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Author Topic: Bruce on the loose
Exploding Vole, The
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End of an era.

Okay, so maybe you knew that already. But did you know this?
quote:
Arena is easily the most successful coach in U.S. Menís National Team history, compiling 71 victories and a .658 winning percentage, both all-time team records.
Is there another country on earth that calculates the "winning percentage" of its national team manager? And, given that the number of genuine "coaches" the US team has had through the years can more or less be counted on the fingers of one hand, what's the point of ranking them?

Wait, there's more:
quote:
Arenaís teams set numerous records as he compiled a 71-30-29 record in his eight years in charge. Those marks include records for consecutive games unbeaten (16 in 2003-04) and most wins in a calendar year (13 in 2005), as well as for best winning percentage in a calendar year (.750 in 2005) and best goals per game average in a calendar year (2.00 in 2000).
"Numerous records"? There's a "goals per game average in a calendar year" record? Why? Over-eager interns at the USSF press office? Honestly, what sport do these people think they're writing about?
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Inca
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It's very much a hockey thing, isn't it? Like: they're never called clean sheets here, it's always shutout (though that has baseball connections as well).

Unbeaten streak and wins in a year I can understand. The winning percentage makes sense, because all American sports do that as well. But I agree about the goals per game.

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linus
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Vole, are you a Tennessee fan/graduate?

A very general Q regarding the USMNT: why isn't the US in the next Copa America?!? Costa Rica and Mexico are "invited", is that because they are somehow deemed to be the Concacaf's best two, or is it a matter of knowing the secret handshake?

US soccer needs to be in the C.A., badly, both in terms of keeping fan interest in some years w/o world cups, and in terms of giving its team exposure to top-flight int'l competition as opposed to friendlies.

edit: I can spell concacaf. Really...

[ 16.07.2006, 18:43: Message edited by: linus ]

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Inca
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It's always Mexico and Costa Rica (except a few times back, when Japan was in it in addition to Mexico, I think). I'm not sure why the US never plays in it (maybe not never, but I can't remember the last time they were in it)...maybe CONMEBOL doesn't want any political tension with the US there, maybe the US doesn't want any politcal tension.

I agree about the need for competition--the Gold Cup is nice, but let's face it, nothing compared with the Copa America.

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Janik
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Is there another country on earth that calculates the "winning percentage" of its national team manager?

Yes, in England. It's not called a winning 'percentage' or quoted as a decimal, but comparison between various coaches records in terms of wins against games played is done. Will be called a win ratio or some similar phrase (there isn't really a standard one).

And you may ask who is the coach with the best ever wins to games ratio with the England national team? Now that would be Sven-Goran Eriksson.

[ 16.07.2006, 16:08: Message edited by: Janik ]

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jason voorhees
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I'll always remember '95 Copa America in Uruguay, when we took out Argentina 3-0 and got to the semis. Probably Steve Sampson's claim to fame (along with the incredible year of '95, when we beat EVERYBODY.)

It was on another thread, but MLS doesn't like Copa America because if it's bad enough having the WC disruption every 4 years, this will be 3 ouit of 4 years (being that the CA is every 3 years.)

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Janik
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But isn't that an example of the MLS being too stuck in the American mind-set to properly appreciate and market the sport they've got? It sounds very like the attitude of the NHL & NBA towards the Olympics (especially the NHL this year when they only stopped playing two days before the first Olmypic match).
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linus
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Yes indeed, very short-sighted from the MLS. While the NHL doesn't need to promote hockey in N. America, the MLS has its work cut out. It would really stand to benefit from US participation in the Copa America.
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Bomb A Nero
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How?

It's like the army-they were fine kicking the crap out of Grenada and Panama, but venture further afield and they're fucked without help.

They wouldn't win the Copa America every time, so why risk humiliation? Do Americans really need to rank their sportsmen against other countries?

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Janik
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humiliation?

What humiliation? The Copa America is a very serious competition. Even if the US went out of their opening pool in last spot occasinally, I'm not sure that would be humiliating.


Do Americans really need to rank their sportsmen against other countries?

When other countries are out there playing the same sport at the highest level, yes, I think they do. International competition, especially the very high class, difficult to win international competitions, have a whole extra level of glamour that domestic matches can never attain.
I know it's not really in the US sporting culture, but then, niether is professional soccer. By marketing it along so similar lines as the established sports doesn't seem a clever way of winning space in the marketplace, especially when you've got access to something the competitor sports really don't have (and it's notably that even they think it would be a good idea, what with Dream Teams in Basketball, and the recent Baseball world cup effort).

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Bomb A Nero
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I suppose football does have to target a different market, yes. But is that market big enough and loyal enough? I suppose MLS has to make a choice. I'd love to see a pan american championships, and MLS teams in the Copa Libertadores, but they have to decide whether they want to ape the other sports or have a bit of confidence in the american football public.
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Amor de Cosmos
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While the NHL doesn't need to promote hockey in N. America,

Thre are several NHL cities that would vehemently disagree with that. Nashville, Tampa bay, Atlanta, Miami and Phoenix for starters.

But isn't that an example of the MLS being too stuck in the American mind-set to properly appreciate and market the sport they've got?

From a non-North American perspective yes, but international
games in all sports here, including the World Cup, are seen by most fans as little more than glorified All-Star competitions. An interuption to the status quo that's sometimes welcome, sometimes not. Squads are put together quickly based on player availability and there is very little continuity, though perhaps that's beginning to change. The MLS should do better as I believe they hold all all the player's contracts, but they'd surely face significant opposition from franchisees if top players were required for international duty to the same extent as they are in Europe and elsewhere.

[ 16.07.2006, 19:34: Message edited by: Amor de Cosmos ]

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Belhaven
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Wouldn't it be a good idea to merge Concacaf and Conmebol to create an association more similar to UEFA?

Such an assocation should be entitled to 8 or 9 World Cup places and could have a qualification group set-up equal to that in Europe both for the World Cup and Copa PanAmerica.

In that way the big countries in Concacaf would be able to compete with the South American countries on a regular basis, while the smaller countries would reap the benfit it is to play Brazil and Argentina in competitve games.

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Nathan HelenaHandcart
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At the moment, Conmebol teams have about a 50% chance of qualification, so there's no incentive at the moment, and for Arg and Brazil, it's near guaranteed for them. The only argument would be that a Pan America Confed with its own champeenship and club things would get spondoolex from the USA which isn't there now, but I don't think that a likelihood anytime soon.
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linus
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If Concacaf merged with Conmebol, you would never see teams like Trinidad or even Costa Rica and the USA in the WC. Definitely not in North/Central America's interest to merge with the stronger south American counterparts...

Cosmos: agree about hockey in the sun belt, but it is a very established sport in the ice belt, while soccer has no such solid regional foothold in the US and Canada.

Nero: one of main problems/opportunities of the MLS is that its public is somewhat disconnected with world football. There are a lot of soccer fans in the US who watch Man U, Real and the World Cup but won't go to MLS games or really identify with the USMNT. Competing in the Copa America could make an impact into restoring credibiliy and interest in the USMNT and by extention the domestic league, where most of these players hail from.

[ 16.07.2006, 23:27: Message edited by: linus ]

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