2020, er, 2021 Euro's

All things Euro. OK, soccer only. OK, this tourney only.
Looks like matches will be on ESPN, so I’m busy watching recordings for the next few weeks.

Looks like France’s to lose. Freakin’ all-star team, with top players from top club teams. THAT’s what it takes to win the World Cup, Team USA. Then again, a lot of the teams look like that in Euro 2020/1.

Give the USMNT some time. They just took down El Tri after giving up a very sloppy early goal. We’ve got some excellent young players just about to come into their own. I expect to make the WC this time around. And be a legit threat to clear at least the 1st elimination round the next time.

The USSF just needs to keep doing what it can to populate the pipeline with good young talent on a consistent basis.

d’oh! so close!

This drew my response.

I think you forget that the rest of the teams that are currently better than the USMNT (about 20 of them) will also get better over time. That’s a lot of catching up to do. I mean, our optimal strategy is to steal better players from other countries (Dest, Musah, Soto, Weah, Brooks, etc.), while other countries have an insane amount of gifted players.

Again, I’m hoping for USMNT to make the semi’s in 2022 and the finals in 2026. But hoping is not analysis. And both would require their playing our of their skulls against several teams that didn’t show up.

The USSF needs a plan to encourage parents of athletic kids to keep at soccer and constantly remind them of the hazards of that other football sport.

Also, this current team needs to act like one, and that starts with the coaching team.

Anywho, back to The Euro’s!
Looks like not all of the matches will be on Cable.

That’s OK. The USMNT has some stars that play on top Euro club teams. What I see on the Euro squads are FULL teams made up of starters on top Euro club teams, even the benches. And some players not on the team, because bench is only so big.
The way to compete against that is to draw up a plan, like Greece did in Euro 2004, and stick to it.

France is in the Group of Death though - the winners of the last three major tournaments and … Hungary (poor bastards).

Group F is ridiculous, but it could be Germany on outside looking in. Portugal is solid without Renaldo. They are strong up the middle with pace on the wings. France won’t be as dominant as 2018 but they should still advance. If England is going to make a run, now is as good as time as ever. Belgium may have missed window. Spain is a little off, Germany is a little off, Italy not too strong and Dutch will be missing VVD. Foden, Mount, A-A, Graelish, Rice, Greenwood and Sancho all playing a bigger role, they are deeper and more talented than 2018.

Funny that, I was just reading an article about Portugal and they’ve often prided themselves on their wingers (I recall Ronaldo did some amazing things on the wing in his Man U days). I agree that Belgium may have missed their window (being a small nation) - in 2018 probably would have easily beaten Croatia or England but France were just a little bit better.
Strange that the Dutch are so lowly rated and oh how far Spain have fallen (although three major tournaments in a row 2008 - 2012 is an amazing feat).

Group F is not only crazy, but the 2nd place team has to face the winner of the England/Croatia group. Ouch

Portugal has a strong squad imo … And the good thing is all the spotlight will be on the Cristiano the machine Ronaldo. Hopefully this will take some pressure off the rest of younger squad members.

Group F winner is the UEFA. Imagine the broadcast income from the games. Basically they move the final into group stage, thrice.

Being on ESPN means Canada gets them on my cable provider, TSN. An expensive streaming service (DAZN) previously seemed to have the Canadian monopoly on all the soccer matches I wanted to watch.

There seems to be always one “Group of Death” in these tournaments but this one is ridiculously tough compared to the weakness of some of the other Groups.

That Christian Eriksen scene was tough to watch. Have to think this match will be suspended for the day.

Whew, Eriksen is reportedly awake and responsive in the hospital

I am slightly surprised that Belgium and Russia are still playing today given that a number of Belgium players are Eriksen’s teammates. I’m shocked that UEFA is planning to resume the Denmark v Finland match tonight. That was an incredibly emotional moment for everyone, but particularly for the Denmark team.

Maybe the scariest moment in live sports tv I’ve ever seen.

England wins its opening Euro match for the first time ever….

Wondering what’s going on with dropped balls.
Today’s ENG-CRO match at 4 minutes: CRO player attempts passes to second CRO player, but ball hits Referee, then goes to the second CRO player. Ref stops match and drops ball to CRO. There is no need for that. Dropped ball after a referee interference is only required when the ball ends up touching an opposing player.
yesterday’s BEL-RUS match. BEL last touched the ball, and Ref stops match for an injury. Ref tells RUS player to kick the ball to the BEL keeper. NO! Just drop the ball where it was when you stopped play to BEL! I mean, this is a two-year old law change. AND, The Law has stated that the referee must not give advice on what a player should do at a dropped ball for three (maybe more) years. These guys have not been keeping up.
Meanwhile Taylor Twellman shows his ignorance of the Laws on Lukaku’s first goal, stating that since he was in an offside position, the call should be Offside and no goal. Completely ignoring the fact (hence ignorance) that the ball was deliberately (though poorly) played by a RUS defender first. Still has a job, still makes good money saying the wrong things and, not ever saying, “oops, I was wrong.” The American Way.