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"Women's World Cup"
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AyaK 10381 desperate attention whore postings
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06-10-15, 07:22 PM (EST)
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"Women's World Cup"
I'm thrilled that the FIFA Women's World Cup, for the third time in its short seven-event history, is taking place in North America. This time, unlike 1999 and 2003 when it was held in the U.S., it's in Canada.

Host cities (from 6 different provinces):
1. Moncton, NB (huh? It's a 10,000-seat stadium, which is the same size as my high school had, and I graduated back in the 1970s!)
2. Montreal, QC
3. Ottawa, ON
4. Winnipeg, MB
5. Edmonton, AB
6. Vancouver, BC

For the record, the other Women's World Cup locations have been China (1991 and 2007), Sweden (1995), and Germany (2011); the 2019 World Cup has been awarded to France; and Asia is supposedly bidding for its third WWC in 2023 (with Japan and Australia, not China).* Not a Russia or Qatar in the bunch, which shows how little money there is in women's soccer....

There are 4 teams from the North American and Carribean federation (CONCACAF) in the tournament -- USA (which has never finished worse than 3rd in a WWC), Canada (6th appearance, 4th in 2003), Mexico (3d appearance), and Costa Rica (1st appearance). Good luck to all CONCACAF teams, but especially to the host nation.

* Yes, in the wacky but corrupt world of FIFA, Australia is part of the Asian Confederation.

Soylent Green: recycling America, one person at a time. Countdown:

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Women's World Cup Molaholic 06-10-15 1
 Status update: end of first round AyaK 06-18-15 2
 RE: Women's World Cup kingfish 06-24-15 3
   RE: Women's World Cup Molaholic 06-25-15 4
 Status update: end of second round AyaK 06-25-15 5
 Status update: end of third round AyaK 06-29-15 6
   RE: Status update: end of third rou... kingfish 06-30-15 7
       RE: Status update: end of third rou... kingfish 07-01-15 8
 Semi-Finals Molaholic 07-01-15 9
   RE: Semi-Finals kingfish 07-01-15 10
       RE: Semi-Finals kingfish 07-02-15 11
 RE: Women's World Cup kingfish 07-06-15 12
   World soccer AyaK 07-09-15 13
       RE: World soccer kingfish 07-10-15 14
           RE: World soccer AyaK 07-11-15 15
               RE: World soccer kingfish 07-13-15 17
           RE: World soccer PepeLePew13 07-11-15 16
               RE: World soccer AyaK 07-14-15 18
                   RE: World soccer kingfish 07-15-15 19

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Molaholic 8981 desperate attention whore postings
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06-10-15, 08:00 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Women's World Cup"
I watched (most of) both of the Moncton matches (FRA/ENG and COL/MEX). Looked like about half the seats were occupied. Granted, the announcers said the weather was a bit raw, but I would have expected more.
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AyaK 10381 desperate attention whore postings
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06-18-15, 08:04 PM (EST)
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2. "Status update: end of first round"
LAST EDITED ON 06-18-15 AT 08:04 PM (EST)

OK, out of the 24 teams that qualified, each has played 3 games, and 8 have been eliminated.

All six of the #1 seeds survived, of course. In fact, all six (Canada, Germany, Japan, USA, Brazil and France) won their groups. But right now, let's look at who's in and who's out:

(*=3rd-place team)

Europe (UEFA)-teams (8): out: Spain; in: Netherlands*, Germany, Norway, Switzerland*, Sweden*, France, England.
Asia (AFC)-teams (5): out: Thailand*; in: China, Japan, Australia, South Korea.
North America (CONCACAF)-teams (4): out: Mexico, Costa Rica*; in: Canada, USA.
Africa (CAF)-teams (3): out: Ivory Coast, Nigeria; in: Cameroon.
South America (CONMEBOL)-teams (3): out: Ecuador; in: Brazil, Columbia*.
Oceania (OFC)-teams (1): out: New Zealand.

So, through the first round, here are the percentages by region:
UEFA=87.5%; AFC=80%; CONMEBOL=67%; CONCACAF=50%; CAF=33%; OFC=0%.

Of course, these statistics merely reflect the official records and can't correct the colossal screwing that the referee team gave New Zealand in its match with China, in which China was awarded a bogus penalty kick that saved it and took out NZ.

On to the next round!

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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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06-24-15, 09:25 AM (EST)
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3. "RE: Women's World Cup"
LAST EDITED ON 06-24-15 AT 09:27 AM (EST)

I've been watching too.

I don't know why women's soccer seems to be more interesting to me than men's. I'd like to think that it has to do with the continual revelation that women can be as athletic and aggressive as men (this is still a revelation despite years and years of exposure to it).

Or, maybe it's somehow embarrassingly Freudian, or something? Nah.

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Molaholic 8981 desperate attention whore postings
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06-25-15, 12:19 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: Women's World Cup"
LAST EDITED ON 06-25-15 AT 12:22 PM (EST)

I too had a revelation about women's sports recently.

About a month ago, I was at the barber shop and they had a Women's Lingerie Football league game on TV. The commentators were telling about one of the players being taken out of the game because of a potential concussion.

OK, so the WLFL isn't quite the same as WWC, but the notion that the ladies would hit hard enough for a concussion struck me as impressive.

On the more PC side -- I've enjoyed watching the athleticism of WWC play, particularly the Chinese goaltender (who may also be facing a concussion issue...)

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AyaK 10381 desperate attention whore postings
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06-25-15, 09:44 PM (EST)
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5. "Status update: end of second round"
LAST EDITED ON 06-25-15 AT 09:46 PM (EST)

Two rounds down, sixteen teams out, only 8 left.

Five of the #1 seeds are still alive -- all except the diving Brazilians, who ran into a referee from Bulgaria that saw them as divers and didn't give them the usual benefits they get from diving. (N.B. Diving must be a way of life in South America. The Colombian women were constantly diving against the U.S., and the Copa America was marred by a Chilean player who, believe it or not, stuck his finger up his Uruguayan opponent's butt and then dived when the guy shoved him in retaliation, drawing a red card that turned out to be decisive.)

One of the four previous winners (Norway) is also out. So let's look again at who's in and who's out:

(*=3rd-place team)

Europe (UEFA)-teams (8): out: Netherlands*, Norway, Switzerland*, Sweden*, Spain; in: Germany, France, England.
Asia (AFC)-teams (5): out: Thailand*, South Korea; in: China, Japan, Australia.
North America (CONCACAF)-teams (4): out: Mexico, Costa Rica*; in: Canada, USA.
Africa (CAF)-teams (3): out: Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon.
South America (CONMEBOL)-teams (3): out: Ecuador, Brazil, Columbia*.
Oceania (OFC)-teams (1): out: New Zealand.

So, through the first two rounds, here are the percentages of surviving teams by region:
UEFA=37.5%; AFC=60%; CONCACAF=50%; CONMEBOL, CAF, OFC=0%. And all four of the "lucky loser" third-place teams that qualified for the knockout round have indeed been knocked out.

Round three (quarterfinals) is Friday and Saturday on Fox:
Friday
Germany v. France in Montreal. France gets the equivalent of a home-field advantage. Will that help against the best team in the tournament (so far)?
USA v. China in Ottawa: Rematch of the 1999 final, which went to penalty kicks.
Saturday
Australia v. Japan in Edmonton.
England v. Canada in Vancouver. England and Australia both won a match in the knockout round for the first time. Can they keep it going, or will their previously more successful opponents take them out?

In round 4 (semifinals), the Friday winners meet in Montreal (which makes you think that the organizers were rooting for France), and the Saturday winners meet in Edmonton. We'll see who makes it!

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AyaK 10381 desperate attention whore postings
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06-29-15, 03:51 PM (EST)
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6. "Status update: end of third round"
We're down to just Germany, USA, Japan, and England.

France had a tough loss to Germany on the tenth (and thus last) PK after blowing a seemingly-sure goal in the 118th minute.

The USA pounded China but only scored one goal for a 1-0 win. It was far and away the best USA performance . . . but it's hard to say whether that was because China really wasn't that good or the USA player substitutions helped.

Japan was largely dominant against Australia but also just won narrowly.

Canada gave up two goals to England in the first 14 minutes and then had to fight back for the next 80 minutes. It only got halfway there.

Two of the huge crowd favorites (France and Canada) down; one left. So now it's a rematch of the 2003 semifinal (USA-Germany) on Tuesday in Montreal, while Wednesday brings Japan-Canada in Edmonton. If it's any advantage, neither Germany nor Japan had to travel at all, because they both played their quarterfinal on the same field that the semifinal is on.

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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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06-30-15, 09:01 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: Status update: end of third round"
Those Germans seem pretty formidable.

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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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07-01-15, 08:18 AM (EST)
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8. "RE: Status update: end of third round"
A very exciting game. Blood, bad calls, and frustratingly weak shots on goal (except for one), but rousing and very entertaining.

Those German women looked scary, even more so than the Americans. Hope Solo (what a name!) looks like a dominatrix in knee socks.

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Molaholic 8981 desperate attention whore postings
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07-01-15, 10:19 PM (EST)
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9. "Semi-Finals"
First -- I admit that 97.4% of the soccer I watch is during World Cup play (both Men and Women), and while I do have a basic basic understanding of the Beautiful Game, I feel that I can appreciate many aspects (and I do know offsides when I see it)

The two semi-final matches, IMHO, were complete opposites -- except for two crucial, game-deciding moments -- with both ending up fabulously successful.

The US/Germany game was filled with high-energy, aggressive, physically challenging (yep, real blood!) play that rivaled almost anything 'mainline' male American sports usually produces -- a delightful shattering of any gender-biased attitudes that are still out there.

The Japan/England match, on the other hand, was (again, in my nave view of things) deliberately held-back, tactically controlled, with both teams trying to avoid unnecessary confrontation. IOW, something the 'girls can't really play' crowd would expect (of course, this point I would argue, but not right now).

However, both matches turned on officiating -- officiating that was not up to the high standards expected at this level of competition, and that is disappointing.
Hope Solo's mind-game was brilliant, and the missed PK gave the match to the Red-White-and-Blue 77 minutes before the final whistle.

Basset's own-goal moments before extra time will be a haunting memory for many years. If the match had gone to extra-time (or, more likely PKs), I think the English may have pulled off the upset

I'm looking forward the Final on Sunday -- the Americans will be riding the emotional high while dealing with physical exhaustion, with the Japanese coming back after a scare, hoping to repeat and considering the need to go back to the tactics that gave them the advantage in 2011.

So, how'd I do?

Would it be non-PC of me to point out the irony of the US facing both Germany and Japan in this tournament that falls during the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII?

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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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07-01-15, 10:49 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Semi-Finals"
I think that the USA would have had a more difficult match against England. Hopefully they can play as well against Japan as they did against Germany.

That is irony. Double irony. Not quite on the anniversary of VE or VJ day, but about halfway between. Close enough.

And yeah, we probably shouldn't bring that up, just in case it gets them stirred up and all patriotic like.

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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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07-02-15, 07:57 AM (EST)
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11. "RE: Semi-Finals"
Oh, and that poor girl.
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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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07-06-15, 11:48 AM (EST)
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12. "RE: Women's World Cup"
LAST EDITED ON 07-06-15 AT 01:40 PM (EST)

That final was as good as it gets. especially for a team USA fan, but I suspect that Canadians were celebrating right there with them. I do not believe the rumor that Canadians always root for anyone but USA, in spite of the fact that they like Obama.

A midfield goal by Lloyd? A hat trick by Lloyd 1/6 of the way into the game? Impossible. Three USA goals in 6 minutes against the 2014 championship Japanese team? Four in 16 minutes? Impossible. Tres impossible. A own goal by Johnson? Meh, an accident. Who cares.

A 90+ minute soccer game has never gone by so quickly.

I was pulling off my jersey at the end and throwing it to the crowd (in my head). What a team. What a bunch of well trained thoroughbred athletes.

Hope Solo. Intimidation (on the field) personified. Amazonian.

Schmerkle (a Jewish term that I just invented) moment: After the 4th USA goal, one commentator observes that the Japanese team has huddled up on the field immediately after each USA goal, and he wonders what they might be discussing. The other guesses that they are counting how many USA players are on the field.


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AyaK 10381 desperate attention whore postings
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07-09-15, 05:45 PM (EST)
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13. "World soccer"
While the U.S. women started playing brilliantly after Abby Wambach was removed from the starting lineup, leading to a well-deserved third title (and including victories over the teams that the U.S. lost to in the 2003 (Germany) and 2011 (Japan) Women's World Cup), there doesn't seem to be any more enthusiasm for soccer in the U.S. in general.

Proof?

Right now, the CONCACAF Gold Cup has just started in the US and Canada. One of the color commentators for the U.S. men's team matches is just-retired keeper Brad Friedel, probably the best player that the U.S. ever produced based on his success in both the World Cup (although he retired from international play for the U.S. after his great performance in the 2002 World Cup, which catapulted the U.S. into the world Top 10 men's teams) and the English Premier League (where he was chosen as the league's top keeper for the decade of the 2000s).

The U.S. men's national team, coached by former German star player/coach Juergen Klinsmann (who led the U.S. to victory in the 2013 Gold Cup, is married to an American and has lived in Huntington Beach for years), won a very close match against Honduras in its opener Tuesday -- which at least was on Fox Sports 1. Did you hear about it?

Canada's opening match against El Salvador last night (a scoreless draw) was only available on Spanish-language TV or on the Internet (si, I watched on Univision).

If you haven't heard anything about the CONCACAF Gold Cup (which is being held in 12 different US cities -- Frisco, TX; Carson, CA; Chicago; Foxboro, MA; Houston; Glendale, AZ; Kansas City; Charlotte; Baltimore; East Rutherford, NJ; Atlanta; and Philadelphia -- and one Canadian city -- Toronto), then you know there is no carryover benefit to soccer from the U.S. women's victory.

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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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07-10-15, 09:33 AM (EST)
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14. "RE: World soccer"
LAST EDITED ON 07-10-15 AT 11:26 AM (EST)


I am another who is apathetic about the watching men's soccer, and I am enthralled by the women's game.

So, since it's obviously not my fault (obviously), I have a theory for why this is, not just for me but for us all.

The US Overlords declare who we should be enthusiastic about, and about whom we should be less so. It's subtle, and we feel like we are making up our own minds, but the control they exert is effective and permeates all society.

The Overlord controls were born in the age of electronic media. Their methods have evolved from making us believe that "I Dream of Jeanie" and "The Partridge Family" were award winning entertainments to the present day. Now, we have evolved to being enthusiastic about the antics of 16 post adolescents who think that being locked up in a house together for the summer is a path to stardom. What? Have we all undergone shock treatments? That's not out of the question, by any means.

There are failures of what should be sure fire winners (Lingerie League? Not a failure in my book, but maybe I'm just more gullible than most), so the good news is that they aren't infallible, but overall, they do control us.

The purpose isn't wealth, it's food. It's a scientifically proven fact that gullible human meat is tenderer and tastier than skeptical free thinking meat, and, with the example of the success of Japanese Kobe beef producers, it occurred to them to try mentally massaged beer fed human meat. And they liked it.

Why else would we be abandoning ways that allowed us to survive, prosper, and rise to be the apex hunter, the top of the food chain?

The various forms of picky eating (veganism, vegetarianism, fish only, green food only, fruit only, free range only, meat from animals that were raised in happy homes only, etc) are just experiments to see how tasty various varieties of human meat can be, and how it should be cultivated. It's known as HME, Human Meat Engineering. (BTW, news flash for vege-anything-ists, your meat is featured in the fanciest Overlord restaurants, conversely roadkill enthusiasts are usually turned away from the abattoirs, the thinking there is that the meat is too gamey and, well, someone needs to clean up the roads).

How is this tied into the Women/Men's soccer paradox? Well, it's simple - naturally produced hormones. Now, the HME scientists are into experimenting with varieties of human meat from sports fans, and it seems that the mix of a little extra testosterone and other hormones that are injected into the meat when watching super sleek women race up and down the soccer field is like just the right dash of a super exotic spice. Very delectable. Gambling, and sports gambling in particular also produces a hormonal mix that seems to please the Overlord palate.

Well, that's my theory. And I'm getting a sinking feeling. So I'm going to start watching Men's soccer a little more, maybe that way I can sour my meat and live a little longer. I think I may have a leg up anyway, being a NASCAR fan, I feel it's likely that an oversaturation of beer and of testosterone will not sit well on the tongue.

.

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AyaK 10381 desperate attention whore postings
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07-11-15, 11:41 AM (EST)
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15. "RE: World soccer"
LAST EDITED ON 07-14-15 AT 06:43 PM (EST)

Sorry, I give Sera Gamble and Ben Edlund credit for the "leviathan" plot, which was the last good plot Supernatural has had.

In that season's plot, billionaire Dick Roman (who had become a leviathan) was trying to develop tastier humans for his human "herd", and he even went to the lengths of acquiring land to build a center to cure cancer (because cancer spoiled the taste of the meat).

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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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07-13-15, 08:28 AM (EST)
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17. "RE: World soccer"
LAST EDITED ON 07-13-15 AT 11:21 AM (EST)

So, you're taking Sera Gamble's case? A little cleavage and you're all past that human meat eating thing?

(That is a predatory smile).

Also, an accusation of plagiarism from her and especially from Ben Edland is high praise indeed.

.

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PepeLePew13 25714 desperate attention whore postings
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07-11-15, 08:45 PM (EST)
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16. "RE: World soccer"
LAST EDITED ON 07-11-15 AT 10:22 PM (EST)

It may seem like a simplistic answer to your question about being enthralled by the women's game and less so about the men's, but...

Brandi Chastain.

The men haven't had such a seminal moment in their history as a soccer nation - the closest thing might have been Pele joining the Cosmos in the NASL, but after he retired, the NASL essentially did the same.

(ETA: I refer, obviously, to the state of soccer in the USA as it's certainly thriving in many parts of the world)

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AyaK 10381 desperate attention whore postings
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07-14-15, 06:23 PM (EST)
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18. "RE: World soccer"
LAST EDITED ON 07-14-15 AT 06:41 PM (EST)

Americans (and probably Canadians too) like winners. The Brandi Chastain moment immediately followed her World Cup-winning shootout goal in 1999. The best American men have ever done in the men's World Cup was third place back in . . . 1930. Our best finish since then was in 2002, as I mentioned above in the Brad Friedel discussion, when they reached the quarterfinals (but that World Cup took place in Korea and Japan -- and the US's key games took place at 3 AM and 5 AM, when there weren't many viewers!).

The US 2002 World Cup team may have been the US's best team ever -- top 10 in the World, four Premier League stars (keepers Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller, midfielder Claudio Reyna (probably the best field player in US history) and forward Brian McBride) -- but the 2006 team couldn't build on it, getting upset by Ghana to miss the second round.

Currently, the USMNT is barely ranked in the world top 30. The USWNT is world NUMBER 1. Think that makes a difference?

But Jurgen Klinsmann is trying. It's hard, though, when many of your best players have been sticking to second-tier MLS action. Even Clint Dempsey, who actually achieved Premier League success with Fulham and Spurs through 2013 (and went back over to Fulham on a two-month loan in 2014 during MLS's down time), is playing second-tier MLS competition. Right now, the US has keeper Brad Guzan at Aston Villa in the Premier League, DeAndre Yedlin at Spurs (for a total of one game so far!), and three German-Americans (John Brooks, Fabian Johnson and Timothy Chandler) in the Bundesliga in Germany. I think that's it for top level US players outside North America (except for keeper Tim Howard, who is also at Fulham but has been contemplating retiring from international competition, as Friedel did after 2002).

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kingfish 18399 desperate attention whore postings
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07-15-15, 11:15 AM (EST)
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19. "RE: World soccer"
What about the pay scales?

I know that top European and South American Men Soccer players are signed to pretty lucrative contracts. So, as much as a qualified coach who is trying, do we need a deep pockets George Steinbrenner type to bring a American Men's Soccer team up to competitive levels, both to finance contracts for top players and for the huge media campaign that may or may not succeed in drumming up support (I think it could)?

It would be expensive, and would set off a bidding war that will make it even more expensive.

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