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Thread: World Cup 2018

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Yikes, Spain. Firing a manager 2 days before the first game is...bold.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by luburch View Post
    Yikes, Spain. Firing a manager 2 days before the first game is...bold.
    For all the amazing talent on display, the World Cup often shows how disjointed many national teams are as compared with club teams who get to mesh throughout the course of a season.
    That's part of what makes the WC so interesting...you can count on some of the presumed favorites to vastly underperform.

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    For all the amazing talent on display, the World Cup often shows how disjointed many national teams are as compared with club teams who get to mesh throughout the course of a season.
    That's part of what makes the WC so interesting...you can count on some of the presumed favorites to vastly underperform.
    True, but in this case it's not because the team was a mess behind the scenes or on the field. They demolished Argentina in a friendly a couple months ago and should have no trouble getting out of their group. And I think if anything, Spain from 2008 through just 5 years ago were as well-meshed a national team as there was in the world, Germany possibly excepted. They were #1 in the world for 6 years in a row, and have generally moved down the ladder mostly due to aging rather than internal conflict, and not specifically due to the coach they just canned.

    Will be interesting to see what the fallout is here, both on the field and off. Apparently, it's all due to Lopetegui not telling anyone that he was in the midst of hammering out a deal with Madrid. If that's the case, (a) it seems like a pretty extreme reaction by the federation from the perspective of an American which leads me to wonder if there's not more to it than that, though it might not seem that way to a Spaniard, and (b) I wonder how p'ed off Barca and other non-Madrid fans are going to be at Real Madrid for this sort of tampering and putting its own desires ahead of the national team's WC chances. If they don't make the semi's I could see this being a pr loss in a big way for Real Madrid. They might get blamed as early as Friday, if the team loses to Portugal.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    True, but in this case it's not because the team was a mess behind the scenes or on the field. They demolished Argentina in a friendly a couple months ago and should have no trouble getting out of their group. And I think if anything, Spain from 2008 through just 5 years ago were as well-meshed a national team as there was in the world, Germany possibly excepted. They were #1 in the world for 6 years in a row, and have generally moved down the ladder mostly due to aging rather than internal conflict, and not specifically due to the coach they just canned.

    Will be interesting to see what the fallout is here, both on the field and off. Apparently, it's all due to Lopetegui not telling anyone that he was in the midst of hammering out a deal with Madrid. If that's the case, (a) it seems like a pretty extreme reaction by the federation from the perspective of an American which leads me to wonder if there's not more to it than that, though it might not seem that way to a Spaniard, and (b) I wonder how p'ed off Barca and other non-Madrid fans are going to be at Real Madrid for this sort of tampering and putting its own desires ahead of the national team's WC chances. If they don't make the semi's I could see this being a pr loss in a big way for Real Madrid. They might get blamed as early as Friday, if the team loses to Portugal.
    I spoke with two of my Spanish colleagues about it this morning. Both live in Madrid. One is a RM fan, the other Seville. Neither were happy about the decision to let Lopetegui go and both are extremely concerned about the Portugal match now.

    Anecdotal, I know, but I thought I should still share.

  5. #45
    That was indeed a "bold" move to fire the Spanish manager right before the games begin. It will be interesting to see the impact. I personally expect they will still overwhelm Portugal with their sheer talent.

    I have found some of the Mexican fans incredibly obnoxious in my encounters, and were they not chanting Osama, Osama during a match with the US one time? Not a fan, nor of Portugal.

    In terms of attractive fans and Dark Horses, there are plenty of beauties in Croatia, Serbia and Poland, and both Croatia and Poland have the potential to make some serious noise if they play to their potential. Serbia has some serious mid-field talent too. Regarding Poland, Lewandowski is probably the best pure striker in the world, and Zielinski and Linnety are some new young blood in the midfield. Some are saying Zielinski has the potential to become the next Kevin de Bruyne, he can really pass and also attack like a forward/striker. They may switch to three strikers and use a 3-4-3; if Milik is healthy he is a major compliment to Lewandowski. The key for them: Will the leaky back line tighten way up despite their ageing players. If so, they could have a shot at beating either England or Belgium in the final 16, and then who knows.

    Germany is one of the most consistent teams that I can remember, with a great manager, and some new young talent. If I recall correctly it has been rare for a non-European team to win the World Cup when it is played in Europe ... Brazil is certainly a team that could pull it off. Argentina is much more of a long shot.

  6. #46
    This is a great World Cup Bracket PDF, with the US EST times of all games shown:

    http://worldsoccertalk.com/wp-conten...up-bracket.pdf

  7. #47
    I know next to nothing about soccer, though I enjoy the World Cup. But my generic-American rooting interests go something like:

    1. Mexico, for its proximity and big part in US culture
    2. Iceland, for generic underdog status as a team and coolness status as a country
    3. Morocco, for (trivia alert) being by some definitions the oldest American ally

  8. #48
    As an Everton supporter, Belgium fans have my sympathy; it is dead certain that at some point Roberto Martinez will make some off-the-wall decision that will have disastrous consequences.

    Dark horses? Uruguay, Colombia, and ... Senegal.

  9. #49
    Iím with Wander..?
    Iím rooting for the Casablanca Ricks

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    True, but in this case it's not because the team was a mess behind the scenes or on the field. They demolished Argentina in a friendly a couple months ago and should have no trouble getting out of their group. And I think if anything, Spain from 2008 through just 5 years ago were as well-meshed a national team as there was in the world, Germany possibly excepted. They were #1 in the world for 6 years in a row, and have generally moved down the ladder mostly due to aging rather than internal conflict, and not specifically due to the coach they just canned.

    Will be interesting to see what the fallout is here, both on the field and off. Apparently, it's all due to Lopetegui not telling anyone that he was in the midst of hammering out a deal with Madrid. If that's the case, (a) it seems like a pretty extreme reaction by the federation from the perspective of an American which leads me to wonder if there's not more to it than that, though it might not seem that way to a Spaniard, and (b) I wonder how p'ed off Barca and other non-Madrid fans are going to be at Real Madrid for this sort of tampering and putting its own desires ahead of the national team's WC chances. If they don't make the semi's I could see this being a pr loss in a big way for Real Madrid. They might get blamed as early as Friday, if the team loses to Portugal.
    oh I agree, my comment wasn't about Spain, it was about teams in general. My take on the Spain move is that it is one of the all time great futbol blunders. The coach was 14-0-6, and his crime was not telling his bosses that he would subsequently go to a premier Spanish team...if the team now falters, things will turn ugly.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    oh I agree, my comment wasn't about Spain, it was about teams in general. My take on the Spain move is that it is one of the all time great futbol blunders. The coach was 14-0-6, and his crime was not telling his bosses that he would subsequently go to a premier Spanish team...if the team now falters, things will turn ugly.
    If Spain fails to win the Cup, folks will forever wonder if sacking a really good coach on the eve of the Cup was to blame. The only way Spain's football federation comes out OK here is if they win the Cup.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  12. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    I know next to nothing about soccer, though I enjoy the World Cup. But my generic-American rooting interests go something like:

    1. Mexico, for its proximity and big part in US culture
    Just so you know, this would be like a Duke fan rooting for Carolina if Duke didn't make the NCAA Tournament, and saying it was "because they are only 7 miles down the road and a big part of the central NC culture".

  13. #53
    This is a very interesting map showing the comparative value of the 32 teams, some of them are worth over one billion!

    "European soccer leagues tend to pay the most money for top talent. We would expect people who grew up playing soccer in Europe to remain close to home as professionals.But just look how much bigger the blue European countries are compared with the green African. Take an actual example from the World Cup. Spain ($1,055M) is scheduled to play Iran ($45M) on June 20. The Spaniards are worth more than 20 times as much as the Iranians. We doubt itís going to be competitive. At the extreme low end, Panamaís roster is valued at only $9M."

    http://www.investmentwatchblog.com/t...the-world-cup/

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Reisen View Post
    Just so you know, this would be like a Duke fan rooting for Carolina if Duke didn't make the NCAA Tournament, and saying it was "because they are only 7 miles down the road and a big part of the central NC culture".
    More like a very casual basketball fan in Durham rooting for the Heels.
    Carolina delenda est

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Albemarle, North Carolina
    Well growing up as a soccer player I was always fascinated with Brazil and Ronaldinho so they are my go to after the USA.
    "Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion"

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by JNort View Post
    Well growing up as a soccer player I was always fascinated with Brazil and Ronaldinho so they are my go to after the USA.
    Ronaldinho Gaucho? Or the Ronaldo Ronaldinho?

    I'm probably being petty in another thread.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by gus View Post
    Heja Sverige!

    There's one player on the team named Gus(tav) who plays in the MLS for the Sounders. You'll have the opportunity to root against Mexico. There are a lot of good players, and no egotistic superstars. And I think they have a decent shot of advancing over Mexico.
    I will be joining you in rooting for Sweeden to advance into the round of 16, without Zlatan they seem a more cohesive group. No superstars but now a team that does not care about indivicual fame, and they do have a chance against Mexico, could be a good gam if one appreciates tactics. They are strong and tall and could present some problems of their own if they play to their strengths.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    It is a pretty lousy week for Morocco. First they don't win the chance to host the 2026 World Cup (not a huge surprise, and possibly a blessing in disguise for them given what the cost would have been), but then today they lose to Iran on an own goal in stoppage time. This was the only game they likely even had a chance in with Spain and Portugal coming up next.

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    More like a very casual basketball fan in Durham rooting for the Heels.
    In my own case, it would be a like a third grader deciding to follow Duke instead of UNC because UNC isn't in the tournament and Duke blue is "neat."

    I am not a sophisticated soccer fan.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Albemarle, North Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by YmoBeThere View Post
    Ronaldinho Gaucho? Or the Ronaldo Ronaldinho?
    Gaucho
    "Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion"

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