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DevilSpawn
06-04-2018, 06:47 PM
Anybody else here super excited for the World Cup this year? :peace:

This year's tournament will be without Italy (for the first time since 1958 :eek: ) USA, The Netherlands, Chile and Ghana.

I'm rooting for Spain again and putting all my chips on the table for them to make it to... the semis where they'll lose to eventual champions Germany. :(

Champion: Germany
Runner Up: Brazil
Third Place: Argentina
4th Place: Spain

I have Brazil losing 2-1 to Germany in the finals. Host country Russia loses to Portugal in the quarter finals. Columbia's James Rodriguez will shine again but lose in heartbreaking fashion. I may have to redo my predictions because I haven't filled out a bracket yet lol but I still have Germany beating Brazil.

Good luck to all your countries!

Butler By'Note
06-04-2018, 08:50 PM
Without Italy or even our neighbours to the south (you guys) in the tournament to watch I have only a passing interest. But it would be nice to see some fresh blood make a run this year. Uruguay has a pretty easy group, but then Spain or Portugal waiting in the round of 16 will be tough. And then likely France in the Quarter finals, that's a real tough path for the first in A or second in B to go through.

You've probably got Spain v Argentina in the Quarters.

As bad as it sounds I think the runners up in group G (England or Belgium) actually have the easier path. You get the winner of group H (weak group) in the round of 16, you'll end up likely with Germany in the Quarters, but it's a pretty easy path to get there. Which makes me wonder if we could see a Belgium v England game where neither team is that eager to win? Because it's the third game for each and both should dispatch Panama and Tunisia pretty easily...I'm skeptical of Tunisia's current 13th in the world ranking.

For my semi finals I'll have France v Brazil and Argentina v Germany

First: Argentina
Second: France
Third: Germany
Fourth: Brazil

None of the new blood I was hoping for, but that's how I think it plays out. Now watch Brazil play Germany in the round of 16 and throw everything off.

DenverBlood
06-05-2018, 05:48 AM
I'm insanely disappointed and uninterested at the moment due to USA not qualifying. However when it finally arrives and the first game kicks off I have no doubt my interest will peak and I'll watch some games. But at this point I haven't figured out who I want to root for.

CanDB
06-05-2018, 06:11 PM
Always love The World Cup! My country is not competitive enough to be involved, but I am disappointed that my country of ancestry - Italy, came up short. But I'll be there when it gets going.

bronx_2003
06-11-2018, 03:40 PM
Anybody else here super excited for the World Cup this year? :peace:

This year's tournament will be without Italy (for the first time since 1958 :eek: ) USA, The Netherlands, Chile and Ghana.

I'm rooting for Spain again and putting all my chips on the table for them to make it to... the semis where they'll lose to eventual champions Germany. :(

Champion: Germany
Runner Up: Brazil
Third Place: Argentina
4th Place: Spain

I have Brazil losing 2-1 to Germany in the finals. Host country Russia loses to Portugal in the quarter finals. Columbia's James Rodriguez will shine again but lose in heartbreaking fashion. I may have to redo my predictions because I haven't filled out a bracket yet lol but I still have Germany beating Brazil.

Good luck to all your countries!

Surprised you have Russia making it to the QF's, Iknow they are the host nation but they are terrible, one of the worst teams in the tournament IMO. They are getting slaughtered by their press as the worst team Russia has ever had.

They 'could' qualify with Uruguay as its a bad group, but there is no way they are beating Spain of Portugal in the last 16

dipablo
06-11-2018, 04:13 PM
Always love the world cup, sad USA is not there to choke but at least there will be less heartache for me

westside Bronco
06-11-2018, 05:28 PM
You said it in the 2nd. Line.... No Italy , No USA, not much interest here.

Go Iceland!

DenverBlood
06-13-2018, 09:00 AM
Not 2018 related but USA won the bid to host the 2026 World Cup. I can't wait!! If USMNT can't qualify on merit then at least we get an auto bid in 2026.

Joshua2585
06-13-2018, 11:10 AM
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611397/machine-learning-predicts-world-cup-winner/

I don't really care about the WC, but I am a Business Analyst and found this interesting.

CanDB
06-13-2018, 06:07 PM
Not 2018 related but USA won the bid to host the 2026 World Cup. I can't wait!! If USMNT can't qualify on merit then at least we get an auto bid in 2026.

Should that not read that The US, Canada and Mexico won the bid, as a group?

FTR, we canucks are very excited about the opportunity to have a role in this great event!!!

DenverBlood
06-13-2018, 07:16 PM
Should that not read that The US, Canada and Mexico won the bid, as a group?

FTR, we canucks are very excited about the opportunity to have a role in this great event!!!

Yes Can Mexico and Canada are hosting 12.5% of the tournament each in the group stage.

Since this is the first 3 country hosting do you know if Canada and Mexico also receive auto bids?

Oh and did you see itíll be the first World Cup to boost from 32 teams to 48?

Butler By'Note
06-13-2018, 09:40 PM
Yes Can Mexico and Canada are hosting 12.5% of the tournament each in the group stage.

Since this is the first 3 country hosting do you know if Canada and Mexico also receive auto bids?

Oh and did you see it’ll be the first World Cup to boost from 32 teams to 48?

The belief is since it's the first Cup with the expanded field that all 3 will receive automatic bids. In the new format CONCACAF will get 6 qualification spots for each World Cup, so having a qualifying tournament that still hands out 3 berths seems fair. Especially since 2 of the 3 are pretty much locks (this year aside) to capture 2 of the spots.

Butler By'Note
06-13-2018, 09:42 PM
As a side note, Spain fired their manager two days before the World Cup was set to begin. And for flimsy reasons (he accepted the managerial position with Real Madrid once the WC was over). Seems like a real weak reason to fire a coach right before the tournament, unless he was completely ignoring his duties with the Spanish national team.

Jaws
06-14-2018, 10:10 AM
I'm supporting Mo Salah and Sadio Mane the Liverpool forwards, so Egypt and Senegal will be my teams.

DenverBlood
06-14-2018, 10:12 AM
Impressive opener by Russia. They have a relatively easy group so I would think the Host nation is well on their way to the quarterfinals.

Jaws
06-14-2018, 10:14 AM
I really should try and complete my Official World Cup sticker album. Only 75 stickers to go!

DenverBlood
06-15-2018, 07:14 AM
I'm supporting Mo Salah and Sadio Mane the Liverpool forwards, so Egypt and Senegal will be my teams.

Looks like Salah was benched for today's opener. And Egypt lost a heartbreaker in the final minutes.

DenverBlood
06-15-2018, 09:58 AM
I'm unable to watch the games at work this morning but holy cow! An 89th minute winner by Uruguay followed by a 95th minute win by Iran. What the heck is a 0-0 game doing having 5 minutes of stoppage time anyway?

Jaws
06-15-2018, 11:50 AM
Looks like Salah was benched for today's opener. And Egypt lost a heartbreaker in the final minutes.

Yes, I'm disappointed about that.

CanDB
06-15-2018, 01:25 PM
Cristiano Renaldo of Portugal scores all 3 in a 3-3 tie with Spain. What a great tying goal on a free kick!!! Perfect shot!!

His legacy goes on......

DenverBlood
06-15-2018, 02:28 PM
Cristiano Renaldo of Portugal scores all 3 in a 3-3 tie with Spain. What a great tying goal on a free kick!!! Perfect shot!!

His legacy goes on......

This may be the tournament where he has a legitimate argument against Messi. He earned Portugal a very much needed point today.

DevilSpawn
06-15-2018, 03:20 PM
That match was insane. A point is a point but I felt we let it slip away. Ronaldo is too good.

Jaws
06-15-2018, 03:28 PM
That match was insane. A point is a point but I felt we let it slip away. Ronaldo is too good.

Very entertaining!
Iran top of the table!

Butler By'Note
06-15-2018, 04:56 PM
I'm unable to watch the games at work this morning but holy cow! An 89th minute winner by Uruguay followed by a 95th minute win by Iran. What the heck is a 0-0 game doing having 5 minutes of stoppage time anyway?

If the South American teams are anything like the Central American teams, and Chile, they need 5 minutes of stoppage time because those teams spend at least that amount of time rolling around on the ground and writhing in agony whenever the slightest hint of contact may have looked like it happened.

I know Canada sucks at soccer, but I loved watching a Canada/US soccer game several years ago because there was absolutely no diving or rolling around. Both teams just went out and played, and if a player went down it was a sure bet that it was a foul, and the player was getting up and getting ready for play to begin again.

CanDB
06-15-2018, 05:05 PM
If the South American teams are anything like the Central American teams, and Chile, they need 5 minutes of stoppage time because those teams spend at least that amount of time rolling around on the ground and writhing in agony whenever the slightest hint of contact may have looked like it happened.

I know Canada sucks at soccer, but I loved watching a Canada/US soccer game several years ago because there was absolutely no diving or rolling around. Both teams just went out and played, and if a player went down it was a sure bet that it was a foul, and the player was getting up and getting ready for play to begin again.

Speaking of which, I have had the pleasure of watching The US/Canada women here in a friendly, and it was very good. Ended up 1 to 1.

DenverBlood
06-16-2018, 07:11 AM
Australia played France tougher than i expected. That game was too early for me to catch on a Saturday.

This Argentina and Iceland game is the first one Iíve been able to actually watch. Iceland is game for the monumental upset so far in the 52nd minute. Even a tie would be an upset.

DenverBlood
06-16-2018, 07:23 AM
Holy cow what a save on the PK against Messi. Huuuge!!

DenverBlood
06-16-2018, 07:55 AM
Monumental upset by Iceland to earn that point there

DenverBlood
06-16-2018, 11:03 AM
Tough luck at the end for Peru. Had several scoring chances but couldnít finish. And to have the whistle blow right before an in bound pass deep in Denmark territory had to be frustrating

Jaws
06-16-2018, 11:23 AM
Monumental upset by Iceland to earn that point there

Yay for the little nations.
Amazing what they're doing with their football team both in the Euros and now the WC opener.
Not bad for a nation that has only the 10th of the population of Wales!

DevilSpawn
06-17-2018, 09:54 AM
Orale!!! Mexico with the huge upset!

DenverBlood
06-17-2018, 10:47 AM
Orale!!! Mexico with the huge upset!

Big time upset. Canít really say that Iím happy though. Not a fan of Germany but Mexico is our top rival. Canít stand them.

DenverBlood
06-17-2018, 01:06 PM
Switzerland ties Brazil??? This World Cup first stage of games is flipping the favorites upside down.

bronx_2003
06-18-2018, 09:20 AM
Some good games so far, no need for the big guns to panic, its about hitting form at the right time.

Will be very interesting if Germany can only finish 2nd and face Brazil in the last 16

DenverBlood
06-18-2018, 01:09 PM
England barely escaped another choke of an opener. There's been several goals scored in the 90+ minute territory this cup.

bronx_2003
06-18-2018, 01:37 PM
England barely escaped another choke of an opener. There's been several goals scored in the 90+ minute territory this cup.

Yep lots of late goals, although a well deserved win. Can't afford to miss so many chances in other games. Looking forward to playing teams who won't fall over every 2 minutes and having a ref who won't favor the underdog so openly, he had a shocking game.

Should beat Panama and be in the last 16.

The big game coming up is Germany v Sweden. Germany really need to win that or they are in huge trouble.

DenverBlood
06-19-2018, 12:54 PM
Looks like Russia has all but staked their claim to the round of 16. If not more.

bronx_2003
06-19-2018, 02:16 PM
Russia looking much better then I thought they would, clearly have momentum from the whole occasion / country.

On the flip side they have played 2 terrible teams, I still can't see them beating Spain or Portugal in the last 16, but you never know. Always a chance at home

DenverBlood
06-20-2018, 06:53 AM
Ronaldo is killing this tournament

DenverBlood
06-21-2018, 12:56 PM
Argentina may not survive the group stage.

Jaws
06-21-2018, 01:08 PM
Argentina may not survive the group stage.

They were awful.
Great opportunity for Iceland to capitalise on this if they can beat Nigeria.

DenverBlood
06-21-2018, 01:37 PM
They were awful.
Great opportunity for Iceland to capitalise on this if they can beat Nigeria.

Be curious to see if Messi quits again

Joshua2585
06-21-2018, 01:56 PM
Argentina seems to be a disappointment every World Cup

DevilSpawn
06-21-2018, 05:39 PM
Messy play by Argentina today. I really wanted to see Leo vs. Ronaldo on the World stage. Oh well.

Jaws
06-22-2018, 06:56 AM
Messi or messy DS? ;)

My granddaughter was all excited about staying up late to watch Spain v Iran with her Dad the other night as her Mum had gone out to work.
Her Dad was making a cuppa in the Kitchen and she was enthusiastically beckoning him to hurry up as the "singing has started".
Moments later when my son walks into the sitting room with the drinks she's already fast asleep on the sofa!
#thelifeofa5yearold

DenverBlood
06-23-2018, 01:00 PM
Germany saved their tournament by pulling one out of their rear ends

JakeNbake
06-23-2018, 01:42 PM
Germany saved their tournament by pulling one out of their rear ends

Sweeden didn't get that call early in the game, may have been a game changer.

InsaneBlaze23
06-23-2018, 02:53 PM
Think the biggest takeaway thus far is nobody wants to us VAR even though it's an option. I think the VAR people are scared to change a decision because how it might make the refs look. Then the refs dont wanna call for it because they feel like they have a control on the games.....

They dont. All these games have been crazy and out of control because refs are holding onto their cards.

Germany's play style almost cost them today's game. I think Ter Stegen would be a better option than Neur.

DenverBlood
06-25-2018, 08:56 AM
Wake up call for the host country today.

DenverBlood
06-25-2018, 01:21 PM
Spain nearly toiled around with not qualifying today.

Jaws
06-25-2018, 01:25 PM
Spain nearly toiled around with not qualifying today.

Iran v Portugal was a bit crazy!

DenverBlood
06-26-2018, 12:55 PM
Welp after all that early cup drama the major players are still moving on. Argentina barely by the skin of their teeth today.

Hph5
06-26-2018, 01:38 PM
Iran v Portugal was a bit crazy!

After today, I think all the third games are crazy. Fun to watch.

InsaneBlaze23
06-26-2018, 02:58 PM
Argentina gonna need to get their house in order when they play France. France got a lot of star attackers, something Argentina's group lacked but on the other side, that group was all defense and set out to making sure Messi couldn't get open. Hell in the Croatia match, everytime he had the ball, there was 7 Croatians around him.

France doesn't have the defensive talent to copy that but Argentina doesn't have the defense to stop stop Mbappe, Anto, Pogba, etc. One of them gonna go off.

My thoughts, on Argentina's best chance in that match up, figure out how to make Dybala and Messi work, because for whatever reason Dybala is incapable of flourishing when playing with Messi. Which is why we've only seen Dybala like once in the group stages.

Jaws
06-27-2018, 08:36 AM
15 minutes away from seeing the holders go out!

DenverBlood
06-27-2018, 08:36 AM
I did not expect this sudden turn of events with Sweden routing Mexico who seemed like the class of group F. As it stands Germany is out. But if they can somehow come up with a goal in the next 15+ minutes it would be a stunning upset for Mexico to be eliminated.

Jaws
06-27-2018, 08:59 AM
Wow, just wow!

CanDB
06-27-2018, 09:00 AM
South Korea does the unthinkable!!! Germany has never been stopped in the first round before!!!

This is a wild and whacky tournament!!!

DenverBlood
06-27-2018, 09:06 AM
What a stunning turn of events. Never did I think Germany would lose to South Korea by allowing not one but 2 stoppage time goals. Or be shutout.

The offense that was one of the most well oiled efficient machines we have seen on the world stage 4 years ago was a complete no show at the 2018 tournament. 2 goals in 3 games. I'm sure heads will roll.

Out of all the tournaments this is the one USMNT chose not to be good enough for. SMH.

InsaneBlaze23
06-27-2018, 09:13 AM
Germany currently has the same issue team US had...too many old players. Ozil, Muller, those 2 are key players that didnt show up. Kroos arguably costed the Germans 2 games, including this one today. Nothing about Germany was good during these group stages.

BroncosDivision
06-27-2018, 09:19 AM
I don't really care for soccer but that being said, it's a shame Germany didn't advance to the round of 16.

CanDB
06-27-2018, 11:37 AM
I don't really care for soccer but that being said, it's a shame Germany didn't advance to the round of 16.

Who'd a thunk it......no Italy, no Netherlands....now no Germany. And others hanging in, like Argentina. I agree to a point, that I prefer having all the big dogs in the competition, but then again, you are your record and your performance. But I still scratch my head over Germany's struggles.

InsaneBlaze23
06-27-2018, 11:52 AM
Who'd a thunk it......no Italy, no Netherlands....now no Germany. And others hanging in, like Argentina. I agree to a point, that I prefer having all the big dogs in the competition, but then again, you are your record and your performance. But I still scratch my head over Germany's struggles.

Germany is the only shocker though. The Dutch and Italy are meh, with Italy's history and name being the only big thing about them. They have a future but they didnt have a present.

bronx_2003
06-27-2018, 01:40 PM
I don't really care for soccer but that being said, it's a shame Germany didn't advance to the round of 16.

Yea its such a shame, my heart is breaking :)

BroncosDivision
06-28-2018, 02:58 AM
Yea its such a shame, my heart is breaking :)

You sound like everyone I've talked to in the past few days. People say they have a way of "lucking out". Germany has had great teams over the years, no doubt, especially in the 70s but to me, one thing sticks out the most, their mentality. That's why they're almost always in the dance. They keep pushing till the very last second and are relentless in their football philosophy (up until now at least). Unlike any other nation in soccer. People get fatigue from other people's continued success, well, I salute it. Unpopular opinion, I know.

I hope they sort out the mess and get back to their winning ways in 2020. :P

bronx_2003
06-28-2018, 10:00 AM
You sound like everyone I've talked to in the past few days. People say they have a way of "lucking out". Germany has had great teams over the years, no doubt, especially in the 70s but to me, one thing sticks out the most, their mentality. That's why they're almost always in the dance. They keep pushing till the very last second and are relentless in their football philosophy (up until now at least). Unlike any other nation in soccer. People get fatigue from other people's continued success, well, I salute it. Unpopular opinion, I know.

I hope they sort out the mess and get back to their winning ways in 2020. :P

I just like to see the underdogs do well, the team I have been really impressed with so far is Croatia. Not sure how far they will go but they have a really well put together team, system and experience

CanDB
06-28-2018, 11:55 AM
Germany is the only shocker though. The Dutch and Italy are meh, with Italy's history and name being the only big thing about them. They have a future but they didnt have a present.

Maybe so, but when we talk Italy, we are referring to a 4 time champion who has not missed the cup for 60 years. Hey, I may be biased, but I've seen them win 2 cups, and that's better than most countries.

BroncosDivision
06-28-2018, 12:24 PM
I just like to see the underdogs do well, the team I have been really impressed with so far is Croatia. Not sure how far they will go but they have a really well put together team, system and experience

We're going to have our hands full with that team, for sure, especially with the way we've played as of late. Granted, we haven't lost a match in 15 or 16 games but I'm not thrilled with the way we're playing. Boring, uninspired and way, way too defensive for my taste (I'm easily bored watching soccer lol). What happened to the creativity and attacking down the field that got us to the World Cup? Why are we suddenly playing scared? If Eriksen is so good (and he's not imo), he needs to step up and elevate the team. Much like Messi needs to do for Argentina.

If this is how our coach wants the team to play, I'd rather we lose.

InsaneBlaze23
06-28-2018, 01:14 PM
Maybe so, but when we talk Italy, we are referring to a 4 time champion who has not missed the cup for 60 years. Hey, I may be biased, but I've seen them win 2 cups, and that's better than most countries.

I mean that goes into what I said about their history. Their present is just like the US they arent that good. They arent like a team like Chile whom should be in the world cup but only so many South American teams are allowed to take part. Italy just is in that transition phase. Next time around Buffon wont be in net, but Donnarumma, whom is viewed by many to be a future star, a potential best in the game keeper, will be.

CanDB
06-28-2018, 01:46 PM
I mean that goes into what I said about their history. Their present is just like the US they arent that good. They arent like a team like Chile whom should be in the world cup but only so many South American teams are allowed to take part. Italy just is in that transition phase. Next time around Buffon wont be in net, but Donnarumma, whom is viewed by many to be a future star, a potential best in the game keeper, will be.

Good insight IB.....

DenverBlood
06-30-2018, 07:43 AM
Argentina has adjusted perfectly from the first 20 minutes struggles win France speed. They have completely owned the second 20 minutes of the first half. And France choosing to play so soft and only counter finally cost them.

DenverBlood
06-30-2018, 08:15 AM
This game is on fire

DenverBlood
06-30-2018, 08:22 AM
Wow this one changed all momentum the second Argentina went up 2-1.

DenverBlood
06-30-2018, 08:26 AM
This one got away from Argentina fast

DenverBlood
06-30-2018, 08:55 AM
Absolute joke by the refs. 5 second half goals and then only add 4 minutes of stoppage? And then after a big scuffle delay and a stoppage time goal they still only allow 5 minutes if total stoppage? What an absolute joke.

I mean Germany got 8 minutes of stoppage against South Korea in a group stage game trying to save their tournament. If I was an Argentina fan I would be outraged right now.

InsaneBlaze23
06-30-2018, 09:00 AM
Argentina needs a midfield. Feel like that was their Achilles heel. They lacked the ability to pass anything up the middle to their attackers and basically relied on the wings to cross it to get inside the box.

France is a monster of talent and this is without Pogba really doing anything.

DenverBlood
06-30-2018, 09:06 AM
Argentina needs a midfield. Feel like that was their Achilles heel. They lacked the ability to pass anything up the middle to their attackers and basically relied on the wings to cross it to get inside the box.

France is a monster of talent and this is without Pogba really doing anything.

Their speed when they turned it in was an absolute nightmare for the Argentina midfield and defense.

Theyíll provide a monster challenge to Brazil should those two eventually meet up.

InsaneBlaze23
06-30-2018, 09:32 AM
Their speed when they turned it in was an absolute nightmare for the Argentina midfield and defense.

Theyíll provide a monster challenge to Brazil should those two eventually meet up.

Yea Mbappe is unnatural. Him and Willian are speed demons. 2 players whom once the ball is at their feet and there is open ground, the jets are coming on and the only way you stopping them is by fouling.

DenverBlood
06-30-2018, 10:12 AM
Yea Mbappe is unnatural. Him and Willian are speed demons. 2 players whom once the ball is at their feet and there is open ground, the jets are coming on and the only way you stopping them is by fouling.

What MBappe did twice in the first 20 minutes was absolutely stunning. He nearly had them up 2-0 before Argentina could blink an eye.

But then for some reason France decided to go defensive way too early and Argentina made them pay. But when Messi had his shot deflected to put them up 2-1 it was a big wake up call for France. From about the 54th minute to the 80th France played completely unstoppable football. And their speed again gave Argentina fits.

They got soft again the last 10-15 minutes though which nearly cost them.

DenverBlood
06-30-2018, 12:58 PM
Very poor performance by Ronaldo today. His team is going home earlier than expected.

InsaneBlaze23
06-30-2018, 01:00 PM
Good win for Uruguay. Cavani is such a beast and I hope this elevates him into being the superstar he is. He is always in someone's shadow. With Uruguay he is in Luis shadow. With PSG first he was in Ibrah shadow, now Neymar.

Cavani is amazing and he deserves all the praise he will be getting.

Hph5
06-30-2018, 01:18 PM
Good win for Uruguay. Cavani is such a beast and I hope this elevates him into being the superstar he is. He is always in someone's shadow. With Uruguay he is in Luis shadow. With PSG first he was in Ibrah shadow, now Neymar.

Cavani is amazing and he deserves all the praise he will be getting.

I'm picking Uruguay to win the Cup after today. They're a small nation, but they have a very good team.

InsaneBlaze23
06-30-2018, 04:00 PM
I'm picking Uruguay to win the Cup after today. They're a small nation, but they have a very good team.
My pick before the event was France and it's still France. I just think they are just so talented and stacked at every position. World class players can have mediocre games and France still wins or draws at worst.

Compared to the other teams, only Brasil matches them player for player. But Neymar sometimes gets in his own way and that hurts Brasil.

Those 2 are the top 2 teams to me. With Spain being the unlikely popular pick to actual win. And Uruguay and Croatia as the dark horses.

DevilSpawn
06-30-2018, 05:34 PM
I had Germany as the winners but that's over and done with lol. Uruguay looks strong so far but France is looking just as good. If Spain wins tomorrow that's my new updated pick. If they don't then I don't care who wins.

bronx_2003
07-01-2018, 05:38 AM
France and Brazil are the favorites, with France edging it for me.

Croatia have been really impressive, not sure they can go all the way but they have arguably been the best team so far and are great to watch. Tons of experience, playmakers, and players that know the system and know the players around them so well.

Uruguay have the 2 things that give them a chance. very good and well organised defence, and goalscorers.

DenverBlood
07-01-2018, 07:43 AM
France and Brazil are the favorites, with France edging it for me.

Croatia have been really impressive, not sure they can go all the way but they have arguably been the best team so far and are great to watch. Tons of experience, playmakers, and players that know the system and know the players around them so well.

Uruguay have the 2 things that give them a chance. very good and well organised defence, and goalscorers.

I actually think Uruguay may be more impressive than Croatia. They have the suffocating defense which we fans donít consider the sexy style. But itís not too different from the 2014 runner up Argentina method. They had like a 540 minute shutout streak prior to the 1 goal allowed yesterday.

CanDB
07-01-2018, 09:05 AM
Some great soccer being played!! No idea who will win it all! I think there are at least 5 teams in the hunt.

CanDB
07-01-2018, 09:43 AM
There goes another team "biting the dust"......Spain is gone. Russia prevails. Amazing goaltending in the shootout!

Bronco51
07-01-2018, 09:46 AM
That last save by the Russian goalie was amazing

InsaneBlaze23
07-01-2018, 09:46 AM
Down goes Spain. They had damn near 80% possession, almost 20 more shots than Russian, near if not more than 1000 passes....but Russia's defense did not break.

De Gea couldn't stop a single penalty and fueled the dislike the Spainish fans have against him, as the fans have been vocal about Spain needing a change at goal.

No Spain, No Germany, No Argentina. 3 giants that seem to make it far, 1 didnt make it to KO stages.

DenverBlood
07-01-2018, 09:47 AM
There goes another team "biting the dust"......Spain is gone. Russia prevails. Amazing goaltending in the shootout!

Spain was not aggressive enough. But Iím not sure how you get many chances when Russiaís strategy was play 10 man defense and hope to get to a shootout. Which worked.

But the officiating was 100% in Russiaís back pocket. Spain shouldíve had a PK in the second extra time and possibly won before the shootout.

DevilSpawn
07-01-2018, 09:49 AM
There's the Spain I know. Chokers lol. :ugh:

Probably the biggest upset in the final 16. Congrats to Russia.

DevilSpawn
07-01-2018, 09:55 AM
De Gea couldn't stop a single penalty and fueled the dislike the Spainish fans have against him, as the fans have been vocal about Spain needing a change at goal.
I wasn't going to have as much confidence in anyone replacing the legend San Iker, but I had plenty in De Gea because he's one of the world's best... except in this tournament. Just brutal.

InsaneBlaze23
07-01-2018, 09:56 AM
Spain was not aggressive enough. But Iím not sure how you get many chances when Russiaís strategy was play 10 man defense and hope to get to a shootout. Which worked.

But the officiating was 100% in Russiaís back pocket. Spain shouldíve had a PK in the second extra time and possibly won before the shootout.

Yea there was at least 2 penalties on the corner. Ramos was being held like a good pro wrestling bear hug. Gerard was held and thrown to the ground. They replayed it but then chose to not make a decision.

I fail to understand the point of VAR if they arent gonna fully use it.

InsaneBlaze23
07-01-2018, 09:58 AM
I wasn't going to have as much confidence in anyone replacing the legend San Iker, but I had plenty in De Gea because he's one of the world's best... except in this tournament. Just brutal.

Yea he was amazing for Man U. But this tourney idk what the problem was. During the Portugal game he could have easily stopped 2 of the 3 goalies they scored.

Maybe its mental. Maybe hearing that the fans dont want him, had been affecting him.

bronx_2003
07-01-2018, 10:41 AM
I actually think Uruguay may be more impressive than Croatia. They have the suffocating defense which we fans donít consider the sexy style. But itís not too different from the 2014 runner up Argentina method. They had like a 540 minute shutout streak prior to the 1 goal allowed yesterday.

Impressive record but their group did not contain anyone with a goal threat.

Whether Uruguay have the creativity in their midfield to go far is the big question. I believe they play France in the QF's so it should be a good game.

bronx_2003
07-01-2018, 10:43 AM
That was a boring game to watch. Russia are a poor team who just threw everyone behind the ball for 120 minutes and prayed for penalties. To be fair it worked for them.

Spain have not looked right all tournament, they have all this possession but had no penetration or pace, just knocking it sideways all game. Really boring.

Neither team deserved to win that, shocking game.

DenverBlood
07-01-2018, 12:58 PM
The games today have not been that exciting despite both going to extras.

InsaneBlaze23
07-01-2018, 01:54 PM
Croatia v. Denmark was more lit than a bonfire.

CanDB
07-01-2018, 02:05 PM
One thing about the Croatia/Denmark game, the goaltenders were both remarkable in the shootout! I am not sure I've ever seen 5 saves out of 10 shots, and not to forget the save in OT. In fact, I used to think goals were automatic from that distance, but in this game, I was actually wondering if they were going to score.

DenverBlood
07-01-2018, 02:05 PM
Croatia v. Denmark was more lit than a bonfire.

Some of the regulation match was boring but once they had that second extra time PK on through the rest of the game it was insane intense.

InsaneBlaze23
07-01-2018, 02:54 PM
One thing about the Croatia/Denmark game, the goaltenders were both remarkable in the shootout! I am not sure I've ever seen 5 saves out of 10 shots, and not to forget the save in OT. In fact, I used to think goals were automatic from that distance, but in this game, I was actually wondering if they were going to score.

It was a good game, never would have went in extra had it not been for outstanding play in net. Croatia definitely had some chances to score that likely would have went in had someone else been in net.

bronx_2003
07-01-2018, 06:37 PM
Surprised how poor Croatia were, Denmark were much better surprisingly but just had no quality once they got near the goal. Croatia scraped through though but need to play much better.

Rastic
07-01-2018, 06:56 PM
That was a boring game to watch. Russia are a poor team who just threw everyone behind the ball for 120 minutes and prayed for penalties. To be fair it worked for them.

Spain have not looked right all tournament, they have all this possession but had no penetration or pace, just knocking it sideways all game. Really boring.

Neither team deserved to win that, shocking game.

I'm still surprised at the outcome of the Spain / Russia game. I'll agree that Spain hasn't looked good but wow... that save at the end was a heart breaker!

France / Uruguay looks to be a good match but I also think Brazil / Mexico might be entertaining as well.

InsaneBlaze23
07-02-2018, 08:32 AM
They might as well get rid if VAR, they seriously just wont use it. Red card situation, you would think they would check it....nope.

InsaneBlaze23
07-02-2018, 08:55 AM
End to end good game. Ochoa kept that from being a destruction. Brasil had a lot of good shots saved by Ochoa. Willain is a nightmare for anyone and at the drop of a dime he was near Mexico's box.

DenverBlood
07-02-2018, 09:01 AM
Glad to see Mexico go home.

bronx_2003
07-02-2018, 09:32 AM
Mexico have a lot of pace and are good to watch but just like in the Germany game they are really poor in the final third. Brazil have looked comfortable all tournament without being great, chances are they will face Belgium in the QF's so that will be the real test for them.

Regarding the Mexico player leaning on Neymars leg, it was silly but not enough for a red IMO, it should have been checked on VAR and given a yellow. Absolutely ridiculous scenes from Neymar acting like he had been shot, rolling around and screaming. Brazil and Portugal really go too far with the play-acting.

So 3 games to go. My guess would be Belgium, Sweden, and (hopefully) England. Should be some good QF's on Friday & Saturday.

-Rod-
07-02-2018, 09:33 AM
If soccer had any morality, Neymar would be suspended for flopping so much.

1013817483806076928

InsaneBlaze23
07-02-2018, 10:15 AM
It's part of the game and it's not like he isnt actually being fouled. Just selling the foul to draw attention to being fouled. Look at the possible red card from today's game. Nobody would have noticed what happened had Neymar over acted getting stepped. Which he was, and it was intention. It would be different if he isnf touched and just drops like Flopping Robben did, which led to a game deciding goal. Or what Lebron and many NBA players do the second armpit hair blows by.

It's no different than people tryna sell handballs. It's just apart of the game, everybody does it.

Jaws
07-02-2018, 12:36 PM
Seeing a talented player like Neymar being such a drama queen is not my cup of tea.

InsaneBlaze23
07-02-2018, 12:57 PM
Fire game. So much heart from Japan and for a sec, just a sec, they looked like they would get the upset...then boom Belgium answers and answers again, then again.

HUMCALC
07-02-2018, 01:01 PM
Great game and comeback. It was very exciting! I don't see Belgium going any further, since they barely squeaked by

Peanut
07-02-2018, 02:09 PM
Fire game. So much heart from Japan and for a sec, just a sec, they looked like they would get the upset...then boom Belgium answers and answers again, then again.

I was hoping Japan could pull it off. Does this mean that they're going to have a messy stadium now? :laugh:

bronx_2003
07-02-2018, 02:55 PM
It's part of the game and it's not like he isnt actually being fouled. Just selling the foul to draw attention to being fouled. Look at the possible red card from today's game. Nobody would have noticed what happened had Neymar over acted getting stepped. Which he was, and it was intention. It would be different if he isnf touched and just drops like Flopping Robben did, which led to a game deciding goal. Or what Lebron and many NBA players do the second armpit hair blows by.

It's no different than people tryna sell handballs. It's just apart of the game, everybody does it.

Every team tries to win free kicks but Brazil and Portugal go too far with the play-acting and rolling around, they take it too another level and quite honestly are embarrassing at times. Neymar and Pepe need to have a look in the mirror and realize how pathetic they look at times.

InsaneBlaze23
07-03-2018, 01:02 PM
Ugh this has been the worst officiated game thus far. The ref is super inconsistent and seemingly let's Colombian players get bullied.

Some missed calls including an obvious flop which is suppose to be an automatic yellow if someone flops like that.(Neymar oversells/overreacts)

The Barca back up might end up being Colombia's biggest hero.

Jaws
07-03-2018, 01:41 PM
This has been somewhat uninspiring.

InsaneBlaze23
07-03-2018, 01:57 PM
Should have never went to PKs. Horrible officiating.

bronx_2003
07-03-2018, 02:58 PM
Not a great game to watch, Colombia showed nothing and England lacked quality in the final 3rd. Fantastic that we won on penalties, something that we never do. Onwards to Sweden..............

I have to say that Colombia's conduct was absolutely disgusting. They had no intention of playing football, just breaking up the game, holding players, niggly fouls, abusive, and just trying to get our players sent off by being in their face the entire time. Even as the players went off at HT their coach shoulder barged Sterling, disgraceful. They harassed the referee all game and scuffed up the penalty spot before Kane's PK....... and how he only got a yellow card for the headbutt I don't know.

After the match the Colombian media said they knew the team would do this as they didn't want to try and match England on the pitch, just turn the game into a fight. FIFA really need to look into this and give them a huge fine.

Anyway, onwards to the QF's............................

bronx_2003
07-03-2018, 03:00 PM
Should have never went to PKs. Horrible officiating.

Probably not but England were wasteful in the final third and didn't get a 2nd to kill them off, so I can't complain too much when they got that injury time equalizer.

HUMCALC
07-03-2018, 05:40 PM
Boring game. This is the exact reason why most Americans dislike soccer. It was boring, England got away with murder, and no one knows exactly how long a game is. The only fun part was the ending. I only watched because my dad is English, and he likes soccer. I could care less

bronx_2003
07-03-2018, 05:54 PM
Boring game. This is the exact reason why most Americans dislike soccer. It was boring, England got away with murder, and no one knows exactly how long a game is. The only fun part was the ending. I only watched because my dad is English, and he likes soccer. I could care less

You get good games and bad games like any sport, if its not for you then fair enough.

Not sure what England got away with ? If you were watching the same game then it was clearly Colombia who acted disgracefully and got away with a clear red card and referee harassment. Their antics were embarrassing.

https://talksport.com/football/394664/cheating-disgrace-england-fans-slam-colombias-dirty-tactics/ - This is an English article of how we viewed it.

On our national sports channel they talked to Colombian media members who also condoned their actions but said they knew this was the game plan coming in, to do lots of little fouls to break the game up and get in the faces of England to get a player sent off.

Colombia were a disgrace and this happens a lot with South American teams........ Uruguay seem to be a pleasant exception.

HUMCALC
07-03-2018, 06:01 PM
You get good games and bad games like any sport, if its not for you then fair enough.

Not sure what England got away with ? If you were watching the same game then it was clearly Colombia who acted disgracefully and got away with a clear red card and referee harassment. Their antics were embarrassing.

https://talksport.com/football/394664/cheating-disgrace-england-fans-slam-colombias-dirty-tactics/ - This is an English article of how we viewed it.

On our national sports channel they talked to Colombian media members who also condoned their actions but said they knew this was the game plan coming in, to do lots of little fouls to break the game up and get in the faces of England to get a player sent off.

Colombia were a disgrace and this happens a lot with South American teams........ Uruguay seem to be a pleasant exception.

ENG stepped on a guy's face. I don't know hardly anything about soccer, but it just seemed that after ENG scored, their players seemed to be flopping on the ground for what looked like minor hits, like they were whittling time off the clock. If everyone else says that COL was the one that was dirty, then I apologize. Like I said, I know very little about soccer, it just looked like (to me at least) that ENG was playing rougher/dirtier. Then again, soccer is my least favorite sport & I know almost nothing about it

bronx_2003
07-03-2018, 06:21 PM
ENG stepped on a guy's face. I don't know hardly anything about soccer, but it just seemed that after ENG scored, their players seemed to be flopping on the ground for what looked like minor hits, like they were whittling time off the clock. If everyone else says that COL was the one that was dirty, then I apologize. Like I said, I know very little about soccer, it just looked like (to me at least) that ENG was playing rougher/dirtier. Then again, soccer is my least favorite sport & I know almost nothing about it

No problem, was just surprised to read that after Colombia have been vilified around the world for their tactics.

Should be some good games in the QF's

Hph5
07-06-2018, 02:18 AM
No problem, was just surprised to read that after Colombia have been vilified around the world for their tactics.

Should be some good games in the QF's

With the exception of England-Sweden, all the Quarterfinals should be epic games.

InsaneBlaze23
07-06-2018, 03:53 AM
With the exception on England-Sweden, all the Quarterfinals should be epic games.

Yea England v Sweden is either gonna be a snooze or Sweden is gonna rek they you know what.

The other match ups are heavy hitters.

bronx_2003
07-06-2018, 07:11 AM
With the exception on England-Sweden, all the Quarterfinals should be epic games.

You never know in these games which ones will turn out to be a good watch. Who would have thought that Japan - Belgium would have been so good while Brazil - Mexico was pretty dire.

Sweden are not great and I would be disapointed to lose to them but you just never know in these games, especially in this WC

DenverBlood
07-06-2018, 07:33 AM
You never know in these games which ones will turn out to be a good watch. Who would have thought that Japan - Belgium would have been so good while Brazil - Mexico was pretty dire.

Sweden are not great and I would be disapointed to lose to them but you just never know in these games, especially in this WC

Was going to say just this. How often in sports does the "On paper" matchups end up different in real life on who we think would be the fun to watch match? Seems like every sport has at least 1 matchup every postseason that turns out like that. On paper Sweden and England don't wow anyway. But watch it end up being a 4-3 shootout thriller.

bronx_2003
07-06-2018, 08:39 AM
Was going to say just this. How often in sports does the "On paper" matchups end up different in real life on who we think would be the fun to watch match? Seems like every sport has at least 1 matchup every postseason that turns out like that. On paper Sweden and England don't wow anyway. But watch it end up being a 4-3 shootout thriller.

Very true, you just never know in any sports. Although the way Sweden play (very little goal threat, men behind the ball, physical and well organised) means the game probably won't be a great watch......... Russia will play the same way against Croatia. Defend and hope to grab a goal on a set piece.

Brazil Belgium 'should' be a great game, hopefully it lives up to the billing.

I'm watching the current game and its not been great. I feel a little sorry for Uruguay, they have been the better team but rely so much on the Suarez-Cavani partnership that without Cavani they don't look like scoring......... and that keeper mistake for the second goal was terrible.

IMO Brazil are much better then France

DenverBlood
07-06-2018, 11:51 AM
Brazil have their hands full at the break.

InsaneBlaze23
07-06-2018, 12:19 PM
I see the refs still arent using VAR. Might as well get rid of it since none of the refs wanna actually use it.

DenverBlood
07-06-2018, 12:56 PM
Down goes Brazil!!!!!

CanDB
07-06-2018, 12:57 PM
Well....Brazil is out. Nothing surprises me in this tournament. I am glad for Belgium. Thought the refs were giving Brazil some close calls along the way (though I only saw parts of the game), so this one is well deserved!

Now who's the fav(s)??? I guess Belgium has to be one of them.

InsaneBlaze23
07-06-2018, 01:01 PM
Well....Brazil is out. Nothing surprises me in this tournament. I am glad for Belgium. Thought the refs were giving Brazil some close calls along the way (though I only saw parts of the game), so this one is well deserved!

Now who's the fav(s)??? I guess Belgium has to be one of them.

France for this side of the bracket. With Brasil, Germany, and Spain, France was one of the favorites to win it all for most outlets.

bronx_2003
07-06-2018, 01:19 PM
I'm glad Brazil are out, Neymar with his antics is embarrassing at times. Having said that they should have had a penalty, surprised VAR didn't award one.

France are the favorites but haven't shown much this WC, I think its completely open.

CanDB
07-06-2018, 01:36 PM
France for this side of the bracket. With Brasil, Germany, and Spain, France was one of the favorites to win it all for most outlets.


I'm glad Brazil are out, Neymar with his antics is embarrassing at times. Having said that they should have had a penalty, surprised VAR didn't award one.

France are the favorites but haven't shown much this WC, I think its completely open.

I've had a feeling for Croatia and Sweden, but who knows, maybe both are gone tomorrow. Belgium should be bolstered knocking off Brazil, but I did not like the way they were defending. They seemed to be allowing Brazil opportunities to tie the game.

But certainly, France should be a popular choice.

All in all, I would not put a lot of money on any of the teams.

Bye bye Neymar....you sure leave me with a sour taste, given your apparent frailty.

CanDB
07-07-2018, 08:54 AM
Congrats to England! They were the better team for sure. Now lets see who they play next in the semis. For me it's Croatia. Perhaps England adds a crown again, after so many year since they have been known as a real force in soccer. I do remember those days.

DenverBlood
07-07-2018, 10:24 AM
Congrats to England. Somewhat uninspiring performance by Sweden though. They didn’t play the best set piece defense. And they squandered several second half opportunities. I do agree with Can that England was the better team. But Sweden should’ve been better.

CanDB
07-07-2018, 11:28 AM
Congrats to England. Somewhat uninspiring performance by Sweden though. They didn’t play the best set piece defense. And they squandered several second half opportunities. I do agree with Can that England was the better team. But Sweden should’ve been better.

I think this is the year that many teams are going to scratch their heads and realize that the window of opportunity was there, and they came up short. Most world cups involve top tier countries hanging around till the end, whereas this year, whether via upset or poor play, the "perceived" best countries are pretty much gone, prior to the semis. If there was ever a year to steal the crown, it was this.

Not saying it's easy....but I do believe it will be a source of consternation when the smoke clears. As in, "we coulda won this thing!!!".

DenverBlood
07-07-2018, 01:07 PM
I think this is the year that many teams are going to scratch their heads and realize that the window of opportunity was there, and they came up short. Most world cups involve top tier countries hanging around till the end, whereas this year, whether via upset or poor play, the "perceived" best countries are pretty much gone, prior to the semis. If there was ever a year to steal the crown, it was this.

Not saying it's easy....but I do believe it will be a source of consternation when the smoke clears. As in, "we coulda won this thing!!!".

USMNT fans have been kicking themselves since the first round of games seeing the top tier teams struggle.

Of course knowing our history we wouldíve still lost two group stage games and still been eliminated anyway.

HUMCALC
07-07-2018, 01:32 PM
I'm glad that England won, because my dad is from England & he really enjoys this sport

DenverBlood
07-07-2018, 02:44 PM
I’m glad Russia is out. Pulling for England or Croatia from this point.

DevilSpawn
07-07-2018, 03:30 PM
I won't be mad if England wins but I'm going for Belgium or Croatia. It would be good to see a new country win it for a change. I'm heavily rooting for Belgium.

This is an all-European final four. Quick trivia: As of 2022, only nations from Europe and South America have competed in a World Cup Final.

Speaking of 2022, that tournament is gonna suck. It's in November/December, right in the middle of several leagues and of course our NFL season. The final game is on December 18th. Ewwwww.

DenverBlood
07-07-2018, 05:54 PM
I won't be mad if England wins but I'm going for Belgium or Croatia. It would be good to see a new country win it for a change. I'm heavily rooting for Belgium.

This is an all-European final four. Quick trivia: As of 2022, only nations from Europe and South America have competed in a World Cup Final.

Speaking of 2022, that tournament is gonna suck. It's in November/December, right in the middle of several leagues and of course our NFL season. The final game is on December 18th. Ewwwww.

One of my co workers has been talking about that. Qatar paid a boatload to host a World Cup and if they field a team they’ll get smashed.

CanDB
07-07-2018, 06:06 PM
I'm good with England, Croatia or Belgium to win it all. I don't dislike France, but prefer one of these three teams get their hands on the title. England won it in '66, so they've had to wait.

Hph5
07-08-2018, 03:37 AM
I’m glad Russia is out. Pulling for England or Croatia from this point.

The refs were afraid to call anything on the Russian team. Can't really blame them, but at least it's a level playing field with them out.

Butler By'Note
07-08-2018, 09:24 AM
I'm glad we've got some fresh blood in the semi-finals. It's boring seeing the same teams win over and over (except for Italy, watching them win is great!). So I'm glad we've got 2 teams that have never won it, a team that hasn't won it in 52 years (although their fans always expect to win, and act like they're always winning it) and a team that won it 20 years ago.

Of the teams left I'm pulling for Belgium. Regardless of who wins though I hope it happens in regulation or in the 120 minutes, I don't want to see it won on penalties.

CanDB
07-08-2018, 10:39 AM
I love soccer....always have. Watching these championships is such a treat. But If I was the head of soccer on this planet, here's the first 4 things I'd implement:

1) Awarding penalty kicks only for serious infractions, those that clearly affected the goal scoring opportunity. (Similar concept to hockey penalty shots). If not serious, award a corner kick.

Why, because goals are hard to score, so why give a team an easy shot at scoring, when an infraction is borderline.

2) Moving the penalty kick back 1 yard. Based on recent info, apparently over 70% of penalty kicks result in a goal. Why is it so one-sided? Lets be real, a well placed kick can not be saved. One yard back would probably make it a 50/50 proposition at best.

Why...same reason as above. Goals should be hard to score.

3) Penalize "diving". Make this a grown up sport, not a cry baby event. I can not tolerate mature, athletic men or women falling down as if they were in agony, when in fact, they might not have even been touched. Give 'em a yellow card.

4) Do everything possible to eliminate "shootouts". Especially in world championships. One improvement would be to go sudden death in OT, versus 2 more 15 minute halves. Why play for another 30 minutes after a long game, when it could be decided on the first goal winning the game? By going 30 minutes, teams can tie it up again, leading to the "shootout". Lets be real, shootouts are not the pure way to end any sport final. Exciting, yes, but often based on luck if nothing else.


There's my rant. But I do love the game!

DevilSpawn
07-08-2018, 11:56 AM
I love soccer....always have. Watching these championships is such a treat. But If I was the head of soccer on this planet, here's the first 4 things I'd implement:

1) Awarding penalty kicks only for serious infractions, those that clearly affected the goal scoring opportunity. (Similar concept to hockey penalty shots). If not serious, award a corner kick.

Why, because goals are hard to score, so why give a team an easy shot at scoring, when an infraction is borderline.

2) Moving the penalty kick back 1 yard. Based on recent info, apparently over 70% of penalty kicks result in a goal. Why is it so one-sided? Lets be real, a well placed kick can not be saved. One yard back would probably make it a 50/50 proposition at best.

Why...same reason as above. Goals should be hard to score.

3) Penalize "diving". Make this a grown up sport, not a cry baby event. I can not tolerate mature, athletic men or women falling down as if they were in agony, when in fact, they might not have even been touched. Give 'em a yellow card.

4) Do everything possible to eliminate "shootouts". Especially in world championships. One improvement would be to go sudden death in OT, versus 2 more 15 minute halves. Why play for another 30 minutes after a long game, when it could be decided on the first goal winning the game? By going 30 minutes, teams can tie it up again, leading to the "shootout". Lets be real, shootouts are not the pure way to end any sport final. Exciting, yes, but often based on luck if nothing else.


There's my rant. But I do love the game!
I agree with this. I'm not a fan of shootouts, and after yesterday (and Spain's loss) a sudden death playoff crossed my mind. I still think they should have two 15 minute periods but after that, 15 minute sudden death rounds. I think most fans will agree with this. The only problem is that it will eliminate some chances of upsets. Russia played Spain to a tie to they could have a shootout. Spain probably wins in sudden death. Probably.

CanDB
07-08-2018, 12:16 PM
I agree with this. I'm not a fan of shootouts, and after yesterday (and Spain's loss) a sudden death playoff crossed my mind. I still think they should have two 15 minute periods but after that, 15 minute sudden death rounds. I think most fans will agree with this. The only problem is that it will eliminate some chances of upsets. Russia played Spain to a tie to they could have a shootout. Spain probably wins in sudden death. Probably.

Good points.

So, get rid of diving (hockey has a penalty for "divers") and minimize shootouts. And for me, make it harder to score on penalty kicks, if indeed they are awarded.

The 15 minute halves are a bit confusing to me. You play a lengthy 90 minute game (plus added time), and then have to play a minimum 30 minutes more. That's why sudden death appeals to me. I do not mind upsets, but I also am not a fan of playing D, just for the hope of a shootout. I'd prefer eliminating offsides than turn games into total D. But I am ok with the offside rule, and loved when I played, using it when I was on D! It was fun "sneaking forward' only to make a dangerous player suddenly offside. Then again, imagine the game with no offsides! Huge field to cover. Sort of like the football comparison, when you stretch the field, to keep defenders honest.


Anyway...rules are not changing soon, but fun to discuss.

Butler By'Note
07-08-2018, 01:32 PM
I love soccer....always have. Watching these championships is such a treat. But If I was the head of soccer on this planet, here's the first 4 things I'd implement:

1) Awarding penalty kicks only for serious infractions, those that clearly affected the goal scoring opportunity. (Similar concept to hockey penalty shots). If not serious, award a corner kick.

Why, because goals are hard to score, so why give a team an easy shot at scoring, when an infraction is borderline.

2) Moving the penalty kick back 1 yard. Based on recent info, apparently over 70% of penalty kicks result in a goal. Why is it so one-sided? Lets be real, a well placed kick can not be saved. One yard back would probably make it a 50/50 proposition at best.

Why...same reason as above. Goals should be hard to score.

3) Penalize "diving". Make this a grown up sport, not a cry baby event. I can not tolerate mature, athletic men or women falling down as if they were in agony, when in fact, they might not have even been touched. Give 'em a yellow card.

4) Do everything possible to eliminate "shootouts". Especially in world championships. One improvement would be to go sudden death in OT, versus 2 more 15 minute halves. Why play for another 30 minutes after a long game, when it could be decided on the first goal winning the game? By going 30 minutes, teams can tie it up again, leading to the "shootout". Lets be real, shootouts are not the pure way to end any sport final. Exciting, yes, but often based on luck if nothing else.


There's my rant. But I do love the game!

I'll only comment on 3 and 4. I 100% agree with you on 3, it's pathetic watching them roll around. What's even worse is when teammates of the "injured" player then come up and harass the referee about giving the opposition a yellow or red card. Soccer should have a rule that as soon as you start trying to get an opposition player a card you immediately get one of your own for unsportsmanlike.

The problem with 4 is that often times they don't even score in those 30 minutes of extra time. So the game could got on forever. FIFA did go with a golden goal for awhile, but it didn't lead to more attacking as they thought it would.

I hate the penalty shootout and think that two other ideas could work better. 1. The silver goal concept they've used previously. A hybrid between the current and golden goal rules. During the extra time, if a team scores in the first 15 minutes and the other team doesn't then the game is over at that point.

The second has to do a little more with skill and evening the odds. Instead of having penalty kicks, have it be direct free kicks from outside of the box. The defenders can have a wall setup 10 yards from the ball, and the offensive team gets the chance to score from that set piece. Offensive team puts the ball into the box (or the net if they can) and they get the chance to score, once the ball goes out of touch, or the defending team clears it from the box the sequence ends. Play it 6 offensive players v 5 defenders (not including the goalie) but the player taking the kick (6th player) can't join the offense once the kick has been taken.

CanDB
07-08-2018, 03:22 PM
I'll only comment on 3 and 4. I 100% agree with you on 3, it's pathetic watching them roll around. What's even worse is when teammates of the "injured" player then come up and harass the referee about giving the opposition a yellow or red card. Soccer should have a rule that as soon as you start trying to get an opposition player a card you immediately get one of your own for unsportsmanlike.

The problem with 4 is that often times they don't even score in those 30 minutes of extra time. So the game could got on forever. FIFA did go with a golden goal for awhile, but it didn't lead to more attacking as they thought it would.

I hate the penalty shootout and think that two other ideas could work better. 1. The silver goal concept they've used previously. A hybrid between the current and golden goal rules. During the extra time, if a team scores in the first 15 minutes and the other team doesn't then the game is over at that point.

The second has to do a little more with skill and evening the odds. Instead of having penalty kicks, have it be direct free kicks from outside of the box. The defenders can have a wall setup 10 yards from the ball, and the offensive team gets the chance to score from that set piece. Offensive team puts the ball into the box (or the net if they can) and they get the chance to score, once the ball goes out of touch, or the defending team clears it from the box the sequence ends. Play it 6 offensive players v 5 defenders (not including the goalie) but the player taking the kick (6th player) can't join the offense once the kick has been taken.

Good discussion!

Yes, diving is pathetic!

And as for shootouts, I think we agree.....something better should be considered, whether it be sudden death, or the "silver goal", or direct free kicks. Almost anything is better than the high % penalty kick as we know it.

Joshua2585
07-09-2018, 12:12 PM
Moving the goal to 1/2 field or removing the goalie for a sudden death would be kind of cool!

Hph5
07-10-2018, 10:29 AM
You can get carded for diving, it just usually isn't punished.

Looking forward to today's match. Whoever wins it will be tough to beat in the final.

HUMCALC
07-10-2018, 10:31 AM
As a casual fan, I like shootouts. I like them both in soccer and hockey, it brings excitement to a boring sport

InsaneBlaze23
07-10-2018, 12:56 PM
My pick to win it has made it to the final. Honestly think if Anto was so goal hungry and selfish, France might have had at least 1 more goal.

Butler By'Note
07-10-2018, 01:51 PM
As a casual fan, I like shootouts. I like them both in soccer and hockey, it brings excitement to a boring sport

Are you saying hockey is a boring sport? It's not my favourite sport (football is) but when you watch a good hockey game, with both teams getting chances, it's about the best sport to watch. And the first round of the playoffs is one of the best thing in sports. In my opinion.

InsaneBlaze23
07-10-2018, 01:55 PM
Are you saying hockey is a boring sport? It's not my favourite sport (football is) but when you watch a good hockey game, with both teams getting chances, it's about the best sport to watch. And the first round of the playoffs is one of the best thing in sports. In my opinion.

Soccer is my favorite sport with Hockey being a very close second, and football 3rd.

I also read it as him calling both boring sports. I think the whole notion of them being boring is because of how rare scoring is and how often a draw will happen.

Will in sports like basketball, football, and even Tennis there is constant scoring and it's a rarity to see someone tie.

Scoring for a lot of people is a translation to action and entertainment. Something cant have been entertaining if nobody us scoring.

Rastic
07-10-2018, 03:02 PM
Are you saying hockey is a boring sport? It's not my favourite sport (football is) but when you watch a good hockey game, with both teams getting chances, it's about the best sport to watch. And the first round of the playoffs is one of the best thing in sports. In my opinion.

Yeah, both hockey and soccer are incredibly fun to watch - I just don't have the time to follow them all like I would like. Even low or non-scoring games can be very intense and have you on the edge of your seat.

'94 Buffalo Sabers vs. New Jersey Devils in a 1-0, excruciating 4th OT (almost 2 AM) yawn fest you say? Heck no! Hasek made 70 saves in the Sabers win. Insane!

Flopping really irks me though. FIFA really needs to get a handle on that it's beyond childish.

Butler By'Note
07-10-2018, 05:45 PM
Yeah, both hockey and soccer are incredibly fun to watch - I just don't have the time to follow them all like I would like. Even low or non-scoring games can be very intense and have you on the edge of your seat.

'94 Buffalo Sabers vs. New Jersey Devils in a 1-0, excruciating 4th OT (almost 2 AM) yawn fest you say? Heck no! Hasek made 70 saves in the Sabers win. Insane!

Flopping really irks me though. FIFA really needs to get a handle on that it's beyond childish.

That's a long game! I haven't been to one that long, but one of my favourites was the 1994 playoffs, Vancouver at Calgary, game 7, went to double overtime. Back then I was a Canucks fan (youthful stupidity) and Kirk McLean (my favourite player at the time) made a miracle save on a 2 on 1, before Bure ended it on a breakaway.

The save, how'd it not go in?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWuafX1JFZo

The goal, classic Bure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep5GVuPX2o0

HUMCALC
07-10-2018, 06:06 PM
I realized my mistake too late. I only meant that Soccer is boring

DenverBlood
07-10-2018, 07:26 PM
I realized my mistake too late. I only meant that Soccer is boring

Then why continue to comment in this thread? You seem to spend a lot of time paying attention to something you call boring.

I don’t watch as much as I wish I did but the 7-8 games I have had time to watch this World Cup have mostly all been fantastic.

People who call this sport boring don’t understand the true beauty of the game. All the near misses in a 1-0 game can create twice as many exciting moments as a 5-4 shootout. I’ve watched a 0-0 opening round game before that had 4-5 hits off the post. My buddy and I talked about the game for 30 minutes after. Sure a draw is disappointing but it doesn’t mean the game lacked drama.

I would say if you’ve ever played like I have you appreciate all of it a lot more than people who didn’t. But I already know your response to that. And I mean no disrespect when I say that. I just mean I can’t make that point.

HUMCALC
07-10-2018, 07:31 PM
Then why continue to comment in this thread? You seem to spend a lot of time paying attention to something you call boring.

I don’t watch as much as I wish I did but the 7-8 games I have had time to watch this World Cup have mostly all been fantastic.

People who call this sport boring don’t understand the true beauty of the game. All the near misses in a 1-0 game can create twice as many exciting moments as a 5-4 shootout. I’ve watched a 0-0 opening round game before that had 4-5 hits off the post. My buddy and I talked about the game for 30 minutes after. Sure a draw is disappointing but it doesn’t mean the game lacked drama.

I would say if you’ve ever played like I have you appreciate all of it a lot more than people who didn’t. But I already know your response to that. And I mean no disrespect when I say that. I just mean I can’t make that point.

I only pay attention for my dad. He and I have virtually nothing in common, so I'm watching so that we have something to talk about. I've watched a few games this year and a # in 2010, when I was in the hospital & everyone who came into my room was bored to tears. I think the low scoring is what keeps most Americans from getting into in and playing it

CanDB
07-10-2018, 07:41 PM
Then why continue to comment in this thread? You seem to spend a lot of time paying attention to something you call boring.

I don’t watch as much as I wish I did but the 7-8 games I have had time to watch this World Cup have mostly all been fantastic.

People who call this sport boring don’t understand the true beauty of the game. All the near misses in a 1-0 game can create twice as many exciting moments as a 5-4 shootout. I’ve watched a 0-0 opening round game before that had 4-5 hits off the post. My buddy and I talked about the game for 30 minutes after. Sure a draw is disappointing but it doesn’t mean the game lacked drama.

I would say if you’ve ever played like I have you appreciate all of it a lot more than people who didn’t. But I already know your response to that. And I mean no disrespect when I say that. I just mean I can’t make that point.

Hockey is a beautiful game. Played it all my life. Many a winter's night, on a rink or in street games. We played all day, often.

Love football! Baseball too. For the longest time I watched and played many, many sports.

As for soccer....incredible sport! I remember as a kid, we used to watch Sunday soccer from England. I learned at a very young age that close calls were exciting! The announcers would go crazy on a miss. It was unlike other sports I loved at the time, because 0-0 was a real possibility. But I got a big "kick" out of those British announcers, who made a low scoring game fun. In fact, it taught me at an early age that the beauty of the game is not in the scoring alone, but in the play making and effort that leads to a good opportunity....goal or no goal.

North America is big on scoring. Sometimes that mentality can ruin a good thing. What's great about soccer is that the appreciation for "the play" is so darn positive. Points do not equate to greatness. That applies to most sports.....look at a great D in football, or a great goalie in hockey (along with supportive cast). The greatness is in the execution, not the scoreboard.

DenverBlood
07-10-2018, 07:47 PM
Hockey is a beautiful game. Played it all my life. Many a winter's night, on a rink or in street games. We played all day, often.

Love football! Baseball too. For the longest time I watched and played many, many sports.

As for soccer....incredible sport! I remember as a kid, we used to watch Sunday soccer from England. I learned at a very young age that close calls were exciting! The announcers would go crazy on a miss. It was unlike other sports I loved at the time, because 0-0 was a real possibility. But I got a big "kick" out of those British announcers, who made a low scoring game fun. In fact, it taught me at an early age that the beauty of the game is not in the scoring alone, but in the play making and effort that leads to a good opportunity....goal or no goal.

North America is big on scoring. Sometimes that mentality can ruin a good thing. What's great about soccer is that the appreciation for "the play" is so darn positive. Points do not equate to greatness. That applies to most sports.....look at a great D in football, or a great goalie in hockey (along with supportive cast). The greatness is in the execution, not the scoreboard.

Exactly Can. Take for instance the first half of the England and Sweden game. Sterling had two gorgeous lob passes thrown beyond the defense for a one on one chance. Technically the first was offside but he goalie stonewalled him. Not 5 minutes later it happened again only this time he was onside. And again the goalie stonewalls him.

A casual fan may be disappointed that no goals resulted and call it boring.

I call it fantastic stops by the goalie and boneheaded mistakes by sterling that I mocked him for to my buddy. And the game stayed within reach for Sweden which is more entertaining than had England gone up 3-0.

Rastic
07-10-2018, 07:49 PM
I only pay attention for my dad. He and I have virtually nothing in common, so I'm watching so that we have something to talk about. I've watched a few games this year and a # in 2010, when I was in the hospital & everyone who came into my room was bored to tears. I think the low scoring is what keeps most Americans from getting into in and playing it

Sorry about your relationship with your dad. Maybe soccer talk could grow into something more meaningful? Kind of like a first step?

Anyway, I'm off the opinion that Americans don't follow soccer so much isn't because of the lack of scoring, though that may be a reason for some. I believe it's more cultural than anything. We grow up with little league baseball, football, and basketball as primary sports. Broadcast sports are dominated by these three sports as well but mostly due to the interest of fans.

As more and more kids are exposed to and play soccer, I expect we'll see interest along the public grow.

Watching a play develop can be an adrenaline rush!

CanDB
07-10-2018, 08:29 PM
I'm not here to explain why I believe soccer isn't as popular in some places as others. I have my views. But I will say this...soccer is the most popular sport on this planet.

#87Birdman
07-10-2018, 08:32 PM
Sorry about your relationship with your dad. Maybe soccer talk could grow into something more meaningful? Kind of like a first step?

Anyway, I'm off the opinion that Americans don't follow soccer so much isn't because of the lack of scoring, though that may be a reason for some. I believe it's more cultural than anything. We grow up with little league baseball, football, and basketball as primary sports. Broadcast sorts are dominated by these three sorts as well but mostly due to the interest of fans.

As more and more kids are exposed to and play soccer, I expect we'll see interest along the public grow.

Watching a play develop can be an adrenaline rush!

Yup I remember as kid that was what I did. And I remember high school our football coach didn't like our soccer team because they would ruin the practice football field. Topp they played on the practice football field to not ruinthe actual football field.

Which that mind set combined with how it wasn't big around hereis why I never followed it. Now my son plays it and I can't find a leaguethat is competitive enoughfor him that will also teach him. The league we finally got him in is competitive but coaching is volunteer based and he didn'tget a very good coach that really taught a whole lot. But my son had fun outside some situations and we try to get him in camps and I watch YouTube videos to try to teach him some things. But not growing up with it or watching it makes it hard. Closes I have to bring able to teach him its my great kickball skills lol

InsaneBlaze23
07-10-2018, 11:19 PM
I call it fantastic stops by the goalie....

This right here is the thing that needs to be pointed it, as it's the most overlooked thing when people talk about soccer and its excitement. A lot of games, especially high profile games, end up being close because you have high quality keepers on each end. If these are the best in the world, then a low scoring or no scoring effect should be expected more than anything else.

The job of the guys and gals in net is one of the most overlooked things in all of sports not just soccer.

DenverBlood
07-11-2018, 04:29 AM
Sorry about your relationship with your dad. Maybe soccer talk could grow into something more meaningful? Kind of like a first step?

Anyway, I'm off the opinion that Americans don't follow soccer so much isn't because of the lack of scoring, though that may be a reason for some. I believe it's more cultural than anything. We grow up with little league baseball, football, and basketball as primary sports. Broadcast sports are dominated by these three sports as well but mostly due to the interest of fans.

As more and more kids are exposed to and play soccer, I expect we'll see interest along the public grow.

Watching a play develop can be an adrenaline rush!

Soccer is actually the most played youth sport in America for all ages prior to high school age. Or at least was when i read an article on it in the 2014 World Cup. Said for whatever reason itís considered unpopular in high school because football is so big and there is a ton of peer pressure to play football instead of soccer.

But they said far and away soccer is the most played prior to 8-9th grade. For kids like my 5 year old the easiest sport to teach is just say run around with other kids and kick a ball.

#87Birdman
07-11-2018, 05:27 AM
Soccer is actually the most played youth sport in America for all ages prior to high school age. Or at least was when i read an article on it in the 2014 World Cup. Said for whatever reason it’s considered unpopular in high school because football is so big and there is a ton of peer pressure to play football instead of soccer.

But they said far and away soccer is the most played prior to 8-9th grade. For kids like my 5 year old the easiest sport to teach is just say run around with other kids and kick a ball.

Yup i remember watching a swarm of kids chase a ball Including some kids probably playing tag at that young age lol

DenverBlood
07-11-2018, 05:54 AM
Yup i remember watching a swarm of kids chase a ball Including some kids probably playing tag at that young age lol

Lol yeah it definitely doesn't resemble anything close to actual soccer but they have fun. We did something called soccer shots when our oldest was 3 but he hated it because it was mostly drills with very little actual play. We're attempting it again this year starting next month so fingers crossed that he's matured a little between 3 and 5. If anything I think he'll at least have a blast chasing kids as long as he doesn't throw tantrums about someone taking the ball from him. Our youngest just picks the ball up. :doh:

#87Birdman
07-11-2018, 06:07 AM
Lol yeah it definitely doesn't resemble anything close to actual soccer but they have fun. We did something called soccer shots when our oldest was 3 but he hated it because it was mostly drills with very little actual play. We're attempting it again this year starting next month so fingers crossed that he's matured a little between 3 and 5. If anything I think he'll at least have a blast chasing kids as long as he doesn't throw tantrums about someone taking the ball from him. Our youngest just picks the ball up. :doh:

Most of the ones we had my son in usually attempts to play against each other. But now the one we have him in a 10u league now but I wished they did more drills. Half the practice is a scrimmage. O well he has fun and they at least attempt actual soccer lol.

Rastic
07-11-2018, 06:55 AM
Soccer is actually the most played youth sport in America for all ages prior to high school age. Or at least was when i read an article on it in the 2014 World Cup. Said for whatever reason it’s considered unpopular in high school because football is so big and there is a ton of peer pressure to play football instead of soccer.

But they said far and away soccer is the most played prior to 8-9th grade. For kids like my 5 year old the easiest sport to teach is just say run around with other kids and kick a ball.

My understanding is that baseball is most played by youth up to about eight years old where basketball increases by a large margin. Baseball decreases and becomes slightly ahead or equal to soccer which stays in a steady third place. That's the most comprehensive data I could find for ages 6-17 as of 2013

http://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/9469252/hidden-demographics-youth-sports-espn-magazine
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/recruiting-insider/wp/2017/09/06/youth-sports-study-declining-participation-rising-costs-and-unqualified-coaches/?utm_term=.0aec00e319bd


I saw some other stats from 2017 which say soccer leaped baseball for the number two spot. That's both surprising and non-surprising to me mostly because I haven't really followed youth sports, baseball specifically, since I was young and had not realized how much in decline it is relative to other sports. At the same time not surprising because in the past 30+ years soccer has slowly trended up steadily.

http://insportscenters.com/most-popular-youth-sports/

Edit: so the last link is based on this study which is based on this article (http://www.engagesports.com/blog/post/1488/youth-sports-participation-statistics-and-trends) based on data from 2009-2014. They really parse the data and as far as categories, to me at least, it is a little misleading where baseball is. They have baseball, softball (fast pitch), and softball (slow pitch) - all three separate sports, but I think they all could easily reside in generic "baseball" category as the game is virtually the same in all the important areas. That would kick baseball back up to number two and leave soccer in third in the US by participation.

What the stats cannot show is the impact that soccer has had in this time period though. Rarely, if ever, could you catch a soccer match on TV. Now that isn't difficult. Professional soccer jerseys for sale in sports stores are everywhere. And, as you mentioned, soccer is a common sport to many children today and is steadily growing. Some will grow up with a great love for the game and want follow and share it with their kids.

Rastic
07-11-2018, 06:57 AM
I really want to see a France vs. England final.

CanDB
07-11-2018, 08:15 AM
This right here is the thing that needs to be pointed it, as it's the most overlooked thing when people talk about soccer and its excitement. A lot of games, especially high profile games, end up being close because you have high quality keepers on each end. If these are the best in the world, then a low scoring or no scoring effect should be expected more than anything else.

The job of the guys and gals in net is one of the most overlooked things in all of sports not just soccer.

I would never be a soccer goalie. That net is so big, that you feel pretty naked out there. The good ones are incredibly gifted athletes.

CanDB
07-11-2018, 08:18 AM
Soccer is actually the most played youth sport in America for all ages prior to high school age. Or at least was when i read an article on it in the 2014 World Cup. Said for whatever reason it’s considered unpopular in high school because football is so big and there is a ton of peer pressure to play football instead of soccer.

But they said far and away soccer is the most played prior to 8-9th grade. For kids like my 5 year old the easiest sport to teach is just say run around with other kids and kick a ball.

Soccer is the perfect youth sport. If you have a field, all you really need is a ball. Heck, when we were young, we even used nets that someone made for us. (not the best, but they worked fine). So yah, low, low cost, loads of running, and an opportunity to learn to use your skills, and develop them.

DenverBlood
07-11-2018, 08:19 AM
I would never be a soccer goalie. That net is so big, that you feel pretty naked out there. The good ones are incredibly gifted athletes.

The tv doesn't do justice for exactly how big the goals are. I remember when I played I felt like one on one with a goalie you should never get stopped from scoring a goal. Just goes to show you the talent level of the defenses and goalies that over 90 minutes they can often times keep both teams from scoring at all. But when you look at the goal on the field you feel like games should be 10-8. It really does take a super athletic goalie to stop many of these shots.

CanDB
07-11-2018, 10:35 AM
The tv doesn't do justice for exactly how big the goals are. I remember when I played I felt like one on one with a goalie you should never get stopped from scoring a goal. Just goes to show you the talent level of the defenses and goalies that over 90 minutes they can often times keep both teams from scoring at all. But when you look at the goal on the field you feel like games should be 10-8. It really does take a super athletic goalie to stop many of these shots.

This is goalie related.....because they are so active in shootouts, I find it risky but so cool to see a kicker shoot the ball straight at the middle of the net, especially in a huge event like The World Cup. I have a feeling it goes in a high % of the time, but must still feel weird just prior to kicking it. Odds are the goalie has to make a quick choice, left or right. Staying in the middle is not usually a recipe for success in net.

DenverBlood
07-11-2018, 10:40 AM
This is goalie related.....because they are so active in shootouts, I find it risky but so cool to see a kicker shoot the ball straight at the middle of the net, especially in a huge event like The World Cup. I have a feeling it goes in a high % of the time, but must still feel weird just prior to kicking it. Odds are the goalie has to make a quick choice, left or right. Staying in the middle is not usually a recipe for success in net.

I've always been told the highest % shot for a kicker is the top corner post. Sure it's risky because you could hit the post or sail over but most people I've heard say it's the most likely unstoppable shot for a goalie to deflect. Too far of a leap and if the kicker hits it with enough power it will travel too fast. The only way a goalie would be able to block it is if they dove early and the kicker didn't adjust mid kick.

Up the middle is extremely unexpected sure. But I don't think it's as high of a % as you think. In fact I forget which shootout it was this World cup. But one of them had two kickers both kick mostly up the middle and the goalies had dove but kept their legs stretched out behind them as they dove left or right. And both were able to deflect a shot up the middle with their shins by doing so. Granted that's two shots out of a large historical sample size. But I've always been taught best not to test a goalie by going for the middle of the net.

CanDB
07-11-2018, 11:20 AM
I've always been told the highest % shot for a kicker is the top corner post. Sure it's risky because you could hit the post or sail over but most people I've heard say it's the most likely unstoppable shot for a goalie to deflect. Too far of a leap and if the kicker hits it with enough power it will travel too fast. The only way a goalie would be able to block it is if they dove early and the kicker didn't adjust mid kick.

Up the middle is extremely unexpected sure. But I don't think it's as high of a % as you think. In fact I forget which shootout it was this World cup. But one of them had two kickers both kick mostly up the middle and the goalies had dove but kept their legs stretched out behind them as they dove left or right. And both were able to deflect a shot up the middle with their shins by doing so. Granted that's two shots out of a large historical sample size. But I've always been taught best not to test a goalie by going for the middle of the net.

Listen, I'd never go up the middle. Just saying how crazy it seems. Italy's crafty Pirlo pulled it off in a World Cup shootout.

As a right footed kicker, my favs are top right or lower left (from my perspective). If you hook a ball inward from the post, with some speed, top right, it is impossible to stop. Bottom left, hooking towards the corner (again, with some speed) makes a goalie have to guess right and have to dive low for the ball. Top left is good too, but a goalie could get their hand on it.

CanDB
07-11-2018, 11:25 AM
Good game so far! Kind of wish England did not get such a close free kick....in a very scorable spot. I am not against England, but I want the goals to be well earned. But no doubt the kick was perfect!

CanDB
07-11-2018, 11:49 AM
Love how 8 of Croatia's starters have names ending in "ic", and the HC would make it 9! Makes for an interesting play by play.:D

Rastic
07-11-2018, 12:13 PM
Love how 8 of Croatia's starters have names ending in "ic", and the HC would make it 9! Makes for an interesting play by play.:D

LOL, it's a slavic thing.

Rastic
07-11-2018, 12:14 PM
Is it me or does Kieran Trippier have the straightest line of hair on his forehead or what?

https://ssl.gstatic.com/onebox/media/sports/photos/reuters/tag:reuters.com,2018:newsml_RC1EEE988E40:169395091 1_768x432.jpg

CanDB
07-11-2018, 12:58 PM
OT.....crazy game. England led the 1st half but Croatia was better in the 2nd. Fitting that we go extra time.

Joshua2585
07-11-2018, 01:19 PM
Soccer would be SO much more entertaining if there wasn't flopping. It is maddening every time it happens.

InsaneBlaze23
07-11-2018, 01:41 PM
YES! So glad England loss.

CanDB
07-11-2018, 01:47 PM
Good on Croatia....they turned this game around, and were not be denied. Quite a big deal, reaching the final!

DenverBlood
07-11-2018, 01:48 PM
Not the final I was expecting. Congrats to Croatia.

InsaneBlaze23
07-11-2018, 02:03 PM
Good on Croatia....they turned this game around, and were not be denied. Quite a big deal, reaching the final!

It's so nice seeing Rakatic make it this far. *Barca fan*
And Modric, his story is interesting.

Will be a fun final. The defense of Croatia with its beyond talented midfield v the Offense of France with its talented midfield.

Rastic
07-11-2018, 02:37 PM
YES! So glad England loss.

Boo! :P

Still, props to the Croats!

Hph5
07-12-2018, 04:31 AM
Go Croatia...put a new name on the cup.

InsaneBlaze23
07-12-2018, 05:50 AM
Boo! :P

Still, props to the Croats!

Croatia has Rakitic, and even though England has some Man U players...I'm a Barca fan before I'm a Man U supporter. Lol

On the bridge side, England has a lot of young talent, barely injuries they will be competing in tournaments at this level in the future.(as in quarterfinals, semifinals)

Rashford is a beast, he just needs to stop tryna solo so often, same for Jesse.

Hph5
07-14-2018, 11:22 AM
Looks like France beat the better team in the semis...based on today's result. I'll still pull for Croatia though.

Hph5
07-15-2018, 08:32 AM
Wow Croatia recovered from the OG quickly. Good thing since it shouldn't have been a foul anyway.

CanDB
07-15-2018, 08:55 AM
This game is not accurately portrayed by the score. Croatia has almost dominated, yet trail. And I've made this point many times, refs should not award penalty kicks unless a foul is flagrant. Why? Because a seemingly innocent hand ball is not nearly equal to a 70% plus goal opportunity, which is the penalty kick. Let them play!

Cmon Croatia....you are the better team at the half.

CanDB
07-15-2018, 09:29 AM
Gotta give France their due, they came back strong in the 2nd half. 4 - 1 is insurmountable....but wait, France's goalie just gave Croatia a glimmer of hope!!

DenverBlood
07-15-2018, 09:53 AM
Congrats to France. They are only going to get better with this young talent.

CanDB
07-15-2018, 11:33 AM
Does Russia not have meteorologists, or maybe just umbrellas??? Other than Putin, all the other dignitaries got soaked in the rain. Good news...… they took it all in stride!

InsaneBlaze23
07-15-2018, 06:36 PM
France was my pick on FIFA and ESPNs bracket. Would have been fine with Croatia winning, probably a better story. But France winning and not blowing the hype behind them...I like. Glad Dembele and Umtiti are world cup winners, add to their Barca trophy case. Also glad Pogba is a cup winner. He deserves it.