Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 11:28 pm

England Sweden, Draw I think.

England has an advantage, playing these games at home.

Historically, I've seen the figures before head to head, it's rather equal, many draws so without further elaboration, I'd predict a draw again. They are friendlies afterall and the two teams may meet again in the Euro Cup. I really think Sweden wants to get off the floor of a rather long downtime in International play for them at least. Hey, Norway has played in a recent World Cup. Denmark? They were in South Africa and they will be in Poland/Ukraine so the Scandinavians do fairly well in football.

In fact, check head to head, it's actually been decades since England defeated Sweden! Eh, 1923? England beat Sweden, surely a number of times subsequent to that. I'd seen the head to head going back to 1969 and Sweden often played England evenly. http://www.eloratings.net/England.h


In fact, I'm not sure how far the soccerway info goes back but at least since 1988, England has not defeated Sweden, 10 games, Sweden has won 3 times, the rest draws. So, those thinking England will walk this....?? We do need to consider though that Sweden lost to Denmark Friday in a friendly and probably won't be highly inspired to win this one either. In fact, comparatively, USA does just as well vs. Sweden but that is without the major trophy tournaments for the most part.  I don't readily see where we have played Sweden in the World Cup yet, check it out, historically, we, the USA, have faced Italy a number of times.

I'll stick with a draw and if that happens, expectations for the 3 Lions come back down to earth.

Interestingly, check out the history of USA soccer, Sweden was our 1st International that was NOT against Canada. http://www.eloratings.net/USA.htm . "Soccer in a football world", one of the best soccer books out there and that is about the history of the sport in the US makes this clear, 1916 basically saw the USA's first international soccer match and it was against Sweden. We did play Canada twice back in the 1880s.


The other game we will be watching the result for, USA plays Slovenia.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: October 21, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 2:07 pm

Coach Klinsmann, Salute to a Free Spirit!!

Juergen Klinsmann is a great German footballer, nothing will ever change that but he's always reflected being a free spirited kind of player and gosh, I guess a diver as well, which he kidded about. Still, Klinsy has been involved with charity, went to Israel on some sort of "goodwill mission", married a Chinese American, moved to America, moved to California and even in his playing days at least at the 1994 World Cup USA came off not totally unlike a rock star, I still have the video of Germany being eliminated in that tournament by Hristo Stoichkov and Bulgaria.

That's our Manager there: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_KEBtPmz0D
Must have been a cold day playing for Samdoria there, I doubt if he's wearing goalkeeper's gloves, I wanted to say Samdoria but that is a Bayern Munchen jersey isn't it,  one of a number of clubs he played for which of course, included a stint, perhaps 2 stints actually with the Spurs. It rarely surprises me that though he must love Germany, the Deutscheland, he sortof wanted to get out of there. I'm sure in the long run, things will work out for the USA under his reins and tutelage.

A free spirit and a free thinker, one time I ran into some German tourists here, we went to the Edelweiss German restuarant but they were a ball. One time, I bought something on German Ebay, I could not get the bank to wire the money over there for at least a low cost and the guy sent me the stuff from Germany still, an Addidas t-shirt, Beckenbauer, before the next day was over, I sent the $$ discreetly hidden in an envelope.

But that old German team from '86-+'94, an interesting team, maybe too much emphasis on winning and winning at all costs. Competitive nonetheless. How things have changed, prior to the 2006 World Cup, t-shirts were sold reading "Make way for the bad guys" in regards to the German team but that was a thing from the past, from the spitting incident between Riijkgaard and Voeller in 1990 to all of the many incidences the German team or more properly, the West German team had been involved in since becoming competitive but whose to judge it?? That Germany is certainly gone in the past. What did we see France do to make the World Cup in South Africa? Thierry Henry's handball against Ireland and then France went and were one of the worst teams there? The pressure is on the players. Though we aren't perfect in US Soccer, in no time soon are we going to see flying elbows that have got to be intentional or dives, at least on a grand scale, to advance or other like acts.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: May 1, 2011 12:03 pm

Cruising around the World Rankings.

For those that are unfamiliar with them, the ELO ratings http://www.eloratings.net/world.htm

Here for comparison are the Fifa rankings: http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/r

I think the Elo ratings are slightly better.

Our United States is at #27 currently. That doesn't seem quite right. We defeated Spain in the Confederations Cup it seems not too long ago. Mexico is over a hundred points better than our 1735 and Mexico is with Italy, 10th in the rankings. Mexico obviously has some very good players playing for the big teams in Europe such as the case of Chicharito at Manchester United but there seems to be a fair number all over. The US is number 22 in the Fifa rankings, Mexico is actually below us at #26.

It's always worth checking out ELO ratings and in turn to look up every match a country has played. Of course, I don't think they are able to get every single one but they make the effort.

The ELO current rankings see:

1. Spain 2099 points (FIFA, 1857 points)
2. Netherlands 2089 points (FIFA, 1702 points)
3. Brazil 2061 points (FIFA, 1452 points)

And from there, one can look at the rest of the rankings.

Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:43 am

"The Game of their lives"/"Miracle Match" Movie

I once wrote this review of the movie depicting the game between the USA and England at the 1950 World Cup where of course, the USA won. 'Hoosiers' the basketball movie is one of the greatest sports movies ever if not the best one of all. The producers of that came up with this movie too but I personally think the movie is a sham. I probably even gave it too high of a rating.

By the way, there is also a movie called "The game of their lives" about North Korea's 1966 World Cup effort. It is viewable in full at youtube. The link speaking about this movie with the same name is here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0354594
. Most countries are probably somewhat enemies to the oppressive Communistic regime of North Korea, however, I don't fault the players for where they come from and it is still a good story. The BBC aired the documentary. The film on North Korea will likely be enjoyed by all football fans especially how the City of Middlesbrough largely adopted the team as their own as NK were playing in that city.

Here is the Internet Movie Data base's discussion of the American movie "The game of their lives."

Suffice it to say, the story of the USA defeating England in the World Cup in 1950 is a great story. Unfortunately, this movie was highly inaccurate. The movie is based on a book. That book is recommended and not too long at around 200 pages I'd say.

As an action soccer/football movie: 5 stars
As a movie in general: 4 stars
As a historically accurate movie: 3 stars

This is quite a bit different than the book and in most ways the book is better. I had some quibbles about the storyline being faithful to the original event, then I read what a few others found faults with the motion picture fact-wise and now, I'm not sure if this movie should even be recommended. For example, the movie seems to state Sir Stanley Matthews did not play in this game because he went on holiday in Rio...yet, I believe Sir Stan's own book The Way it Was: My Autobiography says simply that he was not picked to play and after this debacle, yes, he got to play for England subsequently but the tourney seemed to be a bust for the 3 Lions. Natthews was not in the prior starting lineups for England in games England won. This is the simple reason he was not picked to play in the game vs. the USA. We all know we would not see such a player having a 'flippant' attitude about sunning himself on the beach while his team faces the stars and stripes. It does count against a movie if its portrayal of events seems to play fast and loose with the actual facts.

This film has some of the best action scenes of any football movie made, the movie moves along rather smooth and harmoniously in regards to how it is written and plot development.

Still, I must say, I do believe the screenplay writer might have had a bit of a personal agenda as to his outlook of this movie, I believe the slant is a bit emphatic on the St. Louis end of the team, so on that basis, you could give it a 4 star rating. I think the book itself has the St. Louis slant too but in a fair and balanced manner. I'm not sure if historically, he's fair to the England team at that and if historically, the presentation is truly factual in other aspects as well. Players in England at that time struggled and did not make great wages yet, I think this movie portrays them as arrogant. Is the speech by Stanley Mortensen fact or fiction?? I don't believe it's in the book. In a way, you could compare it to Braveheart, good action movie but is it truly an honest account of the history in question? Maybe not.

It's definitely a Rah-Rah feel-good movie for USA fans of which I count myself but I do believe there are some glaring errors in how this story is told and that disappoints me.

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