Tag Archives: England

Thursday Thoughts + World Cup of CONCACAF

I’ll make something about Spain’s shocking (or is it?) elimination for when Spain play next, but today I can’t pass up the chance to talk about North America’s impact in this World Cup. First, though, a few thoughts:

-Do you like my new header? That’s the DSE crest. 2013 because that’s when it was founded, DH because that’s my initials, “Adulti Recalcitratio Effercio” because that’s Latin for “Adults Kicking Stuff,” circle-shaped because I like circle-shaped crests, the tacky soccer ball because I loved how people freaked out about the San Jose Earthquakes having a tacky soccer ball in their crest, and how terrible they thought it looked, and it’s all done in fuzzy MS paint because I aim for mediocrity.

-Colombia is good. I guess Chile has joined Belgium in being disqualified for being called “dark horses” because they’ve been called that so much, so it leaves Colombia (joint dark horses with Belgium before Falcao’s injury) and maybe a few others (Bosnia? France? Can the Dutch be dark horses after almost winning last time?) in the “dark horse” category.

-Do you know who else is good, and Colombian? James Rodriguez. He came in as the star man in Falcao’s absence, and he’s delivered. A goal and some nice play in each of his two games, and he’s only 22! He may not know how to pronounce his name, but he sure can play.

-Congratulations to the Netherlands, Chile, and Colombia. All three of these teams will be in the knockout stage. It’s starting to take shape!

-England still have a chance to go through, but not a good one. I’ll break down all the final day scenarios a bit later. They have a semi-promising side for the future, with young players Sterling, Barkley, Shaw, and the Ox, and not-as-young-but-still-pretty-young players in Sturridge, Wilshere, Welbeck, and currently injured Walcott. I was going to mention Phil Jones, but I’m trying to be serious, here. If half of these guys reach most of their potential, this team has a chance to get to the final of the Euros. And lose on penalties.

-I’m glad that Wayne Rooney scored. Now the English will have to get more creative with placing the blame. Also, while Rooney was unfortunate in his finishing, he was so very active. They’ll blame Hart, because they always do, and they’ll probably blame English Roy, even though I don’t think he should get it. They played well and narrowly lost against superior teams. Only special managers (yes, I said “special” intentionally) can reliably get out of that kind of group.

-Jozy Altidore will, as expected, miss the game against Portugal. The US player is the only one on the team who can really play as a target-forward. Wondo kind-of can, but not really, especially at the international level; Dempsey can as well, but not nearly as good as Altidore, plus he plays much better in a floating role; Jóhannsson is probably the worst of the four strikers at hold-up play, as he proved against Ghana. A lot of people forgot that he was playing, although you can’t pin all that on him. Klinsmann should’ve called up Terrence Boyd or even Eddie Johnson. But instead he didn’t call up a true replacement for Altidore, and he got hurt.

-Bottom line: start Wondo!

-Isn’t it ironic how the guy who gets hurt is the only one that there isn’t a true replacement for? Life’s funny that way…

-If you have nothing else to do, and this is your first visit, I suggest that you read some of my other posts. Not all of them are bad. And yes, that is my tagline. Well, one of my several taglines, actually.

World Cup of CONCACAF

This is a table of how good the confederations have been:

Confederation……Teams…W…D…L

AFC (Asia)………………….4……0…3…3

CAF (Africa)……………….5……1…1…5

CONCACAF (N. Am.)….4……3…1…1

CONMEBOL (S. Am.)….6……7…1…2

UEFA (Europe)………….13…..8…2…8

So the Americas are a combined 7-2-3, while UEFA has just as many losses as wins? I’m just the messenger, you draw the conclusions.

Let’s look at CONCACAF’s games:

Mexico 1-0 Cameroon

Calling this win 1-0 is a bit inaccurate, considering that Gio Dos Santos scored two goals that were incorrectly called offside, but still, a win is a win.

Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica

This is the biggest win for CONCACAF, and it was totally unexpected. Even without Luis Suarez, it was a big win for Costa Rica.

France 3-0 Honduras

This was the only loss. The three French goals came after a Honduras red card, so we’re still undefeated 11-on-11. Plus, France have alternated between good World Cups and bad World Cups. Based on that, this is a good World Cup for them.

Ghana 1-2 USA

A win is a win is a win.

Brazil 0-0 Mexico

This was a BIG result. Memo Ochoa stood on his head. The home team and favorites, Brazil, couldn’t break down the team that just barely squeaked into the World Cup.

All in all, CONCACAF has had a great World Cup so far. Wish you were here Panama, although selfishly FC Dallas need Blas Perez, regardless of him being 57. Anyway, 3 of the 4 teams are in position to make the knockout rounds. I’ll say that at least two of them will probably do it.

 

Today, we have a double-dose of CONCACAF, plus a dose of Pirlo and Balotelli’s Italy. I’ll have a USA-Portugal preview tomorrow, and then I’ll work on the previews for the third games. And I’ll also do something about Spain. At some point.

Saturday Review + Totally Inaccurate Power Rankings

Hello, everyone! I’ve been writing about the World Cup. All of my articles about the tournament are displayed quite nicely in the tab that says “World Cup.”

A few quick points:

-Costa Rica beat Uruguay. Hurray for CONCACAF! MLS referee Mark Geiger did well refereeing the Colombia-Greece game. Hurray for MLS!

-I wrote a piece about Mario Balotelli. Mario Balotelli scored. I should quickly write about American players before Monday.

-I almost wrote about Wayne Rooney. But I didn’t. Sorry, England. My bad.

-You’re welcome, Italy.

-Uruguay vs. England will basically be an elimination game. If Uruguay lose, they won’t have a chance. Just like that. I won’t go into the details of why, but if England lose and Italy fails to beat Costa Rica, the Three Lions would be mathematically eliminated. If Uruguay and Italy both win, England would need to beat Costa Rica, and Italy would need to beat Uruguay, and even then it comes down to three-way goal difference.

-Group D is incredible, by the way. Three really good teams. And England.

Enough of that useless drivel. It’s time for more useless drivel! But this time with numbers!

Totally Inaccurate Power Rankings

Past rankings in brackets.

1(1)-Brazil

2(3)-Germany

3(4)-Argentina

4(5)-Italy

Yeah, maybe 5 was a bit generous, and maybe 4 still is, but with losses to their two closest group-winning rivals (sorry, Costa Rica) they seem likely to win Group D, which mean an easy route to at least the quarters.

5(2)-Spain

They got demolished. But they’re still Spain. Chile certainly have flaws, and if Vicente Del Bosque can get his team straightened out, they can surely have a chance in their final game vs. Australia.

6(10)-Netherlands

After seeing them crush the reigning champions, I think that they might have a shot to win it. Then again, not every opponent will have world-renowned comedy duo Pique and Ramos doing their sketch where they pretend to be centerbacks (I love that one–almost as good as the one where they went camping).

7(7)-Belgium

8(11)-Colombia

They won 3-0 against the last non-Spain team to win the European Championship. That sounds less impressive when you realize that the team that they beat is Greece, but it’s still something.

9(9)-Chile

They should’ve done better against Australia, but a win is a win and I’m not breaking my rules again.

10(8)-Portugal

11(12)-Bosnia-H

12(6)-Uruguay

Uruguay seriously lost against Costa Rica? By multiple goals?

13(13)-Croatia

14(14)-England

They lost against a superior team. Nothing to make me change their position.

15(15)-France

16(20)-Mexico

They beat a team they were supposed to beat. But they did it well (it totally should’ve been 3-0, the ref hates Giovani Dos Santos) and they proved that they aren’t–at least not completely–2013 Mexico.

17(16)-Ghana

18(17)-USA

19(18)-Russia

20(19)-Switzerland

21(21)-Ivory Coast

Les Elephants beat Japan, but according to my ranking, they were supposed to do that anyways. I guess. They’ll move higher if the teams above them do poorly.

22(28)-Costa Rica

Costa Rica beat Uruguay! I have them so low because I’m sure if it will last (they’ll get another big jump if they can get a result against Italy) but a CONCACAF team is winning in a group with the reigning Euro runners-up, the reigning Copa America champions, and the people who made the sport!

23(22)-Nigeria

24(23)-Ecuador

25(25)-Korea

26(24)-Greece

They lost against a team whose big star can’t even pronounce his own name.

27(26)-Japan

That Keisuke Honda goal was nice, eh? I wish it would’ve stayed that way, because “Honda Gets Japan Out of the Garage” is a great headline.

28(27)-Cameroon

Did anyone expect them to do any better than that?

29(29)-Honduras

30(30)-Australia

Chile is a very good team, and they made them work hard for a win.

31(31)-Iran

32(32)-Algeria

 

That’s it! And yeah, my power rankings are seriously inconsistent and basically just terrible. But I kind of warn you by saying “Totally Inaccurate.” I’m not being sarcastic. Power rankings in general are very silly looking, because there are no default criteria for something as vague as “power rankings.”

(Note: while re-reading that, I felt weird by saying “are” and then not saying a word that ended in “s.” And then I thought about how much I hate the word “criteria” because it’s plural in its most common form, yet it doesn’t end with the letter “s.” And then I realized how much I love the word “criteria,” for no real reason. I spent so much time thinking about “criteria,” and thus saying “criteria” in my head, so now it doesn’t sound like a word. Criteria? Is that contagious? Is that near Chicago? I think you mean “Arjen Robben.”)

Anyways, if you need me, I’ll be locked in my closet, not coming out until I make a full-length preview on Ghana-USA.