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August 24, 2012

Soccerings of the Day 8.25.12

Current Soccer

I finally got around to watching the first half of Indiana University v. Chivas de Guadalajara's U23 team so I could see Andrew Oliver in action for the first time since U17 CONCACAF Qualifying. I'm pretty excited about him. First off, he's starting for a championship-contending team as a freshmen. He played on the right wing and while most of the play went through the left side (through B1G pre-season notables Kotlov and Zavaleta) Oliver still possessed a keen eye for the ball. On offense he's moving all the time, looking to get inserted and on defense he's looking to poach a lazy pass and ignite a counter. Real smart, heads up play. You can tell he's not completely settled as he's still young but I think he can be a great winger. His vision, foresight, experience, and speed will be a deadly combination.

In CONCACAF Champions League, the MLS is off to a strong start in group play. They're currently 5-1 with giving up only six goals in the six games. I'd expect 3-4 teams to advance to the eight team playoff. Toronto will have a tough time with Santos Laguna while RSL or Houston might slip up with Herediano and Olimpia, respectively. But larger point, MLS is looking strong compared to her southern brothers. Cousins. Whatevers.

Lastly, here are three interesting tweets about the MLS in the CCL:

A little dated by I really like Altidore's movement here:

...while Bedoya has this little bit of badassery:

Random Soccerings

Best GIF in MLS History?

Numbers in high school athletic participation. Soccer sits 7th in schools in Most Popular Boys Programs and 5th in participants. The next obvious stat to take is how many boys are in each program (x / y). Here's the list:

1. Football - 77.1
2. Track - 35.5
3. Soccer - 35.5
4. Baseball - 30.0
5. Basketball - 29.5
6. Wrestling - 26.1
7. Swimming - 19.1
8. CC - 17.5
9. Tennis - 16.3
10. Golf - 11.2

You have to remember JV + Freshmen teams, especially for football. Some pretty interesting numbers there. Would saying "On average there are 35 boys that what to play soccer at every school in America" be fair? Ehhhh... Maybe a little high considering we left out 10-15 thousand schools across the country...

Here's a pretty hilarious mass census on who was expected to be on the 2010 World Cup Roster. It's only hilarious because we think we know so much as fans.

Another little project I've been working on here and there. I go through a new "project" about once every three months but I've been coming back to this one for a while now. It's a gauge on a player's likelihood of reaching Brazil 2014 based off as much info as I can get my hands on. Basically a 0-100 percent of them making the final 23. A bit bold but no more so than the 2018 WC Roster prediction (which I love).

I tweak the numbers once a month after international games, long-term club performances, and how many people post about how awful/great he here and there. All-in-all, I'm trying to find a mix of public perception and reach into Klinsmann's mind at the same time to be able to look back and see where players were flourishing/diminishing. Not an exact science so don't freak out. The 1's at the bottom are thrown down there on a whim. I'm sure we could all think of 5 more guys who should be on there so if you want to take a sharpie and write them in on your computer screen be my guest. Open to suggestions/comments/questions. Enjoy.

Lastly, enjoy some pics for FREE:

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