We thought it was bad when the USWNT ran scores to 10 goals or so

Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by FanOfFutbol, Nov 30, 2021.

  1. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    England women’s soccer team sweeps to record win: 20-0

    Goals scored and goal difference are important in qualifying but 20-0 is even a bit cruel for me. I had no problem when we ran a score in the first match of the WWC but, even then, I felt it was a bit cruel. This is well beyond that. Four players with hat tricks and then 8 more goals rubs it in a bit more than I like.

    It does show that there is still a huge disparity between countries in the women's game.
    Disapproving Hippo and NCChiFan repped this.
  2. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006
    #2 Cliveworshipper, Dec 1, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
    The group stage format makes run ups inevitable by valuing all goals in goal differential.
    If you can run up 20 goals, another team in the group might be able to also.
    You can cap goals, but then you have to figure out other ways to sort teams out.
    And the only reason for group stage is to eliminate one and done scenarios.

    Actually, I like win or go home. It makes March madness and the ncaa soccer tourneys the most compelling tournaments on the planet.
    jnielsen repped this.
  3. shlj

    shlj Member+

    Apr 16, 2007
    FC Nantes
    Nat'l Team:
    The goal difference is only the fourth tie breaker in UEFA competition. The number one tie breaker is head to head results.
    Scoring loads only matter in head to head games against direct opponent for the qualification.
  4. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    This is a rather long piece about the "problem." I offer it without comment.
    And another piece from Australia, I think.

    I actually did not expect the outcry the result has produced. I also thought that, since Australia joined Asia, that the men's game had little or none of the real disparity. I usually cannot watch the early qualifiers from Europe, Asia or Africa so I miss the news or point spreads unless there is an upset.
  5. Smallchief

    Smallchief Member+

    Oct 27, 2012
    Seems to me the solution is not to credit for tie-breakers any number of goals that is 5 more than the opponents goals. In other words, give England 5 toward a tie-breaker, rather than 20.
    jnielsen repped this.
  6. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    While that is not truly a bad idea it really solves nothing. We use that idea in children's rec leagues but everyone, including the children, knows what is going on and everyone, including the children, knows pretty much exactly what the score is.

    However the focus of the children can be very different.
    The was a league for young children and there was a young girl playing in that league.
    She was by far the best player in the league.
    In the first game she scored five goals but she seemed a bit down about it.
    In the next she scored four more but seemed even sadder.
    This went on for a few weeks.
    Finally in the fifth or so game she scored a couple of goals and then ran off the field to her father crying.
    Her father asked her what could be wrong as she was playing great.
    She said, "Daddy, I want to be on the other team."
    Her daddy asked, "Why, you are playing great and your teammates like you. Why would you want to change? Don't you like your teammates?"
    She answered, "Yes, it's the uniforms."
    Dad asked, "Is there something wrong with you uniform?"
    She said, "No, not really, but the other teams gets new ones every week."

    While that does not really address the problem is does say a lot about what matters to players .
  7. hotjam2

    hotjam2 Member+

    Nov 23, 2012
    Real Madrid
    here's what one of the Latvian player's mom had to say, (only 200 players to choose from in all of Latvia, lol)
    FFhG0biWYAo9HJ6 (1).jpg
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  8. JimWharton

    JimWharton Member+

    Feb 25, 2017
    I mean, that’s how rec and select tournaments do it around here, especially for “off season” tournaments where there can be a big gulf in talent.
  9. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    Yep. That is what pros everywhere need to do, copy rec and select leagues.
    I believe that in professional sports if a blowout happens it happens and the only thing that should be done is to encourage sportsmanship when the score gets out of hand. But there never ever needs to be some arbitrary limit on margin of victory.

    The point of playing soccer is to score as many goals as possible while limiting the other team to as few as possible.

    The only way blowouts can be controlled without impacting results is to see to it that the qualifying process everywhere really assure that the best teams available get to the tournament and, should a really bad team get through, then they must sink or swim on their own merits. For professional sports we should not be afraid of hurting anyone's poor little feelings.

    One more time this is professional sports and nothing should be done to artificially hold scores up or down.
    JanBalk repped this.
  10. JimWharton

    JimWharton Member+

    Feb 25, 2017
    A rule like that wouldn’t affect margin of victory. It would just remove goal differential as an excuse for beating up on a minnow.
  11. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    Gee, removing goal differential as a tie breaker is simply stupid. It would completely change the way ties are broken and, probably change the way teams play. I see no way that goal difference could be negated without adversely impacting overall play.

    Again trying to treat professional sports like rec sports is simply a way to cheapen professional play. There are parts of "professional" play that I find objectionable, like the "professional foul," but tie breaking by goal difference is NOT a place that any improvement can be made. BTW: Professional actions like picking up the ball when a free kick has been awarded to the other team or other such actions should always be at least a yellow card as it has no purpose except slowing the game down and preventing quick free kicks. Also standing in front of the ball to prevent a quick free kick should also be an automatic yellow card.

    Soccer is about scoring goals and when a player interferes in such a way as to prevent free kicks take at the kicking team's whims is interfering and therefore should be punished rather harshly.

    I sometimes do not like to see "minnows" getting squashed but it is better than removing all incentive to score once a set margin is reached. 20-0 is not often fun to watch or play but it is better that any alternative I have heard about. In this case huge goal differential is the fault of the tournament and the bad team. If they are that bad they should not even be in the tournament and if they do not know how bad they are then they are totally incompetent and do not deserve to be even playing professional soccer. No country is ever forced to field soccer teams.

    I do not really like blowouts but they are as much a part of professional sports as boring 0-0 or 1-1 games are and there is little talk about such games being unfair even though they are unfair to the fans and soccer itself and even the teams involved. Just look at the group game between the US and Australia at the last Olympics. I would rather see 20-0 than a 0-0 like that again.

    We cannot solve all soccer's problems with "adjustments" and trying to adjust "margin of victory" to sooth the sensibilities of the poor little players is just a very wrong way and, I believe, would have the exact opposite effect and bad teams would be even more humiliated when their play is negated by artificial scores.
    JanBalk and blissett repped this.
  12. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

    Jun 2, 2007
    Akron, OH
    I think you're stealing a base or two here: what evidence is there that the Latvian women's team is even semi-professional, let alone fully-professional?

    The point is scoring and preventing the other team from doing the same. "As much as possible" is rarely a primary concern. Scoring one more than the other team usually suffices. Typically, you don't want to leave yourself open to risk, which can manifest EITHER way: by going for more, or by dedicating yourself to preventing any (as going for more is itself risky oftentimes). Of course this assumes a gap in ability that is quite small, which is what most fully-professional environments are.

    Also, 0-0 and 1-1 games are far from always boring. Some of the best matches I've ever seen have had those scores. 20-0 is many, many, many times more boring than even an average 0-0. One of the most boring games I've ever seen in person was the USWNT blowing out Nigeria in 1999.
  13. hotjam2

    hotjam2 Member+

    Nov 23, 2012
    Real Madrid
    I previously posted a letter from one of the Latvia players mom where she wrote there were only 200 adult female players in the whole country, none of them pro’s.

    What happened here; this was part an World Cup qualifiers group game, played over an FIFA open window week, coupled with England’s other opponent, 2nd placed/group, Austria. So probable FIFA rules, you can’t switch the rosters for each game, thus England brought it’s A squad for the Austrian game and stuck playing them as well for the Latvian match even though an E or F squad or even an junior college team(by our standards) could of beaten the Latvians.

    Latvia is more of an basketball crazy country(4 current NBA players headed by Porzingis $158 mill contract with the Dallas Mavs) but like most of Eastern Euro countries these days, a lack of commitment to female sports(as I’m sure their mens soccer team wouldn’t of lost this bad)
  14. JimWharton

    JimWharton Member+

    Feb 25, 2017
    I mean, you’ve got an opinion on this clearly, but you’re also not really tracking. You can have goal differential, it’s just the first five count and the rest are whatever. Score as many as you like, but the idea that one team beating Latvia by 20 and another only scoring 17 doesn’t seem like a meaningful difference anyway.
  15. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    Limiting goal differential to 5 is just as bad as not using goal differential at all. It simply totally negates the need to even play extremely weak teams in group play.
    The only way it can work is if something like CONCACAF's qualification system where all the bad teams play each other and only one or two of the best of the bad teams advance to the real tournament. Note: CONCACAF seems to change the qualification system often so it may be that I do not have the most current format b every system they come up with to try to make more meaningful matches happen has some drawback and it ends up just as bad as what they had before. It fact, if I understand CONCACAF's men's qualification process they are 100% dependent on FIFA's rankings to find the top 6 teams. along with a low tier playoff structure to feed two additional spots into the final home/home round robin tournament for the qualification places. That system is less horrible than what is currently being used in Europe but it is still quite bad.
    In actuality I think the European system with groups and goal differential used as is will probably prove "best" But there are problems.
    Trying to eliminate goal differential past 5 is pretty much the same as not having goal difference count at all. Picture a four team group with Team A, Team B, Team C and team D. During group play A&B&C all tie 2-2 and they all beat D by varying goal amounts between 6 and 12. But since nothing past 5 counts they are tied. So how should the tie be broken? Total goals will not work because nothing past 5 counts. Nor would goals scored or goals conceded make any difference. The elimination of goals past 5 counting just means that we get to the kind of made up tie breakers like "yellow cards" or possession time or territorial advantage or some such and then we go to a coin toss.

    As much as it is possible to have results that humiliate a team if you use goal difference it gives a way to tiebreak, which is more important than saving the feelings of some poor little girls, and that means that most often we will have clear ties broken without resorting to matters which are not really directly related to soccer.

    My preferred method would be to never have ties in group play. Just have any game ending in a tie in group play proceed directly to PKs where the winner of the PKs gets 1 additional point. That is the tied teams gets 1 point each at the end of the game and the winner of the PKs gets one more point and the get one goal toward the goal difference

    But, no matter what is tried goal difference must be a main way to break ties and that difference cannot be limited just because some people think scoring a lot of goals against a bad team humiliates that team. Actually the people most humiliated seem to be those favoring the winning team. Not the players/coaches of either team. And, yse the difference between 20-0 and 17-0 is meaningful. It means that one team was able to score 20 wile the other only 17 and that is a difference that means a good deal more than something like "yellow cards" or possession or a coin flip.

    We should just allow things to work out as they do and avoid artificially limiting goals at any time. We do NOT need to protect the players from humiliation. But we do need to protect some fans from foolishness.

    One more thing: The tiebreakers past goal difference seems to me to be really meaningless. I would rather see PK shootouts to break ties in group play than all the garbage stats that get used.
  16. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

    Jun 2, 2007
    Akron, OH
    Now they're "poor little girls". I thought this was professional soccer.

    Make up your mind.
  17. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    You clearly do not understand sarcasm. They are called "poor little girls" because that is how people seem to want to treat them but not because that is what they are but rather it is just what the protective people expect them to be. It is the people that want to protect people from humiliation that create perceived victims.

    But you clearly do not want to debate real issues but rather just want to nit pick posts to have something to disagree with. I am surprised you did not pick on some typo or mistaken word use.

    That makes your posts of little value so, goodby!

    And stopping goal difference remains a horrible idea.
    JanBalk repped this.
  18. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

    Jun 2, 2007
    Akron, OH
    Listen, man, you're the one going on and on about "professional" this and "professional" that.

    And then you have the complete lack of imagination to say "we can't touch goal difference! It is sacrosanct!"

    The larger point here is that something that never should have happened did, and really maybe we can get around mercy rules by not having teams that are clearly not up for it in these competitions. But that butts up against other mandates that seem to be important to the powers that be w.r.t. the level of maturity of the sport.

    There's any number of conversations to be had before we get to "suck it up, Buttercup" vs. "Don't you dare touch goal differential, for it is the best and only possible tiebreaker".

    20-0 is straight up bad for the game.
  19. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The problem is that a team that one reasonably could expect to lose 20-0 is in the competition in the first place. If there are 20-0 or comparable scores, solve the basic problem.
    FanOfFutbol repped this.
  20. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

    Jun 2, 2007
    Akron, OH
  21. winster

    winster Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Besiktas JK
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There could be some pretty wild scores in CONCACAF Women's Championship Qualification this year depending on how rosters shake out. Mexico-Anguila, Haiti-BVI could both conceivably be in the 20-0 range.

    There will probably be quite a few other games with 10+ goal margins. Fortunately, I think almost every Caribbean nation is back to allowing some form of group activities/get-togethers, so covid will probably only affect team's abilities to get foreign-based players, not the ability to organize local players.

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