World Cup 2014

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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby not_a_wings_fan » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:37 pm

Actually, the USA can defend with just about anyone in the world. Our quality is on the back line. (Besler should be highlighted in your previous post, btw, he's excellent and turned down Europe to stay in MLS).

We are not nearly as skilled in transition through the midfield and into the attacking third. Further, we lack the creative playmaking power of some of the better sides. Altidore isn't world class, but is very serviceable. Dempsey is quite good as well.

Belgium has been shaky at best on their back line, and if we can collapse their shape at all we will have chances galore...if we can finish.

Further, Belgium is short on creative punch and excels only once they get behind the back four in the center. If we can stay back and keep form while pushing them to the wings, we should be able to handle much of their push. They have had little success on crosses, connecting less than any other side still in the tourney.

The key is for the USA is to score early and then continue to press. Our possession numbers have been good in all three matches, even against Germany where total possession was a landslide for the German side, when we needed to score. We have spent way too much time hanging back looking for counters and it cost us against Portugal and made the Ghana match closer than it should have been. We need to dictate the tempo of the match and stay aggressive if we are going to win rather than trying to sit on a 1-0 score or tend a draw.

While the odds are about 60/40 in favor of Belgium, we only need to beat them once to move on.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby Misc. Blues » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:50 pm

not_a_wings_fan wrote:Actually, the USA can defend with just about anyone in the world. Our quality is on the back line. (Besler should be highlighted in your previous post, btw, he's excellent and turned down Europe to stay in MLS).

We are not nearly as skilled in transition through the midfield and into the attacking third. Further, we lack the creative playmaking power of some of the better sides. Altidore isn't world class, but is very serviceable. Dempsey is quite good as well.

Belgium has been shaky at best on their back line, and if we can collapse their shape at all we will have chances galore...if we can finish.

Further, Belgium is short on creative punch and excels only once they get behind the back four in the center. If we can stay back and keep form while pushing them to the wings, we should be able to handle much of their push. They have had little success on crosses, connecting less than any other side still in the tourney.

The key is for the USA is to score early and then continue to press. Our possession numbers have been good in all three matches, even against Germany where total possession was a landslide for the German side, when we needed to score. We have spent way too much time hanging back looking for counters and it cost us against Portugal and made the Ghana match closer than it should have been. We need to dictate the tempo of the match and stay aggressive if we are going to win rather than trying to sit on a 1-0 score or tend a draw.

While the odds are about 60/40 in favor of Belgium, we only need to beat them once to move on.
Fixed I was having trouble with the database excepting certain letters and having errors. I had to edit that post like ten times before I could get it to post. By the tenth time I was highlighting in a hurry and forgot Besler and he's on KC sporting team so I know how good he is. :oops:
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby dmiles2186 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:12 pm

Wondo, Wondo, Wondo....it was there. We had it in the bag.



And JesusAin'tReal...there is a God, and his name is Tim Howard.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby Misc. Blues » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:21 pm

USA played well they just ran out of gas. Extra time when Green scored they came alive fighting it was just too late. Golf clap for their effort. They just didn't have the quality that Belgium had coming off the bench.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby glen a richter » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:13 pm

Can we stop hearing about the frikken World Cup every 2 seconds now?
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby Misc. Blues » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:43 pm

Move along nothing to see here. :lol:
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:30 pm

Miles and Comrade, COME ON! How could you think the USA wins against Belgium?? That was almost like men against boys! A blind man could tell Belgium is far more talented!

The USA was 1-4 in the knockout round and now 1-5. The USA has a 3-13-15 record at the World Cup against Euro teams!

Belgium has so much more skill it's not even funny! The possession alone was dominated by Belgium! Plus Belgium has offensive powerhouse players the USA can only dream of!
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby dmiles2186 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:49 am

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:Miles and Comrade, COME ON! How could you think the USA wins against Belgium?? That was almost like men against boys! A blind man could tell Belgium is far more talented!

The USA was 1-4 in the knockout round and now 1-5. The USA has a 3-13-15 record at the World Cup against Euro teams!

Belgium has so much more skill it's not even funny! The possession alone was dominated by Belgium! Plus Belgium has offensive powerhouse players the USA can only dream of!


And yet, if Wondolowski could have knocked that in in the 93', the US win. Why do I think we could have won? Because I have faith in my team, that's why. Simple as that.

And you can spout negative stats towards the USA, but I don't care. The progress this team has achieved in 24 years has been phenomenal. We're way behind everyone else in this sport and yet we're starting to make waves. That's what matters to me. We got out of the Group of Death and we gave Belgium a run for their money. I'm okay with that.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby dmiles2186 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:24 am

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/82 ... ard#!7hmiu

I'd settled the bar tab. Hadn't you? After the Romelu Lukaku goal just 14 minutes into extra time, Belgium led 2-0, and it was time to go home.

This has been a giddy little fortnight. It was just 15 days ago that John Brooks scored that goal, and the United States had a soccer moment that captivated the nation in a way that, now that it's over, we can sorta say really was more exciting than Landon Donovan's winning goal over Algeria. The stakes were lower -- it was merely getting three points rather than one, as opposed to pulling a Round of 16 spot out of one's arse at the last possible second -- but it still felt different, didn't it? Brooks -- who wouldn't play again the rest of the tournament -- scored a goal that didn't feel like escaping by the skin of one's keester; it felt like the start of something new, and different, and thrilling. Brooks' goal was the culmination of a wild comeback. And there isn't anything we American sports fans love more than a wild comeback.

That goal carried us quite a bit. The Jermaine Jones goal against Portugal was more impressive, and that Clint Dempsey goal more badass, but nothing had that lighting-bolt-from-the-heavens feel more than Brooks' goal. It made us feel special: It made us feel chosen. The U.S. suffered a wretched last-second equalizer against Portugal and then were thoroughly dominated by Germany (not to mention held scoreless), but still, as the chant goes, we believed. This is our thing. It's why the chant is so great. Even when it was stupid to, we believed.

We believed throughout Tuesday's game, even though Belgium was clearly the better team, even though they attacked the whole game and we just hung on, thanks to goalkeeper Tim Howard, whom we knew was great but didn't know was quite this great. Belgium was better. So what? So was Portugal. So was Ghana. So was earth. This is what the Brooks goal -- "it's John Brooks! It's John Brooks!" belted Ian Darke as Brooks looked more shocked than anyone -- did to us. This was so fantastic -- this feeling so new and revolutionary -- that it couldn't be for nothing. Of all our strengths as Americans, the fact that we never, ever imagine this could all be for nothing is one of our most powerful ones. Take everything away, strip us of all that we value, and we'll still always believe something better is coming: That a reward for this suffering is just around the corner. It is our curse. And it is our strength.

So we screamed and chanted and screamed and believed the whole damned 90-plus minutes of regulation, and we believed after that Prince Harry-lookin' fella scored at the 92nd minute, and we believed and we believed and we believed that we would win. Even down 1-0, it felt like this was leading somewhere. It just felt like a small speed bump in the plot to be retold, and refuted, later.

And then Lukaku scored. As many have mentioned, the fundamental difference between these two teams was that our big game-changer off the bench was Chris Wondolowski -- oh, Chris Wondolowski, oh so close to becoming T.J. Oshie, but cubed! -- and theirs was Romelu Lukaku, one of the best strikers on the planet. When he scored in the 104th minute, we all exhaled and accepted our fate. We called for the checks. We hugged our friends goodbye. We fortified ourselves with the 2015 Gold Cup. We accepted it all as a learning experience, a pivot point in the grand American soccer experiment. Even Jurgen Klinsmann felt this way: Why else would he put in teenager Julian Green, the future of U.S. Soccer, a promise of a better day? We gave it a shot. We did our best. We're just not there yet. It's been a blast these two weeks. Check please.

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AND THEN. And then Green, of all freaking people, from a perfect Michael Bradley pass, pounded in a earthshaker of a goal. Julian Green! The future! Now! And suddenly: It all flushed back to us. There was a reason for this. The U.S. plunged forward, attacking like madmen, as Belgium suddenly looked scared … nervous. This is what other countries fear about playing the United States. Not that we're better players … but that we, dumbly, think we are. Green's goal put a charge into everyone, the team, the fans, the whole damned country. It reminded us what was so fun about all this in the first place. Every minute afterward was manic. We needed to do it for Tim Howard, who put together one of the best performances in American club history. We needed to do it for Clint Dempsey, who might be doing this for the last time. We needed to do it to make this all matter: We needed to do it because this can't be for nothing.

It fell just short. (Damn, didn't it feel like we should have an extra minute or so? No?) But it wasn't for nothing.

Ultimately, this will be good for us. Those frantic extra time minutes were the charge we had needed: It reminded us what this march was all about. The U.S. didn't go out sadly to a superior team; it went out scratching and clawing to a superior team. The trick is to hang on to that. The trick is to combine that "this can't be for nothing" with inherent skill, to bring the talent along with the will. This is what Jurgen Klinsmann has been assigned. That the best sign of hope moving forward -- Julian Green -- was the person who inspired that last-ditch clawing makes it that much more thrilling. This can work. This wasn't for nothing.

It's a long time until the next World Cup. But you can be sure of this: The U.S. won't be the underdogs that they were this time, then. This was not a wave breaking, and rolling back. This is a high and beautiful crest to ride. This is not done.

Soccer isn't supposed to be as inherently dramatic and American as it has been for U.S. Soccer at this World Cup, nor was it at the last one. But it's a progression. It's a movement. We are slowly making this game ours, bending it into a shape that we recognize, a shape we can use. Tim Howard and Julian Green and Jurgen Klinsmann allowed us one last glimpse of the thrill. What happens next is going to be wonderful. We're all just getting warmed up. This ride is just beginning.

* * *

Email me at leitch@sportsonearth.com; follow me @williamfleitch; or just shout out your window real loud, I'll hear you. Point is, let's talk.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby ComradeT » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:10 am

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:Miles and Comrade, COME ON! How could you think the USA wins against Belgium?? That was almost like men against boys! A blind man could tell Belgium is far more talented!

The USA was 1-4 in the knockout round and now 1-5. The USA has a 3-13-15 record at the World Cup against Euro teams!

Belgium has so much more skill it's not even funny! The possession alone was dominated by Belgium! Plus Belgium has offensive powerhouse players the USA can only dream of!


Dude, it's not like US got spanked 5-0 in regulation time. The game ended 2-1 in overtime and could have gone either way. Yes, Belguim was dominating possession and was dangerous in attack. Everyone expected it with Lukaku (although it was Origi for most of the game), Hazard, De Bruyne, Mertens and other attacking talent. US was defending well, also as expected, with Tim Howard making a lot of saves, a few of them pretty bad ass and playing on the break. US team stuck to the plan but did run out of gas, which goes to the comment Klinsmann made before the WC started about the MLS fitness levels. The European leagues are definitely more demanding physically and it showed. Michael Bradley covered the longest distance of all players (all, not just US) in the group round but he walked a good part of it.

But. And it's a big but. Wondo sticks that ball in instead of shitting his pants in 93rd minute, and US are through. Jones or Dempsey hits the net late in extra time, and it's penalties, and then who knows. I could attribute these misses to the gap in class between the two teams, but I won't because I have seen guys like Lukaku, Higuain, Ronaldo, Messi, etc. miss it from better situations, so I'll pin it on luck.

So yes, Belguim showed its class. But US showed that having a solid game plan and sticking to it and playing to your team's strong side will get you far. It didn't get them the win but it got them far. And the young guys - Green, Yedlin, Johnson - were exciting to watch. One can only wonder how the game could have turned out if Green were on the field earlier. That guy is something.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:10 pm

Miles and Comrade, you keep mentioning Wondo ' s missed chance but Belgium had a LOT more missed chances. Not only the ones Howard saved but they missed the net too. What if Belgium just buried 1 or 2 of their chances? Then they could've won in regulation. St.Louis soccer guru Bill Mcdermott said Belgium is at another level of skill after the loss.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:02 am

Hey you guys eventhough I don't watch club soccer I agree that the final 8 in the World Cup is one of the most compelling tournaments on earth. What are your predictions for who makes the semis? I say:


Belgium vs Netherlands

Germany vs Colombia
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby dmiles2186 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:14 am

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:Miles and Comrade, you keep mentioning Wondo ' s missed chance but Belgium had a LOT more missed chances. Not only the ones Howard saved but they missed the net too. What if Belgium just buried 1 or 2 of their chances? Then they could've won in regulation. St.Louis soccer guru Bill Mcdermott said Belgium is at another level of skill after the loss.


Cool.

You keep missing on the point that this is a big building block. We hung with some of the big boys. Klinsmann changed the culture in German football over 10 years ago. They're just now reaping the rewards. This is the beginning.

I think it will be Brazil/Germany and Netherlands/Argentina. I picked on an ESPN bracket thing before the tourney that 3 of those teams would be in the final 4 (I had Spain instead of the Dutch). My final pick is Germany/Argentina with Germany winning.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby ComradeT » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:43 am

dmiles2186 wrote:
JesusNEVERexisted wrote:Miles and Comrade, you keep mentioning Wondo ' s missed chance but Belgium had a LOT more missed chances. Not only the ones Howard saved but they missed the net too. What if Belgium just buried 1 or 2 of their chances? Then they could've won in regulation. St.Louis soccer guru Bill Mcdermott said Belgium is at another level of skill after the loss.


Cool.

You keep missing on the point that this is a big building block. We hung with some of the big boys. Klinsmann changed the culture in German football over 10 years ago. They're just now reaping the rewards. This is the beginning.

I think it will be Brazil/Germany and Netherlands/Argentina. I picked on an ESPN bracket thing before the tourney that 3 of those teams would be in the final 4 (I had Spain instead of the Dutch). My final pick is Germany/Argentina with Germany winning.


I agree about Netherlands/Argentina matchup (Messi is Messi and Costa Rica has run its course) but I think that Germany/France is a toss-up. The Germans haven't won convincingly since beating Spain (which later got beat by Costa Rica), and their makeshift midfield with Lahm is suspect. Unless they put someone else in there (Sven Bender?) and bring Lahm back to the right wing where he belongs, they can be troubled. French are the second dark horse of the tournament after Belgium (or maybe they were even more of a dark horse given what happened to them at the prior world cup). This time around, it seems that they have the unity they were missing and their young midfield is looking good (Pogba, Griezmann), not to mention that their attack can rival Germans no problem. Lloris in goal is no slouch either, and a good match to Neuer. I think it will be a hell of a game to watch but I wouldn't put my money on either team - too close to call.
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:58 pm

Interesting stat they said on sports talk on the World Cup. The USMNT went 220 minutes without scoring until Green finally scored in double OT against Belgium! You know you won't beat the best teams in the final 16 if you go the equivalent of 2 and a half games without scoring!
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby Misc. Blues » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:10 pm

USMNT: This always makes me think "United States Mutant Ninja Turtles"... :lol:
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:43 pm

I bet Belgium upsets Argentina. Belgium is damn good and you realize if Belgium wins it only makes the U.S. team look better?
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:54 pm

Interesting article!

Donovan critical of Klinsmann and says U.S. team wasn't set up to succeed

http://m.mlssoccer.com/worldcup/2014/ne ... t-think-we
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:12 am

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Guys, this picture really says it all about how hard the U.S. pushed it against Belgium doesn't it? At the end they collapaed!
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Re: World Cup 2014

Postby dmiles2186 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:47 pm

You...really confuse me.
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