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OT - World Cup 2010


getz out

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Is anyone else looking forward to this as much as I am? We did well with the last thread...

 

My land (U.S), the land of my mother (Italy) and the land of my father (Brasil) are all being represented. The land of my wife (Ireland) needs to get through France to make it.

 

Argentina squeaks through. Portugal needs to get through a tough Bosnia-Herzegovina side if they want to knock England out of the competition once again. How will South Africa handle the mass of people?

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After this year's Confederations Cup I'm looking forward to it! My favorite bar/pizza joint down the road is owned and operated by a handful of Micks (I can say that since I'm only a couple generations off the boat :D ) and they're more interested in soccer than local sports (blasphemy agound these parts!).
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The Banshee? Great pub... nice guys.

 

If Brasil plays anywhere close to their current form, they will be unstoppable. I think Dunga is doing a great job for them, too. When you consider the players available that will not even make the squad... I would pay to see a truly competitive match between a Brasil A and B squad. :)

 

The US still needs work in the midfield. I hope they make it out of the group.

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The Penguin. Great pub...great beer selection (almost 300 IIRC)...nice walking distance from home...nice guys too. :)

 

I rarely ever catch international soccer throughout the year but I really enjoy watching the big tournies. I know...that's almost as bad as being a fair-weather fan for your home team...but that's how it is.

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...My favorite bar/pizza joint down the road is owned and operated by a handful of Micks...
ALL the bars in Boston are owned by Micks.

No. All the bars in Boston want you to think they're owned by Micks. Only a handful actually are.

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  • 1 month later...

Ireland and Russia both suffered to some degree at the hands of some horrible officiating.

 

I think Ireland looked as though they would push through. If it went to penalties, I think Given would have been the difference.

 

The officiating in Russia was even worse. I am not sure if they would have captured the needed equalizer, but we will never know. It is a shame, they are a fantastic national team to watch from a neutral standpoint.

 

I still think Brasil and Spain are the teams to beat.

 

I think England will struggle if they cannot get Rio Ferdinand healthy.

 

Holland may also struggle. No Van der Sar in goal this time around. However, they do have the ability to score buckets of goals.

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Oh dear.. Did you see Henry's handball?

 

I did. Pretty awful. Stinks, because as an Arsenal supporter I have strong feelings for his service to the club.

 

I do not know how intentional the handball was. It happened rather quickly. Henry is quick, but that was like lightning, more of a reaction.

 

I think more of the blame is on the official.

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Looking forward to it a lot. England have the right manager and the right attitude but I hope expectations don't get ridiculous.

 

Expectations seem ridiculous already when I read the back pages.

 

Your lot still have to settle on your keeper and back four. That's a big worry. Who do you go with as your No. 1? What about center-back pairing? I know he's been injured, but Phil Jagielka might be the answer if he regains fitness.

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Thing is - before it's always been about the individuals whereas under Capello it's more about the team. So it's less important who plays. I think England will do well - but for me qualifying from the group stage would be doing well.

 

I completely agree. Take a look at Capello's personal accomplishments and shudder! Definitely the type of personality you needed for your national team.

 

I agree success would be getting out of the group stages. Anything can happen in the knock-out rounds.

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I'm having a very tough time getting enthusiastic about the American team's chances. US Soccer fans had their hopes raised before the 2006 World Cup, only to have at the very least a lackluster tournament. I have far more interest in following the Azzuri since my family is from Italy (albeit a century removed).

 

I'm going to have to tune into Fox Soccer Channel and get back up to speed on things soon. Although the winter Olympics are fast approaching, too. And I LOVE to watch some international hockey!

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The problem for the US still lies in the midfield and full-back positions. We have reasonable players everywhere else on the pitch. I think part of the problem is the youth system in the U.S. Holding midfielders have no idea how to pass and create link up play, and hence the U.S. tends to cheaply concede possession and then get drawn deeper and deeper into their own 18-yard box. I wish some of the midfielders would learn how to complete a non-square pass!

 

I think Kyle Beckerman should be getting a look for us. He is 27 already and has only appeared 10 times for the national side. Deep-lying midfielder that knows how to break up play and is not afraid to come forward. The rest of the lot are a bit too static for me. Same with the current full-backs (again, I think this is due to some of the youth soccer in the U.S.).

 

I am really interested in the World Cup draw, though. There will be some groups of death.

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The problem for the US still lies in the midfield and full-back positions. We have reasonable players everywhere else on the pitch. I think part of the problem is the youth system in the U.S. Holding midfielders have no idea how to pass and create link up play, and hence the U.S. tends to cheaply concede possession and then get drawn deeper and deeper into their own 18-yard box. I wish some of the midfielders would learn how to complete a non-square pass!

 

The real problem is that soocer (futbol) in this country never has gotten the glitz or the athletes the other professional sports have gotten. Lack of money, lack of TV coverage, lack of kowtowing, loyal, goon-squad mentality fan base (our hockey fans provide us with some hope) and a youth soccor programme that sucks skill developement, competitiveness and sprotsmanship out of the game to repalce it wish social engineering psycho-babble - that and 80% of the parents out there wouldn't know an offsides call if it hit them on a corner.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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There's definitely some serious problems with how youth soccer games are regulated. But it seems that a lot of that was prompted by the moronic behavior of a number of parents at these games. Still, soccer has been one of the biggest team sports for a lot of kids in the US for some time.

 

I think Americans still have a hard time getting on board with some things in soccer. Low scoring doesn't add up to a good game in the mind of far too many American sports fans.

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Flank, I agree with Nick on most of his response.

 

Skills taught to youths is a joke. They teach the kids to trap the ball on every pass to them and teach them to always strike the ball with their instep. Unless you send your kid to a camp, he or she is not getting much more than that. Meanwhile, when I played as a youth, I had already played a lot with my father and uncles and cousins. As one of the few immigrant families where I grew up, I was light-years ahead of my peers without ANY FORMAL TRAINING.

 

That is nearly 30 years ago. It has gotten better, but not much better. Until these kids hit high school, no one teaches them how to take a pass with a soft first touch and put the ball where you want to be. None of these kids learn to take down a ball with their chest. None of the forwards are taught how to drop a shoulder and send your defender on a dance. You watch the training and drills these kids do, and it is pathetic. I understand it is youth, but you're right flank that it becomes social engineering. The skills are very attainable by the vast majority of kids, but it takes time and effort and dedication. None of these kids are playing soccer on a pitch after school in a pick up game. That's not entirely true. Drive to Kearny, NJ, and there are several pitches around. You will see a bunch of Mexican, Columbian, and Ecuadorian playing, watching and generally enjoying. And it is pick up, usually played sudden death so another group of guys can get on. It's awesome. There are few players that are in shape or very skillful, but they still are able to do what are considered the basics in every other country in the world.

 

However, one thing the U.S. does VERY well is fitness at the top level. The U.S. also has pace, and that is something you can't teach. But I do not see a way out of this cycle unless something changes at the youth level. Or, we could start handing out passports to Brasilians like Portugal and Croatia. :)

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There was a large central American enclave near my old apartment. And I was always catching these guys playing fairly well organized games at the high school next door to my complex. These guys were actually pretty good players! I would hang out and watch some of the matches every once in a while.

 

But I've been hearing some things about youth leagues that my nephews might be getting involved with. And it sounds nightmarish! There's to be no cheering from the sidelines (because of overzealous parents). They don't keep score. The passing is rudimentary at best. And it sounds like the kids don't have a decent understanding about the flow of the game.

 

It really seems that truly competitive soccer isn't being played by kids until they get to the high school level. And by that time it's really too late to capture kid's interest and develop serious skill sets.

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A couple of times in LA I spent time at coaching sessions for kids organised in the local hispanic commnunity and I have to say they were light years ahead of what we have in the UK. The reason countries in Europe develop good skilled footballers is that they cherry pick them at about 6 years old and then develop them in football terms only, putting them on the scrapheap in terms of prospects except for the tiny percentage that make it. If that's the price of football success, it's seriously not worth it - at least in the US kids get to play for fun. The situation in Africa is much worse with the best African kids getting trials in Europe and then the majority being dumped.

 

Skills can be taught from about 3 years old, that's what the Hispanic coaches did so well. Competitive football is best not started till 8 and then small sided games until 10-11 years old. Kids under 11 learn very little from playing in an 11 a side game and need more time on the ball, which the smaller game offers.

 

You guys should consider fubol de salao - small sided game using a small weighted ball - which has a huge impact on skill level in Brazil. You also need to consider developing the potential of your huge Hispanic American talent base.

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The hispanic community is the most quickly expanding ethnic group in the United States. But it seems that far more of the latino community gravitates towards baseball since there's a much better established development program for baseball. Baseball is well established in much of the latin American countries. But the funny thing is that the big rival for the US in international soccer continues to be Mexico.

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My high school (class o' 79) had a large central American contingent. Most of them probably were using a sheep's bladder for a ball and garbage for goals back home. They were kicking balls since birth. They were all 5'6", ran 100 mph and the ball was never more that two inches from there feet unless they were passing and the ball defied the laws of physics.

 

When I was at fleet headquarters in the Navy, I played on some NATO leagues. Very humbling experience playing soccer with our European allies (that was back in the 80's, when Europe still liked us).

 

Germans - best "technical" team. Good set pieces, great position players, generally well mannered.

 

Brits - best "skill" players. Great ball handling, little ball hoggish (not unlike the NBA). Really good at cheap shots with the elbows and knees as they went by.

 

Turks and Greek - most frightening. Nothing like being winger on a break down the line and having an entire human being thrown at your head. No regard to personal safety. They seemed to have the most fun, however.

 

They all made the US team feel like ... well the Lions or the Bucs. No knowledge, no skill and way overmatched.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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The hispanic community is the most quickly expanding ethnic group in the United States. But it seems that far more of the latino community gravitates towards baseball since there's a much better established development program for baseball. Baseball is well established in much of the latin American countries. But the funny thing is that the big rival for the US in international soccer continues to be Mexico.

 

OK, that explains it. I think US soccer has to do more to build on the soccer-passion of the Latino community.

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