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Thursday, November 29, 2018

OT: Soccer Thread (The Berhalter Thread?)

This could also be called the Busy Christmas Period thread or the Club World Cup Thread (OK, probably not that one).  Anyway, Columbus Crew head man Gregg Berhalter looks to be the new USMNT coach (link is to a CBS Sports article).

???? - Copa Libertadores Final
December 8 - MLS Cup (almost certainly Atlanta hosting)
December 11/12 - Final Champions League Group Matchdays
December 12 - Club World Cup Begins
December 17 - Champions League and Europa League knockout stage draws
December 23 - Final Bundesliga matches until January 18
December 23 - Final La Liga matches until January 3
December 29 - Final Serie A matches until January 20
January 5 - FA Cup 3rd round proper begins (probably Friday the 4th too)
February 12 - First Champions League knockout games
February 14 - First Europa League knockout games

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 29, 2018 at 04:38 PM | 194 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 29, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5792290)
Berhalter rumored to be in at USMNT

Apparently FIFA want the Copa final played in Spain, River Plate want it in Doha and Boca think they should be just awarded the title.
   2. jmurph Posted: November 29, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5792294)
Thanks for posting the new thread, Jose, I was planning to just quietly sulk about the other one expiring.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 29, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5792298)
Yeah I've been thinking about posting one and when I saw that was down I jumped in.
   4. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 29, 2018 at 05:57 PM (#5792311)
Continuing the discussion from the previous thread...

I've never really been a fan of head-to-head as a tiebreaker because it feels like double counting - the head-to-head games already counted in the regular standings, now they count extra to break the tie? I know I'm in the minority on that view though.
   5. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:56 PM (#5792420)
Goal differential also counts in the standings. You can't win unless you score more goals than your opponent.

Anyway, I can definitely see the appeal of GD in a 38-game season, where head to head represents only a tiny faction of the games. Not sure which I prefer there actually. I feel much differently about 4-team (or even 3-, like the Nations League) team groups where head-to-head makes up a very significant fraction of the games, and the small sample size against a group's minnows also can make up a large fraction of the games.
   6. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:58 PM (#5792421)
Looks like the Copa final is at the Bernabeu, December 9th.
   7. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 30, 2018 at 12:11 AM (#5792422)
Terrific conference final between Portland and SKC. KC get a first half goal to go up 1-0 on aggregate. Portland strike twice in the second half for a 2-1 lead and with the away goal are looking good. Nitwit fan throws a can into the field leading the SKC coach to walk to the end line and tell the crowd to cut the #### out. SKC keep fighting and get one back to make it 2-2 but Portland still up on away goals. Nine minutes of stoppage time, KC get some chances including a great header in the six but can’t conver and Portland get the 99th minute breakaway to seal it.

MLS Cup December 8 in Atlanta which has great atmosphere. Should be worth the watch.
   8. Baldrick Posted: November 30, 2018 at 12:54 AM (#5792428)
December 8 is the draw for the Women's World Cup FYI.
   9. Sean Forman Posted: November 30, 2018 at 08:47 AM (#5792455)
I don't know much about Berhalter, but the process USSoccer used was preposterously bad. certainly seemed like he was their only interview. Reminds this sixer fan way too much of the Bryan Colangelo hire.

That said everyone seems to like Berhalter fine as a coach and I think there is a chance US could be on the cusp of a golden age. I just hope he's not Will Trapp's biggest fan because I don't get the love for that guy.

Also Rumors and facts:
Steffen to Man City to be Ederson's backup
Alex Mendez back to Freiburg after Concacaf u20 golden ball
Pulisic to everybody
Adams now to Leipzig?
Miazga out at Nantes
Horvath back at #1 for Bruges and pitching champions league clean sheets.
   10. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 30, 2018 at 08:49 AM (#5792456)
December 8 is the draw for the Women's World Cup FYI.


Thanks for that. I don't follow the women's game worth a damn (Olympics and World Cup) but from the little that has seeped in I get the impression next year's tournament is expected to be a bit more open than previous years. The US are favorites but there are several teams who could win it. Is that true?
   11. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 30, 2018 at 08:53 AM (#5792458)
I don't know much about Berhalter, but the process USSoccer used was preposterously bad.


God yes. It is insane to me that it took a year to get to hiring Berhalter.

Steffen to Man City to be Ederson's backup


I think the expectation is that Steffen, at least for the remainder of the current season, would be on loan to Nice due to English work permitting issues.
   12. Scott Lange Posted: November 30, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5792510)
I was awfully skeptical of an MLS team playing on turf as a kid brother to the Falcons, but Atlanta United has been an absolute joyride for the last two years. A very successful team, playing a thrilling style, in front of huge, raucous crowds... I never would've believed it.

I hope they can finish the deal next Saturday. Because MLS Cup is a "league event" and not technically a home game, I couldn't get my usual supporters' section tickets, but I did end up with two at the top of the 18 yard box for $130 each in the presale. Cheapest tix in the stadium are currently $185 on Stubhub, and the cheapest equivalent tix are $435. One way or the other, it will be a memorable outing, I'm sure.
   13. Baldrick Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5792791)
Thanks for that. I don't follow the women's game worth a damn (Olympics and World Cup) but from the little that has seeped in I get the impression next year's tournament is expected to be a bit more open than previous years. The US are favorites but there are several teams who could win it. Is that true?

At the moment, I'd make the US pretty heavy favorites. Every other major contender has had some serious struggles in the last 18 months while the US has run the table.

That said, your general sense is basically correct. There are probably 7 or 8 teams with a serious shot. There's probably over a 50% chance of a new first-time winner, with France, Australia, and England leading the charge. And if the US starts to slide back to where they were in 2017 at all (totally possible), the field will be crazy wide open.

Luckily for me, my wife has a fellowship in Geneva for the next eight months, and I'm heading out there as soon as my semester ends in May. So I will already be proximate to the event, and am planning to hit up a bunch of the games.
   14. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5792793)
The EPL games didn't teach us much today except that Burnley is very bad. Brighton is also pretty bad but it looks like we are stuck with them for at least one more year.

I still think if ManU drops out of 6th (doubtful), it will be to one of Leicester or Everton.

   15. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5792808)
Bwahahahahahahaha ... x2.
   16. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5792809)
God the first 22 minutes have been a delight. United have done this a few times this year and Southampton are bad enough that I won't be shocked if this gets turned around but oh is this delicious.
   17. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 01, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5792816)
[16] There's one back ... Grrrr.

[edit] And two. Shakes fist at Jose.

Not really, Southampton are dire.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 01, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5792818)
So....yeah.
   19. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 02, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5793123)
For 29 minutes it was all Arsenal. That Spurs are now up is amazing.

Also I don’t know what the Arsenal players were crying about in the goal celebration. That’s a pretty standard move.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 02, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5793129)
Where on earth is the BBTF Spurs Factory? This is an unbelieavable game.
   21. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 02, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5793130)
Arsenal have had most of their best games against the top 4 this year (Chelsea, Liverpool, and now Tottenham). That's different from recent years.

They didn't look great against ManCity on opening day, but they it was very early in the season. And it was ManCity. And Arsenal did have some good spells in that game as well.
   22. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 02, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5793132)
Not a fan of that yellow/red for Verthongen. I think it’s one that in slow motion looks bad but in reality it’s a guy following through a clean tackle.
   23. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 02, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5793133)
That's a yellow all day. Just unfortunate it's a second one (I forget if the first one was deserved). Still, better to get it late in a game that's most likely over than early in a game that's very much in doubt.

edit: following through on a clean tackle with studs on the ankle is a yellow every day, and twice on Sundays.
   24. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 02, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5793138)
The first Vertonghen yellow was for the hand ball in the box. What a nightmare game for him.
   25. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 02, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5793139)
Where on earth is the BBTF Spurs Factory?


Watching from bed (at the time) and seething (it's probably for the best that I won't be able to watch Spurs for another week and a half).

The CFC game wrap-up thread should be a happy place today ...
   26. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 02, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5793172)
You must see that last second Liverpool goal. Insane.
   27. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 02, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5793175)
I think Pickford has to be a bit more decisive there and either let it hit the bar or knock it over, he seemed to decide at the last minute that he didn’t want to touch it but couldn’t pull away in time.

Hard to be too critical though. That was a weird ####### goal.
   28. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 02, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5793176)
As bizarre as it was insane.

I've never seen that before ... and I'll never see it again.
   29. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 02, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5793178)
I think Pickford has to be a bit more decisive there and either let it hit the bar or knock it over
Probably should have knocked it over. Never sure what it will do if it hits the bar.

The way it happened though, on effectively the final attempt of the game on a miskick was really nuts. And the ball bounced off the crossbar twice!
   30. J. Sosa Posted: December 02, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5793179)
Craziest play I have ever seen.

Also Le Saux and Mustoe can kiss my ass. If your first reaction to a play like that is tut tutting a manager for leaving the touchline you need to find another line of work.
   31. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 02, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5793180)
Hard to tell exactly what Pickford was doing, or if he was trying to catch it. He doesn't clearly try to put it back over the bar though. Whatever he was trying to so, he effectively cushioned it a little bit so that when it bounced off the crossbar it had lost a lot of energy and didn't bounce up far, allowing the second bounce off the bar to result in the ball being set up on a platter for Origi.

You might never see a goal like that again, and if you do, it won't be in the 96th minute of a tie game.
   32. J. Sosa Posted: December 02, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5793181)
As for Pickford I think he just got caught in between. It was a crazy shanked kick with spin and I think it just caught him off balance and of two minds what to do. Also great awareness by Origi. Nobody else followed the play, Sturridge, defenders, nobody.

There is a reason the PL is the most popular league in the world. The camera angles and living room view on that play and the Gomez goalline clearance were gorgeous.
   33. J. Sosa Posted: December 02, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5793185)
Late to the party on Spurs/Arsenal. That was a crazy game too. Great pair of derbies. Regarding Vertonghen, my boy knew what he was doing. I’ve often said he is one of the leading low key dark arts practioners in the league. Foolish play, I don’t think he ever got right mentally after the handball he was really disgusted with himself.

I can’t stand him as an opponent but if I could pick one defender I would like to have had in the PL in recent years it is him.
   34. The_Ex Posted: December 02, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5793220)
Pickford is short for a keeper, that was one time it cost him.

Emery makes up his mind quickly and doesn't hesitate to make subs. Two subs at halftime changed the game. I would guess he makes the earliest subs in the league. On the other hand Poch waits.

Poch is obviously a good manager but I wonder if his freezing out of players when he has a small squad anyway is his weakness. Were Vertongen and Foyth the best CD combo for that game?
   35. spivey Posted: December 02, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5793225)
Foyth is garbage imo. He's good for about one penalty a game, which according to my calculations is not acceptable. I'm curious what the strategy is for how Toby is used, but man it's hard to see him benched for Foyth in a team you're battling for a CL spot. Sanchez isn't the greatest on the ball, but is light years more dependable than Foyth. It will be nice when he returns.

I didn't get to catch the game, but Arsenal is good now. It's kind of annoying. There will legitimately be a very good team in England that finishes 5th this year. It's impressive how quickly Emery changed the culture of that team. Having some defensive toughness in the middle of the park has been a game changer, too.
   36. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 02, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5793266)
I missed this when it came out:


The long saga to name the U.S. men’s national team coach is almost over. Columbus Crew manager and sporting director Gregg Berhalter is still the odds-on favorite to become the next USMNT coach, with an announcement potentially coming by the end of next week. Meanwhile, a source with firsthand knowledge says that Julen Lopetegui, who coached Real Madrid and Spain this year, recently approached U.S. Soccer through an intermediary to express interest in the U.S. job.

U.S. Soccer, the source said, replied that it was too far down the line in its process to entertain the interest of Lopetegui, who was undefeated in 20 matches (14-0-6) across two years as the Spain coach. U.S. Soccer offered no comment when asked for a response.


SI

Also, I didn't know that Berhalter is the brother of Jay Berhalter, who had a hand (or influence) in hiring Earnie Stewart.

USSF seems to be the gang that couldn't shoot straight.
   37. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 02, 2018 at 10:38 PM (#5793276)
Foyth over Alderweireld today made no sense before the game, and it continued to make no sense during the game. Unless there's a weird hidden injury to Toby or something.
   38. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 02, 2018 at 11:09 PM (#5793279)
A new "Europa League 2" supposedly approved for 2021. You know, because of the amount of excitement already generated by the current Europa League. Actually, I'm not opposed to this, since it might be nice for the smallest countries. What makes no sense to me is the following:

The seventh-placed teams in Europe's four top-ranked leagues will qualify directly for the final qualifying round of the new competition, while teams entering the early qualifying rounds of the new competition will be mainly those finishing second, third and fourth in Europe's smaller leagues.


We can't usually even get these teams properly motivated for the current Europa League. How are we going to get them motivated for this basement competition? They should have just made the top 4 leagues (and more, if you like) ineligible for this competition.
   39. Richard Posted: December 02, 2018 at 11:20 PM (#5793281)
We can't usually even get these teams properly motivated for the current Europa League. How are we going to get them motivated for this basement competition? They should have just made the top 4 leagues (and more, if you like) ineligible for this competition.


In the Asian confederation they split up the two tournaments: the teams from higher ranked countries play in the Asian Champions League, the teams from lower ones in the AFC Cup, and there are a handful of mid ranked countries whose teams get the chance to go into the ACL via playoffs but that drop into the AFC Cup if they fail. That should have been the way to go here. It is silly to include teams from the larger nations in this new competition.

Having said all that, if it were up to me we'd abandon the whole system and play straight knockout with 2 leg ties, like when the competitions were actually interesting to anyone bar fans of Big Evil Clubs (many of whom don't really care until the group stages are over anyway).
   40. The_Ex Posted: December 03, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5793318)
Saw Virgil Van Dyke interviewed after the game yesterday and noted how skinny he looked compared to his Southampton days. In general, most high level players seem to have very little body fat. Like cycling, it seems to be the new normal. I am not sure if this is from a chicken, fish and salad diet, or some medicinal products.
   41. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5793325)
re: Hiring Berhalter, I'm not sure the process really did take a year. My hunch is that this has been a done deal for quite a while, but Berhalter didn't want to bail on Columbus mid-season in the middle of the relocation clusterf***, so they waited until the Crew season was over.

I'm agnostic about the quality of the hire. His system worked pretty well against MLS clubs, he's familiar with the talent pool, he's a bright guy, and he knows how things work in American soccer. So that's good. But he's never won anything, he's never coached at a higher level than MLS/Allsvenskan, and it remains to be seen how flexible he can be if the talent available doesn't fit his system.

Not a terrible hire. Also not a great one.
   42. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 03, 2018 at 07:05 PM (#5793606)
Seriously? WTF?


Luka Modric ended a decade of dominance by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or but the Croatian’s win was overshadowed when the inaugural winner of the women’s award Ada Hegerberg was asked to perform a twerk live on stage by the host DJ Martin Solveig.

Hegerberg, who scored in this year’s Champions League final and also helped Lyon win the French title, pipped Denmark’s striker Pernille Harder into second place but appeared embarrassed when asked by the main host David Ginola and French house DJ Solveig if she wanted to perform the sexually provocative dance in celebration. The 23-year-old said “no” and seemed to attempt to leave the stage before reluctantly agreeing to dance to another song with Ginola.


Link

She should have kneed him in the balls ...
   43. KronicFatigue Posted: December 04, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5793637)
I wouldn't be against a Europa 2.0 tournament if it consisted of teams from everyone's 2nd tier league. Maybe even give the winner an automatic promotion into their country's top league. And a slot in Europa 1.0 the next year.
   44. jmurph Posted: December 04, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5793901)
Brighton score a goal, have a guy sent off, then score two more, all before the half. Only playing 10 guys is the new market inefficiency, I guess.
   45. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 04, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5793933)
The losing team in all 3 of the games that have finished today had a higher xG (538) than the winning team. West Ham did dominate in non-shot xG, but the other two winners were even worse by that measure.

Maybe not a huge surprise for BHA, but the other two winners (West Ham and Bournemouth) were playing at home against two of the weakest teams in the league.
   46. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 04, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5793957)
According to 538's xG, Watford played Man City much closer than the announcers or post-game articles would have you believe. In fact, there was under a goal difference in both shot xG and non-shot xG between the two sides, which makes it one of the closest EPL games Man City has played all year (the draw at Liverpool was very even, and Arsenal did very well in non-shot xG in the first game of the year). This is also a testament to how good Man City has been in the league of course.

I don't really have any point here (and wasn't able to watch most of the game closely), except that it's surprising how different the narrative of a game can be from its stats.

edit: 538 dropped Man City's overall rating after that game, and boosted Watford's significantly.
   47. The Marksist Posted: December 04, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5794029)
Watched the first half of Man City/Watford and it did not look close. Watford had exactly one good chance and Man City looked like they were about to score pretty much constantly. I'm not a sophisticated observer, but Man City looked fully in control.
   48. Mefisto Posted: December 04, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5794032)
That's what I thought about the first half, and the announcers clearly saw it the same way.
   49. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 04, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5794038)
Just saw the extended highlights. First half was very much 1-way traffic, but Watford had a huge missed chance in the 32nd minute. I'm guessing most of Man City's xG lead was achieved in the first half anyway. Watford probably had the better of it in the last 25 minutes of the game (including their goal). City had a lot of chances, but only a few really big ones. I think 3 goals (2.9 was predicted by 538 xG) is what they could have hoped for most days with that performance. The more surprising xG number was Watford's 2.1 xG.

edit: Anytime a team can beat a decent midtable EPL team on the road, by any score, with a fair xG margin, it's very likely a good performance. Statistically (by xG) it just didn't live up to Man City's excellence this year, and for Watford, statistically it was a positive result, better than they'd established for this year considering their opponent.

Could be one of those games where xG doesn't really tell the story well though.
   50. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 04, 2018 at 11:26 PM (#5794046)
Is there a reliably good place online to watch extended highlights of games?
   51. OPS+ Posted: December 04, 2018 at 11:35 PM (#5794048)
Is there a reliably good place online to watch extended highlights of games?


This is the one I go to. Usually has every game.
   52. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 04, 2018 at 11:41 PM (#5794049)
Ooooooh ... that site looks perfect!

Thanks!
   53. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5794286)
Burnley with a shock lead against Liverpool. Alisson just had his hands on the ball when it was kicked away from him (borderline a foul, depending on how you view rules about golakeeper possession). The real problem was that Liverpool defended the corner very poorly. Three guys separately had a pretty clean shot at the ball.
   54. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:10 PM (#5794287)
Mickey Kittens on for Ramsay, Arsenal down 2 subs due to injury at the start of the 2nd.
   55. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5794292)
14 seconds from kickoff to equalizing goal for Man United. Just as I was about to say Rojo was being fitted for goat horns on one end.
   56. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5794296)
Sleepy game at Old Trafford has come alive. Defensive mistakes each way made it 2-2 in a minute, and then Arsenal missed two huge chances.

edit: maybe "sleepy" was the wrong word. Lot of hard fouls at the end of the first half, but not a lot of action.
   57. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5794308)
Fellaini pulled Guendouzzi down by the hair. No card.
   58. The Marksist Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5794310)
This Arsenal/United game is weeeeeeird. No one appears to be running? For some reason?
   59. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5794313)
Fortunate day for Spurs. Both Chelsea and Arsenal were probably the better teams on the day, but both dropped points.
   60. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:30 PM (#5794329)
Somehow Kane played the whole game against one of the worst teams in the league when Spurs were up 3-0 at 60 minutes. Seems like that's a decent spot to sub him off since he basically never gets a rest.
   61. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5794335)
Man City just hit 2000 at clubelo.com. It's rarified air for the EPL. Only two EPL teams have ever been higher, Chelsea and Manchester United, both briefly at different times in 2008. A very few teams in any league have hit 2100.

In recent years, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern have spent a lot of time above 2000. Currently only Barca is above Man City, at 2015.
   62. J. Sosa Posted: December 05, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5794357)
Alisson is incredible. Tipped a shot on the post, high pointed a ball over a Burnley player to keep it in, and then hit the outlet to facilitate the third goal. Joy to watch, top two sweeper keeper in the world for me.

As for City, on another planet. Liverpool off to best start club history and still trail.
   63. Mefisto Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5794375)
That United/Arsenal game was exciting but not good, if you see what I mean. I think several players were lucky to be on the pitch the whole game.
   64. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 05, 2018 at 07:36 PM (#5794381)
538's biggest EPL rating differentials. You can look at this as teams that have improved or gotten worse, or which have been performing most differently than expectations (or perhaps which 538 cannot rate consistently for some other reason).

Highest positive differential (appear better to 538 than expected in August):

Wolves (+5.3)
Watford (+4.4)
West Ham (+4.0)
Everton (+3.7)
Bournemouth (+3.1)


Highest negative differential (appear worse to 538 than expected in August):

Burnley (-9.4) (this is off the charts bad)
Fulham (-5.6)
Man United (-3.9)
Newcastle (-3.2)


Other top-6 teams:

Man City (+2.0)
Chelsea (+1.8)
Liverpool (+1.4)
Arsenal (+1.0)
Tottenhan (-1.8)

The rest are all between -1.5 and +1.5 or so.


   65. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5794397)
I think I figured out how to fake knowing anything about soccer: anytime anyone starts discussing any team, I'll just say "Yeah, they really need a better centre back. Preferably two."

Near as I can tell, fans of basically every big team in the world except maybe Man City believe this is the case.
   66. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 05, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5794411)
Near as I can tell, fans of basically every big team in the world except maybe Man City believe this is the case.


Spurs.
   67. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 05, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5794421)
Biggest increases and decreases by ELO:

Increases:

Arsenal (+36)
Man City (+29)
Chelsea (+19)


Decreases:

Burnley (-78)
Fulham (-53)
Palace (-44)
Man United (-35)
Southampton (-34)
Newcastle (-30)

Other top-6:

Liverpool (+5)
Tottenham (-16)

Everyone else is between -16 and +16.

Interesting that ELO is not nearly as impressed with the midtable teams (Wolves, Watford, West Ham, Everton, Bournemouth) as 538 is.

The other notable points are that Palace and Southampton may be a little better than their table position has indicated so far, and that Arsenal has probably been getting a little lucky. I've seen a lot of Arsenal games this year, and until recently this was absolutely the case.
   68. jmurph Posted: December 06, 2018 at 09:11 AM (#5794494)
Near as I can tell, fans of basically every big team in the world except maybe Man City believe this is the case.

Ha, the latter part is actually only true since the start of this year, basically.
   69. Sean Forman Posted: December 07, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5795155)
Ha, the latter part is actually only true since the start of this year, basically.


jmurph, I'm watching All or Nothing Man City on Amazon Prime. It's very good. I just got to the horror week where they lost to Liverpool, then Utd, then Liverpool again. They have some great footage of the bus ride up to Anfield. It's hard to feel like a team that reached 100 points failed, but it definitely feels like they choked in that moment.

To bring it back to Centerbacks. I'm fine playing Kompany in the cups or vs Crystal Palace, but he can't be on the field in the UCL knockouts or big league matches.
   70. Sean Forman Posted: December 07, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5795157)
BTW I can believe this hasn't gotten much of any mention anywhere, but CHRISTIAN PULISIC FINISHED 2ND IN VOTING FOR THE BEST U-21 PLAYER IN THE WORLD

I know he probably isn't the second best u-21 player in the world or even on his team, and the voters are past Ballon D'or winners (so they probably can't name 10 u-21 players) but still even without a standout WC performance, he was voted teh second best u-21 player by Lionel Messi and his friends. I think the USA hype train has swung way too far the other way on him.

Feels to me that a much bigger deal should be made about it.
   71. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 07, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5795186)
For the reasons you say that's probably more about name recognition and what Dortmund are doing but you're right, it feels meaningful. If nothing else the fact that an American player has earned that kind of name recognition is pretty amazing and exciting.
   72. Sean Forman Posted: December 07, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5795191)
We’re winning the 2026 WC!!!!!

https://twitter.com/FOXSoccer/status/1071151186823340033

Come January, we’ll have an 18yo, 2 19yo and a 20yo playing (maybe starting) in the bundesliga. Bayern also likely to buy CB Chris Richards as a well.
   73. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 08, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5795375)
Interesting team selection for Spurs.

Kane and Eriksen
on the bench to start
   74. Baldrick Posted: December 08, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5795389)
Draw for the Women's World Cup is complete. The US got a preposterously easy group. Not that it would have mattered either way, but it's pretty striking.

Here's my thoughts on how the groups shake out, for anyone that's interested.
   75. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 08, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5795414)
Of course Kane will want to go in, but why put him in now anyway? Does Poch really think he needs 20 minutes to stay sharp?
   76. spivey Posted: December 08, 2018 at 06:14 PM (#5795429)
The second half of the season should be really exciting in the EPL. I still think City when they have their full squad are clearly best, but the challengers are pretty strong this year. Tottenham is probably worse then the last couple of years, but they are starting to round into form. If they can get the center back and central mid situation in order, and ideally bring in someone like Rabiot, they could be really tough. Son and Alli being back and getting into form is great.

Son in particular is amazing. I feel like the recent international break has rejuvenated him.
   77. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 08, 2018 at 06:42 PM (#5795431)
I wonder if Son is benefitting from just being more relaxed? The knowledge that he doesn’t have to serve is probably refreshing for him. He’s been something else the last few games though.

City are still clear favorites but today kind of had to go the way it did to believe we might have something. I felt like that was the first time we’ve really seen Liverpool be the Liverpool we saw for so much of last year.

MLS Cup tonight. The crowd in Atlanta consistently puts on a good show so the atmosphere should be outstanding.
   78. Howie Menckel Posted: December 08, 2018 at 08:21 PM (#5795433)
if anyone wonders who the heck that 7-year-old girl was who just sang the National Anthem at MLS Cup, it's Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, from the Los Angeles area

sing it, girl!
   79. J. Sosa Posted: December 08, 2018 at 08:25 PM (#5795434)
Spurs and Liverpool both rotated the squad, impressive win for both. Milner is a marvel. Probably should sit against Napoli though. I can’t wait to watch that match.

Oh, wait, you mean Turner sports isn’t going to air it? Sounds legit. Fox wasn’t just much better, BeIn would have been better. Have some damn pride man, if I worked for that shitshow I would be embarrassed.
   80. spivey Posted: December 08, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5795439)
The MLS allows WAY too much reckless tackling. Not just not calling yellows, but not calling any foul at all.
   81. Howie Menckel Posted: December 08, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5795442)
this tweet made me realize I have absolutely no idea how large soccer/futbol stadiums around the world are. what's the biggest one?


Dan Wolken
‏Verified account @DanWolken
53s54 seconds ago

Attendance at the #MLScup: 73,019. They packed this place.
   82. Mefisto Posted: December 09, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5795488)
I have a question about card review in the EPL. Yesterday Anguissa got a second yellow on a poor call by Lee Probert. Can Anguissa seek review of his 1 game ban, or does review only apply to a straight red?
   83. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 09, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5795510)
Yedlin compounded a giveaway in the back with a DOGSO shirt pull, so Newcastle has to play the last 35 minutes with 10 men. Shame, because it was a fairly even and active game.
   84. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 09, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5795518)
Poor Rafa ... He deserves better
   85. The Marksist Posted: December 09, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5795534)
Oh, wait, you mean Turner sports isn’t going to air it?


Univision streams many UCL matches if you have a provider log-in.
   86. J. Sosa Posted: December 09, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5795555)
Yep. Watched most matches that way on DVR. For those so inclined and want an english broadcast I hear there are some lovely *cough* streams available.

NBC is running a Christmas Story parody regarding the gozillion games they will be airing over the holidays. TNT will be airing a reddit stream of the critical and riveting Galatasaray v Porto match from Steve Nash’s basement while simulcasting Friends reruns from last millinium.
   87. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 09, 2018 at 05:50 PM (#5795582)
Mefisto - they can only review a straight red.
   88. Mefisto Posted: December 09, 2018 at 06:22 PM (#5795586)
Thanks. I thought that was the case, but wasn't sure.
   89. Sean Forman Posted: December 09, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5795597)
TNT will be airing a reddit stream of the critical and riveting Galatasaray v Porto match from Steve Nash’s basement while simulcasting Friends reruns from last millinium.


I laughed. Stu Holden interviewing Steve Nash about what is happening on the soccer field is one of the most bizarre things I've seen.
   90. spivey Posted: December 09, 2018 at 10:14 PM (#5795703)
I get all the shutting on Steve Nash, he’s in no way qualified. But I swear to god he says more reasonable #### than Warren Barton and Wynalda.
   91. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 09, 2018 at 10:36 PM (#5795719)
Nash is harmless enough. I’d take him every day and twice on Sundays over Alexi Lalas.

Former NBA player Brad Daugherty held a role similar to Nash on NASCAR broadcasts. It seemed odd but my NASCAR viewing friends say he was pretty good.
   92. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 10, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5796302)
Well it took 16 weeks, but Manchester United is finally in the top 6. There are a lot of decent mid-table teams in the EPL, but none has really distinguished themselves to this point. That continued today with Everton looking no better than even with Watford despite playing at home.
   93. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 10, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5796306)
Former NBA player Brad Daugherty held a role similar to Nash on NASCAR broadcasts. It seemed odd but my NASCAR viewing friends say he was pretty good.


Yes, he is. He knows what he's talking about. He's a co-owner of a NASCAR team, and is a long time fan of the sport. When he was a basketball player, he wore #43, because Richard Petty was his favorite sports figure, and Petty drove the #43 car.
   94. spivey Posted: December 10, 2018 at 05:14 PM (#5796309)
The EPL table looks way more settled and "fair" than where it normally is this time of year, I think. All of the midtable teams (Man U to Brighton) are right about break-even in GD. Usually there's a team or two with a garbage goal differential that has binked a couple of undeserved wins. Similarly, everyone 14th and down have been pretty awful.

Huge point gaps between 5-6 and 13-14, which is right where the big GD chasms are.
   95. jmurph Posted: December 11, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5796536)
All of the midtable teams (Man U to Brighton) are right about break-even in GD.

My Arsenal fan friend and I refer to Man U these days exclusively in ways like "mid table clubs such as Manchester United." It won't last forever, so we have to enjoy it while we can!
   96. J. Sosa Posted: December 11, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5796581)
TNT struck gold with Kenny and Charles years ago and seemed to think that would work for all sports. I don’t mean finding the Kenny and Charles of college basketball or the Kenny and Charles of soccer. They took the literal actual Kenny and Charles and put them on college basketball. Charles’ schedule must have been full so they put a different NBA guy on soccer.

That’s the part that is ridiculous. And it is only like reason 1,000 to criticise the CL coverage. Give me Wynalda, Barton, and Lalas all day long, I don’t have to listen to them and it was a rare match I couldn’t at least watch on tape delay. Usually simulcast two games at once too. Inexcusable execution and inexcusable production values.
   97. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 11, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5796595)
I'm beginning to loathe the TNT coverage so much, I think I'd rather beIN had the contract and some how Ray Hudson did coverage for every single match. I'd rather listen to him bleat "magesterial!!!" over and over than suffer through the TNT #### show.

When does their CL contract expires again?
   98. spivey Posted: December 11, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5796606)
My annoyance is more that you have to watch one of the games in Spanish. How do you not have Liverpool/Napoli on one of your English channels? So you can syndicate Charmed?

Some really exciting games today. Even the PSV/Inter and Red Star/PSG games hold some potential excitement.
   99. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 11, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5796609)
Man, I would kill to see Charles Barkley broadcast a soccer match.
   100. J. Sosa Posted: December 11, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5796711)
Turrible *flip*
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