KNOCKOUT DAY 3: CONCACAF to the Quarters???

DrewDawg

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Mexico vs. Brazil

I mean, do we need to say much about the first game? Marcelo is apparently out, so one would think Mexico could put some pressure on the backline of Brazil. I'm thinking the first goal of this game goes a long way, and I'm thinking Chicharito grabs it. Mexico 2-1, but this one should be fun.


Belgium vs. Japan

The way this tourney is going, Japan is winning this thing. I don't know what analysis would lead anyone there, but it is what it is. This shit will be 0-0 in the 87th minute and Japan will nick one.

Or Belgium wins it 4-0. I don't know. I do think I want some waffles now.
 

riboflav

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Soccer two cents:

Someone said it in the other thread, but soccer should be 9 v 9 (SPACING) and I wonder if it would be written that way today if the game were being invented now.

My (basketball) coaches and I were discussing this yesterday. Why do we enjoy the WC but then pay no attention to soccer for the ensuing three-plus years? We like the WC bc of its pageantry and national pride and there are aspects to the game we appreciate and love (spacing, cutting or player movement, passing). But, too often it is destroyed by teams like Russia who play merely for a tie and to get it to penalties. I assume penalties is a matter of fortune over skill. Blech.

Or... we love TBT bc they play to a score rather than playing a timed game which really emphasizes aggressive offensive play so perhaps that would be better for soccer... play to 3 or whatever. IDK. My point is that soccer seems to suffer mostly from a clogged field but I do get that soccer fans probably disagree and think I'm cray.
 

slamminsammya

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Soccer two cents:

Someone said it in the other thread, but soccer should be 9 v 9 (SPACING) and I wonder if it would be written that way today if the game were being invented now.

My (basketball) coaches and I were discussing this yesterday. Why do we enjoy the WC but then pay no attention to soccer for the ensuing three-plus years? We like the WC bc of its pageantry and national pride and there are aspects to the game we appreciate and love (spacing, cutting or player movement, passing). But, too often it is destroyed by teams like Russia who play merely for a tie and to get it to penalties. I assume penalties is a matter of fortune over skill. Blech.

Or... we love TBT bc they play to a score rather than playing a timed game which really emphasizes aggressive offensive play so perhaps that would be better for soccer... play to 3 or whatever. IDK. My point is that soccer seems to suffer mostly from a clogged field but I do get that soccer fans probably disagree and think I'm cray.
* youre talking about international soccer. Try champions league mate. International soccer does tend to suck, because the players barely train together and especially for the big tournaments they are playing the very end of a grueling season. Imagine Lebron having to play another playoffs series shortly after finishing the finals.

Club soccer is much higher quality. Teams are put together with a strategy in mind, where international teams are often composed of awkward fits due to the constraints imposed by only being able to select from the national pool. They also train together and have much greater fluidity and cohesion.

International soccer is fun because there is so much history and people get so emotionally invested, but the soccer itself is pretty drab.
 

riboflav

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* youre talking about international soccer. Try champions league mate. International soccer does tend to suck, because the players barely train together and especially for the big tournaments they are playing the very end of a grueling season. Imagine Lebron having to play another playoffs series shortly after finishing the finals.

Club soccer is much higher quality. Teams are put together with a strategy in mind, where international teams are often composed of awkward fits due to the constraints imposed by only being able to select from the national pool. They also train together and have much greater fluidity and cohesion.

International soccer is fun because there is so much history and people get so emotionally invested, but the soccer itself is pretty drab.
That's fair. Thank you for the recommendation.

So, another gripe is the officiating. Why are there only two linesmen and one center official for a playing surface that large? Wouldn't adding officials cut down on the number of non-contact fouls that are called? And, maybe lead to more contact fouls called in the penalty box? Why does a player need to be murdered twice to get a call in the penalty box?
 

DrewDawg

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I do think another on-field ref would help, not sure why that isn't tried.
 

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One issue is if you had a separate official for each half of the field, you could have one one be very strict and the other lenient, so one team could have their entire defense on a yellow card even though the other team is actually fouling more.

You'll also see the one ref on the field getting in the way or having a ball bounce off him at times. The more refs, the more times that can happen.

The Champions League does have an extra ref behind each goal in an attempt to get a better view of incidents in the box, but I can't think of too many times where it's really made a difference.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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* youre talking about international soccer. Try champions league mate. International soccer does tend to suck, because the players barely train together and especially for the big tournaments they are playing the very end of a grueling season. Imagine Lebron having to play another playoffs series shortly after finishing the finals.

Club soccer is much higher quality. Teams are put together with a strategy in mind, where international teams are often composed of awkward fits due to the constraints imposed by only being able to select from the national pool. They also train together and have much greater fluidity and cohesion.

International soccer is fun because there is so much history and people get so emotionally invested, but the soccer itself is pretty drab.
Good post, thanks. I'm a noob as a fan. I don't watch much (still no tv). But I'm getting into it because this town (Atlanta) is going nuts. So my question is - where does MLS rank in the quality hierarchy?
 
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riboflav

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So, one of my peers is challenging the notion that international soccer sucks (lack of playing together) because Brazil and even Spain today make such great use of passing and setting up their runs... He is convinced the real problem is the rules that prevent freer, more open play. He watches France/Argentina (calls it Fast Break soccer) and says it's the exception... Even deep into the NBA playoffs you have teams play a more mindful defensive game but still with more free play and offense than you can generally get in soccer.

IDK. Maybe soccer is supposed to be a game of entrenchment?

FWIW, I'm not trying to troll in any way but am genuinely curious.
 

Titans Bastard

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Good post, thanks. I'm a noob as a fan. I don't wach much (still no tv). But I'm getting into it because this town (Atlanta) is going nuts. So my question is - where does MLS rank in the quality hierarchy?
So much digital ink has been spilled on this question. Let's go with somewhere between the Premier League and the Albanian third division. And sadly, definitely not as good as Liga MX.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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FIFA used to be adamant about wanting to downplay the idea that everything has to always be “fair” or consistent, and they had this fantasy that there should be no difference between how games fo kids are officiated and how World Cup games are officiated. Two onfield refs were dismissed out of hand for this reason.

But so was goal line officials or technology or VAR.

It’s a new world. We could see two refs eventually.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Good post, thanks. I'm a noob as a fan. I don't watch much (still no tv). But I'm getting into it because this town (Atlanta) is going nuts. So my question is - where does MLS rank in the quality hierarchy?
Really low.

Maybe competitively good D3 compared to not just Power 5 conferences, but NFL.
 

loafnut

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So, one of my peers is challenging the notion that international soccer sucks (lack of playing together) because Brazil and even Spain today make such great use of passing and setting up their runs... He is convinced the real problem is the rules that prevent freer, more open play. He watches France/Argentina (calls it Fast Break soccer) and says it's the exception... Even deep into the NBA playoffs you have teams play a more mindful defensive game but still with more free play and offense than you can generally get in soccer.

IDK. Maybe soccer is supposed to be a game of entrenchment?

FWIW, I'm not trying to troll in any way but am genuinely curious.
Well much of Spain's roster plays together on the same club, so you get the same kind of cohesion you see at the highest club levels. They are the argument for club soccer being superior. And Brazil has so much talent that they can assemble a team with a vision in mind, leaving off some top players and not sacrifice quality anywhere. It's why Firmino isn't starting despite being a top player.

I'm not sure it's the rules, but rather the nature of soccer. The importance of a single goal and the relative ease of putting together a decent defense with a few weeks practice.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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So, one of my peers is challenging the notion that international soccer sucks (lack of playing together) because Brazil and even Spain today make such great use of passing and setting up their runs... He is convinced the real problem is the rules that prevent freer, more open play. He watches France/Argentina (calls it Fast Break soccer) and says it's the exception... Even deep into the NBA playoffs you have teams play a more mindful defensive game but still with more free play and offense than you can generally get in soccer.

IDK. Maybe soccer is supposed to be a game of entrenchment?

FWIW, I'm not trying to troll in any way but am genuinely curious.
There are different styles for sure.

My view is there really nothing broken about soccer, including international soccer. Nothing needs to be changed. There’s just a big, rich country that pays attention one out every 48 months that has the luxury of very sophisticated leagues playing four very sophisticated sports at the highest level in the world.

People just have to watch more to get it, I think. Including the warts on international soccer. It’s like when someone from London watches NFL games and asks, “why so many fucking time outs? They need rules to make that better.” You need to just get used to it to understand it, like anything.
 

riboflav

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There are different styles for sure.

My view is there really nothing broken about soccer, including international soccer. Nothing needs to be changed. There’s just a big, rich country that pays attention one out every 48 months that has the luxury of very sophisticated leagues playing four very sophisticated sports at the highest level in the world.

People just have to watch more to get it, I think. Including the warts on international soccer. It’s like when someone from London watches NFL games and asks, “why so many fucking time outs? They need rules to make that better.” You need to just get used to it to understand it, like anything.
All fair and I will consider. That said, as a football fan, I'd agree with those London fans!
 

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Good post, thanks. I'm a noob as a fan. I don't watch much (still no tv). But I'm getting into it because this town (Atlanta) is going nuts. So my question is - where does MLS rank in the quality hierarchy?
MLS is still regarded as a retirement league for Euro stars that want to get a last big paycheck or grow their international branding after they are unable to cut it at the top levels anymore. The quality is better than it was, but just sit down and watch 4 or 5 MLS games then 4 or 5 English Premier League games and the difference in quality will be crystal clear. There are also so many differences in the way MLS is structured vs. other leagues that it's barely the same sport in a lot of ways. You won't ever see an American version of Manchester United or Bayern Munich the way things are now because of that league structure. Whether that's a good or bad thing is debatable.
 

Titans Bastard

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You can quibble around the edges, but MLS is roughly on par with the second divisions of the biggest leagues in the world (e.g. Championship in England, 2.Bundesliga in Germany).

If it were in UEFA, MLS would be a mid-major type. It is better than the Scandinavian leagues, Austria, everyone in Eastern Europe except Russia, etc. European leagues tend to be very imbalanced in terms of financial strength, unlike socialist US professional leagues like the NFL. Historically MLS has had much more parity than Euro leagues. I think that MLS is moving away from this, but it's still true to a fairly large extent.

For example, the big Portuguese clubs like Benfica and Porto (RIP Sporting CP) are clearly better than anyone in MLS. But the bottom half of the Portuguese league would get pounded in MLS.

What @Monbo Jumbo should realize is that in Atlanta, he's watching some ground-breaking stuff in MLS. Atlanta United plays good soccer and has spent quite a bit to do so. Players the caliber of Miguel Almiron, who is one of Paraguay's very best, never came to MLS before, except perhaps in their twilight years. Atlanta also just shattered the league's transfer record by spending $15m on Ezequiel Barco, a top Argentine prospect who normally would go straight to a fairly big Euro club.

On the other hand, the Colorado Rapids are signing random Champo players and getting crushed. There is a growing gap in MLS between ambitious owners and cautious owners. Some are willing to expand and invest, and others maintain the status quo. But all across the league, clubs are spending more up and down the roster and it shows.
 

Titans Bastard

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MLS is still regarded as a retirement league for Euro stars that want to get a last big paycheck or grow their international branding after they are unable to cut it at the top levels anymore.
This perception is real in many circles, but the vast, vast, vast majority of players in the league have never been big Euro stars late in their career. There have always been a handful who fit that description and suck up a lot of the attention, thereby creating this erroneous perception.

The cohort of Aging Stars in the league right now consists of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and David Villa. I think that's it, though I could be brain-farting on one or two guys. Is that really a "Retirement League"?

Last winter, MLS clubs hardly signed anybody from overseas older the age of 30. These days, the league imports a ton of young players from Central and South America. Generally, you can get better value for your money in those areas because with the exception of Mexico, most clubs are broke as hell and don't pay all that much or on time.
 

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This perception is real in many circles, but the vast, vast, vast majority of players in the league have never been big Euro stars late in their career. There have always been a handful who fit that description and suck up a lot of the attention, thereby creating this erroneous perception.

The cohort of Aging Stars in the league right now consists of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and David Villa. I think that's it, though I could be brain-farting on one or two guys. Is that really a "Retirement League"?

Last winter, MLS clubs hardly signed anybody from overseas older the age of 30. These days, the league imports a ton of young players from Central and South America. Generally, you can get better value for your money in those areas because with the exception of Mexico, most clubs are broke as hell and don't pay all that much or on time.
Yeah, I didn't word that as well as I should have. I meant to say that the perception internationally is as a retirement league. The only reason any Euro fan knows about it is because of the handful of stars that have come over.

As you said, clubs like Atlanta that are putting money into quality young Latin talent are the ones that are making waves now. That's probably where MLS can hit its sweet spot, as the step those players can take between their domestic leagues and the top European ones.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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For whom does the where-does-MLS-stand question matter? I know it’s vitally important to Gazza regulars with respect to development of U.S. soccer. But for the fan who doesn’t care so much about that but maybe is wondering whether expansion to his city is good or whether to buy a mini-pack season ticket, is that the question?

MLS is a fantastically entertaining product with some excellent skill demonstrated night in and night out. It is turning into a fun league too, with passionate and creative supporters and rivalries that 20 years ago I would have thought impossible in such a sports saturated country.

A season of the directv MLS pack, and maybe sitting high behind the goal for a couple weekend nights a summer at your local club and you will learn a shit ton about how the game is played and goals are scored and conceded.

There is a ton to talk about when it comes to what MLS represents and means. But it’s entertaining and high level enough. I wish I lived in an MLS city.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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Thanks - Here's an article to that very point, how Atlanta has changed recruiting.

...It works something like this: find rising, but unproven talent, pay the transfer fees from whatever team they are playing for, bring them to Atlanta United, score a ton of goals and hone their craft on the field. Ideally, after a few years in Atlanta, a European club with a thick wallet would come calling. They would pay a hefty transfer to Atlanta United, and the player would move on to an even better team....
The combination of facilities, Tata, and the crowds make this a desirable stop for these players' careers.
 
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Infield Infidel

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For whom does the where-does-MLS-stand question matter? I know it’s vitally important to Gazza regulars with respect to development of U.S. soccer. But for the fan who doesn’t care so much about that but maybe is wondering whether expansion to his city is good or whether to buy a mini-pack season ticket, is that the question?

MLS is a fantastically entertaining product with some excellent skill demonstrated night in and night out. It is turning into a fun league too, with passionate and creative supporters and rivalries that 20 years ago I would have thought impossible in such a sports saturated country.

A season of the directv MLS pack, and maybe sitting high behind the goal for a couple weekend nights a summer at your local club and you will learn a shit ton about how the game is played and goals are scored and conceded.

There is a ton to talk about when it comes to what MLS represents and means. But it’s entertaining and high level enough. I wish I lived in an MLS city.
This can't be said enough. Go to USL games, college games, NPSL games. I went to a few FC Buffalo games (NPSL) and had a blast. Small stadium, food trucks, loud crowd, everyone fully into it.
 

Titans Bastard

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For whom does the where-does-MLS-stand question matter? I know it’s vitally important to Gazza regulars with respect to development of U.S. soccer. But for the fan who doesn’t care so much about that but maybe is wondering whether expansion to his city is good or whether to buy a mini-pack season ticket, is that the question?

MLS is a fantastically entertaining product with some excellent skill demonstrated night in and night out. It is turning into a fun league too, with passionate and creative supporters and rivalries that 20 years ago I would have thought impossible in such a sports saturated country.

A season of the directv MLS pack, and maybe sitting high behind the goal for a couple weekend nights a summer at your local club and you will learn a shit ton about how the game is played and goals are scored and conceded.

There is a ton to talk about when it comes to what MLS represents and means. But it’s entertaining and high level enough. I wish I lived in an MLS city.
This can't be said enough. Go to USL games, college games, NPSL games. I went to a few FC Buffalo games (NPSL) and had a blast. Small stadium, food trucks, loud crowd, everyone fully into it.
Well said.

ESPN+ is $5/month and has all the non-nationally-televised games in MLS as well as every single USL game, plus some other college sports and random stuff.

If you live in the US, there is almost certainly an MLS or USL or PDL or NPSL game near you. It's fun to immerse yourself into the sporting cultures that have developed across the world, but I think it's even more rewarding to be part of what's developing right here.
 

Dummy Hoy

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ESPN+ will carry the best most fun league in the world next season- the English Championship. Well worth the investment.

Edit: more to the point, live footy is a whole different experience, and any level of professional ball will be super enjoyable and illuminating.
 

InstaFace

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This (posts #3-to-present here) is a good discussion, which tomorrow will get subsumed by the gamethreading of the two games, and the day after that will get forgotten.

I'd like to suggest that @Zomp or another BWG mod consider moving it to the Fan-Splaining thread so it gets more attention.

---

Monbo, one piece of the puzzle here that some regulars have alluded to, but not focused on, is that the way transfer fees work in the rest of the world, and the approach that MLS has taken, diverge greatly. Normally, teams' willingness to pay those fees to get talent is in rough proportion to their financial might, and a lot of teams make a steady living off of buying, developing, and then selling talent upstream to bigger clubs, and making "net transfer proceeds" most years, buoying the club's finances, perhaps funding a larger stadium or otherwise growing into being a bigger deal. That process is also how a lot of top talent moves internationally, particularly from outside Europe to inside it. No less than Christian Pulisic went to Dortmund precisely for their reputation as a club that develops talent, gives it a chance to shine, and then sells that talent on to even-greener pastures.

MLS teams, meanwhile, are notorious for being unwilling to pay fair fees to acquire players, and especially being unwilling to accept fair fees to let players go to bigger clubs abroad, particularly in big-5 leagues in Europe. This is mostly because MLS rules on the matter are dumb. You're seeing that right now in Atlanta with Andrew Carleton, who may yet have a bright future for club and country but probably won't realize his potential if his team won't sell him to a place that will give him a higher level of competition.

And that's not even half the rot. A bigger problem with the talent pipeline has to do with how fees are supposed to roll downhill to youth clubs in order to facilitate their own outreach and training efforts (which is how it works in literally the rest of the world). Here's a nice rundown that gets pretty deep, and TB can correct me but I don't believe anything's materially changed in the 2 years since it was written.

So when I go to the article I think you meant to link to, and I read this:
To woo Almiron to the U.S., Atlanta paid his Paraguayan Club, Lanus, around $8 million, but Atlanta expects to earn back every penny if and when Almiron (currently valued at around €15-20 million) moves to a European team. “The payoff for us is it then makes it easier for us to go and attract that next young star, because we’ve proved the concept and now we can attract even better talent,” says Eales. “So, it’s a virtual circle. We get better talent to the league, it makes our team stronger and the reality is we can sort of become part of that global game of football.”
...I'm torn between thinking "hey, maybe they're finally starting to get it!", and thinking "dammit, where is this businesslike mentality when it comes to entertaining offers about homegrown players, huh?", or "how about solidarity fees, bro?"

You can't be a fully functioning part of the pecking-order transfer pipeline for a bunch of south americans, but refuse to be rational about the nice white boys from the suburbs who are playing the same game (but who might have more marketing value for you), and then get on your high horse about how smart you are.

So yeah, there's some promise and some good reasons for excitement with respect to Atlanta United, but they've still got some growing pains to face down. That's the nicest way to spin it; less nice would be that any MLS team has two decades of millstones around their necks that come from trying to be a closed-off league within a global sport.
 

Titans Bastard

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This (posts #3-to-present here) is a good discussion, which tomorrow will get subsumed by the gamethreading of the two games, and the day after that will get forgotten.

I'd like to suggest that @Zomp or another BWG mod consider moving it to the Fan-Splaining thread so it gets more attention.

---

Monbo, one piece of the puzzle here that some regulars have alluded to, but not focused on, is that the way transfer fees work in the rest of the world, and the approach that MLS has taken, diverge greatly. Normally, teams' willingness to pay those fees to get talent is in rough proportion to their financial might, and a lot of teams make a steady living off of buying, developing, and then selling talent upstream to bigger clubs, and making "net transfer proceeds" most years, buoying the club's finances, perhaps funding a larger stadium or otherwise growing into being a bigger deal. That process is also how a lot of top talent moves internationally, particularly from outside Europe to inside it. No less than Christian Pulisic went to Dortmund precisely for their reputation as a club that develops talent, gives it a chance to shine, and then sells that talent on to even-greener pastures.

MLS teams, meanwhile, are notorious for being unwilling to pay fair fees to acquire players, and especially being unwilling to accept fair fees to let players go to bigger clubs abroad, particularly in big-5 leagues in Europe. This is mostly because MLS rules on the matter are dumb. You're seeing that right now in Atlanta with Andrew Carleton, who may yet have a bright future for club and country but probably won't realize his potential if his team won't sell him to a place that will give him a higher level of competition.

And that's not even half the rot. A bigger problem with the talent pipeline has to do with how fees are supposed to roll downhill to youth clubs in order to facilitate their own outreach and training efforts (which is how it works in literally the rest of the world). Here's a nice rundown that gets pretty deep, and TB can correct me but I don't believe anything's materially changed in the 2 years since it was written.

So when I go to the article I think you meant to link to, and I read this:

...I'm torn between thinking "hey, maybe they're finally starting to get it!", and thinking "dammit, where is this businesslike mentality when it comes to entertaining offers about homegrown players, huh?", or "how about solidarity fees, bro?"

You can't be a fully functioning part of the pecking-order transfer pipeline for a bunch of south americans, but refuse to be rational about the nice white boys from the suburbs who are playing the same game (but who might have more marketing value for you), and then get on your high horse about how smart you are.

So yeah, there's some promise and some good reasons for excitement with respect to Atlanta United, but they've still got some growing pains to face down. That's the nicest way to spin it; less nice would be that any MLS team has two decades of millstones around their necks that come from trying to be a closed-off league within a global sport.
Good post. A couple of add-ons:

1) In the early days, MLS clubs spent more time dumpster-diving for free transfers, but paying out seven-figure transfer fees is rather common now. There's no hesitation about buying players from abroad.

2) On the flip side, MLS clubs are still quite hesitant to sell. There are several reasons for this, but one of them is the salary cap. If a player is doing really well, he's probably worth more than his salary. If you sell a $350k salary player who is playing like a $1.5m-salary player, it's going to be hard to find another $1.5m-quality player who is willing to sign for $350k. MLS rules allow a certain amount of transfer fee proceeds to be reinvested in salary, but they should allow more.

3) The MLS players' union is the biggest roadblock to the implementation of solidarity fees and training compensation. IANAL, but if implemented and challenged in court, I'm not certain they'd hold up anyway. The lack of TC hurts MLS clubs themselves more than youth clubs. After all, youth clubs are raking in huge dollars in annual fees regardless. MLS academies are generally free, so when Weston McKennie walks from FC Dallas for absolutely $0, that's a much bigger deal.

4) Developing/recruiting youth players --> making the leap from the development academy to the pros --> integrating into the first team --> selling the best academy products abroad to top leagues. I'm not sure any club has mastered all four steps. RSL has done a really good job with the first three, but haven't sold anyone yet. Maybe NYRB, who developed and sold Miazga and who are probably going to sell Adams this winter. They've also developed a bunch of solid contributors who are MLS lifers.

To build their academy, Atlanta subsumed a local youth club (Georgia United) that had a bumper crop of players. They've also recruited well across the country. They have a USL team now, but they still need to figure out how to weave these kids onto the field alongside their expensive imports like Martinez, Almiron, Barco, Villalba, Remedi, et al.
 

bosox4283

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Mexico vs. Brazil

I mean, do we need to say much about the first game? Marcelo is apparently out, so one would think Mexico could put some pressure on the backline of Brazil. I'm thinking the first goal of this game goes a long way, and I'm thinking Chicharito grabs it. Mexico 2-1, but this one should be fun.
I think Marcelo is probably a bit more of an attacking threat than Filipe Luis, the LB that is replacing him, but if Luis is on form I think he's very close to what Marcelo offers and may even be a bit better on defense.
 

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There are different styles for sure.

My view is there really nothing broken about soccer, including international soccer. Nothing needs to be changed. There’s just a big, rich country that pays attention one out every 48 months that has the luxury of very sophisticated leagues playing four very sophisticated sports at the highest level in the world.

People just have to watch more to get it, I think. Including the warts on international soccer. It’s like when someone from London watches NFL games and asks, “why so many fucking time outs? They need rules to make that better.” You need to just get used to it to understand it, like anything.
I agree with this.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Feels like Mexico will need to try to go one time or counter to get an open shot. Or something fluky like a deflection for a goal, or a set piece. Brazil are so organized once they get back.
 

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7,083
Chelmsford, MA
Mexico's ability to play with real width is causing a lot of teams problems thus far. They make you really defend the entire pitch, hard to compress the space on them.

Is Douglas Costa still injured? Brazil looked an entirely different animal with him on
 

Dummy Hoy

Angry Pissbum
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2006
6,086
Falmouth
Feels like Mexico will need to try to go one time or counter to get an open shot. Or something fluky like a deflection for a goal, or a set piece. Brazil are so organized once they get back.
Good call, Brazil moving very well as a team when they get back into shape. Mexico is doing an admirable job of staying wide then switching the field to try to pull them apart, but Brazil not really biting.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,421
AZ
Brazil are playing very conservatively to prevent the counterattack. They are putting only 4.5 forward in the attacking third.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,421
AZ
Didn’t take Brazil long to figure out how to defend wider. They are flatter and wider now. Like a long rectangle.
 

Silverdude2167

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2006
2,100
NYC
Is there anything more annoying than the Ole chant?

Imagine if Spain did that. They are at least a team that "theoretically" passes the ball around and through their opponents.
Mexico fans are doing it while passing the ball uncontested between center backs...