At the top today is midfielder Cho So-hyun.
Ramble of the Day
Ahead of the Copa América third place match, I wondered how entertaining it would be. Third place matches are a weird thing, and I always question how motivated teams can be for this type of game. We’ve seen a wide variety of outcomes, too — watching Colombia’s 3-2 win over Peru was definitely worth my time, but these matches aren’t always.
One could probably seriously explore players’ feelings on third place matches, but I’m not going to do that today. Instead, I come with a half-baked idea: if we decide that third place matches are more or less irrelevant, then we can have a little bit more fun with them if we also decide they should exist. If a group chooses to embrace weirdness, the third place match would be the perfect venue for it.
We could replace the traditional third place match with something like:
- an extended penalty shootout
- a round (or a few!) of the old-school MLS penalty shootouts
- a skills challenge
- the coaching staffs picking the team for the opposition
- mandatory substitutions (this might be a genuine challenge for some managers)
For what it’s worth, I don’t think any of these ideas guarantee more engagement from the players participating in it. It may guarantee entertainment, though. Perhaps football is already wacky enough, but in case any tournament needs an extra dose of wild, I have some ideas.
tl;dr: What if we made third place matches weird?
Stay informed, read this: England’s Marcus Rashford writes that he will “never apologize for who I am and where I came from” in a letter posted on Twitter
Links of the Day
UEFA charged the FA with four different offenses for the security breach at Wembley during the Euro final.
Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton was diagnosed with testicular cancer and will take a leave of absence.
A longer read: Zito Madu on the racism England’s Black players faced after the Euro final, and why dignity should not be reserved for winners for The Washington Post