1. There has been some debate on multicultural component vs the soccer component of this tournament. Right now I would say the tournament is 80% about soccer and only 20% about multiculturalism. If you honestly wanted teams to have 75% heritage players I bet you would lose half the teams.
2. I am 100% for bringing players from out of town. It raises the level of soccer and has helped in making this tournament as big as it is. There are already some really bad teams, imagine how poor the quality of soccer would be if we got rid of all out of town players.
3. That being said I do have a problem with teams who bring in out of town players and then don't make the heritage requirements. That doesn't seem fair.
4. I endorse trash talking people on this blog to a certain extent. It's entertaining and I think most people get that it is either a joke or someone who is just an idiot looking for attention. Trash talking cultures on the other hand is by no means acceptable. I don't think any comment on here have been too bad so far but if you find one point it out and I will remove it asap.
5. The reason I originally started this blog was to focus on the soccer side of things so lets get to that!
6. Part of focusing on the soccer side of things is giving credit to teams that play well. On the other side of that I think that part of reporting what happened is being critical of teams and their poor performances. If you want to play in front of paying fans I think its fair that they and the people who cover the tournament have the right to criticize.
7. To be clear I am talking about Vietnam, South Korea, Hungary, Somalia etc. These teams haven't been up to par and I hope they can get their acts together.
8. So how do we raise the level of competition? Allow less teams? Or maybe we could bring in MORE out of town players (not going to be a popular idea)? Or some sort of relegation tournament?
9. Or how bout this idea..... reduce the rosters to17 players which would a) Still leave you with 2 full lineups and a keeper. b) Free up 6 players from every team. Which is 144 players, the equivalent to 8.5 teams. c) Allow the bottom 6 players on the rosters to form more competitive team and gain more playing time. d) Would really push heritage requirements. e) Really make you reconsider putting out of town players on your roster if they are not going to be there every game. I know I am a genius eh?
10. From what I have seen so far the top teams would be 1) Poland. Followed by in no particular order, France, ROI, Laos, Sudan and Nigeria. Though I am not completely on the Nigeria band wagon yet.
11. People are saying that Poland may be in a bit of trouble because it doesn't sound like Brett Levis will be attending many games. However, I would expect that the Sembaluk's, obviously more Devin than his sub Dustin, to really step up and take the goal scoring reigns.
12. I don't know where I sit on Jamaica right now. They beat Colombia but what does that mean? They also lost to Hungary in exhibition... I think tonight's game against N. Ireland will be tighter than people imagine and that group could come down to goal differential.
13. Norway is another team I am having trouble drawing an opinion on. Yeah they beat Greece but so what? I would be real happy to get drawn against them in the quarters still. (I know we can't)
14. Coming out of their groups right now I have A) ROI, Sudan B) Laos, Canada C) Poland, Nigeria D)France, Norway
15. On the Women's side.... When was the last time there was an upset? I think we are talking year's ago. I feel like, even with my limited knowledge of the players, every game is a foregone conclusion.
16. In saying that, it looks like a 2 horse race again. However, I think Germany has looked the better team this year from what I have seen. It's not going to be a push over for Ukraine this year.
17. Anybody else go for the music being a little quieter at the facility? I am trying to discuss the game at half time!
18. Will end off with some really humorous stuff I have seen so far. Starting with a player kicking a ball out the same sideline he was taking the kick in from. It was on the ground and only went 10 yards yikes.
19. I get putting 2 guys on the ball for a free kick that makes sense. But is it really necessary when the freekick is just outside your own 18 yard box? Yikes.
20. The setting up of walls has been something teams have struggled with the whole tournament. But if you are in a wall, even a poor one, you have to face the ball, you can't turn your back.
21. Funniest thing I have seen so far and I know I shouldn't laugh but we saw a guy try to jump up onto the back of the bleachers catch his feet and end up sprawled across them. He was fine so I think it's alright to laugh.
Bonus Point. Best/ Most Unpredictable anthem of the year this year is Somalia. Awesome beat and ends abruptly. Loved it.