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D3soccer.com => Men's soccer => Topic started by: Jim Matson on June 11, 2006, 12:00:45 am

Title: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Jim Matson on June 11, 2006, 12:00:45 am
Does the USA have a chance this time?!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 11, 2006, 12:12:31 am
Hiker Jim, when I found this message board, your posting number was at "666".

That is a strange convergence.

I was impressed with the way that the Ivory Coast took it to the Argentinians.  They never let up!

Thanks for moderating the Soccer Board! :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on June 11, 2006, 12:25:34 am
It wasn't just Trinidad, it was also Tobago. Interesting day.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 11, 2006, 12:37:33 am
Does the USA have a chance this time?!

Jim,

Anywhere from 3-and-out and winning it all would not shock me.  I'd certainly prefer they WIN pool E, 'cause playing the Brazilians too early can't be good!

Totally a gut hunch, but I think they'll take Croatia on Monday.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on June 11, 2006, 02:27:50 am
After watching England (unimpressive play, at best) and hearing about Sweden, maybe  we have a first round with some serious upset potential.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 11, 2006, 09:18:25 am
Does the USA have a chance this time?!

Jim,

Anywhere from 3-and-out and winning it all would not shock me.  I'd certainly prefer they WIN pool E, 'cause playing the Brazilians too early can't be good!

Totally a gut hunch, but I think they'll take Croatia on Monday.

 ???

If the "they" is Brazil, the match is Tuesday; if it's the USA, they're playing the Czech Republic Monday.

I don't think the USA has enough firepower to advance, but the group results depend more on how well the Azzuri play than anything else.  Italy could get 9 points, or let their many distractions affect their play and go out early.  It should be interesting to watch.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 11, 2006, 06:57:01 pm
Oops, sorry for the brain-fart - I meant the Czechs, though their 6'8" striker is gonna be a serious challenge.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gray Fox on June 11, 2006, 10:56:15 pm
Hiker Jim, when I found this message board, your posting number was at "666".

Thanks for moderating the Soccer Board! :)

That must mean it will be a hell of a good board. ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 12, 2006, 12:52:38 am
Good tournament so far. I've watched 6 of the eight games.

Netherlands didn't finish well, but with their ball control and the defense they played today, one goal is all they need. Looking forward to Netherlands v. Argentina

All the goals in the Mexico - Iran game were pretty. How tough must it be for Sanchez to bury his father on this past Wednesday and then return for the tournament?

Haven't wached the Portugal - Angola game yet. Have it on tape.

Predictions for Tomorrow:
Socceroos 2 - Japan 1
Azzuri 2 - Ghana 0
USA 1 - Czech Republic 0
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 12, 2006, 01:28:39 am
I'll agree with you on the USA-CR game (I'll even agree on the margin), but I can't see the CR shutting down so (almost) totally Beasley, Donovan, McBride, etc., and their 6'8" striker (whose name escapes me at the moment) scares the s*** out of me - I'll call it 3-2, USA.

IF we are right in this prediction, I'm fairly confident we will advance.  But I sure would like a victory also over Italy - otherwise we may escape Group E, but would likely face Brazil in round 2!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 12, 2006, 08:57:14 am
given that the czech epublic is getting old and slow, has a ton of injuries, and has some defensive problems and italy also has a ton of injuries, i would consider it a failure if the US failed to advance out of group play.

the US has a defender in Oguchi Onyewu thats the huge than can contain the 6'8" guy. He's considered the most intimidating defender in the whole World Cup, being 6'5" and weghing 216 lbs. By the way, Czech Republic lost to the Netherlands is qualifying 2-0 and Romanio 3-0 and Jan Koller (the 6'8" guy) didn't do anything. He did have 9 goals in qualifying, but they all came against pretty bad teams and hes struggling to come off knee surgery.

On the other hand, US only lost one game in qualifying to #4 ranked Mexico 2-1 then revenged the lost 2-0. Also beat the Cinderella Trinidad and Tobago! US also had 8 shutouts in qualifying, and our goalie Kasey Keller is considered to be one of the best in the world!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 12, 2006, 11:19:38 am
How about them Aussie's.  Maybe if they didn't have a part-time coach, they would have figured out earlier that the Japanese offense wasn't good enough to counter well and put three forwards in from the start.


Can we beat the Czechs?  Yes, most definately!  Are their injry reports overrated?  Yes; most everyone will be fit and on the pitch!  Will we beat the Czechs?  I honestly don't see how, but I have to say Yes because this would give us the easiest path into the next round!

We're going to have to score two though; I doubt we hold them scoreless.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 12, 2006, 11:22:39 am

I'm not sure if this topic is old yet or not, but since I just found the board I have to say it.

Have you ever seen a top-tier team miss so many crosses as England did in the first match?  I mean how can all of those guys be so bad at lobbing the ball accross the pitch with any accuracy?  No one could hit anywhere close to the targets the whole match.  And Beckham, the only one who can pass with any accuracy, decided to run from the ball like a 2nd grade girl in gym class.  Unbelieveable.  I still have them winning the whole thing though.  Sven will get it worked out; they have enough bench guys to compensate for the prima-donas.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on June 12, 2006, 11:55:37 am
As the father of a second-grade girl, I am offended. :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 12, 2006, 01:38:59 pm
The US is currently down 3-0.  The US looks just flat our horrible.  Too many mistakes on defense. Terrible passing. They don't look like they have any idea what the hell they are doing on offense. I know that sometimes you have to pass backwards to go forwards, but you arent going to ever win if you keep passing backwards 90% of the time.  WHen they did have good opportunities to score, they mae completely idiotic poasses or didn't apss when they should. This looked more like the 1990 USA team that got their ass kicked rather than the 5th ranked USA team of this year.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 12, 2006, 01:49:40 pm
Reminds me of the chant...

Oh vuh ray ted!
Oh vuh ray ted!

The US team definitely looks uninspired.

I sometimes wonder about how much hype these guys get relative to their accomplishments. :-\
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 12, 2006, 02:26:18 pm
This looked more like the 1990 USA team that got their ass kicked rather than the 5th ranked USA team of this year.

FIFA World Rankings (http://www.fifa.com/en/mens/statistics/index/0,2548,All-May-2006,00.html)

I wonder if anyone outside the USA ever even acknowledges these idiotic rankings.  Who here thinks the USA (#5t) is better than France (#8) or Argentina (#9)?  Who would you take in a match between Egypt and Germany?  Guess again; Egypt (#17) is two places ahead of Germany (#19.)  #42 Australia just made #18 Japan look foolish. 

Even FIFA doesn't seem to take their own rankings seriously; after all, in Group E, Italy (#13) is the seeded team, despite being the second-lowest ranked team in the group (Czech Rep. #2, USA #5t).  The 8 seeded teams carry the rankings 1, 4, 5t, 8, 9, 10, 13, 19; five teams that didn't even make the field are ranked higher than the seeded Germans.

It's too bad the World Cup wasn't played in April, when the USA was ranked #4.

Ridiculous.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 12, 2006, 02:29:13 pm
Reminds me of the chant...

Oh vuh ray ted!
Oh vuh ray ted!

The US team definitely looks uninspired.

I sometimes wonder about how much hype these guys get relative to their accomplishments. :-\

Nedved for the Czech Republic said we were teh dark horse of the whole tournament, so it's not like it's jsut the media hyping up the US!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 12, 2006, 02:34:21 pm
I haven't ever seen the Chechs before.  They are far and away better than expected.  That is one heck of a football squad.  Man, we just got whupped today.  That second goal never should have happened, but even if every break went our way it still would have been a 2-1 loss.  Very impressed by this squad; if Brazil doesn't win it, its going to be these guys.  They would have beaten any team that has played thus far.


That being said, its really sad that we couldn't come up with four world-class defenders to throw out there.  John O'Brien should have been in from the beginning and losing Spector to injry last month just killed us.  Eddie Pope is a great guy and all, but he should be nothing more than an emergency sub.

I know how much they want MLS to succeed, but we need to get our guys over to Europe as fast as possible.  Eddie Johnson could have done some real damage had he ever faced players of this calibre before.

Regardless, I still think we're better than Italy and Ghana, so we should be able to earn the chance to get steamrolled by Brazil in the round of 16.  We can only hope.  One thing's for sure: while the US may have a top ten squad, we certainly have a long way to go before we can compete with the big boys.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on June 12, 2006, 02:41:35 pm
This looked more like the 1990 USA team that got their ass kicked rather than the 5th ranked USA team of this year.

FIFA World Rankings (http://www.fifa.com/en/mens/statistics/index/0,2548,All-May-2006,00.html)

I wonder if anyone outside the USA ever even acknowledges these idiotic rankings.  Who here thinks the USA (#5t) is better than France (#8) or Argentina (#9)?  Who would you take in a match between Egypt and Germany?  Guess again; Egypt (#17) is two places ahead of Germany (#19.)  #42 Australia just made #18 Japan look foolish. 

Even FIFA doesn't seem to take their own rankings seriously; after all, in Group E, Italy (#13) is the seeded team, despite being the second-lowest ranked team in the group (Czech Rep. #2, USA #5t).  The 8 seeded teams carry the rankings 1, 4, 5t, 8, 9, 10, 13, 19; five teams that didn't even make the field are ranked higher than the seeded Germans.

It's too bad the World Cup wasn't played in April, when the USA was ranked #4.

Ridiculous.

The FIFA is scrapping this ranking formula for a new one at the end of the World Cup.

Lot of World Cup coverage in USA Today. I'm learning a lot on the day job.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 12, 2006, 03:03:45 pm
I just don't see the US as a Top 16 team, because these guys do not show the hunger that we see in an Angola, T&T or Ivory Coast.

Even the Swedes, in their official North Park University colors  ;), showed more enthusiasm.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 12, 2006, 03:26:42 pm
The Americans were strangely lethargic today.  I think falling behind within the first 5 minutes changed the whole tenor of the game - the Czechs then played all 11 men behind the ball, and USA never could solve that defense.  If Reyna's shot had been 2 inches to the right, it's a 1-1 game, and that would (or at least might) have changed the whole flow of the game.

When Koller went down, I became hopeful that 0-2 was not insurmountable.  The one bright spot was a 10-minute stretch midway through the second half where the American offense totally dominated, including two excellent scoring opportunities (Eddie Johnson's shot which went wide-left by less than a foot and the set-up pass which the American [Pope, I believe, though I'm not sure why he'd be THAT far forward even duing a desparation comeback attempt] ALMOST beat Cech to the ball, and would have had the easiest goal of his life if he had).  Alas, at the end of that stretch, Mosicki(sp?) got his second (his team's third) goal, and that took all the life out of USA.

Well, it is beat Italy or go home - a tie ain't gonna cut it.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 12, 2006, 03:28:55 pm
Mosicki(sp?)

Rosicky - only bright spot about the game was that i had him on my fantasy team.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 12, 2006, 03:38:54 pm

I think you nailed it Ypsi.  I'm not sure even the US guys realized just how good that Czech team was.  Even if we were at the top of our game, we would not have been as good as those guys.

We caught some bad breaks, but I'm not sure they were ready for this match.  Arena really seemed to drop the ball on this one.  I chalk it up to our lack of defensemen.  O'brien should play every minute, but I doubt his fitness level will allow it.  Jon Spector really would have made a big difference I think.

I hate to go all Red Sox on you (because I do think they can pull out 4 points and advance), but we probably have to look at next cup to be anywhere close to contention.  Spector and Oguchi will be in their primes, along with Eddie Johnson and maybe Donovan can move into the Reyna role.

It's hard to get excited about advancing when it only means an embarassing loss to Brazil in the next round.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 12, 2006, 03:46:13 pm
I have always been reluctant to blame the coach at this level for motivation.  These players have been thinking about this day for 2 decades!

Tom Landry never gave big pep talks; he didn't believe in them.  If a pro cannot get ready for the World Cup, then why is he even a pro?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 12, 2006, 04:01:47 pm
That was not the U.S. team I have seen. They looked flat and uninspired. The defense was all out of position on the first Czech goal. The two best attackers, Donovan and Beasley were non factors today. It is gut check time Saturday vs. Italy.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: rbaikie on June 12, 2006, 04:16:53 pm
five teams that didn't even make the field are ranked higher than the seeded Germans.

Doesn't matter how the German's are ranked - being the host country they get put into the mix automatically -they could be ranked last in the world and then a lot of teams ranked higher wouldn't make the field.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: rbaikie on June 12, 2006, 04:17:42 pm
This looked more like the 1990 USA team that got their ass kicked rather than the 5th ranked USA team of this year.

FIFA World Rankings (http://www.fifa.com/en/mens/statistics/index/0,2548,All-May-2006,00.html)

I wonder if anyone outside the USA ever even acknowledges these idiotic rankings.  Who here thinks the USA (#5t) is better than France (#8) or Argentina (#9)?  Who would you take in a match between Egypt and Germany?  Guess again; Egypt (#17) is two places ahead of Germany (#19.)  #42 Australia just made #18 Japan look foolish. 

Even FIFA doesn't seem to take their own rankings seriously; after all, in Group E, Italy (#13) is the seeded team, despite being the second-lowest ranked team in the group (Czech Rep. #2, USA #5t).  The 8 seeded teams carry the rankings 1, 4, 5t, 8, 9, 10, 13, 19; five teams that didn't even make the field are ranked higher than the seeded Germans.

It's too bad the World Cup wasn't played in April, when the USA was ranked #4.

Ridiculous.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 12, 2006, 04:31:14 pm

Ralph,

I agree with you.  My post was misleading in that regard.  I meant I chalked up blame to Arena for some of the tactical failings, not for the motivation.  I'm not sure it is a question of motivation at all.  I just think the Czech team that hit the pitch was playing far better than even the US players expected.  You couple that with the early goal my that ogre of a forward and I can understand where intimidation could set in quickly.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 12, 2006, 04:53:55 pm

A good quote from Michael Davies' blog on ESPN, I think he sums up my opinion well.

Some in the media will attack the players, the coach, the selection, the tactics, but the truth is the U.S. just got thumped by one of the best teams in the world. Even without Milan Baros this evening, and Koller for half of the evening and maybe the rest of the tournament, the Czechs have players of superior quality, with superior strength, skill, creativity and football intelligence.

The US certainly will need to play better and Arena could throw a more competitive line-up out there, but I don't think anyone should be suprised by the US missing out on points here.  Saturday will be huge.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 12, 2006, 05:10:42 pm
five teams that didn't even make the field are ranked higher than the seeded Germans.

Doesn't matter how the German's are ranked - being the host country they get put into the mix automatically -they could be ranked last in the world and then a lot of teams ranked higher wouldn't make the field.

[I've rearranged the quote box to more accurately reflect who said what}

The host country automatically qualifies for the finals, a rule in place since France '38, but they are not automatically one of the 8 seeds.  The Germans were selected as one of the 8 seeds based on their performance in past World Cups and their performance over the past three years.  According to that ranking system, the Germans were the #4 team in the world and therefore a seed. 

In other words, one FIFA ranking says Germany is #4, and another FIFA ranking says they are #19.  Hmmmm.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 12, 2006, 05:29:41 pm
Maybe it wouldn't have mattered, but Ghana may have gotten royally screwed against Italy.  In c.75th minute, a Ghanaian striker was tripped in the box, but there was no call - at that point, a PK would have tied the game.  If the score was 1-1 rather than 1-0 in the final minutes, who knows whether Italy would have gotten that second goal that iced the game?  Of course, with the accuracy Ghana showed on shots today, the PK would not be guaranteed!

IF the real USA shows up, I believe they can beat both Italy and Ghana, but if they play like today, they may go 0-3.

HF, since the Czechs and Italians each already have 3 points, I don't think 4 points will be enough to advance (esp. since goal-differential is the tie-break, and we are already -3, while they are +3 and +2, respectively).  I think we HAVE to win both, and even 6 points MAY not be enough if the Czechs beat Ghana (as I expect they will).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 12, 2006, 05:55:56 pm
Maybe it wouldn't have mattered, but Ghana may have gotten royally screwed against Italy.  In c.75th minute, a Ghanaian striker was tripped in the box, but there was no call - at that point, a PK would have tied the game.  If the score was 1-1 rather than 1-0 in the final minutes, who knows whether Italy would have gotten that second goal that iced the game?  Of course, with the accuracy Ghana showed on shots today, the PK would not be guaranteed!

IF the real USA shows up, I believe they can beat both Italy and Ghana, but if they play like today, they may go 0-3.

HF, since the Czechs and Italians each already have 3 points, I don't think 4 points will be enough to advance (esp. since goal-differential is the tie-break, and we are already -3, while they are +3 and +2, respectively).  I think we HAVE to win both, and even 6 points MAY not be enough if the Czechs beat Ghana (as I expect they will).
I agree with Mr Ypsi! I did not see the uncalled foul, but down 3 in the goal differential is too deep of a hole.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 12, 2006, 06:24:27 pm
HF, since the Czechs and Italians each already have 3 points, I don't think 4 points will be enough to advance (esp. since goal-differential is the tie-break, and we are already -3, while they are +3 and +2, respectively).  I think we HAVE to win both, and even 6 points MAY not be enough if the Czechs beat Ghana (as I expect they will).

Czech Republic will probably go undefeated in the Group, which means the best any other team in the group can do is 6 points. So if we beat Italy, then htey will only end up with 3 points. If we beat Ghana, that means Ghana would end up with 0 points. That owquld give CR 9 points, US 6, Italy 3, and Ghana 3. US could still certainly make it in, but if we don't beat Italy we might as well be mathematically eliminated.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 12, 2006, 06:31:24 pm
I suspect you'll get lots of chances to see the no-call (unless they dismiss it as irrelevant since Italy won by 2 - but, like I said, both teams strategies change if the game is 1-1 rather than 1-0 for the last 15 minutes).

There was another no-call barely a minute later - the Ghanaian WITH THE BALL was clearly shoved to the ground by an Italian player.  Away from the ball, I can understand missing such a clear yellow-card foul, but when the guy has the ball??!!

The stats will show that Ghana committed more than twice as many fouls as Italy, but if the officiating of the rest of the game was like the 25 minutes I was able to see, that may be a highly misleading statistic.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 12, 2006, 06:44:10 pm
Scottie (>),

With Koller looking like he may be out for at least the first round (he was clearly in tremendous pain and grabbing his hamstring), I was premising my worst case scenario on Italy beating the Czechs, but everyone beating Ghana.  If that were to happen, USA, Italy and the Czech Republic would all tie at 6 points, and we've got a lot of catching up on the goal differential.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 12, 2006, 06:49:32 pm
Scottie (>),

With Koller looking like he may be out for at least the first round (he was clearly in tremendous pain and grabbing his hamstring), I was premising my worst case scenario on Italy beating the Czechs, but everyone beating Ghana.  If that were to happen, USA, Italy and the Czech Republic would all tie at 6 points, and we've got a lot of catching up on the goal differential.

One name for you, ROSICKY! He's a beast, tehre's a reason I had him on my fantasy team!  They are stacked on offense, they had 4 players (5 with Koller) that had 3 goals or more in qualifying. Of course the US didn't play well at all, but look how good CZ was on offense AFTER Koller went down.  Koller will be missed, but they are superior to Italy!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 12, 2006, 07:21:04 pm
>,

Your scenario is certainly plausible (and the only way for the US to advance if they do only tie Italy).  USA better come prepared to BLAST Ghana, or else the ref's screwing of Ghana becomes a screwing of our team too!

I just wanted to explore the worst case scenario - USA COULD win 2 and still be 3-and-out.  Due to the American lethargy for all but 10 minutes, the Czechs may not be as good as they looked today.  There may be a reason that Italy was the seeded team in group E.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 12, 2006, 08:04:28 pm
There was some questionalble officiating today. The two calls Mr. Ypsi mentioned, and two others in the Japan - Australia match. With Japan's first goal, a Japanese player clearly pushed the Australian goalie while making no attempt for the ball and the ball went into the net. Then with Japan down 2 - 1, an Australian defender took out a Japanese forward in the box. It should have been a PK.

If the U.S. wins out and advances, the reward is probably playing Brazil!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on June 13, 2006, 02:37:04 am
I thought his name was Rasicky?!  Either way you spell it, the guy made us look bad.  His first goal was absolutely beautiful!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 13, 2006, 08:55:20 am
The US isn't done by any means just yet.  I was hoping for a draw between Italy and Ghana and when that player from Ghana went down in the box, I thought there might be a chance, but the terribly one sided officiating prevented that from happening.  Now the best the US can hope for is that the CR plays as well against Italy as they did yesterday against the US.  Oh, and beating Italy as well is pretty much in the cards for the US to have any chance. 

When the draw was made and the US drew this group, I thought from the start that they would have trouble coming out of it.  One thing going in their favor IMO is that they played the best team in their group yesterday.  In their World Cup warm-ups the US came out flat against Morrocco and then came back and played a much more complete match vs. Venezuela.  I know Italy is no Venezuela, but I also know that the US is much more capable of putting up better results than they did yesterday.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 13, 2006, 09:03:04 am

With Arena calling out players by name at the press conference, I think there is plenty of motivation.  I expect O'Brien and Eddie Johnson to start on Saturday and should certainly help maintain some semblence of control.  We need to get back to our 4-4-2 and Donovan and Beasley need to show up.  Those two were the only World Cup vetrans to not show up.  I can understand Oguchi playing scared the first twenty minutes or so, but we need the best players to step up.  Italy certainly isn't as good as their reputation makes them, so I've got confidence.  I wish I could find a way out of work to see how Brazil is playing today.

If the Czechs can keep up the level of play they displayed, they might even give Brazil a run for their money at some point.

S Korea - Togo
France - Switzerland
Brazil - Croatia

Should be a good day.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 13, 2006, 09:04:17 am
Well, after finally watching the USA/Czech game, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be considering how Arena ripped the players and what the score was and all that.

That being said, I wasn't surprised to see the US lose.  We are talking about the Czechs here, ranked only below Brazil, though the "rankings" are a joke anyway.  

I'll agree that Beasley looked horrible on the right side, maybe switching him to the left will help.  It was obviously a mistake to keep Eddie Johnson on the bench to start the game.  Donovan needs to be in the midfield and not as a withdrawn forward.

The subs looked good and look for wholesale changes for Saturday's big game vs. Italy.

Eddie Johnson and McBride up front
Reyna, Donovan, O'Brien, Beasley (on the left) and probably either Convey or Ben Olsen or even Clint Demsey in the middle.
Eddie Lewis, Eddie Pope and Onyewu in defense
Keller in goal

3 defenders?  The US has to beat Italy, so it doesn't matter if they give up one or 20.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 13, 2006, 09:07:40 am

You can't play three defenders against a team whose only strength is scoring goals.  Is there any decent team that plays something other than four?  It just makes sense.

I agree that we need our midfielders to actually play together and agressively.

It is, however, very good to see Reyna on such good form and taking shots on goal.  He hasn't looked this good in years.  If only we can get our wings to show up, I'm still optimistic.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 13, 2006, 09:18:35 am

You can't play three defenders against a team whose only strength is scoring goals. 

Actually, I thought Italy's strength was defense.  It seems like every game they play, they win 1-0 or like yesterday, 2-0.  I looked up their qualifying record and they did score 17 goals in 10 matches, but 8 of those were against Belarus...something 11 posters here could probably do.  I've always felt they've had the offense to do well, but they never played to their potential. 

Goal differential will be a huge factor.  If the Czechs beat Ghana, look for them to rest many of their players vs. Italy in the last group game, which means disadvantage to the US. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 13, 2006, 09:23:16 am
At this time, the Togo/South Korea game is on...and Tommy Smyth is FINALLY announcing a game.  Listening to Macelo Balboa flapping his mouth was getting irritating.  John Harkes didn't do too bad of a job and Eric Wynalda is just plane horrible in studio.  To get great analysis, watch Fox Sports World Report/Ticket to Germany with Bobby McMahan.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 13, 2006, 09:27:49 am
I wonder if anyone outside the USA ever even acknowledges these idiotic rankings. 

I read an article and it described how FIFA comes up with these rankings.  It talked about lesser teams getting more points for each goal they score, as compared to better teams that score goals; weighted wins and losses, and even ties...among other things.  At the end of the article, it basically said that the FIFA World Rankings make the BSC standings look like elementary math.  I wish I could find that article.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 13, 2006, 11:01:24 am

 I can understand Oguchi playing scared the first twenty minutes or so, but we need the best players to step up. 


I wouldn't exactly say that Oguchi was playing scared in the first 20 minutes.  Arena had him marking the wrong man.  He should have been marking Koller from the beginning of the match.  When Koller scored his goal, Pope was the man marking Koller.  Pope is a solid defender, but he didn't have the size or strength to stop Koller.  Arena did switch things after it was too late.   


I'll agree that Beasley looked horrible on the right side, maybe switching him to the left will help.  It was obviously a mistake to keep Eddie Johnson on the bench to start the game.  Donovan needs to be in the midfield and not as a withdrawn forward.



I agree with this 100%!  Beasley just didn't look comfortable on the right.  He is a MUCH more effective player on the left side!  Hopefully Arena will not make the same mistake twice!  I was disappointed with Convey's play yesterday as well.  He has shown way better than what he showed yesterday.  If he starts Saturday, I would have him on a short leash.  Demsey would be the guy I would go to.  I just like how he plays.  I also hope that Johnson starts on Saturday.  I would like to see O'Brien get the nod as well, but I just don't know whether his fitness level will allow it.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 13, 2006, 12:39:15 pm

Yeah the FIFA rankings take into account every international match over the last eight years weighted by how long ago each was.  Then there are advantages to playing on the road as well as playing higher ranked opponents.  It's all a bit crazy.  You can find the explanation of it here (http://www.fifa.com/en/mens/statistics/rank/procedures/0,2540,3,00.html).  I forgot all about the regional strength component; that throws another wrench into the whole thing.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 13, 2006, 12:41:24 pm

I would just like to point out that the Swiss goalie is named Zuberbuhler.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on June 13, 2006, 12:47:19 pm
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/worldcup/2006-06-08-usa-worldcup_x.htm

Quote from: Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY
The complicated computer ranking system, determined by FIFA, the sport's world governing body, is widely derided for many reasons. It takes into account games played during the last eight years, and its confounding system of weighting results makes college football's Bowl Championship Series formula look like second-grade math.

The USA's rating is inflated because it can readily rack up rankings-boosting wins competing in the North/Central American and Caribbean region, which includes hot vacation spots such as Martinique or Jamaica and not-so-hot soccer teams. (Mexico, the region's other dominant team, is No. 4.)

To correct some of the flaws in the present criteria, three days after this World Cup, FIFA will introduce a ranking that will consider games during the last four years and weigh some of the current factors differently.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 13, 2006, 02:13:38 pm
Switzerland 0, France 0.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 13, 2006, 02:37:09 pm

Poor showing all around in that one.  France didn't score at all last cup and were strining to put one in, but missed a ton of easy chances (they were getting all they could manage).  The Swiss on the other hand had fewer opportunities, but equally promising ones and also preposterously failed to score.

I guess one could say good defense, but I'm going with careless offense.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 13, 2006, 04:13:57 pm

Croatia has to be kicking themselves giving up a goal with two minutes left in the first half.  They played so well with nothing to show for it.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 13, 2006, 07:31:04 pm
The France - Switzerland game looked like two teams unsure of what to do, just flailing around.

All the goals scored in the South Korea - Togo were pretty, but I was not impressed by rest of the play. Group G is looking like the weakest bracket in the tournament.

Croatia sure held their own against Brazil and had several good opportunities to level it. The rest of the games in Group F should be good.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 13, 2006, 07:34:17 pm
Brazil didn't impress me much today. Offense was there but didnt finish enough, Ronaldo was even booed when he came out of the match. The defense gave up quite a few good scoring opportunities to croatia, who couldnt finish either.  I thought the game could ahve easily gone both ways.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 13, 2006, 08:27:25 pm
Croatia sure held their own against Brazil and had several good opportunities to level it. The rest of the games in Group F should be good.

I disagree (though I admit I caught only about 5 minutes of the Australia-Japan match).  I predict that Brazil and Croatia will fairly easily win out from here.

In 2002, Turkey was the only team to advance out of group play after losing their first match.  If I'm right about Croatia, USA better hope that this time there are (at least) two such teams! ;D

On Grant Wahl's (?) blog (SI.com), he insists that for Brazil to have a chance at the finals, they MUST bench Ronaldo.  Most of the responders agreed with him, though some argued that he might cause such dissension if benched as to do more harm than good, while others pointed out that he started slow in 2002, then led the Cup in scoring.  With all their other weapons, I suspect that it doesn't matter one way or the other against Australia and Japan, and maybe he should be given a chance to get up to Cup speed (he has been injured a lot lately), but the offense was noticeably better once Robinho replaced Ronaldo.  Comments?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gray Fox on June 13, 2006, 09:57:10 pm
Ronaldo was even booed when he came out of the match.

Does that mean I shouldn't wear my "Ronaldo" soccer shirt in public? :-\
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 13, 2006, 10:14:41 pm
Ronaldo was even booed when he came out of the match.

Does that mean I shouldn't wear my "Ronaldo" soccer shirt in public? :-\

Depends - how are you at getting booed? ;)

Strikers (and goalies) are different - a few moments of brilliance can make everyone forget 85 minutes of sloth.  The question is whether or not Ronaldo can still produce a few moments of brilliance.  I wouldn't bet heavily against him, but he clearly IS fat, slow, and out-of-shape.  But if he still has ANY of his prime left....
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 14, 2006, 08:54:52 am

Ronaldo is not fit.  I think more likely he'd be a better second half sub.  I'm not sure how that would affect team morale.  They do have the benefit of playing Australia and Japan in the next two games, so not starting Ronaldo could be explained by inferior opponents.

Brazil and Ronaldo did start objectionably slow in 2002 and their midfield is so solid, along with a good keeper and strong central defense.  It would be hard for them to get hurt by one half-fit striker.  Their biggest concern is that yellow card hanging over Emerson's head.  He's the key to their exceptional counter-attack and most all of their central ball movement.

That goal scoring record is not just important to Ronaldo, but to Brazil as a country and the whole team.  I think he has to get some time in in every match.  I just think he'd be better off coming on in the second half when the defense is a step slower.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 14, 2006, 09:02:27 am
... but the offense was noticeably better once Robinho replaced Ronaldo.  Comments?

I agree with this take.  I think Alberto gave Ronaldo more than enough before he subbed in Robinho.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Ronaldo sit for the next match.  As HF said, maybe sub him in in the 2nd half, but I doubt he starts Brazil's next match.

How about those Croatian fans going nuts practically the entire 2nd half?  That was some fun stuff to see.  By watching their fans, you would have never known they were trailing.  The Cratians really impressed me with their showing against Brazil.  Losing 1-0 to the clear-cut cup favorites is nothing to hang your head over, and especially with all of the chances that Croatia was creating.   I would put money on Croatia advancing out of their group after an opening round loss.  

As for the US, I'm not so confident.  From what I've heard regarding Beasley is that he may not even start v. Italy.  I don't know if I totally agree with sitting him, although he did play pretty uninspired in that first match.  I still say part of that has to do with the fact that he should have been on the left side where he can take the ball inside.  Playing him on the right basically confines him.  One thing for sure, if the US doesn't put in a better performance against the Italians, if the US players thought they were struggling for respect as a sport in this country before the World Cup, they could be taking about 10 steps backward with another result like on Monday.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 14, 2006, 09:11:16 am

As for the US, we have to remember that this World Cup hinged on this Italy game no matter what happened versus the Czechs.  We knew all along that we needed to beat Italy.

Beasley not starting might be a good idea.  Especially if you can bring him in as a sub, when he's worked up after not being on the field.  He's performed best at Eindhoven coming off the bench and has disappeared since he's been named a starter.  In 2002, he came on as a sub in the first match and earned his starting spot for the rest of the tournament.  I think he just adds so much more as fresh legs than he does as a 90 minute midfielder.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 14, 2006, 09:27:09 am

Brazil just announced that Ronaldo will start the next match.  They do have a point in that this was his first game action in over two months.  He might round into form and they certainly don't need him to be 100% for them to win.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 14, 2006, 09:50:10 am
A couple of points.

I'll have to disagree with Hoops Fan regarding the Italy game being thee game.  I think many of us thought we might be able to hold out for a draw with the Czechs, thus not needing a win vs. the Italians.  But, Ghana is the game that everyone is expecting us to win.  So, a tie vs. the 1st two and a win would send us through.  Obviously we need two wins in the last two to meet AUSTRALIA in the 2nd round! lol. 

Also, as a big soccer fan, I don't think soccer will ever find a niche in American sports watching.  I'll agree with most of the soccer experts, including Coach Arena and many of the players, that say the results of the World Cup won't actually hurt the view of the general public...it can only help it. 

If they tank, the soccer fans out there will still watch and play.  I think it's like the Olympics.  If the US does real well, no one is going to see a huge jump in ratings on MLS games or a jump in attendence at MLS games.  Soccer is beyond the stage where they NEED the US to do well in the World Cup for soccer to grow.  When the US hosted in 94, that was a different story.  What is important now is that the MLS continue to build soccer-specific stadiums and thus becoming profitable, instead of "renting" facilities and giving all the money to those football places.

If the US does well, it will help soccer.  If they go three and out, soccer isn't going to fail because of that.

Oh yeah, Ronaldo is fat and out of shape.  Move on Brazil.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 14, 2006, 10:55:13 am
How good did Spain look today??? :o
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 14, 2006, 11:23:34 am
How good did Spain look today??? :o

Very.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 14, 2006, 11:37:33 am
With Spain beating the Ukraine 4-0 today, the USA is no longer in last place.  4-0 beats 3-0! Yippy! lol.

An amazing stat I heard while watching the game.  Spain's starting lineup consisted of players from just THREE clubs; Barcelona, Liverpool and I think Real Madrid.  That's pretty amazing.

Hooligans from Germany (I think) actually got together and had a practice fight to get ready for clashes with their counterparts.  Wow.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 14, 2006, 11:41:07 am
Wow, Spain was very impressive. And not to take anything away from them, but the red card to Vashchuk was total BS. Also the Ukraine defender on the near post for Spain's corner kick and first goal didn't move. If he turns instead of just throwing a leg back and he could have blocked the shot. Ok, that probably wouldn't have changed the outcome of the game, but may have given the Ukraine a little more emotion to play on.
Title: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 14, 2006, 12:26:59 pm
There is a lot of interest in the World Cup room over this match, which is pivotal to the USA's chances.  I'd like to know what everyone thinks will be the outcome, so I have proposed a poll.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 14, 2006, 03:36:53 pm

I hope I didn't offend you by merging the poll DC; I was just getting confused.  Chalk it up to my small mind.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 14, 2006, 03:41:11 pm

I hope I didn't offend you by merging the poll DC; I was just getting confused.  Chalk it up to my small mind.

Not at all; this is where I wanted it, but for whatever reason (most likely my stupidity) I was unable to put it in here.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 14, 2006, 08:30:23 pm
Asking the rhetorical question...

If you could pick your friend's brain,

would you give him the same one, all over again?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 15, 2006, 08:43:49 am

T&T vs England today.  Anyone want to let me come over and watch it? I can't afford to go out to each everyday this month.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 15, 2006, 10:06:18 am
Apparently you don't have cable?  You must live out in the sticks or something! lol. 

Anyway, Wayne Rooney is deemed fit by the "physios"  I don't think he'll start, but he will probably play.

Since we're in the middle of the World Cup and all the soccer craze, I rented and enjoyed Green Street Hooligans.  A great soccer-related movie.  Bend It Like Beckham it's not. 

Elijah Wood is really trying to get out of the LOTR stereo-type.  He was an evil cannibal in Sin City and now he's a butt kicking Hooligan. 

Come On England!  Come On England!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 15, 2006, 10:36:07 am

Actually, I'm at work and live a half-hour away, which is why I can't watch it at home.  Well that and I really don't have cable at home.  Oh the joys of grad school and the necessities we forego.  Anyway, I think I found an office in the building that has ESPN2 on the dish.

Go Rooney!!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 15, 2006, 11:27:42 am
And there's smack talk at the world cup. ;D T&T coach says that England is only a set piece team. ::) We'll see if that jumps up and bites 'em in the butt.

Ecuador sure put the hurt on Costa Rica. Should be an interesting game with Germany to see he goes #1 from the group.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on June 15, 2006, 11:42:52 am
Costa Rica today reminded me of the effort put forth by our US team against Czech - tried to set up too much and didn't go wide enough.  I also don't think slow transitions win World Cup matches.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 15, 2006, 11:45:04 am

Costa Rica has been surviving on the leg of Paulo Wanchope, which works just fine in CONCACAF, but we all saw today what a solid squad can do to a team with one weapon.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 15, 2006, 02:27:23 pm

Brave show by the Soca Warriors.  174 minutes without allowing a goal (including 45 with only 10 men)  that is quite a showing for T&T.  It also looks like England may have woken up a little bit.


Just think, if Paraguay wins the last game today, T&T will still have a shot at moving on to the next round.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 15, 2006, 02:31:15 pm
The T&T coach also said David Beckham is better at selling t-shirts than playing soccer.

England advances with a ho-hum 2-nil win.  Crouch scores but doesn't even do his robot-dance.  Gerrard with a very nice 2nd in injury time.  Beckham assists Crouch and Rooney comes in at the 58th minute mark.  Doesn't do much, but what do you expect for a guy that's been out since the end of April.  With England through, Rooney may not even play vs. Sweden, though he'll probably want to get a little game action to get sharper.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 15, 2006, 04:08:00 pm

I have to disagree with you OS, Rooney might not have been too productive with the ball, but his entry energized the crowd and visibly woke up the England players.  They were much sharper and seemed to work together better after his entrace.  This is probably due to increased crowd support, but that came when Rooney got in.

As much as I wanted a good robot dance, I think Crouch was smart to forego it as the Japanese ref was calling the game quite strict (see Hilsop's yellow card--horribly rough call-- time wasting in the 46th minute??).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 15, 2006, 05:34:39 pm
I agree with hoops fan. Rooney may not have done much with the ball but he along with Lennon (who did play well) brought in some much need enrgy to the English side. Fans and team alike.

Sweden finally scores a goal!!!!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 15, 2006, 06:05:36 pm
Yeah, and it only took them 178 minutes to do it!

They must have one helluva defense.  There was mention that they scored only 3 goals total in 10 qualifying games - yet they qualified.  The only way I can figure that is that they won 3 games 1-0, and had a number of 0-0 draws.  I wonder who last scored on them?

Poor Paraguay - TWO and out (and both games 1-0).  I imagine that third game is going to be a tough one to get up for.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 15, 2006, 08:30:45 pm
They must have one helluva defense.  There was mention that they scored only 3 goals total in 10 qualifying games - yet they qualified.

Not three...THIRTY.  Three per game.  Sweden's preliminary results (http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/team/history.html?team=SWE)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 15, 2006, 09:52:38 pm
They must have one helluva defense.  There was mention that they scored only 3 goals total in 10 qualifying games - yet they qualified.

Not three...THIRTY.  Three per game.  Sweden's preliminary results (http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/team/history.html?team=SWE)

Ah, that is rather different than what the announcers said!

Still, their opponents have yet to score in the World Cup itself.

Thanks for the correction. :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 16, 2006, 12:37:39 am
Twenty of Sweden's thirty goals in qualifying were against traditional powers Malta and Iceland (the last team to score on Sweden, by the way.)  Sweden's prelim group was pretty soft, with Bulgaria and Hungary both sporting sub-par teams.  Croatia was the only other decent team in their group, and they swept the Swedes, 2:0 aggregate.  But the Croats were held to a shocking 1:1 draw by the Maltese (ranked a robust 125th in the world--just ahead of Vietnam--and 13:0 aggregate losers to the Swedes), proving once again that anything is possible in football.

Does anyone besides me think that the Queen has no clothes?  :o England gets a lot of hype, but they've looked pretty poor in two matches so far, one against a Paraguay squad playing even more poorly, the other against a Trinidad/Tobago eleven they probably should have thumped.  I expect Sweden and England to play to a lifeless 0:0 draw, giving England the group and a probable date with Ecuador.  They should be able to beat the Andeans (provided it doesn't come down to a shootout with the winning penalty on Beckham's foot ::)), but no further, as their quarterfinal opponent is probably either Holland or Argentina--and the way the Queen's Men are playing, it won't take the Hand of God to oust them.  :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 16, 2006, 08:34:27 am
Beckham assists Crouch and Rooney comes in at the 58th minute mark.  Doesn't do much, but what do you expect for a guy that's been out since the end of April.  

Let's try this again.  I said Rooney didn't do too much.  You guys even said it.  Hoops Fan said he didn't do much with the ball and cawcdad also said the same thing.  That's what I'm saying. 

I said nothing about the rest of the squad, crowd and what not.  I agree that England looked energized, as did the crowd, when Rooney came on.  But, I was simply talking about Rooney and HE didn't do too much.  That's all.  Don't translate my post about Rooney into my general feeling on the England squad as a whole.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 16, 2006, 09:12:56 am

1. Iceland's not that bad; certainly not bad enough to be lumped in with Malta.

2.  That Trinidad squad is smart and experienced and they earned every bit of respect they've gotten this year.  Yeah, England was playing pretty poor for the first 45 minutes, but to say they should have thumped T&T is a bit much.  I would have agreed before the Cup, but Trinidad is really proving themselves at least competitive. (A win over Paraguay and a little help from England, they are still alive.)

3. Argentina, Holland an Mexico going today?  This is what the World Cup is all about.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 16, 2006, 05:21:01 pm
Argentina just dismantled Serbia-Montenegro. The Serb team looked they didn't even want to be ther in the second half. The Cambiasso goal on the back heel from Crespo was one of the sweetest I've seen.

An exciting game between the Netherlands and Ivory Coast. The game to see who is the group winner between Netherlands and Argentina should be a barn burner.

And WOW!! Angola ties Mexico. Another stellar goalie and team performance from a squad not expected to do much. These African teams got game!!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 16, 2006, 06:41:17 pm
If Angola beats Iran (which I predict) and Mexico loses to Portugal (I see that one as 50-50), Angola may go through.  Mexico is currently +2, while Angola is -1, but if EITHER game cited above is by more than 1 goal, Angola has caught or beaten them.  (And, of course, if Portugal somehow loses to Iran [big doubties!], Angola could also go through with a Mexican win over Portugal, though not with a Mexico-Portugal tie.)

If Angola and Mexico tied on goal differential, and since they tied head-to-head, remind me what the next tie-breaker is - is it fewest goals allowed?

I found it interesting that at least 3 of Angola's starters appeared to be white - I would assume they are Portuguese who remained after independence.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 16, 2006, 08:12:27 pm
After Argentina smoked S&M 6-0, the USA must only feel half as bad now, going down 3-nil to the Czechs.  :o 

I'm looking forward to the US game tomorrow, hoping to get that sour taste of the Czech game out of my system.  If anything, Italian tastes better than Czech.  ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 16, 2006, 11:09:25 pm
USA vs. Italy (all possible scenarios, I think!)  [All assume USA beats Ghana.]

If Czechs win or tie against Ghana (likely), a USA loss eliminates them.
If Czechs lose to Ghana, a USA loss does NOT eliminate them, but puts them on life-support - they would need Italy to beat the Czechs, at which point USA, CR, and Ghana would all have 3 points, all be 1-1 vs each other, but USA has a ton of goal differential to make up.

If USA ties:
If CR beats or ties Ghana, CR must beat Italy, but USA would still have to make up 5 goal differential vs. Italy.
If Ghana won, USA is in if Italy beats CR, or if CR beats or ties Italy but USA can overcome goal differential.

If USA wins:
They are in unless CR beats Ghana (likely) and Italy beats CR (roughly 50-50), in which case they all have 6 points and are 1-1 vs. each other, and USA has a LOT of goal differential to make-up.

The dream scenario: Ghana beats CR, CR and Italy tie, and USA beats both Italy and Ghana - no Brazil in the second round!  (Though Croatia looks like no bargain either!)

Unless it is a moot point, I'll update after Italy on the scenarios for win/lose/draw against Ghana.  Please correct if any of the above does not seem right.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 16, 2006, 11:11:39 pm
After Argentina smoked S&M 6-0, the USA must only feel half as bad now, going down 3-nil to the Czechs.  :o 

I'm looking forward to the US game tomorrow, hoping to get that sour taste of the Czech game out of my system.  If anything, Italian tastes better than Czech.  ;)

"S&M?"  That 6-0 score could not be more aptly described! :D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 16, 2006, 11:29:26 pm
Yeah...when the tv analysts say "S&M" all the time, I laugh to myself...

The dream scenario: Ghana beats CR, CR and Italy tie, and USA beats both Italy and Ghana - no Brazil in the second round! (Though Croatia looks like no bargain either!)

Try Australia.  ;D

Another thing...those "experts" on ESPN and in the USA Today have to learn that there is a difference between EXTRA time and Injury/Stoppage time.

I think it was Thursday's paper that headlined that Germany won in EXTRA time and then in the same article, had them winning in stoppage time.  Give me a break.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 16, 2006, 11:42:34 pm
Yeah...when the tv analysts say "S&M" all the time, I laugh to myself...

The dream scenario: Ghana beats CR, CR and Italy tie, and USA beats both Italy and Ghana - no Brazil in the second round! (Though Croatia looks like no bargain either!)

Try Australia.  ;D

Well, maybe you're right, but I predict that Brazil and Croatia will be undefeated the rest of the first round.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: jdean on June 17, 2006, 12:00:06 pm
I'm not rooting against the USA, but after an Italian victory our news media hopefully will return to covering sports that matter.  Sorry soccer moms.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 01:03:38 pm
Good news for USA: Ghana is running s*** against the Czech Republic, going into the half up 1-0 and, just about dominating CR.

UPDATE: Peter Nedved gets a header goal in the first minute of the second half but its waived off due to offisdes!

GO GHANA AND USA!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 01:54:20 pm
Ghana wins 2-0! The commentator for the game said that with Ghana winning the US can't be officially eliminated today if they lose. Althought if they even give up one goal their goal differential will be -4, and I highly doubt that the US would be able to overcome that to be able to advance to the second round.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 17, 2006, 02:16:03 pm
I'm not rooting against the USA, but after an Italian victory our news media hopefully will return to covering sports that matter.  Sorry soccer moms.

Apparently you are trying to ruffle some feathers here by actually wasting your time and ours coming into this soccer specific board to say that.  Kudos to you.  That's just like going into a Manchester United bar, yelling that you are a Liverpool fan and lighting off a flare and running out...(ok, you have to see Formula 51 to get that).

Anyway, go back to watching your Tigerless US Open.  Cheers. 


Back to more important things...would it have been better to have Ghana beat the Czechs 3-0 to put their goal differential at 0 and Ghana's at -1 or is 2-0 better?

Italy 1-0 3 pts +2 GD
Czechs 1-1 3 pts +1 GD
Ghana 1-1 3 pts 0 GD
USA 0-1 0 pts -3 GD

USA v Italy

Czech v Italy
USA v Ghana

Should be fun today and Thursday
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 02:20:47 pm
I'm not rooting against the USA, but after an Italian victory our news media hopefully will return to covering sports that matter.  Sorry soccer moms.

Apparently you are trying to ruffle some feathers here by actually wasting your time and ours coming into this soccer specific board to say that.  Kudos to you.  That's just like going into a Manchester United bar, yelling that you are a Liverpool fan and lighting off a flare and running out...(ok, you have to see Formula 51 to get that).

Anyway, go back to watching your Tigerless US Open.  Cheers. 


Back to more important things...would it have been better to have Ghana beat the Czechs 3-0 to put their goal differential at 0 and Ghana's at -1 or is 2-0 better?

Italy 1-0 3 pts +2 GD
Czechs 1-1 3 pts +1 GD
Ghana 1-1 3 pts 0 GD
USA 0-1 0 pts -3 GD

USA v Italy

Czech v Italy
USA v Ghana

Should be fun today and Thursday


If Ghana had won by 3, wouldnt Ghana's  goal differential be +1 instead of -1?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 17, 2006, 03:11:37 pm
As the match begins, here's the final tally of our poll:
Question:      Who will win Italy vs. USA?
USA by 2+ goals: 0 (0%)
USA by 1 goal: 6 (40%)
Draw: 2 (13.3%)
Italy by 1 goal: 3 (20%)
Italy by 2+ goals: 4 (26.7%)
   
Total Votes: 15
Italy wins: 7
USA wins: 6
Draw: 2

Good luck to both sides!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 03:46:40 pm
That red card on Mastroeni was absolute BS! People get hit harder than that in basketball and they dont even call it a foul!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gray Fox on June 17, 2006, 03:59:42 pm
People get hit harder than that in basketball and they dont even call it a foul!

You would feel  differently if you lived in Dallas or Miami. :'(
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 04:01:14 pm
People get hit harder than that in basketball and they dont even call it a foul!

You would feel  differently if you lived in Dallas or Miami. :'(

well i thought the flagrant foul on stackhouse was warranted, but in my opinion the suspension wasn't! whatever happened to the days of actually being able to make good hard fouls??
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gray Fox on June 17, 2006, 04:05:58 pm
Isn't a Red Card the same as a suspension?  Doesn't  it carry over to the next game also?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 04:06:50 pm
Isn't a Red Card the same as a suspension?  Doesn't  it carry over to the next game also?

In the first round, if you get a red card you are suspended for the next match.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 04:08:31 pm
the refs for this game might even be worse than odac basketball refs!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gray Fox on June 17, 2006, 04:13:15 pm
I was just about to make a similar statement about the refs in some of the D3 leagues.  But we know coming in that they are not "world class". :P
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 04:16:15 pm
I was just about to make a similar statement about the refs in some of the D3 leagues.  But we know coming in that they are not "world class". :P

it's a good thing he is screwing up calls on the US instead of a nation with crazy hooligans. he might would end up on some "hit lists" if it were a country like argentia or brazil!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gray Fox on June 17, 2006, 04:30:47 pm
Scoring an "own goal" will get you on a hit list in some countries.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gray Fox on June 17, 2006, 04:44:05 pm
Scottie,
You and I are the only two members logged in right now.  I have never seen that.

Everyone else must be watching the World Cup. ::)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 04:46:39 pm
oh im watching it! i can watch tv on my computer!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 04:59:36 pm
USA finishes with a draw! Not as good as a win, but a point is a point! Considering all the opportunities we had, I would have liked our chances if we had 10 or 11 people on the field.  Pope and Mastroeni were unjustly ejected!

As the commentator said earlier, We have to beat Ghana and Italy needs to beat CR. In that scenario:
Italy 2-0-1 7 points
USA 1-1-1 4 points
CR 1-2-0 3 points
Ghana 1-2-0 3 points

It will be interestign to see the lineup against Ghana without Pope and Mastroeni, but I'm confident we can beat Ghana.  Although they did beat CR, CR looked like absolute crap today.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on June 17, 2006, 05:02:52 pm
Wow, what a match!  Ref was awful.  I MIGHT give a red card for the elbow, but no way on the other calls.

I have to say that the US looked very good throughout the match.  All, that is, except for MB, who was a complete waste - Wolf would have done much better of the bench.  MB is just plain lazy.

Overall, I'm proud of the effort these guys put forth.  It is just too bad that the ref couldn't keep himself out of the match.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 17, 2006, 05:12:39 pm
Based on history, putting Beasley in was the correct move. His fresh legs should have just run past the Italian defenders. But for some reason he seems to be lazy. There were several opportunities for him to run to space and get behind the Italian defenders and he just stood around. Bruce Arena needs to make Beasley watch film of himself and then sit him for a match!

The ref was terrible and denied the fans what could have been an even better game. Did anyone else catch that this ref had been reprimanded before based on complaints from his peers! He should never get another international match.

GO USA!!! GO AZZURE!!!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 17, 2006, 05:15:42 pm
I understand the ref was awarded Italian citizenship immediately after the match. ;)

With 11 men, I think USA would have won by at least two goals.

BTW, the American team can advance with a CR win over Italy, also, as long as they can make up the goal differential, but that would be a longshot.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: jdean on June 17, 2006, 05:24:58 pm
I'm not rooting against the USA, but after an Italian victory our news media hopefully will return to covering sports that matter.  Sorry soccer moms.
Apparently you are trying to ruffle some feathers here by actually wasting your time and ours coming into this soccer specific board to say that.  Kudos to you.  That's just like going into a Manchester United bar, yelling that you are a Liverpool fan and lighting off a flare and running out...(ok, you have to see Formula 51 to get that).

Wasting my time? I think not. Congratulations for the tie USA.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 17, 2006, 05:27:38 pm
BTW, the American team can advance with a CR win over Italy, also, as long as they can make up the goal differential, but that would be a longshot.
I know. That is why I'm cheering on Italy. Tomorrow's Brazil - Australia game should be fun.

GO USA!!! GO AZZURE!!!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 17, 2006, 05:31:21 pm
I think Coach Arena must share some blame for USA playing most of the second half a man down.  Once it became obvious that the ref was, to put it mildly, a bit card-happy, the Italian coach removed Totti before he could get a second yellow.  Leaving Pope in was really tempting fate.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 17, 2006, 06:21:07 pm
Italy probably payed that ref considering the game fixing scandal they have in Italy.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 17, 2006, 07:07:38 pm
There is no longer any scenario where USA can win group (the ref saw to that!), so even if they go through their 'reward' would presumably be facing Brazil - ouch!

A loss or tie with Ghana means USA finishes last in the group, so let's presume a win (though that is FAR from certain).  Here are the scenarios:

If Italy beats CR, Italy wins group, and ANY win by USA is sufficient to go through.

If Italy and CR tie, Italy wins group, CR is second UNLESS USA wins by 5+ goals (yeah, right!).

If CR beats Italy, CR wins group, Italy is second UNLESS combined margin of victory for CR and USA is 6+; if combined margin is 5, USA and Italy are even on first two tie-breaks and I'm unclear where things would stand.

Simplest solution: Go USA!!  Go Azzurri!!  (We'll worry about Brazil if we get there!)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 17, 2006, 09:47:59 pm
Before this Cup, Beasley was one of my favorite players.  Laziness MAY be a problem, but I think the even more basic problem is that he just doesn't seem to be very soccer-smart.  Case in point:

c. 77th minute he runs down the left side (just left of the box).  He and his defender are ahead of anyone else.  He runs all the way to the endline, then crosses (unsuccessfully) to a non-existent teammate.

If he had frozen the ball at about the 18, then gone right, his defender is presumably past him, and he is one-on-one with the keeper.  I teach that to my 8-9 year-olds.  Why didn't he think of it? >:(

I agree that a benching would be justified, but hope that a thorough reaming might make him dangerous off the bench.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 17, 2006, 10:19:13 pm
I remember that play Mr. Ypsi. As I thought about it more, I'm not sure it was laziness, it almost seemed like stage fright. Frozen with doubt. Two other times a US player had the ball along the sideline about 25 - 30 yards out. Beasley was about 10 yards in from the ball. That was perfect time to make a run toward the corner. It pulls the defender and gives the ball handler room to move toward the middle. Or if the defender stays put (which he would have the time it was Donovan with the ball), the ball gets pushed to Beasley and he is open to make a cross. Both times he just stood there and the ball wound up being played back. KEEP MOVING!!, I emphasized that play to my high schoolers when I was coaching.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 17, 2006, 11:51:39 pm
Beasley 'scored' what seemed to be the probable winning goal only a minute after entering.  I think he collapsed after that disappointment.  I question the mental toughness of anyone who can't deal with such a setback.

Especially since that seems to have been one of the rare calls the ref got right - McBride WAS offside and guilty of interference (blocking the keeper's view).

Beasley CANNOT let such a call get into his mind if he is to be a worthy World Cup player.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 18, 2006, 12:32:48 am
One of my favorite quotes came after the match when Eric Wynalda was describing how he felt about officials when he was playing.  He said that there were two types of officials, "bad and worse." ;D  That was classic!  He went on to describe the officiating in the USA match as the worst he has seen in some time!  Personally, I didn't understand when the commentators in the game were describing Pope's 2nd yellow and subsequent red card as being a make-up call.  Make up for what??? ???  The red card that the Italians received in the 1st half was totally warranted as evidenced by the blood running down McBride's face!  Why was there need to call a make-up red card and if that was the case, how come we never got a make-up red card for the bogus call on Mastroeni?!

Officiating aside, all in all, the US put forth far and away a better effort in their match with Italy.  After conceding the first goal, the US just continued attacking and it payed off shortly after with a little help from the Italians.  Then the US went up a man and it looked as though we might actually be able to get a favorable result.  And then the official decided he was bigger than the game.  Still, salvaging a tie after playing nearly the entire 2nd half with just 9 men is a very good result.  Hopefully, the Czechs have folded up the tents and the Italians can take them out.  I'm also hopeful that Ghana will wake up and realize that they weren't supposed to be contending in this group.  One key is that the US isn't the only squad in that match that will be playing without 2 key players.  Ghana will be missing 2 key players as well including one of the goal scorers in their win over CR.  Personally, I feel that Ghana will feel the losses more than the US as the US bench seems to be deeper talent-wise.  We shall see on the 22nd!

Lastly, how about the US contingent that showed up to support the boys in K-Town!  Honestly, I think the US supporters were louder than the Italians!  I got chills hearing the crowd singing the Star Spangled Banner before the match.  Can't wait for Thursday!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 18, 2006, 09:46:07 am
I think Coach Arena must share some blame for USA playing most of the second half a man down. Once it became obvious that the ref was, to put it mildly, a bit card-happy, the Italian coach removed Totti before he could get a second yellow. Leaving Pope in was really tempting fate.

You don't take a player out simply because of that, unless the outcome is already determined (blowout ect) to "save" the player.  Taking Totti out was tactical, not because he was afraid of him getting a yellow card.  If Italy wins that game, they're through and it doesn't matter if Totti sits out the last game.  It had nothing to do with "yellow card suspensions".  With that said the Australian coach was talking about sitting several of his players against Brazil, basically conceding that game and saving his players for Croatia.  But that's a bunch of bull and shows disrespect to Croatia.  Look for the Aussies to be at full strength.


Beasley has had a terrible tourney.  I don't think he lacks soccer knowledge at all.  He's timid and a lot of fans/commentators were happy to see him come on for fresh legs and speed.  But he didn't use that to his advantage.  He was LAZY coming back on defense while it was obvious everyone else was tired as heck.  He was pissing me off! lol. 

You're being a little harsh on Beasley, a lot of players will react that way when a goal is disallowed.  I sure would playing on the biggest stage and of course it would mean a little more to him considering the criticizism he's been under.

And what's up with not bringing on Eddie Johnson for Brian McBride?  McBride did a great job, but getting some speed in there and not losing on in height would've been nice.  Arena had an extra sub left and should've used him.  You can't carry over unused subs for the next game!  ;D

I used my Lakeland College math on my post that included the goal differential.  Not sure how I came up with Ghana's goal differential.  You're right, I just didn't add correctly.

If the US goes through, I don't care who they play!  Brazil has hardly looked unbeatable and we can only hope that fat out of shape guy Ronaldo plays!

I think Pope's leadership and experience will be missed, but he looked horrible yesterday.  He was totally at fault for the Italian goal and just looked stupid standing there with is hand up by executing a one man offside trap!  What a joke. 

Arena did a great job of flooding the midfield and preventing service to the forwards.  I can't see how the US would've ever fired Arena (because of a horrible 1st game and the possibility of not getting out of the first round).  He is by far the best coach for the US and for Wynalda to throw him under the bus by saying, "just remember, 20 years ago he threw down the la crosse stick to do soccer.  He's not even a soccer player/coach to begin with" or something like that, was just out of line.




Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 18, 2006, 10:39:28 am
To answer my own question, it would've been more beneficial for Ghana to put the hammer down on the Czechs, thus hurting their goal differential.  If it was 3 or 4 to zero, it would've put the Czech's GD at zero or even negative and if we both are level on points (if the Czechs tie and we win), there would be less goals needed for us to score!  Now, as it stands, we need to beat Ghana by 3 or more goals.  3 goals and a tie for the Czechs puts us level on points and GD and I have no idea what the next tie breaker is.

If the Czechs beat the Italians, the total goals the Italians get beat by and the total goals the US needs to win by has to equal 5 or more, I believe.

So, if the Czechs win, it's gotta be by a blowout!  Hoping Ghana is tired so we can win.  Plus, both of Ghana's scorers are out the next match.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 18, 2006, 01:18:19 pm
I think Coach Arena must share some blame for USA playing most of the second half a man down. Once it became obvious that the ref was, to put it mildly, a bit card-happy, the Italian coach removed Totti before he could get a second yellow. Leaving Pope in was really tempting fate.

You don't take a player out simply because of that, unless the outcome is already determined (blowout ect) to "save" the player.  Taking Totti out was tactical, not because he was afraid of him getting a yellow card.  If Italy wins that game, they're through and it doesn't matter if Totti sits out the last game.  It had nothing to do with "yellow card suspensions".  With that said the Australian coach was talking about sitting several of his players against Brazil, basically conceding that game and saving his players for Croatia.  But that's a bunch of bull and shows disrespect to Croatia.  Look for the Aussies to be at full strength.


Beasley has had a terrible tourney.  I don't think he lacks soccer knowledge at all.  He's timid and a lot of fans/commentators were happy to see him come on for fresh legs and speed.  But he didn't use that to his advantage.  He was LAZY coming back on defense while it was obvious everyone else was tired as heck.  He was pissing me off! lol. 

You're being a little harsh on Beasley, a lot of players will react that way when a goal is disallowed.  I sure would playing on the biggest stage and of course it would mean a little more to him considering the criticizism he's been under.

And what's up with not bringing on Eddie Johnson for Brian McBride?  McBride did a great job, but getting some speed in there and not losing on in height would've been nice.  Arena had an extra sub left and should've used him.  You can't carry over unused subs for the next game!  ;D

I used my Lakeland College math on my post that included the goal differential.  Not sure how I came up with Ghana's goal differential.  You're right, I just didn't add correctly.

If the US goes through, I don't care who they play!  Brazil has hardly looked unbeatable and we can only hope that fat out of shape guy Ronaldo plays!

I think Pope's leadership and experience will be missed, but he looked horrible yesterday.  He was totally at fault for the Italian goal and just looked stupid standing there with is hand up by executing a one man offside trap!  What a joke. 

Arena did a great job of flooding the midfield and preventing service to the forwards.  I can't see how the US would've ever fired Arena (because of a horrible 1st game and the possibility of not getting out of the first round).  He is by far the best coach for the US and for Wynalda to throw him under the bus by saying, "just remember, 20 years ago he threw down the la crosse stick to do soccer.  He's not even a soccer player/coach to begin with" or something like that, was just out of line.

i don't care what sport a person payed, if they can coach i'll take em! Hell, Lawrence Frank of the New Jersey Nets couldnt even make his high school basketball team and he isnt all that shabby of a coach!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 18, 2006, 02:01:01 pm
Brazil moves on, but a valiant effort by the Aussies. Australia should beat Croatia to move on to the next round. Once again, Ronaldo just seemed to stand around and wasn't much of a factor.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 18, 2006, 03:27:04 pm
In the 9th minute against South Korea, Henry scored the first French Cup goal since 1998!

(Is France scoring listed as a Sign of the Apocalypse? ???)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 18, 2006, 03:28:48 pm
In the 9th minute against South Korea, Henry scored the first French Cup goal since 1998!

(Is France scoring listed as a Sign of the Apocalypse? ???)

No, that would be me having a zero or a positive number for my karma!  :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 18, 2006, 09:43:55 pm
France was in all probability DOUBLY 'screwed' today.  Late in the first half they almost certainly scored a second goal (the Korean keeper was behind the goalline AND reached back to stop a shot - while none of the camera angles were absolutely conclusive, I'd say it was over 90% certain that the entire ball crossed the entire line).  And, in a blow to France and true fans everywhere, Zinedine Zidane (who has already announced his retirement from international play after the Cup) was given a VERY iffy yellow card (his second of group play) and will have to sit the next game.  If France does not go through, we've seen the last of Zidane.  (Fortunately they next play Togo, so their chances for the second round, even without Zidane, are excellent.)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 18, 2006, 10:03:00 pm
Nothing iffy about it, IMHO.  Zidane threw a knee into the back of the Korean player's thigh.  The ABC commentators didn't mention it (which is hardly surprising; sometimes I wonder what game they are watching), but it was pretty flagrant.  And it was a stupid thing to do when you know you're carrying a booking already.

Just like in D3 hoops, the referee is a necessary part of the game: good, bad, or indifferent.  Maybe the ref missed the call on the would-be second French goal, maybe they're being a little liberal with yellow and red cards, but it happens.  You learn to adjust and move on, or you suffer.  Or, if you're Marcelo Balboa, you snivel and whine about it endlessly. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 18, 2006, 10:41:07 pm
Lastly, how about the US contingent that showed up to support the boys in K-Town!  Honestly, I think the US supporters were louder than the Italians!  I got chills hearing the crowd singing the Star Spangled Banner before the match.  Can't wait for Thursday!

I guess it helps that they were a stone's throw away from the US Air Force base in Germany!  :D

The Aussies are very entertaining and really took it to Brazil without being afraid.  2nd half sub Harry Kewell should've had two goals.  Ronaldo looked like crap and a friend told me that Julie Foudy commented that Ronaldo looked like he was taking a walk through the park, feeding the ducks etc...I thought that was pretty funny.

The announcers have basically been horrible for the coverage. This morning's game of Japan and Croatia was pretty bad.  I could've thought Rob Stone was Deco's boyfriend the way he was talking him up.  Yeah, Deco is Brazilian born and playing for Japan, but come on...Stone even called Japan Brazil a couple of times!

As for Brazil, yeah, they are good and fun to watch, but Balboa must have a Brazilian passport because he was in awe of every step over, little pass, or whatever that Brazil did.  He even said that Brazil was controlling the game, slowing it down when they wanted, counter attacking when they wanted etc.  He couldn't have been further from the truth.

I appreciate watching the games, but a friend told me he watches the Spanish channel coverage.  He doesn't speak Spanish and has no idea what they are saying, but they are just more animated with their commentating and shows the passion of the game.  Anyway, I know I probably couldn't do much better, but maybe I start muting the games (like I do with Madden and Monday night football)! lol.  :P
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 18, 2006, 10:57:31 pm
David,

I'll have to take your word for it - I didn't see THAT foul!  They kept showing a replay which appeared to be a simple pull-down by the shirt - a foul, yes, but hardly a card (unless it is preventing a scoring chance).  But a knee to the thigh, if viewed as deliberate, yes, that is a card!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 19, 2006, 08:52:56 am

Sorry to miss all the action this weekend.  That's what I get for only posting on workdays.

The US game was a truly valiant effort.  To tie Italy after those setbacks and a man down was gutsy.  I would have liked the win and I think it would have been a shoe it without the second red card.

Pablo's was crap, although probably yellow worthy and Pope's was justified, I think.  At least, it was consistent with the way the tournament has gone, even with the good refs, like Merk yesterday in the France-Korea match.  That was one heck of a football match; I'd love to see the Swiss and the Koreans moving on.


I don't have faith that Italy can pull that win off, so we're going to have to beat Ghana by like 6 goals, just to be safe.  Can John O'Brien maybe get some playing time now that Eddie Pope is out?  O'Brien can take Pablo's starting spot and I think Conrad did a very good job for Pope (maybe he should have been starting the whole time).

Other than that, I'd like to see Eddie Johnson in and maybe start Beasley over Convey.  I'd rather have Bobby coming in with fresh legs when DeMarcus gets lazy rather than having to rely on Beasley in the second half.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 19, 2006, 11:39:15 am

The Swiss to the semis?  I think it can happen!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gotberg on June 19, 2006, 12:05:11 pm
I just got back to the States yesterday from my trip to see a game in the WC.  It was such a blast (figuratively only :)).

I saw the Netherlands vs the Ivory Coast.  The dutch fans were a ton of fun and very peaceful (of course they won). 

If you ever have the chance to see the WC outside the US - take advantage of it.  It's soo unique.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 19, 2006, 05:02:15 pm

Spain got lucky at the right time.  Although, true to form, they were one of the most blatant diving teams I have ever seen.  Those guys seem to instinctively know when the referee doesn't have an angle on the play and they'll just faceplant without even being touched.  Remarkable.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 19, 2006, 05:15:07 pm
I've enjoyed reading the World Cup posts, nice to see a few Americans care :D........but seriously, I just felt I needed to weigh in with my opines.


Italy v USA........is there a more gutless whining bunch of soccer players than the Italians.........good grief for a team with so much supposed talent what a bunch of divers and whiners.  Most disgracefull performance I've seen in the cup either that or there are alot of snipers at Italy games.  Now that I have that off my chest. ;D

Congrats to the US team for one of the guttier performances I've seen from a soccer team in a while...........they were up against the wall even before the whistle but who knew they were a man down before they even kicked off......11 v 12. ???  They earn a medal just for surviving that game and big kudos to how the team handled the result after the game.

I've had my doubts about how far they can go since the draw back in December, just to tough a draw to think they could do much damage.


Most exciting moments of the tournament were the 3 games between Wed night and Thursday with 3 games being decided in the final minutes..........Germany, England and Swedan...........good stuff.  Throw in Aussie's comeback the previous day and it was pretty dramatic.


My unofficial rankings of the teams so far.

1. Argentina..........solid team, fun to see them score 6
2. Brazil......could Ronaldo be fatter
3. Holland.........laugh if you want but I've been impressed with this bunch
4. Germany.....hosts always do well and their win over Poland certainly was inspiring
5. Portugal......lots of talent but have a tough draw in the next round with either Holland or Argentina
6. Spain......loaded but showed their frailties today, and their power, history not on their side
7. England.....for a team with 2 wins they've been very disappointing.


Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Dave 'd-mac' McHugh on June 19, 2006, 06:02:05 pm
WOW!!! Very impressed with this post!!!

As a former collegiate soccer player... I feel like I am the only soccer fan at my job (though that isn't completely true - since I do work in TV and the games are on many TV's)... however I am loving reading the posts so far.

Few thoughts:
Team USA - was embarrased by their effort against the CR... happy to see them at least "rebound" against Italy! But I wish we had just out and out beaten them.
The call against Mast... deserved a card... but not a red! He went in very late... and took the ankles out. The way the games are being called... I expected a yellow... but the red was ridiculous.
Pope getting the second yellow... undecided.
This team needs to really step up against Ghana and I think put their foot on the jugular... and not let up. They won't know what has happened in the other game (since they are being played at the same time)... so... just play to win and win by a lot.
Disappointed in Beasley so much this tournament... but not worth rehashing everything already said.

The refs - really tired of these guys. I understand that FIFA wants them to keep thing safe and keep the games under-control... but these cards are ticky-tack. What ever happened to warning players? And what ever happened to calls that made sense. The red card against the Italian in the US game... DESERVED. The second yellow card against - shoot... Trinidad & Tobago player in their second game... was bad. He was penalized for being aggresive to a ball... beating his opponent to it... playing it... and was punished because his opponent is a whimp and dove... I am SO TIRED OF THE DIVES!!!

Anyway... the World Cup has certainly been exciting so far. I am loving watching almost every game (it helps I work at  TV station with plenty fo TV's to watch the games all day long) and look forward to the rest of this tournament (USA or not!).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 19, 2006, 06:03:14 pm

Spain got lucky at the right time.  Although, true to form, they were one of the most blatant diving teams I have ever seen.  Those guys seem to instinctively know when the referee doesn't have an angle on the play and they'll just faceplant without even being touched.  Remarkable.

Uh?  Everyone dives.  But I'm not sure where that really came into play in the Spain/Tunisia game.  I thought the pace of it was outstanding with both teams going for goal.  The one thing that's constant with those African teams is that they are entertaining.

Spain's first was a poacher's goal with Raul finishing off a very nice movement by Spain.  The breakaway goal was clinical and the 3rd was a bit harsh.  Both were grabbing, but I honestly don't think the Spanish player was "looking for" a PK.  The goalie was unfortunate not to keep it out. 

Very entertaining trio of games today.  2-0, 4-0 and 3-1.  Though scoring is always a bonus, all three games were played at a high level with both teams in each game looking to score. 

Since sac started it...

1.)  Argentina-not just because they scored 6, but they really do look unstoppable

2.)  Holland-Robben is a stud and it's nice to see R v. N get on the board.

3.)  Spain-stats show they've scored 3 or more goals in SIX straight group games and now have 21 wins, the most of any WC team that hasn't won the Cup.  They should have an easy draw in the 2nd round.

4.)  Ecuador-I can't name anyone on their team, but no one gave them a shot to even win a game at sea level.  They had the worst away record in WC qualifying.

5.)  Germany-simply because they are the host team.  They showed they could score vs. Costa Rica, but then again they showed their defensive frailities as well.

6.)  Brazil-Ronaldinho, Robinho, Robert Carlos, Dida...and FRED.  Australia also outplayed Brazil.

7.)  England-Rooney is back and is scheduled to start tomorrow.

Biggest surprise:  Ecuador
Biggest disappointment:  France

Oh yeah, if it was up to me, Tommy Smyth and whoever he's paired up with should do every game.  Screw Balboa, Rob Stone and that Shepp guy.  Harkes isn't too bad.



Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 19, 2006, 06:36:13 pm

Spain got lucky at the right time.  Although, true to form, they were one of the most blatant diving teams I have ever seen.  Those guys seem to instinctively know when the referee doesn't have an angle on the play and they'll just faceplant without even being touched.  Remarkable.

I totally disagree - more like their bad luck finally went away!  I unfortuntely missed the first half, but at least for the second Spain must have had possession 75% of the time, at one point had outshot Tunisia for the half by 10-0 (I think it must have finished about 14 or 15 to maybe 1), yet still trailed at the 70-minute mark!  If the comeback had not occurred that would have been BY FAR the biggest upset of this Cup (after all, while comparative scores is always a mine-laden game, Spain destroyed Ukraine, 4-0, Ukraine destroyed the Saudis, 4-0, and Tunisia can only get a tie on KSA??!).

I'd also have to disagree re: the PK.  While the anouncers also thought it harsh, I thought it way way lenient (especially as card-happy as most of the refs have been).  My view of the play was that there was mutual jostling and grabbing early on, but once Torres went up for what might well have been a header-goal, the defender put on a bear-hug and threw him to the ground.  Where I come from, such a deliberate, illegal denial of a goal is not just a PK, it is a red card.  It is the same as a deliberate hand-stop, assuming you are not the keeper!  (Assuming also that you are not Maradona, or a German defender playing USA in 2002!) >:(
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 19, 2006, 07:09:47 pm
The run of play certainly favored the Spaniards the entire game, but Tunisia did have at least one first-half shot.  It wasn't an own goal, after all.  [Edit: Tunisia ended up with 4 shots, 3 of them on goal.  Two of these were on the scoring play, a corner kick with a save and goal off the rebound.  Spain, by contrast, had 24 shots and was credited with 66% possession.  Match stats. (http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/match/stats.html?id=31&year=2006&month=6&day=&day)]

I agree that Argentina and the Dutch are looking good so far, but I think the team to beat so far has to be the Fat Kid's Mostly French Team.  Lampard and Robben look great, and Zidane's yellow cards don't eliminate him from the playground.  I have doubts about how deep they can go with Defoe in goal, though.   :D

The playground game truly is "impossible," as advertised, but it's not because of Cisse's health or Platini's and Beckenbauer's youth.  It's impossible because, if it were the real World Cup, Jose's foul on Robben would have resulted in faux-agony for Robben and a booking for Jose.   :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 19, 2006, 08:04:46 pm
The run of play certainly favored the Spaniards the entire game, but Tunisia did have at least one first-half shot.  It wasn't an own goal, after all.

David, I surely hope you read briefs more carefully than posts! ;)  (And I'm sure you do.) 

If you re-read my post, the shot stats were clearly for the second half only.  But the Spaniards were TOTALLY dominant in the second half (like I said, I missed the first half) - I can attribute their still trailing in the 70th minute only to tons of bad luck. 

Spain SHOULD have breezed through this game (and their game against KSA SHOULD be a rout), but strange things happen when you move from on paper to on the pitch.  I think Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia-Montenegro (which no longer even exists!), and perhaps only one or two others are competing to avoid 'bottom-of-the-barrel'.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 19, 2006, 08:22:47 pm
Oops.  :-[ Briefs are easier for me to understand, since they don't typically have as many parentheticals as your posts.  ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 19, 2006, 10:43:23 pm
Oops.  :-[ Briefs are easier for me to understand, since they don't typically have as many parentheticals as your posts.  ;)

I'm not sure that is true (as a former union president, and union organizer, I read a fair amount of briefs!), but at least I don't DELIBERATELY obfuscate as frequently as the average brief!

My second favorite t-shirt: 'Eschew Obfuscation'. 

[My favorite is from my 14-year-old yesterday: a picture of the US World Cup Team, and reading Happy Fathers Day - he did the computer work himself, though he had a bit of help from my wife on the t-shirt decal.]
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 20, 2006, 08:40:09 am
Uh?  Everyone dives. 

True, everyone (except for the Americans, and usually the English) dive all the time, but most countries wait until they've been touched and then "sell it."  I wouldn't do it, but I understand why they do and it makes sense.

Late in the second half the camera caught the quintissential Spanish dive, however.  One of the Spanish guys is coming down the sideline, looks back over his shoulder, sees that the Tunisian defender is blocking he refs view and he just does a summersault.  The defender was three feet away.  The Spanish guy just went heels over head and the Tunisian guy rolled his eyes and ran back to set up the defense.  It was rediculous.  That's what I mean about the diving.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 20, 2006, 08:40:38 am

A bunch of big games today.  The Germans get a touch one and England get to try their best to help T&T move on.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 20, 2006, 10:04:32 am
Say Ecuador and Germany tie and the South Americans get first place.  Does England sandbag it, let Sweden win and have them play the host country?  Ummm.

Since we're all soccer experts, here's an easy trivia question.

Regarding the all-too-familiar soccer commercial involving the two kids picking all-star teams, name BOTH players that originally start in goal.  If you want, you can send me a message through the site with your guess! lol.  ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 20, 2006, 10:10:01 am

I know Oliver Kahn is in one goal, but I don't remember even seeing another goalie.  I'll have to watch again.



By the way, Germany scored in the 5th minute.  And if I'm England, with the way Ecuador has been playing, I don't know who I'd rather get in the first knock-out match.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 20, 2006, 11:40:10 am
As I mentioned in a previous note, Jermain Defoe starts in the other goal, despite not being a goalkeeper by trade (he's a striker.)

You'll note that neither Kahn nor Defoe is playing in the World Cup.  Kahn is backing up Jens Lehmann; Defoe is not on England's Cup squad.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 20, 2006, 12:26:50 pm

I guess that explains why I didn't see another goalie.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 20, 2006, 12:29:37 pm

So what do we all think about Ecuador sitting their carded players to avoid losing anyone for the next round?

I doubt they feel Sweden nor England are very different in terms of opponents.  I mean was it worth risking your best players to have an outside chance at Trinidad and Tobago?  Probably not.  It's gutsy, but may prove smart, especially if England loses a player or two to cards this afternoon.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Just Bill on June 20, 2006, 12:36:48 pm
Portugal is planning on doing the same thing in their match against Mexico.  I guess Portugal doesn't think there's much difference between playing Argentina or the Netherlands.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: gogenerals04 on June 20, 2006, 12:50:52 pm

Oh yeah, if it was up to me, Tommy Smyth and whoever he's paired up with should do every game.  Screw Balboa, Rob Stone and that Shepp guy.  Harkes isn't too bad.


Old School, your comments on ESPN's announcers piqued my interest as a soccer broadcaster.

Tommy Smyth is always a joy to listen to, and his play-by-play cohort is also good: Adrian Healey, who is the studio host for ESPN's coverage of the Champions League and other European football matches. I also agree that John Harkes has come into his own this World Cup, working with my favorite American analyst in J.P. Dellacamera.

Speaking of whom, does anyone know why Dellacamera was shelved as the No. 1 play-by-play announcer by ESPN? He's called games for the network for years, but for some reason he's taken a backseat to Dave O'Brien--who, while a great broadcaster overall, had never called a football match until this year.

While his lack of experience with the sport has been somewhat apparent at times, I think O'Brien has done a fine job of catching on to the spectacle that is the World Cup. And Old School, you're too harsh on Rob Stone. He knows his soccer.

Cheers to England. Wayne Rooney will start up front for the Brits as they look to take down Ljungberg, Ibrahimovic and the Swedes. And who would've thunk it, that Trinidad & Tobago are mathematically alive entering the final game of the group stage?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 20, 2006, 01:00:01 pm

Wait, Portugal is laying down to Mexico?  Is this some sort of Ibero-American alliance?  I'm still planning for Angola to put a hurting on Saudi Arabia and win the final spot over Mexico on goal differential.  Portugal needs to send their guys out hard.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 20, 2006, 01:08:00 pm
I thought it was funny when Julie Foudy suggested that Tommy Smyth needed to be subtitled.  :D

I don't think the decision to start Rooney against Sweden was motivated by a desire to beat the Swedes.  I think it was motivated by a desire to beat either Argentina or Holland and reach the semifinals, for which the English will need a match-fit Rooney.  I still expect a listless draw this afternoon, a result which suits both teams.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 20, 2006, 02:18:38 pm
I thought it was funny when Julie Foudy suggested that Tommy Smyth needed to be subtitled.  :D

I don't think the decision to start Rooney against Sweden was motivated by a desire to beat the Swedes.  I think it was motivated by a desire to beat either Argentina or Holland and reach the semifinals, for which the English will need a match-fit Rooney.  I still expect a listless draw this afternoon, a result which suits both teams.

I don't like Tommy Smyth's voice. I can understand it, but the sound of his voice is annoying.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 20, 2006, 03:11:27 pm

Owen goes down with about his first step on the pitch.  No one touched him.  They bring Crouch on, even though he's sitting on yellow.  Why not let Walcott get some play, especially when the match isn't too important.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 20, 2006, 03:18:04 pm
And Old School, you're too harsh on Rob Stone. He knows his soccer.

I did say that the announcers weren't that good overall and the first person I mentioned in a previous post was Rob Stone.  For Stone, it's not for a lack of knowledge, and in fact all the announcers pretty much know a lot.  But, my reasoning for throwing Rob Stone under the bus was because he just couldn't get off the idea that Deco was the greatest player in the world (basically), mentioning that he was Brazilian born and blah blah blah and calling Japan Brazil several times.  Get over it, Rob.  They are all knowledgeable, but that doesn't mean you're going to be a good announcer.  Balboa constantly repeats himself.

The World Cup Live crew is dwarfed by the Fox Sports World Report crew as well....though Foudy and Wynalda do have their humorous moments.  

Owen goes down with about his first step on the pitch. No one touched him. They bring Crouch on, even though he's sitting on yellow. Why not let Walcott get some play, especially when the match isn't too important.

Looks like an ACL or MCL.  Crouch better be careful since he's carrying a card, I believe.  The game is important.  England doesn't want to play the hosts in the 2nd round.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 20, 2006, 03:20:15 pm

Owen goes down with about his first step on the pitch. No one touched him. They bring Crouch on, even though he's sitting on yellow. Why not let Walcott get some play, especially when the match isn't too important.

Why......one word......Germany.  England needs to win this game and as worthless as I think Peter Crouch is, he's done relatively well even though he completely misses 99% of his chances badly.

Very depressed about Owen, he's been one of my favorite players since I started following the English leagues about 7 years ago.  That injury looked really bad, you could actually see something snap.......I'll be shocked if he plays again.

A couple summers ago I met an Englishmen in Michigan's UP on "holiday", I talked a little soccer with him asking him his favorite team and such (Leeds).......he immediately assumed I was a David Beckham fan, when I told him I preferred Owen, I seemed to gain a lot more credibility with him.  It was an interesting 20 minutes in my life.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 20, 2006, 03:32:55 pm
But England doesn't need to win to avoid Germany; a draw will do just fine.  They're playing with a little more verve than I expected, but still they're not going to take any unreasonable chances and will be thrilled with a 0:0 result. 

Here's a problem with O'Brien: he just told us that Beckham's "power and accuracy have been deadly so far in Group B" (or words to that effect.)  England has exactly two goals in two matches, and Beckham played a role in just one of them.  It's almost like he made up cue cards of likely sound bites before the tournament began, and he's still using them.

Paraguay goes up 1:0 on Trinidad & Tobago on an own goal.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 20, 2006, 03:40:50 pm
England has exactly two goals in two matches, and Beckham played a role in just one of them. It's almost like he made up cue cards of likely sound bites before the tournament began, and he's still using them.

How many would England have if Crouch could hit the broadside of a barn?


.....and I know England only need a draw.....I'm too american.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 20, 2006, 04:04:03 pm
Here's a problem with O'Brien: he just told us that Beckham's "power and accuracy have been deadly so far in Group B" (or words to that effect.)  England has exactly two goals in two matches, and Beckham played a role in just one of them.

As much as I agree that Beckham has been overrated for the last four years (at least), he does have two assists for England and pretty much the only European player who can cross a ball with any accuracy.  He's the key to releasing those strikers for shots.  And yes, they would be dominant if Crouch could hit anything.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 20, 2006, 04:17:35 pm
Don't misunderstand; I'm not criticizing Beckham or Crouch or any other Englishman (not now, anyway); I'm criticizing O'Brien.  Becks may have provided beautiful service time and again, but so long as they don't result in goals, they can hardly be described as "deadly."   
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 20, 2006, 05:02:42 pm
Can England be any more boring?

Did I read Balboa correctly?  I could've sworn he said Beckham was 34.  I think he's 31 or so.

Exciting teams to watch:

Brazil
Australia
Argentina
Ghana
Spain

Need a nap?  Watch these teams play:

England
France
Togo

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 20, 2006, 05:03:33 pm
Well as good as England were in the 1st they were equally as dreadfull in the second.............Swedan should have scored 4 and did I really just see a throw-in for a goal? ::)  I don't think a Swede touched it.  England should feel lucky.  If it weren't for J. Cole England would have been embarrassed today.

I give Swedan a good shot at beating Germany, England would have been crushed by the Germans.

England will have a tough game with Ecuador, esp if its hot.  They'll be lucky to get past them and then its Ye Olde Nemesis ...........Argentina.  Unless they sharpen up big time this week by Sunday night they'll be on a plane back to the island.  Ecuador can beat them.

Swedan might be the sleeper in this tournament.  They seem to get more chances out of nothing than most.  I like the way they played today.

Can Jermaine DeFoe (Jose's goalkeeper) be called in to replace Owen?



Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 20, 2006, 05:08:13 pm

Did I read Balboa correctly?  I could've sworn he said Beckham was 34.  I think he's 31 or so.


Beckham turned 31 in May..........being married to posh spice I'm sure he feels younger.  ;D ;)

.....and England can be more boring.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 20, 2006, 05:10:07 pm
Can Jermaine DeFoe (Jose's goalkeeper) be called in to replace Owen?

Defoe's not on the roster; can you change the roster in mid-tournament?  (Maybe I'm just repeating your question.)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 20, 2006, 06:14:20 pm
I was surprised by the lack of urgency near the end of the game by Sweden.  Surely they knew on the sideline by then that Trinidad was NOT going to win; thus with either a loss or a draw they still go through as the #2 team.  Only a win was of any relevance, yet they dawdled, wasting precious seconds on every throw-in, etc.  Go for broke (and if England scores on a counter, so what)!  (Perhaps they wanted to protect their non-losing streak against England, approaching, I believe, 40 years.)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 20, 2006, 06:54:28 pm
Its a do or die situation for the U.S. two days from now. Can team U.S. respond with the same sense of urgency as it did and tried against a good italian team. Or will they fall asleep? In my opinion, the U.S. is going to surprise Ghana on thursday. Look for Demarcus and the Donavon to step up.

It sucks that Pablo masteronni (if thats how you its spelled) and Pope will be missing the game.


To be honest the Mexico team also needs to excite many. THey have not lived up to much to their bill as being a high ranked team. WHat do you guys think.


GO TEAM U.S.A
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Tuxguy on June 20, 2006, 07:33:23 pm
I too am sorry the U.S. will be without 2 very good players. Anyone else think there have been way to many cards given out in the first rounds? ???

Seems when the  FIFA heads think too many cards have been given there is a problem. And this is just my opinion, but it seems some of the games have not been called the same for both teams! >:(

Good luck to the USA, win won for the red white and blue!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 20, 2006, 08:15:24 pm
Something I've just GOT to toss out:  what is with Brazilian star Kaka?

As I'm sure many of you know, 'caca' is the Spanish equivalent of 'sh*t', and Portuguese and Spanish are very closely allied languages (besides, MANY of Brazil's matches will be against Spanish-speaking teams).  Does that term not exist (or have a different meaning) in Portuguese?  Does he simply enjoy the notoriety of a really bizarre name?  Was he a really lousy junior player, and his nickname persists to this day?

Any info, anyone? ???

In terms of USA-Ghana, Ghana's absences SHOULD be more hurtful than ours.  They'll be missing 2 of their best goal scorers, and reportedly Ghana is a much less deep team than USA.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 20, 2006, 08:28:02 pm
Something I've just GOT to toss out:  what is with Brazilian star Kaka?

As I'm sure many of you know, 'caca' is the Spanish equivalent of 'sh*t', and Portuguese and Spanish are very closely allied languages (besides, MANY of Brazil's matches will be against Spanish-speaking teams).  Does that term not exist (or have a different meaning) in Portuguese?  Does he simply enjoy the notoriety of a really bizarre name?  Was he a really lousy junior player, and his nickname persists to this day?

Any info, anyone? ???

In terms of USA-Ghana, Ghana's absences SHOULD be more hurtful than ours.  They'll be missing 2 of their best goal scorers, and reportedly Ghana is a much less deep team than USA.

kaka: the name has an accent on teh second a, therefore it is not pronounced the same as caca.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 20, 2006, 08:39:57 pm
Something I've just GOT to toss out:  what is with Brazilian star Kaka?

As I'm sure many of you know, 'caca' is the Spanish equivalent of 'sh*t', and Portuguese and Spanish are very closely allied languages (besides, MANY of Brazil's matches will be against Spanish-speaking teams).  Does that term not exist (or have a different meaning) in Portuguese?  Does he simply enjoy the notoriety of a really bizarre name?  Was he a really lousy junior player, and his nickname persists to this day?

Any info, anyone? ???

In terms of USA-Ghana, Ghana's absences SHOULD be more hurtful than ours.  They'll be missing 2 of their best goal scorers, and reportedly Ghana is a much less deep team than USA.

kaka: the name has an accent on teh second a, therefore it is not pronounced the same as caca.

You think opposing fans are going to worry about that technicality?! :o
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 20, 2006, 08:41:17 pm
Something I've just GOT to toss out:  what is with Brazilian star Kaka?

As I'm sure many of you know, 'caca' is the Spanish equivalent of 'sh*t', and Portuguese and Spanish are very closely allied languages (besides, MANY of Brazil's matches will be against Spanish-speaking teams).  Does that term not exist (or have a different meaning) in Portuguese?  Does he simply enjoy the notoriety of a really bizarre name?  Was he a really lousy junior player, and his nickname persists to this day?

Any info, anyone? ???

In terms of USA-Ghana, Ghana's absences SHOULD be more hurtful than ours.  They'll be missing 2 of their best goal scorers, and reportedly Ghana is a much less deep team than USA.

kaka: the name has an accent on teh second a, therefore it is not pronounced the same as caca.

You think opposing fans are going to worry about that technicality?! :o

when he's scoring goals to beat the opponent they'll wish they had someone with that name!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 20, 2006, 09:12:05 pm
The worst thing about Thursday is that we (US) have to root for Italy.  >:(

Of all the teams I've seen play I have the least respect for how they play.  Dive, Dive and then Dive.

Chances are their disdane for the US will cause them to play for a tie vs Czech instead of the win.

The US better win by 5, because they can't count on the Italians.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 20, 2006, 10:22:32 pm
Defoe's not on the roster; can you change the roster in mid-tournament?  (Maybe I'm just repeating your question.)

no.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 21, 2006, 09:02:34 am
Michael Owen's injury has been confirmed to be a ruptured ACL.  Eriksson says he plans to use Walcott, as well as having others such as Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, and Aaron Lennon take on the second striker role.

Michael has always been a classy guy; it's a shame to see this happen to him now.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 21, 2006, 12:03:40 pm

Mexico is going to be an easy out for the Argentina-Holland winner.  They couldn't even get points against Portugal when they sat five starters?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 21, 2006, 12:21:57 pm
I assume wrong in thinking that the mexico-portugal game would favor "el tri". The boys from Mexico were tightly covered by a good portugal defense. It should be a tough match for who ever they get matched up with next.

Funny that Kaka's name was brought up. I love this team who has players with mononames(i.e ronahaldo, ronahaldino, peepee,oops .) But you guys have to understand, all of those players go by 1 name, 1 middle name and 4 four last names. SO kaka is easier.   

Cheer on for the red, white and blue tomorrow. BEst of luck.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 21, 2006, 01:25:42 pm

We do get the wrong impression of the Brazilians too in assuming they all go by just one name.  Several of them use their given names, but only the last name appears on the shirt (like any other country).

Nelson Dida and Fereira de Rosa Emerson are two prominent individuals.


Although, no one would ever get me to use just one name if I was born Ronaldo Luiz Nazario da Silva; that is one awesome name.  Our US names are so boring.

Besides, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite naturally becomes Kaka anyway.  It just fits.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 21, 2006, 01:36:48 pm
IMO Mexico played well enough MOST of the time to win, but gave away the match on sheer brain farts.  Portugal's second goal was a PK when a Mexican player reached his hand up to deflect a corner kick.  Mexico had to play a man down for the last 30+ minutes because Perez, who already had one yellow, took an obvious dive in the box, then started screaming at the ref when he didn't get a PK.  Finally, Mexico missed a PK which would have restored a tie, the kick going at least 15 feet high and wide (surely one of the worst PK attempts in Cup history).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 21, 2006, 03:44:26 pm
It's was karma that the Mexican player missed his penalty kick.  It was a harsh call on the Portugal defender who basically fell on the ball after a flying challenge, IMO. 

I think I'm still bitter than Mexico got one of the eight seeds and the US didn't.  I was hoping for Portugal to tack on one more/and or Angola to win by 2 goals for the Africans to go through.

I was actually reading an interesting article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel awhile back, and as for Mexican decent, people basically start out with two names and then add their husband's last name as well as acquiring another name somehow.  Yeah, pretty vague, but unlike most Americans when they get married, some don't drop their "maiden name".  I have a friend in Uruguay and her full name is Maria Eugenia Noya Olivieri. 

All this name talk reminds me of Pulp Fiction and Bruce Willis' character "Butch" having a conversation with the cab driver, Esmeralda Villalobos. 

"Butch, what does that mean?"

"I'm American, our names don't mean sh!t"
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 21, 2006, 04:55:38 pm
 :D :D :D Old school that was a funny comment that you brought up about American names.

Mr.Ypsi, I have to agree with your view and opinions of the big mistakes that Mexico caused. Much of their planning led to simple brain farts that could have easily been prevented. Look for Raffa Marques to do better in the next round. I hope.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 21, 2006, 04:59:22 pm
Well, I watch the "glamour game" and end up missing 4 of the 5 goals in the Ivory Coast/S&M game!  Glad I wasted two hours of my life sleeping through the Holland/Argentina game.  Had that game been the first or second game, it would've been 10 times better.

On to more important things.  As we all know, the easiest way for the US to advance to for them to win AND Italy to win as well.

HERE (http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=ap-wcup-us-scenarios-box&prov=ap&type=lgns) are the ADVANCEMENT SCENARIOS, according to Yahoo...all SEVEN of them!  And I thought the WIAC tie-breakers were a little confusing.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 21, 2006, 05:14:39 pm
What a yawner in the Argentina-Holland game. Except for Argentina's push for a 5 minute or so stretch at the mid point of the first half, there was no real sustained threats by either team.

Old school, I was feeling like you, rooting for Angola to win and for Portugal to score more.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 21, 2006, 05:22:09 pm
I think I'm still bitter than Mexico got one of the eight seeds and the US didn't. 

Although I feel your pain (USA did win the qualifying group), I hasten to point out that it wasn't Mexico that prevented the USA from being seeded.  The 8th seed is Italy, described by the BBC as "narrowly beat[ing] the US into eighth."  Mexico is seeded 5th, ahead of their Round of 16 opponent (Argentina), believe it or not.

BBC Sport article on the seeding of the draw (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/4356050.stm)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 21, 2006, 09:13:37 pm
It's was karma that the Mexican player missed his penalty kick.  It was a harsh call on the Portugal defender who basically fell on the ball after a flying challenge, IMO. 

[I could have sworn I just posted this, but it never came up.]

Even though I was rooting for our southern neighbor (which seems to put me in a minority!), I totally agree with you.  The Portuguese player fell, and in trying to break his fall his hand hit the ball.  While the call was technically correct, I would have preferred a no-call.

One of the things I like best about soccer (though it can be abused) is that the ref has virtually unlimited discretion to not call infractions if the wrong team would be penalized or if no advantage was gained by the infraction.  In this case, the PK seemed awfully harsh since Portugal gained no advantage from the handball.

The reason why whistles seem often rather late is that good refs will 'swallow the whistle' if the wrong team would be penalized, and that is not always clear for a few seconds.  Last fall, one idiot took away a breakaway goal from Ypsi HS because the other team had been guilty of a handball (needless to say, the other team was ecstatic to be 'penalized')!

I didn't think is was possible for Argentina to be THAT boring!  So much for 2 hours of my life. >:( :(
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 21, 2006, 09:54:33 pm
Mr Ypsi, I agree with you on the liberty that Soccer officials have to "no call" if it impedes that advantage gained.

However the proper evaluation of an injured player can only be done off the field.

Get those guys off the field and play-on. :)


Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on June 21, 2006, 10:53:41 pm
Mexico would have had a couple more goals on any other day they played.  I don't think it was Portugal's defense as much as it was Mexico's jitters at possibly not making the 2nd Round.

I can't imangine how bad the Angola/Iran match must have been...
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 22, 2006, 07:57:49 am
Contrary to popular belief, Italy has a lot to play for.  If they tie and Ghana wins, Ghana are group winners and Italy gets Brazil. 

Italy will be going for the win unless they see the U.S. up by a comfortable margin.  If Italy and Ghana are tied in their respective games, both will be going for the win simply because Italy can't play for a tie in case Ghana pulls out a late winner.

I'm really looking forward to today's games.  I'm pulling out my television from my bedroom so I can watch both games!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 22, 2006, 08:59:33 am
Well, I watch the "glamour game" and end up missing 4 of the 5 goals in the Ivory Coast/S&M game!  Glad I wasted two hours of my life sleeping through the Holland/Argentina game.  Had that game been the first or second game, it would've been 10 times better.

On to more important things.  As we all know, the easiest way for the US to advance to for them to win AND Italy to win as well.

HERE (http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=ap-wcup-us-scenarios-box&prov=ap&type=lgns) are the ADVANCEMENT SCENARIOS, according to Yahoo...all SEVEN of them!  And I thought the WIAC tie-breakers were a little confusing.


Anything that involved the casting of lots should probably be avoided at all costs.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 22, 2006, 10:45:40 am
USA finally scores a goal by their offense!! Beasley with an assist on a brilliant play!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 22, 2006, 10:48:20 am
The refs are trying to screw the USA again by giving Ghana a BS penalty kick!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 22, 2006, 10:52:47 am
What a joke. 

I almost cursed Beasley when he played an early ball instead of running at the defense!  Nice pass, great finish, crappy PK call. 

At least the Czechs are down to 10 men.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 22, 2006, 12:12:06 pm
New rule: players carried off on stretchers either stay off a minimum of ten minutes or stay off the remainder of the game.

New rule: since all the refs have those hot little communication devices taped to their faces and ears, they should be talking to officials planted in the crowd. Let the people who can see what's going on be the last word in determining whether or not there has been a penalty.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 22, 2006, 12:28:19 pm
You're certainly right that the PK was a joke, but I'm surprised the commentators kept blaming Reyna for the first goal, rather than noting that it was also bogus.  Draman slammed Reyna's knee; I'd have no trouble 'picking the pocket' of a player writhing in agony on the ground either!!  That was clearly a foul, probably even a card.  (Plus, although he returned for a while, it also cost us the captain.)

Bottom line, with competent officiating the US would have 6 points instead of 1, and I believe would have been the group winner due to the head-to-head result against Italy.

I'll still watch the rest of the Cup, but the refs have really spoiled it for me.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 22, 2006, 12:43:47 pm
What a disappoining end for the U.S. side.

Back to Eric Wynalda's line from this past weekend, "There are two kinds of refs, bad and worse."
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 22, 2006, 01:31:00 pm
I'm willing to give the refs the benefit of a doubt: one center ref to keep an eye on 22 players scattered over 110 yards of playing area and compound that with the bulk of the 22 players willing to dive, whine, cry and roll around as though they've just been knifed in the back. Even basketball with half the number of players and a much smaller area puts three refs in the arena of play and doesn't restrict two of them from making or overruling calls.

Take the acting out of the game--or discourage it with consequences that mean something--and the face of the game should change. If you can't tell if someone has been seriously hurt or not, simply assume if he has to leave the game, he's seriously hurt; he doesn't come back. Especially in the waning minutes and if the injured player is on the winning side. Wasting time for a pseudo-injury should be a red card.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 22, 2006, 01:38:09 pm

The bottom line was that the US came up a goal short.  Even if the ref hadn't called the penalty, we would still not have made it.

Reyna shouldn't have been the last one back.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 22, 2006, 03:06:07 pm
Disappointing end to the US.  But I will continue to watch the Cup as well.  I'm hoping the Aussies go through because they are fun to watch.  I'll root for England and Holland and may as well cheer on Ghana, though Essien won't even play in the 2nd round.


I'm well aware of the fact that all players try to slow down the game when they are ahead, but Ghana was just ridiculous.  Every time there was a challenge, they'd go down like their leg was broken.  A couple of times, I just wished the US kept playing, scored and then worried about the agony of the Ghanian player later.  What a joke.  They took it to a new level.  There should've been about 15 minutes of "injury time" after those acts. 

I honestly don't think there should've been a foul on Reyna.  Maybe I didn't see it as closely as you, but I was probably just too busy being pissed at Reyna for forking it up. 

As I type, Croatia hits in the 2nd minute off a free kick!

Anyway, the ref has TWO assistant refs to help him out.  I have no idea what the center ref saw to call that PK.  I feel the game would have been much different had it been 1-1 going into the break.

Beasley must be the happiest player on the US that the Cup is over for them.  What a forgettable Cup for him.  He was horrible again today, going backward a lot more than going foward.  Aside from his pass, he was invisible, as was Donovan.  Ghana's defense was not very good at all and the US hardly pressed them or ran at them to challenge them. 

Nice to see Eddie Johnson finally coming on. 

Well, on with the Cup...
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 22, 2006, 03:10:50 pm

Reyna's inury brought some bad memories for me.  I lost an MCL is a similarly harmless looking touch of knees on the basketball court.  I hope he's alright.

Michael Davies, the ESPN blogger, put it best today when he said the US has talent all over the field, but lacks one game-changing player.  If we had a Nedved in the middle of the field directing traffic, we would be very successful.

Here's to four more years of player development.  I know I'm sounding like a Red Sox fan here, but do you know how many of these guys will be in the middle of their prime for the next cup?

I'll be rooting for anyone but Brazil at this point; its no fun for the same team to win every time.  I like the Swiss for some suprises.  We'll see what happens.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 22, 2006, 03:16:57 pm
Overall, teh US played like a high school player drafted in the first round of the NBA draft that turns out to be a bust: Shows moments of brilliance at times in a few games, and every once in a while puts in a good game, but overall he ends up being a bad player.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 22, 2006, 03:42:20 pm
I am like most of you. 

Change the rule that stops play when a player goes down.  Play on around him.  One attendant may go to him.  In the meantime, the teams play on and they are like the referee, just part of the playing pitch.  If the injured player goes off on his own strength for evaluation and is not substituted, then he may return.

If the player goes down in the penalty area, the player must crawl outside the penalty area to be treated.  If he requires treatment in the penalty area, then play stops, he is removed from the pitch and he is out for the remainder of the game.

Now I haven't thought out all of the nuances of that law change, but those are the principles that I favor.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 22, 2006, 03:52:43 pm

I say just have the referees give more cards for diving.  Half the Ghana team would have been out with ten minutes to go today.  I understand selling the foul, but going down when you're not touched is just unfair.  In a sport where its standard practice to push the ball out of bounds when a player is hurt, you would think they'd avoid abusing the gentlemenly play by diving all over the place.

I think the US played well, not at the top of their game, but very well.  We need more players developing in Europe and we need some more realistic expectations in general.  In five of these groups, the US would be moving on; we got a tough draw.  US fans are used to winning all the time; they have to be prepared for letdowns once in a while.  Holland made the semis in 98 and then missed the whole thing in 02.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 22, 2006, 04:02:09 pm
I am like most of you. 

Change the rule that stops play when a player goes down.  Play on around him.  One attendant may go to him.  In the meantime, the teams play on and they are like the referee, just part of the playing pitch.  If the injured player goes off on his own strength for evaluation and is not substituted, then he may return.

If the player goes down in the penalty area, the player must crawl outside the penalty area to be treated.  If he requires treatment in the penalty area, then play stops, he is removed from the pitch and he is out for the remainder of the game.

Now I haven't thought out all of the nuances of that law change, but those are the principles that I favor.

I'd suggest one amendment: if the player is out for the game, his sub does not count as one of the 3 allowed.  Otherwise it would seem overly harsh to the team if a legitimately injured player goes down after the 3 subs have been used.

At the half: Aussies 1, Croatia 1.

At the half: Brazil 1, Japan 1.  This one looked to be a stunner, as Japan led 1-0 right up through 46 minutes, but the much derided Ronaldo found the net just seconds before the end of stoppage time.

A further comment on Draman-Reyna: while I agree that Reyna should not have been trying to dribble out (I believe he had a clear pass back to Kellar), he had not yet lost the ball when the front of Draman's knee struck hard at the side of Reyna's knee (which is why Reyna got so much the worse of the collision).  I'm not a licensed ref, so someone correct me if I'm interpreting the rule wrong, but that sounds like 'dangerous play' to me.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 22, 2006, 04:11:55 pm
I am like most of you. 

Change the rule that stops play when a player goes down.  Play on around him.  One attendant may go to him.  In the meantime, the teams play on and they are like the referee, just part of the playing pitch.  If the injured player goes off on his own strength for evaluation and is not substituted, then he may return.

If the player goes down in the penalty area, the player must crawl outside the penalty area to be treated.  If he requires treatment in the penalty area, then play stops, he is removed from the pitch and he is out for the remainder of the game.

Now I haven't thought out all of the nuances of that law change, but those are the principles that I favor.

I'd suggest one amendment: if the player is out for the game, his sub does not count as one of the 3 allowed.  Otherwise it would seem overly harsh to the team if a legitimately injured player goes down after the 3 subs have been used.

At the half: Aussies 1, Croatia 1.

At the half: Brazil 1, Japan 1.  This one looked to be a stunner, as Japan led 1-0 right up through 46 minutes, but the much derided Ronaldo found the net just seconds before the end of stoppage time.

A further comment on Draman-Reyna: while I agree that Reyna should not have been trying to dribble out (I believe he had a clear pass back to Kellar), he had not yet lost the ball when the front of Draman's knee struck hard at the side of Reyna's knee (which is why Reyna got so much the worse of the collision).  I'm not a licensed ref, so someone correct me if I'm interpreting the rule wrong, but that sounds like 'dangerous play' to me.
Mr Ypsi, you are right about allowing the sub for the injured player who must leave.  That eliminates the tactic of injuing players to take away a coach's substitution powers.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 22, 2006, 04:12:20 pm
I may have been completely blind, but I thought Donovan had an open shot toward the end--just to the right side of the goal and facing only the keeper--and he passed. Why not take the shot and hope for at least a rebound?

Others may have been disappointing, but I actually wondered if maybe Landon had a hot date he didn't want to miss in the U.S. His crosses were weird; his shots were crazy.

I thought McBride played very well and with a lot of effort. Beasley rarely seemed to have open field. I think he held onto the ball too long...it's one thing to make a run, it's quite another to realize when you've been discovered and have no place to go. He didn't seem to catch on. You'd think three defenders collapsing on you would be a clue.

I saw Ghana's second game (against Italy?) and thought they were terrific. I'll stick with them. I thought their passes were great and they went to the ball; they seemed to be everywhere. Ivory Coast, oddly enough, I thought played the same kind of swarming, quick game. I was impressed. Of course, I'm easily impressed.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 22, 2006, 04:24:21 pm
I like the substitution without being penalized as a substitution for a REAL injury, and I suspect players will stay honest (not diving just to bring on fresh legs), because they usually want to play.

I thought dangerous play had to be from behind; tackles from the front or side weren't labelled 'dangerous' even though they could inflict some serious pain and/or damage. Am I off?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 22, 2006, 04:27:54 pm

The bottom line was that the US came up a goal short.  Even if the ref hadn't called the penalty, we would still not have made it.


This is true, but IMO, the game would have been much different if the US goes into the half tied.  They were forced to press the entire 2nd half and it really took them out of their game.

In regards to the bogus PK call, had Bocanegra just cleard the ball out of bounds instead of vollying the ball straight up and then losing the ensuing header, Ghana would have had no shot at drawing that phantom call in the first place!


In a sport where its standard practice to push the ball out of bounds when a player is hurt, you would think they'd avoid abusing the gentlemenly play by diving all over the place.


The refs do make judgement calls in terms of whether or not they feel a player is really hurt or faking an injury to stall.  I saw this in one of the earlier games (I can't remember which one) but the ref basically waved play on and kept signalling the faker to get up and play on.  I know is suppsedly "gentlemenly" to kick the ball out when an opposing player is down, but when you need 2 goals and have less than 15 minutes and the opposing players are constanly flopping, I say, let them flop and take it to them with a man down.  Maybe that will teach them not to flop!

I also thought that the refs were supposed to be tougher on callling out players for diving.  I have seen no evidence of that.

Normally, you would be hard-pressed to place a lot of blame on the final outcome of any game in any sport on officiating.  But in these last 2 US matches, it's hard not to.  I just think it's too bad that you wait 4 years for this build up of the World Cup and it comes to a crashing halt thanks to a card happy ref that used to be on the take in the Venezuelan league and one horrible PK call.  

The US put themselves in that position though when they came out and laid an egg vs. the Czechs.  Had they at least shown up for that game, this World Cup might still be going for them.  As a diehard Cubs and Indians fan, I know the saying well, only as a  soccer fan it's, "There's always 4 years from now... " :-\
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 22, 2006, 04:33:32 pm
Just thought I'd add that I too will continue to follow the WC and I will now be cheering hard for England!  Wooster's head soccer coach is English and he's a good guy, so The Three Lions will have my support the rest of the way!  GO ENGLAND!!!

(http://ideaspot.net/world/countriesae/large/england.gif)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pistol Pete on June 22, 2006, 04:39:41 pm
I'm no soccer expert, but having watched all three U.S. matches, these were my impressions:

1.  Give credit to Ghana.  They were the better team today, and I wouldn't write them off against Brazil, if that's their next match.

2.  The U.S. squad, across all three games, seemed to lack both quickness and speed.  Especially against Ghana, the opponents seemed always to get to the ball or the key spot first.

3.  I was underwhelmed by the skill levels of the U.S. players, compared to those of every team they played.  In particular, the U.S. always came up short in the "red zone" -- either the service passes were inaccurate, or on the rare occasions (other than Beasley's great pass after a defensive lapse by Ghana) when the pass was on the money, the U.S. couldn't make the play to capitalize.

4.  Team Golden Boy Landon Donovan didn't play -- at least in these games -- like a guy who is supposed to be leading his team at this level of competition.  He didn't play much when he was on a German team, and made comments suggesting either anti-American prejudice or an animus against the U.S. World Cup team, but maybe there's a simpler explanation...

I do think, though, that the team probably was good enough to advance in an easier group, and I expect the U.S. to be better in four years.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 22, 2006, 05:05:55 pm
I am like most of you. 

Change the rule that stops play when a player goes down.  Play on around him.  One attendant may go to him.  In the meantime, the teams play on and they are like the referee, just part of the playing pitch.

I don't think there is an actual rule that says stop play when a player goes down.  The opposing team just kicks the ball out, one of those unwritten rules of soccer.  The ref does have the discretion to blow the play dead if he feels the injury is serious.

In an English Premier League game, that happened.  Two Arsenal players basically took each other out, one layed on the ground for sometime.  Tottenham continued play and scored.  They didn't hear the end of it.  But, the ref didn't blow the whistle dead and since the Arsenal players took each other out, Tottenham felt they weren't obligated to kick the ball out.

Another contraversy involving Arsenal, ironically, happened during an FA Cup game vs [I forgot].  An opposing player got hurt so that team kicked the ball out.  Arsenal's throw.  Instead of giving the ball back, they threw it in and scored right away!  They felt bad enough after the "miscommunication" that I believe they actually scored on themselves purposely...thus resulting in a replay, which Arsenal went on to win.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 22, 2006, 05:07:30 pm
1.  Give credit to Ghana.  They were the better team today, and I wouldn't write them off against Brazil, if that's their next match.

I would have totally agreed until watching Brazil play this afternoon.  They've finally gotten on form and will once again be the favorites going into knock-out play.


2.  The U.S. squad, across all three games, seemed to lack both quickness and speed.  Especially against Ghana, the opponents seemed always to get to the ball or the key spot first.

I think this is very true.  I'm not sure if replacing Arena is the answer, but we need to play differently.  Guys like Dempsey and Johnson who have not gotten much run, need to be in the game more.  Donovan and Beasley came up so early they've missed out on the creativity and aggressiveness that this "next generation" in bringing.  It's wierd to talk about it that way since they are all about the same age, but those guys look like the traditional US soccer player and not the future as they were dubbed four years ago.

3.  I was underwhelmed by the skill levels of the U.S. players, compared to those of every team they played.  In particular, the U.S. always came up short in the "red zone" -- either the service passes were inaccurate, or on the rare occasions (other than Beasley's great pass after a defensive lapse by Ghana) when the pass was on the money, the U.S. couldn't make the play to capitalize.

Again, our player development isn't lacking, but our coaching strategies may be.  We obviously don't have the ability to compete for World Cup titles yet, but we should have been able to put on a better show than this.  Hopefully four years in Europe can do a lot for Convey and Onyewu (who's going to get a sweet transfer this summer... guaranteed) and the continual development of the young guys will progress.  We have some really great talent on the under 20 side.

4.  Team Golden Boy Landon Donovan didn't play -- at least in these games -- like a guy who is supposed to be leading his team at this level of competition.  He didn't play much when he was on a German team, and made comments suggesting either anti-American prejudice or an animus against the U.S. World Cup team, but maybe there's a simpler explanation...

We need guys in Europe badly.  I don't care what anyone says: its crazy for Donovan to be in the States, or at least, if he does stay in MLS, he needs to understand that his starting spot in midfield is not secure.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 22, 2006, 05:14:01 pm
[
4.  Team Golden Boy Landon Donovan didn't play -- at least in these games -- like a guy who is supposed to be leading his team at this level of competition.  He didn't play much when he was on a German team, and made comments suggesting either anti-American prejudice or an animus against the U.S. World Cup team, but maybe there's a simpler explanation...

We need guys in Europe badly.  I don't care what anyone says: its crazy for Donovan to be in the States, or at least, if he does stay in MLS, he needs to understand that his starting spot in midfield is not secure.

I was jsut watching around the horn and bill plaschke brought up a point ath i thought was pretty good. he basically said that the reason the international basketball teams are getting better is because they are playing overseas in the NBA, playing against the best talent in the world. then he basically went on to say that the US will never be any good at soccer until our players do the same.

another point he brought up was teh lack of diversity on the team. he basically said where are all the asian-americans, mexicans, etc? this country is a melting pot of cultures yet everyone looks the same (other than a couple african-americans). so i guess his point was that the team needs to look like its more than just composed of a bunch of white guys who grew up in white suburbia with soccer moms.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 22, 2006, 05:18:43 pm
Ghana played well and had a great trapping defense in the first half. Everytime a U.S. player had the ball, especially near the sideline there were three Ghana players quickly surrounding him. This coupled with the fact that the U.S. seemed to react very slowly to this kept them from doing much in the first half. In the second half the U.S. passes were quicker but seemed to be very much off the mark.

In the Italy game and in the Ghana game, when we bring in an extra striker and press forward, the U.S. can dominate games. I realize that many times the other team is hanging back, but I have always felt that the Americans play too defensive a game and need to press the attack more, early in the game.

WOW, that last 20 minutes of the Australia-Croatia game was something else. I'm still catching my breath.  ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pistol Pete on June 22, 2006, 05:22:03 pm
Quote
another point he brought up was teh lack of diversity on the team. he basically said where are all the asian-americans, mexicans, etc? this country is a melting pot of cultures yet everyone looks the same (other than a couple african-americans). so i guess his point was that the team needs to look like its more than just composed of a bunch of white guys who grew up in white suburbia with soccer moms.
Quote
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pistol Pete on June 22, 2006, 05:25:38 pm
Sorry -- blew the quote function.

In response to Scottie, I'm not sure I agree about a lack of "diversity" on the U.S. team.  Pope, Beasley, Johnson, Onyewu, Reyna...  I'm not sure how many World Cup teams are MORE diverse.

I do agree with you, though, on the need for all of these guys to get more top-flight international competition.  You don't become a better tennis player by only playing guys at or below your current level.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 22, 2006, 06:02:47 pm
I think there's something to be said for the relatively brief history of soccer in this country--not that it hasn't been played here long enough, but not enough people have played it for long enough. We haven't absorbed the game; we don't grow up playing soccer, watching soccer, living and breathing soccer. I suspect it will take at least another generation before the United States can compete on a resepctable level internationally. We're too slow, too calculated, too unnatural. We don't sense the game, yet. Maybe instead of piecing together a team from good players from several teams, we need to get the best team and groom it for play. Part of the game is knowing where your teammates are likely to be in a given situation. The United States just isn't that smooth.

Of course, other countries piece their teams together, but they already have absorbed the game so well, they seem to understand what to do and what others are supposed to do.

Once the kids who grew up playing soccer get around to coaching kids who are growing up playing soccer and are the children of kids who grew up playing soccer, things may improve. I don't feel that bad about being the sloppy team, though. I'm not that crazy about the U.S. dominating everything. I even enjoy seeing the Japanese whup us at baseball. Or the Puerto Ricans. The U.S. team qualified; that's a great start. We're out there, we're taking our lumps. Let's hope we can translate lumps into improvement. We've got two years before qualifying starts again.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 22, 2006, 06:11:13 pm
Sorry -- blew the quote function.

In response to Scottie, I'm not sure I agree about a lack of "diversity" on the U.S. team.  Pope, Beasley, Johnson, Onyewu, Reyna...  I'm not sure how many World Cup teams are MORE diverse.

I do agree with you, though, on the need for all of these guys to get more top-flight international competition.  You don't become a better tennis player by only playing guys at or below your current level.

sure we may be diverse than most other teams, but look at all the good countries, they aren't diverse to begin with and their guys are getting the job done. the white kids from the suburbs aren't.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 22, 2006, 06:43:29 pm
There was a brief cautionary piece in the Chicago Tribune before the WC matches started.  In essence, it said that the kids who stay with soccer in the U.S. are those who aren't big enough for American football, tall enough for basketball, or fast enough for either.  Thus, we shouldn't expect a great deal of success yet.  I'm not sure it will take another entire generation, however.

With the exception of the Beasley-Dempsey goal (a thing of beauty and, yes, joy), the U.S. just looked way too slow and plodding.  Their play reminded me of the line from Hoosiers:  "How many times are you gonna pass the ball before you shoot?"  You don't always have to pass it the extra time.

I saw no foul on Reyna; he should have cleared the ball.  Yes, there shouldn't have been a penalty kick awarded (that ref was the same one who wanted an Aussie player, Harry Kewell, banned from playing today because after the game the ref said Kewell had cursed at him.  FIFA said the ref was inconsistent and refused the ban.)  So the game should have ended 1-1, which still wouldn't have been enough for the U.S.

Teams still in that I like:  England (who haven't played their best yet), Australia, and Spain
Teams that scare me:  Argentina
Team that don't scare me as much as I thought they would:  Brazil and Italy
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 22, 2006, 06:46:36 pm
Scottie,

I think you are painting with WAY to broad a brush.  I don't know if they are suburban kids, but Eddie Lewis, Brian McBride, and Casey Kellar (and maybe I've overlooked one or two others) played just fine!  (Kellar, in particular, had a few saves against Italy that I'm not certain ANY other keeper would have made.)

foul_language,

I think you've got an excellent point - even for the second-generation soccer kids, it just isn't 'in the bones' yet.  But I think you may be pessimistic - I like our chances of at least the semis by 2010!  Many of the key players SHOULD just be hitting their prime by then, and the next wave (Freddy Adu and comrades) should be ready to contribute.  I'm just sorry that IF that transpires, Kellar, Reyna, and Pope (and apologies to whoever I left out!) will probably not be a part of it.

Hoops Fan,

I'm a big fan of MLS, and would hate to lose some of the key young players, but I agree with you - either make MLS truly MAJOR League Soccer, or encourage Adu and the other rising players to get the h*** out of this country for their futbol!  The national team would be much better off if they all were already familiar with Ronaldinho, Nedved, etc.  Scouting on tape is one thing; actually playing them is another.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 22, 2006, 06:59:57 pm
There was a brief cautionary piece in the Chicago Tribune before the WC matches started.  In essence, it said that the kids who stay with soccer in the U.S. are those who aren't big enough for American football, tall enough for basketball, or fast enough for either.  Thus, we shouldn't expect a great deal of success yet.  I'm not sure it will take another entire generation, however.

I saw no foul on Reyna; he should have cleared the ball.  Yes, there shouldn't have been a penalty kick awarded (that ref was the same one who wanted an Aussie player, Harry Kewell, banned from playing today because after the game the ref said Kewell had cursed at him.  FIFA said the ref was inconsistent and refused the ban.)  So the game should have ended 1-1, which still wouldn't have been enough for the U.S.

Sorry, I prematurely hit the post button!

The Tribune probably has it about right, but, except for physical 'freaks' like the 6'8" Czech striker, futbol players worldwide would not be well-suited for American football or basketball (except, POSSIBLY, as receivers, db's (and kickers, obviously!) or guards (in bball).  Undoubtedly we do lose a higher percentage of potentially great soccer players than other countries to the higher profile (and higher paying) sports, just because in many of the other countries futbol IS the higher profile (and paying) sport.

I'll try the Draman-Reyna thing one more time, then I'll get off my soapbox.  A straight-ahead knee (accelerating towards full speed) to the side of an opponent's knee strikes me as a good definition of 'dangerous play'.  My experience is that that designation is usually a euphemism for 'high-kick' (at least on the youth soccer game reports I'm familiar with, 'tackle from behind' is a separate category of yellow card).  But if 'front-of-knee to side-of-knee' is not 'dangerous play', what is?  That can end careers!

I want to make it clear that I am not accusing Draman of deliberately injuring Reyna, just that I think he engaged in 'dangerous play'.

Even if you are correct about Draman-Reyna, might not a 1-1 rather than 1-2 halftime score dramatically changed the second half?  (And thanks for the info on the ref trying to ban Kewell - I hadn't heard about that.)

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 23, 2006, 12:27:54 am
I'll try the Draman-Reyna thing one more time, then I'll get off my soapbox.  A straight-ahead knee (accelerating towards full speed) to the side of an opponent's knee strikes me as a good definition of 'dangerous play'.  My experience is that that designation is usually a euphemism for 'high-kick' (at least on the youth soccer game reports I'm familiar with, 'tackle from behind' is a separate category of yellow card).  But if 'front-of-knee to side-of-knee' is not 'dangerous play', what is?  That can end careers!

I want to make it clear that I am not accusing Draman of deliberately injuring Reyna, just that I think he engaged in 'dangerous play'.


Ypsi,

I don't claim to be a real expert on this.  It's just my observation (I watch mostly the English Premier League, but have also watched MLS) that if a player gets the ball and some contact occurs (unless, as you point out, it's from the back), it's not a foul.  Sure, contact like that can end careers.  Michael Owen's career may be over after no contact at all and a minute on the pitch.  The Ghanian got the ball and did not come into Reyna's knee with his spikes up--another clear foul, as you point out.  The play today just wasn't "dangerous" by professional standards; those guys live with that.  And Reyna could have avoided it by getting rid of the ball quickly.

I'm sure things could have felt different had the game been tied at halftime; either of the Ghana goals could/should have been avoided.  But the fact remains that, for the first half and part of the second, the U.S. team looked to be moving in slow motion.  The Australia-Croatia game wasn't pretty, but it involved two teams playing with real desire and urgency, and a sense for how they were going to try to score.  I didn't sense that from the U.S. effort for most of the game.




Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on June 23, 2006, 12:38:37 am
A couple of blunders and we give Ghana 2 goals.  The bad clearing attempt was bad enough but the call was even worse.

And the give away was..., well I'm not sure what it was.  But is was "lame" and was on national TV.  Hmmm.  Did anyone see him look up real quick right after he was "taken down?"  Yeah, I know the knee twisted, but still...

Ghana played well and certainly wasn't given the match, but I would have liked to see the US play better.  At least Beasley earned my respect today. 

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gregory Sager on June 23, 2006, 03:34:08 am
another point he brought up was teh lack of diversity on the team. he basically said where are all the asian-americans, mexicans, etc? this country is a melting pot of cultures yet everyone looks the same (other than a couple african-americans). so i guess his point was that the team needs to look like its more than just composed of a bunch of white guys who grew up in white suburbia with soccer moms.

That's just plain silly. Diversity has nothing to do with athletic excellence. In fact, quotas are the bane of a meritocracy, and unless your players are selected by athletic merit your team will be no good.

The NBA is the greatest professional basketball league in the world. It's also three-quarters black, and of the quarter that's white, roughly half are foreign-born. So how is that diverse?

Canada has produced most of the world's great hockey players over the past century. For Canadians, diversity is almost always a matter of language rather than race (unless you live in Toronto, Vancouver, or in proximity to a First Nations Reserve). There were (and are) Francophonic Canadian hockey players and Anglophonic Canadian hockey players ... but the number of non-white Canadian hockey players could probably be counted on one hand. In America, too, the sport is lily-white. So how is that diverse?

sure we may be diverse than most other teams, but look at all the good countries, they aren't diverse to begin with and their guys are getting the job done. the white kids from the suburbs aren't.

Your syllogism is faulty, Scottie. The US falters in international soccer, but where is the evidence that it falters because the players are "white kids from the suburbs"?

There's more truth to the Trib article Hoosier Titan cited about the other American sports cutting into the potential national talent pool for soccer. Still, even that has to be weighed in light of the overall demographics of international play. Ghana has 22 million people. The United States has 300 million people. Even if you take into consideration the fact that almost every promising young Ghanian athlete will be kicking around a soccer ball while football, basketball, baseball, and the like are skimming off much of the cream of America's athletic talent pool, you still have a much larger base of potential soccer players in the States than you do in Ghana. Plus, you have all of the advantages that money can provide in the US (camps, specialized coaching, state-of-the-art equipment, fields, and sports medicine, etc.) that Ghana lacks.

I tend to side with those who chalk up the mediocrity of American soccer on the international level to the fact that, as Chuck said, soccer isn't "in the bones" of our compatriots. I don't think that you can overestimate the importance of cultural environment (in terms of a sport's importance, or lack thereof) to an athlete's development. Sure, Lance Armstrong is the world's greatest cyclist, and he's an American rather than a Frenchman or a Spaniard. And Dirk Nowitzki is one of the NBA's premier players, and he hails from the hoops-indifferent nation of Germany. But people like that are the exception. By and large, it seems to me that the vast majority of the best players in any sport will emerge from countries where that sport is an indelible, cradle-to-grave aspect of the national fabric.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 23, 2006, 08:02:42 am
At least Beasley earned my respect today. 

Are you kidding me?  He had one good pass the whole game.  And yes, it resulted in a goal, but he was basically invisible the whole tournament.

Just a few words on recent posts.

Where are all the Asian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, etc?  They're playing for Asian countries and for Mexico probably!  All because you're born in the states doesn't mean you have to play for us.  You can have a GRANDPARENT from a different country and play for them!  In all honesty, I'd rather have white suburbon American-born players playing for us than players like Hugo Sanchez, David Regis and Thomas Dooley playing for us.  Obviously this isn't any rip on the African-Americans on our team, but having foreign born players with American passports isn't the answer either.  We resorted to that in the past because we didn't have our own players that were developed enough.

As for our players needing to play in Europe and how bad the MLS is for players...give me break.  If it wasn't for MLS, players like Eddie Lewis, Brad Friedel, Brian McBride, DaMarcus Beasley, Carlo Bocanegra, to name a few, wouldn't even be playing in Europe.  If it weren't for MLS, the US probably wouldn't be qualifying for thier 5th World Cup in a row.  Yes, European leagues improve our players, but they have to PLAY to improve.  I have nothing but admiration for Donovan for making the choice to come back to the US.  He was sitting on the bench in Germany and maybe playing reserve games.  You aren't going to get better doing that.  You know why Tim Howard didn't get a shot at the starting goalie job?  Because he was riding the pine at Manchester United.  Nearly every player on our roster either has played for MLS or is playing for the MLS right now. 

It's amazing that the US gets knocked out in the first round of the World Cup and everyone is throwing the whole team under the bus.  Wynalda even said it was Arena's fault.  Get rid of him?  Yeah, who's better?  Four years ago he was a genius and Beasley, Donovan and whomever were the faces of the US National Team.  You know what?  They still are.  They had a bad tourney and got knocked out playing in the group of death with the Czechs and pereninial power Italy (or group of death 1A, along with the group with Holland, Argentina, S&M and Ivory Coast).

France is on the verge of getting knocked out in the 1st round for the 2nd Cup in a row...this after WINNING IT in 98.  The #2 ranked Czechs are out.  Portugal was knocked out last WC.  Holland failed to even make the 02 WC!  These are teams with tradition.  Though I'm disappointed the US didn't advance, I wasn't surprised they didn't considering who else was in their group.   

Seriously people, I think we're taking this a little too harsh and I think a lot of us, the analysts, and maybe the general public that doesn't watch soccer expected too much (the latter because the "experts" drilled into their head about going to the Quarters last WC and expected us to do just as good). 

There are a lot of countries that haven't even qualified for the WC.  We should be proud that we're one of the best 32 teams in the world.  It took us 50 years to qualify after going in 1940.  Just remember for the 2002 WC that we almost didn't even qualify.  We placed 3rd.

Sorry for the long post.  I guess I'm just a little upset about how some have reacted, putting every play and player under the microscope (...if Bocanegra would've just cleared it...)  I am glad that the WC and the US National team is getting so much publicity! lol.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 23, 2006, 08:50:39 am

I think everyone was hoping for an American improvement on 2002, which was a totally realistic expectation (especially with Nike pushing it and all).  A World Cup in Europe favors European teams due to familiarity and less travel, just like the Korea/Japan Cup had both Korea and Japan get out of the group stage.

A lot of our problem is the chemistry.  When I read below that they need to have more experience together, my first thought was "they play just as many international friendlies as anyone else," but they don't.  Due to the extremes of travel over the Atlantic, Arean plays almost all of his home friendlies with MLS guys.  We need to schedule games in Europe, against good teams, and bring our best.  It's really the only way to get better.


And Ypsi, if you don't think Freddy Adu is gone to Chelsea the second he turns 18 (and can therefore get a work permit) you're crazy.  He'd be in their youth system right now if they could get him into the country.  With the exposure Champs League is now getting in the US, our young kids are coming up knowing that Europe is the goal and we will see it pay off in the future.  US Soccer just has the competing interest of MLS telling them to promote the domestic league.  In this World Cup, only two countries had all of their players playing in house, Saudi Arabia and Italy (which has one of the best leagues in the world to begin with).  Americans don't like having the best leagues be overseas, but that's how it is and if US Soccer is going to progress, we have to adapt to that.

I sure wish Jon Spector could have made it to the Cup this year.  He and Onyewu are going to be a premier defensive force over the next ten years.  Someone else who watches EPL back me up here.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 23, 2006, 09:03:40 am


Oh, I did forget to mention that the Beasley to Dempsey goal was unlike anything we've seen in US football for a long time.  Those were talented guys who knew exactly what to do when the opportunity presented itself.  Too bad it came on a turnover; we really need to learn how to create those ourselves.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 23, 2006, 09:18:26 am
Old School rants; now we're going. If there's nothing else U.S. citizens do well, it's to put teams on a pedestal so we can have the supreme pleasure of knocking them off. Rehash, rehash, rehash is what we do best. And I agree that the 2002 showing gave a lot of people this kind of sneaky hope that the United States was catching onto the game. I think we have caught onto the game, we just don't play it quite as well as everyone else does yet. We're still JV to everyone else's varsity.

I was impressed with Ghana's and Ivory Coast's footwork, the deceptive backpasses while moving forward, the spot on passes (were the passes that great or were the players just that good at moving to the ball? Was anyone standing flat-footed? Did anyone have to study the field before making a pass?). Those kinds of things come from hours and hours and hours and months and years of playing, practicing, pick-up games, league games... That's what we see on the basketball court when gym rats and street ball players get to play. They play the game obsessively. United States isn't obsessed by soccer; attention IS way divided by the menu of other sports out there to get into.

That isn't bad; and I repeat, it's not that bad to be knocked out in the first round (unless you had money on a U.S. win). There's still plenty of great soccer to be played.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 23, 2006, 10:30:14 am
I have to agree, pretty much, with OS.  It's never a given for the great majority of sides to advance; even the perennial powers have their down years, as OS points out.  The U.S. has made progress and can continue to do so.

The only thing that I found truly disappointing with this year's performance--and this may just be me--was the war of words in the press between the coach and some of the players after the first match.  I just wish those kinds of things could be handled in the locker room.  I am not calling for Arena's head, just wishing it could have been done in private.

So which sides are people supporting now?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 23, 2006, 11:59:21 am
Ladies and Gentleman........America has taken another step towards becoming a soccer nation.

Less than a few minutes after being eliminated from the World Cup, people want a change in the coach.   Isn't this what the European powers do?

Lots of progress over the last 12 years, the most significant is the thought that being eliminated from the World Cup's toughest group (by far) is now a disappointment.  Expectations are higher and thats a good thing.

Trivia question

What player become the first player (?) is World Cup history to receive two yellow cards and not be sent off........and then receive a third yellow and subsequent Red card after the game is over?

What was that all about?



.......and I'm sorry to see the World Cup is slowly reverting back to old habits........dive, dive, and then dive.  Disgracefull.......FIFA needs to start shelling out Red Cards if even they're bad ones for Diveing.  Maybe then these guys will stop.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 23, 2006, 12:05:49 pm

Josep Simunic got the three yellows courtesy of Graham Poll, who, after the US-Ghana debacle by Markus Merk, would have been the favorite to ref the final.  Now, he's probably out too.

Without Poll and Merk (the two most respected refs in the world) and the forced retirement of Gianluigi Collina (who was the best ref of all time) there will be a new face for the final.  That should be interesting.  (Also interesting, Poll's 4th referee and the 5th, backup ref, were both Americans and will also be done officiating because they failed to intervene when Poll gave he second card, but didn't send Simunic off.)


I'm rooting for the Swiss, to answer Hoosier Titan.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 23, 2006, 12:12:03 pm
There are a lot of countries that haven't even qualified for the WC.  We should be proud that we're one of the best 32 teams in the world.  It took us 50 years to qualify after going in 1940.  Just remember for the 2002 WC that we almost didn't even qualify.  We placed 3rd.

Being analytical by nature, I can't let incorrect assertions of material fact go unchallenged.  The US was in the finals at Brazil 1950, where they won that never-to-be-forgotten 1:0 decision over England at Belo Horizonte.  So when they qualified for Italia '90, the absence was 40 years, not 50.  (There was no 1940 World Cup; the war cancelled the 1942 and 1946 Cups.)  And the USA's result at Korea/Japan 2002 was a quarterfinal loss to Germany, however controversial.  They neither qualified for the semi-finals nor won the third-place game.  (The USA was a semi-finalist in the inaugural World Cup, Uruguay 1930.) 

I don't follow world football nearly as closely as the rest of you seem to; my interest piques every four years, like many Americans.  (I'm sure I'd be a fan of the EPL if it didn't cost me a fortune in cable or satellite fees to do so.)  I paid some attention to how the US was doing in qualifying and in friendlies, and based on that, I predicted that their difficulties in creating any offense would lead to a fourth-place group finish.  So, as these predictions came true, I can't say I am disappointed.  In fact, I think the knockout phase will be more enjoyable now, with relatively impartial coverage.  I found it very tiresome to listen to announcers discussing the USA's last or next match (or, in the case of Marcelo Balboa, whining about the officiating in the last USA match) while a perfectly exciting match between two other teams was going on in front of them.

I'm rooting for Mexico, as far as it goes, but I actually prefer to watch a match where I have no rooting interest.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 23, 2006, 12:22:18 pm

Reyna is out; McBride has hinted he's next and Arena will be gone by 2007.  It looks like the changes we've been calling for are coming and coming quickly.

I'd love to steal Hiddink from the Russians.  He might be the one to take us to the next level in 2010.  I just don't know if USSoccer has enough money to pay him.  He double dippd with PSV and Australia for two years before coming full time at the start of qualifying.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 23, 2006, 02:36:36 pm
There are a lot of countries that haven't even qualified for the WC.  We should be proud that we're one of the best 32 teams in the world.  It took us 50 years to qualify after going in 1940.  Just remember for the 2002 WC that we almost didn't even qualify.  We placed 3rd.

Being analytical by nature, I can't let incorrect assertions of material fact go unchallenged.  The US was in the finals at Brazil 1950, where they won that never-to-be-forgotten 1:0 decision over England at Belo Horizonte.  So when they qualified for Italia '90, the absence was 40 years, not 50.  (There was no 1940 World Cup; the war cancelled the 1942 and 1946 Cups.)  And the USA's result at Korea/Japan 2002 was a quarterfinal loss to Germany, however controversial.  They neither qualified for the semi-finals nor won the third-place game.  (The USA was a semi-finalist in the inaugural World Cup, Uruguay 1930.) 

No problem Dave.  It was 1940 like you said.  If I would've used my Lakeland College math correctly, going every four years, I would've figured out there wasn't a 1940 WC!  Oh well, what are you gonna do?

Also, read the end of my quoted post a little more carefully.  I said, for the 2002 WC, they almost didn't even QUALIFY, we placed 3rd...this means we placed 3RD IN OUR QUALIFYING GROUP, CONCACAF, I believe behind Costa Rica and Mexico.

I think everyone was hoping for an American improvement on 2002, which was a totally realistic expectation (especially with Nike pushing it and all).

Get serious! lol. :-) It was a totally realistic expectation because NIKE pushed it?  Anyway, as compared to the 2002 quarterfinal run, I think it was hopeful we'd get out of the 1st round, especially after the draw was made and we knew who was in our group.  In 2002, we shocked Portugal and made it to the 2nd round.  We were VERY fortunate to get Mexico in the round of 16 because they were a very familiar foe and we've had good recent success against them.  We outplayed an aging Germany team, but as we all know, we lost.  So to say that we were expected to do the same or better, with the Czechs and Italy in our group and then get past Brazil in the 2nd round to make the quarters is wearing red, white and blue tinted glasses.  I love the US team, but I'm also realistic.


A lot of our problem is the chemistry. When I read below that they need to have more experience together, my first thought was "they play just as many international friendlies as anyone else," but they don't. Due to the extremes of travel over the Atlantic, Arean plays almost all of his home friendlies with MLS guys. We need to schedule games in Europe, against good teams, and bring our best. It's really the only way to get better.

Part of this is a false excuse.  What about our South American counterparts?  How come they are so good then?  Most of the reason why our players may not play together as much as some countries is because our league is not played with the International Calender.  We play our league when most of the world is on break.  That's part of the reason.  Chemistry a problem this WC?  What about last WC?  We had the same circumstances then!  What changed that caused us to lose chemistry in the last 4 years?

And Ypsi, if you don't think Freddy Adu is gone to Chelsea the second he turns 18 (and can therefore get a work permit) you're crazy. He'd be in their youth system right now if they could get him into the country. With the exposure Champs League is now getting in the US, our young kids are coming up knowing that Europe is the goal and we will see it pay off in the future. US Soccer just has the competing interest of MLS telling them to promote the domestic league. In this World Cup, only two countries had all of their players playing in house, Saudi Arabia and Italy (which has one of the best leagues in the world to begin with). Americans don't like having the best leagues be overseas, but that's how it is and if US Soccer is going to progress, we have to adapt to that.

If I'm correct, Freddy Adu doesn't need a work permit to play in Chelsea's youth system.  Actually, I believe the reason why he didn't move overseas is because he and his family wanted to stay in the states and staying in MLS, he knew he'd have the opportunity to play right away.

I also think you are contradicting yourself a little.  How can the MLS compete with top European leagues if we are sending all of our good players there?  Yeah, you said US Soccer just has a competing interest in MLS.  The league has done wonders for US Soccer and it knows without the domestic league, the national team would not be where it's at today.  MLS is considered a stepping stone for many, IMO.  Will it ever become the Italian league or the English league, no.  But neither will the Dutch league, Mexican league or Scottish league. 
Quote
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 23, 2006, 03:47:38 pm
Words from the L.A. Times today stated that Coach Areana might be calling it over for his career as head US national coach. In doing so, as the paper mentioned, he does have other career deals that he is interested but has still not made up his mind.

In my opinion, even though we could not get it done, this man and his staff woke up US Soccer for the past 8 years in the yes. I don't remember another coach who could have done this. It sure wasn't Bora (i don't even want to spell his last name.

I agree with OLD SCHOOL, the US really needed MLS and a system that would prepair them for big games like the World cup. Like i had mentioned, before its debute in 1997 or so, US soccer really wasn't that good. True their was talent, but the rest of the team couldn't really square it off against really good competition. Unless you went abroad.

In saying so, i hope that more U.S players get their feet wet abroad. I know Keller did and needs to do more of. Donovoan needs to face his fears and return back abroad to become better.  Same goes as well for Beasly.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 23, 2006, 04:18:00 pm
I think everyone was hoping for an American improvement on 2002, which was a totally realistic expectation (especially with Nike pushing it and all).

Get serious! lol. :-) It was a totally realistic expectation because NIKE pushed it?  Anyway, as compared to the 2002 quarterfinal run, I think it was hopeful we'd get out of the 1st round, especially after the draw was made and we knew who was in our group.  In 2002, we shocked Portugal and made it to the 2nd round.  We were VERY fortunate to get Mexico in the round of 16 because they were a very familiar foe and we've had good recent success against them.  We outplayed an aging Germany team, but as we all know, we lost.  So to say that we were expected to do the same or better, with the Czechs and Italy in our group and then get past Brazil in the 2nd round to make the quarters is wearing red, white and blue tinted glasses.  I love the US team, but I'm also realistic.

Typo on my part...I meant unrealistic.

A lot of our problem is the chemistry. When I read below that they need to have more experience together, my first thought was "they play just as many international friendlies as anyone else," but they don't. Due to the extremes of travel over the Atlantic, Arean plays almost all of his home friendlies with MLS guys. We need to schedule games in Europe, against good teams, and bring our best. It's really the only way to get better.

Part of this is a false excuse.  What about our South American counterparts?  How come they are so good then?  Most of the reason why our players may not play together as much as some countries is because our league is not played with the International Calender.  We play our league when most of the world is on break.  That's part of the reason.  Chemistry a problem this WC?  What about last WC?  We had the same circumstances then!  What changed that caused us to lose chemistry in the last 4 years?

South Americans field their teams mostly of European players and play many of their freindlies in Europe, which is exactly what we should be doing.  The US plays too many games in CONCACAF and doesn't have the Euro players play together often enough.  Those were my points.

If I'm correct, Freddy Adu doesn't need a work permit to play in Chelsea's youth system.  Actually, I believe the reason why he didn't move overseas is because he and his family wanted to stay in the states and staying in MLS, he knew he'd have the opportunity to play right away.

He does need one and its a complicated process.  Some Americans have done it, but very few.  Freddy, as you stated, could play right away and develop fine until he's 18, so it wasn't a big deal.  It's very tough for a foreign under 18 player to be a proffessional footballer in England.

I also think you are contradicting yourself a little.  How can the MLS compete with top European leagues if we are sending all of our good players there?  Yeah, you said US Soccer just has a competing interest in MLS.  The league has done wonders for US Soccer and it knows without the domestic league, the national team would not be where it's at today.  MLS is considered a stepping stone for many, IMO.  Will it ever become the Italian league or the English league, no.  But neither will the Dutch league, Mexican league or Scottish league.

That was exactly my point.  I hope I didn't say I wanted MLS to compete with the Euro leagues; that's an impossibility.  However, when MLS started, their stated goal was eventually to do just that.  It might happen in 50 years, but I wouldn't put money on it.  The controversy you brought up, is the very controversy that I claimed in plaguing USSoccer, namely that the best thing for the national side is for players to be in Europe, but the best thing for MLS is for players to be here.  It's a problem.  Although if MLS can develop guys until they are 21 or 22 and then send them to Europe (listen up Dempsey and Johnson), it will be a great thing.  I also think we'll start to see lots of aging stars end their careers here, where the earn potential is greater.  I wouldn't doubt Beckham or even Zidane come over for $1 Million per for a season or two after their prime is over in Europe.  Combining young Americans with veteran world-class footballers could make MLS a prime feeder for the national team.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 23, 2006, 04:23:46 pm

You want to know how the US should have played?  Watch the first twenty minutes of the second half of this France-Togo match.

France needed two goals to go on, so they came out and threw caution to the wind until they put two in the back of the net.  Now they just have to sit back on defense for 20 minutes and hope Switerland can hold the lead.
Title: Freddie Adu
Post by: Pistol Pete on June 23, 2006, 06:30:15 pm
The working assumption in this thread is that Adu could play right now in MLS.

I should know this, but I don't: How much has Adu actually been playing lately?

Last season he got very little playing time, at least according to the local sports commentators.  The team coach did not think he was ready.  It became quite a bone of local contention.
Title: Re: Freddie Adu
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 23, 2006, 07:20:45 pm
The working assumption in this thread is that Adu could play right now in MLS.

I should know this, but I don't: How much has Adu actually been playing lately?

Last season he got very little playing time, at least according to the local sports commentators.  The team coach did not think he was ready.  It became quite a bone of local contention.

I believe he is a starter this year.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 23, 2006, 08:33:21 pm
Freddy Adu was interviewed on Pardon the Interruption yesterday, and he said his goal is to play in Europe to get prepared to play in the World Cup in 2010.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 24, 2006, 09:25:39 am
Freddy Adu was interviewed on Pardon the Interruption yesterday, and he said his goal is to play in Europe to get prepared to play in the World Cup in 2010.

Prepare to play for Ghana or the US in the World Cup in 2010?  ??? :D

Regarding the Swiss's 2nd goal.  ESPN reported that it wasn't offside because it was played off a South Korean defender...which is incorrect.  It was deflected off the defender, not played back by him, thus should've been called offside.  The Swiss player was already in an offside position and both the ref and the South Korean players were at fault:  The ref for not calling it and the players for stopping.    Obviously it was a very important goal as the South Koreans needed just a draw to progress while Togo needed to get a consolation goal to send France packing, which I was hoping for!

Great games this weekend.  This morning we'll see Sweden upset Germany in Munich.  Argentina and Mexico will probably play the most entertaining game this weekend with the South Americans having too much firepower for the CONCACAF representatives. 

Tomorrow, England will sleep through another match against Ecuador with Rooney finally being the difference.  1-nil?  zzzzzzz.
Lastly, Portugal and Holland will have Manchester United teammates Cristiano Ronaldo going up against Ruud van Nisterlooy.  The two players to watch however are Ronaldo and Chelsea forward Arjien Robben.  The Dutch progress to the Quarters.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 24, 2006, 09:49:27 am
European teams continue to dominate the World Cup, at least at home:

Progressing...

UEFA (14):  10 advancing with both representatives from group B (Eng, Sweden), Group H (Spain, Ukraine) and Group G (France, Switz).  Germany, Holland, Portugal and Italy are the others

CONCACAF (4):  Only Mexico continues on.  T&T, USA and Costa Rica are out.

CONMEBOL (4):  Of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay, only Paraguay goes home.  Even with only 10 teams in their qualifying group, you think they deserve more?!

CAF (5):  Four 1st timers with only Ghana carrying the flag for Africa.  Togo was horrible.  Angola, Tunisia and Ivory Coast were the others.

AFC (4):  Asia continues to struggle in the Cup with no teams advancing out of the 1st round.  South Korea had the best chance but leaves Germany with Japan, Iran and Saudi Arabia

OFC (1):  Australia gets their first win of the World Cup and also advances for the first time from the Oceania region.  Of course Australia moves to Asian qualifying for the next World Cup.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 24, 2006, 11:07:06 am
1:08 into Germany/Sweden and Marcelo Balboa has already started making derogatory comments about the refereeing in the tournament.  I wish I had bothered to learn Spanish....
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on June 24, 2006, 11:27:36 am
CONMEBOL (4):  Of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay, only Paraguay goes home.  Even with only 10 teams in their qualifying group, you think they deserve more?!

The 5th place team in CONMEBOL was Uruguay, which lost in a playoff series to Australia on penalties (each side won 1:0 on home soil.)  Australia has been one of the surprise teams of the Cup, advancing at the expense of Japan and Croatia, and it's not out of the question that the Socceroos could reach the semifinal; they face Italy, and then the Switzerland/Ukraine winner if they beat the Azzurri. 

That's a long-winded way of saying yeah, I think Uruguay would have represented themselves and CONMEBOL well in this tournament.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on June 24, 2006, 11:43:16 am
Germany looks so good today.  But some of that is a result of Sweden's weird indifference to Germany's attack in the middle.

I'll stand with my pick of Germany to win the cup.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 24, 2006, 05:43:21 pm
Germany looks so good today.  But some of that is a result of Sweden's weird indifference to Germany's attack in the middle.

I'll stand with my pick of Germany to win the cup.

Well, Jim, Germany may ultimately be the beneficiary of today's most important officiating error.  Argentina scored the game winner in the 92nd minute of regulation, but it was nullified by the offside flag.  The replays were absolutely clear that there was no offsides, but the result was an extra 30 minutes of wear-and-tear on Argentine bodies.  I had been rooting for Mexico, but my sense of justice required a switch for overtime, and the reward, I guess, was getting to see one of the prettiest goals ever in the 98th minute.

Anyone know why they decided to go with full 30 minute overtime?  I always thought the 'Golden Goal' was far more exciting.

I'm not at all sure that Argentina-Mexico was the best game so far, but, as I anticipated, it was probably the most entertaining.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 24, 2006, 07:48:53 pm
For the American public, the Golden Goal is exciting, but apparently the rest of the world didn't like it.  I also think it's prett cool to "win it" on a spectacular goal or whatever, but I guess the rest of the soccer community wanted a fair chance to tie it with time remaining.

Balboa is really getting on my nerves!

Once again the press has misused terminology.  This time, on Yahoo, they called it a Silver Goal...which, if I'm correct, is a goal that's scored in the first 15 minute extra time.  FIFA tried this experiment after the Golden Goal experiment (or maybe even before).  In the "Silver Goal" situation, the full first 15 minute extra time is played, even if someone scores.  This gives the opposing team an opportunity to score before the first 15 minutes is up.  If they don't, then they don't play the 2nd 15 minutes...

CONMEBOL (4): Of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay, only Paraguay goes home. Even with only 10 teams in their qualifying group, you think they deserve more?!

The 5th place team in CONMEBOL was Uruguay, which lost in a playoff series to Australia on penalties (each side won 1:0 on home soil.) Australia has been one of the surprise teams of the Cup, advancing at the expense of Japan and Croatia, and it's not out of the question that the Socceroos could reach the semifinal; they face Italy, and then the Switzerland/Ukraine winner if they beat the Azzurri.

That's a long-winded way of saying yeah, I think Uruguay would have represented themselves and CONMEBOL well in this tournament.

David,

I know all too well that Uruguay didn't win their playoff with Australia.  I got to hear my friend (who lives in the capital of Montevideo) complain about it for quite sometime!  :'(
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on June 24, 2006, 08:57:44 pm
That's a long-winded way of saying yeah, I think Uruguay would have represented themselves and CONMEBOL well in this tournament.

Any Spanish speaker knows this should be referred to as CONMIGOBOL. :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on June 24, 2006, 09:01:28 pm
Once again the press has misused terminology. 

I challenge you to show me the press that Yahoo uses to publish.

Hey, if you're going to pick on misused terminology, please use the term "media" to describe news that isn't published in newspapers, magazines, etc. :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 25, 2006, 12:47:02 am
Once again the press has misused terminology. 

I challenge you to show me the press that Yahoo uses to publish.

Hey, if you're going to pick on misused terminology, please use the term "media" to describe news that isn't published in newspapers, magazines, etc. :)

You got me!  :P
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 25, 2006, 11:54:15 am
From the BBC site at halftime:  "This is turgid stuff."

This is painful for an England supporter.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 25, 2006, 12:57:52 pm
England hasn't played an exciting game yet in this cup. Ecuador played like they were content to have made it to the round of 16. Let's play this game and go home. Hopefully the Portugal - Holland game will be more entertaining.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 25, 2006, 02:04:05 pm
With Argentina-Mexico yesterday I felt it was a shame either team had to go home.  With England-Ecuador today I felt it was a shame either team got to stay!  Idea: let's petition FIFA to replace England with Mexico for the next round! ;)

Beckham has become totally useless on the field, but he is still the most dangerous player in the world on corners and free kicks.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 25, 2006, 03:52:15 pm
It's a very good thing for England that they played Ecuador and not Mexico today!  Still, winning ugly is a win.  Beckham's free kick came right after Marcelo Balboa said he should not be on the field...poetic justice.  Ecuador played as though they were going for the tie in the second half--weird.

I came in late on the Netherlands-Portugal game (watched Fernando Alonso win the Canadian Grand Prix) and am still trying to figure out why Ruud van Nistelrooy didn't start.  Portugal just lost Constinha to a deliberate handball.  I like the Netherlands' chances now.

If the lads from Blighty don't pick up their game, the next one will be their last against either of these teams.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 25, 2006, 05:05:40 pm
the netherlands vs. portugal game looked more like a hockey game than a soccer game. talk about players getting testy on the field!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 25, 2006, 05:10:56 pm
Costinha and Deco gone for the next game. And possibly Ronaldo. Wait to see how badly he's injured. Even so, as long as Portugal avoids giving up the set pieces, they should beat England.

The game was one of the ugliest I've seen. The ref lost all control. the Dutch sure made a run at it in the second half. How many times can you hit the bar or have the goalie make great saves before you score.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 25, 2006, 05:15:43 pm
As far as the play, Portugal-Netherlands may be the best game yet - a shame that the officiating sank to a new low.  They tied the all-time Cup record for cards, and finished the game 9v9 (if there had been OT, we might have seen the first Cup 3v3 game ;))!

When things get so out of hand, you can usually point to the ref - he totally lost control of the match, despite handing out cards like Halloween candy.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on June 25, 2006, 05:19:36 pm
As far as the play, Portugal-Netherlands may be the best game yet. . .
True Mr Ypsi.

I hope I can survive. I am leaving for a weeklong workshop and there is no TV, and even if there were, I would be in sessions. I will try to check in here to get updated.  Enjoy the games the next two days.  ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 25, 2006, 09:50:59 pm
What really struck me about England-Ecuador today was the sloppy fundametals.  Each side must have had a dozen or more unforced turnovers on passes (where neither passer or receiver was being pressured at all) going out of bounds, some on simply horribly off-target passes, some because they were done too hard to a teammate right at the sideline who didn't receive it well.  They also each had at least 6 or 7 unforced turnovers on 'lazy' passes, WAY slower than necessary, which were easily intercepted by defenders.

Most high school matches I attend have fewer unforced turnovers than this!

If England plays anywhere nearly as sloppily as that against Portugal, they are dead meat, even with 2 (or perhaps 3) Portuguese starters out.

Looking ahead, matches I am REALLY looking forward to in the quarters:  Germany-Argentina (which is already set) and Brazil-Spain (which I expect).  I'm guessing that the WC champion is playing in one of those two matches.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 26, 2006, 07:50:20 am
Can England be any more boring?

Apparently, they can.  Wow.  Aside from the fact that I can name England's entire lineup, and many of their subs...and since I am most familiar with the English national team, aside from the United States, I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I'M CHEERING FOR ENGLAND.  They are just plain boring and not very good.  They can't string together 3 passes if their life depended on it.  The one game they should've started Crouch (against a very short opponent), they don't.  Jamie Carrick as a holding midfielder?  What were they afraid of? 

I have yet to watch the Holland/Portugal game I taped over the weekend...not sure if I want to.

The Italy/Australia game should be very entertaining this morning.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 26, 2006, 09:25:27 am

I've been rooting for the Swiss all along.  I'm fairly confident they can make the semis, but then its Germany up next and that makes me nervous.  They are certainly playing really well and it may not be just the home crowd.

I also think he Ashley Cole block in the 16th minute is worth mentioning.  That timing was just incredible, after Terry made his first mistake of the tournament, Cole was able to get in and have the shot bounce off his knee and hit the crossbar.  That could have totally changed the match around.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on June 26, 2006, 11:26:06 am
England is surely an interesting team. They look amazing on paper and you'd think they would be able to creat many chances. I think it's Sven.  He seems totally uninspiring. The English have definitely caught a break with Costinha and Deco suspended. Portugal should be missing Figo with that head butt as well. 

I'm going to be rooting for la seleccion the rest of the way. Im a big Real and la liga fan, and would love to see this side destroy the French team and make a nice little run.  They are loaded up front and in the midfield. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 26, 2006, 11:52:15 am
Wow, I'm really surprised that the majority of the comments about yesterday's matches seem to be about how boring England was.  Neither Portugal nor Holland were boring, but that match didn't have much to do with real soccer.  I'm not sure how the referee should have handled it differently--there were cardable offenses in the first half that he let go.  Yes there were too many cards--but can anybody suggest which should not have been called?

This isn't meant as an Apologia for England--I'm as disappointed with the play so far as everybody else (including the England side).  I just want to share a few observations.  This is going to be long, so anyone who doesn't care, feel free to skip.

My husband and I watch as much EPL as possible; I'm a Liverpool supporter and a big Michael Owen fan.  I was gutted when he left for Real Madrid, and disappointed again when he couldn't return to Liverpool, although I understand the finances.

I think most England supporters lay about 80-90% of the blame at the feel of the coach, Sven Goren Eriksson.  He's kowtowed a lot to the big managers about not letting players go for friendlies, so some opportunites for practice together have been lost.  His selected team included only four strikers--Crouch, Owen, Rooney, and Walcott--even though the two obvious stars, Owen and Rooney, were BOTH recovering from broken bones in their feet.  Michael's occured on New Year's Eve, and he played a total of 30 minutes in 2006--thus, he had a lot more time off than Rooney and was clearly not in match condition for the Cup.  Yet, most of the talk in the press was about Rooney, who had only been out since late April.  Now, Michael is gone and three strikers remain.

My husband and I were in England on holiday when Eriksson named Theo Walcott to the team.  There was much surprise--although he's been signed by Arsenal, he has NEVER played in an EPL game.  The fact that we haven't seen him so far is ominous, and at this point one has to assume we won't (English fans are making dark jokes about him pushing the tea trolley, and how clean the players' boots are).  So, that makes two strikers, Crouch and Rooney.

I was not impressed with Peter Crouch at first (along with the Liverpool supporters at Anfield), but most of us have become convinced  that he can make a contribution.  He was impressive and scored a goal in Liverpool's victory over West Ham in the FA cup.  Rooney has shown some good moves, but he's clearly not quite back yet.

The problem with the depleted strike force is that Eriksson was loathe to try any formations other than 4-4-2 in preparations.  In the last friendly or two he tried a 4-5-1, and yesterday we saw 4-1-4-1, but basically the players are learning to play together in these new formations during the World Cup--which really shouldn't happen.  (By the way, the holding midfielder yesterday was Michael Carrick, not "Jamie Carrick."  Jamie Carregher is a defenseman, which probably let to the confusion).

The person I hope to see emerge is Liverpool's captain, Steven Gerrard.  He brought Liverpool back from a 3-0 halftime deficit almost single-handedly last summer, and he tied the FA cup game in the 91st minute in May (he also scored another goal and fed Crouch for the first one).  Somehow the center midfield duo of Gerrard and Lampard doesn't seem to be clicking yet; I'm not enough of a tactician to know what to change, but I know that both are capable of better.

Maybe other teams are in as much disarray as England; I don't know.  It does seem that, given the known injuries to the strikers, Eriksson should have prepared better both in team selection and in game plans.  Many people, including me, are glad he's going.  

That said, something is going to have to improve if England is to go on.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 26, 2006, 12:57:44 pm

Australia just got hosed.  Royally hosed.  This was by far the worst example of refs controlling the outcome in the Cup so far.  He ignored an Italy handball in the box, then went down the other direction and called a PK, blowing the whistle as soon as it went in.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 26, 2006, 01:21:18 pm

Australia just got hosed.  Royally hosed.  This was by far the worst example of refs controlling the outcome in the Cup so far.  He ignored an Italy handball in the box, then went down the other direction and called a PK, blowing the whistle as soon as it went in.

The Aussie was simply lying on the ground after an attempted tackle, and the Italian tripped over his body - where exactly is the foul?  (In a way, it was justice - the red card almost certainly should only have been a yellow, and at full strength I'm pretty certain Italy would have won.)

They may as well send the players home - the refs have taken over the Cup.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Tuxguy on June 26, 2006, 04:41:18 pm
Well, you have to admit, this WC will go into the books as one of the most interesting of all time. Never before have so many cards been handed out! The funny thing to me is,A  FIFA big- wig supposedly talked with the head of the refs after the first round or so, and we still end up with 16 yellow and I think 4 red.

Interesting side note.....in the 2002 WC when Italy lost to Korea, the winning goal was made by a young man who played in the Italian league, at least he did until he scored. The president of the club fired him after that goal! ???
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 26, 2006, 04:54:42 pm

Good Lord, no one wants to win this second game.  Swiss and Ukrainians in overtime 0-0.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 26, 2006, 05:51:02 pm
Wow, I'm really surprised that the majority of the comments about yesterday's matches seem to be about how boring England was.  Neither Portugal nor Holland were boring, but that match didn't have much to do with real soccer.  

I didn't see the Holland/Portugal game.  So I can't comment on that.  I did see the England game though.  Anyway, I find it interesting that some posters have said what a great game that was.  I heard it was a hack fest.

(By the way, the holding midfielder yesterday was Michael Carrick, not "Jamie Carrick."  Jamie Carregher is a defenseman, which probably let to the confusion).

Oops.  ;D

Regarding the PK against the Aussies.  What a joke, in injury time.  If I didn't hate Marcelo Balboa before, I really do now.  What a moron.  All tournament he's complaining about players taking dives, penalties that shouldn't have been penalties, players faking injuries, yellow cards that shouldn't be yellow cards...and then when the Italian falls over the Aussie, Balboa raves about how great of a play it was, how well the Italian "sold" the penalty, "oh, it's absolutely perfect, look how he sells it, he just goes over the top of the player, he leans down, he DIVES in and CREATES the penalty"...what a great job.  The player could've easily walked around the Aussie and actually have taken a shot!

WHAT A JOKE by Balboa.  I wish I had his email.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 26, 2006, 05:53:56 pm
UNBELIEVABLE!  Switzerland did not give up a single goal in 390 minutes - and is going home!  After regulation and OT it was still 0-0 (and a REALLY bad game, not a defensive gem); head to PKs.  Ukraine shoots first and Shevchenko (their best player) is stopped - looks bad for them.  But the next 3 Ukrainians all scored, while NONE of the Swiss could score (the keeper guessed right on 2, and the one he guessed wrong, the crossbar 'guessed' for him! ;D) - Ukraine advances 3-0.

In the history of the World Cup, no previous team has ever gone home without conceding a single goal.

But both teams played really poorly - Italy looks like a shoo-in for the semis unless Ukraine can really turn it around.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 26, 2006, 06:05:25 pm
HF,

The Swiss defense obviously would have a chance at winning it all, but eventually you gotta score, too!

OS,

I should have clarified my comment re: Portugal-Holland - when they were playing soccer, they played it VERY well; as Scottie put it, much of the time they were playing hockey! ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 26, 2006, 06:13:41 pm
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-----that about sums up my opinion of the Swiss/Ukraine match.   My gosh even the PK's were horrible.   Exactly the kind of game that makes it difficult for any American to embrace the game of soccer.


Caught the England game this weekend and I can sum up England's problems like  this #1)  No strikers although Rooney looked better, but he has no help.  I'll stand by my thoughts that Crouch is the biggest waste of space on the English side.   Owen was injured and truthfully has barely played for two full years now.  Walcott is completely untested I'm sure Sven wishes he had Jermaine DeFoe or Andy Johnson to call on as backup.

#2)  Lampard and Gerrard do not make a great pairing, they each can dominate a game in the midfield but it doesn't seem to happen with both on the field at the same time.  Right now England seems to be looking to Beckham to create plays which means Lampard and Gerrard get fewer chances and don't look their confident selves when the do get chances.

I'm not sure what it will take for England to beat Portugal but it sure looks like they're doomed to repeat their disappointing loss to Portugal in Euro 04.

I also need a lesson in bracketology......England avoids Argentina in the Q's and Semi's but the way they look it won't matter.


So far Spain, Argentina, Germany and Brazil look far better than anyone left.......including the Italians.

Floppa Azzuri
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 26, 2006, 07:22:35 pm
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-----that about sums up my opinion of the Swiss/Ukraine match.   My gosh even the PK's were horrible.   Exactly the kind of game that makes it difficult for any American to embrace the game of soccer.

Ditto, sac!  It was ugly!  Especially with the lack of the opportunity of the Golden Goal, especially for those of us in the southern latitudes who have come to love overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, IMHO, the absolute best sporting experience in the world!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 26, 2006, 07:35:36 pm
Ditto, sac!  It was ugly!  Especially with the lack of the opportunity of the Golden Goal, especially for those of us in the southern latitudes who have come to love overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, IMHO, the absolute best sporting experience in the world!

I agree...including college hockey.  I think the Stanley Cup playoffs is the best post season. 

Actually, I think the "golden goal" would've hurt this game.  They were playing for penalty kicks...just think how tentative they would've played with the "one mistake and you go home" mentality!

I think there's a little part of Jermaine Defoe that hopes England just tanks.  There is no doubt in my mind that Defoe should've been included in the national team.  What was Sven thinking adding Walcott?  Rooney and Owen coming back from injury and Crouch basically untested. 

Crouch is hit and miss.  Sometimes he just looks horrible, but if England is just going to continue to throw the ball out to Beckham and have him cross it, Crouch is needed.  Does England have any imagination?  It seems like they go backwards more than forward!

The entertaining teams come up next with Spain v France and Brazil/ Ghana.

As I predicted, the Argentina/Mexico game is the most entertaining so far.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mybleedinghands on June 26, 2006, 07:39:29 pm
Ditto, sac!  It was ugly!  Especially with the lack of the opportunity of the Golden Goal, especially for those of us in the southern latitudes who have come to love overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, IMHO, the absolute best sporting experience in the world!

I agree...including college hockey.  I think the Stanley Cup playoffs is the best post season. 


Watchign hockey on TV would be about a million times more entertaining to watch if they used a different camera angle, such as the camera angle for tennis, you know, from the end of the court instead of the side of the court.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 26, 2006, 08:16:15 pm
#2)  Lampard and Gerrard do not make a great pairing, they each can dominate a game in the midfield but it doesn't seem to happen with both on the field at the same time.  Right now England seems to be looking to Beckham to create plays which means Lampard and Gerrard get fewer chances and don't look their confident selves when the do get chances.


Lampard has taken more shots than anyone else in the tournament--21--and has made zero, while Gerrard has taken about four and made two.  This isn't a slam at Lampard, but Steven has definitely been more productive.

I said the same thing as many others today--the Ukraine-Swiss game is exactly the kind of game that makes Americans think they hate soccer.  And the Italians are definitely leading charmed lives...I'm cheering for whoever they're playing from now on.

If I were coaching England, I'd either put in Crouch or Aaron Lennon with Rooney and go back to 4-4-2.  Lennon is fast and right-footed, which makes him a natural on the right side.  But I'm not...
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 26, 2006, 08:47:12 pm
...
And the Italians are definitely leading charmed lives...I'm cheering for whoever they're playing from now on. ...

I wonder if cousin Guido talked to the ref of the Itailian game before the start... :o ??? :-X :D ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 26, 2006, 11:30:08 pm
...
And the Italians are definitely leading charmed lives...I'm cheering for whoever they're playing from now on. ...

I wonder if cousin Guido talked to the ref of the Itailian game before the start... :o ??? :-X :D ;)

My speculation is that the refs don't get extra pay for overtime, and danged if he was gonna keep running for another 30 minutes for free! ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on June 27, 2006, 06:59:46 am
As for the penalty awarded to the Italians, you have to wonder what the hell the Aussie defender was thinking.  Why did he go down in the box to defend?  I was disgusted by the way the Italians flopped in the US match (Cannavaro  is number one on my list), but the Neill's legs were up, and it looked Grosso honestly tripped. That being said, a tough way to take a loss.

Hooser Titan, I've been a big Gerrard fan since he lead Liverpool to that astounding comeback in Istanbul. I think he is the key in the midfield in terms of supporting the strikers.  Every England supporter I know has been calling for Lennon to replace Becks.  Although he's looked a little shaky (horrible marking on that first Swede goal), how can you take out a player that can make a difference with one kick of the his right foot?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 27, 2006, 07:52:31 am
If I were coaching England, I'd either put in Crouch or Aaron Lennon with Rooney and go back to 4-4-2.  Lennon is fast and right-footed, which makes him a natural on the right side.  But I'm not...

You're not fast or right footed?  :P

As for the penalty awarded to the Italians, you have to wonder what the hell the Aussie defender was thinking. Why did he go down in the box to defend? I was disgusted by the way the Italians flopped in the US match (Cannavaro is number one on my list), but the Neill's legs were up, and it looked Grosso honestly tripped.

IMO, I believe the Aussie was going down because he thought the Italian was going to shoot and he was going down to block the potential shot.  I also don't remember Neill's leg or legs being up at all.  The Italian flopped over him. 

***edit:  after just seeing a highlight of the play, the Italian "trips" over the Aussie's BACK.  The defender is basically sitting on the ground.

Every England supporter I know has been calling for Lennon to replace Becks. Although he's looked a little shaky (horrible marking on that first Swede goal), how can you take out a player that can make a difference with one kick of the his right foot?

Because he was puking.  :-[  At least in the last game! lol.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 27, 2006, 07:54:24 am
Watchign hockey on TV would be about a million times more entertaining to watch if they used a different camera angle, such as the camera angle for tennis, you know, from the end of the court instead of the side of the court.

At least Fox got rid of the glowing puck.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 27, 2006, 09:00:47 am

So my Swiss dream is dead.  They had been playing quality offense the whole tournament until this game, where it just appeared both teams thought they could win in penalties and stopped going forward in about the 70th minute.  Very strange.

I guess I'm hoping the Brazil bandwagon.  I know they always win and they're the favorites, but its just so much more fun to watch them than anyone else.  They'll be playing whoever wins the Germany-Austria game.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 27, 2006, 10:39:39 am
I know who I'm ghana cheer for.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 27, 2006, 10:46:23 am
  Every England supporter I know has been calling for Lennon to replace Becks.  Although he's looked a little shaky (horrible marking on that first Swede goal), how can you take out a player that can make a difference with one kick of the his right foot?

What I wrote was I would go back to 4-4-2 (two strikers), with either Crouch or Lennon as the other striker.  It was more a commentary on Rooney's not being at his best playing alone up top than on Beckham.  I think both Lennon and Joe Cole have the speed and skills to play striker, given that almost everybody else on the field has been shuffled around at least once.  The English press this morning, interestingly, is full of support for Beckham.  I wouldn't start someone in his place (unless he started barfing before the game!) ;)

Hopefully, Gary Neville will be back, and that will settle the defense.  Hopefully.

OS, I am almost as not fast as I am not coach of England, if that makes any sense!  Good one! :D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 27, 2006, 11:33:19 am
I know who I'm ghana cheer for.

Talk about foul language... man. Ouch!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 27, 2006, 11:38:26 am
Did anyone else chuckle when ESPN would saw "Swiss Miss" on Sportscenter.  :D

Lampard has taken more shots than anyone else in the tournament--21--and has made zero, while Gerrard has taken about four and made two.


Hadn't realized Lampard has been that active, maybe he's due to have a big game.

You allude to Gerrard's productivity, but why only 4 shots......all you've had to see is the Champions League final last year and the FA Cup Final this year to see what a huge influence Gerrard can have on a game, particularly big games.

I guess I'd like to see more shots from Gerrard and fewer crosses from Beckham.



......and Ronaldo's first half goal vs Ghana was a beauty.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 27, 2006, 12:07:24 pm
I lose a karma point for punnery? Talk about being PUNished.

Adriano, from my point of view (third floor, TV), was offside from the time the ball started up the field. I admit my bias; refs should admit theirs.

Don't like listening to Balboa? Turn the sound to 0. It's amazing how clear the game comes in.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 27, 2006, 12:13:03 pm
I know who I'm ghana cheer for.

Brazil?  I almost gave you an "applaud" on that one, but I don't usually bother with karma points, but I thought about it!  ;D

The English press this morning, interestingly, is full of support for Beckham.  

It's kind of hard not to when he scores the only goal of the game.  Joe Cole is one of the few bright spots for England.  Is it because he's one of the only players who runs at the defense?  Maybe.

I guess I'm hoping the Brazil bandwagon. I know they always win and they're the favorites, but its just so much more fun to watch them than anyone else. They'll be playing whoever wins the Germany-Austria game.

My money is on Germany.  ??? In all seriousness, I think Brazil/Ghana plays Spain/France.

Ghana has had plenty of chances to score.  They could at least be level, if not ahead.  VERY entertaining game.

Adriano, from my point of view (third floor, TV), was offside from the time the ball started up the field. I admit my bias; refs should admit theirs.

Don't like listening to Balboa? Turn the sound to 0. It's amazing how clear the game comes in.

Not sure who gave you negative karma points, but I thought it was funny.

The ball wasn't played to him.  It was played to the outside, then dribbled in and then played to him.

Yes, Balboa is an idiot, as I've mentioned several times.  I have the volume at zero and I'm pretending to be Balboa and criticizing everything possible, trying to sound like him and repeat myself as much as I can. :o :D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 27, 2006, 12:25:21 pm
From my point of view, he started off offside and never gave up that pole position. The ball was never ahead of him, the defender was never ahead of him...when the ball WAS played to him, he'd been offside, was offside and scored offside.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Unless I'm completely wrong, and that's always a possibility. I'll have to watch replays until my eyes bleed.

Gho, Ghana! (I'm afraid they'll be ghone after this game...)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 27, 2006, 02:44:10 pm

Foul,


It might have been me giving the negative point there, although I'm hard pressed to figure out why, so you can have it back.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 27, 2006, 03:19:59 pm

Foul,


It might have been me giving the negative point there, although I'm hard pressed to figure out why, so you can have it back.

After 18 hours!  ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 27, 2006, 03:28:41 pm
I made out like a bandit on that interchange. How many of those are pity points, I wonder.

Looks like I have to get off the previous bandwagon (not mentioning any names). I'm jumping to Germany. As I recall, I kinda liked the way they played--in the one game I saw. Wish I could remember who they were playing against.

Could be that my support is the kiss of death; I started out liking the Ivory Coast a lot.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 27, 2006, 03:50:57 pm

Foul,


It might have been me giving the negative point there, although I'm hard pressed to figure out why, so you can have it back.

After 18 hours!  ;D

You can reverse your karma right away if you want to, the only problem is that they also get a plus one from where they were before.  So really, by giving it back, I gave him two.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 27, 2006, 03:53:48 pm
France-Spain is turning out to be a "barn burner" or whatever more en-vogue euro phrase would fit there more appropriately.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 27, 2006, 04:20:06 pm
...
And the Italians are definitely leading charmed lives...I'm cheering for whoever they're playing from now on. ...

I wonder if cousin Guido talked to the ref of the Itailian game before the start... :o ??? :-X :D ;)

Funny you mention Guido and all that is associated with that.  I've recently invested in Netflix and have been catching up (re-watching) the previous 5 seasons of the Sopranos.  I have forgotten how good, violent, and funny that show is.


Foul,


It might have been me giving the negative point there, although I'm hard pressed to figure out why, so you can have it back.

After 18 hours!  ;D

You can reverse your karma right away if you want to, the only problem is that they also get a plus one from where they were before.  So really, by giving it back, I gave him two.

Apparently I only wanted to keep giving negative points to posters, when I actually bothered looking at the karma thing!  I guess you just can't "repeat" actions! lol.  Oh well.

France-Spain is turning out to be a "barn burner" or whatever more en-vogue euro phrase would fit there more appropriately.

Ummm...pulsating?  Classico? 

I heard there is a movie coming out, The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos...in selected theatres, which probably doesn't mean She-Vegas.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Flying Dutch Fan on June 27, 2006, 04:41:44 pm
Loved the three goals by the Brazilians today.  They are so amazing with their ball handling.  My son is a huge Renaldinho fan (so I had to buy him an offical jersey when I was in Brazil last month).  I think it will be worn out by the time the WC is over.

The "Ghanarians" ;) had some chances that they totally blew, but then their goalie also made a couple of incredible saves (although he had to play all but the first four minutes without his jock after that Reanldo move).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on June 27, 2006, 05:13:03 pm

Could be that my support is the kiss of death; I started out liking the Ivory Coast a lot.

You have my permission to pull for Italy. ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on June 27, 2006, 05:20:19 pm
Quote
You have my permission to pull for Italy

Would that I could, but I can't. So, I won't. Although it would be easier for me to get behind Italy than Brazil, those opportunistic southerners.

Barn-en flambe'

That was a good game (France-Spain), and I pulled for the French (I've had a soft spot for them ever since someone referred to the French as 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys'), so I must be losing my touch. Germany IS still in this thing, right? Sometimes I think perhaps I've dozed off and reawakened in a different Cup year.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 27, 2006, 07:26:45 pm
This may sound crazy since Brazil won 3-0, but Ghana was the better team today (I have no doubt Brazil is generally the better team, and probably has a better chance to go deep than Ghana would, but TODAY Ghana out-Brazilled Brazil).  The final score was totally misleading - let me elaborate:

Ronaldo's goal was a legitimate thing of beauty, resulting from Ghana's only SERIOUS defensive mistake of the match.  Adriano was clearly offside (the replays were absolutely clear about that); moreover, the man who passed it to Adriano had himself been CLEARLY offside.  For the AR to miss two offsides on the same goal is inexcusable.  Therefore the score should have only been 1-0 rather than 2-0 when the other decisive call came along (79th? minute) - the red card (second yellow) to the Ghanaian player for 'diving' in the box.  Unfortunately this was not replayed a half dozen times (like the 2nd goal), so I'm less certain, but I THINK he WAS actually tripped, rather than taking a dive.  Especially if the score was only 1-0, the difference between a red card (thus Ghana playing the rest of the game down a man) and a PK can hardly be overestimated.  Even at 2-1, if at full strength, Ghana is still very much in it.  Even at 2-0, if at full strength, Ghana still has a prayer.  At 2-0 and down a man, the match ended with that call.  (Brazil's third goal was a sweet one, but only served to make the final score highly misleading.)

Also, Ghana had to play the second half without their coach, who was red carded during halftime for (correctly) protesting Adriano's goal.  Since this occurred out of anyone's sight, I can't say whether or not the red card was justified, but I do know that Ghana's coach was right!

France's winning goal was also dubious, IMO.  It came as a direct result of a free kick following a penalty (and yellow card) against Spain.  Again, there alas were no replays, so I'm not absolutely certain, but I'm fairly sure the penalty was called the wrong way.  The French player pushed down the Spaniard, then fell to the ground holding his face.  The ref bought it, but I saw NO contact with the French face and think he took a dive to cover for his own penalty.  IF things played out the same way as, in fact, they did, Zidane's goal would render the result moot.  But of course, if the score had been 1-1 instead of 2-1, things probably would not have played out the same way.

Both games were hugely enjoyable, but would the refs PLEASE give the Cup back to the players?!

BTW, Grahame L. Jones of the L.A.Times had a column today arguing that the Italy-Australia result was a FIFA-directed conspiracy as a payback to Italy for the FIFA-directed conspiracy of South Korea over Italy in 2002 (where they were eager to keep the home team in as long as possible).  I'm not big on conspiracy theories (never have been, and Oliver Stone ended any temptations I may ever have had in that direction!), but he actually lays out at least a semi-compelling case.  (Sorry I can't provide a link; being a troglodyte, I actually read it on paper! ;))
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 27, 2006, 08:14:17 pm
Hello again.  Wooster was hammered by Mother Nature yet again and my power has been off since last Thursday (just turned back on last night).  This marks the 3rd power outage at my home of more than 5 days in the last 3 years and all as a result of Mother Nature! 

Anywho, I have missed a lot of soccer action over the past few days and I am thankful that I can get back to following the action live instead of waiting for the results in the paper the following day!  Glad to see the boys from GB still in it, although I didn't get to see their game (and from what I've read in here, I might be glad I missed it) ::)


Another common theme that seems to be coming up more and more is the poor officiating.  FIFA has got some MAJOR work ahead of them to fix these problems of inconsistent and downright horrible (at times) officiating that has been taking place during this World Cup.  People's focus after matches should be on the run of play, not on the terrible officiating.  It seems every game has at least one and sometimes more than one contreversial call by the official and in many intances these bad calls are basically determining the outcome of games?!  Players should be determining the outcomes, not the referees!

Germany is turning out to be an interesting story.  Many, including their own fans were leaving them dead in the water before the Cup.  They were booed off the field by their own fans at the end of the 1st half in a friendly with the US just before the Cup started.  Of course they went on to thrash the US 4-1, but they had some questionable results in some other friendlies leading up to the Cup.  And if this conspiracy theory that Ypsi is bringing up holds any weight, this can do nothing but help the Germans' cause to go far in this Cup!  Not to mention that they are playing some extremely good football at the moment which doesn't hurt either! ;)

Lastly,


..and I pulled for the French (I've had a soft spot for them ever since someone referred to the French as 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys')


foul, sorry, but it's the truth and that's exactly why I can never pull for the French! ;D


Oh, and I too hate listening to what Marcelo Balboa has to say as an anylist! ::)

(http://ideaspot.net/world/countriesae/large/england.gif)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 27, 2006, 11:50:27 pm
SF,

I totally agree with you.  I am really sorry to be posting almost more about refs than matches, but the refs really are stealing the Cup.  I think at least half of the round-of-16 games have been altered by officiating.  I was very impressed with how well the ref kept control of the France-Spain match despite NO cards until fairly late, yet the officiating STILL arguably determined the match.

SOMETHING has got to be done!  Unfortunately, I have no idea what.  Switzerland-Ukraine, for example, had only one yellow - but that was an OVERreaction to the 16 yellow, 4 red, of the day before, since there should have been 3-4 yellows (and one borderline red).

I'll give FIFA credit for one innovation - all refs and ARs must speak the same language, so they can work as a team, but that has proved to be obviously insufficient.  I wonder if it is time for instant replay?

With a running clock, that should obviously be used only for game-altering situations, but in such cases the replay official could probably render a verdict before a PK (or even free kick) is even kicked, or before a 'goal-scoring' team has even stopped celebrating.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 28, 2006, 09:52:05 am
This may sound crazy since Brazil won 3-0, but Ghana was the better team today (I have no doubt Brazil is generally the better team, and probably has a better chance to go deep than Ghana would, but TODAY Ghana out-Brazilled Brazil).

Yes, Ronaldo was offsides.  No, the player was not tripped in the box; he slipped and when he realized he wasn't going to make the ball, he dove.  That one was obvious. (On a side note: I think they could cut down on all of this card madness if they would buck up and actually give more cards for diving.  If players knew there was a 50-50 chance they would get a card for going down erroneously instead of a 95-5 chance, then they might think twice about doing it).  My point is that Brazil is good enough, we can all agree on that, to have actually played better in the second half if they needed to.  If the calls had gone the other way and it was a closer match in the second half, you would have seen a different Brazil.  All of that being said, Ghana played this game exactly as they needed to.  They came out strong, attacked, peppered Dida with shots and their goalie came up big more times than I can remember.  Quality match, they just weren't the equal of Brazil.

France's winning goal was also dubious, IMO.  It came as a direct result of a free kick following a penalty (and yellow card) against Spain.  Again, there alas were no replays, so I'm not absolutely certain, but I'm fairly sure the penalty was called the wrong way.  The French player pushed down the Spaniard, then fell to the ground holding his face.  The ref bought it, but I saw NO contact with the French face and think he took a dive to cover for his own penalty.  IF things played out the same way as, in fact, they did, Zidane's goal would render the result moot.  But of course, if the score had been 1-1 instead of 2-1, things probably would not have played out the same way.

When I saw that play live, I thought for sure Puyol had intentionally elbowed Henry in the face, which worried me, because I figured that would be at least a Red Card, which would have really thrown off the tone of the match.  Upon the review, both players were fighting for the ball, both well within the rules.  Puyol did toss an elbow, although probably more as a clear out move (still a foul, but not card worthy) and caught Henry in the chest.  He just did a fantastic job of selling it.  At that speed and at that angle, there was no way the ref would have know different.  I don't think you can fault him for that.  The main person at fault was whichever Spanish defender decided to run away from Viera and leave the tallest man on the field unmarked on the goal line.  Nothing would have come from that if everyone had stayed with their mark.

By the way, Zindane's goal was incredible.  It will probably be his last in international competition and what a way to go out.  I'm pretty confident in saying he's been the best footballer in the history of the sport.  Some argue "what about Pele?" or some other great.  I respond, it's gotta be a midfielder; strikers miss out on such a huge part of the game to be considered the best ever.  Ronaldinho might get there someday, but right now its Zidane's title.  He led his country to its first ever World Cup and defined a generation both in international and club play.  None of his teams were anything when he wasn't on the pitch.  I don't think France has much chance against Brazil; I think this match was a fitting way for him to go out.  Hopefully we'll see him in MLS in a couple of years.

BTW, Grahame L. Jones of the L.A.Times had a column today arguing that the Italy-Australia result was a FIFA-directed conspiracy as a payback to Italy for the FIFA-directed conspiracy of South Korea over Italy in 2002 (where they were eager to keep the home team in as long as possible).  I'm not big on conspiracy theories (never have been, and Oliver Stone ended any temptations I may ever have had in that direction!), but he actually lays out at least a semi-compelling case.  (Sorry I can't provide a link; being a troglodyte, I actually read it on paper!

I actually read on ESPN where people are saying Silvio Berlusconi bought off the refs to let Italy win the Cup.  The Australia game was so blatant and they tossed one Italian against the Americans so they could be somewhat justified about tossing two Americans.  I'd say its crazy speculation, but with everything going on at Juventus and the fact that Berlusconi is rediculously rich and thinks he's God, it just might be possible.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 28, 2006, 01:13:10 pm
Ypsi

Your're absolutely right. Most of the refs have been horrible throughout the 1st round. The fact that there were more yellow and red cards issued in the first round just lets you know that there are problems here.

In my opinion, Fifa should let teams "challenge the calls" like they do in the NFL. Sure it would make the games a little longer, but this is the worlds stage that we are talking about.

Germany-Agrentina should be a good game.

The Ghaninans really woke up the brazilains until late in the 1st half. My hats off to that team.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 28, 2006, 01:57:33 pm

They are designing a ball that would relay information about location to the refs (ie whether its out of bounds or whether it crossed the goal line).  It was supposed to be ready for this Cup, but didn't make it.

It was also highly controversial.  Much like the hardliners in baseball, most people invovled in football around the world enjoy the human element of the game.  There was very little talk of overall poor officiating in Japan/Korea.  I think we're more in a lull of officiating than that is has truly become worse.  A lot of good refs are getting junked because of the mandatory retirement age of 45.  Pierluigi Collina is probably refing youth soccer in suburban Milan right now, when he should be at the World Cup.  They just need to work on training and helping these guys understand exactly what they are looking for.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 28, 2006, 02:31:28 pm
Hoops--- You're right. Couldn't have said it any better myself about the refs. I just hope that those that are waiting in line for reffing the 2010 cup will learn from these mistakes and don't repeat them.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 28, 2006, 03:55:14 pm

They sent Graham Poll home today.  Which means out of the top five refs from 2002, only one remains: Germany's Markus Merk.  He wasn't assigned to any of the quarterfinal games and he can't ref any of Germany's games.  He didn't have the best showing in the first round either.  I doubt he even sees the field at any point.

Maybe someone really good can emerge from this cup.  We need a new Collina (did you know they even gave away bobble heads of him in Serie A stadiums?)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 28, 2006, 09:37:18 pm

They are designing a ball that would relay information about location to the refs (ie whether its out of bounds or whether it crossed the goal line).  It was supposed to be ready for this Cup, but didn't make it.

While I would support use of such a ball, it would be irrelevant for all but one of the complaints that have appeared on this board (the likely goal by France vs. S. Korea, where IMO the Korean keeper stopped the ball only after it had totally crossed the line).  All other complaints have involved fouls (or lack thereof), dives (or lack thereof), or offsides (or lack thereof).

Do you have any opinion concerning the feasibility (or desirability) of a replay official?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on June 29, 2006, 08:08:58 am
Just got home from a 3 day meeting, and just watched the Spain /France game. Oh, Henry, you are now an official member of the infamous flop club.  I lost a ton of respect for him based on that play alone. What a joke.  I love Zizou, but I really hope France flames out Saturday.

Let me ask you guys this, Do you ever see English players go down trying to beg a call?  Hell no. You know when they go down, it's a foul, and if they hold their shin, foot, etc, that there's legitimate pain there.   They play the game right in that aspect.

Tomorrow's Germany, Argentina match should be a beauty. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 29, 2006, 08:46:10 am

Everybody sells legitimate fouls.  Henry's was not a dive, in that it wasn't a foul.  When we complain about the Iberians or the South Americans diving, it's because they go down without being fouled.  Milking a call is part of the game and it always has been.  Milking it to the point where they have to bring the stretcher out, that's underhanded, but often you have to sell the call to get the foul.

Henry got hit in the chest, a legitimate foul, but because of the angle, it wouldn't be called if he stayed on his feet.  He went down, got the foul call, which was the right call (the card was probably overkill, but it didn't affect the outcome, so no harm done) and they solidified their lead.

And the English and even the Americans milk those calls, just like anyone else.  Only they pop back up as soon as the call is made.  You can't say that there's enough pain to legitimize guys wincing and grabbing their legs or ankles.  Think about all the contact in the NBA, where guys never show pain unless its tremendously bad.  It's the same way in soccer.  It might hurt, but those guys would never grab their foot unless they were trying to solidify the foul.

Like I said.  Going down untouched is bush league and the Spaniards are kings.  Staying down too long is also bush, and the Africans put on a good display of that at this cup.

I compare it to the two trips to the mound to give the reliever more time to warm up in baseball.  Using that time is an accepted part of the game, but instructing your catcher to go out after every pitch would be over the top.  Managers used to abuse it themselves until they put the two trips rule in.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 29, 2006, 09:46:14 am

I guess I missed the question from Ypsi.  I am not in favor of any sort of replay in soccer.  It's not a sport where you have natural stoppages of time (like american "gridiron" football).  You need to keep the game moving as quickly as possible.  I think the best remedy is better trained officials and more cards for diving.  A lot of the poor cards shown in this tournament have come because the refs are letting players get away with diving, so they do it more, making things seem worse and thus producing the cards.  If you have a good, confident official, who is not afraid to stand up to these guys without resorting to cards at every offense, then this wouldn't even be an issue.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 29, 2006, 01:35:24 pm
It's obviously been a little slow on the World Cup stage the last day and today because no games were played.  With the Quarters finally getting on their tomorrow, I hope we can get back to the games!  ;D  No offense to anyone here, but I'm getting tired of reading about the refs! lol.

Anyway, my last point about the USA team.  I'm very disappointed about Bruce and his remarks about the MLS.  Four years ago, it was the MLS-based players that helped us get to the quarters and without the MLS the USA would not have been where it was and we wouldn'thave made the quarters without it.  Now, it's the MLS's fault.  He claimed we should have more players playing in Europe if we're going to have a chance in the future. 

What a joke.  The USA team was a bit disappointing in it's performance in the World Cup.  Many of the players didn't show up as expected (Beasley, IMO, deserves the most criticism).  I think with Arena ripping the MLS, though he didn't actually come out and say "MLS", he's looking for a way out.

The reffing has been pretty bad...but I don't think it's been as bad as published.  The real reason it looks so bad is because refs are handing out yellow cards on regular fouls, no break aways, not injury-intended fouls etc...just fouls that happen.  That's the worst part of it.  Granted, there are yellow cards that are deserved, but not the 200+ we've seen.

Good luck this weekend to the eight remaining teams.  I'm still an England fan, so I'll cheer them on no matter how "boring" they might be! (j/k Hoosier Titan).  Germany looks real good, as does Brazil.

Here are my picks.

Germany over Argentina 3-2
Italy over Ukraine 1-0
England over Portugal 1-1 aet (England wins 3-2 PKs)

Game of the Weekend

Brazil over France 2-2 aet (Brazil win 4-2 PKs)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 29, 2006, 02:48:37 pm
In large part, I agree with OS--time to get back to the games.  Withdrawal is hitting hard! 

It's been fun posting here.  I don't post a lot over on the hoops board because, working at one of the D3 schools, I teach the players and I work with the coaches.  It would be uncomfortable if they knew I was going to be posting, so I wouldn't hear as much good dirt!

I think that any sort of replay would really change the nature of soccer.  I, too, am not sure that the reffing has been as bad as people say.  I really felt for the ref in the Portugal-Holland match--that one was just plain nasty from the start. I don't think any of the cards that were given were not deserved.  So if anyone has ideas for how the ref could have gotten control of the match early, please pass them on to Fifa.

One call that really changed a game was the Italy-Australia penalty kick; the Italian clearly just fell over the Aussie.  But there's always going to be one or two like  that.

About the US--I really hate to see a coach call the players out in public.  Maybe sometimes it's necessary, but it makes me uncomfortable and I don't think it works most of the time.  I don't watch enough MLS to know whether it deserves the knocks it's gotten.  There was a pretty scathing piece about Landon Donovan on the ESPN soccernet page; evidently he has said something about being more "comfortable" playing here than in Europe.  The writer took him to task for wanting to be comfortable ahead of becoming a truly great soccer player.  Maybe those who have watched both a lot of MLS and European/South American soccer could say whether that's fair or not. 

Here's hoping the English make it through.  I still feel they are better than they've shown; the whole has definitely been less than the sum of the parts so far.  Perhaps the return of Gary Neville on defense will settle the side.  OS, I don't blame anyone for calling them "boring," although watching these games waiting for England to score is painful to me, not boring.

I am finding it hard to support either Brazil or France; Brazil because of their frontrunner status, and France because of, first, Henry's dive (yes, he was fouled, but he wasn't hit in the head), and second, his comment from earlier in the year that "Maybe next time I'll learn to dive, but I'm not a woman."  So this is one I'd like to see both teams lose.  I think Brazil will prevail.  Italy's led a charmed (protected?) life, but I don't think Ukraine can knock them out.  I pick Argentina over Germany, narrowly.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 29, 2006, 03:42:56 pm
I'm all for Arena calling out MLS.  I said it before.  The US Soccer Federation cannot survive let alone succeed with two competing forces.  Our best national team will come from our best players playing against the best competition under the most pressure.  That comes in Europe.  Beasley and Donovan might have been the 2002 catalysts, but we got to the quarters on the backs of John O'Brien and Claudio Reyna.  MLS is good for developing our young guys, giving them a solid foundation of play that is above what they would receive in the Euro youth programs (a theory proven by our under-20 success).  MLS just needs to be prepared to send the best players overseas for 8-10 years and then get them back in their middle thirties to tutor the next generation of young guys.  It's the only win-win scenario I see.  Bruce might not be the most tactful or diplomatic guy, but he has the right message.  All that being said, it's probably time to go elsewhere for our next national team coach.  I'd love to see us get Klinsmann, but I doubt Germany lets him go.

Germany over Argentina in a goal-fest (4-3 or something rediculous like that)
Italy over Ukarine (because Berlusconi bought off the refs)
England over Portugal (for no reason other than bias; Portugal is the better team, but being down two starters might be enough to drop them)
Brazil over France (even though I think Zidane has one more miracle in him, even so, Brazil has only lost one world cup match in the last twelve years)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 29, 2006, 06:11:00 pm
HT,

Nice find on that Henry quote: "Maybe next time I'll learn to dive, but I'm not a woman."  My question: did he change his mind or his sex? ;)

BTW, re: Donovan - my understanding is that he couldn't get off the bench in Europe.  Surely PLAYING in MLS is better for development (and 'comfort') than riding the pine overseas.

HF,

Much as I would love to see MLS become MAJOR League Soccer, I don't see it happening in my lifetime.  Therefore, I like your scenario - start 'em in MLS, send the best to Europe during their prime, bring back the elder statesmen to tutor the next generation.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on June 29, 2006, 07:55:49 pm
Obviously England, Italy, Germany, France and Spain are the big leagues. 

In our "area" the Brazilian and Argentine leagues are top, then next are the Mexican leagues.  When it comes to Europe, I think we're on par with the Scottish league.  They have the Old Firm, but after that, it's a huge drop off.  The Dutch league is similar with about 3 real good teams.  The MLS won't become any of the Big 5, but we can compete with the second tier leagues in Europe and in fact, attendence-wise, we do pretty well compared to some of those leagues.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 29, 2006, 08:57:42 pm
Re: replay official.  Please note that I limited it to game-changing calls, MOST of which already involve stoppage time.  Things like whether or not a goal is legitimate (which a replay official could determine before the 'goal-scoring' team has even stopped celebrating) or whether or not a PK is legitimate (which could usually be decided before the PK is even taken).  Other foul or offside calls are much iffier.

Other calls - yeah, human error is a part of the game, but some MAJOR errors can (and should?) be corrected.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on June 30, 2006, 12:30:47 am
Wow did I ever pick a bad time for a vacation!  I haven't been able to catch a live match since Saturday.

I was at a National Park today and meet a German family enjoying our fine country - and the daughter is wearing a Brazil t-shirt!  Upon my challenge, the father simply shrugged and smiled and mentioned something about trevleeing to Brazil once in a while.  Sounds like grounds for a yellow card!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on June 30, 2006, 01:21:32 am
Not a green card?

:::rimshot:::
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ColonelJohn4Life on June 30, 2006, 05:48:38 am
Obviously England, Italy, Germany, France and Spain are the big leagues.

Then, how did Portugese FC Porto win the Champions League in 2004?  :P

The World Cup is the greatest sporting event in the world, y'know, short of Wilkes vs. Scranton...
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on June 30, 2006, 07:25:01 am
I'm all for Arena calling out MLS.  I said it before.  The US Soccer Federation cannot survive let alone succeed with two competing forces.  Our best national team will come from our best players playing against the best competition under the most pressure.  That comes in Europe. 

I agree with all except for the part about Arena calling out MLS and his players.  All I've heard from Arena is how he blames everyone and everything BUT himself for the US' lack of success in this World Cup.  To me, Arena needs to step up and shoulder some of the blame as well.  After all, he's the one calling the formations and putting his players out of positions that they would be best utilized.  I'm just tired of him doling out criticism and not accepting any responsibility himself. 

I do agree with the fact that the best US players have to be playing in Europe.  I can't remember if it was in here or if I heard it on the radio, but they mentioned a correlation with basketball and why the rest of the world has caught up with the US in basketball.  It's because the best professional league is the NBA and look at how many players from outside the US are now playing in the NBA.  It's the same principle in soccer.  The best pro leagues are in Europe and if we want to even be competitive with the soccer powers, our players have to be playing in their best leagues just like their best basketball players are playing now in the NBA.

And thank goodness we will actually have some games to discuss later today! :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on June 30, 2006, 08:44:23 am
Obviously England, Italy, Germany, France and Spain are the big leagues.

Then, how did Portugese FC Porto win the Champions League in 2004?  :P

The World Cup is the greatest sporting event in the world, y'know, short of Wilkes vs. Scranton...
I am not too sure of Wilkes vs. Scranton, but McMurry vs Hardin-Simmons is not too far behind. ;) ;D :D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 30, 2006, 02:00:55 pm

I'm still trying to get my head on right after that match.  Definately the most intense match I've ever seen.  Both sides were absolutely wiped out by the end of OT.  Ballack could barely walk and he was able to put one in (only because the goalie guessed wrong).  Lehmann guessed right on all four penalties he saw and saved two of them.  Incredible.  I know Argentina will be disappointed and they really should have figured a way to get Messi into the game at the end, but that was just an amazing performance all around.  Bravo.  I woudn't argue if someone said those were the two best teams in the competition.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 30, 2006, 02:36:00 pm
WHAT A MATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While I think Brazil (if they ever get it together) may still be the best team, either of these teams would have kicked butt against the Brazil we've seen so far.

Argentina's subbing was a mystery to me (though having to sub the keeper no doubt screwed up the plans).  A question occurred to me when the keeper coundn't continue: if they had already made their 3 subs at that point, are they just screwed (or is there some special provision for an injured keeper)?  Anyone know?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 30, 2006, 02:42:53 pm
Absolutely a "super classico" today. Both Argentina and Germany did everything they could to stop one another. What a way to decide the game. Its sucks to see argentina leave. However, The brazilians against germany will now be a huge game. (Of course, in favor of brazil)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 30, 2006, 03:16:23 pm
WHAT A MATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While I think Brazil (if they ever get it together) may still be the best team, either of these teams would have kicked butt against the Brazil we've seen so far.

Argentina's subbing was a mystery to me (though having to sub the keeper no doubt screwed up the plans).  A question occurred to me when the keeper coundn't continue: if they had already made their 3 subs at that point, are they just screwed (or is there some special provision for an injured keeper)?  Anyone know?

There is no special provision for an injured keeper.  It's a reason why some managers never or rarely use that third sub in a tie match.  I know it was pretty common practice ten or twelve years ago on the international level for both teams to end the game with a sub remaining.  I guess teams aren't as worried about it anymore.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: CRZK on June 30, 2006, 04:46:01 pm
Here you go Browneagle!

Some thoughts.

Bruce Arena and US Play.  Actually, if you look at the roster about 1/2 of the US squad plays or has played overseas.  Reyna, Mathias, and Keller are three of the most notable names.  I do think Arena is right on one point.  The MLS does not have the level of play or the intensity that Europe or South America has.

However, I agree the Arena needs to step up and take responsibility as well.  He either stifled creativity and had a poor player management system or failed to maximize the strengths of his team to fit the competition.

Last on the US players.  Man for man I think you can see that they cannot create on their own, deny the pass, deny the long ball, and what does the US bring to the attack.  The answer this World Cup is obvious--nothing.

Finally, I think some are being too harsh on the ref's.  Here I speak as a licensed USSF ref having done competitions ranging from competitive HS club soccer, HS, and men's and womens college matches.  FIFA has told for the past couple of years to crack down on flagrent fouls, shirt pulling, simulation (new FIFA term for diving), etc.  It stands to reason that one cause of the # of cards is that the ref's THEY PICKED THEMSELVES (FIFA) are trying to live up to FIFA guidelines. 

One way to help out is for the international soccer community to begin to point out and publicize for scrunity some of the more blatent simulations and flagrent fouls that have occured.  Shame and ridicule of the more blatent offenders on the world stage might have some effect in reducing the amount of occurances.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 01, 2006, 01:19:26 am
I almost decided to skip the Italy-Ukraine match, knowing it would be a let-down after Germany-Argentina, but there are so few Cup games left I ended up watching.  While it couldn't match G-A (few if any could), it was a much better match than the 3-0 score might indicate.

Don't get me wrong, Italy was far the better side, but if the Ukraine didn't have bad luck, they would have had no luck at all!  They stunk up the place offensively the first half (graphic said they had ZERO shots, though I think that must have been ON GOAL), but trailed only 1-0; the second half they tested Italy over and over.  One sequence (55th? minute) they had a point-blank shot that Buffon barely blocked, then another point-blank on the rebound which Zambrotta somehow blocked.  About five minutes later Shevchenko(?) had a header off the crossbar. 

Unfortunately for the Ukraine, Toni finally got his first goal of the Cup between those two threats, and his second only a minute or two after the flurry.  At that point the match was obviously decided, but the Ukraine still had 4-5 serious threats to score - obviously they didn't.  After five matches, Italy has still not been scored on (except by an Italian vs. USA ;D)!

Though I expect Germany to prevail, the German-Italian semi should be a good one!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 01, 2006, 01:35:08 am
As for tomorrow (OK, later today ;)):

At full strength, I'd definitely take Portugal over England, but the Portuguese will be missing at least two key players (any word on the injury?).  As it is, I'd rate the match a toss-up, but England seems to have a penchant for winning ugly, so the slight nod goes to the side with a former Spice Girl in their fan contingent.

Brazil HAS to wake up someday (don't they?), so, unless he can find one last ounce of magic, I think it is goodbye Zidane.  (Then again, I thought it would be Brazil-Spain.)  While the Bastille Boys cannot be counted out, I'll go with Mardi Gras.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on July 01, 2006, 11:20:18 am
I think it is interesting that one half of the bracket (the "Axis" bracket) has devolved into Germany vs. Italy, whereas the other half (the "Allied" bracket) could end up with England vs. France.  (Not terribly likely, I suppose, but it could happen.)

This is what the world should do instead of fighting wars.   ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Warren Thompson on July 01, 2006, 12:00:51 pm

This is what the world should do instead of fighting wars.   ;D

But didn't two South American nations fight a war over the outcome of a futbol
match?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 01, 2006, 01:10:30 pm
There is no special provision for an injured keeper.  It's a reason why some managers never or rarely use that third sub in a tie match.  I know it was pretty common practice ten or twelve years ago on the international level for both teams to end the game with a sub remaining.  I guess teams aren't as worried about it anymore.

There is talk about adding a fourth substitute but it would be reserved for the goalie. 

Another example of diving:

In the 2nd half (I think) of the Germany/Argentina game, a German player takes a dive just outside the top right hand corner of the box after losing the ball and falling over due to him losing his balance.  It was a clear and obvious dive, but the ref calls the "foul" anyway.  The German player rolls over holding his ankle in pain.  NOT ONE GERMAN TEAMMATE goes over to see if he's ok! lol.  They just all stand around the ball setting up for the free kick.  My friend and I were just laughing, and it was even funnier after watching the replay several times.  What a joke.

Anyway, England and Portugal look like they actually want to win the game.  The most entertaining I've seen England play.

I see Rooney cleaning off the bottom of his cleat as he seems to have part of a Portugal player's groin suck on the bottom of it.  Nice job Rooney.  You're a great player, but your temper has gotten the better of you once again.  I totally agree with the sending off.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on July 01, 2006, 01:51:24 pm
Brutal way to settle a game.

Cruel, cruel fate England.  They were the better team today.



Portugal = Italy, Italy = Portugal......same tactics, dive untill you get an advantage. >:(

England would have been toast in the next round without Owen, Rooney or potentially Beckham.  Lampard gets the big raspberry for England, he did nothing but miss the whole tournament.  Bottom line for England was they had just no threat up front. 

Good tournament still, although these PK games could have used a late goal to settle things.

(Rooney didn't push Ronaldo hard enough)   ;)

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 01, 2006, 02:25:39 pm
Oh man.  Cruel fate is right.  England played better once Rooney was gone (will he ever learn to control his temper?), and they had some chances to end the game without PKs.

If you'd asked me which England player was a sure thing to bury a penalty kick I would have said Steven Gerrard.  And why Frank Lampard, who finished something like 0 for 27 on shots for the Cup games, went first is beyond me.

I'm proud of the way the English played, and from here on out I'm supporting whoever is playing Portugal.  Their diving was ridiculous.

Oh well, the EPL starts in a few weeks, and Eriksson is gone.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on July 01, 2006, 02:32:09 pm
Should we get C. Ronaldo some cheese to go with his whine? With his tremendous talent and skill, he sure spends a tremendous amount of time crying to the refs.

For Rooney, a yellow card for sure, but not red.

Could you imagine the flop fest if Italy and Portugal make it to the final. :o
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 01, 2006, 02:58:31 pm
I thought Rooney's red was well justified.  As Alexi Lalas pointed out, soccer players are well aware of where others are (and it is especially easy when you are standing between a player's legs!).  That his cleat came down on the Portuguese player's groin was no accident.

The first 15 minutes of the match were very promising, and OT was great, but the 75 minutes in between left a lot to be desired.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 01, 2006, 05:05:21 pm
(Rooney didn't push Ronaldo hard enough)   ;)

When Man. U. signed Rooney, I wasn't sure what all the fuss was about.  But, after watching him the last two years in the EPL, I've come to realize what a great player he is...though his temper will always overshadow him.  I will wonder if he'll get the same treatment Beckham did when he got sent off against Argentina ('98? too lazy to look), basically the public blaming him for the loss.  Rooney was obviously not himself because of the long layoff, and at this level, it's obviously important to be match fit, among other things.

When Man. U. signed Cristiano Ronaldo (or as Balboa would like to call him, Christian Ronaldo-from what I heard from my friend that watched the game on ESPN), I thought he was pretty awesome.  But, he falls down way to easily and I've come to find him over-rated.  As my fellow soccer friend would say, "All he has is that stupid step over move!"  Anyway, rumor around the campfire is that he wants to play for Real Madrid. By all means, I'll pack your bags for you.

Oh well, the EPL starts in a few weeks, and Eriksson is gone.

I'm looking forward to it as well.  I'm hoping Man. U. can actually challenge the New York Yankees of the EPL (which is kind of ironic since it's Man. U. that has a partnership with the Yankees!)

Two very entertaining games today.  But maybe watching it on Univision made it every more exciting.  I curse ESPN! lol. Henry gets the monkey off his back.  Prior to Chelsea buying the last two EPL titles, I hated Arsenal and Henry.  Not anymore.  :D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 01, 2006, 05:13:44 pm
While Henry played pretty well, and gets official credit for the goal, I suspect any of US could have scored off that pass from Zidane!  Talk about perfect placement!

I was rooting for Brazil to score in the final minutes.  Not necessarily that I wanted Brazil to win, but I wanted thirty more minutes of that game!  I was unable to see the first half (out trying to pick up my 14 year old who gave me the wrong address on where he was - teenagers >:(), but the second half MAY have been even better than Germany-Argentina.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 01, 2006, 05:23:22 pm
BTW, Hoops Fan,

A couple of days ago you argued that Zidane was the greatest player of all time.  I'm not SURE I'd go that far, but after today I ain't gonna argue against you.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 01, 2006, 05:35:21 pm
In the 9th minute against South Korea, Henry scored the first French Cup goal since 1998!

(Is France scoring listed as a Sign of the Apocalypse? ???)

Since they are now in the semis, and should be heavy favorites against Portugal, I guess this qualifies as yet more evidence that past performance (including performance in group, as long as you advance) is virtually meaningless once you hit the knock-out rounds!  (Or maybe it is just additional evidence that I'm an idiot! :-[)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on July 01, 2006, 05:51:30 pm
While Henry played pretty well, and gets official credit for the goal, I suspect any of US could have scored off that pass from Zidane!  Talk about perfect placement!

I was rooting for Brazil to score in the final minutes.  Not necessarily that I wanted Brazil to win, but I wanted thirty more minutes of that game!  I was unable to see the first half (out trying to pick up my 14 year old who gave me the wrong address on where he was - teenagers >:(), but the second half MAY have been even better than Germany-Argentina.

I understand the sentiment.  When France scored first, I felt assured that in the remaining time we would see some of the finest soccer we would ever see.  I just did not want to see Brazil move forward. :)

As for Rooney, how stupid can one be! ???
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 01, 2006, 09:04:30 pm
WT,

If memory serves, the 'soccer war' was Honduras and El Salvador - so Central rather than South America, but point taken!

OS,

I suspect the tabloids will be pretty rough on Rooney, though perhaps not quite as bad as Beckham due to his youth (I believe Becks' red card was the 2000 European Championship - if I'm remembering that right, he would have been 25 to Rooney's 20).  Rooney is wildly talented, but if he doesn't grow up soon in terms of his temper, he may be as likely to join the hooligans as the soccer immortals - stomping an opponent's groin is not likely to win you Mr. Congeniality!  Another couple of incidents like today and I predict that either FIFA will come down like a ton of bricks, or some opponent will 'accidentally' (i.e., deliberately) end his career.

A real shame because he has as much talent as any 20 year old striker I've ever seen (except perhaps Pele at 20 - the films are just not good enough to say).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mr_b on July 01, 2006, 09:55:20 pm
If memory serves, the 'soccer war' was Honduras and El Salvador - so Central rather than South America, but point taken!

Ypsi,

Good call!  The "Soccer War" occurred in 1969 between Honduras and El Salvador after the second qualifying match for the 1970 World Cup. According to the website http://www.onwar.com/aced/data/sierra/soccer1969.htm, "The actual war had lasted just over four days, but it would take more than a decade to arrive at a final peace settlement."
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mr_b on July 01, 2006, 10:50:47 pm
Could you imagine the flop fest if Italy and Portugal make it to the final. :o

Perhaps the ref could give out yellow cards shaped like Oscar statuettes.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 01, 2006, 11:34:07 pm
Could you imagine the flop fest if Italy and Portugal make it to the final. :o

Perhaps the ref could give out yellow cards shaped like Oscar statuettes.

A better 'statuette' might be a boot deliberately tripping over a (diving) brick, given the dimensions of the countries! ;D

VERY reminiscent of the Italian deliberately tripping over the back of the Aussie.  (After all, Australia could not all that inaccurately also be shown as a brick, just east-west rather than north-south.)

Based on the complaints of the various posts, am I correct that we unanimously favor a Germany-France final?  Since my elder son's paramour has Portugal as her favorite team, I supported her this round, but all bets are off for the next - I think I have to go with Zidane, ESPECIALLY if he is a 'cheese-eating surrender monkey'! ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on July 02, 2006, 12:01:56 am
Could you imagine the flop fest if Italy and Portugal make it to the final. :o

Perhaps the ref could give out yellow cards shaped like Oscar statuettes.
I was thinking more along the lines of leave the refs out and bring in Olympic's judges. 5.3 with a degree of difficulty of 2. ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 02, 2006, 12:16:05 am
I will wonder if he'll get the same treatment Beckham did when he got sent off against Argentina ('98? too lazy to look),...

OS,

I suspect the tabloids will be pretty rough on Rooney, though perhaps not quite as bad as Beckham due to his youth (I believe Becks' red card was the 2000 European Championship - if I'm remembering that right, he would have been 25 to Rooney's 20). 

Well, he may have gotten one then too, but it was Argentina and Diego Simeone, I remember that vividly, just couldn't remember if it was the 98 Cup or the 02 Cup...we know it wasn't the 94 Cup  ;D (sorry Hoosier Fan! lol...on a side note, I actually have a 1994 World Cup hat with England on it!)

Argentina seized an early 1-0 lead, but Shearer and Owen answered with goals of their own. The Argentinians drew even shortly before intermission. In the opening minutes of the second half, David was leveled from behind by Diego Simeone. Furious at the foul, he lashed out at the Argentinian, kicking at him with his right leg. The referee spotted this infraction and held up a red card. For the first time in his professional career, David was sent off. Down a man the rest of the way, England could muster little offense and ended up losing on penalty kicks.

Though a World Cup title was never expected, English fans were nonetheless enraged. Tabloids ran headlines that read "10 HEROIC LIONS, ONE STUPID BOY" and "WHAT AN IDIOT." David arrived home as public enemy #1.


I, too, will be rooting for Germany v France...but it's basically the lesser of two evils for me.  I'm not a big fan of Germany and I like to root for the underdogs, but unless I'm eating at Fazoli's or the Sopranos, I don't care about the Italians. lol.  as for France, one of my friends once said, "I have no use for the French!"  :P But, I also have no use for the Portugese (with all the diving and "Christian" Ronaldo trying to work his way out of Old Trafford).





Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 02, 2006, 01:25:31 am
You may be right (though I could have sworn it was '00), but, regardless, Rooney better grow up fast.  Stomping on groins is NOT a good route to making friends and influencing others!

No matter his obvious talent, I'd estimate he has no more than a year or two to avoid becoming a pariah - and once the stigma sets in, it is AWFULLY hard to overcome.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 02, 2006, 08:15:21 am
It was 1998 when Beckham was sent off.  I just saw it last night--there is no comparison between what he did and what Rooney did yesterday.  Beckham took a swipe at a guy's leg while lying on the ground; Rooney tried to stomp on his family jewels from above. 

Becks has resigned as England's captain.  It was certain to happen, but I feel sad for him, as I did when he came out of the match yesterday.  A lot of fairly knowledgable fans in the US seem to think he's over-hyped; I've never seen him that way.  He's a football player who's better looking than most, who happens to be married to a decidely minor popstar.  But he led Man U to major victories in Europe and, of course, on set pieces he was perhaps the best ever. 

The top candidates for the captaincy seem to be Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Chelsea's John Terry.

I remember seeing Wayne Rooney when he first came up to the EPL to play for Everton.  It was the Everton-Liverpool derby and much was being made of him being the new "Boy Wonder," about to take the title away from Michael Owen.  The excuses that he's "young" are wearing thin.  Eriksson says England "needs" Rooney; I'm looking to see 1) how things go at Man U this season and 2) how the rest of the English supporters accept him.  I have no use for him at this point, regardless of talent.

Yes, our house is supporting Germany and France at this point, .  But there's very little joy in it--we mostly want to see the champion divers gone.  We had to miss Brazil-France, which looked to be a real cracker from the highlights.  It's on Tivo at home.

OS, I wasn't following England in 1994 so I am not offended by your remark--if I was supposed to be!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on July 02, 2006, 09:08:19 am
If Real Madrid signs C. Ronaldo, I might have to give up all my Merengues jerseys. I've never liked the kid, and the wink solidified my feelings. What a punk.     Hoosier Titan, I too was perplexed about the decision to have Lampard begin the PK session.  I was sure it was going to be Gerrard.

For England, I think it's going to be good to close the door on the Sven era.

Im nowhere near to being a France fan, and Henry is a whiny little beo*ch, but Zidane is king. The man can do no wrong on the pitch.   In the years to come when I miss what Zidane can do, I only have to pull up video of his wonder goal vs Leverkusen in the '02 champions league final.

I can only see one final that will be entertaining, France v. Germany. 
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on July 02, 2006, 09:42:46 am
And one more thing, any English fan that still doesn't believe in Hargreaves after this World Cup should turn in their card.  I didn't know too much about him, only from watching a few Bundesliga matches on FSC mid-mornings, but man, that guy is a warrior. 

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on July 02, 2006, 10:39:00 am
This might interest some of you.

It seems the English soccer fans have impacted the German quality of life (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17302491&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=beer-we-go--name_page.html) like nothing else since WW-II. :o :D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Warren Thompson on July 02, 2006, 11:28:11 am
This might interest some of you.

It seems the English soccer fans have impacted the German quality of life (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17302491&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=beer-we-go--name_page.html) like nothing else since WW-II. :o :D

That's astounding, Ralph. The Brits are even outdrinking Texans ....  :o
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 02, 2006, 07:41:34 pm
This might interest some of you.

It seems the English soccer fans have impacted the German quality of life (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17302491&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=beer-we-go--name_page.html) like nothing else since WW-II. :o :D

It's a good thing for German beer drinkers (i.e., nearly everyone over 4 years old) that presumably most of the Brits have gone home by now. ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 03, 2006, 12:43:52 am
... any English fan that still doesn't believe in Hargreaves after this World Cup should turn in their card.  I didn't know too much about him, only from watching a few Bundesliga matches on FSC mid-mornings, but man, that guy is a warrior. 

You're absolutely right--he was Man of the Match for England, no question.

Finally got to see the second half of France-Brazil and I'm glad I did.  Henry might have medieval ideas about women but that goal was a thing of beauty.

I just remembered that there is a third place game in the World Cup final!  If, as I wish, Italy and Portugal meet in that match it could be for the Diving Championship of the World! :D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: albinomascot19 on July 03, 2006, 02:57:43 pm
Two big matchups: Italy-Germany, Portugal, France.  Who is going to win it all?   

By the way I heard reports of Coach Bruce Arena being replaced by Juergen Klinsmann for a while now, do any of you see that happening? 
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 03, 2006, 04:58:04 pm
There is a very enjoyable article about all the flopping at ESPNsoccernet:

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=373195&root=worldcup&cc=5901&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 03, 2006, 05:32:42 pm
On the same website, Wayne Rooney claims no intent and no ill will (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=373186&cc=5739) on his red card and row with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Regarding his intent...I find that hard to believe.

Italy v Germany will be a battle.  Italy has come into form and have looked a little better than Germany, especially when it comes to defense.  But, the football gods won't let the hosts lose this one.  Penalties...and everyone will forget about Kahn not in goal.

Portugal and France aren't the two teams I wanted to see, but it now looks like France's destiny.  Barely making it out of their WC qualifying group, getting the two needed goals to go through to the Round of 16 on the last day and now taking down two of favorites in the tourney (Spain, Brazil), I don't see how Zu Zu and Co. will let this one slip. 

Germany v France in the Final.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on July 03, 2006, 07:28:55 pm
There is a very enjoyable article about all the flopping at ESPNsoccernet:

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=373195&root=worldcup&cc=5901&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1

Thanks Hoosier Titan.  How would be the equitable use of instant replay?  A post-match yellow card for the dubious dive?  Contemporaneous review while the diva is lying on the ground?  The longer the diva is on the ground, the longer the replay crew has to review the film loop!  ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 03, 2006, 07:47:22 pm
I still advocate a replay official for goals, PKs, and (at least red) cards - in all cases there is sufficient stoppage of play anyway that the replay official would not interrupt the running clock.

If this still seems to have more downside than up to others, the solution in the article that HT linked seems like a good one - a lengthy suspension after the game for those caught CLEARLY cheating on tape.  But that wouldn't prevent miscarriages of justice in the match itself.  I suspect that it would, however, pretty quickly clean up much of the diving - except PERHAPS for the finals of major championships, who is going to risk a major suspension (and attendant humiliation and loss of income) to gain advantage in a single game?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 03, 2006, 07:52:21 pm
HT,

Nice find on that Henry quote: "Maybe next time I'll learn to dive, but I'm not a woman."  My question: did he change his mind or his sex? ;)

HT,

The guy who wrote the article you linked to must be a lurker - he used your quote, then stole my line! ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 03, 2006, 08:09:43 pm
I'll stick my neck out for the semis (though before calling your bookie, you may want to note that I was 1 of 4 for the quarters :-[!):

Germany-Italy: Italy has STILL not yielded a goal to an opponent (only the own goal against USA), but Germany has seemed nearly unstoppable and is the home team (will they get the home calls?) - I'll call it Germany, 2-1.

France-Portugal: Portugal returns Deco and Costinho, but loses Petit (a pretty good trade in fortunes); I don't think France will be missing anyone, will they?  Zidane is suddenly 34-going-on-26, there is as yet no provision for retroactively suspending Henry, and I think Ribery may be due for a break-out: France, 2-0.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: gobombers15 on July 03, 2006, 08:40:00 pm
Semis Predictions:

Germany v. Italy- I'm going to have to disagree with Mr. Ypsi. I don't think Germany would score two goals on Buffon and that Italian defense if they hade 180 minutes to do it. In my opinion, that's the best goalkeeper in the world right now coupled with the best defense. Luca Toni scores one late in the first half and the Italians ride it out like they always do. Final: Italy 1, Germany 0.

Portugal v. France- This game will be far more entertaining than the Germany/Italy game. I think you'll see both teams play a more wide open style. The return of Deco will be a huge lift for the Portuguese but I don't think it's enough. Over/Under on the combined amount of times Figo and Christiano Ronaldo scream at the referee: 12.5. I'm taking over. I think Henry scores in the last 15 minutes and France holds off a game Portuguese side. Final: France 2, Portugal 1.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 03, 2006, 09:31:12 pm
  How would be the equitable use of instant replay?  A post-match yellow card for the dubious dive?  Contemporaneous review while the diva is lying on the ground?  The longer the diva is on the ground, the longer the replay crew has to review the film loop!  ;)

Ralph, were you picking up Henry's implied change of gender with the use of "diva?"   :)  I liked the article because it did use Ypsi's suggestion.  (My final reaction to Henry's remark is that it's unbelievably irrelevant.  If Mia Hamm wanted to take a dive, she'd do it better than he did--but she rarely did).

OS, I too find Rooney's protestations of innocence very hard to believe, especially given his history of anger management problems.  He needs to be on a very short leash if he's going to learn some self-control.

I think Italy's luck (or bribery) will run out, and they'll lose to Germany 1-0.  France looked awesome against Brazil; I think they will take Portugal 2-0.  I like France over Germany in the final.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 03, 2006, 09:41:08 pm
After further study, I was going to amend my earlier prediction on Germany-Italy, but I'll respond to gobombers15 instead.

I'm not at all sure that Germany can score two goals against Italy, but aside from their inexplicable match against Costa Rica, the Germans have only given up one goal (and that to Argentina, hardly a disgrace).  New Prediction: Germany 1, Italy 0.  (Though either 0-0 or 1-1 would not surprise me, and I have no clue who has the advantage on PKs.)

Raise your hand if you think the US will make an all-out effort for Klinsmann.

Though personally, I'd prefer they go after Hiddink.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on July 04, 2006, 10:23:42 am
Id love them to get Hiddink. Don't know how long his deal with the Russians is.

I like the Germans 2-1 over Italy. I never would have thought the Italians could score 3 goals in a game as they did against Ukraine. But I guess I was forgetting their 4-1 thrashing of Germany back in March. That was a low point for Klinsmann, and he's obviously turned them around. I think the Germans will have revenge on their minds.

Lippi's remarks on the German side: http://kaedrin.com/fun/wav/germans.wav
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 04, 2006, 05:49:06 pm
Good grief, what a finish!!!

Italy scored 2 (TWO!) goals in the last 2 minutes of OT to win 2-0!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on July 04, 2006, 06:06:30 pm
WOW! What a hard fought game by both sides. The winning goal was a thing of beauty. I can leave on vacation now, the U.S. and Germany are both done.  :'(
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 04, 2006, 07:17:36 pm
WOW! What a hard fought game by both sides. The winning goal was a thing of beauty. I can leave on vacation now, the U.S. and Germany are both done.  :'(

Agreed about the winning goal - it may even be THE goal of the Cup so far (certainly in the top 5).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: gobombers15 on July 04, 2006, 08:15:47 pm
WOW! What a hard fought game by both sides. The winning goal was a thing of beauty. I can leave on vacation now, the U.S. and Germany are both done.  :'(

Agreed about the winning goal - it may even be THE goal of the Cup so far (certainly in the top 5).

If the importance of the goal factors in, it would certainly be right there. However, for my money, Argentina's OT winner against Mexico was the best. Full volley off the chest, bad angle, bent into the top corner. Unreal.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 04, 2006, 09:40:29 pm
WOW! What a hard fought game by both sides. The winning goal was a thing of beauty. I can leave on vacation now, the U.S. and Germany are both done.  :'(

Agreed about the winning goal - it may even be THE goal of the Cup so far (certainly in the top 5).

If the importance of the goal factors in, it would certainly be right there. However, for my money, Argentina's OT winner against Mexico was the best. Full volley off the chest, bad angle, bent into the top corner. Unreal.

Not sure how I forgot about the Argentine OT goal (since I posted at the time that it was one of the prettiest goals I had ever seen)!  Other possible contenders for top 5 goals of the Cup would include Beckham's free kick goal against Ecuador (though that may merit a different category since, of course, no one was defensing him) and the Beasley to Dempsey goal against Ghana.  I'd also submit Henry's goal to beat Brazil - not for the goal itself (I think many of US could have scored the goal!), but for the unbelievably perfect pass from Zidane which made the goal so easy.

Other nominees?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 04, 2006, 10:45:51 pm
As I agree that Argentina's goal in extra time against Mexico was a great goal, I don't understand why everyone passes over Joe Cole's goal against Sweden(?) in England's game.

I had not seen the Argentina's goal live and actually took me awhile to see the goal...and how awesome, unbelievable etc it was.  But, in my view, Joe Cole's goal was basically the same. Chesting it down and volleying to the far post. 

Did no one see that goal???  I don't think the Argentina's goal was that much better...except for the cicumstances. 

Great game today.  I went and watched the Brewers beat the Reds at Miller Park and I taped the game.  We ate out at Applebee's afterwards and had to find a table away from a TV to avoid seeing any scores (ticker, high lights etc).  My friend and I got home and watched it immediately without watching any other TV or going on the internet!  Glad I did because I would've thought for sure the game was going to PKs.  Thank goodness it didn't.  Two well taken goals and I think Italy deserved it.  They hit a post and a crossbar in the first 15 minute extra time period and just looked more dangerous.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 04, 2006, 11:44:34 pm
OS,

I didn't see that goal (when the matches were two-a-day, everyday, I passed on several games - gotta pretend to still have a life!) - if it was anywhere near the Argentine goal, it probably deserves a top 5 ranking.  (I'll move Beckham's free kick to a special category to make room. ;D)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 05, 2006, 12:11:57 am
At some point in the second half, the Italians more or less stopped diving, and they played better as a result.  By the time they scored the winning goal, I really couldn't fault them.  They deserved it.

In a poll on bbc.co.uk, 58% of the respondents said that today's was the game of the Cup.  I enjoyed Argentina-Mexico more, but it was a good game.

I like the goals people have mentioned, and, in addition, Gerrard's second goal (the second against Sweden) and the Zidane to Henry goal against Brazil.   Ypsi, you might have made that goal (I am not claiming I could), but I don't think any of us could have made it look as pretty as that!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 05, 2006, 12:26:39 am
I like the goals people have mentioned, and, in addition, Gerrard's second goal (the second against Sweden) and the Zidane to Henry goal against Brazil.   Ypsi, you might have made that goal (I am not claiming I could), but I don't think any of us could have made it look as pretty as that!

Henry probably does deserve credit for BEING that open (not sure whether it was his credit or Brazil's fault), but I figure I could have done as well - who's gonna bother to check the 57-year-old fat guy (especially with a cigarette dangling from his lips and a beer in his hand)??!! ;D  And no, mine wouldn't have been as pretty as Henry's, but a goal is a goal.

I just wanted to make sure the REAL credit went to Zidane for that goal.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ralph Turner on July 05, 2006, 12:37:16 am
I like the goals people have mentioned, and, in addition, Gerrard's second goal (the second against Sweden) and the Zidane to Henry goal against Brazil.   Ypsi, you might have made that goal (I am not claiming I could), but I don't think any of us could have made it look as pretty as that!

Henry probably does deserve credit for BEING that open (not sure whether it was his credit or Brazil's fault), but I figure I could have done as well - who's gonna bother to check the 57-year-old fat guy (especially with a cigarette dangling from his lips and a beer in his hand)??!! ;D

I just wanted to make sure the REAL credit went to Zidane for that goal.

I agree with the comment about Zidane.  I am usually more impressed with the pass than the goal.

I usually list my favorite goals by:

1)  the pass/assist or the play that made the goal possible.
2)  the hustling effort that allows the hard-working player to take advantage of the rebound or the miscue by the defender/goalkeeper.
3)  the breakaway.
4)  the set plays.
5)  the penalty kicks.

I think that I am rooting for Zidane and Ribery.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on July 05, 2006, 01:17:21 am
I finally got to watch an entire match today and wow, was it a great one.  As Hoos Titan mentioned, once the Italians stopped the drama, their play picked up.  They were the better team today.  Fabio Grosso has one of the best goals of the tourney - absolutely perfect.  Lehmann had no chance on the play.

France wins 3-1 tomorrow.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 05, 2006, 08:57:32 am

Who would have thought after all of this, we'd all be rooting for France?  I think at this point even those "Freedom Fries" people are on board.

Portugal and Italy?  Imagine if this is the final?  Undoubtedly the two least honorable footballing nations going head to head for the biggest prize in sport.  This would be awful.  Although my unfounded rumor about Silvio Berlusconi buying off the refs in Italy's favor is looking pretty credible at this point.

Go Team Z!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 05, 2006, 12:37:35 pm

Henry probably does deserve credit for BEING that open (not sure whether it was his credit or Brazil's fault), but I figure I could have done as well - who's gonna bother to check the 57-year-old fat guy (especially with a cigarette dangling from his lips and a beer in his hand)??!! ;D  And no, mine wouldn't have been as pretty as Henry's, but a goal is a goal.

I just wanted to make sure the REAL credit went to Zidane for that goal.

Great image!  That sight could replace the old "Wide World of Sports" opening..."The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat" on the same play! :D

I'm not sure how it happened, but I was only vaguely aware of Zidane before this World Cup.  I'm really glad I have gotten to see him playing so well.

The ESPN World Cup site continues to have great opinion pieces.  There's one today about the Brazil-France game which concludes that the Beautiful Game was in evidence...but it was being played by France.  And another analyzes what changes new England head Steve McClaren must make to overhall that side.

I'm in physical therapy for a rotator cuff repair a month ago and I've cancelled my appointment to watch the match this afternoon--go France! Here's hoping the official is as good as the Mexican guy yesterday--France has SIX players who could be ineligible for the final should they get another yellow.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 05, 2006, 12:39:12 pm
The cross from Zidane was special.  Sometimes the pass is better than the goal, but I think they were at least equal on this ocassion.  Not only was Henry in the right place at the right time, he had to finish it as well.  Remember the pace on the ball, the spin and striking the ball mid-air, and also getting it past the goalie.  Professionals sure make it look easy...and sometimes they make a total hash of it as well.  There have been plenty of goal opportunities I've seen this World Cup where I've asked myself, "How they heck did you miss that?!"  So, I'll stop short of saying, "That Henry goal, anyone could've done that!"  :D

As for Brazil's lack of defense.  I remember watching a replay of the goal, and they showed the angle from the other end.  The thing I remember very well is that there were FOUR Brazilian players bsaically standing in a line between the 18 and 12 yard line watching the ball and Henry running past them and then scoring.  Even at this level, players "forget" to play defense...or are too lazy to.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: gobombers15 on July 05, 2006, 03:58:58 pm

As for Brazil's lack of defense.  I remember watching a replay of the goal, and they showed the angle from the other end.  The thing I remember very well is that there were FOUR Brazilian players bsaically standing in a line between the 18 and 12 yard line watching the ball and Henry running past them and then scoring.  Even at this level, players "forget" to play defense...or are too lazy to.

I don't think Brazil "forgot" to play defense or were too lazy. I read an article somewhere that it was a simple miscommunication. Half the defenders thought they were pulling an offsides trap and the other half thought they were marking all the way to goal. Coming from a former defender, that's the worst thing that can happen to you on free kicks. I can promise you that it was not Brazil's plan to leave Henry open at the back post off of a free kick. It was a fatal error.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 05, 2006, 05:00:10 pm

In terms of the Henry goal, the most likely cause was the fact that Roberto Carlos, while often deadly on free kicks, has never been a top-notched defender, even less so now that he is aging.  They just should have had someone else on Henry.



That being said, France - Italy on Sunday; I bet someone is making a killing off the bookmakers.  I'm rooting for France and the odds of that happening before the Cup started were a lot worse.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 05, 2006, 07:13:21 pm
Well, France did hang on for the win, so maybe the coach was right afterall, but I really didn't like that they TOTALLY abandoned offense for the last thirty minutes.  Most of the time they didn't even play 'keep-away' - they just did deep clearing kicks then waited for the next onslaught.  Portugal must have had possession for about 85% of the last thirty minutes!  When you let a good team attack you THAT many times, odds are they are going to score (there must have been AT LEAST 7 or 8 times where their lead probably should have disappeared).

Oh well, they're in the final (and I'm not ;)), so I guess it worked!

When I heard who the ref was, I thought Italy had hit the jackpot a second time (it was the guy from USA-Italy - never did I think he would work past group!).  I feared that whoever made the finals would probably be down several players, but the ref mostly held off on the cards.  France will be missing a sub (Saha), while Portugal will be missing key defender (and captain?) Carvalho.  But at least it wasn't the carnage of USA-Italy!  If he had given a yellow to either Zidane or Figo (both of whom already had one in knockout), I would have put out the 'hit' myself (unless it was CLEARLY deserved) - what a way that would have been to end glorious careers!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on July 05, 2006, 10:03:15 pm
I had hoped to see France play Germany, but I guess not. Makes it easier for me to pick a favorite in the finals: France for me.

Kiss of death... :-\

I hope it doesn't come down to the last two minutes of a 30-minute overtime. Well, actually, that would be OK.

I think that mini-game they call overtime is a killer. Especially in devilish heat, playing two hours of soccer at full bore must pull everything out of a player. Not even fumes to run on at that point.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 05, 2006, 11:27:24 pm
It has always seemed unfair to me that one pair of teams gets an extra day of recuperation before the final games than the others (anyone have any stats on winning % with the extra day?), but this year it should balance out: Germany and Italy have an extra day over Portugal and France, but they played OT, while the others didn't.

I would be SO pleased if Zidane scored (or assisted) on a goal or two and went out a winner (and I predict he will). 

I'm conflicted on the other game (remember that my likely daughter-in-law is a Portugal fan!) - to have Figo also score (or assist) and go out a winner would be great, but they ARE the ultimate floppers and whiners (Ronaldo probably should have gotten at least two yellows for diving today).  And Lehmann is 36 (even keepers do eventually wear out!) and also deserves a victory.  I think I'll just enjoy that game without a preference or a prediction.
Title: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Jim Matson on July 06, 2006, 12:15:53 am
Pick the winner, the score and the same for the 3rd place game.

Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: David Collinge on July 06, 2006, 12:29:37 am
3rd Place Game:  Germany 3, Portugal 1
Final: Italy 2, France 0
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 06, 2006, 12:37:48 am
Germany 2, Portugal 1
France 2, Italy 1 (OT?)
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 06, 2006, 09:04:46 am
Isn't this a little late in forming?

Germany 3, Portugal 1.

Italy over France on a cheeky call from the ref (having been previously paid off by Silvio Berlusconi) 2-1.  Somehow I feel at least one PK will be involved.

If the officiating is fair, I say France 2-1.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 06, 2006, 10:51:20 am
I can't see why Portugal insists upon flopping and whining.  Like the Italians, they have enough talent to win playing straight up, but unlike the Italians, they never gave up the crying game.

It will be interesting to see what Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Man U. is like (he's the one who asked the ref for the red card on Rooney and winked at the bench afterward).  Not that Rooney didn't deserve the red card--but I doubt there will be much love for C. Ronaldo at Old Trafford. 

I am still pulling for France; I hope they are more attack-minded for the entire game on Sunday, as I think they will need to be against Buffon.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on July 06, 2006, 10:56:01 am
Professionals sure make it look easy...and sometimes they make a total hash of it as well.  There have been plenty of goal opportunities I've seen this World Cup where I've asked myself, "How they heck did you miss that?!"  So, I'll stop short of saying, "That Henry goal, anyone could've done that!"  :D

OS,  you are so correct.  Henry made that goal look easy as he is supposed to do.  But he could have just as easily shanked it like Figo did with his wide open header that would have tied the yesterday's game. ::) Even the great ones have trouble finishing.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Flea on July 06, 2006, 11:16:47 am

It will be interesting to see what Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Man U. is like (he's the one who asked the ref for the red card on Rooney and winked at the bench afterward).  Not that Rooney didn't deserve the red card--but I doubt there will be much love for C. Ronaldo at Old Trafford. 


Don't you think a huge majority of the fans realize the players need to do what they can to win in the Cup . . . and that their actions would not carry over to the professional leagues?
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Flea on July 06, 2006, 11:18:30 am
3rd . . . Portugal 1 -- Germany 0

final . . . Italy 2 -- France 1
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Oval on July 06, 2006, 11:30:48 am
final - Italy over France in penalty kicks (1-1 at the end of overtime, 2-4)
3rd place goes to Germany 2 (Portugal 1)
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: hawk'ster on July 06, 2006, 11:44:02 am
third . . . Portugal (penalty kicks)
final . . . France (3-1)
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Preto on July 06, 2006, 11:51:12 am
final: Italy 3, France 2
3rd:  Germany 1, Portugal 0
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 06, 2006, 12:09:12 pm

It will be interesting to see what Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Man U. is like (he's the one who asked the ref for the red card on Rooney and winked at the bench afterward).  Not that Rooney didn't deserve the red card--but I doubt there will be much love for C. Ronaldo at Old Trafford. 


Don't you think a huge majority of the fans realize the players need to do what they can to win in the Cup . . . and that their actions would not carry over to the professional leagues?

I think the fact that CRon was booed by the impartial Germans at the France-Portugal match might be telling.  Every true football fan I know has remarked at how arrogant and whinny he is, especially for only being 21 years old.  He's already asked for a move to Spain.  That would probably be best; I think he sealed his fate in England with that one move.
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 06, 2006, 12:10:35 pm

There's no way that final is high scoring unless there are three red cards given out.  Italy hasn't allowed a goal (outside of the one they put in against themselves vs the US) the whole tournament and France plays with essentially six defensemen in their standard line-up.
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Cowman on July 06, 2006, 12:25:12 pm
Italy 1 .... France 0
Germany  ... Portugal 1
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Bilk on July 06, 2006, 12:27:43 pm
THIRD Portugal 2 over Germany 1

FINAL Italy 1 over France 0
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Bushop on July 06, 2006, 12:37:30 pm
final - Italy 1-nill
3rd - Germany 2-nill
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Harrier on July 06, 2006, 04:39:35 pm
Portugal 2 / Germany 1
Italy 2 / France 0

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 06, 2006, 04:53:46 pm

It will be interesting to see what Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Man U. is like (he's the one who asked the ref for the red card on Rooney and winked at the bench afterward).  Not that Rooney didn't deserve the red card--but I doubt there will be much love for C. Ronaldo at Old Trafford. 


Don't you think a huge majority of the fans realize the players need to do what they can to win in the Cup . . . and that their actions would not carry over to the professional leagues?

I think the fact that CRon was booed by the impartial Germans at the France-Portugal match might be telling.  Every true football fan I know has remarked at how arrogant and whinny he is, especially for only being 21 years old.  He's already asked for a move to Spain.  That would probably be best; I think he sealed his fate in England with that one move.

I think that HF has nailed it.  There was way too much whistling and booing last night to have been due just to whatever English supporters might have stayed in Germany.  And I don't think most true football fans would call his begging the ref for a card and then winking about it necessary to win the game.  Hitting the penalty shot, yes. 

Perhaps of interest--an article on ESPNsoccernet quoting Franz Beckenbauer, former coach of West Germany in 1974, on diving in the game.  http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=373449&cc=5901  A brief quote:  'None of us in the game wants these incidents. The players are seeking to gain an unfair advantage and attempt to exploit every situation.  The referees are there to correct this kind of misconduct, but the players do not make it easy for the referees.  If I was a referee I would also show the yellow card to any player who signalled to the ref with an imaginary card to get an opponent booked. That is also cheating.'  Evidently FIFA and UEFA are planning a conference of coaches, referees, and players' representatives in September and diving is on the agenda.

I am quite sure that the "huge majority" of Man U. supporters will want nothing more to do with C. Ronaldo, and I think moving to Spain would be the best thing he could do.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 06, 2006, 05:04:21 pm

Yeah.  Basically the diving is what is pushing me to root for the French this weekend (something I would never do under normal circumstances).

As far as the games I saw this World Cup, there were three nations (and obviously every nation has there share of faults in this area) that stood out as having a diving problem.

1. Spain (although they shaped up a bit in the knock-outs, their diving bouts in the group stage matches were just utterly inexcusable).

2. Portugal (we've talked at length about the whinning and diving).

3. Italy (although their overall high level of play otherwise has proven then to be worthy of a high ranking--I am still a bit suspiscious of this Berlusconi rumor).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Flea on July 06, 2006, 05:07:22 pm

It will be interesting to see what Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Man U. is like (he's the one who asked the ref for the red card on Rooney and winked at the bench afterward).  Not that Rooney didn't deserve the red card--but I doubt there will be much love for C. Ronaldo at Old Trafford. 


Don't you think a huge majority of the fans realize the players need to do what they can to win in the Cup . . . and that their actions would not carry over to the professional leagues?

I think the fact that CRon was booed by the impartial Germans at the France-Portugal match might be telling. 

Good . . . I'm glad my assumption was off.  It seems like so many players play up the drama for ref that the fans would have to overlook it, even in the extreme.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 06, 2006, 05:48:14 pm
Of course, to a large degree perception is shaped by who you're rooting for.  That 'widely admired' ;) announcer Marcelo Balboa will whine incessantly about the diving, then a minute later proclaim 'man, he really sold that penalty - great job'!

I'd definitely like to see more cards for diving, but often the ref IS fooled.  They should also give out suspensions after-the-fact for clear-cut cases of diving caught on film.  And I still contend that a replay official could be used for game-altering calls: goals, PKs, and (at least red) cards - in each case play is stopped long enough anyway that the replay need not interrupt the flow of the game.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 06, 2006, 07:09:44 pm
While Henry probably had the single most blatant dive of the Cup (acting like he was Brian McBride, except McBride had the blood to prove it!), my nominee for worst diver would be C Ronaldo.  Unless his own team and coach have not caught on, I can't believe the protest they made on the (correct) no call for a PK a few minutes after Zidane made the winning PK!  Rather than a PK, I'd say it should have been a yellow on Ronaldo for a blatant dive (in the box).  A fabulous talent, but I swear that guy could take maturity lessons from Rooney (though a slightly more evolved role-model might be even better ;))!

Figo probably should have been suspended for his (unnoticed by the ref) head butt (against England?), and could easily have been carded for a blatant dive against France, but I'm kinda glad neither happened since Saturday is his last day of a glorious career anyway.

Other nominees for the "All-Diving Team"?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 06, 2006, 07:24:49 pm
I love Manchester United.  I love the players that play for Manchester United, but even with that said, I hate whiners and divers...even if it gets us the win.

Two years ago Arsenal came into Old Trafford on some 50-game unbeaten streak and Rooney took a dive in the box, got a penalty kick and R.v.N scored to give them a 1-0 lead.  Rooney followed that up with a goal at the end to seal the victory.  Though Rooney's dive got us the win, I still cursed him for diving. 

Ronaldo's first year at Old Trafford was marred by constant diving every time he was touched.  I think that really hurts him, not only in the eyes of the fans, but to the opponents and refs.  Sometimes Ronaldo would actually get fouled pretty hard, but since the ref was so used to Ronaldo diving, he just let the game continue.  That's where the reputation of diving really hurts. 

Bobby McMahon, over on FSC commented that Ronaldo's tendency to dive finally took a back seat this past year in the EPL, but it has resurfaced it's ugly face in the World Cup and that's too bad.  I think it's telling when, not only the English supporters whistle and boo Ronaldo, but when EVERYONE does it. 

I think the worst part of the diving is when they fake an injury, the opposing team kicks the ball out and then the guy gets up like nothing happened (probably because nothing did happen).  Sooner or later opponents won't do that anymore and just say, "Too bad if you're hurt...game on!"
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 06, 2006, 07:27:39 pm
Should've done that at the beginning of the tourney, just to see how people guessed...that would've been cool!

3rd place:  Germany 2 Portugal 1

Final:  Italy 0 France 0 AET (Italy wins 4-3 on PKs)

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on July 06, 2006, 07:55:18 pm
I don't want to see C. Ronaldo in Spain, period.  Id rather see him in France or Portugal where in fact I won't have to see him ever.

 I do not see Spain as bad as divers as Portugal and Italy. Cannavaro as a defender, is a constant diver intending to ward off attacks. If Lippi calls him the world's best defender, perhaps lost in translation, he really meant diver. 

I again am rooting for the French side. I'd love to see Zidane go out on top. Any chance, however,  they can withold Henry's winner's medal for being a whiny little bastrd?

Will De Rossi play?

Ypsi, Figo will still be playing in Italy, no?  Inter won't be sent down to Serie B or C like Juve and Milan, and I've only heard of him retiring from international play.

 BTW, this isn't the first time the Italian league has been involved in match fixing. If Buffon et. al were involved in this, they should be banned from the sport a la Charlie Hustle.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on July 06, 2006, 08:26:22 pm
Rooney stomps on the groin of a man lying helpless on the ground...and C. Ronaldo comes out of the incident as the bad guy?   ???
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 06, 2006, 10:13:35 pm
Rooney stomps on the groin of a man lying helpless on the ground...and C. Ronaldo comes out of the incident as the bad guy?   ???

I won't speak for others, but for me you are making a linkage that doesn't exist.

There has been talk of CRon being unwelcome back in Chelsea due to that incident (the wink to the bench WAS a bit much), but I'm more concerned with his overall diving tendencies.  (To me, Rooney was obviously deserving of a red card, and CRon should not have involved himself.)  I've put forth that one Cristiano Ronaldo is THE worst flopper/diver/whiner of the 2006 World Cup - so far, no one has challenged that assertion.

I also like Beckenbauer's suggestion that anyone lobbying for a card (by waving an imaginary card at the ref) should himself be carded for dissent.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on July 06, 2006, 10:20:58 pm
Who'd a thought 3 years later we'd all be rooting for the French.  ???


Missed both semi's this week, enjoying a fine holiday in beautiful Columbus, Oh.  Really can't comment on the games themselves but you have to be really impressed that  France has made it to the finals.  Consider their last two crashouts in the Cup 02 and Euro 04 and that they got off to a slow start this year I think its amazing they are where they are.  Throw in Zidane's last go around and its just hard to not root for them.  Tremendously talented team who have finally found a way to scrape a few goals.  Henry when he's at his peak is just special to watch, I'm not sure we've seen his best like was in the Champions Cup.


Diving........if video replay shows no contact the player should be banned for 10 games in international play and 15 in league play after the fact.   If the offense occurs in the first half he should be red carded at the break.

The only way it will ever get better is if refs throw around the red card for dives even if they are bad calls.
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 06, 2006, 10:25:42 pm
Good grief - FIVE consecutive predictions with France scoring zero goals!  Look, I realize that Italy's defense is amazing (zero goals to opposition scorers the entire Cup), but don't you realize that Zinedine Zidane is FATED!!

He WILL score.  And if Italy scores, he WILL score again.  Maybe directly, maybe on the assist, maybe on the pass that sets up the assist, but he WILL score whatever is necessary.

(And to think - until a week ago I had almost forgotten that Zidane existed!)
Title: World Cup 2006
Post by: Flea on July 06, 2006, 10:51:27 pm
Who'd a thought 3 years later we'd all be rooting for the French.  ???


No frikkin' way I'd ever cheer for the frogs.  I don't care how old Zidane is and that it's his last game. 

My World Cup rootin' schedule:

June 12 ... go Nati
June 18 ... go Taeguk Warriors
June 23 ... go Les Eperviers
June 27 ... go La Roja
July 01 ... go O Esquadrão de Ouro
July 05 ... go Portugal
July 09 ... go Azzurri

. . . my encouragement didn't help.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on July 06, 2006, 11:11:11 pm
Alright, well ... today was copy editing hell for me. One person in this conversation will appreciate this story a touch more than the rest.

About a half-hour before deadline this afternoon, our front-page World Cup preview hit the copy desk at ... uhh ... my paper. It's the one with the name of the country in the title.

It contains a five-column headline, across the width of the page.

It has a three-column, three line subhead.

It has two standalone photos (photos that aren't necessarily illustrated in the story, so they require more involved captions to be written).

And it has a banner at the top that says "World Cup final: Italy vs. France" blah blah blah ... so I can't use that information in the headline or the subhead.

UGH.

What's worse ... or maybe better, come to think of it ... is that this version of the story went solely into our overseas edition. So none of you will likely see it tomorrow, or complain about it on this board. :)

¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL!

Cup comes down
to border battle
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Jim Matson on July 07, 2006, 12:08:45 am
3rd place: Germany 2, Portugal 1

Final: Italy 2, France 1 (OT)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 07, 2006, 12:54:23 am
Hannibal knew what to do with that border!  Go Hannibal, go Zidane! ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 07, 2006, 08:11:27 am
There has been talk of CRon being unwelcome back in Chelsea due to that incident

Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Manchester United...is that what you mean?

I have seen the replay of Rooney stomping on the Portugese player a billion times.  There isn't any doubt in my mind that Rooney deserved the red card.

Ronaldo looking like he's lobbying for a red card isn't anything new.  You see players doing it all the time.  In fact, a player gets fouled and while he's rolling around on the ground, he's raising his hand "showing an imaginary card"...you know what I mean. 

As for Ronaldo winking...so what.  I think the English press has blown it out of proportion just so they have someone else to blame besides Rooney himself.

A great article in yesterday's USA Today about political prisoners in South Africa playing organized soccer and running their own prison league.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 07, 2006, 08:58:26 am
I do not see Spain as bad as divers as Portugal and Italy.

I qualified that statement with what I've seen from this Cup.  The spanish group games were just horrible on the diving front.  What's worse is that they were going to win them all whether they dove or not.  It's odd that they decided to play more sportsmanlike once they got to the knockouts.

Rooney certainly deserved the card for what he did, however, the ref didn't see it.  As Eric Wynalda said (somehow removing his lips from his own rear end), the ref had signalled foul, nothing more, no card, just a foul.  Rooney started swearing at him, which is was Rooney does best.  He made a great effort against three defenders and was frustrated he didn't come out of it.  Not excusing Rooney, he made the foul, he lost his temper, its his fault.

What everyone is mad at C Ron for is coming over and baiting Rooney.  Granted, if Rooney could control himself it wouldn't work, but these guys are teammates 90% of the year and the same age; I'm sure they know each other pretty well.  Christiano Ronaldo knew exactly what he was doing as he ran in to protest.  He was baiting Rooney and it worked, Rooney pushed him and then lit into the ref even more; the combination of the two got the card.

The ref is not going to move from a foul to a red card just because the notoriously dishonourable CRon told him the play deserved one.  No referee would do that.  He was forced to pull the card because of Rooney's actions.  It's the fact that Christiano Ronaldo baited him and knew what he was doing, coupled with all the diving that have made him a villian.

He's not going back to ManU; he's been asking for a move to Real for weeks.  I'm sure it happens now.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on July 07, 2006, 11:52:31 am
Not everyone is mad at Ronaldo.  I think Rooney richly deserved the red card, and deserves to be heavily fined and suspended.  If he tried something like that in baseball, he'd be out 50 games.  If the ref missed the play (as it appears he did) and Ronaldo had any role to play in getting Rooney ejected, I say bravo! to Ronaldo.  I think of it more or less as a citizen's arrest, and I am not interested in Ronaldo's motives.  If Rooney had been allowed to continue in the game, it would have been a far worse travesty than "The Wink."

What makes it even worse is Rooney's subsequent comments long after the match was over ("I was gobsmacked"), in which he rejected responsibility and even claimed that he was the one fouled.  Of course, in the replay, Rooney has his right arm wrapped around the left thigh of the Portugese defender who he subsequently pushed to the ground.  Some foul. 

I agree with OS that the British press has made too much out of this as a way to deflect criticism towards a reasonably unlikeable Ronaldo and away from the real villain, Rooney.  What bothers me is that it appears to have worked.
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: CRZK on July 07, 2006, 12:55:53 pm
Third:  Germany over Portugal 2-1

First:  France 1-0  Late goal decides game.  No OT.  Wouldn't be surprised with goal in stoppage time.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: CRZK on July 07, 2006, 01:02:45 pm
Two items.

One.  I am so happy not to see Portgual making to the championships.  It seems to me their entire tournament play has been cheap.  Been mentioned before about diving etc.  It would have been a big disappointment to see that type of play succeed.

Second:  I have to disagree with Ypsi on replay and not delaying the game.  Just look how long replay decisions take in the NFL.  Do agree with post game review and suspensions.  Know that the guy who smacked McBride got a 4 game suspension and Mastreoni -US-(spelling of name sucks I know) received 3 game for their fouls. 

FIFA does need to crack down on simulation next with post game review and suspensions.  If simulation results in PK then something like 5 games, outside the box then 3 or 4.

How about the Ghana player and his dive against the US for a piece of art work?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 07, 2006, 02:28:36 pm
Not everyone is mad at Ronaldo.  I think Rooney richly deserved the red card, and deserves to be heavily fined and suspended.  If he tried something like that in baseball, he'd be out 50 games. 

I haven't seen anyone here defending Rooney's actions.  I don't know if he'd be out 50 games in baseball, but De Rossi, the Italian player who bloodied the US's Brian McBride with a nasty elbow to the face while airborne, got off with a four-game suspension (it would have been five if he hadn't apologized).  It's hard for me to call Rooney's offense worse than that one (although they were both deplorable).  So he'll probably get no more than five games.  Interestingly, the English Football Association is supporting him; I don't know if that's pro forma or not.  FIFA has promised a ruling on Rooney, as well as two Argentines, before Sunday's match.

Fabio Capello, the coach who just escaped Juventus to go to Real Madrid, appears to be really interested in Cristiano Ronaldo.

I think Old School made a really good point about the worst danger of flopping:  it could eliminate the wonderful sportmanslike practice of the opposite team kicking the ball out of bounds to stop play when a player goes down.   This did happen in the most flop-happy (and card-happy) match of the Cup, Portugal-Holland, when Holland didn't stop play when a Portuguese man went down.  The Rooney-CRon mess didn't involve flopping, but what people are incensed with CRon about is trying to work the official (and he's a champion flopper, too). 

I think it's safe to say that neither player has made a lot of fans for his conduct during this World Cup.  It's a shame, because both are brilliantly talented.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 07, 2006, 03:39:31 pm
I know I'm late to the dance, but here's my take on the five best goals in the Copa Mundial this time 'round:

1.  Rodriguez from Argentina vs. Mexico.  Why?  Beautiful and clutch.  Would that we all got to score a goal like that!

2.  Henry vs. all of Brasil.  Forget the fact that the Brazillians seemed to be disinterested in defending all day long and the brilliant pass from Zidane--Henry's goal was a true one timer.  He caught it out of the air and scored all in one fluid motion.

3.    Grosso from Italy vs. the Germanators in double OT.  Just as clutch and in a bigger situation, but not as skillful, IMO, as Rodriguez.

4.  Milevskiy from Ukraine vs. Switzerland.  Swiss keeper is still looking for jock after Milevskiy faked him out and casually chipped the ball into the net. 

5.  Ronaldo vs. Ghana is the quarterfinals.  Not flashy, but historically significant.  Probably the last goal this great Brazillian striker scores in World Cup play.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 07, 2006, 09:14:04 pm
Second:  I have to disagree with Ypsi on replay and not delaying the game.  Just look how long replay decisions take in the NFL.  Do agree with post game review and suspensions.  Know that the guy who smacked McBride got a 4 game suspension and Mastreoni -US-(spelling of name sucks I know) received 3 game for their fouls. 

Not the same.  In the NFL the head official ON THE FIELD goes over to check the replays - I'm talking about an off-field official with full access to the TV replays.  In most cases it should take no more than 15-20 seconds to reach a verdict (with a reversal ONLY if the ref was CLEARLY incorrect).  Goals, PKs, and red cards ALWAYS delay the game for far more than 15-20 seconds.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 07, 2006, 11:27:31 pm
Not everyone is mad at Ronaldo.  I think Rooney richly deserved the red card, and deserves to be heavily fined and suspended.  If he tried something like that in baseball, he'd be out 50 games.  If the ref missed the play (as it appears he did) and Ronaldo had any role to play in getting Rooney ejected, I say bravo! to Ronaldo.  I think of it more or less as a citizen's arrest, and I am not interested in Ronaldo's motives.  If Rooney had been allowed to continue in the game, it would have been a far worse travesty than "The Wink."

What makes it even worse is Rooney's subsequent comments long after the match was over ("I was gobsmacked"), in which he rejected responsibility and even claimed that he was the one fouled.  Of course, in the replay, Rooney has his right arm wrapped around the left thigh of the Portugese defender who he subsequently pushed to the ground.  Some foul. 

I agree with OS that the British press has made too much out of this as a way to deflect criticism towards a reasonably unlikeable Ronaldo and away from the real villain, Rooney.  What bothers me is that it appears to have worked.

I totally agree with the last paragraph (though I suspect that Rooney will eventually get the full Beckham '98 treatment).

C Ronaldo has NOT been dissed here due to his 'citizen's arrest' of Rooney (just an explanation of why he is HIGHLY unlikely to ever play again for ManU ('Chelsea' was a total brain-fart, HF - sorry! :-[).  He has been 'dissed' because he is almost certainly THE number one diver and whiner of this Cup.  And I'm a FAN, sort of!  Incredible talent, but the emotional maturity of a 14-year-old (kind of like Rooney :P).  And, trust me, I know the emotional maturity of male 14-year-olds!! >:()
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 08, 2006, 10:17:06 am
Just up on http://www.bbc.co.uk :

Rooney is suspended for two games and is fined 2400 pounds.  No more details yet.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 08, 2006, 01:16:51 pm
Do agree with post game review and suspensions.  Know that the guy who smacked McBride got a 4 game suspension and Mastreoni -US-(spelling of name sucks I know) received 3 game for their fouls. 

In my opinion, I hardly think Mastreoni's foul even warranted a red card...I think it was good for a yellow (if that) in any other game or World Cup, for that matter.  Another three on top of that is going a bit far.  Someone who blatantly elbows an opponent getting one more game than a guy who slide tackles from behind?  Come on.

Just up on http://www.bbc.co.uk :
Rooney is suspended for two games and is fined 2400 pounds.  No more details yet.

On On Soccernet as well (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=373529&cc=5739).  Rooney getting TWO games for stomping on someone's groin, while another player gets FOUR for kicking someone's groin...what's this world coming to?

Leandro Cufre has been suspended for four matches and fined £4,800 for kicking German defender Per Mertesacker in the groin.

Anyway, at least there is a game today we can talk about! Oh wait a minute, Portugal is diving, I mean, playing...so maybe we'll talk more about CRon, who apparently is a member of the newly formed NathCon.  ;D

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on July 08, 2006, 01:47:09 pm
C Ronaldo has NOT been dissed here due to his 'citizen's arrest' of Rooney [...]

Folks, I understand that the primary criticism of Cristiano Ronaldo in this room has been for his alleged diving.  Despite what some of you may think, I do actually read your posts.  However, there is a certain degree of interest in the World Cup outside D3hoops.com (:D), and out there my impression is that the chief objection to Ronaldo centers on "The Wink."  That's what I have been referring to.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 08, 2006, 02:36:46 pm
The third-place game has to be attracting more attention than usual because of all the talk about the antics of C. Ronaldo and his teammates.

David, I think the objection to C. Ron and his tactics is based on a perception of general poor sportsmanship, which includes whining and flopping more than the infamous wink.  Apparently, he lost the Fifa Young Player Award because of this perception.  The Fifa board is certainly composed of people more in the heart of world football than those of us here on d3sports, and they seem to have been bothered by his actions beyond just one wink.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 08, 2006, 03:26:11 pm
Since this is a soccer board, I thought I'd throw out some soccer-related movies that should be seen...and I'm not talking about Stallone's Victory!

The New York Cosmo's documentary looks interesting.  It won't be played anywhere near She-Vegas, so I'll have to wait for it to come out on DVD. 

Goal-The True Underdog Story (or whatever it's called) looks good as well.  For those of you who don't know, I guess it's about an immigrant in the US who travels to England to try out for Newcastle United. 

There is a guy who plays for newly promoted Watford who is originally from the Green Bay, WI area and played for Bay Port high school.  He didn't get any offers from MLS and decided to go over to England and play in some bar leagues, moved up to semi-professional and then got a look from Watford when his semi-pro team played a preseason game against his current employers.  They should make a movie about him!  His name is Jay DeMerit.

Lastly, one of the best soccer related movies I just recently watched was Green Street Hooligans.  Even if you aren't a soccer fan, it's good movie with solid acting all around, a nice story line and other goodies (like cool fights)...with Elijah Wood once again doing a good job of shedding Frodo from everyone's minds!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on July 08, 2006, 04:01:10 pm
The third-place game has to be attracting more attention than usual because of all the talk about the antics of C. Ronaldo and his teammates.

David, I think the objection to C. Ron and his tactics is based on a perception of general poor sportsmanship, which includes whining and flopping more than the infamous wink.  Apparently, he lost the Fifa Young Player Award because of this perception.  The Fifa board is certainly composed of people more in the heart of world football than those of us here on d3sports, and they seem to have been bothered by his actions beyond just one wink.

By "The Wink," I mean the whole play--running up 30 yards to confront Rooney and the ref--not just the wink itself.  I guess I'm just not literal enough to make myself clear.  Yes, C. Ron has a bad reputation, and this play has not helped.  But I still maintain that the real villain on the play was Rooney, and I think it is a shame that the focus of attention (perhaps not in here, but elsewhere) has turned out to be Ronaldo's less-than-sportsmanlike actions rather than Rooney's.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 08, 2006, 05:18:26 pm
The 3rd place game turned out to be arguably the most entertaining match of the Cup - if not for truly outstanding keeping by both Kahn and Ricardo, the 3-1 German victory could easily have been about 6-4!

A new candidate has been added for 'goal of the Cup' - Gomes flat-out diving header for Portugal's only goal.  All it lacked was the importance, since his side was down 3 goals with mere minutes to play.

Poor Petit had a most trying day - he was the defender beaten by Schweinsteiger on both his goals, AND he scored an own goal - ouch!!  (Germany avoided an own goal only by sheer good fortune - a defender tried to clear with a header, but sent it straight at the goal.  Kahn had no time to react at all, but the ball hit him and bounced away.)

Ronaldo's reputation is starting to cost him and his team.  He had two very convincing dives in the box (only slow-mo replay showed them to be dives) and got the call on neither.  I think most players, given how convincing they looked at match speed, would have gotten PKs.  It may be years (if ever) before he starts getting the benefit of the doubt on close calls, which will probably include a number of legimate penalties that won't be called.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 08, 2006, 05:25:10 pm
The 3rd place game turned out to be arguably the most entertaining match of the Cup - if not for truly outstanding keeping by both Kahn and Ricardo, the 3-1 German victory could easily have been about 6-4!

A new candidate has been added for 'goal of the Cup' - Gomes flat-out diving header for Portugal's only goal.  All it lacked was the importance, since his side was down 3 goals with mere minutes to play.


I was thinking that about the goal too.  Figo's pass was perfect, as was the finish.  But, as you say, it came at an anticlimactic moment.

Another good footie film--the original Fever Pitch, based on the novel by Nick Hornby.  It was remade as a baseball film about the Red Sox--the pun is different, but it still works.  I haven't seen the baseball version.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on July 08, 2006, 05:39:35 pm
Hey Dave,  Rooney got what he deserved, red card, suspension and fine.  No one's defending Rooney.  It was pointed out to me that during the particular incident in question 3 players pushed Ronaldo away.  Rooney, Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand.........all Man U teamates.

Ronaldo has a reputation, he is much hated even prior to this years world cup, there's a good film out on the net with the fans reaction to his face being shown on the screen at Euro 04 during the Portuguese anthem..........in Portugal.  Speaks volumns.

www.Ihateronaldo.com

my personal favorite

http://www.ronaldo-is.com/i-hate-ronaldo-free-pics.php?id=11
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: cawcdad on July 08, 2006, 05:43:11 pm
Mr. Ypsi beat me to the punch regarding C. Ronaldo's dives. He even did his usual whine for a call but the ref said, "play on." I will give CRon some credit here for learning. Two dives and whines, no call, no more dives! Although he had the opportunity on a couple of occasions. One more comment on the youngster from Portugal, I think he has gone to the well one too many times with his step over move. It is pretty and he has quick feet, but he tried it several times and the German defenders simply held their ground.

Props to the Germans for a very well played game. What a great curtain call for Kahn. Klinsmann did a good job in that every player got some playing time in the tournament.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on July 08, 2006, 05:48:26 pm
Germany made a great showing in this tournament and deserves #3 if not better.  A different draw and they're  probably in the Final.


Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 08, 2006, 06:58:20 pm
Kahn certainly showed today that his performance in 2002 was no fluke.  He had more GREAT saves today than I think any other keeper has done (most have been only lightly tested).

Despite Germany's 3 goals, Ricardo was nearly as good (a lesser performance would have yielded 6 or 7 goals).  The last 2 goals were unstoppable for ANY keeper (barring sheer blind luck); only the first was arguably his fault, but I could swear it curved one way and then back the other!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on July 08, 2006, 07:13:01 pm
It's hard to believe that CRon is getting so much grief for his diving, when diving was the theme of the games--until today's match. I was greatly impressed with the restraint on the field. I honestly wondered if players had been reading posts on D3sports and, out of pure shame, decided to play soccer. Tackles or nudges that, in any of the other games, would have resulted in dramatic flops, followed by last-gasp theatrics were hopped over and play hustled on. You don't think this site is the official reading material of the World Cup, do you? (I didn't see the banner anywhere...)

Anyway, CRon plays some pretty good soccer. He's quick, he's innovative, he's chancey. Of course he dives; precious few players didn't. It was refreshing--if not revolutionary--to see players pass up opportunities to dive in earlier games.

One wonders if Portugal overlooked Schweinsteiger. I bet they won't ever do that again.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 08, 2006, 08:06:25 pm
Hey Dave,  Rooney got what he deserved, red card, suspension and fine.  No one's defending Rooney.  It was pointed out to me that during the particular incident in question 3 players pushed Ronaldo away.  Rooney, Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand.........all Man U teamates.

Ronaldo has a reputation, he is much hated even prior to this years world cup, there's a good film out on the net with the fans reaction to his face being shown on the screen at Euro 04 during the Portuguese anthem..........in Portugal.  Speaks volumns.

www.Ihateronaldo.com

my personal favorite

http://www.ronaldo-is.com/i-hate-ronaldo-free-pics.php?id=11

You favorite site loaded fine (the cartoon is great, though in fairness to CRon, he does a MUCH better job of 'selling it' most of the time!), but the other link came back 'server not found'.  If he actually gets booed IN PORTUGAL during national team games, that is just sad.

In talent, he and Rooney may already be among the world's top 10 players (and right near the top for the youngsters), but they really risk becoming pariahs if they don't grow up quickly.  And pariahs tend to receive career-ending injuries ('accidentally', of course). :(
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 08, 2006, 10:17:38 pm
Germany made a great showing in this tournament and deserves #3 if not better.  A different draw and they're  probably in the Final.

Uh?  They beat Sweden and Argentina in their top half of the bracket.  Coming out of the 1st round, it looked like Argentina was going to be the toughest game, the way they were playing.  The bottom half of their bracket?  Aside from Italy, the other teams were Australia, Switzerland and the Ukraine.  Almost scary.

On the other hand, the other bracket had England, Holland, Portugal, Brazil, Spain and France.

Germany was two minutes from going to PKs.  I'm thinking Germany liked their draw.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 01:54:42 am
I was just looking over Germany's roster - mein Gott, they really ARE young!  By the 2010 Cup, Neuville will be 37, Schneider and Nowotny both 36 - maybe they are gone?  Ballack and Frings will be pushing 34 (i.e., younger than Zidane is now!); every other field player will be in their prime, or still approaching it!  (Today's hero, Schweinsteiger, will not even turn 22 until next month!)

The only question is in goal.  Oliver Kahn retired after what may have been the greatest 'curtain call' in the history of the Cup (think Pele after the Cosmos, inserted into a consolation game and getting a hat trick).  Jens Lehmann is less than 5 months younger than Kahn!  He will be over 40 by the South African Cup.  Anyone know anything about #3 keeper Timo Hildebrand (club team: Stuttgart), or any up-and-coming keepers for the Germans?

It's too early to be forecasting d3 bball, so it is obviously ridiculously too early to be forecasting the 2010 World Cup, but I would think the Germans have to be the favorites IF they have a world-class keeper.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 09, 2006, 03:29:30 am
The only question is in goal.  Oliver Kahn retired after what may have been the greatest 'curtain call' in the history of the Cup

I would've liked to have seen Klinsmann sub out Kahn in injury time since the result wasn't in doubt.  The standing "O" he would've gotten would've been amazing.  You see that in other American sports where the coach takes the player out and the crowd goes wild. 


It's too early to be forecasting d3 bball, so it is obviously ridiculously too early to be forecasting the 2010 World Cup, but I would think the Germans have to be the favorites IF they have a world-class keeper.

Argentina would also be a favorite.  I think I remember something where only 3 players on the 2006 roster were on the 2002 roster...Not sure about South Africa, but the African teams as a whole have improved greatly and one of those 6 teams could be a contender (host team + 5 qualifiers).  There will also be a youth movement in Brazil with the aging stars finally retiring.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: gobombers15 on July 09, 2006, 05:09:06 am
France over Italy, 1-0.

As great as Buffon is--and he is the best keeper in the world--I just don't see a keeper giving up ZERO goals (only one own goal thus far) for an entire World Cup. As much as the Italian fans will wish to cite France's less-than-stellar 1-0 victory over Portugal, keep in mind that the Italians were the beneficiaries of a questionable, at best, call against the Socceroos. I think this game will be a little more wide-open than people think. I laugh at the predictions that see more than one goal in this game. Both sides have tremendous defenses that will be able to hold a 1-0 lead. While Italy has given up just the one own-goal to the United States, France has surrendered just two goals: a PK following a poor call by the referee where the Spain forward had his back to goal, 17 yards away and in a position that was far from dangerous and a very soft goal to the South Koreans in the waning moments of that game. Needless to say, I don't see either goal being repeated in this final.

This one could very well be decided in penalties (god, I hope not). However, I see Ribery streaking down the wing, firing a low far-post shot that is deflected away by Buffon but right to the feet of Henry who buries it at the 40 minute mark. I think it would benefit France to play a second forward against the Italian defense. Lord knows Trezeguet is fresh. Les Bleus will take it.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on July 09, 2006, 10:18:25 am
Fever Pitch is classic. Colin Firth is great in that movie. What about Sly Stallone in Victory?  THere is also an excellent documentary out there about the North Korean  side that played in England '66. It's called The Game of Their Lives (same title of the movie of the 1950 US team). It's a fascintating film, and gives you an insiders look into North Korea. The Koreans beat Italy and shouldve beaten Portgual
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on July 09, 2006, 12:45:52 pm
OS---all I meant was Germany could have made the final with a better semi-final draw.  Italy was imo the toughest of the 3 teams Germany could have faced because of their D.  Germany beats France or Portugal.  Infact it might play out that Germany/Italy should have been the final.

Dispite their tendency to flop Italy is  a solid talented bunch, it really shouldn't be surprising to see them in the final given their form leading into the Cup.

....but I'm rooting for France and no penalty kicks. ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bilk on July 09, 2006, 04:21:04 pm
Zidane's head butt, unbelievable.

How do you screw your team like that in this game, the game-of-games?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bushop on July 09, 2006, 04:23:01 pm
Zidane's head butt, ...

Did the refs see it in real time, or on the monitor after the fact?  It's going to be a war now, I predict at least one more red card.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Cowman on July 09, 2006, 04:30:45 pm
PK's ... this sucks. 

What would be a good alternative to this crap?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on July 09, 2006, 04:33:53 pm
Was just discussing this with my brother, perhaps taking players off the field and playing 9-on-9, 8-on-8, 7-on-7 etc until you get to penalty kicks at 2-on-2. :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Cowman on July 09, 2006, 04:40:40 pm
How about doing something similar to old school girl's basketball? 

Limit certian players from crossing the half-line, so the offense would have a one- or two-person advantage.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jonny Utah on July 09, 2006, 04:42:46 pm
what a crappy way to end a championship game.  That Rowan/Bridgewater game in 2001 had a more legitimate ending.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Pat Coleman on July 09, 2006, 04:44:57 pm
That Rowan/Bridgewater game in 02 had a more legitimate ending.

Oof.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jonny Utah on July 09, 2006, 04:48:23 pm
Was just discussing this with my brother, perhaps taking players off the field and playing 9-on-9, 8-on-8, 7-on-7 etc until you get to penalty kicks at 2-on-2. :)

Pat your right on the money.  I think theres too many guys on the field in the first place.  that whole 10 vs 9 bugs me too.  just foul out like basketball.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 09, 2006, 04:54:03 pm
Did the refs see it in real time, or on the monitor after the fact?  It's going to be a war now, I predict at least one more red card.

He went over and talked to the assistant referee. 

It's too bad Zidane's international legacy will end showing him headbutting the Italian.  I think many fans jumped on the France bandwagon because of him, but for the last minutes of  extra time, I was rooting for Italy. 

He's gotta get at least three games for that.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: mr_b on July 09, 2006, 05:02:02 pm
Zidane's head butt, unbelievable.

How do you screw your team like that in this game, the game-of-games?

That was one of the most egregious fouls I've ever seen at any level of soccer.  French players and fans have got to be wondering how the penalty kick phase would have played out with Zidane taking one of the kicks.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bushop on July 09, 2006, 05:05:18 pm
Did the refs see it in real time, or on the monitor after the fact?  It's going to be a war now, I predict at least one more red card.

He went over and talked to the assistant referee. 

It's too bad Zidane's international legacy will end showing him headbutting the Italian.  I think many fans jumped on the France bandwagon because of him, but for the last minutes of  extra time, I was rooting for Italy. 

He's gotta get at least three games for that.



Three games?  Isn't he done, as in retired?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Oval on July 09, 2006, 05:07:26 pm
PK's ... this sucks. 

What would be a good alternative to this crap?

Corner Kicks instead of Penalty Kicks?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bilk on July 09, 2006, 05:08:41 pm
PK's ... this sucks. 

What would be a good alternative to this crap?

Use two balls during overtime.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bilk on July 09, 2006, 05:10:32 pm

Three games?  Isn't he done, as in retired?

Retired from the French National team, no more World Cups.  But what about his professional team ... and do reds carry over to those leagues?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: David Collinge on July 09, 2006, 05:10:58 pm
For what it's worth, those were five absolutely beautiful penalties by the Italian side.  They came as close as you can get to earning a victory on PKs.

It was a great match.  I don't know how anyone but Brent Musburger could have watched it without become a fan of soccer football.

Thanks for the conversation, folks.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bilk on July 09, 2006, 05:12:03 pm
what a crappy way to end a championship game.  That Rowan/Bridgewater game in 2001 had a more legitimate ending.

Please explain . . .
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on July 09, 2006, 05:14:55 pm
Really good game to watch, lots of chances and really good play from the defenders all day.

The French goal was cheap and I was exstatic when Italy scored so early.....kind of evened things up for me.  Surely the game deserved a goal to win it.........I sure thought Zidane had it buried in OT.

Italy was a very solid team from the start talent wise, if I can just get past their flop show in group play I could have liked watching them play.

Incredibly this cup might be remebered for one thing...


What was Zidane thinking?   Wouldn't you like to see his teamates greet him in the locker room afterward.  Wow.

Great tournament as a whole, some really enjoyable games and fortunately I got so see most of them.

Premiership starts in about 5 weeks.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Gray Fox on July 09, 2006, 05:16:06 pm
Was just discussing this with my brother, perhaps taking players off the field and playing 9-on-9, 8-on-8, 7-on-7 etc until you get to penalty kicks at 2-on-2. :)

I understand that is what they do in the youth leagues in California.  Seems like a good plan to me.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 05:17:40 pm
I don't recall ever seeing a PK shootout where neither keeper stopped a single shot.

Italy should vote a full Cup share to the crossbar. ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 05:22:47 pm
France's PK goal was a very questionable call, but it balanced out: in the 53rd minute France SHOULD have been awarded a PK, but wasn't.

What a shameful way for a great career to end.  Zizou, you're the CAPTAIN - how can you do that to your team?!  (I blame it all on that accursed Buffon.  If he hadn't made that incredible save on the header at the end of the first OT, I'm sure Zidane would have been in a much better mood! ;))
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 05:33:37 pm
Was just discussing this with my brother, perhaps taking players off the field and playing 9-on-9, 8-on-8, 7-on-7 etc until you get to penalty kicks at 2-on-2. :)

I understand that is what they do in the youth leagues in California.  Seems like a good plan to me.

Do they rebalance if one side is playing down due to red card(s)?  Otherwise, once you get down to, say, 5v4, the match is pretty well decided by a carded player!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 05:39:39 pm

Three games?  Isn't he done, as in retired?

Retired from the French National team, no more World Cups.  But what about his professional team ... and do reds carry over to those leagues?

Don't know for sure, but Rooney, for example, was suspended for his next two National games - not Man U.  I don't know whether FIFA has any direct control over club teams, but I suspect that would be a league matter, not FIFA.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on July 09, 2006, 05:40:07 pm
Coup fatal.

I shoulda cheered for Italy.

Is it possible--stick with me, conspiracy people--that Zidane and Trezeguet were part of the Italian scandal? Paid off by someone to throw the game?

Zidane the head butter or Zidane the game thrower. Hmmm.

So who's taking the cup in 2010?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 09, 2006, 05:48:26 pm
Three games?  Isn't he done, as in retired?

Retired from the French National team, no more World Cups.  But what about his professional team ... and do reds carry over to those leagues?

Umm, good point.  I'm pretty sure club suspensions are totally different from national team suspensions.  Maybe he knew that when he did that.

If I'm correct, hockey plays 4 v 4 in OT, then penalty shots.

The French goal was cheap and I was exstatic when Italy scored so early.....kind of evened things up for me.

It was a weak foul, but penalty none-the-less, IMO.  Sure, he didn't mean to trip him, but it was an obvious foul.  I had no problem with the call.

Premiership starts in about 5 weeks.

Maybe we'll keep the "World Cup" board open for various European leagues, or any other soccer related stuff not involving D3 "football". :-)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bilk on July 09, 2006, 06:44:24 pm

Don't know for sure, but Rooney, for example, was suspended for his next two National games - not Man U.  I don't know whether FIFA has any direct control over club teams, but I suspect that would be a league matter, not FIFA.

Would Ronney be sitting out his next FIFA games?  These may include:

-- Club World Championship (2007?)
-- Confederations Cup (2007)
-- European Football Championship (2008)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 07:02:32 pm

Don't know for sure, but Rooney, for example, was suspended for his next two National games - not Man U.  I don't know whether FIFA has any direct control over club teams, but I suspect that would be a league matter, not FIFA.

Would Ronney be sitting out his next FIFA games?  These may include:

-- Club World Championship (2007?)
-- Confederations Cup (2007)
-- European Football Championship (2008)


He'll sit for Euro 2008 qualifying matches against Andorra and Macedonia - and if England needs him for those matches, I doubt they are contenders! ;)
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 07:07:11 pm
Of 14 entries, 7 picked both games right, only one poster missed on both.

We were cumulatively 10-4 for each game.

While no scoring rules were set, I'd judge Oval to be the pick 'em champ: very close on Germany (2-1) and almost perfect on Italy (1-1, 4-2 on PKs).
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Oval on July 09, 2006, 07:39:01 pm

While no scoring rules were set, I'd judge Oval to be the pick 'em champ: very close on Germany (2-1) and almost perfect on Italy (1-1, 4-2 on PKs).

nice . . . and lucky, thanks for the fun
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bilk on July 09, 2006, 07:40:32 pm

He'll sit for Euro 2008 qualifying matches against Andorra and Macedonia - and if England needs him for those matches, I doubt they are contenders! ;)

Where did you find that out?  Nice work.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 08:43:01 pm

He'll sit for Euro 2008 qualifying matches against Andorra and Macedonia - and if England needs him for those matches, I doubt they are contenders! ;)

Where did you find that out?  Nice work.

It was on the BBC link that Hoosier Titan(?) posted when Rooney's supension was first announced.

Based on the Rooney (and other suspensions) precedent, since Zidane has retired (again) from the National team, my guess would be that he is beyond the reach of FIFA (except, perhaps, for a fine).  That was so far beyond what can be expected in a match that I would assume the German courts could prosecute for assault, but I would certainly be surprised if they did.  I think his main punishment will be the permanent staining of an otherwise superlative (and usually classy) career.  (Though this was not the first classless act - it was mentioned after the game [an incident I had forgotten 'til then] that in a previous Cup he deliberately stepped on a fallen Saudi player, for which he was suspended two games.)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 09, 2006, 10:07:07 pm
He's retired from international football.  I have no doubt that he's not coming back.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: gobombers15 on July 09, 2006, 10:22:31 pm
Premiership in 5 weeks?

Great, another lopsided victory for Chelsea. They will be at the top of the table for the entire season. Adding Shevchenko and Ballack to what they already had? They're going to be disgusting. Their starting 11 is nasty: Peter Cech in goal; John Terry, Gallas, Carvalho, and either Paulo Ferreira or del Horno in the back; Makelele, Ballack, Super Frank, and Arjen Robben at midfield, with Michael Essien and Joe Cole as reserves, for god sakes; Crespo and Shevchenko up top with Didier Drogba as a reserve. That may be the most disgusting top 15 of any roster in the world.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 09, 2006, 11:32:25 pm
Premiership in 5 weeks?

Great, another lopsided victory for Chelsea. They will be at the top of the table for the entire season. Adding Shevchenko and Ballack to what they already had? They're going to be disgusting. Their starting 11 is nasty: Peter Cech in goal; John Terry, Gallas, Carvalho, and either Paulo Ferreira or del Horno in the back; Makelele, Ballack, Super Frank, and Arjen Robben at midfield, with Michael Essien and Joe Cole as reserves, for god sakes; Crespo and Shevchenko up top with Didier Drogba as a reserve. That may be the most disgusting top 15 of any roster in the world.

By 'disgusting', I assume you mean 'the best team money can buy'.  But note it does not guarantee anything except nearly always being a contender. 

Steinbrenner's Yankees and the Red Wings (until recently) were similar (the Wings at one time had 7 or 8 near-lock future Hall of Famers, plus a coach ALREADY in the HoF, and annually made the playoffs [often with the #1 seed], yet they still bombed out early more often than they won Lord Stanley's Cup).

Chelsea has bought themselves a (near) guarantee of being a contender, but for opponents to abandon hope would be foolish.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: gobombers15 on July 09, 2006, 11:55:18 pm
To an extent, I agree. However, this formula has proven successful for Chelsea over the last two years. By acquiring Ballack and Shevchenko, they are not completely overhauling that team. Unlike the teams you mentioned, they have several "team" players (see Essien, Makalele, Terry, etc.) whereas teams like the Yankees seem like a bunch of independent contractors, save for a precious few of them. I see them winning the league in a rather comfortable fashion, followed by a subsequent screw-up in UEFA's, per usual.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on July 09, 2006, 11:58:23 pm
Watching Zidane's antics today was really shocking.  Yeah, a conspiracy is the best way to talk about it - I mean, what other reason could there be?  Or maybe he's just an idiot?!

I thought the foul on Italy was a clean call.  The ref did a good job today, although I preferred the guy who called the Germany/Italy game - I think he was from Mexico.

Nonetheless, I liked Italy's play and other than their lifeless efforts in the last 20 minutes, they certainly were good.  I think had France not suffered the injuries and the Zidane move, they may have kept up the preasure and won in regulation, but it just seemed that Italy was destined to take it to PKs and win.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 10, 2006, 12:37:53 am

He'll sit for Euro 2008 qualifying matches against Andorra and Macedonia - and if England needs him for those matches, I doubt they are contenders! ;)

Where did you find that out?  Nice work.

It was on the BBC link that Hoosier Titan(?) posted when Rooney's supension was first announced.

Yes, it was I.  England plays Andorra at Old Trafford on September 2 and an away game at Macedonia on September 6.  The next game will be Macedonia somewhere in England in early October.  Hopefully McClaren will have restocked the team, especially with healthy strikers.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 10, 2006, 01:06:50 am
Watching Zidane's antics today was really shocking.  Yeah, a conspiracy is the best way to talk about it - I mean, what other reason could there be?  Or maybe he's just an idiot?!

I thought the foul on Italy was a clean call.  The ref did a good job today, although I preferred the guy who called the Germany/Italy game - I think he was from Mexico.

Nonetheless, I liked Italy's play and other than their lifeless efforts in the last 20 minutes, they certainly were good.  I think had France not suffered the injuries and the Zidane move, they may have kept up the preasure and won in regulation, but it just seemed that Italy was destined to take it to PKs and win.

I prefer to remember Zidane's total career, which was MOSTLY classy but that was a screw-up for the ages, and will probably permanently stain his reputation.

IMO the first French PK was a dive, but like I said in the 53rd minute they DESERVED a PK and didn't get it - I wonder if the ref saw a replay at halftime, and the no-call was a make-up?

I agree that France might have won in regulation (or at least OT, before PKs) if not for Vieira's[sp?] injury, Henry's cramps, and Zizou's brain cramp.  They were definitely the agressors for most of the 2nd half and OT.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on July 10, 2006, 07:29:17 am
I am still in shock about Zidane.  France owned Italy throughout the second half, and were unfortunate not to have won in regulation.  As for who actually saw the foul, it was actually the fourth assistant. Neither assistants in the game saw it.

Zizou has retired from all soccer as of now.  He has retired professionally. However, I don't think it would have effected him playing any games if he was to return to Real Madrid.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Stinger on July 10, 2006, 07:31:08 am
Amazing, Zidane has won the Golden Ball.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 10, 2006, 07:42:35 am
Premiership in 5 weeks?

Great, another lopsided victory for Chelsea. They will be at the top of the table for the entire season. Adding Shevchenko and Ballack to what they already had? They're going to be disgusting. Their starting 11 is nasty: Peter Cech in goal; John Terry, Gallas, Carvalho, and either Paulo Ferreira or del Horno in the back; Makelele, Ballack, Super Frank, and Arjen Robben at midfield, with Michael Essien and Joe Cole as reserves, for god sakes; Crespo and Shevchenko up top with Didier Drogba as a reserve. That may be the most disgusting top 15 of any roster in the world.

Their second team could compete for the Premiership.

Amazing, Zidane has won the Golden Ball.

I wouldn't have voted for him simply because of that act of disgrace.  But, with that said, I'm sure many voters had their votes in already.  They have until the end of the day to get it in.

Zidane:  2012 votes
Cannavaro:  1977
Pirlo:  715

IMO, I think Zidane (with the voters who sent in their votes before the headbutt) probably got in partly because of his name, partly because of sentimental value (last WC) and partly because he's a "skill player" (goalie, forward, midfielder).  I think Cannavaro should've gotten it, but when was the last time a defender got it? 
Title: Re: World Cup Pick 'em
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 10, 2006, 09:18:34 am

Wow, you're right.  I'm surprised I got the Germany-Portugal game correct.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 10, 2006, 09:25:08 am

Penalty kicks are crap.  If your team can make it to the final with Fabian Barthez in goal, you should get some sort of extra credit.  Zidane knew they had no chance in the penalties and he wanted out early.

Also it gives further creedence to my conspiracy theory about Silvio Berlusconi buying the cup for Italy.  Zidane loves Lippi and even the crappy American announcers kept mentioning how much love Zidane had for Italy and his time playing there.  He's already got one World Cup, maybe Berlusconi did buy him off.  That PK went in, sure, but it looked almost as if Zidane was trying to knock it off the crossbar and he just got it a few inches too low?  You never can tell.

Anyway, the headbutt did one thing for sure, it made absolutely certain that Zidane can gather a following when he comes to MLS in a few years.  MLS needs an aging superstar with a penchant for sternum bruising behavior.  That will sell.

Bring on the crazy transfer season!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 10, 2006, 10:06:46 am
The Zidane thing is just bizarre, yet par for the course.  He's one of the greats, to be sure.  However, part of the legend, if you will, of Zidane is his "wild card" mentality.  (Check out some of the stuff he pulled while with Juventus)  The saddest part of the incedent, IMO, was having a pretty good idea what Zidane must have been thinking while looking at the Cup Trophy as he went to the locker rooms after being sent off!

Old School, I agree w/ you--for the most part--on the Cannavaro selection, but am not sure I'd agree with your assessment of the keeper being a skill position as opposed to a defender. Remember that Kahn won the Golden Ball in 2002, not for his skilled play, per se, but for his defensive prowess.

I think a legitimate arguement could be made for Buffon to have won the trophy, considering his high level of play during the tournament.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 10, 2006, 12:51:07 pm

Hiker Jim,

Are you going to create a pro soccer convo board on here for some debate now that the WC is over?  I'm not really in a position to get involved in d3 soccer at the moment, but I am a follower of the game in europe and would love a forum for discussion here (a place I basically visit everyday anyway).
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 10, 2006, 01:18:32 pm
That sounds like fun.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on July 10, 2006, 02:32:36 pm
Hoops, sure.  Send me some ideas via e-mail.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: CRZK on July 10, 2006, 02:51:33 pm
HIker;

Hope you do keep this board going as well.

Correct me if I misunderstand, is Stinger suggesting defender is not a skill position?  If so I would tend to disagree.  It would seem if Golden Ball goes to individual with greatest impact in World Cup a stronger case would go to Cannavaro or Buffon rather than Zidane.  Agree that Zidane probably got votes for "old times" and curtain call sake.  However with Italys' outstanding defense throughout the World Cup it would seem to argue more for one of them rather than Zidane.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 10, 2006, 03:00:40 pm

Let's not get into that tired american MVP debate here.  Golden Ball goes to best player and Zinedine Zidane has been the best player in the world for the last decade.  He showed he's still got it over the past week and a half; give it to him.  Next stop:  MLS.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on July 10, 2006, 03:04:46 pm

If I'm correct, hockey plays 4 v 4 in OT, then penalty shots.


This is correct for the regular season.  But once Lord Stanley's Playoffs begin, there are no penalty shots.  They play OT after OT until someone scores a goal.  This is where the beautiful game of soccer needs to rethink how matches of this magnitude are decided.  PK's are no way to end a World Cup!

I heard on the radio today a pretty funny comment on something equivalent to ending soccer matches with PK's.  They said it would be like playing the World Series of Poker and getting down to the final 2 at the table and then have them decide the winner by playing War. :)  It's funny when you think about it, but it's also rather truthful.  I just don't see what is so great about working your a$$ off for 120+ minutes only to have the fate of your team come down to your keeper guessing correctly on which way the PK is going to go.  Very anticlimactic end to a World Cup where the referees were talked about more than the play on the field.  I guess it was fitting that this World Cup end this way.

One other note:  I found it rather amusing that Zidane won the Golden Boot.   I know he basically carried France to the finals, but he also put them in a deep hole when he decided to head-butt that guy's chest.  Not a very MVP-like action by Zidane IMO. ::)  I too would've liked to see Cannavaro or Buffon get the nod over Zidane, especially after watching Zidane's lack of judgement in the 2nd OT.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 10, 2006, 03:06:23 pm
On the Italian front....

From what I'm reading and hearing in the media, it seems likely that Juventus will, indeed, be relegated to Serie B in what amounts to a plea deal in the much publicized match-fixing scandal.

OK, that seems like a reasonable punishment.  What about the other teams, though--the ones that have vowed to fight the investigation, proclaiming their innocence?

Any opinions on guilt or innocence, and suggested punishment for infringing on the (ahem) integrity of the game?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 10, 2006, 03:09:32 pm
  One other note:  I found it rather amusing that Zidane won the Golden Boot.  

Just for the sake of clarification, Germany's Klose won the Golden Shoe (sic "boot") Award, essentially given for best scoring performance.  Zidane won the Golden Ball, which--you are correct--is akin to the MVP. 

Just trying to keep the jargon straight.   :)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on July 10, 2006, 03:42:53 pm
Just to delay ending the conversation, how much worse would a kick have been than a head-butt? Was Rooney's stomp worse, equal to or better than Zidane's butt? And, I honestly thought Rooney was being wrapped up as he tried to step away. Maybe he wasn't stepping the direction I thought he was going.

although I was shocked to see the (REPLAY of the) Zidane incident (and I personally don't think the fourth official saw anything other than the big screen re-broadcast; let's call it the first use of instant replay) and was deflated by the whole thing, I don't think it ranked with knees in the stomach or back, elbows in the face, cleats on the--well, you know.

It was a stupid move, no argument. I think Zidane wanted out. He signalled substitution when he went down with the shoulder thing, although that didn't look like a hard or particularly twisting hit, either. He looked frustrated more than hurt, and now the coach says he would have liked to sub Zidane out with five minutes left. He probably should have gotten him out of there sooner than that.

At any rate, I thought Italy played a great game, and I don't like Italy. I don't know why I don't like Italy; I guess because it wasn't on my original list of teams I wanted to win. Until the butt, it was a weekend worthwhile for soccer. Saturday's game was good; Sunday's was mostly good.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 10, 2006, 03:47:39 pm
My vote is for "equal to".
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 10, 2006, 04:27:23 pm

Both were frustration shots.  Rooney's might be slightly more understandable as it occurred at the end of an exhausting and quite impressive display by him.  I've seen the replay about 100 times at this point and clearly the defender was trying to wrap him up, and Rooney just kicked him to get out of it.  He knew what he was doing, but I'm not sure he knew he was nailing him square in the groin.

Zidane's move was, well awesome, although no worse, in my mind.  After reading all the speculation, I would guess that the Italian said something very offensive and that Zidane will do the honorable thing and not divulge what it was.  I'm not sure it was "dirty terrorist," but I wouldn't doubt it may have had some racial component to it.  Gallas claims to have heard it and Viera mentioned that the Italians were verbally going at Zidane all game.  The reaction was wrong, but as I said before, it's going to help ratings once he comes to MLS.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: pcarr on July 10, 2006, 04:44:29 pm
I think that Zidane's foul was worse than Rooney's, because it looked to be more pre-meditated.  Rooney's was more in the heat of soccer battle, while Zidane ran off a few yards, before stepping back and head-butting Materazzi. 

While I'm not too vehement in that position, I do strongly consider Zidane's foul the most bone-headed such act in sports history, when the situation is factored in.  Something like Artest going into the stands might have been worse strictly on its own merit.  But this was committed late in the World Cup final.  Considering how France was still attacking even down a man, I'd say Zidane's presence could easily have led to a goal, or at the very least given them more confidence heading into PKs.  I don't care what was said to him (and could it really have been something he hadn't heard before?), the act was the stupidest I've ever seen during a sporting event.  Is there anything that can be compared to this?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on July 10, 2006, 04:52:15 pm
Guesses for what was said:

"Use your head, Zizou"


Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: CRZK on July 10, 2006, 05:06:14 pm
It would be interesting to know what was said to set Zidane off.  However, after all these years of soccer I am at a loss of what could possibly be said to Zidane that he hasn't heard before?

How about:  "All you are good for now is the MLS?"  ;)

Somebody mentioned this earlier, the red card in this case is probably the first use of replay to award a card.  If so I might have to reconsider an earlier comment against the use of replays.  In this case, a clear serious foul, with a clear camera angle and no delay in the game.  Still don't like the general idea of replay but???

For wins--should we go back to golden goal?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Jim Matson on July 10, 2006, 05:11:04 pm
Yes - absolutely.  Play like the Devils and the Stars did a number of years ago for the Stanley Cup - until you are ready to drop.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: pcarr on July 10, 2006, 05:34:05 pm
Somebody mentioned this earlier, the red card in this case is probably the first use of replay to award a card. 

Accurate or not, FIFA today said that the replay was not used in deciding to give out a red card.  The French coach suggested that the video board was used, but FIFA denied that, saying it was spotted by the fourth official. 

I say that for the entire knockout phase (or at least the final), get rid of PKs.  Keep playing golden goal overtimes until someone scores.  And give each team an additional sub every OT or two to keep the teams somewhat fresh.  A game-ending goal of any sort would be so much more exciting and satisfying than penalty kicks.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: foul_language on July 10, 2006, 06:08:46 pm
Well, if FIFA says it didn't do it, who am I to say anything... :-X

Somebody might ask the 'fourth official' if he might not have been at least influenced by the replay telecast on four sides of the stadium on screens about the size of tennis courts. In his regular job, that 'fourth official' probably earns a comfortable living as an expert witness.

There I go saying something anyway.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on July 10, 2006, 06:59:29 pm
Guesses for what was said:


From the BBC

Sources in France say it is believed Materazzi insulted Zidane's family.

Materazzi himself has not spoken publicly about the incident except to deny a claim by Paris-based anti-racism group SOS Racism, made on Monday, that he had called Zidane "a dirty terrorist".

"It is absolutely not true, I did not call him a terrorist. I'm ignorant. I don't even know what the word means," the Italian news agency Ansa quoted Materazzi as saying after the Italian team returned to Rome.



I have a feeling this isn't going to die down soon.

Kind of refreshing to here an athlete call himself ignorant though ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: sac on July 10, 2006, 07:06:43 pm
After England's FA Cup final it was debated whether a 4th substitute should be allowed in OT games.  That game also had a number of players cramping up in the final 15 minutes, infact West Ham could have won except their striker was so badly cramping he missed a virtual point blank shot that would have won the game.  The final 15 minutes was pretty poor football and unfortunately was also decided on penalty kicks.

Perhaps they should consider experimenting with an extra sub for each 15 minute period or something.  They could even get rid of the offsides rule for OT games, that would surely get a quick resolution.

Championship games deserve a true champion.  Can  you imagine the super bowl being decided by alternating FG kicks or the NBA finals being settled with FT's.

Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 10, 2006, 07:10:09 pm
Guesses for what was said:

"Use your head, Zizou"

+k for you!  (Don't take things so literally, Zizou!)

Several French players have been reported saying that the Italians (especially Materazzi) had been baiting Zidane the whole game, going well beyond the usual bounds of 'trash talk'.  (Which is certainly NOT to excuse the inexcusable, especially from the captain.)

I still say it is all Buffon's fault.  If he hadn't made that save at the end of the first OT... ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 10, 2006, 07:15:02 pm

Championship games deserve a true champion.  Can  you imagine ... the NBA finals being settled with FT's.

Between Shaq and Big Ben!  (OT might be quicker than waiting for one of them to make one!) ;D
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: ScotsFan on July 10, 2006, 08:02:58 pm
What a surprise.  The French are whining because someone called them names.  ::) :-*
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 10, 2006, 09:21:54 pm
Hiker Jim,

Are you going to create a pro soccer convo board on here for some debate now that the WC is over?  I'm not really in a position to get involved in d3 soccer at the moment, but I am a follower of the game in europe and would love a forum for discussion here (a place I basically visit everyday anyway).

I'd suggest just using this board.  Obviously this board isn't going to be used for another 2 years (we can talk about qualifying!), so instead of opening up another one, this would suffice, IMO.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 10, 2006, 10:09:12 pm
Hiker Jim,

Are you going to create a pro soccer convo board on here for some debate now that the WC is over?  I'm not really in a position to get involved in d3 soccer at the moment, but I am a follower of the game in europe and would love a forum for discussion here (a place I basically visit everyday anyway).

I'd suggest just using this board.  Obviously this board isn't going to be used for another 2 years (we can talk about qualifying!), so instead of opening up another one, this would suffice, IMO.

I concur with using this board - that way we can occasionally check old posts if so inclined.  Plus, if you just drop the 2006 from the name, there WILL be news from time to time about coaching changes, retirements, emerging 2010 players, etc.  (I'd guess that the question of the USA coach (Arena, Klinnsman, Hiddinck, other?) and whether Adu will play for USA or Ghana would be worth several pages, aside from whatever else may arise.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 11, 2006, 07:25:31 am
Correct me if I misunderstand, is Stinger suggesting defender is not a skill position?  If so I would tend to disagree. 

I have to choose my words more carefully.  I played defender as well and it's definitely a skill position, despite the fact I said it wasn't.  I should've used "glamour" position, when it came to my opinion on Zidane getting it over Canavarro.  In football, for example, QB, RB, WR and CB are all "skill" positions, while lineman, LB etc aren't considered that.  IMO, I felt that Zidane got it because it's more of a glamour position, rather than defender.  Even goalie is a glamour position.  Ironically, I think that defender is the hardest position to play and, for a lot of teams, the hardest to fill. 

On Fox Sports World Report, they released these polls conducted by FIFA:

Most Entertaining:

Portugal!  47%
Italy 41%
Germany 4%

Fair Play:

Brazil and Spain tied

Lev Yashin (best goalie)

Buffon...of course.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 11, 2006, 07:35:45 am
ON soccernet.com

Materazzi admits to insulting Zidane (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=373706&cc=5739)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 11, 2006, 09:09:01 am

Nice insult by Matterazzi, just classic.  Probably not worth a headbutt, but then again it was probably the 900th insult of that nature Zidane got from him that night.  If it had been a regular match and not the WC final, I think the headbutt would have been totally justified.

I'm in favor of doing the two 15 minute OT's and then Golden goal with one extra sub every 30 minutes.  I know none of the players like Golden Goal, but they have to prefer it to penalties.  The other option that no Americans will like because, well, its rather unAmerican, is to just use some other measure to determine the winner like total goals scored in the tournament or goal differential, etc if they end in a draw.  We Americans think that sounds unfair (me included) but those type of things aren't too uncommon in Europe.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 11, 2006, 09:47:08 am
Does anyone else think Matterazzi's claims are any more genuine than Sammy Sosa's forgetting how to speak English in front of Congress?   :)

I love it!  It doesn't make Zidane less wrong, but I love it nonetheless!
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 11, 2006, 11:15:32 am

Yeah, I'm not sure why he'd need to say he doesn't know what a terrorist is.  Maybe its a translation problem; lets hope so.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 11, 2006, 11:33:30 am
Not just that, HoopsFan--he said he doesn't know what an Islamic Terrorist is.   ;)
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bilk on July 11, 2006, 11:42:35 am
Does anyone else find it odd the way Matterazzi went down like a stone from the headbutt?  Please answer this ... what major American sport has guys backing down when confronted (other that R. Artest running from B. Wallace) ... or even worse, pretending the blow hurt them more than it really did?

Matterazzi's a wuss.  I hope no one bumps him at Circus Maximus, he may cry.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 11, 2006, 12:12:05 pm
Does anyone else find it odd the way Matterazzi went down like a stone from the headbutt?  Please answer this ... what major American sport has guys backing down when confronted (other that R. Artest running from B. Wallace) ... or even worse, pretending the blow hurt them more than it really did?

Matterazzi's a wuss.  I hope no one bumps him at Circus Maximus, he may cry.

Pedro famously ran to first base to hide behind Mo Vaughn when someone charged the mound.

You also see, with the emrgence of Euro stars in the NBA, a lot more flops than you used to.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that American sports don't have much break in the action.  In soccer, you go down hard, you might get the call, you might not, but the dive doesn't cost your team anything.  If a WR hams up a penalty and doesn't get the call, you might see an interception.
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 11, 2006, 12:29:30 pm
With regard to using technology to help the officials, ESPN Soccernet's England correspondent Billy Bragg (http://proxy.espn.go.com/et/corr/corrview?id=448&leagueCup=fifa.world&cc=%) offers this:

"I certainly see no reason why, if the linesman is unsure of an offside, the game cannot be allowed to continue while TV analyses the play. If a goal is scored but the move shown to be offside then a free kick can simply be awarded. In essence, this is little different from what happens now except the play is stopped while the forward remonstrates with the officials."

This makes sense to me, and it wouldn't stop the flow of the game, which is what a lot of people have been afraid of.
Title: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Pat Coleman on July 11, 2006, 12:38:17 pm
Renaming the board.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 11, 2006, 12:52:36 pm

Yeah, for offsides that makes a ton of sense, but for things like fouls, cards, diving, etc I'm not so sure how well it would work.

Example:  Player A (carrying a yellow card from the first half) makes a blatant dive near, but not in the box in the 67th minute.  A foul is called and play continues as the fourth official reviews the play on the monitor.  In the 68th minute, Player A scores a goal on a header from a corner kick.  In the 69th minute the fourth official decides that the dive was eggregious enough to deserve a yellow card and thus a red card.  What happens to the goal?

Granted, I think it is a fine idea for offsides, so long as they have a specific amount of time to decide (90 seconds maybe).  Any longer than that and not knowing whether your goal counts or not changes strategy quite a bit.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 11, 2006, 01:54:47 pm
Yes, I think you're right, it would be very tricky.  Probably that's why so little progress has been made to date.  This was just one of the few suggestions I'd seen that did seem to make some sense.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: foul_language on July 11, 2006, 02:36:28 pm
Quote
In soccer, you go down hard, you might get the call, you might not, but the dive doesn't cost your team anything

Actually, it could. While the actor is flopping around on the ground, his team is effectively playing a player short. I think opposing teams should really take advantage of that and drive to the net. Assuming the flop doesn't convince the ref, the down player has to hustle his butt to get back into the action.

20+ years ago, the coach would yell at kids who liked to slide tackle all the time, telling them they were taking themselves out of the play if they didn't actually get the ball. Most of them weren't that proficient, so that's about all they accomplished: giving the other team a one-player advantage until he or she scrambled to his or her feet and got back into the game.

Granted, professionals are better at slide tackles, but diving ends up affecting teams about the same way missed slide tackles do.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 11, 2006, 03:35:32 pm

... While the actor is flopping around on the ground, his team is effectively playing a player short. I think opposing teams should really take advantage of that and drive to the net....

And this is where soccer could be in danger of losing that nice sportmanship touch, where the team with the ball kicks it out (even if the team with a man advantage has it), and then the team with the "injured" player gives it back once the player is up.  It only works if both teams do their best to stay on their feet.

One of the big brouhahas (I think it was Deco's second yellow card) in the Portugal-Holland game followed Holland's not kicking it out when a Portugal player went down.  I think it's why Fifa are so keen to address the issue of diving.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 11, 2006, 03:37:49 pm
Oops--I meant "side," not "team" in the previous post.  Gotta keep my terminology straight. :)

Was anyone else surprised that Portugal was named "most entertaining" side in the Cup?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: foul_language on July 11, 2006, 03:58:12 pm
This issue of correct terminology is interesting. Is it 'pitch' and 'side' and 'boots' in all languages or only in the queen's English? If we're going with correct terminology, we'd best be figuring out where the game originated and use that language. Right? I hope it didn't originate in Wales...

One website suggests it originated in China some 3,000 years ago. I wondered what they played on.

I guess I'm wondering why British terminology trumps all other terminology?

Asking out of ignorance not contrariness.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 11, 2006, 04:28:26 pm
I only mentioned it yesterday to help differentiate two seperate awards.   :)

Strictly from a "Queen's English" perspective, my English friend has always referred to the trunk of his car as "the boot", so who knows!?!?!?!?   8)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 11, 2006, 04:45:57 pm

OK then.  I've been americanizing my terminology for this board since post people use "soccer," but now that we have a dedicated board, I'm done with it.


It's football, we've got footballers playing on a side atop the pitch wearing boots and kits.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: foul_language on July 11, 2006, 04:48:05 pm
I hate the term 'nil' >:(. What is a 'nil', anyway? Some tense of 'null'? Future plu-perfect? I can live with 'pitch' and 'boots' and 'side.' 'Nil' is just plain pretentious. 'Boot' could be confusing if you're talking about putting someone into it; it would make a difference in court if you were talking about shoes rather than the trunk of the car.

Did I spell 'pretentious' right?
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 11, 2006, 04:55:06 pm
Does anyone else find it odd the way Matterazzi went down like a stone from the headbutt?

I'll have to totally disagree with this.  This wasn't any love tap of a head butt.  This was a full fledged "near head start run" head butt square into the chest of the player.  If anything, I'd go down like a stone simply because I got the wind knocked out of me.  And, as we can all see, Zidane's head isn't small.

I'll have to find a replay of it again, but I don't actually remember Matarazzi actually "backing down/away" from Zidane.  

I think what the insult was will always be speculation.  I don't think Zidane will ever say exactly what it was and Matarazzi won't ever admit exactly what he said.  For my money, there's only one thing that would make me "throw down".  

Was anyone else surprised that Portugal was named "most entertaining" side in the Cup?

Like the reporters on FSC World Report, I was VERY surprised that Portugal was voted the most entertaining.  Of course, watching Ronaldo flop around like a fish might be entertaining to some...and those sweet step overs are entertaining the few times it happened.  I think the poll shows how disappointing Brazil was.


OK then. I've been americanizing my terminology for this board since post people use "soccer," but now that we have a dedicated board, I'm done with it.


It's football, we've got footballers playing on a side atop the pitch wearing boots and kits.

lol!  I think "a kit" and "strips" are the same thing.  ;D

I like Nil.  :P
Title: Re: World Cup 2006
Post by: Bilk on July 11, 2006, 05:54:27 pm
Does anyone else find it odd the way Matterazzi went down like a stone from the headbutt?


I'll have to totally disagree with this.  This wasn't any love tap of a head butt.  This was a full fledged "near head start run" head butt square into the chest of the player.  If anything, I'd go down like a stone simply because I got the wind knocked out of me.  And, as we can all see, Zidane's head isn't small.

I'll have to find a replay of it again, but I don't actually remember Matarazzi actually "backing down/away" from Zidane.   


Fair enough. 

It's very possible that Matarazzi had no idea what was coming and was not ready for it.  In America, the charge is usually followed with blows . . . maybe that's rare in Euroville . . . they're all bark and no bite.

Matarazzi certainly didn't go after Zidane.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 11, 2006, 07:15:46 pm
Fair enough. 

It's very possible that Matarazzi had no idea what was coming and was not ready for it.  In America, the charge is usually followed with blows . . . maybe that's rare in Euroville . . . they're all bark and no bite.

I think the biggest difference between soccer and any other sport like baseball, football, basketball, hockey etc, is that if one player is ejected, that team is allowed to replace that player.  If Matarazzi retaliates, or any other player comes in and puts a wheel house to Zidane, they get ejected and Italy plays with 10, 9 or even 8 players, if a brawl ensues. 

Zidane headbutts, gets red carded...advantage Italy. 

Obviously in baseball, if someone throws at some else or looks at someone else in a bad way, you're basically obligated to join in the brawl...same with hockey and even basketball. 

There would be a lot more fights/retaliations in soccer if a coach sends out a goon to "send a message" with the knowledge that he can be replaced with another player.

How would American sports handle it if a brawl insues in baseball and then they can only play with 2 outfielders and 3 infielders because the centerfielder and the 2nd baseman got ejected?  ??? ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 11, 2006, 07:34:57 pm
Not being able to replace a ejected player certainly would dramatically change baseball strategy, since (I would imagine) the pitcher is the most often ejected position!  (At which position, I wonder, would teams place their 'emergency' pitcher, since THAT position would now be empty?)

But I would guess it would drastically reduce the number of hit batters!

I don't think it could work very well in basketball - 10v11 is one thing, but at 4v5 you may as well just call a forfeit on the offending team!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 11, 2006, 09:04:11 pm
Klinsmann steps down as Germany coach (http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news;_ylt=AkG2CEwEqcQzaionQhlyjlkmw7YF?slug=ap-germany-klinsmann&prov=ap&type=lgns)...

To the US?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 11, 2006, 09:11:55 pm
Klinsmann steps down as Germany coach (http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news;_ylt=AkG2CEwEqcQzaionQhlyjlkmw7YF?slug=ap-germany-klinsmann&prov=ap&type=lgns)...

To the US?

After the unexpected success, I doubt he would resign without a new job lined up.

Whether or not that new job is here, I don't know (but he is a Californian, so it seems a likely guess).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on July 11, 2006, 09:19:16 pm
Just read that about Klinsmann.  Im sure the process will get started soon. I'd like to see the US get into more competitions, like the Gold Cup.  They just can't depend on friendlies and qualifiers to get them prepared.

I read Cannavaro is close to reaching a deal with Real Madrid.  C. Ronaldo and Cannavaro, my two least favorite players from Germany '06.  At least with Capello they may able to snag a couple more players from the Serie A.

Any of you looking at the MLS all-star game in Chicago's new stadium?  Chelsea will be coming to town, and it will be interesting to see which of their superstars will have recovered to make the trip.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 11, 2006, 11:50:21 pm
The terminology question is interesting.  I usually try to use the terms the Brits use because I follow the English Premier League, and it's easier in conversation.  But sometimes out of context I forget.   

I don't know that the English terms are any more "correct" than those of any other language, but a lot of English-speaking football supporters use them. 

Interestingly, "nil" is one of the terms my entire family have gotten used to; last fall my daughter used it to describe the score of an American football game. :)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 12, 2006, 08:32:12 am
Just read that about Klinsmann.  Im sure the process will get started soon. I'd like to see the US get into more competitions, like the Gold Cup.  They just can't depend on friendlies and qualifiers to get them prepared.

I read Cannavaro is close to reaching a deal with Real Madrid.  C. Ronaldo and Cannavaro, my two least favorite players from Germany '06.  At least with Capello they may able to snag a couple more players from the Serie A.

Any of you looking at the MLS all-star game in Chicago's new stadium?  Chelsea will be coming to town, and it will be interesting to see which of their superstars will have recovered to make the trip.

Don't they always play in the Gold Cup?

Why don't you like Canavarro?

I looked into getting tix for the All-Star game, but at the time, I had to buy a four pack (three other games or something like that).  I don't if "single game" tix are available...I also doubt that any player that participated in the knock out stages of the WC would be included in the Chelsea lineup.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 12, 2006, 09:04:49 am

Yeah, I think the US gets into whatever tournaments they qualify for.  It's not like there are invitationals out there.

Klinsmann says he's burned out, but I can imagine much less stress coaching US football.  He doesn't have to fly ten hours each way to get to practice and he really needs to be scouting our young guys in MLS anyway.  He did really well at the Cup with a very young team, leaving off five veterans.  He's a great fit.

The new President of Real said hee had private talks with several players before he was elected, but now he has to deal with their clubs to actually get them.  He talked about C Ronaldo, Kaka and a few others I'm forgetting now.

Most likely with punative relegation, the entire Juventus roster will be essentially free agents; it could make for one fun summer.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 12, 2006, 09:06:13 am

I don't think too many of the Chelsea stars who made the Quarters of the World Cup will be there.  I remember Man U's last big US tour and the big names only played one match each and rarely with each other.

You'll probably see a lot of young guys and new signings at the match.  Mikel from Norway (I think), is a young guy with a lot of talent.  I'd like to see him play.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on July 12, 2006, 11:58:48 am
I read Cannavaro is close to reaching a deal with Real Madrid.  C. Ronaldo and Cannavaro, my two least favorite players from Germany '06. 

I can agree with you about CRon, but why your dislike of Cannavaro?  It's hard to argue, IMHO, that he's the best defender out there right now.  And I didn't see anything in his play that would lead me to think he is a dirty player.  Just wondering what Cannavaro did to get in your doghouse?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 12, 2006, 07:14:15 pm
If anyone is in the area, single game tickets are available for the MLS all-star game in Chicago.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on July 13, 2006, 07:56:22 am
 
Quote

.  Just wondering what Cannavaro did to get in your doghouse?
[
 
All based on the US game. On two seperate occasions he fell to the ground in "pain" as the US team was making a counter attack. Both times the US kicked it out and had to start over.  I thought it was bush.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on July 13, 2006, 08:36:05 am
Can't say I recall those incidents you refer to with Cannavaro, but then again, I was so enfuriated with the ref in that contest that I could have overlooked Cannavaro's actions.  I will say,  if you want to talk bush, the Ghanaians were falling like timber in the 2nd half of the US game and the US would oblige and kick it out every time.  Faking injuries to eat clock and preserve your lead is bush.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 13, 2006, 08:55:52 am
Can't say I recall those incidents you refer to with Cannavaro, but then again, I was so enfuriated with the ref in that contest that I could have overlooked Cannavaro's actions.  I will say,  if you want to talk bush, the Ghanaians were falling like timber in the 2nd half of the US game and the US would oblige and kick it out every time.  Faking injuries to eat clock and preserve your lead is bush.


Yeah, but sucking it up and playing the ball out despite the obvious dives and time wasting earned our guys a lot of respect.  You see even some of the big Euro squads that get annoyed and stop doing it.  So long as we keep our sportsmanlike attitudes on the pitch, even when the other team doesn't deserve it, we'll keep building the respect we need to succeed.

DC United 4-0 Celtic in DC and Celtic played at about 80% strength.  Not a bad result.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 14, 2006, 12:28:43 pm
Bruce Arena is officially out as US Team coach.  Let the speculation on his replacement officially begin!

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=373876&cc=5901

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: gobombers15 on July 14, 2006, 01:20:31 pm
I don't think there will be much speculation considering this announcement comes on the heels of Klinsmann walking away from Germany. Hmmm, let's see here, Klinsmann lives in Southern California, Team USA does a lot of their practicing there, he just led Germany to a 3rd place finish, and this has been talked about for weeks. The writing is on the wall.

I look forward to seeing what Klinsmann brings to the U.S. team. The team should be a lot more innovative and creative with their attack. I mean, the guy made Germany fun to watch. The US needs it, too, they looked like a high school trying to attack.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Josh Bowerman on July 14, 2006, 01:33:42 pm
I hope that we can get a coach the calibre of Klinsmann, I'm just not convinced that it will happen.  It would be nice to be proven wrong on this front, though.

ESPN's website has some interesting scenarios--Klinsmann being one.  My guess is that it will be either Carlos Queiroz or Frank Yallop, but it will be interesting to see what happens.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: CRZK on July 14, 2006, 02:37:07 pm
Went to the espn website and reviewed some of the recent stories from Canales.  Found them to be quite interesting.  Don't know much about the other two guys (Queiroz or Yallop) but liked what I read about Klinsmann.

With the lack of goal scoring and attacking soccer in much of the World Cup it would seem that the US needs a coach with an attacking mentality.  The cautious type of play that we exhibted along with other folks packing the back line and midfield created boring low risk soccer and resulted in situations when a team went down by a goal an inability to get back into the game.  Reminds me of several years ago when China packed the box against the US Women.  So, it would seem the powers that be should take a different approach like that which Klinsmann seems to offer.

By the way watched Landon play against KC a couple of weeks ago.  I have to say I was not impressed.  He did score off a great cross but other than that did not seem to be able to take charge of the game and make things happen.  Jet lag and tired--maybe?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 14, 2006, 03:20:23 pm
We need a coach who can identify young players and develop them.  Quieroz would be fantastic at doing this (as he's proven as an assistant at ManU for a while now), but he was also a dismal failure in his one year as head coach and I'm not sure his style would be right for our guys.

Ideal situation: bring in Klinsmann to amp our offense and hire a couple of out of work talent-evaluators to find our next generation of stars and steer them in the right direction developmentally.  You can get some of those guys as "consultants" for a few months or a year and it would really help our development.


Guus Hiddink can do both of those things mentioned above, but Russia has supposedly locked him up months ago.  Klinsmann would be a good replacement.  I also would like Van Baasten; I don't think Holland will keep him on.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: David Collinge on July 14, 2006, 09:28:27 pm
According to the front page of D3Hoops.com (http://www.d3hoops.com/), it looks like former UW-River Falls star forward Rich Melzer has signed a contract with Tottenham Hotspur.  Finally a solid D3 presence in the EPL!

What's that, Pat?  San Antonio, you say?  Oh.

Never mind.   :-[
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 14, 2006, 10:13:48 pm
According to the front page of D3Hoops.com (http://www.d3hoops.com/), it looks like former UW-River Falls star forward Rich Melzer has signed a contract with Tottenham Hotspur.  Finally a solid D3 presence in the EPL!

What's that, Pat?  San Antonio, you say?  Oh.

Never mind.   :-[

Very nice!

I think the U.S. has gained respect in the last 6-8 years or whatever, despite the poor showing in this year's World Cup.  Back when they signed Arena, I think he was both the best coach available and the only "international" coach that thought the US job was attractive.

Now that the US has kind of become a player on the international level, I think there are a lot more options for coaches.  Back in time, there is no way someone like Klinsmann would even consider coaching the US team (if he is even considering it now). 

I saw that Yallop was a consideration, but I think it's best for the US team to pick someone "outside the family".  Yallop has played in MLS and has coached in MLS.  I think we need to go in a totally different direction and pick someone "outside the box".  Quieroz has done wonders under Sir Alex Ferguson (but apparently can't coach Real Madrid!).  Guus Hiddink could also be a possibility.  Though Russia has "claimed" him for sometime now, it's nothing that money can't fix.  Look internationally and give the US team a whole new look.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: gobombers15 on July 15, 2006, 01:44:32 am
Recently talked to a friend who is in Europe for the summer. He is in London right now and gave me some inside info on who will be playing for Chelsea in the MLS All-Star Game. This is based on an interview with Jose Mourinho that he read in the Evening Times.

Almost definitely won't be playing:
-Carvalho (Portugal)
-Paulo Ferreira (Portugal)
-Ballack (Germany)
-Shevchenko (Ukraine)
-Makelele (France)
-Gallas (France)

All of those players besides Shevchenko made the Semi-Finals of the World Cup. Shevchenko has been battling nagging injuries so it's understandable why he will not be playing

Most likely will not be playing...
-Frank Lampard (England)
-Hernan Crespo (Argentina)
-Petr Cech (going to play newly acquired Henrique Hilario...backup for Portugal)
-Arjen Robben (Netherlands)


May play, but most likely not...
-Joe Cole (England)
-del Horno (Spain)
-John Terry (England)

I can see Terry playing but given that he played every minute of England's matches and that he's far too important for Chelsea's chances to make a threepeat, he may just stay home for this one.

Will most likely make the trip and get some playing time...

-Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
-Michael Essien (Ghana)

Essien played in each of Ghana's three preliminary round matches but missed the Brazil match due to accumulated yellow cards. Drogba missed the Ivory Coast's third and final first round match due to accumulated yellow cards.

I think we'll see those two players see the field. Other than that, it's going to  be Chelsea's reserves.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 15, 2006, 07:44:17 am
Nice work gobombers15!

That's too bad that the American public won't see thee Chelsea in person...then again, I don't feel bad for them at all since I was at Soldier Field when Manchester United showed up with a second-string squad...man, I was pissed!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 16, 2006, 08:09:48 pm
I know there is a women's soccer board, but no 'room' for the national team (and precious few readers anyway).

The US national team beat perennial contender Sweden yesterday in an exhibition - one WILD finish!  Tied 1-1 after 88 minutes (in near 100 degree conditions, despite being just north of Minneapolis), the US scored a goal in the 89th minute, Sweden countered with a goal in the 91st minute, then Kristine Lilley got the winner in the 92nd minute!

Amazing anyone could still MOVE by then with those temperatures.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: gobombers15 on July 16, 2006, 11:44:39 pm
Hey now, the Midwest gets real hot in the summer. Remember what happened to Korey Stringer, the offensive tackle for the Vikings, a few years ago in that Minnesota summer heat.

When I played soccer, I found it easier to score at the end of games played in high temperatures. It just seems like EVERYONE is tired and players get sloppy. Sloppiness by the defense usually hurts a lot more than the same from the offensive players.

I hated games played in the freezing weather. Trying to get a good strike on a ball that's frozen when you can no longer feel any of your extremities makes things real difficult.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 17, 2006, 08:00:41 am
I know there is a women's soccer board, but no 'room' for the national team (and precious few readers anyway).

True enough.  We can talk women's soccer here!  They are much better looking than the men.

I think I saw highlights of that exibition game.  As you mentioned, the score was tied in the 88th minute, but you forgot about the part where Mia Hamm headbutts the Swedish defender with 10 minutes to go...and after Lilly scored to win the winner, Brandi Chastain tore off her jersey and ran around in her sports bra showing off those amazing abs!  Oh wait a minute, I think that was a dream...
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 17, 2006, 09:41:07 am

I think for that Chelsea match you'll see the likes of:

Hilario in goal (thanks to bombers for that one)

Drogba and/or Shawn-Wright Phillips up front

Damien Duff, Geremi, Essien, John Mikel in midfield

and four defenders you've never heard of (although I think Del horno may play)


It will still be a pretty formidable squad, albeit much easier for the MLS guys to deal with, especially if we have an MLS ref.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 17, 2006, 10:18:35 am
Back when they signed Arena, I think he was both the best coach available and the only "international" coach that thought the US job was attractive.


Arena wasn't an international coach.  He was just the DC United coach, but also unquestionably the best American coach anywhere.  He still is, but it international football, 4 years is about all one coach can be expected to do without a drop in output.

It will be Klinsmann; everyone says its a done deal.  Even Donovon came out the other day and said "Do you think they'd let Bruce go before they had the next guy in place?"
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 17, 2006, 09:16:13 pm
Hey now, the Midwest gets real hot in the summer. Remember what happened to Korey Stringer, the offensive tackle for the Vikings, a few years ago in that Minnesota summer heat.

When I played soccer, I found it easier to score at the end of games played in high temperatures. It just seems like EVERYONE is tired and players get sloppy. Sloppiness by the defense usually hurts a lot more than the same from the offensive players.

I hated games played in the freezing weather. Trying to get a good strike on a ball that's frozen when you can no longer feel any of your extremities makes things real difficult.

I concur with everything you said.

Having grown up in Peoria, IL, I'm well aware of midwest heat waves, but I suspect they hadn't anticipated upper 90's when they scheduled the exhibition in Blaine, MN!  (I didn't realize the heat wave was nationwide until I saw the paper today - 115 in Pierrre, SD, yesterday!)

I agree that extreme heat favors the offense.  First goal I ever scored in a competitive game (as a rookie at age 46 - that's how late I came to soccer!) was in extreme heat.  I curved a ball right into the upper left corner of the goal (idiot that I am, I admitted to people that it was intended as a pass!  Fortunately, I scored an INTENDED goal later that same game.).

I've always figured that the ideal temperature for players is about 10 degrees cooler than the ideal for spectators:  early spring or late fall, about 55 degrees; May thru October, about 65 degrees.  (Of course, good luck on getting in a game at 65 degrees in July or August!)  Although extreme heat may be more dangerous, if I had to choose I'd take it over 34 degrees and windy (including games played in snow and/or sleet).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 17, 2006, 10:22:47 pm

I think for that Chelsea match you'll see the likes of:
Drogba and/or Shawn-Wright Phillips up front

and four defenders you've never heard of (although I think Del horno may play)

That's if Del Horno doesn't sign with Valencia first.  Also, SWP is more of a winger, so Drogba may be up front by himself.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 17, 2006, 11:00:38 pm
I know there is a women's soccer board, but no 'room' for the national team (and precious few readers anyway).

True enough.  We can talk women's soccer here!  They are much better looking than the men.

I think I saw highlights of that exibition game.  As you mentioned, the score was tied in the 88th minute, but you forgot about the part where Mia Hamm headbutts the Swedish defender with 10 minutes to go...and after Lilly scored to win the winner, Brandi Chastain tore off her jersey and ran around in her sports bra showing off those amazing abs!  Oh wait a minute, I think that was a dream...

Alas, Mia has retired (and Brandi too?).  But you DO have much more interesting dreams than I do! ;)

Mia had the intensity of Zizou, but better control.  I doubt she ever head-butted an opponent, and am pretty sure her red-card lifetime total was very close to zero.  But you're right about the looks - Nomar is one lucky dude (Mia Hamm is very high on my list of sexiest women who ever lived). ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 18, 2006, 08:45:40 am

I think for that Chelsea match you'll see the likes of:
Drogba and/or Shawn-Wright Phillips up front

and four defenders you've never heard of (although I think Del horno may play)

That's if Del Horno doesn't sign with Valencia first.  Also, SWP is more of a winger, so Drogba may be up front by himself.

Yeah, Del Hornor may be out.  SWP is listed a striker on Chelsea's roster, so I went with it.  I know he plays wing for the national teams.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on July 18, 2006, 08:48:15 am
Recently talked to a friend who is in Europe for the summer. He is in London right now and gave me some inside info on who will be playing for Chelsea in the MLS All-Star Game. This is based on an interview with Jose Mourinho that he read in the Evening Times.

Almost definitely won't be playing:
-Carvalho (Portugal)
-Paulo Ferreira (Portugal)
-Ballack (Germany)
-Shevchenko (Ukraine)
-Makelele (France)
-Gallas (France)

All of those players besides Shevchenko made the Semi-Finals of the World Cup. Shevchenko has been battling nagging injuries so it's understandable why he will not be playing

Most likely will not be playing...
-Frank Lampard (England)
-Hernan Crespo (Argentina)
-Petr Cech (going to play newly acquired Henrique Hilario...backup for Portugal)
-Arjen Robben (Netherlands)


May play, but most likely not...
-Joe Cole (England)
-del Horno (Spain)
-John Terry (England)

I can see Terry playing but given that he played every minute of England's matches and that he's far too important for Chelsea's chances to make a threepeat, he may just stay home for this one.

Will most likely make the trip and get some playing time...

-Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
-Michael Essien (Ghana)

Essien played in each of Ghana's three preliminary round matches but missed the Brazil match due to accumulated yellow cards. Drogba missed the Ivory Coast's third and final first round match due to accumulated yellow cards.

I think we'll see those two players see the field. Other than that, it's going to  be Chelsea's reserves.


Considering Robben went out in the round 2 loss to The Netherlands, I would think he'd play.  He lost so much time last year due to injury, he needs to put himself back in Mourinho's radar.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Cole and Lampard play as well - particularly Cole.  Not sure if he'll be considered the odd man out with Ballack brought in, but he needs to show well in preseason to get minutes.

Chelsea plays their first game 2 weeks after the all-star game I believe, so they'll want to be ready.  At least publicly, they've stated that Chelsea only plays games to win, so I assume they'll put out a fairly strong squad.  Quite frankly, they can't help but put out a strong squad because they don't carry any weak players.  Putting out a strong team would only make sense because they're still trying to market their name in the U.S.  Even though they're currently a better side than Man U and Arsenal, they don't have as strong of a marketing imprint.  Peter Kenyon knows that Americans like winners, so they need to play well, unlike Fulham last year.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on July 18, 2006, 08:49:43 am

Quote

Considering Robben went out in the round 2 loss to The Netherlands, I would think he'd play.  He lost so much time last year due to injury, he needs to put himself back in Mourinho's radar.
Quote

meant The Netherlands lost to Portugal
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 18, 2006, 08:55:54 am


Ballack and Cole play different positions and Cole more than proved himself at the Cup.  He definately exceeded expectations.

I assume they'll go with Robben and Sheva up front, Lampard and Ballack in the middle with Joe Cole and Essein/Makelele (crazy that they have to choose between those two), with Terry, Gallas, Carvalho and Fererria in the back.


I expect you'll see replacements for Lampard, Ballack, Cole, Terry, Gallas and Carvalho (with Makelele also sitting) when they play MLS.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on July 18, 2006, 11:19:03 pm


Ballack and Cole play different positions and Cole more than proved himself at the Cup.  He definately exceeded expectations.

I assume they'll go with Robben and Sheva up front, Lampard and Ballack in the middle with Joe Cole and Essein/Makelele (crazy that they have to choose between those two), with Terry, Gallas, Carvalho and Fererria in the back.


I expect you'll see replacements for Lampard, Ballack, Cole, Terry, Gallas and Carvalho (with Makelele also sitting) when they play MLS.

Personally, I think Cole had a very average W.C. considering he only a goal and an assist to his name.  Cole did lots of fancy dribbling, but he never did strike me as that dangerous in the final 1/3 of the field.  Just my opinion.  Of course, Sven's tactics with a single striker didn't help much.

I'm not sure what Mourinho's strategy will be for this coming year.  He typically plays with one formal striker (Drogba/Crespo) with attacking midfielders pushing up (Robben/Duff) and sometimes inserting a more formal second forward (Eidur Gudjohnsen (spelling?) but now with Barcelona).  Sheva brings a different element to the forward group, so will be interesting to see what he does...

The one thing that is for certain - the midfield has a lot of talent with limited spots:  http://www.chelseafc.com/article.asp?article=249900&Title=Squad&lid=Navigation+-+Players&sub=Squad&nav=&sublid=

Of course, there's rumors that Duff may be on his way out.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 19, 2006, 08:11:54 am
Personally, I think Cole had a very average W.C. considering he only a goal and an assist to his name.  Cole did lots of fancy dribbling, but he never did strike me as that dangerous in the final 1/3 of the field.  Just my opinion.  Of course, Sven's tactics with a single striker didn't help much.

I thought Cole was impressive.  Everytime he got the ball, he looked dangerous, at least dangerous compared to any other English player in the W.C.  One goal and an assist is substantial considering how many goals England actually scored! lol.  Besides, I really thought his goal was one of the goals of the tourney. 

Can you name another English player that had a better tourney or looked more dangerous on the ball?  Hargraves had a very good tourney.

Just my opinion.  :D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on July 19, 2006, 08:41:09 am
Quote

I thought Cole was impressive.  Everytime he got the ball, he looked dangerous, at least dangerous compared to any other English player in the W.C.  One goal and an assist is substantial considering how many goals England actually scored! lol.  Besides, I really thought his goal was one of the goals of the tourney. 

Can you name another English player that had a better tourney or looked more dangerous on the ball?  Hargraves had a very good tourney.

Just my opinion.  :D
Quote

For some reason Cole just reminded me of Cobi Jones circa 1994.  Run hard/fast/dribble well, then not know what to do with the ball when it actually counts.  I don't think he played poor, but not that great either.  I agree that it was a great goal, but with any goal like that - there's an element of luck (goalkeeper positioning etc).  I saw that game at O'Hare waiting for my flight to head to the World Cup.  Was fun as there were lots of Brits watching the game with me that were also heading over....

I also agree that England played poor and Cole stood out in comparison to his midfield mates, but that's not saying much :)

Agreed, Hargreaves was probably the overall best player for England during the WC.  Too bad he ended up playing a lot at right back.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 19, 2006, 09:02:32 am


Yeah, Duff will be gone at Chelsea.  He's good, but probably not as intense as he would need to be to compete for regular playing time in that midfield.  Do you think Chelsea could be the first team ever to play 2-7-1 this season?


It pains me to hear any world class footballer compared to Cobi Jones (not that Cobi hasn't done his best).  Every England fan I know thought Cole was the top performer of the Cup for their squad (outside Hargreaves, but no one in England likes him enough to admit that).  He certainly played above expectations as did Crouch, in my opinion.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 19, 2006, 10:36:43 am

It pains me to hear any world class footballer compared to Cobi Jones (not that Cobi hasn't done his best).  Every England fan I know thought Cole was the top performer of the Cup for their squad (outside Hargreaves, but no one in England likes him enough to admit that).  He certainly played above expectations as did Crouch, in my opinion.

I also think the comparison of Joe Cole to Cobi Jones is not a good one.  They are simply not in the same class, and that's not a meant to be a knock on Jones.  It's like comparing most DI and DIII players in any sport, and we here know all about that.  What I sometimes haven't liked about Cole in the past is a tendency to do beautiful footwork and then not finish.  But, as OS points out, hardly anyone finished for England in the WC and Cole produced a beauty.  I am not a Chelsea supporter, but I'd love to have him on my side.

To me, the biggest disappointment in the midfield was Frank Lampard.  One of the English press wrote that "the jounalists and cameramen learned when to duck--whenever Frank Lampard prepared to shoot."  His official number was 24 shots on goal, tying him with Maniche and Thierry Henry.  His teammate Steven Gerrard, however, had 2 goals in fewer than 10 shots (ESPNsoccernet's listing ends there).  And even Beckham, with his limitations, was able to score in his distinctive way.  But, I don't see a lot of Lampard and I'm willing to believe he had a bad run.  I just don't think it's fair to say that the English midfield were uniformly poor--there were definitely some who played better than others.  And the striker situation was a disaster, putting far more pressure on the midfield to score.

Crouch is not pretty, or usually very efficient, but he can score.  With the right lineup--usually 4-4-2, with the other striker small and quick, he gives defenses fits.

And, I think the biggest disappointment of all was Eriksson, who made all of the rest possible.

I just watched Fever Pitch again last night--can't wait for the EPL to start!  :)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on July 19, 2006, 10:59:29 am
Quote
I also think the comparison of Joe Cole to Cobi Jones is not a good one.  They are simply not in the same class, and that's not a meant to be a knock on Jones.  It's like comparing most DI and DIII players in any sport, and we here know all about that.  What I sometimes haven't liked about Cole in the past is a tendency to do beautiful footwork and then not finish. 
Quote

I don't remember every saying Cobi Jones' overall play was on par with Joe Cole.  All I intended to get across is that during the WC he seemed to dribble a lot without much production and it happened to remind me of Cobi Jones.  While you may not think this applied to the WC, you seem to agree in general by stating - "What I sometimes haven't liked about Cole in the past is a tendency to do beautiful footwork and then not finish."- I just happened to think it was the case during the WC. 

Although I don't think Joe Cole is 'World Class', without a doubt, I'd take him any day over Cobi Jones.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 19, 2006, 11:08:30 am

I think we all understood you weren't elevating Cobi Jones to a player of Cole's calibre, but their levels of ability are so far apart that even the comparison is out of whack.

No offense, but to me it sounded like saying "Adam Morrison sometimes reminds me of Keelan Amelianovich; they're both tall guys who shoot well."  It's not untrue, but there are probably about two dozen guys who would make the comparison better.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 19, 2006, 12:02:45 pm
Gotberg, that clarifies things and it does sound like we more or less agree on Joe Cole. 

Hoops, good analogy to basketball. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on July 19, 2006, 12:47:00 pm
No offense, but to me it sounded like saying "Adam Morrison sometimes reminds me of Keelan Amelianovich; they're both tall guys who shoot well."  It's not untrue, but there are probably about two dozen guys who would make the comparison better.

No offense taken - but I was just saying that Cole's 06 style of play reminded me of Jones' WC94 style - not quite the analogy above. Cole certainly did have better results (Goal/Assist).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: gobombers15 on July 19, 2006, 10:15:47 pm
All fair points. I hope they do bring a good squad. But past precedent of quality European sides tends to imply they might not.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 19, 2006, 10:18:13 pm
Our lower league, the USL, all-stars tied Englands lower league team, Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, 0-0.  I just saw the final score on FSC.  Not that that means anything!

Until this board, I never heard of the football version of Fever Pitch...just that Jimmy Fallon/baseball/Red Sox one.  I'll have to see if I can dig that up on Netflix or something.

Brazil's coach, Pierrera stepped down today.  Anyone on the US National team speak Portugese?  :D

Though we weren't technically comparing Cole and Jones, Jones was a very valuable asset to the national team, as a starter and a sub.  When he subbed in, he was able to run, hustle and track back on defense.  He hustled more than anyone on the team at times.  
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 19, 2006, 10:57:25 pm
Cobi Jones was my older son's favorite player (at least until he got Brian McBride's cleats at the end of a Crew @ Fire game!) - lay off Cobi!  He wasn't world-class, but no one could ever fault his effort (unlike some USA stars).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on July 20, 2006, 02:17:16 pm
I saw the original Fever Pitch shortly after it was released to the movie channels........good movie, nice story.

i didn't bother with the American version since I knew it would be a blatant ripoff of the original.



The Juventus discount shopping spree has started with Cannavaro going to Real Madrid along with Emerson.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on July 20, 2006, 02:26:32 pm
I haven't seen this posted, thought you all might find it interesting:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060719
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Just Bill on July 20, 2006, 02:40:21 pm
I just read this Bill Simmons article (linked in the post above), and it's exceptional!

Simmons got hooked on soccer during the World Cup and decided to select an English Premier League team to follow.  He gives a great synopsis on each team.

A must-read whether you're a Premier League expert or a newbie!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on July 20, 2006, 03:24:41 pm
I just read this Bill Simmons article (linked in the post above), and it's exceptional!

Simmons got hooked on soccer during the World Cup and decided to select an English Premier League team to follow.  He gives a great synopsis on each team.

A must-read whether you're a Premier League expert or a newbie!

Great link thanks.  Absolutely a must read, very funny at times especially if you follow the EPL.


I have to admit that I pull for Liverpool. ..........and if you read the article I'll watch any game played at Newcastle just because the crowd is awesome especially when the big four come to town.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 20, 2006, 04:15:18 pm

Yeah.  When I started following EPL closely I really wanted to go with Liverpool, although, as Simmons pointed out, you can't do it lightly and I'm not sure I'm worthy of it at this point.  We'll see.

Anyway, I've been rooting for Wigan the last few years as they've flown up the ranks and I'll be pushing for Reading hard this year as they feature some prominent Americans.

I just can't root for Chelsea, ManU or Arsenal.

Spurs was a good choice for the SportsGuy.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on July 20, 2006, 05:50:27 pm
VERY nice article.  The only thing I disagree with is that I think Liverpool is a lovely city and a great vacation destination (I've been there twice.  Then again, I teach courses on the Beatles). ;)

I went through the same thing when I started following the EPL.  ManU, Arsenal, and Chelsea have all, in order, seemed too much like the Yankees for me to support them.  I was gutted when Michael Owen left Liverpool, and when they didn't bring him back, although I understand the finances of that decision.  And Stevie G is every bit as good as Simmons says.

Can't quibble with his choice of Spurs, though.  Robbie Keane is a great striker, and Aaron Lennon is a dynamic young talent.  Too bad Keane isn't English; he could have helped a ton in the WC.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 20, 2006, 07:36:04 pm
It's ironic that Manchester United is called, "The Yankees of the EPL" since they actually have a partnership with the Yankees and you can see Man. Utd. games on the YES network!

Anyway, I have to defend Manchester United as my favorite team.  I first started watching the EPL way before it was called the EPL on a little known (now defunct) channel named Sports Channel America back in the very late 80's (1989, I think) when Manchester CITY was finishing higher than Manchester UNITED.  There really isn't any reason why I picked United over City (maybe I like red better than Blue), it just happened, kind of like why I prefer Chevy over Ford or Coke over Pepsi...things happen.  But, I was definitely sold when Ryan Giggs made his professional debut in 1991.  Wow! So, I wasn't just jumping on the Man. Utd. bandwagon after they won 7 of the first 10 Premier League titles! ;) 

I think everyone hates them because they were so good for so long.  I'm included in that mentality as well.  I hate the Bulls (maybe because I was a Knicks fan), Tiger Woods, the Yankees, etc. 

Well, I'm not going to go into a 16 year history of Man. Utd.  The article criticizes Man. Utd. for buying up all the young talent...don't you want that?  I don't think you're viewed as such a hawker than when you buy up established players from different teams, i.e. the Yankees or the Lakers.  Beginning in the early 90s, Sir Alex Ferguson brought up Fergie's Fledglings that included Giggs, Scholes, Butt, and the Nevilles from the "farm team".  I think that's pretty impressive.  Aside from big name young talent in Rooney, Ronaldo and even Alan Smith, he has been very good at buying "under the radar" talent in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Luis Saha and even Roy Keane.

Man. Utd. ain't perfect, Ferguson can be a total [you know what] sometimes and they've been spoiled by past success.  But I'll always be a fan of them and I've got the tattoo to prove it (of the abstract Red Devil)...even if they are owned by the Glazers (who happen to own the Tampa Bay Bucs, among other things  >:( ).

Aside from Man. Utd...

Newcastle (a good friend of mine who lives in Shrewsbury is a big fan of them, besides, we stole Andy Cole from them!)

Liverpool (I loved the old rivalry days when they had Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley and John Barnes...and who can forget Bruce Grobberlar!)

Arsenal (your enemy's enemies are your allies.  Obviously, as a MU fan, I hated them, but that was before Chelsea bought their last two championships)

Fulham (McBride and Bocanegra)

Spurs (cool name, among other reasons)-those are horrible jerseys.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 20, 2006, 07:47:06 pm
Zidane given 3 (international) match ban and fined a couple of bucks for his headbutt.

Matarazzi given 2 match ban (international as well) and fined a couple of bucks for is insults.

Zidane and Matarazzi suspended (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=374170&cc=5739)

They're suspending players for insults now? 

As we speak...#2 v #3 on his list on Classic Games on FSC:  Liverpool v Hotspur!



Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on July 20, 2006, 09:26:07 pm

Anyway, I have to defend Manchester United as my favorite team.  I first started watching the EPL way before it was called the EPL on a little known (now defunct) channel named Sports Channel America back in the very late 80's (1989, I think) when Manchester CITY was finishing higher than Manchester UNITED.  There really isn't any reason why I picked United over City (maybe I like red better than Blue), it just happened, kind of like why I prefer Chevy over Ford or Coke over Pepsi...things happen.  But, I was definitely sold when Ryan Giggs made his professional debut in 1991.  Wow! So, I wasn't just jumping on the Man. Utd. bandwagon after they won 7 of the first 10 Premier League titles! ;) 

In 1992 I wasn't really a soccer fan yet.  My roommate was from Stockholm, Sweden and he'd watch a Saturday morning English soccer recap program.  I'd watch it a few times with him and he told me his favorite team was Man City because his father bought one of their jerseys as a gift for him while his father was in England on business.  So, I decided I needed to pick a team to follow.  I chose Man United that day because I was really impressed with a young talent named Ryan Giggs who was in his early twenties/late teens.

The following year I was in Budapest and attended my first European match - a match between Man United vs. Kispest Honved - an early round Champion's league game that took place in a small stadium of about 10k.  One of the best and worst experiences I've ever had.  The best because I became an absolute soccer fanatic.  The worst, because I'm an absolute hooked soccer fanatic.  I had the chance to see Giggs, Cantona, Schmeichel etc.  This was leading into the 94 world cup so more wood for the fire.

Fortunately I have an understanding wife who allowed me to spend a week in Europe last month with 4 friends attending the World Cup. 

I think the Simmons article I linked in a previous post captured some of the things about Soccer that makes it so fantastic (and in many way college sports).  Fans are there for to see the game and not to be seen.  The focus is so much on the game at hand...and not the entertainment in the stands or during TV timeouts.

I just fell in love with the passion of the fans and the excitement of the everflowing movement that occurs on the field and the adrenaline of a potentinal goal...a result that actually means something.

Sigh - good times.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 20, 2006, 10:30:15 pm
I confess that my team is Arsenal, but it has nothing to do with jumping on the bandwagon (at least, not directly - I have no idea as to the origin of the club name).

In my area, the club team with some future d1 and professional prospects is Ann Arbor Arsenal.  They have won several national titles (both boys and girls), though usually U13 or below.  That makes me wonder if their coaching is not as good as advertised, or if they are losing their REALLY good players to someone even higher on the pecking order.

The club I work with (Ypsilanti Area Soccer Club) has probably never had a pro prospect, has a scholarship prospect perhaps every 2-3 years, and would have at most 2-3 d3 starters each year, most of whom don't go d3.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 21, 2006, 08:58:41 am

Frankly with the way Chelsea is spending these days, I can't even bring myself to be mad at people who root for ManU or Arsenal.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Just Bill on July 21, 2006, 11:11:21 am

As we speak...#2 v #3 on his list on Classic Games on FSC:  Liverpool v Hotspur!


Clearly you didn't read the Bill Simmons article closely enough:  Its "Tottenham Hotspurs" or "the Spurs".  Nothing else!  ;)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: CRZK on July 21, 2006, 07:00:30 pm
Had this link sent to me.  Great 9 minute video on Zidane.  Didn't have much of a chance to watch him enough during his career (out in my area we had until recently little cable access to soccer).

Anyway, outstanding farewell video showing awesome talent.

web: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8451296196135992907&pr=goog-sl
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 21, 2006, 07:24:06 pm
Thanks for posting that! 

Obviously Zizou did more than sometimes break the laws of FIFA, he regularly broke the laws of physics.  Some of those moves are simply not humanly possible! ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 21, 2006, 10:04:58 pm
Fringe players at Chelsea become starters elsewhere...Del Horno heads to Valencia and Damien Duff goes to the Magpies, instead of TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR!  Is that better, Just Bill, err...Bill Simmons? lol.  ;)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: jfpiv on July 22, 2006, 08:34:38 am
Great article by Simmons.
Tragic selection, I'm a Gunner fan myself, but great article nonetheless.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 27, 2006, 08:00:45 pm
Jonah Freedman (SI.com) ranks the world's club teams, and has 3 of the top 5 in England:

1.  Chelsea
2.  FC Barcelona
3.  Olympique Lyon
4.  Arsenal
5.  Liverpool

Does anyone else view this as overplaying the EPL just a tad?!

He ranks the top 10, then also includes about 8 honorable mentions - sorry, ManU, no where on the list!  He does include both Real Madrid and DC United(!) among the HMs.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 28, 2006, 07:41:24 am
That humors me...and yes, a little too much weight on the EPL.  So, D.C. United is better than Manchester United now?  Umm...

Looks like RvN is out at Old Trafford.  Disappointing not to see any new faces come in, though THREE old faces return from injuries, Scholes, Solskjaer and Alan Smith (moving back to his preferred forward position). 
I'm looking forward to the new EPL season, among other leagues, even if Man. Utd. supposedly sucks now! lol.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on July 28, 2006, 08:41:54 am
Old School, acc. to soccernet, Man U will sign Carrick today.  That should ease some of the suffering at Old Trafford.

My Gunners, on the other hand, appear ready to send Ashley Cole to Chelsea.  Can't say that I am overly thrilled with the prospect of another year with Flamini on the back line.  He did an admirable job last year, but I'd really rather play the kid in the midfield.

As for the poll, I'm assuming the decision to keep Juve out of the top five was some sort of an informal punishment related to the match fixing scandal.

My top five:
1 - Barca
2 - Chelsea
3 - Arsenal
4 - Juve
5 - Bayern Munich (I've never been overly thrilled with Ligue 1 football)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 28, 2006, 09:03:33 am

I think Barca is definately number one these days.  They've got a lot of talent and unlike Real and Chelsea, they actually have some chemistry too.

I'm not sure why ManU wouldn't be on a top 10 list; they still finished second last season and they have a solid squad, just probably not solid enough to do any damage this year.

I know the UEFA coefficients count the last five years, so it doesn't give a totally accurate picture of the current situation, but here is this year's top ten.

Position    Club    Country    Coefficient
1    AC Milan           Italy    129.020
2    FC Barcelona    Spain    127.006
3    Real Madrid    Spain    120.006
4    Internazionale     Italy    112.020
5    Juventus     Italy    107.020
6    Liverpool     England    105.950
7    Arsenal     England    101.950
8    Manchester United     England    100.950
9    Valencia    Spain    95.006
10    Lyon     France    89.757
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 28, 2006, 03:46:39 pm

It looks like the transfer window is really heating up right now.  I'm sorry I'll be away for a while.  If I don't get eaten by a bear climbing Mt Whitney, I'll be back next week.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on July 28, 2006, 04:32:41 pm
Ruud!  Ruud!  Hala Madrid, baby. Now there's a stiker that I can root for..
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 28, 2006, 05:21:15 pm
Real Madrid ruined Michael Owen...I cannot cheer for them! lol.  >:(

It's funny that many fans still believe Real Madrid is the greatest club in the world with all their stars they have.  Well, they are like the Yankees.  Neither has won squat for quite sometime now (2002/2003 being the last La Liga championship for them).  I realize Man. Utd. hasn't won the Premiership since then either, but then again, they aren't ranked in the Top 10! (according to the Freeman guy) lol.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 28, 2006, 06:11:04 pm
As for the poll, I'm assuming the decision to keep Juve out of the top five was some sort of an informal punishment related to the match fixing scandal.

My top five:
1 - Barca
2 - Chelsea
3 - Arsenal
4 - Juve
5 - Bayern Munich (I've never been overly thrilled with Ligue 1 football)

I have read that many (if not most) Juventus players had contract clauses that if the club was demoted, the player became a free agent.  If that is true, the 'new' Juve may have trouble staying in the top 50!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on July 28, 2006, 11:05:30 pm
Ruud!  Ruud!  Hala Madrid, baby. Now there's a stiker that I can root for..


It's not as if you didn't have any choices before he arrived.  Raul, Julio Baptista, Ronaldo, Robinho, Cassano, now Ruud.  That's one heck of a crows.  Someone will have to be moved.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on July 31, 2006, 08:59:44 am
What a crappy way to interrupt a football match! lol  (http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=reu-brazilriot&prov=reuters&type=lgns) 

Enjoy.  ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 01, 2006, 08:01:27 am
Nice article in yesterday's USA Today on...err, Chelsea (wow, that hurt to say that!)...

On the transfer rumor mill...this also hurts, Patrick Viera of all players, hinted in his desire to play for Manchester United!  ???
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on August 01, 2006, 10:10:26 am
A pretty week hint, sounds more like he's headed for Inter Milan.   I think the BBC was trying to make an interesting story for their readers.

Not that they've ever been accused of sensationalism ;)


No bodies mentioned it but Liverpool's draw in the 3rd round Champions League Qualifier is with Maccabi Haifa.  They'll decide in a week whether to play the game in Israel or not.  ::)

Cypress anyone.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 01, 2006, 06:57:22 pm
Two other Israeli qualifiers (http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news;_ylt=AlRgr047v7ApaXrkpyMwfXMmw7YF?slug=ap-uefa-israel&prov=ap&type=lgns) have been moved to neutral countries, according to Yahoo Sports.  But the Israeli football association chairman feels if Depeche Mode can play a concert in Israel, there isn't any reason why Liverpool can't show up!

I read on soccernet about Viera.  Of course, the same site says he'll sign with Inter.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: gobombers15 on August 02, 2006, 01:16:17 am
Trezeguet to stay with Juve and Viera heads over to Inter. No huge surprises there.

http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news;_ylt=AnjAGy36iiCf0PWxZIkKXXUmw7YF?slug=reu-ballack&prov=reuters&type=lgns

Read that article. Apparently, Ballack will rotate with Michael Essien in Chelsea's midfield. The team will play three midfielders: Ballack/Essien, Lampard and Makelele. Where does Joe Cole fit into this picture? Are they going to play him as a winger? I'm assuming that Drogba, Shevchenko and Crespo will start up top. Joey Cole is far too good of a player to be wasting away on Chelsea's bench. I hope they find him some minutes or move him to another team.

http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news;_ylt=ArI5KCqy6wNnPnGq3mbnVXcmw7YF?slug=afp-fblengprchelseafra&prov=afp&type=lgns

Looks like Gallas is not happy with Chelsea. He wants to play more of a central defender rather than his current position of fullback. Should be interesting to see how this turns out.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 02, 2006, 09:25:59 am
Read that article. Apparently, Ballack will rotate with Michael Essien in Chelsea's midfield. The team will play three midfielders: Ballack/Essien, Lampard and Makelele. Where does Joe Cole fit into this picture? Are they going to play him as a winger? I'm assuming that Drogba, Shevchenko and Crespo will start up top. Joey Cole is far too good of a player to be wasting away on Chelsea's bench. I hope they find him some minutes or move him to another team.

You can say that for about half the players riding the pine at Stamford Bridge.  Ballack merely rotating with Essien.  They paid a fortune for him.  Chelsea has two awesome teams and that can cause problems.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on August 02, 2006, 04:40:53 pm
Are they going to play a 4-3-3?

4-5-1 would make sense with Sheva up top, Robben and Cole on the wings, and the Ballack, Makelele, and Lampard down the middle.

Good Lord!  That's an allstar team.

I can't say that I'm too broken up about the fact that Gallas is unhappy.

I'd love to see him playing at Emirates Arena this fall!!!!!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: gobombers15 on August 04, 2006, 12:46:00 am
Keep in mind that Ashley Cole is still clamoring to be sent to Chelsea. If you check out his page on Wikipedia, apparently there was some ordeal a couple of years ago where he met with Chelsea reps even though he was playing for Arsenal. That would be ridiculous if they get him, too.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 04, 2006, 03:27:16 pm
In a preseason friendly with FC Porto, Wayne Rooney got red-carded! lol.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 04, 2006, 06:22:58 pm
Nice work Wayne. Shocker really. The guy looks like he should've gone with the boxing gloves as a career. He's a long way to go. I see Scholes was a culprit was well.

Did anyone read Wahl's interview with Lampard?  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/grant_wahl/08/03/chelsea.lampard/index.html

Reyes to Madrid? I hope so.  Ship off Graveson back to the EPL and let's have Reyes feeding balls to Robinho and cleaning up his misses.  3 weeks til we get serious.

Enjoy the game tomorrow for those making the journey to chicago.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 07, 2006, 11:02:45 am


Chelsea could use Ashley Cole on the back line.  That wouldn't be a bad move.  The only spot they have some semblence of weakness is on the defensive wings.  ACole would be perfect there.

You also have to remember that Abrahimovic is out to win Champs League, Premiership, FA Cup and the Carling Cup to become the first team to win four.  That's a ton of matches, which is why they have so much depth.

I think you'll see Drogba and Sheva switching in and out up front quite a bit.  Robben and JCole both proved to be at their best on the wings in the world cup.  That leaves Ballack and Lampard in the middle.  I think you're more likely to see Makelele and Essien switch off as Mak is getting a bit long in the tooth footballwise.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on August 07, 2006, 12:35:13 pm
I have to say that who ever planned having foreign soccer club's touring the U.S. to showcase their talent has to be praised. I attended the FC Barcelona v.s Chivas game last night in L.A. and loved the atmosphere that it brought out. Truely, this game tapped the heart of LA soccer fans as i brought out close to 95,000 screaming and crazy fans. I just hope that one day MLS can reach as much fan base and have sell out stadiums in the future. This just might be what U.S soccer needs.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on August 07, 2006, 12:49:22 pm
Happy to report that there was a similar atmosphere in Bridgeport, Illinois Saturday night when Chelsea played the MLS allstars.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 07, 2006, 04:05:43 pm
Happy to report that there was a similar atmosphere in Bridgeport, Illinois Saturday night when Chelsea played the MLS allstars.

With 70,000 less fans.  ;)


Because soccer will never be as big as football, baseball and other sports in the US, I would be content with MLS selling out soccer specific stadiums of 20,000+ fans.  It's much more exciting than watching 20,000 fans sitting in Soldier Field.

Chelsea could use Ashley Cole on the back line.  That wouldn't be a bad move.  The only spot they have some semblence of weakness is on the defensive wings.  ACole would be perfect there.

Why are you saying anything good about Chelsea? lol.  :P
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on August 07, 2006, 06:09:55 pm
That is so true. That was one of the reasons why the L.A. galaxy moved from the Rose bowl to the much smaller Home Depot center. After having a large gathering in its first year, fan numbers just started to drop. Still, 20,000 is just sad for the sport of the world.


Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 08, 2006, 09:28:47 am

I don't think 20,000 is bad at all.  There are a decent number of baseball teams that can't draw that many, even with a much larger fan base.  Besides, few of the stadiums in Europe are much larger.  You can't judge MLS against the EPL, because their attendance dwarfs everyone else's to begin with.  ManU has the 70,000 seat stadium that sells out and 19 of the 20 teams averaged at least 20,000 last year.  However, only half the teams in Spain and Italy were over 20,000; Germany got a boost from all the new construction needed for the World Cup; France only has 8 teams over 20,000; Holland only has four.

We compare MLS to the Scotish and Belgian leagues and they only have two teams each with facilities big enough to hold significantly more than 20,000.  Most Euro clubs outside the Champs League elite have a capacity between 20 and 30 thousand.  Our stadiums and attendance are pretty close in line with those of comparable leagues in Europe.

Football is a lot like hockey: even if you could sell the seats, you don't want it in an arena of more than 25,000 or so because the view from too far away just sucks.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on August 08, 2006, 01:54:07 pm
Hoops--- You are right about the view if there are about 90,000 + fans at a soccer match. IMHO, the tickets that I bought landed me near the top of the fame L.A coliseum  really sucked compared to viewng. However, the people at the top are always the craziest and rowdy fans that make the atmosphere more exciting. In all, i am still hoping that one day MLS will get the love that other sports around the US get.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 08, 2006, 08:23:28 pm
You beat me to the punch.  We try to compare MLS to the level or two just below the EPL and our numbers compare or are better than those.  I'd much rather have 20,000 sellout a soccer specific stadium than have 40,000 in a 80,000 NFL stadium.  The atmosphere is a heck of a lot better.  The MLS is on it's way to making a profit with the additions of soccer-specific stadiums where they don't have to pay rent and they get to keep all proceeds. 

We can't fool ourselves and think soccer in this country will ever become the main sport (or even one of the main sports) in the USA or that our league will become one of the top leagues in the world, but I think we'll continue to improve and more and more players will be bought by big clubs who have honed their skills in MLS and that's not a bad thing!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on August 08, 2006, 09:04:15 pm
We can't fool ourselves and think soccer in this country will ever become the main sport (or even one of the main sports) in the USA or that our league will become one of the top leagues in the world, but I think we'll continue to improve and more and more players will be bought by big clubs who have honed their skills in MLS and that's not a bad thing!

I don't know, Old School. Fifteen years ago who would have thought NASCAR would be where it is today, and as everyone who has ever trumpeted the growth of soccer says, the grass roots are there in the States.  I'd love to see it. I just hope that the MLS doesn't implement the proverbial "glowing puck" to try and make it happen.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 09, 2006, 09:22:10 am


Yeah, NASCAR growth has been impressive, outrageous, and entirely stupid.  But they did not have to compete with a dozen gigantically popular leagues overseas.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 10, 2006, 08:23:28 am
Eric and Eric are in for Mike and Mike today (Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio)...as in, Eric Casillias and ERIC WYNALDA.

Eric asked Wynalda what he would rather have, an EPL championship with Liverpool or being in the Hall of Fame.  He immediately picked the EPL championship.  About five minutes later, he flip flopped claiming Casillias "threw him off" or something like that. 

The basic broad sports question is would a player rather win the Stanley Cup, the Super Bowl, World Series etc or be in the respective Hall of Fame.

In soccer, it's a little different.  Is there a "World/FIFA" Hall of Fame?  I think I'd take an EPL championship with Manchester United over being in the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. 

If we're comparing an MLS championship with the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame, then I'd probably still take the championship.

What are your thoughts?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 10, 2006, 08:59:46 am


Yeah, since I am unaware of an international football hall of fame (I'm pretty sure Halls of Fame are a purely American fascination) I'd have to go with the championship.

Champs League would be cool to win, but if you're going for the ultimate prize for an English squad it would have to be the as-yet-unaccomplished quad. (EPL, Champs League, FA Cup and Carling Cup).  ManU pulled off the triple a few years back, which is impressive in its own right.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 10, 2006, 10:20:04 am
The only thing that makes the League Cup, i.e., the Carling Cup, important to any top flight club is if they don't win anything else!  Man. Utd. has come to appreciate the League Cup for that reason alone, unfortunately.  :'(  Watching the Red Devils win the EPL, the F.A. Cup and the Champions League within about a 10-day span was amazing...especially the Champions League Final.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 10, 2006, 12:28:42 pm


I know no one in the EPL cares about Carling, but both Abramovich and Mourinho have stated they want to be the first to win the Quad.



Speaking of Chelsea, has anyone heard any more about Gallas getting sold?  This might have a big impact on my fantasy squad.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on August 10, 2006, 01:28:22 pm
DC United and Real Madrid played to a 1-1 draw last night in Seattle.  Great first half with both teams going at it.

The goal scored by DC was one expected out of RM.

Second half, RM made numerous subs(if you call Canavaro and Helguera subs). RM controlled most of the second half with DC looking tired.  DC stayed composed and fought fought hard for the draw (including an incredible save by DC's goalkeeper Perkins of a Roberto Carlos set piece). 

Perkins works part time as a loan processor at a local DC bank to make ends meet.  Must be feel odd to ask for time off from work in order to travel to Seattle and play the superstars of Real Madrid.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 10, 2006, 03:57:46 pm


Yeah that seems like the same story as the All-Star Chelsea match.  The score was close, but the chances weren't.  After a while you have to stop calling it luck and start attributing some of it to solid defense.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on August 10, 2006, 07:22:33 pm
You can see the DC v RM highlights on MLS' home page.

http://www.mlsnet.com/MLS/index.jsp

If you haven't been to their site before, the center section of the page will change and there will be one 'section' entitled "Spanish Stars battle MLS sides Saturday".  At the end of the section's text, there's a link to a 350k video.  There were plenty of highlights left out, but this is a nice summary of the game.

RM definitely played to win and from a player's perspective, earn playing under their new coach.  Raul talked at a pre-game conference call that RM only plays to win.  The history and tradition of RM is too important not to win.  Now granted, their in pre-season etc, but I do believe each and every RM player tried to play to their best capabilities at this point in time.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 10, 2006, 09:47:18 pm
Things could get ugly for the MLS this weekend as Real SL take on Real Madrid. 

And of course, more importantly, Arsenal v Chelsea in the Charity Shield, Community Shield or whatever they call it now!  Finally, the EPL kicks off!  YEAH!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 11, 2006, 11:05:55 am


You'd think McLaren would have had the decency in Germany to whisper in Becks ear "Why don't you retire from International Football now, when you give up the captaincy."  I mean it would have been the classier thing to do rather than let the guy give up the captaincy, say he'll keep playing and then dump him.  I'm not against the decision, just the way it went down.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 11, 2006, 07:53:00 pm
All because he's dumped him for this "crucial" friendly  ;) vs Greece (?), that doesn't mean he's done for good.  RvN also got dropped for Holland. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 11, 2006, 10:22:17 pm
Becks deserves to get 100 caps for England.  Im not saying dropping him for the Greece match is a big deal, I just hope that he gets some love in the Euro 08 qualifiers.  I think  McClaren is just making a statement that he's going to be his own coach, not a Sven clone.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on August 13, 2006, 09:18:39 pm
Liverpool 2 Chelsea 1

Is it just me or does it seem like if you put a trophpy in front of a Liverpool/Chelsea matchup.........Liverpool wins?

......and it could be argued that Liverpool played the weaker side today.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 14, 2006, 09:32:01 am


Plus now we've got one more American owner in the EPL.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on August 14, 2006, 12:12:30 pm
Lately, I've been reading about Beck's future as he gets a bit older. It's sad to hear that his national team asked for his captain's arm band and that some of his coaches feel that he is lossing some pace in his game. As far as i know, this guy was once a top highlight for the english team and suddlenly he isn't. Give me a break. Beck's has done the best for his country, the least they can do is keep him as a reserve on the national team.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 14, 2006, 12:46:38 pm


They didn't ask for his armband; he gave it up before they could.

Becks has never been the best player in the world, he was (and may still be) the most talented free kick taker in the world, which is quite valuable to the team.  He's very good on the cross, but he's never been a complete player, nor one who could perform at 100% for the whole match.  I'd compare him to Randy Moss (although without the arrogance).  Good enough in spots that you have to leave him on the field, but not the best complete player.

Now that Aaron Lennon has proved just how good he can be during the run of play and Lampard has stepped up as an above-average free kick taker, the usefulness of Becks in wanning a bit.

I'm sure he'll still get his caps in, although he probably won't get the England record (which he's been gunning for from the beginning).  There was a good point brought up earlier, that he is just barely back to form after the World Cup injury and maybe McLaren just didn't want to risk it.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on August 15, 2006, 12:14:28 pm
Thanks for the insight Hoops. I'll have to agree with the fact that after beck's world cup injury, it'll take time for him to come back to full form.

Aside from that, IMHO, I say that beck's should retire from football completly. Word is that once he feels like getting away from England he has the choice of joining any MLS team that wants him. Of course this brings the debate in which people argue whether these older players from Europe can really help out MLS. In this case, it will only help Beck's get richer.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 15, 2006, 01:56:45 pm


I think the older Euro players will be invaluable to the young players coming up in MLS.  Right now they have a lot of good, but not great Central American stars to learn from, but that's almost like learning from the minor league lifers in AAA baseball, good, but not the best.


Beckham is still a starter for one of the top ten teams in the world.  Unlike a lot of other sports, when football's best start to slow down, they still can play at the same level as many of the good players around them for quite some time.  People like Nedved and Zidane and Beckham spent their prime absolutely head and shoulders above everyone else, so its noticable when they start to slow down, but usually it takes quite a while for teams to find someone good enough to take their place.  How else to explain why Roberto Carlos still has a job?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 15, 2006, 05:23:44 pm
In this case, it will only help Beck's get richer.

Obviously, money isn't really an issue for Beckham.  He'll make pennies in the MLS compared to what Europe plays.  Besides, he makes most of his money through endorsements, and in that sense, he'll make good in the USA. 

On another note, I was reading Yahoo! Sports' Premiere League preview of each team.  Each team had the essentials like player arrivals and departures among other things.  Under Manchester United, Ruud Van Nistelrooy wasn't even listed as a departure! Wow.  Anyway, rumor around the pitch is that Hargreaves wants to play in England and Manchester United (not surprisingly) is linked.  That would be great to sign him, if not for the first four games since newly signed Michael Carrick is already injured and fellow midfielder Paul Scholes is suspended for games 2-4!  Plus, Hargreaves is a pretty sweet player.

Soccer marathon on FSC on Saturday with two live EPL games, an A-League game, a delayed EPL game and a live MLS game!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on August 15, 2006, 11:32:59 pm
Soccer marathon on FSC on Saturday with two live EPL games, an A-League game, a delayed EPL game and a live MLS game!

Please God let it rain on Saturday! ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on August 15, 2006, 11:49:21 pm
Soccer marathon on FSC on Saturday with two live EPL games, an A-League game, a delayed EPL game and a live MLS game!

Please God let it rain on Saturday! ;D

Sorry, Joe, but soccer players are not like wimpy baseball players - we play in the rain!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 16, 2006, 08:06:21 am
Maybe he has to work outside (mow the lawn, construction, housing, race NASCAR, etc) and if it rains, he doesn't have to work and he can watch soccer all day. 

If not, well then I curse Joe Wally! lol.  :D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 16, 2006, 08:10:41 am
Not sure if you have noticed, but Setanta now has the EPL 7:30am game on Saturday mornings. There have been a few changes. Check out www.soccertv.com for the updates.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on August 16, 2006, 02:16:00 pm
Sorry, Joe, but soccer players are not like wimpy baseball players - we play in the rain!

HAHah, there are times that baseball teams do play in the rain. And when they do it really makes the game more fun. I think MLB should really consider what Football and Soccer teams do when it rains and get their feet wet. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on August 16, 2006, 02:59:07 pm
Maybe he has to work outside (mow the lawn, construction, housing, race NASCAR, etc) and if it rains, he doesn't have to work and he can watch soccer all day.

You are correct old school.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 17, 2006, 09:52:40 pm
Thanks to Netflix, I was able to rent Fever Pitch.  I'll have to say, it's not a bad movie at all.  I enjoyed the connection I had with the movie as I've been to Highbury before.  OK, I haven't been IN Highbury, but I did take the Underground up there and walked around.  Some kids almost let us Yanks in to watch a youth game, but I didn't wanna give them the requested amount of pence for admission! lol.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I'm proud to admit that I remember the likes of Alan Smith, goalscorer Michael Thomas, Bruce Grobbelar, Ian Rush and all of the other Arsenal and Liverpool players.  1989 just happened to be one of the first seasons I was acquainted with the top flight through Sports Channel America.  Pretty cool stuff.  I told my friend that I watched Fever Pitch and he almost slapped me (through the phone) because he thought I was watching the Drew Barrymore/Jimmy Fallon version!  :P
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 24, 2006, 07:19:04 pm
Champions League Draw (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=340368&cc=5739) is out now.

Even as a Chelsea hater, I find it interesting that they are a #2 seed, thus getting stuck playing against a #1 seed like Barcelona.  Thanks to Ajax getting upset in the qualifying round, Man. Utd.'s group becomes easier with Celtic, Benfica and now FC Copenhagen in their group.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 25, 2006, 09:06:49 am


And after two matchweeks in the premiership, ManU is back on top with 6 points and Chelsea lost to Middlesboro.  What happeded to all that backup talent they are supposed to have?


I'm looking forward to Champs league.  This first group stage is going to be tough, there are a lot of good teams.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on August 28, 2006, 02:02:56 am
Any of you German soccer fans surprised with Nuremberg and Bayern Munich playing to a 0-0 draw 8-26?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 28, 2006, 09:00:57 am

Munich is in trouble this year.  They don't have enough cash to compete with the English teams and they are really hurting.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on August 28, 2006, 10:26:14 pm

Munich is in trouble this year.  They don't have enough cash to compete with the English teams and they are really hurting.

1.  What does that have to do with their draw with Nuremburg?  Are they an English team now? lol.  ;D

2.  Maybe if they sold Hargreaves to Man. Utd., they'd have more money.  :P
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 30, 2006, 09:04:13 am

They just don't have the talent to compete in the Bundesliga because the English teams are buying all of the stars that are available.  I think you know what I meant.  Nuremburg's a sleeper.

Yeah, if they'd just let Hargreaves go, they might be able to plug a few holes.  Of course, now they only have two days left to do it.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 01, 2006, 04:05:06 pm

Beasley to Man City.  What happens next?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on September 01, 2006, 05:52:58 pm
Wow, "he continues to flounder"?

I thought he was doing pretty good for PSV.  He's a midfielder, he's not going to score 20 goals a season.  He's also a winger, paid to attack players and make crosses.  I didn't think he was doing "bad" in Holland.

Anyway, I think the EPL may be a little too physical for Beasley, considering his lack of size.  Not sure if it was the right move, but at least I'll be able to watch him. 

I think he'll start because that's the reason they brought him in, with Sibieriski or whatever his name, going out.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 05, 2006, 09:15:05 am

PSV coaches have (well did) often mention how Beasley was not developing as they had hoped, nor did he seem to care.  He's a good player, but he hasn't become what they expected when they signed him.  That's probably the reason for the loan.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on September 07, 2006, 11:40:17 am
Had to pass on this score  :o

Germany 13 San Marino 0

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/5322128.stm
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 07, 2006, 11:59:55 am
They say it was the highest scoring EURO qualifying match of all time.  It is San Marino for gosh sakes.  I can't believe Germany even had their first team show up.  Podolski played well into the second half?  Klose even got on the field?  That was just mean.

They essentially started their World Cup team against the one country that Malta kicks the crap out of every year?  At least they could have kept the big names in reserve and brought them in, if God forbid, there was any trouble.

This just seems low to me.

San Marino has a population of 29,000 and is situated totally in the mountains.  They're lucky to even have a stadium (where the game was held and maxed out at 5,115 fans).  Quite a quaint little nation though.  The world's oldest constitutional republic and the only country to have a communist government democratically elected and democratically ousted without violence.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on September 12, 2006, 07:11:25 pm
Champions League started today with Liverpool sleeping through their game with PSV.  In addition to the usual ESPN(2) game, the network is also adding a tape delayed game on ESPN Classic!  Sweet!  Tomorrow is Man. Utd. vs. Celtic and then Real plays on ESPN Classic, I think.  What is "The Ocho" showing?  I don't know.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 13, 2006, 06:59:55 pm

I'm in Belfast right now and caught the Liverpool match (rather boring) on tv.  However, apparently different room rates apply for rooms with all of the skytv channels and those with the basic package, so I'm stuck with five channels and no champs league today.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Jim Matson on September 16, 2006, 11:09:49 pm
It could be worse...it could be raining. ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 05, 2006, 09:08:23 am

Anyone want to comment of the lack of strikers scoring goals these days?  Outside of Didier Drogba no one seems to be able to find the back of the net from the front of the field.


Henry and Shevchenko (the two best goal scorers on the planet coming into this season) have performed way under expectations.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on October 11, 2006, 08:26:10 am
Assuming we're only talking EPL, Everton's Andy Johnson has exceeded expecations thus far.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 11, 2006, 09:11:41 am

Yeah, I forgot about Johnson.



I'm just saying look at the list of big names who have done nothing so far (some for good reason):

Rooney, Shevchenko, Henry, Tevez, Darren Bent.  And he's not a striker, but Steven Gerrard has been almost non-existant.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 16, 2006, 10:02:22 am

How about Chelsea.  They lose two keepers to head injuries in one game and John Terry has to play goal for the last few minutes of a 1-0 nailbiter.  I bet that was a fun one to watch... too bad I live in the United States.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on October 16, 2006, 10:05:57 am
The Reading v Chelsea game was broadcasting live on FSC.  Unfortunately, I had a conflict, but it would have been an interresting game to watch.

Earlier, the Watford v Arsenal game was on.  I wish I saw that one too considering DeMerit plays for Watford.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on October 16, 2006, 08:26:45 pm
The Chelsea game wasn't that great

The first goalie took a knee to the head, certainly didn't look as bad as it turned out to be at the time.  Turned out later he had a depressed fracture in the skull, had surgery later.

The second goalie, took a vicious hit, a head to shoulder hit with both men going full speed in oposite directions.  I'm sure he was out cold before he hit the ground.

The goalie injuries took place in the first 30 seconds, and last 10 seconds.

John Terry played goalie long enough for a throwin to be kicked to midfield then the ref called time.  It took John longer to get his goalie jersey and gloves on.  Chelsea were down to 9 men at the time and the ref ended the game a little early, the announcers felt there would be a full minute left.  Certainly didn't give Reading any chance to mount an attack.

Chelsea's goal was a complete fluke, a double deflection free-kick off two Reading defenders for an own goal.  Chelsea weren't very good all day and were lucky to win.

If you didn't see it you didn't miss much.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on October 18, 2006, 06:32:51 pm
Congrats to Chelsea

Barcelona gets edge by chelsea. That was a classic last min. goal that wasn't expected to be taken by  Drogba.

I would have expected for the champs to stay away. But i think the cold weather made them fall asleep.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on October 18, 2006, 06:36:20 pm
Have any of you guys ever gone south of the US and seen a Mexican league soccer match?

I recently went to the "super classico" ( Club Chivas v.s Club America.)
and felt something similar to what the Europeans get out of their soccer leagues. The stadiums and fans are just as wild, but not as crazy as those in europe.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on October 19, 2006, 06:45:42 am
Had the pleasure of watching 4 Champions League matches on the ESPN networks over the past two days. Im  a big fan of them replaying a match on Classic at 5.  Incredible goal by Drogba to lift Chelsea over Barca.  Barca looked awful, and you can tell they are really missing Eto'o.

It was interesting that ESPN was really pushing the Chelsea/Barca game to be played at the Nou Camp on 10/31 as being on ESPN Deportes. I wonder if they think this game could give them a push in subscriptions.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on October 20, 2006, 12:04:57 am
I think you're right.  Fox Soccer Channel's football fone-in asked the question what is the best international football rivalry and they thought it was Barcelona v Real Madrid because it gets the interest of South American countries as well.  Some people said Celtic/Rangers, others said some Mexican rivalries, but neither of those get the INTERNATIONAL appeal that Real and Barca get.  You could say two English teams, but for the most part, no one in South America cares. 

I'm a big Man Utd. fan and I'm disappointed that I haven't seen more Red Devil games on Fox Soccer Channel.  Even when they weren't played live last season, they usually played the replay during the week.  This year, I don't even see that.  With that said, I can't believe they aren't showing the Liverpool v Manchester United game this weekend.  Wow.  I'm sure there are "rights" that play into this, but still!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on October 20, 2006, 09:51:30 am
Chelsea coaching staff should be commended and prasied for staying with their game plan.
Whats funny about the chelsea v.s Barca game was that there was no good front 3 against a good chelsea team. Coach Frank just thought that maybe the mid-field would be able to attack the middle lines, but ultimately suffered. If the Champs continue to do this, i assure you they will not repeat as champs. All that talent with barca needs to wake up and used properly in their game plan. Just My opinion
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 20, 2006, 10:12:01 am

Barca really just needs to sit down and have an intervention with Ronaldinho.  He needs to remember that he's a midfielder and he is allowed to use his ungodly ball control to open up the offense and occasionally roam to the defensive side of midfield.

He's playing lazy and it's going to kill them.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on October 20, 2006, 10:31:53 am
This is exactly what i felt after seing him play during this game. Not only was he used in a different method, but he didn't look like the Ronaldinho of the past year. Again, i think this could be attributed to Coach Franks weak game plan that Chelsea exposed and used to prevail on Barca. Btw, this has been going on for more than 1 game for the champs.

 They just need to get back to their basics.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on October 20, 2006, 10:01:59 pm

I'm a big Man Utd. fan and I'm disappointed that I haven't seen more Red Devil games on Fox Soccer Channel.  Even when they weren't played live last season, they usually played the replay during the week.  This year, I don't even see that.  With that said, I can't believe they aren't showing the Liverpool v Manchester United game this weekend.  Wow.  I'm sure there are "rights" that play into this, but still!

What?......Sheffield United/Everton doesn't excite you?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on October 24, 2006, 06:16:10 pm
Quick note: With His royal Airness meeting Ronaldinho after his talks in Paris, I am sure this will awake the soccer great. In fact, i hope that his peep talk will inspire him to do what he does best and get in rythm to play his style of soccer.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on October 25, 2006, 09:05:57 pm
What?......Sheffield United/Everton doesn't excite you?

Not the Blades part.  I like the Toffees.  Cahill, Arteta, and even Tim Howard plays for them...  ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 27, 2006, 04:46:05 pm

Finally back to some premiership matches this weekend.  How long until Ole Gunner starts coming up in a steroids scandal?  This guy couldn't stay healthy through his prime and now he'sscoring goals left and right.  I love rooting for him, but it seems to be an odd resurrgence at his age.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on October 27, 2006, 11:26:41 pm

Finally back to some premiership matches this weekend.  How long until Ole Gunner starts coming up in a steroids scandal?  This guy couldn't stay healthy through his prime and now he'sscoring goals left and right.  I love rooting for him, but it seems to be an odd resurrgence at his age.

When you sit for two years...he's basically two years younger. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on October 27, 2006, 11:54:15 pm

Finally back to some premiership matches this weekend.  How long until Ole Gunner starts coming up in a steroids scandal?  This guy couldn't stay healthy through his prime and now he'sscoring goals left and right.  I love rooting for him, but it seems to be an odd resurrgence at his age.

When you sit for two years...he's basically two years younger. 

Hate to inform you, but, alas, it doesn't work that way! :(

He may have FULLY healed from nagging injuries, and saved two years of wear-and-tear, but he is STILL two years older!  (Considering the earlier phrases, maybe only one and a half years older!) ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on October 31, 2006, 12:47:37 am
I love rooting for him, but it seems to be an odd resurrgence at his age.-------

It's called the last fumes in the Tank... All old athletes have that. When its over, its over. Some end their careers gracefully on high notes, others just head bunt their ways into retirement..(Hmmm, please say dear old becks can do this sometime soon, Let him leave the field not as a soft english fella. HEhE
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on November 01, 2006, 05:16:04 pm
I love rooting for him, but it seems to be an odd resurrgence at his age.-------

It's called the last fumes in the Tank... All old athletes have that. When its over, its over. Some end their careers gracefully on high notes, others just head bunt their ways into retirement..(Hmmm, please say dear old becks can do this sometime soon, Let him leave the field not as a soft english fella. HEhE

Beckham will always be a soft english fella, that's just who he is.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on November 01, 2006, 06:54:24 pm
I love rooting for him, but it seems to be an odd resurrgence at his age.-------

It's called the last fumes in the Tank... All old athletes have that. When its over, its over. Some end their careers gracefully on high notes, others just head bunt their ways into retirement..(Hmmm, please say dear old becks can do this sometime soon, Let him leave the field not as a soft english fella. HEhE

Beckham will always be a soft english fella, that's just who he is.

You may be right, but has there EVER been a more dangerous player off set plays?!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on November 02, 2006, 01:31:04 am
What a game for FC Copenhagen. ;D Congrats to this team that never gave up

That was a late thriller by the way.
THey went ahead and ended Manchester United's perfect Champions League record thanks to a late goal from Marcus Allback. What a stunning and yet unexpected victory against the great Man. U... :)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Greek Tragedy on November 10, 2006, 08:46:16 pm
Details are being worked out for Freddy Adu to have a 2-month tryout with Manchester United and if things go well, they'll try to sign him during the January transfer window.  I don't think he's good enough. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on November 10, 2006, 08:52:35 pm
OS,

You forgot to finish with a very important word - "YET". ;D

They may sign him just to keep anyone else from signing him.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on November 11, 2006, 02:29:07 pm
It sounds and Looks like Man U. will take a chance on this young grass hoper and train him to be good. Many hope that with such experience Young freddy's skills can mirror what Pele used to do on the field. IMHO, I think that he will gain more knowlegde and preparation even if he doesn't have a starting spot. As long as he is picking up tips, skills and masterful techniques during practice, he will end up being better than he is.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on November 12, 2006, 08:26:55 pm
Adu had the chance to sign with Man U and many other  European clubs before he chose DC United at age 15.  It'll be interesting to see what Sir Alex and the Queroz  think of him after  spending a few years in the MLS. I think he has the potential to be a great player in the EPL. However, I do think his attitude is crap, kind of like how a teenager making $1mil might act: spoiled rotten.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on November 12, 2006, 08:37:59 pm
I have a vague recollection of recently reading about an American 13 or 14 year old who is supposedly BETTER than Freddy was at that age, but I can't recall any details.  Ring a bell with anyone?  (The only thing I recall was that his parents were Argentine [or possibly Brazillian], and strongly considering moving him back there.)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on November 13, 2006, 01:08:43 pm

There's very little chance anyone is better than Adu was at 13-14.  It was one of the main reasons why everyone thought (thinks) he's lied about his age.  He literally kicked the world's butt in the big junior tournament that year.  I mean he made everyone including the great Lionel Messi look slow and foolish.  AC Milan offered him 4 million right there, but his mom didn't want him leaving home so young.

Now he's still good, but not nearly the world beater he was.  I think he'll do great with ManU because they have a strong youth program that plays a lot of matches and actually has a budget.  It's a good move for him.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on November 16, 2006, 01:12:45 pm
Having a young sqaud facing with the Older guys will indeed make Adu better. And you guys are right, if ADU is not humble about having the opportunity to play with a club that is giving him millions, his ego will get the last of him, to the point where we will be hearing about him starting the left bench position.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on November 27, 2006, 01:10:43 pm
Fellas, I am so siked about the possible arrival of Juergen Klinsmann as the U.S. National team's H.C..(Eventhough he already lives here in the states.)

It's interesting to have read his resume and to discover what he does in order to do the best possible job as a H.C.
what's even funnier is that Klinsmann uses a plan that makes people think that he is crazy. His number one goal to improve any squad is just plan odd to some critics. But he does a fine job in knowing how to scout youth and use them in his master plan.

He did this to a german national team that was not that good for the past twp world cups and his result was awesome. The L.A. times pointed out that his german starters for the world cup team consisted of players that were no older than 23. This just points out that he mold young fast men into fast and mature guys that want to win at all means for their country.

THis plan would be crazy for the u.s., but he is willing to have the young and fast kids challenge even the big names on the US team in order to do well.
It would be awesome and yet interesting to see if Klinsmann helps our team reach its highest. 

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on November 27, 2006, 05:07:45 pm
Had Germany lost to Argentina in the World Cup, do you think Klinsmann would still be getting his current level of credit? (That match went to a penalty kick shootout which Germany won--however, Argentina was going with its'second string goal-keeper for the end of the second half, OT's and shoot-out).

As it was the few fellow German fans I talked to said they were very happy with Germany's fourth-place finish.  ;)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on November 27, 2006, 07:08:01 pm
Had Germany lost to Argentina in the World Cup, do you think Klinsmann would still be getting his current level of credit? (That match went to a penalty kick shootout which Germany won--however, Argentina was going with its'second string goal-keeper for the end of the second half, OT's and shoot-out).

As it was the few fellow German fans I talked to said they were very happy with Germany's fourth-place finish.  ;)

He's not the one that substituted Riquelme for some god awful reason.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on November 28, 2006, 01:07:16 pm
Interesting that you brought that up WLC---

Yet so true. I remember watching that game and seeing that towards the end of time, Argentinas back-up goalie had to be put in. What a way to put pressure on the back-up heading into OT on the worlds biggest stage.

THe point though is that Klinsmann did better than his successor with the German national team. He made sure to go with guys that were young, fast and urgent to win more games. He convinced the youngsters to do above than what was expected. In in the end we all say that as they crushed their opponents before they made it to the last leg of the tourney. The germany team wanted to proved that being young and having home field advantage across the tourney was a way be placed on the map of the world in terms of soccer
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on December 01, 2006, 10:39:15 am
Regarding Adu's tryout:

"Freddy has done all right," Ferguson confirmed. "He is a good talented young boy but there is nothing we can do about him. What we did was to bring him here to give him an idea of what United was like, so he could see the place and see how comfortable he was with it.

"He is a very confident and talented boy but nothing can be done just yet. He will go back to the United States and we will keep a check on him. Then, when he is 18, we will have to assess what we can do next."

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on December 01, 2006, 11:38:48 am
Good Ol' Man U. should be praised for thinking about the present and not yet on the future. apparently, Man. U really wants to stay on top of being billed as the Club that will take it all with a team of the highest quality
In fact,The shock arrival of Henrik Larsson will mark the end of Manchester United's extensive striker search until next summer. Moves like this just point out that The U. is doing everything possible to be the best.

However, its sad to hear and read that Freddy Adu was only invited by the U. to first be assessed and report that he should be ready by the time he is 18. What a lame excuse. If they really want the present to be better, the least they can do is have this fresh talent on the practice squad fighting for a chance to be an awesome player.



Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on December 08, 2006, 12:29:18 pm
Fellas,

It will be interesting to see what Coach Bradley does as he steps in for the HC job for the National Team. It would have been great to learn and see what Klinsmann would have done had he used his strategy in employing at ton of youth in his starting line-up. For a min. I was so siked about his game plan. Yet, I am still happy to see that Bradley will now get a chance to show off his coaching skills at the highest level. It will indeed be interesting to see what he does come june as the Defending Concaf.......(sp) cup champs gear up for the World Cup trials.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on December 08, 2006, 02:07:21 pm
Im looking forward to the CONCACAF Gold Cup semis and finals in Chicago this summer.   Im going to have to get on those tickets early.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on December 08, 2006, 03:24:28 pm
I hear ya on that stinger. I just finish trying to look into getting tickets for the U.S. match against Denmark at the home dept. center and it looks like they will easily sell out by the end of this month. In all, like i mentioned, with Bradley as the new general for the U.s. team be ready for see a preview for whats to come later in the future.   

Tickets for the U.s game v.s Denmark  $85 and up
Hot dogs and beer for the game $8
parking $10

Getting to sit next to hot blonds during a sunny and warm 5:00pm kickoff for the u.s. national team during Winter time in So. Cal ............priceless 8)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on December 20, 2006, 07:03:41 pm
Moves like this just point out that The U. is doing everything possible to be the best.
Kind of like what Chelsea does???  IMO, Chelsea is worse than ManU in this area.

However, its sad to hear and read that Freddy Adu was only invited by the U. to first be assessed and report that he should be ready by the time he is 18. What a lame excuse. If they really want the present to be better, the least they can do is have this fresh talent on the practice squad fighting for a chance to be an awesome player.
Actually, it's not an excuse at all.  It's UK employment law.  Here's an article that tells all about it from BBC Sport:

'Adu has to wait on Man Utd future' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/6199938.stm)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on December 22, 2006, 06:53:01 pm
Looks like Coach Bradley is penciling in to play against our rivals south of the border sooner than we expected. It sould be fun watching coach "HuGoal" sanchez and Coach Bradley match their national team HC debuts.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on February 07, 2007, 04:26:26 pm
Watching Spain/England right now. Superb goal by Barca's Iniesta just put Spain on top in the 63rd. 

Im really looking forward to USA/Mexico tonight. Mexico is fielding a very strong side.   Nice article regading the matchup from SI's Grant Wahl:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/grant_wahl/02/07/us.mexico/index.html
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on February 07, 2007, 05:45:36 pm
Tonights game between USA and Mexico should be exciting. The lines up have been announced by both teams and the expectations are just about right for a rivalary match like this.

Expect to see a fast and young USA score sooner and quicker in the 2nd half. I'll give team Mexico the first edge in scoring, but after their old farts can't hang in the game, expect team USA to dominate. Coach bradley will indeed capitalize on this.

Go team USA
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on February 08, 2007, 08:06:49 am
Excellent result for the US team.  I thought for sure the Mexican team would push through for a score. 

You gotta love the assist by the referee. Donovan absolutely sailed past those defenders once he got it. Awesome stuff.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on February 08, 2007, 08:33:24 am

I watched Iniesta's goal in the highlight they showed at halftime of the US game and all I could say was, "we have no one who can take a shot a like that and Iniesta's like the tenth best scorer in Spain; that's how much farther we've still got to go."


Regardless, we got some marked improvement in the match.  After the world cup we had two issues 1)not enough world class defenders and 2)no offensive creativity.

We're still struggling with two, but even though we were without two of our starting backs (Onyewu and Spector) the defense still showed a lot of life and Howard was just exquisite in goal.  Jimmy Conrad proved he can take Eddie Pope's place and Bornstein showed he can start as well.  I think there's definately hope for the defense.

Now we just have to get the scorers going.  I think with proper prep, Convey would be a lot better at the front, but he's in the middle of a rough season, so I'll cut him some slack.  As much as Donovan is boring and predictable, he's very good and now that he's actually trying to score goals, that can only help us.

The one glaring hole that I didn't think about was in central midfield.  The US can beat Mexico just fine without Reyna in there, but Clark is not a long term replacement if we're going to challenge European teams.  Maybe Cherundolo can fit in there (he and Beasley were also missing from out top line-up), but if not, Bradley really needs to be looking for someone who can step up into that role.

I would have liked to see Justin Mapp get some minutes, but we've got, what, three matches in the next month, so I expect we'll get more of him soon.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on February 08, 2007, 05:01:59 pm
What an awesome job Donavon did last night. Not only was his corner kick awesome but his attempts in spreading the ball to his teammates and ultimately going for the goal was beautiful.

Glad to see that Coach bradley had a good game plan. I surely thought Team mexico would have been the first to score, but several plays did not go their way. I am sure they will be fine once world cup 2010 rolls by.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on February 09, 2007, 09:37:22 am

I'm glad Howard is getting full time play at Everton out of the giant ManU spotlight.  He's really shown improvement over previous national team stints.  I would have named him man of the match.  He had to make more than one match's share of saves in that one.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on February 09, 2007, 05:26:14 pm
I concure with that Hoops. It looks like howard will be w good player this time around
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on March 06, 2007, 05:24:43 pm
Exciting game at Anfield this afternoon.  Liverpool had some great chances in the first half, by Bellamy and Risse. Not sure how they didn't go in.  Barca broke through in the 80th from GudJohnson, but it wasn't enough.  They go down on away goals.

I'm a Merengue fan, and that 90' goal they let in at the Bernabeu could come back to bite them tomorrow.  No Becks, Reyes, and maybe not Cannavaro. Could be a tough go.  Just need Ruud to poke one in.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on March 06, 2007, 08:03:54 pm
Barcelona sure didn't play like a team needing 2 goals, they were pretty ordinary untill later, Liverpool dominated the first half hour and should have been up 2-0.

Liverpool seems to turn it up in the Champions League and are rather disappointing in the league.

Good shot at 4 English clubs in the final 8 if Arsenal shows up tommorrow.  Inter losing was a surprise.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on March 19, 2007, 09:41:17 am
Couple of questions:

Caught Ajax's 5-1 pasting of PSV Eindhoven. The press release I saw after the match indicated that kind of result wasn't expected. Has Ajax been down this year?

Also caught Leverkusen's victory over Lens that advanced the German squad to the final 8 in UEFA Cup action. Anyone want to chime in on Leverkusen's or Bremen's chances to take the whole thing?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on March 19, 2007, 10:17:25 am

Eindhoven has taken over ownership of the Eerdivise over the last few seasons and securely hold the reigns at this point.  While Ajax is still competitive, they are not in the position where anyone would expect five goals.

The German teams probably have as good a chance as anyone.  I don't see a dominant squad left among the final eight.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on March 29, 2007, 06:49:12 am
Latest finals:

USA 0, Guatemala 0. (this after a win over Ecuador.)  :)

Mexico 4, Ecuador 2. (Mexico scored the last 3 goals in this one to get the win.)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on March 29, 2007, 10:02:13 am

Yeah, we started a bunch of newbies.  From everything I've read it seems like Dempsey and Johnson were doing well, but none of the young guys stepped up to finish the job.  Even Donovan got on the new guys for playing slow and unaggressive.  It's got to be pretty bad for the pot to call the kettle lazy.

The good news: Jon Spector is back healthy and playing well.  He even muffed a point blank shot on goal, which is a required skill for every good fullback in international play.

We better bring home enough Euros for the Gold Cup or we're going to be in big trouble.



PS Three more matches for Keller and we won't have to see Tony Meola's ugly mug in the record books anymore.  Thank God!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on April 10, 2007, 08:44:25 am
Great couple of day of games in the CL today and tomorrow.  How will Chelsea handle its visit the Mestalla? Morientes is back, and he, Villa and Abelda are going to knock out the Blues.  Roma/Man U should be a beauty. Rooneys goal could be the difference.  Liverpool has already booked its way to the semis, and I think Bayern loses on away goals. 

I just  hope these fans can keep their pants on.  The violence last week was ridiculous.  Looks like the lockdown is on at Old Trafford.  When I lived in Valencia in 1998, Liverpool came down to the Mestalla for a 2nd round match up in the Uefa Cup. There was a lot of trouble from the Liverpool fans.   It really got ugly in some parts of the city.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 10, 2007, 09:14:32 am

I don't know.  Chelsea will get through if they can score twice today.  It seems like ManU will have the harder time.  They're down one and only got one away goal.  The defense will have to come up big and I'm not sold on their form right now.  As for tomorrow, I like Bayern, but they've disappointed me before.  Liverpool is definitely through.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on April 10, 2007, 03:08:41 pm
Man U take a 3-0 lead at the 19 min mark on goals by Carrick, Smith and Rooney.  Can't imagine a better start. Roma is in a funk.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 10, 2007, 03:20:22 pm

I guess they're on form.  Giggs seems to be doing very well.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 10, 2007, 03:55:55 pm
How about 5-0?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 10, 2007, 03:59:52 pm
This ManU squad seems to be coming in waves.  They don't even have a starting line-up out there right now that they would be caught dead with in the premiership, yet they seem to be dominating a very good Roma team.

They've had these ups and downs during the premiership season as well.  It seems like they should be able to challenge for the double, but you never know when that sluggish, individualistic squad will show up.

Giggs for MVP (he's up to 4 assists on the match).

By the way, Chelsea just tied in up (1-1), one more and they've all but locked it up.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 10, 2007, 04:38:41 pm

Now we're in injury time and Michael Essien just scored to put Chelsea up 2-1 (3-2 on aggregate).  Even if Valencia even things up, the Blues go through on away goals.

That makes two Premiership squads in the semis.  Liverpool can make three tomorrow.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 10, 2007, 04:51:28 pm
If Liverpool make it, they'd get Chelsea in the semi's.

Liverpool should take note of what happened to Roma today, although I seriously doubt PSV can get 4 at Anfield, which is what they'd need.


Hoops, ManU can actually do the treble, they're still in the FA Cup with a match against lowly Watford in the semi's.

ManU and Chelsea could end up in the finals of both the Champions League and FA Cup to go along with slugging out the Premiership right down to the wire.  Good stuff.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on April 10, 2007, 05:19:29 pm
Chelsea has a chance at a quad. 

The Champions League is very cyclical, no? The Spanish teams dominated a few years back, Italy at times, now the EPL is flexing their muscles. 

Now that Valencia is out, I'm backing Liverpool.  That semi is going to be another doozy, much like 2 years ago.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 10, 2007, 05:50:40 pm

I knew ManU was out of the Carling, but I was too lazy to check where they were with the FA Cup.  The treble is king and they'd love to do it again, especially in a season where they aren't exactly playing up to their potential.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 10, 2007, 06:14:44 pm
Forgot Chelsea won the League Cup.  That would be amazing to win all 4.


I guess you could end up with Liverpool winning the Euro, ManU winning the Premiership and Chelsea winning the FA Cup.......that would be odd.  I guess everyone would be happy.



Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 13, 2007, 09:18:12 am
ManU and Chelsea could end up in the finals of both the Champions League and FA Cup to go along with slugging out the Premiership right down to the wire.  Good stuff.
Right now I'm pulling for ManU and Chelsea to make it through to the finals of both the FA Cup and the CL. 

That result for ManU agaisnt Portsmouth could not have been worse, especially given the form that Chelsea has been in (they haven't lost or drawn in EPL matches since a 2-0 loss at Liverpool back in January :o).  With ManU's lead down to just 3 points, that noose just keeps getting tighter and tighter, especially with their big EPL showdown looming on May 9th.

Even with that horrible resut at Portsmouth, ManU certainly found a way to erase that bad memory with their very impressive showing against Roma.  If they can find a way to continue to play that unselfish style,  they will be tough to catch.  Especially if Carrick continues to strike the ball like he did vs. Roma!

But, like Hoops Fan pointed out, you never know when that other ManU squad like the one that lost at Portsmouth will show up again?! ::)

All in all, it's a great time to be a fan of the EPL!  Three teams in the final 4 of the Champions League.  A chance to have ManU and Chelsea slugging it out in the finals of the FA Cup, the Champions League and the EPL Title!  Makes for some exciting football watching over the next month or so!  This is the time of year that I'm glad that I have the Fox Soccer Channel! 8)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 13, 2007, 10:14:50 am
This is the time of year that I'm glad that I have the Fox Soccer Channel!

Can I come over and watch?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 13, 2007, 11:15:44 am
It gets even better, checking the schedules last night  Chelsea and ManU play on Wed. May 9th in the second to last game of the EPL season.  With just 3 points separating them right now it looks pretty likely that game will decide the title.

Both clubs face a killer 8 day stretch up to that game with Chelsea facing Liverpool, Arsenal, then ManU.   ManU faces  ACMilan, ManCity, then Chelsea.  Throw in the previous week where ManU face ACMilan and Everton.  Tough going.

1 week later the FA Cup Final and later the Champions Cup Final.  Esentially they could play 3 times in 3 weeks.  Of course both have a lot of winning to go,  Liverpool has a really easy Prem schedule to finish the season so they'll go all out for the Champions Cup semi's.




note:  On the day ManU lost to Portsmouth, Chelsea was literally 1 minute away from an embarrasing draw at last place Watford.  A very late goal turned the title race on its head.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 13, 2007, 11:32:47 am

Liverpool has the best Champs League team.  They are just more set-up for a run at major Euro titles than they are for the EPL.  Nothing wrong with that, but it seems like they have a better shot at it than Chelsea.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 14, 2007, 07:48:18 pm
ManU keeps their scoring surge continuing with a 4-1 thumping of Watford today to push them into the FA Cup finals.  Rooney had 2 goals today for the Reds.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 17, 2007, 03:54:19 pm

Beasley scored again for Man City today (they're tied 1-1 with Arsenal at the half).  I'm glad to see the quicker play is suiting him.  It will be very good for the US squad if he can become a confident scorer.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 24, 2007, 09:09:18 am
Boy oh boy.  Did Chelsea blow a golden opportunity to really put the pressure on the boys from ManU last weekend or what?!

I recorded the ManU match (it was too damn nice to sit inside and watch it live on Saturday!) and with the ease of how they scored that 1st goal, I thought they would be off and running.  But give credit to Boro as they didn't back down and in all reality, could have easily come away from Old Trafford with 3 points!  That really would have been a huge blow to the Reds.

Speaking of blows, ManU will be without the services of Rio Ferdinand and 5 other key members including basically their entire defense in their Champions League semi-final with AC Milan today!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 10:23:44 am

Wes Brown is a little slow in the middle, but he's certainly a class fullback.  John O'Shea is also a quality defender.  They'll have Richardson out of position along the back, but so long as the mid-field keeps up with the pressure, they should be fine.  This is where Rooney and Ronaldo really have to prove themselves on the world scale.  They'll have to get back on defense while keeping the attack pressure on.

AC is coming in weak this year, so unless things click together for them, I can't see it being out of reach for ManU in the second leg.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 24, 2007, 10:41:44 am

This is where Rooney and Ronaldo really have to prove themselves on the world scale.  They'll have to get back on defense while keeping the attack pressure on.

Giggs was rested for Saturday's Boro match and the announcers said it really made a huge difference and it allowed Boro to really clamp down on Ronaldo.  He was basically a non-factor in that match.  With Giggs back in the lineup today, I would look for Ronaldo to make much more of an impact.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 10:47:24 am


Yeah, Giggs has been the MVP this year.  They better reward him with another year or two.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on April 24, 2007, 10:56:32 am
According to the BBC, these are the players who will not able to play for Man U due to injury:

Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Nemanja Vidic, Mikael Silvestre, Craig Cathcart, Louis Saha, Ji-Sung Park and Kieran Richardson.

Some big boots to fill there.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 11:11:19 am

I'm not sure about Richardson.  The last article I read was dated yesterday and had him starting on the back line.  If he's out too, that would mean they're down to 12 first teamers active for this one.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on April 24, 2007, 12:18:35 pm
The injury list I posted was from an article posted this morning--it is still up on bbc.co.uk.  I guess we'll know in a couple of hours.

Also, Chelsea's Michael Essien has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving (the Brit term).  He wouldn't have played against Liverpool anyway due to accumulated yellows.  He's been bailed until July "pending inquiries."
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 24, 2007, 01:53:33 pm
I saw the ManU game and highlights of Chelsea/Newcastle.........this was the first clear evidence that these teams have worn down to me.  Neither looked energetic and both got what they deserved and maybe more.

With the tough fixture list for both squads in the next 3 weeks, there will be a twist or two in the Premiership title race.  Pretty fun to watch for a change, lately its been over pretty early.

If anyone bothers to follow the Championship League, its down to 3 teams within 2 points of each other with 2 to play.   Birmingham, Sunderland, Derby at 83, 82 and 81 points..........plus there are 7 other teams within 2 points of the last 3 playoff spots.


Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 02:36:58 pm
The line-up is announced.  Richardson is not on the pitch, but is on the substitute bench along with: Eagles, Fangzhou, Kuszczak, Lee, Smith, and Solskjaer

Starting:

G - Van der Sar
D - Brown
D - Evra
D - Heinze
D - O'Shea
M - Carrick
M - Fletcher
M - Giggs
M - Ronaldo
M - Scholes
F - Rooney


If ManU stumbles, it will be due to a fresh Filipo Inzaghi coming of the bench in the second half.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 03:00:56 pm

5th minute: Ronaldo head a corner directly at Dida, who palms it up in the air and into the net.  Officially an OG, but a great way to begin for ManU.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 03:17:25 pm

Kaka with a goal to tie it up in the 21st minute.  ManU is on, but their lack of defense may pose a problem, especially late.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 03:34:57 pm

Kaka scores again, going three on one with the makeshift ManU defense and winning.  He's playing really well today.  Oh and the ManU defense better get healthy quick, Evra's yellow knocks him out of the second leg.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 04:12:59 pm

Rooney put home the equalizer shortly after Carrick missed an open net from 5 yards out.


ManU still needs one more goal.  I can't imagine them scoring more than 2 in Milan; they need to come out of this one ahead.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 24, 2007, 04:42:11 pm


ManU 3:2 AC Milan

Rooney put in a  goal from outside the box just as the assistant referee was putting up the sign for two ET minutes.


The Red Devils escaped with one here; Milan was not on its game offensively.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 25, 2007, 09:14:10 am
I  watched the ManU/AC Milan match last night and what a match it was!  Rooney has really found his scoring touch in Champions League matches.  After going scoreless in 17 straight Champions League matches he has now found the back of the net in 3 straight!

The Red Devils escaped with one here; Milan was not on its game offensively.
I thought that Milan blew a golden opportunity.  After Kaka scored his second to put Milan up 2-1, you could really see a deflated ManU side and Milan tried to jump on them then, but failed to get that curcial 3rd goal.  Then in the 2nd Kaka had a couple of golden opportunities to get Milan's 3rd goal, but couldn't find the net.  Once ManU scored the equalizer, it was all Reds from that point on and all Milan could do was seemingly hold on for dear life until Rooney got free for the winner just into ST!

Personally, I don't think it was a case of Milan not being on their game offensively.  Yes, they very easily could have put 4-5 goals in last night, but on the same token, ManU missed several golden opportunites as well.  Carrick's miss from point blank range off of a corner was one and Dida made some fantastic saves off of a couple of really good strikes from Fletcher. 

Really, I think the difference in the match were a couple of key injuries for Milan and the fact that ManU really tired out the veteran Itialian side.  Losing Maldini at the half and Gattuso early in the 2nd really hurt Milan.

As for next week's game at San Siro, Evra's card will deplete ManU's decimated lineup even more.  Although, Evra's booking was questionable at best.  But that's another story.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 25, 2007, 10:42:23 am

AC just hasn't seemed to have it together offensively in their last four or five champs league matches.  They seem to be out of sorts.  Of course, they go back home one down with two away goals.  San Siro is a huge advantage for them; ManU will be lucky to score more than 1 goal.  It will have to be a defensive effort for them.

Evra might not have deserved the card when he got it, but about thirty seconds later he totally earned it with a hard tackle.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 25, 2007, 03:24:15 pm

Chelsea and Liverpool are well under way.  Joe Cole scored in the 29th minute on a feed from Drogba to put the home side up.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 25, 2007, 08:37:14 pm
I hope next weeks Chelsea/Liverpool game has more action, ...........and less Zenden.  Liverpool were strange today.........it took me 90 minutes to realize Riise was even in the game and that was during handshakes, and it took almost as long for Liverpool to realize that they have Steven Gerrard and he's kind of good.  Bellamy was invisible........guess you credit Chelsea's defense but Liverpool were almost no threat offensively today. 

Also hope Drogba recovers from all those injuries.  ::) :D


But at any rate, both games are set up for a tense 90 minutes next week.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 26, 2007, 10:09:59 am

Yeah, it was odd.  It was almost as if Liverpool was playing for a draw from the beginning and didn't know what to do when Chelsea scored.  I know they have a tremendous home pitch advantage, but the tactics seemed off.

Oh well, it will certainly be exciting next week, although I'll be at the dentist when it's on.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on April 26, 2007, 12:39:25 pm
I have the match on Tivo but haven't watched it yet.  The starting lineup was not what I would have expected--I would have started either Pennant or Gonzales on a wing, especially with Bellamy up front as those two are faster.  Zenden was a surprise and, although he seems a solid player, he hasn't produced much for the Reds yet.  But then that's why Rafa is there and I'm not.   :D

As a Liverpool supporter I'm disappointed but not terribly discouraged.  The Reds have already beaten Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield once this season.  I think the fact that Chelsea is still contending for the PL title may force them to go all out this weekend--more so than Liverpool will have to.

Both matches next week look to be very interesting and tight.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 26, 2007, 02:32:14 pm
Given the fact, yesterday was the first goal Chelsea has scored vs Liverpool in 5 Euro matches you can't really fault the tactics.  The goal was really two great all out hustle and muscle plays by Drogba and Cole.

I just thought it was weird that Zenden seemed to have the ball so much, I've never thought he was all that great.


.....and yeah, Chelsea get Arsenal Saturday.  Not exactly a pushover game where you can rest people.  Liverpool have Portsmouth, but have no incentive to field a strong team.  They can't finish 2nd and can do no worse than 4th, garunteed a Champions League spot.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 26, 2007, 03:16:57 pm

I heard rumor than Zenden and other unexpected starters were getting minutes and possession because a number of Chelsea players were sitting on yellows and Liverpool was looking to thin the ranks for next week.  It didn't really work out that way, but it makes a little more sense tactically.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 26, 2007, 03:24:53 pm
My bad.......Chelsea get Bolton this weekend, still no pushover and Bolton's playing for a UEFA Cup spot.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 27, 2007, 12:03:08 pm
I don't think Chelsea has any choice but to field a strong team for their EPL matches if they want any conceivable shot at catching ManU for the title.  Especially given the fact that ManU is pretty much ravaged by injuries.  This is now or never time for Chelsea as far as catching and overtaking ManU for the EPL title.  If I were Mourinho, I would make my priority getting 3 points on Saturday and then letting the chips fall where they may vs. Liverpool next week at Anfield.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 27, 2007, 12:07:32 pm

There's a lot more money in a Champs League victory than in an EPL first place though.  I'd have to think with the money that goes into these clubs these days that pounds would have to be the first thing on their minds.

As far as fans go, what do think the fans like more?  Especially from these super-clubs who are always competing in Europe, sure the EPL title is great, but being European Champion has to be high on the list.  I haven't had much exposure to UK fans, but it seems like they are far more into cup competitions (FA Cup, Champs League) than they are the EPL.  Again, an "it's nice to win, but so long as we get a top place we're ok" sort of mentality.  What do you all think?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Northern_Explorer on April 27, 2007, 01:09:25 pm

There's a lot more money in a Champs League victory than in an EPL first place though.  I'd have to think with the money that goes into these clubs these days that pounds would have to be the first thing on their minds.
Generally, I think the league is the top priority for domestic fans.  Champions League is huge as well - lots of teams field weakened FA Cup sides (and League Cup as well), but I think it's a situation where you're going for it on both ends.  Neither Chelsea nor ManUtd are going to be able to rest anyone down the stretch and obviously injuries and "man management" are critical.  Basically, if United can get Ferdinand or Vidic back, they're probably home and dry - it's coming down to whether United can hold it together without Ferdinand better than Chelsea did while Terry was out.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 27, 2007, 01:14:40 pm
I wasn't sure about the financial difference between the EPL Title and the Champions League title.  Hearing that there is more money at stake in winning the Champions League, not to mention the bragging rights that go along with saying your club is the best in all of Europe, I would have to say that Chelsea is in a real tough spot. 

The fact that they are in the FA Cup Finals might lessen the blow to the Blues and their fans, should they not catch ManU for the EPL Title.  I know what you mean when you say how seriously the English fans covet their Cups.  I was in London back in '97 when Chelsea won the FA Cup and the celebrations that ensued were unbeleivable! 

So, I retract what I said about Saturday's EPL matches for both Chelsea and ManU.  Thier sights are definately set on each other, but moreso in facing one another in the Champions League finals as well as the FA Cup final which is already set!

What really astounds me by the developements of this season is the fact that there are 2 EPL teams in position to pull off the Treble! :o  Pulling off the Treble is an incredibly difficult feat for one team to pull off, let alone having 2 teams battling it out down to the wire for the possibility of pulling it off!!!

Can anyone recall in recent EPL history of any 2 teams battling it out for the Champions League, FA Cup and 1-2 in the EPL Title chase like Chelsea and ManU are about to do should they both get through the semis of the CL?  This is some fun stuff we are being witness to!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on April 27, 2007, 01:25:35 pm


As far as fans go, what do think the fans like more?  Especially from these super-clubs who are always competing in Europe, sure the EPL title is great, but being European Champion has to be high on the list.  I haven't had much exposure to UK fans, but it seems like they are far more into cup competitions (FA Cup, Champs League) than they are the EPL.  Again, an "it's nice to win, but so long as we get a top place we're ok" sort of mentality.  What do you all think?

At the moment, I imagine that Man U and Chelsea supporters are much higher on the EPL than anybody else, for good reason.

Europe, and particularly the Champions League, is very important to Liverpool for historical reasons; there's a rich tradition there.  If you go to the LFC website there's a selection of realtones with the Kop singing in full voice.  "You'll Never Walk Alone," of course, but "We've Won It Five Times" as well.  Of course, the fact that LFC are currently third in the EPL and have no chance of overtaking the top two makes the priorities clear.  I think they'd still like to finish ahead of Arsenal in the EPL, but Rafa has been known to make hard choices (like the FA and Carling Cup matches this year).

Remember, too, that Chelsea still have to play Arsenal in the EPL this season.  I think that they are stretched the thinnest.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on April 27, 2007, 01:36:53 pm

The good thing is that Arsenal are falling apart, so I don't think there will be a problem for Liverpool (who are playing well) to finish in third.  They do love their Champs League, though and you have to like their chances as this squad is markedly better than the one that won it all two years ago.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on April 28, 2007, 12:01:32 am
Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, and Jose Reina are not even making the trip to Portsmouth, and Benitez plans to rest several other players as well.  He's quoted on ESPN Soccernet: 'The priority of my club is getting through the semi-final and reaching the final of the Champions League. If we finished third in the premiership it would be really good, but to play in the final of the Champions League would be better.' 

That makes Liverpool's priorities pretty clear!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 28, 2007, 11:52:04 am
ManU is now 5 points clear of Chelsea after today's EPL action.  ManU had a dramatic come from behind win at Everton, 4-2.

Meanwhile, Chelsea couldn't preserve a 2-1 lead at the half at Stamford Bridge as they allowed Bolton to score the equalizer in the 2nd half.  Bolton then hung on for dear life to preserve the draw!

ManU's match with Everton had trouble written all over it for the Reds.  ManU trailed at the half 1-0 and Everton made ManU's bid for even a point look gloomy only 5 minutes into the 2nd half as they made it 2-0.  That's when the comeback started for ManU.  John O'Shea got the Reds on the board first.  Then Phil Neville put in an own goal off of a Ronaldo header to even the match.  Rooney kept his scoring boots on as he found the back of the net to give the Reds their first lead of the match and then sub Chris Eagles cemented the win for ManU with a goal in the 90th minute putting the Reds 5 clear of Chelsea! 8)

With this huge win for ManU, they now only need one more win to secure the EPL title.  A win at Manchester City next Saturday would clinch the title for ManU!  Perhaps the first in ManU's quest for the Treble!!!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on April 28, 2007, 12:05:10 pm
Sounds like a huge win for Man U and a big setback for Chelsea with the draw.

Benitez made good on that quote I posted earlier.  Robbie Fowler and Craig Bellamy started at striker; Peter Crouch was not even on the substitute list (meaning it's likely he'll start against Chelsea at Anfield on Tuesday).  Stoppage time just ended, wtih Portsmouth taking the win at 2-1.  Sami Hyypia scored, a fairly rare occurance, for the only Liverpool goal. 

Speaking of Portsmouth, does anyone else think David James has been playing much better this season than ever before?  He seems rejuvenated.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on April 28, 2007, 02:47:30 pm
Liverpool fielded a really weak team today, looks like they rested their substitutes as well.  It was practically a B squad team today.

ManU's comeback is pretty impressive, that should give them a big lift going to Italy.  If they can beat Man City next weekend and face Chelsea the next Wed. with a 5 point lead, they should feel pretty safe.  Chelsea has blown two golden opportunities 2 weekends in a row to catch United.



David James has looked good in the games I've seen him........doesn't he have a pretty good defense in front of him also.  Sol Campbell still looks pretty good at times.  But I would agree, he seemed to be in goalie purgatory the last 3 or 4 years.


With this huge win for ManU, they now only need one more win to secure the EPL title.  A win at Manchester City next Saturday would clinch the title for ManU!  Perhaps the first in ManU's quest for the Treble!!!

Not quite...........ManU has 3 games left with ManCity, Chelsea, West Ham
Chelsea have Arsenal, ManU and Everton.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on April 29, 2007, 10:36:50 am

With this huge win for ManU, they now only need one more win to secure the EPL title.  A win at Manchester City next Saturday would clinch the title for ManU!  Perhaps the first in ManU's quest for the Treble!!!

Not quite...........ManU has 3 games left with ManCity, Chelsea, West Ham
Chelsea have Arsenal, ManU and Everton.
You're right.  I was going by what they were saying on the ManU website's writeup of the Everton match.  They've since changed it stating that ManU needs a maximum of 5 points to clinch the title.  Of course, if ManU were to win and Chelsea could only muster another draw vs. Arsenal, the title would be ManU's.

One question I have is, say ManU clinches the title next week.  Given the fact that ManU and Chelsea already have a date scheduled for May 19th in the FA Cup Final and the possibility of having another date in Athens for the Champions League final, do these 2 teams bring their youth clubs for that match? ;)  Of course I'm kidding about the youth clubs, but, this match would be virtually meaningless, and it would seem pointless to either side to field a strong team risking injuries that could affect their clashes of significance in the near future. 

Personally, I'm hoping that ManU doesn't clinch on Saturday, so we could get the chance to see these 2 clubs really go after it!  But I won't be complaining if ManU could manage to wrap it up Saturday either!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on May 01, 2007, 10:30:57 am
I hope that everyone on this board is pulling for S. Africa to be able to host the 2010 world cup events. Although, we still have time before those summer games, FIFA has already decided to call the STATES, Spain and even Mexico to be considered as Plan B if the S.Africans are not ready and prepared to host the games. I sure do hope they get everything togther and are able to host the games.
What do you guys think?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 01, 2007, 10:54:55 am

I heard England was included as a possible alternative host as well.


Chelsea and Liverpool today.  Should be a good one.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 01, 2007, 03:22:59 pm

Liverpool have evened the tie midway through the first half of play.  They either need to keep pushing or bring everyone back.  They have to keep Chelsea off the board or score two more.  A 2-1 win gets them nothing; gotta love away goals.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 01, 2007, 05:20:01 pm

We're heading to penalties at Anfield.  I totally called this.  I'm rooting for Liverpool, but of course anything can happen in penalties.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 01, 2007, 05:28:54 pm

Liverpool are headed back to the final.  Two late (100+ minute) subs Robben and Geremi have their penalties saved by Reina and Liverpool advance.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on May 01, 2007, 05:44:39 pm
So was that tense enough?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on May 02, 2007, 09:05:58 am
So was that tense enough?
Just a tad!!!  For as boring as their 1st leg was at Stamford Bridge, this one lived up to and surpassed all the hype surrounding it! 

I was on the edge of my couch the entire 2nd half.  And then I had to endure 2 extra times before Reina came up HUGE in penalties! 

As much as I wanted to see Chelsea and ManU in the finals, I just couldn't fnd myself pulling for them at all!  They're what I consider the equivalent to the Yankees and the 'Evil Emire' of the EPL, so I just love it when they get beat!

That atmosphere at Anfield was pretty special as well!  As if there's not enough pressure on these players to convert their penalties, can you imagine having to do it as nearly 50,000 Liverpool supporters are jeering and booing you would be daunting to say the least!  I wonder what affect Anfield had on Robben and Geremi? 8)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 02, 2007, 09:28:59 am
So was that tense enough?

It was tense, but rewarding.  (From the standpoint of Liverpool supporters, of course  ;)). 

It was clear what each team was trying to do at first--Liverpool had to score, and Chelsea tried to stop them--but it didn't seem that Chelsea had a Plan B after the Liverpool goal.  That was a beauty, with Stevie G's kick contributing a great deal to Agger's finish.

I thought the "Special One" might change formations when more offense was needed--Drogba was awfully alone up front there.  Chelsea are a very good side with a lot of wonderful players, but they seem to have an attitude that they can do no wrong.  Every call that did not go their way brought moans and complaints, even some when it was obvious on replay that there was no contact at all.  The comparison to the Yankees is spot on.

Don't know which matchup would be better for the Reds in Athens.  There is talk on the BBC that FA officials are concerned about policing should it be the two English clubs.  But what a great testimonial to the EPL!

I'm taking a group of students on a London semester this fall, and one thing my family is going to do is visit Anfield.   I already have my "This is Anfield" scarf--can't wait!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 02, 2007, 10:15:16 am
I wonder what affect Anfield had on Robben and Geremi?

I know it's total coincidence, but it seems odd that the two guys who got stopped were the ones with the freshest legs.


I'm taking a group of students on a London semester this fall, and one thing my family is going to do is visit Anfield.   I already have my "This is Anfield" scarf--can't wait!

This probably goes without saying, but you do have to take a nice train ride up to Liverpool to see Anfield.  Not too bad a side trip, but certainly some extra planning required.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 02, 2007, 10:38:39 am
Hoops--Don't worry, I am only too aware of the planning involved.  Have been to London countless times and Liverpool three times to date.  But I can see why you might have thought that from what I wrote.:)

We're planning an optional three-day Liverpool weekend for students:  the Beatles Story, the Magical Mystery Tour Bus, the McCartney and Lennon home tours, and the tour of Anfield.  Then, my family and I are going back at a later time to go to a match. 

Oh yes, there is also teaching involved in this gig, just in case anyone was wondering :D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 02, 2007, 10:40:42 am
Oh yes, there is also teaching involved in this gig, just in case anyone was wondering.

So you got the raw end of the deal, huh?  Aren't travel seminars just "read a few books, visit a bunch of museums, write a few papers, pay for the prof's vacation?"
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 02, 2007, 10:49:27 am

So you got the raw end of the deal, huh?  Aren't travel seminars just "read a few books, visit a bunch of museums, write a few papers, pay for the prof's vacation?"

I've heard of a case that was exactly like that--but I could never do that.  I used to lead hikes for the Appalachian Mountain Club (in New England, not in Illinois!) and the only times I ever had problems were when I tried a hike I hadn't done before, or done recently.  Trips and museums are on the agenda, sure, but there is an academic context.

And as for a vacation...playing mom and pop to twenty 19 and 20 year-olds who are suddenly of legal drinking age, many of whom have never cooked for themselves before or lived away from home?  I'm expecting to work for my trip to Anfield! :D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on May 02, 2007, 11:02:41 am
I thought Chelsea and Liverpool flipped roles this week........last week Liverpool looked lost once Chelsea scored, same could be said for Chelsea yesterday.  Although Drogba got a couple really good scares in there late that almost stole it.   Speaking of Drogba, I could probably like him more if he wouldn't complain and whine so much.........3 straight weeks i've seen an opposing player make the dive gesture to the ref, even a sweet one of Agger wiping mock tears away last week.  Wonderfully gifted player and  many times has been the best player on the field, hands down, wish he'd just play the game though.

Mourihno's act has worn thin, even on me who's not exposed the the British media daily.  I was not sad to see Chelsea lose.  In fact I think back to 3 years ago when it was rumored (or more than one) that Gerrard was on his way to Chelsea, because he wanted to win in Europe...............fast forward to this year and Gerrard will be leading Liverpool to a 2nd appearance in the final, potentially a 2nd Champions League title and have eliminated Chelsea 3 straight years.  Pretty ironic.

I, like many, see big changes at Chelsea this summer.  Somethings not working like it should there.



Hoosier Titan----one of the things I wrote down a couple years ago that I wanted to do was see a game at Anfield.  So you have my envy. ;D


Hopefully this afternoon's contest is just as entertaining and tense.  Really its a can't lose final matchup.............a rematch of Liverpool/AC Milan from 2 years ago, or Liverpool/ManU.   Whats not to like about either matchup.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 02, 2007, 11:11:31 am

I think Gerard's threat to leave for Chelsea is what prompted Liverpool to invest more consciously in the European futures of their club.  They certainly would not have gotten Kyut or have paid up for Crouch if they weren't afraid of Gerrard leaving.  They also resigned Hyypia a few years back when they weren't planning to.  I think ultimately they'd agree that those moves have paid off quite nicely.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on May 02, 2007, 07:08:02 pm
Wow did ManU lay a big egg today.  Could have been 4-0 in 12 minutes, they were actually a little lucky it wasn't worse.

AC/Liverpool should be a good match, I'm sure they'll spend 3 weeks talking about 2 years ago.  I'm not sure who's the favorite.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on May 02, 2007, 08:55:40 pm
Im so disappointed in today's game. I'm not a Man U fan, but I don't think anyone can explain that mess today.  Was it the downpour? Anyone? Sir Alex?   That was an embarassment.    Kaka is incredible.  After (yes, I hate to say it), C. Ronaldo Kaka is the best player in the world right now.   

As long as they have Gerrard, I'm taking Liverpool. 

As always, Hala Madrid!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 02, 2007, 11:32:47 pm
Just watched the tivo'd game.  It was disappointing, all right.  The first goal, by Kaka--well, that was great.  You can't fault anyone on that.  But the second--the defense!  I think the makeshift defense must have had a lot to do with Man U's collapse. 

AC looked very good in difficult conditions--short, crisp passes that were easier to control.  The final should be a cracker!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on May 03, 2007, 10:20:01 am
I was also very disappointed in ManU's performance last night.  I have to think that fatigue is just catching up to the Reds at this point.  Not to mention the makeshift defense that Sir Alex has to run out on the pitch.  And then there was the less than ideal weather in the 1st half.  The conditions were attrocious in the 1st half and Milan were the side that coped with them best.  With the exception of about a 10-15 minute stretch in the 2nd half, ManU was just simply outplayed. 

I'm going to look forward to seeing how Liverpool does vs. AC.  What I'm not going to look forward to is hearing about how motivated AC will be having blown a 3 goal lead the last time these two clubs  hooked up in the CL Finals.  As if Liverpool won't have any motivations of their own?!   One final thought:  I hope the refereeing is better for Liverpool than it was for ManU?! ::)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 03, 2007, 11:14:42 am

I didn't get to follow the match as I was in the dentist chair for two hours yesterday afternoon.  However, the result wasn't a total surprise to me.

I figured that ManU would get one goal, two if everything went their way.  The rain was actually supposed to help United, so I don't think that can be attributed.  Obviously they ran out Vidic, who wasn't quite ready to play, coupled with the weakened defense and the fact that AC had a week to watch film and figure out a plan of attack, the result wasn't all that surprising.

The key to the final, as it was the last time Liverpool made the run, will be the play of Jamie Carragher.  He didn't get much mention in the Chelsea ties, but he is a lockdown defender, which is absolutely essential in European play where the opponents always have a star striker.  In fact, Liverpool may be the only club that has done well in Europe recently without a top ten goal-scoring talent.  That comes because Carragher is so good at controlling the play in the back.  The Liverpool defense doesn't get enough credit, but they're dominance releases the offense to take chances and stay rested by not requiring them to run back so far.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 03, 2007, 11:51:40 am
Bingo, Hoops!

We were just talking about the Liverpool defense at the breakfast table this morning.  Carragher is the key, but Finnan, Riise (when needed), and the relatively new Agger and Arbeloa make up one of the strongest backfields.  It does soften the impact of a short list of top-flight strikers on the side.  (Although I am far more impressed with Peter Crouch than I ever dreamed I would be at first, and Dirk Kuyt's work ethic is outstanding all over the pitch).  Also, Riise, Agger, and Arbeloa are regular scoring threats, and Carragher even scored a goal this season off a corner kick.  And, although Sami Hyypia's career is winding down, he was a mainstay for years, can still give some good minutes, and scored the only goal against Portsmouth last weekend.

The last time I checked the Liverpool site (liverpoolfc.tv), Carragher was either leading the voting for player of the year or second to Stevie G.  I can't find it on the site right now.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 03, 2007, 01:09:00 pm

I'm not insulting the abilities of the Liverpool Strike Force (puns welcome), but I think even Peter Crouch would admit he's not one of the ten or fifteen best goal scorers in the world.  As a whole, the front line is solid and the lack of a big name (and usually big ego) provides a chemistry boost that is essential.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 05, 2007, 09:09:40 am

I'm not insulting the abilities of the Liverpool Strike Force (puns welcome), but I think even Peter Crouch would admit he's not one of the ten or fifteen best goal scorers in the world.  As a whole, the front line is solid and the lack of a big name (and usually big ego) provides a chemistry boost that is essential.

I needed a little time to respond to this.  I know what you're saying, but I doubt if Peter Crouch would admit that--nor should he.  Found this quote from Bill Shankly on the LFC website:  "A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe that you are the best and then make sure that you are."  Like a three-point shooter or an opera singer, a striker who doesn't believe he or she can excel is likely to fail.

In terms of numbers, Crouch has a total of 18 goals this year, 9 of them in the EPL.  He leads LFC, while Kuyt has 13 and Gerrard 11.  In the Premiership, there are 20 players with more goals than Crouch, and a lot of them would mostly likely bring, ahem, chemistry issues--people like Didier Drogba, who's leading the league in scoring with 19 EPL goals.  Also, Crouch did not start for a long stretch in the season, as Benitez tried different lineups.

In terms of a big name striker, my saddest day following Liverpool came when Michael Owen decided to test the waters at Real Madrid.  Even though he did well, he wan't playing regularly, and he wanted to return to Liverpool.  Of course, if he had, they would have lost him for this year, rather than Newcastle, following the ACL injury in the World Cup.  I am cheering for him to make a full recovery, and I, personally, hope it works out for him to return to Anfield or its successor.

At any rate, the war chest promised by the new owners should make it possible to bring in more top flight talent--but I think Peter Crouch has proven himself, ungainly as he sometimes appears.  And it does seem that most of the side have a good, unselfish attitude. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 07, 2007, 03:29:58 pm

Again, I wasn't disparaging these guys.  I think they work and (as I also mentioned) bring chemistry to a team that thrives on it.  I just don't think they're as scary to anyone as some of the bigger names out there.  It doesn't mean they are any less useful or important to Liverpool, it just means they have to play differently than other teams.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on May 08, 2007, 12:24:45 am
Does anyone think Liverpool will make a move for Berbatov from Tottenham or is that beyond them?

He seems a shoe-in for Man United this summer.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 08, 2007, 12:52:59 am
Does anyone think Liverpool will make a move for Berbatov from Tottenham or is that beyond them?

He seems a shoe-in for Man United this summer.

I think they have a lot more resources now with the new owners.  Haven't heard anything about Berbatov, though.  He and Robbie Keane seem to be doing really well together--I doubt Jol would want to let either one go. 

I am leaving for London in the morning--will post any good gossip.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 08, 2007, 11:57:31 am

Berbatov will go to ManU.  The 'Spurs just don't have the money to outbid ManU.  THe only possible way he'll stay is if he actually doesn't want more money and I've yet to see a player admit to or follow through on that one, especially one playing in a country that's not his own.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on May 08, 2007, 02:11:51 pm

Berbatov will go to ManU.  The 'Spurs just don't have the money to outbid ManU.  THe only possible way he'll stay is if he actually doesn't want more money and I've yet to see a player admit to or follow through on that one, especially one playing in a country that's not his own.
Not only will he be getting more money, he will be going to a championship contending club.  That's a lethal combination if you're a 'Spurs fan hoping for Berbatov's return.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on May 19, 2007, 10:01:20 am
Anyone finding a local pub to watch the FA Cup Final today?  There's also the option of paying $29.99 to watch it on pay-per-view.  I'm going with option 3 and that is watching it Tuesday night on tape delay on the Fox Soccer Channel.  I figure it won't be too hard to not find out what happened since the media coverage of the EPL over here is pretty nonexhistent.  I'll just have to steer clear of any soccer websites for the next few days.   8)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 21, 2007, 12:49:49 pm

Amazingly, someone out there is helping you.  The Soccernet scores page for Saturday is not active on the website right now.  You have to specifically go to the FA Cup page to see the results.  Quite a tussle though; should be good on the replay.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on May 21, 2007, 01:07:11 pm
Props to Stuttgart for taking the German Bundesliga title and to Seville for taking the UEFA Cup final in a real classic match!! :) ;) :D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on May 21, 2007, 07:54:00 pm

Amazingly, someone out there is helping you.  The Soccernet scores page for Saturday is not active on the website right now.  You have to specifically go to the FA Cup page to see the results.  Quite a tussle though; should be good on the replay.

bbc.co.uk

also not bad.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on May 23, 2007, 08:57:12 am
Well, the match, at least the 2nd half of the match, was worth the wait, although not the result I was looking for.  I was recording the match on my DVR and usually my DVR asks me on sporting events if I want to record past the alloted time blocked out for whatever event I'm recording.  Well, it didn't ask me last night, and besides, I figured since it was a tape delayed broadcast, Fox Soccer Channel would have blocked out the correct time of the broadcast.  NOPE!  My recording cut off just as the 1st OT was coming to a close!  Luckily it was on again straight away, but I had to stay up until almost 2 am to catch the final unfortunate outcome! :(

It's bad enough to lose the Cup to Chelsea, but to have Drogba score the game winner made it hurt even more!

Well, that draws another exciting EPL season to a close.  The off-season will be busy and entertaining as usual.  Which players and coaches will be on the move?  Will ManU make themselves even better?  What will Chelsea look like next season?  Should be quite fun to see how the off-season plays out this summer!

Now, I'll be turning my attention almost squarely on baseball as my Indians are actually looking like a contender this season and the Cubbies are hanging around just enough to make me keep the hope alive. 

Of course there is one more match of interest I will be watching tonight! ;D 

Hopefully the Reds can win another Champions League Cup over Milan.  I happened to catch the replay of that 2005 epic final betwween these 2 sides yesterday.  If today's match is only half as good as that one, we will still be in for quite a treat!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 23, 2007, 09:49:06 am


Hopefully the Reds can win another Champions League Cup over Milan.  I happened to catch the replay of that 2005 epic final betwween these 2 sides yesterday.  If today's match is only half as good as that one, we will still be in for quite a treat!

Rafa Benitez does not expect this match to be as high scoring as that one (of course, that one had to be for the Reds to prevail!).  He says that he'd take that one but "I'd probably need a doctor."

The Liverpool F.C. club T-shirts my husband ordered in early may for my Mother's Day present finally arrived yesterday, just in time! :)

Speculation on the BBC is that Rafa's lineup will have only Kuyt up front, with a five-man midfield and Stevie G given free license to move forward.  Should that not produce goals, though, I doubt it will be long before we'll see Peter Crouch.  We'll soon know....
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 23, 2007, 03:01:45 pm

We're under way.  Inzaghi is starting up front for Milan.  In my opinion he's one of the most underrated strikers out there; Carragher is going to have to come up big.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 23, 2007, 04:35:01 pm

Wow, I was totally hoping to be wrong.  Inzaghi just scored his second of the night and AC deserved neither.  Both teams are playing like crap, but Liverpool's doesn't smell as bad.  They shouldn't be down 2-0.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on May 23, 2007, 04:45:10 pm

I can't believe Gerard couldn't get a ball in the net.  He was playing so well and they set up the line-up for him to have more freedom to move forward.  Liverpool definitely let one get away here.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 23, 2007, 04:58:03 pm
Wow...the high points for Liverpool are few and far between.  Jermaine Pennant had a breakout game, and the defense on Kaka was outstanding.  He was a non-factor. 

Milan were fortunate not to be scored on in the first half--Liverpool controlled the ball and the game most of the time.  I wish Liverpool hadn't tried that offside trap so late in the game--they left Reina hanging.  He wasn't really to blame for either goal.

I wonder what the holdup was on getting subs in--according to the announcers, Arbeloa had been waiting to go in for five minutes before he was allowed in.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on May 23, 2007, 06:58:07 pm
wow, i can't wait until the M.N.T (team u.s.a) plays china in 10 days. I hope that coach bradley and co. have been getting the guys ready in order to show case better results this time around.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on May 24, 2007, 03:24:47 pm
Wow...the high points for Liverpool are few and far between.  Jermaine Pennant had a breakout game, and the defense on Kaka was outstanding.  He was a non-factor. 

The foul on Kaka outside the box led to the first goal.  The pass from Kaka to Inzaghi led to the second goal.  He was a definite factor.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on May 24, 2007, 03:37:40 pm
Wow...the high points for Liverpool are few and far between.  Jermaine Pennant had a breakout game, and the defense on Kaka was outstanding.  He was a non-factor. 

The foul on Kaka outside the box led to the first goal.  The pass from Kaka to Inzaghi led to the second goal.  He was a definite factor.

Ouch.  Sure, he helped set that up.  My point was that the Liverpool defense did not let him go on those long solo runs the way he did against Man U.   Look at my first sentence again--I was trying, as a Liverpool supporter, to see some bright spots.  That goal was indeed the difference, so in that regard, Kaka was a factor.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on May 24, 2007, 05:37:25 pm
hand-ball?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on May 27, 2007, 11:46:37 pm
hand-ball?

That was my initial thought the first time I saw it.  Not sure after seeing countless replays.



Interesting that if the Italian federation had kept their original points docking penalties on AC Milan last season, Milan wouldn't have been in the competition this season.  Seems like all those teams basically ended up with a slap on the wrist, compared to what they originally were given.

Nice to see 3 English teams in the Semi's but AC were clearly the best of the four.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on May 31, 2007, 09:25:36 am
How about Becks? The guy is on a hot streak right now and leading Real Madrid to the top of the table in La Liga.   He's called up to play for England in tomorrow's friendly against Brazil.   His crosses are pin point.  Great time for him to be joining the MLS.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 03, 2007, 10:01:59 am
6/02/07 Finals:

USA 4, China 1.

Germany 6, San Marino 0

Mexico 4, Iran 0. (Borgettti and Lozano scored 2 of the goals, the former on a header that ended a series of richochets between the goal mouth and the penalty area and the latter on a cross-feed that worked to perfection). One of Iran's players was ejected late in the match for a rough tackle.

France and Italy also won their matches.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on June 03, 2007, 11:48:19 pm
From what I saw vs Brazil, Beckham looks in great shape, and he creates things England can't create without him.  His first free kick looked for sure like it was going in.

The new Wembley is very impressive
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 04, 2007, 12:32:27 pm

Beckham may be getting a career second wind.  And he's now locked into the US.  I think that deal was a win-win all around.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 04, 2007, 01:28:50 pm
Congrats to team USA on their recent win v.s. china. I am sure glad that Coach B. and co. got the team ready this time around. The Germany match againt San Marino wasn't that good because Germany was expected to beat them by a lot; which they did.

As for the Mexico game, great to see that Coach Sanchez has a lot of confidence in putting older and more experienced guys on the starting roster. However, i am not to sure if this strategy will work well once heavy international play comes around.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 04, 2007, 01:30:33 pm
The question is:  is McClaren brilliant for bringing Becks back, or was he stupid to sack him in the first place?  Maybe both.

The statement I saw from Alexi Lalas sounded supportive in the short term, but a little less so if Beckham is to be back on the England side indefinitely.

England looked at least as good as in the World Cup against Brazil, and much better than they did in any other match under McClaren.

Against Estonia, I'd like to see Peter Crouch up front with Owen--Alan Smith didn't impress.  And Stephen Gerrard should be closer to the front, although he played the holding midfielder position well.

I wish there weren't so many injuries on the defensive line--Jamie Carragher is out of position at right back.  Hopefully Estonia won't have the footspeed of Ronaldinho and company. ;)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 04, 2007, 02:04:35 pm

It will be a big deal for LA if Beckham misses any matches this summer.  The way they're jacking up prices and making all sorts of extra accommodations for his matches around the league, they need him to be there for all of them.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on June 04, 2007, 04:09:45 pm
I'm kind of wondering if Beckham wasn't hurt more in Germany last year than he let on.  Maybe his conditioning fell off because of it, but he looks better physically than he has in more than a couple years.  Could also be he's worked very hard because he wants the move to LA to be successfull.  I think he has a pretty large stake in it all.

McClaren seemed to maybe keep Beckham off the England team to make a statement, like "I'm not above removing the captain, so you better perform."  Unfortunately it kind of backfired on him.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 04, 2007, 04:23:57 pm

It worked well all around.  Beckham might be a very public figure, but he's a very private guy and the one things he wants more than anything else it to break the record for caps for the England squad.  Removing him from the team was more motivation than anyone could give to him.  He's got more money than God.  The money from LA wasn't motivation.  All of those players love the English national team more than we can ever understand.

He got off his horse, won his spot back on the Real squad and now got back with England.  I'm glad McClaren found a way to get the most gifted footballer of this generation back into a professional training regimen, whether he did it on purpose or not.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 05, 2007, 06:47:23 pm
Whatever is in his water I hope that he uses it all summer long in Carson, C.A.
As of 3 months ago, i bought a mini-summer Galaxy season plan that cost me an arm and leg just to go see the new circus coming to town. And believe me, the hype is just about to heat up even more in so.cal.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 05, 2007, 10:04:20 pm
Mexico vs. Paraquay on deck:
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 05, 2007, 10:56:03 pm
Half:  Mexico 0, Paraguay 0.  (Several World Cups back--the last time France won it all, if memory serves correctly--France eneded up playing Paraguay back when Jose Luis Chilavert was the latter squad's goalkeeper. France had as many as 7 players around the penalty area in extra time because they didn't want that match to go to penalty kicks. France's LeBlanc scored the match-winner that time.)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 06, 2007, 12:11:31 am
Final:  Paraguay 1, Mexico 0.

Some 10 minutes into the second half, one of Mexico's players' shots hit the left crossbar. Paraguay's goal came later.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 06, 2007, 10:36:53 am
What a big win for Paraguay and a sad sloppy job by "El Tri". I expected the "Tri" to finish with a better result, yet, saw a team that needs to improve better on defense once the gold cup comes around.

If the "Tri" is expected to rebuild, the time is now. There cannot be any sloppy defense on the field as they showed against Paraguay. I just hope that once "Raffa" Marquez comes back Barcelona he'll be able to add some nice defense and strong leadership when it comes to teaching others how to defend well.

Can't wait until the start of the gold cup. It should be team U.S. and Mexico battling it out for thecup this year.
 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 06, 2007, 10:59:46 am
BBC's projected lineup for England against Estonia:

Strikers:  Owen and Crouch
Midfield:  J. Cole, Lampard, Gerrard, Beckham
Defense:  Nickey Shorey or Wayne Bridge, Terry, King, W. Brown or Kieron Dyer
Goal:  Robinson

I was only surprised at the back line:  given that Gary Neville is hurt, Jamie Carragher filled in competently at right back.  He's really a center back, and a better one than Ledley King.  And Wes Brown just about gave away a goal against Brazil...I don't think he's earned a start.  I hope this report is incorrect.

Is anyone getting this match televised?  We have Setanta, but they seem to be putting it on a premium channel to be shown in "selected bars," none of which is within 100 miles of here.  :(
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 06, 2007, 07:07:47 pm
ESPN Soccernet reports Germany beat Slovakia today--getting conflicting reports on exact final.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 06, 2007, 08:06:50 pm
England over Estonia 3-0 today.

I followed the action on the ESPN game tracker and the BBC website, as no one seemed to be televising it live. 

There was a first half goal by Joe Cole, and more in the second half by Peter Crouch and Michael Owen.  By all accounts the side looked a lot better than they had in any previous match in a long time.

Russia held Croatia to a 0-0 draw.  The standings in their group are now Croatia and Israel with 17 points each (Croatia ahead on goal differential), Russia with 15, and England with 14, followed by Macedonia, Estonia, and Andorra.  Still a ways to go, but today's was a good result for England.

The only bad news for England was Peter Crouch picking up a yellow--he will be sitting for the next match, against Israel.

The earliest broadcast of the match we could find will be Friday.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 07, 2007, 10:38:29 am
Wow, only 9 more hours (p.t.) until Team USA kicks off its Gold Cup title defense tonight against Guatemala with a squad eager to erase the memories of a dismal World Cup performance in Germany.

I can't wait to see how team U.S.A will prove all their critics wrong after starting off strong tonight. Go team U.S.A
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on June 07, 2007, 01:14:09 pm
So, anyone here going to the Gold Cup semis or finals in Chicago later this month? 

Becks with 2 assists last night.  Another gem.


Can't wait for Gold Cup and Copa America.  USA today's article about the US Team: 
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2007-06-06-4227659865_x.htm
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 07, 2007, 11:06:15 pm
Final just in:  USA 1, Guatemala 0. (ESPN Soccernet indicates one USA player sent off in 2nd half).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on June 08, 2007, 08:29:21 am
Obviously this team is young and needs to build confidence around each other. Onyewu needs to finally learn that he's bigger than about 98% of the players he goes up against. He and Bocanegra struggled last night. I thought Beasley was solid, Donovan was average.  I think we'll see this team get better and more in sync with each other as the team moves on.

One interesting comment the announcers made was that the US is putting most of their marbles into the Gold Cup.  They mentioned that the squad for Copa America will be a much younger one.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 08, 2007, 10:37:46 am
Stinger----- Coach Bradley really likes to use young players who have tons of energy and are willing to take big steps when called upon. In the past, coach bradley has been successful using a strategy like this, however, it was during MLS play. Having a lot of youngings during international play might be a bit of a stretch, but if it is necessary i hope that those youngsters can produce more on offense and defense. This tourney should be a good experience for the team.

Can't wait to see the Mexico v.s. Cuba game tonight------ Coach Hugo Sanchez should have the team ready.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Josh Bowerman on June 08, 2007, 05:18:15 pm
I saw on the Fox Soccer Report that Franck Ribery has signed with Bayern Munich, presumably to repace Hasan Salihamidzic.  Though I think Hasan is a slightly better player, this is probably a good move given that Salihamidzic had a bit of a tendency to lose his cool this past season.

Alas, my team is still looking kinda long in the tooth.  I'm beginning to wonder if 2008 may not bring a return to the Champions League.   :-\

I love the new "hoops" jersey's, though.  I'm gonna have to run out and get one soon.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 08, 2007, 09:23:55 pm
Cuba/Mexico just underway as I post:
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 08, 2007, 10:04:48 pm
Halftime:  Cuba 1, Mexico 1
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 08, 2007, 11:12:23 pm
Mexico 2, Cuba 1, going into stoppage time in 2nd half.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 09, 2007, 07:13:15 pm
Final just in:  USA 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 09, 2007, 08:53:45 pm
Congrats to team USA on a good match today. Coach Bradley really had the club ready.
On the other hand, "EL tri" is getting a little suspect on having teams score the first goal against them. It appears that coach sanchez and co. are spending a little to much time studying the opponent during the game and just not playing their true style and game. Hopefully, this will encourage EL Tri to do well. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 11, 2007, 10:39:13 am
Wow, just one more day until team US hits the field again. Can't wait to see how the team comes out and gets ready to prove all critics wrong in yet another good match.

Moreover, it looks like "el tri" is having a huge melt down during this tourney. Like i had mentioned before,The team is just spending to much time studying their opponent and not play organized futbol.

Congrats to cuba for hanging in the tourney and not giving up to early like many were predicting.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 11, 2007, 12:04:54 pm
What's up with Guadeloupe?  They've got 4 points and already a victory over Canada.  That group's not too hard; they might be able to make it out.  how many Americans even know Guadeloupe is a country?

Well, I guess it's technically not a country.  In fact it's less of a country than Puerto Rico is, but still, it's pretty cool.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 11, 2007, 12:23:48 pm
The BBC is reporting that Real Madrid have tried to buy out David Beckham's contract with the LA Galaxy, and that the offer has been rejected.  Coach Fabio Capello is quoted as saying that he and other Real executives made "errors in judgement" regarding Beckham.

His performances against Brazil and Estonia were pretty convincing.  Maybe having been left off the national team for a few games has spurred him on.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 11, 2007, 12:29:37 pm
Beckham might be a very public figure, but he's a very private guy and the one things he wants more than anything else it to break the record for caps for the England squad.  Removing him from the team was more motivation than anyone could give to him.  He's got more money than God.  The money from LA wasn't motivation.  All of those players love the English national team more than we can ever understand.

By the way, the offer from Real wasn't turned down, there simply isn't a buy-out clause in Beckham's contract.  Besides, there's no way even Real could offer the same kind of investment in the future of the league that Beckham is getting in LA.  The more he does to promote MLS, the more he makes.  Honestly, it's a tactic I'm surprised other sports and teams haven't tried with their star players.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on June 11, 2007, 12:52:25 pm
By the way, the offer from Real wasn't turned down, there simply isn't a buy-out clause in Beckham's contract.  Besides, there's no way even Real could offer the same kind of investment in the future of the league that Beckham is getting in LA.  The more he does to promote MLS, the more he makes.  Honestly, it's a tactic I'm surprised other sports and teams haven't tried with their star players.

Here's what was on the BBC site:

"Real Madrid have had a bid to buy David Beckham out of his LA Galaxy contract rejected by the MLS club.  Real approached the 32-year-old's advisors and LA Galaxy with their offer but were told "politely but firmly" that Beckham would not change his mind.

The Spanish giants were told Beckham's contract did not have a get-out clause, which they believe existed."

Isn't Beckham the biggest star (by far) to come to the MLS?  I'm not sure anyone else would have had the drawing power to allow for such high incentives until now. 

I wonder if he might have second thoughts about coming, now that his England and European careers are rejuvenated.  LA were probably smart not to allow a get-out clause.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 11, 2007, 02:40:39 pm
That news over the weekend was so funny around here in L.A. What was even more funny was that the "AEG" promoting company who made the beckham deal possible, sat back in their chairs and laughed about how much other team are considering having becks back. Eventhough, AEG was taking a risk, they knew that all they need from becks was to promote the heck ourt of MLS (just like hoops fan points out). In the end, the giants who run the famed Staples center (AEG) have now struck it rich.

Btw......you guys should come check out the posters and billboards that surround Staples center, the freeways and downtown L.A. with becks ugly mug......hahah 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Josh Bowerman on June 11, 2007, 10:21:56 pm
The Galaxy are in dire need of Becks--they looked terrible against FC Dallas on Saturday night.  Real nasty foul by Tyrone Marshall on Kenny Cooper got him a straight red card, to boot.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 12, 2007, 09:26:33 am

To bring my Guadeloupe fascination back up again, if the US beats El Salvador today, Guadeloupe secures a place in the quarters (although probably against the US, but still).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 12, 2007, 09:44:54 am
Per Wilkpedia, this year's the first time Guadaloupe's even qualified for the Gold Cup.  Side note--France star player T Henry hails from that territory.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 12, 2007, 10:43:09 am
Hahaha,

hey, hoops,I just realized last night from a local t.v. station that Guadeloupe is not a country in Latin America, but a small part of (or within Costa Rica.) Whatever they may be, they sure are a suprise in this tourney.

Speaking of the Galaxy---- the reason why they are struggling is because of the the tourney. Several of the players are on team usa. In the mean time, we still got a lot of games in the MLS ahead of us, so no need to rush becks over. Btw, his wife sure is making her presense known around L.A., she could be seen thrown out the first pitch at Dodger stadium last night. I am sure Becks will be doing the same sometime soon.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 12, 2007, 10:58:00 am
hey, hoops,I just realized last night from a local t.v. station that Guadeloupe is not a country in Latin America, but a small part of (or within Costa Rica.) Whatever they may be, they sure are a suprise in this tourney.

I think they messed up there.  Guadeloupe is a series of Islands in the Caribbean, I think in the lesser Antilles.  They are an official department of France (which is why Henry can play for the French national team).  They are a part of the European Union and use the eruo as currency.  They're participation in the Gold Cup is equivalent to say Hawaii fielding a separate team. 

I wonder if Henry will play for them when his first team days are over in France?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 12, 2007, 11:06:40 am
Thanks for clearing that up. Makes much more sense.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 12, 2007, 06:39:22 pm
Can't wait until until team U.S.A scores yet another victory tonight against El Salvador. I am so siked and ready to hear all the nonsense that my Salvadoranian neighbors and local resturants will start to talk about. Be ready to see a lot of the young players scores early in tonights match in good ole' boston.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 12, 2007, 06:58:17 pm
El Salvador vs. USA on deck:
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 12, 2007, 07:59:48 pm
Halftime:  USA 2, El Salvador 0.  :) :D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 12, 2007, 09:04:01 pm
Final:  USA 4, El Salvador 0.  :) ;) :D :) ;) :D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 12, 2007, 09:17:45 pm
Trin & Tob vs. Guatemala just underway as I post:
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 12, 2007, 10:02:12 pm
Trin & Tob 0, Guatemala 0--Half:
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 12, 2007, 10:05:26 pm
IMHO, Panama vs. Mexico should be a good one. It'll be interesting to see (with Mexico's Blanco out for this match) how well Panama defends Borguetti and Mexico's other main offensive threats.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 12, 2007, 11:12:28 pm
Final:  Trin & Tob 1, Guatemala 1. (Both goals scored in the last 8 minutes of the match, per ESPN Soccernet )

Unless I'm missing something, that result puts Guatemala in second place in the group.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 13, 2007, 09:57:08 am

I'm not sure what the uproar was over Donovan's penalty?  The past few years its been standard practice to award a PK for any handball in the box, intentional or not.  Intentional ones get the added bonus of a Red Card.  Either way, it's good to see the US squad light it up a bit.  They'll need that aggressiveness if they're going to compete in the Copa.

Up to #16 in the world, by the way, in the latest FIFA rankings.  That's a 13 place jump over last month.


Right now in the Gold Cup:

Through to the quarters: USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guadeloupe, and Panama.

Mexico and Honduras both have a good shot to get in.  A draw today for either side will get them in.  Even with a loss, they are both well ahead of El Salvador in the tiebreakers.  They'd have to lose by upwards of four goals to be kept out of the quarters.

I'm not sure if there is a draw for the quarters of if they do it on points earned.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 13, 2007, 10:37:46 am
Congrats to team USA. What an awesome plan that team USA came out yesterday. As expected coach bradley and co. did well this time around in having the offense produce much more goals and its defense staying sound and tough. Glad to see that more rookies were used as well.

Speaking of Mexico having a shot----I am sure they will be in. However, who do you really put in for blanco??????? Borguetti usually tends to run out of gas this late into tourneys. Or better yet which goalee do you use, Sanchez or Ochoa?????? In the end, as hoops pointed out, it should be a good game
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 14, 2007, 06:54:05 am
CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals:

Canada vs. Guatemala

USA vs. Panama

Honduras vs. Guadelope

Mexico vs. Costa Rica

IMHO, at least on paper, USA and Honduras would figure to have easier match-ups. Panama lost 2 players to red cards last night. Honduras looked like a high powered juggernaut. The other 2 matches are too close to call.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 14, 2007, 10:46:45 am
The only team that i honestly would consider having the easier match up in the quater finals would only be team USA. The reason why i believe that this game would be in favor of team USA is because 1) the red, white and blue has a good and solid game plan in both their offense and defense, 2) their Vets and rookies are gelling much quicker than any other national team in this tourney and 3) as WLCALUM has mentioned, 2 of Panamas top players have been lost due to red cards. Of course team USA is going to win.

Btw, thus far "EL Tri" is disappointing a lot of it fans thus far through out the tourney. It's taking to long for them to score and their offense doesn't seem to click as fast as they other teams are showing us. I would have thought that this game would have been its coming out party since both team played each other at the Rosebowl last year and El tri winning the game in a huge convincing manner. However, coach sanchez has a lot of work ahead of him.   
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 14, 2007, 11:03:06 am

Guadeloupe is a weak squad.  They got lucky with one match in a weak pool and Honduras is a very talented team.  The US and Honduras should win easily.

I'd think Guatemala and Mexico would come out on top in the other matches, but all four of those teams are playing about level right now, so you never know.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 17, 2007, 05:16:47 pm
Job well done for team USA in their recent win. Glad to see that Coach bradley and Co.  are on a hot streak and are ready to take the gold cup yet again.

Btw, the costa rica v.s mexico game should be a big test for el tri--- given that every mexico soccer fan is a bit feed up with coach sanchez game plan. However, in my opinion, mexico wins this game in yet another close and scarry game 

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 18, 2007, 12:20:26 pm

Guadeloupe again!  They took down a strong Honduras squad.  Amazing results thus far.  Should Mexico start getting scared?  They only got by Costa Rica with the help of two Red Cards. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 19, 2007, 10:38:19 am
Guadeloupe against mexico will turn out to be the only time Mexico will have a true big win. This time around El Tri should have all their top players---Rafa Marquez, Borguettii, O.Bravo, P. pavel and others ready. There will be no need for them to win by just one goal nor by the other teams getting red cards. This time, after getting scored on first, EL Tri will find some way to come out with a 3-1 win.

On the other hand, you have team U.S.A v.s. America junior (Canada). This game will be a good game between both clubs and will show case all of the young talent each team has. However, expect to see team U.S.A eager to defend their gold cup and not giving up against America J.r.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 20, 2007, 10:43:24 am
Wow, one more day and team USA hit the field again to face a surprising Canadian team. I wonder how many of our friends up north will be making it down south to see this game???

Any thoughts, predictions, or opinions from you guys on the upcoming games????
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on June 20, 2007, 03:23:18 pm
Mexico over Guadeloupe (wouldn't be surprised if this one goes to penalty kicks--Bourgetti had a frustrating shooting day the last match).

USA over Canada. (Nothing like home cooking).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 22, 2007, 08:37:44 am

I think I speak for all of us when I say, what the hell was Frankie Hedjuk doing on the field?  Isn't he like 47 years old?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 22, 2007, 12:33:52 pm
Congratulations to both team USA and Mexico for their wins last night. I am glad that America J.r. didn't leave without putting up a fight.
Moreover, i was more glad and surprised that mexico actually attacked on offense and had a better game than before. It sure was good to see fresh energy from Salcido, Medina, Blanco and even Berguitti during the game. Yet, in the end, i am ultimately glad that the gold cup final will pit archrivals team USA and Mexico.

I am so siked and ready for this game. And believe me, in the Browneagle household, when you have someone rooting for another team, like team usa as i will root for, you get an angry mob of uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and parents who will swear they will not feed you with good mexican food and beer if "El Tri" loses to Team USA.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 25, 2007, 12:29:34 pm
What a great job by both team USA and "el tri" in the final game of the gold cup. For a second, i really thought Mexico would have kept attacking the US on offense after they scored their first goal, but soon after, some of "El tri's players" got lost in translation in understanding what was needed from them. However, i was glad to see that this young U.S. national team overcame such an early goal and decided to give it their all in the last part of the game. It was truely great to see how well guys like donovon, beasly, dempsey, bocanegra, mastironi(sp?) and and tim howard all gelled together with the rookies to do well in this tourney.

Up next, the Copa America. I can't wait for this thursdays match up against Argentina. It sure will tell us how far team USA, under coach bradley and co, can they really go in this huge tourney.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on June 25, 2007, 06:03:54 pm
Not one post about Thierry Henry going to Barcelona?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 26, 2007, 08:38:22 am

Arsenal is becoming irrelevant, no one really cares.  Barca is just trying to buy their way to titles like Real did.  It's funny how teams will copy formulas that never really worked.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on June 27, 2007, 07:56:55 am
For those of you interested in La Liga, I highly recommend Phill Ball's column on ESPN's Soccernet.com.  Henry to Barca is an interesting addition. I personally don't like Barca (Real fan here), nor Henry, so bring em on.  It seems to me that Eto'o is on his way out.  He's the "cancer in the locker room" for Barca.   Ball seems to think Ronny could be on his way out as well.

It was great watching Real celebrate at the Cibeles foutain on La Castellana in Madrid.  I was there for the '95 celebration.  Good times, good times.

Great finish for the US squad in Chicago. Feilhaber's goal was the best I've seen in a long time from a US game.  On to Venezuela and a tough match tomorrow v. Argentina.  I have zero expectations going in, just going to enjoy watching some good soccer.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 27, 2007, 10:20:15 am

What's up with Peru kicking the crap out of Uruguay in the Copa?  That wasn't expected.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on June 27, 2007, 01:57:25 pm
  It seems to me that Eto'o is on his way out.  He's the "cancer in the locker room" for Barca.   

He was rumored to be heading to Liverpool earlier this spring, but that seems to have cooled off.

Henry was the only reason to watch Arsenal, seems they told a little fib when saying the debt accumulated from the building of Emirates Stadium wouldn't affect player personel.  Within 2 summers Viera out, Henry out among others.  They'll struggle to make top 4 this year for sure, even more so than last year.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 28, 2007, 12:09:03 am
Obituaries for El Tri may be a bit premature:

Mexico  2
Brazil   0

What a coup for the northern guests if USA can upset Argentina tomorrow(?)!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on June 28, 2007, 01:19:25 am
South American day of mourning.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 28, 2007, 08:51:05 am

I watched the second half of the match on Univision last night.  It appears Mexico dogged it through the Gold Cup so they could unleash some superb football for the Copa.

Granted Brazil has like their B- team out on the field right now (neither Ronaldinho nor Kaka were even on the substitute list), but Mexico played like they knew what they were doing.  They didn't even have to bring on Blanco or Bourghetti.

I'm not sure if I'll get to check out the US match tonight, but all of the univision announcers were calling it "el groupo de la muerte," so it should at least be interesting.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on June 28, 2007, 10:52:47 am

They didn't even have to bring on Blanco or Bourghetti.

I'm not sure if I'll get to check out the US match tonight, but all of the univision announcers were calling it "el groupo de la muerte," so it should at least be interesting.
Bourgetti didn't make the Mexican roster because of the injury he sustained in the Gold Cup Finals. 

Here's a link to the story:  Borgetti sidelined from Copa America  (http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/6968092)

As for the US match tonight, I'm not expecting too much.  Argentina has brought arguably their best and that makes them the team to beat considering Brazil didn't bring their best or even their 2nd best for that matter.

The US didn't bring close to their best squad either as missing from the roster are Beasley, Bocanegra, Donovan and Dempsey among the most notables.  On the 22 man roster that Bradley is bringing, 16 players have 10 or fewer caps for the National Team and 14 are 25 years or yonger.  Nothing like being thrown straight into the fire against the 5th ranked team in the world and the Argentines are sporting a strong roster to boot!

With Columbia and Paraguay rounding out USA's group, I think the Americans will be lucky to win a game, let alone get into the knockout phase of the tournament.  One thing for sure, these young players will definately get some valuable experience out of this competition.  Who knows, maybe some of these youngsters will step up and make a name for themselves and open some eyes.  I'm sure that they are going to be trying to make the most of this opportunity.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 28, 2007, 12:12:50 pm

Bourghetti was on the official substitute list.  I was just impressed with how well Mexico was playing.  They had a spring in their step and some competitive fire that last week's squad was sorely lacking.

Brazil just looked like they didn't care.  They had a few amazing runs and some beautiful counter attacks, but down two with twenty minutes to go, they didn't even look worried.  At the 60 minute mark I thought we were in for a fantastic finish, but it slumped.  I do have to marvel at the abilities of some of these players though.  There was a right footed shot from the right side of the goal late in the game by Brazil that almost went in.  It was nearly parallel to the goal when it left they guy's foot.  I've never seen an American take a shot like that.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 28, 2007, 01:52:05 pm
Congrats to "El tri" for their surprise and Big win. Even though, Brazil had their B- team on the field last night, it was a big win for el tri because, as hoops mentioned, old bourghetti was sideline with an injury, salcido was too worn out after playing in europe and blanco is just getting old and fat. That sure was enough to be afraid at the start of the game. Overall, el tri had a better game and plan this time around ans definately made a lot of their fans happy.

I'm excited about team USA taking on a giant like Argentina tonight. It should be a fun and good game. Expect to see more vets and a small group of rookies playing the first half. Btw, look for Maxi Rodriguez on the Argentina team to be more explosive on offense during this tourney.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on June 28, 2007, 11:39:09 pm
Wow, what a job Argentina did on team USA. I was disappointed about team USA's defense this time around and wished that it would have done better. However, i am sure they will rebound from this game, learn from it and move on to win more games. No need to get that anrgy or fustrated just yet. ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on June 29, 2007, 01:26:39 am
Plus its half the team they had for the Gold Cup.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on June 29, 2007, 08:01:01 am
I was disappointed about team USA's defense this time around and wished that it would have done better.

Without Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra anchoring the US defense, I think this result was to be expected.  It just goes to show how much more fit those 2 are than the US reserves at this point as the US defenders looked very tired as the match wore on.

Plus its half the team they had for the Gold Cup.

It wasn't even half the team as the only starters from the GC final were Jonathan Bornstein and Benny Feilhaber.

As I said yesterday, I'm not expecting much from this youthful squad Bradley is fielding.  Things aren't looking any easier as the Americans now face Paraguay.  All they did was thrash Columbia 5 nil! :o 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on June 30, 2007, 01:05:34 pm

I know I'm a few days late in this, but did you see those starting line-ups?  I'm not sure there's been a US international match in the past ten years where the opponent played 13 players, all of whom were better than anyone the US had on the field.  Argentina is stacked and they didn't come to mess around.  I believe this tournament might be a little anti-climactic.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on July 01, 2007, 06:08:39 pm
Copa America final just in:

Brazil 3, Chile 0.

Mexico vs. Ecuador up shortly:
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on July 01, 2007, 08:19:38 pm
Another final:

Mexico 2, Ecuador 1.  :D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 03, 2007, 10:20:41 am

The depleted US squad played well against Paraguay.  We still don't have any strikers that anyone needs to be afraid of, but we're coming along.  Getting all these guys so much experience in a big time tournament can only help the squad in the future.  2010 is looking brighter if we can only get a couple of guys who really know how to put the ball in the net (cough, cough...Beasley).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on July 03, 2007, 09:32:28 pm
I hope team USA bounces back from their depleted stage thus far in copa America because the group of death (i.e Argentina et al. is sure trying to make a mock of our team). Any ways, all this experience is sure going to help coach bradley and co. prepare the team for the upcoming 2010 world cup.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on July 04, 2007, 09:27:33 am
While the JV squad is taking a beating in Venezuela, how about the Frosh up in Canada?  The U-20 team absolutely destroyed Poland last night, 6-1.  Freddy Adu had a hat trick.  This was a Poland team that beat the Brazilians 1-0 the other night.     

USA finishes up group play on Friday vs Brazil. ESPNU is televising the games.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on July 05, 2007, 06:47:33 am
7/4 Copa America action:

Mexico and Chile play to a 0-0 tie:

Brazil wins the other match, 1-0.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 06, 2007, 08:28:42 am

Another 1-0 loss last night, but hey the US did really well in light of the fact they sent no one of consequence to this tournament.  Good experience for the players.

The U-20 squad gets Brazil today.  I'd love to be able to see that one.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 06, 2007, 08:31:18 am
I'd love to be able to see that one.

Looks like I might get a shot.  It's on the mothership tonight; I guess even the boys in Bristol know this one could be good.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 06, 2007, 11:34:01 pm

Man.  That was a treat.  I can't remember the last time I watched a world class match where the US was clearly the better squad.  Our under-20 team is noticeably better than Brazil.  It was like watching the Senior team, but in reverse, where the favorite is playing so well that they lose focus a little bit and let the US come back, but this time we were the favorite.


Hopefully we can continue the development of these players, but the US is stacked.  The keeper was very solid, the defense was strong and confident, the midfielders commanded space and the strikers were bending balls and making runs like they know what they're doing!!

That Rogers kid was really impressive.  He bent a shot in around a wall early in the game that was more skillful than anything I've seen from the big boys.  Jozzy Altidore is a beast and Freddy Adu is only occasionally making ridiculous solo runs when there is a smart pass available.  He might actually beat that ego after all.

Lionel Messi's playing in the Copa, so we might even be the best team at this tournament.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on July 07, 2007, 03:07:21 am

Man.  That was a treat.  I can't remember the last time I watched a world class match where the US was clearly the better squad.  Our under-20 team is noticeably better than Brazil.

I totally agree.  It was nice to watch this team play tonight against Brazil.  I  was interested to see how this US squad would respond after their thrashing of Poland against one of the favorites to win it all in Brazil and not only did the Americans beat the Brazilians, they may have just knocked them out of the tournament completely!

...and Freddy Adu is only occasionally making ridiculous solo runs when there is a smart pass available.  He might actually beat that ego after all.

As for Adu, that move he made in the corner to set up Altidore's 2nd goal was a thing of beauty.  Altidore looks like he could be a special player for the US to look forward to have playing for them as well.

We have to remember though, the Americans began this tournament with a disappointing draw with Korea before they exploded for 6 goals against Poland and their win over Brazil tonight.  Hopefully, these kids don't get too full of themselves and keep playing to the level that brought them to winning their group.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 07, 2007, 10:16:14 am

ScotsFan, did you catch the beginning.  He wasn't as involved in the second half (it seemed like there was a lot of fatigue for the US players), but what did you think of Rogers.  He totally kept the pressure on until Freddy could get some focus.


By the way, I was pretty impressed with some of the individual skill of the young Brazilians.  I wonder if they can keep this crop from having their creativity stymied by a European career?  The kid with the armband last night was unbelievable; he should be ready to take over central midfield when Ronaldinho is done.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: cawcdad on July 07, 2007, 11:00:46 am
I only saw the second half, and what a fun match to watch. I was very impressed with the US midfield play and how much better they were than the Brazilians at working the ball around and building the attack. Adu and Altidore just seem to know exactly where the other is going to be. I was a bit concerned though at what seemed like a lack of speed by the US defense. The Brazilians went to the long through ball (not typical Brazilian soccer) to run onto and easily got behind the defense on a number of occasions
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on July 07, 2007, 04:33:41 pm

ScotsFan, did you catch the beginning.  He wasn't as involved in the second half (it seemed like there was a lot of fatigue for the US players), but what did you think of Rogers.  He totally kept the pressure on until Freddy could get some focus.

Yeah, I missed about the first four minutes or so of the match.  I totally agree in that many of the US players looked like they were wearing down late in the match.  And I too was impressed with Rogers.  He just seem to make run after run up the wing and he had some pretty sweet crosses as well.

What does everybody feel about playing these matches on the field turf?  I read an article on Foxsoccer.com and it seems to be a point of contreversy between FIFA (who approves playing on the surface) and many of the teams playing in the tournament, especially South American teams like Brazil.  It does look like it would take some getting used to as the ball doesn't seem to take true bounces all the time.  Balls with spin check up a lot.  And it also seemed that a lot of players are having trouble with the ball getting caught between their foot and the turf.  Apparently FIFA is in favor trying to get more and more venues to go with the field turf.  I for one am more of a traditionalist as I feel that soccer should be played on grass.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 07, 2007, 07:42:57 pm

Field turf just keeps getting better and better, as technology improves I think it will be less and less of an issue.


cawcdad,

Brazil had to go with the long ball at the end because they had the speed advantage and they just could not get the ball through the middle at all in the first half.

The US defense might have been a step slow (I think its more Brazil being a step fast), but they were always in position, every time.  A lot of confidence in that group.

This might be the first generation of US footballers who grow up knowing they belong.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on July 07, 2007, 09:23:52 pm
7/07 Copa America results:

Uruguay 4, Venezuela 1

Brazil 6, Chile 1
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on July 08, 2007, 09:58:19 pm
7/08 Copa America Finals:

Mexico 6, Paraguay 0

Argentina 4, Peru 0


Semi-Final Matchups are:

Uruguay vs. Brazil

Mexico vs. Argentina
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 12, 2007, 09:01:07 am

Altidore goes down and the U-20's need an own goal to take Uruguay to extras.  Where's the consistency?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on July 13, 2007, 01:42:50 pm
Brazil beats Uruguay on penalty kicks

Argentina knocks off Mexico


IMHO those results aren't surprises.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 13, 2007, 02:42:54 pm

No, the Copa is awfully boring this time around.  Argentina brought the squad they should have had at the World Cup and everyone else sent the B team.


The U-20 Championships are the place to be this summer.  USA-Austria on Saturday for a spot in the semi-finals (against the winner of Spain-Czech Republic, also tomorrow).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 15, 2007, 05:31:41 pm

The US U-20's go out in a disappointing finish to Austria.  They just need to be more consistent.  The Czechs looked very good in eliminating Spain in penalties.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on July 15, 2007, 08:54:02 pm
I did not find the Copa boring whatsoever. Argentina was a joy to watch, and Mexico was a completely different team than what they showed in the Gold Cup.  I found it more fun to watch than the U-20's (plus, who doesn't enjoy Roy Hudson and his wacky comments).

How surprising was it that Brazil hammered Argentina like they did tonight?  Baptista's goal was incredible.   I never saw that result coming.

As for the US U-20's, they stunk it up in the 2nd half, and let 2 poor goals in. Im still trying to figure out how that first goal snuck in between Seitz and the defender on the near post.    I don't think Seitz should have been in there. It didn't seem like he had recovered enough.   But, the future is bright, no doubt about it.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on July 20, 2007, 05:30:41 pm
How surprising was it that Brazil hammered Argentina like they did tonight?  Baptista's goal was incredible.   I never saw that result coming.


Those of us that follow the Gunners were quite stunned to see the Baptista goal as well.  Never saw that quality in a year at the Emirates.

I agree that the Copa was a fabulous watch.

Looking forward to the U-20 final this weekend.  Although, as well as the Argentines are playing it could be a coronation as opposed to a contest.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 20, 2007, 10:05:51 pm

They need to thank God that there's nothing else to do in Argentina.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: SU97 on July 21, 2007, 09:56:52 am

Field turf just keeps getting better and better, as technology improves I think it will be less and less of an issue.


cawcdad,

Brazil had to go with the long ball at the end because they had the speed advantage and they just could not get the ball through the middle at all in the first half.

The US defense might have been a step slow (I think its more Brazil being a step fast), but they were always in position, every time.  A lot of confidence in that group.

This might be the first generation of US footballers who grow up knowing they belong.

The USMNT has found success at the youth level before: 

1989  U-20  4th place at World Youth Championship (WYC)
1993  U-20  8th place at WYC
1999  U-20  loss in second round
1999  U-17  advanced to semi's of U-17 WYC
2001  U-20  lost in second round
2003  U-20  advanced to quarterfinals
2003  U-17  advanced to quarterfinals
2005  U-20  advanced to Round of 16
2005  U-17  advanced to quarterfinals

although not exactly "Youth", the "olympic team" of U-23:

1991  U-23  Gold Medal Pan Am Games
1999  U-23  Bronze Medal Pan Am Games
2000  U-23  advanced to semi's of Sydney Olympics


Unfortunately the US has not been able to replicate the results from the youth teams at the MNT level.  I think it would be fair to argue that the current crop of national team players grew up knowing they belong (at the youth level) but it hasn't translated into simular results at the World Cup.  Although I agree the U-20 WYC was much more enjoyable to watch from a US team perspective, the Copa America was probably more important if we were looking for more respect around the globe (ie: outside CONCACAF) ...  well then that result sure didn't help us...

We still have a long way to go, and we need to keep sending top kids overseas if we are ever going to compete at the highest levels of the World Cup. 



 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 21, 2007, 11:10:52 am

I said they know they belong because they've seen the success before.  Beasley and Donovan winning gold and silver boots on the way to some spectacular upsets in the Saudi Arabia tournament was a big step up for us, no matter what the previous finishes were.  The publicity, etc.  These guys not only expect to win, but others expect it as well.  That's unique.  Most every one of these guys expects a chance at Euro play (or has it already).  This is a new generation.  They just need to find some consistency.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: SU97 on July 21, 2007, 11:23:59 am

I said they know they belong because they've seen the success before.  Beasley and Donovan winning gold and silver boots on the way to some spectacular upsets in the Saudi Arabia tournament was a big step up for us, no matter what the previous finishes were.  The publicity, etc.  These guys not only expect to win, but others expect it as well.  That's unique.  Most every one of these guys expects a chance at Euro play (or has it already).  This is a new generation.  They just need to find some consistency.



I apologize, I must have read it out of context.  I thought you were talking about the current crop on U-20 side (generation) due to the Brazil comments.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on July 21, 2007, 10:58:43 pm

I said they know they belong because they've seen the success before.  Beasley and Donovan winning gold and silver boots on the way to some spectacular upsets in the Saudi Arabia tournament was a big step up for us, no matter what the previous finishes were.  The publicity, etc.  These guys not only expect to win, but others expect it as well.  That's unique.  Most every one of these guys expects a chance at Euro play (or has it already).  This is a new generation.  They just need to find some consistency.

I apologize, I must have read it out of context.  I thought you were talking about the current crop on U-20 side (generation) due to the Brazil comments.

No, I was.  I was just saying that the current senior team had to earn the respect that the current U-20's seem to have grown up in.  This is the first one coming with really high expectations.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on August 07, 2007, 07:34:23 pm
Any thoughts on the Prem season this year.

I like the moves ManU made in the off-season, they'd be my favorite.  I also like the moves Liverpool made, but I don't think its enough to catch Chelsea and ManU.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 07, 2007, 11:06:00 pm

Liverpool has a shot, but if ManU actually gets Tevez, they will be unstoppable.  Chelsea will start at a disadvantage because of all the injuries.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 08, 2007, 02:39:57 pm
It's Man U, then everyone else.

I love Rafa's grab of Fernando Torres from Atletico.  They should have the firepower to score some goals this year. 

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on August 09, 2007, 02:45:29 pm
I see it this way

Man United
Chelsea
Arsenal
Liverpool
Portsmouth
Spurs

I don't suspect it will be nearly as close as it was last year, however.  Chelsea loses Drogba and Essien during the African Cup of Nations Tournament.  Man United loses no one of such import to their lineup to that Tournament, and they will pull away at that time.

I picked the Gunners ahead of Liverpool because I'm a Gunners fan.  Although losing Toure to the AFN could be devastating to this young team.

Pompey has done some extraordinary things via the transfer window, again.  I look for them to make a very strong run for a Champions League spot.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on August 09, 2007, 08:56:53 pm
After what happened to Arsenal last year when Henry was injured, I 'd be more worried now that he's gone.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on August 09, 2007, 09:10:02 pm
I too look for Arsenal to be in danger of dropping out of the top four due to the departure of Henry.

As a Liverpool supporter, I hope the off-season acquisitions are enough.  I loved Torres in the World Cup--hope he is the consistent striker the Reds have been lacking. 

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 10, 2007, 03:07:38 pm
My wife and her soccer team are taking in the Dutch Super Cup (Johan Cruijff Shield) tomorrow night  in Amsterdam. It's Ajax and PSV. That should be a doozy. I am pretty jealous.

Feilhaber to Derby County.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: WLCALUM83 on August 10, 2007, 06:30:14 pm
2007 German Bundesliga Opening Match Final:

Schalke 2, Stuttgart 2.  (One of Schalke's goals was an own goal, and that squad had tone shot bounce off a side post, and a second barely miss the net, both in the second half).

Sounds like Bayern Munich wants the top spot real bad after finishing 4th last season, from what the match commentator said.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 11, 2007, 05:13:21 pm

The one year I don't take him for my fantasy squad, Gerard puts a goal in the first match of the season.  Hargreaves better do something to make up for it.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on August 13, 2007, 07:43:14 pm
Not sure how aware people are but Sunday is already a big day in the Premiership.

Liverpool host Chelsea, and ManCity host ManU who've lost Rooney for awhile.

Nice double-header.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on August 13, 2007, 11:02:04 pm
...and ManCity host ManU who've lost Rooney for awhile.

With that injury to Rooney, it looks as though that Tevez transfer is HUGE for ManU!  Although the Red Devils will have to wait a couple of months to get Rooney and Tevez on the pitch together, at least having Tevez out there should lessen the blow a bit of losing Rooney.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 14, 2007, 08:16:18 am

Ronaldo and Carrick are going to have to wake up, though.  United looked a bit sluggish in that first match.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 14, 2007, 09:50:32 am
That Gerrard goal was a beauty.   

How about Martins' first goal for Newcastle?  Not a bad way to get the season started.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 16, 2007, 04:40:04 pm
Just ordered tickets for the US/ Brazil match on Sept 9th at Soldier Field.   It's being played on a FIFA date, which means all clubs must release their players. Here's hoping for two full squads.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 17, 2007, 08:16:47 am

I guess Freddy Adu is going to get some serious run at Benefica.  Here's hoping he makes the most of it.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 17, 2007, 08:37:20 am
Funny quote from Derby's manager:

"Benny is a player we have been tracking for something like a year, and I think we got him out of Hamburg just in time - because after another six months the really big clubs would have been interested. He can play anywhere in midfield - left, right or in the middle - and he has a goal in him.

One thing he certainly does not lack is confidence - he is American."


Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 17, 2007, 10:21:14 am


Man, the Americans are really invading the big leagues now.  That's a great move for the future of our international team.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on August 20, 2007, 01:57:58 pm
So, what are the chances Jose Mourihno complains about the favorable officiating Liverpool get from the referees this season.  ::) :D


Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 20, 2007, 02:46:16 pm
That  was a laughable call. The annoouncers couldn't believe it.   There were some nasty challenges in that game.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 20, 2007, 03:14:01 pm


The ref was suspended for his performance in that match, pending review.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on August 20, 2007, 06:15:27 pm
I'm writing from London now--saw the highlights on "Match of the Day" last night.   The Manchester Derby was the first game shown--who'd-a thunk Sven would rise from the ashes so quickly?

The Gerrard-to-Torres goal was a thing of beauty.  The announcers called it a "clever goal," and it was indeed that. 

The penalty call was truly egregious--Malouda got under Finnan.  Whatever contact there was, was intiated by the Chelsea player.  Then the ref waved a yellow card with Essian (who had already been booked) in his face, but later explained that it was for John Terry (who had also already been booked).  And yet neither was sent off.  He seemed to be saying that it was a sort of reminder for Terry. 

At any rate, I'm not reading anything about the ref's suspension for this weekend being subject to review.  The story is he's expected to apologize to Rafa.

There was an even more egregious officiating error in Saturday's Middlesbrough-Fulham match.  With Fulham down 2-1, a linesman ruled that the ball had not crossed the line for a Fulham equalizer late in the game.  Yet it was clear, even with a bad camera angle, that there was space between the ball and the line.  That linesman has also been suspended for one game.

Time to consider TV review, I think.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 20, 2007, 07:18:41 pm
Time to consider TV review, I think.

They'd only do it for goals, though, you think?  I can't imagine they'd stop play to check on fouls and offsides, nor do I think I want them to.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on August 20, 2007, 08:10:24 pm
Maybe add 'cards' to goals - in both cases there is plenty enough stoppage time to make sure it's right.  And on goals, I'd hope they would check the lead up as well as the goal itself - this season I've already seen at least 4 goals that I'm almost positive should have been disallowed due to offsides (and at least 3 would have been against the team I was rooting for, so that's not just sour grapes!).
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on August 21, 2007, 02:33:28 am
Good points about not over-using TV review.  It's being discussed all over the London Press as in this article:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A26112647

I think I'd go for review of:  goals, straight red cards, and second yellows.  I would hate to lose the "play on" for fouls (as a matter of fact, I've thought that would improve basketball but that's another conversation).  I'm still thinking about whether one of the managers should have to request the review, or whether an off-pitch official could do so.

Other points noted over the weekend:  the loss of Brian McBride for months due to a dislocated knee (he put in a goal, totally marked and untouched, and just collapsed), and the really poor play of Carlos Tevez, as noted in the BBC piece above.  Which is the real Tevez?

On the Three Lions front, Steven Gerrard, Owen Hargraves, and Darren Bent are all out for the friendly with Germany due to injury.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on August 21, 2007, 04:54:27 am
I left out the obvious other situation for review:  penalties. There's not always a card given when a penalty is awarded.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 21, 2007, 08:24:55 am
the loss of Brian McBride for months due to a dislocated knee (he put in a goal, totally marked and untouched, and just collapsed),

He is like 48% metal, maybe he got left out in the rain?


The limited coach's challenge has worked pretty well for the NFL.  Perhaps if they did every goal, like the NHL does and then allow one challenge per half for each coach on other plays?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on August 23, 2007, 12:14:14 pm
Even though the U.S national team lost yesterday (for the fourth time in a row) in their exhibition game against Sweden, i am almost confident that they will be back in full game mode once the MLS season is over. There is no doubt that this team will bounce back, even after their tough Copa America experience, the boys will be more ready to produce wins.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 23, 2007, 12:55:05 pm
Even though the U.S national team lost yesterday (for the fourth time in a row) in their exhibition game against Sweden, i am almost confident that they will be back in full game mode once the MLS season is over. There is no doubt that this team will bounce back, even after their tough Copa America experience, the boys will be more ready to produce wins.


Yeah, that was a marked improvement over past Euro performances.  They were creating opportunities and seemed to be in control as opposed to the constant scrambling we sometimes see against more talented squads.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on August 23, 2007, 01:54:05 pm
My hat goes off to sweden for their win. ;D

Btw, Seems like "El Tri's following" are going back to their old ways in wanting coach sanchez to be removed from the head job. Most fans are tired of seeing El tri jump from being a good team back down to a mediocre team.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on August 25, 2007, 06:57:59 pm
Even though the U.S national team lost yesterday (for the fourth time in a row) in their exhibition game against Sweden, i am almost confident that they will be back in full game mode once the MLS season is over. There is no doubt that this team will bounce back, even after their tough Copa America experience, the boys will be more ready to produce wins.


Yeah, that was a marked improvement over past Euro performances.  They were creating opportunities and seemed to be in control as opposed to the constant scrambling we sometimes see against more talented squads.
I thought they played well.  That goal by Sweden was pretty questionable I thought as well.  At least the build up to the goal.  There was a blatant shove by a Swede right before he made the assist to Wilhelmsson.  If the refs would have called the blatant foul, Wilhelmsson would have never gotten the shot off.

Oh well, I guess that's what you get when you're playing on enemy soil... ::)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 25, 2007, 08:26:15 pm

Clint Dempsey scored for Fulham today.  Good to see the American guys playing well in England.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on August 30, 2007, 01:05:58 pm
The Champions League draw

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/6970924.stm


Check out group E.....whoa!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on August 30, 2007, 02:43:09 pm
How did Rangers end up in pot 4?  That's a bit crazy.  I guess their coefficient is really down.  Although I'm not scared of Lyon.  I don't see that group as all that tougher than some others.  D, F, and G all seem equally difficult if nor more difficult than E.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on August 31, 2007, 09:19:32 am
SI's Gabriele Marcotti's take on the draw:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/gabriele_marcotti/08/30/champions.draw/index.html
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on September 07, 2007, 06:37:18 am
Greetings from London!

England plays Israel in a must-win tomorrow night at Wembley.  There are lots of injury problems--Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard are the biggest names--and Steven Gerrard and Owen Hargreaves are questionable.  Michael Owen has asked for Emile Heskey to be added to the side, as they were a very successful scoring team at Liverpool, and that has been done.  Perhaps the biggest question is who will play in goal, as Paul Robinson looked worse than shaky against Germany and again last weekend against Fulham.  The rejuvenated David James may get a start. 

We have booked tickets for the Liverpool match with Fulham at Anfield on 10 November--I don't want to think about the price.  The Reds look dangerous this year; Fernando Torres shows signs of delivering on the promise he showed playing for Spain in the World Cup.  And in late September we'll be taking students on a tour of Liverpool--mostly Beatles and other cultural history sites.  We'll be staying in the Brian Epstein Guest House--the late manager of the Beatles lived here as a child--and the place is located on Anfield Road, right down the road from the stadium!  We'll take the tour there as well.  Brilliant--we can hardly wait.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on September 07, 2007, 07:50:03 am
This just in--Gerrard will play for England, and Robinson will start in goal over James.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Gotberg on September 07, 2007, 08:24:04 am
I've got a 50 yard line, second level seat for this Sunday's US v Brazil game.  Looking forward to seeing the fancy footwork from our friends from Brazil.  The forecast calls for mid - high 70's.  Should be good weather for the game.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 07, 2007, 08:58:19 am

Liverpool Fulham should be great.  Although it would stink in Clint Dempsey ends up beating your boys.  How's that for a mixed bag?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on September 07, 2007, 07:20:33 pm

Liverpool Fulham should be great.  Although it would stink in Clint Dempsey ends up beating your boys.  How's that for a mixed bag?

Well, it would stink in a way, but I really like Dempsey though.  I'd rather be beaten by a goal by him than almost anybody else.  And with Keller, Bocanegra, and McBride also on the side, Fulham has the most Americans of any EPL side, I think. 

It's funny.  A few years ago, when we lived in Boston, a friend couldn't use his tickets to a New England Revs match and he gave them to us.  The weather forecast was lousy and I wasn't so into footie (er, soccer) at the time, and remember saying to my husband "If it rains, we're leaving!"  Now that we're here and paying a premium to go to the match, I've already said "If it rains, we're not leaving!" 

Prediction for tomorrow:  England 1, Israel 0.  Anyone else?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on September 07, 2007, 10:05:59 pm
I've opened a Women's World Cup thread on the women's soccer board.  Since that board is all-but-deceased, I hoped it might either resurrect it, or stimulate discussion over here.

The Cup is coming soon!

(As a youth coach, I always advised my kids to watch the women.  The men tend to rely a great deal on speed and strength that few if any of my players would EVER be able to match; the women rely on skills and fundamentals that they CAN hope to achieve.)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on September 08, 2007, 06:29:12 pm
Wow, I was overly pessimistic about England today!  They looked better than they had in months, if not years.  A major part of the improvement seemed to be the presence of Emile Heskey, at the request of Michael Owen.  Heskey was active throughout the match, giving the wingers a great target and passing off to MO for a beautiful second half goal.  19-year-old Micah Richards continues to impress at both ends of the pitch.  Israel did not look good at all. 

Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the first goal off a nice cross from Joe Cole.  His father, Ian Wright, was one of the commentators before and after the match, and at halftime, so the BBC commentary was especially lively.

We went to a street market earlier in the day...gents could have purchased England t-shirts, boxers, briefs, and socks. Watches and mobile phone covers were available for all.  Should be a great atmosphere at Wembley for the match with Russia on Wednesday.

Good point about the Women's World Cup, Ypsi.  I think the point about fundamentals is true in other sports as well--I've noticed it in basketball.  The WWC is getting some press here--five years ago people seemed not to be aware that women even play football.

A good day for sport here in England, with wins in rugby and cricket (neither of which I comprehend at all!) as well.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Jim Matson on September 09, 2007, 09:25:48 pm
Brazil looked good today.  The US didn't look bad either although the first half was not as good as it could have been.  The own goal was very unlucky as the save was brilliant.

The overlook foul in the box was unbelievable - although contrary to the announcer's opinion, I think the match would have gone the same way.  We did score off that great cutback just minutes later.

Ypsi, I too look forward to watching the Women's Cup.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on September 10, 2007, 06:43:28 am
It was a great atmosphere at Soldier Field yesterday.  I just finished watching the TV broadcast so I could watch some of the questionable calls (or non calls).  The referee was brutal, Wynalda was right. The no call against Wolff was awful and the foul that led to Ronny's goal was wrong.  Bocanegra had a right to be PO'd.

The US didn't back down, and it was great to see.  I wish they would play more games in Chicago, that place was jumping. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on September 11, 2007, 04:41:09 pm
The US didn't back down, and it was great to see.  I wish they would play more games in Chicago, that place was jumping. 

I was very impressed with the crowd at Soldier Field.  Especially given the fact that the Bears season opener with San Diego was on at the same time!  Very impressive turnout in Chi-town especially considering how passionate Chicagoans are about their Bears and also the fact that the Bears are coming off of a Super Bowl season and are favored to get back this year as well.  Nice to see the support for 'real' football! ;)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 18, 2007, 09:46:27 am

Champs league group phase opens today.  Most every match is at least dangerous, with the notable exception of Chelsea hosting Rosenborg.  That one could be ugly.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on September 18, 2007, 09:51:27 am
In case you all need any help.....

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/greg_lalas/09/17/champions.league/index.html
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 18, 2007, 01:21:02 pm

Nice article Stinger.  I'm lucky.  One of my friends in an office upstairs has a boos fro Argentina.  Major football matches are always on in their office.  I run a lot of "errands" during that time.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 18, 2007, 05:37:54 pm

I shouldn't have said that.  Chelsea needed a goal from Sheva near the end to escape with a draw.  Fear Rosenborg!


A bunch of draws today, which always makes group play more fun.  Celtic went down 2-0 to Shankar Donestk; I have to think that's an upset.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on September 18, 2007, 05:45:03 pm
Hoops, I thought of you as we heard the Chelsea score announced during the Liverpool match. 

Liverpool looked sluggish until Jermaine Pennant got sent off with half an hour to go.  The Porto goal came on a penalty that was well deserved--Sami Hyypia got beat and Reina came out to challenge the attacker.  Reina clearly took the attacker down.  Sami made up for it at the other end shortly thereafter when he sent a lovely ball in to Dirk Kuyt.  Porto spent the rest of the match trying to get calls against Liverpool (often succeeding).  Once they went a man up and didn't score, though, their fans turned on them and started "booing"--whistling--at them instead of at Liverpool.  Tough crowd!

Anyway, an away draw is a win, so things look better for Liverpool than for Chelsea at the moment.  And I would call the Celtic result an upset too.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on September 20, 2007, 07:38:40 am

So Mourinho skips town in the middle of the night?  I see the vikings are still pillaging England.  Fear Norway!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on September 20, 2007, 11:09:55 am
This from the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/chelsea/7004780.stm

Since Mourinho is getting a severance package, it seems the departure might not be so much by mutual agreement as it first sounded.

Now Liverpool have lost Daniel Aggar and Xabi Alonso to broken metatarsals.  I never heard of broken bones being contagious, but it's starting to look that way!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on October 01, 2007, 10:38:53 am
Hello from London again,

We are just back from a weekend in Liverpool.  Some of our trips are directed toward education, and some are intended as a more general cultural education--that was this weekend.  We visited the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, rode the Magical Mystery Tour bus, and visited the Beatles Story museum--and we took a tour of Anfield, home of Liverpool Football Club.

The Anfield tour was wonderful.  There were nearly 50 people, ranging from female IWU students who admittedly knew nothing about football, to die-hard Reds fans, and the guide somehow managed to make it fun for everyone.  The changing room is tiny--no bigger than the living room of our flat!  The players' shirts are hung on the wall by approximate position--defense, midfield, and striker--so that if the coaches want to address one aspect of the game, it's easy.  We had lots of time for photographs (somehow I got the seat of honor on the physio table used by Steven Gerrard).  The guide took a photo of our IWU group in the interview area, and I got mine taken in front of the "This is Anfield" sign.  When we went out to the pitch, my first impression was that it's smaller than the one my daughter plays on back in Bloomington.  I thought that was an illusion, because it's bounded by stands, but the guide said no, it actually is small (I think I remember 110 x 74).  Whenever they play a European match there, they have to get special permission.  Another reason why they need a new stadium (along with limited seating by EPL standards).

It was a fantastic afternoon.  We came out of the Museum with only a few minutes in the shop, and so we had to go back the next morning.  The students are talking about finding a pub with Sky TV to watch Liverpool play Marseille later this week.  Hopefully we've made some new football fans!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on October 11, 2007, 06:29:03 pm
Awesome stuff, thanks.

Hope the Marseille match didn't turn off any future interest.  Yuck!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on October 14, 2007, 07:18:59 am
In the end, no one went looking for the Liverpool--Marseille match--they had a quiz and a paper due the next day.  The highlights, such as they were, were pretty gruesome.  Not sure what's up with the Reds--there is lots of questioning of Rafa's rotation from all sides.  The break for the international matches may have come at a good time for Liverpool.

Quick report from our group living in London--we just returned from nine days in York and the Yorkshire Dales (think James Herriot stories and the "All Creatures Great and Small" TV shows).  We visited castles and ruined abbeys, saw how they make the Wensleydale cheese (Wallace's favorite of "Wallace and Gromit"), and saw how Theakston makes beer the old-fashioned way, using gravity.  We went on a hike and miraculously did not get rained on.  A good time was had by all, hopefully some learning went on, and we were back in London in time for "the rugby" last night.  The whole country was watching "the rugby."

Oh yes, the football news from our group--they started playing themselves, in the Dales.  Of 21, 16 were playing football for up to four hours each afternoon and early evening!  And they are calling it "football."  Amazing.  I have no idea where they got the football.

I've gone from finding rugby incomprehensible to just being confused.  I still find about half of the commentators' remarks strange--I know they're in English but I don't know what they mean--but I am now interested and am trying to figure it out.  We missed England's win over Australia, but the 11-9 win over France last night was high drama.  England scored on the first play of the game, lost the lead a few minutes later, and didn't get it back until less than 5 minutes were left on a Johnny Wilkerson drop goal (his kicks were responsible for 9 of England's 11 points).  England's defense was brilliant and kept France from scoring except on penalties.  Next week they play in the World Cup final after being given up for dead.

Wayne Rooney's return to the England football side was productive but pretty anti-climactic after the rugby match.  Sounds like Owen-Rooney is not a match made in heaven, as both of them work best playing off a bigger man.  Now they need a tie in Russia to go through to the next round.  It should be doable, but we all know why they play the games.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 15, 2007, 08:32:29 am
Wayne Rooney's return to the England football side was productive but pretty anti-climactic after the rugby match.  Sounds like Owen-Rooney is not a match made in heaven, as both of them work best playing off a bigger man.  Now they need a tie in Russia to go through to the next round.  It should be doable, but we all know why they play the games.

Plus the England squad is going to have to adjust to playing on FieldTurf, which has only been allowed for these matches very recently.  None of the Englishmen like the idea all that much.  We'll see what sort of havoc that wreaks on their heads.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on October 15, 2007, 08:59:00 am
Plus the England squad is going to have to adjust to playing on FieldTurf, which has only been allowed for these matches very recently.  None of the Englishmen like the idea all that much.  We'll see what sort of havoc that wreaks on their heads.

And knees, and metatarsals.  They are saying it won't make a difference, but we'll see. 

Michael Owen has taken some stick in the press--a rare occurrance--for publicly saying that playing for England is of greatest importance to him.  The Newcastle fans and manager are not thrilled with that.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 15, 2007, 01:13:25 pm

I don't know the specific make-up of the Russian field, but I've played on FieldTurf before and if there is any sort of inclement weather (as I suspect Russia in October can provide) I'd prefer the fake stuff to real turf.  It holds up much better.



By the way, the US has assembled a pretty solid Euro-based squad to face Switzerland in a friendly on Wednesday.  We should have our full compliment of defenders there, which will hopefully make up for a lack of midfield help.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 17, 2007, 01:56:13 pm

England opens with a monster first half, only to give away the farm in the second.  There's very little hope of them making the Euro tournament now.  A huge failure for a squad that was really starting to find their own way.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 17, 2007, 04:27:15 pm

Sure it was a friendly, but the US beat a solid (not stellar) Swiss squad on European soil today thanks mainly to the contributions of players under 25 years old.

Switzerland was down all-world striker Hans Frei (who may or may not still be competing internationally), but it was still a victory the likes of which we haven't seen in a very long time.

The US just does not win in Europe.  Big time performance from the crew.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on October 17, 2007, 07:05:06 pm
European Championship Qualifying : Group E Table
17 October 2007 20:53
     PTS
1 Croatia  26
2 England  23
3 Russia  21
4 Israel 17
5 FYR Macedonia  11
6 Estonia  4
7 Andorra 0

Top 2 advance
 

Croatia need just one point from their remaining two games to qualify. Russia will qualify if they win their remaining two games, while England, who play Croatia at Wembley in their last game, need Russia to slip up.

Russia play Israel and Andorra.....so you can chalk up the win vs Andorra.  England need a win over Croatia

Croatia play FYR Macedonia and England.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on October 17, 2007, 07:10:18 pm
Just finished watching "Match of the Day" on the BBC.  A Russian guy at the pub tonight told me he thought the match should have been a draw and that seems about right.  Actually England seems to have played better for most of the game, but they just fell apart for five  minutes after the Rooney penalty (a really bad call, but that happens).  The defense looked stunned, and that left a shaky keeper open to attack for the second Russian goal.

Actually, assuming England fails to qualify for Euro 2008 (which seems likely), it won't be due to this game--it will be because of the earlier ties with Macedonia and Israel.  And McClaren is probably history.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on October 24, 2007, 10:20:22 pm
If there's an upside, Liverpool might be able to concentrate on the EPL more.

But yikes!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on October 25, 2007, 08:31:37 am

Not a good night for Liverpool, but perhaps better than Valencia, who lost to Rosenborg!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on October 30, 2007, 03:38:04 pm
Congratulations to former U-17  Coach John Hackworth who was just named assistant Coach of U.S. Men's National Team. With Coach Hackworth's experience with youth, i am sure coach bradely will be suprised on how his assistant will get all the young guns on the MNT ready for World Competition.     
 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on October 31, 2007, 01:00:40 pm
Great news for Brasil in finally getting the Nod to host the 2014 FIFA world cup. Boy, will it be awesome to visit that country during that time and see how they party (especially to see the love that they have for their National team and of course the hot women) ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on October 31, 2007, 04:09:22 pm
Great news for Brasil in finally getting the Nod to host the 2014 FIFA world cup. Boy, will it be awesome to visit that country during that time and see how they party (especially to see the love that they have for their National team and of course the hot women) ;D

Great news for Brazil, but they have a heckuva lot of work to do based on this commentary from Tim Vickery:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/tim_vickery/10/30/brazil.bid/index.html
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on October 31, 2007, 04:54:11 pm
I think they're still further along than South Africa. :D

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on October 31, 2007, 06:57:45 pm
Liverpool finally won in a cup competition, dispatching Robbie Fowler and Cardiff to reach the final eight in the Carling Cup.  Not a good run by the Reds over the past couple of weeks, but they have been fighting injuries, with Torres and Alonso going down (again) on Sunday.  Looks as though Alonso has broken (or re-broken) a metatarsal, while Torres seems to have aggravated a groin pull that was thought to be healed.  We go to Anfield a week from Sunday, so it's highly unlikely we'll see Torres on the pitch.  There is a slight hope that Daniel Aggar will be back by then--welcome news with the bad spell Sami Hyypia's game has taken. 

I didn't see Match of the Day over the weekend; evidently both sides played well when Arsenal came to town.  Both the Gerrard and Fabregas goals sounded well earned and well taken.

The weather here in London is cool--highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s--and being outside for a game in Liverpool should be pretty pleasant.  Here's a link to a good column about Rafa Benitez's policy of rotating players:
http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drilldown/NG157492071030-1502.htm

I'll be sure to post about the Liverpool-Fulham match and what the scene in the stands at Anfield is like.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on November 02, 2007, 11:06:46 am

I didn't see Match of the Day over the weekend; evidently both sides played well when Arsenal came to town.  Both the Gerrard and Fabregas goals sounded well earned and well taken.

I'll be sure to post about the Liverpool-Fulham match and what the scene in the stands at Anfield is like.
Thanks for the updates Hoosier.  I was able to watch that Liverpool-Arsenal match and it was indeed a very good match.  I do think that Liverpool was fortunate to escape with a draw though.  Arsenal missed two opportunites with an open net on rebound chances.  Fabregas was involved in both.  He missed the net entirely on a rebound opportunity and later he fired a laser that hit the post and the rebound (I can't recall who it was) was missed badly once again. 

Not to take anything away from Liverpool, they had some chances as well.  Arsenal's keeper made a couple of nifty saves on a couple of rockets of the feet of Gerrard and Crouch to preserve the draw on his end as well!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on November 07, 2007, 02:55:50 am
Finally, some joy for Liverpool!  It's hard to believe they lost to Besiktas two weeks ago.  There was a hat trick from Jossi Benayoun and two goals each from Peter Crouch, but it was really a team effort.  The play up the right side was fantastic--Benayoun was at right wing--and Andriy Voronin had the most productive game I've ever seen from a striker who didn't score.  His play was unselfish and spot on. 

For those who might not have seen the news, the 8-0 score was a record margin of defeat for a Champions League match, just passing the 7-0 margin Arsenal recently racked up.  So, over here, the chat boards are for the moment full of Reds supporters crowing and Arsenal supporters taunting.  Liverpool still need to beat Porto at Anfield and Marseille away to ensure qualification, after all.

Still, it was encouraging.  We leave for Liverpool Friday afternoon and our tickets aren't here yet; the agency promises they will be here by 1:00 pm tomorrow.  Think good thoughts for us, please!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on November 08, 2007, 03:15:09 pm
The 8-0 win give Liverpool a huge lead in the goal difference (now at +6 over marseille).  Its safe to say Marseille and Porto will beat Besiktas, Liverpool must win their final two and they'd scrape by on goal difference.

Quite a turnaround from 2 weeks ago, and not one you'd expect given how they've played the last month or so.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on November 08, 2007, 05:52:46 pm
Tickets arrived this afternoon!  We leave for Liverpool tomorrow noontime.  Dinner on the Albert Dock tomorrow night.  Saturday we visit the Slavery Museum (our daughter is doing U.S. History online here--her project is comparing the slave trade in Britain and the U.S.).  The Liverpool-Fulham match is at 5:15 Saturday.  Word is Fernando Torres will be available.  We're psyched!  I promise to report back no matter what the outcome, once we've returned to London Sunday night.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on November 12, 2007, 07:45:37 am
Anfield Trip Report (Warning--long!)

My husband, daughter and I--currently living in London for the autumn semester, teaching and being parent figures for 20 IWU sophomores--took a long-planned trip to Liverpool last weekend to see the Liverpool-Fulham match.  I tried ordering hospitality tickets from LFC last summer the very first day they went on sale but no luck--I got a letter two weeks later saying they were sold out.  So, as soon as we got here, I started looking at legal ticket brokers.  We ordered tickets in early September and booked our hotel and train.

The tickets finally arrived Thursday for a Saturday match; we were starting to sweat a little because we had to leave Friday.  They were delivered by courier at about 2:00 p.m.  The trip was uneventful, and we had a great dinner on the Albert Dock, right on the waterside.  We stayed at a Travelodge, which was a good deal and very quiet.  The match was Saturday's late (5:15) one, so we had the morning to ourselves.  We went to the Maritime Museum, which is the home of the Slavery Museum.  Britain is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the end of slavery in Britain, and the Museum is in Liverpool because it was the city most involved (in fact, Penny Lane is named after one a well-known slave ship owner).  Our daughter is doing her U.S. history project comparing the effects of slavery in Britain and in the U.S., so it was great for her.

We caught the bus for Anfield at about 2:00.  It soon became jammed with people in red scarves, hats, sweaters--you name it.  The street was jumping, with lots of vendors, all the pubs open, and people asking for tickets.  We just hung out, watching the scene.  We wandered over to the side with the players' and bigwigs' entrances; the only celebrity we saw was former Liverpool star John Barnes, heading for the Setanta booth.  He stopped for autographs and photos with kids (and a few older people) and was very gracious.  We'd been told the gates would open at 4:15, an hour before match time, but for some reason they opened at 3:45.  The turnstiles are incredibly narrow--I'm surprised that some people fit!--but of course this prevents crowding and crushing.

Our seats were very near the top of the Main Stand (the side where the cameras are for televised matches, and where the managers and teams sit), but we were exactly midfield and the whole field was visible.  They were really great seats.

There are large signs as you enter the seating area "No Alcohol Beyond This Point"--a very welcome sight. 

Liverpool's lineup was unchanged from the victory over Besiktas Tuesday night--very unusual for Rafa Benitez.  The match was frustrating for Liverpool--Fulham were clearly playing deep and narrow in an attempt to gain a tie.  It's a reasonable strategy, but of course not what we wanted to see.  There were many, many near misses for Liverpool; Andriy Vornin was so close a number of times.  At about 60 minutes there was a huge roar from the Kop (the diehard fans on the end who lead the singing)--subs were up, including Fernando Torres.   Torres came in at 70 minutes, and finally, at 82 minutes, came the goal.  Pepe Reina's clear from the other end of the pitch came to Torres, who looked to be going at goal from the extreme right side.  Just as the defender with him and the keeper committed, Torres switched to his left foot, neatly nutmegging the defender and beating the keeper.  Finally, Carlos Bocanegra brought Peter Crouch down just in the box (or very close--there was some controversy), and Steven Gerrard put away the penalty.  Fulham has a lot of players I like--and a lot of American players--but they really weren't trying to win the match, and the win was well-earned.

It took us over two hours to get back to our hotel, but that's for another story.  There's going to be one BHS female defender very well kitted out after a visit to the club store!

All in all, a GREAT sporting experience.  I've seen Red Sox-Yankees games, the Larry Bird-era Celtics, the undefeated Indiana 75-76 team, and IWU in Salem, and this was not second to any of them.  I've never seen a crowd so into the game and so tuned into what a team was trying to do.  I'm so glad we were able to go.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on November 14, 2007, 01:16:20 pm
Can't wait to see the U.S. mens national team take on South Africa in 2 days. Coach Bradley just named his starters as of today

btw, H.T.: I bet that stadium and atmosphere was just awesome to see and be in. I wish that one day our major U.S. stadiums (stadiums that are 70,000 +) can fill up like that for all MLS games.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on November 17, 2007, 03:19:22 pm
Nice win for Team U.S against South Africa last night. Glad to see that the M.N.T has ended the year with a big win.

Here's a short game recap and highlight about last night's game. Congrats U.S:
Steve Cherundolo gave fans watching at Summers, Ginger's, Nevada Smith's and on the couch something to cheer about with a 27th minute blast from tight angle for a first-half  lead, and that's all the U.S. would need to top South Africa, 1-0, in Johannesburg to finish their year with a win.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on November 19, 2007, 11:31:57 pm
Nice to see Israel save England's rear in Euro qualifying.  It looked pretty dire 3 weeks ago, now it seems doable.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on November 20, 2007, 12:03:24 pm
Nice to see Israel save England's rear in Euro qualifying.  It looked pretty dire 3 weeks ago, now it seems doable.

It's certainly doable seeing as how their opponent has already qualified and has stated publicly that a draw would be ok by them.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on November 21, 2007, 06:00:36 pm
It's certainly doable seeing as how their opponent has already qualified and has stated publicly that a draw would be ok by them.

Not so much.  Croatia 3 England 2
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on November 21, 2007, 07:04:42 pm

Not so much.  Croatia 3 England 2

Ouch ouch ouch.  We had bought tickets long ago to see Patrick Stewart in Macbeth (excellent), so we didn't watch the match.  Evidently the change in goal was a big mistake.  Word now is that the FA are meeting first thing in the morning to discuss McClaren's future.

A guy in the row in front of us went out 10 minutes before the play started and sold his ticket in the street; he said he was going to the sports bar next door to watch the footie.  I think I'm glad I didn't make that choice.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on November 21, 2007, 07:12:05 pm


btw, H.T.: I bet that stadium and atmosphere was just awesome to see and be in. I wish that one day our major U.S. stadiums (stadiums that are 70,000 +) can fill up like that for all MLS games.

Browneagle,

Sorry, I just saw this.  You're right, it was an awesome atmosphere.  A few years ago, when we lived in Boston, a friend gave us tickets to see the New England Revolution.  The fans who were there were knowledgeable, but the football we discuss here still hasn't caught on enough to pack the stadiums and make the atmosphere electric.  It will happen!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on November 22, 2007, 09:50:53 am

Not so much.  Croatia 3 England 2

Ouch ouch ouch.  We had bought tickets long ago to see Patrick Stewart in Macbeth (excellent), so we didn't watch the match.  Evidently the change in goal was a big mistake.  Word now is that the FA are meeting first thing in the morning to discuss McClaren's future.

A guy in the row in front of us went out 10 minutes before the play started and sold his ticket in the street; he said he was going to the sports bar next door to watch the footie.  I think I'm glad I didn't make that choice.
Hoosier,

So have people started jumping off bridges yet???  What a horrendous result for England and more specifically McClaren?!  Especially after what Israel did for their cause!

McClaren's only mistake wasn't just who he started in goal IMO.  I thought not starting Beckham was a big mistake on his part as well! 

I guess Sven-Goran Eriksson  isn't looking so bad these days! ::)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on November 23, 2007, 10:07:02 am

I turned it off when Croatia got the second goal.  England never comes back like that.  It's got to be even more tragic by the fact they worked it back to a draw only to give up one more.  Just crazy.  McLaren's an incredible coach though; someone is going to be very lucky that the FA pulled the trigger so fast.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on November 23, 2007, 04:47:33 pm
Hoosier,

So have people started jumping off bridges yet???  What a horrendous result for England and more specifically McClaren?!  Especially after what Israel did for their cause!

McClaren's only mistake wasn't just who he started in goal IMO.  I thought not starting Beckham was a big mistake on his part as well! 

I guess Sven-Goran Eriksson  isn't looking so bad these days! ::)

It's been pretty dreary, Scots.  Here's a link to an article that was on the BBC front page earlier:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7108840.stm

it's called "10 Thinks to Do During Euro 2008"

I think, deep down, a lot of people weren't surprised.  I was concerned about the need to change from 4-4-2--England never seem to do well in other formations--but I did think they'd at least get the draw.  And the failure to hold on for the draw after clawing back from 2 goals down is shocking.  Before the match I thought that keeping Beckham in reserve was probably the right move, but Wright- Phillips' attempt getting an offside call was beyond stupid.  At least Becks wouldn't have made a mistake like that.

"Overpaid footballers" have taken a lot of stick during the time we've been here.  I think the contrast with the rugby team (which made it to the finals of the World Cup and got me to watch several rugby matches from start to finish) hasn't worked to the footballers' advantage.  Everyone wants a strong national team for qualifying events like this, but what they put their money on, week after week, is the English Premier League--and the teams are more and more populated by Spaniards, Frenchmen, Africans, a few Americans...and about 3 Englishmen per side.  Even Steven Gerrard has come out in favor of a quota on non-English players on EPL sides--yet I wouldn't want to watch Liverpool without the Spanish players Benitez has brought in.  They do have a dilemma.

It looks as though there won't be a new manager right away.  The first two contenders for the job, Jose Mourinho and Martin O'Neill (who applied for it last time and was passed over for McClaren), have said they're not interested.  The only thing I have to say about McClaren is that I don't think he always used the best players in the best way.  For example, Jamie Carregher, still one of the best centre backs in the EPL and still in his 20's, retired from international football after being either benched or used out of position at fullback too many times.  McClaren could have used him in this match--he did go to Liverpool a couple of games ago to try to get Carragher back, to no avail.  But I guess being second-guessed by old ladies like me is why they pay the managers the big bucks!  :D

And yes, Sven is looking pretty good these days.  We were here when he named Theo Wolcott to the England side for the World Cup, and he looked silly after that.  But now, Theo could probably have helped them the other night, and Sven is in the top four of the EPL.  Who'd'a thunk it?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Browneagle64 on November 27, 2007, 12:55:20 am
Hey guys
here's what the M.N.T website announced today in regard to the team's quest to qualify for the World Cup and thought that i should share it with you guys. Additionally, i looked at "El tri's" qualifying matches and boy did i start to laugh (Coach Hugo Sanchez and Co. have the easiest path to the World Cup this time around as they will face off Belice and  San Kitts & Nevis)

At the FIFA Preliminary Draw for the 2010 World Cup in Durban, South Africa, it was determined that the U.S. Men’s National Team will open their quest to qualify for a sixth consecutive World Cup in June in Group 1A with a home match versus the winner of an opening-round series between the nations of Dominica and Barbados. The U.S. will play the away leg of their second round series in consecutive weekends.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on December 11, 2007, 06:50:25 pm
This will be my last report from the home of the English Premier League--we leave for home on Thursday.  While there is lots we will miss--the Underground and theatre and football--we are starting to get hungry for hot dogs in gyms in the deep midwinter (and it sounds like Illinois is in the thick of that).

We had promised to take our daughter to see Spamalot a second time as a part of her Christmas present, and tonight turned out to be the only time we could go, so I had to pass on the Liverpool-Marseille Champions' League qualifier.  Some of you may have seen it (and another thing I'm missing at home is Tivo, so I can record things like this).  After losing their unbeaten record in the EPL Saturday against Reading, the Reds apparently came out strong tonight and put it away within minutes--a Steven Gerrard penalty after 4 and a Fernando Torres strike after 11.  Next weekend brings Man U to Anfield for the first meeting of the two teams this season.  Arsenal and Man City's losses this weekend kept the top of the table tight--should be an interesting next few weeks.

London is great, and going to Liverpool and Anfield was one of the very biggest highlights.  I'm really glad we did it. 

See you all here (and on the basketball boards!)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on December 12, 2007, 01:06:38 pm
London is great, and going to Liverpool and Anfield was one of the very biggest highlights.  I'm really glad we did it. 
You are right about that Hoosier.  I spent a summer after college in London working at a shelter.  I was able to sub-let a flat for a very dirt cheap price for London's standards!  It was even a 1st floor flat with a garden in the back!  I was in heaven for the 3 months I spent over there!  My flat was right around the corner from the Portobello Market which I took in almost every Saturday.  I was also less than 2 blocks from the Underground giving me easy access to all of London!  Although, I didn't enjoy my commutes to and from work too much!  Talk about feeling like a sardine! But that was a small price to pay to have had the opportunity for such an incredible experience!   It sounds like you, your family and your class have all had a pretty incredible experince as well!

I haven't been back since and your stories have really got me jonesing to get back! :)
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 01, 2008, 09:20:21 am
Coming out of the holiday season, it looks like a two horse race in the Premiership (I know, that's not what we are supposed to call it, but that is how I will always know the league) between Arsenal & Man U.  I am hopeful that the young Gunners can see it through to the end, but am certainly leary of United's veterans.  I look for Arsene to add some experience to the backline to compensate for the loss of Toure to the African Nations Cup, and hope that will be enough.

It seems to me that with all of their injuries and losses to the ANC Chelsea will not be able to keep pace. 

Liverpool is a one trick pony.  If and when Torres cools, they will fade.

At the foot of the table I supect it will remain just as it is today.  Keane will not allow the Black Cats to go down, and Bolton for all of their troubles simply have more talent than the other "contenders" for the drop.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 01, 2008, 05:49:24 pm


I got to see the thrilling Chelsea-Villa match live on Fox Sports en Espanol (surprisingly it was in English).  That was just an incredible match, but it was quite easy to see the toll that injuries have taken on the Blues.  Terry would have kept half of the Villa goals from even getting attempted and Lampard's early exit hurt as well, especially when they brought on a not-yet-fit Ballack to replace him.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 02, 2008, 09:45:51 am
Hoops,

That was a great match.  What did you think of some of the cards?  I thought the red on Knight was a little dodgy.  The Villains had another cracker of a match yesterday with Spurs.

Joe Wally,

Much as it pains me to admit it, I fear your prediction for the final two in the EPL is correct.  I think calling Liverpool a "one trick pony" is a little harsh as long as they have Steven Gerrard, a host of other scoring midfielders, and one of the best defenses in the EPL.  But the Reds have had several opportunities lately when the other Big Three have lost or tied and they haven't made the most of them.  Time's a'wasting to catch up.

Man City has been the big surprise for me--they've cooled off somewhat but they haven't faded as I expected them to.  I guess there were positive reasons why Sven was hired as England coach (which I had time to forget during the World Cup).

At the bottom of the table, I think Derby stands alone as the most inept (least talented?) and certain to go down.  They have played better since Jewell took over, but their defense is just awful.  I saw Fulham under Sanchez; perhaps it wasn't a fair chance to assess them since the match was at Anfield and they were clearly playing for the draw.  But Clint Dempsey seemed the only real bright spot.  You mention Roy Keane keeping Sunderland up--that would be a truly great accomplishment for a manager.  For now they are safe--time will tell.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 02, 2008, 10:00:20 am
The Chelsea Villa match was tremendous.  I agree that the card on Knight was sketchy, at best.  Ballack looked as if he had been shot as he dove to the ground.

H.T.

I don't disagree that Liverpool have those other tools, but IMHO (and it is humble) the only one that they seem to use effectively and consistently is Torres.

 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 02, 2008, 07:30:11 pm

I wasn't surprised at all by the Knight card.  It was a poor choice on his part, especially when he knew full well the refs look to equalize.

If it was the first incident of the game, it wouldn't have been called as it was.  I was just impressed that those Villans never gave up.  I haven't seen a team so tenacious in any sport in a while.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 02, 2008, 07:50:13 pm
Okay, I'm done defending the Scousers (Liverpool) for a while.  Ouch.  Sometimes, as the song says,  love hurts.  Titus Bramble??? :(
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on January 03, 2008, 12:01:30 pm
Nice to see some life on this board again.

I too got to see that Chelsea-Villa match and I concur, what a great match that was!!!  You have to give Villa lots of credit for the tenacity they showed in continuing to battle back and at the Bridge to boot!

As for the race for the Premiership, I wouldn't be too quick to declare this a 2 horse race just yet.  Chelsea is still right there only 6 points back.  They've got to be kicking themselves for losing those 2 points in that Villa draw!  Chelsea's schedule looks very favorable for them to rack up some points if they can continue to get favorable results.

Beyond Arsenal, ManU and Chelsea I really don't see anyone else in a position to make a push to challenge the top 3.  However, the fight for the final Champions League spot should be fun to watch as well.  As it stands now, the difference between 4th place City and 9th place Blackburn is just 6 points!  And only 3 points separate City, Liverpool, Villa and Everton!   
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 03, 2008, 12:37:48 pm
As I look at Chelsea, they've lost Drogba to injury, and have struggled as a result.  They are about to lose the true heart and soul of their team, Essien (along w/ Drogba).  This won't result in a "disaster" for Chelsea because there are too many talented players on that roster relative to the rest of the league, but it will prevent them from making up any ground on Arsenal or Man U, and will most likely result in them losing ground.

Watched Man City play Newcastle last night.  Starting with Dunne & Richards at the back, that is a very very nice team.  If they can get Vassel heated up, that can be a very dangerous team.

What's to be said about Newcastle, just a shambles.  Alardyce must be wishing he were back at the Reebok right now.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on January 17, 2008, 10:31:05 am
I'm surprised that there hasn't been any chatter about the transfers going on in the Premeirship.  Most notbaly, the transfers that Chelsea picked up!

Nicolas Anelka from Bolton was signed for 15 million pounds and they also added Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic from Lokomotiv Moscow for a measley 9 million pounds.  Chelsea has faaaar outspent any other club with their 24 million pounds spent on the 2 transfers.

I think that Anelka will fill in nicely for the Blues until Drogba's return.  And apparantly, Anelka is looking forward to playing alongside Drogba up front for Chelsea.  He said that he is not looking to be on the pitch just to score and that he is willing to adapt his game to make sure that he and Drogba could form a good partnership.

We shall see if the 2 scorers can co-exhist.  It's easier said than done the way I see it. 

As for Chelsea, it looks as if they are definately not going away anytime soon.  They have pulled to within 4 points of the co-leaders Arsenal and ManU.  With their transfer additions, they have appeared to make themselves even stronger. 

Overall, I just don't see Arsenal being able to sustain their lead.  ManU have caught them and the Red Devils look to be hitting on all cylinders right now.  And with Chelsea also breathing down the Gunner's necks, I just don't see them withstanding the pressure.

Beyond those three, the rest of the challengers appear to be fading and now the fight for them is for the 4th and final Champs League spot.  And you couldn't ask for a better race as 4 teams are currently tied for that 4th spot with Liverpool having a slight advantage with a game in hand.

Anyone else have any thoughts on the transfer market to date?
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 17, 2008, 11:31:37 am
It's been suprisingly quiet over the first two weeks.

Sunderland picked up a nice kid, Mvoto from PSG.

Tottenahm looks to be first in line for Fred from Lyon.  It seems to me that Tottenham would be better off holding on to Berbatov rather than bringing a new kid in and waiting the two to three months it will take for him to get acclimated to the Premiership.

It will be interesting to see what Keegan does at Newcastle.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 17, 2008, 01:01:57 pm
It is nice to see life on this board again.  My problem as a Liverpool supporter, is, well, Liverpool :D.
Seriously, they have to stop getting draws and get some wins.  The trouncing of Luton Town in the rematch was a start, and I felt better about the initial 0-0 draw when the announcer said that Luton had achieved a draw in their own league after having 3 men sent off. 

Since classes have started up again I haven't had a chance to watch a lot of other teams' matches.  Earlier, I thought Arsenal showed the most potential to take the League, but obviously Man U are coming on strong.  I have always liked Anelka; he should be a good get for Chelsea. 

I suspect that all the manager-owner shenanigans have distracted everyone and hurt Liverpool's play.  And I've long suspected that Daniel Aggar's injury is worse than was let on, and that that's why Rafa Benitez was so insistent, back in November and December, on getting another defender.  They've acquired Martin Skrtel, a Slovakian centre-back, but I'm not sure that's the acquisition Rafa was looking for.  For people who admitted that they knew next to nothing about football when they acquired the team, the new owners are micromanaging to a surprising extent (the latest rumor was that Rafa was gone if they lost to Luton).  I hope they simply back off and let the manager manage until the end of the season.

Monday's Liverpool-Aston Villa match is huge for both sides, as they are even on points.  Villa has had some tough losses and can be scary.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 17, 2008, 01:21:14 pm
In spite of my earlier prediction regarding where Liverpool will land (which I stand by) it does not seem to me that you can look at that roster and then blame Benitez for their current results.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 17, 2008, 01:37:34 pm
In spite of my earlier prediction regarding where Liverpool will land (which I stand by) it does not seem to me that you can look at that roster and then blame Benitez for their current results.

I agree with not blaming Benitez, but apparently the new owners don't agree with us, if what's been reported is true.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 17, 2008, 01:56:08 pm
The current Liverpool side have drawn, in the EPL, with Chelsea, Portsmouth, Birmingham City, Spurs, Arsenal, Blackburn, Manchester City, Wigan, and Middlesbrough.  They've lost to Reading.  Leaving aside the draws with Chelsea and Arsenal, if they have aspirations of improving their standing, Liverpool should have beaten sides like Birmingham, Wigan, and Middlesbrough.  I think that's what the criticism is about.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 17, 2008, 02:50:32 pm
My Gunners are rubbing their hands over the same sort of run of form recently.  It's reminiscent of the constant game of catch-up that they seemed to play in every match last year.

Now w/ Van Persie down they really need to see Eduardo come into form.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Stinger on January 17, 2008, 04:04:01 pm
I've always thought Anelka is more trouble than he's worth.  I've had a bad taste in my mouth since his days at Madrid. But, I guess with their injury problems, they had to do it.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 17, 2008, 04:43:45 pm
I've heard some bad reports about Anelka's work ethic, at least at different times in the past.  Maybe he's decided that Bolton isn't where he wants to play out his career.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on January 18, 2008, 09:29:11 am
I've heard some bad reports about Anelka's work ethic, at least at different times in the past.  Maybe he's decided that Bolton isn't where he wants to play out his career.
I really thought  that maybe he was happy at Bolton when he turned down the chance to return to Arsenal.  From what I've read though, was that he just wanted to get back to a top flight club competing for a Premiership title and also  in the Champs League.

As for his bad rap, I think he's going to have a hard time shaking that one off.  He's trying to claim that he's not that sort of player portrayed by the media and most fans and that he is the victim of getting a bad rap.  I guess he has the perfect opportunity to prove that he's not the spoiled player most seem to think he is if indeed he accepts a more secondary role among all of the stars at Chelsea.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 18, 2008, 12:21:07 pm
I really thought  that maybe he was happy at Bolton when he turned down the chance to return to Arsenal....
As for his bad rap, I think he's going to have a hard time shaking that one off. 

I'm trying to think of where I read this and I think it must have been a newspaper story in England.  In January of '07 he said would be willing to return to Arsenal because he it's closer to home (France) than London.  A love of home is good, and most players would rather be at Arsenal than Bolton ;), but most players wouldn't put a shorter commute at the top of their publicly-stated priorities.

  I guess he has the perfect opportunity to prove that he's not the spoiled player most seem to think he is if indeed he accepts a more secondary role among all of the stars at Chelsea.

Yes, indeed.  I was thinking that before I got to that sentence in your post.   I've seen him make some beautiful moves, and he seems to get a warm welcome at Anfield, which suggests that he's still respected around the EPL.   I think he can still make a big contribution if he wants to.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 19, 2008, 05:02:23 pm

I guess I don't get that sentence.  You said he'd like to go to Arsenal because it's closer to home than London.  Isn't Arsenal in a northern suburb of London?  Maybe I'm reading that wrong.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 19, 2008, 05:48:02 pm
Oops.  Gee, why didn't you read what I meant instead of what I wrote?  ;)  My fingers were faster than my brain, something that happens all too frequently.

I meant he'd rather be at Arsenal than Bolton.  And yes, the new Emirates stadium is in north London--about five minutes out of King's Cross station along the train track on the route north to York, Newcastle, and Scotland.  It looks like an absolutely gorgeous facility.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 20, 2008, 10:09:32 pm

OK, just checking.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on January 21, 2008, 06:18:17 pm
Liverpool = the draw Kings.

Drew today with Aston Villas, thats #10 in 23 league games, on pace for 17.

Only team thats in their territory is Fulham with 9, and they're getting relegated.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 21, 2008, 07:59:05 pm
Things are indeed a mess in Liverpool--worse off the pitch than on, and on is bad enough.

Here's the latest from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/7200492.stm

The new owners seem to have let down the team all around.  They are trying to refinance a loan to pay off another loan they took out to buy the team in the first place.  There was the public spat with Benitez when he wanted to buy another defender--and heaven knows they need defenders--and then letting it be known they'd talked with Klinsmann "in case Benitez left." 

An investment arm of the Dubai government is trying again to put together a buyout.  I was hopeful that Gillett and Hicks were in this for the long haul, but they're dragging down a side with a great history and a lot of pride. 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 21, 2008, 10:04:22 pm
It is a horrible shame to see these tremendous clubs being hijacked by billionaires that have positively no concept of or concern for what these clubs mean to the supporters that follow them.


Birmingham signed Maruo Zarate on loan from the club he was playing for in Qatar.  I watched the kid play for Argentina in the U-20s in Canada last year.  He has extraordinary skills.

IMHO, he was better than the Barca starlet Gio Dos Santos.

Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 22, 2008, 04:15:27 pm

Spurs knocking Arsenal out of the Carling right now.  They're on a terrific run.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 23, 2008, 04:40:14 pm
I am simply refusing to acknolwedge that that Carling Cup match was played last night.......never happened.

Anyone else see that Eddie Johnson signed w/ Fulham FC.  Yet another American signing on w/ the Cottagers.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 23, 2008, 05:53:07 pm
Anyone else see that Eddie Johnson signed w/ Fulham FC.  Yet another American signing on w/ the Cottagers.


If only people in the US knew what Fulham was, they might have a solid marketing strategy.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on January 24, 2008, 09:29:42 am
Unless Johnson can help Fulham string together some results, people in the US will really have a hard time knowing what Fulham is after they are relegated. :-\
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 24, 2008, 11:08:29 am
I've got to say that of all the elements of the game that have interested me in English Club football, the concept of relegation and promotion is among the highest on the list.


Just for purposes of spurring the conversation, I have to say that the spirit of the commentating, and the quality of the commentating are the two other elements not occuring on the pitch, that truly make English football a special game, IMHO
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on January 24, 2008, 10:48:28 pm
I've always liked how close the fans are to the fields in England, and of course how much more active they seem to be.

The TV camera angles also seem to be much closer to the action than in other leagues I've seen........and the announcing is of course in English, which makes it better for me. ;D

Don't the English announcers also use "oldschool" microphones, I think it gives the broadcasts an older flavor.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 25, 2008, 09:23:55 am

Yeah, I can't wait to experience it some day.  I went to a Wizards match at Arrowhead last season.  It was fun, but the lower bowl was only about 2/3 full and there's just one section of crazy, dancing, singing, chanting fans called "the cauldron."  It's just tough to imagine a full stadium of such craziness.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 25, 2008, 10:16:39 am
Okay, I'm giving a big talk this afternoon so I wasn't gonna post here until later but you got me hooked.

As I said after our trip to Anfield, the atmosphere is indeed fantastic.  We were not in the Kop--legendary fan section at the end of the stadium--but in the Main Stands.  Turned out our tickets were comps returned by the coach of the youth squad--it says right on the ticket where it came from!  We were fairly high up, but that was a good thing because you could see the entire pitch.

The crowd were enthusiastic but even the Kop didn't seem rowdy.  Where we were, surrounded by employees and youth squad families, was actually pretty sedate.  But everyone was into the match, applauding good play and even a nice save or two by the Fulham keeper.  And the instant something happened on the touchline--like Fernando Torres getting up to warm up--the entire stadium knew it. 

Interestingly, they do not sell beer inside the stadium--something I think would improve US professional sporting venues a lot.  There are plenty of places outside to drink up before and after.

I would expect that the atmosphere might get a lot more frenetic when some of the top rivals come in, like the blue side from right down the street, or that other red team from Manchester...if only my Reds could start WINNING some of those matches! :(

Now please stop being so interesting until at least tonight!  Have a good day, everyone.  :)


Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 26, 2008, 12:40:15 pm
Okay, the talk is over.  It went really well--fooled 'em again....;)

Wow, how 'bout them Blue Square Premier guys?  I'd like to say Liverpool showed mercy on Havant and Waterlooville for the first half, but it sounds like the H&W side played tremendously.  Interesting that this seems to have been the only FA match not televised (just like the first tie with Luton).  It sounds like the atmosphere at Anfield was great, with the H&W fans standing and singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" with the home fans, and then singing "Que Sera, Sera...We're going to Wem-ber-ley..."  (Okay, so they're not poets).  But who could blame them?  Lucas Leiva's first English goal, a hat trick from Yossi Benayoun, and a last-minute goal from Peter Crouch gave the Reds a deceptively wide margin. 

The FA cup reminds me of high school basketball before it was divided into classes:  most of the time the big fish win, occasionally a minnow comes through, and you get all sorts of great efforts like this.  But thats another topic...
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 26, 2008, 02:59:00 pm
The FA cup reminds me of high school basketball before it was divided into classes:  most of the time the big fish win, occasionally a minnow comes through, and you get all sorts of great efforts like this.  But thats another topic...

This is not the board to discuss the great blunder of the IHSAA ;D, but I agree that that is the sense you get from watching those matches.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on January 27, 2008, 05:21:04 pm
The FA cup reminds me of high school basketball before it was divided into classes:  most of the time the big fish win, occasionally a minnow comes through, and you get all sorts of great efforts like this.  But thats another topic...

The irony here is that with the FA Cup now down to 16 teams, there are only 6 Premier league teams remaining.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: sac on January 28, 2008, 07:03:32 pm
After the draw today......

FA Cup Fifth round fixtures:

Bristol Rovers v Southampton
Cardiff City v Wolves
Sheffield United v Middlesbrough
Liverpool v Barnsley
Manchester United v Arsenal
Preston v Portsmouth
Coventry City v West Brom
Chelsea v Huddersfield Town



Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 29, 2008, 08:07:56 am
H.T.,

My favorite Reds player, Momo Sissoko, has been transferred to Juve! :'(
A shame, really, I thought that he added a real quality to the midfield. 

At least FSC carries Serie A matches.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 29, 2008, 08:55:40 am

Mellberg is heading there this summer as well.  He's been the backbone of my fantasy squad for three seasons now.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 29, 2008, 01:25:45 pm
Re:  Sissoko--I'm sorry in a way, but it has been coming for a long time.  I've always liked him too.  But according to the stories, the transfer will help them finalize a deal for Javier Mascherano, who's definitely become a fixture in the midfield.  The only knock on Sissoko I've heard is that he roams a lot (as does Steven Gerrard), without the scoring.  I think it was Xabi Alonso who said that it could sometimes get a little confusing when both Sissoko and Stevie G were in.  At any rate, Momo's not been playing, and it's certainly better for a young player to be in the lineup!  I wish him well at Juventus.

About Man U v. Arsenal--another big one soon to bite the dust!  Not too many really little teams left now--all but one of the non-Premier sides are Championship League, with Huddersfield the only League One side left.  It's interesting that the Championship sides are from the top and bottom of the table of that league.  West Brom and Bristol (along with Watford, sigh) are in line for promotion as things stand now, while Preston looks likely to be relegated to League One.

And I note that Havant and Waterlooville's Alfie Potter is one of four nominated for "Man of the Round" for the fourth round.  Let's hear it for the pipefitters and dustmen!
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 30, 2008, 06:06:21 pm
Aaagh....West Ham 1 - Liverpool 0.  It's a fight for the Reds to qualify for Europe next year now.   :-[     

Maybe Sissoko's fans have cursed the team.  No, actually this has been coming for a long time.  I dunno.  Thank heavens there's basketball for a few more weeks!


Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 30, 2008, 10:21:19 pm
Fear not, HT
Pitchers and catchers report in two weeks. ;D
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 31, 2008, 12:03:48 am
And six weeks until the first Formula One race!  Oh, we don't have d3F1.com, do we?  Rats--OT again.

Latest news:  fans worldwide to try to buy out Liverpool.  Anyone got £5,000 ($10,000) to throw at this?  I think we'd better not tell 'em we're Americans though...Gillett and Hicks are not the most popular guys in town right now. :D

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7217238.stm
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on January 31, 2008, 09:35:16 am

Did they not check into the way Hicks ran the Rangers?  Spend too much on zero results; not the way to run a world class club.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: joepieters on January 31, 2008, 10:04:29 am
Well, it looks as if the transfer window is going to close quietly in the Premiership.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on January 31, 2008, 11:28:16 pm

Did they not check into the way Hicks ran the Rangers?  Spend too much on zero results; not the way to run a world class club.

Good question.  I haven't been following Major League Baseball, but that information was certainly easy to find.  I feel guilty--we watched the Liverpool-Portsmouth match in a pub in Cambridge last September.  All the fans there wanted to know about the new owners and if they are reliable.  In a way I'm glad I didn't know. 

Jermain Defoe to Portsmouth at the last minute was the biggest transfer I saw--pretty quiet. 

Any thoughts about the recently-announced England side?  Here's a link to a story with the full roster.  Notable omissions:  David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Paul Robinson, and John Terry (due to injury).  New faces:  Curtis Davies (West Brom on loan at Aston Villa), Chris Kirkland (Wigan), and Gabriel Agbonlahor (also Aston Villa).  Capello says he's willing to look at Beckham again when he's playing regularly here again.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: ScotsFan on February 01, 2008, 12:42:53 pm
I like the idea of giving some new blood a chance.  It might be nice to see some fresh faces on the English side.  Looks like Capello might be trying to prove a point early that spots will have to be earned and not just by name and reputation... 
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on February 02, 2008, 04:38:28 pm
I like that idea too.  Another loss to the English side today--Emile Heskey is out with an injury.  There is definitely room for the new additions to make their place.  Some young players--Aaron Lennon and Theo Wolcott in particular--are playing U21 but could get called up to the senior squad.
Title: Re: World Cup and European leagues
Post by: Hoosier Titan on February 02, 2008, 04:49:14 pm
Liverpool got their first home win in the EPL since December 22 against Sunderland today, 3-0.