OT: 2018 World Cup

The World Cup is less than a week away!!! Who else is excited? Who else is trying to watch every game?

The electric atmosphere of World Cup football is tough to beat. Sadly, the US team failed to qualify. But that's okay!! There will be a lot of good football to watch and exciting teams to follow. So what are everyone's rooting interests?

Brazil are among the favorites to win it all. They had an embarrassing exit four years ago. Germany are the defending champs but it's extremely tough to repeat (Italy('34 &'38) and Brazil ('58 & '62) are the only teams to ever win back-to-back cups). There are a handful of young talented teams hoping to make some noise!

Below are the groups. Take a gander and lets have fun discussing teams we hate, teams we love, teams we think will do well or badly, etc. Which is your "group of death"? Predictions for the groups and so on. Have fun. Enjoy the tournament!

Group A:
Russia
Uruguay
Egypt
Saudi Arabia

Group B:
Portugal
Spain
Iran
Morocco

Group C:
France
Peru
Denmark
Australia

Group D:
Argentina
Croatia
Iceland
Nigeria

Group E:
Brazil
Switzerland
Costa Rica
Serbia

Group F:
Germany
Mexico
Sweden
South Korea

Group G:
Belgium
England
Tunisia
Panama

Group H:
Poland
Colombia
Senegal
Japan

Cheers!

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

B or F would be my vote for group of death. My default is to root for England to win it all. Seems sad that the guys who invented the sport always do so poorly.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Interesting that you think B or F would be groups of death. I disagree.

Group B has two really traditionally strong teams (Spain and Portugal) but their competition to advance is really quite weak. Morocco may not even get a draw and Iran is unlikely to compete with either Spain or Portugal. I know that group looks tough with two big hitters but then you remember that they both advance as long as they beat the scrubs in their group which I think they both do handily.

Group F is similar but Mexico isn't as good as Spain. Germany will win that group easily and it's really a matter of whether Mexico or Sweden can win their match to decide the second team out of the group. Korea won't put up too much of a fight IMO.

I think the real group of death is group C. France and Peru are fairly evenly matched and Denmark is dangerous enough to beat one or both of them. I doubt if Australia will shock anyone but those top 3 are very closely matched which makes that group very difficult.

I too will be rooting for England. I am half English, after all. I will also be rooting for Argentina, for reasons, and probably Iceland because they're still kind of on the Cinderella-story wagon. Otherwise I don't really hate any teams enough to root against them, except Russia, for reasons. Brazil aside, I typically don't care much for South American teams. I've never been a fan of their styles. I would like to see a couple of teams form Africa do well. I expect Egypt to advance to the round of 16. MO Salah, if healthy, will help Egypt get, at minimum, a draw with Russia. Russia's team has been pretty weak for a long time and I don't expect them to advance (perhaps slightly biased opinion).

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I think you're underrating frances talent this year. That team is pretty loaded from top to bottom. Peru doesn't particularly wow me by any stretch and Denmark is pretty meh as well

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

I get what you're saying. Normally, when we're in, we're the #2 team in a group so I'm looking at the chances of us advancing and I think of group of death as the one with a good #1and a competitive #3 who could steal a win or a draw to Hose our chances of advancing. By saying group B or F, I was purely looking at it from the point of view of the #3 team. Which group do you look at #1 and #2 and just throw up your hands and say "well, at least we qualified and let's hope we get a moral victory like a win over #4 and draw or a close loss in the other two matches"

I realize that's not what you meant though. I agree with your assessment of which group has the best overall quality.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I don't really see a group of death this time around, though Group F is probably the closest. Group B should be a cakewalk for Spain and Portugal. IMO Uruguay got the best draw and should easily advance.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

I agree with you about group B being a cake walk for Portugal and Spain and Uruguay getting a great draw. I think Group F only looks scary because of Germany. I think Mexico is overrated and Sweden could upset them. Otherwise I wouldn't consider that group the toughest. I think France, Peru and Denmark are much more closely matched squads.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Well well well... Group F turned out to be the group of death after all.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Legs for you both (VPI too), good calls all around.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Did not see that coming! Leg for you sir!

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I am going to try to watch them all. Group D looks toughest. Rooting for Messi, Mexico, and Costa Rica; expecting Germany or Brazil to win it all.

I think group D is similar to group F. One heavyweight at the top, one overrated team in second and a spunky team in third which could upset #2 but probably doesn't stand a chance against #1. And a team at the bottom which probably won't win a game. I think France and Russia are really the only top teams with a real risk of not advancing. Russia because they're bad and France because that group is very dangerous!

I really don't like Mexico's style of play so I won't root for them. I don't mind Costa Rica and I've already said I'll be rooting for Argentina.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

That's what I thought as well, D E and F look by far the hardest

ColOmbia***

Probably who I'll root for if I had to pick but mostly would be cool to see some upsets in group play

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

Die Mannschaft über alles! Also rooting for Iceland because who the hell wouldn't, Peru because they're pretty fun to watch lately, and Australia because I like that they're called the Socceroos.

Rooting against Russia (terrible football, but also Russia in general can go fuck itself), Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina (I generally hate all teams south of the US, Mexico is a rival I can't stand, and I'd love to see Messi crash and burn out of the group stage), Spain and Portugal (Tika-taka is painful to watch and I'm neutral at best when it comes to Ronaldo).

Group D is probably toughest. Was the hardest to pick for my world cup bracket pool. Seemingly a lot of parity and should be some really good matchces.

Rooting for Germany because Ozil. I also have them winning it all over France in the final.

Argentina over Belgium for 3rd.

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

I'll be pulling for Iceland and Egypt as underdogs. In a dream scenario, Argentina wins it all but I think France or Belgium walks away with the trophy.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

I'm excited that the World Cup is starting soon and I'm planning on watching every game. This one will be a little bit different with some traditional teams missing (Italy, Netherlands & US) but that opens the door for first time qualifiers (Iceland & Panama) as well as teams making it after long absences (Egypt, Morocco & Peru). I'm interested in seeing if England can avoid another early exit, if Belgium can take advantage of their golden generation, and how far Salah can take Egypt (he's had an incredible year and hoping he can overcome the injury to make those games a lot more exciting).

I'm curious to see if the fix is in for Russia to advance. FIFA has its history of corruption and Russia is right there with them. With how bad Russia has been playing recently, they are only advancing with the help of a scandal.

I'm rooting for Denmark since my ancestors immigrated from there. I think they have a decent chance of getting to the knockout round. I'm expecting France to easily win the group and I think the Peru vs. Denmark game will decide who gets that 2nd spot.

I mean Russia is literally in the weakest group in the history of the world cup. So yes.

VB born, class of '14

South Africa's group in 2010 was epicly awful also and they failed to qualify. Would love Russia to emulate that feat but we all know Putin won't let that happen.

Edit: replied to the wrong thread

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I have Egypt and Uruguay advancing, and I'm basically like the best at guessing, ever.

But seriously, Egypt is about to surprise some folks. Uruguay wins the group in a breeze.

Yeah I agree that the group is really weak and I wouldn't be surprised if Russia and FIFA colluded to make that happen. I was referring to what will happen on the field so I should have been more clear on that. Putin tried to rig the KHL this past season and I could see him trying to do the same thing in the World Cup. I don't think he or anyone else in Russia has enough influence to get them past the round of 16, but I think they could try bribing referees to award award Russia bullshit penalty kicks or give completely undeserved red cards to their opponents so that Russia can get out of the group stage.

I'll take France for the win. Seems like a solid team that should balance well together. Love England's players and hope they show out. Belgium is going to be a really tough out for someone if they're healthy.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

That's who I took and at 6-1 odds that's a bargain

Those are tempting odds, where do you do your online betting?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Not online...at the William Hill sportsbook in many Vegas casinos. If I had an online betting account my checking account would read 0.00 in no time.

Will be interested to see Belgium playing under Roberto Martinez, I think they can make noise. I like France or Germany to win. Will be cheering for Messi
and Iceland though. I think Group D is the deepest.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

We should do a bracket challenge, I know it's not as nuts as March madness but still fun

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

Peru wins it all...... Bwahahaha!

Sorry, just had to put in a plug for my homies, but they will need a lot of luck just to advance.

That being said, I will predict England as the champions.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, TKPC#490, One of us!

I will predict England as the champions

.

Bold! But as a fan of England, I approve. As badly as I would love for them to put it together and win the whole damn thing I don't think they are quite there yet. Perhaps 2022

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

As long as the World Cup (or any major trophy) has penalty shootouts, England will not win the competition. That said, I've love to see the 3 Lions lift the trophy. But then again, I'm just another jaded, long-suffering England fan.

I guess I can pose as a Redcoat for a couple weeks.

“Stats are for losers.” -Mel Kiper Jr.

hopefully 4 weeks

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Força Portugal!

Egypt is my underdog team.

England will get knocked out in first or R16, cause, England.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Always root for the big 3: Australia Japan and South Korea. Other cool underdogs: Costa Rica, Peru, Morocco, Egypt.

Teams that may actually be around after the group stage: Colombia, and Switzerland.

Root against: England (so snobby), Brazil (Espn treats them like LeBron), Belgium (beat us), Russia, Spain, Saudi Arabia aaaaaand

FUCK PANAMA

Always root for the big 3: Australia Japan and South Korea

This dude's spent some time in PACOM. Excuse me, INDOPACOM now.

Soooooooooooooo what's gonna be the stupid noise like the oboos from the South Africa world cup that's gonna drive me to watching games without darke calling them to mute them? Does Russia have an annoying cheap noise maker?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Stupid joke removed. Apologies.

We are the Hokies. We will prevail. We will prevail. We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Both Russia and Saudia Arabia are soooo bad. This is tough to watch.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Group A consists of Uruguay, Golovin, Salah, and free points.

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

Man, the commercials on this are painful... basically everyone trolling the US audience that we missed the WC... Seems like an odd strategy

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

FOX broadcast? I'm pretty sure FOX actually hates soccer. Otherwise I see no reason to bring Alexi Lalas in for punditry.

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

I'm looking forward to seeing how Ronaldo not winning the WC is going to be Jurgen's fault

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

[MOTHERLAND INTENSIFIES]

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Good lord, Saudi Arabian defending is terrible. They play like this against Uruguay, they'll give up a 10-spot

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Not that Australia are amazing, but I'm genuinely baffled as to how SA qualified above them.

I think the AFC is much worse than CONCACAF.

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

Didnt they get curbstomped by spain like 8-1 recently? I'm not surprised at all. I had Uruguay and russia advancing, frankly I think egypt is better but Corruption + a friendlier setup will have russia advance. Egypts probably going to lose to uruguay and russia will be riding high.

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 best part about this is Russia putting in an absolute unit at Striker and scoring within 2 minutes of the substitution. If you're 6'5 you should win every header.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Especially since Saudi is the shortest team in the tournament.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Exactly. Their left back #13 looks so tiny trying to matchup with these strikers and wings. No chance in the air.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

US isn't in it. My uncle was selected to the 1960 West German team (before being kicked off, for living in West Berlin), so Germany has to be it.

Deutschland noch einmal!

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Golovin picking up a yellow this late in a 3-0 win on an attack is silly.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Wow. What a volley.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Oh that was pretty. Outside edge of the foot to the opposite corner... wow

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Russia pouring it on!

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

5-0... Geez

Goodnight, Saudi Arabia... Thanks for playing

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Russia working that goal differential like they will actually have a chance at advancing.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

I don't know why they wouldn't have a chance at advancing. Stranger things have happened in the world cup and it's not like Egypt are much more than 10 men behind the ball trying to spring Salah on the counter.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I suppose. I think that predominantly depends on the health of Salah as well!

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Saudi Arabia is...not good

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Did you see that ludicrous display [earlier today]?

welp. that was.....something

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Both of these teams play defense. It's refreshing to see after yesterday's game.

I'm betting they won't let the 2nd half get too far before Salah comes on. Egypt hanging in there pretty well. It helps when Suarez is gonna miss sitters. He's getting frustrated, keep an eye out for the teeth!

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

I see the Russia fix is already in. /s

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Egypt looks surprisingly competent without Salah out there. Kinda surprised they haven't subbed him in just for the offensive boost in the last minutes, but I guess he's that hurt.

Suarez mentally took himself out of this game early. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

Lmao

Absolutely crushing concession by Egypt there. They just got lazy there the last few minutes giving up way too many free kicks.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Lose the game and pick up a yellow card sheesh, without extra time they pick up the draw while resting Salah. Need To beat Russia now for sure

I'm having 2010 flashbacks with this Morocco-Iran game. The fans brought the horns with them!

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Idk who to root for in this, both teams figure to get crushed in the rest of group play

There is a sh-ton of rigging in the "random seeding" process.

2018 Seeding Procedure / Rules

So the tourney sponsors want the best games to happen as the tourney goes on. Not unlike the NCAA (until this year) hoops. Last thing they want is a CAVS vs WARS final. So they seed with only a little allowance for randomness in the groups.

The most interesting seedings groups are when you have a team who has a ton of physical talent (say Nigeria) and a great uniform (Nigeria, again) and if they play a defensive counterattacking formation and play as a team (Egypt 4-2-3-1) today.

Note the hosts get a 1 seeding. Meaning they only have a 2, 3, 4 to play against. I am not saying Russia is good or bad, but having them ranked 65 playing 63 Saudi Arabia was a little ridiculous. If Saudi is 63, Russia is not 65. Note they play Egypt at 30 and Uruguay at 17. While Egypt looked over achieving they used a pretty defensive 4-2-3-1 formation and that was at least partially responsible for Saleh not playing. Coaches have their own self-interests, and this coach can now say they almost had a point against the top team in their division. It is pretty weak sauce, but it will be interesting to see how the squads line up in the upcoming games. Russia seemed to go for it (the goal) the whole time. Not really a footballing strategy they may want to employ against Egypt's 4231. But these kinds of decisions are what make these rigged groups stage game interesting. Saudi coach might want to deploy a 5-5...LOL.

I usually feel that the african teams deserve a team in the second tier, but I haven't watched enough this year to have an opinion. Anyway when you get a 1 or 2 group seed your probability of advancing goes way up. Not saying FIFA rankings are biased, but they are the edifice behind the world cup group stage.

You're putting too much emphasis on FIFA rankings without realizing how those rankings are developed and calculated. Russia didn't get to play any qualifying matches, so each friendly was only given a 1.0x match score multiplier rather than a 2.5x multiplier for teams playing competitive qualifying matches. If I remember correctly, Brazil's ranking was also historically low (for Brazil) in the years between the 2010 and 2014 world cups for many of the same reasons. (Except CONMEBOL plays the Copa America more frequently than UEFA plays the Euros).

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

WOW Iran gets the win. They played that game perfectly. Morocco came out and showed they were the better team, but Iran played them like a fiddle. And then Morocco own goals themselves to a all but eliminating loss. Now, a draw for Iran against Portugal or Spain (tough, but doable) could conceivably get them through

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

If either Spain or Portugal don't advance then something went way, way more wrong than Iran beating Morocco 1-0.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Ehhh, I see this narrative too often. Morocco & Iran are solid teams and I wouldn't be surprised if one of the two between Spain or Portugal don't come out of the group (this coming from a die-hard La Roja fan).

1-0

Morocco has almost no chance of doing it now. I see Iran possibly getting a draw with Spain, if Portugal can somehow pull the win today Iran maybe could advance over the Spaniards. Very unlikely though I fully expect a 1-1 draw for the Iberians

That Moroccan player better not stand next to any open windows any time soon. Coach Jaime gonna' be pissed.

Oh shit. Ronaldo already. This is going to be a fun one.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Portugal with an early penalty

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

THIS is World Cup soccer.

Ronaldo is just on another level physically. Dude does NOT lose 50/50 headers.

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

How do soccer fans get around the flopping and not hate the sport for inventing it? Especially now that flopping is trickling into other sports.

I try to watch and care, but its just bad acting and overdramatic at every foul.

You're blaming soccer for athletes in other sports flopping?

...okay.

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

I mean it's more prevalent in soccer than in any other sport. I don't think that is debatable. I think it's reasonable to at least partly blame soccer for it's rise in popularity in other sports as soccer's own popularity grows here. But maybe not. Either way, it is unbearable to see grown men flail like babies after not being hit.

They should make it a penalty like in hockey.

simulation is an automatic yellow card if the referee decides that the player dove.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

LOL WUT. They clearly need to enforce that better.....

a yellow card is far worse than a two minute hockey minor...and speaking of yellow cards this Spain v Portugal (which I'm calling the Cheat Bowl...Ramos v Pepe) is one hell of a game. Classic Pepe on Spain's goal, makes a rash decision against Costa (who's a raging cheater himself) then when it doesn't work he cries bloody murder

De Gea sympathized with Karius after the UCL final so much that he just pulled a Karius. How come he never does that for Man United?

Honestly it's no worse in soccer than it is in NBA but Amercians (the royal) don't want to hear it. Blaming a sport for athletes in other sports looking for an advantage to gain a result is ludicrous.

I don't think NBA and NFL players are watching soccer players going "oh, I never considered doing THAT".

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

Eh. I think we are both biased so I could be way off, but I would bet serious money on it happening more in soccer than any other sport.

Also not sure who the royal americans are.

Burden of proof then. Back it up and I'll listen.

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

There's no way there's more diving in (real) football than basketball or hockey because there aren't as many opportunities for contact in a typical game. Even in the most physical games (i.e. EPL). Hockey and NBA basketball are just more physical and hence provide more chances to embellish.

Your post is somewhat confusing, are you saying you think that there is more diving in hockey or basketball than in soccer?

I'm saying there are more opportunities to dive in hockey and basketball, but it's hard to quantify actual dives. It's mostly a subjective thing, so if you feel otherwise that's fine, we'll just agree to disagree.

The principle is the same, bending the rules as much as possible in order to gain an advantage on your opponent.

For the record I think NBA basketball has more dives than other professional sport. But your point stands, if giving yellows for diving was strictly enforced, you'd see a lot less of it. Sadly, that's hardly ever the case.

Diving and "parking the bus" (i.e. defending with the whole team) can ruin a game really quickly.

Fair enough. As someone who hates the new style NBA and hasn't watched in a while I cannot argument that. But I would vehemently disagree the NBA of old had more flops.

However you have a good point about the subjectivity of flopping. But I think its different than you say. I think soccer players flop more since they never really make serious contact just running around so anytime contact occurs it's in their interest to embellish. In real contact sports, embellishing every hit is just not helpful because contact is legal and expected.

But whatever, I couldn't make it through a half of Spain - Portugal because I saw at least 3 egregious flops. So I'm out.

they never really make serious contact just running around

Alright we're done here. That's a silly statement. Enjoy your other sports.

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

imagine if hockey players tried foot-first slide tackles?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The only thing I have to say to this is actually play the game, it's a lot harder than it looks and the tackles can hurt...a lot. Not suggesting the NBA isn't tough it absolutely is and I sure don't want LeBron James to back me down but at the highest level it don't tickle, especially when your only protective gear is a thin pad covering your shins.

But I get the apathy, it's cool I'm used to this line of thinking.

I think soccer players flop more since they never really make serious contact just running around so anytime contact occurs it's in their interest to embellish.

Clearly you've never played soccer.

But whatever, I couldn't make it through a half of Spain - Portugal because I saw at least 3 egregious flops. So I'm out.

Yeah you definitely don't understand soccer. Silly comments galore.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

you're also missing the entire in-game dynamic of soccer. there aren't TV timeouts or in-game stoppages to get a little treatment if they need it. a substitution can't be undone. there's no "going back to the locker room" and then coming back to the game. getting stepped on by a man in cleats hurts, and even if it doesn't look that bad, it behooves the player to "flop" and try to stop the game so the trainers can look at him and give him time to walk it off.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Its also ignoring the fact that most of the time when these guys have the ball, they're giving literally 100% of their energy at that moment to move. When someone tangles with their legs, its going to knock them off their feet, and at that point, the same gamesmanship you described applies.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

At the risk of sounding like a major Captain Obvious here...

How does one flop in American football where it's legal to destroy a guy anyway?

Leonard. Duh.

Probably the same way you get around it while watching American Football

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

No no, those guys only do that because soccer players did.

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

And I mention it's rising in popularity in all sports, but its definitely less common in everything else. I hate it in every sport.

Stats on that?

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

ok, so why single out soccer? Why come into this thread and say "how can you all stand watching this?" when you now openly admit its elsewhere?

But I get it. There's always gotta be someone who has to say how much they don't like soccer when soccer is the point of discussion.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Simple. Because it happens so often its more infuriating to overcome the things I do like about the sport. But no worries, I'll go back to not caring.

I'm a soccer fan and I agree with you acowne. I hate seeing it and wish they'd get good at using replay to call their bluffs and yellow card floppers. It's cheating in my book.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Thanks. Like I said, I try to watch and like the game. I didn't know that it was a penalty so that was good to hear. I think they should develop a way to enforce it better. Make a new card color if yellow is too severe. Idk.

Yellow is not too severe. I hate diving and embellishment just as much. It's also not unheard of for a player to get a retroactive suspension if a ref misses a particularly bad dive.

Part of the issue is the subjectivity of calls. American football has the most rules of any sport, but many of them are cut and dry (offside, illegal substitution, movement before the snap, delay of game). Those moments where the decision is subjective (pass interference, roughing the kicker), you see players doing anything they can to get the call. This is why flopping is a huge problem in basketball as well. There's some amount of subjectivity from the ref about whether a foul was a block/charge or a foul at all.

Part of the reason its so noticeable, as others have pointed out, is that in soccer there are no breaks until someone picks up a knock. In football, there's 30 seconds between plays every time. In basketball, play stops frequently. Time the amount of time that play stops for injuries (real and embellished) in a particularly brutal soccer game, and you won't see more than 10-15 minutes of stoppage in the game, most of which will be added to the end of the half. An American football game can be condensed from the 3.5-4 hours of television to 30 minutes of actual play. It's precisely because of the lack of stoppage in soccer that any stoppage seems so significant.

Just like in football or basketball, I get annoyed when players dive, flop, or embellish, hate the ones that do it a lot, think my team is somehow less guilty than my rivals, and move on and enjoy the rest of the game. That Spain-Portugal game had a fair amount of flopping (some of those players are notorious), but it also had a lot of drama, and some incredible goals and moments.

If you have room for 50 examples, just in the finals, show some NBA flops.....

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Why limit it to the NBA? You could fill an entire thread with ACC flops alone. Hell, you could have your own chapter for Cameron Indoor Home Cookin followed by one for Dean Smith Center Home Cooking.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

oooooh game on and a good test for VAR

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Ugh I hate Costa. But incredible effort for that equalizer.

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

can only imagine how the spanish players would have reacted if it was called off retroactively because of a VAR-established foul call

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

oh man that was fun to watch....Diego Costa is a man and Portugal's back four are boys

"But first...you gotta get speed. Demon speed. Speed's what we need. We need greasy, fast, speed!"

This game is awesome so far. Just shows how much better these 2 teams are than anyone else we've seen in the tournament so far.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Ronaldo again!

He's got a bomb of a shot, and it just ate De Gea alive.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

that wasnt ronaldo's greatness there, that was david degea crapping the bed. That was Robert Green level, any goalkeeper playing at this level should have made that save

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

hoo boy de gea

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The commentators just had to say something about "best goalkeeper in the tournament" before the game. That's a curse every time.

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

He's still the best in the world, if I could have any goalie I'd take him without a second thought even though he plays for the enemy. I know you'd love to have him too.

To be fair, there are more than a few goalies you'd take right now if you could

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

ain't that the truth *sad face*

One of the best for sure. I'm just saying that anytime a commentator says that, shenanigans are sure to follow.

And yes. I'd prefer to have De Gea over Petr Cech and David Ospina, you are correct.

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

wow what a well worked play

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

And we're all tied up again

this is fun

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

WOW! What a goal!

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

HOLY SHIT NACHO....GOLLLLLASSOOOOO!!!!! If there's a better game this World Cup than this one...holy schneikes. Ay carumba!

I could watch the curve on that shot all day. Wow, that thing had serious movement on it

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

It amazes me that Nacho, Bale and Isco can't get a regular game for their club.

wow wow wow wow nacho

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Ronaldo....Damn!

HAT TRICK RONALDO!

But in all seriousness... De Gea left that whole side of the goal gaping. Ronaldo has the precision to put that ball in that spot 9 out of 10 times, and he just gave it to him.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Found Arlo's TKP account 😂😋

VB born, class of '14

hah! I wish that I had that man's job

But yeah, when Ronaldo was lining up that kick, I saw how much of the goal was left open and knew he was going to score. All Ronaldo had to do was make solid contact and that was going in. Not a good night for De Gea.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

if anything, wall should have been another step to their left, or another person added. GK gotta trust that wall and Ronaldo beat it, plain and simple

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

ronaldo is somethin else

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Ronaldo is a whiny little bitch...but he is still a hell of a player.

Btw, this should have been the first game of the cup, not that Russia Saudi shit show

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

What a flop by Ronaldo on to get that Free Kick. Dude didn't even touch him. I hate when games are won/lost by bad calls in any sport.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

what

edit: i'll need to watch it again but nothing about it struck me as a huge and total flop

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I agree. Watched it a couple of times. Definite contact, definitely in the box, he got no ball and it impeded Ronaldo. That gets (correctly) called 10 out of 10 times.

Ronaldo could have avoided the contact, but when the defender leaves himself in Ronaldo's path out of control and behind the ball like that, any good player is going to embrace the contact and draw the pk.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

I'm talking about the free kick at the end. Not the penalty shot? Was there one? I just caught the last 10 minutes of the game.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Fuck my bad.

I'm at work and didn't see the play that drew the foul, so I have no opinion. Disregard everything I said and carry on.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

Pique, who I assume is a spanish defender, is on espn bitching about the early pk, and accusing Ronaldo of flopping. He wrong. I hate flopping. And having thought about this (and hating CR as much as I do, for multitude of reasons) for the whole day, that was 100% a foul and a pk. Fuck that guy.

Ronaldo showed out, and that was impressive.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

Random aside gobbles, did you change your username? I could have sworn it used to say 'gobble gobble gobble'.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Nope. Always have been "gobble gobble chumps"

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I hate Ronaldo too, but Pique fouled him.

Really? I saw zero contact at all.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

He definitely went down super easy, and like his legs had been swept (which def did not happen), but there was some contact up high.

Yea, that's what I mean... he flopped to get the call. Acted like he got clipped at his legs. There might have been a little grab up top, but nowhere near enough to bring him down.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

two hands on a player is wrestling or fighting but its not basketball and not soccer

where you get rewarded for moving... refereeing 101

time for Pique to spend more time with his woman

#protip: anyone puts two hands on you you should assume you're about to get laid, or about to fight

Wow what a game, that was a blast. comebacks check, incredibly goal check, great plays by a great player check, a goalkeeper total screw up check.

Fantastic

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

You're making me miss hockey. Go caps! Tom Wilson -check

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

FAM, I don't even watch soccer and I thought that game was LIT

Hopefully I'll be watching it on DVR this evening with some pizza and beverages! Can't wait.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

EQUALIZER

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

WOWWW messi with a terrible penalty attempt.

Also great save by the keeper though

VB born, class of '14

ICELAND WINS 1-1

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Great work by Iceland! Smallest country ever to play in a World Cup, earning a draw against Argentina!

It's painful to watch Argentina. Their players are under so much pressure from Argentine media & fans and you can see it. Messi & co. just look off their game and you can see it in their body language. Feel bad for them.

It's painful to watch Iceland. They park their whole team in their own penalty box for most of the match. I get that it's a great cinderella story but their "style" of football is terrible. It's like watching Stoke City at the international level.

Minus all the leg breaks!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah they foul way too much as well. It's clear whoever coined soccer/football "the beautiful game" was not referring to Iceland. I just mean it's painful to watch Argentina from a personal perspective. Like I feel the pressure they are under just watching them on TV

It amazes me that no Argentine coach can find another player to gel with Messi and get the best out of him. With all the riches at every position they have it's staggering they can't find a combination that works. Perhaps they're a better team without him.

Dude. They had like 7 points in 8 qualifying matches without Messi. They wouldn't have even come close to qualifying for the World Cup without Messi.

yeah this whole "messi is terrible for argentina" narrative is bizzare.

scores a hat trick to qualify them for 2018 after getting them to the finals in 2014

They're replacing Italy in this tournament. Someone has to do it!

Peru looks like the better team right now, Denmark looks completely Eriksen dependent for creativity.

This game is really intense. Peru looks like they'll get one back soon.

My Peruvian homies are pooping the bed with so many blown chances. Lima is a ghost town right now with every soul glued to a television, radio or phone. They are praying for a tie like their lives depend on it.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, TKPC#490, One of us!

Wow. That Denmark-Peru game was one of my favorites thus far. So many counters, great goalkeeping, and Denmark with some great defensive stands. I thought Peru would break through but man, so many wasted chances.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Great and entertaining game between Denmark in Peru. Really surprised that Peru wasn't able to score one with all of their opportunities. Schmeichel was fantastic and lived up to his dads legendary status today.

I'm cursed. Not one team that I have been rooting for has won yet.

root for germany, belgium, france, brazil, spain, argentina, russia, poland....k thnx

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Hahaha I think we're rooting for the same squads

Imagine having bet on Egypt +1/2, Spain -1/2, Argentina to win and over 2.5 total, and Peru +1/2. Now think about how all of those bets lost. I hate this World Cup.

Rip his freaking head off!

after today, I still think group C is the group of death

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Why do so many kids in the US play soccer these days?

So they don't have to watch it...

I don't like it...but take your leg

Boys just love playing with their balls.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

This CRC v SRB game is so dirty. Yuck.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Kolarov has such a magical left foot. He's a joy to watch at Roma, happy to see him score in the World Cup.

Germany, if you do anything in this tournament, please pull another 7-1 beat down, this time vs Mexico.

I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them!

That'd be fun to watch. A lot of excitement so far. Mexico is better than I realized.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

For everyone that says soccer is boring, turn on the Mexico and Germany match NOW.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Holy shit

It's not "Ozeel" you daft Fox commentators.

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

Slightly OT: a Landon Donovan had a sponsored tweet basically saying root for Mexico and EVERY former USMNT player is roasting him, and rightfully so

First tweet:

Hercules Gomez

Cobi Jones

Nah man!!! Mexico is not "my team." Mexico is a rival in CONCACAF. In sport there is something sacred about rivalries. Meaning and history behind them!!! I don't see Brazil cheering for Argentina. England cheering for Germany. Barca for Madrid. Man U for Liverpool or Lakers for Clippers. Yankees/RedSox etc...It's sports and you're allowed to cheer against someone. Let alone your regional rival!!! A post shared by cobijones13 (@cobijones13) on Jun 16, 2018 at 9:19pm PDT

VB born, class of '14

Cobi is one of the few ex players I can actually stand to hear in the media. He was also more influential to the growth of the USMNT than Donovan. Yeah I said it.

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

LD end of/post playing career has been the worst

edit to specify:
-still bent out of shape about WC14
-comparing his career to pulisic's is laughable
-stopping just short of calling his former teammates racist after he's roasted for being a corporate shill (which is fine to collect that sweet ad $ but know what you're getting in to)

Yeah he definitely needs to chill. His attitude of "I'm too old to be 100% every day" versus "I'll go as hard as I can for my country no matter what" seems to be mainly what cost him his roster spot in 2014. Other managers probably wouldn't care, but Jurgen wanted so bad to make a big decision like that to put his stamp on the team

I don't disagree with Donovan's tweet because I root for Mexico a bunch, I like those guys.

But you're spot on about LD's post playing career. I'd go as far as to say he was pretty overrated in his playing days, too. Glad he gone.

Cobi's tweet is right on, and I don't see anything wrong with Landon's first tweet. No need for anyone to lambast him for that. Landon's second tweet though, is a bit over the top. I'm rooting for Mexico because I want our region to perform well which could lead to greater interest. Same way I'd root for Canada if it were them. Also because I'd love to see Germany get knocked off. Either way though, that was a great first half of football. It's challenging the Portugal-Spain game for best of the weekend!

if michael vick/logan thomas/D-hall etc tweets "i'm cheering for UVA" as part of an ad, it's absolutely fine but they're gonna get roasted. you want to make money by supporting a rival? go ahead, but don't get bent out of shape when your teammates give you a hard time

I don't see the two as similar, but can understand if others do. National teams don't recruit against each other, so Mexico's doing well doesn't effect the US negatively in any way as far as I can see. So, in the absence of the US being there, feel free to root for who you want. Landon's second tweet was what was problematic to me. It implied you should feel compelled to root for them for some perceived injustices.

No big deal either way. I just want to see good football, and this match is sure delivering.

In reality they do recruit against each other for dual national youths.

With so many players with dual nationality between Mexico and US, the teams absolutely recruit against each other (For the most recent example, read up on Jonathan Gonzalez).

For me, I have much more hate for Mexico's national team than UVA.

I don't agree...but that's good, clean hate. Leg.

Mexico rolled over to effectively eliminate us from the World Cup as we choked away against T&T. LD should be taken to task over this as he's effectively torching his reputation within the American Outlaw organization. But it just goes to show how out of touch the US Soccer organization is with the fans. We bailed out Mexico 4 years ago only to see them fall on their sword in the last game when it meant keeping us out. Now we have some of our recent top players saying "Mexico is my #2"...

Nah, I'm happy for them for their win, but I'll be happier when they're eliminated and sent home.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Final piece about it courtesy of Espn

Link

VB born, class of '14

Like the point.

I do think the path to US National soccer greatness lies in successful and thriving Mexican and US national leagues. Neither one of us is there. But when someone starts to talk about the European Champions League winner playing the North American, wow that will be a great day. Not that it is close or far, just that today will have the Mexican people pretty proud for at least four years. (Barring a collapse in the group they should get to the head to head, maybe even get to play a number two)

This year's Concacaf Champions League was a hell of a lot of fun, and you're absolutely right. The growth of all CONCACAF leagues and national teams will help raise the level of the US national team.

You're on to something here...but in the case of England it's more like rooting against Argentina, Italy and Germany at the same time. The level of despair/hate is hard to imagine on this side of the pond

Look-in at LD's house about 1:50 EST yesterday...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Well, didn't expect that. But hat's off to Mexico. They came out swinging and kept on the gas.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Germany may well finish 2nd in their group now. If Brazil wins their group, those 2 would face off in the round of 16, a rematch of the semis from last time. Of course this is a lot of assuming, but still.

Don't underestimate Mexico's ability to shit the bed against inferior opponents. But yeah, Germany has been spinning tires since they qualified. If they don't get their heads out of their asses this won't be a long visit to Russia.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Why would you link to the proof that they don't know how to? I think you were looking for the original example.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

what, so we don't expect people to learn from their mistakes now?! smdh...

Of course not! Better to learn from others' mistakes. Shoulders of giants and all that.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Or the shoulders of the lilliputian Putin

Sweden is likely an even bigger team than Germany. Feeling the Lilliputians are good enough to beat these big teams. Once they play a smaller team, that is good, I think they sh** the bed.

Brazil is just unadulterated talent.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

...but not a team...if it was based on pure talent they'd have won every World Cup

I hate the smaller countries in CONCACAF. It isn't just the flopping, but the ridiculous over exaggeration of all fouls whether legitimate or a dive.

That's the men's game in general. The women don't flop NEARLY as much as the men. I wish there was a way to combine their toughness and no nonsense with the men's athleticism. That would be some damn good soccer.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Yeah it is prevalent in the men's game, but CONCACAF's smaller countries are especially horrendous with it regardless if it was a foul or not or even when they blatantly foul the other team. They are always either dying or did nothing wrong.

I agree they are the worst offenders of the men's game.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Dries Mertens take a bow...goal of the tournament candidate. There have been tons already...amazing stuff

England's defense is poor. I'm excited about the ball movement and opportunities they create offensively, though. I hope they finish better in the second half.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

This England-Tunisia game is something else... First of all, England is doing many England things. Should be up 3-0 or 4-0, but they keep bungling things up when they get close to the goal. Secondly, its blatantly obvious that Tunisia came into this game with only one strategy... Foul early, foul often, play the body not the ball, and drop like a brick when breathed upon. Then again, this seems to be a tactic many teams are using against quality players this year. I'm surprised the refs are allowing it as much as they are without the parade of cards.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

England's ability to consistently shit the bed when the ball enters a threatening area is impressive. They aren't even getting off half of the shots they should be.

Edit: I guess they heard me

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Harry Kane says Hi

VB born, class of '14

I mean honestly, they should have completely housed Tunisia in this one. Their attacking is pretty good and if they can clean it up around the net, they could make a serious run. But man, they badly need to clean it up, because the doorknob has been humped enough.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

"Foul early, foul often, play the body not the ball, and drop like a brick when breathed upon. Then again, this seems to be a tactic many teams are using against quality players this year. I'm surprised the refs are allowing it as much as they are without the parade of cards."

Is this normal? I totally agree with you, and it really takes away from the game to see all the body checking going on. I find myself wishing basketball rules were in effect ... you commit 3 or 4 fouls, and your gone.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

This is a common tactic for players playing above their talent level. The referee can start handing out cards, especially if the fouls deny goal scoring opportunities. However, because this is a subjective thing, players will push the envelope until the ref threatens a card.

It's kind of like CBs using their hands on elite WRs until the refs start calling PI (cougheffpatnarduzzicough)

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Viva Colombia! I am sad, though, that I won't be able to watch the game in the morning.

(My mom was raised in Colombia, and her cousin, Gabriel Ochoa Uribe, was the head coach of America De Cali for over a decade.)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Kane is King! So clutch in stoppage time.

VB born, class of '14

England is very, very lucky that Tunisian thought it was better to give up a corner than just get it away. Also that nobody was marking the #9 on the back post.

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

Yeah, Tunisia will be kicking themselves for a long time about leaving Kane, of all players, unmarked at the back post.

England has to be the world football version of Da U

england BAK

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I think you could make a case Brazil is Da U of futbol...

Great players, loads of talent, never play to expectations, still get hyped up all the same.

Seems legit.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Meh. It hasn't been nearly as long since Brazil has played Joga Bonito when compared to England. I can remember some glory days for Brazil. England has been a punchline since I've been alive.

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

England badly need to shore up their defense. Finishing is another big problem. A win is a win and I'm pleased with the opportunities they can create but until they prove they can finish around the goal I will be concerned about them. Quality finishing will make England a very dangerous team

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

What's the over/under on questionable calls going Russia's way this afternoon?

I so very much want to see Egypt thrash them and then for Uruguay to embarrass them in a few days and send them packing.

Eff your score running up team and your corrupt government. You don't deserve to be here and you didn't deserve to win the bid.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

are we really mad about "score running up" when goal differential is a key tiebreaker?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Normally, no. It's all part of playing by the rules of the tournament. However, when a host country like Russia pulls strings to get into the absolute worst group in the tournament, you don't get to play games like everyone else.
For reference, average FIFA rank by group:
Group A: 49
Group B: 23
Group C: 16.5
Group D: 23.75
Group E: 16.25
Group F: 24.25
Group G: 22.75
Group H: 28

Russia should have been in Group C with Peru, Denmark, and Australia. That would have brought that group down to 32.25 and Group A to 33.25 (France, Uruguay, Egypt, Saudi)

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Group A being so weak is also a function of the host country always being in Group A instead of a Pot 1 team, and Russia being the lowest ranked team in the tournament. Getting the worst team from Pot 4 in Saudi was very convenient for them though.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

And they advance off an own goal........

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

This is the official world cup of the own goal...farcical stuff at times...then again, look who the hosts are.

could it be that Russia is just a better team than Saudi Arabia or Egypt?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

It's 3-nil...so....maybe.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Russia being the lowest ranked team in the tournament also has to do with them not playing any competitive qualifying matches in the lead up to the world cup. They were in the mid 20s ranking going into the 2016 European Cup and had a terrible showing there coupled with no competitive qualifying games. The ranking is not at all an indicator of the talent on that squad.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

There was no collusion!

The ranking is not at all an indicator of the talent on that squad.

This may be true, but it's not like SA and Egypt (outside of Salah) have many world-class talents.

It might be interesting for many here to know that a lot of the same criticisms leveled at US Soccer also apply to the Russian national team. The guys who should be in the primes of their careers have never really reached their full potential because they get paid more to play in the Russian Premier League than they would if they tested themselves in a Top 4 league.

Russia has a few young guys that are capable of playing at that level and will probably make moves after this tournament (Golovin and the Miranchuk twins), but the ridiculous amounts of money pumped into Russian football to chase Champions League glory over the past decade or so has had an overall negative effect on their national team.

Ok, leave Russia in Group A. Take all but the Pot 1 teams in Group C and drop them in Group A and put Group A in with France and you have the same result. The whole thing stinks and is tailored to get Russia through to Round 2...oh look, they just locked up getting to the knockout stage. If Uruguay manages to lose or draw to them, I'm gonna lose my shit.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Prepare to lose your shit...best believe Putin has a hand in this "renaissance" for Russian football. Full stop.

Japan / Columbia just got really interesting. Correct call, let's see if Columbia can recover.

Wowww, this is just the break Japan needs to be able to maybe steal a win and get out of the group

Did it or didn't it?

It did.

Golasssooooooooo!!!!!

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

How do I hire Jorge Perez-Navarro to do play by play for my life?

First huge mistake by a referee this tournament. Poland was robbed by that 2nd goal.

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

Controversy in Poland /Senegal. Technically nothing wrong with him coming back onto the field since the ref waved him on but that is not the standard practice. Typically refs wait until a stoppage in play.

End of this things is getting weird.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

This referee is not managing this game well.

Also I think my bracket is a kiss of death for everyone I've picked.

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

Group freakin H! They saved the excitement for the final group, two monumentous upsets here. If Senegal and Japan can both advance that's biggest group coup since ... maybe 2002?

2014 Group D: England, Italy, Uruguay, Costa Rica...Costa Rica wins group Uruguay finishes second

Yeaaaah but Uruguay was a top squad and Costa Rica was playing flat out good soccer before then. To have Japan AND Senegal advance a group with Poland #8 in the world by FIFA rankings and Colombia with James Rodriguez and Falcao would be a straight up soccer coup.

I've said many times that FIFA rankings are garbage, but holy hell even knowing that, Poland did not look anywhere near like a top 10 team in the world.

(They're 22 in the Elo rankings which I find to be much more accurate most of the time)

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

Fun fact, after this world cup the fifa rankings will be based on a model derived from Elo

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Good. I just noticed, as of now Senegal sits at 23 on that list. Russia at 33 (as opposed to their FIFA ranking of 66) and Japan is at 34 as opposed to 60. Pretty interesting stuff. It's updated after every result when FIFA's isn't, so it makes sense that these upset would bring the numbers closer to what we're seeing, but they still started out closer.

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

I see your point but both Italy and England were top 10 in the world at the time. Most pundits had those squads advancing to the knockout phase at the time.

I thought we were supposed to take FIFA rankings with a massive grain of salt? They heavily weight games played within UEFA competitions, and weight Euro friendlies heavier than they weigh others. It leads to Euro nations getting inflated rankings based upon where they should be (and over inflated us years ago when we played a Euro heavy schedule to 'game' the system before WC seeding)

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Ruskies are piling them up again.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Must of gotten a speech from Ovi beforehand...sheesh. 5-0 and now 3-0 with 30 minutes left.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Sorry for picking you to advance Egypt.

Russia will have their work cut out for them in the RO16. I believe Spain/Portugal are the best looking teams after the first round of games.

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

Look for either Cristiano Ronaldo or David Silva to suffer an "unfortunate" accident the night before the R16 matchup with Russia, forcing them to miss the game.

And the fire alarms to be going off all night in the Spain/Portugal hotel.

Dont you wish that evil on big dick dave

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

Egypt scored

Putin is about to make someone disappear

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Anyone but Salah

non soccer fan here, is Mo Salah on Egypt equivalent to Russell Westbrook on OKC ?

Michael Jordan on the Wizards?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Kemba Walker on the Hornets. very talented, right system makes him look like a world beater, and has basically no help

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Uh oh... Neymar left practice today with soreness from a leg injury sustained against Turkey

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Ok Euro Football experts. Do matches usually have this many own goals? I believe that I've seen 3 and I've watched 4 full matches, plus parts of a couple others. That seems like a typical amount for pee wee soccer, but these teams are these teams are best in the world.

edit so the question makes more better sense

The majority of the own goals I've seen have been pure bad luck. For instance Senegal's first today. That defender wasn't really at fault for anything, just wrong place, wrong time.

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

"Bad luck" is what the Russians call it...vegas would call it "controlled"...I've been watching the sport for 40+ years and I've never seen such suspicious calls and (own) goals. Full disclosure: I was born in eastern Europe (not russia) so I have an inherent bias.

Own goals happen pretty much every week in every major league. They're unavoidable and many are freak occurrences. It's hard enough to score goals when you're trying, and definitely hard when you're not trying. But because RUSSIA every own goal is suddenly DUBIOUS and SUSPECT 🙄

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Thanks for the responses. I can't say that I've seen anything that seems nefarious (Putin isn't known for subtlety, nor is FIFA, from what I see in the news). It's more of a matter of: In a sport where 1 score is huge, I would expect to see more caution when kicking the ball towards ones goal (though one of the own goals, from yesterday, def was pure bad luck of a defender trying to prevent the goal and accidentally helping the opposite to happen).

I don't think there is any match fixing by Russia, at least not yet. If you want a conspiracy theory about Russia, though, I wouldn't be surprised if their players are doping. A lot of their goals have come fairly late in games which could suggest they're not getting tired at the same rate as their competition. And Russia is certainly known for doping athletes.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Russia is the first team to lock up a place in the RO16 (granted, they are also the first winning team to play a second match). The way they are playing I would not be surprised to see them take the top spot. Uruguay looked uninspiring vs Egypt and got a very late goal to beat them. Russia has done well around the net and I think that will be enough for them to, at the least, draw with Uruguay.

Either way, they will likely have to play either Spain or Portugal in the RO16 and based on what I have seen thus far those two teams are the best looking teams in the tournament.

Some of the favored teams have uphill battles ahead of them. France struggled with Australia and will have very tough tests in Peru and Denmark. It would not shock me to see France drop one of them. Argentina didn't look like the team they are supposed to be against Iceland. I think Croatia will be a challenge for them but I expect them to advance. Brazil would have preferred a win vs. Switzerland but they shouldn't have trouble with the remaining teams in their group. Germany is in real trouble of not advancing if they can't get past Sweden. They will need to play much better than they did vs Mexico to secure a win there, otherwise they could be heading home early. Belgium and England are right where they're supposed to be. Both teams looked comfortable beating teams they should beat. I expect that group to finish in the predicted order. Poland and Colombia are both in very hot water. The loser of their match will not advance.

This upcoming week will have some compelling matches. The ones I'm focused on are as follows:

Thursday:

France vs Peru - France looked beatable against Australia. Peru needs this win more than France does after losing to Denmark so I expect them to play inspired football. I'm putting France on upset alert for this match.

Argentina vs Croatia - Croatia looked good in their win over Nigeria (even if it is only Nigeria) and Argentina looked out of sorts against Iceland. This is an important game for Argentina. A loss or draw here doesn't technically eliminate them but, a loss at least, certainly puts them in real danger of not advancing. Can they overcome the pressure?

Saturday:

Germany vs Sweden - Germany badly needs a point here after their disappointing loss to Mexico. Sweden is a dangerous enough team to be a threat to Germany. A draw would be okay for them but a loss will send them home earlier than they'd like.

Sunday:

Poland vs Colombia - This is my "game of the week" because the loser goes home. Both teams will be desperate for a win. A draw might not be enough for either team at this point as they would need the other team to score fewer goals in match 3 in order to advance on tie breakers. Not a risk either team will want to take IMO. This should be a good, hard fought elimination game with plenty of drama. It will have knock-out-stage feel in match 2 of the group stage which is going to be fun!

Happy watching!

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

For some reason, with the US being eliminated I've been more interested in every other game, and this has been my most enjoyable World Cup so far. Maybe it's just the lack of any possibility of dissapointment for the home team. That said, I'm all aboard the Iceland and Peru bandwagons.

Felt like Portugal was only giving partial effort today. Lots of lazy fouls, limited off the ball movement, got really divey there at the end. Hoping that's just a result of trying to preserve some legs for later. They can be a lot better than that, as they proved vs. Spain.

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

To me, Portugal has felt like a side that plays up/down to the competition for years

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah that's how they won the Euros recently. Definitely think they have the potential to go far.

Also, how crazy is it that Wolverhampton just signed the Portuguese keeper? The caliber of the EPL from top to bottom is getting pretty nuts.

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

Yeah the money in the EPL makes easier for teams at the bottom to put together some competitive wage packages relative to other international leagues. Especially for players coming from decidedly second-tier leagues like Eredivisie, Ligue 1, Primeira Liga, Superlig, etc. You could even look at a team like Watford (funky ownership arrangement aside) bringing in players from Juventus and Barcelona over the last few years to see that a rising tide lifts all boats

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

There is a Portuguese connection at Wolves-their manager is Portuguese and he's good friends with Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes.

Pretty sure Jorge Mendes has some financial stake in the club which was investigated (obviously as there could be conflicts of interest with his status as a super agent). They are certainly building a strong team to challenge in the PL next season with a lot of potential future Portuguese stars. It's slowly becoming vehicle to train the future Portuguese NT haha.

In addition to playing up and down to their competition, today they played like a team who had no true central midfielders, which was exactly the case. They seemed completely unable to string together more than a couple passes in the midfield and it really limited them going forward. It didn't help that Bernardo Silva was having a really off day, but he wasn't nearly as dreadful as Joao Mario.

I expect them to use a different midfield next match against Iran. Possibly also starting Silva instead of Guedes who has been wasteful with multiple chances, though I think Guedes still probably provides more overall.

I don't know how anyone could root for Portugal. Pepe is probably the worst human being in the sport (racist, dirty player, etc.) and his dive today was pathetic as usual. Ronaldo also had a terrible dive. That team represents everything that is wrong with the sport.

Pepe's somehow also the most durable even with his dirty physical play, he's somehow still out there for 90 minutes at age 35

Center backs can play a long time

center backs are less likely to have their leg broken by a center back

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Ronaldo embellished the contact but he guy rammed his knee into his knee. I think you might be too far removed from the last time you had knee to knee contact, it's not pleasant.

Also, every team will handle contact that way, especially in the box. There are rarely (if ever) and-1's in the box (advantage, I don't think I've ever seen it played in the box), if they call a pen the play dies so there's no point in fighting through to get the ball and shoot after you've been fouled. You can argue that's a flaw of the game but that's the way it is.

I can agree with him that Pepe is the worst and Ronaldo has that issue as well (he's not as bad as when he was younger but he still has the habit of rolling 7-8 times for a minor shove in the back).

I still enjoy watching Portugal at times because when they're not being ridiculous like that they've got a lot of fun talent to watch.

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

(advantage, I don't think I've ever seen it played in the box),

I have one!

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

Why'd you have to pick one against the Magpies?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Fellow Magpie here, we always seem to be on the bad end of the highlight reel..

There are dirty players on most teams. And a lot of teams dive and over emphasize soft fouls. Colombia is also really bad about it. Did you see Falcao hip check that Japanese player and then fall over to win a penalty (which Colombia subsequently scored to tie the game)?!?! That sort of bullshit is what makes most Americans hate soccer. And it's why I can't stand most South American teams and a few other European teams (Portugal, Spain, France). Interestingly, the teams which seem to be the worst offenders of diving also happen to come from cultures having a flair for the dramatic.

I can hate the over dramatized dives and flops all I want but we all have to admit that it's just a part of the game right now. As long as players continue to benefit from those ridiculous maneuvers we're going to continue seeing them. No nonsense soccer doesn't always win, unfortunately. That's just how the game is called these days.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I couldn't watch the Colombia match but I know Colombia didn't have a penalty. I guess you mean the free kick, and I can't find a replay of the foul. Again, I'm not only talking about dives. Portugal I think is just about the worst with dives, but the antics we've seen from Pepe, for example, over the years have been disgusting and take my hate for them over the top.

Okay it wasn't a penalty but it was a free kick awarded for a foul just outside the penalty box. A foul that SHOULD have gone the other way. It was a foul by Falcao and a dive by him as well and his appeal to the ref was enough to get the call.

my internet is super slow here in Uganda so I'm not going to try embedding.....but follow this link and you should be able to see what I'm talking about Re: Falcao foul that should have gone the other way

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I have less of a problem with the diving like that than I have with what Ramos did to Salah in the Champions League Final. Cheap ass move the injure the guy, only to attempt to flail on the ground as if he himself got fouled.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Hey buddy, Salah hooked Ramos, and it was his other shoulder that got injured. This narrative is not only stupid at this point its observably false.

uh huh

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Shit happens, he tied up he and Ramos and they went down in a tangle. Acting like this is some premeditated injury shit. Not one of the former players watching the match on any channel thought there was ill intent. It's all internet fans that think this was some act of premeditated malice.

Sergio Ramos has quite the previous

naughty naughty

edit: not sure how to embed this

I think we've had this debate in another thread?

VB born, class of '14

I don't have a dog in this fight, but it's pretty clear Salah started it and Ramos finished it. Both knew exactly what they were doing.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

What's the saying? Don't poke the bear unless you want the horns?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Rooting hard for Peru to beat France today. Looks like Denmark might seal a spot in the knockout round this morning

Eriksen had a beautiful goal and an abysmally lolsy attempt at a knee-slide celebration. Still 20+ minutes left in a draw though. An Australia win makes this group really fun heading into the last matches.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Not all slides are winners like this...

But it could have been worse...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Can't wait to watch the Peru v France game. I thought Peru had a good chance to go deep in the tournament, but even though that seems unlikely now, they're still fun to watch.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Peru had a good chance to go deep in the tournament, but even though that seems unlikely now, they're still fun to watch.

Yeah if you enjoy flops and whining for 90 minutes. Still, I hope they beat France because that would be more interesting

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I think you may be letting your distaste of south American soccer biase you on this one. I dislike flopping as much as anyone, but from what I've seen, that's not their style, and France is playing that card a lot more than Peru so far in what I've seen of this game.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Before Argentina embarrass themselves yet again today, this is why:

You could just randomize players from Argentina's team and get a better lineup than that. I'll be prepared to eat my words, but it's almost as if the coach wants to lose.

Way too talented to be as bad as they are. That said, that isn't their official lineup, it's what the FOX guys guessed their lineup will be.

It's been pretty widely reported. I saw another version with Pavon instead of maybe Acuna, but it's gonna be something like that. WTF is that backline though? 3 defenders and only one of them is a true CB. Mercado and Tagliafico mostly play fullback.

If Banega doesn't start, Sampaoli should be fired. He's the only player other than Messi who has shown himself willing to try anything against a packed-in defense. And when Messi is the one trying, he's a pass or two behind the build up and that's a problem.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah they need another creating player so that Messi can move forward from time to time and score some goals instead of having to doing all the midfield work.

Messi doesn't play as a midfielder, he doesn't do any defensive work in the middle (or really at all), he plays as a 10, which while the most romanticized position in the game, it has enormous drawbacks and tactically it both leaves you vulnerable defensively and allows for that player to be corralled defensively without specific man marking. The true 10 has become substantially less common in the modern game because tactically it is too defensible with modern popular defensive tactics. It's easy to crowd the 10 at the top of the box and prevent him from having space, forcing you to play it out wide. Iceland didn't even man mark Messi, but they were able to put three guys in front of him zonally as he approached their box with their defensive setup. Messi's free role works better with Barcelona because they have better players around him and more chemistry with him to support him in that role.

Ideally, Messi should be deployed as a false 9, which is where he had his best ever seasons with Barcelona, but Argentina doesn't trust their midfield to provide him service, which forces him back deeper into the 10 role to help pick up the ball further back. I don't think there is an easy answer to fixing it, and Messi is special enough that he can create a decisive moment in spite of these tactical issues, but overall it's a lot of different things all working against them and they can't seem to figure out how to fix it.

In possession he works as a midfielder even though he lines up next to Aguero. I think we're trying to say the same thing, he needs to be pushed higher up but their midfield is so ass that he can't be.

Also he tracked back a couple times vs. Iceland, I recall him making a good tackle deep in their own territory.

Croatia don't fear anyone, they'll have a go at Argentina. I expect a good game. You'll probably see the real Argentina today.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Caballero

Brilliant finish by Rebic but my oh my what was Caballero thinking? Some comical goals in this world cup

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

his defender didn't run square... so Rebic totally cut off the passing lane.. goalie thinks I'll chip him, then something in him says, "but your a goalkeeper"... and he fucks it up. Clearly should have pushed it wide on the ground and give a throw in or a ball the defender comes back for.

defender gets some of the credit for that... i'd give him lots cuz he knows his keeper or should.

If Argentina go through they will be lucky indeed. Messi has disappeared. No support from any of his teammates. Caballero....LOL wut.

Rebic made that finish look easy.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

This years Robert Green award goes to...

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

....Davd de Gea.

Caballero's stupidity is on a whole different level.

Loris Caballero

Luka Modric...what a player

You are looking live at the Argentinian camp.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

...above Buenos Aires

Croatia is gonna fuck someone up in the round of 16.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Denmark/Australia...they gonna fuck up a team in the quarterfinals

This aged well.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

A leg seems like appropriate credit.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Otamendi is dirty. A lot of those guys are, but geez.

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

Messi might not want to step foot in Argentina ever again should this collapse be completed. If anything Maradona is going to be beyond unbearable from here on out.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Argentina is doing a great LOLUVa basketball impression.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Let's be fair to Croatia and Iceland, they're not UMBC analogs. A 16-1 upset in soccer would be something like a European microstate like San Marino beating Italy in a WC qualifier.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Yeah Croatia has a better team than Argentina. Most people won't say it because Argentina has historic success & Messi, but Croatia is better. MUCH better midfield, better defense, better goalkeeper, better coach.

Ah, the truth. There it is.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Yeah I was gonna say... A good LOLUVa would be Saudi Arabia advancing over Germany. Literally the worst team in the tournament beat the best. The UVa upset will never be topped because of that.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Sheesh what can change in a week. Originally it looked like Iceland and Argentina would advance, now there's a very good chance it's Croatia and Nigeria.

I think with Iceland needing a win in this game they open themselves up to Nigeria's never ending attack. It will be one of the most ugly games from a technical standpoint. And there's no reason the Super Eagles can't draw with Argentina if they only need a tie and Argentina needs a win.

Also s/o to Croatia for returning to 2012/2013 form

The Croatia Nigeria game wasn't exactly lopsided. Nigerian defender came off the post, ball hit him oddly for own goal. Had he stayed on post, he clears the ball with eyes closed. PK came from brainfart / possible bribery of Nigerian defender who had both hands lovingly wrapped around Mansuzic in the penalty area.

You know what's funny? Iceland can advance with three draws. That would be typical.

Oh wow that's actually a pretty likely outcome

pretty likely that Iceland will draw their next two games...or likely that that will be enough to advance them to the knockout stage? Because that would mean a Nigeria victory over Argentina by no more than one goal.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

It would mean Nigeria tying Argentina and Iceland tying out. Both are pretty likely I think

Time for a new WC thread?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Why, is this one over? Still in the group stages!

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I TKP with my phone, and it can't handle much more in this thread.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

we did two parts on speculation about Jackson. Surely we can justify two parts for the round robin portion of the cup.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Wow. Keylor Navas just stopped two great chances for Brazil.

I'd say he's making his case to stay first choice keeper for Real Madrid, despite the rumblings that they're looking to bring in someone during the transfer window.

Edit. Nvm

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

For all Neymar's skill... man, he does some things on the pitch that make him easy to dislike. VAR caught his obvious dive to negate the penalty.

And then Neymar gets himself carded for being a baby.

Brazil getting CONCACAF'ed.

If they would stop with all the acting and such, I might feel bad for them.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Oh, I don't feel bad for them one bit. They're a bunch of whiners too.

Costa Rica really struggled to possess the ball. Not a pretty game

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Costa Rica attacks much better on a fast counter than possessing and trying to pick out a good pass. Kind of like Buzzsketball. Possession isn't what they should be going for. Compare the Serbia game before/after Serbia's goal, when Serbia just sat back in defense and let Costa Rica try to pick them apart.

That said, they didn't do a good enough job defending and getting turnovers to have much of a chance in this one.

Coutinho to the rescue for Brazil. And almost a second a few minutes later.

hey look neymar is crying

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Iceland vs Costa Rica would be the most boring game ever

What have Iceland ever done too you?

I feed off of nightmares

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

That might be the goal of the tourney!

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

That first touch on a driven ball like that made me tingle.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Muusa could have dribbled that one it after beating his defender AND the keeper

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Damn men in blazers have zero chill lol

VB born, class of '14

Just wait until England crash out on penalties in the knockout phase. Hilarity is sure to ensue.

fast car sad nap

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Iceland shouldn't have taken PK advice from Peru.

Argentina is alive!

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Didn't look like it on the field yesterday.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

so let me get this straight: Argentina needs a win to advance AND for Iceland to lose, draw, or win by less than Argentina wins. Nigeria goes through with a win or a draw (if Iceland wins by less than 2).

Croatia has the top spot locked up unless Nigeria gets them on goal differential, but they are currently plus 5. So does Croatia intentionally tank just to keep Argentina out? The matches will be played simultaneously, btw.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

So does Croatia intentionally tank just to keep Argentina out?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I've heard Croatia is going to start its bench against Iceland. It's entirely possible they play Iceland soft, especially given the bad blood leftover from yesterday's game.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Well on paper Croatia's backups should be good enough to get at least a draw vs. Iceland, but the games aren't played on paper so who knows. However, they aren't gonna play soft, those backups want to show their worth both to Croatia's manager and club teams, it's the World Cup and they might never play another World Cup game.

The players had a meeting to ask for the coach to be fired after the game yesterday. The coach and players are taking shots at each other in the press too. I'd be surprised if they beat Nigeria, they are a dysfunctional mess.

Serbian striker got dragged to the ground by two players on a service and got a foul called on him. 👌

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Just saw that - man, that was a bad one. Would love to see soccer evolve to clean up the crap.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I've been surprised by the inconsistency of the referees at this world cup. Mistakes happen all the time of course, but it seems like this world cup there have been some real head scratching calls/no calls.

I'm wondering if VAR is making the referees a little more hesitant since they know it can be reviewed? Who knows. They still aren't as bad as NBA refs.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Ah yes, Shaqiri. What a ball and great finish to complete a 65 yard run.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

I don't think you'll see a better ball than that all tournament. WOW

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Would love to hear people's thoughts on:

  • Your favorite game so far -
  • Best team so far -
  • Your guilty pleasure team to watch -
  • Biggest surprise -
  • Dirtiest team -
  • Best player -
  • Most important player to their team -
  • Updated Prediction on who will win it all -

I'll start, here are my responses:
a. Game: Mexico vs Germany - what a fun game to watch.
b. Team: Belguim
c. Guilty Pleasure: Peru - I can't help it, I like watching them play. They're like underdogs with style and heart. If they could finish shots, they'd be turning heads. Disclaimer - I only saw a few mins of the England game, otherwise, they'd probably be here.
d. Surprise: Russia - I didn't know anything about 'em, and assumed they would get rolled. They've played well and looked tough. Nothing to do but tip the hat and see how far they go.
e. Naughy/Naughty: Croatia - 40+ fouls in 2 games. Good team, but GT is going to want their chop block award back.
f. Best Player: Isco - got to see a lot of the last Spain game. Wow, that guy is a stud. He can control the game, and good things happen when touches the ball.
g. Key Player: Firmino - again, I'm sure others will have more insightful pics here, but I'm going with Firmino. He's that glue guy that may not be flashy or have the goals, but when he's in the game he makes his teams (including Liverpool) tic. I'd love to see Brazil change it up and start him.
h. Winner: France. They're my original pick, and I just can't get away from them. They're so deep, so talented, and seem to have all the pieces, including chemistry (looking at you Brazil).

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Game: Spain v Portugal
Team: Croatia
Guilty Pleasure: watching Argentina struggle
Surprise: Russia
Dirtiest Team: Argentina
Best Player: Cristiano Ronaldo
Key Player: Cristiano Ronaldo
Winner: England...HA! Just kidding...def not England....France just coz I have money on them

Your favorite game so far - Spain/Portugal
Best team so far - Spain
Your guilty pleasure team to watch - Iceland
Biggest surprise - Argentina
Dirtiest team - Panama
Best player - Ronaldo
Most important player to their team - Messi
Updated Prediction on who will win it all - Spain

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I almost went with Spain to win it all too. They're another solid, well balanced team, and if it weren't for Ronaldo, they would have rolled Portugal.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Game: Mexico v Germany
Best team: It's a toss up for me between Spain and France, they've both looked good so far.
Surprise: Argentina. Man, what a train wreck. No one saw that coming.
Guilty pleasure: Croatia. It's a mix of good soccer with a bad boys mentality.
Dirtiest team: Croatia lol.
Best player: Ronaldo. Not even close.
Winner: France. Too much going for them.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Argentina. Man, what a train wreck. No one saw that coming.

Except the country of Argentina and anyone who follows their team.

True

Yeah it pisses me off when ESPN or Fox or whoever calls them "favorites." They only won 1 of 4 competitive matches under Sampaoli before the World Cup (now 1 of 6), even drawing a woeful Venezuela team. And who could forget when they lost 6-1 to Spain in the friendly where Messi was hurt.

LOL, I get a good chuckle every time I read this:
Guilty pleasure: Croatia. It's a mix of good soccer with a bad boys mentality.
Dirtiest team: Croatia lol.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Caveat : I haven't watched every match so I'm going purely based on what I've seen.

Your favorite game so far - Portugal VS Spain
Best team so far - Russia - sure they haven't played anybody significant but unlike other big teams they've made sure that games which shouldn't be competitive aren't.
Your guilty pleasure team to watch - all the African teams - I want to see at least one go fairly deep
Biggest surprise - Russia
Dirtiest team - Colombia
Best player - Ronaldo
Most important player to their team - Ronaldo
Updated Prediction on who will win it all - England - because I want them to and also because there have been a lot of surprises and twists so far and honestly I haven't been impressed by any of the "favorites". I've watched France and Brazil twice each and both teams look beatable. Portugal has Ronaldo but one bad game from him and they're toast. I think this will be a very exciting week of football though. Lots of really important games for traditional powers and opportunities for lesser known teams to secure spots in the RO16

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Senegal can run - I've been quietly pulling for them and they were my other sleeper pick to do well this tournament.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Favorite game - spain Portugal was madness and had every plotline ever

Team: might be Croatia. Not only are they winning they're keeping clean sheets as well but I gotta say I have loved watching Belgium run riot up front.

Guilty pleasure - probably argentinas collapse, I feel for messi and aguero because I feel like this is Columbia in the early 90s. Something just seems off theirs plenty of talent here

Dirtiest team - Argentina hands down....god damn otamendi way to act like a dick

Surprise team - Russia although they're better than the flawed fifa ranking suggests they're not great. I'm curious to see how the Uruguay game goes. I'm still not totally sold on them and have a hunch that they're abusing roids (see their history and numerous late game goals). Argentinas collapse has to be up there but kudos to my office mate who totally called it

Best player - Ronaldo or hazard. Hazard has been on an absolute tear so far this tournament and nobody is talking about him.

Key player - could take either of those best players but I'll throw in another. Kante will be crucial for how far France goes. He does all of the defensive work for frances midfield.

Winner - dunno yet I hope Belgium. I want to like your pick with France but dont trust deschamps AT ALL. Still think it could be Brazil. You're gonna see a different team when Costa starts over willian next week and they've been defensively disciplined enough and have the talent/depth. They'll figure out the scoring stuff

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

I don't trust deschamps, and I definitely don't trust a Roberto Martinez coached Belgium to remember how to defend for 90 minutes. Belgium might be easily the most exciting team in the tournament, but that's only because volatility is exciting! I could see them making a semifinal run, but I could also see them giving up cheap goals to Switzerland and losing in the round of 16.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Your favorite game so far - Portugal vs Spain
Best team so far - Belgium
Your guilty pleasure team to watch - Iran redefining packing the bus
Biggest surprise - Russia
Dirtiest team - Iran
Best player - Ronaldo
Most important player to their team - Modric / Croatian midfield
Updated Prediction on who will win it all - Belgium over Croatia (wtf... who would have thought.. i must be insane)

Your favorite game so far - Germany-Sweden
Best team so far - Hard to say, maybe France because they've had a harder road than many?
Your guilty pleasure team to watch - I love watching Costa Rica piss everyone off and I probably shouldn't
Biggest surprise - Switzerland
Dirtiest team - Brazil purely for Neymar's huge dive in the box
Best player - Luca Modric, why not?
Most important player to their team - Ronaldo
Updated Prediction on who will win it all - Nigeria!!!

Wow. Sweden got hosed by a no call. Should have been immediate red and a penalty kick but nothing. One thing I've noticed in this tournament so far is that the officiating has left quite a lot to be desired. You can kind of understand if they don't have VAR but with it there's kind of no excuse

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Let's go Sweden!!! Really hoping they can hang on and win this one.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Wait til Germany puts in Sane before closing the book on Love.

Lalas is so bad, halftime show is going on mute

Since I work for a German company, I was rooting hard for Sweden, but that last German goal was so beautiful I had to cheer anyway.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Krroooooooossss

Horrible tactics for Sweden in the last 20 minutes they deserve that loss. How the fuck do you park the bus with a man advantage and let Germany do whatever they want for basically 25 minutes

totally agree... somewhere in LA the big man is crying over how soft his country has become... he may never go back

It would make me laugh if Mexico mails it in and Sweden wins by enough to advance on goal differential

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Isn't the first tie-breaker head-to-head? It is in the champions league at least...regardless Germany will be going balls to the wall against Korea to score as many as possible so GD probably won't matter

First tie breaker is indeed head-to-head, but a Sweden win means a three way tie for first in the group.

Goal differential in the games between those three teams is the 2nd tie-breaker. Then goals scored, I believe. In the new thread, I posted Paul Carr's breakdown of the possibilities for advancement.

Heartbroken for Sweden.

That goal by Kroos was absolutely incredible, though. Will remain one of the goals of the tournament.

Sweden went into a prevent defense with the game in the bag (cause, let's face it, a draw meant advancement for them) and Germany just Matty Iced them.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

So Ronaldo gets stonewalled from the PK spot by Iran's keeper... wow.