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RJB

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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  1. I'm not entirely sure that attendance from nearly 20 years ago makes for a reasonable comparison. The landscape for soccer in both countries is very different in 2021 vs. 2002. It's very different even from just ten years ago. Having the Gold Cup in the USA every year is annoying, but it makes sense from much more than just an attendance point of view. They have the infrastructure to spread the tournament around to different cities, as well as a foolish number of different stadiums to choose from. Even compared to a large country like Mexico with lots of soccer facilities, the USA is vastly superior. I imagine this makes organizing the tournament a piece of cake for them.
  2. Has a guest team ever won a continental championship? This year looks like as good a chance as any, with Qatar playing El Salvador, and likely then a USA B team in the semis.
  3. Seems really bizarre that these final group games are coming two days after the previous. At the very least, they could have had games yesterday as well. It creates a two day(!!) advantage for Canada and USA in the QF. Has this advantage happened in any other tournaments?
  4. Merging with Copa America doesn't fix the Gold Cup, it eliminates it. I think that's a separate conversation. As for the Gold Cup, think they're on the right track. The move to 16 teams is huge, as is having a draw finally, and having the last group games go at the same time. This improves credibility. I'd like to see them ditch the guest teams as there is no point to having them. There are plenty of teams in our region, and we don't need to round out the numbers like South America. But something that would give it more interest would be to have it on a four year cycle. Then, it matters if you miss it and gives you more bragging rights, plus it feels less bush-league. I know it's a money thing, but it would align better with other tournaments. Maybe they need a tournament like Asia where the minnows have their own version, and it acts as a qualifier for the big show. And last: the name. Gold Cup is an amateur name, and doesn't convey that this is a continental championship. Together with a fairly generic trophy, and it doesn't seem like something that players would be aching to win.
  5. A bit of a meaningless game. So far we've done what we should - which isn't something I've really been able to say ever. I'm not putting much into the USA game tomorrow. It's a dead rubber. We're through, and have a tough QF no matter what. I will judge us by the QF performance. (unless of course it's awful, and we embarrass ourselves)
  6. Schick scored five as well, just the one penalty. Kane won golden boot in 2018 thanks to penalties. They all count. As we saw today, not always easy to score them.
  7. This is a real test for Herdman without his two superstars. He needs to show that he can get his tactics right ahead of WCQ.
  8. Well, Southgate had subs that could change the game and he failed to put them on. Rashford and Sancho are two examples but he saved them for the end .he was acting for penalties, but then they both failed at what they were on to do. They weren't in the game, and that's his fault. To me, Southgate is a lot of Herdman: he feels good and relies on the talent of his players rather than his coaching.
  9. I'd be curious to know some of the analytics for the game, because the surface stats like possession and shots really make England look bad. But perhaps there's details that I'm missing. That's another host to lose then Euros in the final. As for England, the world cup isn't there, so they don't run much risk of a final again. Maybe they'll host another euros, or get WC 2030.
  10. Italy was far superior, as expected. England tried to park the bus, but couldn't execute. That the match went to penalties was flattering to England, and ultimately to Southgate. He was out of his league. Did Harry Kane play? Just another underwhelming performance from a massively overrated player. Too bad there was not Tunisia or Panama in the tournament.
  11. That penalty against Denmark, if it were to happen on against them on Sunday we'd be hearing about it for generations. No doubt Italy will need to be at their best. But the way England have been able to make Wembley their base has been an incredible advantage, well done @Gian-Luca for bringing that up. Italy have been a far superior team through the tournament though. England have been cagey and lacked the bite needed, whereas Italy have met every challenge with versatility in their style. I pick Italy, however I know that England can rise up on their day.
  12. England wins at home. And another final at home. Only two finals for them, both at home, making them the only nation with that record. They've come through a.weak group, beat a sorry German side (currently overrated and playing poorly) and then come through on the 'easy' side like they did in 2018. Playing at home will sure help them, but I really don't fancy their chances against Italy. But it's a final, and anything can happen so I wouldn't rule them out. Bit as far as standout teams this Euro, they just aren't one of them yet, here they are!
  13. As with Vancouver, this is probably a smart decision. These cities are being asked to give up far too much for far too little reward, and for what? So that your city name is there at the centre line? Time and time again these major events prove to be nothing but a feel good event that everyone else benefits from and the city itself pays for.
  14. Scotland has never been past the group stages at a major tournament. I don't fancy their chances of doing so today. I worry that the England-Czech game will be drab, as they are both through to the next round.
  15. Interesting to see them use groups of five. It makes sense for them certainly, but that 4/5 qualify kind of takes the shine off of winning the group.
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