Group Play in Germany Will Be Difficult for the U.S.

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by auf Amerika, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. auf Amerika

    auf Amerika Member

    Jul 11, 2004
    The way I see the groups being determined for Germany 2006 the U.S. will have a more difficult group than the one they were in in South Korea.

    The U.S. will either face a scenario of Europe, Europe, Africa or Europe, Europe, South America, or Brazil/Argentina, Europe, Africa.

    The U.S. will be with at least one of these teams (the top seeded teams):

    France (assuming they survive)

    So no Portugal from Korea/Japan.

    (Not Mexico because it's a CONACAF nation... I could also see the U.S. being forced into not being put in with Brazil and Argentina since they're "American" countries... although I think FIFA does no such thing)

    Furthermore, the U.S. will be paired with at least another European team which could be from one of these teams (my predictions):

    Czech Republic
    Republic of Ireland

    other European teams that could be in this pot might be: Serbia-Montenegro, Poland, Norway, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Russia, Israel (this all depends on who makes it out of their group and then past the final home and away stage)

    Then the U.S. will be paired with either an African team or if not already grouped with Brazil or Argentina, a South American squad.

    Nigeria or Angola
    Togo, Senegal or Zambia
    Tunisia or Morocco
    Cote d'Ivoire or Cameroon
    Ghana, South Africa or Democratic Republic of Congo
    Colombia (and if by a miracle, Australia)

    The U.S. probably won't be paired like in Korea with another Asian squad. This is because Asia and North America will have a combined total of 8 teams at the World Cup which makes up a pot of teams. However, Mexico will be a seeded team which means the extra European team can be thrown in with the seven Asian/North American teams. This would also makes since, in my opinion, because Asia and North America are the weakest confederations and should not be doubled up to make it easier for the other teams.

    The other pots will be the europe pot of eight and the Africa/South America pot of eight because Brazil and Argentia will be seeded teams (Australia could also be in this pot if the eliminate the South American team).

    This is the only possible way to figure out the pots as of today. No other combination of teams adds up. Maybe FIFA would swap Australia with the Africa/South America pot if it happened to win... which would leave one pot full of weak teams, which would make for a fairer World Cup in my opinion.

    Bottom line: the U.S. will likely face a scenario of Europe, Europe, Africa or Europe, Europe, South America, or Brazil/Argentina, Europe, Africa.

    This is also conjecture from what I know about who will be going to Germany and how FIFA allocates the group pots.
  2. Shaster

    Shaster Member+

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    You are wrong. Concacaf team will not with Africa team. They are in same pool. The chances are

    1) Two Euro teams, one Asia team;
    2) Two Euro teams, one South America team;
    3) One Euro team, one South America team, one Asia team;

    Of course, with case 1 and 2, the one Euro team will be the seed team. The real problem is to not get a strong second tier Euro team. Like last time England is counted as second tier. You don't want to get that.

    In case 3, we will get one of Brazil or Argentina. We probabaly on par with most second tier Euro teams and everyone in South America not named Brazil/Argentina, and three good Asia teams--Japan/South Korea/Iran will give a good fight. So a dogfight for two spots. No World Cup group play is easily anymore for ANYBODY.
  3. Heathens '87

    Heathens '87 Member

    United States
    Mar 4, 2004
    RSC Anderlecht
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Portugal was an upset...pure and simple. They took us lightly and paid for it. We drew Korea in Korea. We got beat by Poland. Not an easy group by any stretch, and we realistically went into that grouping as a weak #3 seed.

    We'll likely be a #2 seed in our group next summer. That'll involve one game where we're an underdog, one where we're a favorite, and one where we play an equal. It'll all depend on the draw, but group play is no longer easy for any team.

    On the downside, nobody will take us lightly anymore. But the respect we're earning should put us in a better position to advance. You can't choose your opponents in the World Cup, but I think we can play with anybody and in any group. Problem is that darn near every one of the 31 other teams will be able to say the same thing........there's a lot of parity at the group-stage level.
  4. flux82

    flux82 Member

    Aug 9, 2001
    Three of the favorites in 2002, Argentina, France, and Porugal, did not even make it out of group play (let me know if I missed any others). Therefore, if you are hoping for an easy group and breaking everything down, don't waste your time. The teams that come to play are the ones that advance: that is the only formula you need to know.
  5. forza inter

    forza inter Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Middletown, ct
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    after last world cup i am confident in usa to do anything in a big tournament, i am anxious to see who they are grouped with though

    forza inter
  6. Adam Zebrowski

    Adam Zebrowski New Member

    May 28, 1999
    well if mexico becomes a #1 seed, which is highly likely, the big question is whether a 4th concacaf side emerges over asia...

    so, if the 5 african sides get grouped with the 3 (concacaf winning the play-off), then usa won't get to play africa in group play...

    but if asia wins the play-off the 5+2 isn't 7, so the arrangement of the 8 possibilties needs to change.....

    who knows what it'll be...

    and there's even a very remote chance TWO concacaf sides get #1 seeds, very remote but possible...

    I'd agree group play will be very difficult for the usa, and goal differential could emerge as the advancing element.......

    usa could even go three and out, although I think that's remote too...

    arena is good at tailoring match tactics to give usa a shot to win any match..
  7. swedust

    swedust Member+

    Aug 30, 2004
    My instinct is to reply only "duh" and leave it at that, but I'm much too long-winded.

    First, our group last time was not that easy: sure, before the tournament SK looked pretty simple, but bad refs or no bad refs they took out a bunch of good squads and we got a point from them.

    Second, our grouping problems won't be with where the teams come from so much as how they play. The thing about Potugal and S.Korea is that they weren't very physical, and though Mexico was we had their number that day no matter what. Pretty much all the teams going to Germany can play: my concern is the big guys. So:

    Spain prefereable to Sweden

    Italy preferable to Germany (esp. as host, so ignore that)

    France (as is) preferable to Cameroon (as was)

    Argentina preferable to Brazil

    Asia preferable to any other continent

    But if that analysis strikes anyone as oversimplified, I'll stick with "duh."
  8. Adam Zebrowski

    Adam Zebrowski New Member

    May 28, 1999
    i'm rooting for 2006 usa group to include brazil, iran and poland...
  9. Daren Spencer

    Daren Spencer New Member

    Jun 25, 2001

    :D Too much logic for this part of the universe.
  10. Daren Spencer

    Daren Spencer New Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    I'll take that now......but it will be an interesting day in Dec when we actually know the group.
  11. datdood

    datdood New Member

    Nov 6, 2004

    balanced on paper, but plenty of history for us there...

    and while we're rooting, i'll take a group sans-europe all together...

    not that it would happen...
  12. m vann

    m vann Moderator
    Staff Member

    Colorado Rapids, Celtic FC, & Louisville City
    Sep 10, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Celtic FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I hope our group is tough. In fact, I wouldn't mind it being the toughest, which I doubt will happen. We will never prove the doubters wrong if we play in a "soft" group. I have confidence that we can advance in any group. Bruce loves the big games and he has instilled a warrior like mentality for his troops. I don't see us being a walk in the park for anyone or any group. They better come to play and so should we.
  13. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Farewell Sweet Prince
    Jan 9, 2004
    Gentrification's Apex.
    Philadelphia Union
    yes, but I dont give a rat's ass about "proving doubters wrong". we could win the whole damn thing and most of europe would call it a fluke. The only "doubters" I care about proving wrong are the teams that we face.
  14. Ringo

    Ringo Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    Rough and Ready
    Yeovil Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    since when was group play supposed to be easy in the first place?

    hell, I'll go out on a limb and say that group play in South Africa in 2010 will be tough as well.
  15. Daren Spencer

    Daren Spencer New Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    I have spent the last four World Cups in Europe and have dozens, maybe hundreds of European soccer friends and I can't think of one who would seriously call it a fluke if the USA won the World Cup.

    Most think we should have gone to the semi-final in '02, but it's a funny ol' game.

    The reality is we could not even qualify for '06....... :D
  16. m vann

    m vann Moderator
    Staff Member

    Colorado Rapids, Celtic FC, & Louisville City
    Sep 10, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Celtic FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    umm, that's exactly who i'm calling doubters.
  17. auf Amerika

    auf Amerika Member

    Jul 11, 2004

    You're right. I messed up. It will break down as Africa, North America (+1 Europe) and Asia, South America (+1 Europe)... depending on who wins the North America/Asia playoff.

    I think they should change it the other way around and have Africa and South America (Australia) in the same pot and then Asia and North America in the other pot, because Asia and North America are the worse represented teams. This means there will always be a group or two that will only have one or two good teams, whereas the other way around will mean that each group will get one of the worst teams.

    So the U.S. will get Europe, Europe, SA/Asia or Brazil/Argentina, Europe, Asia/Europe.

    I hate the way they do it. Although it makes it easier for the U.S. because Asia is almost a guaranteed win if they're not playing in Asia and the South American teams are not as good as Brazil and Argentina.

    Bottom line: group play will probably be just as easy as the last world cup, unless the U.S. gets one of the good second tier European teams, unlike Poland and mean like the Netherlands or Portugal or Turkey.

    The worse possible scenario would be something like:

    Italy, Netherlands, Paraguay, USA... fun, but difficult.

    By the way I thought England would get a seed this year?
  18. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    The US is a top ten FIFA team, and that ranking is completely justified. They have no need to fear any group or any team in the world. On any given day they can beat any given team.
  19. wonko389

    wonko389 New Member

    Oct 11, 2004
    jax, fl
    France isnt even going to make it. Henry is going to be sitting with me in the stands.
  20. blech

    blech Member+

    Jun 24, 2002
    i'm not busting your chops (seriously), but do you know that this is how it is going to be done for this world cup? and, if so, is it published somewhere? i've read a lot of things about how it has been done in the past, but i haven't seen anything official about how it will be done this time.

    if asia wins the playoff, then concacaf will have 3 (including likely #1 seed mexico), and asia, africa, and s. america will each have 5 (assuming s. america wins the playoff with australia). in this case, there is no mathematical reason to prefer africa over asia and no reason to prefer africa over s. america (unless they don't want to include #1 seeds).

    if concacaf wins the playoff, then concacaf might match up better 4-4 with asia, but then africa and s. america still have 5 each, so something still must be done with them.

    frankly, i'd like to see the pots modified slightly to basically make it a euro pot and a non-euro "double" pot, with the caveat being that no two non-euros from the same region would be paired together for group play. why have it pre-determined that concacaf won't play africa, asia, or s. america? have it selected for each team randomly.
  21. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Um, no we won't. They only seed one team in each group.
  22. PSsoccer123

    PSsoccer123 New Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    I'd say Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, France, England, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands would beat us the majority of the time, but not much more with the exception of Brazil, who could probably beat us 9 out of 10 times or something crazy like that. We could beat all those other teams, but the majority of the time, they'd beat us, especially in Europe where we struggle and they have an advantage. Head to head, I think we are better than Mexico, especially in the World Cup as it is a neutral ground, but I think they are more experienced and play better in World Cups. They always seem to make it to the second round. Then teams like Ukraine, Sweden, Nigeria, Cameroon, Portugal, and maybe a few others could beat us any given day as well.

    This doesn't apply to you, but to others, no one should reason that just because we got out of the second round last World Cup, we can do it again. We weren't in Europe where we always struggle, instead in an easier environment in Asia, had an easier group with the easiest one seed, were extremely underestimated by the best team in the group, and we got in with only 4 points which is a rarity. This World Cup no one will underestimate us. I think we will get to the second round, but it is not such a sure thing as many are proclaiming.
  23. DonCorleone

    DonCorleone New Member

    Jun 21, 2005
    NY state.
    but, the most difficult for us is because everyone will be wary of us now and we won't be underestimated.
  24. Justin O

    Justin O Member+

    Seattle Sounders
    United States
    Nov 30, 1998
    on the run from the covid
    I think the US will be continued to be underestimated. Such perceptions take a long time to die. As for other coutries that provided surprises last time, I think South Korea will also be underestimated, as will Senegal *if* they make it. From a European point perspective, I think just about every non-European country will be unerestimated, with the excpetion of Brazil and Argentina.
  25. 5t3v3

    5t3v3 New Member

    Jun 22, 2005
    The US will continue to be thought of as a weak soccer country but as the last world cup showss none of that matters.Im in england and i can tell you if we got england in our group england would be really happy think they've already got the win in the bag before kickoff, there's a complete lack of respect and i hate how all these TV host disrespect american soccer,if you could have heard them a few weaks ago with the England US game but the fifa rankings and the display at the last world cup show that we can give anyone a good game so to be honest it does'nt matter how we get in our group because we'll be competetive no matter what.

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