World Cup Match Thread- Round of 16 Day 4

Hotspur_Hero

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He was allowed to play college while playing development? Seems a bit odd.

Im not too big into MLS so I cant really comment on the rules. But in all honesty, there are now like 20 teams? End expansion. Work on NASL and USPL to the point where a promotion/relegation pyramid would work.
Most of the better college players play for USL PDL teams during the summer. He wasn't on a professional contract so he can still play college.

Expansion is being capped at 24, which is a fine number for a first division in a country this big. The minor leagues are only loosely affiliated with the MLS, though that's starting to change. We will absolutely never have a relegation system in the MLS. Owners pay exorbitant league entry fees and would never agree to let their teams decrease so substantially in value. Relegation a a completely foreign concept, just like playoffs are to the European leagues. We don't need it, it won't increase the league's quality, especially as long as we maintain a salary cap, draft, and supposed league parity. Though I do think that some things need changing, and they mostly are, the MLS has mostly got it right for now.

Why don't you watch MLS? It might not be the highest quality, but its our league. Its our ticket to a better national team. If you support the Nats you should support MLS. Despite its lack of quality, its a pretty high octane league and it can be quite entertaining. Its much less soul crushing than watching Spurs, I can tell you that.
 

yankspurs

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Most of the better college players play for USL PDL teams during the summer. He wasn't on a professional contract so he can still play college.

Expansion is being capped at 24, which is a fine number for a first division in a country this big. The minor leagues are only loosely affiliated with the MLS, though that's starting to change. We will absolutely never have a relegation system in the MLS. Owners pay exorbitant league entry fees and would never agree to let their teams decrease so substantially in value. Relegation a a completely foreign concept, just like playoffs are to the European leagues. We don't need it, it won't increase the league's quality, especially as long as we maintain a salary cap, draft, and supposed league parity. Though I do think that some things need changing, and they mostly are, the MLS has mostly got it right for now.

Why don't you watch MLS? It might not be the highest quality, but its our league. Its our ticket to a better national team. If you support the Nats you should support MLS. Despite its lack of quality, its a pretty high octane league and it can be quite entertaining. Its much less soul crushing than watching Spurs, I can tell you that.
I've tried watching MLS. Not entertaining. Bad quality. Alot of hoof ball. I'd rather watch Australian football. At least their horrendous quality is entertaining with the amount of bloopers.
 

Hotspur_Hero

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I've tried watching MLS. Not entertaining. Bad quality. Alot of hoof ball. I'd rather watch Australian football. At least their horrendous quality is entertaining with the amount of bloopers.
That kind of Eurosnobbery hurts the league and hurts American soccer. If you go in expecting the premier league, you'll be disappointed. Watch Seattle or Kansas City play a couple times and you will change your tune. There are some teams that play hoofball (San Jose being the biggest culprits), but there are more teams trying to actually play a more technical passing game than ever before.
 

Bus-Conductor

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Another thoroughly engrossing days football.

I was disappointed that some of the pundits were so critical of Argentina. Switzerland are (French game aside) a fucking obdurate opponent - recently famous for it - and don't lack a decent player or two. Argentina not only dominated the shit out of them, but eventually found a way to beat them. Messi did what great players do, and Di Maria did what good players do as did the rest of the team.

Belgium come up against the international Bolton circa 2009. Very well drilled, super fucking feisty and full of…..er...fiest, and did play some very decent football despite this, just decision making let them down. It happens. Especially when you have some technically gifted but slightly mentally ungifted players.

If this world cup has taught us anything it's just how competent and widely spread decent coaching and tactical application have spread, yet also how the best coaches can throw the spanner into their own works.

The old bullshit cliché about no easy games has never been truer than this world cup. I think it may even surpass Argentina 78. Maybe, if it could only produce an Archie Gemmill moment it may just topple it.
 
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HappySpur

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I think Costa Rica deserve to be in the race, they have the pace to hurt Netherlands.

Spain got behind Netherlands more than a couple of times and Costa Rica are tough to break down
Undoubtedly this would be the case had the Greece game not happened. They will not recover from that level of fatigue in time for the Netherlands match. It's a damn shame too. But the heat is what it is.
 

beats1

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You're not quite right about the state of the game over here. First off, the MLS has academies now. They are relatively new, last five years for the oldest or so, and are just now turning out decent players. DeAndre Yedlin is the first MLS academy player to play for the nats, though I fully expect a few more to be included by the next Gold Cup. MLS in the last 7-8 years has really begun pushing youth development. They offered generation adidas contracts, where any player either joining the league before graduating college or right out of/during high school don't count against the salary cap. These have now morphed into home grown contracts, where they can sign players from their own academies without the salary hit. Traditionally most of our highest potential youth, however, move to Europe once they graduate high school and try to get on teams. That is thankfully changing with the emergence of MLS.
That is great but with a tiered system it would be better as it out reach would be bigger. The sport doesnt have to huge stadiums but should let smaller teams grow at the rate they with the salary cap, which alot of people are calling for here.

Plus the academies wont have same reach than european counterparts. You see good players at a young age may never make it, it needs a large amount of kids to get the right education and then a select few will be good enough. Here we have in our academy about 20 or so kids per age group and only 3 or 4 will be kept on. We will have about hundreds of kids in our academy and yet only 15 players will make it at the club as professional which of whom 2 or 3 will make it with us.

Having alot of clubs despite being small is necessary, even if they are small. Look at wigan, they don't have football as their main sport and the stadium is empty but they have grown from a League 2 side to a fa cup winning side. Teams like Swansea and Southampton have made similar rises and nurtured talent as a result from four/three leagues away like Lambert, Lallana, Britton, Graham and etc.
The MLS and its franchise system are doing more good than harm. Most the teams are competitive every year, so we don't have top teams stockpiling all the young players who never see the field. For a league that's not even been around for a quarter of a century, they get more right than wrong. The salary cap is slowly rising at a sustainable record, and new franchises are being mostly rewarded to ownership groups that have everything together. We're bringing out best players home, so fans who watch them wear the red, white, and blue can now catch them in the rave green of Seattle or blue and gold of the galaxy. While I don't agree with everything Don Garber has done (especially the insistence upon NY and LA having two teams), he's gotten more right than wrong.
I don't like teams stockpiling talent but it does help produce better teams. Though there is nothing wrong with the principal of the salary cap and keeping everything fair. Every league in the world is actually trying to make it more fair and similar to the MLS.

However there is no reason why you couldn't do it with more teams.
A relegation/promotion system has absolutely nothing to do with player development. Relegation is a foreign concept to any one who doesn't grow up watching soccer, and it will never fly in our league. A European style league doesn't suit our country. The NASL and USL are our minor leagues. They exist so small town markets can still enjoy professional soccer in person. Recently these teams that show they can bring in large steady crowds and put out a decent product on the field have been rewarded with MLS franchises, as long as the ownership group is there. These divisions have minimal impact on the development of our better or high potential players. Only in the last two, maybe three, seasons of MLS have loans between the division started happening. A lot of our better college players play in these divisions during the summer, but that's about it.
Actually it does, in terms of the bigger picture it gives the teams a chance to grow and have better quality academies reach places others couldn't. Secondly I don't want to go in to a lecture of football but in Europe our best players have come from the lower leagues. Look at the spanish teams all of them played in the Segunda and Segunda B to prepare them for the first team, even the great Messi was playing in the lower league weeks before he was kicking chelsea's ass in the CL.

One of the best ways to produce players is to bring players through whilst the club grows as well. Lallana, Shaw, Ward-Prowse and etc have all grown with the club as it got strong. Teams tend to produce more players when they are shit giving more opportunities.

The germans and etc have all taken advantage of the lower leagues and so has Julien Green. Other countries send their youth players abroad but it would be much better to have a tiered footballing sport.

Those lower leagues are the backbone of youth development. In fact most of the england team who have come through the big clubs had spent their careers in the lower leagues like Terry(from west ham), Lampard(went to swansea), Sterling(QPR), Barkley(leeds and Sheffield wednesday) and etc.
Soccer is growing at the grass level over here. Soccer is the number one sport played at the youth level and the second best attended professional sport, after the NFL obviously. Every world cup where we perform above expectations, people start paying attention, most importantly kids start playing and loving the game. Our best athletes are always going to pick football and basketball, but I don't think that's a problem. Lack of athletes was clearly not our problem, nor has it ever been out problem, at this world cup. We lack technical ability, which is slowly being changed. For the past decade, the 4-4-2 and english hoofball was all that was taught at the youth level, mostly by dad's that never played the game. Now, our top academies are bringing in coaches from south america and continental europe, and the technical ability of this team will skyrocket within two decades.

Sorry for the rant, and this is mostly not aimed at you, but instead all the people in this thread who don't quite understand soccer in America. This is always the hot topic after any major tournament we play, so just had to put my two cents in.
Which is why the MLS needs expanding. 20 clubs for one of the biggest nations in the world isn't enough and including the lower teams is only good for the game, make it more free.(I know americans like freedom)
 

fortworthspur

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Michael Bradley is America in a nutshell. He is the best all round midfielder we have and he was poor not because he played poorly but because he was up against world class talent. Of course he looks better in CONCACAF games. I dont begrudge any of the players for not being better than they are. But I think its going to take a long time until we grow players that are as gifted as Europe and South America. Its like an Argentinian trying to learn to be a blues guitarist in Argentina when he could be playing with BB King. Thats the main reason Ive never liked Donovan much, btw. He should have played more in Europe.

Having said all that, Klinsmann did a marvelous job and got every ounce of effort and potential out of the squad.
 

beats1

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Undoubtedly this would be the case had the Greece game not happened. They will not recover from that level of fatigue in time for the Netherlands match. It's a damn shame too. But the heat is what it is.
They do have advantage of being fitter due to their high altitude and one of their best assets has been keeping their shape and being strong defensively.

They may come up short but Netherlands struggled to break teams down and they will have 11 men on the pitch this time. Just got my 442 magazine and this is what they says about Costa Rica:
"No chance of making the knockouts and likely to receive a tonking or two, they will at least be able to play without expectation, and may pull off an unlikely result that proves fatal to either Italy, Uruguay or England"
 

Hotspur_Hero

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That is great but with a tiered system it would be better as it out reach would be bigger. The sport doesnt have to huge stadiums but should let smaller teams grow at the rate they with the salary cap, which alot of people are calling for here.
We have a tiered system. MLS > NASL > USL. We just don't have relegation between leagues.

Plus the academies wont have same reach than european counterparts. You see good players at a young age may never make it, it needs a large amount of kids to get the right education and then a select few will be good enough. Here we have in our academy about 20 or so kids per age group and only 3 or 4 will be kept on. We will have about hundreds of kids in our academy and yet only 15 players will make it at the club as professional which of whom 2 or 3 will make it with us.
We have plenty of academies and competitive clubs. The numbers game isn't the issue. The main difference is our kids don't get paid and except for the elite clubs, school is still their main priority. Our most prestigious academies that produce the best players are unaffiliated with professional teams. They play top level competition, at least at the youth level, against all of these other academies. The coaching is as good at these youth clubs as it is at the MLS and USL/NASL academies. The issue comes from players making the step up from youth level to professional level, though this is now becoming less of an issue now that most of the professional clubs are swallowing up youth clubs and integrating them as their academy. College, despite its limited reach in men's soccer, just really screws things up.

Having alot of clubs despite being small is necessary, even if they are small. Look at wigan, they don't have football as their main sport and the stadium is empty but they have grown from a League 2 side to a fa cup winning side. Teams like Swansea and Southampton have made similar rises and nurtured talent as a result from four/three leagues away like Lambert, Lallana, Britton, Graham and etc.
That's great and in principle I like the idea of relegation. However it won't work here. When new owners are paying upwards of a hundred million dollars in franchise entry fees, they won't accept relegation and the loss of revenue. Its so foreign to American sports that you could never sell it, despite the fact it makes the league more exciting and competitive. Promotion and natural growth however are becoming more and more common. During the last couple of expansion bursts, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps, and most recently Orlando City SC have all been essentially promoted from the lower leagues. While it isnt quite the same, since only the top players, coaches, and kits are being retained, all of these clubs were promoted because they were filling the stadium with passionate fans while putting a decent product on the field. These are the types of expansions I hope continue to happen, as opposed to Evil Empire FC in Ny and GoldenBalls United in Miami.

I don't like teams stockpiling talent but it does help produce better teams. Though there is nothing wrong with the principal of the salary cap and keeping everything fair. Every league in the world is actually trying to make it more fair and similar to the MLS.

However there is no reason why you couldn't do it with more teams.

Actually it does, in terms of the bigger picture it gives the teams a chance to grow and have better quality academies reach places others couldn't. Secondly I don't want to go in to a lecture of football but in Europe our best players have come from the lower leagues. Look at the spanish teams all of them played in the Segunda and Segunda B to prepare them for the first team, even the great Messi was playing in the lower league weeks before he was kicking chelsea's ass in the CL.
The MLS actually does that as well, starting this season I believe. The better MLS sides have realized the importance of home grown players and have started U23 sides which play in the USL, similiar to what the Spanish and German sides do. Right now, only LA Galaxy are doing this, though I think I read that both Seattle and Chicago plan on fielding USl teams next season. Also recently loans from MLS sides to USL and NASL sides, often as part of a partnership, are becoming the norm for young players in the league. The MLS has become very youth friendly in the last few years.

One of the best ways to produce players is to bring players through whilst the club grows as well. Lallana, Shaw, Ward-Prowse and etc have all grown with the club as it got strong. Teams tend to produce more players when they are shit giving more opportunities.
That also happens in the MLS, more so than it does in England in my opinion. With no threat from relegation, our crap teams field a lot of youngsters. DC United last season played like half a season with the squad's average age under 25. This year, they made a lot of moves in the offseason, bringing in some experienced players to supplement their youth and are one of the top teams in the east. Homegrown players especially are being given more chances now than ever before, because they don't cost the same against the salary cap that anyone else does.

The germans and etc have all taken advantage of the lower leagues and so has Julien Green. Other countries send their youth players abroad but it would be much better to have a tiered footballing sport.

Those lower leagues are the backbone of youth development. In fact most of the england team who have come through the big clubs had spent their careers in the lower leagues like Terry(from west ham), Lampard(went to swansea), Sterling(QPR), Barkley(leeds and Sheffield wednesday) and etc.

Which is why the MLS needs expanding. 20 clubs for one of the biggest nations in the world isn't enough and including the lower teams is only good for the game, make it more free.(I know americans like freedom)
I am all for the idea of expansion of the MLS and am sorry if I somehow made you think otherwise. There are plenty of untapped markets that would love and support clubs. I completely agree the MLS needed expanding, but I think once they hit the current goal of 24, they will need to pause and take a look. If the interest and support is there, then I'd be happy with increased expansion. They are rightfully worried however, since overexpansion nearly crippled the league to extinction in its infancy.

I also support the idea of increasing the minor leagues, which is something they continue to do as well. Each year there are more teams in them, most coming in with a passionate, though small fan base, and an academy. If these teams can put 20,000 butts in seats every week, than I'd happily take underachieving MLS franchises and move/rebrand them accordingly. I wish our expansion hinged less on tv markets and more on rabid fan bases, which is where the MLS is really starting to take off. I also support the continued integration of the minor leagues with the MLS. As I said, loans between leagues are becoming more common and now MLS teams are fielding U23 sides in these divisions as well, which can only bode well for development. The only thing I don't support is relegation, which i don't think would have a positive effect on the league or the sports popularity.

College and the fact that our academy players don't get paid to play are the real differences between player development in this country and others. These are trickier questions to answer. As it stands, though, the MLS, at least in the last couple of years, is doing everything right for growing soccer, both in terms of talent and interest, in America.
 

yankspurs

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We have a tiered system. MLS > NASL > USL. We just don't have relegation between leagues.



We have plenty of academies and competitive clubs. The numbers game isn't the issue. The main difference is our kids don't get paid and except for the elite clubs, school is still their main priority. Our most prestigious academies that produce the best players are unaffiliated with professional teams. They play top level competition, at least at the youth level, against all of these other academies. The coaching is as good at these youth clubs as it is at the MLS and USL/NASL academies. The issue comes from players making the step up from youth level to professional level, though this is now becoming less of an issue now that most of the professional clubs are swallowing up youth clubs and integrating them as their academy. College, despite its limited reach in men's soccer, just really screws things up.



That's great and in principle I like the idea of relegation. However it won't work here. When new owners are paying upwards of a hundred million dollars in franchise entry fees, they won't accept relegation and the loss of revenue. Its so foreign to American sports that you could never sell it, despite the fact it makes the league more exciting and competitive. Promotion and natural growth however are becoming more and more common. During the last couple of expansion bursts, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps, and most recently Orlando City SC have all been essentially promoted from the lower leagues. While it isnt quite the same, since only the top players, coaches, and kits are being retained, all of these clubs were promoted because they were filling the stadium with passionate fans while putting a decent product on the field. These are the types of expansions I hope continue to happen, as opposed to Evil Empire FC in Ny and GoldenBalls United in Miami.



The MLS actually does that as well, starting this season I believe. The better MLS sides have realized the importance of home grown players and have started U23 sides which play in the USL, similiar to what the Spanish and German sides do. Right now, only LA Galaxy are doing this, though I think I read that both Seattle and Chicago plan on fielding USl teams next season. Also recently loans from MLS sides to USL and NASL sides, often as part of a partnership, are becoming the norm for young players in the league. The MLS has become very youth friendly in the last few years.



That also happens in the MLS, more so than it does in England in my opinion. With no threat from relegation, our crap teams field a lot of youngsters. DC United last season played like half a season with the squad's average age under 25. This year, they made a lot of moves in the offseason, bringing in some experienced players to supplement their youth and are one of the top teams in the east. Homegrown players especially are being given more chances now than ever before, because they don't cost the same against the salary cap that anyone else does.



I am all for the idea of expansion of the MLS and am sorry if I somehow made you think otherwise. There are plenty of untapped markets that would love and support clubs. I completely agree the MLS needed expanding, but I think once they hit the current goal of 24, they will need to pause and take a look. If the interest and support is there, then I'd be happy with increased expansion. They are rightfully worried however, since overexpansion nearly crippled the league to extinction in its infancy.

I also support the idea of increasing the minor leagues, which is something they continue to do as well. Each year there are more teams in them, most coming in with a passionate, though small fan base, and an academy. If these teams can put 20,000 butts in seats every week, than I'd happily take underachieving MLS franchises and move/rebrand them accordingly. I wish our expansion hinged less on tv markets and more on rabid fan bases, which is where the MLS is really starting to take off. I also support the continued integration of the minor leagues with the MLS. As I said, loans between leagues are becoming more common and now MLS teams are fielding U23 sides in these divisions as well, which can only bode well for development. The only thing I don't support is relegation, which i don't think would have a positive effect on the league or the sports popularity.

College and the fact that our academy players don't get paid to play are the real differences between player development in this country and others. These are trickier questions to answer. As it stands, though, the MLS, at least in the last couple of years, is doing everything right for growing soccer, both in terms of talent and interest, in America.
For all MLS has done right, they negate it by playing a summer schedule, not adhereing to FIFA's calander, refusing to release some players to their national teams when they are called up, and playing during the World Cup with a quality of play equivalent to league 2/conference.
 

Partizan

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Tim Howard pulled off 16 saves. The highest amount in a world cup since 1966 (when they started keeping records)
 

Strikeb4ck

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Haven't posted in here yet, but man, being Swiss and living in America for years now, today was absolutely gutting for me.

Swiss game was just gut wrenching. We had the 3 best chances of the match and just couldn't convert, our defending was absolutely brilliant (Messi was absolutely shut down), and then one mistake from Lichtsteiner and it was all gone in a flash. How Dzemaili didn't score I'll never know, maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Can be a cruel, cruel game. I think we absolutely deserved to move on.

USA game was just as exciting, and though I of course root for the US as I like to see the game grow here, I don't think anyone could say the better team didn't move on. They were thoroughly outplayed as they were through much of the group stage but in the end grit and determination is just as important. I hope our Belgian contingent picked that up first hand today and bring it to Tottenham, we need some of that fire. It was a great overall showing by the USMNT and the excitement I've seen here lately has been brilliant.
 

Hotspur_Hero

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For all MLS has done right, they negate it by playing a summer schedule, not adhereing to FIFA's calander, refusing to release some players to their national teams when they are called up, and playing during the World Cup with a quality of play equivalent to league 2/conference.
Wrong on nearly all accounts. They play a summer schedule so they aren't competing against nfl, college football, and NBA quite as much (though the last few weeks of the season and playoffs do run into that problem). It was a wise move to start the league off. They also avoid pretty nasty weather and don't have to take a midseason break, which to me is another strange concept Americans will never get behind. Plenty of American leagues play a summer schedule, at least both Mexico and Brazil do, and they seem to do just fine.

I've never once heard of a player not being released for call ups. Normally their clubs just suffer without their best players for a few games. Not releasing players would be a terrible league policy, especially since more and more of the central american national teams are drawing from MLS nowadays. If it's a Fifa official date, the club has to release the player. While the same isn't true for friendly scheduled on other dates, I've never heard of that happening.

To say the quality of play is conference level, when I imagine you have never actually watched the conference (not like its readily televised here in the states) and you admitted that you don't watch the MLS, is rather unnecessary. The quality of play is mid-level championship, though some of the worst teams in the league might struggle with that, and its getting better each year. The better teams would be as good as recently relegated PL clubs; Sporting KC and RSL both would have put up more of a fight than QPR or Reading two seasons ago.

The only thing you come even close to being right on is the need to stop play on international breaks. They need to build the international dates into the schedule, even if that means extending the season a week or two on either end. They took a big step this year by suspending play during the group stages of the WC, which is something they've never done before. I fully expect, especially as the number of internationals in the league increases, that this change will happen sooner rather than later.
 

riggi

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ummm I just turned on the telly and there isn't any games on.... what am I supposed to do?
 
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