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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

OT: Soccer Thread (World Cup)

We’ve gotten through Champions League and most of the relegation/promotion stuff so we may as well focus on the World Cup. And what a World Cup, Buffon playing his sixth, Pulisic making his WC debut, quality on-site reporting from Fox and two time Copa America champs Chile just part of what should make for an amazing tournament!  Plus of course the the family-friendly, inclusive atmosphere sure to be fostered by the Russians.

Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 29, 2018 at 09:57 AM | 3354 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   3101. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5710183)
Although the ball was headed straight to a Croatian, who would have cleared it. It's a weak and soft penalty.

Edit: on review, I think the deflection would have gone to a French player.
   3102. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5710184)
Howso? I don't think it was an intentional handball

You answered your own question. That is the only criterion for a handball. Advantage does not matter.
   3103. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5710186)
I would not be surprised if Croatia wins this. Their stamina has been amazing.
   3104. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5710187)
Me neither.
   3105. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5710188)
Howso? I don't think it was an intentional handball


Well, OK, I don't think it was intentional in that he stuck out his arm to catch the ball. I do think he kept his arms out from his body to potentially get a deflection that wouldn't be called.
   3106. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5710189)
How is intent determined?

Edit: answer: intent is like belief, only the heart knows.
   3107. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5710190)
But... France is going to have more gas by the end.
   3108. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5710191)
Note Pogba hugging himself on the corner.
   3109. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5710192)
Like, that ball just went off Pogba's arm, but the arm was tucked in and he was actively trying to avoid touching the ball with his arms. That's wildly different than the penalty call.
   3110. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5710194)
How is intent determined?

Referee's interpretation.
   3111. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5710196)
After the first half is done, the Battle of the midfield is being won by Croatia.

How does the referee "interpret" intent. Answer, facts and circumstances. Based on his arm position, and the naturally occurring position of it, there was no intent to handle the ball
   3112. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5710198)
It's often impossible to judge intent. That's why arm position is used as a proxy. They had to call that on Perisic, as his arm was out in front of his body, and to me it didn't look like the trajectory changed at all from the initial corner kick. On top of that the cross was coming in from a dangerous position.

Sucks for Croatia of course.
   3113. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5710199)
and the naturally occurring position of it,
In the box, "natural position" is not really enough. The hand generally has to be close to your body, unless the ball takes an unexpected deflection and you have no time to get your hand out of the way. Neither applies to Perisic.
   3114. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5710200)
the Battle of the midfield is being won by Croatia.
France was always going to cede the midfield, play defense and counter. They have done that, just not very well. Croatia was always going to dominate possession.

edit: France has played defense "not very well". They have countered "very, very poorly"
   3115. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5710201)
That was damn near WC Russia 2018 encapsulated in one half ... dive set piece goal own goal, set piece goal thunder strike, set piece VAR penalty!

I've enjoyed this WC a bunch more than I thought I would, but "Best WC Evah!1!!"

O.o?

Screw off, FOX.

And you too, Infantino.

Here's hoping for some beautiful open play goals in the 2nd half.

   3116. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5710202)
Shearer, Klinsmann, Ferdinand, and Lineker all say no penalty.

To Klinsmann to even commit to a wrong or right, rather than a meaningless platitude (which he did follow up his "wrong decision" with), says a lot.
   3117. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5710204)
Shearer, Klinsmann, Ferdinand, and Lineker all say no penalty.
Klinsmann can be ignnored, of course. The other two carry some weight, but I feel like this is one of those moral things... France didn't do enough to justify having a lead so people don't want it to be a penalty.

   3118. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5710205)
I feel like this is one of those moral things... France didn't do enough to justify having a lead so people don't want it to be a penalty.

Well it is not a moral thing for me. For me it is about whether or not that is a deliberate handball. And given how little time he had to react once the ball got past the French player, I don't see how you can give it. And I certainly don't see how you can overturn it as a clear and obvious error.

Klinsmann can be ignnored, of course. The other two carry some weight

Shearer was particularly emphatic fwiw, that it was never ever a penalty.
   3119. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5710206)
is not really enough. The hand generally has to be close to your body, unless the ball takes an unexpected deflection and you have no time to get your hand out of the way. Neither applies to Perisic.

Nevertheless, there is nothing that suggests that the defender intentionally used his hand.
   3120. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5710207)
The funny thing is Croatia don't care, and remained focused on their attack.
   3121. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5710208)
The midfield battle isn't only about possession. Attacking quality and chances have come from Croatian midfield. While France midfield hasn't done enough to prevent same.
   3122. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5710209)
That battle for the ball where Modric beat Matuidi is an example of the midfield battle being won by Croatia
   3123. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5710210)
Matuidi loses it again.
   3124. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5710211)
And given how little time he had to react once the ball got past the French player,
The ball never changed its trajectory from the corner kick. He had the whole time to react. He can't assume the French player will touch it.

Nevertheless, there is nothing that suggests that the defender intentionally used his hand.
The actual rule is "deliberate", which in English generally means you had time to think and plan the action. Obviously the rule has never been called that way, so you have to ignore the wording of the rule.
   3125. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5710212)
Kante out? There goes his chance for the Golden Ball.
   3126. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5710213)
Kante coming off early. That has to help Croatia even though he was on a yellow.
   3127. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5710214)
Croatia are working so, so hard to fight for every ball they have a chance. Mbappe just got taken to school.
   3128. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5710215)
POGBA
   3129. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5710216)
Well, that's that.
   3130. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5710217)
C'est la vie.
   3131. . . . . . . Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5710218)
Unlucky.
   3132. Hot Wheeling American, MS-13 Enthusiast Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5710219)
Well, they’re earning these
   3133. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5710220)
Ugly.
   3134. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5710221)
Man, Croatia deserves better but their legs are gone.
   3135. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5710222)
The tank is empty.
   3136. Sunday silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5710223)
a 3 goal lead is REALLY hard to hold..
   3137. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5710224)
I give Croatia all the credit in the world for attacking from the getgo and not settling for a 1-0 loss. Great WC for them.
   3138. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5710225)
Croatia gave us good football this World Cup. So the neutrals appreciate that. They have had...what?...30 minutes of bad football this WC? Not bad. But it came in the final.
   3139. Sunday silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5710226)
see?
   3140. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5710227)
Once you let France counter, the game could be over. This is what they were trying to do from the beginning of the game.

For all of Croatia's possession, they have still have much less than 1 xG (and that's with France playing defense poorly). France only needed a few good counters and they were likely to win. This has been Deschamps gameplan all along. France did not perform it well in the first half at all, but it's a strategy that gives them a high chance to win every game.
   3141. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5710228)
NEVER GIVE UP

That was terribly sloppy
   3142. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5710229)
Not dead yet.
   3143. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5710230)
Kasey Keller did something like that...in a World Cup game I think he kicked it off a player.
   3144. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5710231)
That's the worst touch I've ever seen Lloris take.
   3145. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5710232)
a 3 goal lead is REALLY hard to hold..

It is when your keeper does things like that.
   3146. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5710233)
Croatia gave us good football this World Cup. So the neutrals appreciate that. They have had...what?...30 minutes of bad football this WC
Are you joking? They looked bad in the first half against England. They looked bad against inferior opponents Denmark and Russia, and they didn't even look that good against Nigeria or Iceland. They've been far from a great team this tournament,
   3147. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5710234)
If that first half was only 1 xG then there is something wrong. And take out the bad call by the ref and they're up 1-0 and Croatia adjusts and there would be likely fewer counters.
   3148. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5710235)
If that first half was only 1 xG then there is something wrong
It was 0.4 xG for Croatia. Not even close to 1 xG. Please rewatch the first half and you'll see Croatia had few good looks on goal. They had enough to score 1 with a little luck, but this is soccer... goals are hard to score.
   3149. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5710238)
No need to rewatch. They outplayed France. We will agree to disagree.
   3150. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5710239)
No need to rewatch. They outplayed France. We will agree to disagree.
?? No one disagrees that Croatia outplayed France in the first half. We were discussing how many goals Croatia would be expected to score in a half like that. The answer will always be less than 1.
   3151. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5710242)
Damn ref.
   3152. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5710247)
Except for the Loris mistake, that was exactly the second half France wanted to play. They gave Croatia few direct looks.
   3153. Sunday silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5710248)
well deserved for Fra. I cant recall a greater disconnect between poss. and score.
   3154. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5710249)
that was exactly the second half France wanted to play.


Exactly the game, too. That they led at halftime was a bonus.
   3155. Sunday silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5710254)
I'll take Croatian for "Presidents Id like to shag," ALex.
   3156. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 15, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5710257)
3155 - I’m glad I wasn’t the only one thinking that. She’s built like a brick shithouse.

I was chuckling watching her hug Modric though. Given his legal issues that’s the kind of thing that her handlers might have preferred she didn’t do. Though I suspect being a Golden Ball winner outweighs some tax issues for the public.

And that is a LOT of rain.
   3157. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 15, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5710259)
I've enjoyed this WC a bunch more than I thought I would, but "Best WC Evah!1!!"

O.o?

Screw off, FOX.


What are the better World Cups? I asked this earlier in the thread, I’m not trying to disagree, I don’t have a good enough sense of history of the sport to opine but it’s certainly been the best one I can rememeber (go back realistically to ‘94). What are the 1975 or 2001 World Series of World Cups?
   3158. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5710269)
Anyone who checked out before the medal presentations lost out ... oh man, that medal ceremony was a blast.

SO much rain ... so much golden confetti sticking to everybody!

I'll give them this, that was the best WC Medal Ceremony I can remember ...
   3159. PreservedFish Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5710274)
Mbappe was the obvious deserving Golden Ball winner, as far as I'm concerned. I read a thing this morning that said he was "too young" to win it which is of course nonsense.
   3160. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5710277)
3158 - Yeah the skies opening up was just epic.

Mbappe would have been a great choice as Golden Ball winner but it’s hard to argue with Modric, he was outstanding. The ‘he’s too young” to win it nonsense is just that, nonsense, but I’m glad to see Modric get something tangible for his efforts.
   3161. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5710279)
I believe Modric both ran further and played more minutes than ANYBODY at this WC; he's quite deserving as Golden Ball winner, but boy did he look as happy as miserable could be when getting the trophy (which is totally understandable given the circumstances).
   3162. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5710294)
First read this: 2018 World Cup: A Brief History of French Soccer

And then appreciate this:


Antoine Griezmann has spoken of his pride of winning the World Cup as part of a multicultural French team:

“That’s the France we love. They are different origins but we are all united. It’s the same in our team, there are many players who come from different horizons but we do have the same state of mind.

We all play for the same jersey, for the cockerel, for our country, as soon as you wear the jersey you do everything for each other and it’s beautiful.”


And this from The Guardian's piece on the ONE MILLION people celebrating in the Champs-Élysées:


Some supporters on the Champs-Élysées had tears in their eyes with what they called “total love” for the young, diverse French squad that had created what commentators have called a new form of peaceful and multicultural French patriotism that has acted as a balm in a society still shaken by years of terrorist attacks.

Before the match, the French actor Omar Sy had described the team as “happiness creators”, lauding the fact that French flags were on display in every corner of the country, “which aren’t hostile or nationalist flags – just the flag taking back its real colours”.

In an appeal to the team, he said: “Thank you for what you’ve brought to France.”


Les Black-Blanc-Beur!

Vive Les Bleus!
   3163. phredbird Posted: July 15, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5710295)
@3161, modric didn't look as dejected as messi did at the end of the 2014 cup ... but messi always looks a little down in the mouth.
   3164. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5710299)
@3161, modric didn't look as dejected as messi did at the end of the 2014 cup ... but messi always looks a little down in the mouth.


I dunno, even a mom-boob-hug from his PILTS couldn't cheer Luka up ... poor guy.
   3165. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5710303)
The Guardian post-match liveblog was asking for goal of the WC suggestions ... this one was mine.
   3166. Sunday silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 07:24 PM (#5710361)
this was the best WC to me because it was not marred by all the ridiculous offsides calls.

NOw all it has to do is stop the ridiculous diving and the ridiculous rolling around on the pitch while the clock is running.

If theres less than 10 min. left stop the clock as appropriate. If someone goes down, stop the clock; get him off and send in a sub. If 2 min goes by and he cant continue then either make an official sub or play down a man. This doesnt seem hard. why do players get to waste time when we dont know if they're hurt.

How do other sports with continuous play do this? Rugby, field hockey, hurling, hockey, polo, water polo. This is not hard.
   3167. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 09:03 PM (#5710382)
Aside from Umtiti's, Pique's, and the Colombian player's madness earlier in the tournament, Perisic's play was the clearest penalty call of the other handballs--and there were at least a few others. It's the classic example of hand to ball, because the ball's trajectory was set way earlier as soon as Griezmann kicked it, well before Perisic even jumped. It's his responsibility not to bring his hand into a position where the ball will strike it, especially if it's away from his body.

On top of that, it's arguable, though not clear, that Perisic actually intentionally swatted at the ball.

Those saying that Perisic had no time to react are missing the point. He can, and has the responsibility to, react to the original trajectory of the ball, which wasn't changed by Matuidi. On top of that, players miss the ball on corners all the time, so it's not even that unexpected that Matuidi might miss it.

I'm not really a fan of the handball call in the box, because it's called too often where players just had their arm out and the ball struck it without the player even having time to react. It happened a few times in this tournament. In those cases, the usual argument is that they were making themselves bigger by having their arm there, but often times it just looks like they are jumping or whatever. That argument also applies perfectly well to Perisic, but Perisic has the additional problems above, which to me make this a penalty. I really don't even see it as a marginal play.
   3168. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5710387)
One other point. Though I didn't verify this, apparently the ref originally gave a goal kick. If true, those saying that the ref was in a good position and made an informed decision in real time, then reversed himself on slo-mo VAR review, are wrong.
   3169. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 10:51 PM (#5710393)
Jose at 3157.
The 1982 World Cup was really, really entertaining. See my post a few pages back.

This one was very enjoyable.
   3170. G. Bostock Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:17 PM (#5710395)
What are the better World Cups?

Some bloke, used to/still does work for the World Bank, who has watched World Cups since 1962 claimed 1970 was the best World Cup, in a blog post he wrote before the 2018 one ended.

I agree with strong silence that 1982 has a lot going for it -- for me it was capped by the ultimate reward for cynical play when the German keeper Schumacher flattened Battiston when the latter was through on goal. (There's a not-great quality clip of it here). Justice was served in the final as Italy pretty much swept the Germans aside, 3-1.

However, for me 1990 is my favourite. It would fail the test of good football, as the matches were almost universally tense and dreadful. But the hype around it -- Roger Milla, Paul Gascoigne making the cover of the London Review of Books in a bizarre piece of adulation from the football-loving editor, Diego Maradona's last throw ending in the misery of the final, the arrival of Alexei Lalas and the Americans with great hope in the future, "Nessun Dorma" as the theme song -- all created the 'modern' image of the World Cup for me.

No other World Cup has had the same pop-culture impact.

('Coming Home' was originally written for the 1996 European Championship, and was celebrating England hosting them, rather than any forecast success for England, who had failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, in a return to the bleak years of the 1970s.)
   3171. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:40 PM (#5710403)
Thanks for the responses on past Cups. I’d heard about 1970 and it’s interesting to see multiple votes for 82.
   3172. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:41 PM (#5710404)
I'm not sure I'll remember this one as a classic. France won without being truly tested by any of the other three pre-tournament favorites. The top matchup in terms of pre-tournament odds, was Brazil-Belgium, from the QFs.

edit: according to one set of odds I just read, Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain were the favorites in 1982. Italy knocked out 3 of them.
   3173. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: July 16, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5710453)
1990 was the first World Cup I was aware of, and 'Nessun Dorma' probably creates some kind of automatic linkage in my brain that makes it seem more epic and high-stakes than any other setting. Plus, I was 10.

I was at university for the build-up to the France 1998 tournament, and the Beckham/Owen/Shearer/Scholes lineup created some very high expectations. I'm guessing that the '90 and '98 cups being physically close to the UK, with the lack of an attendant time difference, helped somewhat. The 2002 games being mid-morning in the UK did result in a lot of pubs getting permission to open at around 7am to sell booze, which shocked me at the time. So young and naive.

EDIT - '98 also had a strong French team win for the first time as hosts, which was fun to watch as a neutral.
   3174. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5710466)
I think the 1986 World Cup was my first World Cup that I saw and the 1994 WC was my next one. It wasn't until the 2002 WC that I watched again and then it wasn't until this one that I watched a good amount of games again. With the other games they were always on in the background at work but I didn't pay much attention to them.
   3175. G. Bostock Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5710472)
Rumours and Realities CHELSEA-REAL SPECIAL

- Alisson stil talking with Chelsea and Liverpool

- Bale to stay at Real

- Man U says Real is asking too much for Kovacic

- Real offer 225 million for Hazard AND Courtois

- Spinelli to PSG

- Chelsea loan Jamal Blackman to Leeds (Chelsea to Leeds!)

PLUS

- Sampaoli and Argentina part ways (for reals!)
   3176. Mefisto Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5710489)
Looks like I'm back just in time for transfer rumors. Hope I didn't miss anything.
   3177. puck Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5710491)
I believe Modric both ran further and played more minutes than ANYBODY at this WC; he's quite deserving as Golden Ball winner, but boy did he look as happy as miserable could be when getting the trophy (which is totally understandable given the circumstances).


Winning and award like that on the losing team is never great, but that's gotta be the worst to win it while everyone's waiting to award the Cup to the winners.

Plus, those guys must have been tired! Long season, then the tournament.

How long will players who make deep cup runs be out?
   3178. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5710509)
France 1998 tournament, and the Beckham/Owen/Shearer/Scholes lineup created some very high expectations.

I was living in the UK at the time and it really did. They never could et going though. Everyone kept waiting for the big corner kick from Beckham. Owen was so quick, but injuries really derailed his career.
   3179. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 16, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5710664)
I had a long post but it was eaten.

Anyway, under the 2026 expansion, we would expect to see maybe 2 good teams (Italy/Chile), two or three ok teams (USA, one from Europe, maybe Paraguay), 6 or so teams on par with the worst teams from the 2018 WC, and 5 or 6 significantly worse than that. If the 2018 qualifying were used for the 2026 tournament, the Solomon Islands would have been in a playoff for a WC spot (ok, they wouldn't have won the playoff, but they would have been in it.)

That's at least 11 new teams pretty much as bad as, or worse than, the worst ones from 2018, which puts a team about as bad, or worse, than Panama, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in every group.

If they structure the three-team groups the way they did in 1982 (where only one advanced), they could arrange it so that the last group game always had meaning by having the winner of the first group game play in the second group game. That way neither of the two remaining teams could have technically qualified by the time the third game is played. Of course, one could have a large victory in an earlier game making it virtually guaranteed to advance even with a loss.

edit: that's what they did in 1982, but since only one team advanced from those 3-team groups, they structured it so that the loser of the first game played in the second game.
   3180. Copronymus Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5710735)
If the 2018 qualifying were used for the 2026 tournament, the Solomon Islands would have been in a playoff for a WC spot (ok, they wouldn't have won the playoff, but they would have been in it.)


Just wait until we see the names for that qualifying mini-tournament for the last two slots. Based on 2018, we'd be looking at: China, Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Paraguay, and, as you mentioned, the Solomon Islands. China would be one of the seeded teams! Just imagine the joy of watching Trinidad v. Solomon Islands in Edmonton in mid-November.
   3181. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5710742)
Imagine the refereeing if China was playing some tiny nation in qualifying.

I've been assuming there are precisely two reasons for expanding the field:
1. Get China in
BIG GAP
2. Ensure the US/other rich countries never miss another World Cup
   3182. Greg K Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5710752)
I've been assuming there are precisely two reasons for expanding the field:
1. Get China in
BIG GAP
2. Ensure the US/other rich countries never miss another World Cup

Both wrong. The #1 reason is to get Canada in the tournament. For that, it has my full support.

Though I wouldn't put it past them to fail despite hosting and the expanded format.
   3183. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5710754)
Nah Greg that's why Canada is hosting in 2026, obviously. With the US as a mere bit player.
   3184. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5710755)
2026 will be peak Alphonso Davies! The Pulisic of Canada!
   3185. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 16, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5710769)
I've been assuming there are precisely two reasons for expanding the field:
1. Get China in


First China ... next India!

Bring on the 64 team tourney!
   3186. KronicFatigue Posted: July 16, 2018 at 05:48 PM (#5710784)
Back from my boycott, ready to complain about a WC I didn't watch. Sounds like I missed a great one, but the flopping and time wasting needs to stop. The Ref can either stop the clock like someone mentioned upthread, hand out yellows like candy, or just use stoppage time correctly. He should have a stop watch that he clicks on (with announcement) after "enough" time has been taken to get the game moving. If it normally takes 20 seconds to set up a goal kick, flick on the stop watch at 21 seconds. It would take the players about a week to figure out that wasting time is no longer effective. Plus, a lot of stoppage time would give the false sense that the "ending" is going on longer, which can only help ratings.

Handballs need to be fixed as well. Seems like the rule needs to be defined better. The rule talks about deliberately handling the ball (right? or do I have that wrong), but that's not how it's applied. It seems like the player has to make a respectable attempt to avoid touching it with his hand, even preemptively so. A player can't run around with his arms extended in a T formation, saying "it's not my fault if the ball hits it", just as Homer Simpson can't blame the pie for getting eaten just b/c he's making a chewing motion towards it.

There would be less complaints if the rule was rewritten to match the application. A player must "make any and all reasonable efforts available to avoid touching with his hands" or something like that. That would include plays where they jump and negligently keep their arms outstretched. You can jump with your arms at your side. But sliding with your hand on the ground could still be allowed.

Finally 2026 is a hot mess. Dilution of talent, groups not ending on same match day, one single upset messing up the group stage more, too many groups to memorize, etc etc. I have yet to see a "better" settup proposed than the current one. The last Euro cup was a mess, and 2026 seems to be much much worse.

   3187. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 16, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5710833)
So ... I just finished the first movie I hadn't seen (and was streaming free on Amazon Prime) off of the Around the World in 51 Soccer Movies link I posted before: We Must Go

Here's the description from the article:

We Must Go (Egypt, 2014)

After losing his job at the head of the U.S. men’s national team, Bob Bradley was named head coach of the Egyptian national soccer team — at a point when the country was still wrestling with the uncertainty brought about by the revolution that began in Tahrir Square and led to the ousting of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak. Egyptian league games had been suspended and the national team was forced to play to empty stadiums, as putting tens of thousands of people together in a sports arena was deemed too risky by authorities. Even so, Bradley attempts to whip these players into shape, hoping to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990. With the aging Mohamed Aboutrika postponing his retirement, and talented young firecracker Mohamed Salah (now at Liverpool and among the premier players in the world) showing promise, these men have some cause for hope. Even so, the political situation in Egypt gets worse, particularly after the 2012 Port Said stadium riot, which killed 74 people and injured hundreds. This is an intensely dramatic film — part underdog sports movie, part political tragedy, part historical document — showing the kind of political and social power the game of soccer has around the world and how it can be a force for both unity and division.


It's harrowing ... it took me about three days to finish watching, just because of the intensity of feeling it inspired. I really came away with a newfound respect for Bob Bradley, at least as a person and a manager, at least on the man management side, the movie doesn't go into tactics almost at all and really the actual match footage is a small portion of the documentary, but he just comes across as very humble, thoughtful and conscious. Mo Salah is in it as well and is nearly an equal revelation, you can sorta see why going to Chelsea and having to deal with Mourinho turned out to be such a disaster (and conversely why I think Klopp is a good fit for him).

VERY recommended; free if you Amazon Prime (and maybe others).

Next up ... Victory*, which I've heard about, but never seen ... I need a pick me up.

* Directed by John ####### Huston??? How did I not know this before???
   3188. G. Bostock Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5710968)
Premiership Transfer Rumours and Realities:

- Chelsea not parting with Courtois until Alisson deal secure

- Chelsea after Golovin

- Chelsea dealing Todd Kane to Hull City in the Championship

- Daley Blind, ManU to Ajax, pending announcement

- Daniele Rugani from Juve to Chelsea, £45 million

- Fulham keeper Button signs for 3 years with Brighton

- Higuain to Chelsea, £54-57 million

- On the block at Arsenal: Welbeck, Ospina, Lucas Perez, Jenkinson, Akpom, Jeol Campbell

- Roberto Martinez shoves Chelsea under the Hazard-to-Real bus

- Trade: Palace get Schuerrle, Dortmund get Zaha

- Watford give trial to Jack Rodwell

   3189. G. Bostock Posted: July 17, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5711100)
Premier League Transfer Rumours and Realities:

- Arsenal consider offer for Bayern's Kingsley Coman, for €50m?

- Gary Cahill wants out at Chelsea

- Liverpool chase Alisson

- Liverpool's Harry Wilson loaned to Derby for season

- Turk claims West Ham chase Domagoj Vida with €18m
   3190. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5711103)
- On the block at Arsenal: Welbeck, Ospina, Lucas Perez, Jenkinson, Akpom, Jeol Campbell
I'm just pleased that Arsenal remembered they still have Campbell. They're moving in the right direction.
   3191. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 17, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5711108)
Zidane is taking over the Sporting Director role at Juventus. Clock is ticking for Allegri now, I think.
   3192. jmurph Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5711139)
Clock is ticking for Allegri now, I think.

As it should be, what with all these league titles and deep Champions League runs.
   3193. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5711141)
And what has Allegri done for the brand. Won't someone think of the brand?
   3194. jmurph Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5711158)
Serie A is so weird. They really need the Milan clubs to get it together!

On a related note, I'm awaiting an announcement on who will carry Serie A in the US this year. Still nothing, with the season not all that far away.
   3195. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5711163)
On a related note, I'm awaiting an announcement on who will carry Serie A in the US this year. Still nothing, with the season not all that far away.

Makes me wonder how long this Ronaldo transfer was in the works. Pretty good luck to have Ronaldo BEFORE signing any rights deals. Come on NBC, give us those PL in the morning, Serie A in the afternoon soccer days!
   3196. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5711171)
On a related note, I'm awaiting an announcement on who will carry Serie A in the US this year. Still nothing, with the season not all that far away.
Looks likely to be ESPN/ESPN+ or some combination of a Turner channel and BR Live. Sounds like the Ronaldo transfer dumped all the pieces off the board and everybody is starting over.
   3197. jmurph Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5711174)
I'd be fine with any of those 3 options (ESPN, Turner, NBC). I paid extra for the NBC Gold thing last year and probably used it less than 5 times since the games I wanted to see were generally on NBCSports or NBC, so adding some content to that would be great. Or I'd be fine springing $5 or whatever per month for ESPN+ or the BR thing. Just give me a non-BeIn option, please!
   3198. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5711181)
Yeah, I've really enjoyed ESPN+. As a fan of soccer, rugby, and boxing, $5 a month is a steal for me. It's been reliable and useful.
   3199. jmurph Posted: July 17, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5711195)
Yeah, I've really enjoyed ESPN+. As a fan of soccer, rugby, and boxing, $5 a month is a steal for me. It's been reliable and useful.

What soccer do they have now, just MLS?
   3200. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5711227)
MLS and USL. They had League One and League Two last season, but I don't know how long the contract was.
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