World Cup 2010

May 16, 2010 at 11:49pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den


Yes. It happens every four years. The World Cup. That magical month when fans of the beautiful game feel a profound love for their high definition TV sets, and Americans are shocked into the recognition that other sports exist.

What does it look like for Team USA? Unfortunately, not too well. Besides a few core veterans the team itself lacks World Cup experience. Additionally, although a lot of the players have international exposure, only a few play for the top quality continental European clubs (Oguchi Onyewu plays for AC Milan and not a whole lot more beyond that). However, many consider the USA’s group – Group C (Algeria, England, Slovenia) -  to be relatively easy this year.

Undoubtedly, their biggest match will be their first one against England. England, however, doesn’t seem that hot either. There is definitely a lot of veteran talent on that team from the English premier league, but their footballers also lack that hardcore experience playing in the best European teams with the best footballers from around the world. Related trivia: only two teams this tournament are composed of players who ONLY play in regular matches within the confines of their borders: North Korea and England. And for some reason, England seems to do poorly when it counts and their World Cup record is awful. I don’t know what it is about them, but they always seem to fail miserably, just like their drunken and violent fans. 

There doesn’t seem to be a real stand-out group of death this tournament. Most of the powerhouses are pretty well separated out into their own groups although Group A will be tough (Mexico, France, and the hometown guys). Group G has both Brazil and Portugal, and Group H has Spain, who some place as a favorite this year.

When the action starts on Friday June 11, the games will be at 6:30 AM and 9 AM in the morning our time, but there is also an evening game which will be on at 1:30 PM. Set your TV recording unit or plan your vacation days accordingly. Team USA’s first game against England will be at 1:30 PM on Saturday June 12.

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The Comments

Dave K May 18, 2010 at 4:45am

It is a magical month! I bought my HDTV last year with this World Cup in mind, but I won’t be using it to watch the games, since it would be quite costly and rather inconvenient to take it with me to South Africa. 

I disagree with your comments about England—Italy won 2006 with all of their players in their domestic league.  And the EPL is top-to-bottom the best league in the world.  I don’t think they’ll win it, since they always seem to find a way to lose, but they shouldn’t be overlooked.  I think we’ll be lucky to get a point from them. 

I don’t like our chances after the first round (I’m hoping we finish second, since we have tickets to that match), especially since it’s likely we’ll see Germany if we finish second.  We won’t be able to count on the kind of luck that got us into the second round of the Confed Cup last year. I don’t think Bob Bradley can bring us any kind of success without a significant amount of luck. 

The World Cup is always an amazing time, and I’m looking forward to finally seeing it happen in person.

My heart is saying Germany, but Spain is ridiculously talented and there’s always Brazil.

Mr. T May 19, 2010 at 2:40am

That’s pretty awesome man. I can’t fathom how expensive that would be, especially if you are staying the entire month, but that should be a great time. You must have some serious comp time saved up.

USA finishing second in group after England is indeed the most rational prediction. The glass half full perspective is that USA beats England because we have a younger team in better shape, and USA can do surprisingly well in this tournament.

Glass half empty analysis is that not only do we get beat down by England, but we could very well lose to Algeria as well. There is a chance we may not even get out of this first round group play.

But yes, your scenario is most likely. The German team I noticed has many of the same excellent players as it did last go around. Same with England with the exception of Mr Posh Spice.

France will be a ghost of what they were before since Zidane, Vieira, and Trezeguet.

I’d actually like to see a Germany win this time as well.

Neal May 19, 2010 at 11:28pm

I realize Fulham is no perennial powerhouse, but if you want to talk about Americans playing among the best in Europe, I don’t think you can ignore Clint Dempsey’s contributions to his team’s success in the Europa league this year.

I think England has looked as strong as they have in recent memory, particularly the way they eased their way through their qualifying matches. My biggest concern is the reliance on the aging David James. It’s strange how few Premier League goalies are from England.

Dave K May 20, 2010 at 12:07am

We’ll be there for three weeks and seeing almost every corner of the country, including driving from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town.  It is expensive, but probably not as bad as you’d think.  Traveling in South Africa is generally pretty cheap, so after the price increases for the World Cup it’s about even with traveling in the United States in the summer. We’re leaving on the day off between the group stage and first knockout stage, but I’ll (hopefully) be in Germany for the rest of the tournament, so that’s not too bad either. 

Germany is my European side of choice.  Ballack has been one of my favorite players for years, so it’s tough to see him go down, especially at this stage in his career.  Schweiny has had a fantastic club season, so hopefully that transfers into national team play.  I don’t know how you get over losing someone like Ballack though. 

Looking at France’s lineup, you’d think they should be pretty good.  Obviously they won’t be as good as in the past, but they have many players on the top European club teams.  Their manager is a giant mess though.  He’s been living off Zidane’s magic for the last 4 years. 

And I agree with Neal’s post—Dempsey has been fantastic for Fulham, scoring the goal that put them into the finals.  I consider him our best player, although Landon Donovan exorcised some demons with a fantastic performance for Everton.

Mr. T May 20, 2010 at 1:45am

There is no question that England’s GK position is their weakest. One aging veteran and 2 newbies. I think that’s the case for a USA domination of their group. If England comes in second in group, and assuming Germany wins their group, the likelihood of England surviving an offensive storm like Germany is slim. Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podalksi are insane scoring machines. 

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to get down on England. I would root for them if it weren’t for the fact they are in our way. But I honestly also don’t think that England has the juice to get past the group of 16 phase. If they do, more power to them.

Frankly, I haven’t decided yet who I will root for emotionally if USA goes down early. I like Germany and France though.

steve June 8, 2010 at 9:48pm

Man I am looking forwrad to being there. The socceroos are going to win it this time I am sure of it. I dont think I will experience anything like this ever again!

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