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Monday, June 05, 2017

OT: Summer Soccer Thread 2017

‘Tis summer, and the silly season did blather and bamboozle the internets.

With the Champion’s League all wrapped up in a Ronaldo shaped box, it’s time to move on to more important things. Like whether Antoine Griezmann leave Athleti, whither Alaxandre Lacazette, and why doesn’t Liverpool just hire Southampton’s recruitment staff and cut out the middle man. Also of interest: Sanchez, Ozil, Mahrez, Hazard, and anyone else with a z in his name apparently. Plus oh so much more! Get it all here in your summer soccer thread!

The Marksist Posted: June 05, 2017 at 01:44 PM | 187 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1. Topher Posted: June 05, 2017 at 06:32 PM (#5469312)
Topher Posted: July 27, 2016 at 02:43 PM (#5273206)
Anyone else think the Higuain fee was crazy?


I don't think it's crazy. I kinda of like it. Although it's worth stating that I like Higuain and that could give me some bias. If you don't think he's a great talent, then of course this is crazy.

Don't get me wrong, I don't see how it isn't an overpay. I like Higuain but he's not worth this price. But I'm not sure I'd call it crazy. Juventus wants to compete for the Champions League. At present, Juventus is one of a handful that legitimately can claim a real chance at it. They have to replace Morata. I'm not sure if I'm them I settle for a lesser player. They have to be rolling in money, especially with their recent success in capturing out of contract players for free.

€90 million is extremely high and normally you'd want to be able to recoup some of that money so you'd invest in a younger player. I get that. Even if Higuain is worth €90M in talent (and he's not that good), his age would lower that number.

But Juventus' time is now. Even though Higuain is all that young at the age of 28, he's going to be one one of the youngest players in the starting 11.

I feel that Juventus simply had to pay the ManU premium on the player. The selling team knows (a) you have the money, (2) you really want the payer, (3) there are very few equivalent talents and those guys are generally locked up by the Big 3.

I guess the question I'd pose is if not Higuain, than who? And are those savings really worth it to a team like Juventus.


Reposting from 10 months ago ....

So 10 months and €90M later, what are the collective thoughts on the Higuain signing? Juventus did make it to the Final. I don't think Juve was winning anyway, but Higuain did not really show up for the Final. (He does seem to have a habit of that.)

10 months later, I'm not sure I believe what I posted earlier but I think I'll still defend it. I think this was Juve's best chance to win the Champions League since the team is full of players on the wrong side of 30. Even though they came up short, I think it was worth splurging on Higuain to give it a run this year.

In Serie A he wasn't lights out, but most of his 24 goals were needed since Juventus did not run away with the league this season.

Was that worth €90M? I think it is probably fair to say that had Juventus won the Champions League that it is worth it but since they failed it was not. I'll still say that while it wasn't the *best* way to spend €90M, it still was justifiable. I'm guessing the rest of you will still disagree with me but I thought it would be interesting to see if the run to the Final changed anybody's opinion.
   2. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 05, 2017 at 07:17 PM (#5469340)
Just awful


The former Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tioté has died after reportedly suffering a heart attack while training with his club in China.

The Ivory Coast international joined the Chinese League One side Beijing Enterprises in January having spent seven years at St James’ Park. The 30-year-old was reported to have collapsed at the training ground on Monday and been taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“I can confirm that my client Cheick Tioté sadly passed away today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises,” his agent, Emanuele Palladino, said in a statement. “We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time. We ask for all your prayers.”

A statement from Beijing Enterprises added: “During a routine training session at 6pm today, Ivory Coast player Cheick Tioté suddenly fainted and the club immediately rushed him to hospital, but unfortunately efforts to save him failed and he passed away at 7pm. The player’s relatives have been informed. Beijing Enterprises football club expresses its deep sorrow and profound condolences for Mr Tioté’s untimely death.”

It is understood that Tioté has been living in China on his own since leaving the north-east in January and his wife Madah is expecting their third child this week. His former manager at Newcastle, Alan Pardew, said he was devastated by the news


It sure seems like football is *the* sport when it comes to on field deaths, whether that's during a match or training ... seems cruelly ironic give the levels of fitness required to compete ...
   3. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 05, 2017 at 08:29 PM (#5469371)
Is it possible the fitness issues are the cause? These guys run SO much often in adverse conditions to running that if they have a genetic condition is it more likely to be exacerbated?

Additionally there is a level of travel that doesn't exist in other sports. A guy like Tiote who has gone Ivory Coast to Netherlands to England to China...that's all vastly different places so is there a level of nutrition or medical care that becomes inconsistent?

This is all just spitballing on my end obviously. As you say is is a terrible tragedy.
   4. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 05, 2017 at 10:43 PM (#5469468)
I don't think Higuain is worth 90 million, but he is one of the best strikers in the world and the ones that are clearly better are not available (or weren't identified as such last year, like Mbappe). It's also possible that the price of players is changing rapidly.

The amount of money being thrown about right now is just absurd, too. Reading the stuff about about someone like Van Dijk being sold for 50 million pounds? That's crazy to me. Guys that seem relatively unproven are costing 30-40 million. Obviously, in this case they had to trigger the release clause, which means you add on some money. Still, it's hard to believe they couldn't have bought Morata. I dunno, though, but he doesn't seem like a guy that will ever be more than a backup at Real.
   5. OPS+ Posted: June 06, 2017 at 08:20 AM (#5469558)
This is one of the more ridiculous red cards (second yellow) that I've ever seen. The defender sticks his foot right into the path of Onomah's foot.
   6. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 06, 2017 at 09:53 AM (#5469599)
That's a bad card but I think it's worth noting that the assistant ref on the sideline waved for the foul on Onomah so there was agreement between them. I think if you deem it a foul on Onomah then it's pretty much got to be a yellow for the stamp. I think it was a terrible call but I see why it was called.

Speaking of the U-20s how about a shoutout to the US 11 for an impressive tournament. Win the group, wipe out New Zealand and go to extra time with Venezuela. We haven't had a lot of great results the last couple of years at any level so it's nice to get something.
   7. Sean Forman Posted: June 06, 2017 at 06:11 PM (#5470159)
I was hopeful we'd caught a break avoiding all of the Euro sides out of our half of the bracket, but it turns out the VE may be the best team in tourney allowing only one goal and scoring the most goals. Two consecutive QF finishes neither with the best U20 in US history and missing a couple other good players like McKennie and Olosunde.
   8. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5470598)
Any excitement for the Confederations Cup? Seems like a reasonably interesting group of teams, though New Zealand and Australia will presumably be totally outclassed. I don't care as much about the internationals, but hey, there isn't any other soccer I care about happening, so it will have to do.
   9. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 07, 2017 at 10:28 AM (#5470619)
I'm excited murph. The last couple of Confeds were really good and as you say it's a pretty strong group. NZ and Australia are teams that while they will likely be the worst of the bunch should be considerably better than Tahiti.

The last few Confeds have also been goal fests;

2005 - 3.5/game
2009 - 2.75/game
2013 - 4.25/game (3.31 without the Tahiti slaughters)

I think what happens is it's a bit like the League Cup, maybe a few stars don't play (Germany is apparently bringing a bit of a lesser team) but the players that play take it very seriously while at the same time there is some freedom that they know it's not a life defining tournament like a WC, Euro or CopaAmerica can be so it lends itself to some open soccer.
   10. Mefisto Posted: June 07, 2017 at 07:02 PM (#5471135)
Well well. Reports are that Conte has told Diego Costa that Costa is not wanted at Chelsea next year. China, or will Mourinho grab him?
   11. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 07, 2017 at 07:52 PM (#5471161)
And 'Pool have dropped their pursuit of Van Dijk after displaying almost Trumpian levels of incompetency/stupidity in the chase.


Southampton are confident that Virgil van Dijk will remain at the club next season after Liverpool were forced into a humiliating climbdown over their pursuit of the player. The south-coast club were furious to read stories on Monday that Liverpool were primed to complete a £60m move for the Holland centre-half and they reported them to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach.

Southampton felt that Liverpool’s fingerprints were on the stories and they questioned how there could have been the belief at Anfield that Van Dijk wanted to join them given they had made no official approach for him. Moreover, they wondered how – as per the reports – Van Dijk might be so keen to play for Jürgen Klopp if he had not spoken to the Liverpool manager.

It has been reported that Van Dijk met Klopp in Blackpool to discuss the proposed transfer – which would have been in breach of the League’s rules on tapping-up. On Wednesday evening, Liverpool released a statement on their website in which they apologised to Southampton over “any misunderstanding” regarding the pursuit of Van Dijk and stated that they had formally dropped their interest in him.

“Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs,” the statement read. “We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk. We respect Southampton’s position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player.”

Southampton wonder how Liverpool could have dropped their interest in a player about whom they had never formally enquired – a clear admission, in their opinion, of the Merseyside club’s guilt in terms of the alleged illegal approach.


I mean, they're already under a ban on signing academy players ...
   12. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:30 AM (#5471435)
So for all the hullabaloo the US can get it's #### together this week in qualifying terms. We should be able to win at T&T and that would leave us with 7 points with 5 to play so even a loss at the Azteca wouldn't be fatal. Right now compared to last cycle we are a bit behind;

vs. Mexico -3
@ Costa Rica 0
vs. Honduras 0
@ Panama -2

Last cycle we beat Jamaica (the one team not in the hex this time, T&T has replaced them) and drew at the Azteca so 4 points in these games to stay even.

The thing is, we don't need to do that. As nice as it would be to win the group going away like we did four years ago we just need to qualify. In recent cycles the relevant point totals are;

2014 - 15 3rd/11 4th/8 5th
2010 - 16 3rd/16 4th/8 5th
2006 - 16 3rd/13 4th/11 5th
2002 - 17 3rd/14 4th/8 5th
1998 - 14 3rd/12 4th/10 5th

So if we can get to 15 points we should be positioned to advance. Our remaining games;

vs. Trinidad and Tobago
@ Mexico
vs. Costa Rica
@ Honduras
vs. Panama
@ Trinidad and Tobago

Right now we are on 4 points which is not getting it done. However, if we can take care of business in the two T&T games and the home Panama game that's nine points. At worst that should leave us in a playoff which is likely to be Saudi Arabia or Australia. We aren't good enough to make assumptions but both of those teams should be winnable ties.
   13. The Marksist Posted: June 08, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5471447)
This Liverpool thing is ridiculous. Without knowing who actually ###### up, this feels like classic FSG BS. Overall, I think they're a way above average ownership group, but they way they use the media is bizarre. They leak stuff all the time in really obvious ways and end up embarrassing themselves too often because they jump the gun. I mean, you might scare off another bidder (Man City) by leaking a story that van Dijk wants to come to Anfield, but you expose yourself to something much, much worse (possible transfer ban). Is the upside there actually worth basically admitting you broke the rules? Wouldn't you be better of just doing it properly? Like, Henry/Warner/whoever have to understand basic rick management, right?

Anyway, I'm not sure it's a huge deal to lose out on van Dijk in the grand scheme of things. And I don't expect a transfer ban, but the fact that it's a possibility should be bad enough. Just keep a lid on things until you have at least handshakes all around.

Dummies.
   14. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 10:25 AM (#5471456)
Meanwhile, this story needs a little love


One soccer fan in London never forgot about his team, even when he decided to risk his own life fighting the attackers near London Bridge over the weekend. 47-year-old Roy Larner is recovering after being stabbed multiple times.

Larner found himself in the middle of the terrorist attack at a restaurant near London Bridge. Seeing the attackers he screamed “f*** you, I’m Millwall!” as he ran at them inside the Black & Blue restaurant and bar, referencing his favorite soccer team and their penchant for violence. He proceeded to fight with the attackers until police arrived and shot them. Larner’s actions are credited with saving several lives as a result.

How does someone become bold enough to risk their life to fight armed terrorists? Well, he was “four or five pints” in and felt it was the right thing to do. Larner explained what he was thinking to The Guardian.

“I thought, ‘I need to take the piss out of these bastards’. I took a few steps towards them and said, ‘Fuck you, I’m Millwall’. So they started attacking me.”



Just awesome!
   15. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 08, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5471496)
This joke has been made on the internet a bunch of times, but at this point, why doesn't Liverpool just hire all the scouting/development staff at Southampton?

The way English teams buy players just varies so much. You have City who focus on who they want and get it done - negotiations aren't played out in public. United have long drawn out negotiations where they keep bidding against themselves. Chelsea buy players then promptly sends them out on loan. Arsenal has a bunch of "almosts" and then panic buy when they sell someone at the last minute. Liverpool plays these games and I'd imagine they're pissing off a lot of teams, although Southamption gets the brunt of it.
   16. Baldrick Posted: June 08, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5472037)
“I thought, ‘I need to take the piss out of these bastards’. I took a few steps towards them and said, ‘Fuck you, I’m Millwall’. So they started attacking me.”

Having just finished reading Among the Thugs, this story surprises me not even a little bit.
   17. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 07:58 PM (#5472128)

USA

XI: Howard; Villafaña, Brooks, Cameron, Yedlin; Johnson, Bradley, Pulisic, Nagbe; Altidore, Dempsey

Subs: Guzan, Rimando, Gonzalez, Ream, Beasley, Wood, Bedoya, McCarty, Arriola, Acosta, Morris, Zusi


Should be 3 points tonight, needs to be 3 points tonight.

Get this done and get it done early.
   18. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 08:16 PM (#5472138)
Holden is 100% right, US is being way too passive.
   19. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 08:35 PM (#5472153)
US playing better but still doesn't look together. Lot of misplaced passes up top.
   20. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5472167)
Disappointing half the US.

They play like this over the next 3 halves and they're far more likely to end up with 0 points, rather than 4 ...
   21. madvillain Posted: June 08, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5472169)
I dislike Bruce Arena almost as much as Jurgen. Both are punchable in their own unique ways. I wouldn't care if Bruce was some mastermind coach but his slobbish ass appearance bothers the #### out of me in addition to his coaching.
   22. cmd600 Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:04 PM (#5472185)
why doesn't Liverpool just hire all the scouting/development staff at Southampton?


Cut out the middleman and go straight for Celtic's. Got Van Dijk for 3M, Forster for 2M, and Wanyama for 1M
   23. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:10 PM (#5472191)
Yedlin to Pulisic ... that gives me the feels!
   24. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:11 PM (#5472194)
Jesus guys, thank god for the flag.
   25. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:11 PM (#5472196)
And yeah, Pulisic!
   26. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:17 PM (#5472203)
Meanwhile, for the TnT goalie ... is this "standing-on-your-head"?

I'm going to vote for "standing-on-your-head".
   27. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:19 PM (#5472205)
PULISIC!
   28. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:20 PM (#5472208)
Sorry Night Ranger, that's MISTER Christian!
   29. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:23 PM (#5472209)
Ok, 28 is awesome.

Let me ask a question I was thinking about today since it's relevant. What is the future for Pulisic? I'm not knowledgeable enough but I assume he's not Messi/Ronaldo but is he a top ten player? An Aguero maybe? Can someone give me a sense of a player who might be a good comp for likely and upside on him? Scholes?
   30. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:28 PM (#5472213)
I'll simply be happy with "best-player-the-USMNT-has-seen".
   31. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5472215)
Oh I will top. I'm just trying to get a sense of whether it's feasible to hope for better.
   32. Baldrick Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:40 PM (#5472226)
Let me ask a question I was thinking about today since it's relevant. What is the future for Pulisic? I'm not knowledgeable enough but I assume he's not Messi/Ronaldo but is he a top ten player? An Aguero maybe? Can someone give me a sense of a player who might be a good comp for likely and upside on him? Scholes?

If he reaches his full potential, he could be a top 10 player. I don't think he'll quite get there, but it's not inconceivable.

The higher edge of his range is maybe...Alexis Sanchez?
   33. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 08, 2017 at 09:50 PM (#5472234)
Pulisic will deseveredly get the headlines but some other good performances. In a flat first half I thought Villafana was very good and energetic and Cameron was very stable in defense. On top of that, and they just mentioned it, we dodged the yellow card bullet.
   34. Mefisto Posted: June 09, 2017 at 12:38 PM (#5472604)
No surprise here: United plan to release Zlatan.
   35. Sean Forman Posted: June 09, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5472717)
The higher edge of his range is maybe...Alexis Sanchez?


This is who I think of too. I think he'll get there too and might be a bit better. Top player on a big five league champion good? Eden Hazard?

He's 18, playing in the Champions League and has scored, assisted or drew the foul for the last 8 USMNT goals. This is nuts, but I don't think Eden Hazard would be all that surprising at this point.

Hazard debuted for Belgium at 17 and had 90 appearances and 15 goals for Lille (a Europa side in Ligue 1) by age 19.5. Pulisic turns 19 in sept and is at 7 goals and 53 appearances playing for Dortmund (a CL team in the Bundesliga).

Messi when he turned 19 had scored 7 goals and made 34 appearances for Barcelona. He made 6 appearances for Argentina by age 19.

In terms of performance, wouldn't you put Pulisic between Messi and Hazard? Both those players reached their top potential and Pulisic would need to grow into that, but I think something around Eden Hazard is on the table.
   36. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 09, 2017 at 02:43 PM (#5472728)
You guys are not helping me tamp down my expectations.
   37. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 09, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5472768)
You guys are not helping me tamp down my expectations.


Luckily, this ain't Freddy Adu Pt. II ...
   38. Topher Posted: June 09, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5472780)
Admittedly he hasn't had the opportunity but at this point in his career, Pulisic has proven nothing.

Talk to me after he's played on a cold, rainy night in Stoke.
   39. Baldrick Posted: June 09, 2017 at 03:56 PM (#5472865)
He's playing very well at 18, but some guys peak at 18. Some guys grow into being world class much later. I don't know that we have very good models of whether someone performing at his level right now should be expected to keep improving.
   40. aberg Posted: June 09, 2017 at 04:25 PM (#5472920)
Luckily, this ain't Freddy Adu Pt. II ...


Freddy A-Deux
   41. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 09, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5472949)
Man U is supposedly close to getting Morata for around 64M quid. I guess that would be cheaper than Mbappe or Lukaku. He seems like a Mourinho striker.

I'm having a hard time comparing Pulisic to someone. Alexis is much faster and stronger. Pulisic will get stronger but I have a hard time seeing he'll get as fast as Alexis.
   42. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 09, 2017 at 04:49 PM (#5472951)
Freddy A-Deux


Freddy Adu Redux
   43. Mefisto Posted: June 09, 2017 at 05:17 PM (#5472979)
Seems odd for United to pay that much money for Morata, when Madrid will turn around and use it to buy DeGea.
   44. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 09, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5472984)
Post 40>Post 42
   45. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 09, 2017 at 05:38 PM (#5472996)
Post 40>Post 42


Well, I smiled on #29, I've got to accept to #44.

Electric Boogaloo!
   46. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 09, 2017 at 05:39 PM (#5472997)
Seems odd for "X" to pay that much money for "Y"


We're going to be saying that a *lot* this summer ...
   47. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 09, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5473045)
Supposedly Madrid is put off by what Man U is asking for de gea - plus they just won everything with navas.

I really hope that a us nationatl team fan club starts singing "mister Christian" during matches
   48. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 09, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5473049)
Supposedly, Dr. Evil Levy is now asking 60+ for Walker ... I'd rather he didn't go, but at that price ...
   49. Textbook Editor Posted: June 09, 2017 at 09:16 PM (#5473136)
As I think I stated in the other thread somewhere... If Walker goes at all (let alone for 60+... !), I think it will be a combination of the offer + tactics plan for 2017-2018 that makes him considered expendable. If they get 60+ for him, I think you almost have to sell him.

If they wind up sticking with the 3-4-2-1 / 3-4-3 as their main formation, I'd argue that you can get away with (or perhaps have better options internally for) right wing-back in that set up. I'm not 100% sold on that notion, but I think--apart from the fee--if they do wind up selling Walker, it will be also because (to an extent) Spurs see him as replaceable.
   50. Mefisto Posted: June 11, 2017 at 03:54 PM (#5473790)
Big game in 4 hours. Let's hope the US men play better than the women did.
   51. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 11, 2017 at 06:16 PM (#5473890)
I think it's extremely unfair to compare Pulisic to Sanchez and Hazard. After the 3 best players in the world (to me that's CR, Messi, and Suarez - order isn't so important) I think there's a big jumble of amazing players. Sanchez and Hazard are in that discussion for 4th best player in the world IMO, along with Neymar and about a dozen others.

Sanchez (and Vidal) won a meaningful trophy for Chile. Sanchez has carried Arsenal the last 3-4 years. He's great at defense and pressing along with offense. He score goals like a striker.

Young players are hard to project in all sports. I think some of his best comps, and this might feel easy or be easy because he's on Dortmund but it also might just be Dortmund looks for a certain type of player. Mk..., Dembele, Reus, and young Kagawa/Gotze feel like reasonable comps/upside for him. He could be better, but I don't think that's the center of his bell curve.

Just a WAG, but I'm guessing for 10 guys with someone like Hazard's pedigree after the age of 19, only 1 of them turns out to be Hazard.
   52. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 11, 2017 at 06:31 PM (#5473897)
I also think the Mbappe prices are crazy. He looks very good, but I feel like he's a bit more pace and potential than fully developed, polished player. I guess that's to be expected for someone his age, but the cost is outrageous.
   53. Mefisto Posted: June 11, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5473920)
I agree that we shouldn't go crazy about Pulisic at this point in time. Too much can happen. Maybe instead of trying to predict a ceiling, we should predict a floor. For me, that would be Landon Donovan. I actually think Pulisic will be better, though how much better is unknowable. But if he's just "better than Landon", that would be pretty good.
   54. Mefisto Posted: June 11, 2017 at 07:14 PM (#5473922)
BTW, if you don't follow MCOA's twitter feed (and you should), he's recently posted some pretty impressive charts of Pulisic's performance.
   55. Mefisto Posted: June 11, 2017 at 07:38 PM (#5473931)
I'll say this: Arena isn't afraid to gamble.
   56. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2017 at 07:38 PM (#5473932)
I agree that we shouldn't go crazy about Pulisic at this point in time. Too much can happen. Maybe instead of trying to predict a ceiling, we should predict a floor. For me, that would be Landon Donovan. I actually think Pulisic will be better, though how much better is unknowable. But if he's just "better than Landon", that would be pretty good.

I mean, his floor is 'tears his ACL and then tears it again and never really gets a chance to play.'

Really what I think we want to know is: what's his floor and ceiling, within one standard deviation. And I think Donovan makes sense there. I certainly wouldn't be shocked if Pulisic 'only' had Donovan's career. It would be a disappointing, but not massively so.
   57. Mefisto Posted: June 11, 2017 at 07:39 PM (#5473933)
I mean, his floor is 'tears his ACL and then tears it again and never really gets a chance to play.'


Yeah, I think we're all assuming a career relatively "injury free".
   58. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2017 at 07:40 PM (#5473934)
In other news, the USWNT won two away games 1-0, but looked like garbage for most of the 180 minutes.

Yay?
   59. Mefisto Posted: June 11, 2017 at 07:50 PM (#5473938)
I continue to wonder what Jill Ellis has on Sunil that's powerful enough to keep her job.
   60. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: June 11, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5473948)
I mean, his floor is 'tears his ACL and then tears it again and never really gets a chance to play.'

So... Stuart Holden...
   61. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 11, 2017 at 08:36 PM (#5473952)
Back-to-back elbows to the faces of 2 American players ... 0 yellows*.

Good job, ref!

*Since both were thrown by Salcedo, should have been a double and a red
   62. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 11, 2017 at 08:40 PM (#5473954)
Of course, revenge is best served via an impudent chip of the keeper from Bradley!
   63. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 11, 2017 at 09:12 PM (#5473957)
I guess this isn't surprising, but Mexico seems to be getting most of the reffing breaks.

Although the goal that the US gave up is pretty squarely on the defense vs. Guzan, but man Guzan is not very athletic. He didn't even come close to that ball.

In general, Mexico just looks way quicker all around the field.
   64. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 11, 2017 at 09:14 PM (#5473958)
This is not exactly surprising, but the respect that Mexico has for Pulisic is insane.
   65. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 11, 2017 at 09:16 PM (#5473960)
Arturo Vidal would love this game.
   66. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2017 at 09:17 PM (#5473961)
My guess re:soccer deaths would be, because there are so many soccer players.
   67. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 11, 2017 at 09:33 PM (#5473968)
I guess this isn't surprising, but Mexico seems to be getting most of the reffing breaks.

Yeah, I'm obviously biased, but it has seemed pretty bad.
   68. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 11, 2017 at 09:36 PM (#5473971)
Passes Completed in 1st Half Tonight
Mexico 215
USA 66


Oof.
   69. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2017 at 09:39 PM (#5473974)
I've only been asking the US to play a patient game instead of sunday league indoor soccer "GOGGOOGOGGOOGOGGOGOGOGOOGO" for about.....53 years?
   70. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 11, 2017 at 10:01 PM (#5473981)
It's annoying after having Friedel and Howard for so long to have Guzan back there. I feel like some people are sympathetic to his cause, but I think he sucks.
   71. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 11, 2017 at 10:03 PM (#5473982)
Wow, a couple of incredible efforts by each team in the last few minutes.
   72. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2017 at 10:09 PM (#5473983)
Im annoyed that Friedel, Howard and Guzan are the only names I've heard in forever.

BUT...they cant do anything about the US consistently giving away possession.
   73. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: June 11, 2017 at 10:12 PM (#5473984)
TBF, the US can't do anything about the home cooking that enables Mexico to challenge so aggressively.
   74. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2017 at 10:14 PM (#5473985)
There's definitely an element of that.
   75. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 11, 2017 at 10:26 PM (#5473987)
When teams do short corners like that when the extra time is almost all gone and they know that... man, that's just stupidity.

That was a good point. Pulisic is a really good defender for a wing, which is good because I think it's pretty hard to a world class winger if you don't play defense.

Mexico clearly is better talent wise, and they dominated possession, but the US played well for the ~half of the game I saw.
   76. Textbook Editor Posted: June 11, 2017 at 10:29 PM (#5473989)
because I think it's pretty hard to a world class winger if you don't play defense.


I've been telling this to 10-11 year old wingers for 2 solid years now... sigh.
   77. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 11, 2017 at 10:40 PM (#5473991)
Mexico clearly is better talent wise, and they dominated possession, but the US played well for the ~half of the game I saw.


Don't have to be much better when the ref is spotting you forearm shivers to the face ...
   78. Sean Forman Posted: June 11, 2017 at 11:12 PM (#5473993)
w00t!
   79. Sean Forman Posted: June 11, 2017 at 11:18 PM (#5473995)
xG was 0.8 to 0.5 in favor of Mexico, so it really wasn't a case of the keeper standing on his head. The defense was just really damn good. That's the match the US needs to play to get to the QF of the WC.

Looks like Acosta is going to push out Jermaine Jones and Yedlin has locked down RB.

I hope we see a lot of the younger players in the Gold Cup. Not sure I see the point in playing the first team for that. Would love to cap tie Carter-Vickers.

edit: of course he's not on the roster which will make that hard. I assume guys like Hyndman and CCV are staying in Europe for preseason a la Wood a few years back.
   80. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 12, 2017 at 12:27 AM (#5474008)
I only got to see the last fifteen minutes but that's a great point.
   81. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 12, 2017 at 02:15 AM (#5474016)
I started watching the match on my TV upstairs, and after a few minutes decided to watch it on my better TV downstairs. It takes about 30 seconds to go down the stairs, and turn on the TV. In the time between when I switched the upstairs TV off, and the downstairs TV on, I missed Bradley's goal...
   82. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:29 AM (#5474018)
xG was 0.8 to 0.5 in favor of Mexico, so it really wasn't a case of the keeper standing on his head. The defense was just really damn good. That's the match the US needs to play to get to the QF of the WC.

Looks like Acosta is going to push out Jermaine Jones and Yedlin has locked down RB.

I hope we see a lot of the younger players in the Gold Cup. Not sure I see the point in playing the first team for that. Would love to cap tie Carter-Vickers.

edit: of course he's not on the roster which will make that hard. I assume guys like Hyndman and CCV are staying in Europe for preseason a la Wood a few years back.


QF???

They keep letting the other team get within 40 yards every possession without even thinking of challenging and they won't get out of the group stage.

Yes, they *absorbed* attacks well, even ferociously...but the response after gaining possession was fragmented and ill disciplined. Way too many "I stopped your attack and welp there ya go have it back, I wasted all of 3 seconds before gifting it to you possessions."

Now if the point is to get 1 point in Mexico...great job! Really. They did it!...but *that* type of play won't get them to the QF.

And FFS, my best friend played soccer with Damarcus Beasley. My best friend is 41...how the hell is Beasley still playing? He sucked way back when and still does.
   83. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 12, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5474117)
Beasley was a decent player in Europe and for the US for a while. However, it is really a sad state of affairs that he is still playing for the US.
   84. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 12, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5474125)
Beasley was a decent player in Europe and for the US for a while. However, it is really a sad state of affairs that he is still playing for the US.


Is there a bit of Scioscia/Mathis to that in that Beasley knows what Arena expects and Arena knows that Beasley will execute his game plan. And honestly I don't think that's an unreasonable decision. It's the Azteca. While not wanting to get too into the veteran goodness of it all I think a guy like Beasley, with all those changes give you a bit of experience and composure.

Additionally with back to back high altitude games and fatigue a concern the US made I think it was 7 changes so you're digging deep into the system at that point. Again the experience of Beasley helps with that because a group that may not have a lot of time together maybe gets some cohesion from a guy like Beasley.
   85. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 12, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5474157)
Beasley really looked slow on that Mexico goal. Granted, that's not exactly an easy play for a fullback without more midfield cover, but he got burned.

Beasley's career has really been a disappointment. He was starting for PSV when he was very young, and IIRC was a key contributor on one of their Champion's League teams (I believe this was the year Liverpool beat AC Milan). Although Pulisic's technical skill is way beyond Beasley's ever was, I find Beasley a good cautionary tale.
   86. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5474159)
In that vein sorta, I started thinking...do Iceland play together all the time?? Is that why they get surprising results?
   87. Baldrick Posted: June 21, 2017 at 08:33 PM (#5480322)
Tony DiCicco passed away. He led the USWNT in through its period of peak dominance (mid to late 90s). A lot of that is down to the players, of course. But even acknowledging the comparative level of opposition, his coaching record is almost unbelievable. A true legend, and by all accounts one of the nicest people in soccer too.

RIP, Coach.
   88. ursus arctos Posted: June 26, 2017 at 09:49 AM (#5482657)
In that vein sorta, I started thinking...do Iceland play together all the time?? Is that why they get surprising results?


No, they don't.

Taking their squad for their most recent qualifier, the 23 players played in 13 different leagues.

On the other hand, many of the current squad did play together on youth teams, as one would expect in such a small country.

Matic to Man United for 40 million pounds, it appears. Mourinho just loves tall players.
   89. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 26, 2017 at 10:18 AM (#5482672)
Matic is really good though. Interesting to see Chelsea let him go. I guess with Kante I can see the desire to have a player that's a bit more creative there.
   90. Mefisto Posted: June 26, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5482710)
Matic is good, but he's 29. United have an old team as it is, so I'm not sure paying that much is a good idea. Mourinho does love veteran players, though.
   91. ursus arctos Posted: June 26, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5482898)
   92. jmurph Posted: June 27, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5483807)
This totally makes sense and is also a bummer.

(NBC is cutting the free streaming of non-televised games, launching a subscription model for $49.99 a season.)
   93. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 27, 2017 at 03:15 PM (#5483817)
Damn. As an Everton fan it seems like I watch at least half the games via streaming. $50 a year isn't anything to be too bothered about for me fortunately but it still is a bummer.
   94. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 27, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5483892)
This one's the kicker:


Some of you might think that you’ll have a backup plan in place. As part of its distribution package, NBC has offered overflow linear TV channels to pay-TV providers for the simultaneous kickoffs when there’s no room left on the mainstream channels.

Those are going away too.


Some Saturdays there would be 4 or 5 games on the "NBC Extra" channels. Now, I suppose this might mean that some of those would migrate to one of the "linear channels" (which, frankly, weren't used very frequently throughout the year, but I'll still probably end up coughing up the extra $50 to get ALL the Spurs games.
   95. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5484372)
I know that online sports sites have been having trouble lately, but all morning Fox Soccer has been showing Mexico v Ghana as tonight's game.
   96. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 28, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5484842)
Never seen a penalty shoot-out get resolved in the minimum number of attempts (6) before.
   97. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: June 28, 2017 at 05:17 PM (#5484876)
Is it a straight $50 for all NBC PL games, or is that on top of cable + NBCSN?
   98. PepTech Posted: June 28, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5484885)
Never seen a penalty shoot-out get resolved in the minimum number of attempts (6) before
How the heck? I mean, I get that it was 3-0, but... incompetence from Portugal or did Chile save a couple?
   99. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 28, 2017 at 08:02 PM (#5484977)
Bravo saved all 3. All 3 were mediocre at best, but at least they were on frame. Once Bravo guessed/intuited the right direction on each of them (not a given, obviously), all 3 were pretty easy saves. They were at an easy height, not close enough to the frame, and none were hit that hard.

Chile had a couple of good kicks and one that might have been saved if the keeper had guessed the other direction.
   100. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 28, 2017 at 09:02 PM (#5484998)
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