World Cup for College Football Fans: Part I

Hello. As you may already be aware, there will not be any college football games played until the end of August. That means an entire summer with no football. However, do not fear, as the World Cup is being played this summer! Since the World Cup is a "soccer" and not football tournament, you may not be overly familiar with it. You're in luck! As I have previously watched soccer and football, I feel I am somewhat qualified to acclimatize you to international soccer. I'll do my best to present everything to you in college football terms so you can show off at parties with your astounding, intricate knowledge of "The Beautiful Game". Today, we'll talk about the basics as well as introduce you to the first group of countries.

1. What is the World Cup?

A. Great question. It is a giant tournament held every four years where the 32 best countries in the world come together and play soccer against each other to figure out which country is the best in the entire world. Note that these aren't really the best countries in the world (they let Switzerland come with their filthy neutrality and cuckoo clocks, after all) and, actually, they aren't even the best countries at playing soccer. Much like the NCAA tournament1, they want to make sure they've got even representation from all over the world. As every conference sends at least their champion to the NCAA tournament, every region gets allocated a certain number of slots at the World Cup. So, Asia gets four slots and a team like Iran gets to show up and get their ass whomped by Argentina.

2. But isn't that unfair to the better teams that don't make it?

A. Since no one outside of the best six or seven teams really has a shot to win the tournament anyway, it's just making up the numbers so they can have more TV rights to sell. And while it certainly is disappointing that you won't see the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden team or Gareth Bale and the Wales team, the potential for the equivalent of conference realignment exists, such as when Australia left the "Oceania" Federation (think Big East) to join the Asian one (think ACC...they're still a crappy Big East team). Sweden and Wales will just have to look into moving to Africa or North America if they'd like to make more World Cups.

3. Seems reasonable. So did either of the teams I've heard of, Barcelona and Manchester United, make the tournament?

A. No, because those are not countries. Every country gets to pick the best players from its citizens to form a "National Team". In an interesting twist, players can sometimes choose whom they want to represent, at least from up to a couple of different countries. Essentially, if you were born there, you have parents/grandparents from there, or if you've lived there long enough, you can pick a country. For example, just like Virginia Tech recruits players out of Florida, the US coach has been essentially recruiting players from Germany who have an American parent because, on the whole, Germany is better at soccer than the US.

4. So America won't be represented by AMERICANS?!

A. Easy, easy. They are pseudo-Americans and you should be proud that they chose to represent the USA instead of wherever else they could have2. In fact, the US could conceivably field an entire team that had the potential to represent other countries, such as Mexico, Norway, Haiti, Iceland, Germany and even Hungary.

You aren't proud to claim Terrence Boyd, a man who got an eyeball tattooed on his forearm so he can celebrate goals like this FOR AMERICA?!

5. Who the hell is from Hungary?

A. Goalkeeper Tim Howard's mother is Hungarian. Her goulash is a hit when its her turn to make the team dinner.

Anyway, each team can bring 23 players to the tournament and great debate will ensue in each country with much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the players that got left out and the players that got included. It's great fun and pointless debate, much like analyzing Shane Beamer's running back rotation.

6. So is it a knockout tournament like any good American tournament?

A. Nope. Every country gets put into a group of four and plays everyone else in their group. They try to diversify each group as much as possible from around the globe, but there are frequently several European teams in a group because essentially every country in Europe gets to go3.

Teams get three points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. The top two teams in each group move on to the knockout stage. This ensures that nobody flies all the way to the tournament, gets their ass handed to them in the first game and then goes home. They have the opportunity to get completely, soul crushingly destroyed three times! And, again, more games for FIFA to sell in their television packages.

From there, it will be a knockout tournament of 16 teams.

7. Where is this tournament being played?

A. In Brazil, what many call the spiritual home of soccer. Everyone in Brazil was super excited about this until they realized that their politicians were essentially using it to line their pockets with bribes and won't actually build anything that would be useful to the general public. So, during the Confederations Cup last year, which is basically a warm up the year before the World Cup, protests exploded across Brazil around the matches. The police cracked down hard and fans attending some of the matches reported they could smell the tear gas inside the stadium. The protests, which have already started again this month, are expected to be far worse at the World Cup. So, if the soccer isn't interesting, the potential for violence outside the stadium is higher than at a West Virginia football game.

8. Okay, can you bring me up to speed on how the game is played?

A. Yes. Interestingly, you aren't allowed to use your hands to touch the ball, unless you are the goalie. The purpose of the game is to put the ball into your opponents goal more times than your opponents put it into your goal, using only your feet, heads, chest, knees...essentially, every non-hand and non-arm part of your body. If you do something bad like knock someone over, you might get a yellow card. If you do it twice, two yellows equals a red card and you get ejected from the game and your team can't replace you. You can also get a straight red card if you do something real bad like kick someone in the jimmy.

That's so not cool. That's why everyone calls you Shrek, Wayne Rooney

9. So do they have an offense and defense like real football?

A. Yes, but not how you think. There are 11 players on the field, a goalie and ten field players. They do not rotate in and out like in regular football. You are allowed three substitutions per match. Anyone who doesn't get substituted plays the full 90 minutes.

10. NINETY MINUTES?! That's way longer than a football game!

A. Yes, but the games are always over in less than two hours. It is two 45 minute halves and they have a running clock, so no stopping the clock for timeouts or injuries or commercials. At the end of each half they generally have what is called "stoppage" time, where the game plays on for an extra couple of minutes to account for time wasting and injuries, etc. The best part is that this is at the referee's discretion so all sorts of conspiracy theories can come into play.

Once we get to the knockout stages, teams that are tied after 90 minutes go to "Extra Time", which is two 15 minute periods and, if it's STILL tied after that, a penalty shoot out. Note, that if someone scores in Extra Time, it doesn't stop the game; they play out the rest of the Extra Time so the other team could potentially come back and tie it again or even win.

11. You keep using weird words like "matches". Can you translate?

A. Certainly! Since soccer isn't really an "American" sport, you'll frequently hear British commentators on ESPN, such as the wonderful Ian Darke, who will helpfully explain it to us. He will use words you are unfamiliar with. Here's a brief guide:

Football: This is what English people call "Soccer" because they aren't lucky enough to have real football over there. Also, since you use your feet in the game, it kinda makes sense.

Match: This means "Game", but they chose a word you may associate with starting a fire to make it seem more interesting.

Nil: This means "Zero", as in "Iran lost to Argentina seven to nil." They chose this because there isn't actually a word for zero in the Queen's English.

Draw: This means "Tie", as in "The Greece-Japan match ended in a nil-nil draw". They call it this because drawing pictures on your stomach with a knife is more entertaining than watching Greece spend 90 minutes trying to prevent everyone, including themselves, from scoring.

Pitch: This means "Field", as in playing field. Again, to continue the excitement theme, they wanted to associate the playing surface with something the "Match" might set on fire. And it also means something in baseball, so it's a transitional word for Americans.

Club: This means "Team", as in the professional team a player plays for. The equivalent of the Atlanta Falcons, only they call them clubs because you have to pay membership dues to be allowed to play for them.

Argy Bargy: This doesn't actually mean anything. The English made it up to try to make Americans feel stupid for not knowing what it means. Bastards, THAT'S WHY WE THREW YOUR TEA OUT OF THE BOAT!

Kit: This means "Uniform", and is an acknowledgement that whenever anyone dresses up in a uniform, in their heads they are pretending to be Knight Rider and wishing they were driving Kit.

Shirt: This means "Jersey" but the English are prohibited for referring to anything Jersey related after the Battle of Trenton.

Lost the Plot: This means the coach or player has no idea what's going on or what to do. Just like when you're at your book club and you haven't read the book because, Jesus, A Million Little Pieces was like 400 pages long, ain't nobody got time to read all that.

WAGs: This means "Wives and Girlfriends", particularly of the English team, who will generally be used by the English media so they can:

  • Print pictures of hot women, generally in bathing suits
  • Blame the team's struggles on whatever the WAGs are doing and/or not doing
  • Try to cause internal team issues by exposing players cheating on their WAG, PARTICULARLY when they are cheating with another player's wife, girlfriend, or baby mama

Brace: This means scoring twice by the same player, as in "Logan Thomas threw a brace of touchdowns against Miami last year". The British chose this word because they didn't realize braces were for teeth.

Hat trick: This means scoring three goals. So...same thing as in American.

12. Last question. Are there any Fullers?

A. Sadly, there will not be a single Fuller taking the field at the World Cup, a crushing disappointment for everyone everywhere. With no Fullers, you're going to have to rely on your heritage, citizenship or own inherent bias and/or bigotry to pick which teams to root for or against. To assist those of you who need help in picking a team to root for (or to hate), I'll provide an overview of each team and their college football equivalent to provide some hard data to support your decision. Most of those overviews will come in separate posts to keep this one from getting (even more) out of hand, lengthwise, but to give you a bit of a taste of what's coming, let's take a look at the teams in Group D.

Uruguay

College Football Team They Most Resemble: Texas A&M. You know how Johnny Manziel is the most polarizing figure in college football? Say hello to Luis Suarez. While Suarez has generally done worse things than Johnny Football (he's been banned for biting people TWICE, as well as for saying racist things and then using the "But I have black relatives" excuse) you either love him (Liverpool fans and Uruguayans) or hate him (everyone else). He helped Uruguay finish fourth in the last World Cup by intentionally blocking a shot with his hand. He was thrown out of the match but Uruguay went on to win the game to qualify for the semi-finals. They are also regularly overlooked because of their proximity to Brazil and Argentina (Texas and the SEC West), although they've won the World Cup twice.

FIFA Ranking: 6. They haven't been so great since 2010, needing an intercontinental playoff victory over Jordan to get in, which...what? They barely qualified for the World Cup?!?! How the hell are they 6th??

Official Bus Slogan4: Three million dreams...let's go Uruguay.

I dunno, maybe it sounds better in Spanish or Portuguese, but it just seems like someone started strong, realized how stupid this exercise was and threw in the second half at the last minute. Could only be improved upon by changing the ending to "...uh, let's go Uruguay?"

What's the skinny? They're a decent team, winning the last Copa America, which is the South American-only version of the World Cup (your conference tournament to the NCAA tournament, if you will). Aside from Suarez, they've got a potent attack led by elder statesman Diego Forlan. Their defense and, even more so, their midfield, leave a lot to be desired.

Player You Should Pay Attention To: Aside from watching Suarez's attempts to turn the other team into a buffet, Edinson Cavani. He's got lovely flowing locks and is pretty good at soccer, too.

Seriously, the slowed down GIF really makes you appreciate the bounce in his hair

Chances of Winning the World Cup: Pretty small. They may not make it out of a strong group but, if they do, will probably survive until at least the Round of 8.

Will Most Likely: Finish second in the group, beat Colombia in the Round of 16 and lose in the quarterfinals.

Italy

College Football Team They Most Resemble: Ohio State. They play incredibly boring soccer but somehow have fans everywhere. They have tons of corruption in their national league and, after the 2006 World Cup (which they won) had one of their best teams (who featured some of their national team players) forcibly relegated because they were fixing games. So, basically like a Jim Tressel coached team.

Oh, and that guy that left the Michigan game giving the double bird to the crowd? Mario Balotelli BOUT DAT LIFE. Aside from driving a camo Bentley , he also set his bathroom on fire by shooting off fireworks inside of it, and got yanked from a game by his pissed off coach for showboating.

By the way, this was an EXHIBITION GAME so everyone needs to chill out, including you, Taylor Twellman

FIFA Ranking: 9. Mostly because they have an amazing goalie named Gigi Buffon, which...he's Italian, okay?

Official Bus Slogan: Let's paint the Fifa World Cup dream blue

They wear blue. Just like half the other teams here. Great differentiator. Plus, how do you paint a dream? That doesn't even make sense.

What's the skinny? So, they're pretty good, they've got a good goalkeeper, a couple of aging midfield generals, but a horribly suspect defense (despite the fact they will generally take a more defensive approach) and only one legitimate goal threat in Balotelli. They've also got a guy, Giuseppe Rossi, who is from New Jersey but chose to play for Italy because he hates freedom and apple pie and hamburgers.

Player(s) You Should Pay Attention To: Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi. Both are getting up there in age and both sport the most magnificent beards, which is really something to root for in my opinion. Pirlo will run the game out of the midfield for them and looks like he should be playing in a rec league at a senior center.

It's gonna be hard to root against those beards, to be perfectly honest.

Chances of Winning the World Cup: Slim to none. Doubtful they even make it out of the group.

Will Most Likely: Finish third in their group. They've got a chance to finish runners up or hell, even win their group, but I doubt they can pull it together. Plus, if they don't, that means more entertainment for us all in the form of

England

College Football Team They Most Resemble: Texas. Led by an aging man that definitely won't be on the sidelines next year, Roy Hodgson IS Mack Brown. England, blessed with one of (if not THE best) professional league in the world with the most exposure due to their TV network deals, has won the World Cup ONCE and will not do so again anytime soon (sound familiar, Longhorns?) despite carrying expectations of winning it almost every time. And much like the NFL drafted exactly zero players from Texas, England's professional league is largely filled up by people from other places, meaning their pool of players is much smaller. They will constantly chirp about how they invented the game, but Jesus, it doesn't take a genius to figure out kicking a damn ball around.

FIFA Ranking: 11. That's fair. Expectations just high enough to crushingly disappoint.

Official Bus Slogan: The dream of one team, the heartbeat of millions!!

I think you got that backwards, unless only the team is dreaming of winning and they plan on fielding millions in the game? Either way, two exclamation points at the end TOTALLY makes up for it.

What's the skinny? So, you've maybe heard of some these guys, like Wayne Rooney (the nut stomper from above), Steven Gerrard, and Frank Lampard, a group of guys once touted as the "Golden Generation" that turned out to be a bunch of screw ups on the international stage. They've called in a bunch of young guys this time around, which I'm sure will be the excuse they give when they get knocked out. Really, they are more interesting to follow because of the ridiculously intense and critical media coverage they will get, as well as their WAGs.

Player You Should Pay Attention To: Daniel Sturridge. He's a striker for Liverpool and really their best scoring option. He's fast as hell and presents highest probability of providing on-field entertainment from the English team.

Not sure what he's doing, but Rupaul fish lips while celebrating is taunting of the highest order. Fuller approved.

Chances of Winning the World Cup: Hahahahaha, nope.

Will Most Likely: Squeak through to the knock outs round and lose to Germany in a penalty shoutout. That's their thing.

Costa Rica

College Football Team They Most Resemble: Wake Forest. While not the smallest country competing in the tournament (thanks Uruguay and Bosnia for ruining my joke), they essentially are in terms of size and what they bring to the tournament, soccer-wise. They've qualified for the World Cup a few times, hell, they even advanced to the Round of 16 once, which is like Wake Forest making it to the Orange Bowl. But they are tiny and overshadowed by their regional rivals (Mexico and the US) and all of these accomplishments are overachieving.

FIFA Ranking: 34. And in a field of 32 teams...that's about right.

Official Bus Slogan: My passion is football, my strength is my people, my pride is Costa Rica

This is really more of a mission statement than a slogan, but cool. Pride, strength and passion are all good things. Easily one of the strongest slogans.

What's the skinny? The Ticos, as they are known, can be good, but they got drawn into an incredibly tough group and will be lucky to draw a match, let alone win one. But if they do manage a win, it will definitely be against England because the English like to fuck up in spectacular fashion at the World Cup.

Player You Should Pay Attention To: Bryan Ruiz. Similar to other people I've highlighted, he's a little bit unbalanced in the head, which is really a plus in an internationally televised event.

Chances of Winning the World Cup: Roughly equivalent to the changes of Wake Forest winning the ACC next year. In football. So, no.

Will Most Likely: Lose every game and just be happy to be there.

Alright, hopefully that's enough to whet your appetite. Or the fact that your only real alternative this summer is to watch baseball, so...see you next week with a look at which country's fans are most likely to feel at home in Morgantown!

1Okay, we're already off the rails on the football analogy, but this works much better, trust me.
2Or just realized they had no shot at making the German or wherever team and still wanted to play in the World Cup, so, hey, Go United Statians!
3That's not true, but they get 13 teams out of 32, whereas Africa gets five, despite being slightly (3 times) larger.
4Yes, last week they unveiled OFFICIAL BUS SLOGANS. These are meant to unite a people behind their team or start invasions, or...something, I dunno. It'd be pointless if most of them weren't so ridiculous.

Contact the editor about this post anytime by phone: (703) 646-1931 or mail: 3057 Nutley St Suite 633, Fairfax, Virginia 22031.

Comments

This comparing national teams to college programs is an interesting idea let's see the USA's group is Germany, Portugal, Ghana, and the US. So if we use the US as Virginia Tech I see Germany being LSU, Portugal being Texas A&M, and Ghana being Pittsburgh during the Larry Fitzgerald years.

can there be two aTm teams? He already compared a team to them (Uruguay)

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

Don't worry, I got a team for everyone. Some people may not be entirely happy with all the selections, but it can't be worse than Klinsy dropping Donovan.

I was just going with Portugal being really a one man show. After Ronaldo they do not have another superstar.

Yup, they're never terrible but have one superstar. aTm is the perfect comparison.

Woah woah woah as much as I hate em joao moutinho is really good

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

So was Mike Evans.

god im so happy you did this

Spain = Alabama

oozing with talent from the U21 team up to the senior team
they're finally relevant again
people bandwagon to them a lot
A coach who shows absolutely ZERO emotion


he does have one hell of a stache though

go into every tournament as favorites...I mean jesus the parallels just keep going

if anyone is in Blacksburg this summer id love to get together for a few games!!! I'm pulling for Murika of course, and the Belgian waffles

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

If Spain win this world cup they would be the best team of all time I think. No team that I can think of has won four major tournaments in a row.

I have to say, I'll root for USA 8 days a week, but I absolutely love watching Spain play. Nobody else in the world plays with the skill that they do. It's beautiful to watch. They play patient and break you down with a methodical attack. Your only chance of beating them is by taking advantage of the limited opportunities you will likely get which is what the US did in '09.

If Spain had Messi, they would be unbeatable. Their Midfield is second to none. Messi just complements Iniesta and Xavi so well. They just have to hope that David Villa comes to play.

I lived in Spain in 2002 during the World Cup and had friends from all over the world. It was really fun taking part in all of the shit talking. France thought they were the tits and didn't make it out of the groups. So nice to rub it in to those guys. The US made an amazing run that year (wishing for something of the same this year), and I thought we had Germany beat. My German friend even conceded that we had outplayed them. Great Year. Donovan made a name for himself in that tournament.

To be fair, if Messi was placed onto a lot of teams, they would be contenders.

Well actually it is relevant in Spain's case as Messi was eligible for the Spanish national team although he never considered them.

well I mean they have diego costa now...spain will be just fine without messi, if anyone had messi their team would immediately become more competitive

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Spain has Iniesta. It was pretty clear pretty early on in the 2010 World Cup that he was going to be the player of the tournament.

I do wish that Argentina would make a run. I haven't seen Messi make a late tournament run before. Argentina just doesn't use him effectively. At least, not as effectively as Barcelona does.

fersure but I don't think they will, simply because you almost need a little luck to win the world cup, just like winning a national championship. If spain win it I will tip my hat to them though they definitely deserve it but I have my money on argentina for numerous reasons

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Why is Al Groh coaching soccer? Didn't know he was into kickyflops

Don't give up, don't ever give up ~ Jim Valvano

I can't wait for the World Cup. I didn't have time to read the whole article, but it is important to note that qualifying for the tournament begins about 2 years before the tournament and all/most countries are eligible. The actual World Cup is called the "World Cup Finals".

It is an awesome tournament and the world STOPS for it (except for us).

I can't wait for a Football World Cup like they have in soccer. USA and Canada would be in the finals all the times until the rest of the world catches up.

Not sure I'd enjoy that too much really. One of my favorite parts about the World Cup is that Cinderella story that crops up every time. Some team from a (relatively) poor or underdeveloped country making a case for themselves. I don't think you'd see that with American Football on the world stage.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

You can still have Cinderella stories in a football world cup. It happens in all the sports when favorite teams dont make it to the finals.

The reason why I don't think it'd happen as often is that kids in some less fortunate countries can't just go out and play American Football. There'd be no exposure to the sport. It costs a lot of money to go out and play a game of our football. For soccer, kids all over the world are able to play because all it takes is a ball. I remember in high school we had a foreign exchange student who was one of the best players on our soccer team, and he had never once played competitively before coming over here. He was good because he could go out on the street and kick the ball around with other kids anytime he wanted. I just don't see that kind of thing being possible in our football. Not saying there would never be upsets or anything, but I think it'd be closer to what we see with hockey and baseball on the world stage than soccer.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

THREE (THREE!) WEEKS UNTIL THE WORLD CUP!

U-S-A... time to go on a miracle run!

http://usatthebiglead.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/jc3bcrgen-klinsmann-celebrates-us-goal-vs-mexico.gif

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

That would certainly start with getting out of the group stage. I think every team in our group could conceivably move onto the round of 16 if they were in any other group (aside from the one covered in this article, the other "Group of Death" if there is one).

And if I were a betting man, I'd have Germany taking it all this year.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

This was the most Fuller of all Fuller articles. I loved it. Looking forward to more.

And just because its sharing time, I thought I'd post Landon's goal from the 2010 WC in the waning minutes against Algeria - probably most famous for Ian Darke's call, but who gives a shit. It still gives me goosebumps. I remember sitting at my desk listening to the game and working SO HARD to contain my excitement when this happened.

I was working at another bank down here when this game was going on, and absolutely nobody was doing their jobs. When the goal was scored, all 4 stories of the building erupted in celebration. It was pretty awesome.

And you can't post that video without this one:

And this is why you watch the World Cup on Univision and not ESPN:

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

To PhillyHokie007, Alum07, and everyone else who shared video clips...thanks! Awesome stuff. Great to see football fans who also love "football." Having played and coached, I've always appreciated the skill, toughness, and endurance it takes to play the game and I wish more Americans would embrace the sport. Look at the reaction and patriotism of the crowd after Donovan's score. Truly amazing. While maybe in the minority, I too am psyched for the World Cup. Thanks for the article; great fun to read and great to see the reader reaction.

ChicagoHokie

2 things: 1) a side note, that chick that initially stood up from KC, MO has a decent azz & 2) the Univision had effin rolling. Thx

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

I was in a hostel in Xi'an, China with a room full of English people who were watching the England match while this was going on. I had to keep up with the US game on my iphone while hoping for an English loss. I got a lot weird looks when I started shouting after the goal. It was the most patriotic I had felt in a long time.

Go Hokies

Watched that goal on the tiny TV attached to my wife's hospital bed a few hours after she gave birth to our son! The best part is that you could hear some other new dad yell from another room when it happened. We almost named our son Landon.

All I can hear are the vuvuzela's... OH GOD NOT AGAIN

RIP Stick It In

You can bet that I'll be taking off work during several games and hitting up the bar to watch. I've already been planning it with coworkers. Fortunately, the US only has one game during work hours, but I'll likely head over to watch some other matches. The country of Brazil will be a shit show and only a precursor to the 2016 Olympics so that should keep things interesting.

I think the game during work hours is the Portugal matchup?

Which is perfect because my technician is Portuguese.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Thursday, June 26th at Noon - US vs Germany

Sunday, June 16th is Ghana
Monday, June 22nd is Portugal
Both at 6pm

All ET

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

Aw damn. That sucks. It's more difficult to watch at work too so that Germany game will be frustrating. For multiple reasons.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Great summation. My question is - which college football team most resembles Germany?

I'd say FSU. All the talent and speed you could ask for with a ton of depth.

Just looking at the guys Germany had to leave at home because they didn't have enough room makes me jealous. Particularly in that midfield. When you have to leave guys like Sven Bender and Gundogan, you have a very good problem on your hands.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Thanks. I am new to my appreciation for futbol. I know just enough to want to ask a million more questions.

Germany and Spain have the same "problem" just so much talent in the midfield you can't take them all to Brazil.

Sort of like a basketball team having loads of 6'6" athletic guys who can create their own shot and play pressure D?

more like a team of create-a-players, seriously the roster is like a whose-who of superstars from around the globe (most of em have pretty awesome names too)

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Yeah Germany is like that with Spain I would say its having a ton of really good guards who can just control a game and carve up a defense with accurate and timley passing.

That's just showing off the skills of Xavi. The still have great players like Xavi Alonso, Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata

Juan mata didn't even make the cut this year

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Wow didn't even realize that is the 23-man roster out? That proves my point. Mata was on the preliminary 30-man squad.

This is why Julian Green plays for the US.

I'm having trouble understanding why the "football" is round. Is it even covered in pigskin?

Are there cheerleaders?

At least one team has them. Not at the World Cup though, I don't think.

Crystal Palace Cheerleaders

Crystal Palace, by the way.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Hmm, I wonder if the girls ar coming when Palace visits Richmond.

HokieSpider

I just googled these cheerleaders and watched their harlem shake and their "Call Me Maybe" videos. Wow. They take the raunchiness of cheerleading and ratchet it up 10-fold. More of a Victoria Secret Bikini show than cheerleading promotion.

Right...what are we talking about again...

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

WAGs are typically super duper attractive and are essentially the same thing. you'll see plenty of beautiful women don't worry

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Starting to think you have a man crush on Suarez as much as you like to bash him. I'd add in Real Madrid fans/owners in the conversation of people who love him, since they want to get rid of Di Maria and Benzema to get him. I'd much rather see him stay at Liverpool and win the league and do well in the Champions League.

This is by far the best comparison of the World cup and College football mashup I have read so far. Well done. Now, to give this thing all the turkey legs that I possibly can.

Don't give up, don't ever give up ~ Jim Valvano

Holy shit what a well written article. I watch tons of soccer/futbol and keep up with just about everything so I was fully expecting to find tons of stuff to disagree with on here. But no. Everything is correct and some humor to boot. Bravo.

When's the next installment?

One name to remember because he'll be the face of USA Soccer for the next 15 years (even though he probably won't do much this year).... Julian Green

Julian Green

I still don't know why we insist on looking like Russia out there. And the home kit is so bland, I think it's actually worse.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I agree that the away kit (as seen worn by Julian above) is pretty bad. I did like the away kit we wore in the last World Cup because it was a retro to the kits worn in the 50s
2010

My favorite has to be our 2006 home kit (simple but elegant):
2006

But just be happy it isn't this (1994 kit):
1994

I liked both kits that we've worn in the most recent years. The "Where's Waldo" home kit and the navy blue with white sleeves for the away kit. Those were both really nice IMO.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

The home is just as bad as the away...

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0259/7467/products/USAJersey.png?v=1395957439

That might as well be a polo the coaching staff wears.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

Regarding the Denim Stars and Stripes kit from the '94 Cup, this article is a must read. Highly entertaining, if only for the image of Cle Kooiman (see below).

The 2006 kit looks very solid. I'd take the denim stars over the latest version at the top, though. Anything (virtually) is better than boring. The white one shown just needs to have more color. Bigger sleeve stripes or something. Make the sield huge and center it on the chest above the number. Can they do that? What is allowed? Are futbol regs as anal as the NFL? Or are they more like college hoops where anything goes if you're brave enough?

That 94 kit may have been terrible but that 94 team wasn't.

Based on what I've been hearing about Green, he could be something very special by the next World Cup. Getting him on team USA for life is a very big deal. To be honest, I was kind of surprised that he chose us mostly because Bayern Munich is so high on him, too. That makes me think he has the potential to start for Germany someday.
I've been pretty happy with Klinsmann as the USA manager so far. He's really turning things around stylistically, tactically, and even the structure of how USA soccer operates.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

and obviously it's no coincidence that we will most likely have 4 German-Americans on our team this year, thanks to Klinsmann

My opinion on him is different, and no doubt many of you tend to like him. I do not and I think he's gone a long way in alienating players. His decisions to pull obscure players out of Mexican leagues and lower level German leagues is very questionable. I think Bradley was better for the US and I believe he got a bad deal. Yes I think Donovan got a bad deal. However I don't think Donovan was playing well, and with that said, if anyone was playing bad, Jozy was playing terrible with Sunderland, trust me, I watched him all year with them. I'm not even sure how he is there, if only because there is no one else to pick.

Jozy had the same problem in his beginnings with Sunderland as he's had everywhere, including Klinsmann's first year as US manager. They're not using him right. He's not a target man, as they're trying to make him. He's not a great header of the ball. Luckily his time with the US has seen some improvement and I think Klinsmann now recognizes his strengths better.

Besides, Sunderland was pretty much a dumpster fire across the board.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

"Besides, Sunderland was pretty much a dumpster fire across the board."

Nah I don't think so, in fact you couldn't be more wrong. It was a lot better than it got credit for. The problem was that it started out with a dictator and the team didn't recover until December. The last month of the season they beat Chelsea, Cardiff, Man U and West Brom. Both Chelsea and Man U were away. Not to mention went to City and tied them. Oh and made it to the Carling Cup Final too. They were written off by this point of course. They weren't a bad team just started poorly. I think Jozy got a lot more credit because of his goals in the Dutch league. I think that showed. He could not finish in front of net multiple times in the BPL. Trust me I saw it.

I saw it too. I don't think they played well for the vast majority of the season. And I think Jozy was utilized very poorly. But agree to disagree.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Are the finals always on Sunday or will I have to take off work to watch the USA championship ceremony?

twitter.com/weavez22

I like your style

Looks like Donovan didn't make the cut. Sad.

surprising, i guess klinsmann is trying to get younger?

"We're your family right?!? You love your family right?!?"-Dadi Nicolas
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

he did bring Julian green onto the roster

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Donovan has been in AWFUL form this season. I'm not really all that surprised he was left out. More surprising to me was Yedlin making the cut over Evans or Parkhurst.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Yedlin is an absolute beast.. trust me I played with him for a year. He has the pace to get back and has one of the best "football" IQ's I have seen in awhile. A little film for yall as well.

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

i'm sensing a little anti-english sentiment tff.

"We're your family right?!? You love your family right?!?"-Dadi Nicolas
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

This whole thread made me think of this:

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

You forgot the European player of the year by the wayCristiano

We haven't gotten to Group G yet, don't worry. Although I'm not sure I'm quite saucy enough to start throwing topless Cristiano pictures out there...

But seriously, if you put a single Pepe picture on there, topless or not, we're going to have issues.

Who is your club team fuller? I sense some distinct madrid/barca/manu hate here soooo I'm gonna wing it and say arsenal?

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

The mighty Aston Villa Football Club, Pride of Birmingham!

Roll Ti...wait...wrong Birmingham.

They used to have a children's hospice on their shirt called Acorns and I was explaining to my brother in law where they were after he told me he'd never heard of Aston Villa, England. So he looked at me for a minute and goes "So...you like the Birmingham Acorns?"

Way to be a good fan man! haha

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Richmond Kickers fan here.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

Make that THREE biting incidents for Suarez