FanDuel - WFBC

June 18, 2014

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 22 comments

Clint Dempsey has another goal.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:34 AM on June 18

Absolutely flawless technique from Cahill for Australia there. Any volley that goes in off the underside of the bar is an instant contender for goal of the tournament.

We'll have to see if Argentina can dig out another 35-pass build up to a goal to counter that.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:38 PM on June 18

We'll have to see if Argentina can dig out another 35-pass build up to a goal to counter that.

Netherlands.

posted by grum@work at 01:10 PM on June 18

OMG this is the best World Cup ever.

So.

Many.

Goals.

posted by grum@work at 01:16 PM on June 18

Netherlands.

Argentina.

I said goal of the tournament, not goal of this game.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:39 PM on June 18

OMG this is the best World Cup ever.

If the rest of today's games can live up to that one, it's going to be a great day, for sure.

Sorry to see the back of Tim Cahill - one of those players you generally really don't like until he's on your team, but always gives it everything he's got.

My upside-down fried told me the Aussies were going to lose every game 3-0, so he's having fun, even though the team are 0-2.

The Spanish have dropped Xavi and Pique today, in favour of Pedro and Javi Martinez, so they're clearly looking for a bit more speed from back to front.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:07 PM on June 18

There's going to be a riot in Spain tonight.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:52 PM on June 18

If anything bad happens at Chelsea next year, Diego Costa is going to need a witch doctor to de-hex him. Has anyone considered he might be a Brazilian double agent?

posted by yerfatma at 04:07 PM on June 18

Kind of surprised Fabregas has not gotten (and will not get) a run-out in this game. I know his club form has slipped, but he can help Spain with a bit more of a direct approach, and formations in which he has played with largely the same surrounding personnel (the Euro 2012 final, for instance) have been successful.

posted by holden at 04:47 PM on June 18

Chile's Vargas (no. 11) has a Jumpman (Air Jordan) tattoo on his neck. Bizarre and fantastic.

posted by holden at 04:59 PM on June 18

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:35 PM on June 18

The reign of Spain is ended, it's quite plain. (Sorry, had to so that before someone beat me to it.)

I've heard several pieces of analysis trying to explain how Spain managed to lose so badly in its matches. They're old, people have figured out how to play against them. too many of their players were involved in UEFA Champions League finals or semifinals, and on, and on the talking heads drone. Interesting that the last 3 or 4 World Cup winners have failed to advance out of group play in the following tournament. When things like this happen, and a team like Spain plays so badly it almost appears they are trying to do so, I wonder if there is a dark shadow looming in the background. With FIFA involved, nothing seems too outrageous.

posted by Howard_T at 06:56 PM on June 18

At least Spain didn't reach a point where one of their players attempted to headbutt another of their players. So they have that over Cameroon at least.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:55 PM on June 18

Australia is ahead of Spain in the Pool B group of Death standings. With the third place head to head clinching game to come. And you know what? I fancy us.

/That's the kiss of death.

posted by owlhouse at 09:50 PM on June 18

This is a genuinely great World Cup so far. I posted elsewhere a piece talking about how it's got rough edges in terms of tactics: late-vintage tiki-taka vs fast counterattacking, and while Spain may be on the plane, there are possession-focused teams with the talent to win it all.

When things like this happen, and a team like Spain plays so badly it almost appears they are trying to do so, I wonder if there is a dark shadow looming in the background.

Nah. This was a knackered side picked on past glory over present form that got found out by the Dutch, and the players went into today's match knowing they'd been found out. Had they played Australia first, they might have won scrappily and built on it, but the 5-1 clogging undid them, and I'd expect the Socceroos to beat whatever side Del Bosque puts out.

Look at the link to the 2006 Argentina goal upthread: that method of building an attack now feels like it belongs to a different time, and it does.

posted by etagloh at 11:41 PM on June 18

The finish may have been nearly a formality, but this effort from Switzerland gets my vote for best team goal so far.

posted by bender at 08:49 AM on June 19

Hello, just joined up to say that that really was Classic Cahill. Sublime, out of nowhere goal one minute, horribly misjudged, incredibly late death tackle the next.

Of course, for the Australian commentators. it was just enthusiastic.

This really has been a great World Cup, upsets, goals, whatever it was that Cameroon were doing.

posted by Osprey at 08:59 AM on June 19

The finish may have been nearly a formality, but this effort from Switzerland gets my vote for best team goal so far.

That was a really good goal. I especially liked Behrami riding the tackle. Rodriguez looked good for pretty much that whole game. If he puts in another two performances like that he'll be at Spurs before you know it.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:31 AM on June 19

I especially liked Behrami riding the tackle.

That was probably my favourite non-goal moment of the tournament. You know he was fouled because he fell down and then got right back up and kept going. If he wasn't fouled, he wouldn't have fallen. If he was faking it, he wouldn't have gotten back up.

Because he kept going, he (his team) was rewarded with the effort.

It's like watching that video collection of Messi being fouled/grabbed/impeded and he just...keeps...going.

If all the players understood that (try to get back up instead of embellishing the contact), the game would be much more enjoyable.

posted by grum@work at 09:57 AM on June 19

Between Behrami realizing the opportunity and playing on and Rodriguez corralling that pass that was at eye level when it skipped to him, it was just magnificent.

posted by bender at 10:03 AM on June 19

Not to mention the fact it starts with making a risky tackle in the box. Just awesome.

whatever it was that Cameroon were doing.

Being Cameroon as far as I can tell. Loved this story about Cameroon in 1990 where they had to get down to 9 men to open up the field. Also interesting (to me): that's the third red card for a member of the Song family while playing in the World Cup for Cameroon as Alex's uncle collected two.

posted by yerfatma at 12:18 PM on June 19

I think the reason Behrami got back up was because it was so clearly a foul. I have a feeling if it had been a bump he'd have collapsed and taken the free kick. As it was, he had nothing to gain by staying down, because the ref was definitely going to give the foul, so up he got.

I'd love for it to become a teaching moment though - Look! Look what happens when you get back on your feet!

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:43 PM on June 19

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