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How to break a tie.

(Wednesday, July 14, 1999) -- Readers express their feelings on how to settle a draw.

Two-sided TV coverage, please

I have always enjoy your comments. Very insightful.

The one sided comments got me really riled up during the U.S.-China game. The most glaring one is what came out of the announcers' mouth when (Michelle) Akers went down with that injury was that "China was playing dirty". How were they playing dirty by making Briana Scurry elbow Akers? Even after the replay, not a mention was made that it was Scurry who elbowed Akers.

Without Sun Wen, China probably still would beat the teams it beat. But Brazil without Sissi would not have gotten to the quarters, much less the consolation game. Continue with the good work.

Ben Wang


Add to roster, unlimited subs in overtime

So far, I've agreed with you on almost everything including the two best players women's players -- Michelle Akers and Sun Wen.

But I totally disagree with you on how a tie game should be determined. I think of all games of real importance, such as any knockout round of the World Cup, should be continued until someone scores. You're concerned about fatigue. Well, here's what you do.

1. First, you have 20 players; make it 22 on a roster.
2. Or keep the roster at 20 if you want, but after regulation time, substitutions become limitless. Keep the regular game at three subs, but anything goes in OT. You can even bring back a player who has gone off earlier.
3. The most important thing is a fair result that can be based on which team has the best bench or the most fit players. You can only achieve a fair result by scoring a real goal.

By they way, no one seems to be mentioning that Cindy Parlow was clearly taken down in the box in the early minutes of the game, with no call. That could've changed the complexion of the game and opened it up.

Michael Schieb


Would Keller have made difference?

I enjoyed your WWC coverage as I always enjoy SoccerTimes. I have two additional comments.

1. It hard to argue about Carla Overbeck as the key player in the Final. She was fantastic. But from where I sat (Section 3, Row 19), Michelle Akers was the dominant player on the pitch. She controlled midfield and only after she went out did China mobilize any real attack. Indeed, it looked to me as if the Chinese were literally afraid to come into the center of midfield against her.

2. The failure of the United States to punch in a goal in the Final caused me to wonder (again) if Debbie Keller would have made a difference. She isn't a skill and technique player but has a nose for the goal and finishes well. No one on the U.S. roster fits that description. Just a thought . . .

Bob Seawright


Thanks for the articles

Thanks for the articles over the years.

I propose giving three additional subs in an overtime period lasting for two halves of 20 minutes each. If still tied after that, go to a golden goal -- 15 minutes with two additional subs allowed. If after that, go to the present PK format to end game. Such a format truly gives a national program the ability to showcase and utilize team depth. Not many teams are equal after the top 14 players, and I believe the better team will come out on top the majority of the time.

Larry Gough


Drop players during overtime

I think the teams should continue playing, with some tinkering, of course. At the end of 90 minutes. each team is penalized with a "technical" red card where each team loses a player. The coach decides who to bring off. At the end of each succeeding 30 minutes the teams lose another player. At these intervals the teams are awarded another substitution. I admit this is not a perfect solution but may bring a new twist to your next argument on the subject.

James DeRocco


Co-champions acceptable, part 1

First, I have enjoyed your articles throughout the Women's World Cup. I stumbled onto SoccerTimes' site via a link and ended up using this site as my primary source. I think you did a great job -- good insight and a good way of passing it along so aficionados and newcomers alike could follow. Even your criticisms were delivered without antagonism or arrogance. Good job.

Regarding PKs, I agree with you. I would like to see some of the "play 'til they drop" crowd try it themselves. The physical side Saturday -- in the heat -- was enough but add the emotional and psychological aspects to it and it becomes truly a tremendous effort. Why put an exceptional athlete at risk of injury or physical breakdown by making them continue after they have already done more than anyone else could have approached?

I remember an NFL player named Kellen Winslow who played in a four-OT championship game, had to be helped off the field afterwards, and after having been an All-Star was never the same player again. The PKs could actually have continued until nightfall, except for Scurry's save, so it was not the same as a coin toss.

Regarding endings that I know would be unpopular, I think this match was so riveting that a 0-0 tie and co-champions would have been acceptable. Thanks again for the excellent coverage.

William Wallace


Co-champions acceptable, part 2

A replay will never fly. It betrays the basic tenet of sports promotion, especially in the U.S.: there will be a result at the end of the grand event. Other than letting them keep playing 'til they drop, there's got to be another solution.

In the rest of the world, they allow ties, don't they? How about co-champions? Oh, we're really asking for it then? A plethora of 0-0 draws as teams start playing to avoid losing the tie, and stop playing to win.

Then award it to the team who demonstrates that willingness to win by virtue of a substantial superiority in corner kicks and/or shots on goal. In other words, designate co-champions in the event of a tie at the end of two overtime periods unless one team clearly surpasses the other in shots on goal or corner kicks.

The hard part is defining what "clearly surpasses." If there ever was a case for co-champions, this WWC was it.

Ken Paul


What's wrong with corner kicks?

In your July 11 column, you claimed that the notion of corner kick totals as a tiebreaker was absurd. But you didn't give any reason. I agree with you that replays should be used, but I doubt it's going to happen in today's world, which is geared toward compressed tournament schedules and instantaneous gratification. I think corner kick totals are certainly better than penalties. Corners tend reward attacking sides, whereas penalties are what boring, defensively oriented teams play for when they feel they can't win in open play.

Kevin Corbett

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