Friday, December 04, 2009

Initial Thoughts on the World Cup Draw

The World Cup Draw was pretty kind to the U.S. The U.S. find themselves in Group C, with England, Algeria and Slovenia. I think the U.S. will be able to advance to the group stage. The U.S. will face England on June 12, Slovenia on June 18 and Algeria on June 23.

Algeria is arguably the weakest of the African teams, although they can be dangerous at times. The Slovenians did beat Russia in the Europe playoffs, but they did so on the away goal rule, having scored a goal against Russia when playing in Russia. If the U.S. can grab a draw against Engaland and win out, they will see the group stage. I think the U.S. can win against England though, so I certainly hope Bob Bradley doesn't play for the draw in the opening match.

Should the U.S. advance, they will face the teams that advance from Group D. Group D is a little hard to call. Certainly I think Germany will go through, but that is not exactly a given. The Socceroos of Australia have been tough for several years now and Ghana has been a force in African football for years. Slovakia can't be ignored either. But if I had to choose I see Germany and Austrial advancing.

FIFA have to be happy with the draw, the groups look to be pretty good for the most part. Additionally, assuming Brazil and Spain win their groups, the two pre-tournament favorites can appear in the Final since they would be on opposited sides of the knockout stage play.

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