Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quick Thoughts on Opening Weekend

Every team has played at least one game and although the sample size is small, there's no better time than a boring Tuesday for some quick analysis.

  • Ireland is the class of the tournament again, even after losing a bunch of good players. The Irish weathered the Sudanese storm then casually asserted their dominance over a plucky Somalian squad.
  • Sudan is athletic, exciting and I would bet money they somehow blow a gimme game except there isn't another good team in Group A. Watch out quarterfinals upset.
  • Canada and Laos are looking pretty impressive. Canada beat lowly Northern Ireland, but it was a clinical destruction. Laos took apart a promising Afghanistan squad. When these two teams meet, first place will be on the line.
  • Jamaica is better than last year. I admit that's not high praise, but it's at least complimentary. I like the new guy they picked up and puting Troy at the back for the entire game is also a smart decision.
  • Afghanistan has potential. Whether it can turn that potential into more than two wins is another matter. I look forward to Afghanistan vs Jamaica because that game determines which team gets respectability from 2012.
  • Group C is significantly more exciting after that Nigeria and Poland tie. Both teams were solid, but that single point will hang over everything right until the final day.
  • Nigeria has attacking power, but can it consistently score? In past years Nigeria has been frustrating to watch as it creates chances and then squanders them. There was a potential win available against Poland and Nigeria missed three quality chances before barely getting the equalizer.
  • Poland had an early wake-up call. No more let down games for a tournament favourite or 2012 will be an official bust.
  • Germany was a confident team against Portugal. When the Germans play Nigeria and Poland it will need to have better midfield presence. The return of the Pattersons should definitely help.
  • Group D is no longer the group of death. More like the group of two good teams and four not-so-good ones.
  • Norway and France took care of business in their openers while El Salvador and Greece sputtered feebly. I don't blame Greece because expectations were low from the start, but El Salvador losing to Italy? Yikes.
  • France vs Norway on Saturday night should decide this group.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Haha so ES loses one game and it's all over?? Because the big mighty Norway managed to score a whopping one goal vs Greece? Guess there's no point driving up for any games now since wcp is over for us this year. Hahaha

I'm sure Last year we were counted out after the Sudan loss but we clawed back. One goal vs roi or a shootout win and we would have made the final. It's a long tournament, dont get ahead of yourself.

Riggs

Playmaker said...

Yeah, but last year ES was a good team that had good players. Unfortunately you don't have that going for you in 2012.

Anonymous said...

bold comments from someone who didn't even see the es Italy game.

Anonymous said...

Losing Chico and Julio was a big deal even tho ES players are in denial, those two players were a big part of ther core group now they need to fill in those gaps next year and they will be back in business but this year is for sure a right off

Anonymous said...

Hahaha I can see why they call you dufus. For a guy that's living the dream of 07 continuously it's pretty humorous that you bring up 2012. I'm not going to say your team is horrible and it will be a cake walk to beat you as you have some good players and work hard to win. Your bro for example could be on any potential wcp all star team, or top 10 regina consideration. But as a whole, looking at both rosters, I would say we have more talented players. As an example, look at how many players from Norway were selected in the Fantasy Draft and how many from ES. Nobody besides you guys think you are a lock to advance no matter what the results were on saturday. Norway defense and keeper were also not selected.

Julio and Chico are both great players that any team would want on their roster, but we replaced them with a few solid pickups. If we weather the Greek storm, we have another game vs SK to gel and then bam, it's on. France first then the almighty Norway. We aren't packing it up, so we'll see what you have to offer. Unless Italy can pull off 3 more wins I'm pretty sure that if we win 4 we still can win the pool. I'm not going to guarantee it (or I too would be a dufus) but we will still have a shot to win the group, or advance.

If you could win the tournament by talking you would win every year, but unfortunately you have to win on the field.

Riggs

Anonymous said...

Hey Riggs, shut up man. Stick to Collins blog and stop calling Braden a bunch of stupid names you and Julio came up with. No one cares, it's starting to get very repetitive and not cool at all. Grow up already. Braden blog, let him put down what he wants. If you don't like it, get lost. Your nothing but an asshole. Hate guys like you.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Clearly Riggs has a hard on for ES. Regardless of how they finish they lost to a far superior Italian side. I don't care about ES and I hope they don't make it to the next round. On a side note, I have this feeling that Riggs is the one that called Nestor a loser for singing the ES anthem. Better not be you buddy. You one of the guys I suspect right now based on all your comments.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha I don't even have a problem with Braden as a guy just find it hilarious what he puts up about his Norway team. As a result he has clearly earned his name of dufus.

As for Nestor, I wasn't there, I'm not sure who he is and would never disrespect him for singing his own anthem or searching for somewhere to play if he can't play for
his own country. I'm obviously not playing for my
country.

Riggs

Playmaker said...

Yeah, we don't play fantasy soccer. Little more concerned about winning our games. Congratulations on scoring three goals though, that almost counts for something. Good luck El Salvador, you've got one of your easy games out of the way so now you can focus on the tough matchups.

Anonymous said...

gosh I hope Norway does not get top two haha.