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Author Topic: World Cup 2014  (Read 19735 times)

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euro60

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World Cup 2014
« on: September 11, 2012, 11:12:23 PM »

The WC qualifiers are now well under way.

Belgium, with its supposed "golden generation" (which of course has not produced anything yet) has started off okay, but not as great as it could've been. After winning 0-2 at Wales last Friday, they were held to a 1-1 tie tonight against Croatia at home. Hmmm. Stay tuned. (Somewhat off topic, there are now 11 or 12 Belgians playing in the Premier League, many to great acclaim, of course none more than Vincent Kompany at Manchester City. It's funny to hear him talk in Dutch on Belgian TV, as he is such an international star now, and I doubt few people in England think of him as being from Dutch-speaking Belgium.)
 
Saw bits and pieces of the US-Jamaica game tonight on TV (while catching the Reds game). From what I saw, it was pretty amazing. Jamaica (which beat the US 2-1 last week in Jamaica) completely left the game up to the Yanks, who ended up with 79% of possession in the first half, but alas did not score (they hit the frame 3 times). But the US finally scored on a free kick. The last 20 min. or so which I watched was pretty poor, to be honest, but the US hung on.

I saw in the ESPN highlights that England got a very late penalty (88 min.) to draw 1-1 vs. Ukraine. Wow.
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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures

Zafer Kaya

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 12:19:15 AM »

I really like the Belgian team.  Fellaini and Hazard are an incredible midfield combination.   Solid back four with Kompany, Lombaerts, Vermelaen.  They're as good as anyone in the world in the middle 2/3 of the pitch.

The only problem is that GK and the strikers aren't quite as good, which means you tend to give up one goal too many and score one goal too little and end up with 1-1 ties.  But there's two years to go.  If Courtois and Lukaku come good, problem solved.  And both are in good situations as they've been lent out to first division clubs where they will get more playing time but still against good competition.

US team... don't really care.  They are a decent side but not making any headway.  I mean, they're okay and overall the team is moving in the right direction but the gap between just getting out of the group stage and actually having a chance to win is huge.  And none of the players in present squad have anywhere near the ability to get them to the next level.  It'll have to be the next generation that does it.  I have no criticisms of the squad or Klinsmann, but these guys are just (hopefully) laying the groundwork by keeping the interest level up in the US and showcasing the US's potential to foreign clubs/countries.

crewbilly

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 10:29:05 AM »

Attended the game last night in Columbus. The atmosphere was incredible!
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Dan

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 03:49:38 PM »

Jealous, crewbilly!

I watched the 2nd half and while it was good to see and fun, apparently I missed all of the actual "good play" from the US side. The stuff I saw was right after the goal to the end and it was not pretty. We did what we had to do, but I would have preferred to see more control and more teamwork. There was nothing inspiring or impressive which suggested that the USMNT is a product to fear.

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Dan

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 01:35:21 PM »

Good review of this weekend's USMNT games vs Jamaica found here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/sep/12/usa-jamaica-usmnt-world-cup-michael-bradley

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Rafe

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 08:44:11 AM »

I think I posted elsewhere on here that i've already got odds of 80-1 on Belgium winning the World Cup in Sambaland. I know they havent qualified yet, but i love their squad. it's really classy. I've followed Belgian football keenly for 20 years now, and this is, whatever Euro 60 may say in that comical way of his, is the best bunch of individual players the country has ever had at such a collectively young age. In Hazard they have, if he doesnt turn into too much of a primmadonna, a new Scifo. more importantly, the potential up front is huge. The back four is akin to that of Holland in the 70's, so many big guys who can actually play with the ball on the deck. I bet Wilmots is actually quite nervous at the task he has ahead, deploying such talent effectively.

On Wilmots, I'll say this. however he does as coach during this campaign, it doesnt matter a fuck to me. He was a great player back when Belgium basically had him and Michael Goosens (and the Mpenzas who were both hideously poor footballers), and he's a great bloke. i hope he brings success to his country, because he deserves it.

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Am Meer

euro60

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 11:06:59 AM »

this is, whatever Euro 60 may say in that comical way of his, is the best bunch of individual players the country has ever had at such a collectively young age.
urrr... what comical way might that be?

You said it right: "the best bunch of individual players", but that does not necessarily make a succesful team. It might, of course, but until they've achieved something (i.e. qualifying for the EC), they've done nothing.

Wilmots seems to be a great fit. After the 4-2 win over eternal rival (and almost always better/more talented) Holland in that friendly last month, Belgium was celebrating like it had won the WC. At the press conference after the match, Wilmots started off with "I'm not pleased, we can improve a lot", and with that he brought the team back to earth. Superb.

By the way, I'm rooting as hard as anyone for the Reds Devils, in case you might wonder...
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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures

euro60

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 11:12:52 PM »

Just read today that Belgium moved up to No. 30 in the FIFA world rankings of teams, their highest in 8 years if you can believe it. They fell as low as 71st in 2008 or so.

Even more shockingly, Brazil has fallen to 12th in the rankings. Wow, just wow. Can you imagine the pressure on that team, hosting the WC in less than 2 years?
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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures

euro60

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 05:10:53 PM »

Two more rounds of qualifying, last Friday and today. Belgium wins both of its matches (0-3 away at Serbia, and 2-0 at home over Scotland) and now lead their group along with Croatia with 10 out of 12 points  8)

In Germany today, Sweden comes back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the match with 4 goals in the last 30 min.!!!!! I need to see the highlights of that.
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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures

Dan

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 10:53:57 PM »

The USA advanced. I'm glad. :)
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Butter

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2012, 10:20:50 AM »

It was a little too close for comfort.  Especially when Guatemala went up 1-0.
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Butter

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 07:26:20 AM »

Re: Mexico, 0-0

Yes, let's keep starting DaMarcus Beasley at left back.  This strategy has proved super-awesome, especially the two-handed shove he gave his opponent to pick up a yellow in about the 9th minute.  I was sure he would eventually be sent off.  He is not a defender, and it shows.  He didn't do a whole lot to support the attack either, so I guess I don't know what he's doing out there if your main goal is to just play to a scoreless draw.  The chances of him giving up something significant are much greater than any counter-attacking benefit he provides.

Guzan was fine, but honestly he didn't have to do a ton.

It was nice to see Chicharito look like shit yet again.  And for Mexico to just completely botch so many chances in front of goal.  In the immortal words of Nelson, "ha-ha!"
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Homsar

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 08:39:56 AM »

I was worried after watching the first 10 mins, but it became a bit more even after that.  It definitely looked like they were playing for a draw.  Of course I agree with you about Beasley.  Even the 3 or 4 injuries he seemed to sustain weren't enough to warrant a sub, and that was after he was burnt a few times.  Is it weird that EVERY posession had to be set up through Bradley, or is that how they usually operate?  It worked ok at times, but it seemed to limit their options.
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smiley face

Dan

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 09:03:35 AM »

Beasley was playing left back because our two first choice LB's (Bocanegro and Cherundolo) were both out. I don't know the details, but I assumed Beasley was playing because there were no other LB's with the squad. I mean, I know there are other options among all US players (I think Eric Lichaj plays LB?) so there must have been some kind of complication or technicality with that, right?

I agree: no Beasley at LB please.


Random aside: the ESPN coverage of the game suggested that Guillermo Ochoa was starting because they were trying to get him enough International Caps to qualify for a work permit for a transfer to England. Ummm, hello! SFC! Pay attention! (Not that I'm unhappy with Boruc, but having two guys like that would be aces).
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euro60

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Re: World Cup 2014
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 10:22:30 AM »

I heard on NPR this morning that they tied, and thought to myself "You idiot, you forgot about watching the game last night!".

Belgium got 6 out of 6, beating Macedonia twice (away then home), and remains tied for 1st in Group A (with Croatia). The good news is that it is all but assured that these 2 will finish 1 and 2. But Belgium really needs to finish 1st so that it doesn't have to worry about winning that last qualifier against another no. 2 finisher...
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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures
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