Monday, June 22, 2009

Starting Eleven Football Blog Roundup

I'm not Italian and I don't necessarily root for Italy in the World Cup, Euro or the Confederations Cup. Pretty lukewarm.

I am American. I root for the U.S. I want to see them win and evolve.

That said, Italy got jobbed at the Confederations Cup. Just so I get it straight:

  1. Italy beat the U.S. head-to-head, 3-1.
  2. Italy and the U.S. finish tied for second in their group.
  3. The U.S. advances? Because it scored more goals than Italy?

Pardon my Web 2.0 language, but WTF is that all about? Pardon me while I find my Confederations Cup-sized Mickey Mouse ears for this tournament. Yeah, yeah, I know the rules are spelled out ahead of time and everyone is playing on a level field, blah, blah. But what kind of dipshit event is this where two teams finish tied on points and goal-differential and a head-to-head result means NOTHING??

Call me when this thing is over.

Here's this week's tour of the football blogosphere:

  • World Cup Blog wonders if the U.S. has used up its quota of miracles.
  • Ives Galarcep laments the loss of one American in the Confed Cup: Guisseppe Rossi
  • More hero worship for the U.S. men's national team at World Cup Buzz. I don't get it. Did everyone forget how Brazil and Italy stomped on this team?
  • Off The Post lacking a little insight into Group B, but what the hell, here's a little link love
  • More on the miracle of South Africa from Awful Announcing. Stick to Joe Morgan boys.
  • Two hundred percent rebuffs the notion that South American teams don't travel well and points out that Brazil just might have what it takes to stop Spain.
  • Center Line Soccer has a good read on tournament from a fan's point of view who is actually in RSA.
  • New York Times' Goal blog rates the U.S. performance: high marks for the back four, and world class marks for Charlie Davies.
  • Reuters Soccer Blog analyzes the quandary Maradona is in as Argentina preps for its next World Cup qualifier, which happens to be against Brazil.
  • In case you were wondering, CR7 updates us on his status with Paris.
  • SkySports has more on Ronaldo, and regrets publicly talking about his desire to leave Manchester United as early as 2007.
  • Silvio Berlusconi dishes on Real Madrid's spending spree. He's, um, well, not, um, happy.

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M said...

i don't want to sound like an idiot but didn't italy, usa and egypt end up with records of 1-2 and us beat egypt, egypt beat italy and italy beat whats the appropriate tiebreaker for that situation?

Andrew said...

It was a three way tie.

The US, Egypt and Italy all tied on 3 points. Head-to-head doesn't help. US beat Egypt. Egypt beat Italy. Italy beat the US.

Next tibreaker is goal differential, US and Italy tied with -2, Egypt -3.

Next tiebreaker is goals scored: the US goes through with 4 compared to Italy's 3.

Thomas said...

I'm sorry, but please stop complaining about how the US advanced to the semis. Even if head-to-head was a tiebreaker, it would have still come down to total goals scored. The fact is simple. The United States has advanced out of the stronger of the two groups, when most experts were picking them to finish last, and will get plenty of experience from playing the best team in the world on Wedesday and the host nation on Sunday, in what is sure to be a loud, hostile stadium.

Can't you at least be happy that a LOT of good is coming out of this tournament, when 36 hours ago the USSF was seemingly ready to turn this team upside down?

Starting11 said...

Thomas, as I wrote, I get it. Everyone had the rulebook, everyone was on the same page. I know it was a three-way tie and I know H2H would not have worked. I'm looking at this from Italy's point of view: "We pounded these guys 3-1 and WE'RE the ones going home??"
And yes, Egypt could have the same gripe.
I am happy for the U.S.
And to your final point, I'm still not sure they shouldn't "turn this team upside down" as you put it. At least starting with the coach?

Jonathan Wallace said...

FIFA sets the tournaments up to be about excitement and drama.

It makes sense that GS is the tie breaker. FIFA wants dynamic attacking soccer that gets fans out of their seats. Sure, its the 2nd tiebreaker but that's better than GA.

Don't get me wrong. If Bradley is as classy as Trecker claims, then he'll resign on top so that we can focus on getting a coach who can wring some consistency out of this team. A coach who understands game management, player selection and player motivation. Someone who can install a style of play with effective tactics. It was the circumstances yesterday (Brazil up 3-0 by half) that motivated this team, not the coach.

Finally, if the US weren't committing stupid fouls, the Italy game could have turned out quite different. Brazil had our number on the other hand, especially with the crap fielded by Bradley.

It's football, not soccer! said...

As the other commenters have said, it was totally fair, and using H2H we'd get the same result. Italy trounced the US partly because they were one man down, and then the US really trounced Egypt (they did have some injury issues, but still).

In any case, in group A the US would also have qualified easily, even more kudos for them.

Let's hope they show heart against Spain again.

Starting11 said...

ENOUGH ALREADY -- my ass hurts from this whoopin'!! JK, I'm glad you guys care enough to comment. Please keep reading.