Daily news roundups

Psychic-speculation-preview-study-poll-swap stuff

So, Paul the Octopus got it right in predicting Spain’s victory over Germany. But can his psychic powers match those of an anonymous Philadelphia street vendor? Last summer, PSP photographer Nicolae Stoian bought a Spain t-shirt on some Center City street. The vendor threw in another shirt for free. Which country was on the shirt? You guessed it: The Netherlands. I just blew your mind, didn’t I.

WYSP’s Gordon, friend of the Philly Soccer Page, has a new Union Sound podcast where he talks to Chris Seitz.

Goal.com has a head-to-head preview of Saturday’s Union v San Jose Earthquakes match.

In yesterday’s news roundup we mentioned the ongoing speculation about whether Bob Bradley will be replaced as head coach of the US national team. That speculation appears to be solidifying into a consensus that Bradley should be replaced. Talk of a possible replacement thus far has generally been about Jürgen Klinsmann. Well, there’s a new name to toss into the hat, Marcelo Bielsa, the Argentine who took Chile to the Round of 16. Here’s one take on what Bielsa’s “signature 3-1-3-3 attacking system” would look like with US players. Interestingly, the author of the piece tips the Union’s Danny Mwanga to declare for the US rather than his native Congo: “he appears to be an immense talent.”

Forget for a moment the talk about who will coach the US team and ponder this: Where will the on-field talent come from? After Germany crapped out of the 1998 World Cup, they revamped their youth development system. The most recent result of this was a semifinal appearance in 2010 with a squad whose average age was 24.7 years old.  Jamie Jackson has a look at how the Germans did it in the Observer while Raphael Honigstein reports for Sports Illustrated.

Omar Salgado is one up-and-coming player has proven his commitment to the US national team. He left Chivas de Guadalajara, which only has players who eligible to play for the Mexico national team, to join the US U-20 camp.

Looking for a way to understand all of those bad referee decisions you’ve seen during the World Cup? A new study from the University of Pennsylvania suggests that referees “made more foul calls when action moved right-to-left, or leftward, compared to left-to-right or rightward action, suggesting that two referees watching the same play from different vantage points may be inclined to make a different call.” The study is reported in an article with the awesome title: “A Sinister Bias for Calling Fouls in Soccer.”

A poll published on Wednesday says that despite “the hype surrounding the World Cup, the tournament hasn’t been able to gain a large foothold in the United States.” 63% of US adults were not watching any matches with 37% watching some or all of the matches. The numbers for watching the World Cup go up with lower age groups and among those who have played soccer.

In today’s roundup of what American pundits are saying about soccer in the US, someone at USA Today wonders what would happen if the US won the World Cup. ESPN has a very good piece on why LeBron James wouldn’t save US soccer. The Huffington Post says what all of us have been saying for some time: The tipping point for soccer in the US won’t happen after this World Cup because it already has happened. Take that soccer bashers!

Did you know that fifteen of the 23 players on the US roster have at least one parent who is an immigrant? This thoughtful piece looks at how immigration is reflected in the rosters of many national teams participating at the World Cup.

Wondering what was up with that idiot who ran on to the pitch during the Germany v Spain match on Wednesday? Apparently it was an Italy supporter who was protesting the exclusion of Antonio Cassano from the Italy squad during the World Cup. Picking a World Cup semifinal match between Germany and Spain to protest a roster decision for a team that didn’t make it out of the group stages? Yeah, that makes sense.

Attendance at this year’s World Cup is expected to pass the 3 million mark making it the third best attended World Cup. The best attended? USA in 1994. USA! USA! USA!

In related attendance news, FIFA says they will compensate fans who missed the Germany v Spain match because of congestion at Durban’s King Shaka Airport. Apparently an increase in private jets led to all available landing slots being filled, which is reason 363 for why I hate the rich.

Here’s an interesting look at the one of my favorite soccer rituals: the jersey swap.

One Comment

  1. Marcelo Bielsa would be a dream pick for me, re: USMNT. No team was as much fun to watch this year as Chile.

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