Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Post script

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Decided tonight, in the midst of some serious procrastination, to check on the old blog and see how it’s gone.  I’m very pleased to know that my post regarding the average number of minutes of actual playing time is the most commonly cited post on here.  While I enjoyed the momentary notariety that came with predicting Jorge Larrionda would red card an American midfielder in our Confederations Cup match against Spain in 2009, I didn’t start the site to criticize refs.  So I’m glad that something useful to others (typically folks making the argument that soccer is boring, unfortunately) has come from the hard work.

When I come across defunct blogs, I often wonder what happened to them.  Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized

On Hiatus

August 14, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m going to be out of town for a couple weeks, so post to the site will be on hold.  We’ll resume again in September.

Categories: Uncategorized

Competitions Using Additional Assistant Referees

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Following up on a previous story, FIFA released the names of the competitions that will be using additional assistant referees today.  Here’s the list:

Asian Football Confederation (AFC): AFC President’s Cup 2010 (24-26 September)
Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF): Campeonato Baiano de Futebol Feminino 2010 (Sept-Dec 2010), Campeonato Carioca de 2011
Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación (FMF): Torneo Clausura 2011, Torneo Apertura 2011 and Torneo Clausura 2012
Fédération Française de Football (FFF): Coupe de la Ligue 2010/2011 (League Cup)
Union des associations européennes de football (UEFA): UEFA Champions League 2010/2011 and 2011/2012, UEFA Europa League 2010/2011 and 2011/2012, and UEFA Super Cup 2010 and 2011.
Also approved, but pending confirmation of the specific competitions, were official competitions of the Federação Baiana, the Federação Paulista and Federação Pernambucana in Brazil.


FIFA also confirmed that goal-line technology is going to be on the agenda when the International Football Association Board (IFAB) meets in October 2010.  Let’s hand it to FIFA:  they promised to make changes to reduce errors in officiating and so far they have been true to their word.

Categories: Uncategorized

Adding More Ass’t Refs: Almost a Done Deal?

July 20, 2010 Leave a comment

FIFA recently put out a press release that:

The Technical Sub-Committee of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will meet on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 in Cardiff (Wales). The only point on the agenda will be the review and eventual approval of the requests made by various confederations and member associations of FIFA to implement the experiments with two additional assistant referees for competitions of the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons.

It certainly sounds like the “review” process is a mere formality and the conclusion is foregone.  I’d insert a snide remark about the similarity that bears to some matches, but if FIFA’s going to improve the system I’d prefer to just embrace it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Eddie Teasing Us Once Again

July 15, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the first “it’s not really stats related, but I want to talk about it” stories on the site was Eddie Johnson’s success during Fulham’s summer tour of Australia last year.  He was getting meaningful minutes, teaming up well, and sounding like he was putting together the kind of case that earns a striker playing time.  It didn’t quite work out.

But Eddie’s back.  Back again.  And again the reports are good.  A goal and an assist in Fulham’s 5-0 victory over Brentford, a Football League One club, are a good way to start the year.  And by the sound of it, he did it with style. 

Read more…

Castrol Ratings Explained

July 15, 2010 Leave a comment

One of FIFA’s newer stats is the Castrol index which is an objective way of providing the Player Ratings that were much more popular after matches last summer than this year.

While catching up on the World Cup stats, I found this article explaining how the Castrol Index values are calculated. As we suspected, passing is very important as are both goals and shots taken (assuming that the shots are considered dangerous shots). Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Soccer wins an ESPY

July 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Landon Donovan and the MNT won the ESPY tonight for “Best Moment”: their Group-clinching, last-gasp goal against Algeria.  To celebrate, we’re going to try out PicApp for the first time:

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=espys+donovan&iid=9352961″ src=”″ width=”380″ height=”249″ /]

Now if we could just finally pull ahead of Greece on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings.  13th place is better than Mexico’s 24th, but it’s still no 12th.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Return of The Post

July 3, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m pleased to welcome Ryan Noel back to soccer blogging.  The Post: A Keeper’s Best Friend always had interesting, well-thought-out content and his return to the blog after a stint at Yanks Abroad shows more of the same.  I hope you’ll take the time to check out his work and encourage him to keep it up.

Categories: Uncategorized

Web Site News: FIFA-recognized!!!

July 3, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m still waiting for internet at my new home.  The delay’s a shame because the blog is getting to be kind of a big deal.  The site’s just been added to FIFA’s media distribution list (it’s already been on ESPN’s and a request to US Soccer is pending).  And I was informed yesterday that we’ve been named to the Best of the Web’s Blog Directory.  Coupled with the chance to talk to Steve McManaman last week and to meet some great folks, it’s been a great year.  So thank you to all of the readers and supporters.  Particular thanks to wjmooner, who kept me writing past the first day, and my wife, who let’s face it, could put an end to this whole thing but hasn’t.

Categories: Uncategorized

Time Wasted in Round of 16 Matches

June 27, 2010 Leave a comment

FIFA’s primary arguments against instant replay and, generally, against ensuring accurate, impartial outcomes to matches are: (1) referees are human and their mistakes are natural and engaging parts of the game and (2) that using instant replay or the goal-line monitor would cause unnecessary delays, affecting the spirit of the game.  I’ll address each in turn.

1. Referees are human and their mistakes are natural and engaging parts of the game.

I concede that referees are human and that humans make mistakes.  But their mistakes are not always natural and are sometimes artificially placed solely to alter the normal course of the match.  And while we certainly get riled up about bad calls, there is so much passion about the game that fans will always have something to talk about when it comes to soccer.

2.  Technology adds unnecessary delays to the otherwise quick pace of the beautiful game.

This is the argument that has some traction.  After all, nobody wants to watch a soccer match turn into the last two minutes on the clock in a basketball game.  Soccer promises 90 minutes of action and it provides 90 minutes of action.  Right?

Well, not quite.  Because of all the stalling, delaying, diving, writhing, etc. a surprising amount of time each match is lost.  Here are some statistics I compiled from the FIFA match reports for the completed matches of the Round of 16.

Match Playing Scheduled Added
URU-KOR 69 90 3
USA-GHA 98 120 6
GER-ENG 67 90 3

Playing:  Actual Playing Time as calculated by FIFA

Scheduled: The total amount of time the match was scheduled for.  Usually 90 minutes.

Added: The total stoppage time added.  As calculated by FIFA.


It’s still early, obviously, but in the Germany-England match, 20 minutes were “lost.”  20 minutes of waiting for the ball to be thrown in, kicked, a player to stand up or get off the pitch, goal celebrations, etc.  20 minutes when neither team was “playing” with the ball.  Can anyone honestly claim that adding a couple of minutes for goal-deciding calls to a couple matches is really going to waste significantly more time than all of the shenanigans of modern soccer already do?

Categories: Uncategorized