WC Draw News & Analysis

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Berks, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    So I thought I'd create a thread talking about seeding/draws for the World Cup now that we can talk about such things! (Mods, not sure if this should go here or USA Men - feel free to move as appropriate).

    Feel free to list teams here in October/November as results make the pots more known.

    32 Teams Total, 8 seeds

    Already In (Bold are Likely to Be Seeded)
    Brazil
    Argentina
    Italy
    Netherlands


    Asia Pot:
    Iran
    South Korea
    Japan
    Australia

    CONCACAF Pot:
    USA
    Costa Rica

    Remaining (likely seeds in bold)
    11 UEFA (likely based on current points: Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Russia/Portugal, Boznia-Herzegovina/Greece, Spain/France, who the hell knows in England's group)
    1 CONCACAF (likely Honduras)
    1 CONCACAF/New Zealand (likely Mexico)
    3 CONMEBOL (likely Colombia, after that, still a toss up between Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay)
    1 CONMEBOL/Jordan (likely will be one of the South American teams listed above or Venezuela)
    5 Africa (crapshoot, 10 teams in playoffs: Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon, Senegal)

    ********************************
    Looking at that list, thinking the final seed may go to Portugal, England or Uruguay based on FIFA rankings and previous WC performance. That said, all are struggling.

    I would prefer not to be drawn with Brazil or Argentina since we know home crowd support will be daunting. If I had to choose, that last seed would be great. Also, drawing Japan on top of a seed would be horrid.

    And we all know we want to stay as far away from Ghana as possible.

    What are folks hopes for what to avoid in the draw?
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  2. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    And here were the pots from 2010 for reference - note the seeds look quite similar to those projected for 2014; with the England and South Africa spots the ones that are replaceable:

    1: Argentina, Brazil, England (?), Germany, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa, & Spain

    2: (Teams from Asia, CONCACAF & Oceania) Australia, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, North Korea, South Korea & USA

    3: (Teams from Africa & CONMEBOL) Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Paraguay & Uruguay

    4: (Teams from Europe) Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia & Switzerland

    Which Fed we are combined with will be critical - would folks prefer Asia, CAF or CONMEBOL? If we play the odds, we will likely not be combined with CAF because that would (likely) make 1 team too many for 8 spots. Increasing the likelihood that we will be combined with Asia or CONMEBOL. Of the two, thinking getting combined with CONMEBOL would be great meaning our group would be: US/Seed/UEFA team/CAF or Asian team.
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  3. FlipsLikeAPancake

    FlipsLikeAPancake Member+

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    In another thread, someone calculated what the FIFA rankings will show when they are released today:
    1. Spain - 1514
    2. Argentina - 1263
    3. Germany - 1261
    4. Italy - 1199
    5. Colombia - 1180
    7. Uruguay - 1126
    8. Brazil - 1067
    9. Netherlands - 1058
    10. Croatia - 1051
    11. Portugal - 1029
    12. Greece - 1016
    13. USA - 996

    The Netherlands dropped 107 points from the last FIFA ranking, going from 5th to 9th. And it looks like all 8 of the teams ahead of them will qualify. (Uruguay or Colombia might have to go through an intercontinental playoff, but that would be against Jordan). So if the ExCo uses the rankings to decide seeding (as they did in 2010) the Netherlands might be on the outside looking in unless they can pass someone next month.
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  4. USOutlaw16

    USOutlaw16 Member+

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    If we draw Portugal, enless references to that match in Suwon in 2002 will be abound. Portugal having arguably the best player in the world, a talented squad to back him, semifinalists of the Euro two years prior. It'll be deja vu all over again!

    Also, preferred group among that draw would be:

    Portugal/England (the England match would be even more interesting if it was being played in Belo Horizonte)
    Switzerland
    Any African team that isn't the Ivory Coast or Ghana.
    USA

    HELP!!!!:
    Germany
    Belgium
    USA
    Ghana or Ivory Coast.

    Drawing Egypt would mean endless storylines in the lead up to the match, drawing Colombia will bring endless references to that match in the Rose Bowl, and even drawing Germany will be interesting, what with the student facing the teacher, and us looking for payback for 1998 and 2002.
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  5. Beazley17

    Beazley17 Member

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    As far as seeded teams go, keep me away from Brazil, Spain, and Germany. We usually play Argentina well but with the World Cup being in South America, I would like to avoid them. Not sure who else will be seeded, as Fifa always like to change up the formula, but wouldn't mind an England, Italy, Portugal, or France compared to the alternatives. Would love to get matched up with an Asian side instead of a South American side or an athletic African team. Hopefully we can have another great draw like 2010. Should be a good thread!
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  6. Bluecat82

    Bluecat82 Member+

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    I can't see FIFA giving Belgium a seed, their #6 ranking notwithstanding...not so sure about Colombia either...room for the Dutch to get in there, and maybe Portugal. Or England, if FIFA can find the right formula... ;)
  7. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    The draw takes place at 11am ET on Friday, December 6, 2013. (I would assume both ESPN and Univision will have live coverage on various platforms.)


    I'm not so concerned with the first round groupings. (It is very likely going to be a difficult group for the US, but I do think they are capable of getting through in a slight majority of all possible groupings. The WC finals draw has been relatively kind to the US in recent cycles and groupings, but who knows what Dec 6th holds.)

    To me (and working under the assumption that the first round will be difficult but not impossible), what might be most important are the potential Round-of-16 pairings. (Ideally, the US would not get drawn into Group B, as apparently Brazil is set as the A1-placed team as host. Getting drawn into Group G or H with teams like England or Greece and/or a Concacaf team in the other of G or H might be among the most ideal draw results for the US.)

    And certainly not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but the Quarterfinals are scheduled for Fri/Sat, July 4 & 5, 2014 -- and it would be quite amazing if the USMNT were playing a World Cup match on either of those dates.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
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  8. Bosnian Diamond

    Bosnian Diamond Member+

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    Don't know where else to put this but congrats on qualifying! Hope to see you in brazil. :)
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  9. O'Dubhghaill Rules!

    O'Dubhghaill Rules! Member

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    How I see the pots breaking down:

    Pot 1 (seeds) - 5 UEFA; 3 CONMEBOL
    Pot 2 - 4 CONCACAF; 4 AFC
    Pot 3 - 5 CAF; 3 CONMEBOL
    Pot 4 - 8 UEFA


    I think the only way to avoid being in a pot with the Asian teams (and therefore avoiding Africa/S. America in group play), and even then I don't think it's guaranteed, is if Jordan somehow beats CONMEBOL #5 and CONCACAF #4 beats NZ (5 AFC and 4 CONCACAF teams). Although if that happens, that would likely leave 2 CONMEBOL non-seeded teams and 5 CAF teams still. There's no good way to get 8 in each pot if done by confederation. They may have to do a "special pot" like they did for Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, or they will probably just throw one lucky AFC/CONCACAF team into the pot with CONMEBOL and CAF and not let them get drawn into a group with a team from their confederation.
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  10. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    Assuming that it is 5 UEFA and 3 Conmebol seeds seems like a safe assumption, but we won't know until some later date, correct?

    Typically how far ahead of the draw date are the seeds known/confirmed/announced?

    If NZ wins their playoff, would/could it be possible that the 3 CONCACAF teams would be placed in the same Pot as the 5 CAF teams? (And the other Pot 2 or 3 would be 4 AFC + NZ + 2 Conmebol + Conmebol(6th)/Jordan
  11. papermache16

    papermache16 Member

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    The pots will be so hard to predict at this point because we don't know whether the "hot" teams of Colombia and Belgium (not to mention Uruguay) will get into the seeds typically occupied by Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Italy, England, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal/France.

    Especially if a CONMEBOL team (Uruguay or Colombia) sneaks in as a seed. There's just no way to tell.
  12. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    The official rankings are out, here is top 20. Everyone is going to want to avoid Belgium and Colombia if they are not seeded, which neither should be based on previous WC records as that is usually part of the formula FIFA uses (yes I know they make it up as they go).

    [​IMG]


    FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking
    RnkTeamPts+/- Pos
    1 Spain 1514 0
    2 Argentina 1263 2
    3 Germany 1261 -1
    4 Italy 1199 2
    5 Colombia 1180 -2
    6 Belgium 1159 4
    7 Uruguay 1126 5
    8 Brazil 1067 1
    9 Netherlands 1058 -4
    10 Croatia 1051 -2
    11 Portugal 1029 -4
    12 Greece 1016 -1
    13 USA 996 6
    14 Switzerland 992 1
    15 Russia 968 1
    16 Chile 967 5
    17 England 947 -3
    18 Bosnia-Herzegovina 934 -5
    19 Côte d'Ivoire 902 -1
    20 Ecuador 851 -3
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  13. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    The "formula" FIFA uses typically is based off of current rankings and previous results in the 3 most recent WC's.

    Based on that neither Belgium or Colombia are getting seeded but Uruguay has a good chance to be the 3rd seeded team from South America.
  14. papermache16

    papermache16 Member

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    In 2002, they took 3 most recent WC's, in 2006 they only took 2 most recent. Then for 2010, none. I honestly do think they make it up as they go along.
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  15. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Cape Verde is out of the WC
    =================

    Fifa has disqualified Cape Verde Islands from the African qualifying playoffs for the 2014 World Cup for fielding an ineligible player in a decisive qualifying match, and reinstated Tunisia.

    Cape Verde thought they had advanced to the final qualifying round by defeating Tunisia 2-0 in Rades on Saturday to win the group. The tiny nation would have entered the 10-team playoffs that decide Africa's five representatives in Brazil next year.

    Fifa says its disciplinary committee decided that Fernando Varela should have been serving a suspension. Tunisia, who will now enter the playoff draw on Monday, formally complained to the world game's ruling body.

    Cape Verde, which has a population of half a million, has never qualified for a World Cup and has the right of appeal.
  16. papermache16

    papermache16 Member

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    Look how close we were to a seed in 2006

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_FIFA_World_Cup_seeding

    Seed Country 1. FIFA World Cup Finals 2. FIFA World Rankings Total Points
    France '98
    (33.3%) Korea Japan '02
    (66.7%) Avg.
    Points Dec '03
    (33.3%) Dec '04
    (33.3%) Nov '05
    (33.3%) Avg.
    Points
    Rk Pt. Rk Pt. Rk Pt. Rk Pt. Rk Pt.
    1 Brazil 2 31 1 32 31.7 1 32 1 32 1 32 32.0 63.7
    2 England 9 24 6 27 26.0 8 25 8 25 9 24 24.7 50.7
    3 Spain 17 9 5 28 21.7 3 30 5 28 6 27 28.3 50.0
    4 Germany 7 26 2 31 29.3 12 22 19 19 16 19 20.0 49.3
    5 Mexico 13 20 11 22 21.3 7 26 7 26 7 26 26.0 47.3
    6 France 1 32 28 8 16.0 2 31 2 31 5 28 30.0 46.0
    7 Italy 5 28 15 18 21.3 10 24 10 23 12 22 23.0 44.3
    8 Argentina 6 27 18 9 15.0 5 28 3 30 4 29 29.0 44.0
    9 United States 32 8 8 25 19.3 11 23 11 22 8 25 23.3 42.7
    10 Netherlands 4 29 - 0 9.7 4 29 6 27 3 30 28.7 38.3

    To put it into perspective, if the USA had been ranked 8th in '03 and '04 (like they were in '05), they would have leapfrogged Argentina to be a seed.

    So, in a way, rankings DO matter!

    (although say we swapped with Argentina - we would have had a group with Netherlands, Ivory Coast, and Serbia. Ouch)
  17. MLSFan123

    MLSFan123 Member+

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    Like many others, I think FIFA chooses the 8 seeds they want for the tournament and then turn to a guy with glasses and tell him to make up a formula that sees those 8 teams chosen.

    We can always dream that the formula would be known BEFORE qualifying even starts but that is unrealistic given the environment.
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  18. papermache16

    papermache16 Member

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    Hell, they don't even make the UEFA playoff seeding rules official until they know who the second place teams are.
  19. FlipsLikeAPancake

    FlipsLikeAPancake Member+

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    Yes it all depends on what formula they use.

    In 2010 they used the post-qualifer/pre-playoff round FIFA rankings.
    In 2006, it was based on FIFA rankings of December 2005, 2004, and 2004, as well as just the last 2 World Cups.
    In 2002, is was based on the FIFA rankings of December 2001, 2000, and 1999, as well as the last 3 World Cups.
    In 1998, it was the same system as 2002 would be, except World Cup results were weighted 60-40 over FIFA rankings, whereas in 2002 they were weighted evenly.

    Yeah, you're probably right, the evidence is pretty clear that FIFA will just tweak the formula until it gets the results it wants.

    There actually is a thread about the possibility of the US being seeded, but I can't see FIFA letting that happen.

    Now, the US could rise up to the top 10 before its done. If the US wins its next two qualifiers, we will be at 1061 points (enough to pass Greece, Portugal even if they wins both their games, and enough to pass Croatia and the Netherlands if they lose/draw a game)

    And if FIFA tries to use World Cup results to move the Netherlands past Belgium and Colombia, it could benefit us too (since obviously we would get points from the last two World Cups whereas Belgium and Colombia would get none).

    But all FIFA will have to do to prevent the US from being seeded is to go back to the old system of using FIFA rankings from points in the last few years (last December the US was ranked 28th for instance). Or give enough weight to the 2006 World Cup, which would help England and Portugal pass us.

    Still, I imagine it won't stop some US fans from dreaming that if Uruguay falls to Jordan in the intercontinental playoff, and if Portugal and England fail to qualify, maybe, just maybe.... :rolleyes:
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  20. Craig P

    Craig P BigSoccer Supporter

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    I don't think the thumb on the scales is quite that blatant. If their first go at whatever ranking system they use gives a set of seeds that is reasonable on the face of it, I think they just go ahead and use that. I think they start to tweaking when they're unhappy with the first go. For example, when France initially gets a seed and the guys making the decisions think France shouldn't even be in the field.
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  21. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    This is a very worthy thread on a very important subject. That said, really until November, there will be so little for us to discuss. The teams that have qualified thus far are either teams that we really wouldn't want to have to face, or else teams that we couldn't face unless the format of the draw were substantially changed (ie AFC teams).

    One factor that could substantially change the format of the draw would be the number of CONMEBOL teams that get seeded. I believe that FIFA will want to seed 3, as that will make the rest of the draw very straightforward. Thus, if Uruguay qualifies, I believe we will see Pot A comprised of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, with 5 traditional UEFA powers (one of which might or might not be "mighty" Switzerland.... it will be interesting to see if FIFA encourages that situation or mathematically weasels out of it), and all the other pots will fall into place as they have traditionally, with us being paired with AFC as we generally are, a pot of CAF and CONMEBOL non-seeds, and a pot of UEFA non-seeds. On the other hand, if Uruguay gets eliminated, then it's questionable that they will seed Colombia, a team that hasn't qualified for the World Cup since 1998 and has never progressed past the second round. Which could mean that not only might the seeding results begin to get a bit unpredictable, but also the draw format itself might begin to look weird.

    In other words, if Uruguay qualifies, the seeding and draw format will mostly be very predictable, and we will predictably be placed into a draw situation that generally looks unfavorable. On the other hand, if Uruguay fails to qualify, then both the seeding and draw processes will get quite a bit more unpredictable (and perhaps some permutation might not see us drawn out of the same pot as AFC, per usual, which should be to our benefit).
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  22. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    That's pretty much it. I've been saying for ages that there IS a thumb on the scales, but they don't manipulate just to manipulate. When things look a bit wacky (and the last two times, they have), they manipulate the least amount necessary to make things look more agreeable. The key is, however, that they do step in and change the criteria, which is why I keep up the argument whenever people try to argue that all we need to get a seed is to win games X, Y, and Z simply because the last formula said so.

    (At the present time, if the last formula were to somehow seed the United States, a new formula would be selected to ensure that we're not seeded. Seeding the US would still look too weird to most of the world at this time. And obviously we're not singled out as the only nation that could suffer that fate, as France can attest.)
  23. Kilmer17

    Kilmer17 Member

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    When do we begin to concern ourselves with frozen ping pong balls?
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  24. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminaries/africa/matches/round=258334/match=300180948/index.html

    Incredible that 3 of the 12 matches in Round 2, Group B in African WCQs were decided by 3-0 forfeit due to ineligible players being used.

    http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminaries/news/newsid=2172738/index.html

    Here is how's Africa's final round H/A qualifiers are being seeded:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_–_CAF_Third_Round

    Pot 1
    [​IMG] Ivory Coast (19)
    [​IMG] Ghana (24)
    [​IMG] Algeria (28)
    [​IMG] Nigeria (36)
    [​IMG] Tunisia (46)

    Pot 2
    [​IMG] Egypt (50)
    [​IMG] Burkina Faso (51)
    [​IMG] Cameroon (61)
    [​IMG] Senegal (66)
    [​IMG] Ethiopia (93)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  25. papermache16

    papermache16 Member

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    Given how convulted the Champions League draw was, I think they should just have four pots 1-8, 9-16, 17-24, 25-32, and just draw that way, only stopping to redraw if two teams from the same confederation (except UEFA of course) land in the same group.
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