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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I have a Dutch friend who loves to tell Belgian jokes (laughing at them not with them). Some are pretty good, including one about windshield wipers.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    They are four separate countries, joined into one United Kingdom.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  3. #83
    My son's over in Qatar on a real stroke of luck trip. He's aiming for tickets at the three venues. I guess that's the set up. Two in hand so far. Says it's beginning to get crowded and the Brits stand out like a sore thumb. Hotter than the hinges of hell!
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by PackMan97 View Post
    So, if the Union and the Confederacy had soccer teams that competed internationally back in the day, the US could send two teams? Still confused.
    Not at all. There is no parallel between the political union of four separate countries into one sovereign United Kingdom and a break away republic that was unable to establish and maintain sovereignty.

    At any rate, it’s pretty straightforward so I don’t understand the confusion.

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by PackMan97 View Post
    Can someone explain to me why there is a Wales team in the World Cup. I'm crazy confused by this.

    Is this the year that the USA is going to win it all? Can you guys imagine if the best US athletes played soccer? Ok, maybe the best that don't play basketball? Or the best that don't play basketball and football? There certainly in a country of 330,000,000 people someone that hit the genetic lottery of freak athlete that likes to play soccer! Ugh!
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is comprised of four countries (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.) They are the Home Nations. Each of the countries has a some autonomy by why of devolution. In sports like football, cricket, and rugby each field their own teams. England vs Scotland was the first international football match in history. The British Home Championship was the precursor to international competition.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    …although Welsh club football teams play in the English club leagues.

  7. #87
    and they don't have their own Olympic teams.

  8. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh no, not Petway! View Post
    and they don't have their own Olympic teams.
    I am pretty sure that and FIBA are the only places you will see Team GB. Even in individual sports, like golf and tennis, they list the individual country of the player. Of course they are British if they win

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Nederland

    Disclaimer: Not sure you know this, but I am Dutch (if the name doesn't give it away, maybe my hatred for Portugal, Brazil, and Argentina does). I love Duke basketball, but Oranje is my single favorite team across any sport. And as I get older, this team becomes more and more important because they haven't won the whole damn thing. I'll try and be objective when I can, but that's like asking DBR to be objective about which players are OAD; it's just not possible

    The Skinny: There are a few things you need to know about Dutch football:
    1) while the Dutch didn't invent the 4-3-3 formation, they did popularize it in the 1970s. Johan Cruyff, considered to be one the greatest European players (maybe even the greatest), helped to implement the system in Ajax and Barcelona. Sidenote; Barcelona's youth academy is based on Ajax; actually, everything about Barcelona was taken from Ajax.
    2) the 4-3-3 is the backbone of a concept of 'Total Football', where every player is expected to attack and defend. This leads to full-backs (and wing-backs) acting as offense and attacking midfielders coming back to defend. It's an effective system that, unfortunately, leads to a lot of fatigued players and, if players do not back each other up, leads to a lot of opposing goals
    3) our coach, Louis van Gaal, is a legendary coach who won the Champions League in the mid-1990s with Ajax and has coached Barcelona, Bayern, Man Utd, etc. He has historically loved the 4-3-3 but has decided to go with Tuchel/Chelsea's popular 3-5-2 due to our plethora of centerbacks (see below). van Gaal embraces 'Total Football' and you'll see our wing-backs moving up, Timber (a centerback) moving up, and our midfielders all over the field
    4) the Dutch have made it to 3 WC finals and 5 semi-finals, but have never won the whole thing. They generally have great offenses and lackluster defenses. Well, this year, we have a great defense, meh offense, and one phenomenal midfielder.

    Why They'll Win: Center backs. van Gaal's 3-5-2 leverages what Holland has in spades: centerbacks. Below is a list of our center backs:
    -Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool): last year, arguably the best centerback in the world. This year, he's elite, but has taken a step back
    -Nathan Ake (Man City): one of the best defenders on the team. One of the three choice centerbacks under Pep. Can act as a left back as well
    -Jurrien Timber (Ajax): best defender on Ajax. Definitely going to the Premier League. Probably the best centerback on the ball on the team
    -Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern): starter on Bayern. Having a renaissance year after a tough time at Juvetus
    -Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan): two years ago, labeled the best defender in Italy. Now? A little older and slower but has great positioning and very intelligent

    If Holland can hold elite teams to under 2 goals (meaning 1 or 0 goals), this Dutch team has a huge chance of making it deep into the tournament.

    Why They'll Lose: When you think about Holland, you think about attackers: Cruyff, van Basten, Gullit, Berkgamp, Kliuvert, van Nistelrooy, van Persie, Robben...I could go on and on but you get the point: we produce strikers and wingers. Now? We are riding on the production of Memphis Depay, who is probably 6 on the pecking order of Barcelona's packed forward depth chart. Don't get me wrong; Memphis is a great striker for Holland, but he's a shell of the player compared to the others. After Memphis? The depth is either low quality or super young. Bergwijn, Weghorst, Janssen, Luuk de Jong are old, ineffective, or both. Simons, Gakpo, Lang are young, unproven, or both. The Dutch can't rely on talent like they used to to score goals; they will need to play as a team, which has never been Holland's strong suit.

    The Impact Player Who You Know: Frenkie de Jong. This kid is truly unique; he isn't a particularly good defender, he isn't a particularly good goal scorer, and he isn't a particularly good assist maker. But you know that he is probably the best at in the world? Advancing the ball with his feet. Not the best dribbler, but the best advancer. Is this a weird skill? Kinda. It worked for Ajax; it kinda works for Barcelona (although his first 2 years at Barcelona weren't particularly great). But it damn well works great for Holland. Frenkie's best attribute is getting the ball from our defense, running up, avoiding the opposing midfield, and passing to either the wings or a forward. Frenkie does not lose the ball in the process. Remember when you played FIFA on xbox or Playstation and that one dude you hated always dribbled the ball from one box to the other box as if the ball were attached to the player? Well, that's Frenkie. He's absolutely indispensable for Holland. For a player who doesn't really score or defend, it's kinda weird. But it works.

    The Impact Player Who You May Not Know: Cody Gakpo. I've often reserved this criteria for young players who are going on to bigger and better things post World Cup. And Gakpo sums that up. Probably 30 minutes from moving to the Premier League over last summer, Gakpo is a 6'3" attacking midfielder/winger (absolutely huge for this position) who is a really good goal scorer and an even better passer. He has a great blend between speed, strength, IQ, and finesse. He's kinda like a poor man's Kevin de Bruyne. He will take more of the free kicks. He will take the corners. He will be on the wings. He will assist at least 2 goals this tournament and more likely have a combined 5 goals and assist. Look out for this kid; he's going places.

    FDD Watchability Meter: 8/10. van Gaal is known for his attacking football, and despite a defensive formation, it's really good for attacking. When things click, they play like Brazil without the arrogance. When things don't click, they look like Italy without the midfield. Frenkie is fun, Memphis is arrogant, and the wing-backs come out of nowhere.

    FDD Likability Meter: 10/10. +5 for attacking style football. +4 for the rich football tactical history. +3 for the orange jerseys that you can see from space. +2 for Virgil van Dijk. +1 for the Queen. Is that over 10? Don't care. They are clearly a 10/10.

    NCAA Comp: Gonzaga. Best team to never time the big dance. Period.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh no, not Petway! View Post
    and they don't have their own Olympic teams.
    Don’t even get me started on the Commonwealth Games….

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by PackMan97 View Post
    Can someone explain to me why there is a Wales team in the World Cup. I'm crazy confused by this.

    Is this the year that the USA is going to win it all? Can you guys imagine if the best US athletes played soccer? Ok, maybe the best that don't play basketball? Or the best that don't play basketball and football? There certainly in a country of 330,000,000 people someone that hit the genetic lottery of freak athlete that likes to play soccer! Ugh!
    The USA has far more than its fair share of elite footballers. Back to back World Cup wins don’t lie.

    Oh, you meant men.

  12. #92
    Cody Gakpo is the single best reason to watch the Eredivisie broadcasts on ESPN+. He’s almost made me a PSV fan.

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by PackMan97 View Post
    Is this the year that the USA is going to win it all? Can you guys imagine if the best US athletes played soccer? Ok, maybe the best that don't play basketball? Or the best that don't play basketball and football? There certainly in a country of 330,000,000 people someone that hit the genetic lottery of freak athlete that likes to play soccer! Ugh!
    China has 1,412,000,000 people
    India has 1,393,00,000 people

    And they are pretty terrible at soccer.

    The US will definitely not win it all this year. They may make it to the second round and, if things go right, the quarters. But this US team is highly disjointed, young, and unbalanced.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Don’t even get me started on the Commonwealth Games….
    You know my deep thoughts on this. It's the reason I'm mad we fought the Revolution. We would have DOMINATED.

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Partly Orlando, FL partly heard Sandpoint, ID
    Quote Originally Posted by ClemmonsDevil View Post
    You know my deep thoughts on this. It's the reason I'm mad we fought the Revolution. We would have DOMINATED.
    Just to note for the US, you see in FIFA and some Olympic type events, teams from Puerto Rico, the US VI, Guam, etc. For self,aggrandizement purposes, I count any place that participates in FIFA or the Olympics as a country I've been to, so I count having been to all 4 UK portions

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    The USA has far more than its fair share of elite footballers. Back to back World Cup wins don’t lie.

    Oh, you meant men.
    I can't accept the success of the women. Too many Tarheel.

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    But this US team is highly disjointed, young, and unbalanced.
    Well, it matches the public mood then perfectly.
    “Bob says run! Bob says run! Bob says run!”

    {good pick-up after handoff}

    “Bob was right! Bob was right! Bob was right!”

  18. #98
    Looking forward to the Cup, took a few days off to make sure I do not miss any games.

  19. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    China has 1,412,000,000 people
    India has 1,393,00,000 people

    And they are pretty terrible at soccer.

    The US will definitely not win it all this year. They may make it to the second round and, if things go right, the quarters. But this US team is highly disjointed, young, and unbalanced.
    FDD, how do you rate USMNT’s chances of getting out of the group stage?

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    Speaking of, Coach Lasso has been renting billboards in the U.S. players’ home towns to give them some words of encouragement:

    5745ABC6-2206-4C6A-AD62-770EE7D09208.jpg

    FF18D2BD-9BE7-4640-96AC-3CC48E529D4C.jpg

    7EEFE680-6257-42D7-BA37-60128426EF20.jpg

    What a mensch.
    “Bob says run! Bob says run! Bob says run!”

    {good pick-up after handoff}

    “Bob was right! Bob was right! Bob was right!”

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