Three Stadiums with ARTIFICIAL TURF

in this country over Sporting Park, which is easily the most beautiful stadium in this country to watch a footy match. Really, I could deal with this if they hadn’t listed more than Stubhub, even though it’s an ugly, older stadium that hasn’t seen any more of their “history” than SportingKC did winning MLS Cup in front of our own fans (the 1st team to get to do so). But 3 parks playing on fake grass. 2 with fake lines during gridiron season? Get. Real.

Get a clue, 4-4-2 http://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/fourfourtwos-100-best-football-stadiums-world#comment_anchor#:g2EOOng5dklrFQ

h/t The Blue Testament for the link: http://www.thebluetestament.com/2015/11/17/9745246/the-blue-links-november-17th-2016

On another note, I should be ~38k by the end of the NaNoing day.

Advertisements

Now for Something Completely Different

Because Deciding Footy Matches with PKs Sucks: I hereby present my solution to the problem of Extra Time. Not that MLS, FIFA, or any other organization would ever implement this. It might mean that the players get to decide the game, and Extra Time might be thrilling, instead of a grind to the lottery that is the equivalent of deciding a football match with a baseball batting practice where everything that clears the infield is counted a home run.

Bullet points:

1) The game will be played until a winner is decided on the field.

2) The 1st ET is standard. But every ET session after is Golden Goal.

3) There is limited augmentation of substitutions allowed during ET. To meet the concerns of player health.

4) After ET1, the game is small sided. And gets smaller every session.

Specifics:

At the start of ET2, each team is allowed 1 substitution, in addition to the 3 of regular time. At the end of every ET session, each team is allowed to sub 1 player. As with any other substitution, no re-entries are permitted. These additional subs may *only* be made between sessions. If there are substitutions left from regular time, those may be used at the coaches’ discretion, as normal.

From the end of the First Extra Time session, 1 player from the 11 (coach’s discretion) *must* be removed from the game. That is to say, ET2 is, assuming full-sides, 10v10, ET3 is 9v9, ET4 is 8v8. This ceases with ET5 and beyond, where the game remains 7v7. Any discrepancy from squad side due to cards remains. Except that no side goes below 7 players, so the size of the unpunished team dictates the period in which the final squad reduction occurs. Note: intermission subs are still allowed through each period, regardless.

ET1 is played normally. If a team is leading at the end of 15mins, they win. If the game remains tied, it continues into Golden Goal format. The first goal scored in ET2 and beyond is the final goal. Each extra time session remains 15mins, with a water break allowed between each period, along with sufficient time to make changes. Players neither substituted nor removed are not to leave the field. Coaches are not to leave their respective technical areas.

I Was Born in Minnesota

and though I left a LONG time ago, and will remain a fan of Sporting KC in MLS, I’m still happy to see this news today. Because way back when I lived in the state, I was one of those people kicking a round ball when no one else thought it was a sport.

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2015/03/25/major-league-soccer-awards-expansion-team-minnesota

This will be one game I will want to watch live when Minnesota United FC joins the League in 2018. Great job.

And Now For Something Completely Different

If you’ve followed this blog for a time, you’ve noted my forays into discussions of the global football variety. You also are aware that I am something of a gamer. It should not surprise then, that my interests converge with the infamous Football Manager franchise from Sports Interactive. The other day, I started a game on the handheld version, as Jan Kunzer (the last name of my character from my Aurori series). Starting as German and unemployed, I took a job with the former East German 3. Bundesliga side Rot-Weiss Erfurt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_Rot-Wei%C3%9F_Erfurt.

The season had already started, with 1 loss. The wage bill was so high I had to shift all my transfer funds to cover it (barely). Two of my best players were injured. Oh…and literally days after I took the job, I got a message saying a ‘Surprise tax bill came due.’ And the finances instantly went from OK to “Insecure.” Talk about realism. I guess technically the chairman could fire me, because he swore me to secrecy. Then of course, since I had no money, I had to sell 2 of my best players to keep under the wage bill when December came around. Ahh. I hadn’t had a game like that since the old days of Champ Manager 97/98 Lower League Management.

Writing wise, I’m still plugging away. I did some work this week on the business side of things as well. I’ve also taken on some editing work, for a little extra something. But seeing as I have six pages of notes waiting to be typed still, I better get cracking and resist the urge of one…more…game. 😉

Congratulations to Jurgen Klinsman

On being shortlisted to the FIFA World Manager of the Year Award. The nomination does surprise me slightly. But in the spirit of supporting our National Team Manager more than the Commissioner of MLS would like me to, let me put forward this argument:

1) Although Bob Bradley did lead the team out of the group in 2010 South Africa, it was a markedly easy–indeed, as easy as the US could ever hope to gain–group. Yet despite this, we were 30 seconds and a dramatic Donovan goal from MISSING the knockout round (or a routine save by an awful England Goalkeeper in the 1st match). And then we lost to a Ghana side most thought we should have beaten. All in all, yes we got through, but it was nothing to be satisfied about.

2) The US in Brazil had it’s Plan A shredded in 20 minutes, along with Jozy Altidore’s hamstring. The #2 striker, Aron Johannson, was injured before halftime of the same Ghana rematch. So for the rest of the World Cup, we had a non-striker playing target forward in Clint Dempsey. We were essentially left bereft of international goalscoring talent by those injuries, outside of Dempsey, who playing up top, opposing defenses could then key on.

3) Also because of those injuries, Michael Bradley was forced to play without an option ahead of him. In the beginning of the Ghana match, the team was fluid, aggressive, with crisp passing that left their opponent little choice but to commit dangerous foul after dangerous foul. It truly ought to have been 2-0 or 3-1 before half. The injuries changed the way the entire team played. And yet, they advanced out of a group that most observers said the US would fail to qualify from, and very well might finish last with 0 points.

4) In fact, despite the injuries, we were exactly 30 seconds from rendering the Germany match a meaningless friendly. If not for Geoff Cameron playing a 3 instead of a 6 match, we beat Portugal, and are through with 6 points and have nothing but placement to play Germany for. We’d have been as well-rested as Belgium, IF we had been forced to play them at all.

That the US accomplished that with what was, in truth, a makeshift, plan C lineup, speaks well of the coach and the mentality he instilled in them. Whatever Landonphiles want to say about his exclusion, the team played well. Well enough for Klinsmann to merit the shortlist, IMHO.