Global Football Odds & Ends

Titans Bastard

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I thought it might be worthwhile to have a thread for one-off articles and random factoids that don't fit into existing threads and don't merit a thread of their own.  Soccer is good for this stuff.
 
 
 
Here's a start:
 
 
In 2005, Red Bull bought Austria Salzburg and changed its name, crest, and colors to create the club we know as Red Bull Salzburg.  In 2006, fans created a new Austria Salzburg using the old crest and colors and the team entered a local league at the seventh tier of the Austrian pyramid.  The club earned promotion in its first four years to reach the third-tier Regionalliga West, but stalled there for five seasons.  They just clinched promotion to the Erste Liga, though, and are one level away from matching up against Red Bull Salzburg.
 
I don't believe Austria Salzburg and RB Salzburg have ever met in the cup, but I'm sure that would be fun.
 

jkempa

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I know very little about German football, but I've found my team...Some of you know that I follow Crystal Palace in the Premier League. They're going to Berlin for a friendly with 1. FC Union Berlin in July. If there's ever a team that was made for me, it's them. Since most of you probably don't follow second division German football, maybe this is interesting to some others as well.
 
Seven things to know about the team
 
Schnerres, I'd love any more inside info on the team if you can tell me (besides what I can read on Wikipedia or whatever). Berlin is one of my favorite cities and this team's identity combines so much other stuff that's important to me outside of sports. And how awesome is it that their fans brought their couches on to the field to watch the World Cup final?
 
I'm already on vacation when the game is being played or else I would definitely be going to Berlin for that game. It's definitely on my agenda for the next time in Germany.
 

Schnerres

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Basically, i don´t like them, because they play my team (Kaiserslautern). But of the opponents, they are a likable team, if that makes sense.
They are making news all the time (some of the stories are in your link above).
They have many problems with money, but they have creative fans who help all the time.
http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/feb/06/union-berlin-extend-contract-cancer-stricken-player
Benny Köhler (played at Kaiserslautern, too) joined them a few seasons back. He has cancer and it seems bad. They invited him to a match (2nd Bundesliga!) and wanted to give faith to him:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKfTBDVO7aQ
Right at the start, Bochum had a chance and in the 7th minute (#7 is Köhlers number) the play was stopped in agreement with Bochum and the ref. Everyone went in front of the stands, showed their shirts with #7 and the stadium speaker said something, while the fans showed a banner. The contract (which ran out this summer) was extended for a season.
 
Their team plays hard-nosed and workmanlike. I wouldn´t expect anything else. They overpower their opponents or counter to a win, but they don´t outplay them.
Their fans are great and cult (almost every match is soldout) and the club is seen as as cult. I didn´t know that they have such huge member numbers (improved a lot in last years). Kaiserslautern also has a guy that came over from Union. It´s midfielder Markus Karl and he is leading the 2nd Bundesliga this season in one statistic: yellow cards (probably failed passes, too). If you want a destroyer for your team, look over there and get one.
 
I would say that they are the St.Pauli without the troublesome fans (Unions fans give help - St.Paulis fans need help), both are seen as "cult" clubs, although St.Pauli is known everywhere in Germany that includes a political statement if you wear a St.Pauli sweater and Union is more a football only thing.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Bleacher Report had posted an article looking at Doyen's investment in AC Milan a few hours ago. They are the most prominent third party investment group (They are about to go to court with Sporting over their cut in Marcos Rojo's transfer). However, the article has been pulled.
 
Conspiracy! 
 
Edit: Article has been reposted.
 

jkempa

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Schnerres said:
Basically, i don´t like them, because they play my team (Kaiserslautern). But of the opponents, they are a likable team, if that makes sense.
They are making news all the time (some of the stories are in your link above).
They have many problems with money, but they have creative fans who help all the time.
http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/feb/06/union-berlin-extend-contract-cancer-stricken-player
Benny Köhler (played at Kaiserslautern, too) joined them a few seasons back. He has cancer and it seems bad. They invited him to a match (2nd Bundesliga!) and wanted to give faith to him:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKfTBDVO7aQ
Right at the start, Bochum had a chance and in the 7th minute (#7 is Köhlers number) the play was stopped in agreement with Bochum and the ref. Everyone went in front of the stands, showed their shirts with #7 and the stadium speaker said something, while the fans showed a banner. The contract (which ran out this summer) was extended for a season.
 
Their team plays hard-nosed and workmanlike. I wouldn´t expect anything else. They overpower their opponents or counter to a win, but they don´t outplay them.
Their fans are great and cult (almost every match is soldout) and the club is seen as as cult. I didn´t know that they have such huge member numbers (improved a lot in last years). Kaiserslautern also has a guy that came over from Union. It´s midfielder Markus Karl and he is leading the 2nd Bundesliga this season in one statistic: yellow cards (probably failed passes, too). If you want a destroyer for your team, look over there and get one.
 
I would say that they are the St.Pauli without the troublesome fans (Unions fans give help - St.Paulis fans need help), both are seen as "cult" clubs, although St.Pauli is known everywhere in Germany that includes a political statement if you wear a St.Pauli sweater and Union is more a football only thing.
 
Vielen Dank Schnerres!
 

SoxFanInCali

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Micronesia just finished group play in the Pacific Games at 0-3 with a goal differential of -114.
 
They lost 30-0 to Tahiti, 38-0 to Fiji, and finished it off with a 46-0 loss to Vanuatu.
 
Could a bunch of us get together and hold Vanuatu to less than 46?  I'd like to think so.
 

dirtynine

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It's a lot about what results drop out of the formula from 4 years ago. The U.S. beat Germany & Netherlands this month and still fell a bunch of spots.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Alcides Ghiggia died today, 65 years to the day after scoring the winning goal in Uruguay's 2-1 win over Brazil in the last game of the 1950 World Cup.
 

djhb20

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There was a time when the FIFA rankings way too highly rated CONCACAF teams. Right now it seems to have flipped over. There's no way the best CONCACAF team (the U.S.) is 34th. That, I just don't buy.

The U.S. is 14th in ELO.
 

Schnerres

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djhb20 said:
There was a time when the FIFA rankings way too highly rated CONCACAF teams. Right now it seems to have flipped over. There's no way the best CONCACAF team (the U.S.) is 34th. That, I just don't buy.

The U.S. is 14th in ELO.
I don´t know in which matchup vs. the teams above them I would pick them (Tunisia, Hungary, a few 50-50s like Austria, Scotland, Algeria, etc.).
 
But the biggest question I would have is why the hell is Wales(!!!) No.10? (Euro qualifier 2012: 4th out of 5 teams, WC 2014 qualifier: 5th out of 6 teams)
Yes, they lead their qualification group for Euro16 vs. Top10 team Belgium (draw, win for Wales), but have 4w and 2d in total (vs. Belgium, Israel, Bosnia, Cyprus, Andorra = Bosnia as only other Top50 team besides Belgium), so how do you get into the Top10 with two draws and a win vs. Top50 teams? Is that so special?
 

Titans Bastard

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Schnerres said:
I don´t know in which matchup vs. the teams above them I would pick them (Tunisia, Hungary, a few 50-50s like Austria, Scotland, Algeria, etc.).
 
You'd call USA vs. Scotland a 50-50?
 

Schnerres

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It´s tough to predict the US. The Scots are doing great in a tough Euro qualification group. In a 2-legged-series, i guess it´s a 50-50.
Who would you favor?
 

soxfan121

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The team that just beat Germany and Holland on the road, maybe? 
 
Eh, friendlies be friendlies. Germany certainly didn't field their first team in that match and Holland was also missing a few regulars. 
 
This is also the team that struggled with Honduras, Haiti and Panama last week - and none of those three would be a 50/50 with Scotland. 
 

Titans Bastard

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Schnerres said:
It´s tough to predict the US. The Scots are doing great in a tough Euro qualification group. In a 2-legged-series, i guess it´s a 50-50.
Who would you favor?
 
Home wins against Georgia, Ireland, and Gibraltar, road draws against Poland and Ireland, and a road loss to Germany.  Nothing there pops out as particularly impressive to me -- the 2-2 draw @ Poland is the best result so far.  They are starting a guy like Shaun Maloney, who was been totally unimpressive in Chicago, a clear cut below a young attacking midfielder like Harry Shipp who can't get a sniff from Klinsmann.  Color me unimpressed.
 

Schnerres

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I don´t know what´s your point.
I said in a two-legged match, it´s a 50-50, a close draw.
 
Scotland lost a close match in Germany, they drew in Poland (who were better than Germany, btw), so it´s not as if they´re losing by big margins so far. At home, they won their matches vs. lower competition. That´s what you want or expect.
 
I don´t see the US beating up against good competition. Maybe I´m wrong on this, but 1) I don´t see Cuba as a quality opponent and 2) I don´t remember the USA beating teams by +3 or +4 in recent years. So it´s my subjective opinion that those should be close matches, with possibly both winning their home matches. It could also result in the US winning both or two draws. The Scots are doing good in their group (I don´t know, what you would have expected from those matches, that would have impressed you@Bastard) and have a small, but real chance of qualifying. The decisive matches are coming up.
 
The US is hard for me to predict, as Klinsi is rotating/changing so much and there are so many players I´ve not seen regularly, i couldn´t tell who would be a regular starter in a Top XI, besides some fixes. I don´t even know how serious the Gold Cup is for him, with the competition being so low and no real thing to play for (if i´m correct), i guess this is only friendly material with formally being a competitive match. Therefore i think that Klinsi is trying his players under "competitive matches" to see what he will get from them going forward. Of course this will somehow result in average or bad performances, if you don´t field your best lineup and if you have less to play for than the opposition. Still, they are doing pretty good, so far and could win this GC.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Schnerres said:
no real thing to play for (if i´m correct)
If the US win the Gold Cup, they qualify for the Confederations Cup in 2017.  If someone else wins, they play a 1 game playoff against the US for the spot.
 

Schnerres

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Yes, I know that. But who cares about the Confed Cup? Do you remember anything about the Confed Cup 13? It´s friendlies, too...
 

Titans Bastard

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Schnerres said:
I don´t know what´s your point.
I said in a two-legged match, it´s a 50-50, a close draw.
 
The point is that Scotland haven't beaten anybody particularly good.  Ireland maybe counts, but home wins over the likes of Georgia and Gibraltar aren't at all notable.  Georgia is even ranked below Haiti, El Salvador, and Guatemala in the Elo ratings.  Scotland have held serve at home against weak opponents, but they haven't done much that merits notice yet from what I can tell.
 
Clearly the the likes of the US can't touch the elite of CONMEBOL or UEFA, but I think the quality of the middle tier of UEFA is often overstated.  Let's put it another way.  Who thinks Scotland & similar UEFA countries would get out of a group with Germany, Portugal, and Ghana?
 
Schnerres said:
Yes, I know that. But who cares about the Confed Cup? Do you remember anything about the Confed Cup 13? It´s friendlies, too...
 
The US cares about the Confed Cup.  We don't have a continental tournament as compelling or challenging as Copa America or the Euros.  The Gold Cup is every two years and is good take-your-medicine prep for rough-and-tumble CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.  It familiarizes new US players with the bizarre refereeing and cynical tactics of many opponents in the region.  However, it's not very useful as preparation for facing top-notch talent at the World Cup.  The Confed Cup serves a valuable purpose for us that way.
 
The US travels to Europe for friendlies rather often and over the last 4-5 years has racked up road wins over Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, Bosnia, and Slovenia and drew with Switzerland and Russia.  They also beat Mexico in Azteca for the first time ever (in a friendly).  But they are only friendlies, they don't mean much, and little can or should be read into them.  Outside the World Cup, the Confed Cup is our only chance to play actual meaningful games against teams like that.
 

SoxFanInCali

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The Confed Cup also gives the team and staff the chance to get a firsthand look at training facilities and potential lodging locations for the World Cup the following year. I remember reading that the US being in South Africa in 2009 helped make a lot of the logistics in 2010 go smoother.
 
Beating Spain and scaring the hell out of Brazil in the final didn't hurt the team's confidence, either.
 

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In light of Vidal's impending move from Juve to Bayern and Barcelona's schedule leading up to their La Liga opener, I got to thinking about the prestige of "secondary silverware" like the Spanish Supercup, the UEFA Supercup, and the Club World Cup. To me, prestige is basically and inextricably linked to prize money. I assume UCL is a cash cow, followed by Europa, domestic leagues (although I bet the big 4-5 domestic leagues trophies are worth comparable amounts to Europa success), and domestic cups in a distant last. I don't have the slightest clue where "secondary silverware" fits in, but it would be interesting to see if anyone knows where to find this information.
 

Titans Bastard

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Honduras midfielder Arnold Peralta was murdered in a drive-by shooting today. He spent a couple of years at Rangers but returned to the Honduran league this year.
 

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Titans Bastard

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Honduras midfielder Arnold Peralta was murdered in a drive-by shooting today. He spent a couple of years at Rangers but returned to the Honduran league this year.
Alfredo Pacheco murdered in El Salvador. He played for their NT before being banned in 2013 for taking part in the Salvadoran NT's match-fixing scandal. He was one of many unsuccessful players on Juan Carlos Osorio's highly unsuccessful 2009 NYRB team.
 

Titans Bastard

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Soccer Match Fixing Has Infiltrated Canada

For the first time, Canadian Soccer League players, as well as a long-time CSL coach—all from Niagara United—have agreed to speak on the record about what they've seen and heard, specifically from an October game, which the club was so convinced was being fixed by its opponents, that it invited the other team to score. And when the United's opponent, SC Waterloo, wouldn't, Niagara did the unfathomable and tried to score on its own goal to disrupt the allegedly fixed result. Niagara's attempts, however, were thwarted by Waterloo.

The CSL is an outlaw league that lost sanctioning from Canada's federation in 2013 because of match-fixing issues. While it still exists, it has basically been replaced in the Canadian soccer pyramid by semi-pro leagues like League 1 Ontario and the PLSQ in Québec. Nonetheless, it's sad to see this crap continuing to occur in a place like Canada.