The draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is in, and the United States (ranked 14th in the world) will be in a group with England (9), Algeria (28), and Slovenia (33). The ramifications? The U.S. should easily make it through to the round of 16, giving supporters the chance to see the U.S. squad play some actually meaningful soccer. While it’s unlikely that the Americans will challenge for a top spot in the tournament, they at least have a chance now – something that may not have been possible if their group had filled out with more competitive teams. For instance, Portugal, Brazil, and the Ivory Coast are all in the same group…that should be much more challenging than the draw of the U.S.
I do believe the U.S. has a chance to beat England and possibly win their group, which would put them in even better shape, but I’m not convinced the team will execute. During qualifying, the U.S. showed an uncanny ability to concede early goals, forcing them to battle back, and that could spell death on this world stage. At least we have a capable coach now, unlike four years ago.
No matter what happens, that first game against England is going to be a doozy. It will be like Revolution 2, and I can’t wait.