Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - jknezek

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 216
16
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 10:05:55 am »
Thought they were playing in Houston then NJ for finals?

They are. I was referring to finishing 1st or 2nd in the group. We finished 1st so we flew all the way to Seattle but got the great crowd. Finishing 2nd would have been a short drive to NJ, but a much more mixed crowd. I wasn't a fan of the travel to Seattle, but that crowd was incredible and I think important. We aren't going to have favorable crowds in Houston or NJ if we make it. Or in AZ if we end up in the 3rd place game....

17
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 10:02:39 am »
Likely to see...

          Dempsey Zardes

Bedoya Bradley Beckerman Zusi

Johnson Brooks Cameron Yedlin



vs Argentina I'd go:

                   Dempsey

 Bedoya  Bradley Beckerman Zardes
               
Johnson Besler Brooks Cameron Yedlin

Bedoya has two yellows. He's out.  I think we're likely to see this:

               Zardes
                       Dempsey
F Johnson  Bradley      Zusi
                     Beckerman
Besler Brooks Cameron  Yedlin 

Though I hate breaking up the back line again, F Johnson can help Besler. Zusi is a stabilizer for Yedlin. I hate pushing Bradley up but Beckerman can't play that role. He's a destroyer and even less of a creator than Bradley and he's just too slow. I don't see Nagbe playing in front of Bradley against Argentina. Maybe if it's Venezuela. But the Besler decision surprised me, so I guess I wouldn't be too surprised if F Johnson stayed across the back line and JK went with a surprise on the left side of midfield. I don't think he trusts Nagbe to play enough defense though, especially missing Jones.

18
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 17, 2016, 09:49:46 am »
Thoughts on last night. The first half was excellent. Then the wear started to show. Brooks was dominant again, especially in the first half and the last 5 minutes of the game. He wasn't quite as strong in the middle of the second half and I think it had to be fatigue. That Paraguay game took a lot out of the guys. Kudos to Guzan. Another solid effort with one spectacular and necessary save. Not much he could do about the goal. Good decision making on when to come off his line all night on crosses.

I didn't see Besler coming in that role but he was serviceable. Ecuador had more speed on the flanks than even Argentina is likely to possess, though not the same skill front to back. Lot to be proud of for Besler playing an unfamiliar role. F Johnson did well also. They keyed on that side for a long time and he held his own considering Zardes did a lot of defensive hustle but he's not a great defender. FJ also got forward a bit in the first half. So he wasn't quite as anonymous as he was against Paraguay. It wasn't Cameron's best night. A couple flubbed clearances including one that should have cost us badly. He seemed a little slow as well, so I'm thinking fatigue as the night wore on.

Bradley was very, very good. He didn't get a lot of publicity but he snuffed out the center of the field from the box to the mid line. Granted Ecuador's strength was down the wings, but Bradley made sure that they had no shot coming up the gut. He connected well front to back, though I still think he takes the safe ball square or back too often. Didn't contribute much on offense in the first half but also didn't seem to tire the way the rest of the team did in the second.

Zardes still has no touch, but again he got what he needed done and he ran all night. I expect to see him start up top for Wood. We don't have another choice except Wondo and I just don't see JK going that route. Maybe Zardes will be more settled higher up the field, though we might miss his speed and hustle deeper back. Bedoya hustled all night but he wore out. JK is on the hook for his card and the foul that created the goal because Bedoya should have been pulled 10 minutes sooner. JK is rigid about subs. 70th minute, 80th minute, 88th plus minute. That wasn't good enough last night as Bedoya needed to come out in the late 60s. Ecuador still might have scored, they had plenty of chances, but they wouldn't have gotten the one they got.

Jones is a hot head. It's the chance you take with him. And it hurt. Instead of coasting to a win up a man, he was just stupid enough to fall on the wrong side of a "point of emphasis" for the tournament. Exactly the wrong thing to do at the wrong time, especially for a veteran. Losing his work rate is going to hurt. Especially against a team like Argentina. We don't have a good replacement though I suspect Beckerman will get the nod. That makes us slower and less likely to get up field, or it means Bradley has to be more advanced where he never seems to shine.

Wood has been incredible. He's not getting goals, but he is the force that is causing defenses to fear our ability to score. He has kept Paraguay and Ecuador honest and prevented them from bombing forward. The card wasn't the worst one for the U.S. on the night, but it hurts. I also think it was a little chintzy from the ref but he was trying to regain control after the double ejection fiasco. Players have to know the next moderate tackle is going to be punished, and Wood was the unfortunate one to do it. I think Zardes can do 85-90% of his role up front, but I wish Wood was eligible.

Dempsey -- fantastic again. Creative force, goal scorer, worked for the assist. Tracked back when needed but got forward. This might be the best tournament for an American attacker that I can remember.

Happy to have a few extra days rest. These guys are going to need it. It's going to be another long flight, but the crowd in Seattle was worth the distance. In NJ I'm not sure that game goes the U.S. way. I feel like the crowd kept the team on its feet when we were being shelled at the end.

19
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 17, 2016, 09:28:44 am »
what the hell is this world coming to ?????

A world where we try not to poison those around us inadvertently?  ;D

20
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 16, 2016, 11:48:43 pm »
Ecuador is the better side and will win this game. In fact I am rooting for Ecuador to win this game so we can clean house and fire Sunil Gulati and Klinnsmann.

JK is going to Russia as long as we qualify. Big win for the US but selection dilemmas abound. We don't have a replacement for Wood other than moving Zardes up. That requires replacing both wings. Zusi is obvious for one. But do you push F Johnson or Yedlin up on the other side? Besler did well tonight so I guess you can rely on him again. Mighty thin though now.

21
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 16, 2016, 04:41:19 pm »

USMNT likely to come out with a 4-4-2, absorb some pressure and pick spots going forward.   Looking at how much they've travelled the last few weeks, opponents played, and projected XIs... I give the edge to Ecuador to advance.   Up and down game with flow possibly disrupted by tactical fouls...   

2-1 Ecuador in extra time...

There is no extra time in Copa America games. Goes straight to penalties. I think a pro-U.S. crowd in Seattle gives the U.S. the edge. 2-1 U.S.

22
It'll be interesting to see how IWU plays against the Mexican team. They provided a significant portion of the team that just crushed the American team at the World University Championship of American Football. Yeah, the American team was a bunch of college guys paying $5K to get a few more games and a neat experience, but the Mexican team pretty much buried us in the finals. I wonder how the Monterrey team will do against a real DIII school.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/16235034/us-teaches-international-brethren-learns-lesson-world-university-championship-american-football

23
East Region football / Re: FB: Empire 8
« on: June 15, 2016, 02:54:17 pm »
It is interesting that 3 of the 4 finalists are DIII.

As an ODAC member alumnus, I need to support Sweet Briar. Not sure I could turn my back on the Vixens anyway. I mean, the actual definition is either a female fox, or, according to the Old English Dictionary, "an ill-tempered quarrelsome woman; a shrew, a termagant." Only later did we add some different connotations and denotations like flirty, fun, sexy, or attractive.

It should be noted the Vixens' website touts "quarrelsome", but for some reason stays away from "shrew" and "flirty." Can't imagine why.

Regardless, need to support the ODAC women!

It's Pep's understanding that all of the original 32 in the contest are DIII schools. Which one is NOT DIII?

ha. I didn't pay that much attention! I didn't think UC Santa Cruz was, but apparently they are. My mistake!

24
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 15, 2016, 12:17:58 pm »
Jk

I was referring only to football related facilities but I enjoyed your narrative. I think W&L can afford to spend the $$$$, so what's the holdup. Every college should have its own golf course !!!!

Yeah. Somehow I don't think that one is happening. Land for a softball field was laid out in the last master plan, though not funded or planned, so I think that is a matter of some time only. But I think quirky Lexington Country Club is going to remain our home golf course for a while, even as we've now moved on to both men's and women's teams. Kind of a shame, since we generally are very good in men's golf, and every few years, like this year, we are superb, but I bet we could be consistently superb for both men's and women's if we had a less quirky home course. Oh well. Golf isn't really played home/away so much as it is various scattered large tournaments. I can't imagine it would be worth the construction and, especially, maintenance money.

I haven't been around the ODAC in many years, so I can't really compare facilities. But my trip to E&H last year showed some good ones. Given you E&H and W&L at the top, I guess I can infer the rest. Though I do love H-SC without the track. Such a more intimate game day experience.

25
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 15, 2016, 10:06:33 am »
thanks for the feedback. how would rank the odac facilities from top to bottom. My list would look something like this:

1) W&L
2) E&H
3) HSC
4) RMC
5) SU
6) GC
7) BC
8) CUA

It's funny because when I got to W&L in the late 90s we were so far behind. But the school has dumped a fortune into facilities, and when the new natatorium (swimming facility) opens it only gets better. Scaling down Wilson Field and giving it a facelift was a massive improvement. As was the new weight room in the student center, as the old one in the gym was embarrassing. The locker rooms under Wilson were completed right before I arrived and that was the start of fixing some really outdated issues. Adding the new housing behind Wilson should improve the game day atmosphere as it brings the field into campus as opposed to being out of the way. But by and large, I think W&L has done what needed to be done and more. It just cost a small fortune. Now if we will just finally get around to adding softball, and either get some improvements done at Lexington Country Club or build our own course, and add a small field house for the soccer facilities so teams have somewhere to go at halftime, we'd have it all!

26
East Region football / Re: FB: Empire 8
« on: June 15, 2016, 09:02:43 am »
It is interesting that 3 of the 4 finalists are DIII.

As an ODAC member alumnus, I need to support Sweet Briar. Not sure I could turn my back on the Vixens anyway. I mean, the actual definition is either a female fox, or, according to the Old English Dictionary, "an ill-tempered quarrelsome woman; a shrew, a termagant." Only later did we add some different connotations and denotations like flirty, fun, sexy, or attractive.

It should be noted the Vixens' website touts "quarrelsome", but for some reason stays away from "shrew" and "flirty." Can't imagine why.

Regardless, need to support the ODAC women!

27
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 14, 2016, 03:14:29 pm »
You get your wish. Dunga was fired today. Not surprised. Can't go out in the group stage if you are Brazil.

28
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 14, 2016, 02:49:25 pm »
Yes I may have been a bit harsh so I will compromise and say they were a B+ side. I rate Bobby Wood higher than Brazil's 2 strikers Hulk and Gabrielle. Douglas Costa  would have been a huge help but for me Silva is getting up there in age and Oscar while very talented has the innate ability to completely disappear from games.I have never rated David Luiz as he slows them down IMO.Also, btw your "A" team fell completely FLAT in 2014 and were a massive disappointment but we can agree to disagree.

We don't have to disagree. The "A" team was disappointing in a WC hosted in Brazil while only reaching the semis. I think the manner of loss, a pathetic capitulation during a blowout, was worse than actually losing to the eventual champions at that stage, but there is no doubt the "A" team was not what Brazil used to bring in terms of dominance. I think that kind of underlines my original point. No one can bring less than their best team to a first tier tournament these days and expect results. Not even the traditional powerhouses.

29
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 14, 2016, 09:31:18 am »
Couple of thoughts.....

Has Dunga been fired yet? I cannot remember a Brazilian side that have disappointed so much the past couple of years. Do not even tell me they brought a "B" side either. Neymar would not have made much of a difference especially with Dunga as the coach.


If you think Brazil was a "B" side only because they weren't allowed to bring Neymar you weren't paying enough attention. They brought 14 players with less than 10 caps. Leaving home standout veterans David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Oscar. Then you look at who was called and dropped due to niggling injuries. Ready for this list? Douglas Costa, his replacement Kaka, Rafinha, Ederson and Oliverira. Luiz Gustavo left after making the trip to deal with family issues. So yeah, a "B" team. Partially because they couldn't bring their biggest star and captain, Neymar. Partially due to selection issues with veterans, and a lot to do with injuries throughout the top of the player pool.

Regardless, if you don't consider the team that ran out for the three group games a "B" squad by Brazil standards, I'm not sure what it would take.

On the flip side, Alexei Lalas is one of the least interesting soccer personalities ever to hang around this long. He provides nothing, always seems bored and arrogant in company of other broadcasters, and generally irritates me every time I don't change the channel fast enough to avoid him. So we certainly agree on something.

30
Men's soccer / Re: Barclays Premier League Pick Em
« on: June 13, 2016, 11:36:37 am »
Thoughts from Friday night's U.S. vs Paraguay game. Yedlin is an idiot. Seriously. Sure the first yellow was dubious, but to just lose your mind? You are a professional soccer player with a year in the top flight of English football under your belt. Don't be an idiot. While Yedlin has made some eye popping runs, and recoveries, he's also been a liability for the U.S. Very much a high risk, high reward player right now. I'm not an Orozco fan. Not by a long shot. But we might get more defensive consistency out of him for the Ecuador game, even if he eliminates some of the threat up the wing Yedlin provides.

However, with Yedlin suspended, we now need to keep Zardes on the wing. His touch was still a problem Friday night, though he did have his moment. But without the threat of Yedlin's speed, you can't also pile Zusi on that side. Zardes keeps the wide speed threat viable on the left.

Brooks was the best player on the field. He's had some growing pains, but if he can keep playing at this level he would be the pillar of any club or country defense in the world. Cameron is playing perfectly in his shadow. Williams kind of disappeared against Paraguay. He will need to provide more threat going forward on that side as Bedoya is a good and necessary piece, but not seeming to be the creative wide threat we could use on the right.

Dempsey, Jones and, Bradley have anchored the middle of the field. Jones has been unbelievable until his predictable, and yet stupid, yellow card. Bradley's card for dissent was equally idiotic and wasteful. But Dempsey in the 4-4-2 underneath is right at home. I wasn't as thrilled with Wood against Paraguay as CRC, but you can't fault his work rate. He was everywhere, even if he wasn't quite as effective up front. Bradley also played a bit too conservative, even before Yedlin's idiocy. I'd like to see him look forward, not in the sense of bombing long balls down the wings but in the sense of picking out an attacker in the next line up, before choosing the square or back pass as much as he did Friday night.

Big saves from Guzan at the right time. The U.S. has been blessed with goal keeping for 20+ years. So long as that keeps going we are always a threat to pull one out.

Finally, given the time zones, miles, and the effort we put in during that second half, how gassed are we? Losing a day of recovery, and having to cross the country again, is a tough pill to swallow. Especially for an aging Jones who has run his cleats off in all 3 games. Peru in NJ Friday would have been a better deal than an Ecuador team that seems to be on the upswing all the way out in Seattle on Thursday. Of course we didn't know Brazil was going to be a dud, but Columbia sure looks like they played the tournament for a fool resting their players, getting the shorter road trip (Houston to NJ is 1440 miles. Houston to Seattle is 1900 miles. Plus one timezone versus 2), and the extra day of rest.

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 216