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World Cup 2010


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#1 Kennon

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:44 AM

 Ok, I've not been checking the Off Topic board for a long time, but who's with me here? I'm pretty dang excited about the Cup this year.

Check this link for some good reasons why it's been so awesome in the past.



#2 Deathjester26

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 07:07 AM

I'm with you man.

Except I never know who to cheer for.

I lived in Brazil for a while, so I sort of cheer for them.  But, they traditonally play as a bunch of individuals, and not a team.  I don't like that so much, but can over look it.

I would love to cheer for USA, but Landon Donovan comes off as a punk, and I can't possibly cheer for any team he is on.

In the end, I guess I'll just watch every game I can and enjoy every minute of it.



#3 FATMOUSE

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:36 AM

The World Cup is always amazing.  It's a shame most fellow Americans don't appreciate the sport/event.  I usually root for the underdogs (i.e. a team from Africa) or the team that doesn't have a bunch of a-holes (i.e. France), lol.



#4 Kennon

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:59 AM

FATMOUSE said:

or the team that doesn't have a bunch of a-holes (i.e. France), lol.

 

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You ser, make me laugh.

 

Yeah, I can understand the difficulty in who to root for. Of course, I want to root for the US of A as my home team and with my ancestry being primarily German, I try to follow them as well. Of course, there's just something cool about Cote d'Ivoire.....

 

Oh well. I'm just bummed that the US/England match will be going on during the Midwestern Melee's Joust competition. :(



#5 LaughingTree

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 12:16 PM

Yay Kennon!

 

I was about to make this thread myself. I grew up playing soccer since i was 5 years and it is the sport I love the most. I usually have to take smack from some smart-ass bartender when I ask for the Champions League to be turned on in a bar. My grandfather also had me watching World Cup throughout the 1980s and I attended a few matches in 1994 when it was in Los Angeles where I grew up. Those Brazilians that flooded Pasadena when they won certainly knew how to party too! I do watch soccer as often as I can, mostly English Premier and Champions League (I support the 'Gooners), but this season I did not get to watch much so I am not as up to date on all the players and I could get predictions all wrong but this is fun for me so:

 

Here are my picks for group winners and second place.

Group A

Winner: France

Second: South Africa

I have a hard time picking against Mexico as they are young and up and coming...but Mexico has been considered an up and coming team since 1994. South Africa as host gets a huge boost from having home town crowds. I dont think any Host Nation has ever not advanced to the second round. Even the USA in 1994 advanced to the second round (and they really did not deserve to win a game that year). France has choked in World Cups where they were supposed to do well and won the World Cup when they were supposed to choke so who knows how well they will do. I would not be surprised if France went 0-3 in Group stage or if they went 3-0. They have potential and inconsistency to do either.

 

Group B

Winner: Argentina

Second: Greece

This is an interesting group. Korea's probably out  as the really benefitted from home crowds when World Cup was there. Nigeria has classicly been one of the best African teams but I am not too hyped on this squad. One of the major threats Obafemi Martins has been streaky in club play, although he has insane speed. Argentina in my opinion will likely go 3-0 as they have a very talented side from young strikers (Messi and Tevez) to gritty midfielders (Mascherano) to solid Champions league experienced defenders. Greece won the 2004 European Championship playing some of the ugliest and most boring soccer to watch that is humanly possible. But it wins. Nigeria I think will lose to Greece's defense. Maybe not as Nigeria has great speed and attack but probably.

 

Group C

Winner: England

Second: Slovenia

This is England's group. The English outclass every other side in this group and could go 3-0. But since they are England they might lose to an underdog. I really don't feel USA will win at World Cup anytime in near future since the majority of America (especially the USA ghettos) do not focus on soccer at all. The kids in the favela in Brazil grow up with soccer balls. The kids in Europe and Africa also grow up with soccer balls. In the USA, most kids grow up playing Football, Baseball, Basketball and in cold regions Hockey. As a country, the USA sports federations pour more money into Olympic medals than they do into truly creating a sports infrastructure for a World Cup team. So USA really shouldn't win much at the international level. I believe the  "world rankings" overrate the USA squad. Every World Cup there is a team or two from a smaller country that no one expects to do well. Croatia was that side back in the 1990s. I believe Slovenia could be that underdog this year. Algeria could be another out of nowhere upset but Slovenia is my pick to finish second to England.

 

Group D

Winner: Germany

Second: Ghana

Germany is Germany. They will advance. Ghana is not the African nation that is a household name (like Nigeria or Algeria) but Ghana probably has the best African squad and if any African team makes World Cup final Four it will probably be Ghana. They have a number of midfielders that have a lot of experience playing in European leagues and the Champions league, notably Michael Essien (whom soccer video gamers love for his stats lol). I don't know too much about Serbia or Australia but I know Australia lacks Champions league quality players for the most part and Serbia is not as exciting as Slovenia.

 

 

other four groups later...

 



#6 LaughingTree

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:38 PM

(cont'd)

 

 

Group E

Winner: Netherlands

Second: Japan

This group confuses me a bit. I just have this sneaking suspicion that Denmark is probably not going to advance even though they did pretty well in qualifying. I think the Netherlands clearly have strongest side in this group so they are an advance for sure. But Japan, Denmark and Cameroon could all be contending pretty evenly for 2nd place. I wouldn't be surprised if any of the other 3 teams advanced. I think on paper Denmark and Cameroon have stronger squads but for some reason I want to pick Japan. Japan is probably the best asian team and has a few players in European leagues so the are not as soccer-boondocks as they once were. All of these teams also play a somewhat interesting style of soccer that should make these games fun to watch.

 

 

Group F

Winner: Italy

Second: Paraguay

 

As much as I want Italy to lose, they probably won't lose in this group. Slovakia and New Zealand do not do much for me as teams. They both did well in qualifying but I am least familiar with players from those two nations as probably any two nations in the whole tournament.  Italy are the defending World Cup Champions and they have a class team from Goalkeeper to strikers. If anything they might be a little old now but players like Fabio Cannavaro are still considered among the best in their positions anywhere. I think many neutrals are rooting against Italy due to their negative style in winning the last World Cup.

 

Group G

Winner: Brazil

Second: Ivory Coast

 

Brazil is going to be feared this World Cup. Unlike about every historic Brazilian team, this team has one of the best Goalies in the world. English soccer magazine 4-4-2  picks Brazil as favorite to win World Cup and points to their Keeper (Julio Cesar) and their coach (former player Dunga who won in 1994) are big reasons why. Brazil could be more disciplined and organized than any Brazilian team in recent memory. They are even feared for their set pieces and corner kicks which is not typical for the Brazilians. Portugal is the typical pick over Ivory Coast here, but Portugal was a bit shaky in qualifying. They certainly have not performed on the pitch as well as they appear on paper. Since Spain is my pick to slay the World Cup monkey on their back, Portugal I believe is going to end up as the underperformers of this World Cup. For some reason I think Portugal will choke in the group matches and lose to Drogba and Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast-Portugal is the first game from this group so we will see early if I am right in Portugal losing to Ivory Coast 2-1.

 

 

Group H

Winner: Spain

Second: Chile

 

I would love to see Honduras do well in this group. Honduras is one of the biggest underdogs in the whole tournament. But, that probably won't happen. Spain is dominating international soccer for the past 2-3 years. I believe they were undefeated all through World Cup qualifying and they have their best team since, well maybe ever. Spain, more than any other nation, has been a 60 year old choke artist in the World Cup. They havent made a Final Four in World Cup since the 1950s despite having World Class players. So the question is if this Spanish squad can overcome 50 years of under-performing mojo. In my opinion, this is the most interesting question for the World Cup. Spain *should* be able to beat any team in this year's tournament. They have the flair of Brazil, the passing of the greatest teams ever to play, a World Class goalie (Iker Casillas). Spain's midfield has two of the greatest passers in the game today (Cesc Fabregas my favorite and Xavi) and their defenders are very solid (Puyol, Pique and Ramos are all at top of their positions). If Spain plays the quality of team soccer they are capable of, I don't even Brazil being able to compete.

 



#7 Kennon

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 06:02 AM

 Hmm... opening game was interesting. Through a DVR goof, I missed about 15-20 minutes of the second half and thus RSA's goal. Still, Mexico should have had the win here due to that poor call. It would have been pretty interesting for them to upset the home team in the opening game.



#8 LaughingTree

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 07:41 AM

Kennon said:

 Hmm... opening game was interesting. Through a DVR goof, I missed about 15-20 minutes of the second half and thus RSA's goal. Still, Mexico should have had the win here due to that poor call. It would have been pretty interesting for them to upset the home team in the opening game.

I enjoyed that game alot. Mexico missed some chances in first half and South Africa could have won in overtime.

Ater seeing France's line-up and really thinking about who they have (only striker is Anelka) e, I am thinking Mexico and South Africa both have a chance to upset France.



#9 Lars

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 08:30 AM

Kennon said:

Still, Mexico should have had the win here due to that poor call.

it was the right call. offsides is behind the second to last player (it always gets shorthanded to last defender as people don't count the goalie) and with the goalie ahead of the defender on the goal line the goalie was the second to last player and the mexican foward was behind him, not much behind him, but still in an offsides position.



#10 Old Ben

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 10:25 PM

LaughingTree said:

Ater seeing France's line-up and really thinking about who they have (only striker is Anelka) e, I am thinking Mexico and South Africa both have a chance to upset France.

 

I think this could be expected, France will hardly pass on to the 1/8 finals, their better than average players are Anelka and Ribery and Ribery played probably his worst season.

My tip for today´s agme England - USA is 3-1, however i think that the USA will pass on to the 1/8 finals at the second place of the group.

 



#11 LaughingTree

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 01:44 AM

Old Ben said:

I think this could be expected, France will hardly pass on to the 1/8 finals, their better than average players are Anelka and Ribery and Ribery played probably his worst season.

My tip for today´s agme England - USA is 3-1, however i think that the USA will pass on to the 1/8 finals at the second place of the group.

Most Brits in America think it will be 3-0 England. Personally I dont see the USA scoring either. Their midfield is really inexperienced and  weak. They lack the quality and grit that USA midfields have been since 1994. I simply don't see the USA cracking England's midfield and defense. The USA best player by far is Tim Howard so I think USA has far better chance of holding England to 1 or 2 goals than coming close to scoring themselves. We shall see in few hours thoug

 

South Korea-Greece has been a great game for South Korea. I certainly underestimated them. Greece looks poor with how slow and clunky they are playing.

I am most interested in Argentina-Nigeria which should be Argentina win with potential of Maradona blowing up somehow...



#12 Old Ben

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 05:31 AM

LaughingTree said:

South Korea-Greece has been a great game for South Korea. I certainly underestimated them. Greece looks poor with how slow and clunky they are playing.

I am most interested in Argentina-Nigeria which should be Argentina win with potential of Maradona blowing up somehow...

 

Argentina started very well, after the first five minute si thought they could probably win with a 3+ differential. But somehow they lacked to use their chances and also you always got that feeling that Nigeria could have scored if they just would have been a little more effective. It wasn´t also the day of Messi, i mean he was very  enagaged but in the end a striker is judged by his goals. And he left out so many chances.

I agree that South Korea made a good game, however Greece played the way i´m expected them to play... slow and very defensive. I remember a game two years ago a at the European chamipionships were they played at some point of the game with more than 8 defensive players (not counting the goalkeeper).

I don´t get why you are so less convinced about the success of the US team? Sure, England has the better individual players and will almost likely win the game this evening, but i think the US team showed in the past that they are at least a decent tournament team.



#13 Old Ben

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 11:11 AM

Ummmh, my tip was wrong. The 1:1 was very unexpected, the US team did a really great job against England.

And it looks like we forgot in all our observations about the "Who might score for the US Team theme" that England is traditionally playing with an below than average goalkeeper, we use to say "fly catcher" around here. :-) Good job, nice game, as i stated before i see the US team pass to the 1/8 finals.

 



#14 LaughingTree

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 07:54 PM

Old Ben said:

Ummmh, my tip was wrong. The 1:1 was very unexpected, the US team did a really great job against England.

And it looks like we forgot in all our observations about the "Who might score for the US Team theme" that England is traditionally playing with an below than average goalkeeper, we use to say "fly catcher" around here. :-) Good job, nice game, as i stated before i see the US team pass to the 1/8 finals.

 

 

Indeed. My friend actually predicted a 1-1 in his World Cup blog and I thought he was crazy...looks like he was prescient. I overlooked England's real weakness in Keeper but USA is better that their best player by far is Howard their Keeper who really played well and IMO made the difference this game.


Also Capello seemed to have outcoached himself. He was screaming too much when England was winning. He replaced Milner a little too early which showed little confidence in his starting line-up. Also I always get the impression Lampard and Gerrard don't enjoy playing together.

I will admit that the USA team does sometimes perform better in tournaments and better than the "sum of their parts". However they also rise or fall to level of their competition. They might have beat Spain in past year but they also lost to Honduras pretty badly. One person observed that USA probably had better chance against England where all pressure was on England than when they play Algeria and all pressure is on USA.

also,

I probably underrate the USA because of the style of soccer they play which just does not appeal to me as an observer. As a life long Arsenal fan I am biased towards the beautiful short passing game. I love passing over dribbling and American soccer often hypes the great dribbler superstars (the Freddy Adu hype) rather than the true team players (like holding midfielders). As a neutral observer I thought South Africa's counterattack really exemplified this style of soccer and Mexico can play that way when they are at their best as well although Spain and Netherlands are probably the best current examples of this short passing game.

 

 



#15 WWDrakey

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:10 PM

I played football for 7 years when I was younger, so this competition is also pretty close to my heart... My usual favorite in these tournaments is Germany, and boy did they give a good showing of themselves in their first match. Good team playing, with immaculate passing and lots of goals.

I also liked the way South Korea played, with lots of energy and attitude. None of the others has so far really looked all that impressive... England was as over-hyped as they always are, or maybe they just handle pressure really badly. 

Interesting to see what The Netherlands and Japan will be like... we all know Italy will play their usual solid and not-so-interesting playstyle, and churn out a bunch of 1-0 victories and 0-0 ties... (no offense meant Gualdo etc. :P)



#16 LaughingTree

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:37 AM

Some great games yesterday.  Germany put on most dominating performance of the Cup so far but it was against a weak Australia squad. The USA beat Australia 3-1 this month.

Serbia and Ghana was an interesting game. Both look like they will provide better challenges to Germany than Australia and those should be fun matches to watch. I am liking this group for entertainment.

 

The Netherlands look good but could have been a little better. Van Der Vaart and Van Persie both misswed chances at times. They could have possible been up 4-0 easy. Denmark also looked good at times although a little too defensive style for my liking.  I also liked Japan beating Cameroon. I had a feeling on that one even though in some ways it seemed highly unlikely for Cameroon with Eto'o to lose to Japan. Still Japan has two tough games and needs to do well against Denmark to advance.

Italy vs. Paraguay just started. Paraguay winning would be cool upset.



#17 WWDrakey

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:14 AM

Well, 1-0 now for Paraguay, so you might get that upset!

Netherlands was a bit so-so, did seem to have some problems finishing their attacks, which will be a problem against better teams. Japan was quite refreshing, I think they stand a chance of winning against Denmark and going through behind Germany. I agree with the Aussies being a bit lightweight for Germany, however at least they proved they can score given the opportunities (unlike some other teams...).



#18 LaughingTree

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 08:55 AM

Well the first rnd ended interesting for sure

 

Spain lost to Swiss. Big upset. Spain passed well, missed a few obvious chances and were exposed at the back. Their play almost reminds of Brasil of old where it is a possession game but their defenders almost move up too much. No problem when they are scoring goals but when not it causes problems.

Chile looked good in that group too. To me that group is very interesting at the moment, where many things could happen.

Italy barely pulled out a win. I do not foresee them going far in the elimination round.

Germany looked great if they can play that organized against better opponents. Dutch potentially could rise to any opponent but need a killer instinct.

Potential surprises include South Korea, Japan and Switzerland.

Uruguay is looking impressive. I tend to underrate them among others for some reason. They have a good pedigree, have strikers like Forlan that can score and have shown some solid organization on defense. South Africa looked unconvincing in first half.

 



#19 FATMOUSE

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:36 AM

 Spain losing to the Swiss was indeed a big upset.   Spain's goal keeper (forget his name) took a huge risk going for that slide tackle, which obviously didn't pay off.  I actually give Switzerland a lot of credit in this one.  They nearly won 2-0 and played the best defense I've seen so far in the cup.  It was a brilliant game. 



#20 FATMOUSE

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:08 AM

France lost! Boo-yah! lol






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