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Soccer World Cup 2010


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#21
Señor Octobre

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usa can afford a loss and i enjoy mexico's style of play. go mexico !
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#22
Pirata Morado

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usa can afford a loss and i enjoy mexico's style of play. go mexico !

Thank you! We need this win, we badly need this win.
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#23
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Thank you! We need this win, we badly need this win.

Oh I see Mexico gave the US a 5-0 spanking a couple of weeks ago but only one world cup starter on the field. confidence.
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#24
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Nice victory! 2-1, payback time! Not in the fanciest of the fashions, but still a win is a win is a win.

Viva México!
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#25
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Nice victory! 2-1, payback time! Not in the fanciest of the fashions, but still a win is a win is a win.

Viva México!


I couldn't get the match on comcast so I went to my father's place. he has the verizon t.v., and I watched the second half there. Good game.
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#26
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I see Mexico beat Costa Rica 3-0 away from home, so things are looking a lot better for them now.

If, as expected, my useless country loses to the Netherlands on Wednesday then we'd be faced with this quite ridiculous scenario for us to qualify. We need:

1. Norway and Macedonia to tie.

2. The Czech Republic and N. Ireland to tie.

3. The Czech Republic and Poland to tie.

4. Slovakia to beat N. Ireland.

5. Slovakia to beat Poland.

6. Slovenia to lose to Poland and fail to beat Slovakia or tie with Poland and lose to Slovakia.

Who said soccer was a simple game? :lol:
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#27
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I see Mexico beat Costa Rica 3-0 away from home, so things are looking a lot better for them now.

If, as expected, my useless country loses to the Netherlands on Wednesday then we'd be faced with this quite ridiculous scenario for us to qualify. We need:

1. Norway and Macedonia to tie.

2. The Czech Republic and N. Ireland to tie.

3. The Czech Republic and Poland to tie.

4. Slovakia to beat N. Ireland.

5. Slovakia to beat Poland.

6. Slovenia to lose to Poland and fail to beat Slovakia or tie with Poland and lose to Slovakia.

Who said soccer was a simple game? :P

:thumbup:

Yes México beat Costa Rica at San José and moved to third place, if we win on wednesday at home against Honduras the ticket is practically ours.

-------

The Netherlands are already in, so perhaps they rest some of their best players, don't lose faith!
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#28
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Current standings:

1. Honduras, 13 Pts., +7 Goal Difference
2. USA, 13 Pts., +5
3. México, 12 Pts., +2
4. Costa Rica, 12 Pts., -4
5. El Salvador, 5 Pts., -3
6. Trinidad y Tobago, 5 Pts., -7

So, it got tighter, but remember the top 3 teams qualify directly while the 4th team goes against South America's 5th team, so El Salvador and T&T are out of it.

By the way, I built a stocasthic model which simulates the outcomes of the remaining games (3 games) based on the number of goals scored for each team. These are the probabilities for each team.

Costa Rica, 37% chance of qualifying directly, 57% of Wild Card, 6% eliminated
USA, 84% chance of Q directly, 16% of Wild Card, 1% eliminated
Honduras, 88% directly, 12% Wild Card, 0% eliminated
México, 91% directly, 8% Wild Card, 1% eliminated
El Salvador, 1% directly, 3% Wild Card, 97 eliminated
T&T, 0% directly, 4% Wild Card, 95% eliminated
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#29
anunderwaterguy

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:hypocrite:

Yes México beat Costa Rica at San José and moved to third place, if we win on wednesday at home against Honduras the ticket is practically ours.

-------

The Netherlands are already in, so perhaps they rest some of their best players, don't lose faith!


I think the Netherlands under-16 team would still beat us the way we've been playing, but we have beaten a few teams in recent years (France, etc.) so you never know.

That's interesting that you can make probability models for qualifying groups. That's the sort of statistical analysis that actually makes sense in soccer (as opposed to individual player stats which are rarely that useful). Due to the complicated qualifying system we're using in Europe everyone is arguing over how good each team's chances of qualifying are, but, of course, nobody over here would ever think to use statistical analysis to answer that question.
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#30
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I think the Netherlands under-16 team would still beat us the way we've been playing, but we have beaten a few teams in recent years (France, etc.) so you never know.

That's interesting that you can make probability models for qualifying groups. That's the sort of statistical analysis that actually makes sense in soccer (as opposed to individual player stats which are rarely that useful). Due to the complicated qualifying system we're using in Europe everyone is arguing over how good each team's chances of qualifying are, but, of course, nobody over here would ever think to use statistical analysis to answer that question.

Thank you, yes, things in Europe are much more complicated, even more so because some groups have more teams than others, and only the best 8 group runner-ups will go to the Wild Card, so how do you decide which are the 8 best runner-ups?
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#31
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Thank you, yes, things in Europe are much more complicated, even more so because some groups have more teams than others, and only the best 8 group runner-ups will go to the Wild Card, so how do you decide which are the 8 best runner-ups?


One group (group nine) has one less team so they remove the results in the other groups involving the team which finishes last when they make the comparison. For instance in group three San Marino are last and everyone has beaten them, so when they calculate it the team from group three has the six points they won against San Marino removed from their total.

It's unfair though because if, for instance, Norway are the worst second placed team, they will go out of the World Cup for finishing second in a group behind the Netherlands (the third best team in the world according to the world rankings). I think almost any team would struggle to finish above the Netherlands the way they are playing, so you really have no chance to qualify if you're in a situation like that. It would be like Mexico being put in a group with say... Brazil and being told that they have to win the group just to qualify for the tournament! It's much fairer when all second placed teams get to at least a playoff stage.

Edited by anunderwaterguy, 09 September 2009 - 05:11 PM.

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#32
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One group (group nine) has one less team so they remove the results in the other groups involving the team which finishes last when they make the comparison. For instance in group three San Marino are last and everyone has beaten them, so when they calculate it the team from group three has the six points they won against San Marino removed from their total.

It's unfair though because if, for instance, Norway are the worst second placed team, they will go out of the World Cup for finishing second in a group behind the Netherlands (the third best team in the world according to the world rankings). I think almost any team would struggle to finish above the Netherlands the way they are playing, so you really have no chance to qualify if you're in a situation like that. It would be like Mexico being put in a group with say... Brazil and being told that they have to win the group just to qualify for the tournament! It's much fairer when all second placed teams get to at least a playoff stage.

You're aboslutely right, it's a strange format. México was struggling against teams like El Salvador and Honduras, but with 4 straight wins México is almost in already. The problem with Europe is that there are many good teams and too few spots for them.

Europe has 53 countries registred in UEFA (Israel is registred in UEFA), but there are only 14 spots available (26% go ahead).
While in Conmebol there are only 10 countries and the top 4 classify directly but even the 5th gets a chance so either 40% or 50% get in.

I know it would be a mess to get a different classification procedure in Europe, with 53 teams, making it impossible to schedule, perhaps they should make regions, but that wouldn't be very popular, since most of Western European teams are the best.

I really don't know how to improve the classification procedure.

Perhaps by joining Conmebol (South America) with Concacaf (Central and North America) into one group, but then travelling becomes an issue, imagine Canada playing against Chile in Santiago on a saturday and then having to host a game at Toronto the next wednesday, for instance.

Africa, OTOH has become better and only have 5 spots, that's the same number of spots that Conmebol can get, but there are plenty more african nations (48), so only 10% get in. It usually gets very tough for african countries to get in, because only the top team of each of the final 5 groups gets in. Cameroon (where Eto'o is from) is trying hard in a very tough group with Gabon, Togo and Morocco.

Recent discussions about the top 2 players possibly being out of the World Cup are heating up. Portugal (where Cristiano Ronaldo is from) is 3rd in their group, 2 points behind Sweeden and 5 behind Denmark (a very tough group). Argentina (where Messi is from) is also struggling to get in, as they stand as the 5th place right now in Conmebol, but only one point ahead of Uruguay and Venezuela and 2 points ahead of Colombia, so they could easily get out.

Edited by Pirata Morado, 10 September 2009 - 07:25 AM.

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#33
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By the way, both México and USA won yesterday, so the standings at Concacaf are as follow:

USA 16 pts.
México 15
Honduras 13
Costa Rica 12
El Salvador 8
T&T 5

Costa Rica also lost so they are fading badly, white T&T are already eliminated. México is almost in, all we need is a victory against El Salvador next month at home, and we will be in directly.
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#34
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I'm trying to think on how to improve the qualification procedure. Ignoring for a moment the extensive travelling that joining all America into one region would make, perhaps we could join all Americas (10 Concacaf teams + 10 Conmebol teams) into 4 groups like this:

Pot 1 (Perennials): Brazil, Argentina, USA, México
Pot 2 (Contenders): Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica
Pot 3 (Pretenders): Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras
Pot 4 (Bad teams): Perú, Bolivia, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago
Pot 5 (just for the sake): Guatemala, Cuba, Jamaica, Canada,

So we could build 4 groups that could end up like this:

Group 1
Brazil
Costa Rica
Honduras
Perú
Guatemala

Group 2
Argentina
Chile
Venezuela
El Salvador
Cuba

Group 3
USA
Uruguay
Ecuador
Bolivia
Jamaica

Group 4
México
Paraguay
Colombia
T&T
Canada

Top 2 teams of each group go directly into the World Cup (same 8 teams that go today, but not necesarily 3 Concacaf + 4 Conmebol + Wild Card).

Edited by Pirata Morado, 10 September 2009 - 07:44 AM.

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#35
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As for Europe things are much more complicated, with the odd number of countries there are (53). Additionally, the way UEFA classifies their countries puts too much weigh on recent results, like Greece winning the Euro 2004.

I still don't understand why Denmark, Sweeden and Portgual end up in the same group, while there's a group like this: Switzerland, Greece, Latvia, Israel, Luxemburg, Moldavia. All 3 in group 1, Denmark, Sweeden and Portgual are clearly better teams than all of group 2 teams, but since Greece won the Euro in 2004, they still consider them a "good" team.

The problem I see is that they built 9 groups but I don't see 9 teams in the same top level.

Clearly Spain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, England are in the top level, but even the Netherlands and England have failed to qualify in recent tournaments. Only Spain, Germany and Italy seem to be perennial.

There's another top group who aren't even leading their groups right now: France, Portugal, Czech Republic.

So let's try and build 5 team pots:

Pot 1: Spain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, England
Pot 2: France, Portugal, Czech Republic, Russia, Croatia
Pot 3: Serbia, Sweeden, Ireland, Denmark, Greece
Pot 4: Switzerland, Bosnia, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine
Pot 5: Bulgaria, Norway, Scotland, Austria, Poland
(I'm only half way through and a lot of subjective choices down there...)
Pot 6: Hungary, Latvia, Finland, Belgium, Rumania
Pot 7: Lithuania, Belarus, Wales, Slovenia, Israel
(man, is this hard)
Pot 8: Nortern Ireland, Estonia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Kazahjstan
Pot 9: Albania, Luxemburg, Liechestein, Montenegro, Iceland
Pot 10: Georgia, Faroe Islands, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbajan, San Marino, Moldavia, Malta

Of course, we could discuss again why Scotland gets sent to Pot 5 instead of Pot 4, etc.

This way with 5 groups of 10 teams, top 3 teams in each qualify directly. Of course schedulling 18 matches in the busy UEFA schedule would be a mess, so seems like this wouldn't work at all.
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#36
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I think travel is becoming less of an issue as technology advances, so it's perhaps possible to make CONMEBOL and CONCACAF play in the same section. I mean, if you look at the African and Asian qualifying groups some of the distances are very large - Saudia Arabia playing Japan or Australia for instance, is a journey to the other side of the world - yet these countries seem to manage. It also has to be said that so many players are playing in Europe now (even if Maradona wants to fill Argentina's squad with guys like Martin Palermo who play in Argentina) that it becomes less important - if Argentina are playing in Canada then it's as easy for Messi to fly from Barcelona straight to Toronto as it is to Rosario or Buenos Aires. Also, Toronto may be a long way from Santiago, but the time differences aren't so large - it's far worse when you're travelling long distances east or west (Saudia Arabia is 7 hours behind Sydney!)

Europe is another issue and you're right that the seedings don't make sense. Your pots are far fairer than the pots they actually came up with - we had a silly situation where Greece were top seeds and England weren't, plus teams like Denmark and Slovakia were third and fourth seeds. The number of games is an issue, so what I would argue is that they should have preliminary qualifying to get down to 45 teams and then have 5 groups of 9. In CONCACAF you use a similar system to get rid of terrible teams like Anguilla and the U.S. Virgin islands and we have some teams that are just as bad. If you have the lowest ranked 16 teams play each other in a two leg playoff then you can reduce the teams to 45. For example:

Georgia v San Marino
Albania v Faroe Islands
Lithuania v Andorra
Latvia v Montenegro
Iceland v Luxembourg
Armenia v Malta
Kazakhstan v Estonia
Azerbaijan v Liechtenstein

The countries who have to play in these games won't like it, but teams like San Marino (which is a country of 30,000 people) add nothing to the qualifying and it's just a waste of time for bigger countries to have to go and beat them 10-0 every time - San Marino has lost every qualifying game in the last 8 years. For the better countries like Georgia and Lithuania it really isn't that hard for them to get through as the team they're playing is so poor. It may actually add a bit of excitement for these smaller teams because they can play some matches where they can win something instead of just losing all of the time.
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#37
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I think travel is becoming less of an issue as technology advances, so it's perhaps possible to make CONMEBOL and CONCACAF play in the same section. I mean, if you look at the African and Asian qualifying groups some of the distances are very large - Saudia Arabia playing Japan or Australia for instance, is a journey to the other side of the world - yet these countries seem to manage. It also has to be said that so many players are playing in Europe now (even if Maradona wants to fill Argentina's squad with guys like Martin Palermo who play in Argentina) that it becomes less important - if Argentina are playing in Canada then it's as easy for Messi to fly from Barcelona straight to Toronto as it is to Rosario or Buenos Aires. Also, Toronto may be a long way from Santiago, but the time differences aren't so large - it's far worse when you're travelling long distances east or west (Saudia Arabia is 7 hours behind Sydney!)

Europe is another issue and you're right that the seedings don't make sense. Your pots are far fairer than the pots they actually came up with - we had a silly situation where Greece were top seeds and England weren't, plus teams like Denmark and Slovakia were third and fourth seeds. The number of games is an issue, so what I would argue is that they should have preliminary qualifying to get down to 45 teams and then have 5 groups of 9. In CONCACAF you use a similar system to get rid of terrible teams like Anguilla and the U.S. Virgin islands and we have some teams that are just as bad. If you have the lowest ranked 16 teams play each other in a two leg playoff then you can reduce the teams to 45. For example:

Georgia v San Marino
Albania v Faroe Islands
Lithuania v Andorra
Latvia v Montenegro
Iceland v Luxembourg
Armenia v Malta
Kazakhstan v Estonia
Azerbaijan v Liechtenstein

The countries who have to play in these games won't like it, but teams like San Marino (which is a country of 30,000 people) add nothing to the qualifying and it's just a waste of time for bigger countries to have to go and beat them 10-0 every time - San Marino has lost every qualifying game in the last 8 years. For the better countries like Georgia and Lithuania it really isn't that hard for them to get through as the team they're playing is so poor. It may actually add a bit of excitement for these smaller teams because they can play some matches where they can win something instead of just losing all of the time.

That's a very good idea! I agree, all those countries end up losing all their games so I don't see the point of letting them "compete" against Germany, or Italy, or Spain. That would still leave the 9 groups so, there would still be the 4 play-off matches and 1 runner-up who won't play one of the playoffs, which I find kind of odd.

How is the qualifying for the Euro done? There are 16 teams in the Euro, but one is automatically qualified. Well, in the last edition there were co-hosts (Switzerland and Austria) so 2 countries qualified directly, so there were 14 teams to draw upon again, perhaps they used the same logic.

Edited by Pirata Morado, 11 September 2009 - 05:21 AM.

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#38
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Upon further review, these are the proportion of countries advancing to the World Cup per Confederation:

Africa: 5+1 spots out of 53 teams (11%)
Asia: 4.5 spots out of 43 teams (10%)
Europe: 13 spots out of 53 teams (25%)
Concacaf: 3.5 spots out of 35 teams (10%)
Oceania: 0.5 spots out of 10 teams (5%)
Conmebol: 4.5 spots out of 10 teams (45%)

Clearly Europe is the strongest of all Confederations and Conmebol is second.

If we could join all the Americas, then there would be 8 spots out of 45 teams for 18% more in line to what Europe has.
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#39
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That's a very good idea! I agree, all those countries end up losing all their games so I don't see the point of letting them "compete" against Germany, or Italy, or Spain. That would still leave the 9 groups so, there would still be the 4 play-off matches and 1 runner-up who won't play one of the playoffs, which I find kind of odd.


Well we have 13 places in the World Cup, so you could make it 8 groups if you did something like this. Lowest ranked ten teams play in a playoff -

Armenia v San Marino
Kazakhstan v Faroe Islands
Azerbaijan v Andorra
Estonia v Liechtenstein
Malta v Luxembourg

That gets it down to 48 teams, then you could play 8 groups of 6 teams with the group winners all qualifying, the two best second placed teams qualifying, and the six remaining second placed teams playing in a playoff.

8 winners + 2 best second placed teams + 3 playoff winners = 13 teams

If you did this you wouldn't have teams getting eliminated just for finishing second behind one of the best teams in the world and you could get rid of the confusing rule about taking away results against the bottom teams in the group. UEFA actually thought about doing a similar system to this, but there were complaints that having only 8 groups would have made for too many matches (they don't want to get rid of poor San Marino and the rest, so some groups would have had 7 teams). It's beyond silly to have a decent team like Norway getting eliminated just so these smaller teams can participate, but maybe in five years time San Marino will manage to score one goal again and the people will have something to celebrate - they still celebrate the game 15 years ago where they scored against England but lost 7-1!

Edited by anunderwaterguy, 11 September 2009 - 05:43 AM.

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#40
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How is the qualifying for the Euro done? There are 16 teams in the Euro, but one is automatically qualified. Well, in the last edition there were co-hosts (Switzerland and Austria) so 2 countries qualified directly, so there were 14 teams to draw upon again, perhaps they used the same logic.


In the last Euros they just had 7 groups with the top two teams both qualifying. It was a lot fairer and easier to understand and also made for some great matches because you had some groups with two good teams. It wasn't so good for Scotland though because we drew France and Italy in our group (the two world cup finalists) and still didn't get through even though we beat France home and away.

However, that's really just because of UEFA's seedings being wrong again - somehow Italy and Germany were both second seeds. I think it's a better system if the seedings are done properly.
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