Mexico. Costa Rica. The United States. Panama. Honduras. These are household names in terms of being perceived as the footballing powers of CONCACAF, both in terms of the regions biannual tournament (the Gold Cup) and in representing the region at the World Cup. Yet, the waves of change are being made this year by teams not even ranked within 50 positions of FIFA’S world ranking system. Maybe it’s still early to call the recent results waves, rather they are ripples across the water of what we all know as the established hierarchy of CONCACAF. Regardless, those at the top and elsewhere might want to take notice, because even the biggest waves started as ripples.
The game against Jamaica was set up to be a triumph for the US. This was supposed to be the showcase of how far the team had come since the appointment of Gregg Berhalter as head coach of the USMNT after the dismal period since the departure of Jurgen Klinsmann. Yet, the game fell flat and that’s all the commentators could seem to focus on for the full 90 minutes. As if implying that their expectations for the team were much higher. From my standpoint at the time of watching the game it seemed a little premature to have such high expectations for a team whose majority of its players don’t play together on a consistent basis and whose coach was newly appointed to the position only a few games ago. Combined with the fact that the player pool is strictly speaking weaker depth wise at every position than any generation before it. And whose best players, like many other high profile nations, were coming off of grueling overseas seasons. Some might suggest this is no excuse. That they are professionals and should be up to the challenge. True they are professionals but how many of us, the fans on the couch or in the stands, have ever played a season as long as most of their players endure? So I had to ask myself “Why did the pundits have such high expectations? And were they reasonable?” In a short word. No.
My idea for the new game stems from my previous article about the need for a massive open world Middle-Earth consul game. This article will express at length my vision for said game and what aspects from other similar successful games in this genre should be included in the build. If you haven't read my article that's fine. The general concept of the game would be open world combined with RTS.
As many of you fans know Amazon has recently acquired the rights to Tolkien's masterpiece The Lord of the Rings trilogy. When I heard this news, it got me thinking about the video game side of the business. Growing up during the original trilogy, I always wished for a more immersive game than what was rolled out at the time of the original movies. The only games close to what I was looking for were the games named after the second and third movies. But even they lacked that something extra I craved.
For starters, I am a Liverpool fan, so let me get that out of the way. I try to be as unbiased as a "Red" can be, but my team, at this moment, is clicking on all cylinders and flying high, so if I come across as boastful it's only because I take pride in what they have become. And how couldn't I get fired up after the display they put on the other day?
For years now, all I have heard is how far superior the big three leagues of Europe are compared to the rest of the continent, specifically the Italian Serie A. I'm referring to the Barclays Premier League, La Liga, and the German Bundesliga. All the major US soccer outlets bang away about how these three leagues style of play is far and away better than Serie A. While I will concede that of the big three, the EPL is the best right now at being able to attract the huge names within the sport. It does make me wonder how good that is for the EPL as a whole due to the fact that many players who go there are then forced to sit on the bench who would otherwise star for another team in the very same league, La Liga/Bundesliga or the other leagues of Europe. Therefore, I will focus primarily on the EPL in relation to Serie A. Everyone is allowed their opinion. But this is why yours is wrong about Italian football. Let me take you back and show you how far Italian Serie A has come from a mere ten years ago. I will focus primarily on the current Top 6 within the league and hopefully reshape your definition of what makes a league a "great league."