4 Immediate Reactions To The 2014 World Cup Draw

No Class Friday, Soccer — By on December 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

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The 2014 World Cup has come to an end and the eight groups have been finalized. Some immediate questions will arise once you get a chance to look at the placement of the 32 nations.

1. Did America get screwed? (Probably.)

2. Which group is the group of death? (Probably USA’s group)

3. Can the 2014 World Cup get here soon enough? (Nope.)

With that, here are four immediate reactions and observations from Dillon Friday, our resident footballer extraordinaire. Let the party begin in Rio.

The USA has its work cut out

If the United States hopes to advance out of a brutal Group G, they will need to beat Ghana. That doesn’t bode well for the Yanks. Ghana, arguably the strongest African team, eliminated the US in each of the last two World Cups. Germany fronts the group. Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal complete it. The US will travel more than any other team in the tournament. We’ll see y’all in Russia 2018.

The Group of Death

The Americans’ Group G is likely the toughest of the tournament, but there are some others that should prove difficult for top teams. Uruguay, Costa Rica, Italy, and England make up a tricky Group D. The Uruguayans are highly regarded with an attacking front of Diego Forlan, Edinson Cavani, and Luis Suarez, but they also struggled to qualify. They needed to defeat Jordan in a playoff just to reach Brazil. Italy played very well in both the European Cup in 2012 and in the Confederations Cup earlier this year. And then there’s England, who are simultaneously the most overrated nation in world soccer and also the greatest underachievers. Who will advance out of this group? I like Italy and Uruguay, but Costa Rica is not a pushover.

The Group of Life

Argentina were gift wrapped a path to the round of 16. Bosnia-Herzegovina is the lone debutant, and Iran and Nigeria are hardly world beaters. The Argentines have to be considered one of the two or three favorites now off of this draw alone, especially considering that no European team has ever won the World Cup on South American soil. But hey, that means more Lionel Messi for all of us. I won’t complain.

The Team Worth Watching

I and the rest of the world have long waited to see what Ivory Coast could do on the international stage. Unfortunately, the Elephants found themselves in the group of death in both 2010 in South Africa and in 2006 in Germany. Didier Drogba and company had to face the likes of Argentina, The Netherlands, Serbia, Portugal, and Brazil in those two tournaments. Brazil 2014 could be a different story. Ivory Coast should beat Japan and Greece, and even top seeded Colombia has very little experience on the World Stage. With Yaya Toure in the fold and an inspired Drogba up front, Ivory Coast may finally fulfill the potential that many bestowed on them as a rising power.

Dillon Friday

Philadelphia born. Raised in God's country aka Duluth, Minnesota. Give me a frozen pond and an open pitch and I'll be happy. Follow me on twitter @noclassfriday

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    8 Comments

  • silver fox says:

    It’s a shame the U.S. ended up in the group of death. Although it does provide an opportunity, as if they can somehow get out of this group they can take another step toward legitimacy. I’m also disappointed that my Italian squad ended up in arguably the second toughest group, but they should still be able to advance.

    • To be fair, I think we’re all spooked a bit by Ghana because of our last two WC loses to them. Moreover, Portugal can definitely be had IMO…what’s fascinating is Germany vs. USA and Klinsmann…can you imagine that game? Incredible.

      -Ed.

      • so much intrigue. It’s gonna be fun to watch albeit a bit painful. I’m big on the Italians. If Pirlo can play like Zizou did 7 years ago, Gli Azzurri will go far.

        • DL says:

          Brazil and Argentina might have the easiest paths to the knockout stages ever. Maybe some home cooking for the South Americans?

          • Dillon Friday says:

            Four South American sides were seeded, and although they were based on world rank I think much of those high rankings were made with an eye on Brazil. It’s fair, though. As I said, no European side has ever won a World Cup in North or South America a span of seven tournaments I believe.

    • This guy is from Pennsylvania, not Italy. True story.

  • silver fox says:

    Definitely worried about exorcising the ghosts of those Ghana losses, Klins facing Germany certainly a great story. Dillon, I hope you’re right about Italy. Agree Pirlo is a key, along with Balotelli’s focus and the back line. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Argentina make a deep run.

  • Lavars Love Child says:

    Group D is worse than ours. Portugal isn’t as good as everyone thinks and neither is Ghana. Our boys have to play their best to move on, but they’d have to do that anyway. Also, this “random” drawing is about as random as the NBA draft lottery.

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