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Monday, June 02, 2014

OT: The Soccer Thread June, 2014

It’s go time!

June 12th Brazil v Croatia

June 13th Mexico v Cameroon, Spain v Holland, Chile v Australia

June 14th Colombia v Greece, Ivory Coast v Japan, Uruguay v Costa Rica, England v Italy

June 15th Switzerland v Ecuador, France v Honduras, Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina

June 16th Iran v Nigeria, Germany v Portugal, Ghana v USA

June 17th Brazil v Mexico, Belgium v Algeria, Russia v South Korea

June 18th Cameroon v Croatia, Australia v Holland, Spain v Chile

June 19th Colombia v Ivory Coast, Japan v Greece, Uruguay v England

June 20th Italy v Costa Rica, Switzerland v France, Honduras v Ecuador

June 21st Argentina v Iran, Nigeria vs Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany v Ghana

June 22nd USA v Portugal, Belgium v Russia, South Korea v Algeria

June 23rd Cameroon v Brazil, Croatia v Mexico, Australia v Spain, Holland v Chile

June 24th Greece v Ivory Coast, Japan v Colombia, Costa Rica v England, Italy v Uruguay

June 25th Ecuador v France, Honduras v Switzerland, Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iran, Nigeria v Argentina

June 26th Portugal v Ghana, USA v Germany, Algeria v Russia, South Korea v Belgium

June 28th Group A winner v Group B runner up, Group C winner v Group D runner up

June 29th Group B winner v Group A runner up, Group D winner v Group C runner up

June 30th Group E winner v Group F runner up, Group G winner v Group H runner up

 

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 02, 2014 at 10:03 AM | 9133 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer, u-s-a u-s-a, world cup

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   1. puck Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4717414)
May thread. Could we start linking the previous thread, maybe in the story link? You'd think one would be able to google for the old threads, but apparently some of us suck at it.
   2. ursus arctos Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4717420)
I find bookmarking the threads to be quite useful.

There is a link in the penultimate line of the story post, and you can use the same link to delete bookmarks once they are no longer useful.
   3. puck Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4717426)
From the May thread's #1173:

I wonder if the low quality of MLS has something do with this, if those guys were forced from a younger age to scrap for minutes on tougher teams, maybe they would have converted younger, like John O'Brien playing left back at Ajax and Spector moving back when he was young in Europe; my guess is both those guys would have reminded attackers if they came up through MLS.


It could be due to the low quality plus the way players come up--they're often stars of their teams as high school and college players. Drew Moor is a long-time solid MLS centerback (and actually has 5 caps) but supposedly was a forward with his club in high school. So by the time they're drafted, it's hard to move them around too much.

I don't know if the MLS development academies will help change this. There's still probably a scarcity of talent in the attacking positions. But maybe the accompanying home-grown rules for MLS will help incentivize developing these kids at all positions. Right now the MLS salary cap makes it difficult to get strong players at every position; fullback is constantly left to the bargain bin. Signing an academy kid is usually pretty cheap and can help MLS teams stretch their budget. (Former U-20's Shane O'Neill [CB] and Dillon Serna [wide-mid] are both starting for the Rapids and make well under $100,000.)
   4. puck Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4717431)
I find bookmarking the threads to be quite useful.

There is a link in the penultimate line of the story post, and you can use the same link to delete bookmarks once they are no longer useful.


I'm not sure what you mean about the link in "penultimate line of the story post". Do you mean BBTF's "bookmark" link? I do bookmark the recent threads but since I remove them, it's sometimes hard to find an older thread.

I guess I could browser bookmark every thread and just keep those in a group on the browser. But it might be nice if all the successive months were linked together on the page itself.
   5. puck Posted: June 02, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4717444)
So, what's the deal with Switzerland. Ranked 7th at the time of the draw, and thus Pot 1.

Their World Cup and Euro results have been quite underwhelming. (2008 Euro: last in their group despite hosting and playing the 3 group games in Basel? Someone must have been fired from a cannon.)

In Brazil, they're in a group with Ecuador, France, and Honduras. Ecuador could get the home-continent boost, and you have a northern Euro country playing Honduras (who's looked horrible in the warm ups) in Manaus.

Are they even making it out of the group stage?
   6. ursus arctos Posted: June 02, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4717480)
puck, that is what I meant.

Quite a few people think that Switzerland will win that group. They strolled their (admittedly easy) qualifying group, and are riding a new generation of talent that is sometimes compared to Belgium, and like Belgium, also relies heavily on the children of immigrants (see Inler, Shaqiri, Behrami, Fernandes, Djourou, etc).
   7. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 02, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4717495)
USA USA USA! World Cup champions! At some point in the future. But you never know!
   8. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 02, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4717501)
From the Primer on ESPN's coverage. Say what you will about ESPN, they spend a lot of money on production value, which is going to be a bit sad when Fox takes over and mangles it.

About a dozen ESPN analysts will rotate between games and the studio. Taylor Twellman will serve as Darke's partner on all U.S. games. Steve McManaman, who has partnered with Darke for years in England, will share the mic with Darke for the Brazil-Croatia opener and all of England's games. The other analysts include Michael Ballack (Germany), Efan Ekoku (Nigeria), Kasey Keller (US), Alexi Lalas (U.S.), Roberto Martinez (Spain), Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela), Gilberto Silva (Brazil), Santiago Solari (Argentina) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Holland), who management is very high on. "We had been targeting Ruud for some time and he can be a breakout star for us," said Amy Rosenfeld, the network's senior coordinating producer for the World Cup.


They got Roberto Martinez back! Ballack should be better this time around.
   9. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 02, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4717519)
These Cesc to Chelsea rumours are making me feel quite dirty about myself. I haven't been this conflicted since my Lakers picked up Karl Malone. I can't stand him, but a Matic-Cesc pivot is an FM-type partnership.
   10. Baldrick Posted: June 02, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4717520)
Can someone explain what in god's name happened here: http://www.espnfc.com/scores?

Soccernet used to have a nice, clean, simple presentation of the information. Just a list of scores. Now, they've apparently decided that the most important thing I am likely to be interested in is...a bunch of empty white space.

I hate hate HATE this trend. Same thing happened with Yahoo and baseball. Their scoreboard was awesome. Clean, simple, easy to use. Now it's a total mess. There must be data that tells them these redesigns are a good thing, but they make me nuts. Is it so much to ask that someone just tell me the information in a compact format?
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 02, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4717523)
Can someone explain what in god's name happened here

I also hate the new formatting. Do they get money if I have to scroll? I guess I'll rely more on whoscored.com for scores now.
   12. madvillain Posted: June 02, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4717532)
I posted this on the May thread just before it petered out: Steam sale has FM 14 down to $12.99, which is by far the best entertainment to dollar ratio of anything I can think of in the world. Question though is it worth it to upgrade from 13 to 14? Thanks in advance.
   13. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 02, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4717595)
I posted this on the May thread just before it petered out: Steam sale has FM 14 down to $12.99, which is by far the best entertainment to dollar ratio of anything I can think of in the world. Question though is it worth it to upgrade from 13 to 14? Thanks in advance.


Haven't played '14, only on '13, but I've heard the in-game play is much, *much* better. As others have described it before, watching a match in FM '13... at times it doesn't really look like an actual soccer match. It doesn't have the flow of a real match (which is hard to replicate, I understand).

I'll probably pick it up. Any idea how long the sale is for?

Sticking with FM, I'm in my first off-season playing as a club (as opposed to country). I was given quite a small transfer budget. If I sell one of my players, will the money I get from the player's sale go into my transfer/payroll budget, or will the owner pocket the cash? Or is this dependent on the owner?
   14. AuntBea Posted: June 02, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4717610)
Can someone explain what in god's name happened here


Completely agree. I am looking for another scores site as well now.
   15. ursus arctos Posted: June 02, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4717619)
I use LiveScore.com and the kicker Matchkalendar (the latter being ridiculously comprehensive when it comes to German matches.

The Score FC mobile app is also quite good.
   16. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 02, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4717633)
Germany World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Neuer (Bayern Munich), Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Zieler (Hanover).

Defenders: Boateng (Bayern Munich), Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Höwedes (FC Schalke), Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Lahm (Bayern Munich), Mertesacker (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Draxler (Schalke), Ginter (Freiburg), Götze (Bayern Munich), Kramer (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Khedira (Real Madrid), Kroos (Bayern Munich), Müller (Bayern Munich), Özil (Arsenal), Podolski (Arsenal), Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Schürrle (Chelsea), Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).

Forward: Klose (Lazio).

Slightly surprised at the absence of Schmelzer. I guess he was unable to reach full fitness in time.
   17. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 02, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4717636)
Mark,

Usually you get to "keep" those funds you generate by player sales. Be careful, because there is a gap in between the beginning of the transfer window and when the board sets expectations. Available money can be gained or loss in that period.

ESPN has a ton of broken links now too. Ugh.
   18. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 02, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4717645)
Can someone explain what in god's name happened here

The mantra for all contemporary web design is "mobile first". The site uses one stylesheet for all types of browsers, and it looks very nice on a phone with a 4.3" screen. That's all anyone cares about.
   19. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 02, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4717660)
Slightly surprised at the absence of Schmelzer. I guess he was unable to reach full fitness in time.


Speaking as a Dortmund fan, Durm's surpassed Schmelzer in terms of overall talent. Defensively it's a wash but Durm's so much better going forward. Schmelzer was healthy enough to play 120 minutes of the German Cup final but I haven't been following the German camp; was he hurt in camp?
   20. Flynn Posted: June 02, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4717704)
I just wanted to say - I find it very amusing when American soccer-haters imagine Europe as a land where everybody cares about one sport.

The sports scene in Europe is probably more diverse than in the United States, it's just soccer has a baseball in the 50s like hold on the continent. But it doesn't mean they don't care about other sports, and there's plenty of pockets in Europe where soccer is not the most popular game.
   21. puck Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4717716)
I have no idea what variety of sports are followed where, but I'm impressed that a fair number of European countries appear to have multi-tier basketball pyramids. Team handball seems big in some parts, too. It seems the countries from the former Yugoslavia are pretty good at soccer, basketball, and handball.
   22. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4717723)
Falcao will miss the World Cup. Not unexpected, but still sad. Muriel was left out as well.

Full Colombia squad:

GK
: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Santa Fe)

Defenders: Mario Yepes (Atalanta), Juan Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Pablo Armero (Napoli), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate)

Midfielders
: Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina), James Rodriguez (Monaco), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional), Juan Quintero (Porto)

Forwards
: Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Adrian Ramos (Borussia Dortmund), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari)
   23. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4717726)
That's an impressive group of players, especially after Colombia hit a bit of a rough patch in the late 90s/early 00s.

My impression is that soccer in Europe is bigger than the NFL is in the US. Obviously certain countries have preferences. Basketball is popular in Lithuania, Serbia and Croatia. Hockey in Switzerland, the Nordic countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia. A loot of European countries are able to maintain league in both women and men's volleyball.
   24. madvillain Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4717733)
Sticking with FM, I'm in my first off-season playing as a club (as opposed to country). I was given quite a small transfer budget. If I sell one of my players, will the money I get from the player's sale go into my transfer/payroll budget, or will the owner pocket the cash? Or is this dependent on the owner?


Hey thanks the match engine in '13 can be pretty damn infuriating. I've about thrown my computer out a window after my keeper gets accidentally lobbed from 50 yards out for the 3rd time in a season. If they fixed the stuff like that (which does happen from time to time, but seemingly is incredibly too common in the FM 13 engine) that would worth it to me.

WRT to the transfer stuff the owner will pocket some of it but if you go to "boardroom --> talk to board -> "increase percentage of transfer revenue available" that will bump it up some.

It can be very hard to play as a small market club but it's totally worth it IMO, much, much more rewarding. My favorite save is still taking Crewe to the EPL after a miraculous run in the playoffs of the Championship and then somehow on the last day of the following season we beat Everton to stay up by a single point. After that, because of the TV money, it was easy sledding.


_________________________

Should we be excited as American soccer fans about Villa to NYCFC (another bad name IMO) or just another past his prime International bound to bring more hype than actual impact?
   25. J. Sosa Posted: June 02, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4717748)
re: sports in europe

I have a brother in law that is from eastern europe. He doesn't care about any sport other than volleyball, which he is amazing at. He has a buddy he grew up with that plays in the NBA, but he says he never cared for the sport and also doesn't give a crap about soccer. People like different sports which is cool but it is always amazing to me how much he loves volleyball.

I did manage to talk him into going to play basketball a few times, and it was an eye opening experience. No idea what to do with the ball, but his rebounding and shot blocking was insane. I'd never seen a dude play that far above the rim before. I have to admit, a part of me did think what a waste it was that he plays volleyball.

Which I'm sure is very exciting and an awesome sport. Just not one that I personally care for. Taste is taste.
   26. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 02, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4717758)
It can be very hard to play as a small market club but it's totally worth it IMO, much, much more rewarding. My favorite save is still taking Crewe to the EPL after a miraculous run in the playoffs of the Championship and then somehow on the last day of the following season we beat Everton to stay up by a single point. After that, because of the TV money, it was easy sledding.


Actually I'm playing as Newscastle so I'm probably overstating my lack of transfer funds. But I'm trying to build my team into a Champions League-level club as opposed to my current Europa League-level team and that's hard to do with a $10 million transfer budget and 2 starting positions needing to be filled.
   27. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 02, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4717787)

Can someone explain what in god's name happened here: http://www.espnfc.com/scores?


The whole redesign of the ESPNFC site is shockingly awful.
   28. AuntBea Posted: June 02, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4717806)
I missed the first half of the Costa Rica / Japan game, and I realize that Costa Rica is up 1-0. But boy does Costa Rica look awful.
   29. AuntBea Posted: June 02, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4717825)
Costa Rica is slow to every ball, seem to lack skill, and leave huge gaps in defense. Truly awful. They have gotten a couple chances on Japan defensive lapses, but watching the 2 teams play it seemed like Japan would win 9 times out of 10.
   30. AuntBea Posted: June 02, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4717840)
Japan ended up winning 3-1. Costa Rica only has one more warmup game, I believe. If they play anything like that all 3 of the teams in their group will definitely roll right over them.
   31. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 03, 2014 at 12:17 AM (#4717866)
Should we be excited as American soccer fans about Villa to NYCFC (another bad name IMO) or just another past his prime International bound to bring more hype than actual impact?

Looks like Frank Lampard is following him, hopefully in one of those Henry loan back situations after the MLS season is up. I'll always feel like Frank hasn't gotten his proper due despite being spectacular for club and country, and one of the best midfielders in Premier League History .
   32. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 03, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4717898)
Actually I'm playing as Newscastle so I'm probably overstating my lack of transfer funds. But I'm trying to build my team into a Champions League-level club as opposed to my current Europa League-level team and that's hard to do with a $10 million transfer budget and 2 starting positions needing to be filled.

You can adjust your expectations upward, and the board will usually loosen the budget strings a little bit... although not much. And you will also be judged against those expectations at the end of the season...

Alternatively, if you have a lot of wage space left, you can shift some of that cap towards your transfer budget.
   33. puck Posted: June 03, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4717924)
Which I'm sure is very exciting and an awesome sport. Just not one that I personally care for. Taste is taste.


Well, you can see their athleticism come through at the highest level. Men's volleyball in the Olympics is a little like men's tennis. So much power on the spike there's shorter volleys, so some spectators end up preferring the women's competition. Well, for that and other reasons I suppose.
   34. puck Posted: June 03, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4717926)
Colombia: are Yepes and Valdes the starting centerbacks?
   35. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4717950)
ESPNFC's redesign is as ugly and disorganized as the USMNT's defense.

Should we be excited as American soccer fans about Villa to NYCFC (another bad name IMO) or just another past his prime International bound to bring more hype than actual impact?


He was the 2nd leading goal scorer for Atletico Madrid, I'd say he can still play. The pay must be unbelievable.
   36. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4717965)
He was the 2nd leading goal scorer for Atletico Madrid, I'd say he can still play. The pay must be unbelievable.

I think MLS pays really well on the top end since they pay the rest of the guys crap. A team like Atletico needs at least 20 excellent players to compete so they can't pay them all 6 million dollars a year or whatever. NYC FC is a special case on top of that. I still maintain they should have offered the moon to Balotelli. He's the only one that gets them on the back page of the dailies in New York.
   37. Textbook Editor Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4717968)
The pay must be unbelievable.


I find the hysteria over wages in the European leagues somewhat funny. Now, granted, rosters are larger than in the US Baseball (25/40) or US Football (53), but when people complain that someone is getting "200,000 pounds a week" that's ~$335,000 a week x 52 weeks = $17.5 million a season. Which--again, granted--is not chump change, but I'd argue is hardly "mad, crazy money." You'd expect the top 50-100 players in Europe to be getting paid that much, especially considering the TV money sloshing around.

Villa getting $17.5 million (or anything around that) isn't awful; it just makes filling out the rest of the roster that much more complicated. Villa may be the best current player to come into the MLS, right? I didn't think Henry was at the level Villa is at when he came over (but I could be remembering this wrong).
   38. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4717975)
Its nice to get big names, but I've been wary since the Ljunberg failure and the Rafa Marquez fiasco. If they're motivated then they'll be great. Villa is better than Robbie Keane and Defoe and both of those guys are tearing up MLS. A midfielder with the composure and technical skill of Lampard should be able to control the middle of the park even if he doesn't have the legs that he used to.

Unfortunately, they'll be playing in an awful stadium environment and I don't know if all those football-loving hipsters in Manhattan and Brooklyn will take the subway ride up. I believe MLS fans are still a heavily suburban market and the Bronx is inconvenient for a lot of those fans - they'll do the trek (and pay the money) to see the Yankees but its harder to justify that for soccer.

Edit: Also, oil money only goes so far in MLS. They can only pay three players. Building up from an expansion team is a bit easier in MLS but you need the right GM for that.
   39. Textbook Editor Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4717978)
I still maintain they should have offered the moon to Balotelli. He's the only one that gets them on the back page of the dailies in New York.


FWIW, I've never been to a Red Bulls game and only go to a Yankees-Red Sox game every few years up at the Stadium, but... Had NYCFC signed Balotelli I would have definitely tried to catch a game.

That said, he'd be nuts to come over, as it almost certainly would eventually jeopardize his spot on the Italian team, and all racism crap aside, I do think that's important to him.
   40. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4717981)
I think MLS pays really well on the top end since they pay the rest of the guys crap.


Absolutely. Villa's not the first and won't be the last player to come to MLS instead of a better league because the money was so much better.
   41. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4717983)
Unfortunately, they'll be playing in an awful stadium environment and I don't know if all those football-loving hipsters in Manhattan and Brooklyn will take the subway ride up.

I don't think there are as many soccer loving hipsters in New York as you may think. NYC FC's bread and butter is going to be immigrants and families, both urban and suburban. Just judging from what I see on the UES, every kid under the age of 10 plays soccer and from my neighborhood it's an easy subway ride to NYS.
   42. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4717986)
Also, oil money only goes so far in MLS. They can only pay three players.


I wouldn't be surprised to see a 4th DP in the next couple of years. Or some kind of in-between level where there's a cap on how much the player can make in salary but costs less against the cap.
   43. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4717987)
Just judging from what I see on the UES, every kid under the age of 10 plays soccer and from my neighborhood it's an easy subway ride to NYS.


Eh, every kid under 10 has been playing soccer all over the county for decades. It's the next decade that is the better litmus test.
   44. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4717991)
That said, he'd be nuts to come over, as it almost certainly would eventually jeopardize his spot on the Italian team, and all racism crap aside, I do think that's important to him.

I don't know, money talks, and I wouldn't underestimate the appeal of being the new Pele in New York. I think Balotelli would be one of the 5 most talked about athletes here if he signed for an MLS team and I bet that appeals to him. Plus, he won't have any points on his drivers license! This is all just hypothetical, of course, since it hasn't happened nor will happen. I'm just saying, if I were a sheik with endless money and wanted New York City to notice what I was up to...
   45. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4718003)
Adding to DA's point in 42, the CBA expires after this season. They just signed a new, long-term TV deal with Fox, and have money coming in from franchise fees. I'd expect some combination of more DPs per team or a higher salary cap (which right now is something like $3 million per team, although given things like allocation money and DP salaries, that's not a fair portrayal of what teams are actually spending).

Also, for you NYC guys, what kind of attendance are you expecting NYCFC to draw in their first season? I'm pretty sure NYRB have yet to crack an average of 20k per year. Does NYS' ease of access get them across that hump?
   46. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4718007)
Does NYS' ease of access get them across that hump?

I don't think so. NYRB stadium is actually very easy to get to from NYC so it depends on where you live in the city whether NYRB or NYCFC is going to be closer. I think they'll do roughly what NYRB do and they'll probably be disappointed.
   47. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4718010)
I don't think there are as many soccer loving hipsters in New York as you may think. NYC FC's bread and butter is going to be immigrants and families, both urban and suburban.


You're probably right - plus all those soccer fans in Manhattan and Brooklyn just watch European football exclusively anyway. I think most immigrants are going to be priced out of NYCFC, and while Villa and Lampard are big names, there aren't a ton of English and Spanish immigrants around (even in the NYC-area) compared to Central and South American ones.
   48. Topher Posted: June 03, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4718027)
Disaster is a strong word, but I'm thinking the Villa signing is going after the wrong player for MLS.

Villa is pretty much a 60 minute player at this point in his career. Still world class, but he doesn't go 90. (I was shocked he went 120 in the final after going the full 90 in the Barca game the previous week.)

Looking at the numbers ... He's a bit better than a 60 minute player but he only went the full 90 in 11 of the 43 matches he appeared this past season.

MLS is a more physical league. MLS plays during the summer and many of those games are smack in the middle of day. Instead of having all teams within 500 miles of Madrid, more than half the teams in the league are 1000 miles away from New York. And while it won't be too different from this past Athletic campaign due to their success in Europe, MLS schedules more midweek games than your typical league because it tries to maximize the number of games played during the summer when kids aren't in school.

And not that it matters, but I love David Villa. And I'll probably be a sucker and make a trip to watch him play. But I won't be shocked if it is just a 45 minute appearance.
   49. ursus arctos Posted: June 03, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4718035)
NYCFC is facing some definite challenges, and I would expect them to look to Central or South America for their third (and potentially second) DP, as well as some players to fill out their squad. The entire thing would have been easier had they been able to pull off the soccer-specific stadium near Citi Field that was originally planned. That location is both more soccer-friendly (Flushing Meadow hosts dozens of largely Latino soccer games every weekend) and I continue to be convinced that purists are going to find the weird sightlines at NYS (and potential turf problems from covering the infield) off-putting.

I do agree about Balotelli, though. There is a bit of a vacuum in larger than life NYC sports personalities right now and he really could fill that void.

48 also makes some very good points about Villa. Recall that Thierry Henry was expected by many to tear up MLS as soon as he arrived, which isn't quite what happened. NYCFC will also need multiple options to get Villa the ball (which is a large part of Henry's "problem").
   50. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4718038)
Villa is pretty much a 60 minute player at this point in his career.


He could go 90 if he Rafa Marquez half asses it. That's probably being kind to Marquez.
   51. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 03, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4718060)
Marquez would have picked up his second yellow by the 50th minute.
   52. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4718069)
Recall that Thierry Henry was expected by many to tear up MLS as soon as he arrived, which isn't quite what happened.


Henry hasn't been flashy, but he's had plenty of substance. He's been 5th in assists the past two years and is third so far this year, was 5th in goals two years ago and 3rd three years ago, and has turned Bradley Wright-Phillips and Kenny Cooper into top goal scorers. The Red Bulls have been one of the highest scoring teams in the league since he got there.
   53. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 03, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4718078)
What do Atleti fans have against Roberto Soldado? I know he had a tough year for Spurs but he has a great record in Spain. Is it because he came up in the Real Madrid system?
   54. Swedish Chef Posted: June 03, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4718102)
What do Atleti fans have against Roberto Soldado? I know he had a tough year for Spurs but he has a great record in Spain. Is it because he came up in the Real Madrid system?

He's nothing that tickles the imagination, at best he might recapture what he was, there's no more potential there. They won the league and played in the CL final, the fans want new players worthy of that, not just a guy who is adequate for a team fighting for the last CL place.
   55. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 03, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4718134)
Atleti fans need to remember that despite the season of all seasons, they are still broke ass broke. I'm not sure who they think is walking through that door. (Hopefully not Soldado since I think he can still make good for the BESTEST CLUB IN THE WORLD IN ENGLAND)
   56. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 03, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4718159)
I find the hysteria over wages in the European leagues somewhat funny. Now, granted, rosters are larger than in the US Baseball (25/40) or US Football (53), but when people complain that someone is getting "200,000 pounds a week" that's ~$335,000 a week x 52 weeks = $17.5 million a season. Which--again, granted--is not chump change, but I'd argue is hardly "mad, crazy money." You'd expect the top 50-100 players in Europe to be getting paid that much, especially considering the TV money sloshing around.

1. The fact that MLB (and other US pro leagues) can pay their "draftees" 20% of their market value, vastly inflates the FA contracts. In football, you get paid when you turn pro at 17 or 18 or whatever. If MLB had to pay those guys out of the gate, FA contracts would drop like a stone.

2. Clubs pay agents, not players.

3. It's not just basic wage. There are typically a lot more bonuses in Football. Appearance bonuses, goal bonuses, clean sheet bonuses...

4.Teams pay star players image rights separately (it's a tax dodge)

The bottom line is, top European clubs pay their players a good chunk more than even the Yankees or Dodgers pay out.
   57. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 03, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4718190)
   58. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4718213)
Anyone else see that Michael Cox's All-Europe Team had no Barca players and only 1 from Real?
   59. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4718231)
Anyone else see that Michael Cox's All-Europe Team had no Barca players and only 1 from Real?

A LOT of Atletico players there!
   60. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4718238)
I don't think there are as many soccer loving hipsters in New York as you may think. NYC FC's bread and butter is going to be immigrants and families, both urban and suburban.


That's interesting because I get the impression the sucess of MLS in KC, Portland, and Seattle is hipster-driven.
   61. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4718246)
SI's redesign is better than ESPN's. Not saying it's great, but at least I no longer have to keep scrolling to look at all the stories from that day alone.

The World Cup Injured XI is a 3-5-2 with only one centerback, but that offense...
   62. madvillain Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4718263)
SI's redesign is better than ESPN's.


Maybe I'm getting old, but all these redesigns -- looking at you Yahoo Sports -- seem to be getting worse on the eyes on harder on the browsers.
   63. ursus arctos Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4718268)
I think that 18 hit the nail on the head.

The redesigns aren't being done for people who access the sites on computers.
   64. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4718270)
Agreed that they're done for tablets. The link in 10 looks fine on my iPad. And like I said, I don't think SI looks great, but it used to look like crap. A front page that only has a handful of articles in sequence is a terrible look.
   65. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4718275)
Yup all these redesigns solve the "fat finger" problem.
   66. madvillain Posted: June 03, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4718312)
For the guy playing with Newcastle honestly the game gets pretty easy after you have 15+ scouts and worldwide scouting. Just hang around mid table, keep the owners happy, expand your scouting range if necessary by asking them, and try and hire as many scouts as you can from as many varied areas (but always make sure you are manually scouting many of the powerhouse soccer countries' U21 and U19 teams, especially in South America). Also find when the regen for Brazil, Argentina, Spain etc is, usually it's sometime in march when the youth intake regens players. You can grab these guys before anyone else knows about them if you manually scout.

Then once you get enough players scouted you should be able to find some wonderkids (try and get them before they turn 20 so you can maximize their development) that are current 2 stars but will be 3 stars after the year and possible 5 star internationals after that.

Then, once you make CL, watch the money pour in and then you can really start signing the superstars if you want, although I like to sign wonderkids and watch them develop more than just buying fully mature talent for high prices.
   67. Ron J2 Posted: June 03, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4718322)
Interesting piece from the Zlatan Ibrahimovic autobiography at Grantland. About how he manipulated Barca into selling him cheap. Plus some stuff on his problems with Guardiola.
   68. AuntBea Posted: June 03, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4718411)
The Nigeria/Greece game has basically been a snooze fest so far. Nigeria, in particular, seems devoid of ideas. A couple of decent long range shots by both teams, and a little movement up front by the Greeks.
   69. Baldrick Posted: June 03, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4718416)
A Greece game was a snooze fest? Who would have guessed?!
   70. AuntBea Posted: June 03, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4718417)
A Greece game was a snooze fest? Who would have guessed?!


Heh. Yeah. Mostly I am watching because 2 WC teams are involved, and the US will be playing Nigeria soon, so I'm hoping to gauge the US performance in that game a little bit. Based on the Nigeria I have seen in the last 2 games (I didn't watch all of each), the US really needs to play well enough to beat them to have any shot at advancing in their group.
   71. Langer Monk Posted: June 03, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4718429)
I get scores from uk.soccerway - simple, easy.
   72. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 03, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4718432)
The redesigns aren't being done for people who access the sites on computers.


I suppose, but they also managed to make the site LITERALLY* unusable for me on my Android phone.

*As in, I can't read ANY articles because only the left half of the text displays and I can't scroll it to the right at all because the left/right display is locked in place.

It's the Poochie of website designs and I can only hope that it dies on the way back to its home planet ...
   73. ursus arctos Posted: June 03, 2014 at 08:52 PM (#4718437)
That's the kind of issue they are likely to take seriously if you let them know.
   74. AuntBea Posted: June 03, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4718445)
To their credit, Nigeria looked much more lively in the second half. Still, they had quite a bit of trouble breaking down the Greece defense.
   75. Sean Forman Posted: June 03, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4718447)
I started working on our fbref.com site again yesterday and I'm enjoying all of these complaints rolling in.
   76. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 03, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4718468)
That's the kind of issue they are likely to take seriously if you let them know.


Eh, it's also the kind of thing you'd think they'd have actually, you know, tested and fixed before releasing a massive redesign.

Which doesn't even address the fact that even *if* it worked, the website *design* is a debacle on (at the least) 2 of the 3 "devices" that people access it on.
   77. AuntBea Posted: June 03, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4718470)
Bosnia dominating Mexico early. Dzeko also missed a sitter.
   78. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 03, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4718476)
Chicharito with a great chance... why does Mexico have Charlie Brown shirts as jerseys?
   79. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 03, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4718484)
Bosnia getting it done.
   80. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 03, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4718488)
why does Mexico have Charlie Brown shirts as jerseys?

Influenced by Slovenia 2010?
   81. AuntBea Posted: June 03, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4718498)
Mexico whining about a last minute Bosnia pre-game lineup change. Try playing some football.
   82. AuntBea Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4718502)
The second half has been much more even.
   83. AuntBea Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4718503)
What's up with the refs? That's the second time they've screwed up the substitutions. I don't even think I've seen it once before.
   84. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4718513)
   85. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4718607)
When will someone important in US Soccer bring up boycotting the 2022 Cup? Even a jackass like Wynalda or someone?
   86. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4718618)
No way in hell does someone in an official US capacity says anything beyond a mild "disappointment." Eventually, they're going to want to have another World Cup in the US and can't piss off countries that are willing to explicitly bribe heads of FA for retribution.
   87. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4718621)
4000 deaths just from Nepalese and Indian workers. So we can probably double that number including workers from other countries. Anyone who goes to that Cup or participates in it in any way is a monster. I'm sorry, but they are. The whole thing is beyond disgusting. And for a soccer tournament! A freakin piece of fluff! It makes me a little ill to say it, but if the USSF won't step up then let's hope a politician or two will.
   88. DA Baracus Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4718627)
It's Jurgen Klinsmann fluff piece week! First Will Leitch drinks the Kool Aid then the NY Times asks a question and then spends thousands of words not answering it.

When will someone important in US Soccer bring up boycotting the 2022 Cup?


After they're no longer working for US Soccer.
   89. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4718631)
After they're no longer working for US Soccer.

That's fine, too. Anyone who will start the dialogue and get the media to start putting some tough questions to Gulati. People are dying RIGHT NOW. It's not hyperbole to say that lives are at stake at this very moment.
   90. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4718633)
4000 deaths just from Nepalese and Indian workers. So we can probably double that number including workers from other countries.

Combined, Indians and Nepalese make up ~38% of the Qatari workforce (among other subcontinent peoples, Pakistanis are another ~22% and Sri Lankans are ~8%). The overall death toll could be higher than double of the Indian/Nepalese death toll. My understanding is that the only reason we have numbers from these two countries is thanks to the Indian embassy* and the PNCC, a Nepalese migration NGO.

*as an explanation of how important the Gulf diaspora is economically to India: remittances to the state of Kerala, which has the highest rate of migration to the Gulf, are something like ~20% of the net state domestic product. (this is from memory; my numbers could be off)
   91. DA Baracus Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4718634)
It's not hyperbole to say that lives are at stake at this very moment.


It is not. I would like to see the media grill Gulati on it.
   92. AuntBea Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4718642)
The more I think about the Donovan omission, the worse it seems, especially since it does not appear that the US is a well-organized side that just needs to avoid "distractions" to succeed.

This whole omission scandal has reminded me of some of moments in extra time of the Ghana game in 2010, when the ball was played by Ghana through the midfield and there was a US player a mere yard away just standing and watching it as it went by, making no effort to intervene. I was wondering who the deadbeat was: a gassed Donovan of course. I found his lack of effort... disturbing. That being said, I see no reason at all why he wouldn't be great off the bench, or couldn't be subbed out after 65 minutes if chosen to start.

On another note, I am setting the over/under for non UEFA/CONMEBOL teams qualifying for the knockout stages at 1.5 (ok, 2 is more realistic, but I'm making a point). I have been rereading about the Platini suggestion to expand the tournament to 40 teams, with 2 more each from CONCACAF, CAF, and AFC, and another from Oceania (and only one more from Europe). 8 groups of 5 with 2 teams in each advancing. Seems like a terrible idea, hopefully less likely to be implemented now that Platini is facing some backlash from the Qatar fiasco. On the other hand, Blatter's idea to reduce European teams in favor of Asian ones (but leaving the total number at 32) is not much better.
   93. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4718646)
Well, I tweeted Grant Wahl about when the USSF will start to be grilled about the deaths CURRENTLY HAPPENING in Qatar and now I feel like a particularly 21st century kind of impotent loser.
   94. DA Baracus Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4718647)
A Greece game was a snooze fest? Who would have guessed?!


Somebody, I don't remember if it was a pundit on Twitter or a friend of mine, said the other day "at least when I die I'll never have to watch Greece play again."
   95. DA Baracus Posted: June 04, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4718653)
Well, I tweeted Grant Wahl about when the USSF will start to be grilled about the deaths CURRENTLY HAPPENING in Qatar and now I feel like a particularly 21st century kind of impotent loser.


I liked when he ran for FIFA President. I wish he would have run for USSF President, if only so that Gulati would have actually have competition.
   96. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4718700)
Looking at the groups, I guess you could see Mexico/Cameroon make it out of Group A, Japan/Ivory Coast out of Group C, Iran/Nigeria out of F and Algeria/Korea out of H. That's mainly due to the second strongest team in the group lack depth or have some flaws. 1.5 sounds about right. The European/South American teams just have more talent and organization than the African/Asian teams. The US and Mexico just aren't that good this cycle. Of course anything can happen, but the best national teams will are in Europe and they probably deserve at least two more teams (and South America probably 0.5) before any other confederation gets another spot.
   97. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 04, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4718779)
I'd take the over on 1.5 but man I wouldn't put much money on that at all. I think Frank has a pretty good breakdown of the teams that could do it.

Part of the issue is the tournament is in South America. It seems like the tourneys in UEFA/CONMEBOL countries tend to be "chalk" tournaments while if you want something bizarre you need to look to the other tournaments. Not perfect but just thinking back to unlikely semi-finalists; Bulgaria, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey...they came in "other" locations. Of course South Africa was a pretty generic final four which kind of blows up that theory a bit.
   98. Topher Posted: June 04, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4718785)
The thing that is really unfortunate is that even a journalist probably has much more to lose than gain by bringing up the nasty side of Qatar. Just thinking of how the bid England 2018 quickly fell apart as soon as the Panorama documentary came out alleging bribes from a decade earlier. The FA claimed the press for killing the bid and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there is a journalist or two that still gets a cold shoulder based upon that experience.

I don't think that this is too dissimilar to your typical beat reporter that has plenty of opportunities over the course of the season to report on shenanigans. But a lot of that gets self-censored because he/she ultimately realizes the need for team access.
   99. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 04, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4718799)
I don't think that this is too dissimilar to your typical beat reporter that has plenty of opportunities over the course of the season to report on shenanigans.

These aren't just shenanigans, though. These are people dying by the dozens. And, look, we know what's happening, we don't need it reported at this point, we need someone to make an issue of what we already know. We don't need a journalist, really, we need someone with a bully pulpit. And what have we had? Crickets. Fair play to Schaap for that piece, though. He asked the one question that I would have been disappointed by if he hadn't, the one that implicates all of us with what's going on there. First World fun time, Third World death.
   100. Swedish Chef Posted: June 04, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4718806)
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