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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: December 2012

Is it December already? Well, it must be a few days in, because I’m posting the thread!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:22 PM | 727 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   201. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4319874)
Professionalism.

I know that that’s not the kind of soccer you usually talk about, but Hamburg’s on 24 points now.

You mean Hamburglar?

Why is there no early game in any of the big leagues today? I was almost forced to watch SPL!
   202. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4319876)
4) So, the game. I really like Tom Carroll. What I love about him is his aggression with the ball. He gave away possession more often than someone in his position probably should, and he's still too small to win possession back. But most of the time when he gave away possession, it was in attempting a through ball or a direct pass forward. His passing attempts reminded me or Modric or some other great passing midfielder, though his execution was not at the level it needs to be. I feel like Carroll has a real chance to be legitimately excellent, but there's also a real chance that he just doesn't take that step forward in execution and never quite becomes a worthy starter.

I had the same impression watching on the tube. Glad to see some backup from an eyewitness account. At the Spurs Chelsea game I was at the Chelsea fans didn't stop singing that annoying "Champions of Europe, we know who we are" song so I'm glad Spurs fans were able to give it back some. I look forward to facing Chelsea in the finals of the Europa League!
   203. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4319894)
Norwich City are on fire against Swansea. Holy moly.
   204. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4319896)
Was that a dive by Cazorla? My instinct is that it was, and theatrical at that. It could be that the defender found his foot, though.
   205. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 08, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4319899)
Definitely a dive. There was zero contact from the defender.
   206. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4319901)
Definitely a dive. There was zero contact from the defender.

That's what I thought but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Seems like Arsenal were worth their goal, though but, as Bale and Suarez will tell you, you don't want a reputation for diving in the PL anymore. Refs seem to be looking to punish those guys in future games.
   207. The Voice of America Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4319903)
The red card to Schmelzer was a terrible call. Wolfgang Stark enhancing his reputation.
   208. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4319904)
Anyone think Wenger will rail against the evils of diving and soft penalties after the game?
   209. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4319905)
I think I'm going to switch from Swansea - Norwich to Wigan - QPR. Norwich have Swansea beat, it seems.
   210. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4319906)
Julio Cesar is injured?
   211. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4319907)
Et tu, Brutão?
   212. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4319910)
harry has as much confidence in Taarabt as ever. Pulled after 57 minutes. Wigan are really on the front foot in the second half here.
   213. The Voice of America Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4319912)
Swansea score again.
   214. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4319913)
OK, that was a penalty.
   215. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4319914)
This referee in the Arsenal game. Oxlade-Chamberlain clearly fouls a West Brom player and takes the ball off him. No foul, and then he proceeds to draw a penalty (which was, at least, the correct call).
   216. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4319916)
QPR take the lead. CAN...THEY...DO...IT?
   217. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4319918)
No...no they cannot. Wigan equalize.
   218. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4319929)
QPR join Swindon Town in the annals of futility. I can only imagine how awful that Villa-Stoke game must have been.
   219. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 08, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4319957)
The red card to Schmelzer was a terrible call. Wolfgang Stark enhancing his reputation.

I just saw the replay. Wow that was bad.
   220. Mattbert Posted: December 08, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4319965)
This referee in the Arsenal game. Oxlade-Chamberlain clearly fouls a West Brom player and takes the ball off him. No foul, and then he proceeds to draw a penalty (which was, at least, the correct call).

Once again, I am utterly unsurprised to learn that you're referring to Mike Jones. Gawd above, but he is an awful official.
   221. Mattbert Posted: December 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4319974)
Professionalism.

That is very funny.

You mean Hamburglar?

That is not. Also, scoreboard table.
   222. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 08, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4320009)
That is not. Also, scoreboard table.

That point is a mountain to climb for the mighty non-Van Der Vaart stealing Freiburg, but I think they can manage it.
   223. frannyzoo Posted: December 08, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4320152)
The Dortmund game was tough, but I guess Dortmund need to show more toughness and overcome such shenanigans.

I'm still trying to understand exactly what referee Stark thought he saw. It's easy to understand him missing the deflection, and I even understand him calling a penalty for the brush against the hand, but I don't see how he can add the red card without thinking Schmelzer threw his hands down in reaction to the shot. That just doesn't seem possible to see in that circumstance (proximity of shot, etc.).
   224. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4320193)
I even understand him calling a penalty for the brush against the hand

The non-existent brush against the hand? The ball hit both knees but no hand.
   225. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4320205)
The Dortmund game was tough, but I guess Dortmund need to show more toughness and overcome such shenanigans.


The problem is I don't think they are a team that can. I've said this before, they are just no built to play 3 games in 7 days. They don't have the depth, and they play with such a high tempo, that by the third game, they really struggle. They need things to go their wa to pull those games out, and if things go against them, it's over.

They struggled at the beginning of last year too, and then didn't lose a game after they had been dropped from the CL. but I guess I will have to settle for 2010-2013 being a repeat of 1994-1997.
   226. frannyzoo Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4320214)
Regarding the brush...I'm looking at it over and over...and it's still hard to tell if it indeed missed the tip of the fingers on the right hand. I'm giving Stark that one, too, even though it still shouldn't be a penalty even if it brushed those fingertips. The perception of intent is what is flabbergasting.
   227. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 09, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4320231)
The problem is I don't think they are a team that can. I've said this before, they are just no built to play 3 games in 7 days. They don't have the depth, and they play with such a high tempo, that by the third game, they really struggle. They need things to go their wa to pull those games out, and if things go against them, it's over.

They struggled at the beginning of last year too, and then didn't lose a game after they had been dropped from the CL. but I guess I will have to settle for 2010-2013 being a repeat of 1994-1997.


I'm curious, FPH. Would you prefer Dortmund to win Champions League at the expense of the third consecutive Bundesliga title or is beating Bayern still far more important?
   228. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 09, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4320268)
United are making City look very ordinary. If Kompany's injury is serious, I think City's championship hopes are in real trouble.

Knock on wood, but Torino are up on AC Milan.

And finally:

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Osman, Pienaar, Gibson, Fellaini, Mirallas, Jelavic

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey, Adebayor, Defoe

Very attacking lineups, there. I would be very happy with a point from this game for Spurs.
   229. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 09, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4320271)
Mancini obviously doesn't rate the Mona Lisa.
   230. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 09, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4320273)
The Manchester derby just got interesting.
   231. The Voice of America Posted: December 09, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4320280)
Bad Gallas. Awesome Lloris.
   232. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 09, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4320286)
This is the kind of game you want to see to decide a title. What a game.
   233. Spivey Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4320302)
European soccer fans are so ####### obnoxious.

Man U goes to show that if you have the two best strikers in the world, it makes up for a lot of holes.
   234. The Voice of America Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4320306)
What a goal by Dempsey.
   235. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4320307)
It really is amazing. Rooney scores two when they are barely in the game, then United's weakness in the midfield and back are exposed yet again. Finally RVP bails them out.

I'm waiting for a City fan to claim that Rio did that to himself WWE-style.
   236. The Voice of America Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4320316)
Sandro has completely shut down Fellaini.
   237. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4320318)
Standard shambolic Spurs defending for that goal. That should have been cleared several times and just wasn't.
   238. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 09, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4320319)
Wow. What can you say? Well done Everton.

Sam Allardyce's dreams are coming true against Liverpool.
   239. DA Baracus Posted: December 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4320365)
Falcao has 5 goals today.
   240. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 09, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4320436)
I'm curious, FPH. Would you prefer Dortmund to win Champions League at the expense of the third consecutive Bundesliga title or is beating Bayern still far more important?

The liga is gone anyway. Not much use crying over spilt milk. And 97 still ranks as the greatest foorballing night of my life, so I would be fine if thats the way it played out. Especially after Bayern's choke job at home in the summer. That would do nicely to rub their noses in it.

If you haven't seen them, you should go watch the highlights of the 97 final btw. Hell of a game. Del Piero knocked one in with his heel. And I can still picture Lars Ricken coming in, and strocking oone in the top corner from35 yards with his first touch of the ball. I went completely nuts at that point...
   241. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: December 09, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4320534)
The problem is I don't think they are a team that can. I've said this before, they are just no built to play 3 games in 7 days. They don't have the depth, and they play with such a high tempo, that by the third game, they really struggle. They need things to go their wa to pull those games out, and if things go against them, it's over.


What have you thought of Santana's play over the last few games? I'll admit I have difficulty judging the quality of central defenders, but I have not been impressed.

Kehl, Bender, & Subotic all missed Saturday's game and while I like Moritz Leitner he's not yet at the level of Bender or Kehl.
   242. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 09, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4320559)
What have you thought of Santana's play over the last few games? I'll admit I have difficulty judging the quality of central defenders, but I have not been impressed.

Kehl, Bender, & Subotic all missed Saturday's game and while I like Moritz Leitner he's not yet at the level of Bender or Kehl.


As I said, they lack depth. Subotic and Hummels are their clear first choice CB pairing. The problem with replacing Subotic is compounded by the fat that Hummels plays an extremely unconventional CB. He plays very high up the pitch and gets involved in play a lot. It works because him and Subotic have great communication and Subotic understands what Hummels is going to do and can cover for him. It's tough position to step in and fill well though when you don't have the history and chemistry, and when you don't... well see Italy - Germany at the Euro's.
   243. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 09, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4320571)
Its hard to find good CB nowadays, much less two or three. There just seems to be dearth of them.
   244. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 09, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4320585)
Sylvain Distin is available.
   245. Mattbert Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4320793)
Sylvain Distin is available.

Straight up for Gallas?
   246. Sean Forman Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4320903)
Looking at FFT's top 100 players. Has an American ever made a list like that. Seems to me the USMNT won't do much until you have 2 or 3 players on that list.
   247. ursus arctos Posted: December 10, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4321322)
I don't know how long Four Four Two has been doing that list, but I wouldn't be surprised if Friedel made it (or would have made it) during his peak. Donovan may have made it in 2010, given his performances at the World Cup and with Everton.

If you would like some counter-examples to your proposition (which I'd agree with), Ghana made the World Cup semis in 2010 without having a single player on the 2009 list and Greece won the Euros in 2004 with a similarly unappreciated team.
   248. Spivey Posted: December 10, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4321326)
Dempsey absolutely has been one of the 100 best players in the world over the last 2 years.
   249. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 10, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4321332)
If you would like some counter-examples to your proposition (which I'd agree with), Ghana made the World Cup semis in 2010 without having a single player on the 2009 list and Greece won the Euros in 2004 with a similarly unappreciated team.

Unappreciated is a euphemism, right?
   250. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4321334)
Dempsey absolutely has been one of the 100 best players in the world over the last 2 years.


I would put Howard and Donovan on there too. Going forward Bradley and... Johnson?
   251. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 10, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4321355)
I would put Howard and Donovan on there too. Going forward Bradley and... Johnson?

Among the hundred best players in the WORLD? Really?

That's nine at each position (ideally).
   252. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4321370)
Among the hundred best players in the WORLD? Really?


For Bradley it's if, not will. As Sean said, if the US is going to seriously compete globally then we need a few faces on there. And down the road he is the #1 candidate. For Howard and Donovan, if you're putting Dempsey on it I don't see a whole lot of separation between the three. Howard has been as important to Everton as Dempsey was to Fulham, and Donovan has been as important to the US as Dempsey has, with Howard even more so.
   253. Sean Forman Posted: December 10, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4321453)
I could possibly see Dempsey, but having three or four in the top 100 seems like a big, big stretch. None of those players are on CL sides in major leagues, and it seems to me you would need at the least to be a brilliant star on a lesser team or a top player on one of those big sides to crack the top 100 worldwide.

How long until an American is a multi-year starter for Bayern, Real, Barca, City, United, Juve, or Milan? It seems to me that the USMNT will be substantial underdogs to go deep in the World Cup until they get 2 to 4 players playing in the CL semis each year.
   254. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4321473)
I think for the last couple of years Dempsey certainly has been at a level that warrants inclusion on such a list. Off the cuff I think Howard is a top ten keeper (just thinking to the keepers at the most recent World Cup and Euros) though he's not been at his best lately. Donovan is harmed by his competing in a lower tier league. He's shown he CAN be at that level during his loan stint at Everton but his lack of such a move this year and the general lack of time he's spent on the field for the USMNT probably keeps him off.
   255. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4321481)
I was unclear, I should have said if Dempsey is on there then IMO Donovan and Howard are too.

How long until an American is a multi-year starter for Bayern, Real, Barca, City, United, Juve, or Milan?


I would expand that list of teams a little to include say, Dortmund, Chelsea, PSG and Inter. It could be years before we see one, but then again Oguchi Onyewu was on Milan a few years ago, although he probably wouldn't have been more than a rotation player, Altidore was on Villareal when they were good although he wasn't in the picture and Tim Howard was on United a while back, so it's not uncharted territory. And two USMNT players are currently regular starters on the 5th ranked teams in Germany (who finished third last year) and Italy.

It seems to me that the USMNT will be substantial underdogs to go deep in the World Cup until they get 2 to 4 players playing in the CL semis each year.


Well that and a good coach.
   256. ursus arctos Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4321612)
I think that sets the bar too high.

Look at Ghana 2010. The only player in the squad who had appeared anything like regularly for a Champions League team was Sulley Muntari, who was a squad player at Inter (and only started one game in the WC finals). Or Uruguay, which has a much more illustrious football history. Suarez was at Ajax (which was only in the Europa League that year), Cavani was at Palermo, and Forlan was at Atletico Madrid.

Any non-European team other than Brazil or Argentina is going to struggle mightily to get 2 to 4 players in the Champions League semis.

By the same token, England will have satisfied that criterion virtually every year in the 22 seasons since they last made the World Cup quarters.

None of that should be read to mean that I think that the US is close to that level, of course. For one thing, we would have to establish ourselves as being reliably better than Mexico before we could aim higher.
   257. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4321804)
Amusing


Udinese traveled to Genoa for their match against Sampdoria on Monday and one man showed up to support them in the otherwise empty visitor's section. Whether that man happened to be a local Udinese supporter or the only person who made the 600-mile round trip to follow his club isn't clear, but he was there and he was apparently the only one.

His presence was such a delight to the home supporters that instead of abusing him as football fans tend to do with larger visiting crowds, they cheered him and he gave them a wave.
   258. ursus arctos Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4321815)
He was interviewed in the Italian press today.

He did travel from the Veneto, and said that the stewards tried to give him a ticket in the main stand, but that he insisted on standing in the "away section".

He also said that the Samp fans offered to buy him drinks.
   259. Textbook Editor Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4321827)
Ghana made the World Cup semis in 2010


They did not. They would have, of course, had Suarez not handled what would have been the game-winning goal...
   260. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4321838)
That's great.

Genoa isn't THAT far from Udine. It's not even in the boot. How many Udinese supporters show up at Palermo?
   261. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4321877)
They did not. They would have, of course, had Suarez not handled what would have been the game-winning goal...


Or if Gyan had buried the awarded penalty kick.

Suarez is a dirtbag but I feel he gets to much grief for that one. It's the soccer equivalent of not letting an NBA player get a shot off in the dying seconds and making him make his free throws. It's not like he cheated and got away with it. He got caught, the PK was given and Suarez was sent off.
   262. ursus arctos Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4321891)
259, correct, which is why, having realized my mistake, I made sure to reference Uruguay in 256

260, unless they fly with the team, I would think that a club like Udinese wouldn't take anyone to games at Palermo or Catania. Even when "big" clubs play on the islands, their support is very heavily local.
   263. Mattbert Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4321897)
Hopefully there is video somewhere of that guy celebrating Udinese's two goals all by himself. Tens of thousands of groans, followed by a single voice crying out "Si! Entrare!"

(Do Italian fans shout "Get in!" when their team scores? I have no idea.)
   264. ursus arctos Posted: December 11, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4321991)
Unfortunately not.
   265. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 11, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4322004)
Ursus, it's true that teams can without a ton of stars can make it relatively far in cup competitions. But I would contend that is simply the nature of short single elimination tournaments. Any team can get hot or lucky and win 2 games as underdogs )cue USMNT: Any team? That remark resembles us!).

The problem is that these teams typically tend to be flash in the pan types, or have several players who were on the brink of breaking out. Yes, the USMNT as currently constructed could go on such a run. But as a betting man, I would not bet on it.
   266. ursus arctos Posted: December 11, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4322111)
Neither would I (as I tried to make clear in 256).
   267. Mattbert Posted: December 11, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4322133)
Unfortunately not.

Unfortunately there's no video of the Udinese fan or unfortunately Italians do not shout "Entrare!" when their team scores?
   268. ursus arctos Posted: December 11, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4322144)
   269. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4322228)
I came here to make sure everyone had seen that story. That's great stuff.
   270. Swedish Chef Posted: December 11, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4322304)
That's an embarrassing result for Arsenal.

Good to see Villa scoring goals for once. Let's hope that helps them in more important games.
   271. PepTech Posted: December 11, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4322319)
Great picture for the lede of uni-watch.com today. Would that it were a video...
   272. ursus arctos Posted: December 11, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4322322)
Especially given the team they put out: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Wilshere, Coquelin, Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski, Gervinho. Subs: Mannone, Jenkinson, Squillaci, Rosicky, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh.

Surely another year with no trophy.
   273. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 11, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4322370)
By the same token, England will have satisfied that criterion virtually every year in the 22 seasons since they last made the World Cup quarters.


England made the quarter finals in both 2002 and 2006.
   274. ursus arctos Posted: December 11, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4322396)
I'm not having a good week, am I?
   275. Baldrick Posted: December 11, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4322410)
If you really enjoy watching your players get dispossessed, or particularly enjoy watching poorly placed throughballs, I think Reading might be the team for you. We've won one game this year and I wonder if we'll ever win another one.
   276. puck Posted: December 12, 2012 at 01:02 AM (#4322630)
Good lord, just watched the Arsenal game. What. the. hell. Sadly, this team has more problems than losing out on the choice transfers and losing guys like RVP and Cesc.

Among other disasters in that game, presenting: Gervinho.

An aside, Rosicky and Diaby look really good when they're healthy. Too bad they so rarely are.
   277. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4322771)
   278. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4322872)
Good lord, just watched the Arsenal game. What. the. hell. Sadly, this team has more problems than losing out on the choice transfers and losing guys like RVP and Cesc.
But you'll be happy to know Arsène does not find the defeat embarassing, because you have to give credit to Bradford and it was a "tough pitch."
   279. puck Posted: December 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4322951)
Maybe it's like Final Destination. They somehow escaped defeat in the Reading game.
   280. SuperGrover Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4323343)
If you really enjoy watching your players get dispossessed, or particularly enjoy watching poorly placed throughballs, I think Reading might be the team for you. We've won one game this year and I wonder if we'll ever win another one.


Not to be a dick, but how did this team win the Championship? They are just over matched right now.
   281. SuperGrover Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4323348)
Or if Gyan had buried the awarded penalty kick.

Suarez is a dirtbag but I feel he gets to much grief for that one. It's the soccer equivalent of not letting an NBA player get a shot off in the dying seconds and making him make his free throws. It's not like he cheated and got away with it. He got caught, the PK was given and Suarez was sent off.


Yeah or a defender pulling down a wide open receiver in the end zone. It's against the rules and was appropriately punished. If Ghana did eff it up it would have been no big deal.
   282. ursus arctos Posted: December 12, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4323423)
Two more for Messi today (away to Cordoba in the Copa del Rey, and no, I don't know why he played either).

In the meantime, Flamengo are putting forth a claim for Zico having scored 89 in 79, and Santos are making noises about Pele in the 50s and 60s.

All this needs is Romario claiming goals scored in Subbuteo and Foosball.

Agree with 261 and 281 on Suarez against Uruguay.
   283. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4323455)
Some interesting stuff out here.
   284. ursus arctos Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4323481)
Ha. I'm pretty sure that I know the guy who runs that site.
   285. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4323484)
Just wanted to say thanks to the soccer thread guys. 2 1/2 years ago, you guys made me an Everton fan. I've probably watched 75% of their games since. Before that I don't think I'd ever watched a non-World Cup game.

I've also been playing Football Manager a lot since then as well, and it's really helped me learn about the game. Whoever recommended that deserves kudos. I recently got lucky and won the 2013-14 Champions League with Everton (started in 2011-12) and it's been a blast.

It's amazing how the timing is perfect for these games, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Perfect thing to watch while making breakfast, etc.
   286. DA Baracus Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4323490)
It's amazing how the timing is perfect for these games, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Perfect thing to watch while making breakfast, etc.


Ditto. And Champions League games in the afternoon are perfect. I too am addicted to Football Manager.

Anyone play Hat Trick? I did it years ago and it was fun, I got away from it and was thinking of doing it again. We could have a BTF Cup if enough people played.
   287. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4323562)
Anyone play Hat Trick?

Now I do.
   288. puck Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4323606)
Anyone watching the Club World Cup?

I had on Corinthians vs Al Ahly (Egypt; CAF champion) in the background and neither team looked particularly compelling. Though maybe my head was turned anytime something good happened.

I watched the Monterrey-Ulsan Hyundai (AFC champ) for Monterrey; they went against the usual Mexican form in this thing and smoked Ulsan despite Humberto Suazo being out with an injury. Ulsan looked like the jet-lagged team.

Out of curiosity for Asian soccer I watched Ulsan Hyundai vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima (last Japan champ; represents the host nation). These teams are mostly comprised of Koreans and Japanese respectively so you'd think this would be a good matchup size-wise. Though Ulsan started a 6'5" Korean striker. Somehow he did not dominate in the air in this game--even Crouch makes an aerial nuisance of himself.

I'd say the teams' ball-handing and buildup play is smoother and more skilled than in MLS, which makes me a bit depressed about MLS. I wonder if MLS teams would do better at that if MLS refs didn't allow you to kick a guy in the shin or body check.

I watch some Mexican league games so I'll keep going and watch Chelsea vs. Monterrey Thursday. I don't suppose it will be close; Chelsea should be able to defend Monterrey's quickness while having an advantage in the air.

How did South American teams used to win this thing? Did the UEFA teams really not care or was it really that recently (2005-2006) that South American teams could hold onto a lot of talent?
   289. puck Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4323607)
Just wanted to say thanks to the soccer thread guys. 2 1/2 years ago, you guys made me an Everton fan. I've probably watched 75% of their games since.


Hey, I'm an Everton fan, too. They were in the first live soccer game I've ever seen--a friendly vs. the Rapids. So when I started watching games on tv, I kept following them, and they really grew on me. I wonder how much of that is Moyes, though. They seem fairly pragmatic. They're accused of being too direct--everyone's gotta go Pep Barca, I guess--but it seems they do some of that, but also possess when they can. Depends on the game situation and who they're playing. It's also hard to ignore a 6'4" guy with a 'fro for a target.
   290. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:10 AM (#4323640)
Just wanted to say thanks to the soccer thread guys. 2 1/2 years ago, you guys made me an Everton fan.

Give it another 20 years of being an Everton fan, and you'll be willing to kill every last one of us.
   291. Mattbert Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4323673)
Hey, I'm an Everton fan, too. They were in the first live soccer game I've ever seen--a friendly vs. the Rapids. So when I started watching games on tv, I kept following them, and they really grew on me. I wonder how much of that is Moyes, though. They seem fairly pragmatic. They're accused of being too direct--everyone's gotta go Pep Barca, I guess--but it seems they do some of that, but also possess when they can. Depends on the game situation and who they're playing. It's also hard to ignore a 6'4" guy with a 'fro for a target.

Moyes is a reactive coach, in that he generally tweaks his team selection to combat what he anticipates the opposition will try to do - especially the better sides. That said, I think the pundits and the football press often condescend to Everton by pigeonholing them as plucky tryers. There are plenty of excellent technical players in that squad, and they are as capable of superb build-up play as just about any team in the league.

Moyes tends to have his thumb gently on the scales in favor of discipline and keeping a good shape, but when they do go forward (which is often) Everton are just as likely to pursue an "attractive" route to goal (e.g. the Baines/Pienaar combo down the left, Osman's subtlety in the middle, Mirallas or Coleman zipping down the right wing) as they are to target Fellaini with a long ball. In my view, what makes them so consistently effective is that they can mix up their attacking approach and not over-rely on any one option.
   292. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4323684)
I meant to watch the Club World Cup but, to be honest, Chelsea's involvement has just deflated my interest in it. I just see them too much watching EPL and I'm not particularly fond of the team. I'd probably still watch it if it were on at a convenient time but I don't feel the need to set the DVR or anything. There's got to be some chance they have this thing in New York one day, no? I would buy a ticket.
   293. DA Baracus Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4323688)
There's got to be some chance they have this thing in New York one day, no? I would buy a ticket.


What, yearly American barnstorming of European teams with half a lineup of reserve players isn't enough for you?

I can easily see Qatar or the UAE outbidding everyone for the rights for the next decade or so.
   294. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4323693)
I hope everyone noticed that West Ham was featured on The Simpsons this week!

There's got to be some chance they have this thing in New York one day, no? I would buy a ticket.
The problem with doing in New York this time of year is the weather. Obviously it's playable, but if you're trying to make an event of it, having it in the chill of NYC is probably not the image they're going for.

   295. PepTech Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4323763)
I can easily see Qatar or the UAE outbidding everyone

First they have to outbit Morocco, apparently. How did *that* happen?
   296. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4323779)
The problem with doing in New York this time of year is the weather. Obviously it's playable, but if you're trying to make an event of it, having it in the chill of NYC is probably not the image they're going for.

It's not much warmer in Tokyo than New York this time of year. I don't know if the powers that be in New York care enough to make a bid which is probably the biggest handicap.
   297. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4324050)
It's not much warmer in Tokyo than New York this time of year.
This is true, but they're holding in a stadium with a (retractable) roof, which makes all the difference.

I don't know if the powers that be in New York care enough to make a bid which is probably the biggest handicap.
And they really don't care around this time of year, when NYC is overrun with tourists anyway. If FIFA bumped it back to the late-January/early February period, you might find business people more welcoming. Of course, that presents both club scheduling issues, and puts you right in to the teeth of the weather in NYC.
   298. ursus arctos Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4324180)
RB, only one of the two stadia being used for the World Club Cup (the Toyota Stadium in Toyota City) has a retractable roof.

The majority of the matches, including the Final and the 3d place match, are being played at the larger Nissan (aka International) Stadium in Yokohama (which was also the principal Japanese stadium for the 2002 World Cup), and which is open to the elements.

Toyota's sponsorship and the switch from a two-legged home and away final to a single match in Japan (on which the sponsorship was conditioned) really saved this competition from oblivion when it was still contested by the winners of the European Cup and the Copa Libertadores. Notwithstanding FIFA's recent flirtation with the Gulf, there still seems to be more genuine support for this tournament in Japan than anywhere else.
   299. PepTech Posted: December 13, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4324230)
Notwithstanding FIFA's recent flirtation with the Gulf, there still seems to be more genuine support for this tournament in Japan than anywhere else.


I dunno, the fans say Meh. Of the four games in Toyota (capacity 45,000), attendance ranged from 17K to 31K (and the hosts were in the 17K game). Chelsea/Monterrey only filled half of the 72,000-seat International Stadium. I'll be surprised if they draw 50K for the final.

Then again, they're not likely to do better in Casablanca or wherever. How about LA, as opposed to New York? You'd get the MLS champs in as hosts, the Mexican side would draw well, the weather would be predictable...
   300. ursus arctos Posted: December 13, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4324245)
That's not a bad idea at all.

I had briefly thought of Miami, but LA has more attractive stadium options.
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