Since I continue to be lambasted by some on social networking site regarding MY OPINIONS about the upcoming 2010 World Cup in South Africa, I figured I would say my peace here without any repercussions. Right?
It comes as no surprise the list of favorites is short and distinguished. Oddly enough, Spain, who makes that list has NEVER won a World Cup. While they are arguably the top favorite, I give Brazil that nod. Why? First, they are healthy (Kaka is still recovering and Cesar should be in goal). Second they are the most talented team, not only in the starting XI, but also off the bench.
Some could argue Group G is the “Group of Death” with Portugal and Ivory Coast, along with step-child, North Korea. With Ivory Coast’s Drogba dinged up I think Portugal has improved their chances to advance. Brazil should have no problems in the group and should win the group with 9 points and advance.
The USA will not make it out of the group stage. I am sticking to my opinion they won’t score in the group stage. People seem to get rather upset at both statements. Why? I don’t know. Led by an egotistical, Landon Donovan the Americas will struggle in South Africa. They are not a strong team, regardless of their two victories in meaningless friendlies matches the past 10 days.
When it comes to the real competition, the USA seems to stumble and end up flat on their face. Case in point, 2006, Germany. After a successful 2002 campaign in the Far East they could only muster a single team-scored goal versus Ghana and ended with a 0-1-2 record. Why should there any any optimism for 2010?
Their coach has no experience on the international level and many of their players who play abroad are not regular starters. The international experience is seriously lacking on this team. I will give them a plus in the leadership category. Tim Howard is the leader of this team, not Landon “chip on my shoulder” Donovan. Howard was a bright spot all year (again) in Everton and will have to play his ass off with a shaky defense in front of him.
I find it rather funny the USA falls back on the “We beat Spain in the Confederations Cup!” So what! It is a rather meaningless tournament as a prelude to the 2010 World Cup. Italy fared no better than were talked about for weeks after a horrible performance. Remember, this tourney like friendlies ARE MEANINGLESS!
So for all the American fans, you might turn off the World Cup and turn on something you know better like the NBA or even the MLB. I am sure there will be games this coming weekend, as well as the entire World Cup. Don’t be upset when the USA drops all 3 games and doesn’t score. Soccer is not an American sport, so it’s not surprising they do not excel like they do worldwide in other competitions.