World Cup Final Draw

Frightening little children worldwide...Sepp Blatter

The World Cup draw is taking place this Friday noon east coast time. Its being shown live on ESPN 2 as well as ESPN 2 HD. This is one soccer event that might not be so appealing in HD. Most FIFA dignitaries are not the prettiest of people, chief in line Sepp Blatter…though on second thought, they will probably have requested the aid of many beautiful models to help them grab balls (heh) so if you got HD watch it…just have a pillow to hide behind when they do the close up interview with Seppy.

This is the real beginning of the WC in my opinion. Once the draws are set, everyone (fans, teams, coaches etc…) can spend the next 6 months trying to figure out all the possible match ups, nuances etc… SO MUCH FUN!

FIFA has kept its mouth shut about the exact format to the draw but there really isn’t any other possible way to set it up than as follows. For a small breakdown of each team check out ESPN’s Soccernet.

Pool 1
Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, England, South Africa, France and Germany

Pool 2
Netherlands, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal and Serbia

Pool 3
Mexico, Honduras, South Korea, Japan, Australia, United States, New Zealand and North Korea

Pool 4
Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast

The CONCACAF teams have been lumped with the Asian teams which means that the USMNT will get at least one European team and an African or South American team. There are plenty of potential  “groups of deaths” and the occasional easy group but really, there is no easy route to the Finals. Each team has to play there best, that is obvious. What is your ideal group?

After the draw at 4pm EST/1pm PCT Facebook Nike will be presenting a “Live with Landon” and other USMNT players. For more info click here.

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If you’re in San Francisco, then come on down to Danny Coyles and join me (representing The Shin Guardian…don’t worry M&M, I won’t embarrass  you…much), located 668 Haight St. between Pierce and Haight where they will be showing the draw live complete with beer and bloody mary specials as well as a FREE SCRUMPTIOUS BRUNCH!

They are also having a contest where one can win a $30 bar tab if one can guess the complete USMNT group. If you want to enter please email your guesses (one per person) to this address.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sidereal on 2009/12/01 at 5:51 PM

    Obviously, getting drawn with South Africa is the golden ticket. Whichever Pool 2 team is drawn against SA is likely to be the favorite to come out of that group. If it’s Slovakia or Slovenia and the US is drawn into that group, I think that’d be pretty much ideal. And then you hope Group 4 is a weaker South American team (say Paraguay), since the African teams might get a home continent boost.

    Unfortunately, assuming these pools it’ll be Spain, Netherlands, US, and Cameroon and we’ll be lucky to get out with a point, domestic interest in soccer will collapse, MLS will fold, NASL and USL will dissolve under constant litigation, dogs and cats living together, etc.

    Reply

  2. I’m just hoping for a decently tough, but manageable group, such as France, Holland, and Ghana. All three teams play styles we haven’t seen and would be great tests. France is good but definitely beatable under Domenech. Holland looks like world-beaters in every tourney but comes up short, and Ghana has decent players but isn’t invincible by any means.

    I’d rather end up in that group than say one that contained Algeria and Slovenia, almost defaulting the US into the second round (though we’ve made a mess of simpler tasks). If we end up in an easy group we still won’t garner any respect on the World stage, as people will find a way to explain why we advanced and then point to our easy group as a reason for getting knocked out in the second round. No one can take 2002 away from us because we took care of business in a decently hard group with a host, and the tourney dark-horse, then beat the anti-christs and almost took down Germany who ended up in the Final.

    Reply

  3. Posted by sfshwebb on 2009/12/01 at 8:29 PM

    I think that the USMNT is respected around the world. They have been pretty consistent the past couple of years. Yes they overachieved at the confed cup but now other teams know not to take them lightly which is good for them.

    What i don’t think is respected is the MLS and frankly until they abandon the playoff system it won’t be. They should just go with a straight up league and then have 1 or 2 cup like competitions spread out through the season, so that every team is involved. That plus the concacaf champs league makes for an exciting season…oh and taking international breaks like every other league is also a good start.

    The USMNT has proved they can play and beat the best. They just need to be consistent. I guarantee other teams DO NOT want to meet the US in their group and if they do then they will be like the US media was toward Ghana at the last WC…completely misjudging their opponents. I think Bradley will be smarter than Arena was 4 years ago and play down expectations with his players and the media. The fact that people were so disappointed with the US exit last WC and now are EVEN more excited about their chances in South Africa means US soccer can take hits…Will it be more popular than baseball, throwball and bball…prolly not but it will get better…HELL Rugby is still more popular than soccer in France

    Reply

  4. I just read, as I’m sure most did that we’re in Pot #2, which means the order of our games will be:

    1 – Against the Top/Seeded Team
    2 – Against a European Team from Pot 4
    3 – Against an African/South American Team from Pot 3

    Given that fixture list, I’m hoping we get one of the easier Euros from Pot 4 as a rebound from what is going to be a tough first game, even if we get South Africa.

    Reply

  5. Posted by kaya on 2009/12/02 at 2:23 PM

    Ohh, I can’t wait to start my panini collection.
    I think rugby is a more popular sport in certain parts of france, but football is still #1 nationally by far.
    In ireland, otoh, gaelic football and rugby are overall more popular.

    Reply

  6. The San Jose Earthquakes will be down with prizes and ticket info too!!

    Reply

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