Thursday, October 15, 2009

Top 5 Random Soccer Thoughts

I'm in such a random mood. Why not share?

#5 - If I was the manager of France, Greece, Portugal or Russia, which UEFA WCQ playoff Pot B team would I be most hoping to avoid in the draw? Bosnia. Frankly, the trio of Džeko, Misimović and Pjanić would give me nightmares.

#4 - Just heard via NSC pal Adam Spangler that an Italian report claims the Azzurri FA will petition to have U.S. Soccer pay Oguchi Onyewu's wages while he recovers from last night's knee setback. What the hell are they on? They knew the guy was a starter for a World Cup-bound team when they signed him out from under Ajax. Had they been bothering to play him some, I bet Gooch would have sat last night. They have no one but themselves to blame.

#3 - Say anything you want about the MLS set-up and playoffs. Six of the first seven games this penultimate round have real playoff implications, and the eighth is a West tabletop showdown between Houston and Los Angeles. If the league can get attendances up a level or two, that system is the sort of thing that could gather up a lot of added revenue.

#2 - Just imagine if Ryan Giggs had opted to play for England. I bet they would have won Euro2004 - maybe even World Cup 2006, as well. Instead, of course, he will never play in either tournament.

UPDATE: Apparently, the fact that Giggs suited up for England youth international teams did not indicate an ability to continue in the program. It seems he was suited up, somehow, because he went to school in England. Hmmm. On the surface, that immediately sounds shady.

Oh well... that's why we call them random thoughts.

#1 - I expect a lot of goals in tomorrow's 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup final between Brazil and Ghana. At least five. Should be a real corker.


- Greg Seltzer


JJO said...

If Giggs played for England they would have had a chance of winning WC98 and '02 plus Euro 2000. The England of 1998 was so desperate for left-sided midfielders that Steve Guppy was once in consideration!

Greg Seltzer said...

I considered including 2002, but I don't think the team was "one guy short" until 2004.

The 1998 field was so strong and so many teams were in such good form, that England weren't really that close.

They would have had to have beaten Argentina, the Netherlands, Brazil and France consecutively to win it from their bracket place.

Even had they won their group, the road still would have gone through Croatia, Germany, France and Brazil (or I suppose one of those other two '98 superpowers in this alternate universe).

Greg Seltzer said...

I should say, the same reasoning goes for Euro 2000. That was a battle royale.

KO said...


Any idea on the legal/contractual basis for Galliani's threats to seek compensation from the USSF? I have heard of similar assertions from clubs in the past, but is there precedent for such a demand?

Conor Harrison said...

It was actually not a choice Giggs could make, as neither parents nor either set of grandparents is English. He maybe could have played for Sierra Leone, however, as his paternal grandfather was from Sierra Leone.

Greg Seltzer said...

Hmm. How did he play for England as a schoolboy?

Conor Harrison said...

check the first story below regarding giggs, evidently it is a common thing.

I think Adu may have played with the U-17s before he gained citizenship also.

Greg Seltzer said...

Wow. That is a bizarre method for selecting youth national teams! Learn something new everyday. Thanks for that link.

As far as Adu, if I recall correctly, he did play with the U.S. U-17's for nearly a year before his citizenship became official, but it was allowed because the process was underway and only a matter of time.

FIFA is weird.