Thursday, June 12, 2014

Things you need to know about the US group before you watch the World Cup.

Things you need to know about the US group before you watch the World Cup. 

A recent poll by NYTimes showed that the majority of Americans believed that the US will win the world cup. This article will give you an idea on who the US will encounter and what are our chances in actually winning the world cup. 

The US needs to qualify from the groups stage in order to advance in the competition. To achieve that, the US has to come at least second in the group. So, let us have a look on the teams competing with us. The US is placed in group that contains Germany, Portugal and Ghana.

Germany is not only the favorite of the group, but one of the top four candidates to win the competition. They come ranking number one in the FIFA rank released before the tournament. Germany has topped their qualification group to the world cup with an unbeaten record of nine victories from ten fixtures. Germany scored 36 goals in qualifications, the most of any side in Europe. In history, they won the world cup three times and they enter this competition strongly equipped with many solid stars playing at top European competitions. A draw against Germany is an excellent result. A loss is more realistic. And, to demand a win will be a little too much to ask from our men.

Portugal, they ranked third in the FIFA world rank before the competition, however, a less stable team compared to Germany. The portuguese had to go through the play-offs in order to advance to the world cup. Their strength is in Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly the current best player in the world. His performance was stunning in the match against Sweden that secured the Portuguese qualification. Two years ago, Portugal reached the semi-final of the european competition UEFA, which is the second biggest tournament after the world cup. Cristiano Ronaldo is going to cause a lot of trouble to the US defense. Portugal does not lack other talented player, however, the team chemistry is the weakest point of the Portuguese team. A draw against Portugal is doable, a win will be an excellent result and a loss may mean that the US will not advance further beyond the group stage. 

Ghana comes to this world cup confident. They survived one of the toughest qualifying routes in Africa. They won five of their six group matches against 2012 African champions Zambia, Lesotho and Sudan. Then, won the play-off against seven-time African champions Egypt. In 2010, Ghana did beat the US to reach the quarter-finals. They are equipped with players who play on top level European teams including Essien, Muntari, Asamoah and Kevin-Prince Boateng. The US team must win this game. At least, it is a revenge. 

The US is definitely inferior in presence of stars in the team. None of our players plays in a top european club and our records against those teams are not in our favor either. However, the star of the team is our coach. The shuffling of positions, rejuvenation of the team players, and the new technical formations created a new chemistry of confidence and competition in the team. The qualification to the world cup did not start perfectly, but the team has been improving since then. Klinsmann is not new to the world cup, he is a world cup veteran and understands the mentality well. He knows Germany team too well, and he will be the best person to expose the weaknesses of the Germans The Chemistry of the US team can definitely surpass the portuguese and if the team concentrated well, they may surprise Ronaldo’s folks. 

If we lost the group stage in the world cup we have to know that it has nothing to do with the presence of Donavan. Even at his best, Donavan is not even close to the superstars in the three teams we are competing with. In reality, it will be a very hard group, but there are many factors that allow us to hope that the US can surprise the group. We may not win the world cup, but we have the quality for a surprise. U-S-A