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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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   7401. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 02, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4742033)
If you did this exercise for every MLS squad, asking "Which one young player shows the most promise?", you'd have a good shortlist for many of the non-obvious (i.e. not filled by Bradley, Altidore, Johnson, Guzan) 2018 slots

I think Philadelphia's is a goalkeeper.
   7402. Howling John Shade Posted: July 02, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4742035)
Liverpool have apparently opened talks with Barca over Suarez. It will be interesting to see whether they can reach a deal. I think Suarez is worth more to Liverpool than Barca will be willing to pay, but I guess the biting might have taken a chunk out of that valuation. And he's perfectly capable of throwing a fit if he doesn't get what he wants (although he can't really threaten them with refusing to train/etc).
   7403. Grunthos Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4742050)
So I was bored and decided to do the "best young player available" for each MLS team exercise...

CHI: Harry Shipp (MF/F, 22), Benji Joya (AM, 21)
CLB: Wil Trapp (MC, 21)
DCU: Perry Kitchen (DMC, 22)
HOU: AJ Cochran? (DC, 21)
MTL: Jack McInerney (FC, 21)
NE: Patrick Mullins (FC, 22)
RBNY: ???
PHI: Amobi Okugo (D/DMC, 23)
SKC: Erik Palmer-Brown (DC, 17)
TOR: None (their best kids are Canadians)
CHV: ???
COL: Shane O'Neill (D/DMC, 20) (may choose to play for Ireland instead)
DAL: Kellyn Acosta? (M, 18)
LA: Gyasi Zardes (FC, 22)
POR: Darlington Nagbe (AM, 23) (Liberian, but will gain US citizenship next year)
RSL: Luis Gil (AM, 20)
SJ: ???
SEA: DeAndre Yedlin (DR, 20)
VAN: Omar Salgado (FC, 20)

I didn't evaluate goalies for this exercise, we're all pretty clear how that list lines up for the next several years.

Right now, and it's way early and I don't watch MLS religiously and other caveats aside, I would say the best hopes on that list are Joya, Kitchen, Palmer-Brown, Mullins, O'Neill, Gil, and Yedlin. I don't think Palmer-Brown's age should be held against him here... it's the other way around, actually, the fact that he is in consideration for playing time at age 17 makes it more likely that he will be good enough for the MNT, not less.

Yielding a projected USMNT pool of (all ages as of summer 2018):

FC: Altidore (28), Johannsson (27), Mullins (26), Agudelo (25), Boyd (27), Salgado (24), McInerney (25), Bobby Wood (25), Will Bruin (28)
AM: Dempsey? (35), Diskerud (27), Green (23), Zusi (31), Bedoya (31), Zelalem (21), Joya (25), Gil (24), Corona (27), Trapp (25), Shipp (26), Shea (28), Josh Gatt (28)
DM: Bradley (30), Edu (32), Kitchen (26), Torres (30)
DC: Besler (31), Gonzalez (29), Brooks (25), Cameron (32), O'Neill (24), Palmer-Brown (21), Ream (30), Will Packwood (25)
DR: Johnson (30), Yedlin (24), Chandler (28)
DL:
GK: Guzan (33), Hamid (27), Johnson (29)

I'm certain I've missed a few fringe guys, and of course there are other kids out there who are yet to get on the radar screen.

By and large, because 2014 was an "in-between generations" cycle for us, the 2018 squad will likely skew younger overall. Not only because the Donovan/Dempsey generation will be toast, but all the more so because Klinsmann has shown he will pull the best talents available, and if it's "a little early" for them, so what?

By international standards, this forward corps is weak and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The d-mids and center backs are solid and deep, right back is an outright strength, and goal continues to be a plus for us. Left back has been and continues to be a gaping hole with no good solution (big props to DMB for his work papering over this problem in 2014). At this long range, then, the major variable in how well we do in 2018 is whether guys like Zelalem, Green, Joya, and Gil develop into serious attacking threats at this level. If none (or only one) of them manages to replace the quality of Donovan/Dempsey, then we're going to struggle mightily to score.

Green, Zelalem, Yedlin, Palmer-Brown, O'Neill, and Gil would appear to be the next identifiable "generation" of core players for us. The guys currently aged 22-28 are mostly squaddies at the World Cup level. So our next opportunity for a good talent peak will be 2022. All the more reason to hope that Qatar has to bail out.
   7404. madvillain Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4742051)
   7405. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4742053)
That gif in 7404 is amazing. There was one other play where Yedlin gave a full out sprint, and man is he fast.
   7406. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4742060)
Would there be any benefit to sending our top MLS team to the World Cup, plus the handful of players who play in major leagues overseas as reinforcements, rather than building a team with players from here and there? Sporting Kansas City is about 60% American, and the overseas players could replace those from other countries.
I think, also, that even the best MLS teams have a dramatic dropoff in talent once you get past the top 5-6 players. Kansas City has Besler and Zusi, and that's great, but I'm not jazzed about sending Seth Sinovic out there in the middle of the defense in the World Cup.

BTW, KC's 2014 leader in goals scored among players eligible to play for the USA is Graham Zusi. With one.
   7407. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4742062)
TOR: None (their best kids are Canadians)

Hey, Teal Bunbury is Canadian and he played for the USMNT, however briefly. The Canadian Diego Costa.
   7408. Howling John Shade Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4742067)
What's the story on Fagundez's citizenship and how has he looked for NE this year? I've only seen him play once or twice, but he looked interesting.

Also, I think 2016 is the next roster we should be worrying about, not 2018. The Copa America is going to be huge.
   7409. madvillain Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4742069)
There was one other play where Yedlin gave a full out sprint, and man is he fast.


We finally have produced a NFL running back with soccer skills. I was beyond impressed with his first touch last night.

One thing I notice about our guys is that we seem to often try and play a simple passing game when it might be better to try and beat your man or switch the field. Yedlin seems to break the mode of our typical "safe" players.
   7410. Howling John Shade Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4742073)
Another GIF from yesterday.
   7411. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4742078)
There was also the time Yedlin headed the ball to himself, then headed it into the box. Ian Darke called it "a bit of head tennis".
   7412. Sunday silence Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4742082)
Silence, the money to be made on Cameroon was on the spot market and very specific results. The 4-0 final, the four goals conceded, and the red card.


thanks for explaining what is going on with that.
   7413. ursus arctos Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4742088)
National teams built from club teams that won multiple European Cups (Holland 74, for instance) have failed at the World Cup, so I really don't think that a MLS team is the answer.
   7414. DA Baracus Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4742103)
Would there be any benefit to sending our top MLS team to the World Cup, plus the handful of players who play in major leagues overseas as reinforcements, rather than building a team with players from here and there? Sporting Kansas City is about 60% American, and the overseas players could replace those from other countries.


You'd wind up replacing nearly everyone that isn't Besler and Zusi. You want Erik Kronberg as your keeper? Sal Zizzo taking up a roster spot? That wouldn't cut it at the Gold Cup.

(And now this post seems redundant as I realize I was not on the last page.)
   7415. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 02, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4742105)
I think the closest to that working was Spain where it was pretty much all Barca/Madrid players. Of course that's an extreme example because of the wealth of those two teams.
   7416. Baldrick Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4742112)
Spain at the height of their power were often seen as simply a reiteration of the Barca team. But even that was only ever really about five or six players. Pique and Puyol together as a center back pairing, and Xavi/Iniesta/Busquets in the midfield (and to some extent Cesc and Pedro). The rest of the roster came from elsewhere, and justifiably so.

Building the best national team certainly ought to include some attention to how players will work together - and familiarity at the club level is part of that - but talent is dispersed enough that you need to draw widely. And genuinely good players should (mostly) be tactically astute enough to understand a variety of systems and what they are supposed to do in them. Which means they should be able to build a relationship relatively quickly.
   7417. ursus arctos Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4742114)
By the final, Italy '82 was pretty much exclusively Juventus and Inter players. And West Germany '74 had a large Bayern contingent. But all of those are cases in which the country's best talent was a) based domestically and b) concentrated in very few clubs. Neither of those conditions apply to the US.
   7418. Howling John Shade Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4742118)
The current German team is pretty close to it as well. The Neuer/Boateng/Lahm/Schweinsteiger/Kroos/Muller core is a nice thing to have. Badstuber when he's healthy as well.
   7419. DA Baracus Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4742119)
And back then players generally stayed home. For example in 1974 the Champions League final had 4 players total who weren't from the nation their team was. And that was the norm in the 70s, the 80s and even the 90s. The exception being England teams, but their variety was almost entirely British Isles nations. In the 94 Final, Milan and Barcelona each had only 3 different nationalities.
   7420. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4742130)
What's the story on Fagundez's citizenship and how has he looked for NE this year? I've only seen him play once or twice, but he looked interesting.


I've read differing things on Fagundez' situation. He's technically Urugayan now but has been in this country since he was a little kid so citizenship should not be a big issue. He's a lot of fun, great speed and an eye for goal. He's only 19 so the idea that he could be part of a WC in the future is not a big leap at all.
   7421. Howling John Shade Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4742146)
I've read differing things on Fagundez' situation. He's technically Urugayan now but has been in this country since he was a little kid so citizenship should not be a big issue. He's a lot of fun, great speed and an eye for goal. He's only 19 so the idea that he could be part of a WC in the future is not a big leap at all.
I have vague memories of reading last year that he was a permanent resident, but that he had something like a 5 year wait for citizenship. That seems ridiculous, but our immigration system is ridiculous.
   7422. DA Baracus Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4742148)
If he got married he could speed the time up to three years. Surely we can find him nominal wife for a few years, do it for your country.
   7423. puck Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4742160)
I've read differing things on Fagundez' situation. He's technically Urugayan now but has been in this country since he was a little kid so citizenship should not be a big issue.

It could be if he leaves the country, right? Seems likely clubs overseas would come after him soon.
   7424. puck Posted: July 02, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4742163)
By international standards, this forward corps is weak and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The d-mids and center backs are solid and deep, right back is an outright strength, and goal continues to be a plus for us.


Would most of you consider our d-mids and center backs "solid and deep"?

For all the talk about how the US fails in player development because it chooses athletes over soccer players, our d-mids and centerbacks seem pretty slow.
   7425. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4742165)
If he got married he could speed the time up to three years. Surely we can find him nominal wife for a few years, do it for your country.

Klinsmann could probably convince Alex Morgan to marry him in exchange for putting her on the 2018 WC roster.

For all the talk about how the US fails in player development because it chooses athletes over soccer players

I thought the talk was the exact opposite. We end up with soccer players (who pursue soccer above all else) over athletes (who choose other sports) because of the pay-to-play youth system and perceived lack of monetary rewards.
   7426. AuntBea Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4742175)
MCOA's take on the Wondo shank at the end of regulation.
Wondolowski scuffed it, popping the ball far over the bar and the chance was lost. The sideline official had raised his flag to incorrectly signal offside, but the referee did not signal offside, rather a goal kick. It is possible that if Wondolowski had finished the shot, the referee would have correctly overruled his linesman and let the American winner stand.
   7427. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4742180)
@7425: It's a bit of both. For a long time, the youth development system was tilted heavily towards "athleticism", by which was meant size and speed (attributes such as "field vision" or "soccer smarts" didn't matter). This was true because it's possible to succeed at the younger levels with size and speed, and even at the upper levels if you have a whole country to choose from.

That seems to be changing. Best I can tell from having seen some younger national teams play, the men's developmental program is much more focused on technical skill, though of course "athleticism" still counts. I haven't followed the girls' side national teams much recently, but the one girl from my old club who's in the national team pool is certainly "athletic" rather than technical. That's not to say she lacks technical skill, but she's there because her "athleticism" is exceptional.
   7428. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4742191)
To add to 7427, soccer coaches used to look for the best athletes, but what they got was "the best athletes who wanted to play soccer". This has worked pretty well on the women's side, since soccer provides excellent options for female athletes. It didn't work so well on the men's side, because great athletes had other options.
   7429. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4742193)
I don't think the US is particularly deep at any position except goalkeeper and maybe RB. Johnson is a solid contributor in Bundesliga, but Chandler started only 19 games on a relegated team (he could have been hurt). Hopefully he'll do better on his new team. Yes, Yedlin looked great, but its basically a 1.5 game sample (at least on the top international level).

   7430. PreservedFish Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4742194)
It didn't work so well on the men's side, because great athletes had other options.


Isn't this also a problem because soccer is just a highly technical game? Kids that grow up in soccer-obsessive cultures are just going to spend more time playing and learning the sport. That's the problem for the US.
   7431. madvillain Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4742197)
That seems to be changing. Best I can tell from having seen some younger national teams play, the men's developmental program is much more focused on technical skill, though of course "athleticism" still counts.


At the end of the day we just need good players -- there are players that can't run for #### anymore (Pirlo for example) that are still incredibly useful players due to their technical ability and there are are super athletic less technical players (Beasley seems a fine example, although defensively he's very sound wrt to positioning nobody is going to mistake his first touch or dribbling skill for Marcelo's) that do a good job as well.

When we find players that can combine both like Donovan and maybe Yedlin, than we'll really be talking but no matter how they are effective and effective player is an effective player.

One thing I will say is that guys like Brad Davis and Zusi, who are perhaps mediocre athletes but sound technicians (by american standards), are not sound enough technicians to play at the Intentional level imo. Zusi was absolutely smothered by Belgium and the like but from most accounts, by MLS standards, he's quite technical.

Isn't this also a problem because soccer is just a highly technical game? Kids that grow up in soccer-obsessive cultures are just going to spend more time playing and learning the sport. That's the problem for the US.


I think this is a real problem. A 6-4 220lb quick twitch athlete can pickup football quickly enough from high school on but that same athlete wouldn't stand a chance against a 5-10 140lb kid that grew up with a ball at his feet. It's similar to basketball in this regard I think the vision, confidence and toughness required for the interntional level is best learned way before a college campus or even a high level private high school team or Olympic Development squad.
   7432. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4742211)
Isn't this also a problem because soccer is just a highly technical game? Kids that grow up in soccer-obsessive cultures are just going to spend more time playing and learning the sport. That's the problem for the US.


Yes. I compare it to fielding ground balls. It takes years of practice to become Ozzie Smith, even with his natural gifts. And even with fly balls, there's really only one Willie Mays.

Technical skill in soccer requires years of practice and a young start. But it also requires an expansion of the definition of "athletic". Xavi is athletic because he has great vision and intelligence, though no size or speed. Same with Busquets.

We need different kinds of "athletes". We need fast guys like Yedlin. We need guys with great vision like Xavi. And if we're lucky, one day we'll produce the guy who has it all like Messi.
   7433. madvillain Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4742213)
And if we're lucky, one day we'll produce the guy who has it all like Messi.


I'm only half kidding but if some Olympic Dev Coach had spotted Messi at 11 he'd probably have told the lad to stop dribbling so much and play the passing triangles.
   7434. Dale Sams Posted: July 02, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4742219)
It is possible that if Wondolowski had finished the shot, the referee would have correctly overruled his linesman and let the American winner stand.


Had Wondo scored and offsides been called...the Anti-American conspiracy theories would have shot through the roof. Not to mention all the people who complain how Soccer turns too much on luck, ref idiocy, and lack of replay.
   7435. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4742240)
I'm only half kidding but if some Olympic Dev Coach had spotted Messi at 11 he'd probably have told the lad to stop dribbling so much and play the passing triangles.


Nah, he'd have told him he was too small (along with Cazorla and Silva and Iniesta and Xavi and Valbuena and Mertens and Maradona, etc.). Believe me, being told you're "too small" happens all. the. time. I'm particularly sensitive to this issue because my daughter got told that repeatedly.
   7436. Dale Sams Posted: July 02, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4742241)
I thought Soccer's "thing" was that anyone of any size could play.
   7437. Manny Coon Posted: July 02, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4742243)
Technical skill in soccer requires years of practice and a young start. But it also requires an expansion of the definition of "athletic". Xavi is athletic because he has great vision and intelligence, though no size or speed.


Xavi had amazing fitness and very good lateral movement, to go with very good coordination, balance and vision/intelligence. It's really a fairly unique set of attributes to put together.

A lot people often talk about football or basketball guys as the types of athletes the might do well in soccer and while the point guard and defensive back might crossover ok, shortstops might do even better, but again it would need to be at a young age, otherwise they end up like Michael Jordan swinging a baseball bat. People that talk about linebackers and 6'8" forwards playing soccer are pretty much crazy.
   7438. Manny Coon Posted: July 02, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4742250)
A 6-4 220lb quick twitch athlete can pickup football quickly enough from high school on but that same athlete wouldn't stand a chance against a 5-10 140lb kid that grew up with a ball at his feet.


My senior year of high school the captain of our football team decided he would join up the with soccer team and he was clearly faster and stronger than pretty much everyone out there. He got cut and laughed off the field after about day or two even though our team pretty much sucked.
   7439. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4742257)
I thought Soccer's "thing" was that anyone of any size could play.


You'd think so, but lots of coaches, at least at US youth levels, think differently.

Xavi had amazing fitness and very good lateral movement, to go with very good coordination, balance and vision/intelligence. It's really a fairly unique set of attributes to put together.


Yep, and coordination and balance should be included as "athletic" qualities (seriously: gymnasts; Ozzie Smith; Barry Sanders), but that's not common in my experience.

   7440. Howling John Shade Posted: July 02, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4742310)
Barca have reportedly offered £70 mil for Suarez. That's higher than I thought they would go, and I have to think a deal will get done.
   7441. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4742317)
All things considered, I think LFC would be foolish to turn that down.
   7442. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 02, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4742327)
I don't understand why Barca want Suarez. They already have Messi and Neymar and they have a pressing need at center back.
   7443. Baldrick Posted: July 02, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4742336)
I don't understand why Barca want Suarez. They already have Messi and Neymar and they have a pressing need at center back.

It's all part of their recent efforts to vindicate everyone who has said mean things about them over the last five or six years and to alienate the support of neutrals like me. See also: Qatar sponsorship. See also also: losing lots of big games in somewhat boring and pathetic fashion.

Sigh.
   7444. tshipman Posted: July 02, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4742338)
I don't understand why Barca want Suarez. They already have Messi and Neymar and they have a pressing need at center back.


This. Neymar and Messi are already duplicative. How are they going to play all three?
   7445. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 02, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4742341)
Barca want Suarez because Suarez is a big name and they're starfuckers.

I came to club soccer only recently (in the past couple years), and Barcelona are no different in my eyes than Real Madrid. Both are fat, annoying pustules that suck up all the talent thanks to their oligopoly over Spanish soccer.
   7446. madvillain Posted: July 02, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4742347)
Both are fat, annoying pustules that suck up all the talent thanks to their oligopoly over Spanish soccer.


Barca is akin to the Red Sox. They built themselves up with cleverness and determination but now are kinda a buncha jagoffs.
   7447. Howling John Shade Posted: July 02, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4742355)
Barca is akin to the Red Sox. They built themselves up with cleverness and determination but now are kinda a buncha jagoffs.
Their youth system hasn't produced that next superstar after Messi. Bojan was supposed to be it, but no. Pedro is good but not great. I don't think all that much of Tello. Thiago is great, but couldn't get the playing time behind Xavi/Busquets/Cesc. Maybe Delafeou is it, but in the meantime they've resorted to Real Madrid like spending to fill the gap.

Edit: And yeah, if they don't sign a center back again this summer I will laugh.
   7448. bunyon Posted: July 02, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4742369)
The "too small" thing youth coaches do is terrible in all sports because:

People grow differently, the small 8th grader may get big

Small players often succeed "surprisingly". Unless a player is really small, if they have skills and drive, they can make it.

It's youth sport for ##### sake. It isn't mostly about developing pros.


I'm 6'4" and have always been big for my age. Looking back, I was favored insanely by many coaches and I have friends and family who have been told this and it's bullshit.
   7449. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 02, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4742378)
Believe me, being told you're "too small" happens all. the. time.


That drives me ####### crazy. So don't play them at centerback or keeper! Jesus, have these coaches ever seen a ####### top level soccer game in their life?
   7450. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 02, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4742384)
Suarez does work hard without the ball. Play him as a wide forward and he'll do all the pressing when Barca doesn't have the ball. Bale fit in nicely in Madrid and he really wasn't "needed" there either. Barca needs that extra special offensive player because 99% of opponents are going to bunker against them so he gives them another option that will drive into the box.
   7451. Spivey Posted: July 02, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4742391)
Suarez makes sense for Barca because he's at worse the 3rd best player in the world. He has a good workrate, as Frank mentioned. Messi and Suarez are so good at every aspect of offense, from dribbling through defenders to passing to long range shots I struggle to see how they won't be able to play together.

I also think the Neymar and Suarez moves make sense in the sense of the best defense is a good offense, and their offense has started to sputter in some ways - beyond Messi, anyways.

Also, their ####### Barcelona, how is this move going to stop them from going out and getting a good centerback?
   7452. Howling John Shade Posted: July 02, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4742402)
I also think the Neymar and Suarez moves make sense in the sense of the best defense is a good offense, and their offense has started to sputter in some ways - beyond Messi, anyways.

Also, their ####### Barcelona, how is this move going to stop them from going out and getting a good centerback?
He's basically replacing Sanchez and he's significantly better than Sanchez. I don't think he, Neymar and Messi will have any trouble playing together.

Edit: It also makes sense because his other likely landing spot was Real Madrid.
   7453. AuntBea Posted: July 02, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4742421)
No team remaining in the tournament has lost a game yet. Which means, if any of the remaining games go to penalty kicks, a team will go home without "losing".
   7454. AuntBea Posted: July 02, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4742428)
In 2010, each team that went out on PKs had already suffered a loss previously. In 2006, 4 teams were eliminated on PKs, despite having no losses in the tournament up to that point: England, Switzerland, Argentina, and France (in the final). In 2002, Ireland and Spain went out that way.

As far as I can tell, the last team to exit the tournament through a PK loss, despite having won all their prior games without having to resort to PKs, was Italy in 1990, who lost the semi-final to Argentina despite having won their previous 5 games (and, they hadn't been scored on in any of those 5 games, winning all 1-0 or 2-0. They were finally scored on in the 67th minute of the semi-final, when leading 1-0, then proceeded to lose in PKs). This year, 4 teams have to date won all 4 of their games without resorting to PKs, so it seems very possible that we will have another hard luck loser. The teams are: Netherlands, Colombia, Argentina, and Belgium.

Edit: The only other time this has happened since group play began in 1950 (so far as I can tell), was to Brazil, in 1986. Their sad story is very similar to Italy's above. They won each of their first four games without conceding a goal, went up 1-0 to France in the QFs, gave up a 40th minute equalizer to Platini, and proceeded to lose in PKs.
   7455. J. Sosa Posted: July 02, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4742432)
Barca delayed the transfer ban, but maybe they are concerned it will become an issue. Suarez can play anywhere up front and works hard. He would be great with Messi and Neymar.

Look, I'm wearing red tinted glasses, but even I think 70 MP as an opening bid is reasonable. I don't think LFC will take it. I think they will ask for the full release clause amount (which, depending on who you believe, is anywhere between 60 and 80 MP. If I had to read the tea leaves, I would say the clause was conditional, 60 if no CL, and 80 if there was CL).

Barca is desperate. By their standards, last season was a disaster and some key guys are toast or close to it. If they are worried about the transfer ban, they might do something foolish. For the record, I'm not upset at all about the bite purely in terms of the bite. The press likes to blather about Suarez shaming the club and all that crap, but I couldn't care less other than his propensity for missing matches due to stupidity. Wife beating, murder, etc. bothers me. Biting people, not so much. What bothered me was Suarez's Evra incident and the club's reaction to it. That made me question whether I really wanted to continue supporting the club.

But biting... Meh. Honestly the bigger concern for me is how he rushed back off of knee surgery. He's 27, coming off of knee surgery, and is a nutter. Oh, and he is probably the third best player in the world. Maybe second best given Ronaldo is two years older, has his own bad knee, and is terrible defensively. He can't be replaced, but I don't think that is the plan anyway. Rodgers went out of his way to facilitate Sturridge and Suarez, but I don't think that is his preferred style. The suspension just makes things easier. It would have been hard to pull the trigger, but the ban makes it a little easier since he may miss part of the CL group stage and he recently had surgery.

TL;DR Take Barca to the cleaners.
   7456. puck Posted: July 02, 2014 at 11:47 PM (#4742434)
So I re-watched the US game. I had not noticed the first time that Wondo helped set up the two close chances after the Green goal. On the Jones toe poke hit just wide, Wondo knocked down Yedlin's cross. On the free kick, Wondo redirected the free kick into Dempsey's path. But he was still in the game to score that goal in the 3rd minute of injury time!

Does Argentina seem like it's in trouble? They don't have fullbacks either, or at least aren't willing to let them get forward. So it would seem they'll have trouble taking advantage of Belgium's main weakness. Although Belgium also does not have Messi.
   7457. madvillain Posted: July 02, 2014 at 11:58 PM (#4742438)
Yedlin every touch verse Belgium

On the rewatch, he was even more impressive. With good poachers (or at least Jozy) he probably has at two least assists. He setup both Bradley and Jones on great low crosses -- Bradley wiffed and Jones' touch was poor and he lost it.

You gotta love the confidence he had on a 60 yard diagonal pass where instead of trying to trap it he knocked it forward and Belgium was forced to concede a free kick after he was barged over. Also, I give him credit for work rate. If you're going to be going forward so much without a conscious at least bust ass when you don't have the ball, and he did that.
   7458. Howling John Shade Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4742442)
Does Argentina seem like it's in trouble? They don't have fullbacks either, or at least aren't willing to let them get forward. So it would seem they'll have trouble taking advantage of Belgium's main weakness.
I think Zabaleta is a stud, but you're right that he hasn't been much use in attack so far. The back four is shaky enough that maybe they don't want him gambling too much. Perhaps they'll let him loose against Belgium, but he's not the fastest guy in the world so I'm not sure he'll have that big an advantage on Vertonghen.
   7459. AuntBea Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4742443)
With good poachers (or at least Jozy) he probably has at two least assists. He setup both Bradley and Jones on great low crosses -- Bradley wiffed and Jones' touch was poor and he lost it.

Wasn't that Wondo who completely whiffs on a low cross into the box? (the very last highlight on the "every touch" link.)
   7460. Richard Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4742446)
Edit: The only other time this has happened since group play began in 1950 (so far as I can tell), was to Brazil, in 1986. Their sad story is very similar to Italy's above. They won each of their first four games without conceding a goal, went up 1-0 to France in the QFs, gave up a 40th minute equalizer to Platini, and proceeded to lose in PKs.

They deserved to lose prior to penalties. Their keeper committed a bad foul in a one on one situation and got away with it. Plus they would have lost to Spain in the group stage without 2 enormous slices of luck - Socrates was offside when he scored the winner, and one of the Spanish players (I think Michel) "scored" with a long shot that bounced behind the line off the bar and bounced out again, but no goal was awarded (like Lampard in 2010).

there was a horrible inevitability about Argentina winning the penalty shoot out versus Italy in 1990. That tournament was full of awful games, particularly in the knockout rounds (save, bizarrely, for England's 3 knockout matches, which were all entertaining).
   7461. madvillain Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4742447)
Wasn't that Wondo who completely whiffs on a low cross into the box? (the very last highlight on the "every touch" link.)


yea bradley misses the 1st one on the video I believe he might have been trying a dummy but either way it was an awful touch.

edit: omg that Wondo touch is so ####### awful! That is A POACHER'S GOAL. Ugh.
   7462. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:33 AM (#4742448)
Wife beating, murder, etc. bothers me. Biting people, not so much.


Beating your wife: shame on you; biting your wife: eh, who cares?
   7463. sardonic Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4742450)
I haven't seen this posted here, but it's not hard to imagine what's going through his mind in that moment:

Landon Donovan reaction to Chris Wondolowski's miss
   7464. sardonic Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:39 AM (#4742451)
Man, watching that Yedlin clip again, didn't fully grasp how incisive his crossing and passing was in the moment -- I was far too taken aback by his habit of completely stopping the ball on the wing, which I don't like.

That said, he's extremely right footed it seems.
   7465. Textbook Editor Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4742454)
I don't understand why Barca want Suarez. They already have Messi and Neymar and they have a pressing need at center back.


PURE SPECULATION: I think if Messi wins the WC this year he may start looking around and assessing his options. Yes, he's been at FCB his whole life practically, etc., etc. but I'm also sure he sees the direction FCB is going in (transition between eras; uncertain what new era will bring) and wonders if--now that he has a CL and WC title in tow--there are not, perhaps, other challenges in other lands to consider. FCB's pursuit of Suarez may well be the first of lots of moves towards a post-Messi era.

Again, total guess on my part. It is also possible that Suarez and Neymar playing up top with Messi behind them opens up acres of space and they score a bajillion goals and everyone's happy... until they realize in May that damnit they really should have bought a CB over the summer...
   7466. Sunday silence Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4742459)
Looking back, I was favored insanely by many coaches and I have friends and family who have been told this and it's bullshit.


I know it's not that relevant, but can I just ask you: what did you mean to say here? Because I have be reading this over and over and cant for the life of me figure it out. It's driving me crazy.

Thanks.
   7467. greenback calls it soccer Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4742460)
They deserved to lose prior to penalties. Their keeper committed a bad foul in a one on one situation and got away with it.

Meh, the goalie who looked like Garfunkel committed the foul outside the box. Could've been a red card (late in regulation), but the ref called advantage instead, which wouldn't have been so ridiculous, except Platini stumbled while chasing after the ball as it rolled towards the end line.
   7468. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 03, 2014 at 04:10 AM (#4742467)
Beating your wife: shame on you; biting your wife: eh, who cares?

Hey, what kinky stuff consenting adults do, in the privacy of their own walls, is none of your business!
   7469. Swedish Chef Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:41 AM (#4742471)
I'm looking forward to a lowlands derby in the semi. #### Argentina.
   7470. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 03, 2014 at 07:57 AM (#4742478)
This will be the second time Suarez has bitten his way to his "dream" move. He's a savvy ######.

I don't think Messi intends to leave Barca or that Barca will contemplate selling him, by the way. He'll stay there until he can't play and then go to Qatar for a few extra million before he retires. (It's kind of depressing that Xavi is going to end up going to Qatar and playing in front of a few hundred people a night in a league no one gives a crap about. Business is business, I guess.)
   7471. bunyon Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4742484)
Re 7466: yeah I garbled that sentence bDly. I blame my phone

I was often unreasonably favored because I was tall (baseball and basketball(where it makes some sense). I was a good hs level athlete but I made teams earlier Thani should've and started earlier than I should've.


Then

I have many friends and family who have been told they're too short to play (basketball baseball and football) despite being really good athletes. That is bs.

At the highest levels it may be possible to be too short. At age 15, I'd go with the better athlete.
   7472. AuntBea Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4742490)
They deserved to lose prior to penalties. Their keeper committed a bad foul in a one on one situation and got away with it.
Meh, the goalie who looked like Garfunkel committed the foul outside the box. Could've been a red card (late in regulation), but the ref called advantage instead, which wouldn't have been so ridiculous, except Platini stumbled while chasing after the ball as it rolled towards the end line.

I never saw that game (I didn't watch that WC), but the highlights are on youtube. The foul was ridiculous, and despite the advantage, which was justifiable, the goalie should have been given a red on the next stoppage of play (at least if we had been playing under today's rules). The highlights make the game look wide open.

Edit: it was Bellone who was fouled, rather than Platini.
   7473. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4742491)
He's 27, coming off of knee surgery


Which kind of makes the ban a bit of a blessing in disguise. Rather than pushing to get back on the field in late August he gets a few extra weeks. Now he gets three full months off to rest up, take horse placenta, whatever it is he does.

On the issue of size there is a balance. Typically the kid who is bigger is just more mature both physically and emotionally which is a big difference. I'm coaching a summer travel team right now and the vast majority of kids are big dudes. We've got two smurfs (our two second basemen) who play the game like their hair is on fire but other than that the kids who made the team are the bigger kids. The problem they often run into is that as they get older other kids catch up in size and maturity and if they didn't learn to play the game right but just used their physical advantages they get passed. The starting first baseman on the high school freshman team is a great kid who was AWFUL as a 10-12 year old but loved the game, worked at it and when he great about six inches in a summer...boom.
   7474. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:48 AM (#4742492)
the goalie should have been given a red on the next stoppage of play (at least if we had been playing under today's rules).


I'm pretty sure the automatic red for denying a goal scoring opportunity is a relatively recent phenomenon (e.g. early-90s) in part because of plays like that.
   7475. AuntBea Posted: July 03, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4742494)
I'm pretty sure the automatic red for denying a goal scoring opportunity is a relatively recent phenomenon (e.g. early-90s) in part because of plays like that.
Could be. I'm not sure, but I don't even think he got a yellow. Someone else might be able to say for sure.

Edit: According to box scores, no cautions were given. I don't remember if referees were allowed or encouraged to do that after an advantage (at the next stoppage of play) or not back then, but I think they were.
   7476. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 03, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4742498)
Sosa --

I'm hoping the rumors about Sanchez being a makeweight are true. You're not going to replace Suarez' talent, but Sanchez is one of the few guys who can match Suarez' ability to be an absolute pest up front in terms of pestering defenders when out of possession. Plus he's pretty talented in his own right and a couple of years younger. Then go to the market with the remaining money and hope the outcome comes closer to matching Napoli with Higuain than Spurs with Soldado.

Also seeing that the Lallana deal might be a bit lower than the reported 25mm. I won't lose sleep if it is, in fact, 25mm, but something in the 16-20mm range seems a lot more appropriate.

   7477. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 03, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4742501)
Re: Suarez. I have no idea what Barca are thinking here. They have having a bizarre summer from my POV. With Atleti being ripped apart and Real bringing back Ancelotti, I think Real are going to win the league without breaking a sweat.

This transfer will give us Suarez vs Pepe and Ramos which will be fun. So +1 for that!
   7478. AuntBea Posted: July 03, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4742503)
Here are the highlights for Brazil v Spain in the group stages in 1986. The Spanish goal looks like it should have counted. Socrates goal looks to be onside at least by today's rule where the offensive player is allowed to be even with the defender when the ball is played. I think the rule might have been slightly different then.
   7479. Richard Posted: July 03, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4742514)
Level was offside back then.

Carlos was definitely not booked for that foul.
   7480. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 03, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4742532)
Sanchez would be a good make-weight but he apparently does not want to go to Liverpool. As mentioned he's younger and plus he's not a cannibal. He would look good in Arsenal or United's squad.
   7481. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4742534)
On the issue of size there is a balance.


No question that size and speed are advantages. My annoyance stems from the fact that, in soccer especially, they aren't the only advantages, but some coaches (not saying you) treat them that way.

I'll give one example. A coach in my club also coached a high school team. I asked him about the high school team one year, and he said the midfield looked weak and he might have to play X there "even though she's a midget". That team, with "the midget" on it, won CIF, which is the high school championship for all of SoCal.

The midget's father coaches with me these days. I told him that story and he laughed and said that in one game, the opposing coach shouted out to his team, "Can someone please mark that midget in the middle!"
   7482. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 03, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4742546)
Didn't Wynalda basically stock his semi-pro with Mexican/Central American guys that were deemed "too small and unathletic" and almost take them to the US Open Cup final because they could, you know, actually play?

Speaking of that, I was in Queens the other day for a Mets game and wasted time before that at the park. There were a ton of Central American and Ecuadorian kids playing soccer. Why does it seem we have so few Latin American kids coming up the NT set up? Is that something that's going to change soon? Are we still relying on travel squads from the relatively wealthier suburbs to stock our youth teams?
   7483. DA Baracus Posted: July 03, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4742551)
Didn't Wynalda basically stock his semi-pro with Mexican/Central American guys that were deemed "too small and unathletic" and almost take them to the US Open Cup final because they could, you know, actually play?


They went out before the quarterfinal, but yes, he got a bunch of ex-MLSers who were out of contract who were all undersized, and they went on a historic run. If you can play, you can play. Omar Gonzalez's CB partner in the Galaxy's title years was 5'9" AJ DeLaGarza.
   7484. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4742569)
Why does it seem we have so few Latin American kids coming up the NT set up? Is that something that's going to change soon? Are we still relying on travel squads from the relatively wealthier suburbs to stock our youth teams?


On the boys' side, I think our younger NT are including many more Latin American kids. On the girls' side, best I can tell, we're still getting players from more affluent areas (the big flaw in "pay to play"). The affluenza problem was true even in my own club while I was running it, much as I tried to counter it, and it's gotten much worse since (meaning I yell at the TD about it and he does nothing).
   7485. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 03, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4742578)
In 2010, each team that went out on PKs had already suffered a loss previously.

However, there was a team that went out in 2010 without losing - New Zealand drew all 3 group games and did not advance.
   7486. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4742621)
   7487. J. Sosa Posted: July 03, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4742657)
Keith, I've read in some places about Arsenal hijacking a Sanchez/Liverpool deal, but I think the opposite is probably true. Barca has been shopping Sanchez to raise funds and supposedly Barca would much prefer he go to Liverpool because LFC are offering quite a bit more in knocking down the price on Suarez. If anything Liverpool are probably trying to interfere with an Arsenal deal.

Barca doesn't get enough pub for some of the terrible transfers they do. Madrid gets the attention, but the Ibra one is perhaps my favorite bad deal of all time. Normally I'm a skeptic when it comes to makeweight deals, but Barca has priors. As an LFC fan I can only hope such a deal would go as well for LFC as it did for Inter.

Sanchez would be perfect, which is why I'm not going to get my hopes up. I confess to having no idea who they would be looking at as a replacement striker. Origi isn't ready yet.
   7488. DA Baracus Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4742726)
What.

The increasingly bizarre world of Leeds United has taken another turn for the strange after it emerged that Massimo Cellino, their maverick new owner, has such a dislike of the number 17 it has turned him against one of the club’s key players who was born on that date.

Cellino is so suspicious of the number 17 that he had the seats at his former club, Cagliari, taken out and replaced with 16B. Now he has instructed the new Leeds head coach, Dave Hockaday, not to select Paddy Kenny after discovering that the goalkeeper’s birthday is on 17 May and concluding that he is bad luck for the Championship club. Kenny, the second-highest earner at Leeds on £10,000 a week, has been left at home while the other players embark on a pre-season trip to Italy and he will not play for the club again.


That's a pretty weird "explanation" to get rid of a guy.
   7489. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4742738)
Is the Origi deal done? I saw some of tweets from an English reporter saying they were moving quickly on it, but I've become really wary of the transfer stuff. Moreno was supposed to be en-route to a medical at Melwood at some point, and now that looks like it's off. Origi did look very impressive against the US, so I'd be more than happy with that rumored 10mm deal with the first year a loan to Lille.

As far as replacing Suarez, my guess would be that Sturridge moves permanently to the #9 spot -- no more shuttling wide to make room for Suarez. Unless, of course, the Balotelli rumors are actually true...

   7490. frannyzoo Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4742739)
...not to select Paddy Kenny after discovering that the goalkeeper’s birthday is on 17 May and concluding that he is bad luck for the Championship club.


In the good-ole "Know Nothing" days, being named Paddy would have sufficed. And who doesn't want to go back to those times? There's a Murrieta reference in there somewhere, but let's keep this simply OT:Soccer and not OTP.

In addition to numerology, I suggest phrenology be employed in selecting players. If we're going 19th Century, go whole hog.
   7491. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4742753)
In addition to numerology, I suggest phrenology be employed in selecting players. If we're going 19th Century, go whole hog.

Numerology is more ancient and Pythagorean. Pythagoras would recommend only signing vegetarians. He liked the number 10, so presumably a Pythagorean strategy would involve having a player sent off as soon as possible.
   7492. Randy Jones Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4742757)
Now he has instructed the new Leeds head coach, Dave Hockaday, not to select Paddy Kenny after discovering that the goalkeeper’s birthday is on 17 May and concluding that he is bad luck for the Championship club.

I share a birthday with Paddy Kenny, so apparently I won't be playing for Leeds United anytime soon either.
   7493. Howling John Shade Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4742778)
Here's SI's take on a possible 2018 roster.
I'll have try to catch a few Xolos games. They may have a more impressive lineup of American prospects than any MLS team
   7494. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4742788)
   7495. puck Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4742801)
I thought the Brazil players' tears before the penalty shootout was just some cultural thing. As in, Wow, Brazilian men are allowed to cry when stressed. I guess not.

The president of the São Paulo Association of Sport Psychology, John Ricardo Cozac, said the behaviour of the team and their manager "demonstrated a dangerous lack of emotional control".
   7496. Baldrick Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4742803)
Michael Cox on the US game. He's extremely critical of the move to drop Beckerman, which I can't help but agree with. I like Cameron a lot, and he did a number of really nice things in the game, but he just didn't seem prepared to protect the backline like was so desperately needed.

The more I've thought about things, I think the primary reason I'm so happy with this team is the way that they were capable of playing when it was necessary. As he says, we were MILES better when we needed a goal than when we were protecting the status quo. The problem with trying to play that way all the time is that the guys just weren't quite capable of the sustained attention and precision necessary to attack in numbers without constantly risking a counter due to weak possession skills.

But, when it was absolutely necessary, they found the reserves to play that way and did it quite well. Which suggests that the general mentality and talent is close to being there. It would have been crazy to try and play that way all 90 minutes in every game. But in a couple years, four years, eight years...there's every reason to think that this quality is only going to keep improving. I don't believe in 'national character' theories about styles of play, particularly, but there is probably SOMETHING to the idea that the next step up for the US will come from teams playing a better version of what they showed over the last few weeks. Not a possession game, but not exactly defend-and-hope-for-a-counter. It's more of a punctuated series of high intensity waves that rush forward and overwhelm, then pull back to regroup for another wave.
   7497. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4742805)
I thought the Brazil players' tears before the penalty shootout was just some cultural thing.


I can't imagine the pressure they must have been under, and to have it all come down to something so (close to) random as penalty kicks.
I'm pretty sure that if the Canadian Olympic ice hockey team had to win a shootout for the gold medal in Vancouver, a bunch of those guys would have probably thrown up before/after from the pressure.
And I think the Brazilian team is under far more pressure than the Canadian guys were in 2010.
   7498. Howling John Shade Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4742810)
Marca says RM have signed Toni Kroos for €25m.
   7499. madvillain Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4742811)
The more I've thought about things, I think the primary reason I'm so happy with this team is the way that they were capable of playing when it was necessary. As he says, we were MILES better when we needed a goal than when we were protecting the status quo. The problem with trying to play that way all the time is that the guys just weren't quite capable of the sustained attention and precision necessary to attack in numbers without constantly risking a counter due to weak possession skills.


Our big problem is a lack of attacking mids and Internatonal quality wingers. Bradley was coming so damn deep to get the ball and he's great playing long through balls from that role but his lack of attacking quality in the final 3rd is fairly obvious. He's not a guy that's going to make an incisive pass or finish a clean look from 20 yards, at least not often enough at this level.

What seemed to happen quite a bit was that we relied entirely on our fullbacks for width and when Zusi and Bedoya were asked to tuck in they simply were not up to the task. Zusi had an excellent ball played into him from Yedlin that he failed to control; Bedoya is a great hustler and has a decent cross on him but he's not a guy that's going to shoot from range or run at defenders.

Luckily, we have some talent in the pipeline that can help.

Can't wait until Copa America 2016.
   7500. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4742816)
I like Cameron a lot, and he did a number of really nice things in the game, but he just didn't seem prepared to protect the backline like was so desperately needed.


I'm a big fan of Cameron, and not much of a Beckerman fan, but I have to agree. My guess is that Klinsmann wanted to play more agressively on offense and he thought Cameron would be better for that purpose. It didn't work that way.

Of course, it's not always the fault of the back line when things go bad. It's sometimes lack of defense by the mids and forwards. Dempsey doesn't play defense; ok. But Zusi was pretty much torched in the Belgium game, and that was a real problem for everyone behind him.
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