General Soccer Discussion

#426      
CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying begins tomorrow in Guadalajara, Mexico. Tournament is a U-23 tournament with the two teams that make the final qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. All but 2 of the matches (including the U.S. Group stage matches) will air on FS1. Here's when the U.S. matches will air:

-March 18th, 4:30 PM CT: vs. Costa Rica
-March 21st, 6:00 PM CT: vs. Dominican Republic
-March 24th, 8:30 PM CT: vs. Mexico

The group the U.S. is in is Group A. Group B includes Honduras, Canada, El Salvador, and Haiti.
 
#428      
CONCACAF announced today that the Gold Cup final on August 1 will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas.

Most of the top players in the region won't be taking part in this tournament. Berhalter previously said he was going to have that the European based players (Pulisic, McKinnie, Dest, etc.), who will already be in preseason training with their European clubs at that point, time off between the CONCACAF Nations League final in June and World Cup qualifying in September. Most of the top young players for Mexico and Honduras will be taking part in the Olympics.
 
#430      
2021 MLS season started this weekend. Fire hosted New England tonight at Soldier Field with the match ending in a 2:2 draw.

I'm okay with the Fire getting a point against New England, especially with the Revolution coming off a trip to the Eastern Conference Final last season. This goal to open the scoring was pretty nice:

Set piece disaster and yet another Calvo back breaking gaffe. Ugh. Should have been a win.
 
#432      
IL metro east burbs of St. Louis
Forgot to post this up when I first saw it.. a nice timelapse of the St. Louis CITY SC construction at Market street building the tunnel that will connect the Stadium (north side) to the Pavilion (cafe, team store),Training Facility & Practice fields (south side).

 
#433      
Random post, slow news day I guess. Why is the US so bad at soccer? It seems like so many kids have been raised playing soccer for so long now and we seem to be going backward? I am not much into soccer but watching the national team play is something I usually do, until they get beat by some country with 5% of our population? Confused.
 
#434      
IL metro east burbs of St. Louis
Random post, slow news day I guess. Why is the US so bad at soccer? It seems like so many kids have been raised playing soccer for so long now and we seem to be going backward? I am not much into soccer but watching the national team play is something I usually do, until they get beat by some country with 5% of our population? Confused.
Sure kids grow up playing soccer. It's the #1 sport for kids before High school but until recently their wasn't a viable option to have a dream of playing one day in a pro league. Most kids transition to American Football, Basketball and Baseball once they reach High school. I would say the sport as a whole in the US is growing and will continue to grow.

So it all boils down to kids and their dreams. No top league in the US until 1996 means no kids sticking with the sport for the most part past grade school. Even with MLS being around since 1996 nobody knew if it would be able to last. Now that it has lasted and shows growth along with the sport as a whole in the US more kids are sticking with it. As to why does it seem like we are going backwards? I would put most of the blame on poor management at the top levels.

Soccer as a whole will get their eventually. The sport will overtake the NHL and NBA in our lifetime, it's already knocking on their doors. I would say MLB is possible but you can only go by average attendance because of the sheer number of games each team plays in baseball. The NFL is a beast of it's own that we may never see over taken by soccer here.
 
#435      
Another factor with soccer in this country is that it's still, to a certain extent, a rich kid's game. With all the equipment needed to play plus the prohibitive cost of travel teams, it's gonna be tough to get the best athletes, especially in the inner cities, to play.
 
#436      
Dublin, Munich, and Bilbao may lose matches in the Euro 2020 tournament due to the sites not being able to guarantee they would be able to host matches in front of fans: https://www.espn.com/soccer/uefa-eu...020-sites-dublinbilbaomunich-may-lose-matches

Dublin seems almost certain to withdraw with matches scheduled to be played there reportedly to be moved to Scotland, England, or Russia. Bilbao, which is dealing with covid issues much of northern Spain is dealing with, would likely be replaced by Seville, in southern Spain. Munich would be the biggest loss for UEFA, as that site was set to host 3 matches involving the German side including fixtures against France and Portugal, as the covid regulations in Germany do not allow any fans in stadiums and the German government has given UEFA no assurances that those protocols will change by the time the Euros start later this year.
 
#437      
CONCACAF announced the cities that will host Gold Cup matches this summer, most of which are in Texas. 3 of the sites are in the Dallas Metroplex (Cotton Bowl, AT&T Stadium, and Toyota Stadium), 2 are in Houston (NRG Stadium and BBVA Stadium), and the other sites are in Glendale, AZ, Orlando, Austin, TX, and Kansas City.
 
#438      
Dublin, Munich, and Bilbao may lose matches in the Euro 2020 tournament due to the sites not being able to guarantee they would be able to host matches in front of fans: https://www.espn.com/soccer/uefa-eu...020-sites-dublinbilbaomunich-may-lose-matches

Dublin seems almost certain to withdraw with matches scheduled to be played there reportedly to be moved to Scotland, England, or Russia. Bilbao, which is dealing with covid issues much of northern Spain is dealing with, would likely be replaced by Seville, in southern Spain. Munich would be the biggest loss for UEFA, as that site was set to host 3 matches involving the German side including fixtures against France and Portugal, as the covid regulations in Germany do not allow any fans in stadiums and the German government has given UEFA no assurances that those protocols will change by the time the Euros start later this year.

So it ended up only the games from Dublin and Bilbao got moved. The group stage games scheduled for Dublin will now be played in St. Petersburg with the round-of-16 match moved to Wembley. Spain's three group stage games and a round of 16 tie will be moved from Bilbao to Seville. Munich will be allowed to host games now as German authorities gave the Allianz Arena authorization to open at 25% capacity.

With these changes to the venues, there is a potential scenario where England could win Group D and the Euro tournament as a whole, and only have one match played away from Wembley, a potential quarterfinal match in Rome.