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Friday, February 01, 2013

OT: The Soccer Thread: February 2013

Well, it was on time last month!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:59 AM | 1499 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off-topic

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   301. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4363891)
Argentina and the Netherlands are better than England (and obviously the US), yet only a handful of Argentinians and Dutch nationals are on EPL teams. Why is that? Why is there only one player on Mexico in the EPL? They are clearly ahead of the US yet the US has more players there.
If you look at the Mexican National Team roster, they play almost exclusively in Mexico, with a couple in Spain and Chicharito, of course, with United. The Dutch aren't quite as "local" but still have a fair majority of their players in their own national whereas Argentinians (like Americans) have their National team scattered throughout the world. I would guess--without knowing for sure--that it really comes to the ability to make a decent wage in one's home country versus having to leave to face top-level competition and be paid accordingly.

As for why there are more Americans in England than Mexicans, besides the financial aspect, I would guess the language is a big part of it.
   302. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4363905)
This Belgian golden generation is really something else. How often does a national team not only develop a ton of talent within about five years of age from each other, but also have this talent arrayed so evenly around the pitch? You have Mignolet/Courtois at keeper, Kompany/Vertonghen/Vermaelen at the back, Witsel/Dembele/Fellaini/Defour in central midfield, Hazard/Mirallas/de Bruyne on the wings, and Benteke/Mertens/Lukaku up top. That's pretty cool. (They have a couple fullbacks playing for reasonably good sides, too, though I admit I don't really know anything about them. I know Vertonghen's been pushed over to fullback a bunch during competitive games, so I assume they're not that great.)
   303. zack Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4363912)
As someone with very little knowledge of soccer history, it seems like the Belgians all sprang up out of nowhere. Do they have a long history of developing players, or did they somehow manage to develop all their good players for the first time at once?

(Looking at the Wiki page I see they have a 2nd and 3rd at the Euro's and a 4th at the WC. I just seems like they went dark as a national team for the 90's and 00's.)
   304. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4363931)
Let's see how the Belgians do now that they've been cursed with the "Golden Generation" tag.
   305. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4363935)
Everyone gives the US credit for having Michael Bradley as a major contributor on Roma. But he, Dempsey, and Howard are the only Americans contributing to winning clubs in top leagues.


Not that I can blame anyone for it, but people always forget that Jermaine Jones is a starter for Schalke.

If you look at the Mexican National Team roster, they play almost exclusively in Mexico, with a couple in Spain and Chicharito, of course, with United.


Yes, and they're at least on the level of say, France, who have a roster full of players on top teams in England and France (and a few in Spain). Where you play doesn't matter, all that matters is that you are good enough. It didn't matter for Landon Donovan or Gerardo Torrado that they didn't play in top teams in top leagues, they were still excellent players.
   306. ursus arctos Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4363937)
They Belgians can ask the Portuguese, Yugoslavs and Ivoriens for advice.

That said, it is a very striking example of this particular phenomenon (especially given the weakness of Belgian clubs internationally). The English "Golden Generation" was largely seen as a joke outside the UK.

On the Americans Abroad question, I think people are discounting the cultural, legal and economic factors at play here. US players in the EU are competing for a limited number of non-EU spots, generally against Brazilians, Argentines and very talented Africans. Just look at how much easier it is for a Latin American player who can claim a EU passport to get a job with a EU club, and you have a measure of one barrier to entry.
   307. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4363941)
They can ask the Portuguese, Yugoslavs and Ivoriens for advice.
Or the Spanish?
   308. ursus arctos Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4363951)
Yes, Spain would be a better model.

Though what's interesting is that this Spanish generation didn't have the "golden" tag from the time they were playing in U-19 and U-21 tournaments, the way the others (and the Belgians) did. Their emergence at youth level has actually followed on their success at the top.
   309. Jeffo has an El Camino full of Rampage Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4363952)
Shooty (288) - Assuming I get out of here in time to make it down there (I'm up on the UES right now at a client) that is where I was planning to watch the game myself - so perhaps I will see you there.

I will be the person with the "he's obviously an accountant" look (which in this case is true...)

Any word as to if the game actually starts right at 4 PM, or are there some sort of pre-game entertainment and the like? Just want to best time out how long I have and still be able to make it in time for the start of the match.
   310. SuperGrover Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4363956)
Frequent outages and crap internet put the lie to that.


We shall see. I have two friends that have had UVerse for two years with no issue. Comcast was a constant issue for me with bandwidth issues for both internet and cable.

In what part of the city do you live? I am in Wicker Park and it seems the facilities over here for UVerse are solid.
   311. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4363965)
I will be the person with the "he's obviously an accountant" look (which in this case is true...)

That's not going to narrow it down. Can you PM me using my profile?

ursus makes a good point about the difficulty for Americans playing in Europe. Getting a work permit for England requires you to play a lot with the national team or be an "exceptional talent" and, I believe, Serie A limits a team to two non-EU players. There is a ridiculous amount of competition for those non-EU spots. Of course, I also don't think we have as many good players as England, Mexico, etc. If the US is ever going to be a power MLS has to become a better league.
   312. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4363969)
Any word as to if the game actually starts right at 4 PM, or are there some sort of pre-game entertainment and the like? Just want to best time out how long I have and still be able to make it in time for the start of the match.

I'm pretty sure the game starts at 4.
   313. J. Sosa Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4363971)
re: 303

I thought I remembered reading something awhile ago where Belgium was using some rather radical development methods. I can't for the life of me remember where I read it though, maybe someone else knows.

re: Gus Johnson

I've started to realize how hard it must be to have announcers that a broad range of people like. Personally I like Gus Johnson, but there are also a lot of people that don't. And yes, Joe Buck sprung forth Athena like from my head as an example of what I don't like in an announcer. Its an interesting move from Johnson. I guess he got tired of waiting for his shot at the NFL and college basketball. I hope it works out for him.
   314. SuperGrover Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4363973)
EDIT: I disagree that England is better. I think they are even. England is overrated because they are England.


Come on. That's absurd.
   315. Mattbert Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4363977)
James Milner is a good example of how England gets overrated by being England. Milner is a nice player but nothing special. Dempsey is well above him. Dempsey has carried entire teams on his back, Milner hasn't. In 7 World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 games, he was taken off in 5 off them by the 60th or so minute (in the 31st against the US after beating beaten up and down the field by Cherundolo). That would never happen to Dempsey unless he was hurt.

I agree on Milner for the most part. But Dempsey's not that much better than him, if he's better at all. James Milner carried Aston Villa, a very good side during Milner's tenure - better than Dempsey's Fulham certainly, on his back for significant periods during his time there. Milner's one of the best utility players in the league, along with Zabaleta. Nothing flashy, just sound and solid play at a variety of positions.

The fact that Milner was subbed off in a bunch of England's matches (including that really bad game he had against the US, prior to which he had been seriously ill, IIRC) says to me that England's squad is really good. It doesn't say to me that Dempsey's better than Milner. Dempsey would struggle to make the England squad, let alone get starts for them. Milner would walk into the US team and, just like Dempsey, be one of the last guys you'd dream of subbing off.

EDIT: Let's also remember that we are comparing one of the worst (really, least good) players who's an England squad regular to the back-to-back winner of the Best American Player award.
   316. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4363979)
England are better than us, for true, but they will never beat us in the World Cup. That is a ############# fact.
   317. SuperGrover Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4363981)
James Milner is a good example of how England gets overrated by being England. Milner is a nice player but nothing special. Dempsey is well above him. Dempsey has carried entire teams on his back, Milner hasn't. In 7 World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 games, he was taken off in 5 off them by the 60th or so minute (in the 31st against the US after beating beaten up and down the field by Cherundolo). That would never happen to Dempsey unless he was hurt.


Don't you think that has more to do with the depth of the squad than they ability of the player? Hell, RVP was not consistently locked in for Holland the last two major competitions...does that mean he wasn't very good or just that Holland had a #### ton of talent at his position?

EDIT: Coke to Mattbert.
   318. SuperGrover Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4363986)
England are better than us, for true, but they will never beat us in the World Cup. That is a ############# fact.


Not sure Joe Hart will E-6 next time we meet up...
   319. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4363989)
Come on. That's absurd.


This is not a compelling argument.

Don't you think that has more to do with the depth of the squad than they ability of the player?


Not when he's subbed off in almost every game he played in the biggest tournaments.

Damn, I thought SPURS THINK FACTORY would be much more complimentary of Dempsey.
   320. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4363991)
Not sure Joe Hart will E-6 next time we meet up...

Won't matter. Something else will happen. We are the mountain they shall never climb, the river they shall never pass, the dream they shall never remember as they drink their boggy ales and shake their fist at a gray sky that will never warm...
   321. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4363998)
Not sure Joe Hart will E-6 next time we meet up...


America never loses to England at anything. We've been kicking (or saving) your ass since 1776. The best you can manage is a draw (1812, 2010).
   322. SuperGrover Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4364003)
England are better than us, for true, but they will never beat us in the World Cup. That is a ############# fact.

%
   323. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4364008)
Not sure Joe Hart will E-6 next time we meet up...

Also, we shouldn't blame the lovely bloke Joe Hart for that howler. That was not his shame!
   324. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4364010)
"James Milner gets subbed off a lot for England" is perhaps an argument that Milner isn't that great, but it makes no sense as an argument that England aren't that great.

Milner would be a completely locked on national team starter if he were American. For England, he's competing with a bunch of other good players who would also be locked on starters for the USA Mannschaft.
   325. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4364016)
"James Milner gets subbed off a lot for England" is perhaps an argument that Milner isn't that great, but it makes no sense as an argument that England aren't that great.


It was only an argument that James Milner is overrated. I've never been impressed by him. Nice player, nothing more. Yeah, he'd be a starter on the US, but he's not better than Dempsey.
   326. jmurph Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4364020)
Damn, I thought SPURS THINK FACTORY would be much more complimentary of Dempsey.


I'm a one man CITY THINK FACTORY who thinks Milner is a better player than Dempsey (though it's a weird comparison because they're very different), but I think Mattbert made the most relevant point, which is that Milner being subbed off and Dempsey not being subbed off has everything to do with the talent (or lack thereof) around them.
   327. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4364023)
US lineup is apparently:

Dempsey-Gomez
Jones-Bradley-Zusi
Williams
Johnson-Bocanegra-Cameron-Chandler
Howard

Not at all surprised to see Klinsmann go with Gomez over Altidore.

EDIT: Now reading a more specific assignment of midfielders.
   328. jmurph Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4364027)
It was only an argument that James Milner is overrated.


I think overpaid/overvalued would be more accurate- City paid a boatload more for him than he was probably worth. But I don't think he's particularly overrated. He's good enough to merit a rotation spot on the 2nd best team in the league.
   329. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4364031)
I'm not such a big James Milner fan, either, but I think he'd be the Nats' third best outfield player right now. The Nats just aren't a team made up of great individual talents but they've traditionally done well functioning as a collective. I only hope Klinsmann can continue that.

Whatever happens tonight, I don't think we should forget that the senior team is only half of the job Klinsmann signed up for. He said he also wanted to revamp the way talent is developed domestically but, obviously, that's harder to judge in the short term.
   330. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4364033)
Dempsey-Gomez
Zusi-Jones-Bradley
Williams
Johnson-Bocanegra-Cameron-Chandler
Howard


That's kind of yech. Hopefully Clint has his magic boots on today.
   331. Mefisto Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4364038)
I think Altidore is much better than Gomez, but I can see the rationale here -- let Gomez do all the running in the heat and humidity, then bring on Altidore when the defense is tired.

That lineup will require lots of running by Johnson. I hope he's up to it.
   332. Topher Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4364040)
Damn it. I had come to terms with the fact that Gomez was almost assuredly going to start and that it would be unlikely that Jozy would accompany him. I was shocked that Kyle Beckerman didn't even make the cut so I was actually feeling pretty good about things.

But Klinsmann had to find a way to include both Jones and Williams in his midfield. Ugh.

With this lineup I'll be happy with a point.
   333. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4364044)
I think Altidore is much better than Gomez, but I can see the rationale here -- let Gomez do all the running in the heat and humidity, then bring on Altidore when the defense is tired.

You make a good point.
   334. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4364045)
I think Altidore is much better than Gomez, but I can see the rationale here -- let Gomez do all the running in the heat and humidity, then bring on Altidore when the defense is tired.


It should be the opposite way. Gomez has a history of being a very good off the bench player, both for club and country, Altidore doesn't. I'd rather start the better and bigger Jozy and have him wear down the opposition for 60-75 minutes then bring in Gomez.
   335. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4364048)
But Klinsmann had to find a way to include both Jones and Williams in his midfield. Ugh.


Klinsmann said yesterday he considers Jones to be one of the most important players on the team. So we need to resign ourselves to the fact that unless he's suspended he's starting. Jones is also apparently, for lack of a better term, a coach's pet with Klinsmann. After his experiences in Germany with his players complaining to him that is probably one factor why Klinsmann rates him highly.
   336. Topher Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4364050)
That lineup will require lots of running by Johnson. I hope he's up to it.


I'm guessing Bradley will be lined up on the left with Johnson. He probably won't have to run that much. Timmy Chandler on the other hand ....
   337. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4364051)
Whatever happens tonight, I don't think we should forget that the senior team is only half of the job Klinsmann signed up for. He said he also wanted to revamp the way talent is developed domestically but, obviously, that's harder to judge in the short term.


And in his first test he failed spectacularly when the US failed to qualify on home soil for the Olympics with his hand picked roster and his hand picked coach.

I didn't like the hiring when it happened and Klinsmann has done nothing to win me over. I think this team is going to barely qualify.

I'm guessing Bradley will be lined up on the left with Johnson. He probably won't have to run that much. Timmy Chandler on the other hand ....


Bradley is in the middle. Johnson will have Jones in front of him. Good luck with that Fabian. Chandler has Zusi in front of him, that should be okay. Danny Williams will be doing god knows what.
   338. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4364058)
Does anyone think that Japan has a better team then the US?

Milner always seemed like one of those guys who would do whatever the coach asked him to do. Hard worker, versatile and a decent crosser of the ball. I think most good teams could use that type of guy, plus he is skilled enough to be that kind of player on the reigning PL champions, and Mancini seems to agree. He's not the same kind of player as Dempsey.

I haven't watched a US game in quite a while. Not familiar with Zusi at all. So is a draw a good result?

   339. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4364078)
I'm not too keen on that Williams/Jones/Bradley midfield, but it's not like the other combinations look appreciably better. And unless you think Gomez is straight-up a better player than Altidore, I don't know how you can make the argument that it's better for Altidore to come off the bench. It seems akin to the starter-versus-closer argument. I'd much prefer Altidore have as much time as possible to have a moment or two of brilliance.

(Gomez v Altidore points caveated by the fact that I've seen all of two, maybe, AZ games and even less of Gomez.)
   340. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4364083)
Does anyone think that Japan has a better team then the US?

I do.
   341. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4364088)
I'm not too keen on that Williams/Jones/Bradley midfield, but it's not like the other combinations look appreciably better. And unless you think Gomez is straight-up a better player than Altidore, I don't know how you can make the argument that it's better for Altidore to come off the bench. It seems akin to the starter-versus-closer argument. I'd much prefer Altidore have as much time as possible to have a moment or two of brilliance.

I see your point, but Gomez is playing in his normal time zone in weather he's completely used to while Jozy is coming from a cold weather environment and is dealing with jet lag. I'd prefer Jozy but I can see the logic of going with Gomez.
   342. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4364092)
This is quite the adventurous lineup for England:

Hart; Johnson, Cole, Cahill, Smalling, Gerrard, Walcott, Wilshere, Cleverley,Rooney, Welbeck.

4-3-3? 4-2-3-1?
   343. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4364098)
So is a draw a good result?


Yes.

I'm not too keen on that Williams/Jones/Bradley midfield, but it's not like the other combinations look appreciably better.


I'd rather see Sacha Kljestan. Jones is a turnover machine with little ability to get the ball forward and of course is a yellow card waiting to happen. He doesn't bring anything to the table not already on the field that Bradley and a holding midfielder don't. When Kljestan has played, the offense has flowed.
   344. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4364103)
Hart; Johnson, Cole, Cahill, Smalling, Gerrard, Walcott, Wilshere, Cleverley,Rooney, Welbeck.

No Spurs. Well done, Roy. Let the other clubs get their players crocked.
   345. Topher Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4364125)
If Jones is really on the left, I suppose I don't have a problem with Jones and Williams being together. I think there are better options on than Jones but I know he's going to be in the starting 11. I was really afraid that Jones + Williams knocks Bradley to an unnatural position.

Count me as one who would take Japan over the US. I think this current team is a mess. I don't think Klinsmann is helping, but even a good coach is going to struggle to get results with this player pool.
   346. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4364127)
G 12 Júlio César
D 2 Dani Alves
D 3 David Luiz
D 5 Ramires
D 6 Adriano
M 4 Dante
M 8 Paulinho
M 10 Ronaldinho
F 7 Oscar
F 9 Luis Fabiano
F 11 Neymar

Luis Fabiano!
   347. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4364137)
My impression of Kljestan is a bit different than yours. I can't recall a performance of his that really 'wowed' me, and the one time I've seen him this year -- CL group stage game at San Siro(*) -- did nothing to change that opinion.

(*)WhoScored has him rated at a 7, but given the rankings everyone else in the game received, that appears to be right around average. That seems right -- I'm not trying to say he was bad, just that I don't quite understand your clammoring over his inclusion.
   348. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4364141)
Luis Fabiano!


Ronaldinho! They're "only" 32, they seem older than that to me.
   349. Topher Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4364144)
Speaking of yellow cards, am I the only one that finds it a bit odd that things didn't reset after the last round of qualifying?

With this roster as weak as it is, I really don't like that both Bradley and Dempsey are sitting on yellows.
   350. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4364146)
Did anyone watch Ronaldo get "tested to the limit" by science?
   351. Topher Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4364148)
@347

I recall that DA (I'm assuming) and I sided on this a few months back but "our" argument I think is mostly that he is starting and playing reasonably well for Anderlecht. It's worth seeing what he can do instead of putting Germans-with-American-Serviceman-fathers in an unnatural position.

[Edit] I don't think that Kljestan has done enough based on my reading and viewing (I've seen little of his actual play, although thanks to the CL I saw some) to take a spot over somebody that is entrenched in the lineup. But he wouldn't be doing that.
   352. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4364159)
So is a draw a good result?


Absolutely. The US has a tough run to start the hex so every point that avoids too much desperation later is a plus. NBC Sports had a nice piece this morning detailing that 15 points is probably the magic number. The average for CONCACAF third place teams has been 4.25 road points so stealing one early in a losable game would be a nice get.

No Altidore makes absolutely no sense to me at all. I agree with CWS in the "starter vs. closer" comp for Jozy and Gomez. I like Zusi a lot so I'm fired up for that but I'll join the chorus unhappy with Jones' inclusion.
   353. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4364161)
My impression of Kljestan is a bit different than yours. I can't recall a performance of his that really 'wowed' me, and the one time I've seen him this year -- CL group stage game at San Siro(*) -- did nothing to change that opinion.


He doesn't "wow" me either, but Jones does nothing for me. Kljestan has gotten the job done. He's an upgrade in areas the US really need upgrades in when Jones is on the field. And FWIW, Anderlecht plays much better with him in the lineup. I am trying to find details but their record with and without him is impressive.
   354. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4364166)
I recall that DA (I'm assuming) and I sided on this a few months back but "our" argument I think is mostly that he is starting and playing reasonably well for Anderlecht. It's worth seeing what he can do instead of putting Germans-with-American-Serviceman-father in an unnatural position.


Yeah that was me, if only because I'm the only person here that has called for Kljestan to get a shot. I'm not expecting great things. I'm just tired of seeing Jones out there game after game, like we all are, and tired of the midfield struggle to get the ball forward, struggle to get good service to the strikers. This team needs offense and Klinsmann keeps putting three defensive midfielders out there and it never works. He's got options and he doesn't use them.
   355. Mattbert Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4364172)
That England lineup looks like a 4-3-3 to me. Extremely attacking. I guess Hodgson figures it's better to fight fire with fire in this case rather than trying to grind out a disciplined result against Brazil.
   356. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4364180)
That's a soft penalty.
   357. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4364181)
Joe Hart comes up big!
   358. Mefisto Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4364184)
It should be the opposite way. Gomez has a history of being a very good off the bench player, both for club and country, Altidore doesn't. I'd rather start the better and bigger Jozy and have him wear down the opposition for 60-75 minutes then bring in Gomez.


As much as I like Jozy, he doesn't run enough to wear down the defense.

I'm guessing Bradley will be lined up on the left with Johnson.


I'm guessing Jones will be on the left. He can provide the work rate to cover Johnson's overlaps, and Bradley will be freer to help up top.

I don't see Kljestan replacing Jones. Kljestan would replace Zusi.
   359. Mattbert Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4364189)
Howard
Johnson--Cameron--Bocanegra--Chandler
Jones--Bradley
Zusi?--Kljestan--Dempsey
Altidore

I don't know the US roster very well (for example, I have no idea who Zusi is), but isn't that a more balanced team than the mooted starting lineup? Either that or replace Zusi with Edu and push Bradley farther forward into something like his Roma role at the top of the midfield triangle, with Kljestan and Dempsey coming inside to combine with him and Altidore.
   360. Baldrick Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4364190)
Nice goal for England. They're playing really well right now.
   361. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4364192)
Swap Johnson and Chandler. I'd like to see Bradley up higher but I can live with that lineup.

Serious question: when has Klinsmann put the best lineup on the field? Every game he's got people out of position, seemingly every game he's got someone on the bench that is better than someone who is starting. And then the team struggles to score. It's frustrating.
   362. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4364197)
Honduras isn't exactly a pushover of a team, where you can run 6 forwards/attacking MF's out there without any consequence. I think that's the main argument for starting Jones over Kljestan.

Klinsmann's lineup is a little too conservative for my taste but I understand where he's coming from.
   363. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4364198)
Well the lineups we've seen on twitter are wrong. Here is the official one per US Soccer:

Dempsey-Altidore
Williams-Jones-Bradley-E. Johnson
F. Johnson-Cameron-Gonzalez-Chandler
Howard

It's unclear how exactly the midfielders lineup, but that's the order they gave them in.
   364. Mattbert Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4364202)
Swap Johnson and Chandler. I'd like to see Bradley up higher but I can live with that lineup.

Oops, yeah. I got the fullbacks on the wrong sides. Bradley would be the guy making most the forward runs from deep in my hypothetical 4-2-3-1. Jones would be playing the more defensive half of that pivot, so Bradley should be spending more time forward in a game that should see the US have the advantage in possession.

Dempsey-Altidore
Williams-Jones-Bradley-E. Johnson
F. Johnson-Cameron-Gonzalez-Chandler
Howard


That's not bad. I'm assuming that's more of a 4-3-1-2, though. Williams, Jones, and Bradley as the three midfielders. Dempsey as the trequartista. Altidore and Johnson up top.
   365. Mefisto Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4364203)
That's a much more aggressive lineup than I expected.
   366. Mattbert Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4364209)
SPURS THINK FACTORY
Wales lead Austria 1-0. No points for guessing who scored the goal.
   367. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4364210)
Is Bale playing as a striker? Based on the Welsh lineup, I'm guessing yes.
   368. Mefisto Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4364220)
I'd read the US lineup as a 4-3-3, with Altidore, Dempsey and Johnson up top. It's flexible enough to be read several ways, though, and these days I'm not sure it matters much.
   369. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4364222)
That's not bad. I'm assuming that's more of a 4-3-1-2, though. Williams, Jones, and Bradley as the three midfielders. Dempsey as the trequartista. Altidore and Johnson up top.


That makes sense to me. Klinsmann loves the 4-3-3 despite it being a square hole for this round peg of a team. They've listed before a line up of 2 strikers and 4 midfielders with Johnson apparently wide only for him to play up high. So I think it will look like:

Dempsey-Altidore-E. Johnson
Williams-Bradley-Jones

Two triangles with Altidore and Bradley each playing higher up, the midfield being tight. We'll find out in a little bit.
   370. Mattbert Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4364224)
Is Bale playing as a striker? Based on the Welsh lineup, I'm guessing yes.

I don't know. Also based on the Welsh lineup, I would guess he has a free role behind Bellamy in a 4-4-1-1. Allen, Ledley, Collison, and Vaughan are all central midfielders, so I'm not sure how that shakes out. If I had to guess, it's probably Allen and Ledley in the middle with Vaughan and Collison pushed slightly wider.
   371. Mattbert Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4364229)
I'd read the US lineup as a 4-3-3, with Altidore, Dempsey and Johnson up top. It's flexible enough to be read several ways, though, and these days I'm not sure it matters much.

That also makes sense. It's pretty much the same either way. I think the only real mystery is whether Klinsmann will ask Dempsey to play centrally a la Tottenham or drift in from the left a la Fulham.
   372. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4364232)
That England lineup looks like a 4-3-3 to me. Extremely attacking.


The commentator for The Guardian has it as 4-1-2-3. But yes, they have been attacking throughout the first half, from the report (I can't actually watch it, so I'm going by the match report).
   373. Baldrick Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4364241)
Yeah, they do look good. Not GREAT, but very inventive and reasonably solid.

There's been a fair amount of wayward passing and weak tackling from both sides. But on the whole, it's looked good.
   374. madvillain Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4364245)
I'm glad that Altidore is starting, he's in form and clearly the US' top striker, say what you want about his hold up play and first touch the man produces goals and some of his play in Holland this year has been downright spectacular.

Klinsmann hasn't impressed me yet, tonight is his first real chance to show that yes, this team is progressing and that it has the quality to not only qualify but do so in style.
   375. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4364268)
The commentator for The Guardian has it as 4-1-2-3.


Pity. That 2 banks of 4 lineup in the Euros was absolutely setting the world on fire.

   376. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4364280)
England decided to change the footwear at HT apparently. Going with the "clowshoes" option.
   377. Swedish Chef Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4364284)
Fred isn't a very imaginative nickname.
   378. Baldrick Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4364290)
Lampard just scores goals.
   379. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4364297)
Fred isn't a very imaginative nickname.

If you are Brazilian, it counts as 'exotic'.
   380. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4364300)
I am available for weddings, bar mitzvas, birthdays and crapping on your team right before a game to reverse jinx them.
   381. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4364304)
SUPER FRANK! SUPER FRANK!
   382. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4364318)
What did I do before I discovered wiziwig and sportlemon? Oh, right, that was back when ESPN3 was available without a cable connection.

I'm playing football manager in the background, just got FC Halifax into League 1. I always stall out in the Premiership, can never get the budget to work.
   383. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4364322)
Fred isn't a very imaginative nickname.


I used to work with a guy who had a boat named Fred. He let his 6 and 4 year old kids pick the name and that's what they came up with.
   384. Baldrick Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4364324)
Whoever took the third penalty for Burkina Faso should be embarrassed. Truly terrible.
   385. zack Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4364338)
You get points for expending less energy than the other team, right?
   386. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4364348)
You get points for expending less energy than the other team, right?


If it's really hot and humid, like it is in Honduras, it's not the worst idea for the opening 15 minutes or so and try to tire them out for later. But only if that's the game plan. And counter attacking hasn't been the game plan under Klinsmann.
   387. zack Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4364364)
I understand that, they were just taking it to absurd levels. Picking it up now.
   388. Swedish Chef Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4364366)
I don't know why they would even bother to play the Greece-Switzerland game, couldn't they just agree on nil-nil and spare everybody the tedium?
   389. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4364383)
Would have been nice if Altidore had put that away.
   390. ursus arctos Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4364387)
FPH, it's rather obvious.

The Greeks owe money on their safe deposit boxes in Zurich and the Swiss wanted to go somewhere warm for a couple of days.
   391. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4364392)
FPH, it's rather obvious.

The Greeks owe money on their safe deposit boxes in Zurich and the Swiss wanted to go somewhere warm for a couple of days.

Voices in your head?
   392. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams (shayborg) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4364396)
Wow, the Honduran defending was unbelievably awful there. I'll take it though!
   393. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4364398)
That was a nice goal off the volley by Dempsey. Helps that Honduras forgot to mark him.
   394. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4364399)
Jones with an assist? My reverse jinxing knows no bounds!
   395. zack Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4364400)
It's usually bad when two players are completely alone with the goalie.
   396. Baldrick Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4364401)
Great goal by Dempsey. Very nice.
   397. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4364406)
Scotland with a famous win over Estonia, 1-0. World Cup glory just around the corner, surely.
   398. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4364407)
That lead didn't last long.
   399. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4364409)
wow.
   400. ursus arctos Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4364410)
Especially impressive given that the Estonians actually showed up this time.
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