Nov. 17, 2022

World Cup '22 Preview

World Cup '22 Preview

In Episode 106, Paul and Phil talk about the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, covering the FIFA corruption leading up to the Cup, the new documentary, “FIFA Uncovered,” which is rocking the world of football, predictions about who will get out of each...

In Episode 106, Paul and Phil talk about the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, covering the FIFA corruption leading up to the Cup, the new documentary, “FIFA Uncovered,” which is rocking the world of football, predictions about who will get out of each group and who will ultimately with the Cup, and some leadership lessons we can learn from all of it. It is a fun and enlightening conversation that you don’t want to miss.


Who are you picking to win it all?

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Phil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks again for being a part of the conversation. I'm your host, Phil Dark, and I have with me again Paul Jobson, my co-host brother in Arms. And today we are going to be talking about the World Cup. Coming up. It's actually this Sunday. I'm pretty psyched about it.

I mean, even with all the stuff that we're gonna talk about, the, the corruption, the other thing, the players still play and I'm really excited about these different teams being able to come together and play on the world stage. Before we get into a little bit of that, Paul,

[00:00:33] Paul: what's up? Oh man. It's good to be back with you again, Phil.

Things are, things are good here in Waco. We Did some wrestling this weekend. Mm-hmm. with, with one of the kids. We got football wrapping up. We had big kind of end, end of the year fundraiser for Warrior Way Gives that went well trying to stay healthy as the temperature changes from the mid nineties to the mid forties and fifties and Waco.

So everybody freaks out. Actually, my big puffy on today and it was 50 degrees. I kinda had to laugh at myself, but but yeah, man, [00:01:00] things are, things are great here, man. How about, how about you guys out there in Cali?

[00:01:04] Phil: Yeah, you know, we skipped fall too. Unfortunately we have a few trees that are pretty, but that's about it.

That's all we got. The weather did not go into that beautiful fall weather, unfortunately. But yeah, I got starting up high school soccer, always a really cool time and a tough time because of cuts and, you know, you know, all that stuff. But mm-hmm. , you know, you're, you're making dreams come true and you're crushing dreams all in the same time.

And, and that's that's, that's, it's, it's really cool to see the, the one side of it. It's always hard to do the other, but but yeah, you know, just lots of, lots of, you know, year end stuff. Love to hear about Warrior Way and the, the great you know, results of the, of the fundraiser. That's always exciting to hear.

Got year end stuff, of course with the, with the ministry and all that, but, and just plugging away and, and really got a lot of balls in the air. and trying to, trying to keep 'em going and making sure that they're the right balls too. And that's always a constant leadership decision too, right? We talk about all that [00:02:00] stuff, you know, we all have these different decisions to make on, on what we're supposed to be doing and how we're supposed to be doing it and, and to make sure it's the right things.

And so, you know, one thing I wanna clarify is, is your, your boy was wrestling as a sport, not you, or actually rest. You probably wrestled with them all at some point over the weekend, but, but that is what's going on here too, right? Yeah. I guess, I

[00:02:19] Paul: guess that is good to, to clarify because probably just assume that the jobs and boys are always wrestling, which is true.

Yes. That is a household event. But yeah, I've got one who's entered the competitive world of wrestling. Trained for an entire year. We told him, Hey, if you wanna wrestle, that's great. It's a big commitment if you train for an entire year. At the end of that year, we'll start putting you in tournaments.

And he did it, man, two hours. Two hours, sorry, four hours a week two days a week for a year to be able to do that. So I gave credit on his persistence and his effort. But yeah, we, we did our first tournament this weekend and it's actually a lot of fun. So there's something to that, you know, one V one event where it's, it's you and the other person and if you [00:03:00] lose, it's on you or, or to their credit, and vice versa.

There's no, no hiding. In soccer, you can hide a little bit. Football, basketball, you can hide, you know, Cause you've got teammates and they can assist you. But in wrestling, man, it's, it's you and that other person. And that's, yeah, that's it. So it's, it's truly a lot of fun to.

[00:03:17] Phil: Yeah. That is cool. That is super cool.

That's actually one of the things we talked about with baseball too, with Justin when he was, when he was playing this last, this last time. It's a team sport. Yes. But it's such an individual sport too, as far as when a pitcher and a batter, they're going toe to, you know, they're going head to head and, and there's nowhere to hide, like you said, you can if you strike out.

Yeah. , . You can't just be like, Oh, it's somebody, you know, a guy, you know, somebody didn't get me the pass or whatever, you know, And if you're pitching and you're getting crushed, you're out there on that mound and it, it feels, it doesn't feel like there's eight other people on that field with you. It feels like you're all alone on that mound.

And so, there, there's so many. That's what I love about sports. There's so many great lessons in all the different sports and, and Oh yeah. Really cool stuff. And, and I think the hard work and all that comes, [00:04:00] comes with all of 'em, but. Yeah, that's, that's, that's so cool. I'd love to hear, like, I'm excited to hear like, as it, as it progresses with that, with wrestling and, you know, I know football and these different sports and the jobs in the house to see, you know, where they end up with the, you know, two very high level soccer, soccer parents for, they always, if they all end up there, who knows?

It's, that's a cool, it's always a fun little thing to see the journey of these kids and these different sports and, you know, being in Texas. So we don't hard to, so we don't get fact. So

[00:04:27] Paul: we don't get fact checked. So I don't wanna get fact checked. We have one very high level soccer player in this house,

[00:04:32] Phil: One very high level

[00:04:34] Paul: sub, maybe average level.

So just, I don't wanna get fact checked, you know, here on the podcast and come back and be like, Oh, we're making stuff up. Yeah. So one high level soccer player in an average soccer player in this household. So ,

[00:04:47] Phil: I would not call Marci average Paul. I, I, Now you're gonna get me in trouble. Man, now you're gonna get me in trouble.

Paul, you were part of the blue hose. Start over. You were part of the blue hose. We've already established this man [00:05:00] that's that's as high as it gets. Scottish stockings. We've already talked about this, bro.

[00:05:06] Paul: Two time South Atlantic conference champions you know, a run in the NCAA tournament. I mean, that's pretty powerhouse, right?

Yeah. Compared to a pro in Germany and the US and the US national team, right? I mean, come on.

[00:05:17] Phil: It's pretty amazing. I, I do, I'm still waiting to see the actual blue stockings hanging up behind you as we record. It's one of these times, so I'll have to get them to send me some. Yeah, we'll get there. We'll get there.

All right, so let's get to it. We're gonna, we are going to do a World Cup preview today as promised. And, you know, As we talked alluded to a little bit earlier, it wouldn't be a World Cup preview show with the World Cup and Qatar. If we were to do one in Russia with the Russia too, it would've been the same thing, by the way, but it, to talk of it, we, it wouldn't be that preview show without talking about the corruption that happened in, in order to get this into Qatar.

And you know, I actually watched FIFA uncovered on Netflix. It's a four [00:06:00] four show docu-series. Very, very good. Strongly recommended if you wanna see from start, to start to present FIFA and the corruption and the, just the money behind the scenes and, and how it really, it's just a bunch of businessmen that are making money on the sport rather than a bunch of people who really care deeply about.

So it seems like all the people who are the football or the global football people don't get voted. They don't, they don't play the game or they don't do whatever, and they don't get voted in as that president role. And a lot of times they're not even the ones doing the local stuff for the different areas of the world.

And so, you know, there's, there's so much that went on, it's pretty crazy. I mean, it's, it's just, it's sad the amount of payoffs that happened in order to get this to buy votes, you know, things that, you know, and, and it came down. Yeah, they, they arrested a bunch of people and there were some fraud charges, but most of those guys are still walking the streets.

They're not, [00:07:00] they're not spending life in prison or anything. And you know what, at the end of the day, it's, it is a private organization. It's not a government organization. It's a non-profit. So it's still under certain, certain rules. Ironically, it's a non-profit and all these guys are profiteering off of votes.

But from the beginning, getting advertising and marketing dollars and all these other things. But anyway, what, what do you think about all that and what are some lessons we can pull out of it for, for our audience?

[00:07:28] Paul: I think the thing that sticks out to me is, is accountability, right? I think that, you know, when you get into a leadership position and you create, you know, let's take this back to the very beginning.

When, when everything's kind of being created, you know, I'd like to think that it was created initially for the good of the game and whatnot. And maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was created for the good of their pockets, you know, their and their livelihood. But I'd like to get people the benefit of the doubt at the beginning.

But I think what can happen is when you jump in for whatever reason and you realize that, you know, money's a powerful tool. And you know, [00:08:00] sometimes things can get outta control, but if there's not accountability in leadership, there's not accountability with the people that are around you. You can, you can lose yourself, you know, And I think that that's, you know, we talk a lot about mentorship.

We talk a lot about having people alongside you that you can trust that aren't just yes people, but people that can hold you accountable to, to what's going to actually be important. You know, I think you even see it in, in building a coaching staff. You know, I think it's it was always important for us that we could speak honestly with each other as a staff and the staffs that we built to give that freedom of, Hey, if we feel like somebody's going down the wrong path, whether it's, you know, whether it's recruiting or it's handling the budget or it's whatever it is, there's somebody, there's a checks and balances there that, that can keep you in your, in your lane, so to speak.

So all of that, I, I think I come back to the world. The word accountability. Where was the accountability? Where was the person who was saying, Hey, you know what? I think we're going the wrong direction. And there may have been that person, they may have been blackballed early on, you know, But I think you have to, as a leader, you have to seek accountability.

And [00:09:00] that's, that's kind of what stands out to me in all of that, cuz you can definitely get lost when you're talking about the millions, maybe billions of dollars are being passed around for, for, you know, countries. And the economic impact that it can, this tournament can have in these countries is, is, is amazing.

So, you know, I can see how people can kind of get lost in that, just knowing human nature and whatnot. But I just keep coming back to accountability.

[00:09:24] Phil: Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. My daughter was taught, was watched in the last couple of them with me and she's a freshman in high school and she's like, Why, why would.

Spend that much money, why would qar spend that much money paying off these people? I mean, it was like 1.5 million in, in, you know, and things like that for per, you know, for a vote. Like it was crazy, crazy numbers. And, and I said, Well, they're making millions and millions and millions of dollars and billions of dollars in their country.

First of all um, it brings so much to the country. Even though they had to build all the stadiums, even though all of the migrant worker issues and all of those things, we don't have time to get into [00:10:00] the corruption and, and the tragedies that happened to make this thing happen, which is what is so hard about it.

It's like, on one hand you're like, Why are we still playing? But you don't wanna punish the, the players and the country for the ills and the wrongdoing of these other people. And sometimes you go, Well, maybe you have to, you know, Cause like some people were saying during the Russia, Ukraine conflict, you know, we, we gotta ban Russian athletes from everything.

And it's like, man, that's such a hard conver, I get it. I get both sides of it. It's so hard. But I said to her you know, to give kind of back what we were talking about, I said to her, and the other thing is you can't under underestimate what a country will do to get their team into the World Cup.

Mm-hmm. . Right? Even like South Africa, they were ranked 94th in the world when they hosted the World Cup. Yeah. They won the first game, which was crazy when we watched that. That was an amazing thing to watch. They're still 94, like they would not have made that World Cup. So the what that brings, and that was another [00:11:00] thing that was, you know, when Seth Blatter won the presidency, he said, I guarantee we'll get, we'll get the, I'll bring the World Cup to Africa.

Right. And then that's when it gets to South Africa. So it's like one thing after another. But, but Qatar like, they basically bought their way into the World Cup too. Which you can't underestimate that either. cuz that is such a ma like we don't get it here in the us. Because if you go around during the World Cup while the US is playing and you asked people, Do you know what's going on right now sports-wise around the world, most people wouldn't even know it's getting to be more and more.

But I remember when I was a law working in a law firm, in, in you know, I can't remember exactly which World Cup it was. I think it was 2006 World Cup. And I was I was saying, Yeah, I'm gonna go watch the game. Oh no, it was a 2002 World Cup. And I said, I'm gonna watch the game. They said, What game? And it was the US playing and I was going down to the sports bar and they didn't even know it was going.

They didn't even know it was happening. Yeah. [00:12:00] That's when I was like, We don't deserve to have, like, we don't deserve to have a winning team in the World Cup here in the us but other countries literally shut down. It's everything for them. And so going back to you talked about, I think the, the, the pressure on that side leads people to do things they wouldn't do in a, in a normal world, so to speak.

And it, and it causes them to take gamble and. These chances and these risks, you know, that other people will do to get their business ahead, to get whatever ahead, that they're gonna do that for their country because it's that important to them. But the other thing that is lacking, So accountability is one, but in order to have accountability, you have to actually have the systems in place to hold someone accountable too.

Right? It's like in, in our nonprofit, and I'm sure you do the same, we don't have one person who, you know, signs the checks and does the books. There's like two steps to the person that actually does our books and signs, checks from me as the president. I [00:13:00] don't touch any money, I don't touch any checks. I have to get my expense report approved by the board chair and some other people.

Like that happens for everything that goes through because it has to be 100% above reproach. Appearance of impropriety has to be gone. Everything has, there has to be systems to to allow for that. So if somebody questions it, you can say no. Like go look at what we do. There's no way that possibly could have happened.

Unless everyone is in cahoots, and I guarantee you all these people are not. Yeah. And that is completely lacking in fifa. They, they have no idea how these things even happen. It's just basically these guys have a vote. The fact that the Caribbean has 30 votes, even though their teams are never, rarely ever seeing Trinidad, Tobago made it into the World Cup.

Yes. But like they're not even seeing the, the World Cup stage yet. They have 30 votes [00:14:00] for the presidency, for where it's gonna be. All that. That's crazy cuz one country won't vote. That's a system that actually encourages corruption. Mm-hmm. not, not. Discourages it. So anyway, those are the things that I, I really see out of it that I think if you put those systems in place, the procedures and the processes in place, that will then lend itself to the, to the accountability.

But again, as we've talked about before on the show, really, that that five characteristics of a healthy organization that Patrick Lencioni's put together starts with trust, right? There's no trust in the, there's no trust in fifa, and there's no trust within fifa. Mm-hmm. , they don't trust each other and there's no healthy conflict going on.

It's just people like undercutting each other, basically. So then you're not gonna commit to the decisions and have those procedures and have those processes, and there's nothing to hold each other accountable to. So it's just a, you know, what show. So, but anyway any, any kinda other thoughts on [00:15:00] that?

I mean, we talked earlier too, about the fact that these aren't soccer people or football people. And how that's similar as you were talking about to the college. So what do you, what do you want? I wanna hear about that. Like what you're, what you're thinking there. Yeah.

[00:15:12] Paul: I mean, I, you talk about how, you know, you've got these folks making, you know, decisions for sport and they're, that's not their thing.

They're, they're businessmen, which there's, there's something to that, right? I think you need to understand business. It is, it is a business. Yeah. So you can't have just, you know, fully soccer people there who don't understand business, and I don't think you can have full business people there that don't understand the world game either.

Yeah, it just kind of reminded me of, you know, kind of the, kind of where col, you know, high level college athletics is going. You know, I know for, for, for forever, most of your ad's were, you know, former football coaches. You know, you kinda, when you, when you graduated from being, you know, a college football coach, usually your next step if you didn't go into retirement was you became an ad.

It was about that help fundraising. You were the, the name. If [00:16:00] you'd had success at a university, you would be promoted up to an athletic director and that would be kinda your next. Your next step if you had some business savvy and then that sort of thing. Now you don't see that anymore. It's very rare that you find anybody who has really any, any coaching experience at a high level athletic director position.

And of course, I'm not knocking, you know, athletic directors as a whole, but I do think there's a balance there of kind of understanding the, the, the thing that you're directing. It's not just about being a, a, a business leader but it's about knowing the people that you're leading within that business.

And I think that just when you were talking about it earlier, how there really weren't any people in the world of football leading fifa. It just reminded me that of, of college high level college athletics now where there's, there's really no coaches in administration anymore. And I think it would do universities very, very well to have a little bit more.

Coaches input because they're the, you know, they're on the front lines with the athletes and the administrators absolutely care a [00:17:00] ton about the athletes, but the disconnect is, is, is very much there. Yeah, and I think that getting coaches into the administration piece of it, those that want to would be important.

And I kinda see that, that overlap with FIFA too. I mean, I think of any, any business organization in general, if you don't understand the people that you're serving, the people that you're trying to, to, to lead or, or raise money for or, you know, whatever that may be, I think you have a, a major disconnect.

Which can also lead to how do those systems go in place for accountability sake. Yeah.

[00:17:31] Phil: And also I think there are businessmen who know the game, and that's basically the premise of this show, right. There's a lot of people who are leading organizations, who are leading things out there that are soccer, people who have played sports, at least played sports.

Mm-hmm. and are people who are athletic and who have, who understand the ins and outs of it. Understand the, the things that matter, as you talked about with ad's, it's like they're hiring the coaches. Yeah. And yeah, they can bring [00:18:00] advisors in, but do they even know which advisors to bring in if they're not sports people?

Like how do they even know that? It's, it's, it's, it's something that, I was watching this documentary and I was just blown away. This one dude from Blazer, Jack Blazer, I think Jack, Chuck Blazer, he was, he's one of the biggest, you know, in the calf. He was one of the main dudes. And he basically in the seventies coached his two daughters and thought, Oh, there's amazing potential for business and for money in this sport.

I gotta get involved in this somehow. And he's this dude who's like, Obese dude and who'd never played the game and he just, and he made tons and tons and tons of money on the game. And I mean, we all know that it didn't necessarily develop u US soccer as it should have, you know, from the seventies on.

It wasn't like it was developing incredibly well, right? Yeah. So anyway, alright, we could go on and on. We're about 20 minutes in. I [00:19:00] wanna transition to the fun stuff. That's not fun. Like, that's not fun to talk about, but it's important to talk about if you have organizations, you don't have those systems, if you have organizations, you don't have people that understand the people that are part of that organization, that are part of those teams that are part of the athletic program.

It's a problem. It's a problem if you don't have, you know, protections in place to protect from hubris, to protect from I mean, how many clubs do we see? If you just Google embezzlement in youth sports, You will see way too much popping up thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of hits. It happens way too often because there aren't processes in place because people assume, Oh, they're good people that just care about the kids.

Well, I get news for you. They don't a lot of the time, unfortunately, a lot of times they do, but far too often they don't. And it's tragic. And so we gotta, we have to be aware of it and we have to protect against it. And that comes [00:20:00] by, you know, really bringing the right people in and, and demanding it, demanding that they do it, do it well.

So, all right, so we got this little thing happening starting Sunday kickoff. We got Qatar versus Ecuador you know, and then it will culminate with a bunch of other games. And then we'll have a final in about a month, little over a month. Right before Christmas time. Just crazy. It's happening this time of year.

Just doesn't feel right.

[00:20:27] Paul: Right. I got a question. I got a question for you. Are you gonna watch that Qatar Ecuador game?

[00:20:33] Phil: Am I gonna watch it? Why? Like at a protest to not watch it? Is that what you're thinking?

[00:20:37] Paul: No, no, no, no, no, no. Not protest. Like are are you gonna watch, Are you, is it on your calendar to watch that game?

And why, why not? It's,

[00:20:44] Phil: it's a crazy time, first of all. I don't know, man. I don't know. Or is it Saturday? I guess it's Saturday. No it's not. No, it's sun. It's Sunday. It's the 20th. Yeah, it's Sunday. It's the first day it's kick off the World Cup. It's not, I'm gonna, I'm not gonna lie. It's not a priority.

Right. Cuz it's [00:21:00] against Ecuador. It's like there's no draw to that game. Except that it's

[00:21:05] Paul: World Cup, other than maybe it's right, It's the first game of the World Cup. It's the first game of the

[00:21:08] Phil: World Cup. That's it. Right.

[00:21:09] Paul: So that's the only draw to that, to that match. Pretty much. I've talked to a few people over the last couple weeks.

They're like, Man, I can't wait for the first game of that World Cup. I'm like, Who is it? They're like, I don't know. Yeah. And then you tell 'em and they're like, Oh man, really? Okay. What? Anyway, it's the first game of the World Cup. I've been waiting, you know, four years or whatever it is to like, to do this.

So I, I just, I just wanted to ask that. Cause I'm the same way, like it's not a priority. If I happen to be able to watch it, I'll watch it.

[00:21:34] Phil: And it's unlikely cuz it's not a great time. But also it's, it's Sunday also it's like, you know, I mean, you don't even know any of the players and we just had, you know, We've, we haven't had a little bit of time.

Usually with World Cup, Premier League ends, all the other leagues end, and then you have three weeks or so and you're like, Oh, I need some more. I need some more football. And then, then middle of June, all of a sudden that first game's happen and you're like, Oh, finally more, [00:22:00] you know, great, great soccer out here.

But that, that's just not the case. We just watched, you know, a bunch of Premier League games, bunch whatever. Your league is, games. I mean, if you're a big MLS fan, it's been a little bit, but I have a feeling if you're a big MLS fan, you're also watching something else. Mm-hmm. . But then I think that, that, that group, though, I think the other two teams in that group, Ecuador could be a surprise.

I, if Qatar does it, I'm thinking there's some serious pan off of refs going on . But that Senegal and Netherlands, I think, you know, both of those are, are. Tough teams. Senegal's, my, one of my dark horse picks. I think they might do a little bit of damage in this World Cup. When you look through that lineup, there's a lot of really good players on that team that, that you see playing every, every Saturday, Sunday in the Premier League and other leagues around around Europe.

So, and Netherlands man, other than that year they made it to the, I don't know, man. They're like, They're the hundred, they're in Belgium. I feel like they just in England maybe. You know, they just kind of underperform every time. I'm like, man, Yeah,

[00:22:56] Paul: guys are, I think the big story, the big story that I'm reading, you know, over and over again [00:23:00] is everybody's just talking about how the, the European dominance of the World Cup is, is coming to an end.

You know, that it's not the European, the European clubs year after year or whatever that are just dominating. They, they'll get a, a round or two and fizzle out kind of what you're kind of to what you're saying. But I just find that that interesting and I think, you know, I don't know that my eventual champion will probably come from.

From, from Europe.

[00:23:23] Phil: So, yeah. All right. So group A. What, what, what are you gonna, I think that's a great point. I, I would be curious you know, I, out there, how many people are gonna be watching and how many people actually, or if this, you're listening to this after Sunday did you actually watch, Let us know.

Let us know that. I'd be curious. I'd be curious. Let's get a, let's get a little poll. Totally unscientific, unrepresented sample. And get the poll of that. Okay, so group A, who's coming? I've

[00:23:48] Paul: got Senegal and Netherlands also an opposite order. I think, I think Netherlands comes out on top of that group. Even though I disagree, Senegal is just, they're really overlooked. Like you said, I think that the name of the country, I think there's guys on [00:24:00] that team that you wouldn't, that you don't know, not following it closely. You're just kinda like, Oh wow. Okay. Senegal. Yeah. But I think that they are probably the, the, the second place group team outta that group, Netherlands coming out

[00:24:10] Phil: first.

Yeah. I just think their speed. May, may, you know, I know you, you have, the thing is you got Van Dyke back there in the Netherlands and then that's, that's great. But you got, I mean, they actually have a good keeper on Senegal too, cuz that's often a downfall of a lot of these African teams is their keeper isn't necessarily there.

But now you're starting to see a lot of these great Premier League keepers with Mindy there. I don't know. We'll see. We'll see. I don't know. I think of 'em out. I think for,

[00:24:34] Paul: Yeah, I think both of 'em come out, but for me, I've gotta be just clear on this, like I'm a Netherlands fan too. Mm-hmm. . So if it's close to me, I'm gonna pick Netherlands because I.

I, There you go. He is got the jersey. I love the country. When the World Cup was in the usa the Netherlands were in Florida, I got to, to, to hang out with, you know, their fans and their people and just, you know, I've been, I've been to their country. I love their, you know, so if it's close, I'm gonna pick that just outta motion, because I'm a fan of the, you know, [00:25:00] of their country and, and the way they play.

And Orange,

[00:25:04] Phil: Orange. I'm with you. I love, I really do. I really do. Like, I'm still hurting a little bit with de Jong not coming over to United too though. So I'm, you know, , I'm not gonna lie, and, you know, with the Liverpool Center, back. I mean, I'm like, I'm going, You know what? I wouldn't mind, of course, you know, Mane left Liverpool, so he's now, you know, at Bayern.

So I don't have any, you. Negative thoughts of, of Mane anymore. So it's, it's good. But , no, I think I, I think probably, I, you know, you gotta pick some upsets here. Cause that always happens. And those African teams often, they just, their speed, their fire, their passion. Mm-hmm. , you know, I, I just, they, they get excited in the World Cup.

All right. Group B, this is one, a lot of people are talking about all four in the top 25. Not many people realize Iran is a top 25 in the world rankings. And part of it, I think is a lot of their players just, you know, they're tight, they play together a lot. It's kinda like Swiss teams. Every Swiss team, they, they surprise because [00:26:00] they play together a lot.

A lot of 'em play in the Swiss League together. And I'm, I'm assuming that's the same, I don't know a lot of the names on the Iranian team, but but with Wales, us, Iran, England, I mean two of the British, two of the UK teams in the same bracket. That's pretty crazy. But what do you think, man, this is a tough one.

[00:26:18] Paul: I think this is a tough group, not be, and I don't think you get a World Cup winner out of this group. Yeah. But I think the group win itself, the battle to get outta that group is a tough one. Mm-hmm. . And I think my, my allegiances probably shine through on this that you know, I think it's, it's gonna be England and the usa, but I think, I think England comes out on top.

I think they, they'll do well early in the cup and like you said, I think they'll kind of fizzle as they, as they go. Probably that tends to be their, their mo. And I think for usa I just, I'm just kind of praying they get out of the group. I think they have the ability to, but are they gonna be able to step up in every one of those matches against, you know, probably similar ability type opponents to gut their way out of that group.

And I think obvious the game in that group probably will [00:27:00] be England versus usa. You know, I think I'm really, that's probably one of the early matches I'm really looking forward to in group stage. Mm-hmm. , but I'm gonna say England. England one, USA two outta that group.

[00:27:09] Phil: Yeah. So I will say that I agree England will be I'm, I'm holding up the England jersey right now because that's going to, I think, be the, the team that's gonna come out on top.

That being said, I wouldn't be shocked if England doesn't go through out of this group like you. I mean, it's like this group is, You never count out Gareth Bale. I often call him Christian Bale on accident cuz he is Batman. You've done that podcast? I have. I have. And you know, and Batman you know, you can never count him out.

So, but Gareth Bale, I mean, he, he shows up in big games, right? You got Daniel James, who's fast is, you know, super fast, right? So he comes out, he came out on Sunday against United his old team and, and scored as a super sub, right? So you got these guys that on the, on the Welsh team that are tough and Iran, man in the Middle East.

[00:28:00] Yeah, I don't know, man. They're gonna, they're gonna be fired up. They're like right at home, so. Yeah. And it's tough to travel. It's tough to travel. That's why you see the South American team struggle in Europe and vice versa. but, but I, I still think us will, will squeak it. I thought, Man, I don't know.

I'm with you. I think it's my, our allegiance, our, our like nationalism. Were like, Come on. Cause the way they've been playing lately, I'm not thrilled. But they have some dangerous players. They have some really dangerous players if they can pull it together with the youth and the exuberance. Um, It is the youngest team in the World Cup.

A lot of people don't realize that about the US team. So I hope they do. I don't see 'em going very far. But I hope they pull it out and get out, get out of the group at the, at the very least, and, and who knows, maybe make a run. They've done it in the past. And Croatia, other teams have have surprised us to get really far in the World Cup.

So, so who knows? But yeah, I'll go, I'm go with England. England first, us second. All right. Group C. We got Argentina, we got South [00:29:00] Korea Mexico, and Poland. That's Arg. Argentina. Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia. Sorry. Not South Korea. Saudi Arabia. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I i's got the ksa not words wrong. So, That's right, that's right.

Thank you for correcting me on that accountability. No, right. Thank you. That's right.

[00:29:13] Paul: Accountability. Accountability. Group C. I'm going, um, I mean, I'm going to Argentina and Poland on that one. Mm-hmm. , I think Argentina comes out of the group on top. In Poland. Sorry to my Mexican friends. I don't, I don't know if Mexico gets out of the group or not.

I just, I'm not, I'm not you know, as I have some allegiance to, to Mexico for sure. Similar to the us. I just don't know that Mexico has enough of it consistently to get out of the group this year. And, and they've gotta get through, you know, Argentina and Poland to do it. I think those are two tough, tough teams.

Whereas I think the Group B is a little bit of a, an, it's a tight group, but there's not really a, a a powerhouse in that group. Group C isn't as tough, but you've got some, you know, two really, really good teams in [00:30:00] Argentina for sure. Has a chance to win the whole thing. Yeah. You know, and NE's last, NE's last World Cup, I'd love to see him go out with a World Cup championship.

You know, but I, I, I just don't know if Mexico gets through.

[00:30:12] Phil: It's interesting. Us youngest team, Mexico oldest team, I believe, or their very old team either regardless chose tough keeper again as a keeper that, that often gets you through in a World Cup if they get hot, right? I mean, Tim Howard, when the US went and, and barely lost to Belgium, that was, he was a hot keep, right?

So, I don't know. This is a tough group. I, I agree. I I think Argentina does go through, although we've seen them just completely flounder in World Cups, unfortunately, I would like to see Messi go very far. Although if they win the group, they will end up hitting Brazil most likely in the semis. That's gonna be tough for them.

That would be a really killer semi to watch though. It'd be like a final. Yeah, exactly. And and so I, I, I will, I do think Argentina does come out on top and. [00:31:00] I, my, my, I'm gonna, I'm gonna pick Mexico here just because I, I, I don't want my freshman daughter who said Mexico's gonna go super far because that's all they do there.

And she's right. It's all they do in any of these countries. But that's the country she's been to other than Honduras. And they played more in Honduras when she went down there last summer. They all, all they did was play soccer. I don't know. I, I think, I think Poland's probably the better team, but something Mexico just, they just somehow pull it out every time in the World Cup to, to make it through the first round.

[00:31:33] Paul: Yeah. Well, Phil, I hope, I hope I'm wrong. I hope Mexico, Mexico goes through over Poland. Yeah. But my gut, my gut is going with Poland

[00:31:42] Phil: and Lewandowski. Man, that dude's just super good. Like it's hard to pick against him. But, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go with, I'm gonna go with Argentina, Mexico.

So that's our, our first I mean, I guess we disagree. Disagreement order in in group A, but there we go. We'll see. We'll see. All right. Group D, We got [00:32:00] France, we got Austria, We got Or is that Australia? It's Australia. Australia, yeah. Yep. Australia. Australia. I'm just going with the, the abbreviations just showing how terrible I am with the abbreviations of countries France, Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia.

I think this one's a bit easier for me. I'm gonna go with France and Denmark and I think I'm, I'm actually gonna kind of gonna just go a little bit on a limb here cuz I really like Christian Erickson and I think that that passion, Denmark is a solid team. I think I'm gonna pick. Denmark at the top of this, France going number two outta this group.

And that's gonna be a controversial pick cuz I think a lot of people. But I I just see France implode sometimes in in the World Cup and that's what I'm going with. So it here is my, my French jersey here. And I think their talent on the French team will very likely take them very far. But I don't know, man.

I think Denmark's got this whole Christian Erickson thing going on right now and and they're just a very tight-knit group. So I'm going, I'm going with the team.

[00:32:57] Paul: Yeah. Right. So you showed the, Fran, just to be [00:33:00] clear for our audience, you, you showed the France jersey, but you're picking them second

[00:33:04] Phil: outta the group?

That is correct. That is correct. Okay. Yes. Well, I'm, I don't have a, I don't have a, a Danish jersey, so I Oh, okay. I can't, I couldn't show the Danish jersey, but I, everybody has a Danish

[00:33:16] Paul: jersey. Let's get that over to Phil. Yeah, please. Asap.

[00:33:19] Phil: That'd be pretty fantastic.

[00:33:21] Paul: That would be pretty fantastic. Well, I'm, I'm gonna flip the, the two are absolutely correct, but I think that France is gonna come out on top.

We have seen them implode at times. I, I'm, I'm hoping that they've resolved those issues through, you know, leadership changes and whatnot. But I'm going V by W and I think they come outta the group on top, but I definitely think Denmark is the other team. You gotta remember,

[00:33:41] Phil: Pogba and Kante are, are hurt too.

Yeah. So, that's gonna be interesting for 'em in that midfield. But their attack is insane though. I mean, just flat out insane. So, I, I wouldn't wanna face him. But I do hope that, I hope Denmark does it. Let's go. Christian Erickson. I liked him before he came to United, By the way, just for the record, , [00:34:00] just to clarify.

Yeah, Yeah. Even before his heart attack. I like that guy. He's, I, even when he is playing fort him, he's just, he's always had a, he just, he just does his job, man. I like the guys who just do their job. They don't, don't make a big stink about it. They just do their job and they play really, really well and super hard the whole game.

So, Alright. We have Spain, Costa Rica, right? Is Costa Rica, correct? Mm-hmm. ? Yep. Germany and Japan. You want me to go on that one? Yeah, you

[00:34:27] Paul: go first. All right. I think the top two are gonna be Germany one, Spain two. Yeah, I think those are the two to come outta that group. I would love to see. Costa Rica do some damage, but I, I don't think that's really possible.

That's a tough group, man. I don't think that, Yeah. Come on. Two of the world, world leaders in that group right there, it's gonna be Spain and Germany. I do think Germany probably comes out on top of that group. Just, I'm just leaning that way based on just kind of what I think. But I'd love to see both of those teams go, go really far.

I'm a, I'm a fan of the, the Spain team, but I think Germany comes outta that group on [00:35:00] top, but I think Spain and Germany both make a lot of noise through the tournament.

[00:35:03] Phil: I agree. Deutschland is going to take that group, I believe. They just do, right? They just, they're, they're just solid. As much as France tends to implode, a lot of times they either win it or they implode, right?

Mm-hmm. , Germany is like just steady. I mean, to see them beat Brazil seven to one, like that's insane. Yeah. But that's what Germany can do. They just, they just, And it's funny, after watching the Bayern Munich documentary like some of these guys, you would never, I wouldn't think of them. I don't know if you watched that at all, but like Thomas Muller is a total jokester.

Like I would not expect that with that guy. Like when he is playing, he just seems like a, you know, he's like kind of just, I'm be intense German guy. I'm like German, German, German. Right. And he is just like goofing around, joking around. It's kinda like horse, right? Like hanging out with Horst. Right. That's what I can see.

Like the Horst probably early on and it's probably kind of like the Thomas Mueller there. But you get that, that good German, they're [00:36:00] gonna have their good wiener schnitzel and I think they're gonna, they're gonna win. Like they're gonna take that bracket. They're gonna take

[00:36:05] Paul: group E. So you're calling that they're gonna have the winner schnitzel.

[00:36:09] Phil: Exactly. Very good. I like it. I like it. Well done Paul Jobson. Thank you. With a good pun. Well done. Yep. Okay. Group F we got Belgium, Canada. Is that Morocco? Morocco and Croatia. The surprise of the last World Cup.

[00:36:27] Paul: Go ahead. What do you think?

He's got a Jersey folks. He's got a jersey. Belgium.

[00:36:38] Phil: Belgium will I think they're gonna take this group. And this is a tough one for me. It's not gonna be Morocco, I don't think. I think they're, they're decent team. They're gonna play super defensive. They're gonna be boring, I think. But

I'm gonna, I'm gonna go with our Canadian neighbors. The, the exciting team they have, I think they're [00:37:00] gonna surprise Croatia is. Is a team like I, it could just as easily be Croatia in Canada as it could be. Belgium, I, I, in those three teams, they're all, they're all, they're good. I mean, they're really good teams.

Canada has a lot of players who are playing over in Europe and I think that's, and their, and they have the youthful, like they just can just surprise and the pace, they have tons of pace on that team. But I think Belgium goes through as the winner and I think it's gonna be, I think Canada and Croatia are gonna battle it out for that second spot.

And I think Canada's gonna, again, I think this may be my North American to have three CONCACAF teams would be un, that'd be very rare. But I think, I think I would like to see that, So I'm gonna go.

[00:37:46] Paul: I'm gonna agree, agree with you on that. As much as I enjoyed watching Croatia the last time out, have a lot of success, fun team to watch, We, our family really rallied around that team.

It was a lot of fun. I don't see it happening again, but I do [00:38:00] agree. I I think it's, it could be a toss up between Canada and Croatia getting through in that group. Belgium comes through number one, I think for sure. But I'm gonna go with Canada too, and it may be, you know, my North American con kaf allegiance as well.

But I, I think that Canada gets through second, the second team outta that group.

[00:38:17] Phil: And it, you know, and it's, it is hard to go against Modric as well. Mm-hmm. , cause that dude is super good and all those guys, I mean all the stitches or the itches, I guess Perisic and I mean, all those guys are very, very, very good players and they are.

But again, I, I think sometime in the World Cup, man, these one off games, you get these players that just get, you know, But anyway. Yeah. So I think that's what we got there. Okay. Group G. Brazil Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon. You go first.

[00:38:50] Paul: I'll go. I love watching Cameroon play. I, I, you know, I love watching it play.

I love the athleticism. I love the speed, I love the, you know, I just, I love the the spirit [00:39:00]around that team. I don't think they get outta the group . But then I do love watching that team. I'm going Brazil one. I think Brazil's got a, a really great chance of winning, winning it all the way through.

Mm-hmm. , I think you've got a potential champion coming outta group G with Brazil and I think Switzerland joins 'em. I think Switzerland's gonna be the, the second team outta that group. So I'm gonna go with Switzerland. I know that Serbia's got a pretty good team too. I think there's some pundits out there that say that Serbia is gonna go through, but I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go with the Swiss.

[00:39:29] Phil: Like I said, I, I really like the Swiss teams. I mean, I, I they play well together. They're, they, they are a team. Almost every, it's like a, you play like a Swiss

[00:39:40] Paul: Army knife or

[00:39:41] Phil: something like that. Yeah, Yeah. I think the last one was better. The last one was better. The, I'm trying too hard now, aren't I?

Yeah, I don't know. That was, that was not as, not as good. It just was, It was okay. I mean, some people will probably laugh. Some people will like that. I, I'll get some groaners out of it. I'm reading growers. We did, we did have why am I blanking on his name? I always blank on his name. [00:40:00]Zach Hoffman, who did write the book Swiss Army Leadership.

So that goes back to that. If you didn't listen to that episode, go back. So that's a little plug for that. Yeah, but I gotta, I gotta redeem the that, that joke there. Yeah. So. I, I think. But you know, cuz I think they too, oftentimes they play for basil or they play for the different Swiss clubs and they, and they then they, cuz they know each other really well.

I too going with Brazil, my old school Brazil, jersey, buddy of mine got this for me. You see how old school it is? Look at that one. Not Cristiano, but the original Ronaldo, number nine right there. OG. OG. Absolutely. I too think they, they go very far and possibly win it this, this time around. I'm gonna go with Serbia though.

They're gonna be as much as I like the Swiss. I, I think Serbia's gonna, they're gonna be the Eastern European team. I don't think they're gonna be a surprise to anybody outta this group cuz they're good.

[00:40:59] Paul: No, I think [00:41:00] they can, They're very good players. Get through. They Yeah, for sure.

[00:41:02] Phil: They, and they're right there too.

That's the other thing, you know, I mean, all of them are right there, but, you know, it's just, it's all these teams are are local teams too. It's Qatar, so, relatively speaking. So that's gonna be my two, actually. Brazil's not the Brazil, all their players play in Europe pretty much. So, yeah. All right.

Brazil this year is gonna be, gonna be, they're gonna be tough. They're gonna be really tough, I think. Alright. Group h Portugal. Ghana, I can't, I can't read my or Ghana ua. And this is Korea. We have finally made our way to Korea, which of course is k o r. So that was very difficult for me early on, thinking Saudi Arabia was Korea, but that's okay.

So Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea. Man, this, this is another, it is a tough one cuz these are like, a lot of people are like, Oh, well you got Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernandes and whatever, and Portugal. But I don't know. They, they [00:42:00] typically underperform and, and Ronaldo as I've watched all year is old.

He's not doing, he's not. He's not like me's playing, me's still playing at a level that's changing games. Ronaldo just scores, quite frankly. All he, and he doesn't even do that anymore this year. His attitude is piss poor. I allowed to say that. I don't know, but I did. Sure. Fernandes does some great stuff out there.

They have some other players who are, who are very, very good. Joao Felix, some of these other young guys are very, very good. I don't know. Son over South Korea. Again, those guys play very hard with a lot of passion. That guy is a very, very good player. Uruguay has a very good team this year too. They're kind of a, a hidden gem there.

Ghana, I don't think Ghana does it. Those other three teams is gonna be interesting. I'm going to go with Uruguay winning this group and South Korea number two.

[00:42:50] Paul: I like your picks. I'm just gonna say, I think, you know, Ghana's not gonna get outta the group, but I think Ghana's gonna upset one of these three teams.

Yeah. And keep that team from being [00:43:00] the second team through. Mm. I'm just gonna go ahead and predict that that Ghana's, that play the role of the spoiler. I like that this year. And they're gonna keep one of those, one of the two teams out. And I'm gonna say that you're white is going through as the number one team.

I agree with that. But I think that Ghana is gonna play the, the, the role of the spoiler. They're gonna get overlooked by either Portugal or South Korea, and they're gonna, they're gonna be the team that keeps one of those teams from being the second team out. Now, in saying that, I'm gonna say it, South Korea, I may be eating my words on this, so I'm going Uruguay and Portugal getting through outta that group.

But I, I think that, I do think that Korea has a, has a, has a really good shot of getting out. But I think Ghana's gonna play the role

[00:43:40] Phil: of the. All right. All right. I like that. I like that even the twist of bringing all, bringing Ghana in as the, as the villain for the other team that like they, and I think you're going back to when they spoiled the US dreams in the knockout round a few years back.

[00:43:56] Paul: Yeah. Maybe there's something still stuck inside of me in that. Yeah.

[00:43:59] Phil: [00:44:00] Yeah. That was a, a, we felt really good about that one and in extra time to just, just destroy, crush, crush the dreams. Okay. So we're not gonna go through each knockout round. That would take way, way too long. We're just gonna go and say, All right, who's gonna win this thing and why?

You go, you wanna go first on that?

[00:44:21] Paul: And I'm gonna go first?

[00:44:22] Phil: Well, yeah, I go first. You go

[00:44:24] Paul: first. Yeah. I'm gonna go first. I think Brazil's gonna win it all. Yeah. I think Brazil's got the best team from, from top to. And I, I just think it comes down to that. I think they show the most consistency. I, I don't see as many holes in there, you know, when I'm trying to poke holes in, in different teams, even as we're kind of talking through this player, that player, you know, this strength, that weakness.

I just think that they're, they're the toughest team and I think that they're gonna, you know, based on their, their road to get there too, I think coming out of their group gives them a pretty good, a pretty good road through. Obviously there's a lot that can happen. I mean, they could see Germany early on, you know, and that could be that could be crazy.

They, there's [00:45:00] one, there's one route where they could actually see Spain and Argentina before they got to the final, to possibly face Germany so they could have a tough road. But I think that, that, for that, I don't think they, they do well when they're playing maybe not as good at teams. Mm-hmm. , I think they need to stay sharp and they need to stay focused, but I, I think from top to bottom, they're the best team.

I think they've got the best chance of going all the way through. So, I'm gonna say my favorite is Brazil.

[00:45:25] Phil: Yeah, I like that. I like that. You know, here's a team I, I, I really like, I just can't pick 'em cuz. They haven't performed great at the world stage. This Belgian team, it's their last shot, really with this golden age of the Belgian team.

I really like 'em. That being said, I, I don't, I don't think they make it. I don't think they make it. I agree with you, Germany. Solid. They're always solid. I just, I think they're aging too. Um, They're top players that gives them great leadership, but I also don't think it gives them the, the best chance, the best shot.

So they're [00:46:00] going down here. Um, I'm, I'm showing jerseys, by the way, for you listening. It's, it's way more suspenseful to watch the video, but but that's, that's okay. You can just pretend you're seeing the jersey. This team here, again, like I said, they, the France team they, they're a team that, that has it.

They have all the tools. I just don't think they do it this year. English team, as much as I would love to see them go through. I don't, I don't see that this year. I'm

[00:46:28] Paul: shocked that they're even in the discussion. I guess you're just going through New

[00:46:31] Phil: Jerseys. I'm go through your jerseys, right? Yeah.

But, but England is one of those teams that, like talent wise on the field with the players they have, they could do it, but I, I just think everybody

[00:46:41] Paul: thinks because they invented the sport that they have to be in the

[00:46:44] Phil: discussion. No, I mean, they, they, I think the other reason why is because the Premier League is the world's most, most, you know, watched league.

That a lot of those players we know. Right. But the reason why I don't, a, a lot of [00:47:00] those

[00:47:00] Paul: players aren't for, aren't playing for England. A lot of those players, a lot of those

[00:47:02] Phil: players aren't playing for England. But a lot of the ones who we see do, right. So, and then they're playing pretty well right now. I mean, Saka's playing very well for Arsenal.

Like, you know, Rashford, it's back. He's, you know, he's clearly back. The center of midfield is where I think they aren't as strong. That's, that's unfortunately where they're not going to. And you need the center, You need a strong center midfield, which goes to the Dutch team, which is very strong center midfield.

And I think they're gonna go, I think they're gonna go very far. I think they make the semis or the final this year, but I'm gonna go to with you. I agree. I think Brazil takes this year. They are, I think they're, they're just flat out the strongest team that, and I mean, France again, I mean, you got Benzema playing at the top of his game.

You have that, their, their squad, France, Netherlands, Belgium. As far as talent wise, like, I think France, Belgium, you know, step above where, where Because De Bruyne man, I mean, you can't, you just can't like count that dude out. He's, he's insane. That being said, Brazil I think takes [00:48:00] it home. For, what is that?

The seventh time, sixth time.

[00:48:04] Paul: Oh, I can't, I just saw that stat too. I wish I could remember A lot

[00:48:07] Phil: of times. A lot of times. Yeah, A lot of times. So, it'd be way better if I could just say than a number, but that's okay. I don't wanna be wrong. Are you gonna look it up right now? Are you our producer? Should we get our producer, Paul?


[00:48:19] Paul: I, I'll see I'll swing, find out.

[00:48:22] Phil: So, Brazil, we're, this is folks, this is how the sausage is made. This is our producer right now. They have,

[00:48:30] Paul: they have the suspense is killing me. They've won

[00:48:33] Phil: five. This would be their sixth title. That's what we're predicting.

[00:48:37] Paul: So folks, 58 62, 70 94, 2002. There

[00:48:42] Phil: we go.

So they're due. They're due. So, alright folks, I wanna hear your picks. So, you know, let us know your picks. Show 'em you, you can send 'em in, you can, you can go onto the Facebook group and show 'em there. Just put, put 'em down there, email us, whatever. I would say if we were super [00:49:00]organized, we would've had a pool and done all kinds of stuff, brackets and all that stuff.

But, but we're not doing that. So, I encourage you to do it with your family. It's a fun thing to do with your kids. Get 'em involved with it. Even if they're, even if they're not super into soccer um, it's, it's a global thing, man. This is, this is just part of what the world is doing. It'll introduce them to the world too.

It's a great way to show your kids like, Hey, these countries, and then talk about that country. What's that country? Where are they, what are they doing to get, you know, this, The world is small and it's a great way to get 'em involved with it. And to watch games together is a lot of fun. So if you do like a bracket together and you do what we just did and say, who are your two teams that are coming out of it all that, then they actually have something to cheer for.

Is is that yours right there? Is that what you got? No, this is,

[00:49:46] Paul: these were our picks so that we, when we come back, Oh, you wrote 'em? Who we picked. Yep. Yep. Okay. You wrote mine down.

[00:49:52] Phil: Accountability. You wrote mine down too. Years down. Okay, good, good. So I can't change it. And they go, Oh no, What we talking about picked?

What are you talking about? I picked [00:50:00] Poland. What do you mean, ?

[00:50:03] Paul: Yeah, but you know, another thing that's really funny, and we're not, we're not sponsored by Panini, but those panini player card books, World Cup books. Yeah. You can pick 'em up at cbs, Walgreen, something like that. My kids absolutely love that.

You got the player cards or stickers you fill in the book. It's got all that, That's really a lot of fun. Way to follow along with the World Cup as well. So,

[00:50:22] Phil: Yeah, we did that, I think. But Amy, if you'd

[00:50:23] Paul: like to sponsor the pod, that'd be fine, but right now they're not. So we will

[00:50:26] Phil: take it. We are accepting sponsorships, so if you do wanna sponsor us, you can do that.

We have we have had a couple over the, over the last couple years, but yeah, that is a cool way to, so whatever it is, I mean, I see these. Opportunities like this to be able to connect with others, to be able to connect with your kids, to be able to connect with your, you know, to bring your family together, bring friends together.

A guy at, at church, he's been like, you know, he's a soccer guy. We're like, Hey, let's get together and watch one of the games. So we're gonna, you know, we picked a game and we're gonna do it. It's gonna be, it'll be a lot of fun. So those are, you know, I encourage you to do that. [00:51:00] This is not just a time to sit by yourself and watching these games.

This is a time, you know, go out, go to a sports bar, go to places, get to know people. Watch with your family. Take this as an opportunity to also, you know, we'll be talking, I imagine throughout about just some of the different leadership things we see, the different coaches that are doing different.

That's something that, that, you know, I looked at and like, Carlos what Kira is I believe on the Iranian team. Iranian team and a former man and Portugal manager. Can't count those guys out either. You know, like that, That goes into a lot of this as the coaches and the managers and how they're bringing together their teams and how they're encouraging their players and how they're cuz it's hard to bring a team together of a bunch of, bunch of really, really, really good players who are the top of their game and, and they think they're the best at everything.

And then you bring 'em together on a team and they have to be a team in a very short time which is why you see a lot of these teams. Not doing well is because you have a bunch of attitudes and they don't play together as a team. So anyway, there's, [00:52:00] there's all these different things, which is why the drama of the World Cup, there's nothing like it.

Nothing like it in any, any sport. I don't care what it is. Mm-hmm. , there's nothing like the drama of the World Cup, and especially, I don't know if you were able to go when it came in 90, you know, 94. But I went to Palo Alto and the Brazilians were there. It was Brazil, Cameroon unbelievable. Just seeing the passion and the fun and the dancing and the colors and the, Oh, it was so cool.

I got to go

[00:52:28] Paul: to games. Yeah. We were in Orlando with the, the Netherlands. Yeah. That was, it was same thing. It was amazing. We, I mean, you almost stayed outside to be part of the outside culture, you know, It was just as amazing as the, the culture inside the stadium.

[00:52:40] Phil: 100%. And at and at Palo Alto it was ama because, I dunno if you've ever been at Stanford campus, but it's just.

Tons of space. So you have just trees and the parking lot is not a party, it's just dirt. So there, I mean it was everywhere. It was just party everywhere. It was so cool. It's not like some of these just parking lots and you know, whatever it [00:53:00] was, it was basically you're camping. I mean, you felt like you were camping with the Brazilians.

It was so cool. So, anyway. Well, alright, well cool. Well folks appreciate. If you stuck with us this long, it means you actually, you know, you love the banter and that's, that's great. We love that. And I hope that you're taking something from this, you know, we talked about leadership at the beginning.

We did. But we wanted to, to go down and talk about some of these teams and just have a good time and then you guys can hold us accountable and see how, we know nothing about the sport or how we. Flat out brilliant. Um, One of the two or somewhere in between is more likely or actually not the brilliant part.

Maybe that's pretty easy to say what we aren. But that's okay. We, we just love doing it. We love being a part of your lives and we love you guys being a part of ours. I do consider that. Definitely part of our lives as we are, We are engaging this stuff together, Just having some fun doing this one.

But with everything as we're doing this stuff, you know, we talked about Warrior way earlier. That's some, just some great stuff that Paul and Marci and and their team are doing out there in Waco and, and beyond. So check that [00:54:00] out. Warrior way The, the disc training that I'm, that I'm able to do with different teams and clubs, if you're interested in that at all.

I'm actually looking for a few more clubs to work with, to get there to, to be able to do some, I'm actually doing a study on retention. Of players and being able to see which personality styles we're, we're retaining. And I, and I have some, some theories on that that we'll talk about. We're gonna be talking about that on this show because I really care about the kids and I, and I don't want kids to stop playing just because it's, it's not fun, or they don't think they're good enough or whatever.

And they're, and they're just, the way they're wired drives 'em outta the game. And, and that's stuff that we as coaches, we as leaders can, can actually play a role in. We can, we can help them to stay in the game with different things. And so, speaking at the United States Soccer or the United Soccer Coaches Convention about that, and in fact the United United Soccer Coaches Convention is coming up and That's something that, you know, appall, unfortunately, I don't think you're gonna be able to make it to that cuz [00:55:00] because of the wrestling, right?

I mean, if, if I'm not mistaken, it's a wrestling tournament for that. There's a lot going on this, this winter. But but that's, that's a bummer. But I'll be there, I'll be a podcast row. Very excited about that. Got, I got a, a breakout session that I will be speaking on, like I said, that player retention.

And the other thing about it is there's some great, great speakers that are gonna be, that have been, some of 'em have been on the show, you know, some of 'em have been a part of this this podcast. So I encourage you to uh, uh, Dan Abrams is one of 'em. So, and that's the thing, I, I don't know if I've told you this already.

That's one, one difficult thing about my talk is I'm in the same time slot as Dan Abrahams. So, folks, what I encourage you to do is listen to the Dan Abrahams episode of How Soccer Explains Leadership, and then come to the breakout that I will be doing with some other people, because, you know, I mean, I'm sure you'll say the same stuff, right?

Right. Paul, I mean, what do you think? He always says the same stuff. It's like totally, totally. One [00:56:00] trick pony. I mean, come on. Let's be honest. . I'm kidding. Dan is not. But what I, I do wanna say, I mean, we, we are you know, this is something that, that they, we have I'll share with you is you don't wanna miss this, this 2023 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia.

Uh, It is January 11th through the 15th convention's, the largest gathering of soccer coaches, administrators and fans in the world. You can, you know, you can send sessions crafted with your coaching level, whatever it is. If you're high school, there's high school coaches. If there's college, college, pro, pro you know, grassroots, all kinds of stuff.

Desire to, anything you can think of. Not anything, but a lot of things you can think of are covered at the, at the convention. I know we went last year, Paul and, and I learned a ton. Mm-hmm. , I don't know about you. World class educators, over 200 lecture sections, sessions, field demonstrations, offer every coach, something really you can bring back and use in your training sessions.

Amanda Vander Vort, who we're gonna be getting on this show at some point, I've talked with her about it. We just haven't gotten our schedules together. [00:57:00] President of the USL Super League, she's gonna be there. Anthony Flores, he's youth technical director of the Philadelphia. Laura Harvey, she's the, the head coach of the the rain fc.

And that's nwsl if, if I'm not mistaken Becky Burleigh and Brett Ledbetter. I'm hoping to get them on the show as well. What drives winning? One of them at least you, you've probably heard of some of their stuff, whether you know that or not. Dan Abrahams, as I talked about there's gonna be a whole lot more to coming, but check it out.

You can go register at united soccer coaches So that's coming your way in, in just like a month and a half. It's crazy. It's, it's coming upon us. So I encourage you guys go check that out. If you're coaching, if you're listening to this show, I would be surprised if that's not something that you would wanna be a part of.

So there's that. We also have all the other things that we're working on. I just, you know, I don't even need to talk about all that. You've seen it. You can go to our show notes and you can see the different things that we're doing, like coaching the bigger game. And with everything that we do, At the end of the day, what we really hope and pray you're gonna be able to do with this show is you're gonna be able to use it to be a better spouse, a [00:58:00] better parent, a better friend, a better leader in all that you do, better in every relationship that you have.

And continually remind yourself as the World Cup is upon us, as all this amazing excitement is going on, this soccer does explain life and leadership.

Thanks a lot. Have a great couple weeks.