September 28, 2004

Only seven players turn up for Bolivia squad training: We read constantly about the clash between club and country but in this bottom of the WC2006 qualifying table the issue seems to have come to a head. FIFA has already adjusted the 2006 calendar to give players a few extra days off before the Finals. But is this enough? Should national associations pay the players for their time instead of the clubs? And will MLS ever grow up enough to shut down as every other league does for national team play?

posted by billsaysthis to soccer at 11:41 AM - 27 comments

Sorry for the Yahoo News link, but didn't turn this up anywhere else. Anyway... I think that: - MLS should grow up, especially now that so many of the players are involved and not just on the US team. However MLS and FIFA should step in and better organize the CONCACAAF qualifying scheme--something like CONMEBOL would be cool. - Clubs should be reimbursed for player salaries or else use some formula to pay players directly (say 50-60% of revenue to the players, with 2/3rds of the pot divided evenly among the starters). - European clubs play too many matches and so to some degree, much as I hate to say it, Blatter is right about this. 20 teams are too many for the top level national league.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:47 AM on September 28, 2004

I agree - it's in the sports greater interest (and growth in North America) to shut down for national events. Better for the players, the fans and the league - in the long run. That and CONCACAAF is the worst accronym in the history of organized sport. Tell me this can't be explained in three word or less. CONMEBOL sounds like a terrible bowel infection. Again, I ask - who is, in fact, in charge around here?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:21 PM on September 28, 2004

MLS HAS grown up, and is doing so at a rate decent enough for most, even me. Players should get paid EVEN MORE?! I'm not even going to argue about this... If clubs take on an International player, then they should understand what the freaking consequences are. You don't want players leaving for International duty?? Then don't buy those players!! 20 teams is fine...and don't even talk about taking away games. I need my fix as much as possible. Players can handle it or they can quit. Same with OUR jobs.

posted by StarFucker at 12:39 PM on September 28, 2004

So StarFucker, if your next boss tells you to work an extra two hours a day for no more money and, hey, fuck lunch, then you'd bend over for it? Or is it just other people who should take it in the backside for your entertainment?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:27 PM on September 28, 2004

I still have no idea what CONCACAAF stands for.

posted by swank6 at 04:13 PM on September 28, 2004

Acronym no one can decript but it is the governing body of football for North and Central America and Caribbean. CONMEBOL is the South American group and UEFA is for Europe.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:45 PM on September 28, 2004

The continental Confederations (with nice logos and all): AFC = Asian Football Confederation (because Asians don't speak French) CAF = Confederation Africaine de Football (because France owns Africa) CONCACAF = COnfederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (the only confed that doesn't spell out its name in the logo - they'd have to do it in French, Spanish and English - ha!) CONMEBOL = CONfederacion SudaMEricana de FutBOL (creative, those Sudamericanos) OCEANIA = OCEANIA Football Confederation (oh, those practical English-speaking penal colonists) UEFA = Union European Football Association (I thought the name would be in French, actually)

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:08 PM on September 28, 2004

No bill, i'm saying i can quit... As far as players go, if they don't want to play so much football, they can go play on teams that don't qualify in Europe every year.

posted by StarFucker at 08:02 PM on September 28, 2004

speaking of international call-ups...

posted by goddam at 08:52 PM on September 28, 2004

But if the players are the biggest determinant of team success, then whichever teams the best players are on will go to Europe. And goddam's link is exactly what I mean about MLS not being a grownup league; crunch time for playoff positioning and the best players are gone.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:04 PM on September 28, 2004

The day USians or Fatso Blatter tell us how to run our league snowmen will be waltzing with polar bears in hell. There's nothing wrong with playing 38 games in 9 months. The problem is the proliferation of European club games.

posted by squealy at 05:08 AM on September 29, 2004

Come on, don't be so unreasonable, most of these people only get paid thousands of pounds a week - we can't be expecting them to actually work for their money, can we? That said - the intertoto cup? What IS that?

posted by JJ at 06:15 AM on September 29, 2004

The problem is the proliferation of European club games. You mean CL and UEFA/Intertoto Cups? I don't follow other teams that closely but Liverpool does not seem to play too many friendlies other than some pre-season warmups which feature many reserves and the starters just for a portion. And squealy, from my perspective a fan is a fan regardless of location.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:17 PM on September 29, 2004

So I take it Bolivia needs four more to field a full side? Well, hell, I'm in! Who's with me?

posted by chicobangs at 04:41 PM on September 29, 2004

If only I could speak Spanish... and actually play football!

posted by billsaysthis at 05:06 PM on September 29, 2004

What I'm referring to bill is the so-called Champions League. It was great as the European Cup played between actual League Champions on a two-leg knock-out basis, but now UEFA decrees that there has to be a group stage. Hence more non-Champions get to take part. All of this is designed to fill the pockets of the big boys who qualify for Europe and probably UEFA for all I know. Surely they must take a cut? And then Septic Blatter has the gall to tell us our league has too many teams in it. The simple fact is that there aren't too many domestic games, there's too many European games. And UEFA must take the blame for that rather than try to heap the blame on national leagues.

posted by squealy at 06:10 PM on September 29, 2004

Okay, I hear you but I'm not sure the CL group stage games aren't better football than the top teams versus the relegation zoners. Which is what we're talking about, right?

posted by billsaysthis at 08:10 PM on September 29, 2004

Champions League is pretty much a joke... I prefer UEFA least they are not pretending to be champions but just playing all over Europe against other aspiring teams. Calling it Champions League is the same as calling it the World Series. Well, almost the same.

posted by StarFucker at 08:19 AM on September 30, 2004

I guess I just prefer domestic football, though that Man Utd v Fenerbahce game takes some beating. I'm with SF on the UEFA Cup, mainly because I like the excitement of knock-out competitions. I find the group stages of the CL can be very stale and I'm glad they got rid of the second group stage as it was getting farcical. Perhaps I'm on my own here, but my impression is that most "ordinary" fans prefer the cut and thrust of the domestic league to European football. When I hear "experts" saying the fans want to see Man U v Real Madrid week in week out, I wonder who it is they mean because it's no one I know.

posted by squealy at 09:09 AM on September 30, 2004

Doh, UEFA has a group stage too now doesn't it? I must try and move into the 21st Century sometime soon.

posted by squealy at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2004

It does?!

posted by StarFucker at 02:29 PM on September 30, 2004

I just want to see good football but then again I don't have the lengthy emotional attachment to "the English game."

posted by billsaysthis at 03:13 PM on September 30, 2004

I'll tell you what i want to see... I want to see some fucking skill out there!! I am tired of these Maurinho type coaches! Give me goals!! Give me skill on the ball!! Give me the Giggsies, Ronaldos and Baros's!!! Get rid of the Nistelrooys and Vieris!! I want to see someone actually dribble the ball around a defender! And i want to see a defender defend without FOULING!! SHIT man...we need a Pele!

posted by StarFucker at 03:37 PM on September 30, 2004

I hear ya, I do, though since Van Nistelrooj generally scores with his feet and only rarely with head not sure of your complaints about him. Did you watch Tuesday's Real Madrid-Roma match? Thought that had some pretty good offensive displays, esp. in the second half. > SHIT man...we need a Pele! Don't you remember the thread we had a few weeks back on that article about the up and comer from Santos, he should be in Europe next year or so. And look at Rooney's effort on Tuesday, hard to argue with a hat trick in his debut.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:10 PM on September 30, 2004

Head or feet i don't care...just make it look beautiful. That is, don't fall over in the penalty area. Go aROUND that defender. Nutmeg that centerback and slam it home! These people are turning the beautiful game into something not that pretty. I wish i could watch the Italian and Spanish leagues. Cause so far this year i have been bored off my ass with the Premier League.

posted by StarFucker at 05:00 PM on September 30, 2004

There's no real argument. The televised Premiership games have been mostly shite so far this season. We were saying exactly this in the pub tonight. Ironically, I've enjoyed some of the European games much more. It can only improve.

posted by squealy at 06:16 PM on September 30, 2004

SF, do you watch Futebol Brasiliero on FSW? How about the Argentine matches?

posted by billsaysthis at 06:56 PM on September 30, 2004

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.