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Monday, August 09, 2021

OT Soccer Thread - Transfer! Kits! Other Stuff!

Bundesliga, Premier League and La Liga start August 13.

Serie A August 20.

Ligue Une started this weekend.  I haven’t paid attention to much but I assume defending champions Lille are expected to repeat.

Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference last qualifying rounds are the week of August 16 with draws for the group stages on the 27th.

Women’s Champions League qualifying rounds are the week of the 16th as well.

English Women’s Super League starts September 3rd.

Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: August 09, 2021 at 09:01 AM | 757 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   101. spivey 2 Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:19 AM (#6036196)
If City truly offered 150mil euros, Tottenham will regret turning that down imo.
   102. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: August 25, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6036280)
If City truly offered 150mil euros, Tottenham will regret turning that down imo.

That's an obscene amount of money for a striker who, while I think he is excellent overall, does have significant flaws imo.
   103. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 25, 2021 at 03:55 PM (#6036292)
Zagreb had 9 shots to Sheriff's one, in the first half. No goals though! Sheriff is 95% of the way there now.

Monaco is all over Shakhtar. So one sided, and 0-2 doesn't much flatter Monaco. Shakhtar better figure something out quick or they are going out despite winning the first leg.

Salzburg/Brondby is over. Brondby was dropped into the playoff round as winner of the Denmark league so haven't even one a qualifying game. They'll be one of the weakest teams in Europa this year.

edit: the Danelander league has slipped in recent years, or at least since this year's slots were assigned, and its winner now no longer gets a straight path to the CL playoff round.

edit2: Brondby also won the league last year despite probably not being the best team, which is now probably Copenhagen or Midtjylland.
   104. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 25, 2021 at 04:35 PM (#6036302)
Shakhtar scores! This is a late goal that would have not been enough under the old away goals rule. Let's see what happens now, now that we have a late goal 15 minutes to time to draw it "level" (ok, that was a jab against the new rule). Will the teams actually attack for the last 15 minutes?
   105. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 25, 2021 at 04:53 PM (#6036308)
Lots of attacking in this one! No complaints about that 15 minutes. Monaco was the far better team in the 90, but gave up a late(ish) goal anyway. Going to extras.

Zagreb never did score even one goal, let alone three, so Sheriff goes to the CL group stage! They might even have been the least fancied team in the Europa group stage this year, if they were to have fallen there. Europa is slightly stronger this year top to bottom, since it only has 32 teams and the weakest league champions get shuttled into Europa Conference, so the chance of a Dudelange now in Europa is much lower.
   106. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 25, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6036318)
Extra time was pretty weak, as is normal for soccer. Little excitement there, and if they play another one of those we'll be certain for pens.
   107. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 25, 2021 at 05:28 PM (#6036324)
Oh my lord. Kind of a freak long distance own goal by Shakhtar from the corner of the penalty area. Monaco got the short end of the stick today.
   108. spivey 2 Posted: August 25, 2021 at 05:30 PM (#6036327)
Wild own goal. It's also kind of hard for me to root for upsets at this stage because it's just going to lead to worse group stage games. The way Monaco dominated this match has the feel of a team that could upset good teams. Top teams don't even always dominate Shakthar this way.
   109. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 25, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6036329)
Pots for the CL draw are set. In order of assumed quality (based on betting odds):

Pot 1               Pot 2                  Pot 3             Pot 4

Manchester City     PSG                    Atalanta          Milan    
Bayern              Liverpool              Leipzig           Wolfsburg
Chelsea             Manchester United      Ajax              Young Boys
Atlético            Real Madrid            Porto             Besiktas
Inter               Barcelona              Benfica           Brugge
Lille               Juventus               Salzburg          Kyiv
Villarreal          Dortmund               Shakhtar          Malmo
Sporting            Sevilla                St Petersburg     Sheriff


Pot 2 top to bottom is probably stronger than Pot 1. A few teams might be switched around slightly when the final odds come out.
   110. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 25, 2021 at 07:40 PM (#6036347)
Oh shoot draw is tomorrow?!

Better check the odds prior to draw, to get a feel for unbiased (by competition) expected team quality:
PSG         22
City        19

Bayern      10.5
Chelsea      9.5
Liverpool    8.5

United       5
RealMadrid   4.5
Barcelona    4
Juventus     3.5

Atleti       2.5
Dortmund     1.5
Inter        1

Atalanta     0.75
Sevilla      0.75
Leipzig      0.75
Milan        0.75

Lille        0.5
Benfica      0.5
Ajax         0.5
Villarreal   0.5

Field        1.5


Not much to change in the pot orders above, though you can probably drop Porto a slot or two, and drop Salzburg to the bottom of Pot 3. They are not liked by the betting odds.
   111. spivey 2 Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6036372)
I like the odds of Sevilla and Villareal. They seem to play well in European football. I'd also be pretty tempted to buy Real because if they can get Mbappe which they're clearly trying, I think they're in the tier with Liverpool, Chelsea, and Bayern. I also think Bayern and maybe Chelsea are a tier above Liverpool. I guess 1 and 2 percentage points at that level is meaningful, but I still think Bayern is closer to the top 2 teams than the next tier.
   112. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 08:47 AM (#6036467)
I see elofootball.com cited a lot for club elo ratings, but it's just objectively further from betting odds than clubelo.com, so I prefer clubelo.com.

Why do the systems differ? Looking into the mechanics, there are all sorts of empirically derived constants (or adjustable constants) as well as various assumptions about how to weight things like interleague adjustments. Point being that if you use slightly different values or perform adjustments in slightly different ways, you'll get different ratings. Overall the two systems yield pretty similar ratings for most of the teams in the top leagues.
   113. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 26, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6036513)
Well Ronaldo to City seems done. I guess that makes City better but not sure how City will get the best use out of him. No doubt he's a natural goal scorer but Pep always wants a lot more out of strikers than what Ronaldo will give, especially at this point in his career. I look back to when Zlatan barely played at Barca. Ronaldo isn't going to do the pressing or the 'team play' that Pep's expect all his players do. He'll score tons of goals against lesser competition, but Kane always seemed like a better fit.
   114. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6036519)
Silly move. More reason to root against City, at least.

Lots of action in Europe right now! CL Draw, and EL and ECL group teams being decided.

Dortmund/Sporting in one group. That'll be a weak one, and a big break for Dortmund.
City/PSG! yikes.

Also Lille/Sevilla another easy one.
United/Villa was third easiest of that round. Lucky break for United.
   115. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:01 PM (#6036521)
City/PSG/Leipzig. That's a killer group, no matter who rounds it out.

United got Atalanta, so that reverses their good luck getting Villarreal. Probably harder being in a group with two other decent teams than one great team and two bad ones.

Lille/Sevilla/Salzburg: currently the group of life.

edit: and now for the real excitement--who has to face Sheriff?
   116. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:11 PM (#6036523)
Atleti/Liverpool/Porto/Milan. A solid group top to bottom. Still, you would think Liverpool should advance.

Wolfsburg gets the big break, playing in the group of life. Might be favored to advance: Lille/Sevilla/Salzburg/Wolfsburg

Group of death is rounded out with Brugge. Sorry Brugge: City/PSG/Leipzig/Brugge.
   117. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6036525)
Group A: ManCity, PSG, Leipzig, Club Brugge
Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan
Group C: Sporting, Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas
Group D: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff Tiraspol
Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev
Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys
Group G: Lille, Sevilla, Red Bull Salzburg, Wolfsburg
Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit St. Petersburg, Malmo
   118. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:20 PM (#6036528)
Lincoln Red Imps are all square with 30 minutes to play.
   119. spivey 2 Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6036529)
Pep both relied on Aguero a lot and was able to get him to start to put in a bit more effort on the defensive side of the ball. I think Ronaldo's time at Juventus *may* get him to realize he was thrown a bit of a life line, and he won't be bigger than the team. Sounds like Ronaldo probably took a big pay cut to move, so I think there's a chance he'd be bought in and this could work. He's still a really, really good poacher.
   120. Mefisto Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6036531)
Benjamin Mendy -- yikes!
   121. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:37 PM (#6036532)
Oh that's not good.
   122. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6036541)
Lincoln Red Imps get a goal in extras! Now they just have to hold on.
   123. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 26, 2021 at 02:25 PM (#6036546)
If Pep can get Ronaldo to do all the 'other work' that would be some great man-managing. However, Ronaldo was barely doing any pressing at the tail-end of his United tenure and that was a really, really long time ago.
   124. Mefisto Posted: August 26, 2021 at 02:31 PM (#6036548)
Ronaldo never played defense, not really. He won't now. Maybe Pep has a plan for that.
   125. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6036549)
Red Imps get a third deep in extras! They might be the weakest (ok, least fancied) team ever in a Europe group stage. Of course, we have the extra tiers now.
   126. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 04:52 PM (#6036575)
Europa League pots (probable order of team expected quality):
Pot 1               Pot 2                Pot 3            Pot 4
Napoli              Leicester            West Ham         Rapid Wien
Leverkusen          Eintracht            Sociedad         Galatasary
Lazio               PSV                  Betis            Midtjylland 
Lyon                Rangers              Marseille        Sturm Graz
Monaco              Red Star Belgrade    Sparta Prague    Ferencvaros
Olympiacos          Locomotiv Moscow     Fenerbace        Antwerp
Braga               Celtic               Spartak Moscow   Legia Warsaw
Zagreb              Genk                 Ludogorets       Brondby

Potential for some very unbalanced groups here.
   127. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 26, 2021 at 06:22 PM (#6036584)
Europa Conference League pots (probable order of team expected quality):
Pot 1               Pot 2             Pot 3            Pot 4
Tottenham           Rennes            Union Berlin     Bodo/Glimt
Roma                Feyenoord         Sofia            Maccabi Haifa
Slavia Prague       Partizan          Vitesse          Omonia
AZ                  PAOK              Jablonec         Randers
Basel               Cluj              Slovan           Anorthosis
Copenhagen          Maccabi Tel Aviv  Kairat           Mura
LASK                Zorya Luhansk     Alashkert        HJK
Gent                Qarabag           Flora Tallinn    Lincoln Red Imps
   128. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:05 AM (#6036650)
Nothing too exciting in the EL and ECL draws.

In the EL, West Ham got an easy group. Leicester got Napoli but the other teams are easy, so they should advance anyway. Hardest group to advance from is Monaco/PSV/Sociedad/Sturm.

In the ECL, Spurs got Rennes, Vitesse, and Mura. It's good they have some competition in Rennes, but there's really no way they wouldn't advance from that group. Roma's group is very easy. Shockingly, since this is the ECL, there is a decently hard group: Slavia/Feyenoord/Union/Maccabi. Union Berlin should still advance, but it's not a gimme.
   129. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:26 AM (#6036666)
Now they're saying Ronaldo to United. Every transfer window is now crazy.
   130. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 27, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6036667)
CL odds to advance (538 in parens)
Group A
PSG          83   (55)   
City         83   (81)
Leipzig      29   (57)
Brugge        5    (7)

Group B
Liverpool    75   (77)
Atleti       60   (61)
Milan        40   (32)
Porto        25   (31)

Group C      
Dortmund     81   (72)
Ajax         56   (76)
Sporting     43   (43)
Besiktas     20   (10)

Group D
RealMadrid   92   (89)
Inter        73   (84)
Shakhtar     31   (25)
Sheriff       4    (2)

Group E     
Bayern       86   (82)
Barcelona    76   (77)
Benfica      30   (37)
Kyiv          8    (4)

Group F
United       77   (79)
Atalanta     67   (59)
Villarreal   48   (46)
YoungBoys     8   (15)

Group G      
Sevilla      68   (66)
Wolfsburg    52   (51)
Lille        46   (26)
Salzburg     34   (57)

Group H      
Chelsea      88   (92)
Juventus     75   (71)
Zenit        28   (33)
Malmo         9    (4)


538 hated PSG anyway, and it's system doesn't know about Messi. As usual, it's not very good at adjusting between leagues, and tends to overrate top performers in lower-tier leagues, like Ajax and Salzburg.

Expectation this year is 3 teams outside of big 4 + PSG will make the KOs. We know there will be at least 1 (Group C), and more likely than not another one in Group G (Lille or Salzburg).
   131. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 27, 2021 at 12:30 PM (#6036703)
Ronaldo to United. Blech.
   132. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 27, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6036709)
Europa winner odds (there's a good chance a third place CL team wins, so these add up to much less than 100):
Napoli          5.5
Leicester       5.5

West Ham        4.5
Sociedad        4
Lazio           4
Leverkusen      4

Frankurt        3
Lyon            3

Betis           2
Monaco          2
PSV             2

Marseille       1.5
Rangers         1.5
Celtic          1
Galatasaray     1
   133. Mefisto Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6036713)
@131: Yep. Yuck. Silly unforced error by United too.
   134. Textbook Editor Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:11 PM (#6036714)
I don't get the Ronaldo to United thing at all.
   135. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:31 PM (#6036720)
One very nice feature of the EL and ECL this year is that group winners get a bye in what would have been the round of 32. The 8 second-place teams face the 8 third-place teams from a level up. For the most part, those won't be easy games.
   136. Mefisto Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#6036729)
@134: Yeah, I don't even understand why he wanted so suddenly (and so desperately) to leave Italy. But United have now spent 200,000/wk on a forward they don't need instead of a midfielder they do need.
   137. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2021 at 02:02 PM (#6036731)
Cavani is old and seems to want to play all of Uruguay's World Cup qualifiers which would mean quarantines when he comes back. Rashford is coming off of surgery. Martial is inconsistent at best, not so good at worst. Greenwood is still young. United need goal scorers and Ronaldo is still one of the best in the world.

I'd much prefer a defensive midfielder, but not sure who they can get. Cavaminga doesn't seem to want to come. Rice is way too expensive.
   138. Mefisto Posted: August 27, 2021 at 03:12 PM (#6036748)
Without a good midfielder, United can't even get the ball to their forwards (see the Southampton game). So I'd much prefer the midfielder and take my chances that their forwards will score.
   139. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6036769)
This Dortmund - Hoffenheim match is bonkers.
   140. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 28, 2021 at 08:12 AM (#6036841)
Arsenal started really well, played a lively 10 minutes, then gave up a goal on City's first cross of the game by not marking. Couple minutes later a free kick bounces all the way through to the last man right in front of goal for an easy tap in. And now Xhaka sent off for a straight red.
   141. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 28, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6036869)
Wow. Reece James handles on the goal line, probably saved a goal, but a pen given on replay. And also a red! Seemed like the right call to give the pen, as his arm was out a little and it seemed to make the difference between goal and no goal. However, it wasn't obviously intentional as the ball came off James' leg. In other words, he was making a genuine attempt to play the ball legally, so I didn't think the red card was called for.

Chelsea is in trouble now, likely down a man for the entire second half.

edit: James' arm does swing forward quite a bit. That could be what was considered intent. I can definitely see it. James also didn't complain as much as you would expect for someone who thought he was totally innocent.

edit 2: ironically, the intent seems to come after the ball had already hit his arm inadvertently. Had he just let the ball hit his arm probably no red.
   142. sardonic Posted: August 28, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6036876)
Definitely seemed like if he didn't move his arm forward that ball probably squirts over the line though. Probably more instinctive than anything, not premeditated but hard to argue that moving the arm forward didn't prevent the goal. Impressive stand by Chelsea in the second half to hang onto the point.
   143. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 28, 2021 at 02:49 PM (#6036878)
I think the arm moving forward did nothing for him--looked like the ball was moving forward away from the goal line before the arm started to move forward. But I guess it's not so easy to tell.

Turns out there is normally no double jeopardy for DOGSO when there is a genuine attempt to play the ball, but that rule doesn't extend to handballs. So once it's a handball and DOGSO it's an automatic red.

For the sake of argument, let's say the hand coming forward turned out to be superfluous, but the hand saved the goal anyway. Would that have been a handling worthy of a penalty had he never brought his arm forward? It's a tough call, but probably not.
   144. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: August 28, 2021 at 09:23 PM (#6036904)
The red is the part that surprised me. I don’t think he was denying a goal since the ball looked like it was heading away from goal. For me that was an absolute penalty but I wouldn’t have minded calling it yellow. Having said that Chelsea wind up with the draw anyway which realistically is a pretty good result for them away to Liverpool.

The atmosphere was unbelievable. Unfortunately I missed the second half (pool party for my little leaguers) but my goodness the crowd was just roaring constantly. That was great.
   145. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 28, 2021 at 09:59 PM (#6036914)
Ball was definitely (IMHO) heading for a goal when it struck his arm (even after it came off his leg). If that is true and they call a handling, then by rule it is DOGSO and red card. There is no "genuine attempt to play the ball" exception for handballs.

I'm not sure double jeopardy is warranted on a play like this, but it's the rule.
   146. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 28, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6036925)
The away goals rule is effectively dead, but not totally dead, for the CL this year.

If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied in the order given to determine their rankings:

higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question;

if, after having applied criteria a) to c), teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to c) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the remaining teams to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria e) to k) apply in the order given to the two or more teams still equal;

superior goal difference in all group matches;
higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
higher number of away goals scored in all group matches;
higher number of wins in all group matches;
higher number of away wins in all group matches;
lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received by players and team officials in all group matches (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
higher club coefficient (see Annex D).


So, if two teams are tied on points and they also tied head to head on points (not that uncommon, actually), it goes straight to group GD (rather than away goals head-to-head), and eventually to a group away goals rule. Not sure why they didn't drop that rule too. Getting that far in the rules almost never comes into play, though it's quite a bit more likely now that they have dropped the head-to-head away goals rule.
   147. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: August 28, 2021 at 11:04 PM (#6036927)
Oh yeah, that ball was heading in. PK and red, automatic.
   148. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 29, 2021 at 10:35 AM (#6036947)
Had no idea Sissoko left Spurs - and is playing them today. Also did not know that Tom Cleverly was still playing.
   149. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 29, 2021 at 01:10 PM (#6036971)
United with the fully un-deserved lead, after being outplayed most of the game. Almost looked like an own goal even.
   150. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 29, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6036974)
Wolves have played three decent games, against 3 of the top 7 teams (projected) coming into the season. Lost all three 1-0.

United broke the EPL record for most consecutive away games without a loss (covid asterisk version).
   151. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 01, 2021 at 03:51 PM (#6037741)
Ronaldo missed another pen against Ireland today. Here's hoping he takes all penalties and (gag) free kicks for United, and misses all of them. Bruno drew the foul.

Seriously what are they going to do when they have players better at pens than Ronaldo, and much, much better at free kicks than him. I guess even better than him missing is the camera panning over to Ronaldo after someone else on the team makes one.
   152. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 02, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6038020)
This England/Hungary game is boring. It's partly Hungary's defensive style, but it's also Southgate's plodding possession style. I guess it's reasonable for England to play somewhat cautiously and control the game, as this one and the away game at Poland are the hardest in the group. Even a draw today is a fine result, though England just did get the breakthrough goal and are now sitting pretty.

If England wins today, it would be extremely unlikely that they don't finish top in the group.
   153. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 02, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6038022)
Spain on the ropes in Sweden. Already only drew Greece at home, and now are behind to undefeated Sweden. They bring on Traore!
   154. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: September 02, 2021 at 10:17 PM (#6038073)
Italy with the draw against Bulgaria too.

US running everything through McKennie (not surprisingly). Looked good so far, a couple of half chances.
   155. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: September 02, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6038075)
After a fairly good 10-15 m injures to start the half the US was a bit of a letdown. Some good individual performances so far but could have been better. Need to move the ball a bit quicker to take the sting out of El Salvador who are doing a good job not giving the US too much space.
   156. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 02, 2021 at 11:22 PM (#6038077)
Difference between Italy and Spain is Spain now needs help from Greece/Kosovo, whereas Italy just needs to take care of business when it plays Switzerland.

Spain could win the rest of their games and wouldn't be shocking, just a bit surprising, if that wasn't enough to finish top of the group. Group winner is now probably 50/50 with Sweden.

Finishing second puts Spain into a playoff round, where they have to go through two teams. Probably not more than 60% chance of doing that, even with pretty favorable matchups. Put it all together and all of a sudden Spain is not at all a lock anymore for the World Cup in 2022.

   157. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 02, 2021 at 11:27 PM (#6038078)
Canada came back against Honduras. Canada was the better team with the better chances, at least in the parts I saw, but Honduras had some of their own as well. Losing to Honduras at home would have been an absolute killer for Canada, with the US and Mexico both likely to make it. Canada really needs to do everything they can to win, and certainly not lose, their head to head matches with Honduras and Costa Rica.
   158. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 03, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6038092)
USMNT xG (according to one method) was 1.7-0.3 in favor. That's more than fine for a Concacaf away game at this stage, though it's true they could have played better for large parts of the game.

Costa Rica was outshot 18-4 in an otherwise "similar" away 0-0 draw (to Panama). Maybe this year Canada and Honduras are the 3rd and 4th best teams in Concacaf.
   159. Textbook Editor Posted: September 03, 2021 at 11:24 AM (#6038102)
If this has been mentioned somewhere else I've missed it, but is Pulisic not being on the roster because of the whole EPL/red zone COVID thing (because the game was in El Salvador)? Are WCQ in the USA/Canada considered OK for EPL players to travel to/return from without the quarantine if they're vaccinated?
   160. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 03, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6038111)
I thought he was in the US somewhere already, day-to-day with some injury.
   161. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 03, 2021 at 12:02 PM (#6038112)
This article says it might have been lack of match fitness due to not training due to covid. Good point about El Salvador, as maybe that is part of a red zone while the US is not. I didn't see that written anywhere.

Christian Pulisic has not traveled with the rest of his international teammates to San Salvador last night, where the US will be taking on El Salvador on Thursday night to begin their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. Pulisic had been training with the squad for the past few days, but evidently is not fit enough to play just yet.

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed the decision to leave Captain America behind, though he didn’t delve into any specific reasons as to why.

“Christian Pulisic did not travel with the team. He will not be playing. He’s listed as day-to-day.”

-Gregg Berhalter; source: CBS Sports

Pulisic had been in isolation for ten days due to a positive COVID-19 test prior to joining up with the national team, so hopefully this is nothing more than him still lacking some match fitness — precisely which, as Thomas Tuchel mentioned as well, we are hoping he would regain during this break.


One thing I don't understand is how professional players who are isolating would not be match fit. ok if they are actually suffering from symptoms so can't train 100% then maybe. Otherwise, being away from the team should give them more time to stay fit not less.
   162. Textbook Editor Posted: September 03, 2021 at 02:51 PM (#6038137)
Thanks, Aunt Bea. I somehow completely missed he had tested positive. One hopes he would have had the good sense to get the jab and thus would most likely be fine.
   163. Mefisto Posted: September 03, 2021 at 04:27 PM (#6038150)
He said that he was vaccinated, so I assume a mild case.
   164. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 04, 2021 at 01:56 PM (#6038283)
Ireland was about to earn 4 losses in 4 group games so far, but pulled a late 1 back. Still, no chance for the world cup now, as Portugal and Serbia both have 10 points to their 1. Ireland's games includes a home loss to Luxembourg and a home draw today to Azerbaijan. That's very bad.
   165. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 04, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6038315)
France didn't look that great for large stretches and only got the draw against Ukraine. Still very much favored to win the group though. The two games they have against Finland will likely decide it.

Ukraine was the second favored group team, far behind France, coming into the qualifiers. They've had stretches where they played well, and also stretches of the opposite. 5 games and 5 draws though isn't enough points. Drawing France twice is a decent achievement, but taking 2 points in 2 games from Kazakhstan is a killer in this format. They'll need to win 2 out of the last 3 to give themselves a chance at 2nd in the group.
   166. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 04, 2021 at 05:31 PM (#6038319)
Spain losing was kind of a big deal. First WCQ loss (home or away) for 28 years, during which time they went something like 52 wins and 12 draws. They won their qualifying group every year, including the one 28 years ago, except once when they finished 2nd (5 wins and 5 draws that year) and had to win a playoff.

Spain has made every world cup since 1978, so no reason to panic yet!
   167. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6038360)
Wales is down 2-1 at the half. To Belarus.

If they don't manage to win this one, their chances of topping the group are virtually nil. Since they already are guaranteed (essentially) a spot in the playoffs due to their Nations League performance, the remaining 5 group WCQ qualifying games become essentially just exhibitions. Assuming they don't turn this one around, they can and should sue the opportunity to figure out their best team, rest players, etc. To make the World Cup they will need to be at their best to make it through the tough 2-rounded playoff.

edit: the 6 best group runners up get to host the first round of the playoff (single elimination), and Wales not finishing 2nd would certainly put them on the road for that round. So there is something to play for, though maybe not enough.
   168. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 11:14 AM (#6038365)
Wales won anyway! Nice comeback late. Bale with the 2-pen hat trick.
   169. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 03:17 PM (#6038374)
Brazil/Argentina game is paused, with officials raising some kind of stink on the sideline.

9 Brazilian players had to miss this game due to the covid rules. 4 Argentines here lied their way into the country, including 3 starters. Appears to be a conveniently-timed intervention by the Brazilian authorities to disrupt the proceedings.

This is a ####### joke. They should never have let them play to begin with. This is absurd.

Still 0-0 at least, and only 10 or so minutes into the game. Pretty much everyone off the pitch now.

One saving grace is that both teams are doing well in qualification, so the result might not end up meaning that much.
   170. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6038377)
Italy lucked out facing a weakened Switzerland squad today, with Switzerland missing a number of starters in a home game. Italy has been the much more dangerous team but haven't scored. A win today and Italy is close to guaranteed to top the group. A draw ultimately will very likely be good enough too, but I'm sure they want the win today.
   171. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 03:46 PM (#6038379)
Looks like the game has probably been called in Brazil. I'm guessing a replay at some point. Not sure how that helps anyone, except maybe the Brazilian authorities to publicize how serious they are about covid. (Ha.)
   172. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 04:03 PM (#6038381)
So many penalty takers now wait for the keeper to make the first move, and calmly slot it the other way. It's very effective when it works, and Jorginho just tried it but failed. It seemed like Sommmer may have faked out Jorginho with a feint to the other direction in the split second before the shot. A well-timed feint like that in response to players known to use this penalty-taking technique a high percentage of the time, like Jorginho, would seem to be something keepers should try more often. Especially if the penalty kicker is going to do a hop on the approach, the keeper would knoe the exactly the right time to do the feint. Basically the hop means the keeper knows exactly when the kick has to be made, which you would think would give the keeper the timing advantage.

It can't be that easy or you'd see keepers do it successfully more often. Did seem to happen just now though. Still 0-0.
   173. spivey 2 Posted: September 05, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6038383)
I think the problem is that the refs really give the takers so much leeway in terms of stopping on the approach while giving relatively little leeway (imo) to the keepers in terms of getting off the line early. It's also early on with the hop approach, and I think keepers will get better at them (and I think they have, anecdotally). I think the best approach is still the Harry Kane fire it into a corner approach, but it's pretty difficult to do without occasionally missing the target.

Argentina/Brazil situation is ridiculous and because two of the players are Tottenham players it's hard to simply enjoy as absurd.
   174. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6038386)
Definitely agree with all that about penalty kicks, including the kickers' advantage with run-up hesitation and the newness of the hop. I'd actually be fine with a rule that if the ref determines there is any intentional hesitation during the runup the penalty is simply ruled as missed. My only point is that I feel that the hop takes away almost all the advantage of the hesitation, so I really don't understand it. It must be fooling the keepers somehow, and likely they'll get better at reading it. Maybe Sommer showed some of that today.

Turned out to be big, as the game finished 0-0. Switzerland is still longshots to win the group over Italy, but at least they still have a chance.
   175. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 08:05 PM (#6038428)
Pulisic back in (edit: Brooks too), but Reyna (hamstring), McKennie ("violation of team policy") and Steffen (covid) still out.
   176. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6038432)
Sometimes the refs make bad calls, no doubt. 90% of the time players complain about the call, it was really a foul though, so not sure why the refs would ever pay any attention.
   177. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 09:17 PM (#6038435)
The USMNT in a tough one tonight. Dest now off as well with a knock.

Except for Panama beating Jamaica, the US and Canada's first round draws haven't hurt them too much. All the other teams in the region have drawn all their games, except the teams that have already lost to Mexico. Since Mexico was almost certain to qualify anyway, these early draws haven't cost the team much ground (yet).
   178. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: September 05, 2021 at 09:38 PM (#6038438)
You can blame Yedlin on the goal, but as indifferent Dest is on defense, the outcome would have been the same.
   179. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 09:38 PM (#6038439)
Really nice movement on the US goal.

Not so nice on the Canada goal. Mistake by Yedlin was bad enough, but Brooks leaving Larin wide open in the middle for the tap-in was unforgivable. No idea at all what he was thinking.

That's the second bad defensive mistake that led to a huge Canada chance. Have to clean that up.
   180. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 09:44 PM (#6038440)
Heh. Intentional off-the-ball foul by Tyler Adams, earning a deserved caution.

Stupidest part was it ruined a breakaway chance for the US.
   181. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6038442)
Davies off with a knock. My guess is Canada tries to hold on for the draw now. Davies was involved in almost all Canada's chances.
   182. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 05, 2021 at 10:02 PM (#6038444)
Well I was wrong about that. A few decent chances by Canada since Davies went out. Not much for the US.
   183. Pirate Joe Posted: September 06, 2021 at 08:38 PM (#6038511)
McKennie ("violation of team policy")


They sent him home, so he's not playing on Wednesday either.

   184. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 07, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6038579)
Klaassen with two sublime touches, one for a goal himself and one for Depay. If the Netherlands wins today against Turkey, which is very likely now, they'll have a clear track to the World Cup. Extremely unlikely anyone would catch them if they just draw Norway at home and beat the other teams. Away to Montenegro is not a gimme though.
   185. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 07, 2021 at 03:57 PM (#6038581)
Scotland is up 0-1 in Austria, thanks to a first half penalty. If they can hold on and win this they will be in excellent shape in the group, and certainly favorites to finish 2nd. Denmark has basically wrapped up first today already, leading big against Israel and still with a perfect group record.

France is up 2-0 now to Finland, and despite their struggles getting wins in the group, will have basically wrapped up first today. (Especially with Bosnia currently losing to Kazakhstan at home!)

Ireland down 0-1 to Serbia at home at the moment. They've been absolutely pathetic. It does set up an interesting showdown between Serbia and Portugal for group winner.

In the last group, it may come down to Russia and Croatia. Croatia has the easier schedule, and also faces Russia at home, so Croatia has to be significant favorites to win the group.
   186. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 07, 2021 at 04:42 PM (#6038591)
Scotland holds on! Nicely done.

Ireland comes back to draw, putting Portugal in the driver's seat in their group, though things are still very much up in the air. Bosnia came back to win late against minnows Kazakhstan, so they still have a chance in the group, especially for 2nd.
   187. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 07, 2021 at 07:18 PM (#6038603)
Apparently McKennie pulled a Foden/Greenwood special, among other infractions.
   188. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 08, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6038724)
I wasn't watching the Poland/England game closely, but there was some dustup right at the halftime whistle, involving Maguire and one of the Polish players. Lots of players milling about arguing and two yellows eventually given, one each way.

It always amuses me when players nowhere near the play, in this case Pickford and some Polish player he was arguing with (probably), thing they have a valuable opinion on the goings on. Unlikely most of the players have any idea what really happened. I didn't have the energy as a player to argue with people on the other team when I had no idea what happened. I also played on a lot of teams over the years, some of which had their fair share of dicks.
   189. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 08, 2021 at 04:10 PM (#6038733)
England game has been dull. Both teams are playing cagier than normal, as a draw is a decent result for both. England is virtually certain to win the group with a draw. Poland wants a win of course, but they are not as good as England so if they play more open they risk a loss, and even with a win they are unlikely to catch England for first. Trying to consolidate second in the group is reasonable. Also, Southgate is always dull.
   190. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 08, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6038747)
Switzerland failed to beat Northern Ireland. Sweden lost to Greece. North Macedonia and Romania drew. Poland didn't beat England.

Add it all up, and all group favorites now are very likely to advance top of their group. I'd be surprised if any fail now. Still maybe one could get thrown into the playoffs, but it might be less than 50/50 chance of even that.
   191. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 08, 2021 at 07:44 PM (#6038792)
Canada all over El Salvador early and up 2-0. Some nice passing on the first goal, and Buchanon giving El Salvador fits down the wing, earns a couple free kicks and sets up the second goal.

Buchanon looked good when he came on late against the US, and also in the Gold Cup. He's got speed with the ball and loves blowing past people right along the sideline.

edit: and Davies not even available today.
   192. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 08, 2021 at 07:51 PM (#6038794)
El Salvador has been shithousing since going down 0-1, and seemingly realizing they are overmatched tonight. Just got Buchanon to retaliate for a yellow, and I wouldn't be surprised if they continue to mix it up to throw Canada off their game.
   193. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 08, 2021 at 08:12 PM (#6038799)
El Salvador's Larin has been so nasty tonight. Pulled his third or fourth caution-worthy foul just now, again on Buchannon. He actually already has a yellow, so he is playing with fire a bit. Ref seems reluctant to give cautions though, so he might just get away with it.

edit: for his part, it seems like Buchannon has been fouled 10 times in the first half already.
   194. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 08, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6038802)
Canada blew El Salvador away for the first 15 minutes, but after that El Salvador settled down. Still were pretty toothless going forward, but they at least slowed down Canada after that. Damage was probably done though. Hard to see this El Salvador team scoring two goals tonight.
   195. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: September 08, 2021 at 11:00 PM (#6038860)
US being sloppy with the ball in midfield several times in a few minute span, and it finally cost them. 1-0 Honduras.

It's going to be quite the feat to turn this one around into a victory. Seems unlikely. The US did miss one golden chance the other way already though.

In better news, out of 11 prior octagonal games, 7 have ended in draws, so despite their poor results even another draw wouldn't be that much of a killer. Have to start winning games soon.
   196. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: September 08, 2021 at 11:42 PM (#6038864)
Huge goal there. Hard not to be disappointed by the first 230 minutes of the Octagonal though.
   197. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: September 08, 2021 at 11:46 PM (#6038865)
Small sample size here but from what I’ve seen from him I really wish Hoppe was with them. He had a bit more of a direct style that I think would be beneficial.
   198. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 09, 2021 at 12:08 AM (#6038867)
So Davies is the best player from a CONCACAF nation. Is Reyna the next best? Looking at the Mexican team and recent call ups, no name really stands out.
   199. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: September 09, 2021 at 12:20 AM (#6038870)
I think it’s Pulisic.

Feeling a lot better now. Not a complete performance but they are getting five points from these first three games. I don’t think that’s a bad return especially given that we were missing Pulisic and then McKennie.
   200. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: September 09, 2021 at 12:27 AM (#6038871)
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