The United States faces Belgium at 3 p.m. in the World Cup round of 16. You probably knew that.
A slightly more interesting fact that you might have known but quite possibly didn’t know: the U.S. has only defeated Belgium once in World Cup play — a 3-0 victory in 1930, the very first World Cup.
And here’s something you almost certainly didn’t know: the goalkeeper on that team was James E. Douglas, a 1953 U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame inductee. And as luck would have it, Douglas’ great grandson, Jim Douglas, was named after him — and also lives in the Twin Cities, working in downtown Minneapolis.
Jim Douglas reached out to us yesterday with that fantastic picture you see above of the 1930 Cup team (the players aren’t labeled, but we imagine his great-grandfather, the keeper, is in black); he also sent along a document detailing the matches and insights from the 1930 Cup from the perspective of the U.S. squad . We’ve downloaded it into a handy file for all of you to read as a nice bit of lead-up to the match this afternoon.
A sample: “Saturday, the 26th, was the day of our semi-final with the robust, well-trained Argentinian team.”
Please do enjoy!
Trip report from the 1930 World Cup
ESPN.com took a look at all 30 NBA teams in 2013-14 to determine which were the most efficient spenders. The Timberwolves finished 21st out of 30, at least when ranked by marginal dollars per marginal victory. What does that mean? Per the article:
I’ve used team salary figures compiled by ShamSports.com, which are updated through the end of the season but aren’t final until the close of the fiscal year. The key measurement is marginal dollars per marginal wins (MDMW), or how much it costs a team to win a game.
Seems straightforward enough. Also, per the article, the teams were divided into eight “buckets” to sort out the efficiency of spending:
The buckets are listed in order from most desirable (playoff teams below the salary cap) to least desirable (teams over the tax apron that managed to miss the postseason).
The Wolves were in bucket 6 of 8 along with seven other teams — the dreaded “above the salary cap, below the tax threshold, but missed the playoffs” category.
It is written of this category and these teams:
You really don’t want to be in this class. You’ve exceeded the cap, suggesting you want to win, but you didn’t win, suggesting you don’t know how. There are a number of possible foundation players in this group on rookie scale contracts: Ricky Rubio, Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving. Their teams haven’t yet capitalized on the flexibility created by having players that productive for that little money.