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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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   201. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4720552)
Frank: That's what so sad/incredible..yup, Novara was in Serie A not long ago. Still 0-1 Varese.

Tyresö played in the women's Champions League final a couple of weeks ago, yesterday they withdrew from the Swedish league in the middle of the season. Though everybody knew that they were ###### economically since February or so.
   202. Howling John Shade Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4720553)
Flip repost:
The espnfc site actually seems to have gotten a bit better since the last time I looked a couple of days ago. However, they claim to be displaying game times in ET, but the times listed are in PT (for me at least).
   203. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4720556)
Ghana's witch doctor got Marco Reus today.
   204. Baldrick Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4720557)
Grantland takes a stab at explaining soccer tactics. It mixes too many sports but its a decent enough try to explain the basics. They did miss an opportunity to link to MCoA's analysis in the "Shot Selection" part.

I think I might understand less about soccer having read it. Not the fault of the article, I don't think. I just apparently don't know anything about American football, so none of the analogies made any sense to me.
   205. ursus arctos Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4720558)
This is the worst spate of injuries to high profile players from "big" teams before a major tournament that I can remember, but I would love to see some data to back that up (given that guys get hurt every cycle).
   206. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4720563)
I think the Grantland piece is a decent one for someone who knows the other sports but doesn't really know soccer. As Baldrick notes if you follow soccer it is just confusing but I often use other sports when explaining soccer to non-fan friends and it comes out a lot like that article.
   207. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4720565)
I think the Grantland piece is a decent one for someone who knows the other sports but doesn't really know soccer.


Agreed. Like I said on the last page, it's not for people like us. It's for your friend who doesn't hate soccer and doesn't understand it but would like to get enough of an understanding to be able to watch the World Cup and have an idea of what is going on. Give them that link and they'll have a better understanding.
   208. Baldrick Posted: June 06, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4720572)
Germany was held by Armenia for the first half, and then Armenia let in a goal but managed to peg it back to 1-1. Then Germany created about five chances in three minutes and scored a couple of them. And it's a rout suddenly.

But for 70 minutes or so, they seemed pretty flat.
   209. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 06, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4720592)
It seems that a lot of teams are playing fairly unimpressive soccer in these final friendlies. Is that uncommon? I was talking with a co-worker and intuitively it seems logical that teams would be a bit lethargic at this stage. The lack of motivation plus a desire to avoid injury would make them play at a fairly pedestrian pace. And of course with the 23 man rosters announced there is relatively little to fight for at this stage.
   210. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 06, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4720593)
I thought Germany looked pretty good in the first half. A bunch a close, central chances they didn't finish. But against Armenia, they should do at least that.

The Reus injury looked like a pretty bad sprain, and their injury list is looking awful. Would not be surprised by a quarterfinal, maybe even round of 16 exit for the Germans at this point.
   211. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 06, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4720594)
If people don't mind another bit of self-promotion...

I've just about got my World Cup model up and running, and I'll be writing a whole bunch for the WaPo Fancy Stats blog starting, well, today.

My dark horse picks right now are Portugal and France (if France counts). Obviously with Portugal it's dependent on Ronaldo's health. I don't think Ribery is that big a loss when France can just stick Antoine Griezmann into his role. France is to wide forwards what Argentina is to center forwards. Portugal were the big expected goals underperformer in European qualifying. By xG they should have gone 9-1-0 and romped into the Cup.

And I've been working on some tactical statistics for football, trying to quantify how much a team focuses their attacks on breaking through the center or crossing from the flanks, and how "direct" they are in building attacks. Also looking at opposition pass completion rates, by location on the pitch, to gauge the effectiveness of defensive presses. I wrote on Mauricio Pochettino using those stats, and today I've got a piece on the radically cross-happy US Men's team.

I don't think crossing is necessarily bad--Atleti use a mixed attack, so do Croatia. Sometimes that's what your talent can do best. But the EPL sides in the US' range in Cross:TB ratio are your Hulls, West Hams and Crytals Palace. It's a weapon of the weak, and it suggests that even in CONCACAF Klinsmann wasn't confident in his team's ability to break down defenses with technical skill and the passing game.
   212. Mefisto Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4720615)
Good stuff, MCOA. Thanks.
   213. ursus arctos Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4720625)
It seems that a lot of teams are playing fairly unimpressive soccer in these final friendlies. Is that uncommon?


No, it's quite typical, particularly for the "bigger" teams. Arrigo Sacchi's Italy lost to a Serie C2 in the run-up to 1994 (when they made the Final).

I'm wondering if Blanc is ready to hand over the keys to Griezmann (a player that I really like), though he may not have much choice.
   214. AuntBea Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4720630)
The espnfc site actually seems to have gotten a bit better since the last time I looked a couple of days ago. However, they claim to be displaying game times in ET, but the times listed are in PT (for me at least).


They still had the Ghana/Guatemala game listed, though it has been cancelled for 2 months.
   215. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4720634)
it suggests that even in CONCACAF Klinsmann wasn't confident in his team's ability to break down defenses with technical skill and the passing game.


Well now the Donovan omission totally makes sense. And why he's playing his FBs on the wrong side.

Seriously though, good stuff.
   216. AuntBea Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4720639)
Yes, thanks for the articles, I saw that Rakitic assist as it happened, and was unaware of who he was at the time. Fun to see it again, with some context.
   217. ursus arctos Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4720642)
MCoA, good stuff, though I would argue that post-Eusebio Portugal have a long history of being crap at converting chances (ask any Portuguese fan you come across), and that Cristiano generally cannot both create and finish himself.
   218. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4720670)
It seems that a lot of teams are playing fairly unimpressive soccer in these final friendlies. Is that uncommon?

I think so, when they are really really desperate to not get injured.
   219. ursus arctos Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4720683)
Bild is reporting that Reus has ruptured ligaments, and is out of the tournament.
   220. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 06, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4720699)
It sucks for Reus and Ribery and (to fans) but if two teams can "handle" an injury like those are France and Germany.
   221. AuntBea Posted: June 06, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4720752)
So far, Mexico is taking it to Portugal. No Ronaldo tonight.
   222. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4720754)
The man who hired him, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, once told me one of the reasons he hired Klinsmann was so that he wouldn’t say the U.S. had no chance of winning a World Cup.


Oops.
   223. Howling John Shade Posted: June 06, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4720765)
   224. Swedish Chef Posted: June 07, 2014 at 03:18 AM (#4720847)
It sucks for Reus and Ribery and (to fans) but if two teams can "handle" an injury like those are France and Germany.

France handling adversity? That sounds highly optimistic, I'm sure they could totally implode if their toast got burnt one morning.
   225. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4720869)
France handling adversity? That sounds highly optimistic, I'm sure they could totally implode if their toast got burnt one morning.

Cheese-eating surrender monkeys!
   226. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4720872)
Hey, the French have won more World Cups in my lifetime than England, Holland and East Germany combined!
   227. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4720877)
Endut! Hoch Hech!
   228. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4720938)
I think deferring to a team's stars is more like a "the entire world except Germany and Holland" thing.

Johan Cryuff might disagree. Of course, the Dutch teams are seemingly always in open warfare, which is what makes me root for them. I'm sure it's been done to death in here, but Winner's Brilliant Orange is required re-reading for me before any international tournament that the Dutch are in.
   229. frannyzoo Posted: June 07, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4720978)
Belgium looking comfortable v. Tunisia here, but I'm unsure as to whether they are getting realistic training today with their Barca level possession. Still, it's a very pretty side, Fellaini's woeful passing aside.

Them be some Texas sized hailstones in Brussels...
   230. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4721006)
Diego Costa wins a penalty 3 minutes in against El Salvador.

Edit: and Fabergas skies the penalty into the stands.
   231. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4721010)
I know this comes as no shock but Spain - very good at soccer. El Salvador not quite as good - although they had a very good chance.
   232. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4721022)
I would like to see Julian Green get 45+ minutes today to see what the fuss is about.

and Fabergas skies the penalty into the stands.


He's going to fit great with John Terry.
   233. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4721030)
Spain brought David Silva, David Villa and Santi Cazorla off the bench.
   234. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4721036)
If Villa is motivated and stays healthy he will break whatever single-season goal scoring record MLS has.
   235. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4721037)
What's the lineup today?
   236. Langer Monk Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4721039)
Back to the 4-2-3-1

Beasley-Besler-Cameron-Johnson
Beckerman and Jones
Dempsey-Bradley-Bedoya
Altidore
   237. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4721040)
4-3-3 I think... Bradley, Beckerman and Jones all in the middle with Bedoya, Dempsey and Altiodore up front. Johnson, Besler, Cameron and Beasley in the back. Will this be the lineup Klinsmann uses?
   238. JH (in DC) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4721041)
If they're going to persist with a fan-sung anthem, the recording needs to have a consistent tempo.
   239. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4721043)
Will this be the lineup Klinsmann uses?


Not even he knows.
   240. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4721046)
Our touches are really lead footed so far.
   241. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4721048)
####### do we have so few people with a good touch.
   242. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4721050)
####### do we have so few people with a good touch.


Not that he's completely to blame, but having someone other than Jones on the left would help.
   243. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4721051)
Bradley is good. The other guys...less so. Nice little move by Dempsey there, though.
   244. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4721052)
I have a bad feeling that this is what the World Cup is going to look like for the US - too bad we have no one with pace to exploit on counters.
   245. JH (in DC) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4721053)
Zusi needs to start ahead of Bedoya in Brazil. And Jozy looks bad, but someone needs to provide an outlet when he gets the ball. He was out wide and everyone else stopped moving.
   246. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4721054)
I have a bad feeling that this is what the World Cup is going to look like for the US


That wouldn't be so bad considering that everyone they face at the World Cup has a better offense. Nigeria hasn't looked as potent on attack as Turkey did.
   247. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4721055)
If we score a goal from open play in this tournament, I predict it's a chance created by Bradley that spills to the feet of Dempsey, who nudges it in.
   248. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4721057)
I'd be shocked if Bedoya started but other than that this looks like a representative XI.
   249. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4721058)
Dempsey is not tracking back - if he's going to be this lazy, sit Jozy and let him play striker.
   250. Langer Monk Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4721059)
Hey, look, some skill.
   251. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4721061)
Yay Jozy!
   252. JH (in DC) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4721062)
That was pretty.
   253. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4721064)
Really nice little goal there.
   254. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:36 PM (#4721065)
That was a very nice sequence, and it's good to see Jozy score.
   255. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:36 PM (#4721066)
Johnson is looking really good the last few games, perfect time to be in form.
   256. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4721068)
US keeping possession...what is the world coming to?

Oops, and there it goes...
   257. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4721069)
Not a Tourettes joke, Tim Howard usually looks like he's on the verge of assaulting a ref.
   258. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4721070)
Does anyone know how good Ghana's RB is? It looks like that the US has shifted to a lopsided diamond with Jones on the left but sort of tucked in.
   259. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4721071)
Wonderful pass from Altidore there to find Dempsey on the counter. Wasn't really ever going to amount to anything, but I really like seeing him try stuff like that. Is it too simple to say that the goal has lifted his spirits?
   260. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4721073)
It looks like that the US has shifted to a lopsided diamond with Jones on the left but sort of tucked in.


They're alternating between a diamond with Jones on the left and Dempsey dropping to a 4-3-2-1. Dempsey's going to need to track better if they use this against Portugal and Germany.
   261. AuntBea Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4721074)
Nigeria has looked mostly uninspired in friendlies so far, and today is another example. I wonder if they'll be able to turn it on for the actual games. They did look a little better in the second half of their game against Greece.
   262. Mefisto Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4721076)
Taylor Twellman is going to drive me crazy. It took him 25 minutes to figure out that Jones was not "sitting in front of the back 4" along with Beckerman.

Am I wrong in saying that Dempsey is doing nothing out there?
   263. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4721077)
Ghana scouting report:

Appiah’s biggest problem is at full-back. His best left-back is a right-back by trade who spends his regular season playing in midfield at Esperance, Harrison Afful, while his other options, Samuel Inkoom and Daniel Opare are nothing if not inconsistent.


I remember that Samuel Inkoom guy from the last World Cup. He now plays for Dnipro, aka Shakhtar Donetsk Jr., and they keep sending him out on loan.

All three of those guys are very small.
   264. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4721079)
Taylor Twellman is going to drive me crazy. It took him 25 minutes to figure out that Jones was not "sitting in front of the back 4" along with Beckerman.


He routinely takes a half an hour to understand the game he is watching. It's maddening.
   265. AuntBea Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4721080)
Taylor Twellman is going to drive me crazy. It took him 25 minutes to figure out that Jones was not "sitting in front of the back 4" along with Beckerman.


I would have guessed this from the first whistle. Klinsmann so far hasn't wanted to play with 2 players in that spot, Jones hasn't been able to handle it alone, and Jones is better roaming forward (and attacking the ball further from the back line) more anyway. And, of course, Klinsmann won't write out a lineup without Jones's name in it. This is an interesting compromise to play this way, but I'll leave it to others to say how effective it might be.
   266. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4721083)
A 4-1-4-1 look when Dempsey drops now. I think I like that better.
   267. AuntBea Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4721084)
Bedoya not too happy with his own performance, seemingly. May have lost any chance of a starting spot with his performance today.
   268. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4721085)
We've actually looked quite competent at a lot of points in this game, and other than a couple breakaways and that corner we've looked good on defense after the first 10 minutes.

Bradley is so clearly our best outfield player.

Great, great tackle, but dangerous, by Johnson.
   269. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4721087)
Yes, we've look decent - now is this false hope or actual hope? Beckerman is now necessary - he gives license for Bradley and Jones.
   270. AuntBea Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4721088)
Nigeria is not attempting to bring the game to the US the way Turkey did.
   271. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4721090)
is this false hope or actual hope?


More false than actual because Nigeria is the poor man's Ghana. As Aunt Bea says, Nigeria isn't taking to the US. And that's not because the US is doing a great job defensively (but they're not playing bad either). There are certainly good things to build on.

YEAH JOZY!
   272. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4721091)
BEAUTIFUL ball from Bradley, and Jozy rifles it in the net.

Not much defending there, but whatever. That was great!
   273. AuntBea Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4721092)
That's exactly when Altidore looks his best. We've been waiting a long time for that.
   274. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4721093)
That was a great goal by Jozy. Exactly what he needed going into the World Cup.
   275. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4721095)
Yea Nigeria look like toast. The heat is going to help the US a lot. Really never a problem with fitness.
   276. AuntBea Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4721097)
I like how Bradley seldom hesitates to make an attacking pass. The rest of the team, not so much.
   277. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4721100)
I think Dempsey would have put that in the net if it weren't a friendly with the USA already up 2-0.
   278. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4721101)
Thank god we have Bradley, that whole last sequence in defense was awful.
   279. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4721102)
Why experiment with a three-man defense now?
   280. AuntBea Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4721104)
Jones has not looked great making the final pass on breaks. All a bit off.
   281. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4721105)
Mix needed to volley that rather than try to control it.

Damnit.
   282. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4721108)
I really hope we never see Gonzalez play in Brazil.
   283. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4721109)
Deserved penalty, undeserved scoreline.

Really never a problem with fitness.


Don't tell Klinsmann that.
   284. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4721110)
Gonzalez is just bad. I'm glad that we found one decent CB with Besler during the course of qualifying, but Gonzalez... yeesh.

The last 10 minutes have been abominable, the first 10 minutes were really uneven, but the middle 70 minutes were excellent.
   285. AuntBea Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4721111)
With all the subs, I don't think the US was really trying to "close out the game".
   286. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4721112)
Omar Gonzalez seemed like a new Onyewu in most of the qualifying games. Was I off base back then, or was it just that we were up against a bunch of Central Americans who are all 8 inches shorter than him?
   287. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4721113)
Omar Gonzalez seemed like a new Onyewu in most of the qualifying games.


That's a fair comparison. They even both had knee injuries.
   288. Mefisto Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:03 PM (#4721121)
Yeah, Gonzalez looked poor. I thought Dempsey did too. In my view he's been poor all 3 games. I'd swap him for Donovan in a heartbeat.

And, of course, Klinsmann won't write out a lineup without Jones's name in it. This is an interesting compromise to play this way, but I'll leave it to others to say how effective it might be.


I thought it worked pretty well. Jones isn't much of a passer, but he is willing to track back all game long.

Tbh, though, I can't see our offense threatening Portugal much at this rate. We're devoting a lot of resources to defense. Oh well, cross that bridge if we get there.
   289. DA Baracus Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:12 PM (#4721123)
Nigeria didn't really show anything, but that was the best game of the trio. They played well when they were compact and counter attacked. Where have I seen this before...

I'd swap him for Donovan in a heartbeat.


Dempsey needs to play better but I wouldn't make that swap. Doesn't matter, he wears the armband, he's not getting benched.
   290. Mefisto Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4721130)
Doesn't matter, he wears the armband, he's not getting benched.


True. I just wish he'd play better.
   291. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4721137)
Yeah, Gonzalez looked poor. I thought Dempsey did too. In my view he's been poor all 3 games.


Hopefully Klinsmann learned from the Gonzalez swap and formation change and won't try that again in Brazil.

Dempsey's selfish non-pass to Jozy was especially infuriating.
   292. Mefisto Posted: June 07, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4721140)
Yeah, that was one of several plays (not all by Dempsey) that had me shouting at the TV.
   293. Baldrick Posted: June 07, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4721142)
The commentators (it was Twellman and Darke, right?) were falling over themselves praising the Dempsey/Bradley connection, which I think was overstated but has a grain of truth to it. A lot of the nice attacking moves did feature those two, and Dempsey was involved in three or four plays that could very easily have produced goals.

Obviously, if we're going to really do well, a more impressive all-around performance from Dempsey would be really helpful. But there are just very few ways this team is going to score a goal, and Dempsey is one of the best chances there. He scores a lot of garbage goals, but they all count the same. And our other options won't score 'em like he will. I don't really see any way he can be dropped.
   294. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4721155)
Dempsey is the US most dangerous player (with or without Donovan). However, for some reason he gets the Cristiano Ronaldo treatment from Klinsmann. If he's going to look uninterested as he did today, then might as well put in Evans or Zusi - at least they'll work hard, especially if Jozy can score some goals.
   295. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4721163)
That's exactly when Altidore looks his best. We've been waiting a long time for that.


Sunderland fans were probably scratching their heads this game and thinking "where the #### was this guy all year long"?

Bradley has been a very pleasant surprise as our AP ...

   296. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4721183)

FIFA's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar came under further scrutiny as The Sunday Times published new allegations that Mohamed Bin Hammam used his wealth and top level contacts to buy support for the oil-rich country's successful bid.

The newspaper, which last week claimed that the former FIFA Executive Committee member made payments totaling $5 million to senior football officials to seal support for Qatar, also accused Bin Hammam of using $1.7 million to secure key Asian votes.

It alleged that Bin Hammam arranged government level talks for Thailand's FIFA executive Worawi Makudi to discuss a gas sale "potentially worth tens of millions of dollars to Thailand'' and that he was invited to visit Vladimir Putin before Russia and Qatar's victories in the votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.


I'm shocked! Shocked to find out that gambling is going on here!
   297. steagles Posted: June 08, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4721190)
Tbh, though, I can't see our offense threatening Portugal much at this rate. We're devoting a lot of resources to defense. Oh well, cross that bridge if we get there.
i'm not a fan, and i don't follow this stuff at all, but i think the plan in brazil will/should be to run up the score against uganda, and then play for a tie against germany and portugal in the hope that you advance on GD. that's kind of a cheap way to play it, but it's not like anyone who follows/plays soccer seems to care about that kind of thing.

of course that plan immediately goes to #### if germany/portugal tie in game 1 or if you lose to whoever lost that game, but whichever way it winds up going, putting up 3 or 4 against uganda won't hurt you.
   298. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 08, 2014 at 12:49 AM (#4721193)
Ghana are a lot better than Uganda though.
   299. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 08, 2014 at 01:01 AM (#4721197)
i'm not a fan, and i don't follow this stuff at all


You don't say ...
   300. AuntBea Posted: June 08, 2014 at 01:10 AM (#4721199)
I would be absolutely thrilled with 5 points from this group, even if the US failed to advance with 5 (it's always very unlikely to be eliminated with 5 or 6 points in the group). It won't be easy to run up the score on Ghana (any type of win would be huge), and Ghana has a decent chance to draw with one of the other two teams in the group anyway.

Since the World Cup moved to its current format with 8 groups of 4, top 2 advancing in each group (1998), no team achieving 5 (or 6) points in group play has been eliminated. The last time this could have arisen was back in 1994, when all 3 of Nigeria, Bulgaria, and Argentina advanced with 6 points (there were only 6 groups back then, so 3 teams advanced out of some groups). In that same year, a group did manage to finish with all 4 teams having 4 points exactly (much to my continued amusement back then). Mexico, Ireland, Italy, and Norway, with only Norway eliminated on total goals scored. (Yes, all 4 teams did also manage to have the same goal differential of 0, which is not that surprising when you consider that there were only 3 games with victories, and each with a 1 goal margin.)

Edit: in 1994, another group also finished with 3 teams on 6 points, all 3 advancing: Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Belgium, with Morocco the eliminated team.
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