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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 | 1243 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   301. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5852519)
I'm mildly curious whether Chile has the ability to open it up offensively at all. They're going to try in the Thailand game. 2-0 France over Nigeria and 2-0 Chile over Thailand puts them in a coinflip situation I think. That's much better than you would have though coming into today.

edit: they also need one of the other groups to end in a draw. If not, or if Nigeria doesn't lose by at least 2, they will likely need to win by 3 goals or more.
edit2: at 3-0 in the first half, 538 had Chile's odds of just 7% to advance. Holding out for the rest of the game more than doubled those odds, now at 15%.
   302. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5852521)
So apparently, in a penalty situation, they can review whether there is a foul at all (not originally called on the field, in this case), and if they decide there was a clear and obvious error that there was a foul after all, then the position of the foul, whether in or out of the box, is not subject to clear and obvious error, since it is a factual thing.


Maybe technically the right call, if you really think the foul was committed on the line (need to be just over 50% sure, I guess?), and are convinced it was a foul in the first place (90% sure? 95%?). Still seems like not the point of the rule at all, especially when the offensive player was not involved in the play at all. I've never seen one like that given in the men's game.
   303. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5852524)
3.1 (+pen) - 0.01 xG. Chile played to limit the damage on the defensive end, and didn't do a great job of it, but also didn't do that badly. It was probably the right strategy to maximize their chances of advancing, considering a draw was probably never in the cards. The US scored some difficult shots, but also got stuffed by Endler, so that cancelled out a little bit.

Chile and New Zealand playing the first two group games with similar approaches. I'm a bit more sympathetic to Chile here, since they are a lot worse than New Zealand, and they also have a weaker opponent in their final match.
   304. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5852537)
Betting odds for the upcoming games are really not that similar to 538's odds:

1. Betting odds considers Spain to be significantly better than China. 538 has them somewhat close.

2. Betting odds think Norway is a big favorite over South Korea, whereas 538 has them as much closer (though Norway still as a significant favorite).

3. Betting odds has Italy as only a slight underdog to Brazil, whereas 538 thinks Brazil is much better.

4. Betting odds thinks Cameroon is only a slight(ish) underdog to New Zealand, whereas 538 thinks New Zealand is significantly better.

5. Betting odds thinks Netherlands should be a slight(ish) favorite over Canada, whereas 538 thinks the opposite.

We already discussed Scotland, but 538's dissonance there with the betting odds in the game against Argentina isn't really any larger than it is for the five games above.

When I've looked at 538's odds for men's EPL games and the CL, they usually are closer to the betting odds than this. No doubt that is because there is much more of a sample to work from in men's league games.

edit: looking at the above, all of the games, except the one that has no UEFA team in it, are situations where betting odds likes UEFA better than 538 does. That's likely to be due to a systematic bias in one or the other.

   305. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5852542)
Lots of penalties have been awarded in the tournament so far--supposedly 12 in 24 games. It is a lot, but in 2015 they had 22 in 52 games, which is only a little bit less.

Tournament is not over yet of course.
   306. Baldrick Posted: June 16, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5852571)
I'm mildly curious whether Chile has the ability to open it up offensively at all.

They actually played quite open in a pre tournament friendly against Germany (and in some friendlies back in the early spring against Jamaica, too). I can't promise that they'll be able to successfully execute, but they're a 'minnow' that actually would prefer to play open attacking soccer if they can.
1. Betting odds considers Spain to be significantly better than China. 538 has them somewhat close.

I strongly believe that China actively do not want to win that game. They would much prefer to take their chances as a 3rd place team (potentially against someone like Italy or Brazil) than finish 2nd and get the US. It would not surprise me if betting odds are accounting for that.
edit: looking at the above, all of the games, except the one that has no UEFA team in it, are situations where betting odds likes UEFA better than 538 does. That's likely to be due to a systematic bias in one or the other.

I think this is very likely a factor.
   307. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 06:35 PM (#5852581)
Good point about China. They have to be careful though, as they might not want to risk losing by 2 goals. a 0-2 loss could put them in real danger of going out. They could easily end up behind whoever finishes 3rd in Group C, Scotland, and the winner of Cameroon/New Zealand. They can't be sure Nigeria will do worse than a 1-goal loss to France.

China might play for the draw, but it's still a risky business. It would be even easier for Spain to play for a loss actually, as they could lose by 2 and still be in better shape than if China loses by 1 (and lose by 3 and be better off than China losing by 2). Is this going to be a game where everyone just stands around and does nothing?

Looking at pre-tourney betting odds v 538, it does appear that the betting odds were more favorable to UEFA mostly across the board in the group stage. Betting odds did like the USA more than 538 though, and France maybe a little less. Spain was considered a notch better than China, whereas 538 had them near even. Norway was considered a couple notches above South Korea, where 538 had them as also similar. England was considered to be ahead of Japan, where 538 had them equal. And then Scotland of course. On the other hand, Brazil pre-tourney was considered way ahead of Italy, similar to 538. The bettors have been more affected by their relative performances so far than has 538. Netherlands/Canada were on a par, same as 538, and now 538 likes Canada and the bettors like Netherlands (go figure).
   308. Baldrick Posted: June 16, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5852587)
Good point about China. They have to be careful though, as they might not want to risk losing by 2 goals. a 0-2 loss could put them in real danger of going out. They could easily end up behind whoever finishes 3rd in Group C, Scotland, and the winner of Cameroon/New Zealand. They can't be sure Nigeria will do worse than a 1-goal loss to France.

Yeah, I mostly just expect it to be an exceptionally tedious 0-0 draw. Spain have trouble scoring anyway, and China will do just fine to push them around a bunch and then drop back.

Which...I'll be there so hopefully it's more exciting. But that's my guess.
   309. bunyon Posted: June 16, 2019 at 09:09 PM (#5852614)
As predicted, all sports tv can do today is complain about the Argentine men’s team (and a big dose for Messi). I agree they’re not that strong but, geez, without Messi they might actually be bad.
   310. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2019 at 08:34 AM (#5852668)
without Messi they might actually be bad.

I don't know, Argentina are loaded with talent. Spurs, if you believe rumors, are about to spend 70 million Euros on Lo Celso. Would a single American even make Argentina's first 11? Their attacking talent--Messi, Aguero, Icardi, Dybala, Higuain, Lo Celso, Lamela, Di Maria, etc.--is as good as anyone's in the world. They are an engima, truly.

Seems like a weird lull for transfer rumors. Obviously I follow Spurs the most closely and the link to N'Dombele at Lyon and Lo Celso at Betis appear to be real and Sessegnon seem a near certainty. Pepe to Liverpool and Felix to Atleti seem to be consistent, too. It seems like Pogba might be the domino that will get things rolling this summer. And, holy crap, Man U might have a lot of work to do. They have to figure out if the mopey faces of Lukaku, De Gea and Pogba are worth keeping around and, if not, they have to negotiate those huge transfers AND bring in high cost replacements. That's a lot of bartering to do in 6 weeks.

   311. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 17, 2019 at 08:38 AM (#5852672)
I don't know, Argentina are loaded with talent.

Their talent has never been a problem. Their problem is that everyone involved in management and coaching of the team is a grade A moron.
   312. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5852677)
Their talent has never been a problem. Their problem is that everyone involved in management and coaching of the team is a grade A moron.

Yeah, there's no accounting for bureaucratic incompetence and corruption.
   313. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5852724)
Marca is reporting Joao Felix to Atleti is about done. That's quite a coup for them.

edit: 120 million for Felix! So, basically swapping Griezmann for Felix straight up.
   314. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:39 AM (#5852729)
As predicted, all sports tv can do today is complain about the Argentine men’s team (and a big dose for Messi). I agree they’re not that strong but, geez, without Messi they might actually be bad.


I'm here to complain about the entire Copa America. I didn't watch the Argentine game because ESPN+ didn't have any commentary, just game sounds (?). ESPN+ did have commentary on Uruguay-Ecuador. Holy hell is VAR making these games hard to watch. Maybe not all games, but games involving two South American teams that constantly dive and also constantly foul each other.
   315. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5852737)
ESPN+ didn't have any commentary, just game sounds (?).


If I have the time to focus carefully, and only, on a game, I often like watching it this way the most. It's rare to find though.

Usually I'm doing something else at the same time I'm wathcing, and then commentary really aids the watching experience.
   316. bunyon Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5852747)
Yeah, put me down for preferring no announcer, just game sounds.

As for diving, I don't think South American teams dive any more than European teams. However, they absolutely foul more. Though, like all right-thinking people, I hate VAR, the one thing it does is give a chance for careful viewing of guys going to the ground. It happens fast, but there is almost always a viscious kick to the shins or elbow to the neck when I think a guy took a dive.

The general gist of the commentariat here is: Why do we never see in Argentina the Messi we see in Europe. They don't seem to get the fact that the European Messi has a better team around him. Yes, the Argentines have loads of striking talent. They either don't have good defensive talent or it's every man for himself. It seems like they inevitably stand around waiting for Messi to pull of a Maradona style miracle goal. That's their version of good soccer.


   317. Baldrick Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5852753)
Unless it's a very very good announcer, I almost always feel like they detract from my experience. I love the crowd sounds but would very often prefer to mute the talking. But it definitely depends on my level of familiarity with the teams. I have a hard time distinguishing players unless I know the teams quite well, so announcers who successfully identify WHO is doing things help a lot.
   318. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5852775)
Some unexpected action early in the China/Spain game. Chances each way. If it stays 0-0 for too long though could end in a whimper.
   319. manchestermets Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5852777)
That's a lot of bartering to do in 6 weeks.


Especially when the person whose job it is to do it is totally incompetent.
   320. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5852779)
The general gist of the commentariat here is: Why do we never see in Argentina the Messi we see in Europe. They don't seem to get the fact that the European Messi has a better team around him. Yes, the Argentines have loads of striking talent. They either don't have good defensive talent or it's every man for himself. It seems like they inevitably stand around waiting for Messi to pull of a Maradona style miracle goal. That's their version of good soccer.

They also have repeatedly insisted on running out a tactical alignment, that does its best to limit Messi's strengths, and the impact he can have on a game.

When you have elite, transcendent talent, you want to put them in a position to succeed. Argentina never, ever does this.
   321. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5852793)
Germany is very likely to face Nigeria or Scotland in the round of 16. 538 had them at 92% chance to advance to the QFs already.
   322. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5852797)
It looks like Lampard will be Chelsea's next manager.
   323. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5852806)
Whether or not China is actively trying to win, they sure don't look very good today. I would think Spain would be a significantly harder matchup for the US, especially if they can keep the ball away from the US and effectively shorten the game in the process.

edit: China has 0 actual shots I think, despite having a few chances. That might say something about their willingness to settle for a draw.

edit2: on the other hand, they've given up a bunch of shots and some dangerous possession. Not really a good defensive performance if they are truly playing for the draw.
   324. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5852820)
Man those first two goals given up by South Africa were terrible defending/goaltending.

China is likely to face the winner of Group C, which at the moment looks like Italy, but could be Brazil or Australia. IF ABCD third place teams make it, which is certainly possible, then they face England/Japan (probably England).
   325. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 17, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5852822)
I wanted to be entertained by China-Spain. That did not happen.
   326. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5852825)
In 538's rankings, almost all UEFA teams are up since the tournament started, and 2/3 of non-UEFA teams are down. Looks like ELO probably had a systematic bias against the UEFA teams.

non-UEFA that are up: Nigeria, Cameroon, Canada and the USA are up a little bit, and Brazil is up a smidgen.

England is the only UEFA team down at all, and just a little. Netherlands is flat.
   327. Baldrick Posted: June 17, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5852861)
I wanted to be entertained by China-Spain. That did not happen.

I thought it was moderately entertaining, but not enough to justify riding the train for four hours, and also missing the other later games in the day. Oh well.
   328. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5852865)
I'm with Baldrick. It wasn't that bad. Spain didn't just pass the ball around, but actively tried to score and had a lot of shots.
   329. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5852908)
Holy penalties everywhere. The France player sure looked like she was taken out. I didn't see the ones in the other game.

edit: and a second yellow. That's killer for Nigeria. If they give up a goal they are in trouble, and if two, in deep trouble. But with the miss still a chance!

edit2: what? Are they going to review all these on VAR now? A keeper is likely to get two yellows in a row and be sent off. If that happens after three subs have been used.... or in penalty kicks itself?

edit3: her foot was only off the line because she had lifted her heel! Keepers are going to have to start with their toes on the line and their heels behind, as the keeper did (much to her credit) on the retake.
   330. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5852919)
France taking it to the corner, against 10, in a game where a draw is good enough? Play soccer. Sheesh.

The only possible defense, which I'm sure France won't claim, is that the penalty retake was too cheap and they want to leave Nigeria a chance to advance by scoring another goal against them.
   331. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5852921)
538 has the 1-0 loss as more or less a neutral event for Nigeria. Is fair play the next tie breaker? Not at all inconceivable that Cameroon wins 1-0 or New Zealand wins 2-1.

edit: 538 has it as a slight positive for Nigeria. That surprises me.

edit2: I think Nigeria has at least 6 yellows (one a second yellow that resulted in a red, which counts as 3, so that's eight total). Cameroon has at least 3. I'm not sure New Zealand has any. If this is right, any win by Cameroon where they don't get a bunch of cards or a straight red and they advance, New Zealand has to score twice, since 1-0 puts them behind Nigeria on goals scored. But if they score at least twice and win they are almost certainly through.

Both groups could get through if Scotland/Argentina finishes in a draw. Then there's the unlikely Chile winning by at least 3.
   332. Scott Lange Posted: June 17, 2019 at 06:09 PM (#5852955)
what? Are they going to review all these on VAR now? A keeper is likely to get two yellows in a row and be sent off. If that happens after three subs have been used.... or in penalty kicks itself?

her foot was only off the line because she had lifted her heel! Keepers are going to have to start with their toes on the line and their heels behind, as the keeper did (much to her credit) on the retake.


Boy oh boy, what a fiasco. How can the folks in charge be this stupid? I'm pretty solidly pro-replay in all sports, but whoever had the bright idea to grant retakes on PKs where the goalie lifts her heel an inch off the ground (due to the taker's stutter step) needs to be sacked immediately.
   333. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 17, 2019 at 07:50 PM (#5852977)
Chile still looks pretty good. Japan sent a younger team but they have looked going forward. The guy Madrid just signed (Kubo) looks very tricky with the ball at his feet. .
   334. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:57 PM (#5853060)
Boy oh boy, what a fiasco. How can the folks in charge be this stupid? I'm pretty solidly pro-replay in all sports, but whoever had the bright idea to grant retakes on PKs where the goalie lifts her heel an inch off the ground (due to the taker's stutter step) needs to be sacked immediately.


This is kind of my general problem with replay. I’m fine with replay to deal with the “holy crap is that Stevie Wonder making the call” stuff but we don’t stop there. This is how we get the “hey did his hand come a millimeter off the base for .01 of a second?” crap. I’m a firm believer that all sports need a 30 second limit on replays. It’s a simple fix and corrects the egregious stuff but otherwise lets us get on with the game.
   335. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 08:57 AM (#5853082)
France Nigeria xG was 2.1 (+pen) to 0.04. France did fine against a decent opponent, just couldn't score. Nigeria did nothing and almost pulled off the draw anyway.

Similar for Spain/China 2.2 to 0.1. China didn't really look like they were trying that hard to score, perhaps playing for the draw, but even so that's not the right way to do it on defense. This isn't Nigeria versus France. China has to play better than that, so Color me extremely unimpressed.

South Korea dominated Norway except for the penalties. I didn't watch the game but Norway looks quite vulnerable. They face probably Brazil or Australia and should be underdogs in the round of 16.

South Africa is not a good team, and got blown out by xG in every game.
   336. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 18, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5853084)
This is kind of my general problem with replay. I’m fine with replay to deal with the “holy crap is that Stevie Wonder making the call” stuff but we don’t stop there. This is how we get the “hey did his hand come a millimeter off the base for .01 of a second?” crap


European people really believed that VAR would only be used in obvious cases where everyone watching at home would have made the correct call but the referee couldn't see it because he was at a bad angle and after all there's only one referee, he can't be everywhere at once. And that it wouldn't be used for judgment calls at all. We tried to warn them.
   337. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5853092)
This is kind of my general problem with replay. I’m fine with replay to deal with the “holy crap is that Stevie Wonder making the call” stuff but we don’t stop there. This is how we get the “hey did his hand come a millimeter off the base for .01 of a second?” crap. I’m a firm believer that all sports need a 30 second limit on replays. It’s a simple fix and corrects the egregious stuff but otherwise lets us get on with the game.


I'd rather go a step further than that--30 seconds, and they can only watch replays at real-time speed. If it's not really obviously a blown call, it stands. Play on.
   338. bunyon Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5853117)
Yes, the review official should only watch at full speed. However, with a challenge system, I wouldn’t let the challenger see a replay at all. As others have said, fix the egregious errors and leave the other stuff alone. Both the hand coming off the base and foot off the line reviews are technically correct so the only way to stop it is not let it be reviewable.
   339. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5853261)
It's been an interesting game between Italy and Brazil. Italy might even look a tad better, but they seem somewhat shaky in the back, and they looked awfully week defending a series of set pieces and corners.

Italy made a lot of dangerous passes out of the back, some of them picked off. On the other hand, Brazil sometimes tried to be too cute in the final third.

I love the way Italy moves through the midfield and goes right for goal.
   340. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5853266)
With Australia up 2-0, first, second, and third in the group are all still up in the air. For GD to mean anything though, Brazil has to win this game.
   341. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:13 PM (#5853276)
It's been an interesting game between Italy and Brazil. Italy might even look a tad better, but they seem somewhat shaky in the back, and they looked awfully week defending a series of set pieces and corners.


Yeah, this has been one of the few interesting 50/50 quality games so far. Brazil looks like they are coming on here in the second half.
   342. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5853278)
Italy isn't great at defending high balls in the box. That could easily be a problem for them in the KOs.
   343. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5853280)
Jamaica also pulled one back. That means Australia is very unlikely to top the group now. They are going to want to hold on for the win though, or they could end up third easily.

edit: looks like Kerr put that to bed with the hat trick. Still, too many goals needed for Australia to end up in first.

edit2: first looks like it will go to Italy, unless Brazil can score two. Second place is still up in the air, but Brazil need to score to be in position to get it.
   344. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5853285)
Wow, they called a penalty on that? Never would have been given in the men's game. The defender was shoulder to shoulder and even had position. That said, those non-calls always seemed way to lenient on the defense to me. Defenders should be forced to play the ball more than they are.

Still, really weird how the women's game is called so differently.
   345. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5853286)
Yeah, that was a weak penalty. Is that not VAR-able for some reason? Not that I like VAR but I thought for sure it would be reviewed.

I always felt like official records like most goals scored in the World Cup shouldn't include penalties, where you can decide exactly who gets to score a likely goal. It's like if you got to pick the same person to shoot all your free throws in basketball -- of course they'd lead the league in scoring!
   346. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5853287)
One more goal for Australia and they are back in 2nd place. One more for Brazil and they are in first.

Australia finishing first or Italy third still aren't in the cards.
   347. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5853290)
Ouch that has to be a penalty! Wtf? Seriously? What is VAR even for?
   348. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5853291)
Australia scored again. Brazil down to 3rd. They need that 2nd goal now. It's all or nothing for them. Hard to feel for them though, since they've had all the penalty luck so far.
   349. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5853296)
Jamaica gave those last two goals away to Kerr! That gave Australia the second spot and Brazil the third. Brazil likely to lose in the next round now.

edit: Brazil very likely has to face France. Australia will be favored against Norway. That's a huge difference.

Italy is against Nigeria or China.
   350. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:37 PM (#5853433)
So it’s Guyana, I know but this Tyler Boyd kid has looked really good so far. Not sure how good the Guyana left back is but Boyd is abusing him and his crosses are pinpoint.
   351. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:16 PM (#5853449)
Beautiful ball from Bradley finds Boyd who slots it home far post for a well-deserved goal which is goal number 1,000 for the USMNT.
   352. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:29 PM (#5853453)
This should not be thought of a as a competitive game for the US. Guyana is not good. No, they're bad. No, they're very bad. 23rd ranked by ELO in CONCACAF, and 166th in the world, behind places I've never heard of, like Mayotte and Swatini, and just ahead of New Caledonia.

Is there a worse team in the gold cup this year? Not by ELO, but Bermuda is at least in the same ballpark, and Nicaragua, Curacao, and Cuba I guess are only sort of way the #### better.

edit: turns out Swatini is a tiny country on the southeast coast of Africa, that has about one million people, and Mayotte is a much tinier island between Madagascar and the African mainland, with 270,000 people. Guyana of course has a much bigger land mass, but only 800,000 people.
   353. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:43 PM (#5853456)
Hey, it’s the US. Take what you can get.
   354. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:45 PM (#5853457)
ITs a bit odd that Guyana is in CONCACAF. I get that they are considered more of a Caribbean country culturally but they are on mainland South America.
   355. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:52 PM (#5853462)
There's also Suriname and French Guiana (though the latter is technically part of France, it is on its own for FIFA, I think). All three are considered culturally Caribbean, and all have much less population than the CONMEBOL members. And have much worse soccer teams.
   356. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 12:04 AM (#5853464)
Guyana has 40 times the area but one-half the population of nearby T&T.

Difference in ELO ratings between the 2 is about 550. Difference between USA and Thailand women's teams is about 750. Difference between the US and Nigeria before the WWC was about 550.

In the men's game, the same 750 point difference from the #1 team takes you down to Togo, Luxembourg and Zanzibar territory. 750 points down from #2 takes you to around Moldova and Guinea-Bissau. Oh, and South Africa had a worse rating coming into the tournament. (Chile/Argentina/Jamaica/Cameroon all had similar ratings to Thailand.)

Pretty safe to say the women's field is still not that deep once you get outside of Europe and a few traditional powers.
   357. Omineca Greg Posted: June 19, 2019 at 12:10 AM (#5853466)
The Secretariat of CARICOM is in Georgetown. If you have to put Guyana in one of two boxes, Caribbean or South America, I think Caribbean is the better choice. Just culturally, language-wise, economically...
   358. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 19, 2019 at 12:39 AM (#5853474)
Swatini is what used to be called Swaziland. Mayotte is one of the Comoros Islands but it voted to stay part of France when the other ones voted for independence.

Almost the whole population of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana live near the coast. They fit in with the rest of CONCACAF as well by being really bad, having low budgets and not speaking Spanish or Portuguese as others have said. Putting them in CONMEBOL would be a waste because they would lose every game and CONMEBOL currently has the unique situation that all their teams are competitive. Every team except Venezuela has been to the World Cup, in fact more than one World Cup.
   359. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 07:39 AM (#5853493)
Every team except Venezuela has been to the World Cup, in fact more than one World Cup.
Wow, I didn't know that. And Venezuela, long the worst team of them and always baseball country, has recently been quite good. Currently ranked 21st in the world by ELO and just drew Brazil last night in Brazil. Still 7th in CONMEBOL.

They've also all been very recently except Bolivia, who last made it in 1994.
   360. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:04 AM (#5853500)
If England and Netherlands both win their groups, it looks like we'll have at least one UEFA team in each of the 8 games of the round of 16. That was pretty unlikely coming into the tournament.
   361. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5853583)
Guatemala missed out on the Gold Cup because they didn't register for the Concacaf Nations League (which served as qualifying this year) in time, and they didn't make the Hexagonal for the 2018 World Cup. That seems like a bad mistake.

Guatemala has been down of late the past few years, but they are certainly fairly competitive with anyone in Concacaf outside of the US/Mexico/Costa Rica.
   362. Sean Forman Posted: June 19, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5853691)
It was good to see Zardes get on the board last night vs Guyana. A pretty heady finish. You should google it. Clearly our best forward.
   363. Sean Forman Posted: June 19, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5853693)
I couldn't figure out why all of these minnows were suddenly in the gold cup this year and then I realized they went from three to four groups this year.
   364. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5853710)
I came in late so missed Scotland’s goal. That seems bad for Argentina. Hard to imagine them scoring twice.
   365. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5853713)
I came in late so missed Scotland’s goal. That seems bad for Argentina. Hard to imagine them scoring twice.
Very true. Prior to the goal they had a golden chance though, a header off the bar and a high xG follow-up that was put to close to the goalkeeper from short range.
   366. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 19, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5853717)
The Caribbean teams have several issues really. They play very few games because the qualifying setup is such that you can get eliminated from qualifying from tournaments practically as soon as qualifying starts. And of course travel is difficult. Just getting there from Europe is difficult.

Suriname should do better. A lot of great Dutch players over the years have been eligible for Suriname but they never end up with anyone good, even players who can't make the Dutch team. And one reason for that is they only play like 5 games a year. Another reason is the government of Suriname is insanely corrupt and barely funds the federation, so there barely is a federation. I think they often just decide not to participate in tournaments they could go to.
   367. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5853718)
Assuming we don't have a 2-goal turnaround in these games, England will top the group and face probably China and maybe New Zealand or Cameroon, and Argentina will almost certainly be out. The biggest drama left is whether Scotland holds on for a spot in the next round, against Germany.
   368. Baldrick Posted: June 19, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5853721)
Assuming we don't have a 2-goal turnaround in these games, England will top the group and face probably China and maybe New Zealand or Cameroon, and Argentina will almost certainly be out. The biggest drama left is whether Scotland holds on for a spot in the next round, against Germany.

If Scotland win, they'll be in pretty good shape. They'd be in 3rd in the race, with only two groups left. Would be surprised to see them get passed twice.
   369. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 03:55 PM (#5853724)

If Scotland win, they'll be in pretty good shape. They'd be in 3rd in the race, with only two groups left. Would be surprised to see them get passed twice.
Right, I was just assuming if they win here they are in the next round. Of course that's not literally true.
   370. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:05 PM (#5853732)
Announcers saying that Scotland "must have been told" at halftime that they need more goals. I sure hope that wasn't the message from the coaching staff. More goals would be nice for them, but what they really can't do is not win. That's far, far more important.
   371. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5853736)
Argentina looked decent in the first half, but are looking overrun now in the second.
   372. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5853741)
Argentina get a goal! All the minnows have one now, except Chile, who should get one tomorrow.

New Zealand also doesn't have a goal, but that's their own fault for not ever trying to score.

edit: well. Not over yet!
   373. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5853745)
Wow, she looked like she nicked the ball, barely, but cleaned out the forward. That really should be a penalty in my opinion.

edit: I don't really think it is sufficient to just nick the ball if you take out the forward and the forward still would have had possession without you doing that. It's different form the Griezmann play for two reasons: the defender on that play barely touched the offensive player's back leg instead of cleaning him out from the front, and Griezmann had probably already lost control of the ball, very possibly due precisely because of the slight nick by the defender on the ball.
   374. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5853747)
I hate VAR but I’ll take it.
   375. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5853749)
This is a lot like Nigeria. In both cases the GK was over the line by at most an inch or three.
   376. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5853750)
If anyone cares, I watched the PK from a little mall. A bunch of us watching on a little tv in a barista stand. There are at least 7 very happy Argentines. And me.
   377. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5853751)
No "extra" extra time given despite all the stoppages. That's cruel to both teams.
   378. Scott Lange Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5853752)
If anyone cares, I watched the PK from a little mall. A bunch of us watching on a little tv in a barista stand. There are at least 7 very happy Argentines. And me.


That's what it's all about. What a finish!
   379. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5853758)
One more goal, and Argentina would have been second in the group. Now they are very likely out. It's great news for Nigeria, and very good for Chile.

Most likely matchups for the third place teams are France v Brazil, Germany v Nigeria, Italy v China, and England v New Zealand/Cameroon.

For the other matchups, it's likely Norway v Australia (already set), USA v Spain, Netherlands v Japan, and Canada v Sweden.

Still one UEFA team likely in each matchup.
   380. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5853765)
The Argentine players certainly don’t look like they’re expecting to advance. And the scots look worse. Rare to see two teams that sad after a game.
   381. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5853775)
The extra time calculations need adjusting. The penalty in the Argentina game was at 86 minutes. The eventual kick that counted was at 93 something. Evidently, all of that time counted as play. Which seems wrong.
   382. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 06:00 PM (#5853778)
The only nice thing here is that neither team was intentionally creating delays to shorten the game. That's way more infuriating because it's unsporting and effective.

Ridiculous that FIFA is so concerned about an inch over the line and so unconcerned with 10 minutes of lost play.
   383. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 19, 2019 at 06:02 PM (#5853779)
7. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 07, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5849447)

it's way undervaluing Scotland. They're not great, but they're not terrible.


As a Scot, yes they are.

(I know nothing about women's football, but this is universally true about all of Scottish football)


Banana Pants in early in the thread, but calls it correctly ...
   384. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 06:05 PM (#5853781)
Indeed. As much as I’d love to see Argentina advance, it’s not a tragedy if they don’t. But who is better that might skip them? Cameroon?
   385. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 06:09 PM (#5853783)
But who is better that might skip them? Cameroon?
According to 538? New Zealand and Cameroon for sure, and by quite a lot. Chile is ahead as well, but only by a little. 538 has Thailand only slightly behind, and with a big win over Chile they could even jump ahead of Argentina (though that wouldn't actually mean they are better of course).

edit: Argentina and Chile did about equally well in qualifying, until Chile beat them 4-0 in the semi finals of their tournament.
   386. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 06:12 PM (#5853784)
Ah. Didn’t think Chile was ahead. Though I can’t imagine them not beating Thailand.

Argentina may well be better off taking two draws and a near miss over what might await them in the round of 8.
   387. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5853787)
My language was unclear. By "ahead" I meant "has a better current rating by 538". Any of New Zealand, Cameroon, Chile, and Thailand will go to the KOs ahead of Argentina if they win tomorrow. They might also have to have the GD advantage over Nigeria to make it though.

   388. Baldrick Posted: June 19, 2019 at 06:50 PM (#5853793)
I have to go to bed immediately and will spend tomorrow trying to process but that was completely bonkers. The most absurd game I've ever attended - equal parts enthralling, horrifying, and baffling. And of course it ended up with the only result that helped no one.

Seeing the Scotland players climbing into the stands to hung their families after it was over genuinely broke my heart.
   389. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 19, 2019 at 07:49 PM (#5853798)
The fourth ref should be shot. We deserved at least 10 minutes of extra time to see a full throttle, completely exhausted push to get the one goal that would sent one of the two teams to the knockout round. That is SO infuriating during a World Cup where VAR has been used in the most ticky-#######-tack ways.
   390. Pirate Joe Posted: June 19, 2019 at 07:51 PM (#5853799)
The extra time calculations need adjusting. The penalty in the Argentina game was at 86 minutes. The eventual kick that counted was at 93 something. Evidently, all of that time counted as play. Which seems wrong.


I didn't understand that, and neither did any of the players from either team. If they put four minutes on the board and you don't get done with the VAR review and the PK until after 3-1/2 minutes that means you should be playing four more minutes from there, not another minute or so and call it a game. It would have been interesting to see what might have happened had that game gotten another three minutes. Maybe nothing, or maybe one more twist of the knife.

   391. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:08 PM (#5853830)
The Argentine men now need a comeback like their women.
   392. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:49 PM (#5853856)
Messi converts a PK on a dodgy (IMHO) handball given by VAR. The streets below erupt.
   393. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:50 PM (#5853857)
Argentina with the penalty on a very weak VAR call. The defender had his arm up as part of his body motion to play the original cross, and the offensive player receiving the cross kicked it into his arm (maybe, since it seemed to barely glance the defender's arm at all) from very short range. It's almost like the one in the Serie A game where the defender jumped to head the cross and it went over his head, but before he could land, and before he even turned his head, the offensive player receiving the cross kicked it on the fly into the defender's arm. These types of calls seem very unfair to the defense.
   394. bunyon Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5853859)
I wasn't even 100% sure it got his arm.
   395. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 19, 2019 at 10:03 PM (#5853864)
Even with a loss, Argentina will still likely advance, assuming they beat Qatar. It's basically the same format as the Women's World Cup.

Granted, if they lose today but advance, they likely face Brazil in the first round of the KOs (QFs).

A draw and they will probably grab 2nd. A win and they will very likely be second, but could even be first. 2nd in the group likely puts off Brazil until the semis (assuming they get that far), and if they finish first they likely wouldn't face Brazil until the finals.
   396. kthejoker Posted: June 19, 2019 at 10:26 PM (#5853873)
   397. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 19, 2019 at 10:34 PM (#5853877)
Now THAT is ###### up. Killing a man by plane crash seems like an incredibly ineffeicient way to do it.
   398. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 20, 2019 at 06:36 AM (#5853919)
"Manslaughter due to an unlawful act" would suggest that it wasn't intentional. My guess would be that the allegation is that someone did something shifty with the airplane maintenance, like using some substandard parts and pocketing the money not spent on the good stuff.
   399. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 20, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5853965)
Atletico have signed Marcos Llorente from Real Madrid. I find it interesting that clubs in Spaind and Italy and Germany have no problem dealing with hated rivals but they never do in England. Tottenham would never sell a player to Arsenal or Liverpool to Man U. They seem more pragmatic on the continent. Bayern just sold Hummels BACK to Borussia Dortmund as another example.

Also, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, TOTTENHAM NEED TO SIGN A PLAYER. ANYONE. SIGN THE CORPSE OF GEORGE BEST. I DON'T EVEN CARE ANYMORE!
   400. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 20, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5853969)
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