World Cup Open Thread: Knockout Round Edition

Submitted by jamiemac on June 26th, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Morning all. Figured some people are up and about. Winner of this Uruaguay/South Korea games gets the winner of US/Ghana

In this first game, keep an eye on Diego Forlan (10) and Park Si-Jung (7). Very dangerous players. Both have impressive highlight reels playing for Man U, although Forlan plays in Spain now.

They are elite players.

Odds? Odds!

Uruguay -125
South Korea +360
Draw +220

These odds are based on 90 minutes plus stoppage time. No OT or PKs at the end. Not sure I like the fact that bets end before the game does. Probably a soccer quirk.

Odds to advance, including, well, all the game are uruguay -260, south korea +240

But, I like Uruguay to advance. I wonder if South Korea is in trouble with the defensive breakdowns they've had recently going against some of the dangerous strikers.

The Suarez/Forlan combo will get the deciding goal. I'm thinking another shutout for La Celeste



June 26th, 2010 at 5:01 PM ^

The end result sucks ass, but you can't be overly upset with the effort. We've just got to figure out what the hell we're doing in the first 5-10 minutes of a game.

grand river fi…

June 26th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

It's a slow progress, but eventually more and more players will be at the top end of the european leagues.  Wasn't Dempsey just this year the first ever american in a european cup final?  Eventually there will be more and more players moving to top level clubs, and the feedback loop of more expose that brings will build more and more talent.   Coaching kind of let the team down, but you can't really say they underachieved.

I'm excited to see where some of the US players move.  With Hodgeson likely leaving Fulham it wouldn't be a surprise to see Dempsey move up.  Donovan could definitely get in a good team.  Bradley had a great tournament, looked great bombing into space and could move to a bigger club.  It'll be interesting to see how Altidore does in a lower league for a year.  It's a slow process. 

grand river fi…

June 26th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

Congrats to both teams.  The US played a fantastic World Cup, they attacked well and were a joy to watch.  No shame in losing at this stage, definitely didn't under achieve.

Ghana is a fantastic young team, the fact that Muntari (won the european cup this year) doesn't get on the field till extra time shows how strong that midfield is.  Great, great game, the most entertaining I think I've ever seen the US take part in. 

STW P. Brabbs

June 26th, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

I think the real story of that match was that the U.S. had dead legs from the start.  They dug deep to put some pressure on early in the second half, but they had nothing left after that.  The disallowed goal from the Slovenia match really loomed large in that sense.

Robbie Findley being a second-rate striker and Bradley's inexplicable decision to start Clark over Edu - who really, really impressed the last couple of matches - also played a role, to be sure.  The U.S. still falls into the habit of wasting the ball too often also, and that became especially apparent in the second half, when Dempsey and Donovon's legs were too heavy to control the ball well. 

To be honest, that was an ugly, boring slog of a match.  Still, the U.S. played their hearts out this tournament.  At this point, I'm hoping for an Argentina-Brazil final. 

david from wyoming

June 26th, 2010 at 5:09 PM ^

The disallowed goal from the Slovenia match really loomed large in that sense.

Huh? That was something like a week ago and during the first stage. At some point in time, you need to move on.

To be honest, that was an ugly, boring slog of a match.

Huh? Were we watching the same game?

STW P. Brabbs

June 26th, 2010 at 7:09 PM ^

There were a couple of logical steps I left out - my point being that had the U.S. been given 3 points for the Slovenia match, the Algeria match would never have become the marathon test of wills that it was.  The U.S. would have already been comfortably in the driver's seat for the group.

And yeah, this match was largely disjointed and ugly, except for about 20-25 minutes in the second half.  To put it another way, the U.S. defintiely deserved a goal or more against Algeria.  I don't think they really deserved another one against Ghana, especially outside the aforementioned burst.  I guess we had different perspectives.

grand river fi…

June 26th, 2010 at 5:13 PM ^

It was the general shape of the team.  Bradley was just naive to think our 4-4-2 could contain that midfield.  2nd half we matched them with three in the middle which freed Donavon and Dempsey to attack, and they also picked up their game pressing when out of possession.  Ghana also looked a little fatigued after working so hard that first half.  Still, a great game from the US, they had plenty of chances to win it so no complaints.

STW P. Brabbs

June 26th, 2010 at 7:12 PM ^

I'd like to credit Bradley with the cajones to swallow his pride and make the necessary adjustments, but I also want to throttle him for starting the game with such a poor tactical strategy.  The most obvious manifestation of this is his decision to start Clark over Edu, but it still took the change you mentioned for the U.S. to develop any kind of threat.  Unfortunately, the players' already tired legs were wasted over the first 45 minutes until the adjustments were made, and then there were no more bullets left in the chamber for extra time.  I just think about how Dempsey was trying to single-handedly get the team into the game in the first half, and how dog-tired he was near the end ... and I can't help but blame Bob a bit. 

A Case of Blue

June 26th, 2010 at 9:16 PM ^

I'm no soccer expert, but the other thing I noticed is that the team always seemed a little sharper with Feilhaber on the field, and not just because he was fresh.  I had to agree with the announcers when they said they wondered why he never started (the only thing I did agree with them on).