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Lester Freamon

2014 World Cup Brazil

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So, what are our chances against Belgium? In my very uninformed opinion, it seems like we can beat them.

Any chance Altidore plays?

Argentina would likely await us in the quarterfinals. That's a bit scary.

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So, what are our chances against Belgium? In my very uninformed opinion, it seems like we can beat them.

Any chance Altidore plays?

Argentina would likely await us in the quarterfinals. That's a bit scary.

I don't know that my opinion is very informed either but, yeah, I think we have a chance. Belgium is a supremely talented team with guys on their bench who are major pieces for European club teams. The one thing that they kinda have against them is World Cup experience. Because Europe is so difficult to qualify out of, this is Belgium's first WC since 2002, I think. Whereas, we have a guy like Demarcus Beasley who is in his fourth WC.

Anyway, IMO Belgium will be heavy favorites but if we play the way we did against Portugal we can definitely win. I can't believe we got through the "Group of Death" with Michael Bradley basically playing like dog poop.

If we get past Belgium we'll play the winner of Argentina and The Swiss.

Anyone have predictions??

If it's not going to be the US, I'll go with Brazil/Germany in one semifinal and Argentina/The Dutch in the other. Argentina takes down the host country in the final.

Also, very cool to see 3 CONCACAF teams in the final 16 and funny that all three ended up on the same side of the bracket.

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Poor Mexico, everyone's against them. :rolleyes:

They got away with a clear penalty earlier. Then that classy bunch comes out crying after the match. If not for US feeling pity for them, they don't even make the World Cup.

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So, what are our chances against Belgium? In my very uninformed opinion, it seems like we can beat them.

Any chance Altidore plays?

Argentina would likely await us in the quarterfinals. That's a bit scary.

I assume Altidore will play. If he does and is up to form, well we are certainly better with him.

Honestly, I don't give us much of a chance but I also said the same thing when the groups were picked so what do I know? As they pointed out we got school by Belgium in a friendly a year ago 4-2, but that was also a year ago. They are also missing their CM Defour on a red card from last match so maybe Bradley can actually be semi-useful this match. Not holding out hope for that though.

Belgium is very aggressive so our defense has to be great, and we have to be able to counter. With Altidore that's a lot easier to do.

I'd almost start Yedlin on D. He is so, so quick that it'll be tough to match up on that side, limiting their attacking options. As it stands right now, if I were Belgium, I'd be thinking it's really easy to spread the ball around the outside of the box and play the full width of the pitch. And we better not see Cameron out there again.

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I assume Altidore will play. If he does and is up to form, well we are certainly better with him.

Honestly, I don't give us much of a chance but I also said the same thing when the groups were picked so what do I know? As they pointed out we got school by Belgium in a friendly a year ago 4-2, but that was also a year ago. They are also missing their CM Defour on a red card from last match so maybe Bradley can actually be semi-useful this match. Not holding out hope for that though.

Belgium is very aggressive so our defense has to be great, and we have to be able to counter. With Altidore that's a lot easier to do.

I'd almost start Yedlin on D. He is so, so quick that it'll be tough to match up on that side, limiting their attacking options. As it stands right now, if I were Belgium, I'd be thinking it's really easy to spread the ball around the outside of the box and play the full width of the pitch. And we better not see Cameron out there again.

Well I just read a line that Jozy Altidore was practicing on his own, which means he's probably not going to be starting Tuesday. At first glance I thought he was going to but probably not.

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Belgium is the leader among all World Cup squads in number of Spurs, with three. Dembele, Vertongen, and Chadli. Dembele is a big, bruising presence in midfield who is hurt like 50% of the time. Vertongen is a very good center back who whines and moans when forced to play left back. Chadli is an attacking midfielder of sorts who bounced in and out of AVB/Crazy Tim Sherwood's lineups and sometimes looked good, sometimes not. Based solely on that frankly superficial and blinders-on evaluation of the Belgian squad I say the US stands a fighting chance at winning.

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Brazil looks fragile. I think Colombia beats them. I think Colombia has a legit chance to win the tournament.

I was high on the Netherlands winning it all until yesterday. They looked suspect. I think it was a combination of Mexico playing very well and the heat bothering the Dutch. Van Persie should have been yanked after 60 minutes. He was worthless. It was a soft foul, but I think the ref got it right awarding a PK for the foul against Robben.

Greece and Costa Rica was ugly. Aside from the late drama it was a difficult game to watch considering it was a Round of 16 game. I think the Ticos are in trouble against the Dutch.

France looked decent from what I saw today. I think they have it in them to be much better. Assuming Germany wins I think that'll be a very entertaining game in the quarters.

As for the US game I think we have a good chance to beat Belgium. They have more individual talent, but they haven't clicked yet. They haven't been finding the back of the net. I'm sure we'll let them have some possession like we did against Germany. I hope we pressure more than that though. I'm sure we will. We need to be able to keep possession when we get the ball. We've struggled at times with that and it's a killer. Bradley needs to playing like his normal self. That would take a lot of pressure off our defense.

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Completely dreadful game from Germany. The first 30 minutes were about the worst I've ever seen and then it started improving incrementally from there, but that display will not cut it against France. Not that Les Bleus lit the world on fire against Nigeria, but their pace will tear that slow back line apart. Hummels was sorely missed. And the Lahm DM/RB arguments after the inevitable elimination will probably tide everybody all the way through Euro qualifying.

I'm hoping Argentina/Switzerland will be better than I'm thinking it will, and I like the USA's chances against Belgium. They have a lot of individual talent but they have yet to really impress me this tournament and anything can happen on any given day.

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Seconded. Wasn't the most satisfying afternoon of soccer, but it'll do.

So I read this thing before the World Cup talking about how soccer hasn't gotten any more popular since the US hosted the Cup in '96. They were citing some poll numbers. Yea, I think those polls were smoking crack. I was just at Buffalo Wild Wings in a random St. Mary's County, MD, stripmall at noon on a Thursday and they were turning people away because they'd reached the fire code capacity. People were sneaking in the back door to stand in between tables to watch this match. Which leads to...

At some point the "I hate soccer" people are going to just have to accept that it's here to stay, and in a lot of ways it's as popular or more popular than the Big Four sports. I have a dream, and it's to have an online discussion of soccer on a non-soccer-specific site and not have the thread hijacked by people talking about falling asleep in the hundredth consecutive nil-nil draw and flopping.

I never understood why some folks think it's cool to tell a billion other people that their fun activity is stupid.

Not sure what poll numbers indicate soccer isn't any more popular than years ago ...

I can tell that US youth soccer is significantly stronger than years ago with the proliferation of the youth academy teams above the rec level.

And I don't think ESPN puts the Premier League scores on the ticker without significant market research and fan feedback.

I personally watch more Premier League games than any other winter sport as do my kids and I find there is no shortage of people knowledgeable about the various European soccer leagues.

The US sales of soccer t-shirts with Ronaldo and Messi has to be much higher than 10-15 years ago.

Anyway, I think the US has a pretty good chance against a strong Belgium squad. Unlike in recent WC entries, this team has solid players all over (as opposed to clear weaknesses). Altidore, Dempsey, Howard, Bradley and Cameron give the US five above average international players and Beasley, Beckerman, Bedoya and especially Jermaine Jones have been very good as has Omar Gonzalez. Belgium is better on paper with so many European players but several European teams have been sent home with very poor results and the CONCACAF team have played superbly - so who knows.

If the US really brings it, with an effort similar to the Portugal game, but perhaps improve with Altidore, I can accept the result especially if it is the expected hard fought loss.

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Completely dreadful game from Germany. The first 30 minutes were about the worst I've ever seen and then it started improving incrementally from there, but that display will not cut it against France. Not that Les Bleus lit the world on fire against Nigeria, but their pace will tear that slow back line apart. Hummels was sorely missed. And the Lahm DM/RB arguments after the inevitable elimination will probably tide everybody all the way through Euro qualifying.

I'm hoping Argentina/Switzerland will be better than I'm thinking it will, and I like the USA's chances against Belgium. They have a lot of individual talent but they have yet to really impress me this tournament and anything can happen on any given day.

France/Germany is going to be fantastic. If I had to pick I'd take Argentina today BUT The Swiss will be the best team, imo, that Argentina has had to face in the tournament, they're young and have a lot of speed. The game against France was a lot closer than it might have seemed as Switzerland were creating lots of chances. They might give Argentina lots of trouble.

Not sure what poll numbers indicate soccer isn't any more popular than years ago ...

I can tell that US youth soccer is significantly stronger than years ago with the proliferation of the youth academy teams above the rec level.

And I don't think ESPN puts the Premier League scores on the ticker without significant market research and fan feedback.

I personally watch more Premier League games than any other winter sport as do my kids and I find there is no shortage of people knowledgeable about the various European soccer leagues.

The US sales of soccer t-shirts with Ronaldo and Messi has to be much higher than 10-15 years ago.

Anyway, I think the US has a pretty good chance against a strong Belgium squad. Unlike in recent WC entries, this team has solid players all over (as opposed to clear weaknesses). Altidore, Dempsey, Howard, Bradley and Cameron give the US five above average international players and Beasley, Beckerman, Bedoya and especially Jermaine Jones have been very good as has Omar Gonzalez. Belgium is better on paper with so many European players but several European teams have been sent home with very poor results and the CONCACAF team have played superbly - so who knows.

If the US really brings it, with an effort similar to the Portugal game, but perhaps improve with Altidore, I can accept the result especially if it is the expected hard fought loss.

I realize that this is dime a dozen commentary on my part but Belgium really is a collection of incredible talent that hasn't yet learned to play as a team. We know that the US can and does play as a unit. So I know the US has a chance today. Obviously the Red Devils are the big favorites though. I do wonder though what role, if any, Altidore will have today.

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Not sure what poll numbers indicate soccer isn't any more popular than years ago ...

I can tell that US youth soccer is significantly stronger than years ago with the proliferation of the youth academy teams above the rec level.

And I don't think ESPN puts the Premier League scores on the ticker without significant market research and fan feedback.

I personally watch more Premier League games than any other winter sport as do my kids and I find there is no shortage of people knowledgeable about the various European soccer leagues.

The US sales of soccer t-shirts with Ronaldo and Messi has to be much higher than 10-15 years ago.

A completely unscientific poll of my kids, biased heavily by me, indicates that they know who Dempsey, Ronaldo, and Messi are, but couldn't pick David Ortiz or Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera out of a lineup (much less RGIII or any Ravens, Caps or Wizards). Their favorite sports teams are the Orioles, DC United, Tottenham Hotspur, the USA, and the Hokies, and in some much more vague way the Redskins/Ravens. And I'm probably in the 90th percentile of baseball fans, they've been to OPACY multiple times, and my 6-year-old was just in the T-ball All Star game, so it's not like they're growing up in some urban hipster household that shuns traditional American sports. Soccer has finally reached critical mass here, and my kids will grow up with it being just another big sport everyone watches, on par with baseball and American football.

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I realize that this is dime a dozen commentary on my part but Belgium really is a collection of incredible talent that hasn't yet learned to play as a team. We know that the US can and does play as a unit. So I know the US has a chance today. Obviously the Red Devils are the big favorites though. I do wonder though what role, if any, Altidore will have today.

Am I the only one who doesn't see Altidore being out as a huge, massive loss? He scored two goals with Sunderland this year, one in League play, in 38 games. He's a nice player, but outside of his time in the Netherlands he's not looked like a world-class striker.

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