Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Advancement Scenarios, Part 2

Post-Group B Update

With Group B settled, here are the scenarios for United States's opponent on Saturday.

There are there contenders entering the last day of group play: El Salvador, sitting on two points, Guatemala, with one point, and Cuba, with no points. Since Guatemala has a -2 goal differential while El Salvador has a -1, a draw will not suffice. Therefore, the opponent will be the winner of Guatemala-Cuba, and if there is no winner, it will be El Salvador.

Original post:

Here's the advancement scenarios for Groups B and C. I think I've worked out most of the bugs. Let me know if you spot anything incorrect in the comments.

Group B


Costa Rica:

El Salvador:


Group C
Group C is a lot more straightforward, and also a lot more boring.

Trinidad and Tobago:




Top Two Third Place Teams
Right now we know that Panama is the third place team from Group A, with three points. As you can see above, any of Group B's teams could finish in third, though the most likely is El Salvador if they draw or lose to Jamaica. A draw would give El Salvador three points, while a loss would keep them parked at two. Group C's third place team will probably be Guatemala. If Guatemala wins outright against Canada, they will definitely advance with four points. If Guatemala only draws Canada, they will have two points and out (as a draw would not allow them to make up their -2 goal differential).

Future updates to my program may include the ability to deal with this sort of scenario, but I don't have the time to do that at the moment.

Monday, July 13, 2015

2015 CONACAF Gold Cup Advancement Scenarios - Group A

These are the scenarios for every possible permutation of the teams involved scoring four goals each. Note: this currently does not include third place team advancement, I will add that when it is narrowed down a bit more. This is a work in progress, as I'm testing a program I wrote, so it may be wrong!

Group A
Just an archive, that sort of preserves a buggier version of the program.

United States:
I... think we got this.


Panama finishes second with any win over the US, but things get weird fast. And Panama fans may (not want to) remember what happened the last time they went into a game needing a win over the United States.



Monday, July 06, 2015

2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup TV Schedule

Because I hated the official schedule as soon as I laid eyes on it, here's an easier-to-read version with American TV info. Watch this post, as I'll update it as necessary.

Date Team vs. Team Time (ET) Network Location Group
7/7 Panama 1-1 Haiti 7:00 PM FS2 Frisco, TX A
7/7 United States 2-1 Honduras 9:30 PM FS1 Frisco, TX A
7/8 Costa Rica 2-2 Jamaica 8:00 PM FS2 Carson, CA B
7/8 El Salvador 0-0 Canada 10:30 PM FS2 Carson, CA B
7/9 Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 Guatemala 7:00 PM FS2 Chicago, IL C
7/9 Mexico 6-0 Cuba 9:30 PM FS1 Chicago, IL C
7/10 Honduras 1-1 Panama 6:00 PM FS2 Foxborough, MA A
7/10 United States 2-1 Haiti 8:30 PM FS1 Foxborough, MA A
7/11 Jamaica 1-0 Canada 6:30 PM FS2 Houston, TX B
7/11 Costa Rica 1-1 El Salvador 9:00 PM FS2 Houston, TX B
7/12 Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 Cuba 6:30 PM FS2 Glendale, AZ C
7/12 Guatemala 0-0 Mexico 9:00 PM FS2 Glendale, AZ C
7/13 Haiti 1-0 Honduras 7:00 PM FS1 Kansas City, KS A
7/13 Panama 1-1 United States 9:30 PM FS1 Kansas City, KS A
7/14 Jamaica 1-0 El Salvador 6:00 PM FS1 Toronto, ON, CA B
7/14 Canada 0-0 Costa Rica 8:30 PM FS1 Toronto, ON, CA B
7/15 Cuba 1-0 Guatemala 6:00 PM FS2 Charlotte, NC C
7/15 Mexico 4-4 Trinidad and Tobago 8:30 PM FS2 Charlotte, NC C
7/18 United States 6-0 Cuba 5:00 PM FOX Baltimore, MD Quarterfinal 1
7/18 Haiti 0-1 Jamaica 8:00 PM FS2 Baltimore, MD Quarterfinal 2
7/19 Trinidad and Tobago 1-1 (aet)
Panama 4:30 PM FS1 East Rutherford, NJ Quarterfinal 3
7/19 Mexico 1-0 (aet) Costa Rica 7:30 PM FS1 East Rutherford, NJ Quarterfinal 4
7/22 United States 1-2 Jamaica 6:00 PM FS1 Atlanta, GA Semi-final 1
7/22 Panama 1-2 (aet) Mexico 9:00 PM FS1 Atlanta, GA Semi-final 2
7/25 United States 1-1 (aet)
Panama 4:00 PM FS2 Chester, PA Third Place Game
7/26 Jamaica 1-3 Mexico 7:30 PM FS1 Philadelphia, PA Final

For scores, results, and standings the best resource is probably the Wikipedia page.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Some Thoughts on the 2015 World Cup

Some thoughts, good and bad, on the 2015 Women's World Cup.

The US Were the Best Team

I said at the beginning of the tournament that one the key differences between rooting for the men's team and women's team is that the latter are favorites. It's a different mentality. And that's what made the start for the US so disconcerting, they were favorites, but they weren't playing like it. They won their group, and yes it was still a sure thing, but boy howdy it could've been more comfortable.

Then in the semifinal match against an the first opponent that was truly on their level, with the lineup down due starters due to yellow card accumulation, the team came alive. Yet, there was still some doubt even with a 2-0 win over the team ranked #1 according to FIFA (the US was #2).

All that doubt was removed after about five minutes of the final. The US were simply the best team in the tournament, and they were finally playing like it. It wasn't quite Germany 7, Brazil 1, but that's more of a credit to the Japanese not giving up more than anything else. This was a domination.

Carli Lloyd Hit an Absolute Golazo

Carli Lloyd's audacious shot from midfield is, well, it speaks for itself.
What a way to cap off a hat trick. As a side note, this kind of really needs a nickname.

The 2019 Women's World Cup Will be in France

Perhaps the biggest influence of the artificial turf on play in this World Cup is with the passing. I lost count of the number of passes that didn't seem to have the right weight or the right touch, balls that just rolled forever seemingly without any friction. Fortunately, this will never happen again. The 2016 Olympics will be in stadiums from 2014, and all the French venues will have grass. As for the teams, given the quality of the bottom of the field, I think 2023 is probably a better target for expansion to 32 teams than 2019.

Speaking of Brazil...

Unlike in the men's game, the Olympics feature full women's sides. The US, and all the other top teams, will feature the core of their current teams. We could well see the US, Japan, Germany, and France all back in the late stages of the tournament.

Hopefully it'll be as fun as this one was. See you next summer!

A Meditation on MLS Team Names

Recently I was asked about the name for the new MLS team in Atlanta, Atlanta United FC. I said it was kind of boring, but other than that, I didn't really have a problem with that.

Generally, though, I do agree with my friend that I prefer American soccer teams have American-style names (that is, names that indicate a) where you're from and b) your nickname). So let's lead by example here and examine all of the current and future team names in MLS.

The good:
  • Columbus Crew SC: one of only two MLS teams that uses "SC" for "soccer club" instead of "FC". I don't have an inherent problem with using "football club", but still, it's nice.
  • Philadelphia Union: an original team name that has allusions to other soccer team names and is referential to the city. 
  • Portland Timbers: almost doesn't count because it refers to an old, pre-existing team, but who am I to argue with this guy?
  • Seattle Sounders FC: also almost doesn't count, but it's good and unique.
Most MLS team names fall into the "eh, they're not terrible" category, such as the aforementioned Atlanta United FC. Of the nicknames, I'm not crazy about the Dynamo, Rapids, or Impact. Chicago Fire is not only bland but referring to historical disasters almost seems sort of offensive? As for the San Jose Earthquakes, well, it's sort of an obvious name for a California team. And I get the allusion the LA Galaxy are going for, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

That said, none of those are as bad as:
  • New York Red Bulls: the only team in MLS named after a sponsor. It's just tacky.
  • FC Dallas: I don't mind using "FC", but I draw the line at imitating non-English grammar rules.
  • Sporting Kansas City: Again, this isn't a valid construct in English, and most of the teams that use this are Portuguese.
And then there's my least favorite, and the only one I really, actively dislike:
  • Real Salt Lake: I dislike this one for several reasons. For starters, it's not English. Secondly, there's no monarchy in the United States, thus, the team has never, and will never, receive royal patronage. Third, because of their association with the Spanish monarchy, rooting for a Real team is sort of like rooting for The Man, especially given some of the Real clubs' associations in Franco-era Spain.
So, there you have it. My recommendation to any future MLS team owners: pick a good nickname, if possible, if not, Wherever FC is the safe choice, and at all costs avoid allusions to Spanish royalty.