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Infinite Arms

General Soccer Discussion

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This thread is designed for people to voice their opinions about the world of soccer, talk about your favorite team, what should your team do in the transfer window, who played great over the weekend, or build off of what other people say. I would just like to generate some discussion about soccer because it is my favorite sport, and I like to discuss it.

I will start by asking what is your assessment of this year's English Premier League? Is it a good season or a bad season for the EPL and what do you see happening?

My opinion is that the league is way more competitive this year than in past years, but I still don't see Manchester United losing the title, they are even on points with Manchester City with 2 games in hand, they are some how undefeated, while not playing well by their standards. This is the time of year where Manchester United typically picks up their form and makes a serious run for the title. I think Arsenal will be the most serious threat to Man U, I also see Manchester City claiming a champions league spot. I think that the fascinating battle amongst the top teams will be between Tottenham and Chelsea for the 4th Champions League spot. Chelsea look old, and Roman Abromovic does not look like he is willing to spend money on the club anymore, I think that spurs will edge Chelsea, and I really hope they do. As for the relegation battle, I have West Ham finishing in 20th, I have Wigan finishing 19th, and Wolves in 18th, I just can't see Villa going down after signing Darren Bent, I think Birmingham and Fulham can go down, but I think they will barely survive. I think West Brom will survive, I think they will start playing better and stop hemorrhaging goals when Jonas Olsson comes back. Blackpool is looking great too, I think they will stumble into the bottom third, but won't flirt with relegation.

My overall assessment of the Premiership is that the top teams have gotten weaker and are less willing to spend money, while teams like City, Tottenham, Sunderland and the likes have done a lot to bridge the gap as well. I can't see any Premiership team winning the Champions League without a friendly route to the final, this is the first year in many that I have felt this way, the EPL is still a very strong league, but it is becoming more balanced, instead of top heavy where you almost need 90 points to win the league. I could see 81 or 82 points winning the league this year, and I could also see Manchester United going undefeated with 14 or 15 draws. I think its a unique season, still entertaining, but there is more parity than dominance by two clubs.

Anyone else have an opinion on this, or their own opinion about something else, then I would love to get into a discussion about it.

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I have to say, I generally agree with your overall assessment of the EPL this year.

There's a grand total of an eight point difference between Blackpool in 10th and last place West Ham. That's not to say things are interchangeable, but a lot can happen over the next four months.

I just looked at the Form Guide on the EPL site, and did a double take when I saw Chelsea's performance on the road of late: L, L, D, D, L, L...I'm not used to seeing that much red next to their name. Their early-season dominance seems like many seasons ago, not months.

As for favorite teams, mine's easy: Philadelphia Union. I'm very excited over the signings of Faryd Mondragon and Carlos Valdes, and am hoping they can land another player for the attack. Marek Mintal would have been nice, but he's apparently decided to stay with Nuremburg. We're now hearing that the team is looking at Jorge Perlaza from Deportes Tolima.

Only two months 'til the home opener! B)

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As for favorite teams, mine's easy: Philadelphia Union. I'm very excited over the signings of Faryd Mondragon and Carlos Valdes, and am hoping they can land another player for the attack. Marek Mintal would have been nice, but he's apparently decided to stay with Nuremburg. We're now hearing that the team is looking at Jorge Perlaza from Deportes Tolima.

Only two months 'til the home opener! B)

I have to admit that I do not watch much MLS sadly, but what are your hopes/expectations for the season for Philadelphia? You the signings that they have made will be enough to make the playoffs?

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I have to admit that I do not watch much MLS sadly, but what are your hopes/expectations for the season for Philadelphia? You the signings that they have made will be enough to make the playoffs?

I think I can speak for all Union fans when I say that we expect a sizable step forward in 2011.

They finished 4-4-2 in their last ten matches of the 2010 season, and it was in large part due to the solidifying of the defense. Since then, they've acquired a very strong defensive mid in Brian Carroll from Columbus, and Mondragon and Valdes are expected to step right into the lineup. Michael Orozco Fiscal will likely move from center to push Jordan Harvey at left back. The new boys know how to win; Carroll's started for two MLS Cup winners and Mondragon has won in Turkey and has Champions League experience with Galatasaray.

What they still need to do is address the lack of scoring depth. Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga accounted for 21 of their 35 goals last season, and they've lost the only other established goal scorer, Alejandro Moreno, in the expansion draft. Jack McInerney scored a handful as a 17-year old rookie, he'll be counted on to help out, and I really hope the Perlaza rumor pans out. They had allegedly talked to Eidur Gudjohnsen, but I hear he's going to Swansea. The guy they got in the 3rd round of the draft, Levi Houapeu, might be one to watch. He was productive in college, and they really think they got a steal.

If the defense can pick up where it left off, and they can come up with at least one more reliable goal scoring threat, they have a good shot at making the playoffs, and after that, who knows? As the Rapids showed this year, anything can happen if you get in.

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I think I can speak for all Union fans when I say that we expect a sizable step forward in 2011.

They finished 4-4-2 in their last ten matches of the 2010 season, and it was in large part due to the solidifying of the defense. Since then, they've acquired a very strong defensive mid in Brian Carroll from Columbus, and Mondragon and Valdes are expected to step right into the lineup. Michael Orozco Fiscal will likely move from center to push Jordan Harvey at left back. The new boys know how to win; Carroll's started for two MLS Cup winners and Mondragon has won in Turkey and has Champions League experience with Galatasaray.

What they still need to do is address the lack of scoring depth. Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga accounted for 21 of their 35 goals last season, and they've lost the only other established goal scorer, Alejandro Moreno, in the expansion draft. Jack McInerney scored a handful as a 17-year old rookie, he'll be counted on to help out, and I really hope the Perlaza rumor pans out. They had allegedly talked to Eidur Gudjohnsen, but I hear he's going to Swansea. The guy they got in the 3rd round of the draft, Levi Houapeu, might be one to watch. He was productive in college, and they really think they got a steal.

If the defense can pick up where it left off, and they can come up with at least one more reliable goal scoring threat, they have a good shot at making the playoffs, and after that, who knows? As the Rapids showed this year, anything can happen if you get in.

Wow, great analysis, I will wish the Union luck this year then.

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For me, I like La Liga, the Bundesliga and the EPL. I watch a bit of Serie A, and I follow Ligue 1, the lower tiers of England (Championship through English Conference).

I just really like watching technically advanced play, as in Spain. I really like the play in the Bundesliga as well, but I do not watch as many games as I would like to. The atmosphere of the stadiums in Germany are great. I like the EPL because the skill from top to bottom is really good, the fans are very enthusiastic, though they are violent, the pace of the game is high, it is a very physical league, and it is the easiest league to discuss because it is just about the only league that everyone follows. I like Serie A, but the empty stadiums are a turn off for me, I do however enjoy the tactical side of the game that Italy presents. I don't ever get to see Ligue 1 games/Lower level English games, but I follow the scores and tables, I have a strange allegiance to AFC Wimbledon, though I have never even seen them play.

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I primarily follow the EPL and MLS, but I'll watch just about anything. Between Fox Soccer and Gol.tv, I get those two, plus Italy, Germany, Spain and Australia, plus Champions League and international play. There's also a Spanish language channel in my area that shows Mexican matches.

The EPL matches are almost always in the morning on weekends, so it makes watching those a snap. I'm a season-ticket holder for the Union, and part of my package includes an extra ticket for a friendly. Last year, I caught Man United on their tour, and am interested to see who they come up with this season.

I enjoy watching the various styles of play in the different leagues, but nothing beats being there in person. Like the difference with American football, being able to see the whole field and all the players makes a big difference.

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