wwc update. the final 16 entered the knockout rounds this weekend. first upset was today with australia knocking out brazil. thus far france and germany have looked to be the two best teams which is unfortunate as they are set to face off in the quarterfinals. the us is probably next although i havent seen japan play. us play columbia tomorrow and china in the next round should they advance. columbia is no pushover as they upset france earlier in the tournament. if the us move through those two opponents theyd face the winner of germany v. france in the semifinals. on the other side with brazil gone japan need only get through its opening match with the netherlands and todays upset victor australia to make its way to the semis. the other four teams have yet to play their round of 16 match with the swiss up against canada in about an hour. england play norway at 5 tomorrow prior to the us game at 8.

- dave 6-21-2015 6:29 pm

France vs Japan
- Skinny 6-22-2015 2:01 pm

well, the us has proven it can beat a team when they are spotted an extra player. colombia was outplaying the us until they gave up that red card. colombia also flopped like hell so not only was i relieved but felt they deserved it.

- dave 6-22-2015 9:27 pm

ive been misspelling colombia. sorry, colombia!
- dave 6-22-2015 9:54 pm

problem starts with the coach although the last coach who tried to implement change was subject to a mutiny by the players so perhaps they are the authors of their own failings.

- dave 6-23-2015 2:16 pm

one readers comment regarding the previous coach:

Under Tom the team was playing the ball on the ground, building from the back, and players favoring that were brought in. Holiday was having a career year. Her missing Algarve was just as big as Morgan that year. Holiday had contemplated quitting with Pia but under Tom she had found her role. Syd and Press had their best stretch. Rapinoe went on the record to say she liked how Tom was having them play and that they were really improving. It was right where you’d expect the team to be mid-cycle and working on a new style with new players.

In contrast Abby was unhappy. She doesn’t have a role on a modern team. Period. She doesn’t have the tools a Sawa does for example to adapt to the team’s needs. She told Tom what formation she wanted (one where she’d play center forward) and he said no. Tom was fired. Ellis was hired. The things we wanted from the team got fired with him and we are stuck with what we got. Ellis was not hired to bring on the revolution. She spent a year trying to find a way to keep Abby on be field. Even to the point she benched Holiday as 10 to play Abby there. Abby! Remember that insanity? Ellis already insults every American DM by pretending their job doesn’t exist and killing off the NT careers of a whole generation of them. Leta not forget the fact Press isn’t a midielder. If you follow along besides the WC this drama has gone on for a while. People saw it coming.

- dave 6-23-2015 2:25 pm

more kicks as the quarterfinals get underway. germans take on france at 4. usa v china at 730. both on fox prime i believe.

in the world of men, argentina v colombia in the copa america quarters also at 730 on beinsports.

and as you likely missed this, the latest instance of reprehensible behavior being rewarded as chilean player gives a uruguayan player a prostate exam receives a face tap and turns that into a game changing second yellow card. the chilean was later banned for the rest of the tournament but the damage was done as chile scored the winning goal with uruguay playing a man down. ridiculous in this age of replays but its not like fifa....


- dave 6-26-2015 1:15 pm

it is hard not to misspell colombia.
- dave 6-26-2015 1:18 pm

france - germany heads to penalty kicks after france stumbles down the stretch.
- dave 6-26-2015 6:32 pm

fucking germany. outplayed but were fortunate to get a handball penalty in the 85 minute. french player blew a tap in overtime. good for the us should they get through china as germany seems less dominant then they did earlier in the tournament.
- dave 6-26-2015 6:42 pm

i saw that yesterday as a still photo sequence and story. jane county posted a link on fb. was gonna post. glad i waited. relentless loop !

- bill 6-26-2015 6:42 pm

you can click on the image to stop it. then again maybe your love a good gif in the pants.
- dave 6-26-2015 6:53 pm

much better looking us side tonight with three subs. lots of pace and pressing. still no goals but a handful of good opportunities and dominating the ball. if they find a way to lose which is still very much in play at least they would have played some reasonably attractive soccer.
- dave 6-26-2015 8:27 pm

just enough to get through to the semis against a not very dynamic chinese team. the back four really has been solid not just on defense but in initiating the offense as the centerback johnson set up the header that led to the goal. she has been the mvp so far.

more penalities. now argentina v colombia. no overtime period. went straight from the game to penalties. never seen that before.
- dave 6-26-2015 9:31 pm

i can only assume youve been refreshing madly waiting on my take about the us victory over germany yesterday. anyone that watched would say the us were fortunate to get the benefit of some questionable decisions by the referee and to have germany miss a penalty kick but for the majority of the game out played their rivals. so "the right" team won.

the coach deserves some credit as much a she received much of the blame as she had to stand up to her fading star and say we are better without you. although give wambach credit for accepting her role. she did come on and set up the second goal from out wide instead of just sitting in the middle as a target for crosses.

the coach also had a difficult decision in the defensive midfield. through the first four games she had two offensive-minded midfielders in the center and they seemed overwhelmed at times and unsure of who should attack and who defend. it turned out to be fortunate that one, lauren holiday, was suspended as it allowed morgan brian to slot into the defensive midfielder position while give carli lloyd the freedom to focus on the attack. brian has been the best player of the last two games giving the us confidence to build out of the back rather than just clearing the ball upfield and hoping for the best.

in this game the coach opted for two defensive midfielders playing in front of the back four which is a pretty defensive posture but germany had been the most potent offensive team in the tournament. im not sure how valuable holiday was but germany never seemed very comfortable while attacking so just the sheer numbers in the central midfield never left germany with much space to maneuver.

thats about it. alex morgan didnt finish well and took a couple of poor shots when passes were the better decision but her pace got the us a penalty shot even if that was a borderline call. not the foul just whether it was inside the box. so hard to judge that without the benefit of replay.

the big winner: chocolate milk! the unlikely goalscorer, kelley o'hara, is a spokesperson for the beverage of dubious, one might even say "quixotic", health-related benefits.

- dave 7-01-2015 2:41 pm

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