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Monday, October 01, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: October

Kinsale’s: October 27!

Arsenal v. QPR
Wigan v. West Ham

And other exciting action*

Be there!

*But not United-Chelsea or the Spurs game, both of which were moved. Boo!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:22 AM | 654 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   201. Topher Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4262073)
Ack! So Parkhurst playing on the other side? Edu? Surely not Bocagnegra shifting to the left back position again, right? I'm guessing Klinsmann is calling somebody else in to camp.

And really I doubt it matters all that as it applies to the defense, since I'm guessing Howard will put up a clean sheet. The US needs a goal and that needs to be priority #1, #2, and #3. It worries me that this will cause the rest of the lineup to shift defensively to "cover" and you'll get something silly like the lineup against Mexico that found room for three defensive mids in the starting XI.

Where have you gone, Jonathan Bornstein, a nation turns it's lonely eyes to you.
   202. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4262111)
Let me ask a tactics question. Does the US have a meaningful need to play 4 at the back? The team is pretty stacked in the midfield so could they go with some version a 3-5-2 (3-3-3-1?) using that second layer of midfielders to provide cover. In other words, and please don't fixate on the names but the general concept;

Howard
Boca-Cameron-Cherundolo
Edu-Bradley-Williams
Zusi-Dempsey-Kljestan
Gomez

With the Edu/Bradley/Williams segment providing some additional cover. It's probably not something easily adapted 48 hours before such a big game but it just seems that the US might be well suited for this. Hopefully this would provide appropriate level of defensive cover without shutting down the offense as Topher alluded to.
   203. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4262144)
The team is pretty stacked in the midfield so could they go with some version a 3-5-2 (3-3-3-1?) using that second layer of midfielders to provide cover.

It's not a bad idea...clearly (though it'd be a different set-up), the next USMNT manager should be Marcelo Bielsa!
   204. Topher Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4262215)
the next USMNT manager should be Marcelo Bielsa!

Something we can all agree on.



As to playing three in the back, I'm of mixed feelings. Right here and now I support it. Like I said earlier, I much more concerned with the US being unable to win games due to a lack of scoring compared to losing games by conceding them. But that's for this round of qualifying. Throw the injuries into the mix, I like the idea quite a bit.

Later on (assuming qualification) against better teams, I'm not sure the US has the personnel to go with three in the back. Just thinking of the current personnel, the mids that would take on additional responsibilities are all best lined up in the middle. I could see the US getting exposed on the flanks repeatedly. And I'm not sure I'd say any of the central defenders are fleet of foot. Losing the battle on the wings might not be the worst thing since the one thing the US has against just about every opponent is an aerial advantage so the US should be able to defend crosses fairly well. But I suspect getting beat on the flanks wouldn't just lead to crosses and in those instances I could see the US getting burned.
   205. DA Baracus Posted: October 10, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4262246)
Let me ask a tactics question. Does the US have a meaningful need to play 4 at the back? The team is pretty stacked in the midfield so could they go with some version a 3-5-2 (3-3-3-1?) using that second layer of midfielders to provide cover.


I was thinking about this. Other than facing a lone striker, there's no reason not to consider it. Remember the first game against A&B was the Jose Torres at left back, in which the team pretty much played a 3 man backline. So against a weak opponent, I say sure, dominate the midfield and win. But against better competition, like Topher, I don't think this team has the horses for it. Cherundolo isn't a CB (though he could get the job done against low level teams like A&B) and the CB options behind Cameron and Bocanegra right now are of course thin. For the A&B game, yes. For the hexagon? No. But I'd try it out in a friendly.
   206. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4262427)
Newcastle's Muslim players have been told by the Muslim Council of Britain that they will be infringing Sharia Law if they wear the "Wonga" shirts.
   207. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 11, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4263231)
The Brazilian FA likes dirty, dirty money...

Newcastle's Muslim players have been told by the Muslim Council of Britain that they will be infringing Sharia Law if they wear the "Wonga" shirts.

This should be interesting. Why wasn't this an issue, though, when Wonga was sponsoring other clubs, like Blackpool?
   208. Richard Posted: October 11, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4263237)
This should be interesting. Why wasn't this an issue, though, when Wonga was sponsoring other clubs, like Blackpool?

Either they had no Muslim players or nobody noticed because it's Blackpool.
   209. ursus arctos Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4263712)
Both of those things, but also the fact that Wonga's predatory practices have hit the Northeast particularly hard, and that Newcastle's renaissance has largely been due to the influx of Francophone Muslim players. All of that means that no one asked the MCB for a view about the Tangerines.

I'd be very impressed if the Newcastle players followed Fredi Kanoute's lead and refused to wear a sponsored version of the shirt. In Kanoute's case, it was Sevilla's association with a betting company that he found personally objectionable. There's also a prominent example in cricket, where Hashim Amla, South Africa's best batsman, has refused to wear a beer company's logo on his shirt.
   210. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:42 AM (#4265743)
So what is this envelope thing Brendan Rodgers did on Being:Liverpool that everyone is mocking? Is this some kind of British in-joke?
   211. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4265760)
So, I thought out was authentic egomaniacal wackjobbery, but according to the press, Rodgers was just ripping off an Alex Ferguson stunt from the 90s.

Before the West Brom game, he showed the team three sealed envelopes, which he said contained the names of the players who would let him down. He said, you don't want to be in these envelopes. But you already are! And if he knows you will let him down, why would he play you?
   212. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4265762)
Before the West Brom game, he showed the team three sealed envelopes, which he said contained the names of the players who would let him down. He said, you don't want to be in these envelopes. But you already are! And if he knows you will let him down, why would he play you?

Was that what Fergie did originally or did Rodgers misinterpret the stunt?
   213. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:39 AM (#4265771)
The Euro qualifiers today features a lot of dreck, though Wembley, for some reason, is sold out for the massive England-San Marino clash. Looks like Serbia-Belgium and Russia-Portugal are the pick of the lot.

Qatar's ambassadors and hired stooges continue to press for a winter WC. I have started the slow process of accepting that it's going to happen. Paying the petty crooks who run FIFA will be cheaper for the Qataris than inventing some kind of space age AC system from scratch. It makes their presentation for winning the World Cup a complete fraud but then, well, you know...I think Australia got ripped off there, lest people think I'm just a bitter American homer. A part of the world that's never had the Cup? Check. A struggling domestic league that could really use the boost? Check. A place people around the world will want to travel to and can be accommodated in? Check. Ah well.
   214. jmurph Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4265807)
I realize this is a bit of "the food here is terrible and the portions are so small" complaint, but these international breaks, which are a pox on humanity, are made even worse by playing the damn games on weekdays.
   215. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4265808)
I realize this is a bit of "the food here is terrible and the portions are so small" complaint, but these international breaks, which are a pox on humanity, are made even worse by playing the damn games on weekdays.

Couldn't agree more.
   216. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4265812)
I enjoy the international breaks, at least the ones with meaning. Taking two weeks off so teams can play friendlies is rather annoying but for a WCQ, I'm in. Of course I also like the big international tournaments too. I wish FIFA and the assorted lesser governing bodies weren't so...scuzzy, but I'll take what I can get.

I'm riled up for tonight. I know I wrote at length yesterday how the US wasn't in desperate need to win tonight but I'd still like to. While a draw or a loss is far from fatal a win is certainly a big plus.
   217. jmurph Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4265817)
I admit I'm being selfish. I like the big international tournaments, too, but leisurely Saturdays on my couch with lots of coffee and breakfast foods while watching 3 or 4 league games basically gets me through the week.
   218. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4265828)
   219. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4265829)
I admit I'm being selfish. I like the big international tournaments, too, but leisurely Saturdays on my couch with lots of coffee and breakfast foods while watching 3 or 4 league games basically gets me through the week.


One thing I'm learning as I get older is that I am impatient with technology. For example, it's amazing the amount of sports access I have today but I always want MORE. If I was FoxSoccer I'd get the rights to the Championship or some similar second tier league. I can't imagine it would be that pricey, you can have your guys announce it from the studio and just go with it on weeks like this. It wouldn't be huge ratings but I bet the cost would be worth it.

I find it fascinating that there is no true "event only" sports network. I don't get why I can't watch a minor league baseball game of the night somewhere. If I were the Red Sox for example I would create Condensed Games of all my affiliates games each night and air them the next day on NESN or even on NESN.com somehow.

I'm just blathering now.
   220. jmurph Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4265835)
If I was FoxSoccer I'd get the rights to the Championship or some similar second tier league.


BeIn has actually aired at least a few Championship games, so they presumably own all of the American rights to that league. They've been on Fridays, if I'm not mistaken. But I'm with you- I would totally watch those on these kinds of weekends.
   221. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4265859)
I can't imagine it would be that pricey, you can have your guys announce it from the studio and just go with it on weeks like this. It wouldn't be huge ratings but I bet the cost would be worth it.


One problem with that plan: there are no Championship league games this weekend. The most notable league with matches on Saturday is Liga MX.
   222. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4265879)
One problem with that plan: there are no Championship league games this weekend. The most notable league with matches on Saturday is Liga MX.


Look, if you're going to let your "facts" interfere with what frankly is probably the greatest plan ever devised, this isn't going to work. Just because there are no games this weekend doesn't mean you can't televise them! Think outside the box!
   223. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4265893)
I like the plan, I really do. Nations with top of the pyramid leagues in action this weekend are Mexico, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Australia, Costa Rica and Honduras. There are some second division games from Italy and Spain. They could show those leagues just so people who think the level of play in MLS is terrible can STFU.
   224. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4265922)
How is BeIn doing in terms of getting market penetration? Are they making progress? I know I don't have it and none of the soccer fans in my office have it but I'm hoping they are going to expand quickly.
   225. Randy Jones Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4265930)
I get BeIn with Comcast, but only the Spanish version and not in HD. In other words, it's ####### worthless and I don't watch it.
   226. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4265947)
For some strange reason Russia-Portugal is on ESPN2. I don't think I'll ever get the hang of how rights are awarded/bought.
   227. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4265955)
I enjoy the international breaks, at least the ones with meaning. Taking two weeks off so teams can play friendlies is rather annoying but for a WCQ, I'm in. Of course I also like the big international tournaments too. I wish FIFA and the assorted lesser governing bodies weren't so...scuzzy, but I'll take what I can get.

I'm with Jose on this one. I enjoy international breaks as long as the games mean something. And right now we get the Russia-Portugal game that we missed out on at the Euros when Russia ###### up.
   228. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4265959)
Whoa, Kerzhakov can shoot on target?
   229. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4265969)
I would assume a fair amount of Russian League teams have turf its got to be an advantage for the Russians.
   230. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4265972)
I'm with Jose on this one. I enjoy international breaks as long as the games mean something. And right now we get the Russia-Portugal game that we missed out on at the Euros when Russia ###### up.


There's a couple of meaningful games in our neck of the woods this week.
   231. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 12, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4266246)
Armenia are hanging tough with Italy. Movsisyan has been quite good.
   232. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4266264)
If I was FoxSoccer I'd get the rights to the Championship or some similar second tier league.


Foxsoccer had the rights to the Championship last year, but as [220] notes, ####### BeIn bought the rights to air those as well.
   233. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4266448)
I hope Jurgen Klinsmann reads this and this.
   234. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 12, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4266458)
Nice win for Belgium, Bale saved Wale...England was not that impressive against San Marino. Germany took it to Ireland.

Looking forward to Argentina-Uruguay later...not sure whether I am looking forward to the US match
   235. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: October 12, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4266552)
Gareth Bale [is] a Diver and He's Always Down. Must be that damn foreign influence. Suar-ez! //shakes fist angrily
   236. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4266605)
Right now how I feel about rooting for Bale probably matches how Liverpool fans feel about rooting for Suarez.
   237. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4266636)
Behold your USMNT starting lineup:

------------------Gomez-------------
-------------Dempsey----------------
----Zusi-------Bradley---E. Johnson-
---------------Williams-------------
Bocanegra-Cameron-Goodson-Cherundolo

That's two guys who can play wide at forward and a forward at wide midfield. Brilliant. Yes, those 11 players should beat A&B regardless of formation. But this is yet another lineup by Klinsmann that puts players out of position and thus makes it impossible to properly evaluate them or for the starting XI to play at their best. Why does JK keep doing this?
   238. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: October 12, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4266654)
Why are you listing Eddie Johnson playing so deep? In practice, I think it's far more likely that he and/or Gomez leads the line with Dempsey sitting somewhere behind them.
   239. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4266685)
That's the lineup that US Soccer released to the press. They said it was a 4-4-2.
   240. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4266725)
That's two guys who can play wide at forward and a forward at wide midfield. Brilliant. Yes, those 11 players should beat A&B regardless of formation. But this is yet another lineup by Klinsmann that puts players out of position and thus makes it impossible to properly evaluate them or for the starting XI to play at their best. Why does JK keep doing this?


Hey it only took him a couple months to realize Fabian Johnson isn't a winger so we'll probably have everyone at their natural positions sometime in the next decade.
   241. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4266755)
Hey it only took him a couple months to realize Fabian Johnson isn't a winger so we'll probably have everyone at their natural positions sometime in the next decade.


And if it's a 4-3-3 then that means Danny Williams is either at RM where he's ineffective or the lone CM where he isn't good enough offensively to be the lone man while Bradley is on the right for no good reason.

Just got home and turned on the game. Aaaaand we're tied. Ooof.
   242. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4266761)
Clownshoes everywhere. Cameron + Bocanegra getting beat, Goodson falling over.
   243. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4266790)
I guess I read the lineup wrong left to right. Same difference.
   244. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4266800)
What a joke. We just gave them their first home goal of qualifying.
   245. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4266820)
Since the 15th minute or so, Johnson has been dropping deep on the right, so I was wrong about him leading the line. Not sure I get that.
   246. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4266825)
Well, that was an uninspiring half.
   247. Chicago Joe Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4266884)
Anybody know anywhere in Chicago that carries this benighted BeIn?
   248. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4266899)
I'd bet The Globe on Irving Park has it.
   249. Chicago Joe Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4266903)
Probably couldnt get there in time...
   250. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4266907)
So glad we left Altidore off the team, tied 1-1 in a must win game at the 60th minute would be a perfect time to bring him on...
   251. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4266909)
Good news! Jermaine Jones suspended for next game.
   252. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4266923)
Probably couldnt get there in time...


Maybe that's for the best, no?
   253. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4266928)
Watching the stream online is bad enough
   254. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4266932)
Man of the Match poll question over at the ESPN live chat: "Is there really one?" is in solid 2nd place at 11% behind "Seriously: Is there one?" at 77%.

Natives are getting snarky ...
   255. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4266935)
Di Maria has been pretty awful the entire first half. Over-hitting the ball, not returning passes, losing the ball easily...
   256. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4266936)
A shot on goal!

That makes *1* this half.
   257. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4266937)
Klinsy shoulda just went to Prospect / Central park and selected the 21 best guys he saw out there, checked their IDs, and suited them up tonight. Couldn't do any worse.
   258. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4266938)
This is pathetic.
   259. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4266956)
Wow, saved at the bell
   260. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4266957)
Well, 3 points is nice.

Line drive in the box score and all that.
   261. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4266969)
Line drive in the box score and all that.


Thank God. Someone on a general sports forum posted "well even if we tie we just need to beat Guatamala to advance, right?" And I said yea, sure, but wtf would make you think we can beat Guatamala right now?

I just hope Klinsy doesn't somehow take this as a sign his way is working. It's not.
   262. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4266973)
Another mediocre to terrible performance but the three points are nice. Looked really bad doing it though
   263. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4266983)
You know how people say losing a close game to a really good team is a "moral victory"? Klinsmann WCQ has been moral losses.
   264. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4266994)
Some of the reactions over at Ives baffle me. Johnson's goals, while obviously crucial, weren't particularly impressive. The defense looked suspect against a weak attacking side, our midfield was terrible again. Overall, this is (yet another) match where we skate by on raw talent and some luck instead of burying the opponent.
   265. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4267005)
Some of the reactions over at Ives baffle me.


Love Ives, his commentators however are Bleacher Report terrible. Johnson's goals weren't anything Boyd or Altidore couldn't have put in. And unlike him, they won't be 30 by the time Brazil roles around.
   266. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4267010)
Messi breaks the deadlock at 66', a fast attack and a give-and-go with Di Maria that has him behind the defence. The goal was coming, Argentia have certainly created better in this match.
   267. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4267011)
Love Ives, his commentators however are Bleacher Report terrible.


Yup. Lots of places are like that though. I don't think people at BTF realize just how intelligent the average conversations here are. Of course I misspelled "intelligent" typing that, so sorry to drag the average down.
   268. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: October 12, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4267054)
The little man's made it worth my while to stay up this late. Under the wall on a free kick, Argentina 3-0. Messi's had a hand in all three goals (he had a great chip to set up Di Maria's easy cross for the second). At some level, it's a bit of a pity, since the Uruguay back line has been pretty tough for most of the match, particularly Godin, who sadly conceded the free kick that Messi just converted.

EDIT: also Hugo Campagnaro has been the rare defender substitute who has made a clear impression several times in about ten minutes, which is worth noting
   269. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4267095)
Ives' commentators are usually full of idiocy, but this one was spot freaking on:

The thing that most disturbs me is that I have no clue what Klinsmann’s overall plan is with this team. I don’t see a real identity or any particular overarching strategy. We are not a gritty defensive team that springs quick counters; we are not a possession team that eventually picks the opponent apart; and we are not a dynamic offensive team that goes all out at the opponent’s goal. There is no there there, to steal a saying my professors used in graduate school. It is just a team that plays awful every time out and hangs on for dear life against teams that we should dispatch fairly routinely. I want something to be optimistic about, but I am fairly uninspired.


At least under Bradley the team had an identify as a hustling, defensive minded bunch that had enough individual dynamos to score on the counter and occasionally win possession. They weren't world beaters by any stretch, but they got some solid results and occasionally some excellent (confed's cup for example) results.

The time for throwing #### at the wall and hoping it sticks has passed long ago. Klinsman was supposed to bring a "euro style" (whatever that means, maybe it means possession and attacking football)but so far he's brought nothing except chaos.
   270. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4267109)
They weren't world beaters by any stretch


Well except that Spain match...

But yes, this team has no positive identity. The attacking philosophy Klinsmann had promised to bring to the team has utterly failed. A stunning lack of goals, especially from the run of play. Klinsmann's teams have scored multiple goals in 4 games total, and two of them were against Antigua and Barbuda. That's embarrassing.
   271. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4267112)
Was following the game while having a birthday dinner at my parents' house for my mother as we all watched Orioles-Yankees. That was a LOT more excitement than I needed. It is terribly frustrating that we had to survive like that.

I think I'd like a Guatemala blowout of Jamaica now. That would put us even with Guatemala and Jamaica would need to make up some goal differential. Right now we're +2 on them so any Guatemala victory is going to have us in very good shape. If they could win by 2 or 3 goals that would be delightful. A scenario where both we and Guatemala go through with a draw could make for some ugly ass boring soccer but be a positive from a results standpoint.
   272. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4267129)
Klinsmann's teams have scored multiple goals in 4 games total, and two of them were against Antigua and Barbuda. That's embarrassing.


And one against Scotland. Who is the fourth?

In Klinsmann's defense I think he's been a bit hamstrung with injuries. Donovan, Dempsey and Bradley have all missed time and we aren't so deep that we can afford not to have those guys. Of course that calls into question the ongoing and oft-discussed frustrating decision making w/r/t Altidore.

I find the position switching the most aggravating part of the Jurgen Klinsmann experience. I follow this team relatively closely and I can't figure out what people's roles are. We aren't going to be able to play any kind of possession game if every international break features a brand new alignment. You don't need all eleven every game but we should start to see some little 2 and 3 man mini-units come together and it doesn't seem like that has happened.
   273. DA Baracus Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4267164)
And one against Scotland. Who is the fourth?


Another powerhouse, Slovenia.

I find the position switching the most aggravating part of the Jurgen Klinsmann experience. I follow this team relatively closely and I can't figure out what people's roles are. We aren't going to be able to play any kind of possession game if every international break features a brand new alignment. You don't need all eleven every game but we should start to see some little 2 and 3 man mini-units come together and it doesn't seem like that has happened.


Ditto. The knock on Klinsmann in Germany was that he is, to quote Phillip Lahm, "tactically naive." Everything he's done since taking over for the US has shown that to be true. I never got the appeal of Klinsmann before he was hired and he's done nothing to impress. His tactics and rosters are consistently confusing. He's simply not a good coach.
   274. madvillain Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4267241)
Ditto. The knock on Klinsmann in Germany was that he is, to quote Phillip Lahm, "tactically naive." Everything he's done since taking over for the US has shown that to be true. I never got the appeal of Klinsmann before he was hired and he's done nothing to impress. His tactics and rosters are consistently confusing. He's simply not a good coach.


With a gaping hole at LB he refuses to bring in Lichac. He prefers at times to play three defensive minded mid fielders (Edu, Beckerman and Jones) instead of getting more offensive minded with two forwards.

Like, dude, that's like the excact opposite of what he was "supposed to bring". There is no attacking mindset and the few times the team has shown any sort of ability to string play together they have a terrible time finishing.

Obviously confidence breeds confidence and Landon Donovan is a critical piece. But so is Jozy freaking Altidore and to hand-string yourself by not bringing in by far your most talented striker in a critical game seems absurd to me.

Of course Klinsy can say "well it worked out". Yea, I dunno, that's like saying bunting "worked out". It's SUB OPTIMAL. Certainly you'd think a German could figure that out.
   275. AuntBea Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4267259)
El Salvador. Ever gracious in victory and defeat.
   276. AuntBea Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4267275)
Jamaica scores a penalty after a marginal call (but possibly correct) just barely inside the box, the ball dropping to a Jamaica player after a defender deflection.

Bad for the US. If Guatemala ties or loses, A US loss on Tuesday will most likely put them out of the Hexagonal.
   277. AuntBea Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4267350)
Goal Guatemala from a corner. Now Guatemala will only need a draw against the US. In a way it's too bad... I would like to see if we can do much against a team that was pulling out all the stops to beat us in an elimination game.
   278. puck Posted: October 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4267996)
Anybody know anywhere in Chicago that carries this benighted BeIn?

For future reference, both Dish and DirecTV carry beIN. There are two channels, DirecTV has both, not sure of Dish. So, there should be plenty of sports bars that carry it. You need the English language channel for the away USMNT qualifiers. (I assume that arrangement continues for the hex.)
   279. DA Baracus Posted: October 13, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4268005)
With a gaping hole at LB he refuses to bring in Lichac. He prefers at times to play three defensive minded mid fielders (Edu, Beckerman and Jones) instead of getting more offensive minded with two forwards.

Like, dude, that's like the excact opposite of what he was "supposed to bring". There is no attacking mindset and the few times the team has shown any sort of ability to string play together they have a terrible time finishing.


Plus he continues to put players out of position. In the past Danny Williams was consistently ineffectual at RM, yet Klinsmann kept rolling him out there. Finally he seems to be locked in at DM. A couple of times he's played Jozy at RW and Gomez at CF, which is a waste. Jozy is a CF of course, and Gomez has played some RW at the club level. Jose Torres at LB when there were other options available was a joke. It took him forever to acknowledge Omar Gonzalez's existance. Joe Corona keeps getting called up but never plays. The team consistently never shoots, which is on him, not the players.

At this rate the team will not advance out of the hexagon.
   280. puck Posted: October 13, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4268033)
The team consistently never shoots, which is on him, not the players.

Really annoying that with a horrible, narrow pitch in a rain storm, they kept trying to walk it in.
   281. Mattbert Posted: October 13, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4268511)
   282. SuperGrover Posted: October 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4272016)
Gareth Bale, b!tches.


Damn. Hadn't seen the highlights of the Scotland game yet. Jesus Christ is that sweet.
   283. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4272381)
So the win made things easier certainly. A win or a draw tonight and we're through. A loss and a Jamaica win brings us to tiebreakers. With both teams through on a draw I think we're going to see some pretty defensive soccer tonight, not a lot of incentive for either team to play wide open.

Currently;
US - 8 GF, 5GA, 10 Points
Guatemala - 8GF, 5GA, 10 Points
Jamaica - 5GF, 5GA, 7 Points
(everything below assumes a US loss for these purposes. For Jamaican purposes the US and Guatemala are virtually the same. The one difference is that in the scenarios where head to head away goals matter the two teams would actually play a neutral site playoff)

TIEBREAKER SCENARIOS
1. goal difference in all group matches - Jamaica are through with a US loss AND a net Goal Diff. tonight of +4 or greater (e.g. Jamaica 3-0 AB,Guatemala 2:1 US) This is the most likely path for Jamaica to get through. A loss by the US but a net Goal Diff. of +2 (e.g. Jamaica 1-0 AB,Guatemala 2-1 US) and the US are through. A net Goal Diff. of exactly 3 tonight brings us to the following tiebreakers. Tiebreakers 3-5 are irrelevant since they cannot change;

2. greater number of goals scored in all group matches (US 8, Jamaica 5)
3. greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams (3 each)
4. goal difference in matches between the tied teams (0 each)
5. greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams (2 each)
6. greater number of away goals scored in matches between the tied teams if only two teams are tied (US +1)

Some possible results with exactly a 3 goal difference. I think I covered all the realistic scorelines that could occur. I think (I hope) I have this right;

Jamaica 1:0 AB/Guatemala 2:0 US - US through on goals scored (8-6)
Jamaica 2:0 AB/Guatemala 1:0 US - US through on goals scored (8-7)
Jamaica 2:0 AB/Guatemala 2:1 US - US through on goals scored (9-7)
Jamaica 2:1 AB/Guatemala 2:0 US - US through on goals scored (8-7)
Jamaica 2:1 AB/Guatemala 3:1 US - US through on goals scored (9-7)
Jamaica 3:1 AB/Guatemala 1:0 US - US through on away goals head to head (1-0)
Jamaica 3:1 AB/Guatemala 2:1 US - US through on goals scored (9-8)
Jamaica 3:1 AB/Guatemala 3:2 US - US through on goals scored (10-8)
Jamaica 3:2 AB/Guatemala 2:0 US - US through on away goals head to head (1-0)
Jamaica 3:2 AB/Guatemala 3:1 US - US through on goals scored (9-8)
Jamaica 4:2 AB/Guatemala 1:0 US - Jamaica through on goals scored (9-8)
Jamaica 4:2 AB/Guatemala 2:1 US - US through on away goals head to head (1-0)

Canada-Honduras also should be an interesting game. A draw and Canada are through but any win by Honduras (and they are at home) and they are through.

Costa Rica are through with a win at Guayana. A draw and they will be in tiebreakers if El Salvador win at Mexico.


   284. Mattbert Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4272452)
So, what's the future hold for Aston Villa now that Randy Lerner has one beeeeeelion dollars burning a hole in his pocket?
   285. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4272572)
Romania are awful at defending set pieces.

EDIT: Ciprian Marica is good, though, so that's positive.
   286. ursus arctos Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4272581)
Waterlogged pitch in Warsaw; someone forgot to close the retractable roof.

Racial abuse and projectiles from those lovely Serbian lads as England U-21 win 1-0 in injury time. Some of the players seemed to join in the abuse and get in a few kicks as well.
   287. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4272665)
Waterlogged pitch in Warsaw; someone forgot to close the retractable roof.
The Retractable Roof at Stadion Narodowy, from the Polish engineering firm that brought you the submarine with the screen door on it!
   288. DA Baracus Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4272670)
So the win made things easier certainly. A win or a draw tonight and we're through. A loss and a Jamaica win brings us to tiebreakers. With both teams through on a draw I think we're going to see some pretty defensive soccer tonight, not a lot of incentive for either team to play wide open.


I have a quibble with this. The US will play a slogging, not at all wide open defensive game not by choice but because that's what they play now thanks to Klinsmann. 1-1 draw seems about right.
   289. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4272680)
I have a quibble with this. The US will play a slogging, not at all wide open defensive game not by choice but because that's what they play now thanks to Klinsmann. 1-1 draw seems about right.


Honestly my fear right now is that the US, knowing a draw is sufficient, play an uninspired "play down to the competition" type game and lose 2-1 and we sweat out the finish of the Jamaica game. That second Jamaica game was alarming. The moment we got the lead we went into a shell and instead of continuing what had worked so well for about 60 minutes started playing a defensive style that had us sweating at the end.
   290. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4272692)
France should be tied 1-1. Lloris with a PK save. Spain with 70%+ possession.
   291. DA Baracus Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4272696)
Honestly my fear right now is that the US, knowing a draw is sufficient, play an uninspired "play down to the competition" type game and lose 2-1 and we sweat out the finish of the Jamaica game.


I think there is a better than slim chance of this happening. This team can't score from open play--which is on Klinsmann--so a couple of free kicks/corners could be the difference. I think they advance by the skin of their teeth in this round and I don't really want to think about the next round. They're just not good enough right now.
   292. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4272715)
Germany - Sweden is bugfuck insane right now. Watch, you should.
   293. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4272722)
And Sweden SHOULD have just equalized but Sana horribly miscued with an open goal, and with Zlatan right behind him wanting the shot himself.
   294. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4272724)
I was surprised that Zlatan didn't just murder him on the pitch then and there.
   295. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4272739)
And, wow.

Arguably Zlatan fouled Mertesacker to set up the equalizer, but all he did was elbow him in the head. You can't call that on Zlatan.
   296. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4272740)
Our fine neighbors to the north will almost certainly not be in the final group of 6. Needing a draw or better against Honduras to progress, they're already down 4-0 in the first half.
   297. PepTech Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4272751)
Didn't stop the Swedes...
   298. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4272758)
Holy ####, France gets a last-minute equalizer as well.
   299. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4272760)
Horrid play by Juanfran.
   300. PepTech Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4272766)
"No more than France deserved." True, actually...
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