Steve Bruce has resigned as Sheffield Wednesday manager, clearing one of the hurdles before being able to take charge of Newcastle United.

The 58-year-old is believed to be close to replacing Rafael Benítez at the Tyneside club and has now left Wednesday, but the two clubs have yet to agree a compensation package.


This seems ... a downgrade.
   1152. Sean Forman Posted: July 15, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5862007)
Newcastle has already lost a bunch of starters as well. The foreign buyers had better materialize soon or they'll be in the Championship next year.
   1153. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 15, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5862008)
Speaking of disasters

Bolton Wanderers intend to field a team comprising mostly youth and development players when they play their first pre-season friendly on Sunday at York City.

The club is not yet out of administration, and though the Football Ventures consortium is close to a takeover, the uncertainty has left Bolton with seven contracted senior professionals, two of whom are goalkeepers and no defenders.

Bolton were relegated from the Championship last season, and will start the new season with a 12-point deduction because of going into administration in May. The question of a further punishment for failing to fulfil their final fixture of the season has not been resolved, though a semblance of normality returned a few days ago when the padlocks were removed from the training ground at Lostock and players were allowed in to commence pre-season work.


Yeesh.

Just sad. They must be odds on favorites to drop again this year.
   1154. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 15, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5862019)
This sounds like something I really want to watch at some point ... New Maradona film provides never-before-seen look at football's most complex character

Very good read and it sounds like they uncovered some interesting footage.
   1155. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 15, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5862042)
Doesn't Ashley know that you hire Bruce to get your club promoted? Once he is in the Premier League, he gets the club demoted.
   1156. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 15, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5862047)
Newcastle's getting relegated anyway, so no big. Ashley's playing the long game--they'll go right back up!
   1157. Mefisto Posted: July 15, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5862105)
Everton sign Fabian Delph. Seems like a good move for Delph, though he got more playing time at City than I expected.
   1158. Howie Menckel Posted: July 15, 2019 at 09:55 PM (#5862124)
Gregg Henglein
‏@GreggHenglein
1h1 hour ago

Fresh off the excitement of the U.S. women winning the World Cup, Houston drew 5,300 Saturday, North Carolina drew 6,200, Sky Blue FC drew 1,800.

Portland, always the top draw in the @NWSL, had almost 19,000.
   1159. spivey Posted: July 15, 2019 at 10:02 PM (#5862126)
Delph's very good play during the 100 point season was enough to make me question everything I know about soccer.
   1160. J. Sosa Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:09 AM (#5862171)
West Ham got Haller, a significant signing. Haller benefited from playing with Jovic and Rebic, and his numbers might be somewhat inflated, but he still is an excellent signing. A prototypical nine in a world where there are not that many anymore. He is very good. There is always a bust risk for every signing, but he is exceptionally well suited to the PL. Window not done yet, but there are going to be some dangerous teams outside the big six.
   1161. J. Sosa Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:29 AM (#5862172)
May have been premature on Haller. Frankfurt tweeted deal so I assumed done pending a medical. Maybe not. Assuming it happens I think West Ham is in the running for best window. Fornals was also an excellent signing. Diop, Rice, Andeson, Haller, Fornals. Lanzini back from injury. Fabianski has been very good for them. Core of a strong team.
   1162. spivey Posted: July 16, 2019 at 09:51 AM (#5862186)
Haller is a good get, but I really like Leicester's window.

Tottenham has a chance to have an absolutely amazing window, but still is too early to say.
   1163. Mefisto Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5862207)
Reports say Trippier to Athletico Madrid.
   1164. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5862209)
North Carolina drew 6,200
At least they've averaged ~1,000 more fans per game than their sister (brother?) team, the USL's North Carolina FC. One problem the Courage (and NCFC) have is that they play in Cary. It's almost impossible to get to the stadium on transit, you can't walk there, and Cary is in general a formless commuter sprawl that no one who doesn't live there ever goes to. As a result there's no casual attendance at their games, and it's also prevented the team from having any sort of local identity. I mean, everyone knows that "Cary" is an acronym for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees", and sticking a couple of soccer teams there, one of which refers to itself as a "football club", has done them no favors.

Raleigh meanwhile has completely blown up in the last twenty years, not just in population but in character -- when you walk around in town you can occasionally feel like you're walking in a major city, with actual street life and so forth. It's no longer a cow town that goes to bed at 5. Meanwhile the region's professional sports teams, with the very notable exception of the Durham Bulls (an attendance and local affection success story), all play in sprawl land: the soccer teams play in Cary, there's baseball in Zebulon (well east of Raleigh), and the NHL's Hurricanes play in a building out on the interstate (and draw terribly).

A team that manages to plant itself somewhere inside of Raleigh proper has a chance at capturing the city's heart. The owner of the Courage and NCFC is trying to get soccer stadium built as part of a massive new commercial/residential district about 1.5 miles south of downtown. These things are inevitably boondoggles, but if it does happen I can see the Courage taking off (and Raleigh getting an MLS team).

It looks like the NWSL has four attendance tiers: 1.) Portland, 2.) Utah, 3.) most of the league, 4.) Sky Blue FC. The Courage lead group 3, which suggests that a team in Raleigh proper could at least join Utah in tier 2.
   1165. spivey Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5862213)
Happy to see Trippier go. People try to get sentimental once it looks like guys are out the door, but, he sucks in my book.

I'd rather have an Aurier/Foyth/Sissoko revolving door than have Trippier on the team.
   1166. Baldrick Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5862225)
NWSL attendance numbers (excluding Sky Blue, which, yikes) are looking good. The numbers posted here already are solid, but there will some bigger ones coming soon. Chicago says they've already set their attendance record for the July 21 game. Reign FC (now Tacoma) have sold out single-match tickets for their July 28 game. No one is going to challenge Portland anytime soon, but if they can turn all those new attendees into another 1000-1500 regular patrons that will make a big difference. Especially for Reign and Chicago - independently run clubs in a league where association with a men's side often can feel like the key to stable finances.

Hilariously, Houston claimed to have 'sold out' their match this weekend against Chicago, after selling a little over 5000 tickets in a stadium that holds 20K. Even the lower bowl alone holds like 7.5K.
   1167. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 16, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5862392)
It'll be interesting to see if Simeone can turn Trippier into a competent defender.

Delph at that price seems like really good business, especially given the usual tax on English players.
   1168. Mefisto Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5862402)
MCOA suggests that Athletico want Trippier for his offense -- he's excellent at progressing the ball and Athletico need that.
   1169. Meatwad Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:12 PM (#5862458)
So the liverpool vs borussia dortmund match at Notre dame has not sold out that shocks me.
   1170. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 17, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5862496)
From the post over at CFC

According to Dan Kilpatrick in the Evening Standard, unless something changes before the end of the window, Spurs will not target a right back to replace Trippier, with Serge Aurier, Kyle Walker-Peters, and Juan Foyth battling for minutes on the right side of the defense. That could change — Kilpatrick says that the club are open to offers for Aurier in the transfer window — but Spurs have also rejected approaches from Crystal Palace and RB Leipzig for Walker-Peters, suggesting that Mauricio Pochettino thinks he could still play a major role for the club going forward.


And if Rose leaves as well (and he's not going with the team to Asia), then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
   1171. spivey Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5862538)
I don't love not getting a RB in, but if Aurier is healthy (big if), I'm pretty ok with focusing the money/attention on the rest of the roster - I think we can be better at RB this upcoming year than we were last year, even without bringing in someone new. Losing Rose would be a shame. My hope when Davies extended was that was as a squad/rotational piece. Rose was pretty good much of last year.
   1172. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5862557)
Rose was pretty good much of last year.


He seemed to be finally over his injury issues and apparently this isn't a lingering bad blood thing about the comments he made in the interview. He's stated before he wanted to play closer to home in the NE, so I'll be sad too, but I'll be happy for him and for his time with Spurs.

Meanwhile ... I can't believe it ... this can't be happening!

Newcastle United are nearing closer to a deal for Hoffenheim striker Joelinton, accoridng to German outlet Bild.

The deal could be worth a reported club-record €60m, with the Magpies having been interested in the forward since January.

Joelinton was left out of Hoffenheim's match day squad for their preseason friendly against Jahn Regensburg on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Brazilian striker made 28 Bundesliga appearances last season, scoring seven goals.


If it happens, wouldn't this be the kind of signing that was probably what Benitez was asking for?

Instead he does it for Steve Bruce? Ashley is weird ...

   1173. spivey Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5862561)
He seemed to be finally over his injury issues and apparently this isn't a lingering bad blood thing about the comments he made in the interview. He's stated before he wanted to play closer to home in the NE, so I'll be sad too, but I'll be happy for him and for his time with Spurs.


All true, and it's better to let a guy go a year too early than a year too late. Especially a fullback. But they would need to have a replacement ready. I don't think having Davies be the penciled in starter for all year is any sort of recipe to winning silverware.
   1174. jmurph Posted: July 17, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5862634)
Uhhhh, so I guess it might finally be time to subscribe to The Athletic? They are hiring all of the soccer writers, it seems.
   1175. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 17, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5862645)
Wow, that is a LOT of big names (in the underlying Buzzfeed article).

Like, the headliner from the Graun is "chief football writer Daniel Taylor" and I thought well, that's a loss, but they'll ok.

But then later in the article it continues, "the Guardian is also expecting to lose football writer Amy Lawrence, London correspondent Dominic Fifield, and Midlands/Wales correspondent Stuart James."

Other papers were the same way.
   1176. Topher Posted: July 17, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5862668)
One problem the Courage (and NCFC) have is that they play in Cary. It's almost impossible to get to the stadium on transit, you can't walk there, and Cary is in general a formless commuter sprawl that no one who doesn't live there ever goes to.


I just looked at Cary on a map for the first time; I had just assumed the team was around Charlotte. Yikes. This is a problem, period. But doubly so for NWSL. And yeah, it's a chicken/egg thing where you can't afford to play in the city until you first build up your fan base but you can't build up your fan base unless you are playing in the city.

But when the NWSL fanbase is disproportionately young girls and their parents taking them to games, if that extra commute time home means you don't get back before bedtime, I can see the Courage losing a fair number of fans. My mom never encountered a sporting event that wasn't worth my brother and I missing our bedtime for, but I think most other parents have a bit more common sense. :)
   1177. jmurph Posted: July 18, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5862811)
I'm probably blanking on someone really obvious, but is Trippier now the only English national team player playing in Europe? I remember when I first started paying attention Beckham was maybe literally the only (well known, at least) English player playing outside of the UK. Seems that's changed a bit recently though it still seems fairly rare.
   1178. spivey Posted: July 18, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5862814)
Jadon Sancho has a few caps, though he's not a locked guy on the squad yet (though he did start the Nations League semi-finals), and he'll be back in England in a year or two.

The 'homegrown' rule just seems to make it really rare for a continental team to value an English guy more than an equal quality English team.
   1179. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 18, 2019 at 09:49 AM (#5862823)
A lot of top England youth players have been playing for big German teams recently. Sancho, Reese Oxford, Reiss Nelson, Jonjoe Kenny and Ademola Lookman. Mostly on loan although Sancho is fully a Dortmund player and it looks like Lookman is about to be transferred to RasenBallsport Leipzig.
   1180. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 18, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5862830)
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when Brexit come for you ...

Honest question.

This article seems to offer some clues how it might affect players moving to the UK, but not the reverse

For Premier League clubs, particularly those at the top end, dealing in the transfer market is a key consideration in the pursuit of success, but any restrictions on the free movement of people arising from Brexit would inevitably create problems.

After Brexit, it is possible that footballers from EU countries - Germany, France or Spain, say - who are wanted by the likes of Manchester United or Arsenal may be treated in the same way as non-EU or (European Economic Area (EEA) footballers currently are.

That means they will have to satisfy certain criteria or receive an exemption in order obtain a work permit, which would then allow them to work in the UK as employees of a football club.

Back in 2016, the BBC established that 332 players in the Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership would not satisfy these requirements.

Furthermore, leaving the EU means that clubs in the UK will subsequently find it much more difficult to recruit European players under the age of 18 for their academies.

FIFA's regulations on the protection of minors allow for the international transfer of footballers between the ages of 16 and 18 if they are moving between clubs that are both based in the territory of the EU. By the time Brexit is complete the UK will no longer be within the EU's territory, which would, for example, prohibit the next Cesc Fabregas from joining Arsenal from Barcelona.

Interestingly, too, back in November 2018, a report in the Times revealed that the Football Association has put forward proposals to limit the number of overseas players in Premier League squads to 12, which would be a reduction of five. Such a measure would inevitably affect the division's clubs, particularly those at the top end.


   1181. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: July 18, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5862832)
Be aware that the NBC Sports Gold now has two options. The $39.99 means you only get games that aren’t already on the NBC family of networks and no replays or even rewinding (about 140 matches) For $64.99 you get all 380 games and can watch on demand and rewind live matches.
   1182. jmurph Posted: July 18, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5862833)
Hmm $64.99 is probably too much for the, like, 6 times I'm going to use it this year. AND YET! I'm also very lazy, so will probably take no steps to cancel it. Quite the dilemma.
   1183. spivey Posted: July 18, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5862835)
There's already so many games between NBC, the Bundesliga, and I got ESPN+ and I'm low key excited for the Serie A this year, plus your random PSV/Ajax domestic matches from the lower leagues. And beIN for anyone who has that, though I do not. I guess if you're EPL or bust or simply must watch all of your teams matches, or you root for a team outside the Top 6 that can be valuable.

As a fan of Tottenham, there's just no value in such a package to me.
   1184. jmurph Posted: July 18, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5862838)
You've inspired me, spivey, I logged in and turned off the autorenewal that was set to go through in a couple weeks.

I should note current subscribers were going to get a $5 discount, so it would have been $59.99. But, like you, as a fan of a big team, I really barely used it last year.
   1185. jmurph Posted: July 18, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5862839)
and I got ESPN+ and I'm low key excited for the Serie A this year

I tried to get into it last year and was moderately successful. I hope Lukaku really does go to Inter, I might try to make them the big team I root for (while also pulling for Parma).

My main issue last season was I kind of liked a lot of teams? Which is good, but it kept me from getting too into any specific team. But yeah, I'm definitely in favor of more Serie A talk in this thread.
   1186. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 18, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5862874)
Meanwhile, back in Blighty

Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been fined £75,000 and banned for six weeks, four of which are suspended, for breaching betting regulations, the Football Association said on Thursday.

The FA said the 29-year-old had been charged with 11 alleged breaches of its betting rules, nine of which were dismissed by an independent regulatory commission.

Sturridge, who was released by Liverpool after his contract expired last month, can resume playing from July 31, but the FA added that it disagreed with the commission's findings and would appeal the decision to dismiss most of the charges against him.

...

Sturridge was accused of passing on inside information about his potential transfer moves away from Liverpool in January 2018 to close friends and relatives that was then used for, or in relation to, betting.

The commission found Sturridge guilty of two of the charges, which alleged he had instructed his brother, Leon, to bet on a possible move by him to La Liga side Sevilla.


I didn't even know he was being charged.

ESPN
   1187. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 18, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5862925)
I killed my NBC Sports Gold subscription a couple weeks ago. I barely used it. Also the Gold app was separate from the NBC Sports app and it was impossible to find matches. ESPN+ doesn't have a great layout either but there is a lot more content.
   1188. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 18, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5862952)
Guardian article on Sergiño Dest, who started today for Ajax in the ICC (can't tell yet whether LB or LWB) against Watford and played the whole match.

He grew up in Holland but has an American father and played for the US in the U-20 World Cup.

Here's a highlights video from 18/19 (shitty music trigger warning)

Oh, yeah, the article.

Watching Dest in action recalls images of Brazilian full-backs Dani Alves and Marcelo, who the teenager models his game on. He is effectively a playmaker from defence, roaming forward at every opportunity. “He’s almost one of those Brazilian outside-backs who can hurt you,” Ramos says, “because, at times, they’re almost like a No 10 – they have that kind of skill. His strength is his unpredictability when he attacks.”

And although Van der Bergh concedes Dest “can give you a little bit of a heart attack” when attempting to dribble his way out of tight spaces deep in his own half, he believes the teenager’s expressive style should be encouraged: “Ninety-nine out of 100 times he pulls it off. And we don’t want to take that out of his game; I think that’s what sets him apart.”


[edit] Now I guess I have today's match to see how he played (ESPN3)

   1189. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 19, 2019 at 10:17 AM (#5863143)
Looks like Rose is (very likely) gone, Poch confirmed that Spurs and an unnamed team had reached an agreement, but that an actual transfer was dependent on Rose and the other team coming to personal terms.

Link

Spurs had better have his replacement lined up, because Davies, KWP and Janny Verts as the starting left back options does not inspire confidence.
   1190. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 19, 2019 at 08:18 PM (#5863345)
Long form article from over at Deadspin, with the writer taking her best friend to her first NWSL game ever.


I had planned to be in Portland this past weekend anyway to visit my best friend, Dawn, and the soccer powers that be still haven’t figured out how to get a women’s team in my current home of Los Angeles—even though it’s the second-largest city in America and supports two men’s teams, which says a lot about the people overseeing soccer in the United States. So the Thorns game, scheduled for the Sunday right after the World Cup ended, was my best chance to see competitive women’s club soccer live this year. Dawn agreed to come with me, making this her first ever pro soccer game. I asked her if she wanted to tag along, and Dawn replied by asking if this was the sport “that included the woman who said #### Trump?” I said yes. She said, “I’m in.”


Link
   1191. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 19, 2019 at 09:20 PM (#5863354)
I'm quite glad that this was showing on BeIn and I wasn't able to watch it:

Why do Algeria make it so hard for themselves? They have been the best team at this Cup of Nations, and in that sense were worthy champions. But having taken an early lead against Senegal in Friday’s final and seeming dominant, they bafflingly resorted to spoiling, to diving, feigning injury and looking to pressure the officials. It brought victory, and perhaps that is enough, but play and they might have taken not only the cup but also glory.

It is not just that the niggliness makes them a hard team for outsiders to love; it presumably also means that no Algerian fan can take much pleasure in watching a rerun of what should be one of the finest moments in their history. See how Baghdad Bounedjah spreads his arms and screams at the referee! Watch as Amir Bensebaini trips a Senegal forward! Wonder as Raïs Mbohli runs down the clock! Marvel as Sofiane Feghouli recovers instantly from seemingly mortal injury! Welcome to the shithouse of fun!


Jonathan Wilson
   1192. Baldrick Posted: July 20, 2019 at 07:59 PM (#5863530)
Chicago Red Stars have sold out the lower bowl and have opened up the upper deck for the first time ever. Sounds like they're expecting around 17 thousand tomorrow. They gave away a couple thousand tickets to season-ticket holders, but that's still a lot of tickets. Utah had a similar number last night. Orlando also have a LOT more people there today than they've managed recently. We'll obviously have to see how these play out over the rest of the season, but that's already a lot better than we saw following the last World Cup.
   1193. Baldrick Posted: July 20, 2019 at 09:17 PM (#5863539)
Almost 10,000 in Orlando, which is much better than where they've been in the past couple years though a little lower than I had hoped. And Washington got a sellout in Maryland - though that's still only 5500. That will make an average of well over 10,000 for the weekend, and that's without a Portland home game.
   1194. spivey Posted: July 21, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5863578)
Sometimes I forget how ####### good Harry Kane is when he's fit. Just a friendly, but man, what a goal. Ndombele's assist for Moura for the 2nd goal was really nice as well. Waited to let Moura get back onside.

One name that hasn't come back up for Tottenham in a while but I'm really interested in is Dani Olmo. Has that Barca DNA and was the top player in a feisty league as a 21 year old. Also is a bit positionally versatile. If we were to lose Eriksen, I'd love to get him. Him and Moura (and Lamela, if he stays) as rotational depth among the front 4 would be excellent. Of course, keeping Eriksen is great too.

We're only 3 weeks from the start of the season. Crazy.
   1195. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 21, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5863587)
I thought Troy Parrott looked very good as well. On Spurs first goal, he started the attack with a take away in midfield, passed to Son and then ran a lung buster from midfield into the box to receive the return pass from Son. Though his shot was blocked by Buffon, it was going in the far corner.

The kid impressed me.

Ndombele's assist for Moura for the 2nd goal was really nice as well


Yeah, that was wonderfully weighted.
   1196. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 21, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5863589)
How about Zidane and Bale?

Yeesh.
   1197. Howie Menckel Posted: July 21, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5863639)
International Champions Cup: Real Madrid V Atletico Madrid at the Meadowlands on Friday.

73 bucks to get in the door at MetLife Stadium.
   1198. Baldrick Posted: July 21, 2019 at 05:40 PM (#5863646)
Chicago-North Carolina on ESPN2 in about twenty minutes. Both are almost back to full strength with most of the WC players ready to go. Hopefully it ends up being as good as it looks, given an actual decent TV slot.
   1199. Mefisto Posted: July 21, 2019 at 06:39 PM (#5863649)
Casey Short not exactly helping her cause today.
   1200. Baldrick Posted: July 21, 2019 at 06:48 PM (#5863650)
So far, it's delivering. Good game, a couple fun goals. Nice stuff.
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