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Thread: World Cup Discussion Thread

  1. #136
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Good article in the NYTimes the other day.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/04/sp...=1&oref=slogin

    Keeping Score
    Time Has to Be Right to Risk a Red Card
    By DANIEL ALTMAN
    Published: June 4, 2006

    Anyone who follows basketball or football knows there are certain situations in which it is better to commit a foul rather than give an opponent a chance to score. Soccer is no different. But when, exactly, is the right time to incur the referee's wrath?

    Last month, the Champions League final in Paris between Barcelona and Arsenal presented such a situation.

    In that game, Samuel Eto'o of Barcelona, the striker from Cameroon, was racing toward goal early in a scoreless match. Eto'o had already beaten Arsenal's defense, and only Jens Lehmann, the German national team's first-string goalkeeper, could stop him.

    Eto'o, one of the top forwards in the world, nipped the ball past Lehmann, and it was then that Lehmann faced a decision — foul Eto'o and risk expulsion from the match, or let him pass for a certain goal.

    Lehmann grabbed his ankle and sent him reeling. The referee Terje Hauge of Norway whistled the play dead and showed Lehmann a red card — thus ending his participation in the biggest match of the European season after less than 18 minutes.

    Barcelona's Ronaldinho, the Brazilian wizard and the world player of the year, failed to score on the resulting free kick. But Arsenal had to play the rest of the match with 10 men instead of 11, and lost, 2-1.

    Did Lehmann make the right decision from a statistical perspective? For Geert Ridder of the University of Southern California and his co-authors in research, the answer is yes. They analyzed Dutch professional soccer from 1989 to 1992, using the assumption that the defending player's objective was to minimize the probability of losing the match — a decent model for the Champions League final, and for the knockout rounds of the World Cup.

    The researchers found that with two evenly matched teams — a tournament's two finalists often are — a player should foul to avert a certain goal anytime after the 16th minute. Lehmann acted prudently, with a minute to spare.

    But what about games in the World Cup's group stage? Michael Wright, a senior lecturer in management science at Lancaster University in Britain, and Nobuyoshi Hirotsu, one of his former doctoral students, used data from the 1999-2000 English Premier League to see what would happen if a defender instead tried to maximize the number of points his team took from the match. In the English leagues (and others around the world), as in the World Cup's group stage, teams receive 3 points for a victory, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss.

    The Lancaster twosome — again looking at evenly matched teams — found that the defender should always foul to avert a certain goal if his team is losing by one or two goals, and should never foul if his team is leading by two goals or more. If his team is winning by one goal or the game is tied, the gains by fouling begin from 7 to 13 minutes through the first 45-minute half, depending on whether the team is playing at home or away.

    Wright and Hirotsu also discovered that committing the foul increased the chances of winning much more for the team that is already leading. The gains for the losing team are not as large. But in a few situations, such as when one team is leading by a goal between minutes 28 and 41, a red card against that team actually improves both clubs' chances of winning — only the probability of a draw is reduced.

    The question was recently asked in a different way by Marco Caliendo, a senior research associate at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, and Dubravko Radic, an assistant professor of retailing and service management at the University of Wuppertal: How much does it matter that a red-carded player's team is reduced to 10 men for the rest of the match?

    They used records of the World Cup tournaments from 1930 through 2002 to measure the effect of red cards. To hone their results as finely as possible, they considered only red cards awarded when a game was tied and neither team had a home advantage.

    Caliendo and Radic found that a red card did not give either team an advantage in scoring after roughly the 60th minute of a 90-minute match. Absorbing the card and the expulsion was clearly preferable to allowing a goal as the match drew to a close. Earlier in the match, however, red cards actually raised both teams' chances of scoring, but the 11-man team gained a strong advantage.

    So if Germany's Michael Ballack is steaming through the Costa Rican defense on Friday in the World Cup's opening match, will the men at the back glance up at the clock before deciding whether to take him down? There is usually not time to think in such situations. But if it happens late in the second half, they shouldn't think once — let alone twice.

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  3. #137
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    That is a fascinating article. The biggest problem with Lehmann's foul is that Arsenal and Barcelona were not evenly matched...as a Gunner, I can admit that.

    Anyone think Costa Rica can get a result against the Germans Friday? (The first international game I ever attended was in Alejuela against the Jamaicans).

  4. #138
    Member NJReds's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmith421
    Anyone think Costa Rica can get a result against the Germans Friday? (The first international game I ever attended was in Alejuela against the Jamaicans).
    Not really. Maybe on a neutral site, but not in Germany. Like many CONCACAF teams, CR is very tough at home, but not very good on the road.

  5. #139
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Rooneys looking in good shape after his training session today. I was amazed with what i saw.

    Interesting comments on here regarding Crouch !!!

    Peter Crouch is very tall yes , BUT his ability is in his boots. He is very inventive with knockdowns & flick on's , as well as having the confidence to shoot on site.

    He looks like a freak show, so people jump on him straight away. Good luck Saturday PC.

  6. #140
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    If you can find it pick up Soccer America's World Cup Preview issue. Great stuff on the US team and run downs of all the teams in the field. A subscription to SA costs less than one to Four Four Two AND you yanks get to support your domestic game for a change.

  7. #141
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    ESPN has a great piece on Clint Dempsey, who I hope will be the USA's new soccer talent. Read it and you'll become a fan of his, too.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns...rldcup&cc=5901

  8. #142
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds
    Like many CONCACAF teams, CR is very tough at home, but not very good on the road.
    Unlike the USA, who essentially plays every game on the road. It is sad how hostile the "home" crowds are at most of our U.S. games. Did you go to the Chicago game vs. england? I know that some fans traveled from the UK and some ex-pats were there, but most of those England jerseys were worn by people with American accents. C'mon, my familiy is as English as they come but I will never cheer for anyone against the US. I simply can't stand the way Americans don't support their national team!

  9. #143
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Herd Fan
    Unlike the USA, who essentially plays every game on the road. It is sad how hostile the "home" crowds are at most of our U.S. games. Did you go to the Chicago game vs. england? I know that some fans traveled from the UK and some ex-pats were there, but most of those England jerseys were worn by people with American accents. C'mon, my familiy is as English as they come but I will never cheer for anyone against the US. I simply can't stand the way Americans don't support their national team!
    I was not at that game, but I went to a US v. Brazil game at Yale (Conn.) where the crowd was largely favoring Brazil. And forget about when we play a team from a spanish-speaking country -- it's not even close in terms of fan support.

  10. #144
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds
    I was not at that game, but I went to a US v. Brazil game at Yale (Conn.) where the crowd was largely favoring Brazil. And forget about when we play a team from a spanish-speaking country -- it's not even close in terms of fan support.
    Guatemala in DC is always a veeeeerrrrrrrry bad idea. For my money, Columbus gets the most pro-American crowd of anywhere. I lived there during La Guerra Fria, and man was it fun to see a majority U.S. crowd!

  11. #145
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Herd Fan
    Guatemala in DC is always a veeeeerrrrrrrry bad idea. For my money, Columbus gets the most pro-American crowd of anywhere. I lived there during La Guerra Fria, and man was it fun to see a majority U.S. crowd!
    Great stadium, too. (from the looks of it on TV).

    In my neck of the woods, I get more international games then US national team games. I saw Roma v. Real Madrid and Juventus v. ManU in Giants Stadium - both crowds were sellouts (79,000).

  12. #146
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
    A couple of the Aussie tackles versus the Dutch lacked class.
    Why should the Aussie's play any different than anyone else from the British Commonwealth?

    Actually, to England's credit their national side no longer attempts to kick the opposition in the shins until the pitch turns red, but that's classic Brit/Irish/Scottish/Welsh football. It was built around the idea that maybe they didn't have the best athletes or ball skills, yet they surely were willing to inflict the most punishment.

    IMO, if the Aussies don't attempt to tear opposing strikers to ribbons, then they aren't being an Aussie football team and they'll be three and out. It gets back to something I was saying way back at the start of this thread - find a style that fits your national temperament and play it to the hilt.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  13. #147
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Great first 14 minutes of the opening game so far. The Germans scored on a beautiful shot only to have the Costa Ricans counter back on a brilliant series of quick passes which sprung the team's only real goal-scoring threat Paulo Wanchope.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  14. #148
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    Germany back on top before 20 mins

  15. #149
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    3-2 Germany with about 10 minutes to play in the match. Costa Rica will probably get itself at least one more chance to even this thing up. One thing is for sure, the Germans still flop and fake mortal injury as well as anyone on the planet.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  16. #150
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: World Cup Discussion Thread

    All in all a fun opener. Germany is in deep trouble if they play that way in the knockout phase.


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