U S of A: The World Cup Thread

cromulence

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Is America the most masochistic sports country in the world? Before you say "England", at halftime yesterday they showed the response to the goal in Lisbon. Does that happen anywhere else on Earth? I just saw Sportscenter and the "quick highlight" of the game was the equalizer. That's it. Deadspin is loaded with videos/pictures of people reacting (negatively) to the last goal. Why must we torture ourselves? It might just be ESPN's fault.
 

cromulence

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Dehere said:
I don't really disagree. The WC in the US is becoming a little like the Olympics where you see interest in certain sports ignite for a few weeks and then settle right back down again.

I could see this WC having some impact on interest in the CONCACAF GC next year but don't really know if we'll see any movement in club competition ratings.

Still fun to see these numbers for however long it lasts.
 
I think the difference is that now the Premier League is on every week across the country. That wasn't the case in 94 or for the Women's World Cup. There's an outlet for new soccer fans other than MLS.
 

DJnVa

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The next World Cup in Russia will be a test of this new faith.  Moscow is 8 hours ahead of us. A game starting at noon local time is a 4 am kickoff here. The latest we'll see a kickoff is at noon or 1 pm.
 
Qatar is 7 hours ahead. It's not going to be as easy.
 

Infield Infidel

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URI said:
Less people are forgetting each cycle thought. And that's a good thing.

For example, I would love nothing more than the people who are in this forum stuck around through the next few years until France'16, learning the game, understanding it, and becoming identified with a club. Not only will the overall quality of the forum be better, with deeper discussion, but when the circus comes in, we'll have less garbage when it shows up.

Brandi Chastain was on Chopped. She won.
 
Hell, there will be an intercontinental Copa America in the US in 2016, with the US taking part. I'm hoping that becomes a big deal
 

Dehere

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Infield Infidel said:
 
Hell, there will be an intercontinental Copa America in the US in 2016, with the US taking part. I'm hoping that becomes a big deal
This is one of the more interesting TV rights packages currently in play. I kind of expect ESPN to pay whatever it takes to get it but this bidding could get very, very hot.
 

moly99

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MLS average attendance is now a large as France's top league. I don't understand the "will soccer make it in America" stuff.
 
Nor do I understand the argument that Americans ought to follow the Premier League. The Premier League isn't even good for England. (It does a pretty shitty job of developing English players compared to the Bundesliga developing Germans, for example.) The future of the sport in this country is going to depend on how we support homegrown MLS guys like Deandre Yedlin rather than how much interest Americans take in Luis Suarez.
 

Madmartigan

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Here's the video of Bradley's miscue:
 
https://vine.co/v/MTlpDYaDh5d
 
In his defense, the Portuguese converge on him really quickly and no one on the US team gets in a position to offer support. Still, he shouldn't have tried to hold the ball there.  His best bet - knowing there are only 30 seconds left - might have been to just kick it out of bounds to his right (to the left of our view from this camera), forcing Portugal to throw in from their side while giving the US time to get their defense set. 
 

Vinho Tinto

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DrewDawg said:
The next World Cup in Russia will be a test of this new faith.  Moscow is 8 hours ahead of us. A game starting at noon local time is a 4 am kickoff here. The latest we'll see a kickoff is at noon or 1 pm.
 
Qatar is 7 hours ahead. It's not going to be as easy.
 
They're not going to start games that early. The kickoffs for both tournaments will be closer to what you saw in Germany, which I believe was between 2 PM and 8 PM local time. Frankly, they should push the Qatar kickoffs well into the evening. 
 

ivanvamp

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Madmartigan said:
Here's the video of Bradley's miscue:
 
https://vine.co/v/MTlpDYaDh5d
 
In his defense, the Portuguese converge on him really quickly and no one on the US team gets in a position to offer support. Still, he shouldn't have tried to hold the ball there.  His best bet - knowing there are only 30 seconds left - might have been to just kick it out of bounds to his right (to the left of our view from this camera), forcing Portugal to throw in from their side while giving the US time to get their defense set. 
 
After watching that again, one thing to notice is that the Portugese defender gives him a very hard shove.  I know soccer players should be able to handle that kind of contact, but still…he was a little off balance and got pushed pretty hard.
 

Finn's Dad

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I didn't.  I now feel like a total asshole.  I just observed that he just had really fast-twitch nerves and instincts in net, and figured his twitchy behavior when not making saves was just a sublimation of that.
 
I guess this really is the Year of Sensitivity Training on SoSH.  Yikes.
And the tics ramp up with pressure. There were some stories during his first two years at Manchester United about how he'd be drained after games, especially Champions League matches, because it would be so intense in the locker room. On the field, it's usually under control because he has immense focus.
 

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Vincent Kompany is the Captain for Belgium and Manchester City, has raised the Premier League Title trophy two of out the last three years, and is considered one of the three best Center Backs in football. And in a match against Liverpool, he made a mistake that could have cost his team the title:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiS-w_7oOqg
 
Kompany just whiffs. One of the best players at his position, a certified winner and big game performer, whiffs a clearance and gives up a soft goal. Geoff Cameron isn't as good as Vincent Kompany. But everyone makes mistakes. Physics is hard, yo. 
 
Steven Gerrard is the Captain of England and Liverpool and one of the best players of the last decade in world football. With the title in hand, needing only to hold the line against Chelsea, Gerrard makes a mistake: 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBuOEI2Kk5o
 
One stumble, one poor touch and Chelsea is scoring and Man City is getting the three points needed for the title. Gerrard also did this in his career. Great players miss touches, have the ball ricochet or bounce or spin weirdly, have a divot give, stumble. 
 
On balance, I think Cameron had a very good game after his miscue. The whiff? Shit happens. I put more blame on Gonzalez for being out of position on the 2nd goal - he was put on to play air defense. Stay in line with the ball and head it out of play. He should have been much closer to Varela/Howard than he ends up being. But ultimately, that second goal was a great play by a great player. Ronaldo was held in check for 94:30 and it wasn't good enough. 
 
I think Bradley is suffering from both hype ("he's our best player!") expectations and from being miscast as an attacking mid. He's never been a pinpoint passer and the concerns about "giveaways" doesn't seem to be tempered with the reality that Beckerman is a terrible passer and Bradley is often cleaning up rough touches or disputed possession balls. I know that when I first started watching international soccer I did not understand that the skill sets of certain players are just not comparable. For example, just because Pirlo can do it doesn't mean anyone else can. Bradley is a gifted creator when he doesn't need to move (see the assists in pre-WC friendlies) or when driving up field). He's not terrific in creating while under pressure. And there was lots of pressure to deal with yesterday - Moutinho and Carvalho made his life miserable in the second half. 
 
Lastly, the job done by Zusi and Bedoya yesterday is being undersold. Both had little to no offensive impact but did their job of securing the flanks defensively while Johnson (effectively) and Beasley (ineffectively) added width up front. I thought it was a strong tactical defensive effort and bodes well for chances against Germany and beyond.
 
DrewDawg said:
The next World Cup in Russia will be a test of this new faith.  Moscow is 8 hours ahead of us. A game starting at noon local time is a 4 am kickoff here. The latest we'll see a kickoff is at noon or 1 pm.
 
FWIW, there's very little chance we see noon kickoffs local time in Moscow. That's 9 a.m. UK and 10 a.m. CET - not a move designed to maximize viewership in the key European markets. I reckon they'll stagger the group-stage kickoffs so that the latest matches kick off as late as 10 p.m. in Russia (they start Spanish league and cup matches this late in Spain all the time), so 8 p.m. CET/7 p.m. UK/2 p.m. Boston., with the final and other marquee matches maybe starting at 9 p.m. And actually, a little research...
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_UEFA_Champions_League_Final
 
...reminds me that the 2008 Champions League Final in Moscow kicked off at 10:45 p.m. local time (in the normal 8:45 p.m CET/7:45 p.m. UK window for Champions League matches). So there's that.
 

Infield Infidel

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So if they stagger the matches with an hour between like they have been in Brazil, the matches will be ET 8am, 11am and 2pm. doable for East coast, but tough for everyone else. 
 
The other thing is, there will be matches in Ekaterinburg, a time zone east (later) than Moscow. I'm guessing the matches there will be the earlier time slot
 
On a separate point, let me cast a dissenting vote against the whole "We were crap against Ghana but great against Portugal" theme. Both matches featured abnormally early goals, and often the team which scores an early goal in a big game - before the normal rhythm of passing and movement in the game can establish itself - struggles to find any rhythm thereafter. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule, of course, but against Ghana we couldn't help but subconsciously conceded more and more possession and territory as the match progressed, whereas the reverse was true (to a slightly lesser extent) against Portugal. It's a bit like how the prevent defense in an American football game can make any offense look good. Our willingness to let Ghana take shots from distance was rather like an NFL team up by 10 points late in the game letting its opponents dink and dunk its way down the field six yards at a time; the quarterback in that situation can rack up great stats without really having any impact upon the game.
 
That metaphor isn't perfect, but the point is that if we want to really get a measure of how good the US is in a normal match, it'd be nice to get through 10-15 scoreless minutes against Germany and see what both teams do under more normal circumstances. The pattern of the Ghana match was bound to make us look bad, whereas the Portugal match was bound to make us look good; in truth, I reckon we probably played two matches of similar quality in DVOA terms (to quote Football Outsiders), except they looked so different as to make that equivalency very difficult to detect.
 

Titans Bastard

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DukeSox said:
Not including the ppl in bars etc right? Cuz that was a lot
 
No, they aren't counted.  That number doesn't count the people on WatchESPN or Univision's online feed either, both of which are probably >1m.
 

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Titans Bastard said:
 
No, they aren't counted.  That number doesn't count the people on WatchESPN or Univision's online feed either, both of which are probably >1m.
 
Avg viewership on Watch ESPN was 500K, with a total of 1.5M people watching at some point.  Don't have figures for the Univision equivalent.  And while I'd normally dismiss mass viewings b/c it generally all washes out, WC games seem to have an abnormal amount of mass viewership situations.  Heck, Grant Park alone seemed to have like 50,000 people.
 
Miami did a combined 20 rating between ESPN and Univision.  LA wasn't far behind.  
 
I think we've crossed a threshold here with soccer interest in the US.  Womens' final in 1999 is a poor comp for several reasons.  First, that was the final match - the numbers leading up to it were much smaller - so sort of an isolated event.  Compare this to the current WC cycle where we've seen record-setting numbers in the Group Stage.  If the US makes it out of the Group stage, I'd bet that each successive match they play will set a new record.  The second main difference is that viewership of the MLS and other major soccer leagues around the world (EPL in particular) come into this WC cycle with a lot of momentum.  MLS attendance is up 6% YTD and just signed a huge new TV contract.  EPL doing big numbers for NBC every weekend.  There's a lot of soccer infrastructure to fall back on to sustain the interest.  With the women's game, there's next to nothing.  Not even the denizens of the soccer forum on SOSH could name more than 2-3 NASL teams.  Sadly, unless Brandi Chastain is ripping off her shirt, no one cares about the women's game.
 

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Quintanariffic said:
 
Avg viewership on Watch ESPN was 500K, with a total of 1.5M people watching at some point.  Don't have figures for the Univision equivalent.  And while I'd normally dismiss mass viewings b/c it generally all washes out, WC games seem to have an abnormal amount of mass viewership situations.  Heck, Grant Park alone seemed to have like 50,000 people.
 
Miami did a combined 20 rating between ESPN and Univision.  LA wasn't far behind.  
 
I think we've crossed a threshold here with soccer interest in the US.
 
I want soccer to succeed here, and I enjoy watching it, but let's be realistic:  That's less than 1/3 what the Stanley Cups draw, a sport that most people point to as struggling/borderline major.  It's less than 1/10th what the World Series drew on average last year.  And, yeah, those are finals, but a) the US isn't expected to be in the finals, so US viewership will probably peak earlier; and b) those are annual events, not an every 4 year extravaganze.  Many cable TV shows outdraw that on a regular basis--hell, Turn is probably getting canceled because they only drew about that many viewers per episode.  On AMC, not network.
 
The delta may be positive, but there's a way to go yet before we're past some threshold of major fandom.
 

Quintanariffic

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SumnerH said:
 
I want soccer to succeed here, and I enjoy watching it, but let's be realistic:  That's less than 1/3 what the Stanley Cups draw, a sport that most people point to as struggling/borderline major.  It's less than 1/10th what the World Series drew on average last year.  And, yeah, those are finals, but a) the US isn't expected to be in the finals, so US viewership will probably peak earlier; and b) those are annual events, not an every 4 year extravaganze.  Many cable TV shows outdraw that on a regular basis--hell, Turn is probably getting canceled because they only drew about that many viewers per episode.  On AMC, not network.
 
The delta may be positive, but there's a way to go yet before we're past some threshold of major fandom.
 
I think you've misinterpreted or misunderstood.  The 500K figure I quoted was solely for the streaming audience on the WatchESPN app.  Nationally, USA v Portugal did a 9.6 on ESPN and approximately a 3 on Univision.  As perspective, the Stanley Cup Final between LA and NY did about a 3.5 and this year's NBA final did close to a 10.  Those are big, BIG numbers we are seeing for the WC.
 

tims4wins

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Not sure a round of 16 would surpass the Portugal match in terms of viewership since it was a 6pm Sunday vs. what would be a 4pm Tuesday (I think). But a quarterfinal on July 5 would be huge.
 

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Quintanariffic said:
 
I think we've crossed a threshold here with soccer interest in the US.  Womens' final in 1999 is a poor comp for several reasons.  First, that was the final match - the numbers leading up to it were much smaller - so sort of an isolated event.  Compare this to the current WC cycle where we've seen record-setting numbers in the Group Stage.  If the US makes it out of the Group stage, I'd bet that each successive match they play will set a new record.  The second main difference is that viewership of the MLS and other major soccer leagues around the world (EPL in particular) come into this WC cycle with a lot of momentum.  MLS attendance is up 6% YTD and just signed a huge new TV contract.  EPL doing big numbers for NBC every weekend.  There's a lot of soccer infrastructure to fall back on to sustain the interest.  With the women's game, there's next to nothing.  Not even the denizens of the soccer forum on SOSH could name more than 2-3 NASL teams.  Sadly, unless Brandi Chastain is ripping off her shirt, no one cares about the women's game.
 
It's worth mentioning that there was a real uptick for US World Cup qualifiers this cycle.  Obviously nowhere near WC numbers, but it was big relative to the past.  7.7 million for the USA-Mexico game in Azteca.  Taking out the Mexico factor, there was also 1.5m for the USA v Panama game in June 2013 to pick one Hex game at random.
 
MLS TV numbers on NBCSN are up around 100% this year pre-World Cup -- albeit the starting figure is modest.  The league really needs that sort of trend. I'm hopeful about the new TV deals next season, which will have fixed time slots for games including a Sunday night double header.  It will be easier to catch games with a regular slot.  MLS has spent so much time and effort (esp with regard to scheduling) to maximize attendance and the fan experience -- now that that's settled, it's time to work on the TV audience.
 
 
SumnerH said:
 
I want soccer to succeed here, and I enjoy watching it, but let's be realistic:  That's less than 1/3 what the Stanley Cups draw, a sport that most people point to as struggling/borderline major.  It's less than 1/10th what the World Series drew on average last year.  And, yeah, those are finals, but a) the US isn't expected to be in the finals, so US viewership will probably peak earlier; and b) those are annual events, not an every 4 year extravaganze.  Many cable TV shows outdraw that on a regular basis--hell, Turn is probably getting canceled because they only drew about that many viewers per episode.  On AMC, not network.
 
The delta may be positive, but there's a way to go yet before we're past some threshold of major fandom.
 
To add numbers to Quintanariffic's post, the combined TV audience of the USA-Portugal game on ESPN and Univision was 24.7 million.  That excludes the WatchESPN and Univision online numbers and it doesn't include whatever "mass viewing" boost there may be.
 

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cjdmadcow said:
I have to say that as a neutral I'm really enjoying this particular thread and it's great to see so many new names that are unfamiliar to me in the soccer forum. Whatever happens to the USMNT the rest of the tournament I hope that some of you continue to frequent this area of SoSH and stick around when the European seasons start again in August.
 
I don't necessarily agree with some of the analysis you guys are making but I enjoy how deeply you think about the tactical side of the game - much more than I do - and look forward to disagreeing with you on a more regular basis.
 
I hope that doesn't come off as patronising as it certainly isn't meant that way.
What CJD said. Join us in the Liverpool thread. Matches are on in the morning, so you don't miss college football or whatever, and we spend a lot of time making fun of fuckfaces like URI, mikeford, and LTF.

Plus Jneen makes us pie on match days.

Dan Murfman said:
When they win the group they will play Monday at 4 and win that the quarterfinal will be on July 4th at 4pm
Fuckin' A.
 

Gunfighter 09

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Dan Murfman said:
When they win the group they will play Monday at 4 and win that the quarterfinal will be on July 4th at 4pm
 
 
Holy fuck, playing France on the 4th of July or Argentina on the 5th would be pretty epic. 
 
Of note, Algeria can still win Group H, if the RoK beats Belgium and Algeria beats the Russians, they likely win the Group on goals scored. Assuming the goal is to avoid Belgium, finishing second in the Group could work out for the US.  Further,  if you want to get really crazy: if Nigeria beats Argentina tonight, suddenly, the right side of the bracket could shake out to be: 
 
The Dutch, CONCACAF (US, Ticos & El Tri) , Africa (Algeria, CoI & Nigeria) and Ecuador or Switzerland.  
 
The left side would be Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Italy/Suarez, France, Argentina, Belgium & Ze Germans
 
Enough dream scenarioing....
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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Gunfighter 09 said:
The left side would be Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Italy/Suarez, France, Argentina, Belgium & Ze Germans
 
...and to think, they haven't even won the Ivy League in 20 years!
 

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Dan Murfman said:
When they win the group they will play Monday at 4 and win that the quarterfinal will be on July 4th at 4pm
 
...and I'm erect.
 
MentalDisabldLst said:
 
...and to think, they haven't even won the Ivy League in 20 years!
 
Well done.
 

Gunfighter 09

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
...and to think, they haven't even won the Ivy League in 20 years!
 
 
I am actively mailing my degree in Latin American Studies back to New Orleans. You win 1 internet point. Fuck. 
 

URI

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DLew On Roids said:
we spend a lot of time making fun of fuckfaces like URI, mikeford, and LTF.
This is the most hateful thing said on the board. Take it back now.
 

DJnVa

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JRedburn

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I'm going to be down in Foxboro Thursday morning visiting a customer, and won't have time to make it back to Boston for USA-Germany. Anyone have a recommendation for a good place within 10-15 minutes of Foxboro where I'll be able to show up at 11:30 but still have a solid crowd for the game? Is CBS Scene my best bet? :(
 

DJnVa

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RSN Diaspora said:
No surprise, but Klinsmann just announced that Jozy is out for the Germany game.
 
Saving him for Russia.
 
First we relive WWII then the Cold War.
 
#MURICA
 

Dummy Hoy

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Zomp said:
It probably is.  Providence is about 20 minutes from Foxboro and Rira is a nice place to watch the game.
 
I love that place. Nice to hear they have a good footy atmosphere.
 

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You could go to Mick Morgan's in Sharon, or Jake and Joe's in Norwood.  They are right on Rt. 1.  Mick Morgan's is 5 minutes north of the Gillette, Jake and Joe's a little further.  I'm only recommending for beer and TVs, not quality of food or anything else (as I cannot speak to these things).
 

DJnVa

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Howard was on ESPN Radio this morning and said the team fitness seems okay coming out of Manaus. Everyone knows what they need to do as far as training, sleep, and nutrition, to make sure they are good to go.
 

Zomp

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RSN Diaspora said:
I have this built in bias against chain Irish pubs. I went to the RiRa in Arlington, VA and it felt like a Gaelic TGI Friday's.
 
The ones in Providence and Portland are pretty legit.  Its a chain sure, but similar to the way Flatbread Pizza Co is a chain.  There are, what, 10 of them?
 

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Apparantly lots of problems with Ghana today.  Players refusing to practice unless they get paid their appearance fee for the game the Randy Moss way.
 
Veronica Commey @VeronicaCommey
Ghana players to boycott training if they don't receive their appearance fee before travelling to Brazilia at 11 am today. #Asem b3ba dabi
 
Veronica Commey @VeronicaCommey
Apparently, players want pure cash though there was a supposed agreement to pay the money electronically before the tournament.
 

Nana Owusu Ansah @N_Pazl
So Muntari and KP Boateng had a bust-up in camp. KPB hurls insults on Muntari but coach Appiah mistakenly felt he's the target & weeps
 
Veronica Commey @VeronicaCommey
Don't be surprised if KP Boateng is kicked out of Ghana camp for insulting coach Appiah at training yesterday.Kevin was sent off after that.
 
 
 

DJnVa

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I LIKE!!!!
 
But I don't like it to switch to a big Portugal win!!!
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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To be fair, it's not unreasonable for the Ghanaians to be worried about collecting what they're owed.  Can't say the same about insulting the coach or Muntari, but that much seems like a valid concern.
 
There's a Nigerian Prince joke in here somewhere but I'm not smart enough to craft it.
 

Joe D Reid

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I feel like the first team to fall behind in that GHA-POR game is just going to shatter into a thousand pieces. Not necessarily great news when a draw is the ideal outcome for the US.
 

DJnVa

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With this and with CR7's comments it seems like neither team is going to be focused.