dawgstyle
Draw starts in about 10 minutes. Here is to hoping we end up with the Swiss out of Pot 1.
@2GuysFromWI

Harbaugh will have Urban Meyer retired from OSU by 2020.
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mcfc
So excited. So scared.
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dawgstyle
mcfc wrote:
So excited. So scared.


I know the feeling. I really have a hard time believing this draw ends well for the USA.
@2GuysFromWI

Harbaugh will have Urban Meyer retired from OSU by 2020.
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mcfc
That's ... less than ideal.
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mcfc
In addition to the teams, the travel is absolutely brutal. Nearly 9000 miles. Fun stuff.
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ranks39
Yeah, I was expecting something like that. It will be tough for the US, but they can get through!
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dawgstyle
USA ends up drawing Germany, Portugal and Ghana. #2 #5 and #24 per the FIFA rankings.

Can't say I am a huge Soccer fan. So going off the FIFA rankings, the USA is in the toughest group in the World Cup.

By rankings the difficulty goes as follows.

Group:
G
D
C
B
E
A
F
H

@2GuysFromWI

Harbaugh will have Urban Meyer retired from OSU by 2020.
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redwingfever
dawgstyle wrote:
USA ends up drawing Germany, Portugal and Ghana. #2 #5 and #24 per the FIFA rankings.

Can't say I am a huge Soccer fan. So going off the FIFA rankings, the USA is in the toughest group in the World Cup.

By rankings the difficulty goes as follows.

Group:
G
D
C
B
E
A
F
H



Looking at the current FIFA rankings the USA's draw looks quite formidable, but Portugal was boosted by having to compete in a playoff to qualify for the World Cup, which helped boost it in the rankings while teams like Germany, USA and Ghana had already qualified and did not play any qualifiers.

The pots were determined off of October's rankings, with Germany at 2, USA at 13, Portugal at 14 and Ghana at 23.

Still definitely a tall task in the group stage, but gives a little different perspective on it.
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bb211
I admire the friends of mine that aren't letting the draw affect their enthusiasm, but man that's a tough group to look at. Ghana's supposed to be the "weakest" team in the group and they knocked us out last time. Ugh.
You are not smarter than your favorite team's upper management, so stop trying to be.
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ranks39
The schedule may benefit the US; first Ghana, then Portugal, then Germany.

We NEEEED to get 3 points from that match vs. Ghana, then if the US can beat/draw Portugal, they'll be looking very solid to advance. Also playing Germany last may help if they have locked up the group at that point. The more I think about it, the more I can see the US sneaking in front of Portugal....but like I said, they MUST BEAT Ghana; if not, they basically are done for.
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db11
The rare optimist in me says the group will beat each other up and 4 points + differential should get you through.

Despite Germany having a bad defense and seemingly trending away from the top 5 at this moment, they just know how to win in the group stages of major tournaments. I see that being the a loss. A draw + win vs. Ghana and Portugal is possible.

Portugal has become the biggest one-trick pony in int'l soccer this side of (ironically, since it's who they beat to get here) Sweden...and C. Ronaldo has a fascinating ability to fall out of form for major competitions.

...and Ghana just has it coming.
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mcfc
I think the USMNT is probably the sports team I'm least capable of being rational about, so grains and salt and all that, but I can talk myself into seeing them qualifying...

First, Ghana is a bogeyman, but it's not like they dramatically outpace the US in terms of actual on field talent. Maybe grind out a win or a draw.

Then, Portugal, who have the capacity for some odd results (draws with Northern Ireland and Israel in qualifying). Plus, it's in the middle of the rainforest in 90 degree heat. The one thing the US generally has is fitness. Maybe another gritty draw?

Finally, Germany, who you'd hope would already be qualified and might be putting out a B team (set aside the fact that a German B teams is pretty excellent).
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importfromil
Thoughts on the group (in order that the games are played):

Ghana - mental block game. The U.S. has to win this one - a draw won't do. They're capable of it, they just need to play a full 90 minutes instead of the maybe 30 they played in 2010.

Portugal - they have some Cristiano Ronaldo guy, and ................ well, they've got Ronaldo. They also struggled to get out of a group with Israel (they drew twice; were down 3-1 in one game and needed a goal 3' into extra tie to draw) and Northern Ireland (drew one game, they trailed for about half of it; were down 2-1 in the 2nd half in another before Ronaldo ripped off a hat trick) and had fits in one game vs. Luxembourg (128th-ranked). 2 games vs. Sweden, he had all 4 goals; that should tell you how reliant Portugal is on him. If the Americans can shut him down, I think they can take this - but it's going to require outstanding defensive play.

Germany - you know they're going to be tough. Yes, our 1/2 squad beat their 2/3 squad ... but our #1 team wouldn't beat their #1 team on the vast majority of days. That's a "learning experience" game, you take whatever result you get.


If we can get out of the group, then it starts to look promising for a bit. Assuming we'd finish 2nd in the group, then the Round of 16 game is against the Group H winner (Belgium, Russia, South Korea, Algeria). I'd rather have Belgium than Russia in that scenario. The quarterfinal would be vs. the winner of Group F 2nd / Group E 1st; since Argentina is unlikely to be 2nd out of F, it probably means the winner of Bosnia / (France/Switzerland/Ecuador). That's quite winnable, especially since we beat Bosnia with less than our full team. Then you're in the semifinals ... and it's probably one of Spain, Netherlands, Italy, or Uruguay. But, you're guaranteed 2 games - and even if we lose both, that's still farther than we've gone since 1930.

It could be worse. We could have landed up in B with Spain, Netherlands and Chile. We could have also landed in D with Italy, Uruguay and England (such that England is a threat). If we think we're good enough to go compete with the world's best, this is an outstanding way to find out early on.
I'm not saying some things the WIAA does are wrong, ... I'm just saying, "I find it weird."
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