All Things World Cup Soccer

Full Speed Ahead

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Well, we qualified, but we're limping into November. Those last two games (a 2-0 loss to Japan and a 0-0 tie with Saudia Arabia) we're downright bad. Berhalter has a lot of work to do to make something happen between now and then. As FYI, his resume when he was hired as our Nat'l Team coach:
  • Fired from Swedish second tier for "lack of attacking play"
  • Five seasons in MLS (finished 7th, 4th, 18th, 5th, and 10th in league standings)
  • Zero trophies won
  • Brother of U.S. Soccer CFO
 

TruthSeeker

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The team looks diseased, and it has more talent that past teams.

Set expectations low for November.
 


Full Speed Ahead

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Glad to see Tim Ream included. I'm surprised that Roldon is on the list, should have added Pefok.

 

mnsportsgeek

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There’s rumors that Steffen is being left off the roster which would be just wonderful. Would give me some optimism that Gregg won’t start Aaron Long either.

If he’s willing to leave his favorite keeper at home and finally realized he isn’t good, then we may be in business on the rest of the XI too.

Also Mark McKenzie is rumored too. I don’t think that tactical manager post is gonna end up correct. Seems like mostly a guess.
 


From the Parkinglot

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Seems like a refuge camp vs somewhere to stay to for the World Cup. This has to be the most corrupt organization in the history of the world. Makes the food fraud scandal in Minnesota look like nothing.
 



Goph4Lyfe

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Some real shockers here honestly.

Roldan, Morris, and Long shouldn't be there. Steffan has been out of form, but it still a surprise to not see him there. Why not take Tillman over Roldan when roldan offers nothing and getting tillman experience could be pivotal. Morris was an alright USMNT player before the injuries but hes had 2 ACL injuries. Meanwhile Pefok and Pepi are both in ridiculous form abroad and they are both left off the team for old, lackluster MLS players. Long adds nothing to the team, would've preferred EPB or McKenzie
 



mnsportsgeek

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Roldan, Morris, and Long shouldn't be there. Steffan has been out of form, but it still a surprise to not see him there. Why not take Tillman over Roldan when roldan offers nothing and getting tillman experience could be pivotal. Morris was an alright USMNT player before the injuries but hes had 2 ACL injuries. Meanwhile Pefok and Pepi are both in ridiculous form abroad and they are both left off the team for old, lackluster MLS players. Long adds nothing to the team, would've preferred EPB or McKenzie
My jaw is still on the floor 24 hours later seeing no Pepi. Steffen is probably shock number 1 but I was prepared for that with the news leaking the day before. Steffen hasn't been good for several years but it still felt like he was a lock because Gregg started him pretty much anytime he was healthy.

Not too concerned about Roldan and Morris as those spots on the roster wouldn't see the field for more than a couple minutes regardless of who we take.

I am terrified to death that Long might see significant minutes. Though I'm gonna be optimistic that it'll be Zimmerman and CCV/Ream.

Pepi did everything he could to make the roster, but I'm actually OK with taking Haji instead. I thought Jesus, Sargent, and Pepi are all pretty much the same player. I'm glad the 3rd sriker is more of a changeup. Though you could argue it should have been Pefok instead.

Still kind of gutted for Pepi and Steffen on a personal level. Probably the biggest dissapointments they'll experience in their careers. At least Pepi still has a bright future and will only be 23 in 2026. This was probably Steffen's only shot at a world cup roster though.
 

Full Speed Ahead

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  • Steffen wasn't going to start, and as such would have been an issue for the team. He wouldn't have accepted the backup role very well. Glad he's not on the roster.
  • Roldan is a surprise, but he's a key element in the "team spirit" role. And if you need a player to come on with 20 minutes left and a 1-0 lead, he's the kind of guy you want.
  • Morris is really a surprise. The one position where we're really deep is wingers, why take Morris??? Slow, not great in ball possession, miserable with headers. Hard to figure this one out.
  • Haji I don't get at all. If there was a remote chance that he was going to make the team, he should have been called up duing the last games vs Japan and Saudi. Pepi hasn't been doing well as of late, so I wouldn't have really added him either. Pefok is who I would have taken as he's a big body that won't get pushed around like Jesus or even Pepi. I am a Sargent fan, so I'm hoping he starts, especially against Wales and then England.
  • I really like Ream on this team, a player with EPL experience, a solid defender, and great with passing to build up an attack (which Long is miserable at doing). Ream should absolutely start against Wales, as Wales has no one with speed to threaten our backline playing high.
 

Dupreefor3

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Roldan, Morris, and Long shouldn't be there. Steffan has been out of form, but it still a surprise to not see him there. Why not take Tillman over Roldan when roldan offers nothing and getting tillman experience could be pivotal. Morris was an alright USMNT player before the injuries but hes had 2 ACL injuries. Meanwhile Pefok and Pepi are both in ridiculous form abroad and they are both left off the team for old, lackluster MLS players. Long adds nothing to the team, would've preferred EPB or McKenzie
I would have taken Pepi just because I'm not convinced Gio Reyna is healthy and I think Pepi could help in that case. WHen it comes to the 7th midfielder, 3rd keeper or 9th defender, guys that aren't going to dress, you want guys in those spots that are good enough but will be happy to be there. Probably why Steffan was left off, I could see him being a problem if he's not the starter
 

TruthSeeker

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Is it me, or does it seem like enthusiasm is down for this World Cup? The media and fans both seem somewhat disinterested.
 



mnsportsgeek

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Is it me, or does it seem like enthusiasm is down for this World Cup? The media and fans both seem somewhat disinterested.
I think if I were to look outside my bubble I would agree with you. Doesn't seem like the media is talking about it much.

Though it's hard to remember back to 2014 to remember what it used to be like.
 

TruthSeeker

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I think if I were to look outside my bubble I would agree with you. Doesn't seem like the media is talking about it much.

Though it's hard to remember back to 2014 to remember what it used to be like.
Do you think it has to do with the time of year, both seasonally and due to football, as well as the location?
 

Full Speed Ahead

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Do you think it has to do with the time of year, both seasonally and due to football, as well as the location?
Those are some of the reasons, a Monday 1PM start time for the Wales game doesn't help. I don't think the media did much in 2014 either, next World Cup it'll be very different. On my end, we've got one of our local breweries opening up just for the folks I play soccer with (invite-only crowd), so we've at least got some fun happening with the games.
 

Goph4Lyfe

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Those are some of the reasons, a Monday 1PM start time for the Wales game doesn't help. I don't think the media did much in 2014 either, next World Cup it'll be very different. On my end, we've got one of our local breweries opening up just for the folks I play soccer with (invite-only crowd), so we've at least got some fun happening with the games.
However small it seems in the media, I know being in the cities I'll always find somewhere to watch the games with other like-minded folk. Brit's pub in downtown MPLS is always a great place to watch, and Allianz Field is doing watch parties in their brew hall. I am taking work off to go watch the Wales game at Brit's and im planning on watching the England game on Friday at Allianz
 

Full Speed Ahead

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Per the lack of media coverage, there's also this issue with the human rights side of Qatar. And, BTW, having spent quite a bit of time in the Middle East, Qatar is better than other countries such as Saudi Arabia and UAE, but that's a really REALLY low bar. Here's an email from one of the folks I play soccer with. Politically, we're certainly a more liberal group than most, but pretty much everyone must know a bit about the Middle East and human rights.

--------- email from John ---------------

I really don’t mean to get preachy but, to this select audience, I will say that I, for one, will NOT be watching the World Cup this time. Surely by now, I’ll bet all of you can enumerate a half-dozen reasons why the World Cup in Qatar is a mistake – from human rights abuses, to the deaths of immigrant workers taken for granted, to the inane absurdity of air-conditioned stadiums. But if you need a refresher, this article by Philipp Lahm (former captain of the German national team, now director of Euro 2024) mentions some of them:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2022/nov/15/world-cup-qatar-damaged-football-philipp-lahm

But it goes beyond “sportswashing”, which Russia did with great alacrity 4 years ago – even after annexing Crimea from Ukraine (remember that?). As this second article claims, Qatar is also using the World Cup to build up its national defense apparatus in a corner of the world that is, shall we say, not the friendliest:

https://www.theguardian.com/footbal...is-about-military-might-and-hard-sports-power

Countries like Qatar, with it’s vast wealth and even vaster natural gas reserves, and Russia, with it’s stranglehold on Europe’s energy supplies, have us all by the balls, and they know it. At the very least, FIFA could refrain from rewarding them for that. I think FIFA needs to get that message. For me, that time is now.

Lahm claims he is not going to the World Cup, but he is nonetheless going to watch it on TV. As he says, each one of us has to decide for themselves whether to watch it, too. But there are still huge sums in broadcasting rights and advertising contracts, and part of that inevitably goes to FIFA and Qatar. I don’t want those sums negotiated on my eyeballs to go there, either.

This is a far, far cry from 1970, when Mexico hosted the World Cup for the first time. I was 12 years old then, and yes, naïve. I cheered and cried in solidarity with every other soccer fan in Latin America when Pele and Brazil won, for the third time. What I felt then was pride; pride in a great festival of world community. That pride, I’m afraid, has tarnished.

With deep regrets,

~John
 

mnsportsgeek

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Do you think it has to do with the time of year, both seasonally and due to football, as well as the location?
My hunch is that it's mostly due to the time of year, and only a little bit because it's in Qatar. The kick times are actually pretty US friendly, and I don't think that many people are actively boycotting because its in Qatar when you consider how large the audience is.

But in the US the World Cup is normally the only thing going on besides MLB. This time pretty much every other sport is in the middle of their season and college football is entering its home stretch.
 


TruthSeeker

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If you have a problem with no alcohol at sporting events, then don't host events where alcohol is prohibited.

Is anyone actually surprised?
 


short ornery norwegian

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No beer in the stadium - while Budweiser (or Anheuser-Busch) is paying $75-million as a major sponsor of the World Cup.

that's a nice "bleep you" from the host country.
 







Unregistered User

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Fox put together a shit crew.

Lalas is a punk-ass dick, and the worst of the bunch.
 




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