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Thursday, October 06, 2011

OT: The Soccer Thread: October 2011

The New York Soccer Gang will be meeting on October 29th at Kinsale’s. Come one, come all!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 06, 2011 at 06:14 PM | 716 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: October 06, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#3953706)
Grant Wahl has a column up on SI.com about how to tweak the MLS playoffs. For those who don't want to click through, he suggests a major-tournament-like-format -- a group stage with two groups, top two from each group advance to a two-legged semi, followed by a winner-take-all final. I like it because it would be a pretty novel playoff setup, at least as far as American sports go. I also like the stronger emphasis on season record, as the best teams are granted three group-stage home games, with the worst teams having to travel to three. He also talks about tweaking the schedule, and while I'm not a fan of an unbalanced schedule, I think the league is going to have to go that route, given the relative travel concerns of MLS versus other (non-American) leagues.
   2. DA Baracus Posted: October 06, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3953761)
I like his idea. I also am in favor of not putting half the league in the playoffs with the nonsensical format they have.
   3. puck Posted: October 06, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3953815)
Except he's wrong here:

The wild cards will stage a one-game play-in, and from there it's the same bracket as in previous years, which defines unrewarding -- for everyone.


If you're a wildcard team, you not only have to play that extra game (possibly on the road), there's not a full week between games like last year. Since most of these wildcard teams will also likely have a meaningful last game of the season, they are likely looking at playing 5 games from Oct 22 to Nov 6 to make it through to the final. If you don't really need to care about your last regular season game, then you're looking at 4 games from Oct 26 through Nov 6.

That's a significant disadvantage given the lack of depth of most MLS teams. If you're only making it as a wildcard, you probably have depth issues and playing that extra game or two on short rest (5 games in 14-15 days or 4 in 12 or so days) is no easy thing.

And he's still putting half the league's teams in the playoffs.

I also don't know if I care that much about giving the regular season champion an advantage that I'd be okay handing them 3 home games in the group stage. I mean, that's what the Open Cup is for, right?

I also don't know why everyone proposes making the season longer. Pushing the season out on either end means more games in the cold, and few teams can fill the stadium no matter what the weather is like.
   4. DA Baracus Posted: October 06, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3953845)
Except he's wrong here:


I don't see what he's "wrong" about. He's saying that like last year the wild cards have a play in game then it's off to the bracket. He says nothing about how many games they play in how many days.

I also don't know if I care that much about giving the regular season champion an advantage that I'd be okay handing them 3 home games in the group stage. I mean, that's what the Open Cup is for, right?


The Open Cup is both tremendously flawed in it's scheduling and not taken seriously by every team.
   5. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 06, 2011 at 11:35 PM (#3953995)
Soccer's greatest crisis.

AKA: How cool is Benoit Assou-Ekotto?
   6. puck Posted: October 07, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#3954048)
I don't see what he's "wrong" about. He's saying that like last year the wild cards have a play in game then it's off to the bracket. He says nothing about how many games they play in how many days.


He leads that paragraph with:

This year's slightly modified playoff structure isn't any better.


Yeah, it's not any better if you ignore the play-in game and the difference that makes in the schedule.

If the problem is he really doesn't think lower-seeded teams should have a realistic chance at winning (assuming they can overcome whatever led them to be lower-seeded in the first place), he should probably just write that.
   7. DA Baracus Posted: October 07, 2011 at 12:26 AM (#3954052)
Yeah, it's not any better if you ignore the play-in game and the difference that makes in the schedule.


Which he is not talking about. Even if he was to include that, it's still not better. The MLS playoffs are too diluted.

If the problem is he really doesn't think lower-seeded teams should have a realistic chance at winning (assuming they can overcome whatever led them to be lower-seeded in the first place), he should probably just write that.


Well that's not what he's saying. He's saying that top seeded teams should be better rewarded for their seeds and low seeded teams should be more handicapped.
   8. PepTech Posted: October 07, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#3954142)
This isn't what Wahl is saying, but it's what I'm going to ##### about - the single greatest benefactor of this system is whoever ends up #4 in the West. That's how Colorado won it last year - they sailed into the East bracket (where they played the power duo of Columbus and San Jose), and the West teams knocked each other silly. This year Dallas is poised to do the same, playing something like KC and Philly, while RSL and Seattle would play each other and then LA. Stoopid. Why don't they use the single table again?
   9. Langer Monk Posted: October 07, 2011 at 01:16 AM (#3954165)
For those interested, FM 2012 Demo available from Steam now. Good timing on international break week.
   10. Juan V Posted: October 07, 2011 at 07:22 AM (#3954856)
IMO, Football Manager peaked with 07 and 08 (the fifth/sixth games since switching from text to 2D), so they should be approaching this sweet spot once again. On the other hand, I thought the game engine on 11 was awful and it turned me off the game completely (so I don't know if the patches fixed it). So, let's see how this one goes...
   11. PepTech Posted: October 07, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3955026)
RSL seems to be trying really hard to fall to #4 in the West... nil-3 to the Whitecaps? What happened? They've been blown out of their last several games, not counting the one they tanked to the Galaxy after a halftime lead.
   12. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3955135)
As emotional as it gets at the Swiss Ramble

Arsenal, the hometown team for Swiss Ramble, is under the microscope.
   13. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#3955175)
Armenia beat up on Macedonia today to keep their slim chances of advancement alive. Ireland should be Andorra so that makes the Slovakia-Russia match huge. If Slovakia beats Russia, all hell breaks loose in that group. That would put Armenia and Slovakia at 17 points and Ireland at 18. Slovakia plays Macedonia next which is an easy 3 points and Russia plays Andorra so, at worst, figure Russia in the second place qualifier no matter what the other teams do. Ireland, Armenia and Slovakia would either have to win the group or miss out. A tie would be doom for both Ireland and Armenia in that situation so both teams would have to go for it. Which is a long way of saying, come on Slovakia, make the last day of qualifying interesting! Beat Russia!
   14. Textbook Editor Posted: October 07, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#3955180)
AKA: How cool is Benoit Assou-Ekotto?


Shooty, I confess he's one of my favorites on Spurs. Always seems composed, never seems frantic, can put in a good long ball/cross... I'm a big fan.

Come on Slovakia! Armenia's win sets up a huge game with Ireland next week, but if Slovakia can win and Ireland win out... Ireland takes the group, which would just be astounding.
   15. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#3955193)
Shooty, I confess he's one of my favorites on Spurs. Always seems composed, never seems frantic, can put in a good long ball/cross... I'm a big fan.

I just imagine him back there blowing bubbles, checking the length of his fingernails, stifling a yawn and then taking the ball of some attacking player who thinks he's going to get away with something.
   16. Mark Edward Posted: October 07, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3955196)
Will the Russia/Slovakia game be the most interesting/important to watch today? ESPN3's got a bunch of games on today, including Russia/Slovakia. It looks like Serbia/Italy will be worth watching; Serbia's still looking to finish 2nd. There are some other decent games on too (England/Montenegro, Wales/Switzerland, Croatia/Greece), but I think I'll stick with the Russian match.
   17. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 07, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#3955215)
Shooty, I confess he's one of my favorites on Spurs. Always seems composed, never seems frantic

It's the chewing gum, which helps concentration... and to think that hack article called it useless!
   18. Textbook Editor Posted: October 07, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#3955217)
Now watch: a golden opportunity has been handed to Ireland and they'll wind up drawing 0-0 with Andorra or something nutty like that.
   19. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#3955219)
Will the Russia/Slovakia game be the most interesting/important to watch today? ESPN3's got a bunch of games on today, including Russia/Slovakia. It looks like Serbia/Italy will be worth watching; Serbia's still looking to finish 2nd. There are some other decent games on too (England/Montenegro, Wales/Switzerland, Croatia/Greece), but I think I'll stick with the Russian match.

I think Croatia-Greece is the best, but Slovakia-Russia is right there. Montenegro looks to be punting today's game so England should waltz right through it. Serbia-Italy could be fun if they keep the camera on the crowd...
   20. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 06:21 PM (#3955279)
Bosnia-Herzegovina is already winning, so if they beat France Tuesday they win their group. They will at least be in the playoffs.
   21. ursus arctos Posted: October 07, 2011 at 06:53 PM (#3955328)
Jonathan Wilson is reporting trouble at Croatia/Greece. Lots of flares and possible fire in Croatian end, followed by Greeks throwing flares at Croatians.

Worth noting that there was a vocal segment of the Greek ultra fringe that vehemently supported Serbia in the Balkan Wars. This could get ugly quickly.
   22. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#3955335)
This could get ugly quickly.

Get Luka out of there!
   23. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3955348)
Bayern Mu--, I mean Germany, is taking care of Turkey.
   24. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3955382)
England taking care of business in Montenegro.
   25. ursus arctos Posted: October 07, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3955446)
Erm . ..
   26. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 09:33 PM (#3955479)
How did England blow that? And I see Bale and Wales are now unstoppable. Also, stupid Russians. Boo!
   27. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 09:39 PM (#3955488)
Some other interesting scores:

Netherlands only 1-0 over Moldova. Greece beat up on Croatia. Portugal beating Iceland, but the score is currently 3-2. Serbia gets their draw against Italy. In CONMEBOL, Ecuador is bossing around Venezuela, but I assume that game is in Quito which is a tough place to beat Ecuador. Uruguay has no trouble with Bolivia.
   28. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 07, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#3955501)
Boy, Rooney got himself a red card and may miss the first 2 games of the Euro Championships, now. Depending on the draw, that could be huge.
   29. Swedish Chef Posted: October 07, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#3955544)
Serbia gets their draw against Italy.

Won't do them any good, they still have beat Slovenia to pass Estonia, thanks to that away win Estonia got against them.
   30. Baldrick Posted: October 07, 2011 at 11:14 PM (#3955673)
Same old Rooney.

What an idiot.
   31. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 07, 2011 at 11:19 PM (#3955701)
This must be the most impressive win for Wales since they beat Italy in 2002. Albeit they had already been eliminated from contention.
   32. Juan V Posted: October 08, 2011 at 12:32 AM (#3955995)
Ecuador is bossing around Venezuela, but I assume that game is in Quito which is a tough place to beat Ecuador.


It is. Farias went for an alternative team composed mostly of locally based players, in order to have more time to acclimatize to the altitude. The criticism was that we don't have the depth of international quality players to attempt this, but it worked against Bolivia in the last qualifying cicle. Just a bad day at the office.
   33. frannyzoo Posted: October 08, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#3956911)
International Break and a great chance for the lower divisions in England to showcase...and all I get is blokes describing play second-hand on Sky ("he put a lovely pass out..."). Blimey. Now off to find a Serie B feed for Pescara/Cittadella.
   34. frannyzoo Posted: October 08, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3956937)
Pescara has a dolphin mascot, ala Philly Phanatic, that is captivatingly endearing in its cheesiness and lack of resemblance to any possible dolphin. I really need to watch more lower division football.
   35. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 08, 2011 at 09:59 PM (#3957083)
Scotland crush mighty Lichtenstein 1-0... now we only need to beat Spain in order to go to the Euros! In other words pray Lithuania can get a result against the Czechs, although Spain does have nothing to play for...
   36. Langer Monk Posted: October 08, 2011 at 10:41 PM (#3957087)
Clint Dempsey, good times.
   37. Mark Edward Posted: October 08, 2011 at 10:58 PM (#3957093)
- Tim Howard is awesome.
- Clint Dempsey is awesome.
- Timothy Chandler is awesome.
- Brek Shea is OK.
- Dan Williams is OK.
- Michael Orozco Fiscal is bad.
- Everybody else is meh.
   38. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 09, 2011 at 01:24 PM (#3957484)
Fiscal IS pretty bad. I think Klinnsy needs to end that experiment. No way is he better than George John or Omar Gonzalez or any number of other players. Also, I don't dislike Beckerman, but I don't see what he adds to the team, either. Other than that, the Germans looked pretty good and Shea seems to get more comfortable in the team every time he plays.
   39. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 09, 2011 at 02:06 PM (#3957502)
Klinnsy

Is that the new apporved Yankee spelling? Ugh.
   40. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 09, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#3957516)
Is that the new apporved Yankee spelling? Ugh.

I spell it differently every time. But if this particular version annoys you, it may stick.
   41. DA Baracus Posted: October 09, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3957520)
Klinnsy

Is that the new apporved Yankee spelling? Ugh.


I say we go with this as long as Orozco Fiscal is on the roster.
   42. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 09, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3957547)
Whoopsies!

Probably shouldn't be calling Africa a jungle, though.
   43. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 09, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3957550)
Speaking of the Africa Cup, it's kind of nutty the teams that DIDN't qualify. Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Cameroon and Algeria are all out.
   44. ursus arctos Posted: October 09, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#3957568)
I can't help but think of Orozco Fiscal as a LOOGY tax expert.

Important win for Toro away to Hellas Verona today. They are now three points clear at the top.
   45. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 09, 2011 at 05:12 PM (#3957605)
I had no idea Arsene Wenger had a sports column.

Important win for Toro away to Hellas Verona today. They are now three points clear at the top.

And 6 points above the pack for automatic promotion and they did it with their best player away on international duty. The next couple of games are very winnable, too. I'm going to avoid jinxing them by not thinking ahead too far but they are looking very strong in this first quarter of the season. Juve will be quaking in their boots.
   46. frannyzoo Posted: October 09, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#3957641)
Vicenza saves a penalty at the death (after a penalty call that defines "homer") and gets a point at Grosseto. Still zero wins for the Cateaters, but maybe they won't end up quite as bad as Galway United. Although Galway, at least, has a win this year (and a -81 goal differential).
   47. puck Posted: October 09, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3957642)
Whoopsies!


Man, why didn't they check Wikipedia? There's even a citation (and checking the history, the edit wasn't added after the game).

That method is the way MLS does tie-breakers, fwiw.
   48. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 09, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3957674)
Speaking of the Africa Cup, it's kind of nutty the teams that DIDN't qualify. Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Cameroon and Algeria are all out.

That'll happen when you give 2 automatic spots to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea... wait, maybe I should check the rules to make sure hosts automatically qualigy.
   49. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 09, 2011 at 10:33 PM (#3957961)
   50. puck Posted: October 09, 2011 at 11:23 PM (#3958018)
South Africa's coach: "It's very sad for South Africa because the country deserves to be in next year's African Cup of Nations. I feel like I have failed." [Emphasis added.]
   51. Swedish Chef Posted: October 10, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3958432)
   52. Babe Adams Posted: October 10, 2011 at 09:15 PM (#3958484)
I feel like I have failed." [Emphasis added.]


It's one of those instances where there's plenty of blame to distribute, but it would seem blame here would ultimately trace back to some bureaucrat like the soccer federation secretary who would be charged with knowing the rules for all international play?
   53. Swedish Chef Posted: October 10, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#3958523)
but it would seem blame here would ultimately trace back to some bureaucrat like the soccer federation secretary who would be charged with knowing the rules for all international play?

I would say the national coach has the responsibility to have some ####### clue about the rules of the competition he's leading the team in. It's not rocket science.
   54. DA Baracus Posted: October 10, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3958546)
   55. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 10, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3958547)
He did so in an impressive time of 1hr 49 minutes, just 36 minutes shy of the winner, Dave Roper, 26, of Cheltenham.
Ha! I'm (barely) faster than a 43-year old ex-footballer. Take that, Paolo!
   56. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 10, 2011 at 10:18 PM (#3958566)
Ha! I'm (barely) faster than a 43-year old ex-footballer.

... who hadn't trained for the event.
   57. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 10, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#3958592)
... who hadn't trained for the event.
LaLaLa I can't hear you LaLaLa
   58. frannyzoo Posted: October 11, 2011 at 03:38 AM (#3959152)
I ran a half in 1:30 one year (out of three total that I've run), and was one very cranky SOB by the end. I recall complaining bitterly about having to lift my leg to reach the street curbs on the walk back to my car. IOW, cursing profusely about raising my foot five inches off the ground. I enjoyed training up to about 10 miles, but everything over that was masochism. Cycling has become so much more enjoyable since...even/especially the 90/120 mile days. Getting old might, just might, have a little to do with that.

P.S.: Is the International Break over yet?
   59. Richard Posted: October 11, 2011 at 04:10 AM (#3959176)
P.S.: Is the International Break over yet?

Not quite. Last round of Euro 2012 qualifiers coming up, including most notably Scotland's attempt to make the playoffs by, er, winning in Spain...
   60. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 11:21 AM (#3959230)
West Ham's Olympic Stadium bid falls apart...sort of.

They can still become tenants of the stadium if they can beat back mighty Leyton Orient, but the dreams of a nearly free stadium is no longer for the Davids. This whole thing has been bizarre.
   61. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 11, 2011 at 11:29 AM (#3959233)
They can still become tenants of the stadium if they can beat back mighty Leyton Orient, but the dreams of a nearly free stadium is no longer for the Davids. This whole thing has been bizarr
As I read the article, it appears that £35 million from the Olympic fund will be used to convert the stadium after the games. It seems like that is a better deal for West Ham, since they aren't paying for the conversation, depending on what they're paying in rent.
   62. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 11:33 AM (#3959234)
As I read the article, it appears that £35 million from the Olympic fund will be used to convert the stadium after the games. It seems like that is a better deal for West Ham, since they aren't paying for the conversation, depending on what they're paying in rent.

Right, but my impression the value of the team would have skyrocketed with ownership of the stadium. It's probably not a bad thing for West Ham long term, but it's nowhere near as a good a deal for the Davids. So, win-win? I kind of want to see Leyton Orient become the tenants instead, just for the surrealism of their club's attendance in a giant stadium.
   63. Juan V Posted: October 11, 2011 at 11:41 AM (#3959236)
Old news, but I'm still dumbfounded. How did Estonia and Armenia get within grasp of a Euro playoff place?
   64. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM (#3959238)
Lots of interesting games today in Euro qualifying...foxsoccer.tv has none of them. Grrr.
   65. frannyzoo Posted: October 11, 2011 at 12:45 PM (#3959252)
ESPN3 has about ten of them. I know everyone probably knows that, but I get ESPN3 and know some others here don't. If only bandwidth/access was a bit more fungible....cuz I sure won't be using my access today. The Black Country Derby shimmers on the horizon like a wonderfully gilded turd just out of reach due to all these bothersome international games.
   66. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 01:01 PM (#3959254)
I can't get ESPN3 at work, sadly.
   67. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 01:11 PM (#3959258)
Reading more about the OS-West Ham deal, I can't decide if it's a good deal for West Ham or a bad deal. It's all tied up with whether you think what's good for the Davids is good for West Ham, which isn't necessarily so, of course. On the one hand, they'd get cheap rent on a huge stadium whose infrastructure they wouldn't have to worry about the upkeep on nor pay for the conversion after the Olympics are through. On the other hand, the Davids could sell Boleyn Ground, lock West Ham into a stadium they don't own and whose rent and subsidies will become a political (excuse the pun) football for as long as they are tenants, and then disappear into the night with their pockets full of filthy, filthy lucre. So, crap, I don't even know.
   68. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 11, 2011 at 02:06 PM (#3959287)
On the other hand, the Davids could sell Boleyn Ground, lock West Ham into a stadium they don't own and whose rent and subsidies will become a political (excuse the pun) football for as long as they are tenants, and then disappear into the night with their pockets full of filthy, filthy lucre. So, crap, I don't even know.
I think this is probably an unlikely event. Even if you don't think much of the Davids--and I don't, necessarily--it seems like their intentions are pretty good towards the team. They claim to have sunk a huge amount of money into the club (which I tend to believe, given the nightmarish state it was left in after the Icelandic Adventures) and while it would be an impressive job if they were doing that just to end up with cash from the stadium-switch, they seems an unlikely gamble.

I think unless you have serious question about the Davids motivations--which I don't, really, and I don't think there's meaningful evidence to support that position--then at least from a financial standpoint, the rent deal is a good one for West Ham.

Now, whether moving from Upton Park is a good idea in the larger sense (atmosphere, history, etc.) that's hugely debatable but has a pretty big subjective element. Incidentally, I can't help but think that Leyton Orient are kind of terrified, even if there's just a one-tenth of one percent chance that this actually happens, that they end up having to play in the Olympic Stadium. What a disaster that would be for both them and London.
   69. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#3959308)
I think unless you have serious question about the Davids motivations--which I don't, really, and I don't think there's meaningful evidence to support that position--then at least from a financial standpoint, the rent deal is a good one for West Ham.

It would be interesting to see the Swiss Ramble dig into this a bit. At the end of it all, I'm just glad Spurs are staying in Tottenham.
   70. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3959312)
Uzbekistan beat North Korea on the road, so North Korea is probably not going back to the WC. Thailand has a pretty good chance of advancing over Saudi Arabia. That would be quite an upset, no?
   71. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3959407)
stadiump0rn.com (replace the 0 with an o to make the url work. I couldn't get the regular url past the nanny.

Why are the stadium designs around the world so much more interesting than ours, and I don't just mean soccer. The stadiums Poland and the Ukraine built for the Euros are pretty cool, too.
   72. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#3959479)
Greece is losing to Georgia. Croatia may still that automatic berth, yet.
   73. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#3959491)
Big match in Ireland. I'm really concerned we'll be playing for a 0-0 draw and wind up screwed in the end.
   74. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#3959494)
Doesn't look good for Belgium. They're down 2 goals to Germany.
   75. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 11, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#3959498)
Big match in Ireland. I'm really concerned we'll be playing for a 0-0 draw and wind up screwed in the end.
Why, is Trapattoni taking advice on how many points they need to qualify from Pitso Mosimane?
   76. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 11, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3959499)

Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing young American international Brek Shea after a prolonged period of monitoring the FC Dallas attacker. Sir Alex Ferguson has been scouting the powerfully built forward and the reports filed on the 21 year old have lead to the Old Trafford boss being ready to make an offer for his services.

The MLS season comes to an end in late November and the Premier League champions are eager to then enter into talks with the player and his club over a possible £10m deal to sign the youngster who has had a stand out season this term, notching ten goals and a number of assists for FC Dallas.

Shea is now a regular in Jurgen Klinsmann’s US national team set-up and is thought to be a player with a great deal of potential. It is thought Man United would offer the player back on loan to his MLS side for the opening period of the 2012 season ahead of a formal transfer to Old Trafford.
   77. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3959501)
Man, if Croatia can't be Latvia at home...
   78. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#3959506)
Why, is Trapattoni taking advice on how many points they need to qualify from Pitso Mosimane?


Because we'll do something stupid and lose 1-0 after playing 90 minutes for a 0-0 draw...

But Armenia making Euro 2012 would be a fun story, I guess.
   79. Randy Jones Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3959511)
I don't see why United would want Brek Shea. He wouldn't ever see the field as a striker for them, they have way too much depth there. He would basically be a 4th or 5th option on the wings. I know Shea is still young, but Nani, Young, and Valencia aren't old either. I just don't see Shea ever developing enough to be a better option than those guys, but hey, what do I know?
   80. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3959515)
Armenia red card for the keeper. Wow.
   81. Randy Jones Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:18 PM (#3959516)
Armenian keeper sent off for handling the ball outside the box. Ireland better be able to win with a 1 man advantage for an hour.
   82. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#3959527)
That's about as shambolic an OG as you're likely to see from Armenia.
   83. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#3959528)
As of now, Denmark would beat Portugal in their group and Croatia over Greece. Lots of time for chaos, though.
   84. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#3959529)
Ireland just got an early Christmas present from Armenia.

And now the new Armenian keeper just handled outside the box as well ...

Is it referee's discretion as to whether that's a red vs a yellow?
   85. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#3959530)
And it's looking very, very good for Ireland.
   86. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#3959533)
#84--It must be. He clearly handled it inside the box to start, though, and it was only sliding that caused him to go out of the box, and he tried to "drop" the ball as soon as he got to the line... I guess it was a deliberate play of the ball starting outside the box; maybe that's the difference?

Greece scores 2 to take the lead? Wow.
   87. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:47 PM (#3959536)
Does a win get Ireland into a seeded position for the draw? I wonder... Probably not.
   88. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#3959539)
The Guardian is having fun at the expense of Ireland for a handball that aided the build up to their goal. Heh!
   89. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:52 PM (#3959541)
Welsh Jesus with another goal!
   90. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:56 PM (#3959545)
Spain already crapping on Scotland's dreams. Silva with the goal.
   91. frannyzoo Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#3959547)
It's a sad day when Thierry Henry can just pay off the Armenian National Team to make up for his handball. Good thing Ireland can call things "honors even" on all that now, however.

And does Scotland have to beat Spain to advance? Because that's not gonna happen.
   92. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 06:59 PM (#3959548)
And does Scotland have to beat Spain to advance? Because that's not gonna happen.

They needed to win or to have the Czechs lose, but the Czechs are already winning, so things don't look so good. On the bright side, the whiskey is excellent and plentiful!
   93. Swedish Chef Posted: October 11, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#3959551)
And does Scotland have to beat Spain to advance? Because that's not gonna happen.

If Lithuania wins the Scots are through to the playoffs (as probably the worst team ever). Thankfully the Czechs lead.
   94. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 07:04 PM (#3959552)
Ireland up 2-0! Dunne!
   95. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 11, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3959553)
Congrats to Ireland. It was a hell of a path they took, but they're in the playoffs.
   96. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3959554)
And... a horror goal to make it 2-1. Given should have handled that easily.
   97. Swedish Chef Posted: October 11, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3959557)
Seems like Scotland's best chance now is to beat Spain. They're toast.

There's hope for Estonia.
   98. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#3959561)
And Doyle picks up a yellow so he's out of the 1st leg of a playoff. Wonderful stuff here since they went up 2-0. Argh.
   99. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 11, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3959564)
If I'm reading this right Portugal have a real chance to earn the automatic second place berth on goals scored. If things stand as they are Portugal, Sweden and Croatia would all be tied on 16 points with Portugal and Sweden tied on +9 goal differential. Portugal's 20 goals would then push them on. A Portugal comeback to beat Denmark would put Sweden in (assuming Sweden holds on to the point against the Dutch).
   100. Swedish Chef Posted: October 11, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3959566)
assuming Sweden holds on to the point against the Dutch

Lousy assumption.
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