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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

OT Soccer Thread, v.2019

Looks like the last thread is closed, so onto the new!

Upcoming Matches of Interest
2/3 Madrid Derby
2/4 Manchester City v. Arsenal
2/10 Manchester City v. Chelsea
2/12 Manchester United v. PSG
2/13 Tottenham v. Dortmund
2/19 Liverpool v. Bayern Munich
2/24 Manchester United v. Liverpool
2/28 Chelsea v. Tottenham
3/2 North London Derby, Merseyside Derby, & El Classico
3/5 Dortmund v. Tottenham
3/9 Arsenal v. Manchester United
3/13 Bayern Munich v. Liverpool
3/16 Manchester Derby
3/30 Liverpool v. Tottenham

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 30, 2019 at 07:08 PM | 765 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   201. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5816231)
flop
   202. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 18, 2019 at 05:58 PM (#5816241)
So, what's "The Tie" of the quarters?

I think I'm leaning Wolves vs United ...


I think the two “unsexy” ties are actually more interesting. Millwall-Brighton and Palace-Watford should both be competitive and exciting.
   203. Mefisto Posted: February 18, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5816244)
I don't think Sarri could fix the problem of goal-scoring, but I'm not at all convinced that Jorginho is a good idea for Chelsea. He's a good player, but IMO Chelsea have a better option there (Kante). Moving Kante back would, in turn, open up space for, say, Kovacic (who might create some goals), and would help protect the back line.
   204. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:41 PM (#5816258)
should both be competitive and exciting.


Likely, but I think Wolves will give United everything they can handle; they might not get on the front foot, but they can counter as well ...
   205. Richard Posted: February 18, 2019 at 08:54 PM (#5816274)
I don't think Sarri could fix the problem of goal-scoring


Recalling Tammy Abraham from Villa would have been a start. He's got 48 league goals in his last 100 appearances, including a few at Swansea when they were in the PL. A nice player to have off the bench at least. But that's too obvious I suppose. Then again Chelsea have been down this road before, with Mourinho whinging every week that they had no forwards whilst Lukaku was scoring for whatever club he was on loan to at the time.
   206. spivey Posted: February 18, 2019 at 09:56 PM (#5816280)
Lukaku seems like a guy that could be had pretty darn cheaply this offseason. I mean, not that cheap, but probably for about half of what Man U paid for him. I still believe in him.
   207. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:03 PM (#5816281)
Hrm ... have to say this does not sound for the future of Sarri-ball in Blue:

Maurizio Sarri is clinging to his job after Chelsea’s defence of the FA Cup was wrecked by Manchester United and the home supporters took out their frustrations on the manager.

Boos greeted the whistle at half-time and full-time, with discontent at Sarri’s substitutions spilling over in the second half of the 2-0 fifth-round defeat.

A chant of “fuck Sarri-ball” went up from large numbers of supporters in the Matthew Harding end and there were calls for Frank Lampard’s appointment. Chelsea fans eventually joined in with the United contingent’s provocative refrain of “You’re getting sacked in the morning”.


Graun
   208. Mefisto Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5816283)
Abraham's an interesting suggestion. I haven't been impressed with what I saw in his appearances at Chelsea, but his numbers elsewhere justify giving him a chance.
   209. spivey Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:14 PM (#5816284)
I have no idea what to expect from Liverpool/Bayern other than it should be highly entertaining. I'm feeling like as the first leg and with many injuries on each side, the teams are both fairly cagey and we have a tense 1-1 game. That's my amateur prediction. This prediction assumes a missing Firmino.
   210. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 19, 2019 at 09:21 AM (#5816318)
Chelsea better not fire Sarri until after the Tottenham game. We already got screwed with Mourinho getting fired a couple of weeks too early.
   211. spivey Posted: February 19, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5816323)
Worth noting that Tottenham outplayed Man U more in the OGS game than the Mourinho game.

Excited for the games today and tomorrow. Curious how Lyon/Barca goes too.

Really excited that one of Atletico/Juve won't advance.
   212. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5816335)
Tottenham outplayed Man U more in the OGS game than the Mourinho game.
Depends on how you look at it--definitely not every system agrees with this. Scoreline does probably give some indication beyond xG as to how well a team played (how much is an open question of course). More importantly, Man U was on the road for the OGS game.

538 had Man U effectively not dropping at all in its overall rankings after the win at Tottenham, but dropping significantly after the loss at home. The change in Tottenham's rankings was not as stark, but they did rise more after the game against Mourinho than the game against OGS.
   213. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5816358)
I think the two “unsexy” ties are actually more interesting. Millwall-Brighton and Palace-Watford should both be competitive and exciting.
I was wondering about this, at least for Millwall.

Most competitive game (by betting odds) is Watford/Palace (Watford 44% to win outright in 90 minutes), but it's only projected to be slightly more competitive than Wolves/ManU (ManU 47% in 90). Brighton is a little further back in competitiveness (49% in 90). (I would have listed odds to qualify, which takes into account extra time and penalties so there are no draws, but there are not a lot of lines available).

Considering quality of competition, I'm definitely most interested in the Wolves/ManU match.
   214. spivey Posted: February 19, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5816360)
Wolves has really played up to their toughest competition this year as well, AFAICT. It'll be a real test for Man U, especially in the middle of the pitch.
   215. aberg Posted: February 19, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5816483)
A few pages ago, we discussed whether Cardiff would be on the hook for the Sala transfer fee to Nantes and seemed to agree that it was probably covered by insurance. It now seems that it probably is not covered because Cardiff are fighting making payments to Nantes. Bizarrely, they are using an email from Sala's agent that implied he artificially inflated the transfer fee by claiming there were other PL offers for the player as a reason to not pay the agreed fee. Even if the agent did that, it just makes Cardiff look gullible for getting the bad end of the negotiation. Whether there were other offers on the table or not, they agreed on a fee before Sala died. Hard to see how they get out of this one. More details.
   216. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5816530)
The daily mail said the following a couple weeks back. Other articles had similar figures:

Cardiff are understood to be insured up to £16m but the club may still incur excess when it comes to covering the salary for the duration of Sala's three-and-a-half-year contract and the lost revenue that was anticipated for their club-record signing. This would take the overall value of the transfer to around £25m.
   217. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 19, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5816543)
Firmino is starting.
   218. aberg Posted: February 19, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5816545)
I predict that Liverpool will not keep a clean sheet with Fabinho and Matip as their center backs.
   219. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 19, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5816557)
Fun, open match so far ...
   220. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 19, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5816560)
Bayern are statuesque at the back.
   221. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 19, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5816563)
Bayern can't handle Liverpool's pace and Liverpool keep giving the ball away in dangerous areas. Surprised there are no goals yet.
   222. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 19, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5816566)
Neither team's defense is looking good and they seem to be both playing their fullbacks pretty conservatively. Bayern's central defense and midfield seem to be slow and unathletic.

Liverpool should have scored a couple by now.
   223. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5816586)
Only one shot on target for each team. I haven't been able to watch much... no shooting boots today?
   224. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5816593)
I feel like Bayern have been the better team but Liverpool have had the better chances.
   225. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5816596)
Leaving aside the quality of performance, a 0-0 draw at home isn't great for Liverpool, but it's also not bad. Just need a road draw and you go through. For Lyon it's actually a very good result considering the quality of their opposition.
   226. spivey Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5816598)
Just been following on theguardian but 0-0 home draws are pretty interesting. Liverpool gets away goals and VVD back (probably). Bayern gets home field and Kimmich is out. I think it's probably still 50/50.

Sounds like Salah, Mane, and Robertson have been pretty wasteful.

Looks like Lyon/Barca are likely to wrap up at 0-0 as well.
   227. jmurph Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5816606)
I always think I'd rather be in Liverpool's situation in these cases, but I have no idea if the numbers/history supports that.
   228. aberg Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5816607)
I was dead wrong about the clean sheet, but Liverpool played much more conservatively across the back than usual. Robertson hardly pushed forward before Milner came on and functioned as an additional defender. Liverpool definitely squandered some chances. Mane did a great job to get himself in good positions, but just seemed slightly too slow at getting the shots away.
   229. J. Sosa Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5816608)
VVD, Gomez, Lovren out. So far as I am aware that was Fabinho’s second (?) game as a professional at center back. In a CL match against Bayern and Lewandowski with Matip as a partner. TAA just got back from injury and isn’t fully fit. Gini and Firmino have been really ill. Wij lost a lot weight.

All of which to say, I would have taken a nil nil before the match and given the circumstances, is a pretty good result. I thought Kovac played it wrong. That was as good a chance as a team is going to have to steal one at Anfield and he was backpassing off a freekick in extra time.

He was really worried about Robertson and Mane. Kimmich being out is a big deal for the second leg. With VVD back, fully healthy front three, and Kimmich out I feel pretty good. Road form has been bad in CL, but as I have mentioned before I think that is largely a product of circumstance this season rather than something that will continue.
   230. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5816610)
Sounds like Salah, Mane, and Robertson have been pretty wasteful.


Mane's finishing touch was woeful, on multiple chances.
   231. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5816611)
538 has xG as 2.6 to 0.4 for Liverpool. McoA about the same. 538 non-shot xG about the same. That's... a missed opportunity.

Lyon did even worse against Barca, so that's nice.
   232. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5816616)
538's odds on Liverpool/Bayern are essentially unchanged after today (Bayern up 2%). Part of that is that after the game today, 538 now thinks Liverpool is slightly better than Bayern, whereas before the game they were basically even. So for these two evenly matched teams at least, drawing at home was a small negative in 538's model. Barca's odds dropped 5% under 538 (82% to 77%). Betting odds aren't out yet.
   233. aberg Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5816632)
Barca's odds dropped 5% under 538 (82% to 77%). Betting odds aren't out yet.


I would guess there is money to be made if you truly believe that Lyon has a better than 1/4 chance to win outright at Camp Nou.
   234. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:16 PM (#5816637)

I would guess there is money to be made if you truly believe that Lyon has a better than 1/4 chance to win outright at Camp Nou.
Lyon only needs a scoring draw to advance, and advances at 0-0 by kicking more penalties. I'm guessing betting odds will be in the low 80s for Barca. Can't get much higher than that when you need a win unless you are facing Dudelange.
   235. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 19, 2019 at 09:35 PM (#5816682)
I didn't see the game but people seem to be saying that Suarez had a disaster.
   236. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 19, 2019 at 11:16 PM (#5816702)
I didn't see the game


Well, since TNT or TBS or Turner or whatever the hell they call themselves has decided to only show one CL match at any given time, you weren't alone ...

How in the #### is it possible to screw up CL coverage more than FOX?!?!?!? At least FOX managed to show more than 1 game at a damn time ... guess the 4,362nd repeats of a couple of Charmed episodes were more important ...

I ask again for the millionth time, like a broken record ... but it's like they've managed to draw all the *wrong* conclusions from the last decade or so of broadcasting football. Impressive in a way, really ...
   237. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2019 at 01:06 AM (#5816713)
Betting odds have Bayern now at 51%, so almost no change from before yesterday's game. Barcelona at 82%.
   238. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5816829)
Pretty soft second yellow on a Sevilla player, brought some life back to the game since they are 2 goals up. Never fear though, an even softer straight red against Lazio and now both teams at 10 men. Game over (again).
   239. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 20, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5816835)
It looks like Spurs' wandering may be over. The test events are scheduled for March and, if all goes as expected there, they will open the stadium April 6th against Brighton unless Brighton advance in the FA Cup and that game is rescheduled. If that happens, they will open the following week against Huddersfield. If they advance to the quarters of the CL, they could play their home tie at the new stadium if the second game of the tie is the home date. Tottenham is coming home!
   240. Mefisto Posted: February 20, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5816837)
Too bad. I was just getting used to "Tottenham Wanderers".
   241. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 20, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5816856)
I wonder what effect the increased capacity will have on the pubs. They were already overflowing at the old stadium and now crowds will be near doubled. Gotta figure out where to get a pint after the game if I go in the fall...
   242. aberg Posted: February 20, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5816870)
I have a perverse desire to see a team make the CL via the EL the same year they get relegated from their league. Leicester had a nice CL run the year after they won the PL and floundered for a while, but never got that close to relegation. Villareal might have a shot at it this year. They're still alive and in good shape to advance in the EL and in 18th in La Liga.
   243. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 20, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5816871)
Shooty, who knows - they may not even be able to get beer with Brexit looming. All they'll have available to them is Newcastle and Boddington's. Hell at that point you might not even get to drink Scotch as Scotland will have declared their independence.
   244. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 20, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5816876)
From what I've read, Tottenham will have some kind of craft brew thing on site but I'm not sure how long before and after the game that will be available. Since there are no breaks in soccer, I find I don't eat or drink anything during the game. I can manage 105 minutes without stuffing my gob. Of course, with Brexit, maybe they won't even let me in the country!
   245. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 20, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5816877)
I have a perverse desire to see a team make the CL via the EL the same year they get relegated from their league.

There's not a person in the world who wouldn't want to see this. We're all Spartacus.
   246. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2019 at 03:48 PM (#5816903)
Two penalties called against City in the first half? I guess that could make things interesting...
   247. spivey Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5816911)
City has had real struggles with a pretty easy CL path so far.
   248. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5816918)
VAR takes away Morata's goal. The shove looked pretty minor. Chiellini strikes again with wild embellishment.
   249. Sean Forman Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:41 PM (#5816919)
Oh Citeh.
   250. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5816921)
There is cosmic justice, because Bonnucci threw himself to the ground on contact, laid there in a heap clutching his face, and after pinballing around a bit the ball bumped against him while he was on the ground facing the other way, which teed it up perfectly for an Atletico shot.

It's rare that embellishment comes back to bite you so immediately, but when it does it's satisfying.
   251. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5816924)
Good luck to Juve trying to get 2 goals against an Atleti team that can afford to park the bus. No Cup for the cheatin bastards again this year!
   252. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5816925)
It would seem Schalke are who we thought they were. Nice to see Nabil Bentaleb scoring a couple of goals, though. He gave a long interview yesterday about how he regrets his behavior that led to Pochettino freezing him out of the squad.
   253. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5816927)
Yeah a 2-0 deficit going back to Turin is really difficult for Juve, especially considering their opposition. Atletico can sit back all day and wait for the dangerous breaks. Juve would need 2 goals, and if they screw up even once with the ball going back the other way, an additional 2 goals.
   254. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5816928)
A round of 16 exit isn't going to pay for Ronaldo!
   255. spivey Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5816931)
City managing to pull back 2 goals while down a man and on the road is really a testament to just how ####### good they are.
   256. spivey Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:58 PM (#5816932)
I've kind of thought Juve was maybe a bit overrated this year, but I'm not ready to write them off yet. Atletico hasn't been at their best this year either.
   257. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5816933)
This week's games are of the group that the second leg is during my spring training trip. It is more than a bit disappointing that the second leg on both of these is going to be pretty blah. I always enjoy going to my local cigar bar and having a stogie, some rum and watching a good game. Bayern/Liverpool on Wednesday that week should be good.
   258. spivey Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5816935)
There were some huge comebacks and almost comebacks in the second leg last year - Roma/Barca, Roma/Liverpool, Juve/Madrid.
   259. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5816937)
A baseball box score can tell a story all its own, it's really wonderful. Soccer isn't usually quite as illustrative but I have to say;

90' STERLING (assist: Ederson)

in a 3-2 game tells a hell of a story.
   260. spivey Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:15 PM (#5816938)
The goal keeper's angle on that goal close down is #### I see in my weeknight league.
   261. KronicFatigue Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:36 PM (#5816944)
Well, since TNT or TBS or Turner or whatever the hell they call themselves has decided to only show one CL match at any given time, you weren't alone ...

How in the #### is it possible to screw up CL coverage more than FOX?!?!?!? At least FOX managed to show more than 1 game at a damn time ... guess the 4,362nd repeats of a couple of Charmed episodes were more important ...

I ask again for the millionth time, like a broken record ... but it's like they've managed to draw all the *wrong* conclusions from the last decade or so of broadcasting football. Impressive in a way, really ...


This is unfucking believable. I missed the games yesterday, and was shocked I didn't have a choice today. They are sister stations who have done this #### before (NCAA). They have streaming apps. I mean, if my understanding of the internet is correct, it's a tube big enough to handle broadcasting both games at the same time.

You can't watch a CL match w/o seeing the results of another. Sometimes I give huge corporations the benefit of the doubt in terms of their decision making. They must know something I don't. No way this decision was made w/o a bunch of spreadsheets and focus groups and every angle analyzed. But holy ####, there's no way this makes any sense.
   262. spivey Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5816945)
It seems ridiculous to do this if you already have the rights, but if there's a game you really want to see, Bleacher Report Live lets you stream an individual game for $2.99 or stream for a month for $9.99. I doubt that's the motivation here though, that's got to be peanuts of money for what the contract costs.
   263. Sean Forman Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5816947)
I watched City on br/live

All of you cord cutters are to blame. The future is undoubtedly going to be WAY more expensive for sports fans given we are no longer free riding on the cable bill of your neighbor down the street who never watches sports.
   264. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 20, 2019 at 05:45 PM (#5816949)
NBC is better than Fox in almost every way, but I miss when Fox had the EPL, Champions League, FA Cup AND Serie A and La Liga. It was nice having that all in one place.
   265. KronicFatigue Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:28 PM (#5816955)
Oh, don't get me started on the inability to watch non EPL Chelsea matches. FA Cup, Europa etc might not even exist...it's just a score update on my phone at this point.

I wonder if the future will bring team-specific subscriptions.
   266. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 20, 2019 at 07:09 PM (#5816958)
I have been doing the $2.99 thing with B/R Live. They also provide a handy/obvious setting where it doesn't tell you the outcome of anything before you watch it. You don't find out the results in other games either, unless the commentator says it of course.
   267. Sean Forman Posted: February 20, 2019 at 09:45 PM (#5816974)
I have been doing the $2.99 thing with B/R Live. They also provide a handy/obvious setting where it doesn't tell you the outcome of anything before you watch it. You don't find out the results in other games either, unless the commentator says it of course.


I always make sure to mute it at halftime, so I can watch the other game later
   268. spivey Posted: February 20, 2019 at 10:06 PM (#5816977)
I also started doing the $2.99 thing with B/R Live in the knockouts here, but I often have to pause in the middle of a match because of a meeting, and I've had it randomly jump ahead once I've done that. It seems pretty good when watching live, but the delay behavior I've had be finnicky on both games.
   269. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 20, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5816983)
The ESPN+ app is really terrific for soccer fans. FA Cup, EFL, Serie A, Eridivise for only $5 a month. Plus pretty much every other sport in some form another. Most nights have a hockey game and I got to watch a lot of Mexican League baseball and then Caribbean Series.

Sean is right about the cord cutters (which I’m one). At the same time I’m still saving money versus what I used to do. The reality is there isn’t a lot I spend money on that I wouldn’t have gotten even with regular cable.
   270. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:59 AM (#5817008)
The defender's attempt to sell a foul on the Sterling goal was hilarious. Sterling barely brushed him. How about you just stay up and, y'know, defend?
   271. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2019 at 09:19 AM (#5817020)
I'm with the rest of you on the insanity of Turner's approach to the Champions League. I just don't understand the point of paying for the rights if you're not going to use them. That said, given the circumstances, I was fortuitously home all day yesterday and appreciated being able to buy the City game for $2.99.
   272. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 21, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5817064)
I just don't understand the point of paying for the rights if you're not going to use them.


appreciated being able to buy the City game for $2.99.


I think the second explains the first. Rightly or wrongly I think Turner believes that charging for BR Live either for the full season or on a game by game basis is the best way to make money off the rights. I suspect with soccer which doesn't have the natural breaks of most sports probably lends itself to a pay as you go model for the networks.
   273. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5817080)
Yeah that occurred to me Jose, I guess I'm just skeptical that it will work. Like you I'm satisfied with ESPN+ at only $5ish per month, but I'm definitely not willing to pay $10 per month for the Turner app for a tiny number of games in comparison.
   274. Sean Forman Posted: February 21, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5817091)
It's $5/month for now. I'm guessing that goes up at some piont.
   275. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5817108)
It's $5/month for now. I'm guessing that goes up at some piont.

ESPN+, you mean? I'm sure you're right- that price was already in place prior to getting all of those soccer rights.
   276. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 21, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5817114)
Speaking of ESPN+ you can buy a full year for $50 to save a bit of money in the long run.
   277. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 21, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5817130)
I got charged $39.99 for the magazine, which will get you ESPN+ but you will have to haul out the magazine for recycling (or trash for those people who want to destroy the earth). I think you can donate the subscription to somewhere in the military but I don't want to deal with calling someone.

I just checked the pricing for Bleacher Report Live - $2.99/match, $9.99/month or $79.99/year. That is some Fox Soccer Plus level of price gouging. You also get Europa League, Scottish Premier League (not all the matches), Belgian league (not all the matches, some domestic cup matches and the U-21 Euro Qualifiers - but it doesn't say you get the actual U-21 Euro Championships. In addition to ESPN+, I paid for Premier League Gold (which I barely watch), I mooch Netflix off my brother and have cable. This is unsustainable and so much sloppier than just cable.
   278. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5817136)
In addition to ESPN+, I paid for Premier League Gold (which I barely watch)

Yeah I've got to cancel that for next year, I've maybe used it 3 times this season.
   279. frannyzoo Posted: February 21, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5817138)
I loathe being an ESPN shill, but the mix of Championship, FA, occasional League One, Serie A, Indian, Dutch, and Danish league games, along with New Zealand cricket and off-the-radar things like the current Scotties curling make ESPN+ and 3 a good bargain, especially if you're "weird" in terms of seeking out broadcasts most folks would passionately avoid.
   280. spivey Posted: February 21, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5817140)
Frankfurt seems like a really fun team to root for. I mean, Jovic is gone this year, but that's a pretty darn good front 3. I was pretty impressed with Rebic in the WC, and it looks like he's kept it up. Looks like Rebic is young enough to where he could potentially have a move in his future as well. Edit: Haller is 24 too. Seems like there's a bit more depth in the Bundesliga this year than previous. They're a solid team with a +13 GD and a CL caliber front 3, but only in 7th right now.
   281. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 21, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5817148)
I've been figuring out which services have what, now that rights to DC United games have moved from what I think was actually an over-the-air channel, to the complete opposite, a streaming service I had never even heard of before (FloSports, whose other soccer content is the Italian Cup and CONCACAF qualifying games).

Does BeIn Sport really still not have a standalone streaming service you can pay for? The Spanish, French and Turkish leagues can only be watched on a set of cable channels that almost nobody gets and most people don't even have the opportunity to get?
   282. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5817151)
Does BeIn Sport really still not have a standalone streaming service you can pay for? The Spanish, French and Turkish leagues can only be watched on a set of cable channels that almost nobody gets and most people don't even have the opportunity to get?

BeIn Sports Connect is only on fubo tv, right? I think that's still true.
   283. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5817152)
Speaking of beIN SPORTS Connect, the overflow streaming service from beIN SPORTS, it works much like NBCSN’s online service, in that you must already have their normal television package and authenticate your cable/satellite provider information to use the service on your laptop/phone/tablet. However, even if you don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, you can beIN SPORTS Connect through fuboTV.
   284. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 21, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5817154)
ESPN+ has MLS. It looks like games on Fox Networks are excluded. There seems to be some sort of in-market restriction, so I guess it's like MLB?
   285. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:22 PM (#5817182)
All favorites so far have advanced in Europa. Couple teams are putting that to the test at the moment: Betis and Genk. The Leverkusen tie is still goalless over 2 legs.
   286. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:58 PM (#5817189)
Finally some upsets. Betis and Leverkusen out. Genk also, but they were only the favorite compared to their very weak competition.

edit: Genk's weak competition, who well-outplayed them in Belgium today to reach the last 16, were Slavia Prague, one of the Europa teams that 538 thought was about on the level of Dudelange coming in to the tournament. Though they clearly are not that bad, this was probably their last hurrah as there are few teams left who wouldn't be expected to beat them handily.
   287. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:46 AM (#5817285)
A couple of pieces of soccer news today-- Godin is leaving Atletico Madrid! He's about to sign a contract with Inter for next season. Atleti without Godin will be weird. Good to see Inter signing aging players is something that will never change, too.

Also, Chelsea were hit with a 2 window transfer ban for shenanigans with signing foreign youth players. They will, of course, appeal and if the ban is reduced to a winter window, it won't have much effect on them. But with FIFA scrutinizing their youth poaching and about to limit the number of loan players a club can send out at one time, Chelsea's days of buying and selling the youth of the world for fun and profit may be coming to an end.
   288. J. Sosa Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:20 AM (#5817295)
Re: Spivey

I have watched Frankfurt a lot, probably more than any other German club except Dortmund. There have been (dubious) links to Werner and Jovic for Liverpool, but I think Haller might be the guy they are really looking at. No links, but there are only so many guys that meet the striker profile at the requisite level. Kind of like last year when they were looking for a DM, no links to Fabinho, but he fit the profile perfectly. Haller’s profile matches Klopp’s style and I think he is undervalued due to Jovic. That front three is excellent. Off the top of my head, maybe top fivish in the world? Nobody seems to really talk about it though, I may have missed it.

Re: Chelsea

Yeah, they will do the standard pounding of the table and get it reduced to one window, promise to reform. Don’t think it will mean much in the end. Gotta keep that spigot flowing.

Re: multiple soccer services

I have ranted about it a lot in the past especially about TNT. I watch a lot of Bundisliga now because, hey, what do ya know, it is easily accessible. What a novel concept.
   289. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:32 AM (#5817297)
Another Europa draw, and another round where almost none of the top teams are not facing each other.

Probably the top 8 teams are Napoli, Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter, Sevilla, Valencia, Salzburg, and Benfica, not necessarily in that exact order. Maybe Frankfurt is somewhere there too. Villarreal even with their struggles this year probably rounds out the top 10.

Only the Italian teams face another team in this group of 10: Napoli against Salzburg and Inter against Frankfurt. None of the bottom 6 teams are matched up against each other.

If most seeds hold, it should be a very strong group of teams in the quarters.

   290. spivey Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5817298)
Re: Frankfurt, the only front 3s I would absolutely put above it are City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Barcelona, and PSG. Maybe Juve and Bayern too, I suppose.

As much as people talk about Dortmund's good attacking players, what seems to make Frankfurt's group special is both how physical they are and how there are no weaknesses. There's a lot of teams (like Dortmund) that have a world class winger or two, but don't have a world class striker. Or vice versa.

I think it's mainly because people don't watch them as to why they don't get talked about enough.

It looks like Frankfurt drew Inter for the next round. There are a few minnows left in the EL, but on the whole it is a pretty fun looking group of teams.
   291. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5817299)
Europa Draw:

Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv
Eintracht Frankfurt v Internazionale
Dinamo Zagreb v Benfica
Napoli v Red Bull Salzburg
Valencia v Krasnodar
Sevilla v Slavia Prague
Arsenal v Rennes
Zenit v Villarreal

The ping pong balls managed to keep the biggest clubs from drawing each other.

I listened to a little XM soccer news this morning and I thought it was interesting that the big wigs in Liga MX are tossing out the idea of a combined North American league. I thought it was interesting that it was the Mexican side positing the idea. I'm not sure how a league like that would even work--how do you combine a league with pro-rel with a league without pro-rel? Are you looking at a 50 team league? How would you get this past the clowns at FIFA? Canada and the US have a combined league only as a dispensation because neither country had a league in 1994. I guess I'm just not sure what the advantage of a combined league is for anyone. I'd rather an expanded Copa Libertadores with North American teams in it. If the Red Bulls played Boca Juniors or River Plate or Sao Paulo in a real game, I'd walk across the street to see it (almost literally, since the stadium is just blocks away from me.)

Speaking of MLS, we should have some kind of contest to decide who has the douchiest Euro poseur club name. So many choices... NYCFC, LAFC, any club that calls itself "FC" really, Orlando City, DC United, Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City. I'm surprised Cincinnati's new team isn't Racing Cincinnati or Spartak Ohio. My vote goes to the soon to be Inter Miami FC, though. Leave it to Beckham to out douche everyone.

edits: cokes on the EL draw. That's what I get for ranting about MLS doucheness.
   292. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5817302)
It's Real Salt Lake. You cannot top that.
   293. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5817303)
It's Real Salt Lake. You cannot top that.


Yeah, for all the FCs and Uniteds "Real Salt Lake" is just brutal. Though it would be kind of cool if the Governor of Utah were actually the King of Utah.
   294. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5817304)
The only bad name is Real Salt Lake. Everything else is the result of MLS being mocked for having American-style names instead of the European style where the name is just (Name of Town) FC. Now those are "poseur" names. We can't win, can we.
   295. J. Sosa Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5817305)
I actually like the concept of MLS combining forces with Liga MX. Have like an AFC/NFC deal with a Super Bowl.

I haven’t heard or read anything about it, but maybe some of the bigger Liga MX clubs are how shall we say it, intrigued by the possibility of a no relegation league?

As for MLS I have never been able to decide which is worse, the hipsterish cringy type names mimicking big european clubs or the ones that sound like something out of rec softball.
   296. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5817306)
I will not argue against Real Salt Lake which makes no sense at all. Houston Dynamo is pretty bad, too. All of these dumb names are a real missed opportunity for MLS, I think. Euro soccer club names are generally boring as #### (with the exception of Tottenham Hotspur which is the coolest of all) and having American style club names could really set MLS apart. Go Quakes, I guess.
   297. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5817307)
or the ones that sound like something out of rec softball.

Columbus Crew, I'm guessing?
   298. J. Sosa Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:04 AM (#5817310)
Ding ding ding!!!
   299. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5817313)
Columbus Crew is also terrible. The only decent club names in MLS are the old NASL teams and the LA Galaxy (which I used to hate but has grown on me).
   300. J. Sosa Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5817314)
Agreed. Timbers and Whitecaps are probably my votes for best.

Edit to add: And Sounders. Couple of FC offenders included but, hey, what are ya gonna do. The names are cool.
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