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Wednesday, June 02, 2021

OT Soccer Thread - In Which Euro 2020 Is Played in 2021

With the club season done it’s on to what is going to be a more normal summer than last year.  Bunch of stuff that was supposed to get played last year, bunch of stuff that was supposed to be played this year moves to next year.

Euro 2020 - June 11 - July 11
Gold Cup - July 10 - August 1
Copa America 2020 - June 13 - July 10 - due to COVID issues in host Argentina the tournament has been moved to a safer location…Brazil.  Presumably the next option is an infectious disease ward of a hospital.
2020 Olympics Men - July 22 - August 7
2020 Olympics Women - July 21 - August 6
CONCACAF Nations League Semi-Final and Final - June 3 and June 6
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying - June 12 and June 15 - Winners advance to the Octagon, the Hexagon is dead, long live the Hexagon.
2021-22 Champions League - June 22 Preliminary Round, August 26 Group Stage Draw
2021-22 Europa League - Third Qualifying Round August 5, schedule is weird, I can’t find details of the previous two rounds but presumably on a similar schedule to the Champions League
2021-22 Europa Conference - First Qualifying Round July 8
2021 Women’s Euros - Postponed to 2022 (I’ll defer to others on the women’s game as I don’t follow closely enough to know what other big tournaments there are)

Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 02, 2021 at 08:55 AM | 865 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1. Mefisto Posted: June 02, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6021983)
I don't get why the soccer thread shuts down automatically but others don't.

Thanks for putting up this new one.
   2. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 02, 2021 at 09:22 AM (#6021987)
The funny thing is I put this up not knowing about the other one. Then I saw that the other one was closed when I went to make a comment letting people know this was opened.
   3. jmurph Posted: June 02, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6021988)
Conte the favorite at Spurs?

That seems like an obviously bad fit all around, but he's a successful manager, I see why they'd be interested.
   4. spivey 2 Posted: June 02, 2021 at 09:27 AM (#6021989)
Conte is a great manager if you give him the funds and control. It won't go well if you don't. I hope Levy realizes all of this, but I'm increasingly of the opinion he's a good businessman but doesn't really have good soccer sense.
   5. jmurph Posted: June 02, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6021991)
I love how much soccer we will get on TV this summer, starting today.

I hate how much soccer the game's best players will be required to play this summer. RIP ligaments and muscles.
   6. bunyon Posted: June 02, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6021997)
My understanding is that Brazil over Argentina isn't CONMEBOL saying it's safer but that Argentina's government shut down the tournament while Brazil's said okay. So if the head of the infectious disease ward says yes, maybe.
   7. Textbook Editor Posted: June 03, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6022286)
Conte is a really interesting choice. If it happens and Kane stays I certainly think he could elevate what they have into a top-4 position. If Kane goes... I think it's a bit more challenging (obviously).

But hiring Conte also sort of indicates there's no retrenching going on here--it's full speed ahead. And while given the roster I sort of understand that... as when Mourinho was hired I worry the can is once again being kicked down the road 2 years. AND even if they do win a trophy over the next 2 years (say the League Cup next year), the state of the team in 2 years will be worse.

I've never particularly understood the "trophies!" thing--having a reasonable shot at winning all the competitions you're in every year (including the league) seems far more valuable (and interesting) than, say, 1 League Cup trophy in 20 years. I know people mocked Wenger for saying Top 4 was a trophy, but Top 4 is a ticket to a competition where, some years (like Spurs in 2019) things break right with draws & results and you find yourself 180 minutes from a Final or 90 minutes from a European Cup. That's not nothing--and it's far better than pushing for League Cup "glory."
   8. spivey 2 Posted: June 03, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6022287)
I really like the way Conte plays. His teams are super tough and fit, kind of like Poch in at least that regard.

Regarding the silverware, I think a lot of it is banter and gatekeeping. I think something like the FA Cup does have a good amount of historical significance in England. Some of that is lost on my American ass, whereas I agree with you. But, it's telling that for the League Cup especially, but even Europa League and the FA cup, teams are rotating pretty heavily until you get into that QF sort of range. To me, that kind of proves the point for me that it's all about the league (and CL).

European nights, playing Barcelona in a match where you have to get a result at the Camp Nou, blitzing Real Madrid with the Poch press, the Ajax game, the City CL QF, these are matches I'll remember the rest of my life.
   9. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#6022291)
I've never particularly understood the "trophies!" thing--having a reasonable shot at winning all the competitions you're in every year (including the league) seems far more valuable (and interesting) than, say, 1 League Cup trophy in 20 years. I know people mocked Wenger for saying Top 4 was a trophy, but Top 4 is a ticket to a competition where, some years (like Spurs in 2019) things break right with draws & results and you find yourself 180 minutes from a Final or 90 minutes from a European Cup. That's not nothing--and it's far better than pushing for League Cup "glory."


I agree about competing every year but I think success begets success, especially in high level soccer. If Spurs want to win a League Cup they are going to need to have a good and deep squad. That's the kind of team that can win an FA Cup or an EPL title and be positioned to win a Champions League title. There is no way to try and win a trophy that doesn't put you in a position to win the biggest trophies. It's similar to winning a division in MLB. You can't try to win the AL East and not be a contender for the World Series.

There comes a point where squad rotation and the like becomes and issue and that's a fair criticism. But from a team building standpoint if you target trophies, you are going to get success. I would argue Arsenal's "finish 4th and be happy about it" approach results in what you currently see from them. A level of satisfaction with being OK rather than trying to be at your best and the year you come up short has repercussions down the road since missing on the CL for even a year makes it tough to sign people which makes one year become two or three or four etc...

I say all that as an admitted fan of the Cup competitions. I realize teams don't play it as if it's a huge deal but for me as a fan I love a good cup run.
   10. spivey 2 Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:17 AM (#6022293)
Jose - I certainly agree that cup trophies will "just happen" if you're good enough and deep enough, but I don't think your point about Arsenal quite follows. They've won the FA cup two or three times since they were last really pushing for titles or CL glory.

That said, I think as the offseason continues to shrink and the demands on the players continue to increase in other ways (Nations League, etc.), there will be more teams that just completely write off some of these trophies. Pep has a fabulously deep team, and I don't think it's an accident that as a result his team has won the League Cup the last 3 or 4 years running. I think it's a cup that frankly should be considered to be Championship level and lower. Maybe that doesn't work from a money perspective, but the players are already at their breaking point unless you have City level depth.
   11. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:19 AM (#6022295)
Current top 4 odds:
City        93

Chelsea     79
Liverpool   76
United      74

Leicester   18
Tottenham   14
Arsenal     12.5

Everton      6.5
Leeds        6.5
West Ham     6.5

Villa        4
Wolves       3
Brighton     2
Southampton  2

Field        3


United seems very high to me here. City, Liverpool, and Chelsea all slightly high. Spurs and Arsenal too low.
   12. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6022298)
The thing about Conte is that, like Mourinho, he wears out his welcome. Perhaps for that reason, he seems to prefer veterans. That suits Spurs pretty well right now, but it would generate concerns about the future.
   13. spivey 2 Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6022299)
Managers at top clubs don't have long shelf lives, period. And the sense I get is that Conte would have stayed if Inter wasn't in this weird situation where the owner can't get money out of China so likely needs to sell a key player or two.

Give Conte 2 years to get this team hungry and fit and maybe win something, and then Poch will be done at PSG at that point, probably, and I think would be a better and more natural time to come back.
   14. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:46 AM (#6022300)
Could be. My perspective is probably skewed from watching SAF all those years.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#6022303)
How does the list in #11 translate to me putting money down? If I bet $1 on Spurs what do I win if they finish Top 4?

Jose you make good points in #9. I guess it's about prioritizing the competitions given that Spurs will never likely have the kind of depth a City have. For the Europa Conference next year they should commit to NOT playing Kane, etc. in those matches; running Kane (if here) and Hojbjerg into the ground in the fall in the group stages, etc. is not in anyone's interest, long-term.

I'm at peace with the notion Kane is gone; I even think there could be a Ewing Effect next season if it happens (especially if a coach like Conte comes in). Much like Bale hero-ball in his last season, I think you can kind of see where things got out of whack overall with the leaning incessantly on Kane. I'm oddly curious/excited to see what Conte would do with a Kane-less team. The rest of the core is still pretty damn decent, especially if we actually play the people who are good on the roster and not Harry Winks.
   16. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:57 AM (#6022304)
For all the talk about Kane what is happening with Son? I think TE is right that there might be a Ewing Effect if Kane leaves but I think part of that would require Son to still be with Spurs. I feel like earlier in the spring there was a lot of talk that that was unlikely but that talk seems to have faded. What is the latest on that?
   17. Textbook Editor Posted: June 03, 2021 at 11:04 AM (#6022305)
#16--for sure, Son staying is key if Kane leaves. Both leaving this summer would be pretty bad. Really bad, in fact.
   18. spivey 2 Posted: June 03, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6022310)
I don't think Spurs will or should let Kane, Son, and Bale all leave in one year.

I'm ok losing Kane, but I'm fairly skeptical of getting a fair offer. My hope is that there could maybe be some player swap option since City have a bunch of young attackers who would be squeezed on time if they got Kane. But, those deals are always challenging to pull off, and I'm not sure it's realistic. Tottenham does need to freshen up their front line though. That needed to happen regardless of Kane wanting out.
   19. KronicFatigue Posted: June 03, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6022320)
In my opinion, the lesser trophies (FA + EFL) aren't that important in any singular moment, but eyebrows get raised (or furrowed) if a team goes a long time without or collects a lot of them. As a Chelsea fan, I was really bummed we lost the FA cup b/c I presumed we were going to lose the CL and I wanted "something" to show for our successful season. Likewise, the year we won the league, I was annoyed that we lost the FA cup to Arsenal (seemed like we were in a celebratory mood and didn't have our edge).

But, there's also some banter to be had that Arsenal ONLY wins the FA Cup. There's certainly banter to be had that Tottenham seems to come short on EVERYTHING. When you're a really good team, you should win a few of these just by accident. As for rotating squads, especially early in these tournaments, that just feels like a necessity of the schedule. Finishing top four is such a financial windfall that it has to be top priority for teams in the hunt. And to do that, you have to sacrifice the lesser cups that you still care about.
   20. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 03, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6022343)
How does the list in #11 translate to me putting money down? If I bet $1 on Spurs what do I win if they finish Top 4?
Spoken like a bettor. I translate the odds to percentages because that's more interesting (to me, naturally) and I can adjust for the vig.

Anyway according to oddschecker you can get Spurs at 6:1, meaning if you bet $1, you will get $6 back if they make top 4.
   21. Textbook Editor Posted: June 03, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6022352)
Thanks, AuntBea. I wonder if I could get those same odds for Spurs in Atlantic City. Worth putting $5 on if I'm down that way. Probably worth putting $5 on each of the 6 after the 4 favorites, as in most years it seems at least 1 of the previous year's Top 4 falls out.

Supposedly the decision is somewhat in Conte's hands now. I guess we'll see. But as I told TE Jr., what would really suck is if Conte bails, Poch remains at PSG, and Potter gets snapped up by Everton while we wait for Conte's decision... I suppose Rafa is tanned, rested, and ready... though apparently he may be angling for the Everton job himself.
   22. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 03, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#6022367)
TE - why deal with the Parkway and the general depressive nature of Atlantic City? Download an app and you just have to physically be in NJ to make a bet. Draftkings currently has Spurs at +400 (a $1 bet gets you a $4 profit) to make top 4. All the apps that are legally allowed to run in NJ have to be direclty associated with an AC casino. Don't think the odds will be all that different among the casinos down there. You can also go to the Meadowlands Racetrack to do it in person if that's your want.
   23. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 03, 2021 at 03:54 PM (#6022373)
And of course, I misrepresented the odds anyway. You will get $6 back plus your original $1, for a total of $7.

Also, online you can shop for the best odds. You don't need to be locked in to whatever you can get at the Atlantic City casino you are at. Lots of places have Spurs at 4:1, some 5:1, and a few (supposedly) 6:1.
   24. spivey 2 Posted: June 03, 2021 at 05:19 PM (#6022393)
There's normally a lot of juice in the futures odds and I would recommend against the strategy someone mentioned of spreading bets across a few teams like West Ham, Leicester, Tottenham, Arsenal, etc.
   25. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 03, 2021 at 08:52 PM (#6022426)
Despite having far superior players, the USMNT has given up a few big chances to Honduras and hasn't scored. Doesn't seem today at least that coaching has made them better than the sum of their parts.
   26. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 03, 2021 at 08:59 PM (#6022427)
European nights, playing Barcelona in a match where you have to get a result at the Camp Nou, blitzing Real Madrid with the Poch press, the Ajax game, the City CL QF, these are matches I'll remember the rest of my life.

It's probably weird, but my favorite game of that Champions League run to the final was actually the 3-0 round of 16 game against Dortmund where Jan Vertonghen was suddenly the best left wingback in the world for one game.
   27. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 03, 2021 at 09:08 PM (#6022430)
Honduras trying to play for penalties pretty much from the opening whistle. While it may be their best for a win, it's certainly not the best for the fans, and Honduras is good enough to beat the US without doing that anyway.

I have to say when there are a lot of stoppages in a game I start to lose interest in the game as a fan, so I wish the leagues and competitions cared a little more about curbing it.
   28. sanny manguillen Posted: June 03, 2021 at 10:11 PM (#6022436)
So, to see all the Euro 2020, all I have to do is subscribe to ESPN+ for a month? That seems implausibly simple.
   29. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:41 AM (#6022507)
ESPN+ will also have Spanish and German leagues. I think you can find a subscription for a year for $50 or bundle it with Disney+. Not shilling - just throwing out options.

That reminds me - I need to suspend my peacock service until Premier League starts back up.
   30. spivey 2 Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:47 AM (#6022510)
ESPN+ also carries I think 1 MLB game a day. FA cup. Random crap leagues like Erevidisie which can be fun for their few big games of the year. Can bundle with Hulu and Disney, as mentioned. Pretty good behind-the-paywall content for NBA (Pelton, Lowe). I mean, I hate ESPN, but ESPN+ is such an insanely good deal. The only sports streaming service I have.
   31. KronicFatigue Posted: June 04, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6022513)
FYI, the quality of the feed for ESPN+ this season for serie A seemed better than any of NBC's options (Peacock, NBC Sports app, or YoutubeTV) for EPL or CL on Paramount+. Not sure if that was because of ESPN+ or the native feeds, but I could actually see the detail of the pitch etc, where as the PL was a bit blurry, especially during rapid movement.

I hate ESPN as a company, but bundling with Hulu and Disney makes it a no brainer for me. And I'm slowly going through the 30 for 30's which aren't bad.

   32. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 11:33 AM (#6022516)
I hate ESPN, but ESPN+ is such an insanely good deal. The only sports streaming service I have.


Concur. And to Kronic's point the Hulu/Disney/ESPN bundle basically means you get Disney or ESPN for free (however you want to assign it). As spivey said, the bang for your buck on ESPN+ is huge. Every night I can find something to watch even late night.
   33. jmurph Posted: June 04, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6022528)
Agree on the praise for ESPN+. I'm disappointed Serie A is going to Paramount +/CBS, because as mentioned above the streaming quality was pretty crappy there last year.
   34. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 04, 2021 at 11:39 PM (#6022683)
Guatemala beat St. Kitts 10-0. Running up the score? No. Guatemala has a tough final game against Curacao with both having 3 wins and no losses, and will want to have GD on their side so they can advance with a draw. They are +14 now to Curacao's +6, but Curacao faces lowly BVI tomorrow. Expect another slaughter as they chase the 8 goals of GD they need before heading into the game against Guatemala. Haiti is in the same boat, chasing 8 goals against the Turks and Caicos tomorrow ahead of their showdown against Nicaragua. El Salvador also wants to put up a crooked number against USVI so that a draw in their last game will get them through.

Oh, and welcome to Concacaf and the wonderful world of WCQ GD being the first tiebreaker.
   35. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 05, 2021 at 05:26 PM (#6022755)
Haiti got their 8 goals, in fact won 10-0, so now just need a draw against Nicaragua. They'll very likely face Canada in the only really interesting tie of this round, next week. Keep your eye out for that.

Curacao is already up 3-0 after 13 minutes, so are well on their way to the 8 goals they need.

El Salvador kicks off later.

If seeds hold, the playoffs will be Canada/Haiti (maybe the best two teams here), Panama/Guatemala (maybe the next best two), and El Salvador/T&T. T&T is pretty shitty lately. Curacao is actually seeded above Guatemala but are probably not as good. They might be as good as El Salvador though and probably are better than T&T at the moment, so if somehow they get trough Guatemala and Panama they might not be an embarrassment in the next round.

edit: 6-0 Curacao now after 30 minutes. Looks like they will only need to draw Guatemala to advance to the game against Panama.
edit: T&T still scoreless against the mighty Bahamas after 30 minutes in a must win game. (Bahamas being actually one of the very worst national teams in the world, of course).
   36. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 05, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6022757)
I know it's high drama and you guys are on the edge of your seats, but it's starting to get the tiniest bit interesting in Concacaf. Curacao only got one goal in the last 30 minutes--it's now 7-0 and they still need their one more. T&T still, somehow, hasn't scored against the Bahamas after 60 minutes of play.
   37. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 05, 2021 at 06:36 PM (#6022763)
10 minutes left...
   38. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 05, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6022764)
Almost at the end of the 90...
   39. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 05, 2021 at 06:48 PM (#6022766)
GOOOOAAAAAAALLLL! Curacao gets the eight goal in extra time. 8-0 now and they just need a draw against Guatemala to advance.
   40. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 05, 2021 at 06:57 PM (#6022767)
And in an incredible result, the Bahamas holds T&T scoreless to knock them out of the 2022 WC chase. Insane. The most famous result in Bahamas history? Possibbly.

St Kitts has made the playoff, and will face off probably against El Salvador for the final qualifying round.
   41. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 05, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6022770)
That was the best team, by ELO, that the Bahamas ever got a result against. And in a critical game for their opponents as well. T&T has truly fallen on bad times.

The Bahamas did beat Panama way back in the 70s, in the Central American and Caribbean games.
   42. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 05, 2021 at 08:49 PM (#6022777)
El Salvador poured it on late, and with Canada and Panama leading at the half, all are on track to advance with draws next week.
   43. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 06, 2021 at 07:04 AM (#6022816)
The Concacaf WCQ schedule yesterday pitted the top seed in each group against the bottom seed. No surprise then that the combined score in 6 games was 45-0. The surprise is that it was 45-0 over 5 games and 0-0 in the last one, in a game that eliminated T&T from their group despite being top seed.

T&T eliminated the US in somewhat similar circumstances just 3 years ago. By transitive property of world cup qualification elimination matches, pretty sure that means the Bahamas is better than the USMNT.
   44. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 06, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6022818)
T&T is a bad team right now, and no one's going to miss them in the next round. While it would be fun to see St. Kitts advance, realistically in all likelihood we are stuck with El Salvador. Of all the teams in Concacaf, El Salvador might be tops in shithousery (at least that's how I remember some of their games from the past couple decades). They are at the sweet spot of not being good enough to win many games playing straight up against the top few teams in Concacaf, but unlike a lot of the rest of Concacaf, being good enough that with a lot of shithousing they can sometimes turn the tables anyway. On top of that they'll almost certainly be the worst team in the next round by a good margin, with likely only Panama/Guatemala/Haiti even within shouting distance.
   45. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 06, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6022823)
Yeah I have the same impression of El Salvador that you have. Looking ahead to the octagon (are we assuming the 8 team qualifier is going by that moniker?) does that benefit or hurt any teams in the group? Presumably the stronger element of CONCACAF (US, Costa Rica, Mexico) should be able to make hay. You’d know better than I but my sense is that the two extra teams (St. Kitts and Guatemala?) that wouldn’t be there otherwise will at least be good enough to pull some points from the more middle level teams. Perhaps unfairly I feel like had this been in place in 2018 the US would have been able to accumulate points a little more easily than Panama and would have qualified. Maybe I’m overrating the US or underrating some teams but that’s why I’masking.
   46. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 06, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6022840)
It's a good question. More games should reduce variance and help the top teams (just as you say), especially if there is a gap in talent. So Mexico and the US should benefit. The rest, even Costa Rica, would probably prefer to be one of six rather than one of eight. Except for maybe Costa Rica, the others would probably benefit from more variance. That means the new format is bad (this year) for Costa Rica, Honduras, and Jamaica. Then, obviously a team that wouldn't have been in the top 6 at all benefits massively. So this year that's probably El Salvador/Guatemala (and Curacao, if they pull the upsets).

That leaves Canada/Panama/Haiti. All three likely would have had a real chance to make it through the preliminary round that the top 5 teams got to skip this year. That's no issue really for Mexico and the US of course, and maybe Costa Rica, but teams like Honduras and Jamaica benefitted massively here while Canada/Panama/Haiti were disadvantaged.

I guess there will be a whole new format for 2026, where 6 teams qualify. Hard to imagine the US having any trouble at all qualifying under those conditions with these players. By current ELO, the 6th best team in Concacaf is Jamaica, ranked 65th (by ELO). That's lower than any team in Conmebol, including Bolivia. It's about even with the 34th and 35th best teams in Europe: Armenian and Northern Ireland.
   47. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 06, 2021 at 10:28 PM (#6022914)
USMNT seems to have more than enough talent to win this, but a few errors in defense and they could have had 3 goals scored against them. Second goal called back because the scorer was 6 inches offside. Third prevented by a great save by Steffen.

I know they have some weaknesses in the defense, but all 3 of those chances were easily preventable and not the kind of thing that requires talent to protect against. The goal was just a boneheaded giveaway in the most dangerous of positions, with no real pressure to justify it. The offside goal was the result of the defender lazy going out to defend the cross (I was screaming at him even before it occurred... it was that clear that he shouldn't be jogging out there.) coupled with an even more egregious leaving the man totally unguarded in prime position to receive the cross and score. It was a really great cross but never should have been allowed to be made or received so easily. The third was just falling asleep and letting the forward have the easiest of breaks basically from midfield.

On the other end US looks fine. They scored and missed a few other big chances.
   48. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 06, 2021 at 10:31 PM (#6022915)
The US defense is really bad. Brooks looks ok, but Ream and McKenzie look really bad. McKenzie probably needs to hoof it downfield at any sort of pressure and Ream may be slowest professional outfield player I've seen in quite some time.

CBS Sports somehow has set the bar lower with commentating and studio show.
   49. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 07, 2021 at 12:10 AM (#6022926)
Clear penalty for me. Front leg came over to take out Pulisic before the second leg got the ball. That's classic coming through the man for the ball.
   50. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 07, 2021 at 12:14 AM (#6022928)
They wouldn't give that handball in the EPL anymore, though they would have early in the season. Not sure how international soccer is calling these.

edit: it was given. Seems a bit cheap.
   51. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 07, 2021 at 08:27 AM (#6022938)
Man, that was a terrifically entertaining if stressful game. I really wanted to get to sleep early but there was no way I could switch that off. I felt like on the Mexico penalty the ref was looking for a reason to even things up. While I agree with your assessment of both calls he didn't want to be the one giving a US penalty but not giving a Mexico penalty so he grabbed what he perceived as his lifeline.

I agree on the defense. but the attacking talent is definitely there and is well positioned to be there for awhile.
   52. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 08, 2021 at 10:35 PM (#6023295)
Haiti got it done in their game against Nicaragua. Canada, Panama and El Salvador about to as well.

Curacao held off Guatemala for the narrowest of group wins (tied on points, both GD +14, drew 0-0 in head-to-head).

Canada/Haiti is the big matchup this weekend.
Panama/Curacao is not as big a mismatch as you might think, and Curaco has a decent shot. Would be fun to see them in the final 8.
El Salvador/St. Kitts. Yeah well we can root for St. Kitts anyway.
   53. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 08, 2021 at 11:22 PM (#6023306)
Montserrat, population 5,000, still had a chance on the last day of the qualifying round. They finished strong, beating Grenada 2-1. Finished 2nd in the group, behind only El Salvador, who they drew 1-1.

It's largely the result of their coach, former ManU and Scotland player Willie Donachie, who has cobbled together players mostly from England from famillies who fled after a volcano in 1995. Since he came on in 2018, they have 7 wins, 4 draws, and 3 losses. All 3 losses were to El Salvador, a team somehow they keep ending up against in tourneys. Finally kept them to a draw this time around.

Ok, they haven't beaten anyone good, but they were one of the very worst teams in the world, and now they have 7 wins in 3 years. And 5,000 people.
   54. Richard Posted: June 09, 2021 at 02:18 AM (#6023324)
Willie Donachie know's what he's doing. He's been involved in coaching for night on 40 years, spending a lot of time as number 2 to Joe Royle, who managed in the top 2 tiers in England in the 80s and 90s.
   55. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: June 09, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6023473)
Tottenham are in advanced negotiations with Paulo Fonseca after the former Roma manager was identified as the club’s preferred option to succeed José Mourinho.

The 48-year-old Portuguese, who left Roma in May and was replaced by Mourinho, is understood to have held talks with the Spurs hierarchy about a three-year contract having been recommended by the club’s new director of football, Fabio Paratici. Fonseca is believed to be open to moving to north London having previously managed Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine for three years before moving to the Stadio Olimpico in 2019.
   56. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 10, 2021 at 06:51 PM (#6023643)
Euro 2020 odds:
France         17.5

England        12.5
Belgium        11.5
Italy          10.5
Germany        10
Portugal       10
Spain          10

Netherlands     5.5
Denmark         3
Croatia         2
Turkey          1.5
Switzerland     1.5

Field           4.5


That's one favorite and a bunch of teams with a good chance.

6 groups in this tournament, 4 have one of the top teams, and one has 3 (group F is group of death, with France, Portugal, and Germany). The group games are mostly BS though, since so many teams advance. Still, the runner up in Group F plays the group D winner, which is likely to be England but could also be Croatia, and 3rd place in Group F plays the winner of B or C, which could be Belgium.

I hate the 24-team format as the group stage is so much less compelling now.


   57. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 11, 2021 at 06:32 AM (#6023747)
It's really not much of a favourite either. Not if the 6th+7th best teams in the tournament have better odds combined. They are also in what is pretty clearly the toughest group, though obviously they should advance.
   58. jmurph Posted: June 11, 2021 at 09:36 AM (#6023754)
I hate the 24-team format as the group stage is so much less compelling now.

Yeah probably not great tv, but I admit it's fun for a lot of the smaller countries, even though they're going to get crushed.
   59. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 11, 2021 at 10:50 AM (#6023759)
I mean I guess. In that case they might as well just go to 32 teams and have only top two in each group advance. Even more fun for even more mediocre teams, and at least the group stage games would mean a little more.

16 is still way better. Tournament bloat is watering down my interest, in most tournaments.

Just for fun, and using the actual qualifiers played this year (yeah I know, counterfactual and all that):

If we were limited to 16 teams, we would not have had the four nations league qualifiers: Hungary, Slovakia, Scotland, and North Macedonia. We would also not have had Finland, Wales, Czech Republic, and Sweden.

All 8 of those teams are in the "Field" odds above, the others being Russia, Austria, Ukraine, and Poland. Aside from Sweden, who is rated above Russia and Austria, the other 7 are considered the 7 worst in the tournament.


Going the other way, and assuming nations league playoff winners all still qualify, the additional 8 teams would have been: Kosovo, Serbia, Nothern Ireland, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Greece, and Romania. Those 8 teams are a little worse on the whole than the above 8, but not by that much. The best teams to miss out would have been Bosnia or Slovenia. All of them except for Kosovo are at least as good as anyone but the US or Mexico in Concacaf.


edit: by the way, there are "only" 55 teams in UEFA, with the bottom 14, starting with Estonia, pretty much real minnows at least right now. That leaves 41 teams. Having 60% of them make the finals seems a bit of a farce. Might as well seed all 55 of them in a single elimination tournament, with the top 9 getting byes to the 2nd round.
   60. jmurph Posted: June 11, 2021 at 11:28 AM (#6023768)
edit: by the way, there are "only" 55 teams in UEFA, with the bottom 14, starting with Estonia, pretty much real minnows at least right now. That leaves 41 teams. Having 60% of them make the finals seems a bit of a farce.

This is a very fair point.
   61. spivey 2 Posted: June 11, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#6023777)
I'll watch the key matches in the Euros but man as more time goes on, I really don't find the soccer attractive. It is extremely rare to have two teams really go at each other. Even in big and often fairly even match ups. Usually one is parking the bus. On top of that, if it's a knockout stage, they're also probably egregiously timewasting and #### housing, a la the Columbia/England match last WC. The tactics are generally archaic and lead to very boring football, where the teams don't have a scheme to breakdown parked buses, and as a result it seems like a much higher proportion of goals are set pieces or shots outside the box.
   62. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2021 at 01:32 PM (#6023787)
32 teams is the ideal size for a tournament if you have enough teams to create eight competitive groups. If not, 16 is a great size for a tournament. Any other number is pretty bad.

This summer, the women's Olympic tournament has the joy of a 12 team tournament in which 8 make the quarterfinals. Hurrah.
   63. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 11, 2021 at 03:17 PM (#6023801)
As a Scotsman, I would cordially like to invite you all to go fuck yourselves.

Also, the Euros have frequently thrown up unlikely winners (Greece/Denmark), so the certainty in the inevitability of outcome seems rather premature.
   64. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 11, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6023804)
Is there anything meaningful about Italy hosting the opening match or was it just that the Turkey-Italy game was the A1-A2 matchup after the draw was done?
   65. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 11, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6023810)
I don't know, but I wish they had picked a place with a less whistly audience. That was abominable to listen to.
   66. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 11, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6023812)
Also, the Euros have frequently thrown up unlikely winners (Greece/Denmark), so the certainty in the inevitability of outcome seems rather premature.
Only part of it is the watered down tournaments. The bigger problem in my opinion is the watered down stakes. 24 teams with 16 advancing makes the group games feel like exhibitions.
   67. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 11, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#6023816)
Turkey may have played for a 0-0 draw regardless, but it's an even more defensible strategy when 3rd place with 3 points very likely gets you through.

Own goal. Somewhat ironic, but not so much since they've played a large portion of the game in their own third.
   68. sanny manguillen Posted: June 11, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6023823)
all I have to do is subscribe to ESPN+ for a month? That seems implausibly simple.


And it is: it seems they're only carrying a "Multi View" feed, with a wide angle shot crammed into about a third of the screen.
   69. bunyon Posted: June 12, 2021 at 08:22 AM (#6023878)
Ironically, reading you knowledgable soccer fans gripe about soccer makes me appreciate baseball more. I've gotten curmudgeonly about baseball the last few years and realize my moaning sounds a lot like you all about soccer. And I really enjoy watching soccer.

I think the trick is to forget deep analysis and just lay back and enjoy it.


Not a criticism of any of you at all. In everything I've done, the deeper and smarter I've got in a field, the more I'm critical of it. I think it's natural.
   70. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 08:54 AM (#6023879)
just lay back and enjoy it.

Uhhh phrasing?
   71. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 09:00 AM (#6023880)
Sideline cameraman for this Wales-Switzerland game looking like he has never held a camera before. Shaking all over the place. Panning around to fast. Tilted at an angle. Hard zoom in on coach's face, no wait to far, zoom back out. Just a complete ###########.
   72. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 12, 2021 at 09:16 AM (#6023882)
As a Scotsman, I would cordially like to invite you all to go #### yourselves.

I'm also a Scotsman, and I approve of this message.
   73. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6023885)
If Haris Seferović had brought his shooting boots today, this could be over already.
   74. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 10:06 AM (#6023886)
Everyone knows by now Italy was dominant in their matchup against Turkey. xG backs that up, with Italy having a 2.0-0.1 lead going into stoppage time before Turkey finally took a high xG shot.

Not so different here today so far. I didn't see much of the first half except James' chance, but that was the only thing Wales really did going forward apparently. Switzerland had 8 shots from inside the box and should be ahead by now.

edit: at this point Wales should be quite happy if they escape with a draw. They can target a win against Turkey and easily advance with 4 points. Even 3 points is likely enough, so long as their group GD isn't terrible. Another big break for Wales is they play Italy last. There's a very good chance Italy won't be pushing too hard for the win in the last group game.

edit2: and there's a goal.
   75. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 10:10 AM (#6023887)
Wales had a promising counter that was cynically cut down just outside the box by Sonny... err I mean Schär. James had played it past him, and was charging with pace. No chance at playing the ball. But yeah, Switzerland has been clearly better, and they just got their just reward.
   76. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 10:20 AM (#6023888)
Based on betting odds, Wales was the least fancied of the group to advance. Part of that might be that Turkey's last two games are in Baku, and Wales has to go to Baku against Turkey and Rome against Italy.

Group A is also the group with the strongest expected 4th place team, so in some sense the hardest group to advance out of.
   77. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 10:34 AM (#6023889)
Well then. Game on.
   78. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 10:47 AM (#6023890)
VAR saves Wales. Good decision.
   79. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 10:53 AM (#6023891)
Closing stages has been all Switzerland again.
   80. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6023900)
Eriksen looks like he had a heart attack on the field. It looks very, very bad.
   81. KronicFatigue Posted: June 12, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6023902)
100% in favor of shielding him with towels, etc, but that can't be a good sign. Has that ever happened before? I've seen a couple of parallelizations in the NFL, and I don't think anything like that happened. I suppose I shouldn't speculate. Just gutted.
   82. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 01:07 PM (#6023903)
I've seen a couple of parallelizations in the NFL, and I don't think anything like that happened.

FA Cup Bolton against Spurs, Fabrice Muamba. Heart stopped for 78 minutes. Remember thinking he was a goner.
   83. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6023904)
There's a picture of him being taken off on the stretcher, where he appears conscious. Has eyes open head up under his own power, placing his hand on his forehead. So hopefully that rules out the worst case scenario.
   84. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 01:22 PM (#6023906)
Literal tears of relief here at casa bea.

edit: cardiac arrest during physical activity is rare but not super rare. If you expand the world to all sports and to serious athletes that are not necessarily professional, people die every year. In young and otherwise healthy people it is often related to arrhythmia or other undiagnosed heart irregularities.
   85. . Posted: June 12, 2021 at 01:40 PM (#6023909)
My 16 year old son has the same first name; my first name is the first syllable of his last name, so my son fits with Christian Eriksen the old-school nomenclature of naming -- which I've joked with him about more than once. He has bought me Eriksen jerseys for Father's Day. We have a bunch of Danish background and were having a great time watching the game and getting our Dane on. Obviously pretty emotional stuff.
   86. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6023913)
After news of Eriksen being in stable condition, the teams have asked that the game be continued later today. Will be restarted soon.
   87. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 12, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#6023914)
Can't imagine wanting to kick on with it, if I was a Dane.
   88. sanny manguillen Posted: June 12, 2021 at 02:41 PM (#6023915)
And it is: it seems they're only carrying a "Multi View" feed, with a wide angle shot crammed into about a third of the screen.


Following on this, I take it that it's supposed to supplement a regular feed. One follows the ball, and the other gives a view of what's building away from the ball?
   89. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#6023916)
Turkey got their first shot against Italy in the 51st minute. No shots yet for Finland.

edit. about that...
   90. bunyon Posted: June 12, 2021 at 02:58 PM (#6023918)
I don’t see how the Danes keep their heads in.
   91. bunyon Posted: June 12, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6023919)
Was the kick worse than the call? Perhaps.
   92. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#6023921)
Well, originally I was rooting for Finland, but my heart wasn't it after they restarted. First time I'm a bit happy that 4 3rd place teams will advance, as Denmark still has a very good chance to advance. this win by Finland puts a lot of pressure on Denmark and Russia though. Finland could still easily be eliminated as well.

With first tiebreaker being head-to-head, now it really probably makes no difference how many goals Russia loses by against Belgium., at least for determining places in the group. If Belgium holds on to win they are basically through. Russia doesn't want to give up a big number though, as they could find themselves in 3rd place with 3 points, and a very negative group GD would be bad at that point.

Wouldn't be that surprising to have a 3-way tie with 3 points each at the bottom of the group, so Denmark will want to beat Russia by at least 2, and baring that, just beat them and not lose to Belgium by more than a goal.
   93. bunyon Posted: June 12, 2021 at 03:50 PM (#6023922)
I switched allegiance as well and also feel bad that Finland gets a big win under circumstances that prevent full celebration

I wonder if Denmark can overcome with a few days away. They looked very flat and I can imagine something like they witnessed having a lingering effect.
   94. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 04:15 PM (#6023925)
Finally the real action has started. St Kitts is hosting El Salvador. Already down 0-1. Vans and other vehicles seemingly haphazardly parked around the field, which appears to be in pretty bad shape. I don't see any fans.

You'd be very hard pressed to think this was anything other than an amateur game if you were strolling by.

edit: 0-2 now. This tie could be over soon. Probably over already absent a couple red cards. No shithousing by El Salvador in evidence, unsurprisingly considering their competition.
   95. KronicFatigue Posted: June 12, 2021 at 04:18 PM (#6023926)
Belgium vs Russia was the game I was most looking forward to, but I can’t get into it after everything’s that happened. I’m surprised both teams wanted to continue in the earlier game. Was rooting for Denmark because Erikson is in my top ten but even still feel bad for Finland for having a tempered victory.
   96. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 04:24 PM (#6023927)
Someone here was a Torquay fan. 2 goals in extra time and they have advanced to next weekend's final for promotion to League 2.
   97. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 04:39 PM (#6023928)
0-3 now. That really has to be that. I don't know how T&T let this happen (and are not playing this tie in place of St. Kitts...) They drew Puerto Rico and then the Bahamas. Both are very poor teams for this level of competition.

Speaking of, guess which concacaf team has the 2nd most wins ever? No, not the USA, and not Costa Rica. It's T&T, assuming you include the time prior to independence in the 60s. They have a long history of playing international soccer stretching way back to the 1920s, and have been decently respectable for most of that time. Their current ELO is basically tied for their worst ever.
   98. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 12, 2021 at 08:42 PM (#6023949)
El Salvador is effectively in the octagon, and Panama and Canada are close to being there now. Canada won a fairly close one, and Panama has dominated Curacao and is up 1-0 late.

If the favorites hold the top 7 teams in Concacaf by ELO will be in the Octagon, with El Salvador the 10th highest rated at the moment (after Haiti and Guatemala).

After the US and Mexico, should be a dogfight among Costa Rica, Honduras, and Canada this year.
   99. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 12, 2021 at 08:47 PM (#6023950)
Man I was coaching little league today so I missed it. So glad to hear Eriksen is stable. I saw the video and all I could think of was Reggie Lewis collapsing during a playoff game with the Celtics. There is a photo of Sjkaer and Scheichel consoling Eriksen’s wife that…are there Pulitzers for photography because damn that picture deserves it.
   100. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 13, 2021 at 09:47 AM (#6023976)
This England lineup looked lively at the beginning, but didn't turn it into many good chances and since then have gotten bogged down. Sterling has made a bunch of good runs. Too bad no JWP for that freekick by the box.

Also no Shaw, no Graelish, no Sancho, for Sancho not even on the bench. A bit baffling.
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