OT: 2022 World Cup!

It's finally here (5 months too late)! World Cup 2022 will kick off on November 20 at 11 AM ET with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador in Group A.

I just want to take a moment to say that it sucks that this tournament is taking place in Qatar. I'm sure everyone knows about what's gone on in terms of the process to award the tournament to Qatar, the human rights issues (putting it mildly) in the buildup, and the general badness of the Qatari government.

ANYWAY - you can find the groups here and the schedule here.

The USMNT opens their campaign against Wales on Monday, November 21 at 2 PM. Then, they take on England in the Revolutionary War on Black Friday also at 2 PM, and finish up the group with Iran on Tuesday, November 29 at 2 PM. It's a group of medium difficulty - not the hardest but not easy by any means - and the USMNT looked pretty poor last time we saw them in friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia in September.

If you don't know anything about soccer, the World Cup or the USMNT, check out this short podcast episode- a primer for non-soccer or casual soccer fans to help get you up to speed. Scuffed Podcast

Injuries:

  • Chris Richards, CB - As of Oct. 28, was about a week to 10 days from returning to training. It's going to be close, but I think it might be too late for him. Even before the injury he wasn't playing much for Crystal Palace. An unfortunate miss for an already thin position group. EDIT - Chris has posted on Instagram that he will miss the World Cup due to injury.
  • Sam Vines, LB - Broken leg over the weekend (Nov. 5). Was on the bubble anyway, but is definitely out now.
  • Luca De La Torre, CM - Reported leg injury on Oct. 28, returned to training on Nov. 5.
  • Weston McKennie, CM - Thigh injury reported on Oct. 30, out at least 15 days. Reportedly returned to training Nov. 7.
  • Josh Sargent, ST - Calf injury reported on Oct. 29. Doesn't sound serious, but haven't seen any updates since then.

I will update this post with the roster when it is announced on November 9, but here is my best guess (not what I would do, and sadly it is not quite the same).

Full Squad:

Projected Squad (26 player max):
GKs: Matt Turner (Arsenal), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Sean Johnson (NYCFC); Just missed: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Gaga Slonina (Chicago Fire)
FBs: Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Reggie Cannon (Boavista); Just missed: Shaq Moore (Nashville SC)
CBs: Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC), Aaron Long (NY Red Bulls), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Tim Ream (Fulham); Just missed: Mark McKenzie (Genk), James Sands (Rangers), John Brooks (Benfica), Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)
DMs: Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC)
CMs: Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Luca De La Torre (Celta Vigo); Just missed: Christian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers)
AMs: Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Brendan Aaronson (Leeds United), Malik Tillman (Rangers); Just missed: Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar)
Wings: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Tim Weah (Lille), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas); Just missed: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
STs: Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen); Just missed: Jordan Pefok (Union Berlin), Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati)

If Richards is able to return in time, I would drop Ream, but it looks like a pretty long shot at this point.

Opponent previews (Summary from The Athletic - paywall):
Cymru (Wales) - Squad
Cymru qualified for the World Cup via the European playoff by finishing second in their UEFA qualification group behind Belgium with 15 points from 8 matches. In the 4-team playoff, they defeated Austria 2-1 in the first round and Ukraine 1-0 in the final. They most recently played the USMNT in a friendly in 2020, which finished in a 0-0 draw.
Their key players are GK Danny Ward (Leicester City), CM Aaron Ramsey (Nice), Winger Dan James (Fulham), ST Kieffer Moore (Bournemouth), and Attacker Gareth Bale (LAFC). They generally play a fairly conservative gameplan and rely on the star power of Bale and the aerial prowess of Moore to grind out results. While Bale hasn't played recently due to injury and hasn't been in good club form for many years, he alwasy seems to turn up for the Dragons. This is not an easy game by any means, but it is one the US should hope to get all three points from and get off to a good start. Cymru will likely look to keep their defense compact and organized and nick a goal on the counter or from a set piece.

England - Squad
England topped their UEFA qualification group with 26 points from 10 matches, which automatically qualified them for the World Cup. Their most recent match against the US was the famous 2010 World Cup group match where Clint Dempsey scored a long-range equalizer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIkAxHsr62Q) after a tame shot was spectacularly mishandled by England GK Rob Green to allow the match to finish in a 1-1 draw. Despite the famous proclamation of "EASY - England Algeria Slovenia Yanks" by the British media (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/4714590924), the US finished first on the goals scored tiebreaker although England also went through to the knockouts.
I'm sure most people will recognize just about all of their players from watching the Premier League every weekend, but a few of their key players are GK Jordan Pickford (Everton), CB Harry Maguire - not for good reasons (Manchester United), CM Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Wingers Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), and ST Harry Kane (Spurs). Despite having one of the most star-studded squads in international soccer, manager Gareth Southgate tends to set them up in a conservative 3-4-3 formation. They have had trouble scoring goals recently, but they are certainly a sleeping giant waiting to be awoken if Southgate can implement some more progressive tactics. Even so, they were semi-finalists in the 2018 World Cup and finalists at Euro 2020. While the USMNT will certainly be up for this match against some of the best in the world, some of whom are their teammates, England is one of the tournament favorites and a point from this match would be a very good result for the USMNT.

Iran - Squad:
Iran also topped the AFC qualification group with 25 points from 10 matches, automatically qualifying them for the World Cup. They haven't played a match against the USMNT since 2000, a 1-1 draw in a friendly. They recently (September) fired the coach who brought them through qualifying and replaced him with Carlos Queiroz, who managed them previously from 2011-2019. So, they are in a bit of disarray, but should not be discounted.
They have a few players performing at a high level throughout Europe. I will not pretend to be an expert on their squad, but some names I recognize: Winger Alireza Jahanbaksh (Feyenoord), Winger Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), ST Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen), and ST Medhi Taremi (FC Porto). In particular, Taremi and Azmoun are big, big threats. Taremi is one of the top strikers in Portugal and has had a good season thus far following a very good season last year.
I believe with Queiroz back at the helm they will adopt some conservative tactics, but they will be very, very dangerous when they do generate good chances with their talented strikers. This will be the final match of the group, so it's possible that one team will not have much to play for. Or, it could be the decider for who goes through. I kind of have a bad feeling about this game - it feels like the Algeria game from 2010. Landon Donovan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrGbhNYW030) famously rescued the points and secured qualification in the dying moments, but we were very nearly eliminated. Obviously, Harry Kane is not going to surprise anyone since everyone knows he is one of the best strikers in the world, but I feel Iran's frontmen could sneak up on us and punish us if we are bombing forward needing a result.

USA EDIT - Adding a quick summary of the US for anyone who may not be familiar with the team
The USMNT finished 3rd in the CONCACAF (North America and Carribean) WCQ group, the last of the automatic qualification places, with 25 points from 14 matches. Their coach is Gregg Berhalter, a former USMNT defender and former coach of the Columbus Crew. He generally sets the team up in a 4-3-3 formation. Their playing style varies a bit, but they generally try to keep possession, have the striker drop into the high midfield space and combine with the midfielders while the wingers make aggressive vertical runs in behind. They can also be a very effective pressing team due to their youth and athleticism. The midfielders in particular can cover a ton of ground. However, they have shown vulnerability when pressing against teams who are composed in possession and can find big switches to more advanced wide players and bypass the midfield. They have also had some trouble breaking down teams who like to sit deep and defend in a low block as opposed to pressing them high up the pitch. Some key players: LW Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), RW/AM Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), DM Tyler Adams (Leeds United), FB Antonee Robinson (Fulham), CB Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC), and GK Matt Turner (Arsenal).

Outlook
If the USMNT performs as they have previously in big games (basically whenever they play Mexico), they should advance. If one of the strikers rounds into form during the tournament, the CB opposite Walker Zimmerman (please don't be Aaron Long) is competent and the starting GK doesn't have any howlers (cough - Zack Steffen), we will go through. If we continue to lack ideas in final third, fail to generate chances against low block defenses, and remain vulnerable to the counter, we could be looking at an early exit.

I don't particularly have a lot of confidence left in the manager, Gregg Berhalter, to choose appropriate tactics or to adjust them if Plan A doesn't work. But the players seem to like him and they play hard for him, so here's hoping we can produce another vintage American try-hard performance.

Enjoy the tournament, and discuss below!

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Comments

Paging The Fifth Fuller for Wales analysis!

[Hears a British accent]
Me: Excuse me ladies, but are you two from England?
Them: It's Wales you tosser.
Me: Oh I'm sorry. Are you two whales from England?

Damn you. Take your upvote and get the hell outta here.

Working on it

Will be interesting to see if France can kick the Cup winners curse. That team, on paper, is too stacked to get knocked out of the group stage.

Our group will be interesting for sure. England are going in on a downslide, but still very tough. Our game with them will be super important. I'm not too sure how Wales will fair, but Iran could be sneaky difficult for our group. Hopefully, we can kick our back luck of not performing well outside of the States, and make it to the knockout stages. I still think it'll be England/USA to make it out, but it could be tricker than some expect.

LAR '12 MVBones Go Hokies! USA!

FWIW, since we've had a real soccer team we've actually done decently at World Cups. Quarterfinals in 2002 (almost beat Germany to advance to semis), out in group in 2006, advanced to knockouts in 2010 and 2014 (despite being in a group with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Obviously missed 2018.

This is the first World Cup where we're actually going to try and play soccer as opposed to park the bus and counter so we'll see how that goes. Turns out park the bus and counter is a pretty good strategy in international soccer!

Be very careful what you wish for. The gritty kick you grind it out teams from the past world cups where we actually made some headway were a big part to why we made it in the knockouts. International football isnt always about playing pretty football, see France 2018 as main example or Portugal at the last Euros. Tournament football tends to lean on teams who can simply grind a win out and alot of times the pretty playing teams end up having an off day in front of goal and get dumped out by an iceland or someone who just defends like mad dogs and scrapes a goal or two on the counter. I'd give alot for a guy like Dempsey right now to teach this team how to scrape a win.

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

Yeah, that's what I'm saying...we're not going to play that way anymore and I'm not sure that's the best idea.

France always gets an easy group, good old FIFA rigging imo. They'll go through easily

They'll go through easily but Denmark is very good, they may top the group. France always seems to have some crazy locker room drama so you really never know what could happen

Lots of injuries too for les bleus

Go Hokies!

Huge blow to France, they should still get to the knockout stage but this is a massive loss for them.

When the draw happened, I thought we had a good chance to advance out of the group, maybe even win it if things went perfectly. But watching the team over the last month or so, I won't be shocked at all if we go winless. Whatever the result, get Ol Gregg out of there. It's time for new management.

As it is every 3-4 years lmao

Jordan should absolutely be on the roster for this. He's not an out and out 9, but neither really are Ferreira or Sargent, and he does so many other things at a high level. Would be a major asset, even if just as a super sub.

Agree I would bring him, but he is the most 9-like in consideration so not sure what you mean there. Ferreira is very much a 9 and a half. Sargent is a pretty complete forward imo (in terms of style).

But as much as people were clamoring for Pefok earlier this fall, his hot streak has gone cold while others like Sargent and Pepi have been in better form recently. Again, I would bring him but his exclusion won't and never has been egregious or inexplicable.

Ferreira and Sargent both seem to fit better as second strikers or CAMs. Pepi is a natural 9, but he's not exactly lighting the world on fire, and his turn of form has quite a bit to do with the league he's in. Jordan has cooled in terms of goals and assists lately, but he's still contributing at an extremely high level for a team that might just win the most competitive league in Europe.

The way he contributes seem more like a winger or a 10 to me. Excellent off ball and can poach goals, especially on a counter, but not really the target man that Gregg seems to want in the attack.

Excellent off ball and poaches goals are pretty much like the main things a 9 does imo. Target man is a type of striker, not a necessary attribute. And Gregg doesn't seem to prefer a target man at all. He prefers players like Ferreira, Sargent, and Pepi who are good at dropping into midfield to combine with other attackers.

Yeah, the Dutch league isn't great but it's more about confidence for strikers coming into a tournament like this.

Gregg specifically called Pepi in September when he wasn't playing ahead of several more in-form options. And now he's playing and scoring - he's definitely coming. Ferreira has been the starter for every meaningful match since January and scored 18 goals this season. Gregg is bringing him. If Pefok is going to sneak on it will be at the expense of Sargent. I honestly think Sargent should start, and I think he'll be in the squad.

Ordered a pair of kits over a month ago and the order still hasn't been filled. "Very High volume of orders."

Anybody else having problems?

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Very high volume? For those kits? Surprised you didn't get it hand delivered by Landon Donovan just for being willing to spend money on it.

In all fairness, they were/are WNT kits.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Potential roster leak - unconfirmed but I heard that players were informed of their place on the roster on Monday so it's definitely possible.

Only difference from my guess is Roldan in over Arriola which, *shrug*

I'm going to the USA v. Iran game :)

Favorite play that never was - "Hooker with the dime to Pimp...leton."

That's awesome! US will probably need to win that one to advance. Should be exciting!

Onward and upward

I need a break from the EPL:

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

WTH is going on with the 2 guys on the right?

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Looks like there may be a surprise GK decision. I'm thinking either Slonina as 3rd GK or Steffen left off. Probably Slonina

Edit: Sources say no Steffen. Wow - he has been Berhalter's guy since the beginning. Hope this means he is going to be a little less rigid with his system

Honestly Turner is probably the #1 with Horvath just behind. Last summer was huge for both of them and to me they passed Steffen because of that and the way they both are playing currently. Surprising steffen wont be on the plane to qatar atleast but this isnt hugely surprising to me atleast.

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

I mean it's only surprising in the sense that I didn't think Berhalter was actually able to recognize that Steffen is bad. Most people watching for the past year could see that he makes way too many mistakes, isn't a very good shot stopper, and doesn't provide any meaningful advantage in distribution.

This makes a lot of sense if Turner is the #1 (which he should be). I've heard people say Steffen isn't necessarily happy being in camps as the # (though that might be different for the WC), so do you want to bring someone who tends to be injury prone? Johnson is a great veteran presence/locker room guy, and a solid GK himself, and Horvath has shown he can come up big in big games if you need him.

Heard that as well, but just speculation. Would be ironic since he had been #2 at City for a couple years.

To some extent, I get it, especially for a GK. But it's the World Cup. You should want to be there to support the team even if you're never going to play. Probably his only chance to go to a World Cup. Again, it's speculation so it could just be down to form, which would also be plausible.

Yeah, like taking a trans-Atlantic flight to not play against Honduras/Panama in a qualifier, I get. But like you said, the actual. WC is different. Maybe he didn't get the choice.

Squad reveal:
GKs: Turner, Horvath, Johnson
FBs: Dest, Robinson, Yedlin, Scally, Shaq Moore
CBs: Zimmerman, Long, Carter-Vickers, Ream

DMs: Adams, Acosta
CMs: McKennie, Musah, De La Torre, Aaronson, Roldan
Wings: Pulisic, Reyna, Weah, Morris
STs: Ferreira, Wright, Sargent

- No Steffen
- Shaq Moore surprisingly making the cut over Reggie Cannon
- Aaronson listed as a midfielder
- Morris over Arriola
- Haji Wright from out of nowhere!
- No Pepi is kind of shocking - but some reports that he may have picked up an injury

I like Moore. He finds himself in alot of good positions

I must have read a thousand faces
I must have robbed them of their cause
Sickened thirst, Sickened thirst
Keeps it together
Soft white glow in the cranium
A bullseye made sedated

I agree, I think Moore is fine and better offensively than Cannon. Just not sure we need 5 FBs at all, but whatever

Yeah, ideally Moore never sees the field, but Dest/Robinson have been somewhat injury prone, so I guess the 5th FB is there because of that.

Love leaving Steffen out. Love Morris over Arriola. Love calling Ream (used to playing beside Robinson, and the back line needs all the help it can get). Can live with Shaq Moore, but I'd have tagged Cannon. HATE that with Pepi not in, Jordan still wasn't the third center forward, but I do love that Haji Wright is getting a chance and I think he fits well.

It seems like Pepi may have picked up an injury late. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure he would've made it.

100%. My only gripe is that even with that slot now open, Jordan still didn't get a call. Makes you wonder if he took Mrs. Berhalter out for a nice seafood dinner and then never called her again.

If we can return to our form from last summer, we will make some noise. If it's the form we were in this fall? Not so much.
Still, I Believe! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธโšฝ๏ธ

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

Pepi better be hurt because if not, that's dumb as fuck. We likely don't even qualify without him and now you leave him off?

If he was doing Erling Haaland things, yeah, it would make sense to be flustered. He scored three whole goals in qualifying, and was a nonfactor for most games he played. He did absolutely fuck all in Augsburg after getting a big deal, and he's now in decent form in a lower tier league. He's young and needs time to grow, and I think we all put waaaaay too much expectation on him in a rather unfair way. We have no clear cut must start striker, so even if he's not hurt, it's not hard to make an argument for leaving him out.

Apparently no injury, hasn't been mentioned at all to media. Pretty head scratching

Not for nothing, but Haji is tight with the Pulisic, McKennie, Adams core. I'm a bit shocked and a little disappointed for Pepi, but I don't think we should discount Wright's impact off the field in addition to the goals he's scored.

Go Hokies!

Apparently Wright was in competition with Pefok and Pepi was competing with Sargent and Ferreira. I think Wright is good, it's just surprising because Berhalter kind of called him out when he was called in over the summer. Good player though, one of the top scorers in Turkey and can create his own chances, which none of the other strikers can really do.

Any thoughts on England's roster?

Onward and upward

No big surprises. Their starting 11 is pretty much set save a few spots where the quality won't drop much either way. Some depends on if they go back 3 or 4. One of Harry Maguire or Eric Dier is likely going to start, so that's a positive for us. Ideally they don't get 3 points in their opener so they have to be a bit more adventurous against us. Likely going to be Shaw-Maguire on left hand side, so I would target that area.

We can only hope to get so lucky that Southgate keeps putting his faith in Maguire.

Go Hokies!

I hate Harry Maguire so much and I wish he hadn't made the squad. If England does well it'll be despite him

Onward and upward

Harry Maquire is a meme. But Maquire for the national team is completely different than Man U Maquire. Kind of like Pogba. I don't know how, but he is a sold back for Southgate. Don't expect to see a bumbling fool on the back line on Black Friday. Different jersey, different Maquire.

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

Harry Maguire just lost his man who scored for Iran. If not for his shoddy defense, this might still be a clean sheet

Onward and upward

Connor Coady over Fikayo Tomori is a surprise, so is the gamble on Kalvin Phillips. Injury to Reece James made southgate's job a bit easier as England has perhaps the biggest glut of serviceable-to-world class right backs of sny country. No Jadon Sancho is probably the only other noteworthy omission with James Ward-Prowse, Jarrod Bowen, and Ivan Toney always fringe contenders. Tammy Abraham has been awful lately and missed out as well.

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

Yeah I was going to mention Tomori, but Coadyv isn't going to play, and I don't think Tomori would've either. That's the thing about people getting mad about squads - most of the players you're getting mad about being in or out aren't or weren't going to play more than maybe 5-10 minutes.

I would imagine they back three is Maguire, Stones, and Walker when he's fit. Until then, maybe White? I hope it's Dier though, lol

If anyone doesn't know a lot about the USMNT or the World Cup in general - here is a quick 15 minute podcast for "new" fans. Check it out if you're interested in the tournament or the USMNT but want to know what the heck is going on

Scuffed Podcast

World Cup?

That's soccer, right?

This ban comes 2 days before the events start. Yikes

This is my school
This is home

Bold move for a sport that's best teams hail from countries that love booze

Its a minor thing next to the blatant corruption, slave labor, deaths and stupidly inhospitable environment, but they really are going out of their way to display what a horrifically stupid idea Qatar hosting this event is.

Oh its definitely far from the worst that Qatar has done as a part of hosting, but unfortunately its probably the one thing that will cause the most friction. Keep in mind, Budweiser is a major advertising partner and had apparently prepared for alcohol sales only to have them banned at the last minute after a 12 year plan.

Keep in mind, its not an outright ban. If you're one of the wealthy elites, its open bar in the luxury suites. But for the plebes, you get absolutely nothing.

This is my school
This is home

I really hope Qatar loses every game in their group. It irritates me so much that Russia bought the world cup and set the blueprint for Qatar to do exactly the same thing. Neither nation deserved to host. Its too bad FIFA is so corrupt because the world loves this sport and this tournament.

Onward and upward

Its a minor thing next to the blatant corruption, slave labor, deaths and stupidly inhospitable environment

Saw someone on twitter or reddit this morning explain that it's really not a minor thing. Qatar has made a lot of 'compromises' (for lack of a better term) for this World Cup - things like providing access and safety to journalists, allowing homosexuals into the event, etc - if they're willing to do a last minute 180 on beer sales, what else could they pull a last minute 180 on?

Twitter me

Only minor in comparison to the slave labor and death. People who break agreements in small things break them in large things.

This type of bait and switch should be the expectation.

Assume the downvote was a fat finger...
In regards to the decision, you cannot drink in public in Qatar. Assume this was sort of the plan all along since they came up with the beer garden idea when they said they wouldn't sell in the stadiums. Plus, with them being new stadiums, I can't imagine they have the capacity to keep tons of beer cold in that weather. They were thrown up for the bare minimum. At least at the beer gardens, the Heineken and Carlsburg folks get this concept, can handle the logistics, and will probably end up serving cold beer a lot longer than the stadiums would.

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

Assume the downvote was a fat finger...

lol its not. I have a stalker downvoting everything I post.

In regards to the decision, you cannot drink in public in Qatar. Assume this was sort of the plan all along since they came up with the beer garden idea when they said they wouldn't sell in the stadiums. Plus, with them being new stadiums, I can't imagine they have the capacity to keep tons of beer cold in that weather.

From what I'm reading, FIFA and Bud had an understanding from the start that alcohol sales would be permitted only for the rug to be pulled out at the last minute.

This is my school
This is home

Ah, gotcha.....
And ah, gotcha. Well, what I saw this morning was they were going to allow it in designated areas outside the stadium (thus the beer garden comment.) But this really doesn't surprise me. Making thing up as they go seem to be a more common occurrence than what we are typically used to, in general. One gorilla battling another gorilla in this situation.

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

Yeah, they were saying for a while that beer would be sold in stadiums only to do a 180 two days before the first game.

Can you imagine the lawsuit that Bud is going to try and file? At this late date, I am assuming they had already started shipping and refrigerating that beer.

I'm surprised this is a surprise.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I was reading on another forum about this and someone made the comment to the effect of "Well it's not like Qatar can ban pre-gaming"

The response they got was basically "Lol. They have banned pregaming since they became a country."

For those who go, hope you enjoy the lovely warm comforts of your stay!

But I'm sure the reporting from the event in the news will be completely factual and not pandering to the Qatar government at all. Its not like they're actively forcing live interviews off the air mid-segment with credentialed crews....

This is my school
This is home

Just saving my money for 2026 when I know what I'm getting into, and could even make it to Philly and back in a day, or have enough miles to get to another stadium easily.

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

I've been saving for years knowing it's gonna be a financial commitment to have to try and go to games here especially on the east coast.

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

How much do you think it will cost for a random game in Philly? I'm planning ok going as well for at least a game but I honestly have no idea what the ballpark for tickets will be.

I'm guessing in 4 years, upper deck is gonna run you in the 400 range. But that's just speculation.

The tix for the international cup games were in the 275 range I believe, so w inflation and the spectacle, that's what I would imagine they would be around.

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

Yeah that's more or less what I expected. Hoping there will be a US game there but it will be cheaper if it's not I imagine. Hopefully my son will want to go!

I understand the draw of the World Cup and why people want to go, but I've got limited sympathy for anyone going to Qatar and being surprised at exactly what they are going to be getting.

I basically just said this to my friends... I don't care how big of a fan of soccer/the World Cup you are... you have to be absolutely brain dead to go over there.

IMHO Something non-soccer related is going to happen over there during the World Cup that is going to make massive national news and make people question (if they haven't already or who aren't aware how corrupt FIFA is) why Qatar got the World Cup bid.

This is a major cluster fuck in the making... I know the FIFA documentary recently came out on Netflix, but I feel like another documentary on the World Cup in Qatar is already in the making.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Until the west stands up to this shit.... like I dunno not facilitating blatant sportswashing and bribing to put the worlds biggest soccer event in a state the size of delaware with no world cup history or stadiums at the time, NOTHING is going to change. Slave labor is going to be used, freedom is going to be non existent, and yes beer is going to be banned- along with homosexuality and women's votes and testimony counting equal. As long as the west says "meh, play ball" this shit will never change. US soccer has plenty to say about GA voting laws, etc but gladly plays in Qatar. such hypocrites.

UEFA had plenty to do with this, for certain.

While I don't disagree, the west has zero hand when it comes to FIFA. And there are there own inherent issues with western football, including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and the lot. Sep and the rest of FIFA got PAAAAAAAIIIIIIDDDD for Qatar, and now that it's here, we just have to buckle up for the next month and hope that nothing tragic occurs.

And, fwiw, they did learn a little bit from it. They award the next world Cup to North America, where no new stadiums will need to be constructed. And there is substantial infrastructure, hotels, restaurants, public transit to get people where they need to be without recreating the wheel. At least they go that right.

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

Have you guys seen these reports about Qatar attempting to (possibly?) bribing 8 Ecuador players to throw the first match?

What a disaster this is.

I fucking hope Ecuador buries Qatar 8-0

I'd be more concerned about Qatar bribing officials, TBH

Onward and upward

I'd be more concerned about Qatar bribing officials, TBH

This is exactly what I am expecting to happen, they blatantly and openly bribed FIFA to get the WC in Qatar, and referees have accepted bribes in the past. I'm fully expecting Qatar's group games to have multiple questionable penalty decisions and cards all going in Qatar's favor.

There are reports of issues in the warm-up games for Qatar, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-11445381/World-Cup-...

Really hoping this is correct that is stemmed from an account that is know for frequent false information. Seems he was driving for clicks and got all that...

To that point, the phrasing is interesting. "Bribed" instead of "attempted to bride" alleges that the money has already changed hands. Also it says it's confirm b 5 members of both squads, but says "hope it's false..." Seems fishy to me...

https://www.insidesport.in/fifa-wc-match-fixing-qatar-vs-ecuador-match-fixed-claims-regional-head-of-british-center-middle-east-studies-says-qatar-official-have-paid-7-4-mn-bribe-to-players-check-out/

Doesn't seem beyond reason that it has or would occur. And makes you wonder what else is going on in other matches...the refs and VAR and all that. I'm hoping for no injuries, nobody dying on the pitch (again), and clean games. And for the USMNT to get some good experience for a run in 2026 in front of the home crowd.

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

Evidently they paid some fans to attend the WC. Now, they've decided to pull the daily stipend they were going to give them as part of the package. The ones that took the deal are now in Qatar and are stuck paying for food and drink themselves.

Authorities claim they made the decision after receiving negative press over the program itself.

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

Oooooh boy

This is my school
This is home

"We can't make everywhere instantly perfect so its okay to ignore our ongoing corruption, slave labor and deaths."

He knows what it was like for the migrant slaves workers. Afterall, he had red hair in his youth

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This is home

An absolutely all-time press conference fail. FIFA PR person must've been locked in his shipping container room this morning.

I just read the ESPN article about his press conference. He actually made some good points sandwiched in between some bad points and some cringy comments. I think if the FIFA president is this combative and defensive on the eve of the World Cup, you know things aren't going well.

Personally, I won't watch one second of the matches since the tournament is in Qatar, but I will follow the results and of course root for the US to do well.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

This is my school
This is home

"Not taking pictures of people without their permission."

So...are they just escort every photo journalist out of every match, lol.

Imagine paying billions and killing a bunch of migrants to shine a spotlight on yourselves to the whole world reminding them how awful and repressive you are.

I'm going to watch, I'm going to hate Berhalter with a burning passion as I always have, and I'm going to gamble(responsibly of course). But I feel so detached from this World Cup. Middle of the season, in December, surrounded by controversy, so many key players out. Only FIFA could find a way to royally screw this up. Sepp Blatter can go sit on a bear trap.

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

Lol fuck Qatar, Ecuador score less than 3 minutes in. I hope they get destroyed every game

Edit: var offsides? Hmmmm. but my sentiment still stands

VB born, class of '14

2nd one counts, Valencia gets his goal!!

Enner Valencia with a brace, 2-0 to Ecuador. Could have been a hat trick if it wasn't for a questionable offside call

Don't think it was questionable, just confusing

I thought Qatar looked half decent when they played in the Gold Cup last summer. They looked awful today. Maybe the pressure was just too much. It's hilarious for the embarrassment of the country, but I do feel a little bad for the players. Especially that keeper, he better watch his back.

Imagine "preparing for this game for 12 years" and then crapping the bed like that. Plus they still have to play Netherlands and Senegal! I don't do much worry about the players as I do the coaching staff.

Man, karma...it'll get after ya

Go Hokies!

I said questionable because during the broadcast this was the only explanation that was given:

That's absolutely terrible and causes confusion instead of clearly demonstrating why the offside call was made. They should be showing actual video and images from real cameras at the game showing the player being offside, not a computer generated image. Want to make it even better? Let us watch and hear the VAR decision being made. The correct call was made but we shouldn't have to look at social media posts to get the images to prove it.

The reason they use the computer images is because there isn't always a camera angle which clearly shows the offside. In this case I imagine the camera shot would have been more confusing because the keeper was in the way (there were two defenders behind him so he wasn't actually important in terms of offside).

I don't think any major leagues share the VAR audio but in this case I'm not sure there is any because I believe they're using semi-automatic offside for the WC, which they also use in the Champions League. I'm not entirely sure how it works, but I believe the referee just gets buzzed and told it's offside.

You have to hope the broadcast team will get better about showing this images more quickly as the tournament goes on. I think the combination of the confusing situation and that it was the first goal/non-goal of the tournament causes for extra scrutiny.

I still don't understand the actual offsides call.

Because there was a deeper defender. Was it because the keeper is actually setting the line there due to the challenge?

There's a lot going on in that image shown in the tweet from Dale Johnson above. There's a deeper defender to the left and then there are four players challenging for the ball where that red box was added. One is the keeper, another is a Qatar defender and then Torres and Estrada from Ecuador are there. In that challenge for the ball, Torres was the one who played it and at that moment, Estrada's leg was offside as it was ahead of the second to last defender. It's an incredibly tight decision and it would have been really helpful to see other camera angles so that everyone could see that Torres was the one that played the ball.

The second to last defender?

I always thought offsides had to be beyond the last defender prior to the pass being sent their way? Honestly, I don't follow soccer that closely and likely never will, and those kinds of plays don't really endear me to the sport. Or is that always been the way it is, just that the keeper is usually the "last defender"?

I appreciate the explanation, but I still don't really get it (not your description, just why that's the rule)

Correct, the actual law is the second to last player on the defensive team, including the goalkeeper. In 99% of situations, all the defenders are further forward than the keeper, which is why it's often termed "the last defender"

In this particular situation, the keeper was way off his line, making him the third defender from his goal. That alone just makes it confusing because many people like yourself understandably don't know that rule. The Ecuador player, who was onside at the initial kick into the box, headed the ball and when he headed the ball, the Ecuador player (#11 I believe) who happened to touch the ball next was closer to the goal than the second to last defender.

Honestly, I'm not really sure why the rule is the way it is. I'm sure there was some weird play a long time ago that necessitated the rule change but that is indeed the way it's been for as long as I've know it. Still makes more sense than some American football rules ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Edit: it appears the offside rule originated when adapting the game from rugby. It was basically trial and error going from 4 to 3 to eventually 2 players in 1925. It increased the number of goals scored and made the game more exciting so they left it at 2

Correct, no one is sharing live VAR audio as the current IFAB rules only allow it to be shared after matches conclude. There are other sports that allow the audio from reviews to be broadcast live and/or require an explanation from the referee once a decision has been made. Open communication and transparency would be a huge benefit and improvement to the sport.

No argument here

Qatar killed two 9/11's worth of migrant workers to be 2-0'd by Ecuador and lose the first opener of any host country

On one hand I kinda feel bad for the players. They have to be under an immense amount of pressure. And I wouldn't be surprised if some of them "go missing" after the tournament.

On the other, fuck Qatar's corrupt ass "government". I'm glad Ecuador won convincingly. I'm beyond glad, actually. And I hope Netherlands and Senegal do even more. I'm pretty pissed that Qatar bought the world cup.

And even though there's not really much we can do about the monumental shifts Qatar has funded in professional soccer, at least we can enjoy them getting absolutely crushed by real teams.

Onward and upward

I learned that the armbarnds are up to the team wearing them, which blows my mind. I would have thought that as much as FIFA loves control they would have an armband they provided (Like Champions League and other domestic leagues.) They've kicked jerseys out before and have a 92 page equipment regulation book.

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

I mean its incredibly fitting that, at the end of the day, FIFA is going to bend over backwards to politically cater toward a human rights disaster of a dictatorship, but the second they hold anything in a Western country, they're all about inclusion and making sure none of the visiting countries feel unwelcome. And I'm not saying that the inclusion is wrong, its just that if you're going to demand that from certain countries, demand it from them all.

But of course, they know what its like to be disabled or Jewish, afterall, the president had red hair as a kid.

Fuck FIFA and Fuck Qatar

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This is home

Fuck FIFA and Fuck Qatar

yeah, pretty much. Though, and I think you mean this anyway, I'd say Fuck Qatar's government, specifically.

Onward and upward

Okay, I know this is a dumb question. And really bad timing with the first US match less than 30 minutes away.

But why does everyone even put up with FIFA? I mean, it's almost universally hated, right? Surely if 6-8 of the most important soccer federations (England, Germany, France, Spain, US, etc.) simply said, "Fuck it, we're starting our own international soccer organization," FIFA would be obsolete, wouldn't it? Seems like it would be like a reverse LIV league.

Anyway, I won't be watching, but go USA! Kill the whales!

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

The Dutch have already said they will be "critically examining" their relationship with FIFA moving forward.

And if there are two things I hate...those that are intolerant of others...and the Dutch.

Joke aside, I think after this WC we may see a shift

I get that reference .gif

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

There is and there isn't an alternative. Each continent sort of has it's own federation. And they aren't any better than FIFA. To your point about the big boys, they already do their own thing...called the Euros. And to many, me included, it's a much better tournament than the World Cup. You don't get to see Brazil and Argentina against them in that, but the Euros have been fantastic. If you want an example of breaking off to do your own thing, just check out LIV golf...which is actually just about what this world cup is...

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

So back to the football...
England look quite impressive in this opening match.

Edit: Not so hot take: England and Wales will finish with the top two spots in the group. Iran will finish 3rd.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

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

Disclaimer: I'd love to be wrong, I hope we advance beyond the group stages. Rooting for the Yanks that's for sure.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

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

Wow, I think that's a pretty hot take! Iran did not look good at all. We'll see if I look stupid this afternoon, but I think the US will be just fine against Wales. England look to be firing on all cylinders (although their defense wasn't great) so I won't expect anything from that match, but I think we should still be favorites to advance.

I think the US is favored over everyone except England.

Wales are an ocean animal and I believe soccer is played on grass.

I think we advance.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Nuke the Whales!

Gotta nuke something.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Iran looked pretty bad. England looked like world beaters, and they are a talented side, but that was mostly because Iran played poorly.

I think the US will beat Iran. I'd be pretty surprised if Iran doesn't finish last in group. Even if the US loses to England, which is likely, they still have a chance to advance. Assuming England beats both the US and Wales, and Iran loses out, that leaves the US and Wales tied and it'll come down to goal differential. Based on what I saw today I think the US has a great shot at advancing on goal differential. Keep it close with England and beat the brakes off Iran and hope England dispatch Wales the way they did Iran.

Onward and upward

Yeah but Wales could definitely tie England or Iran could find a way to tie us. It may be somewhat likely to advance with 4 pts but not enough for me to feel remotely confident about it.

Also possible that England and Wales could do the "agreed tie" in their last match to send both through. It's somewhat of a rivalry match but England would definitely rather Wales advance than us

England would definitely rather Wales advance than us

Why? I don't think that's definite at all. I don't think England gives 2 shits who advances between US and Wales. England, should they beat the US, likely would let off the gas vs Wales, rest some players, etc. But I don't think they'd play for a draw just to ensure that Wales gets through instead of the US.

Onward and upward

The final group games kick off at the same time to avoid the "gentleman's agreement" kind of matches. Either it's already clinched for both of them by that point, or they run the risk of kicking the ball about playing for a 0-0 and then US go up 2-0 on Iran and they need to kick it into gear
.

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

Love it! Let's go!!!

Why are we starting China's president?

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)..

Was confused for a second but I laughed, lol

We are however, starting the son of Liberia's president

There's no way Gregg made this lineup on his own. It's way too good.

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

Crowdsourced from Twitter? Or maybe he was playing the long game though the last three years convincing the world he was a fraud. Masterclass incoming

No Moore for Wales. Interesting. May even be a 5-3-2? Seems they will try to get in behind rather than try to win second balls playing off of Moore

No hoofing it up to the big lad strategy

Hoof it up to the quick lad instead

Our kits look terrible. Even worse now that I see them wearing them in warmups

Edit: guess those were just the warmup kits

Wales anthem was nice. That's what it's all about

I guess we know where those Qatar bribes went. Yeesh this reffing has been.... Questionable

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This is home

The yellows were questionable.

The missed foul on Pulisic and then the obvious missed corner kick right after was troubling. How can you not call the foul and then give the ball to the opposing team after they kicked it out.

Then the "stern" talking to after a non-issue foot tangling...this ref is going to make this game an uphill struggle for us.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Refs in the middle east being questionable toward the US? Shocking

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This is home

Where is Mepham's yellow? That was a blatant yellow.

Exactly! Wales should have been down to 10 men after that. They sent a man on mission and that ref let him get away with it. Trash world cup.

Bob: What would ya say ya do here?

Brad: I already told you! I iron out the minutiae so Justin doesn't have to. I have people skills dammit! What the hell is wrong with you people?

We need to keep pushing it out wide. We are having so much success there.

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

WEAH

Goooooooooooaaaaaaaallllllll

There we go!

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This is home

TIM WEAH !!!!!! Goooooaaaalllll!!!!

That's the Weah do it.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

What a goal!!!

The holdup. The movement. The run. LFG.

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

Really glad we got that goal, this game feels like one of those that we control the whole way and then lose 1-0 somehow.

Wales seemed to be playing for a draw hoping to keep it 0-0 at half. I'll be interested to see how they respond in the 2nd half and force our players to play some defense.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Weah you beautiful man

I must have read a thousand faces
I must have robbed them of their cause
Sickened thirst, Sickened thirst
Keeps it together
Soft white glow in the cranium
A bullseye made sedated

Does the main broadcast camera look terrible to anyone else? The replay cameras have a good quality image for me but the main camera seems like it is in SD. I didn't have this issue with the games earlier today.

I love Timothy. What a finish

Tim Weah is the first player to score against Wales in a World Cup since Pele. Makes you think

Man, come on Pulisic. Weah is making some insane runs on the wing, smh. Missed two of them in the last 2 minutes.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Bale is good at 2 things, golf, and diving....

Edit: man I got a down vote for that...lol; I'd be curious to see where I violated the guidelines, smh

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Definitely not a dive, blatant penalty and a boneheaded move by Zimmerman to give that one away

Best challenge to make through someone's legs? Nope! But there were some theatrics involved there for sure, especially since Zimm's made contact with the ball. But I guess making an opinionated statement about a foul is downvote worthy, shrug. It's just legs...

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

For the record, I did not downvote and don't think you should've been downvoted. Any pro is gonna make a meal of a tackle like that, especially in the box. And most players are gonna go down when there's a tackle like that. Gotta be smarter than that in the box especially

Oh I wasn't saying you downvoted me. Honestly I could care less who did. Chuckled at it honestly. I don't fault Bale for going down there. That was reckless contact, I made that clear.

On a side note, I think Pulisic had an amazing first half, the second half was not nearly as good. A lot of meat (opportunities) left on the bone.

If it stays this way, this is a better point for Wales than it is for the US. (yet again, just my take)

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Agreed, though I thought we were well outplayed in the second half

Absolutely pointless foul

Chokers

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This is home

It's not a choke we've played poorly the majority of the game

I'm curious how you smart people can possibly watch soccer.

The sport is corrupt. The officiating is garbage.

Seriously, it's a terrible game and a terrible watch

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

And yet, here you are commenting on the World Cup thread..

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

Blistering retort. Let's look back on this when the US flames out this round

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

I'm getting downvoted for saying the US played poorly? Can't imagine why I don't pay for TKP access anymore. The bottle opener still impresses though.

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

you're getting downvoted for going out of your way to pick a fight and then doubling down on being abrasive

in the span of 65 minutes you went from "what a goal!!!" to effectively implying that smart people shouldn't watch and that the whole sport is awful

i locked the subthread here bc nothing good is going to happen from keeping it open, especially bc with the World Cup ongoing for a month, someone is destined to find this comment in three weeks and start things over again

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

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

Yes, the most watched sport in the world. Clearly you have the correct take here.

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

"The most watched" isn't really a qualification of the sport. Look up the "most watched shows"

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

The international game is years behind clubs bc there's so little relative training time and you're limited by eligible personnel.

The international game isnt great. But the world cup is a spectacle and it's the biggest stage in the world's most popular sport.

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

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

Why do we pass wide and cross every time. Why not put it on net when there's spacing. Definitely not showing the urgency to take every chance we can

Jon Brooks doesn't go in for an idiotic tackle like that. And now when we need a goal most, we are bringing on....Jordan Morris. The hatred I have for Berhalter is unmatched.

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

John Brooks has also barely played in the past six months. You'd have an argument a year ago, but not right now.

Dang some dirty time wasting by the Welsh. We aren't helping with the total lack of urgency

Need to work on our play in the final third. The only shot on goal we had was the Tim Weah goal, gotta be better than that. Ref wasn't very consistent with calls and cards throughout. Keeping things close (or a win obviously) vs England and a big win vs Iran seem necessary

Thought they tried way too many crosses. I get it at the end of the game, just get it in there and hope to get lucky. But they did it a lot earlier as well and I don't think that's a recipe for success for us against any of the teams in this group.

Yeah definitely thought there were too many crosses and don't think more than a couple of them led to chances. Need to work it into the box more.

Exactly, you will not see Germany France or any of the top seeds try that many crosses, especially when the spacing was there for a chance directly on net

FYI France attempted 27 crosses in their opening match ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

They also had more possession than us.
And more goals.
And more success on the crosses.
That's not their identity, but when it's working you keep doing it...

Here's a link explaining France's tactics. Notice it show early crosses. While a cross is a cross, the position on the field matters. France attempts to get it off before reaching the 18 with more of an angle. The US goes deeper and is looking to cross when they are even with the 6. (I looked for the US one but we don't rank high enough to have anything on that site...)
https://www.passion4fm.com/world-cup-2022-tactical-preview-deschamps-france-tactics/

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

It was no doubt more effective, but "top teams don't cross the ball that much" Is simply untrue. That's all I was saying

And my point above is not all crosses are equal.
Yeah, technically it's a cross from France. I mean it has to be labeled something.
But there's also the point of if it's working you keep doing it. That's more the situation for this game.
Check their game history and the number of crosses they had previously. They weren't this high.

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

Completely agree on our final third play, it was awful. Need to be more creative, need to try playing through the middle more, and if we are going to resort to crossing all game, we need to do a better job of crossing early before the defense gets set up.

What a wasted opportunity, ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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

Really lost control of the game when Moore came on. Lucky they didn't start him for...reasons.

Their ref was legit terrible but there was really no question about the penalty. Zimmerman is a good defender but I'm sure he'd like to have that one back.

I think the boys were a bit nervous. It looked like they were overly concerned of the threat of the counter attack and afraid to try anything that might lose the ball. Unfortunately, this result puts us in a bit of a tough spot. Assuming we don't beat England (I'd love nothing more, but I think a draw is the best we can realistically hope for at this point), we'll go into the last day really needing to beat Iran. I think we can but that's never a situation you want to be in.

Luckily, they English are even more full of themselves than usual and Berhalter strategically left Gio Reyna on the bench for this match, so there's a good chance they don't know he exists. England will have no idea what's coming. 4D chess, people

Moore made their attack so much better. We were fortunate he didn't start, but we also should have put this one away. Absolutely boneheaded mistake on the pen. He had his back to goal and was not an immediate threat and he barreled through him.

Overall, I think the US played well. The second half was subpar. A lot of people are saying there were far too many crosses from wide positions; however, Wales was sitting pretty deep for most of the game and waiting for the counterattack. We need to have more Pulisic runs where he attacks the CB's and looks for a winger to run out wide and across. There were two clear cut chances for that in the 2nd half that would've put serious pressure on them. The best way to break down a low-block team is to move the ball quickly and engage in penetrating runs from the front 3. It'll be tough to get out of the group after this result. England is a must win.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

And wide crosses are Pulisic's thing. We just don't have anyone to connect on the other end right now. The goal we scored was thru the middle. Maybe they can sit, reflect, and learn something from that. Doubtful because Gregg is Gregg...but we had some opportunities up top and still pushed it wide.

We owned the first half. Then he started subbing around the 65th minute. That's a concession and taking your foot off the pedal. We needed to keep it up with that starting 11 (minus injuries) until 75 or 80. We lost the chemistry, and Wales stepped up. Yes, that's a stupid foul, but there was chaos on the pitch with all the changes.

The US played better than a 1-1 tie, in general. But when you go 90 minutes and the Wales keeper hasn't made a save, proves that there's not enough pressure in the final 3rd to really dominate. (See England.)

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

The penetration was through the middle, but Weah ran from a wide position across the backline into a channel. I can think of one opportunity in the 2nd half that this happen, and Weah would've been clean in on the keeper with at best a CB coming in late in recovery.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Agreed. Just saying that Pulisic plays wide normally, and Gregg pushes him to do that. Same with Dest. It doesn't translate for us. The one time we were successful was thru the middle...

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

Berhalter is totally megh. I've seen enough.

Bob: What would ya say ya do here?

Brad: I already told you! I iron out the minutiae so Justin doesn't have to. I have people skills dammit! What the hell is wrong with you people?

Yeah also not really sure what was with the slow jogging/walking by players with an around the ball when we had possession. The urgency didn't really show until the 30' mark and then completely disappeared after the first goal until the equalizer

Yeah so the opposite of passing it wide for the cross lol. Needed a lot more runs through the middle (we had spacing). Then through balls to crashing defenders. We could've won this game at least 2-0 imo

If you notice there are really only two teams that go towards the corners and look to cross more than they do cut towards the middle. The US and England. Many other teams play around the arc at the top of the box. Gregg loves this tactic and continues to push it.

We got outshot today! Crazy stat, but Wales had more shots than we did. That's silly considering the possession in the first half was 66% us, 34% them.

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

England is a must win

In order to control destiny, yes. But the US still has a reasonable shot at advancing even with a loss to England. A draw would be good. Winning is best, obviously, but I don't think it's a must win

Onward and upward

Mepham should have been DQ'd for two yellow's. Berhalter shouldn't be such a pussy in the second half. Gotta beat England out right!

Bob: What would ya say ya do here?

Brad: I already told you! I iron out the minutiae so Justin doesn't have to. I have people skills dammit! What the hell is wrong with you people?

We head into the England game with 6? guys with 100 minutes on their legs including knocks. Also, reports are that Reyna didn't come in due to an injury and Mckennie & Dest aren't yet ready for a full 90. At this point I'm hoping for a tie on Friday and a victory over Iran, as well as England netting three or so on Wales.

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

Re: Wales wasting time - yes it is annoying. Literally every soccer team in the entire world does it when they are trying not to concede a goal late in the game. The only way it will stop is if referees actually add the time on to the end, especially when the injuries occur in stoppage time, but they never do. Teams do it because it works, and when it stops working they won't do it anymore.

I'm not trying to tell anyone how to be a fan - the World Cup is a great place for people who don't normally watch soccer to become fans. Just know that if the roles were reversed, the US would do the same thing and it would work in our favor. It's unfortunately not like football or basketball where the clock just stops for an injury and/or theres a penalty for delay of game. I can assure you that if it benefitted teams in other sports they way it does in soccer, they would all be doing the same thing.

The three games today had pretty extensive stoppage time, so it feels like a point of emphasis to improve that. 14 minutes for the first half in England-Iran. 8 for the second half of ours. Think the Senegal game had like 10 in the second half. Possibly a result of France time wasting their way to the trophy in 2018?

I just read that FIFA actually keeps track of all stoppages in play and adds the correct time on at the end. Not sure if that's a new thing or what, because I don't recall ever seeing this much stoppage time. In any case, this might be the only good thing that FIFA has ever actually done in their history.

However, additional stoppages from during stoppage time, which is when the majority of time wasting happens, are still up to the head referee to add on. And they just aren't very good at doing that, historically.

There was a proposal on the table before to make the games 100 minutes to account for time wasting and the potential water breaks.

The 14 minutes in the England game were for mostly the issue with the Iran keeper. He was down for a bit, then had to change his whole kit, get his gloves back on, then be subbed off.

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

First half was so, so encouraging. Bossed the game, looked well prepared. Wish we got more shots of course, 1-0 at half is awesome. Second half was classic USMNT. Lost all control. Zimmerman, what the actual heck man. You just can't do that. Gutted...honestly it feels like we lost

Go Hokies!

I remembered why I haven't opened a football game thread on here on several years...lol

It's one game and we've got two more. There are opportunities to adjust. Players have got the jitters out now. If we can surprise England with a draw that wood be great. If Wales and Iran draw, that's even better. Not an ideal result, but the sky isn't falling yet.

Never trust a person who's first name is also a common last name (looking at you, Walker).

/s

Poor challenge, not sure what he was thinking. On to the next!

"GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM LITTLE BROTHER, THE CUP IS COMINโ€™ ON HOME!โ€

Such a phenomenal first half but when you're up like that you have to capitalize. Shocking tackle from Zimmerman who till then had played well. Not ideal but still two games to go and atleast we have some guys like Reyna and Aaronson to call on. Weah continues to be a beast love his play.

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

Weah's runs were incredible today. I worry a little about the yellow's we picked up today. We have to approach Friday's game very cautiously. 2 yellows in the group stage are an automatic suspension.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Yeah that ref was going crazy with the yellows. That rule is so frustrating especially when you have a card-happy ref like today.

I would sub in Reyna or Aaronson for McKennie (def Reyna if he's healthy). Dest got a yellow and didn't look like himself at all - might not be fully fit. I don't want to see Yedlin though, so idk. Someone is going to get suspended for Iran, just gotta hope it's not an important player.

Weah the GOAT

Coulda been better coulda been worse

I must have read a thousand faces
I must have robbed them of their cause
Sickened thirst, Sickened thirst
Keeps it together
Soft white glow in the cranium
A bullseye made sedated

Deep

Bob: What would ya say ya do here?

Brad: I already told you! I iron out the minutiae so Justin doesn't have to. I have people skills dammit! What the hell is wrong with you people?

Yeah๐Ÿ˜

I must have read a thousand faces
I must have robbed them of their cause
Sickened thirst, Sickened thirst
Keeps it together
Soft white glow in the cranium
A bullseye made sedated

Tough result, we really needed 3 points today.

Everyone seems to think Iran is a guaranteed 3, but I'm not so sure about that.

Nowhere near guaranteed, but after seeing our first half performance (need better final balls, but got into dangerous areas) and how poor Iran were, I think it's fair to say we should be able to win that game especially since it will be a must win.

Bill Connelly runs the numbers which indicate exactly what several of us were saying about the game. The pass to shot rate and 30 crosses at 13% converting are disgusting stats. This has to change next game, and is at least over 50% on the managers

I mean yes, some of it is on the manager, of course. But also, all of the crosses were terrible! Set pieces were all terrible. We had a number of good opportunities in transition in the second half but made bad decisions. I'm not sure why there was an emphasis on crosses - could have been in the game plan or maybe not. But we had them opened up in the second half and did not take advantage. I'm not saying he did nothing wrong, but at a certain point, there's not much more the manager can do and it's up to the players to execute.

To me, the tactics were pretty good. We dominated the first half and got into good areas, just couldn't produce good final balls to create chances. This is largely on the players, as much as I love them. We set up to kill them in transition in the second half, which is the correct call. Didn't execute. The big things Berhalter did wrong IMO were waiting too long to make subs and seemingly not adjusting when Moore was brought on. And not bringing on Reyna, although it's not clear if he's 100% fit, despite what the player may say.

Sorry that's long winded, but I'm curious to know why you think that's >50% on the manager? Low pass to shot rate? They need to make better passes in the final third. I really don't know what to think about the crosses and there's really no way to know whether that was a planned tactic or just player decisions.

When the other squad flips the table on us in the second half, that usually leads to the belief that the other team's tactical adjustments were superior.

This is where I still can't understand the exclusion of Pefok. We just needed someone that finds the back of the net and we brought on Jordan Morris!?

I agree and already said that was one thing Berhalter didn't do well - he didn't adjust. But the Wales manager said they bought Moore on because the US was showing a different press that they hadn't seen before. That's tactics as well, it goes both ways.

Pefok hasn't scored a goal since 9/18. Why are we still doing this? He's a fine player who was in very good form and now is in regular form. He is not some game-breaking player who is going to magically create chances out of nothing. We didn't create chances in the second half, Pefok would not have changed that.

Union Berlin plays a very direct style of game, lots of over the top balls and then pushing play in/through the wider channels. More direct than most Bundesliga teams I have seen. They overload the midfield, which is where our strength (arguably) is, and use those players to support the attack out wide. Seems like a perfect fit for what Berhalter is trying to do, especially when time is running short and you need a goal. At the very least, it gives you another tactical option that isn't a complete 180 from the base formation and style.

If we only go off of current form being the litmus test, we probably wouldn't even be able to field a team.

some of it is on the manager, of course. But also, all of the crosses were terrible!

It's 10000% on Gregg. This is his style. This is what he pushes. This is why Dest is playing back right wing. This is why we are spread more than compact in the middle. This is what he wants. And while it's said the crosses are terrible...well...either you have to change it because it's not working (100 on Gregg) or put different players in there that can cross the ball (still 100 on Gregg.) He installs a system that most of these guys don't play in normally and expects it to click and work. When it doesn't we end up with games like this one and the stats to show it.

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

If Berhalter plays the same formation against England, our midfield will be in tatters by halftime. With the pace England brings to the pitch and Kane linking up so well as a holding 9, they need more bodies in the middle.

Probably Adams and McKennie in the middle to break up the play, but I'm not sure you can get a full 90 out of them. Having the luxury of bringing on Foden and Grealish after 60+ minutes is ridiculous. I'm not sure who we have that can match them defensively off the bench.

You have said this many times and maybe you're right. I don't think he's ever said that he wants a lot of crosses publicly. So again, maybe. But it's also possible that crosses is what we're left with when we have a lot of aimless possession because no one makes penetrating passes into the middle.

Follow some of the ex players on Insta or Twitter, as well as some of the insiders. You will see that Gregg pushes a system that these guys don't play regularly (outside Dest.) Yeah...I'm beating a dead horse there, but he's made 10 other guys play to how he plays. That's silly. I was happy to see that he put Pulisic outside yesterday and not directly up top, but even then you could see his influence trying to get him deep in the corner. The goal shows where he's dangerous and very few times he got the ball within the middle third of the pitch vertically. It's not a maybe. What you saw yesterday was Gregg Gregg Gregg. 10000%. And the people not being in the middle...well...the opponents KNOW what the tactic is. They fill the box to defend the cross. We don't have a 6'4" attacker to elevate over everyone for headers. And that's been my issue with Sargent and Aaronson...they run...a LOT...but aren't always in a consistent position for the cross. One guy in the corner just tossing it in somewhere. One guy in the middle, somewhere. Maybe it gets close, maybe it goes out of bounds on the other side. It's all a crap shoot. He plays on up top and expects that guy to be a chicken with his head cut off with laser focus. Doesn't happen...can't have it both ways Gregg. That's why I laugh at the "pods" of attackers he was chosing from. JUST PICK THE GUY THAT CAN EFFING SCORE!!!!!!!!!

He's not going to tell the public his tactics, but if you know him, the game, watch all these guys in different leagues, have coached in the past, you can tell his style. It doesn't hide.

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

Legitimately curious - what is your fascination with Dest? I don't think his strengths are what you're saying at all. His strengths are technical ability and combination play. He's not really a very good crosser at all. So he's certainly not the one player the system is built for if it is as predicated on crosses as you say. I've already said I don't think he played very well but I don't understand the fixation.

Maybe I'm naive, but I just don't believe Berhalter is stupid. I don't agree with some of his tactics, but you don't get to where he is by being completely incompetent. If he has really built a system predicated on crosses, there is no reason why Jesus Ferreira would have been the starting 9 for the majority of qualifying and no reason why Pefok would be left off the roster. Those things don't equate for me.

One more thing - there's never going to be a system that all of your players are comfortable in unless they all play on the same club team. That's why most international teams have very basic tactics. You could argue, and I would agree, that the system he has chosen isn't the best for maximizing our player pool. But tactical familiarity in international soccer takes multiple cycles and that's one thing the US doesn't have right now no matter who the manager is.

RE Dest...I don't hate him personally. I hate that position/style/wingback. Gregg loves it. Some guys can play there, and have a conscience. Meaning, they know when to push and when to get back. My issue with Dest (and Yedlin) is they always look to go forward. And they sometimes get back. That leaves the 2 central defenders on an island having to cover extra space. Which is not how those guys typically play. We have 2 big guys in the back that are used to playing central defender. When Dest takes off, they have to cover, and that's when mistakes are made. They play all the other games, including practice, with a different system. And Gregg leaves them hanging out to dry. If you have a guy in the spot that Dest is in, he needs to be a guy that CAN cross the ball and makes goals occur. He doesn't. He just runs up and down the right side, not playing defense and not creating scoring opportunities. Just play back and let the right mid do what Gregg wants him to do. If you watch, there are many times he's up the right side up top and the right mid is actually outside of him when the ball goes across. That means Dest isn't back to play D, and the mid is out of the play as well. Fast break city. Gregg pushes this. On top of that, he's not a great defender. He plays matador escorting the other guy for some yards before engaging. That's one thing about Moore is he will defend anywhere on the pitch. Too many times Dest (and Yedlin) escort guys for a bit while they are gaining positive field position which allows their team to push forward and have a better scoring opportunity. Make them turn it over in the middle third and this doesn't occur.

Berhalter isn't stupid. Neither was Jurgen. But their ego gets in the way. Yes, coaching "down" to a basic style isn't top tier futbol. But you know what, we didn't play the last WC nor the last 2 Olympics. These guys are the ones (well, quite a bit of them) that should have qualified for the Olympics last time. he just keeps pushing for a system that some colleges utilize, but not all over Europe...which is where the majority of our team plays now. These are professionals that have honed their craft and he tweaks it ever so slightly that it doesn't mesh perfectly. He has an idea n mind, and when the guys don't absolutely fit his system, they are left off. That's why there's some head scratchers on the roster.

While there might not be a single system, there is a process we could go through to get to an identity. Tab Ramos is working on that with the youth team for the US. If you notice Spain, or Germany, or Brazil, you can take any player that plays holding mid, or CAM, or Right back and put them in the squad and very little is lost. They have an identity from youth thru senior club. They play a similar style all the way thru that's consistent, so you don't upset their playability when changing jerseys for the national club. We don't have that because you have dad's coaching youth soccer, guys from England coaching youth soccer, guys that played college in the 90's coaching youth soccer and everyone has a different thought process on just win baby. There isn't a ton of skill enhancement or team building. It's get the ball to Jimmy because Jimmy can score, and if that means a long ball out of the back so be it. No possession is first and foremost, just attack on the counter like basketball. You can watch almost any ae from U16 to senior club for Spain, and the guys in the same positions will play in the same manner. Yeah, some will be better than others, and do little things better, but the progression of passing, positioning, movement will be similar. Jurgen never pushed for that so we just gathered up guys from other countries that could be considered US citizens and slapped a jersey on their back and went forward. Now, we are where we are. Gregg is a placeholder. Not quite a Fuente, but not far from it. The good news is that Tab is getting the youth program together and getting an identity in the younger ranks. this is where 2026 could either be fantastic or a complete disaster...we'll have a ton of young guys that in a U25 tournament like the Olympics could win it, but not make it out of group stage in the WC because Gregg has his pet guys and refuses to pick the best players. We can win a local tournament like the Gold Cup with Gregg at the helm, but he's not going to push us forward to a world stage.

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

By the way, I enjoy having these discussions with you since you seem like you know what you're talking about. Hope I'm not coming off as standoffish.

I get what you're saying re: Dest. However....

Ignoring the unrelated glaring issue with this picture (somebody should try checking to the ball in the middle of the pitch), you can see that Dest actually was playing like a 3rd CB for at least the first half (this is through 49'). This is not normally what he does, but he wasn't doing at all what you describe in this match.

When Dest is playing well (he did not yesterday), he provides a unique asset to the team. A technically secure outlet who can resist pressure and progress the ball up the wing via either dribbling or combination passing. He can tuck into central midfield and be secure on the ball as an option and allow interchange between the RB, RCM and RW. He is not a very good defender and he is not a very good crosser. I would argue his lack of defense was not really that important in this kind of game as Wales offered nothing in the way of attacking threat until the 2nd half, and even then it wasn't based on 1v1 in wide areas.

You and I seem to fundamentally disagree with what Berhalter's attacking tactics are, but if you are correct about a cross-heavy approach being Plan A then Dest is not the correct choice for RB. Shaq Moore or Joe Scally would be much better options. If Dest continues to play like he did yesterday, they will be better options regardless.

All good my man. And I am speaking more to the General Dest versus yesterday Dest. It did seem that Gregg reeled him back in a bit yesterday. But that's what having McKinnie and Weah on the same side give us...better crossers without having to have Dest go forward. We just haven't seen it much because there's been a different line up every match played under GB.

He is not a very good defender and he is not a very good crosser.

This is pretty much my issue with him. And no matter how he plays, Gregg loves him. He speaks highly of him in interviews and continues to play him. That's my bone to pick with it all.

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

He seems like a player who needs confidence, especially at the moment having been frozen out at Barca and now struggling for minutes at Milan. Like Pulisic, he needs to stop trying to do too much and just play within the team and I think he could be a real terror (for the opposition).

looks like the horseshoe of sadness we arsenal fans suffered through a few years ago

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

Sorry that's long winded, but I'm curious to know why you think that's >50% on the manager?

I do think we ran out of gas and the subs should've been earlier. But yes mainly the lack of shots given the amount of possessions in their half. That seems to be part of the overall strategy and not just individual decisions by the players no?

We had 1 shot on target the whole match and it was the goal. There was literally a 0% chance for us to score another goal. And there were plenty of opportunities in the second half to put it directly on net, even though not all of them would be quality chances. I just don't see Germany, France, Brazil, Belgium and teams of that caliber passing up those chances. And all their players play in the same European leagues that ours do. So only makes sense to me to blame the manager

I mean, if they have a bunch of possession but don't make good decisions in the final third, I don't understand how that's not on the players? They had the ball with numbers in wide areas multiple times. Make quick combination passes and make runs toward the endline, cut back into the box. The players didn't do that. I just can't believe Berhalter told them "Yeah, just pass it around in a horseshoe for 45 mins"

Sargent had a nice header in the 10' that hit the post and Weah nearly forced an own goal with a spectacular control and dangerous cross. Not much, but we're not in a position to ignore actual chances that we did have.

from the eye test I saw a team (the US) that could get into dangerous areas and create chances for themselves but nobody could finish. The team lacks finishers. That might be their downfall. England's defense is very suspect, though, so if the US can convert one of those early and put the pressure on England they have a chance. I think the US's defense is going to be better than Iran's was. But England has a lot of talent so it's a tall task. To me, the biggest difference between the US and England right now is that England has quality finishers who can capitalize on chances created.

Onward and upward

What I saw and I think these numbers show, is they didn't try to finish or create chances the conventional way. The were committed to crossing it in to 2-3 guys outnumbered by 5-6 Welsh defenders. Out of 30 crosses we only got a head or foot on 4 of them, 4!! (None of which were on goal). That means 26 were broken up by Wales or just sailed harmlessly over all the attackers (which I saw at least a few times). That is a complete waste of 30 attacking possessions.

Also 0 shots on target outside the goal = a 0% of scoring more than 1 goal it's that simple. They deserve a lot of criticism for this game

Well, at least we aren't Argentina.

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

Down goes Argentina. Wow.

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

Saudis to the Arab soccer world: "Hold my (nonalcoholic) beer"

Go Hokies!

Saudis to the Arab soccer world: "Hold my (nonalcoholic) beer"

Saudis to the Arab soccer world: "Hold my (nonalcoholic) root beer"

"Vick, dashing back . . . here he comes again . . . Electrifying . . . and have you ever seen anything like this?"

Outside of Argentina falling, today's games have been a bore.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Mexico Poland was exciting, even if it ended scoreless

Onward and upward

Man, France's starting XI....yeesh!

They might break that World Cup winner group stage curse frfr

Edit: and then the Roos go and do that, damn I love this sport

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Yeah... I got a feeling they won't be continuing that curse. Their biggest issues are deciding which guys to leave at home and which combination of elite talent makes the best XI.

It would be cooler if any of them were actually french, but hey.

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

They have two guys were were born abroad, and moved the France when they were two, and one who was born in Italy to a French soccer player, so they're all pretty French.

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

Hugo Lloris: born in Nice, France
Steve Mandanda, born in Zaire, moved to Evreux at 2
Alphonse Areola, born in Paris, France
Benjamin Pavard, born in Maubeuge, France
Axel Disasi, born in Gonesse, France
Raphael Varane, born in Lille, France
Joules Kounde, born in Paris, France
William Saliba, born in Bondy, France
Lucas Hernandez, born in Marseille, France
Theo Hernandez, born in Marseille, France
Dayot Upamecano, born in Evreux, France
Ibrahima Konate, born in Paris, France
Matteo Guendouzi, born in Poissy, France
Aurelien Tchouameni, born in Rouen, France
Youssouf Fofana, born in Paris, France
Adrien Rabiot, born in Saint-Maurice, France
Jordan Veretout, born in Ancenis, France
Eduardo Camavinga, born in an Angolan refugee camp, moved to Fougeres when he was 2
Antoine Griezmann, born in Macon, France
Olivier Giroud, born in Chambery, France
Kylian Mbappe, born in Paris, France
Ousmane Dembele, born in Vernon, France
Randal Kolo Muani, born in Bondy, France
Kingsley Coman, born in Paris, France
Marcus Thuram, born in Parma Italy to his French international footballer Lilian Thuram who was playing professionally for Parma at the time

Also notably missing through injury: Pogba (Lagny-sur-marne), Kante (Paris), Benzema (Lyon), Kimpembe (Beaumont-sur-oise)

Did you mean it would be cooler if any of the Australians were French? Even by your standards, this is blatantly ignorant at best

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

This sub-thread was locked by a moderator.

France looks very good. I think they will have a deep run but forgive me for hoping they don't win it all again

Onward and upward

And another 0-0 result.

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

Germany Japan just now was so fun. What a win for the Japanese. Keeper played out of his mind and what a finish for their second goal.

At least one of Spain and Germany is not making it out of that group

Spain is making sure that if it comes down to goal differential, they're fine...

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)..

Germany is not making it out of this group

Not the best start to the tournament for Germany. Japan is really good, and I saw it as a potential banana peel with the inconsistency of attacking options up front for Germany. They're back line looked penetrable as well with the semi-high-line that Germany employs. Japan has a ton of speed up front, so it was only a matter of time until they got behind the back line. Group E is going to be tough, Die Mannschaft has their work cut out for them.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Well I'm a German Hokie, a lot of parallels to be drawn between our season and this match.....I'm going into sports hibernation.

Sweet dreams

Free Hugh

Was looking like it was going to end up in a tie Mannschaft

but then it quickly turned into a crie Mannschaft

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Spain is just totally dominating. They look real good.

Obviously I'm hoping England win it all, but if it's not them, I'd prefer Spain or Brazil over France. I think Spain v France would be a really interesting match. And if they both win their groups there is a fairly good chance they both make it to the Final

Onward and upward

Spain-Germany on Saturday is going to be a very intense match. That is a must-win for Germany. If they lose that they probably don't get out of the group. A draw means they'll likely have to rely on GD and hope that Costa Rica draws Japan (which, after CR's performance looks pretty unlikely). I think Spain will top the group on 7 or 9 points and Japan will go through on 6 or 7. Germany might get 4 but most probably 3. CR will go 0s, I think.

Onward and upward

Man I know they lost (what a brutal loss it was) but I'm so jealous of Canada. Extremely fun to watch. I don't think Berhalter is a terrible manager but Herdman is great. What I wouldn't give to have him on our side...

Yeah that was a lot of fun to watch for sure. Feel bad for Canada. Missing the penalty and then the controversy over not getting another when they probably should have. Tough way to lose. But I think Canada has a great shot at advancing anyway. I didn't get to watch the Croatia Morroco match but I'm guessing, just with how much trouble they gave Belgium, that Canada can get at least a win and a draw, if not two wins to finish group stage

Onward and upward

Croatia and Morocco was pretty boring. Two teams looking like they were trying not to lose. Morocco looked a little better than I thought they would. But Croatia is old like Belgium. I think Canada will get at least 4 points but I'm not sure that will be enough. Canada looks the best in the group but the element of surprise is gone now.

I agree, Canada looked really good despite the loss just didn't convert their chances. Missing a Pen is tough too

They won the qualifying for a reason. Ahead of us and Mexico. They could pull out the next 2 games to go thru...

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

Okay maybe not lol

It all started so well! I feel like that match was more about Croatia being next level than Canada being bad. Bit unfair to them that they're eliminated already after those two showings. Davies is just an absolute terror.

Go Hokies!

In some ways. But also, just set up poorly. Croatia has quite possibly the best midfield in international soccer and Canada left 39-year old Atiba Hutchinson playing on 4 days rest to play defensive midfield by himself. And only Eustaquio as the other midfielder. They were outnumbered from the get go. And they could've easily changed after scoring early but they just got overrun and Croatia are so good. Big tactical fail from Herdman - way too aggressive.

Ronaldo goes to ground very easily, referee gives the penalty, Portugal 1-0.

AND THE GHANIANS EQUALIZE!!!!!!

Edit:
Some late drama in that game, Diego Costa almost cost the Portuguese 3 points single handedly.

"GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM LITTLE BROTHER, THE CUP IS COMINโ€™ ON HOME!โ€

Meh. It wasn't a hard foul, but it was a foul. Ronaldo got there first with a clean touch and the defender played through his body and took him out. Probably a fair way to call it given the one they called off in the first half on foul on Ronaldo in the buildup.

That Diogo Costa mistake was dangerously close to being an all-time WC blunder. Wild second half overall.

There was just barely enough contact to make the call. The way Portugal had been comically diving all game a play on would've been more than justified. Good game though

Good morning to any fellow sickos waking up for the 5 AM kickoff between Wales and Iran. Looks like Wales are unchanged from their lineup against the US with the exception of Kieffer Moore coming in for Dan James up top. Huge match for Group B in general. I think the best result for the US is a draw. That leaves Iran with only 1 pt and needing a win going into the final match day which would open them up and make it much easier to score on them. It would leave Wales with 2 points, meaning they would need to win over England to secure advancement. In that scenario, even with a loss to England, a win over Iran likely gets us through. And if England defeat Wales, a draw might even get us through depending on goals.

There are no scenarios which knock us out, but a Wales win coupled with a US loss would be not great. This would mean Wales would only need a draw against England to go through and even if they lost it would come down to tiebreakers for us to get through with a win over Iran.

Let's go...

... Draw!

I can't root for Iran over Wales. Just can't do it.

Warning shot for Wales as an Iran goal ruled out for offside after a horrendous turnover from Conor Roberts. Iran have looked stronger here with a front two of Azmoun and Taremi. A golden chance for Moore also missed with a kick to his face for his troubles.

0-0 at halftime. Iran looking the more dangerous of the two sides. I don't think Wales can hold them off the whole match without making some kind of change.

Iran win better for the US if we're confident we can win that game. Looking the more likely at this point but Wales have had one or two good chances.

Two shots off the post in quick succession for the Iranians plus a point blank save from Hennessy. Goal is coming

Hennessey sent off with 5 minutes of normal time remaining. Came way off his line to clear the ball outside the box and cleaned out the attacker. Wales trying to hold on for the draw now. Danny Ward in goal now.

Wow, Iran score the winner at the death. Crazy match. Heartbreaking for Wales who will have a difficult way through now. Jahanbaksh for Iran will miss the last match after picking up a yellow in the first two matches. Obviously Hennessey out for Wales as well.

Iran score again making the final score 2-0. Could come into play since they were deep in the hole on GD. Now just -2

Iran played better all day. Wales was outmatched. Particularly when Wales was limited to 10 players.

Defending with 10 guys for the last 10 minutes was a pretty big ask. Now Iran wins with two.

Wales couldn't overcome the red card.

I mean it's not that much time to defend a man down. They just were outplayed all day, regardless of the red card like you said. Certainly didn't help but I don't think it was the deciding factor. They were 60 seconds away from holding.

Iran was playing very aggressively, and it was working.

Will add that we should not play anyone who's on a yellow. Can't afford to have anyone miss the Iran match. We have a chance vs England but the odds are much better if we concentrate on beating Iran.

What I saw is Scally might be in for Dest. I'm fine w McKinnie getting a number today...he's not a card machine. And he's one of the top guys. Zimmerman, well that was a stupid yellow but I still keep him in the lineup today. Get the result today. Don't wait for tomorrow.

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

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

I think they should obviously try for the win. But don't let key guys run themselves into the ground. Push for the win late if we're tied. Just don't get any yellows.

Wright starting indicates we're planning to hit them on the counter. Good

This is indeed the starting 11. Don't love starting Dest and McKennie but ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I

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

I BELIEVE

Go Hokies!

I BELIEVE THAT

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

I Believe that we need a win!

LET'S GO!

"Vick, dashing back . . . here he comes again . . . Electrifying . . . and have you ever seen anything like this?"

Great first half. Love our energy! Just need a better second half than we had on Monday. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธโšฝ๏ธ

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

Don't play the ball in the box on the final play of game????? Wtf

Really encouraging result to keep a clean sheet and honestly look the better of the teams. Really need Reyna in the iran game and maybe Aaronson we have to get goals against iran. Really can't state how impressed I was in the US midfield tonight.

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

WTF was that at the end? It was a literal free play. The game was gonna be over. Launch that shit in the box and bulldoze over anybody to knock it in.

Other than that, I ain't mad. Played better than you hoped for going in. Would have been nice to get some better player movement on some of the crosses Pulisic put in to knock at least one in, but if you would have told me a month ago we'd draw vs England, I'd be happy.

Honestly, we kicked their butts up and down the pitch today. Not sure what happened on Monday, but they didn't look like the same team at all.

We were by far the better team and I know that results are what's important and no one wants to hear this after a scoreless draw, but that was the best match I've seen the USA play (considering the quality of the opponent) possibly ever.

If we can just get to the knockouts I think we can win one. This team is good.

Danny is always open

(Sigh)...laugh...leg

"Thatโ€™s a stupid question. Next question."
-Corey Moore

Brilliant. I'm happy to have given you leg 25.

First impression...we dominated the three lions overall. They had some good opportunities, but so did the US. Will take the point and hope w throw everything at Iran on Tuesday, scoring early and often.

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

So this makes it very simple. Win and we're through.

Unfortunately, Wales will need to make up a 6-goal differential and a 5-goal scored margin to eliminate England and for the US to win. But we can cheer for that now because that result doesn't affect our fate!

To top the group, we need an England loss/draw and to make up the same goal margins as Wales. Since England scored 6 goals, it's much more likely that we need to better their GD. A 1 goal Wales win and a 4-goal US win (or 2-goal Wales win and 3-goal US wins and so on). But we just need to win, so let's do that. Iran looked much better today, not going to be an easy match.

Just more evidence that the draw against Wales hurts. We'll see if we have the quality to take care of business against Iran. Put up or shut up

VB born, class of '14

A view from the other side from during the match. Just one man's opinion of course, but it is interesting to see how impressed the English were with the team/Berhalter. Check out his timeline for more thoughts about players etc.

Berhalter's attacking tactics are his weakest point I think, but defensively and press wise he has turned this team into an elite unit. Don't think he gets enough credit for for those aspects.

I appreciate the link/quote, really interesting. I've always felt like Gregg was under appreciated a bit and suffered (suffers!) from not having a real CF goal scorer, albeit that's a luxury few have. I'm fascinated to see what US soccer does with him, win or lose/draw on Tuesday.

Go Hokies!

I mean, I'm not sure there was ever really any question in US Soccer's mind, but he is 100% coming back. I would really like to have Jesse Marsch or Jim Curtain but the only way he was realistically getting let go was an absolute stinker of a World Cup. They've played well so even if they don't make it out I doubt they can him.

People should also remember that the quality of international managers is lower than club soccer. Club jobs are generally more desirable since you get to pick your players and work with them every day. The top international managers are generally coaching their own country because that's what they want/national pride.

The US played well. They looked like the better team today. Ultimately this is a good result for England and an okay result for the US. England is almost certainly through. With 4 points and a +4 GD it would take a lot for two teams to jump them.

US wins against Iran and they advance. England might even be okay with taking second place so they don't have to play France.

A US win and England win sends both through with England topping the group.

A US win and England draw would send the US and England through with England likely topping the group on GD.

A US win and England loss puts England and the US through (unless England loses to Wales by more than 3) with US topping the group and England advancing in second ahead of Wales on GD.

A US draw sends England through regardless and either Iran or Wales depending on the Wales England result. Iran, with a draw, wouldn't improve their GD so they'd be behind England. If Wales wins England and Wales would advance and GD would determine the order.

If the US loses then Iran gets through on 6 points. England would hold the tie breaker over Wales, should Wales win, unless Wales wins by more than 3 goals to win the GD (extremely unlikely, IMO).

Iran is a must win for the US (i figured as much) . But the good news is that they control their destiny. Win, and they're in. No help required. I think England and the US will both advance out of this group. The US needs to do better finishing in front of goal, but they're creating chances. The dam has to break at some point. Here's hoping it's against Iran.

Edit: messed up the math(s)

Onward and upward

Wales sits at (-2) for GD
England sits at (+4)

If Wales wins by 3, they are tied for GD at (+1). This, Wales wins tie breakers with a 4 goal win, not a 6.

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)..

Ah, yes the classic "I forgot that losing negatively impacts GD" problem. Oops. I'll fix it. I still think it's very unlikely Wales wins by 4

Onward and upward

We looked good for much of the match, butI really take issue with the last 10 minutes. You have to know that a loss and a draw are the same thing in this scenario, it mathematically makes zero difference unless Wales were to beat England by multiple goals, which is not happening. We should've pushed hard for the win during the final third and had everyone up including Turner during the final 5-10 min + extra time. Can't criticize too much because we played well, but running probabilities you're in much better shape at 0-0 in with possession in the 80th (in a match you've mostly dominated) than you are expecting to win any given match even against Iran. Any given team can park the bus for 90 min and get a draw when they need it especially a team like Iran who plays that style, against a team like us who rely on low percentage chances to score

Take care of business against Iran. This team showed a lot today, but we need that result.

Just win, baby!

Go Hokies!

L Tri in the mud again. They're gonna leave Tata in Qatar

Insert all of your gifs from the Ronaldo comments in the EPL thread heh heh. They just don't have any answers it seems.

Go Hokies!

Dos a cero!!

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

Belgium and Canada down Damb

Germany keeps their hopes alive with an 83rd minute equalizer to draw Spain. Now they need to beat Costa Rica and have Spain beat Japan to get out of group stage.

Fun wrinkle: Spain can throw their game against Japan (so long as they don't lose their 7 goal differential lead) and take second place in the group, screwing over Germany and, in theory, making for an easier round of 16 game...๐Ÿค”

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)..

If they lose and Costa Rica wins then Spain is out so...that's probably not gonna happen.

Yeah but if Spain checks the score at halftime and sees Germany up...

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)..

Was talking about this German team with friends today and want to see what you all think. Is this the worst German team...ever?

Go Hokies!

Not at all. I think at the very least they are better than 2018 when they finished last in the group. I don't think they are bad at all. They went toe to toe with Spain yesterday who should be amongst the tournament favorites. They were a bit unlucky to only score once against Japan.

The lack of striker and bench depth is hurting them quite a bit. I thought they looked much better when Fรผllkrug came on. They've really struggled to replace Klose since he retired.