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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 Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine 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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   601. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4724434)
Well, well, at least he did his part for Brazilian social stability.
   602. madvillain Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4724436)
Never a penalty. Brazil stagnant and rewarded with that crap. Neymar is only guy they have that seemingly believes.
   603. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4724437)
http://giant.gfycat.com/DimPowerlessGrouper.gif

#### I hate soccer.
   604. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4724438)
I would rather have seen the game decided by Oscar.
   605. AuntBea Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4724442)
One truly horrendous call, and I have lost a of my enthusiasm for this world cup.
   606. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4724443)
I wish Brazil would at least have the humility to look a little bit ashamed.
   607. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4724448)
That dive might literally be the only thing Fred has done all game.
   608. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4724449)
In case any one cares....back in the day...that sort of gamesmanship was completely blamed on the ref, not the players.
   609. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4724452)
Such a ridiculous corrupt sport we love...it take just the easiest of calls from a fourth ref to tell the field ref he got it wrong. But then how could fix games guvnor?
   610. Howling John Shade Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4724453)
Corluka has turned into even more of a statue. I didn't know that was possible.

Edit: and that didn't look like a foul to me.
   611. AuntBea Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4724455)
Tough call, but the keeper usually gets those calls.
   612. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4724456)
In case any one cares....back in the day...that sort of gamesmanship was completely blamed on the ref, not the players.

I guess it's better nowadays then, if Fred can potentially be widely loathed for such actions.
   613. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4724457)
What? Divers have always had a bad rep.
   614. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4724458)
Brazil are hoofing it away like Stoke now.
   615. madvillain Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4724459)
Deserves aint got nuttin to do wit it but Croatia deserves at least a point here. Ugh.
   616. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4724460)
What the hell was Julio Cesar doing on that shot

Really hope Croatia can at least pull out a draw. They deserve that much.
   617. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4724461)
What? Divers have always had a bad rep.


Not from what I remember back in the 70's. It was the ref getting chased down, not the player getting his family threatened.
   618. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4724462)
Brazil have looked terrible but I think a lot of credit can go to Croatia which is a hell of a team. They gave Italy and Spain all they could handle in the Euros, too. If this stands it's obviously a harsh result for them.
   619. AuntBea Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4724463)
Brazil have looked like crap the second half. Worse than the first.
   620. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4724464)
I cannot wait for Brazil to get knocked out, but based upon the reffing in this game a solid chunk of that 11b they spent on the world cup went to buying the refs.
   621. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4724465)
Cesar does not look sharp at all.
   622. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4724467)
Ah well, it doesn't matter now!
   623. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4724468)
Yeah, that guy deserved a bit of end product.
   624. Howling John Shade Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4724469)
Pletikosa has looked really bad.
   625. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4724470)
Keep, you need some new cleats.
   626. madvillain Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4724471)
God soccer is bs sometimes. Shares that with baseball. Luck more important than anything else sometimes.
   627. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4724472)
I just hope they get the #### kicked out of them when they run into a real squad.
   628. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4724474)
Croatia's GK should have done better on all three goals.

And I'm actively rooting against Brazil from here on out.
   629. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4724475)
I've always thought the toepoke was unfairly maligned. There's a place for it, if you know what you're doing.
   630. AuntBea Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4724476)
The other favorites should be very encouraged by Brazil's performance in this game.
   631. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4724477)
Oscar is my MoM.

Fred was the worst player and MVP.
   632. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4724478)
And I'm actively rooting against Brazil from here on out.


I was already sort of faintly hoping they wouldn't win, because it's boring when the same teams win all the time. But now they're high on my #### list. The only team I could imagine rooting for them against is Italy.
   633. Howling John Shade Posted: June 12, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4724483)
Oscar is my MoM.
Modric was the best player on the pitch, I thought. Oscar played well.
   634. zack Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4724488)
I saw the first half, but not the second. Is the dive in question the gif in #603? It doesn't look so much a dive as he fell down then appealed.
   635. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4724492)
Is the dive in question the gif in #603?


Yeah, I don't think it was so much a dive as just ####### awful/crooked refereeing.
   636. Mefisto Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4724493)
Count me in the group of "anybody but Brazil".
   637. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4724494)
A complete dive. He threw his hands up and looked to the heavens.
   638. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4724500)
I actually don't blame the player for trying. You know, you play the sport you play, and diving sometimes wins matches. I blame the ref 100% for biting on it.
   639. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4724505)
It looks sort of like he slipped, but the foot that "slips" doesn't even touch the turf. And then the other foot he just twists in the air for no reason.
   640. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4724506)
Can I change my pick for WC winner away from Brazil? That was a poor, poor performance. Julio Cesar and/or the defending is going to cost them a game.
   641. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4724508)
I've watched the gif a few times, the Croatian player does himself no favors by putting his hands on him. Stop grabbing players defenders!
   642. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4724512)
I actually don't blame the player for trying. You know, you play the sport you play, and diving sometimes wins matches.

I blame the players, football is worse off because of them, publicly shaming them for being cheating cowards is the least they deserve.
   643. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4724514)
Also, I don't think Croatia would have equalized, but I think there was definitely a foul by Ramires before the third goal. Uncalled, of course.
   644. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4724518)
I blame the players, football is worse off because of them, publicly shaming them for being cheating cowards is the least they deserve.


It can easily be remedied by replay. Just have replay for crucial moments like that.
   645. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4724519)
Spain vs Netherlands is going to be good tomorrow. Still might be some bitterness over that 80 year war of independence. I bet there are going to be some wooden shoes burned in effigy tomorrow.
   646. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4724533)
Still might be some bitterness over that 80 year war of independence.

Possibly the bitterness over the final in 2010 would be fresher.

EDIT: For those who have forgotten that match: it included Nigel De Jongs assault on Xab Alsonso, a million yellows, and the decisive goal in the last minutes was preceded by a blown call.
   647. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4724541)
For those who have forgotten that match: it included Nigel De Jongs assault on Xab Alsonso, a million yellows, and the decisive goal in the last minutes was preceded by a blown call.

May never forget that. De Jong's Crane Kick will always live in infamy.

Count me as one who thinks that while Fred embellished, that its still a spot kick. Defender clearly grabbed him and tried to pull him back. It's definitely a soft call, but one that probably gets called more time than not. My biggest hope is that once WC is done, I see that Oscar every week. He was dominant today, and his creativity/defense led to all 3 goals.
   648. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4724549)
Count me as one who thinks that while Fred embellished, that its still a spot kick.


I think it's only you and 180 million Brazilians who believe this.
   649. Baldrick Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4724553)
Count me as one who thinks that while Fred embellished, that its still a spot kick. Defender clearly grabbed him and tried to pull him back. It's definitely a soft call, but one that probably gets called more time than not. My biggest hope is that once WC is done, I see that Oscar every week. He was dominant today, and his creativity/defense led to all 3 goals.

He caressed him. There's no way that's a 'grab.'

if that's a penalty then there are 30-40 penalties in every game.

Edit: agreed on Oscar, though. He was very very good.
   650. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4724560)
Grabbed? GRABBED? What? Are we going to call any contact a grab?
   651. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4724561)
Except for that dive, I thought it was an entertaining game. Wasn't terribly cynical til up to then.
   652. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4724562)
Grabbed? GRABBED? What? Are we going to call any contact a grab?


He certainly made the refs call more excusable from the refs POV.

Meaning the ref can look at the replay and sheepishly say, "See! Right there, he grabs him and pulls him back!"
   653. boteman Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4724565)
OK, what's happening and whom should I root for???
   654. AuntBea Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4724566)
one that probably gets called more time than not


Are you out of your mind? When I saw that live I was flabbergasted that the ref blew for the spot kick. The way the player Fred went over almost never gets called, even when it arguably should be. Live, I could only assume that the ref had seen something that was hard to see on tv, which occasionally happens. Then they showed the replays. nothing. Just a terrible call.
   655. Textbook Editor Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4724575)
if that's a penalty then there are 30-40 penalties in every game.


Hell, if that's a penalty there's 30-40 penalties on every corner kick.

It would be fun for Brazil to lose only because then we'd get 60 years out of the "They lost at home! Again!" angle.

What would really be great is if some completely anti-Brazil, anti-flair team won it all in Brazil... I guess this means I'm rooting for Greece.

EDIT: I can't spell.
   656. Mefisto Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4724576)
What would really be great is if some completely anti-Brazil, anti-flair team won it all in Brazil... I guess this means I'm rooting for Greece.


If you really want to hurt the Brazilians, root for Argentina.
   657. puck Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:09 PM (#4724602)
Fabregas to Chelsea now official


GAAAHHH!!! #######.
   658. puck Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:12 PM (#4724606)
120 posts/game? Man, I'll never keep up.

A complete dive. He threw his hands up and looked to the heavens.


Yeah, the worst part of it was he went and thanked god afterwards for letting him get away with it.
   659. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4724610)
Conspiracy theorists will be interested to know that the Catalan and Spanish versions of the Cesc piece don't contain the snarky second sentence of the sub-head that I quoted and tone the stabbiness that frannyzoo quoted down a bit as well.

I'm way late to this, ursus, but it looks like they've changed the text since you initially posted that quote. The edited version of the second sentence (or add-on, now) is a bit less rude:

The midfielder is leaving FC Barcelona after scoring 42 goals in 151 matches, including the 5,500th league goal in Barça history, and six medals from one Liga, one Spanish Cup, one Clubs World Cup, one European Supercup and two Spanish Supercups
   660. Rob_Wood Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4724611)
I thought soccer was really trying to get rid of rewarding such dives. I heard on a World Cup preview show that it was a "point of emphasis" in this year's World Cup. The commentator went so far as to say that before each match the officials would remind players that there would be consequences for diving (yellow cards, etc.). Then in the very first match, the game is decided on a blatant dive.
   661. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4724623)
Well, it's only been four years since Slovenia-US. What a GREAT rule. If the ref blows a whistle before a goal, he doesn't have to offer any explanation. "Enh. No goal. No reason. Just felt like blowing"
   662. Richard Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4724624)
I backed Brazil to win the thing in a betting pool before last night's game partly on the basis that I thought they were going to get a bunch of refereeing decisions in their favour. I wasn't expecting to be proved right so quickly.
   663. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 12, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4724634)
Finally caught up. Its amazing how I made it to 11PM ET without finding out the results. Both keepers kind of suck, but Cesar was lucky. As many people said, Luka was the best player on the pitch and Oscar was the best player for Brazil. Not going to rehash to the "penalty" but hopefully it doesn't affect Croatia the rest of the World Cup. Not impressed with Brazil at all.
   664. Textbook Editor Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:39 AM (#4724667)
Corluka's yellow card helps me lead Twatball after 1 game!

This is like a newly promoted team winning its first match on the first day of the season and sitting at the top of the table--it won't last but it's fun seeing your name there for one day. Now if only I had picked Marcello I could have gotten the own goal points...


   665. tshipman Posted: June 13, 2014 at 01:08 AM (#4724668)
All the calls for Brazil's demise are a bit overstated.

Brazil had 61% possession, double the shots on goal and 7 corners to Croatia's 3. Croatia played fairly cynically, with a very high amount of fouls.

As for the penalty, I agree with JuanGone--if you put your hand on the offensive player like that in the box, a penalty is the risk.
   666. AuntBea Posted: June 13, 2014 at 01:14 AM (#4724670)
I am very disappointed in the game tonight, because of the reward for diving. I really wish soccer would get serious about this, because it is a major distraction from the aesthetics of the game. This article expresses most of what I feel about the topic (though I would hold Fred to a higher standard than the article does)

As terrible as that sounds, it’d be unfair to put too much blame on Fred’s shoulders. It’s easy to say he should be bound to a higher ethic, but unless a player’s safety is involved, the only ethic athletes ascribe to is a competitive one. Until there’s some disincentive to diving — something in the way the game is governed that makes it more viable for Fred to try to create a chance than take his luck with the official’s perspective — there’s only so much we can blame the player.
That leaves us with two culprits: Nishimura and the game itself, both of which deserve blame. Yet whereas one party’s mistake was a fault of commission, the other’s is a product of neglect.
Nishimura surely thought he saw a foul. The question is why. There’s no angle of that play that even comes close to depicting a Lovren foul. In real-time, at full speed, or in slow motion, what was happening was so transparent as to be predictable.
...
If, however, people don’t want more calls like today’s, Fred needs a disincentive. There needs to be a bigger crackdown on simulation. There need to be stiffer penalties and more reviews, perhaps in real-time. The game has to start taking the issue seriously.
   667. AuntBea Posted: June 13, 2014 at 01:35 AM (#4724673)
if you put your hand on the offensive player like that in the box


I simply don't understand comments like this. Every game has lots of contact of this sort, and if even 1/10th of them were deemed penalties the sport would be a grotesque mockery of the beautiful game. Sure, while it is true that "if you put your hand on the player in the box" you risk a foul, but it is also true that if you try to make a tackle in the box you risk a foul and a penalty. It simply does not justify a horrendous call by the official, and a horrendous dive by the player. If you look to justify a foul anywhere on the pitch by finding minimal disallowed contact you will find it everywhere. Such contact alone simply cannot be the standard for determining what is or is not a reasonable call.

Imagine a world where all contact such as we saw today was deemed worthy of a penalty. The best strategy for all teams would be continuous long balls into the box, with strikers jostling with defenders for position. If even 1/3 of the calls went to the attacking team, the result would be multiple penalty kicks for both sides. You can kiss your beautiful diagonal passes goodbye. Tiki Taka: adios. Hoof it into the box and hope the inevitable contact yields a call in your favor. After all, any contact in the box risks a foul, right?
   668. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2014 at 01:39 AM (#4724675)
I agree that Brazil isn't doomed or anything, but the numbers you cite don't demonstrate much of anything.

Brazil had 61% possession, double the shots on goal and 7 corners to Croatia's 3. Croatia played fairly cynically, with a very high amount of fouls.

'Double' the shots on goal was 6-3. Which, sure, is more. But it's only three more. And I'm sure that counts the comically weak header from the opening minutes which was 'on goal' but which my grandmother could have stopped, and one or two other pretty tame shots. And I assume Croatia's 3 doesn't include their goal. Or the great chance in the opening minutes when Jelavic just couldn't get his header on target. I mean, I'm not saying the point is definitely wrong. But I'd like something more than '6 vs. 3' to take it seriously as a measure of dominance.

As for the fouls, I have to say that the referee is partly to blame on that one. There were several very noticeable non-calls for fouls that ought to have gone against Brazil. And several questionable ones on Croatia. Again, I'm sure that doesn't balance the numbers out completely. But I wouldn't take the number as definitive of anything.

And subjectively, I absolutely disagree that Croatia played 'cynically.' They weren't fouling in tactically useful ways. They were fouling because they had less of the ball and Brazil is quite good. If you're going to defend against them, you'll end up fouling a fair amount. And 20 doesn't seem like a ridiculous number.

As for the penalty, I agree with JuanGone--if you put your hand on the offensive player like that in the box, a penalty is the risk.

It's a risk if the referee makes an utterly terrible decision.

If your standard is that defenders can't use their arms in the box, there will either be 30 penalties a game, or the attackers will run rampant against handicapped defenders.
   669. Flynn Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:05 AM (#4724698)
If you really want to hurt the Brazilians, root for Argentina.


Argentina is a rivalry. Uruguay keeps Brazilians up in bed at night.
   670. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:17 AM (#4724705)
   671. Rob_Wood Posted: June 13, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4724708)
I was watching the game with someone even less versed in soccer than I am (hard to believe). I said that Brazil is heavy favorite because they are home team. What does that mean, they asked me. Energy from crowd can be important, but mostly it means that Brazil will get favorable referring throughout the World Cup (on the whole). Again, wham bam, straight out of the chute. Disgraceful. From a parochial U.S. perspective, knowing that tons of "casual" soccer fans are watching this match, this is the absolute worst thing that could have happened. All the reasons many U.S. sports fans hate soccer were borne out.

Yes, reading the linked article, the referee was overwhelmed. It was a joke. How hard is it to get real referees? Let's hope today's games are better.
   672. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4724795)
One thing I haven't seen talked about much is that Neymar stopped twice in his "run up" on the PK. He danced to the left, stopped, then took a couple of steps, stopped, then stepped up and kicked it. I understand the refs typically allow some level of hesitation just as goalies are given a little latitude to come forward before the ball is kicked but this just looked ridiculous to me.

With all that said while it is harsh to say a PK should be saved this one should have been. If a keeper gets both hands behind the ball it simply cannot go in the net.

Regarding the ref what are the rules on the refs? The BeIN Sport guys (Rodney Marsh particularly) was asking why this guy was doing the game rather than a UEFA Champions League caliber ref. It was a bit parochial but certainly the ref looked overwhelmed. Having said that I thought there was a rule that refs could not do games from their own federation until the knockout stages so a UEFA ref would not have been eligible.
   673. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4724804)
He was the same referee that sent a player off in the Brazil v Holland game in South Africa. It's not like he's not experienced. He had a shocker, though.
   674. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4724816)
By the way, I "accidentally" forgot to watch the pre-game festivities featuring Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and what I assume were a lot of FIFA doofuses. Was it the train wreck I suspect it was?
   675. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4724817)
Yea, I've seen that ref before. Not sure if it was in the Olympics, Confederations Cup or the last World Cup, but he's recognizable. A couple years ago, one of the referees with the best reputation was from Slovenia or Slovakia. Sure, its a European country, but definitely not a big one. It was a bad game, and refs have that from time to time. I mean, Howard Webb only gave de Jong a yellow and he was still reffing late stage Champions League games.

Edit: not to say Howard Webb is a good or bad ref, but reputations are hard to overcome and are meaningless once the game starts.
   676. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4724842)
Chicharito benched today in favor of Peralta.
   677. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4724855)
Another question from yesterday; how likely is Neymar to get another yellow? Do yellows reset after the Group Stage or is Neymar playing with a sword of Damocles the rest of the tournament?
   678. jmurph Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4724862)
I like looking at country populations during the World Cup/Euros. It's an excellent reminder that what the Dutch do on a regular basis is pretty amazing. They have less than 17 million people! Portugal is also tinier than I ever remember, with only 10.5 million. But, Ronaldo, so we can't really rightly call them underdogs.

Anyway, the point is we should all be cheering for the Netherlands, especially De Jong, who is good people and an excellent deliverer of karate kicks.
   679. JJ1986 Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4724875)
Do yellows reset after the Group Stage or is Neymar playing with a sword of Damocles the rest of the tournament?


I think they reset after the quarterfinals, so he has to play 4 more games without getting another yellow.
   680. Swedish Chef Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4724884)
Yea, I've seen that ref before. Not sure if it was in the Olympics, Confederations Cup or the last World Cup, but he's recognizable. A couple years ago, one of the referees with the best reputation was from Slovenia or Slovakia. Sure, its a European country, but definitely not a big one. It was a bad game, and refs have that from time to time.

European refs do Champions League and Europa League games every season even if they're from a small country.
   681. Swedish Chef Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4724888)
The winner of the population game is Montenegro. Which leads to my favorite philosophical question, how far do you have to subdivide Yugoslavia to get a part that can't field a credible national team?
   682. jmurph Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4724889)
Just noticed a tweet from ESPN's Jorge Ramos (retweeted by Nate Silver) that FIFA asked the US to have an organizing committee ready for 2022.
   683. Mefisto Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4724895)
how far do you have to subdivide Yugoslavia to get a part that can't field a credible national team?


Define "credible" in whatever language they speak in the Faroe Islands.
   684. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4724896)
Allez les lions.

C'est tout.
   685. Swedish Chef Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4724900)
I must have missed something, why isn't Chicarito starting?
   686. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: June 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4724901)
we should all be cheering for the Netherlands, especially De Jong, who is good people and an excellent deliverer of karate kicks.
Concur, though I'd like to suggest Bosnia as an alternate fan favorite because it has ~20% the population of the Netherlands, it's had a rough few decades, and it's the ancestral home of Zlatan.
   687. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4724902)
Yea - but most of their matches are in their leagues. Is the Slovakian League any more or less competitive than the J-League? Asia has plenty of tournaments and while their leagues and players are not of caliber of Champions League or Europa, if the ref is doing World Cups, U-21 World Cups, Olympics, etc. then he's had plenty of experience. To say a Japanese, US or Paraguayan ref don't belong is limiting. There are plenty of complaints about European refs in the big leagues but to be clear, I think the best refs should be there and to have rules where all confederations are represented are ridiculous.

He had a bad game and maybe he's a bad ref with a spectacularly blown call. I'm sure he's seen hundreds, if not thousands of plays like that. If he's calling a penalty every time then he's not making it to the World Cup. He saw Lovren's hand on Fred's shoulder and called it, now he'll may not get another game the rest of the Cup (and less likely in the knockout stages).
   688. Swedish Chef Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4724904)
No doubt about who the crowd roots for.
   689. Swedish Chef Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4724909)
Cameroon's goalie has a nice hairdo.
   690. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4724911)
I must have missed something, why isn't Chicarito starting?

He has been out of form and out of the team for a while now. It's not news that he's on the bench. It would be more surprising if he was starting.
   691. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4724914)
how far do you have to subdivide Yugoslavia to get a part that can't field a credible national team?

It seems like the Kosovar emigrant community (including half the Swiss team, Januzaj, etc) and Bosnian emigrant community (including ZLATAN, US star Vedad Ibisevic, Canadian star Asmir Begovic) can field credible national teams, not even including the players who actually come from those countries.
   692. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4724915)
Aguilar maybe should have shot there instead of going for the cross.
   693. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4724916)
Mexico looking strong so far. Cameroon having trouble getting the ball off them, and giving them way too much open space on the wings. And in the center of the pitch,
   694. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4724920)
Cameroon looks terrible. El Tri's fans are as classy as ever...
   695. Swedish Chef Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4724921)
Not offside.
   696. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4724923)
Cameroon is playing like they're in a hurry. Calm down, guys, there's another 80 minutes.

You can settle the ball and maintain possession. Really, you can.
   697. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4724924)
Oof. That was onside.
   698. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4724925)
Cameroon's goalie has a nice hairdo.

Based on the photo here his hairdo seems to include a soccer ball. Like those ladies of Marie Antoinette's court who would weave model ships and taxidermy and stuff into their pompadours.
   699. Richard Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4724927)
If Mexico could cross a ball Cameroon would be done already
   700. Swedish Chef Posted: June 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4724928)
I was going to call Cameroon Stoke-on-the-Equator, but Stoke wouldn't put on such a lousy offside trap.
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