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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

OT: 2016 Summer Soccer Thread

Special Randy Jones Summer Soccer Thread!

Upcoming Dates of Note
June 3 - Copa America begins (US v. Colombia) All games on Fox family.
June 10 - Euro 2016 begins (France v. Romania) All games on ESPN family.
June 28-29 - Champions League first round qualifiers.
June 30 - Europa League first round qualifiers.
August 3- Women’s Olympic soccer beings (many games including USA v. New Zealand) All games on NBC family.
August 4 - Men’s Olympic soccer begins (many games including Mexico v. Germany) All games on NBC family.
August 7 - Community Shield (England).  Leicester City vs. Manchester United.
August 13 - English Premier League Begins.
August 20 - Serie A begins.
August 21 - La Liga begins.
August 25 - Champions League Group Stage Draw.
August 26 - Bundesliga begins.

Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: June 01, 2016 at 02:36 PM | 1532 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: football, off topic, soccer

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   1. Baldrick Posted: June 01, 2016 at 04:25 PM (#5234045)
June thread! Summer of soccer! Let's get this thing started!
   2. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 01, 2016 at 04:29 PM (#5234049)
Thanks for posting a new thread Jose! And for pushing for one, Randy! :)

Oh, hey, I didn't realize that the Euro Cup began on my birthday this year. That's fun.

Alyssa Naeher voted NWSL player of the month which is a reasonable choice; she's been excellent in Chicago and we'd be giving up a whole lot more goals without her.

NWSL is off until the 10th (so no matches this weekend for some reason). That Sunday (the 12th) is Chicago-Portland in Chicago, 1v2 in the league.
   3. ursus arctos Posted: June 01, 2016 at 04:46 PM (#5234063)
In a match that started at 11:00 am local time due to stadium issues, Ft Lauderdale Strikers have eliminated Richmond Kickers from the US Open Cup on penalties.

Ft. Lauderdale will face DC United in the next round
   4. ursus arctos Posted: June 01, 2016 at 05:05 PM (#5234071)
This Euro/Copa America app looks quite good, especially if you live on your phone.
   5. Randy Jones Posted: June 01, 2016 at 05:17 PM (#5234078)
Thanks for posting a new thread Jose! And for pushing for one, Randy! :)
Thanks Jose for doing what I am clearly too lazy to do but not too lazy to complain about!
   6. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: June 01, 2016 at 05:19 PM (#5234080)
Thanks Jose for doing what I am clearly too lazy to do but not too lazy to complain about!


This is Donald Trump's America!
   7. Sean Forman Posted: June 01, 2016 at 11:51 PM (#5234388)
   8. Sean Forman Posted: June 01, 2016 at 11:54 PM (#5234389)
Who's going to Copa? I got tickets to all three in Philly, but can't go to the USA match due to in-laws family reunion. I also got tickets to the Final. I figure that since FIFA will never give us a World Cup after Loretta Lynch this is the best international soccer I'll ever be able to see in the US in person.
   9. Sean Forman Posted: June 02, 2016 at 12:00 AM (#5234392)
The more I look at the US squad, the more optimistic I'm getting. It's still totally possible that they'll crash out. But yeah, they really do have a decent shot to get out of the group. Not a great one, but I wouldn't be at all shocked to see them get 4-6 points in the group stages.


I'd be feeling pretty good about the US if they had a peak Tim Howard available in goal. They actually have a back four that is playing on big European clubs and Bobby Wood is looking like the real deal. That and Pulisic will score like 15 goals on the road to his Ballon d'or.
   10. stevegamer Posted: June 02, 2016 at 01:30 AM (#5234425)
I am planning on seeing the US vs Paraguay match with my fiancee. Unsure exactly where in the Linc we want to sit, but have been there for a couple soccer games already, and the facility is nice.

I want to make sure not to sit in a Paraguay rooting section, as I had a bad experience with the Union vs. Real Madrid game. The problem fan was a very white Real Madrid fan and his teenager from the Main Line (well-to-do suburbs) who wanted Union fans to watch their language. Not Real Madrid fans, of course, they could say whatever. It got to be so bad that rooting for them became a problem. My fiancee is a Real Madrid fan, from her time in Spain, so she was fine.

I really, really, hate the black US jerseys. Last time I checked, it's not in the flag, and it's not being used as an accent color.

   11. Baldrick Posted: June 02, 2016 at 03:52 AM (#5234438)
Was busy all weekend so missed all the NWSL games. Catching up slowly. Just watched FCKC v. Orlando.
- Holy cow was Shea Groom mauled in the first half. She was absolutely furious about it, and rightly so.
- At a risk of pulling a Raybot here, Tymrak had a good game, not a great one. I'm not really sure I get why everyone was so amazed by her performance. Certainly her best game of the year so far, but...
- Bledsoe had a nice save, and did alright but she also had some real problems with distribution and clearances. That might be the biggest step down from 1st to 2nd choice keeper in the league right now.
- Orlando had a good start to the season. Really good. Even in this game, they still looked the more fluid team in possession for large chunks of the game. Which is really impressive for an expansion team. But I foresee REAL problems for them on the horizon. They looked a bit toothless without Morgan, and are going to get absolutely WRECKED by the Olympics.
- FCKC kind of look like they still think they've got Lauren Holiday. But, of course, they don't. And it's really killing their ability to exert themselves on the game. I think they actually have the talent to compete for a playoff spot, but they NEED to start developing a new dynamic.

I also watched WNY - Boston, but don't have much to say about that one. WNY are a really fun, young team. I'm still not sure they've quite got what it takes to keep things together for a solid run of games. But they're going to be pretty untouched by internationals, and are filled with players who still have room for improvement. But wow do they need to get a better A/V team. Worst stream in the league by a long ways.
   12. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:35 AM (#5234510)
I'm thinking about the US on Tuesday at Soldier Field. Unsure if I'll be able to get off work then, so been holding off on purchasing.
   13. jmurph Posted: June 02, 2016 at 10:00 AM (#5234532)
Man City really locking down the guys-on-longterm-leg-injury market. Ilkay Gundogan officially done, with Aymeric Laporte reportedly on the way. Thoughts on the latter? I'm not sure I've ever seen Laporte play.
   14. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 10:26 AM (#5234554)
Thoughts on the latter? I'm not sure I've ever seen Laporte play.

I love him. Solid in the air, not too slow (and fabulous timing on his challenges with decent closing speed), but excellent with the ball at his feet and a very good passer to boot. The obvious comp for me is Javi Martinez (at CB, after he transitioned positions), though a more skilled Laurent Koscielny also makes sense. Pretty much the perfect profile for a Pep CB.

He needs a solid, tough CB next to him, because one has worries about his physicality against stronger forwards, and you want him reading the attack, not making the first challenge. At Bilbao, when I've seen him, that player has been Etxeita, a big, physical CB. That's the profile of Kompany, when he's healthy, and role Otamendi has played before (to varying success - I like Otamendi in a sort of hybrid role personally and I think some of his skills are redundant to Laporte).
   15. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 11:07 AM (#5234621)
From The Guardian:
Costel Pantilimon

The Watford goalkeeper’s parents, who worked at an aeroplane factory in the city of Bacau, are both deaf. They first took their son to play with the family’s football team when he was six. “At the age of eight or nine, my father told me I should be a goalkeeper, because I am pretty tall and it should be easier,” Pantililon remembers. He now stands at 6ft 8in. After becoming a professional, he always made sure to send money to his parents and still goes on holiday with them sometimes. Pantilimon’s father rarely attends his matches but brought good luck when he did, seeing Poli Timisoara beat Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League third qualifying round in 2009. “I thank my parents for all they did and still do for me,” he says. “The fact that they are deaf has never affected me at all. When I am away, we keep in touch by SMS and via the internet.”
   16. jmurph Posted: June 02, 2016 at 11:10 AM (#5234625)
Thanks Arjun, good stuff.
   17. jmurph Posted: June 02, 2016 at 12:56 PM (#5234763)
Why in the world would Koeman leave Southampton for Everton?
   18. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2016 at 02:57 PM (#5234875)
This England lineup strikes me as an exercise in bad judgment by Hobson. He's got Rooney up front in a 4-3-3. That's a bad decision in itself, but it also means that Kane and Vardy have to track back on defense more than they should have to. It also takes means Rooney will occupy space that Alli will want and would do much better in.
   19. jmurph Posted: June 02, 2016 at 03:05 PM (#5234888)
The Rooney thing is weird. He's simply not one of their best attacking options, and probably shouldn't even be on the squad. But just because he's on the squad doesn't mean he needs to play. Would there really be a national clamoring for him if Hodgson left him out? I don't think so.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: June 02, 2016 at 03:12 PM (#5234901)
I like Rooney at the top of a diamond. I think his aggression plays well into winning the ball back quickly for Vardy and Kane and he's enough of a threat himself that teams can't just play for the pass. Up top on his own, no ####### way man.
   21. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 02, 2016 at 03:26 PM (#5234925)
If he's going to play Vardy, why play him in a position that doesn't let him do what is so effective with his club team?
   22. ursus arctos Posted: June 02, 2016 at 03:30 PM (#5234929)
I wonder if Bruno Alves gave prior thought to just what kind of mayhem would be necessary to get sent off in a friendly
   23. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 04:00 PM (#5234974)
I feel like Bruno Alves gets sent off (or at least booked) in about half the games in which I see him play.
   24. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2016 at 04:14 PM (#5234986)
He's certainly getting creative in ways to accomplish (?) that.
   25. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 02, 2016 at 04:17 PM (#5234988)
I can't believe Portugal has Carvalho and Alves still starting as their center backs. I don't see Rooney having a place on this team, because there is no formation that Rooney fits. Vardy and Kane are better forwards and I would prefer Alli and Sterling as an attacking midfielder.
   26. spivey Posted: June 02, 2016 at 04:41 PM (#5235022)
I can't believe Portugal has Carvalho and Alves still starting as their center backs. I don't see Rooney having a place on this team, because there is no formation that Rooney fits. Vardy and Kane are better forwards and I would prefer Alli and Sterling as an attacking midfielder.

I agree. If they are forced to fit him in, I think they're best off doing:

4-1-3-2. Where's he's the mid in the line of 3. He drops deep enough to get the ball and when motivated is a decent presser of the ball, so I could see it maybe working. I could also see them getting overrun in the middle of the park. He wouldn't be taking anyone great's spot, depending on what you think of NTJW (National Team Jack Wilshere).

The other option is he starts and they bench Vardy or Alli, which feels likely.
   27. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 02, 2016 at 05:29 PM (#5235058)
A deeper midfield three of Dier, Henderson and Milner does give you a lot of industry and defensive cover to play a 4-3-2-1 with Rooney and Alli behind a striker or a 4-3-1-2 and allow a theoretical front three of Alli/Rooney, Kane and Vardy. Whether or not you can trust the English fullbacks to give you width is another matter, but this current version of Rooney does not warrant a shoehorning. Hell I'd say Rooney should be fifth on the depth chart for strikers provided Sturridge is healthy, Rashford was a better striker for United, after all.
   28. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2016 at 08:25 PM (#5235155)
USWNT Starting XI: Solo; O'Hara, Johnston, Sauerbrunn (c), Klingenberg; Brian, Long, Pugh; Dunn, Morgan, Heath. The surprise is Allie Long. I'm not a big fan of hers, but (a) she did play well in previous games; and (b) she can be an actual holding mid, which would free up Brian.
   29. Baldrick Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:10 PM (#5235198)
I'm not a HUGE fan of hers, but she's pretty solid. Mewis seems to clearly be a better overall player, but Long is (slightly) better suited for the more holding role they want the backup to play. If it were up to me, I'd take Mewis (or Colaprico), or a genuine defensive midfielder like Huster. But Ellis gonna do what Ellis gonna do.

Anyways, my real bugbear here is that they're starting freaking Hope Solo again. Which is just ridiculous. Give the backups some minutes!!!!!111!!
   30. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:39 PM (#5235223)
I'm struggling to get over how ugly these Japan jerseys are.

I pretty much agree with you guys, though I'd prefer Dani Colaprico, of course. I'm not a fan of Long's game at all, though (sorry Portland!).
   31. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:42 PM (#5235226)
Anybody in Seattle want to sit really close for the Copa America game between Peru and Haiti on Saturday? I've got a pair of tickets, face value is $150 per, they are field level at the 40 yard line row 7! Great seats. I'm asking $150 for the pair if you're interested or $75 if you want to go with me. I probably have to work but if I can't ditch the tickets I'll just play hookie, I guess I do own the place.

I'm a pretty normal beer drinking fan of average soccer knowledge fwiw. If you want to go just let me know I"ll PM you an email address.
   32. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:46 PM (#5235232)
That was an awesome goal. I love watching Mana Iwabuchi do crazy stuff.
   33. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:48 PM (#5235233)
Am I wrong, or was there a deflection on the goal? Still a great shot.
   34. Baldrick Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:51 PM (#5235235)
Holy cow what a goal. Just ridiculous. Unstoppable.
   35. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:55 PM (#5235238)
Welp. I guess we get to see how the US react to this situation now.

They're *really* struggling with the high press and the closing in midfield. Ariyoshi looks excellent on the right for Japan.
   36. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:55 PM (#5235239)
Just excellent play by Japan. US look very poor.
   37. Baldrick Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:56 PM (#5235240)
Man, if only the US had a solid right back somewhere in the system who might have marked that a little bit closer.
   38. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:58 PM (#5235243)
Catching out the press!
   39. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:58 PM (#5235245)
And just as I say that, the US have their first good sequence. Keeper should have saved it, but well done by Dunn and Pugh.
   40. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 10:08 PM (#5235253)
That's the third time there's a ball wide right and Japan don't track the runner dropping back into the middle of the 18. Goal was scored on the cutback; Japan need to avoid overcommitting when they're on their heels.
   41. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 10:18 PM (#5235264)
Nakajima's passing range has been impressive in the first half.
   42. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 10:25 PM (#5235272)
Mefisto: based on the halftime replays, doesn't look like there was a deflection. Just a short, compact swing of a shot.
   43. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2016 at 10:59 PM (#5235302)
Thanks.
   44. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2016 at 11:25 PM (#5235320)
Really impressive display by Japan. Their keeper seems like a weak link, but the rest are solid.
   45. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2016 at 11:25 PM (#5235321)
That was a fun one. Thought Horan was the best US player after her introduction, but the sending off changed the complexion of the game entirely. Japan were dominating up until that point.

Japan can really blame the goalie, though. She let them down with some of her positioning and reflexes saves.
   46. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: June 03, 2016 at 09:08 AM (#5235414)
I had to explain to my wife that they don't play club soccer in Europe in the summertime.

Her: "I thought they played soccer in the summer?"
Me: "Well, in America, they do. In Europe the season runs from August to May."
Her: "Through the winter?"
Me: "Yep."
Her: "Doesn't it get cold in the winter...?!"
Me: "Europeans are weird, what can I say?"
   47. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2016 at 09:52 AM (#5235451)
A few more thoughts from last night. First, I think the secret to the US is out: they can't pass out of the back. I expect them to struggle much more in the future. Second, I was very impressed with the way the Japanese defenders handled Heath. It was probably the worst game I've seen her have in years. Third, Klingenberg never got forward while Japan had 11 players out there. If she can't get forward, Krieger should be in there because Kling isn't much of a defender -- her whole game is being part of the attack. Fourth, I thought Long didn't add much to the game, so I hope that experiment comes to an end quickly. Fifth, I don't understand the idea of pairing Morgan and Pugh in these circumstances. In the absence of Rapinoe, that means either Dunn or Press ends up out wide. Neither has played well there, both need to be in the middle. In contrast, Pugh has shown that she can play either role. Until Rapinoe comes back, Pugh should be wide and Press/Dunn up front with Morgan (or, heck, put Horan there).
   48. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 03, 2016 at 09:52 AM (#5235452)
Laura Harvey does a Laura Harvey thing:
Seattle Reign FC have added Japanese midfielder/defender Rumi Utsugi, the team announced today. Utsugi will arrive in Seattle upon completion of her current contract with French side Montpellier HSC. Her first match, pending the receipt of her International Transfer Certificate (ITC), should be against the Western New York Flash on July 9.

Utsugi, 27, has already amassed quite the international career, representing Japan in the 2007, 2011, and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments. She has 87 caps and five goals for Japan, playing every minute of the team's seven World Cup matches in 2015, where she was voted onto the 2015 World Cup All-Star Squad.

That, uh, makes them even better, particularly during the Olympics, since Japan won't be there.
   49. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:46 AM (#5235569)
In which Klinsmann again throws his players under the bus.

If I am blocking that progress for young players and I go with the older ones and I am safe for the next two World Cup qualifiers in September, I am not going to be safe two years from now.


Oh please. Gulati has posters of you in his bedroom.
   50. Baldrick Posted: June 03, 2016 at 12:46 PM (#5235642)
I was only able to watch the first 30 minutes of US-Japan. Will try to catch up on it this weekend because it sounds like it was a lot of fun. One question I have for those who watched the whole thing: how was Morgan? I've seen a bunch of comments today that she was miles better than the rest of the team, that she saved them, etc. But...at least in the part that I watched, she did basically nothing except score a goal. And most of the work to GET that goal was done by other people. And the second goal was clearly off her shoulder.

Now, scoring goals is important, and putting yourself in a place to be fortunate is a real skill. But...there's more to the game than just that. And no one lauding her seems to mention anything other than those goals. Which strike me as more Joe Carter than Lou Gehrig. Am I being overly critical?
First, I think the secret to the US is out: they can't pass out of the back. I expect them to struggle much more in the future.

For real. Wasn't a secret before, exactly, but Japan proved the point quite clearly.

Not having a fully fit Morgan Brian is a HUGE problem here, since one of her best skills is generating out balls for teammates under pressure. But she really can't do that very well when she's afraid to trust her quick bursts.
   51. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2016 at 12:51 PM (#5235649)
Morgan got very little service; she hardly got a touch on the ball in the first 15-20 minutes. Scoring twice was about all she could do.
   52. Ron J2 Posted: June 03, 2016 at 01:35 PM (#5235703)
This will no doubt shock people. Blatter, Valcke and Kattner awarded themselves £55m, say Fifa lawyers. Payments appear to break Swiss law. Kattner fired.

Link
   53. jmurph Posted: June 03, 2016 at 03:14 PM (#5235795)
Whoa, the Guardian says Arsenal have triggered Vardy's release clause. That seems so, so, entire un-Arsene. I'm surprised. Do people think he'll go? I think he probably has to do it.
   54. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: June 03, 2016 at 03:23 PM (#5235803)
I seem to recall folks talking up Venezuela in prior years, but the bookies really don't think much of them -- 12/1 to win the group and 100/1 to win the tournament. As long-shots go those seem like reasonable bets, especially given Uruguay will be Suarez-less for the group stages. Or am I overstating their case?
   55. Swedish Chef Posted: June 03, 2016 at 03:30 PM (#5235806)
I had to explain to my wife that they don't play club soccer in Europe in the summertime.

Her: "I thought they played soccer in the summer?"
Me: "Well, in America, they do. In Europe the season runs from August to May."
Her: "Through the winter?"
Me: "Yep."
Her: "Doesn't it get cold in the winter...?!"
Me: "Europeans are weird, what can I say?"


Some countries play in the summer, like the Nordic countries and Russia. Degenerate gamblers love us for keeping the matches coming.
   56. PepTech Posted: June 03, 2016 at 04:01 PM (#5235831)
A question was going around my office about the USMNT not being taken seriously with an import coach. The assertion was that no self-respecting world power would have a foreign entity at the helm of their team... that seemed a little draconian. It wasn't that long ago the England had Capello, for one thing. It's easier for me to ask you guys then to spend a bunch of time on teh interwebs... What about your Spains and Germanys and Russias? How common is it to have outsiders in charge (when you're not, say, Egypt)? What about in South America, any cultural difference there?
   57. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2016 at 04:11 PM (#5235843)
A question was going around my office about the USMNT not being taken seriously with an import coach. The assertion was that no self-respecting world power would have a foreign entity at the helm of their team... that seemed a little draconian.


It is, though there is a strong argument to be made that foreign coach can have trouble "getting" the nation he is coaching. There's certainly examples on both ends of the spectrum there.

It wasn't that long ago the England had Capello, for one thing.


How could you forget Soccer Thread Favorite Sven-Goran Eriksson?
   58. PepTech Posted: June 03, 2016 at 04:40 PM (#5235873)
I haven't forgotten Sack the Swede, but that was before Capello :)

I'm moderately aware of England's dramatic history, and I'm pretty sure Spain has always been Spaniards, but it's the other Euro-quality squads that I'm curious about. Iceland? Czechia? Portugal? And then your Chiles and Paraguays. What does Conventional Wisdom say - if you're a have-not, you need to go get a "real coach" to show you the way, right? Or not.

Or can a have-not never have it, realistically, these days? I suppose Netherlands or Belgium might crack the club someday, but I don't see anyone else ever doing it. Well, "ever" is a long time. But Egypt and New Zealand and Peru and Costa Rica have no chance, now and forever. Or the US, honestly. They might win the Copa in a down year, but not a World Cup.
   59. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: June 03, 2016 at 05:04 PM (#5235907)
Isn't Capello managing Russia at the moment?
   60. Randy Jones Posted: June 03, 2016 at 05:28 PM (#5235947)
Until the 70's the Dutch national team had had mostly non-Dutch managers.

Edit: Quick skim through wiki articles shows most of the other big teams have had a couple foreign managers.

Edit 2:
Or can a have-not never have it, realistically, these days? I suppose Netherlands or Belgium might crack the club someday, but I don't see anyone else ever doing it. Well, "ever" is a long time. But Egypt and New Zealand and Peru and Costa Rica have no chance, now and forever. Or the US, honestly. They might win the Copa in a down year, but not a World Cup.
Man, if the team that lost in the WC final in 2010 and the semi-final in 2014 is a "have-not", who are the "haves"?
   61. PepTech Posted: June 03, 2016 at 06:46 PM (#5235986)
"Have" won the World Cup, and "have not". Spain-Netherlands was an outlier historically - the first time a non-host country has won their first Cup in my lifetime. There's a half-dozen teams who realistically can win the thing, regardless of the hoorah or how many group round shocks there are in a given cycle. Your Ghanas and South Koreas can make a run, but not truly compete for the title.

Netherlands haven't won it, and Dutch teams have faded from Europe (I should know, I'm an Ajax fan from way back). They, or Colombia, or Chile, or Belgium... maybe can. Probably not. Literally anyone else? I don't see it, do you? Portugal, I guess, if Ronaldo goes nuts, but will he even still be viable in that way by 2018?
   62. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 03, 2016 at 07:04 PM (#5235996)
I always think of the Japanese women's national team when this type of discussion comes up. The Nadeshiko were nowhere internationally until the mid 2000s, and even then had never gone beyond the group stage. That is, until they won in 2011, and then followed it up by reaching the finals of the next two major competitions, and winning the Asian Cup for the first time, and this is in women's football, which is an even more closed club in terms of genuine challengers than on the male side.

Yes, it was a Golden Generation, but that happens for most countries (countries are good in bunches, and then they aren't), and we'll see in the next few years if the generation who grew up watching Naho and Sawa was inspired to continue. There will always be surprise teams and surprise generations, imo, and the list of "teams who have a realistic shot of winning" is a lot more fluid than we think.

IIRC (without checking), Italy has never had a non-Italian manager, the last non-French manager of France was Kovacs, and I can't recall a non-German manager of Germany (does Klinsmann count? lol). I can't recall any non-Argentinians, though I would guess they had a couple of Italians early. Same for Brazil, but maybe a Portuguese manager or two? Brazil have ridiculous turnover (e.g. Carlos Alberto Parreira has coached them three times, Mario Zagallo twice, Dunga twice), though, so I could easily be forgetting someone.

I have no idea about Uruguay and we already discussed England.
   63. Swedish Chef Posted: June 03, 2016 at 07:55 PM (#5236021)
It's not impossible for an underdog to win the World Cup, the competition format is way easier than what Leicester faced. It just takes a stroke of luck more than what Greece had in the Euros when they won, and the teams in the discussion are mostly much better than Greece was.
   64. Baldrick Posted: June 03, 2016 at 08:47 PM (#5236043)
If you can get to the semifinals, you can win the tournament. And plenty of 'randoms' have made the semifinals.

Is it likely that any specific one of these teams will win soon? Not especially. But is it likely that one of them will win eventually? Very.
   65. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2016 at 09:45 PM (#5236071)
That didn't take long.
   66. Baldrick Posted: June 03, 2016 at 09:46 PM (#5236072)
That didn't take long.

Came here to say just that. Nice move by Cameron to force the corner, but the stuff on both sides of that move...less so.
   67. Baldrick Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:08 PM (#5236080)
US doesn't look too bad, honestly. They just look like they're not as good as Colombia.
   68. The Rare Albino Shrieking Goat of Guatemala. Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:20 PM (#5236084)
How did that handball call look?
   69. Baldrick Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:21 PM (#5236089)
My 72 hours of moderate optimism has now officially ended.

Handball rules are pretty stupid, but by the rules that's probably a handball. So it goes.
   70. Baldrick Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:59 PM (#5236114)
It's the 63rd minute. Do you know where your Pulisic is?
   71. Howie Menckel Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:39 PM (#5236135)

Bedoya took a beating in Twitter tonight, and I feel old having gone to college with his father....
   72. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2016 at 11:46 PM (#5236139)
Bedoya was hardly the worst player out there. I'd give that honor to Bradley, but Dempsey did little except for 2 plays; Zardes worked hard but can't keep the ball very well; Johnson played good defense but never really got forward and made most of his passes backwards; Jones was Jones. Plenty of inadequacy to go around.
   73. Baldrick Posted: June 04, 2016 at 03:23 AM (#5236195)
Other than Zardes and (somewhat) Bedoya, I didn't think anyone was irredeemably bad tonight. And it's not like those two didn't contribute anything. It's just that they were the most significantly below the call of duty. Bradley was also having some real trouble, and had a couple 10-15 minute stretches of playing like utter poop. So you could maybe include him on the 'genuinely bad' list. Everyone else...did some good stuff and some bad stuff. Or drifted out of the game.

But even that midfield trio wasn't truly terrible. They were just the most meh of a team of meh, and had the most responsibility so their mehness shone through a little brighter. And really, when you're playing with a 3 man midfield and all of them have bad games, it's going to be pretty hard for ANYONE to really look that good.
   74. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: June 04, 2016 at 09:37 AM (#5236224)
Saw the highlights when I got home last night. I'm oddly encouraged, a bad individual effort for the first goal and a weak but correct penalty for the second. From what I've read and heard the US played very poorly and in the end lost just 2-0 to the best team in the group. The disaster would be giving away the game against Paraguay or Costa Rica.

I think any realistic scenario had the us losing to Colombia so I'm not too bothered.
   75. frannyzoo Posted: June 04, 2016 at 03:40 PM (#5236389)
France making Scotland look a bit like San Marino here. Certainly wouldn't bet against them to take the Euro, at home and all.
   76. Mefisto Posted: June 04, 2016 at 03:46 PM (#5236397)
The French midfield seems likely to be the class of the tournament. Giroud and the defense look to be solid if unspectacular. That certainly could be enough.
   77. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 04, 2016 at 03:57 PM (#5236406)
Flipped my Copa tickets and make $100. Oh yea.

some UMSNT thoughts...

First, it was a typical uninspired, conservative, Jurgen starting 11. Relying on Jermaine Jones, an out of form Bradley and Zardes to "control" the midfield, or even spark counters and snuff out Colombian was always a bridge too far. Would have much rather seen Nguyen included on the roster and Nagbe starting. Nagbe might be a flash in the pan, but he's also only 25, ie, young enough to be a factor in Russia in two years. Jones will be long gone by then, probably Bradley as well.

The first Colombian goal was almost entirely the fault of Cameron, who lost his man on a simple pick in the box. It was also a clinical finish by the Colombian and was a good example of the technical superiority of the Colombians. When Bedoya had a similar chance late in the game he put in into the 50th row.

After the goal it looked like the US was enjoying some possession and front foot play but really I think Colombia was willing to sit back and counter and it worked for them as Yedlin made just an awful attempt to get out of the way of that cross, fairly obvious penalty IMO.

After it was 2-0 game was basically over given the absolute toothless US attack. Why Jurgen insists on playing everybody out of position is mind boggling, especially Dempsey as loan striker and Bobby Wood as wide man.

Altidore isn't any great shakes the man the US desperately needed someone to hold up play and link the midfield last night. They had nobody for that job. Clint tried but he's just too old at this point to give it his all for 90 minutes, not that he's ever been a pure effort player.

Starting the 2nd half with the same 11 was par for the course for Jurgen, as inserting Nagbe and Pulisic at that point of course would have been "admitting" a mistake.

Waiting until nearly the 70th minute was inexcusable IMO, game was well over at that point. And then taking Jones off instead of Bradley, well I dunno. Bradley was BRUTAL last night. Nobody is afraid of him actually dribbling so they just sit off and pick off his obvious passes.

All in all Colombia is a good team and the US didn't play awful overall but nobody had a good individual performance and it was the same mediocre play we've seen for long stretches under Jurgen. There wasn't any point last night where I really felt the US was dangerous in the attack or in possesion. For the most part it just seemed like Colombia was on cruise control.

If the US comes out guns blazing verse Los Ticos I might actually be impressed but I'm expecting the same starting 11 and a 1-1 tie or 1-0 win at best.
   78. frannyzoo Posted: June 04, 2016 at 04:14 PM (#5236420)
Almeria look safe after Ponferradina gives up a goal. Promotion/relegation day in Segunda is always fun.
   79. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2016 at 06:18 PM (#5236510)
This Costa Rica / Paraguay game is a snoozer. Neither team looks good.
   80. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 04, 2016 at 06:51 PM (#5236527)
This Costa Rica / Paraguay game is a snoozer. Neither team looks good.


As usual the US's only hope is that the other #### teams in their group are shittier.

Kinda mad I sold my tickets and decided to work. It's a beautiful day for anything here in Seattle, but especially going down to the game. Pocketbook is heavier though.
   81. Baldrick Posted: June 04, 2016 at 07:02 PM (#5236532)
   82. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2016 at 07:08 PM (#5236534)
To be fair, it was over 90 there, and the play did pick up a bit in the second half. Still, a win and a draw would likely get the US through now, and of course 2 wins would. A loss and they are done.

Costa Rica and Paraguay should have been playing to win. A draw in that game is unlikely to do either team much good in the end.
   83. spivey Posted: June 04, 2016 at 07:16 PM (#5236538)
As usual the US's only hope is that the other #### teams in their group are shittier.

To be fair the US advanced out of a group in the last WC where they were by FAR the worst team. They beat Ghana, who by the way was the only team in the entire tournament that looked willing and capable of going toe to toe with Germany.

I mean, I hate the regression we've seen the last few years, but I don't think there's any denying they tend to punch above their weight in big tournaments.
   84. spivey Posted: June 04, 2016 at 07:19 PM (#5236539)
To be fair, it was over 90 there, and the play did pick up a bit in the second half. Still, a win and a draw would likely get the US through now, and of course 2 wins would. A loss and they are done.

Despite my last post, why on earth should we expect the US to get results against these two teams? I get we're playing at home, but the US seems kinda ####.
   85. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2016 at 09:37 PM (#5236593)
I agree the USA has not looked good. They're still pretty big favorites in their 2 remaining games (just under 50% to win each), and are favorites to advance out of the group (in 2nd).

Haiti just missed a golden chance to tie it up late in extra time on a set piece. Unbelievable. Peru still in bad shape though, because now they will likely need to beat Ecuador or draw Brazil to advance. A draw against Ecuador will probably put them in 3rd now.
   86. frannyzoo Posted: June 04, 2016 at 10:56 PM (#5236612)
Yes, the FOX play-by-play guy for Brazil/Ecuador said "that'll be a flag," when a Brazilian defender clipped an Ecuadorian on one of their few counters in the first half. It turned out to be a yellow "flag" and not a red "flag."

I laughed.
   87. spivey Posted: June 04, 2016 at 11:33 PM (#5236622)
Wow, that honest to goodness looked like a goal.

I just don't understand the #### goalkeeping some of these otherwise really good teams have.
   88. spivey Posted: June 04, 2016 at 11:37 PM (#5236623)
This game needs a little Fred.
   89. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2016 at 11:42 PM (#5236624)
These announcers on Setanta were sure that it was out. But I was watching the same replay and it was way too close for me to call (and if I had to guess I would have said that the ball did not go out of play). I have noticed a strong bias to call the ball out of the field of play when it's close, with the notable exception of plays in the goal mouth (before goal line technology of course).
   90. Baldrick Posted: June 04, 2016 at 11:49 PM (#5236627)
Didn't look like it went out to me on the replay, but live I assumed it did go out, if only because the keeper was so weirdly nonchalant about it.
   91. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: June 04, 2016 at 11:51 PM (#5236629)
It seemed like the linesman anticipated it going out. The announcers were trying to see he was screened by the goal posts but if the ball isn't visible behind e posts it's not out, they should be a marker rather than an obstruction.
   92. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: June 04, 2016 at 11:52 PM (#5236630)
Boy, that could have easily been red.
   93. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2016 at 11:54 PM (#5236631)
It seemed like the linesman anticipated it going out.
I think this is the gist of the strong bias. I just don't really understand why the bias exists (and I say that as both a former youth ref and a fan. Why do you want play to stop?)
   94. Baldrick Posted: June 05, 2016 at 12:02 AM (#5236633)
I watched 210 minutes of soccer today and saw zero goals. Now, I'm a believer in the Religion of Goals are Overrated, but...that's going a little too far.
   95. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 05, 2016 at 12:10 AM (#5236635)
Yes, and there weren't even a lot of good scoring chances in the minutes I saw (about 190 total, also with no goals).
   96. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 05, 2016 at 12:17 AM (#5236637)
Copa America always seems to be like that. My least favourite major tournament by a country mile.* Costa Rica v Paraguay felt like so many Copa games from the past and I turned it off about 25 mins in (which I almost never do, for any type of game).

Was going to write a long thing before the Brazil game noting how much I hated Brazil's squad selection, how Elias, Renato Augusto, and Casemiro in the middle are super redundant, and how their entire attack would revolve around Willian and Coutinho dribbling on their own, but didn't because that would have taken an age to type on my phone and I'm very tired atm. Felt very vindicated in the first half where they were spreading the ball wide through the outside backs, but failing miserably to take advantage of the space and fewer doubles in the middle because of the lack of an interior passer. Lucas Moura is good and should play more.

Though Bolanos was excellent (sorry, not sure how to do tilde ns on my new phone yet) and Ecuador had position and speed on the break, but not particularly sharp passing. Game in general lacked a lot of sharpness and my irritation with the Brazil squad selection overall feels justified. There's very little dynamism there at all.

Felipe Luis is also very good and his skill almost singlehandedly justifies watching this Brazil team (Willian too). Almost. Didn't anticipate how much space he would provide out there; pleasantly surprised.

*in case you're curious, my favourite is the African Cup of Nations for some reason (excluding the WC or the Olympics, I mean). Crazy things always seem to happen there.
   97. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 05, 2016 at 01:07 AM (#5236648)
On replay it really looks like that should have been a goal.
   98. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 05, 2016 at 09:58 AM (#5236678)
Kante's release clause triggered by PSG, and at this point who knows if Mahrez also has a clause. Leicester will have to spend very well to make up for the players they'll be losing.
   99. Baldrick Posted: June 05, 2016 at 12:24 PM (#5236727)
USWNT lineup out. Same as last time, except Pugh is under the weather and Press is in for her. Which, yeah, is pretty ridiculous. It's just a friendly, and whatever, but the management of this team is incredibly frustrating. On normal teams, friendlies give you a chance to test players out, to experiment a little bit, to give your second keeper at least a couple minutes. And on normal teams, form is related to playing time.

The USWNT is not a normal team. Players 'earn' spots, and once they have them, virtually nothing can be done to change that fact. And while the players are good enough that they'll still probably do very well, the long-term structure of the operation is not being particularly well sheparded here.
   100. Baldrick Posted: June 05, 2016 at 02:50 PM (#5236784)
Weather delay in US-Japan begins at literally the exact moment that Ali Krieger enters the game. Tell me this is a coincidence.
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