In a lesson for everybody else in the business of staging international team sports tournaments, the World Baseball Classic had a moment last night. Mexico played Venezuela with both teams looking to advance from their group to play Italy in a tiebreaker game in Group D. Unfortunately, neither team seemed clear on what they needed to get to that game. Mexico won 11-9, with the expectation that would put them through to the tiebreaker. It didn’t. Instead, Venezuela gets another chance on a runs against tiebreaker 21 to 19.
NBC Sports’ Bill Baer has the details, but the takeaway is simple. The teams involved need to know how the tournament works. That didn’t happen on Sunday night.
For anybody running a soccer tournament, that’s why leaving the standard tiebreakers alone is always the better idea. We’ve seen tournaments decide that goal difference shouldn’t be the first tiebreaker. We’ve seen the lengthy list of how to break group stage ties shuffled based on a new concept of what’s fair then reset when that’s no better. We’ve seen people struggle trying to figure out what applies to a tournament.
Though nobody wants to get to “drawing of lots” there’s a silliness involved in deciding the standard just won’t do. The Champions League gets to disciplinary points and club co-efficient a dozen steps down the tie-breaker list as a way to avoid flipping a coin. By that point, is it even competitive anymore?
— John Harkes (@johnharkes6) March 12, 2017
The NY Times’ Rory Smith asks if the double matters anymore in English soccer. The Daily Mail’s Matt Barlow with Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger talking about the expectations on his club. The Independent’s Jonathan Wilson expects Arsenal to have to rebuild their squad. Steve McClaren is once again out as the manager of Derby County, the club announced.
The AP’s Graham Dunbar has the details on the Court of Arbitration of Sport ruling that called former FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s payments to Michel Platini “reckless”. Inside World Football’s Andrew Warshaw asks a political question about the willingness of the United States to continue to investigate and prosecute soccer corruption. World Soccer’s Keir Radnedge explains the issue with a lack of candidates for the UEFA spots in the FIFA Council.
All links are provided as a courtesy. US Soccer Players nor its authors are responsible for the content of third-party links or sites. For comments, questions, and concerns please contact us at email@example.com