Euros/Copa America

TU_BLA

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Euros have been fun to watch. The quality players all over the place. Watching the Swiss beat the French yesterday was great. The 2 games yesterday were as fun to watch as maybe any game I've ever watched. If you were trying to get someone new to soccer hooked, yesterday's games were the ones to start with. Croatia with 2 goals in the last 6 minutes to force extra time, Swiss with 2 in the last 10 to force extra time and PKs and the quality of the PKs until you get to the 3rd or 4th best player on the planet depending on who you ask. What a great day to watch soccer.

Cope America has some quality teams as well. Uruguay and Paraguay have both been fun to watch in addition to Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina. I can do w/o Chile though...bunch of whiners they are.
 
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TU_BLA

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I figure the team that wins the Copa America will win the WC. Brazil & Argentina look tough as hell.
Neither of those teams will win the WC. Brazil is soft but they get the benefit of all the calls with CONMEBOL referees. When they get to the WC and have match refs from Europe, Asia, and Africa, Neymar gets pummeled and doesn't get the calls. Argentina is even worse and much older than many countries when you start looking at who their go to players are. Messi, Aguero...they're both past their peak years.

My WC favorites for 2022: Spain, Italy (may be the most dangerous international squad on the planet right now), France, Belgium (see the cons I mentioned about Argentina though). Surprises: US, England

I'd put Portugal in there but their backline is a disaster and really old right now. Pepe needs to go as his lack of pace has consistently cost Portugal GA in recent international matches. I would put Portugal's MF and F against anyone right now but the defense is seriously lacking. And I'm a huge Rui Patricio fan but there's only so much a GK can do under fire like that. Portugal does have a budding superstar in Renato Sanches though. When he's at the hybrid 6/8 spot he's been playing, Portugal is immediately dangerous.

I'd like to put South Korea and/or a side like Ghana in there but there's simply a lack of depth. There are some good players on both sides but it's hard if someone like Son is not producing for S Korea.

I don't know what to think of Mexico. Sure their forwards are good but if you get an athletic high pressing team (see Spain, France, Italy, England) Mexico is done for. They can't play out of the back with Ochoa or their defenders who are pretty bad and if they can't hold the ball enough, their D will crack.
 

HuffyCane

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If England wins it all I’m going to jump in a tub of lager and roll around like Templeton at the State Fair.
 
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nevadanatural

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The officiating in the first half of Italy/England has been interesting. You just about have to draw blood to get called for a foul. It’s so unusual that I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I watched the Copa America last night and it resembled pinball as much as soccer, it looked like neither team had a plan other than kick the ball. These teams look much more organized.
 

nevadanatural

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Italy takes it. I find it interesting that the two guys England put in at the last minute to take penalty kicks both missed. I can’t fault Sancho because his shot was saved but Rashford tried to get cute and missed an open net. England was the best team in the first half but Italy was better after the first 45 minutes.
 
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quincy101

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Sancho, Rashford & especially Garrett Southgate will all catch hell ( and unfairly so) in the Brit press for this loss. I give it up to the Italians, they lose their best scoring threat (Chiesa) to injury in the 2nd half & manage to take England to penalties where anything can happen, and did.

We'll see how the MLS troops do in the Gold Cup tonight vs the always tough Haitians. The Haitian President will not be attending the match.
 
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HuffyCane

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All three of the Southgate subs missed.

Perhaps both Haitian Presidents will attend the match.
 

TU_BLA

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Italy takes it. I find it interesting that the two guys England put in at the last minute to take penalty kicks both missed. I can’t fault Sancho because his shot was saved but Rashford tried to get cute and missed an open net. England was the best team in the first half but Italy was better after the first 45 minutes.
Rashford struggle quite a bit with PKs during the EPL season. So much so that Bruno Fernandes started taking them for Man U the 2nd half of the season.

Sana'a was solely because he psyched himself out. Pretty sure the thought going through his head was "don't miss the net" and by doing so, placement was off and a pretty comfortable save for Gigi Odonna.

BTW, I was happy to see the red crew decide that fouls were actually fouls and not just guys flopping because someone touched them. Felt he called a fair game both ways which was refreshing after watching the Brazil/Argentina diving festival on Saturday.
 

nevadanatural

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Actually he was pretty liberal with the yellow card, particularly in the second half, it was the common foul he wouldn’t call. Like I said, I don’t know how I feel about it. I liked the fact that the game flowed without a lot of stoppages but there were a dozen or more times I found myself saying “come on ref” when I thought fouls should have been given by both teams.
 

HuffyCane

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Actually he was pretty liberal with the yellow card, particularly in the second half, it was the common foul he wouldn’t call. Like I said, I don’t know how I feel about it. I liked the fact that the game flowed without a lot of stoppages but there were a dozen or more times I found myself saying “come on ref” when I thought fouls should have been given by both teams.
I knew England was going out on penalties when they bunkered around the 50th minute. Beer flowed liberally at that point and I cant be responsible for counting meaningless yellows when that mugging was happening,
 

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