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2014 WORLD CUP THREAD


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They are close to qualifying ahead of Portugal, exceeding expectations quite spectacularly. Part of that is because they play without fear.

Maybe you're inexperienced in the world of international football (not supposed to be patronising) but playing without fear was a huge issue for Spain until 2008, the Dutch and the English.

Klinsmann won the thing in 1990. He's astute, intelligent and has lived in the US for years. He knows the sport better than most and knows what works and what doesn't. Taking the pressure off the players is pretty much all Mourinho's mystique in a nutshell. Klinsmann did it and you're reaping the rewards.

You certainly shouldn't be seconds away from beating a team containing Ronaldo, Moutinho etc with your talent leve

You have to keep in mind that Portugal have been plagued by injuries (especially Ronaldo who is so injured he couldn't track back to defend this game) so the result against them wasn't as impressive as it would seem when compared to a full strength squad. I still think you are underrating this US's team talent level and overrating Portugal's especially when not at full strength. I may have high expectations but I am not too surprised that we got the 4 points. Also the USA didn't play with fear in 2002 or 2010 so it's not like Klinsman fixed a glaring issue with the squad. We shouldn't have outplayed Germany in the quarterfinals in 2002 but we did, but no one is going to say that Bruce Arena is a brilliant motivator. 

 

Edit: Also I find it odd to place so much emphasis on comments he said to the New York Times back in December that he had probably forgotten about, instead of focusing on the 3 years he spent trying to change US soccer culture, recruiting talented dual-nationals, encouraging players to move abroad to develop technical skills, and changing the US youth soccer system .

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There has been progress at club level in England although it hasn't translated to the national sides because of worthless shite like Stuart Pearce and Roy Hodgson. I can't see it occurring in the US for a long time because your sports and your mindset is all based on faster stronger bigger. It'll take a long time before you develop players that would get "significant minutes" for Portugal because they'd be square pegs. They're extremely physically conditioned cloggers. Guys who would do well in mid table Premier League sides but nowhere else. Klinsmann is perfect because he's smart enough to set up the team to play how they are best suited. Hodgson would turn you into a two banks of four defensive team that would draw every game 0-0 or lose by a goal. Guardiola would collapse trying to explain to Michael Bradley how to receive and release the ball under pressure.

 

This is the exact same comment all the commentators make about Australia and the A-League after every international game we play.

 

Frustrating to no end that everyone can see it but no-one does anything about it.

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That this discussion about US football was great, thank your for the insights into MLS and the workings of youth level football in the USA.

 

The USA vs Portugal game was another really entertaining encounter in what has to be the most fun, intense World Cup I have seen so far. I actually thought Ronaldo, considering he was probably not at a hundred percent, played quite good, taking a few US players to school, keeping the ball and playing some really great passes. For a guy who quite often ignores his teammates (and quite often rightfully so, considering the level of their abilities), that was a refreshing sight. The US have shown some great comeback abilities in the tournament so far. That goal by Jones was a real stunner. Still, I have no idea how USA could beat Ghana with a defense like that. Both goals for Portugal came from huge defensive errors, and while last-minute-equalizer could be credited to playing in that horrible jungle-climate for 90+5 minutes, the first one was ridiculous. 

 

For the group finals, I have to say no one should expect USA to be getting thumbed by Germany. The Germans have proven for all of their last tournaments that they are not bouncing back immediatly after setbacks and have some trouble regrouping and coping with pressure, they will be playing careful and collected, not trying to steamroll Klinsmann´s boys. Considering that a draw would be enough to win the group, you can´t even the blame that approach. It will be a close game, like the other two USA-games. There is no way they are going to be playing for a draw right away like the "Disgrace from Gijon", with Loew and Klinsmann being friends and both Germans they know that would lead to a major major shitstorm neither of them wants to take. If they draw, it will be like Sweden v Denmark at the 2004 EUROs, a spectacular draw which leaves questions to be asked. (Expl.: Sweden and Denmark played a 2-2 draw, which in a UEFA tie-breaker style decision put Italy out of the tournament and helped both Scandinavian teams advance. Especially the second Swedish goal lead to a lot of questions)

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Even if Germany loses, there is no way either Ghana or Portugal win that high against each other. God bless the 4:0 in the first match! :)


 


It will go down like this:


 


Germany leads 1:0 till the 90th minute, then Klinsmann comes in himself and scores the 1:1 via bycicle-kick. Not to be outdone, Löw comes in, hammers totally over the ball and somehow it rolls into the german goal. Neuer raises his hand, because he thinks it was offside, the referee agrees and the goal doesn't count. In the last second Boateng shoots an own goal, rips his jersey apart and reveals a Ghana jersey! Ghana wins by 6:0 against Portugal, with 5 penaltys in the 5 minute overtime against Portugal, after the original referee is changed in halftime and Platini takes his job. Germany quits the FIFA and plays their own WM every 4 years.


 


Vince Russo then presents himself as new owner of the FIFA, everyone is pumped at first, but then it quickly gets old with all the turns and switches and Goalie on a Pole matches.


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Guest The Magnificent 7

This U.S. team is strange in that there are some players who I think are more comfortable with the ball and have better technique than years past on the squad, but then you also have players like Beasley and Bedoya starting.  Every time they mention DeMarcus Beasley playing in his 4th World Cup, I find it hard to believe.  He's a limited player, and Bedoya is not good. 

 

Youth coaching in this country is mostly terrible.  My boys play the game, and we live in a town where the college has won many national championships in the sport and it has a good soccer community, with a lot of international students, who love the sport.  My boys have played in about all the youth programs here and only one coach I thought knew what he was doing.  He has an A certification with U.S. soccer and is an analyst for Columbus Crew now, was a very successful high school coach here.  He pretty much just teaches the game, runs a few scrimmages but mostly drills and working on things that will make you a better player.

 

The rest, though, it's aimless crowding around the ball at the youngest levels, then when athelticism and size become a factor that's what the coaches focus on - winning and losing.  Well the biggest fastest kids are going to help you do that, not the small kid who can maybe pick a pass.  Get the ball to the fast kid, etc.  My boys are athletic and tall so they do okay, but in the leagues / programs like this they really aren't learning much IMO. 

 

Everything sports wise in this country is almost too organized and expensive.  Check what a good pair of gloves will cost you, or a decent pair of boots from Soccer.com.  Travel team costs are ridiculous.  Kids when not playing "organized" sports are playing video games or other stuff instead of going out with their friends and messing around with the ball trying to be like Messi. 

 

Even in the adult 5's league I play in, we have a good record because we counterattack well with speed and have a lot of big athletic dudes, but the Nigerian dude on our side is like 5 foot 5 and he's so good with the ball he'd rather juke 6 dudes out instead of shooting.  He's so much better technically.  The Mexican team is, even though we beat them most of the time.  This team of all Nigerians last year was great with the ball. 

 

A lot has to change at the youth level if the U.S. ever has designs on hoisting the Jules Rimet trophy.  Well, they'd also need a time machine since that isn't the trophy any more, but you get the idea.

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So we are going to discuss the injuries on other squads but neglect that we have been playing without a true striker for both games?

Ronaldo looked fine by the way. His shot was off but he was moving around very well. He was dribbling the socks off everyone in the first half. He delivered a great pass for the equalizer.

Time to start giving the U.S. a little credit. They've played very well in this group of death.

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US were robbed. They played better and with more team cohesion. 

 

A silly mistake or lapse of concentration for the first goal, but they kept it together. but what a strike for the equaliser. on a par with messi's goal against iran. opposite side of the box, but similar in its execution and net result.

 

Someone tell me though, who is that Irish twat on espn who did the postgame last night - jesus christ but he was awful.

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Some of my English friends have been really complimentary of how the US plays with a lot of heart... none-too-subtly implying that England doesn't.

 

Anyone else catch CR7 not celebrating the goal at the end? It almost feels like he would've been glad to go out. Such a strange result, a draw that feels like a loss for both sides.

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Some of my English friends have been really complimentary of how the US plays with a lot of heart... none-too-subtly implying that England doesn't.

Anyone else catch CR7 not celebrating the goal at the end? It almost feels like he would've been glad to go out. Such a strange result, a draw that feels like a loss for both sides.

He probably knew that the draw doesn't help much: Portugals chances of moving on requires a ton of ifs now. They need to win, most likely by a lot, and need the US to lose, likely by a lot. If US win they are completely screwed, cause they are down 8 to them in goal differential. Portugal needed a win.
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That's just it though Pete - if England had played with a tenth of the desire that the USA has, they'd have breezed through the group.

 

The English (and Spanish) teams were complacent - one of those "all we'll have to do is turn up and we'll win" type attitudes. And that gets you dumped out quicker than playing well and losing (ghana)

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That's just it though Pete - if England had played with a tenth of the desire that the USA has, they'd have breezed through the group.

The English (and Spanish) teams were complacent - one of those "all we'll have to do is turn up and we'll win" type attitudes. And that gets you dumped out quicker than playing well and losing (ghana)

Spain got old and Diego Costa got found out. It happens a lot.

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The mid 00's france disease, FSW. But they had the ability to pump money into their youth programs and bring up the next generation of players - even if one is a hobbit with shaved feet.

 

They'd be worth an outside bet of a couple of quid by now.

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So we are going to discuss the injuries on other squads but neglect that we have been playing without a true striker for both games?

Ronaldo looked fine by the way. His shot was off but he was moving around very well. He was dribbling the socks off everyone in the first half. He delivered a great pass for the equalizer.

Time to start giving the U.S. a little credit. They've played very well in this group of death.

To be fair, your injured striker is Jozy fackin' Altidore. It's not the same as a hobbled Ronaldo. I mean, just look at the jokes in this thread when he went down. Jozy Altidore is exactly the type of player we're talking about when describing America's reliance on big, athletic dudes that aren't very good technically.

 

If the US ever get their shit together, they could be producing super athletes like Yaya, Zlatan, or Kevin-Prince Boateng who are magnificent athletes with world class talent to match. 

 

I couldn't get over the fact DaMarcus Beasley made the squad and is the starting left back either. It speaks to the absolute dearth of fullbacks not just in America but the world. It's why Wolfsburg has slapped a 30+ million pound transfer price tag on Ricardo Rodriguez. 

 

Red is Dead, Germany faced a similar problem. Many of the stars of the past would criticize the National team for a lack of technical ability in the 2000s (you know, when they got to the final and all...). Germany restructured its youth program and now are producing some of the most skilled players in the world, with the likes of Götze and Özil looking like they could fit right in with Spain's attacking players. 

 

Edit: This is a great article explaining the low point of Euro 2000 and Germany's reaction.

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So we are going to discuss the injuries on other squads but neglect that we have been playing without a true striker for both games?

Ronaldo looked fine by the way. His shot was off but he was moving around very well. He was dribbling the socks off everyone in the first half. He delivered a great pass for the equalizer.

Time to start giving the U.S. a little credit. They've played very well in this group of death.

To be fair, your injured striker is Jozy fackin' Altidore. It's not the same as a hobbled Ronaldo. I mean, just look at the jokes in this thread when he went down. Jozy Altidore is exactly the type of player we're talking about when describing America's reliance on big, athletic dudes that aren't very good technically.

 

If the US ever get their shit together, they could be producing super athletes like Yaya, Zlatan, or Kevin-Prince Boateng who are magnificent athletes with world class talent to match. 

 

I couldn't get over the fact DaMarcus Beasley made the squad and is the starting left back either. It speaks to the absolute dearth of fullbacks not just in America but the world. It's why Wolfsburg has slapped a 30+ million pound transfer price tag on Ricardo Rodriguez. 

 

Red is Dead, Germany faced a similar problem. Many of the stars of the past would criticize the National team for a lack of technical ability in the 2000s (you know, when they got to the final and all...). Germany restructured its youth program and now are producing some of the most skilled players in the world, with the likes of Götze and Özil looking like they could fit right in with Spain's attacking players. 

 

Edit: This is a great article explaining the low point of Euro 2000 and Germany's reaction.

 

And thats what England and Spain will need to do to survive. It's shown as working in two different countries - Germany and France.

 

England will need to adapt or they will become (even more of) a laughing stock.

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Spain are fine. Holy shit. Look at the U21 squad. Most of them are already top level players at major clubs. They're gonna lose the older players and replace them with a ready made batch of replacements.

England have a better generation coming through too, but the horrible coaching at International level will nuke them too.

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