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International Soccer

Yankee151

TWINK Stadium
#1
Itching closer and closer, it seems.

Fernandinho got called up to Scolari's squad for the March friendly. He deserves it with the form he's been in all season, I'm rooting for him.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/fo...azil-squad-race-World-Cup-places-hots-up.html

Also, Falcao looks to have a better chance than originally thought. It'd be cray for him to come back from an ACL Tear and play for Colombia, but it'd be awesome to see.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/radamel-falcao-world-cup-hopes-3138231
 

Snorky's Shame

Well-Known Member
#2
Groups for 2014 World Cup

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria,
Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, United States
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea

Tournament Schedule
 

Chase

Well-Known Member
#3
The 2016 Euro draw is set for Sunday in France.

Pot 1: Spain (holders), Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pot 2: Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Ireland
Pot 3: Serbia, Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Norway, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Poland
Pot 4: Montenegro, Armenia, Scotland, Finland, Latvia, Wales, Bulgaria, Estonia, Belarus
Pot 5: Iceland, Northern Ireland, Albania, Lithuania, Moldova, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Cyprus
Pot 6: Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar

Pot 2 has a crazy amount of talent difference, will make it much more interesting. Spain/Belgium/Turkey group.
 

goblue96

Disney and Curling Expert
#6
The 2016 Euro draw is set for Sunday in France.

Pot 1: Spain (holders), Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pot 2: Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Ireland
Pot 3: Serbia, Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Norway, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Poland
Pot 4: Montenegro, Armenia, Scotland, Finland, Latvia, Wales, Bulgaria, Estonia, Belarus
Pot 5: Iceland, Northern Ireland, Albania, Lithuania, Moldova, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Cyprus
Pot 6: Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar

Pot 2 has a crazy amount of talent difference, will make it much more interesting. Spain/Belgium/Turkey group.
:laughing: At a potential, Greece, Hungary, and Austria group.
 

Chase

Well-Known Member
#8
Definitely will be watered down, but Gareth Bale needs to get in a big international tournament sooner or later.
 

Yankee151

TWINK Stadium
#11
Also downplays the significance of groups of death like 2012's Germany-Portugal-Netherlands-Denmark, to an extent. Though I guess the battle for 3rd would be a bit more heated.
 
#15
Definitely will be watered down, but Gareth Bale needs to get in a big international tournament sooner or later.
The Stoke boards were saying that if Ryan Shawcross doesn't get an England call-up for the World Cup that he may accept a call-up for Wales for the Euros. Although he was on the England roster for two WC qualifiers, he didn't enter the match, so his only appearance was in a friendly that didn't cap tie him to England.
 

Snorky's Shame

Well-Known Member
#18
Group A: Netherlands, Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia, Iceland, Kazakhstan

Group B: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Israel, Wales, Andorra, Cyprus

Group C: Spain, Ukraine, Slovakia, Belarus, Macedonia, Luxembourg,

Group D: Germany, Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Georgia, Gibraltar

Group E: England, Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, San Marino

Group F: Greece, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands

Group G: Russia, Sweden, Austria, Montenegro, Moldova, Lichtenstein

Group H: Italy, Croatia, Norway, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Malta

Group I: Portugal, Denmark, Serbia Armenia, Albania, (France*)

*France qualify automatically as hosts
 

Yankee151

TWINK Stadium
#21
Serbia already got sanctioned/a crowd ban or whatever last time for WCQ, Imagine what they'll do in that Albania game with all the Kosovo tension.

Way early predictions:

Group A: Netherlands + Turkey; Iceland
Group B: Belgium + Bosnia; Wales
Group C: Spain + Ukraine; Slovakia
Group D: Germany + Poland; Ireland
Group E: Switzerland + England; Slovenia
Group F: Greece + Romania; Hungary
Group G: Russia + Sweden, Austria auto qualifies as best place 3rd team (Should be really tight group and they'll grab enough points)
Group H: Italy + Croatia; Norway
Group I: Denmark + Portugal; Armenia

Leaves a playoff draw of Iceland, Wales, Slovakia, Ireland, Slovenia, Hungary, Norway, and Armenia. Not too bad of a draw, no teams really got screwed necessarily (Montenegro with Jovetic notwithstanding, ofc). Still real mad about Greece though, win Euro 2004 and you end up with easy qualifying groups which keeps your coefficient high which leads to easy qualifying groups, etc. Can't wait for them to knock out someone with a 1-0 counter victory like they did to Russia in Ukraine-Poland.
 

Yankee151

TWINK Stadium
#23
Kosovo played to a 0-0 draw in their first official friendly.

Some nice games coming up later, including Jovetic vs. Ghana, Greece vs. South Korea, and Switzerland vs. Croatia. Then the big games later in the day around 3 are Spain vs. Italy, Germany vs. Chile, Belgium vs. Ivory, and France vs. Netherlands. Gotta think we'll see at least two semifinalists out of that group of teams.
 
#35
A redditor made a bunch of WC jerseys, some of them are great: http://imgur.com/a/K6rkx#0
Most of those are pretty awesome. Especially like Australia, Netherlands, Spain, Mexico, Japan, England, Switzerland, and Italy. Would prefer that US jersey to what we're getting, but would prefer to just keep the red stripes.

Also, totally fine with Canada getting the WC. Great reason to go up there and visit some cool cities.
 

Snorky's Shame

Well-Known Member
#37
So Qatar has reduced the number of venues from 12 to 8 for the 2022 World Cup. That is the bare minimum.

Sigh. I'm at the point where if this World Cup can't be held in Qatar, keep it in Asia. I'd like to see it in Australia but there are stadium availability issues.

I'd even look at co-hosting with the United Arab Emirates at this point.
 
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#38
So Qatar has reduced the number of venues from 12 to 8 for the 2022 World Cup. That is the bare minimum.

Sigh. I'm at the point where if this World Cup can't be held in Qatar, keep it in Asia. I'd like to see it in Australia but there are stadium availability issues.

I'd even look at co-hosting with the United Arab Emirates at this point.
Australia would be awesome, but if they won't move it to the US, then move it to Korea or even China.
 

kella

Smug know-it-all
Staff member
Administrator
Operations
#39
Australia would be awesome unless you're a player or a visitor and it's one of those months where they have 130 degree temps. Playing with fire.
 

ZeekLTK

Well-Known Member
#42
UEFA approve a "Nations League" setup that is to replace friendlies and add a pro/rel system or something.

http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1765595/uefa-approves-league-nations-tournament?cc=5901
My first impressions upon hearing about that were that it sounds like a terrible idea. Here's what I see going wrong:

a) It's going to screw up the Euro Cup by having unbalanced groups. It is fine to have teams like San Marino and Liechtenstein play teams like Germany and Spain in qualifying, because EVERY group has a Germany/Spain level team and EVERY group has a San Marino/Liechtenstein team. So it's not a big deal that Germany gets to run up the score on San Marino, because Spain gets to do it against Liechtenstein, and England gets to do it against Andorra, and France gets to do it against Malta, and so on.

However, having one team qualify from the "bottom division" to the Euro Cup means that there will be a bunch of groups that have 4 good teams (teams who actually qualified), and then there will be a group that has 3 good teams plus one terrible team. So, look at the pots... in the last Euro Cup the lowest pot was Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Ireland. Now imagine throwing in a team like Cyprus or whoever might qualify out of the lowest division. There is a HUGE difference between drawing Cyprus to be in your group out of that pot as opposed to France or Denmark or whatever.

b) If every single division has a qualification spot at the Euro Cup, what incentive is there to not throw games in order to get relegated and therefore have a better chance at qualifying against worse opponents? For example, a good team like Bosnia-Herzegovina who just can't quite seem to qualify... what would stop them from purposefully losing a bunch of league games to get relegated and then try to qualify the next time around from a lower division against "easier" opponents? The point of a pro/rel system is supposed to be that everyone wants to go to the top, but this seems like the opposite. Why try to play against Germany and Spain for a spot when, instead, you can just get relegated and play against Bulgaria and Hungary instead? It seems like if you start out poorly in this format, your best bet is to just tank the remaining games and get relegated to give yourself a better chance next time around...

c) Teams who have clinched qualification from this league thing won't have any incentive to actually try during qualifying. That will affect other teams because, let's say a team like Austria manages to qualify from a lower division (my understanding is the league is completed before qualifying is). Then they have to play Montenegro in qualifying and just play a bunch of backups to "experiment" - Montenegro gets a free win that say, Sweden and Russia don't necessarily get. It can skew qualifying results.
 
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Yankee151

TWINK Stadium
#43
Well, Montengro would win anyways with their star striker playing.

I guess the only detractor from tanking would be you'd tank in FIFA rankings and coefficients for the EURO/WCQ draws. The latter of which could definitely keep a nation out of the WC for a while because the 4th and 5th pots in UEFA rarely if ever have an easy task of qualifying. Like I said though, if this makes Greece finally drop down into obscurity, I'll be content.
 

NML

Well-Known Member
#44
Not to mention, "tanking" isn't really a thing that happens in soccer because manager turnover is so high.

This thing is so far from finalized, I'm sure it'll come together later. Likely, it's just going to replace friendlies and maybe the group winners will go to the Euro's, thus making four less teams qualify via that actual qualification period. Those who do will likely be removed from Euro qualification - in the same way that hosts are removed since they have already qualified. Then Euro qualifying is basically the same.

I suppose if you want the Euro's to only be the "best of the best" then this might not be great. But I'm totally cool with a pair of lower countries making it. I like Wales and Ramsey/Bale's chances out of group three; who doesn't want them in a Euro? I look forward to seeing new players that I don't know from Cyprus trying to steal points - like they did from the Swiss in WC qualification.

And honestly, if you wanted the competition to only be the elite of Europe, don't expand to 24 in the first place.
 

ZeekLTK

Well-Known Member
#45
Well, Montengro would win anyways with their star striker playing.

I guess the only detractor from tanking would be you'd tank in FIFA rankings and coefficients for the EURO/WCQ draws. The latter of which could definitely keep a nation out of the WC for a while because the 4th and 5th pots in UEFA rarely if ever have an easy task of qualifying. Like I said though, if this makes Greece finally drop down into obscurity, I'll be content.
But that's mostly because the teams who are in the 4th and 5th pots aren't nearly as good as the teams in the top 3 pots. If a team intentionally drops, they don't become worse just because they are in a lower pot. Instead, they make it harder on everyone else who draws them instead of the other teams in that pot.


Not to mention, "tanking" isn't really a thing that happens in soccer because manager turnover is so high.

This thing is so far from finalized, I'm sure it'll come together later. Likely, it's just going to replace friendlies and maybe the group winners will go to the Euro's, thus making four less teams qualify via that actual qualification period. Those who do will likely be removed from Euro qualification - in the same way that hosts are removed since they have already qualified. Then Euro qualifying is basically the same.

I suppose if you want the Euro's to only be the "best of the best" then this might not be great. But I'm totally cool with a pair of lower countries making it. I like Wales and Ramsey/Bale's chances out of group three; who doesn't want them in a Euro? I look forward to seeing new players that I don't know from Cyprus trying to steal points - like they did from the Swiss in WC qualification.

And honestly, if you wanted the competition to only be the elite of Europe, don't expand to 24 in the first place.
I didn't necessarily say I only want it for the elite, but I think any team who manages to get through qualifying certainly deserves to play in the tournament. Whereas, having ways for teams who can't qualify to still sneak into the tournament cheapens it a bit. I mean, for Confed Cup 2013, I thought it was awesome to see Tahiti with a chance to play teams like Uruguay and Spain - but that was because they EARNED it - they won their confederation. They BEAT "better" teams, like New Zealand, to get there. It would have been stupid as hell to just put Tahiti in the tournament for no reason other than to "fill a quota of having a team who wouldn't be able to qualify otherwise".

I mean, we already kind of see that occasionally with host nations. South Africa probably didn't belong in the 2010 World Cup, Poland and Ukraine didn't belong in Euro 2012 - they all got waxed for the most part, and the teams who ended up in their groups had it much easier than those who didn't. That's something that should be minimized, but this idea of qualifying teams who suck is only going to make that happen more often. "Oh, you finished 5th in your qualifying group? No problem, just beat this other team who finished 6th in their group and we'll still put you in the tournament" - sounds great.

And I guess I just see the "backdoor for lower teams" as cheapening the pro/rel aspect. If you set it up so that you can also qualify from this league thing, then make it so that you have to be in the highest division in order to qualify. Then, if you are in a lower division, there is a reason to move up - because it's the only way to qualify. As it is now, I just don't see why you would ever want to go to the top division and have to play Germany, Spain, Italy, etc. in order to try and get a qualifying spot when you could just stay in a lower division and have a much easier path.

Since my main European team is Norway, I can safely say that I don't want to see them ever play in the top division of this league thing, they'll never qualify from there. I'd prefer to have them in a lower division where they can make it to the main tournaments by beating Bulgaria or whatever. And if fans don't want their teams to play in the top division, then clearly the whole system is borked. I mean, could you imagine a Leeds fan saying "I'd prefer to avoid the Premier League because it's easier to get into the Champions League (assuming that is the ultimate goal, which the Euro Cup is) from the second division"? No, and that's about what this is.
 
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ZeekLTK

Well-Known Member
#46
Speaking of Champions League, if they want to set up something for teams to shoot for if they can't qualify to the Euro Cup, why not have something like Europa League? If you fail to qualify to the Euro Cup, you can qualify to the "Europa Cup" or whatever. Could be held at the same time as the Euro Cup (since all clubs are releasing their players at that time), in a different country though (or all home games since less people would be interested).
 

Yankee151

TWINK Stadium
#47
I don't know, I still don't get it. I get that there's an incentive to drop now with this situation, but take Norway as an example. Their WCQ group was one of the easiest in a while, why would they give that up willingly to have to be in a group against 1-2-3 seeds? There's no way they get out of a Spain-France group or a Russia-Portugal group. Much more difficult than when your biggest competition is Iceland and Switzerland.

In addition, ECQ is going to be laughably easy with 2.5 spots now anyhow. Just look at the groups we have for 2015. Hungary has to just steal points from Romania or Greece to solidify a playoff spot. But being in pot 5 or 6 in WCQ because you want a spot in the Euros means you're never going to the World Cup unless it expands to 64 teams or something stupid.