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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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   2201. Baldrick Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4728549)
It's not that Portugal and Germany will crush the US 8-0...though 4-0 is reasonable...it's that the US we saw last night might get 2 shots on goal. There is counterattacking and there is 2 guys trying to take on 4 while 8 other guys stand around trying to catch their breaths.

The US of last night was really done in by losing Altidore. They're not going to play like that again.

The biggest problem is that we put out a lineup designed to play as a diamond but were pushed so deep that it ended up being a pretty standard 4-4-2, which wasn't designed to apply any pressure on the wings. It was a positive feedback. We couldn't strike back on the wings, so they pressed up harder, which tied up the fullbacks more, which made it even harder for us to use the wings, etc.

Now, that's partly on Klinsmann for putting on Johansson instead of a midfielder. He just couldn't provide the over-the-top or holding option that Altidore could provide (though it's not like Jozy is excellent at that either). But up until that point it wasn't clear we were going to get pushed so far back - or that Bradley would be so miserable for 60 minutes of the match. So I can sympathize with the desire to preserve the game plan. But once that happened and injuries forced the remaining subs, there just wasn't the ability to change things.

Don't get me wrong; I still have a lot of doubt that we'll be able to get any result from these games. But I also doubt we'll get thumped.
   2202. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4728552)
Also the guy who just scored looks like Jon Hamm with a fro.


Don't think I've ever heard Fellaini described like that. I can't believe he's Belgium's plan 'B'. It wasn't a good idea for United.
   2203. frannyzoo Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4728560)
Belguim: The beer is wonderful and the football will hopefully get better in the knock-out rounds. Still, it's a win.
   2204. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4728561)
Ugly win for the Belgians. Hopefully they do better next time out, when they're playing well they're fun to watch.
   2205. Swedish Chef Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4728563)
Belgium pulled themselves together with good subs, but this was almost narcoleptic at times.
   2206. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4728565)
Three points is three points. Maybe not the worst thing for Belgium. There is something to having a little adversity to overcome early in the tournament.
   2207. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4728568)
It's not that Portugal and Germany will crush the US 8-0...though 4-0 is reasonable...it's that the US we saw last night might get 2 shots on goal. There is counterattacking and there is 2 guys trying to take on 4 while 8 other guys stand around trying to catch their breaths.

Hopefully in the other games we'll be able to make more than one substitution. That issue pretty much eliminated any game plan beyond survival. That and Michael Bradley playing like he was coming down with malaria. So it'll depend on his fever-chill cycle.
   2208. Manny Coon Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4728569)
As much as Klinsmann has talked about possession and attacking football or changing the mindset of the players, his real success as a coach for the USMNT has been organizing the defense better and allowing fewer goals. Including a more disciplined DM like Beckerman has helped with this, as has using more mobile CBs like Cameron and Besler. Talking about improving the defense to gut out close wins isn't as sexy as talking about revolutionizing the team to become an attacking force though, so he blathers on about that instead.
   2209. Dale Sams Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4728574)
You make good points Baldrick, but I'm talking some basic Soccer strategies. Standing around while watching a guy try and take on 2 opponents.

Not providing the man with the ball two outlets at all times.

Passing the ball to the guy furthest forward even though he (the guy forward) has two defenders within 2 yards of him and the guy passing has one guy within 10 yards.

This wasn't Italy. I don't believe Ghana is that much more (if at all) technically proficient than the U.S. Yet time and again, Ghana was able to get 7 men, and the ball, into their opponents half before beginning their attack.

Okay...I'm done ########.
   2210. Dale Sams Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4728575)
These games look awesome on an Ipad. Viva technology!
   2211. Dale Sams Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4728578)
Any of you all remember Team America? I wish something like that was feasible.

Edit: Ooops. Sorry about the multi-posts.
   2212. Randy Jones Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4728579)
I agree with Dale in 2209 and said much the same in a post a page or two ago.
   2213. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4728581)
We're not going to get clobbered by either Germany or Portugal. We may lose, but we don't get clobbered at the World Cup anymore. Let's not morph into neurotic worriers like England fans.
   2214. DA Baracus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4728583)
Any of you all remember Team America? I wish something like that was feasible.


We talked about it a bit last week. It's probably not financially feasible in this day and age.
   2215. Swedish Chef Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4728586)

We talked about it a bit last week. It's probably not financially feasible in this day and age.


A fun idea would be if MLS allocated all the domestic national team players to Washington SuperPatriots (new team name!).
   2216. Randy Jones Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4728587)
We're not going to get clobbered by either Germany or Portugal. We may lose, but we don't get clobbered at the World Cup anymore. Let's not morph into neurotic worriers like England fans.
I mostly agree, but SPAIN just lost 5-1 and Germany beat Portugal 4-0. We could certainly get "clobbered" by Germany.
   2217. bunyon Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4728589)
I guess my thinking is: we may well get clobbered our next two games. Still, we won an exciting, if not beautiful, game on a big stage, overcoming adversity, etc. etc.

I may be too easy a fan, but that made me happy. As I said upthread, we simply aren't a power. We should have no real expectations, especially in a group with Germany and Portugal. With the win yesterday, all three of our group games will have meaning. That's worth celebrating.
   2218. madvillain Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4728591)
As much as Klinsmann has talked about possession and attacking football or changing the mindset of the players, his real success as a coach for the USMNT has been organizing the defense better and allowing fewer goals. Including a more disciplined DM like Beckerman has helped with this, as has using more mobile CBs like Cameron and Besler. Talking about improving the defense to gut out close wins isn't as sexy as talking about revolutionizing the team to become an attacking force though, so he blathers on about that instead.


FWIW I think Klinsy plays the press like a fiddle and the reality is with this generation of players the US is never going to dictate the game and dominate the ball against teams like Ghana, Germany, Spain, etc.

What he probably thinks is "we need to dominate possession and dictate play against the panamas and jamaicas and work from there".

His best contribution has been securing the services of Johannson, Green and Brooks while also making the world cup and now winning for just the 5th time in 50 years. Anyone thinking that Klinsy was going to turn our technical ability into the level of the international giants was a tad optimistic. We have guys like Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones. Our playmaker is Bradley, a fine player but hardly a sublime creative player going forward.
   2219. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4728599)
Dempsey did in fact break his nose last night.
   2220. Dale Sams Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4728601)
I may be too easy a fan, but that made me happy. As I said upthread, we simply aren't a power. We should have no real expectations, especially in a group with Germany and Portugal. With the win yesterday, all three of our group games will have meaning. That's worth celebrating.


I agree. It's just that I've seen the US play better against more formidable teams. It's 2014. I want to see more than panicked hoofing the ball up field. I can go down to the park and see that. I mean, those players on the field don't really think Ghana was the superior team do they?

Watch this Mexico game. They're playing Brazil. I doubt you'll see 46 clearances by the Mexicans or whatever it was the US did. I'm pretty sure you'll see some coordinated attacks with 7 guys on attack. They'll string together more than 5 passes. And they're playing Brazil!
   2221. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4728602)
Here are our modern World Cup results going back to 1990.

1990:

Lost to Czechoslovakia 5-1
Lost to Italy 1-0
Lost to Austria 2-1

1994:

Tied Switzerland 1-1
Beat Colombia 2-1
Lost to Romanoa 1-0

1998:

Lost to Germany 2-0
Lost to Iran 2-1
Lost to Yugoslavia 1-0

2002:

Beat Portugal 3-2
Tied S. Korea 1-1
Lost to Poland 3-1

2006:

Lost to Czech Repulbic 3-0
Tied Italy 1-1
Lost to Ghana 2-1

2010

Tied England 1-1
Tied Slovenia 2-2
Beat Algeria 1-0
Lost to Ghana 2-1

As long as we avoid the Czechs, we don't get clobbered. I mean, it COULD happen, but there's no reason for us to fret about it. We're usually well organized and give too much effort to completely melt down in a game. We just beat a good team on a water-logged pitch when our best player had the crappiest performance I've seen from him in a long while. Things are looking ok, I think.





   2222. Randy Jones Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4728604)
You're missing results from 2002. 2-0 win vs Mexico and 1-0 loss to Germany.
   2223. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4728606)
You're missing results from 2002. 2-0 win vs Mexico and 1-0 loss to Germany.

Forgot the knockouts. It just bolsters my point, though.
   2224. Baldrick Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4728610)
You make good points Baldrick, but I'm talking some basic Soccer strategies. Standing around while watching a guy try and take on 2 opponents.

Not providing the man with the ball two outlets at all times.

Passing the ball to the guy furthest forward even though he (the guy forward) has two defenders within 2 yards of him and the guy passing has one guy within 10 yards.

This wasn't Italy. I don't believe Ghana is that much more (if at all) technically proficient than the U.S. Yet time and again, Ghana was able to get 7 men, and the ball, into their opponents half before beginning their attack.

Hmmm. You say that we are technically equivalent to Ghana but list off a bunch of technical mistakes and dismiss tactical explanations for those failures. So: I think you are strangely both over AND underrating the US players. I disagree that they're technically as good as Ghana. Bradley (the good version) certainly is. You could make an argument for Dempsey, and possibly Zusi or Johansson or Bedoya I guess. Who else that played yesterday? Our guys have a lot MORE technical quality than the US teams of 20 years ago, but they're not gifted.

So some of those errors are just a function of not being an excellent team. We're in the same ballpark as Ghana. Certainly not better. So it's not really surprising that they outplayed us given that our key player (who we are REALLY reliant on) was pretty rotten for 60 minutes in the middle of the match.

But at the same time, the individual lack of skill is different from the tactical pressure that we were under. And that's what I think WILL be much better in the next two games. The problem is that we set up to play a team of roughly equal quality, and sought to challenge the midfield. But due to injuries we lost that game and ended up far further back on our heels than you'd expect. Without Altidore, or the option to make other substitutions, there wasn't a plan B. They were locked into a setup that NEEDED Bradley to be excellent. Since he was not excellent, everything shut down. And once it became clear that this was the case, the quality of EVERYONE'S passing declined precipitously. But there's no particular reason to expect this to be the case again. A) Bradley is still a very good player and should do better. And B) they can set up in a different formation which is designed to give us more options.

I'm curious what others think the setup should be for these games - assuming Altidore is out (seems likely). 4-2-3-1? Please don't tell me the answer is to play Wondo. Would it be crazy to bring on Mix?
   2225. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4728611)
Twellman made the point that last night was just our fifth win in a World Cup game in the last seven World Cups. Any World Cup win is worth celebrating in my book.
   2226. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4728614)
I'm curious what others think the setup should be for these games - assuming Altidore is out (seems likely). 4-2-3-1? Please don't tell me the answer is to play Wondo. Would it be crazy to bring on Mix?

I think Dempsey up top with Johannson playing off of him. It's not ideal but it may help us possess the ball a little better. Any word on Besler or Jozy yet?
   2227. ursus arctos Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4728615)
BTW, does anyone know what a "clearance" is in this context?
   2228. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4728617)
It's neat that there are so many Mexican fans there.
   2229. madvillain Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4728618)
Watch this Mexico game. They're playing Brazil. I doubt you'll see 46 clearances by the Mexicans or whatever it was the US did. I'm pretty sure you'll see some coordinated attacks with 7 guys on attack. They'll string together more than 5 passes. And they're playing Brazil!


Have you watched the US verse Mexico lately? Skill on the ball is just one facet of the game...

You say that we are technically equivalent to Ghana


This is just absurd on the face. Ghana is made up of players at the top teams in the top euro leagues. I mean, the names read like top 4 club team in Spain, England or Germany: Essien, Muntari, Asamoah, Boateng, Mensah, Atsu...

Sure Essien and Muntari are a bit over the hill but come on! These are world class players in spades. The US has...Dempsey, Howard? People say Bradley is awesome and he played well at Roma, but he was an infrequent starter on that team and it was clear he wasn't in their plans going forward FWIW. And he's far and away our best field player.

We are starting Beasley at LB FFS.

The talent pool should be better, no doubt, but it's not. Blame whatever you want but you could make an argument that Claudia Reyna would step into this side and immediately become our best midfielder and he's previous generation. We just haven't developed the talent yet.
   2230. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4728619)
Once again, David Luiz is a very angry singer.
   2231. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4728621)
Mexico has a great recent record against Brazil. I think they may have a better record against Brazil than against the USA in the last 10 years!
   2232. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4728623)
Anyway, I'm on DVR for these last two games so you all later. Go Brazil!
   2233. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4728624)
It'll be interesting to see how this version of Brazil's midfield works. Ramires or Oscar on the right? If Oscar's on the right, is Paulinho the most advanced of the central midfielders?

Edit: Looks like Ramires starts on the right.
   2234. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4728626)
Agree with 2225. This thread seems overly fatalistic. The USA may well lose its next two games, but what are the odds of that happening?

Off the top of my head, I'd say the likelihood of the different outcomes against Portugal are something like Portugal 45%, Draw 25%, USA 30%. Against Germany, particularly if they crush Ghana and have nothing to play for in Game Three, it'll be something like Germany 40%, Draw 30%, USA 30%. If Germany needs a win against us, we're probably screwed.

I think the US is more likely than not to advance. It's not a lock, and I'm not even confident that it will happen, but my back-of-the-envelope math suggests maybe a 60-40 likelihood of getting out of the group stage.

And I'm with Baldrick: The US is not a great team, they aren't even a really good team, but I think they looked out of sorts last night because they *were* out of sorts. When your striker blows out his hammy and the guy who tucks in behind him gets kicked in the face, that's going to have a negative effect on your performance.
   2235. The Marksist Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4728627)
I like this uniform match-up. Vibrant.
   2236. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4728629)
one thing i havent quite figured out yet is whether soccer fans consider the olympic gold medal an actual trophy or a meaningless exhibition...anyway, go el tri
   2237. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4728632)
Not sure what I think of the Charlie Brown stripe on the Mexican jersey.
   2238. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4728634)
Also, since USMNT recently plowed through CONCACAF like a hot knife through butter in both the Gold Cup and WQC, are to conclude that concacaf just stinks or that the us is capable of better play?
   2239. The Marksist Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4728636)
Chippy.
   2240. DA Baracus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4728638)
Reporter who covers Ghana take on the game: USA expose Ghana’s papered cracks

FWIW I think Klinsy plays the press like a fiddle


He tries, but most of the press that I read are over it and know that his actions will contradict his words.

Also, since USMNT recently plowed through CONCACAF like a hot knife through butter in both the Gold Cup and WQC, are to conclude that concacaf just stinks or that the us is capable of better play?


Recently, yes. In 2012? More like peanut butter. Tough to say CONCACAF stinks when Costa Rica just beat Uruguay. Doing better than CAF is.

   2241. J. Sosa Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4728639)
I haven't liked the diamond. It gives me heartburn, it asks way too much of Bedoya and Jones. I wanted Dempsey to play up top from the start in favor of Altidore, so I've not too fussed about his injury in that context. The concern for me about the injury is more from a depth and tactical options standpoint.

Bradley played the worst game I've seen him play in a long while which was part of us giving away the ball away on unforced turnovers at an insane rate. We didn't play well, lost two starters to injury early, and still hung in against a very talented team. I'm really upbeat after the match.

There were some real positives, Cameron I thought solidified things for us at the back. Jones has his faults, but I thought he was man of the match for us that game, just an incredible effort in those conditions. I thought Beckerman played an excellent game. Howard was good. Johnson was good for the most part. The defense played much better than I expected. I have to say, other than Bradley, I was actually very encouraged by that game given that we are likely going to be forced out of playing the diamond. Ceding width was evidently the plan against Ghana, but I'm not so sure that's what we want against Portugal. It will be interesting to see what we do.

Personally, I think I would bring in Zusi and advance Bradley a bit more and play some variant of 4-5-1. I just don't think Johannson gives us enough, I'd rather have an extra body in there to gum things up and hopefully give Bradley a little more freedom.

   2242. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4728642)
OK, crackpot theory...Donovan would have been great as some cohesive glue to our midfield. true or false?
   2243. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4728644)
I mean, I don't think CONCACAF stinks per se, but I watched a lot of the GC and WQC and USMNT clearly looked like the best team in the confederation by far. Also, I hope the Ticos advance. They're my number 2 team. PURA VIDA!
   2244. Dale Sams Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4728645)
This is just absurd on the face


I certainly didn't see world-class players last night. I saw players given multiple gifts, playing basic soccer (2 outlets for the ball-carrier...etc...) taking a lot of ill-advised shots.

Their recent record is certainly unimpressive. Beaten by Montenegro 1-0?

No, I don't agree at all that Ghana is a decisively superior opponent.
   2245. bunyon Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4728646)
I actually do think we're at risk of being thumped, I'm just not that worried about it. Portugal needs not just a win but a big win. If they get their #### together, they may thump us. But, again, so what? I'd like to be a great team but we're not. We're basically playing with house money after the Ghana game.


As to the "lack" of talent in the US; do we just attribute that to lack of funds? Kids have been playing soccer in the US for a long time. Are the good ones going to other sports (watching world cup and NBA finals at the same time made me wonder how LeBron would be as a keeper. I have absolutely no idea on tactics and scouting in soccer so I mostly just make stuff up. But it seems like he'd be good at keeper, if a much less wealthy man).
   2246. madvillain Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4728647)
concacaf just stinks


CONCACAF is 3-1 so far.

As to the "lack" of talent in the US; do we just attribute that to lack of funds?


We're looking in the suburbs, we should be looking in the parks of LA, Chicago, Miami, NYC, etc.

No, I don't agree at all that Ghana is a decisively superior opponent.


Yea, they were only a more experienced version of the team that was bad luck away from the Semi Final last cycle. They are a ####### really good team.
   2247. DA Baracus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4728648)
OK, crackpot theory...Donovan would have been great as some cohesive glue to our midfield. true or false?


He would have helped out more than Johansson did, assuming he would have been subbed in.

I haven't liked the diamond. It gives me heartburn, it asks way too much of Bedoya and Jones.


Haven't liked it either but Jones has played fairly well the last two games. He's still roving too much for my liking, but he's not making the brutal turnovers he used to when he was the CDM.
   2248. DA Baracus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4728650)
As to the "lack" of talent in the US; do we just attribute that to lack of funds?


We attribute that to soccer being the top sport in nearly every other country and until recently a distant 5th, at best, in the US.
   2249. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4728652)
I haven't liked the diamond. It gives me heartburn, it asks way too much of Bedoya and Jones.


That seems an odd thing to say given they were probably our two best players yesterday. Neither guy seemed especially overwhelmed by what they were being asked to do. Admittedly I like the diamond set up in general, it seems a good way to get good coverage though I think you're right, a 4-5-1 (well, 4-2-3-1) seems like the best option for the US to me. Watching these games it looks to me like team speed is an area where the US is lacking and a 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 seems suited to allowing for transition from D to O and back again as circumstances warrant. Yesterday it felt like we just didn't have that outlet to make between a ball winner and the front line.

Cameron's experience at Stoke was so telling. He was just so composed. Any time the ball went to him I felt the same way I feel when someone hits a ground ball to Pedroia, the play was going to be made.

Also I heard this morning that the US did not get a yellow yesterday. I don't remember that being talked about but that seems really important. We aren't exactly loaded with depth so being able to keep our best eleven on the field is beneficial.
   2250. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4728653)
I like that Dani Alves decided to dye his hair gray.
   2251. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4728655)
I know, I think I may have simply overestimated how good USA was after watching them rout the field in the Gold Cup and WQC. Hell we went 8-0 in the gold cup and beat Belize and El Salvador--two squads that at least have a pulse-by a combined 11-1. Then they just about lapped the field in qualifiers.
   2252. bunyon Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4728656)
As to the "lack" of talent in the US; do we just attribute that to lack of funds*?



We're looking in the suburbs, we should be looking in the parks of LA, Chicago, Miami, NYC, etc.

We attribute that to soccer being the top sport in nearly every other country and until recently a distant 5th, at best, in the US.


This is basically what I meant - at some point the elite athletes have to choose and it seems to me in the US: basketball and football are the popular choices, depending on body type and baseball is still very popular and viewed as a real money maker. If a kid can reasonably think he has a chance at those sports, that's where he'll go. How does soccer overcome that? Until and unless they can, I don't think we can expect to match other nations in talent.


* By funds, I meant expected future pay.
   2253. madvillain Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4728658)
Cameron's experience at Stoke was so telling. He was just so composed. Any time the ball went to him I felt the same way I feel when someone hits a ground ball to Pedroia, the play was going to be made.


He's awesome. He dominated the mid field in the game I attended in Seattle. He's versatile and reliable. Positioning is excellent, good tackler, rarely gets caught watching the ball.
   2254. J. Sosa Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4728659)
As for talent in the U.S., I tend to lean towards it being a systemic issue. Mefisto and Arjun have made some very good posts on that topic in the past.

We are what we are, but we are doing better. I do get discouraged about the lack of Donovan grade talent we produce, but on the other hand I would have expected us to get out of a lot of the groups this year, that is no small thing given our history in the sport. We are a mid tier team which is decent, hopefully going forward we can get better. A World Cup win in an opener is an excellent thing, for America or Brazil or anyone else.
   2255. bunyon Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4728663)
By the way, I like that the US are underdogs in the World Cup. I get tired of watching things like the dream team where if we don't win every game, including the gold medal game by 30 points and do that with swagger, it's like we failed. That's a very unentertaining sort of competition. I got more pleasure - nationalistic sort of joy - out of last night's Ghana game than any recent US gold medal winning game in the Olympics, for example.
   2256. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4728664)
As to the "lack" of talent in the US; do we just attribute that to lack of funds? Kids have been playing soccer in the US for a long time. Are the good ones going to other sports (watching world cup and NBA finals at the same time made me wonder how LeBron would be as a keeper. I have absolutely no idea on tactics and scouting in soccer so I mostly just make stuff up. But it seems like he'd be good at keeper, if a much less wealthy man).


My theory is only in the last 5 years has soccer boomed as a spectator sport. Growing up if I wanted to be a baseball player I wanted to be Rick Burleson, if I wanted to be a football player I wanted to be Dan Marino, if I wanted to be a basketball player I wanted to be Larry Bird, I had no frame of reference as a soccer player. That makes it tough to develop those flashier more instinctive parts of the game in my opinion.

The point DA raises that soccer simply isn't #1 or even #4 in this country is a big one too. I was arguing with a friend the other day. He was saying he didn't care because "the US sucks at soccer" but for me that is part of the enjoyment. Even if we lose to Portugal and Germany last night was a great night. The US went to the World Cup and won a hard fought game. Hell, just getting to the World Cup was fun. That is not always easy. That the US has progressed to the point where we expect to make the World Cup and can compete for the knockout stages feels like a dramatic advance in just a generation.
   2257. Dale Sams Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4728665)
Yea, they were only a more experienced version of the team that was bad luck away from the Semi Final last cycle. They are a ####### really good team.


That (from looking at the game stats) appear to have been slightly outplayed by the US (in 2010) Shots equal, corners equal, possession slightly in favor of the US.
   2258. DA Baracus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4728668)
This is basically what I meant - at some point the elite athletes have to choose and it seems to me in the US: basketball and football are the popular choices, depending on body type and baseball is still very popular and viewed as a real money maker.


The health issues in the NFL coupled with the rising popularity of soccer means that you're going to see more kids play soccer over football. We won't see those dividends pay off for a while, but it's slowly turning.
   2259. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4728670)
awesome save there
   2260. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4728671)
Great save.
   2261. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4728674)
may have been heading for the post not the net...hard to tell
   2262. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4728675)

The health issues in the NFL coupled with the rising popularity of soccer means that you're going to see more kids play soccer over football. We won't see those dividends pay off for a while, but it's slowly turning.


I think the first time I heard this was around 1996.
   2263. bunyon Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4728677)
That the US has progressed to the point where we expect to make the World Cup and can compete for the knockout stages feels like a dramatic advance in just a generation.

I agree. It IS better. And soccer slightly more popular after each World Cup.

I think the first time I heard this was around 1996.

I heard a version when I was playing little league soccer in 1980.
   2264. DA Baracus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4728678)
That the US has progressed to the point where we expect to make the World Cup and can compete for the knockout stages feels like a dramatic advance in just a generation.


Yes. Remember 20 years ago it was "can the US show well?" Now, barring a tough group such as this year, reaching the knockout stage is the goal. That's a tremendous gain in one generation. We're firmly in the 2nd tier of teams. No shame in that.
   2265. bunyon Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4728680)
And, yeah, some great saves.
   2266. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4728681)
The speed with which Brazil goes forward is really impressive.
   2267. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4728683)
How does soccer overcome that? Until and unless they can, I don't think we can expect to match other nations in talent
I think it's likely that it already *is* happening, but we won't see it for 10-15 years.

The kids who grew up watching the NASL became the guys playing for the USA in the '94 World Cup. Ever since that generation of players, we've been a fixture in the top two in CONCACAF.

Except for the young guys on the USA team this year, the current players had absolutely no major professional soccer league to aspire to. They could have dreamed of playing for the Long Island Rough Riders or Cleveland Crunch or something, but c'mon.

The fact that we now have a stable, respected, financially viable league with a smattering of world class players is going to be HUGE as a recruitment tool for young athletes. It's just probably going to be 2024 or 2028 before we really see that kick in.
   2268. DA Baracus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4728684)
I think the first time I heard this was around 1996.


Yeah yeah. There weren't concussion lawsuits back then, the game is much much more popular.
   2269. J. Sosa Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4728686)
Jose, my thinking is we can get away with ceding width against a team like Ghana (it was the stated intention) and funneling the ball into Cameron and the boys, but that isn't going to work against some of the other teams. We are going to have to give Beasely more help, and I don't think it is realistic to ask the wide mids to get out in time to help cover some of the playerss they are going to need to cover out of the diamond.

Asking the guys we have available to do that out of a diamond is asking for trouble, we will get pulled out of shape wide and punished on a switch of play against any team that has good attacking mids. You could see this a little bit yesterday when Boateng game in. We were on skates defensively from that point on.
   2270. madvillain Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4728687)
I think the first time I heard this was around 1996.


Yea there's way more to it then "our best athletes don't play soccer". It's more that the kids here, for lack of a better word lack the "passion" that you see over seas. Soccer development starts way early and if you're playing in park games 24/7 from age 6 on you're a helluva lot more likely to develop the touch and skill necessary then if you're playing 4H and crap twice a week.
   2271. Manny Coon Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4728689)
As to the "lack" of talent in the US; do we just attribute that to lack of funds? Kids have been playing soccer in the US for a long time.


When I was young and I'm not that old (about the same age as Tim Howard), I had a team coached by my mom, who was completely and utterly clueless about soccer, she wasn't even a casual fan, and this was in Southern California and I'm sure I was not alone in this type of experience. The kids on the team all learned basically nothing and did nothing to really develop any skills.

My daughter if she wants to play I would gladly coach, but my playing ability topped out at the high school level, mostly coached by hack amateurs; but even that combined with the general knowledge I've picked up as fan of the game or playing simulations would be a huge step up. An even bigger step up would be getting kids coached by legit coaches.

As a country we are moving in this direction but it's a slow process. Kids being born now will be able to watch soccer whenever they want, be surrounded by World Cup hype, have parents who have played and are fans, see guys like Dempsey and Bradley getting paid legit money to play in the USA, and there seems to be more organization dedicated to teaching and coaching at younger ages. So I think there is a good chance our talent takes a big step forward in another 20 years or so.
   2272. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4728690)
Asking the guys we have available to do that out of a diamond is asking for trouble, we will get pulled out of shape wide and punished on a switch of play against any team that has good attacking mids.
Most of Portugal's attacking threat is going to come from the wings though. We definitely want to play a formation that provides lots of cover for the full backs.
   2273. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4728693)
I always enjoy watching GDS play for Mexico.
   2274. Dale Sams Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4728696)
For stamina, I would recommend if you can't find a pick-up game of soccer, to play basketball. One summer I played basketball for three months and when I got back to college, I was lapping my teammates (as a GK!) on runs.
   2275. AuntBea Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4728698)
6 come from behind wins already. Only 1 draw out of 15 games played. Very exciting stuff all around.
   2276. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4728699)
I've been trying to watch on my phone - is it me or is there an inordinate amount of long shots in this game?
   2277. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4728704)
Wow great save.
   2278. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4728713)
Great covering by Rodriguez.
   2279. madvillain Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4728719)
Brazil should be staring at 2 points from 2 games right now.
   2280. The Marksist Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4728720)
Mexico looking really dangerous here.
   2281. zack Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4728721)
Brazil is standing around so much, Mexico could really be doing more than hopeful shots from range.
   2282. SteveF Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4728722)
Still, some of those shots are from pretty dangerous areas.
   2283. AuntBea Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4728725)
Mexico has outplayed Brazil this half.
   2284. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4728726)
Gotta think we'll see Chicharito soon.
   2285. The Marksist Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4728727)
whoa. Wild sequence.
   2286. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4728729)
Ochoa has been fantastic today.
   2287. AuntBea Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4728732)
And Brazil dominates for the last 5 to 10 minutes. Will Chicharito provide any help?
   2288. efke Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4728735)
Just wanted to echo Manny's point in 2271. I'm a few years younger and from the opposite side of the country, but had a similar experience. Grew up in the DC/NoVa area, played against Goodson and Beckerman. Up until at least middle school, I didn't have a single coach that had played at a high level. Even after that, coaches with experience were generally only on the top level teams or maybe through ODP. For anyone not good enough to play in the top divisions early on, the coaching was not there and those players had little chance of making up the gap later.

Having coaches with any experience at the lower levels will help kids pick up the ball skills that the US players currently lack. It was ridiculous how much better the Central American kids were with the ball compared to the rest of us. It didn't mean they were better overall, but having those skills built in will go a long way towards improving performance in the long run.
   2289. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4728737)
This has been a wonderful game as a neutral. Lots of good movement, some outstanding saves, and the momentum has teetered back and forth on a couple occasions in the second half even if Brazil has asserted itself over the last 10 minutes.
   2290. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4728738)
Holy crap that's Jo playing for Brazil now? This is the nation that produced Ronaldo, Romario and Pele!
   2291. AuntBea Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4728739)
The announcers always say "terrible free kick" or "what a waste" when it hits off the wall, regardless of how it was aimed. It often seems like the wall is somewhat unpredictable ("hit or miss" if you will) and thus its not so easy to say that a free kick that ends up hitting the wall was not a good one.
   2292. Eddo Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4728740)
The health issues in the NFL coupled with the rising popularity of soccer means that you're going to see more kids play soccer over football. We won't see those dividends pay off for a while, but it's slowly turning.

I think the first time I heard this was around 1996.

I heard a version when I was playing little league soccer in 1980.

I think more kids have been playing soccer since at least 1980. Growing up in the 90's, I knew way more kids who played soccer than played football (including myself, though I stuck with baseball as I got older).

Kids prefer to watch football.
   2293. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4728742)
Holy balls.
   2294. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4728745)
How the crap did Silva find the one spot in front of the net that the ball wouldn't get past?
   2295. The Marksist Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4728746)
Mexico is dodging bullets like Neo.
   2296. SteveF Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4728747)
It just basically hit him. There's no way to react quickly enough.
   2297. AuntBea Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4728748)
Ochoa could have saved that with his eyes closed, because it was right at him.
   2298. DA Baracus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4728749)
@garyalsmith: Rumours aplenty in local Ghanaian media tonight about a player mutiny in Brazil. I cannot independently confirm.
   2299. Dale Sams Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4728750)
Props to the keep for standing up straight on those. A lot of keepers would just guess and fall to one side on a five yard point blank shot.
   2300. AuntBea Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4728751)
Of course, a draw is a fantastic result for Mexico here, because it means they advance with a draw against Croatia. A win of course could allow them to win the group though.
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