J.A.W.

FIFA World Cup 2014

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So USA is now better than England at football/soccer. Who would have thought that a few years ago!?

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Sorry to go on about Suarez, but reading some of the coverage i was reminded of his match saving hand ball against Ghana in 2010. I remember being truly disgusted with that shit at the time. Should've just awarded the goal (can they do penalty goals like they do penalty tries in Rugby? probably not). Anyway, just needed to get that off my chest.

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So USA is now better than England at football/soccer. Who would have thought that a few years ago!?

To be frank, it's not that hard to beat, English players are overrated due to the fact that they play in the most popular league in the world...

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So USA is now better than England at football/soccer. Who would have thought that a few years ago!?

I think the gap has been narrowing for years. The group stage draw between the two sides in 2010 surprised many people, but some weren't so surprised. Anyway, to be fair to England, it's hard to compare the two teams directly, since they played different opponents in this tournament, and of course it's also hard to say that one team is better than another based on a few games in a compressed period of time. Luck comes into play with such a small sample size. I don't think England are necessarily as bad as some say, and I don't think the U.S. are necessarily as good. We benefited hugely from Pepe's moment of bad judgement vs Germany, and the eventual 4-0 thrashing. Just as in 2002, the U.S. needed help to sneak into the round of 16. I might be singing a slightly different tune if we hadn't allowed that equalizer vs Portugal and been on six points coming into today's game, but the fact remains that we needed Portugal's help, just as we did in 2002.

At present, I think the current U.S. team is over-achieving a bit thanks to Herr Klinsmann. I think we have had more talented teams in the past (2010, 2002, and perhaps even 2006 and 1994), and what the 2014 edition has done thus far is largely about team spirit, mentality, confidence, and coaching tactics. Our actual talent is rather spotty. Today's match vs Germany is a good example. Our midfield was generally awful, and included two or three players that probably would not have made some previous world cup rosters. Landon Donovan would have made this team significantly better, and I agree with those who say that leaving him off the roster was an enormous mistake.

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So USA is now better than England at football/soccer. Who would have thought that a few years ago!?

To be frank, it's not that hard to beat, English players are overrated due to the fact that they play in the most popular league in the world...

They all need a big kick in the proverbial back-side IMO. And a 90% pay cut !

I suspect that Klinsmann is having a big impact on the current US performance. A man on a mission !

Edited by sidewinder

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The US team reminds me a bit of these African teams of the 80s and 90s, not exactly tactic and technique wise the cream of the crop but they are athetically gifted in good shape and have great can't lose spirit and have decent depth in their squad. The other keys is that they play other big nation with little complex. Now if they can improve more in terms of technique(especially the 5th to 15th best players of the team) and be less naïve they could be a perrenial top 8 tem in major competition

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The US team reminds me a bit of these African teams of the 80s and 90s, not exactly tactic and technique wise the cream of the crop but they are athetically gifted in good shape and have great can't lose spirit and have decent depth in their squad. The other keys is that they play other big nation with little complex. Now if they can improve more in terms of technique(especially the 5th to 15th best players of the team) and be less naïve they could be a perrenial top 8 tem in major competition

This might be an interesting thing to get into a bit more deeply. I have no particular stance on this as it relates to the U.S., and would be curious to know how others look at it (and in fact, what the term "naive" might specifically mean to different people in this context).

When the subject comes up, the first thing that comes to mind for me is an idealistic view that the sport can gradually evolve away from the aforementioned issues related to flopping, diving and simulating, and cheating in general. That particular area of discussion is always going to involve significant subjectivity (and potentially some ruffled feathers if we attempt to put more blame on certain teams/nations), but I think the ideal of cleaning up the sport and its reputation is entirely worthwhile. In terms of avoiding the opportunities to fool referees and gain unfair advantages, I'm actually very proud of the U.S. team, and I always admire players and teams that avoid it.

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On England: I suspect they have loads of talented players and that the problem is there needs to be a re-examination of the way the whole national program is run.

On U.S. team: Anyone else think Michael Bradley has been a liability so far? Not just on the Portugal tying goal, but he seems not to win too many 50-50 balls, doesn't seem to offer much of a challenge defensively and offensively -- meh. Maybe he'll do something against Belgium, but so far, not real impressed, especially as he keeps describing himself in interviews as one of the leaders on the team.

On Suarez: I see the entire country of Uruguay has gone into full, code red persecution mode, with everyone from el presidente to the defense minister claiming some sort of evil conspiracy and attempting to explain away his cannibalistic impulses as simply a product of his impoverished upbringing.

On Coulter: Not to bring politics into this, cause it ain't really political, but did anyone read Ann Coulter's wacky anti-soccer screed today? I realize she's just trying to be provocative by slamming something basically everyone else in the country is enjoying. But leave it to Coulter to shit in the punch bowl at a national party.

That's it ... :party:

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I don't know if I'd use the term "liability", but Bradley has definitely been sub-par thus far. It's a major discussion point on soccer forums, and I even heard Darke and Twellman (during the ESPN broadcast of the Germany match) refer to the chatter about him being benched, or possibly re-positioned in the midfield structure. He's been playing higher than he did during much of qualifying, and despite his history of being able to generate offense in more advanced positions, it's just not happening right now. His touch has been off, and it's hard to know what the problem is. He's never been a guy who lacks in confidence, and he has plenty of experience on this stage. Anyway, I'm hoping for improvement (soon!), because the idea of taking him off the field is pretty much unthinkable. Then again, Klinsmann has already provided us with numerous surprises over the past several weeks, so you never know.

Most of those who want him benched are asking for Mix Diskerud. Talented kid, but relatively inexperienced, and not nearly the physical presence that Bradley is.

Edited by Jim R

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So USA is now better than England at football/soccer. Who would have thought that a few years ago!?

To be frank, it's not that hard to beat, English players are overrated due to the fact that they play in the most popular league in the world...

I couldn't agree more. They are flattered by the overall skill levels in the league and when they are exposed to open comparison in an international competition it becomes obvious that few them are as good as their reputations (and as good as they think they are). This isn't helped by the hype over promising English players that are talked up in our media to be potential world beaters but aren't. The classic example of that is Rooney who is no way near as good as his reputation suggests - instead he's as good as his World Cup and Euro competition performance suggest. He might have been better but as with many English players early potential seems never to be realised (let's see what happens to Ross Barkley).

The English football team always seems to be playing tactical catch up and look out of date tactically. As Papsrus suggests not until a root and branch reallignment of the English system is undertaken will this change.

Meanwhile I'm really enjoying watching the high-pressing, high tempo, counter-attacking approach of Chile, Costa Rica and Colombia (born from Bielsa) - it does look like a potent way forward. I'm intrigued to see what happens when one of them play either France or Germany who are putting a premium on possession. The Dutch seem to have the potential to play this new style as well as a more 'European' possession approach which may well stand them in good stead.

So far a thoroughly enjoyable competition. today's clash between Brazil and Chile looks intriguing - Vamos Chile!

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Re: English team - I think it has grown into a disadvantage that Great Britain's soccer players are spread over several teams: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland. One of their best players, Gareth Bale, is fom Wales and thus didn't qualify ... they should reconsider that split.

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Quote:

An Italian player tells the story of his team’s defeat against Costa Rica. Late in the second half when he and his team-mates were flagging, struggling to keep up, an opponent came up to him and asked, a knowing grin on his face: “Are you enjoying this? Because we are.” The truth was inescapable. “We were dying and they knew it. They could see it and they told us, right to our faces,” the Italian says.

Famously no European team has won the World Cup in Latin America but before the World Cup the England manager, Roy Hodgson, claimed: “European teams are better travellers now.”

So, Louis van Gaal's new system and emphasis on fitness are justified.

Edited by erwbol

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To me the Dutch looked very good so far but so did Mexico. Should be an exciting game.

First day in knock out stage today is an exclusive South American affair. Go Brazil!

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Brazil squeaks by in the shoot out. I wish these teams had met later, Chile played awesome this tournament.

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Quote:

....Famously no European team has won the World Cup in Latin America but before the World Cup the England manager, Roy Hodgson, claimed: “European teams are better travellers now.”

With the notable exception of his lot, I guess....

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Quote:

....Famously no European team has won the World Cup in Latin America but before the World Cup the England manager, Roy Hodgson, claimed: “European teams are better travellers now.”

With the notable exception of his lot, I guess....

Lots of tourist guide...

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Great goals from Colombia. Will Rodriguez drown Brazil in tears?

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Great goals from Colombia. Will Rodriguez drown Brazil in tears?

Many more goals like those and the answer will be 'Yes'. I thought Brazil were lucky to get past Chile and I'm really looking forward to seeing what Colombia will do against them (this is Colombia without Falcao, just imagine if he were fit....)

Holland v. Mexico looks tasty. I've enjoyed both side's play so far. Maybe Holland will just edge if Robben and Van Persie maintain their blistering form

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Brazil squeaks by in the shoot out. I wish these teams had met later, Chile played awesome this tournament.

Too bad they stopped this awesomeness in the latter part of the second half and especially during overtime when they started stalling and basically were putting all their bets for the shootout ... If they had kept being agressive and kept puttng pressure maybe they would have forced the inconfortable Brazil's defence to make a fatal mistake .

I think James Rodriguez will be followed more closely next season despite him playing in a not so much of a football media hotbed . He currently plays for Monaco, will he be there for long ????

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Brazil squeaks by in the shoot out. I wish these teams had met later, Chile played awesome this tournament.

I think James Rodriguez will be followed more closely next season despite him playing in a not so much of a football media hotbed . He currently plays for Monaco, will he be there for long ????

From what i've read he is signed with Monaco thru 2018. Monaco has payed a record transfer fee for him. It does not seem likely that he will be sold soon.

Looking forward to Netherlands/Mexico.Both teams playing for counters?

Edited by uli

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No sleep till the early hours tonight in Greece!

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Very strong 2nd half for the Dutch and they get the win. They are looking very good indeed.

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