Friday, December 09, 2005

Welcome to the Group of Death
By Imtiaz Mussa

Keep it here at Sportszilla as in the coming months, we will get you prepared for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The first match takes place on June 9th.

Every World Cup, there is always one group that is stacked with some of the best teams in the world. In 2002, it was Group F that featured Argentina, England, Sweden, and Nigeria. In 1998, it was Group E with Holland, Belgium, South Korea, and Mexico. The United States has been fortunate enough to avoid being in such a group until now.
Heidi Klum will be rooting for Germany.

There is no bigger compliment than being told that you’re the country out of a pool that wants to be avoided. According to the BBC, “In pot four, the United States are a team the big guns will not want to meet. Quarter-finalists in 2002, the US have come of age as an international force and can call on many experienced campaigners.” But then again, is that really saying much? Look at the other members of Pot Four.
Saudi Arabia
South Korea
Costa Rica
Trinidad & Tobago
The USA is clearly the best team of the bunch.

What now awaits the United States is the most difficult group in the 2006 World Cup. Italy is the top seed in the group but according to the FIFA Rankings, is not the best team. That honor goes to the Czech Republic who is considered to be the second best team in the world. Then there is Ghana, the team that features Chelsea’s £24.4m midfielder Michael Essien. Playing in their first World Cup, they have nothing to lose and therefore, are very dangerous.

Now I’m not saying that the United States does not stand a chance because they do. They are the key reason why this is the Group of Death. Put in any Pot Four team instead of them and this group goes to Italy and the Czech Republic. Bruce Arena will have his hands full.

Let’s say for hypothetical reasons the United States gets second place in the group. Their opponents will be the Group F winners who are likely to be… Brazil.

Beat them and then you will have the entire world’s undivided attention.


Blogger Zachary Geballe said...

T, I'm wondering if you might be able to offer a bit of a scouting report on Italy, Ghana, and the Czech Republic and how the US might stack up against them?

12:25 AM  

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