World Cup draw looms

Now that the obtuse folks over at FIFA have come up with their plans for the World Cup draw, we can get things started. The drama takes place December 9th (with Heidi Klum (?)), and you can follow it live on FIFA’s website.

The Top 8 seeds are: Brazil, England, Spain, Germany, Mexico, France, Argentina, and Italy. What this means is that these 8 teams will each headline a group of 4 teams. Thus, none of these teams will meet until the elimination stage. This is good news for them, because it increases their chances of advancing. The bad news? There are still plenty of really good teams that are going to end up in the Group of Death. Teams still out there include the US (which was 9th in the seeing– almost!), Netherlands, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and South Korea.

Good luck to anyone in Brazil’s group– they’ve been number one forever, and are still loaded. Most over-rated is Mexico. Don’t get me wrong– they’re good. But away from Aztec Stadium and its elevation of over 6,000 feet (!) they are not a top ten team.

More excitement to come!

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11 thoughts on “World Cup draw looms

  1. Kent, Sounds like you were at 2000 Olympics. You should watch with my Brazilian wife who draws from a truly impressive list of Portuguese soccer taunts that make me blush almost.

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  2. I think all the rabid soccer nations have some pretty blush-worthy taunts. In Italy I spent a good amount of time hanging out with locals watching either their domestic league or national games. I heard lots of stuff but understood little. My Italian better half translated some of what I heard for me but refused to say some things…

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  3. Good draw for England, not just the group but the knockout stage as well. The US got a tough draw though. First two games against the Czech Republic and Italy, and then if they do make it out of the group, unless they win it they will more than likely play Brazil.

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  4. Lancer, for some reason I can’t see your latest comment on the Italian football discussion. Please don’t think me rude for not responding.

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  5. GREAT draw for England. World Cup winners 2006? Maybe, just maybe.Good luck to the US. I’ll be rooting for them. Tough draw, man. Tough draw.

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  6. Ronan, I struggle with rooting for the US. By no means am I anti-American. I love the US, I have great friends here, and I would like to see them do well for the ones who are genuine footie fans. But a large part of me is a football snob. While I love to see Argentina and Germany lose, the mere fact that it would mean so much more to them than Americans would probably see me rooting for them over the US (maybe not Argentina). To most Americans it’s a joke sport played by girls. This attitude is what stops me rooting for the US. Thoughts?

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  7. Hey Anonymous– sure, most in the US don’t care about soccer. It’s a diverse sports world here, and the concept of international play (outside of the Olympics) hasn’t caught on. Both basketball and baseball are naturals for such a thing, and the US would CRUSH any other country in those sports– if we cared. But by don’t. We’re xenophobic. Or myopic. Or both. Or something else. But regardless, it’s not soccer, it’s US.Still, we’re sunk. The US is not going to play in Europe and beat Italy and Czech and Ghana. It’s too much. We’ll get drilled, but it won’t be because we suck, it will be because we got a tough draw and we’re still a good 4 years from being legit WC contenders.

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  8. Lancer, I don’t think the US suck and I don’t think they’ll necessarily get drilled, but while this WC sees the US get a tough draw, I think that too much was read into their performance in the last world cup. I think that the last WC was a poor competition (footballing standard wise) and to go out in the quarter finals was not as great an accomplishment as many Americans think, especially when we bare in mind that Turkey and S. Korea made it to the semis. I don’t think the US will be legit WC contenders until they have at least 5 or 6 genuinely world class players, which they are quite a way from now. Too much is read into their Fifa ranking. I think their biggest strength is Bruce Arena who seems to me to be an excellent coach with the right sense of perspective. Finally, I believe the US can make it out of this group as the Italians are notoriously slow starters. But, should they not, I agree that does not mean they suck . As I said above part of me hopes they do well for the sake of my friends who are genuine friends. I’m guessing Italy is a second team for you, right?

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  9. Yeah, I have close ties to Italy, so it should be interesting to watch that game.Yeah, last WC was odd. Can you imagine Portugal own-goaling itself <>twice<> in any other game? S Korea did well for obvious reasons. Anyone who doubts the home field thing need only ask Mexico about that. It works less well in Europe, but in far-away places (Asia, Americas, Africa) the home teams do much better.No, we don’t suck (I said “sunk” in my post BTW). And I do think we have a few world class guys. Reyna, and Keller are on the down side, but for the last 5-7 years, they’ve been pretty good! And we’ve got some good young talent, too– Beasley and (in a few years) Adu, for example. (And Donovan when he’s playing for the US; for whatever reason, he sucks in European club play!) The next 4 years are going to be interesting.

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