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Confederations Cup Draw

FIFA strikes again. Why not seed the teams and create balanced groups?

The three worst teams are in the same Confederations Cup group, while the USA is in with Italy and Brazil.

GROUP A: South Africa, Iraq, New Zealand and Spain.

GROUP B: Italy, Brazil, USA, Egypt.

The tournament runs June 14-28 in South Africa.

By Steve Goff  |  November 22, 2008; 10:56 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Bradley, Gulati Address Draws


Balance is over rated.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | November 22, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Ouch...this maybe bad for US. What if they are eliminated for the first time? Unthinkable.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | November 22, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Worst draw ever!"

If I were seeding:

1. Spain
2. Italy
3. Brazil
4/5. Egypt/USA
6. New Zealand
7. Iraq
8. South Africa

Posted by: edgeonyou | November 22, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Nutz. WP blogging software stripped out my "Comic Book Guy Voice On/Off" directions for "Worst Draw Ever!"

Posted by: edgeonyou | November 22, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

IF there was a seeding it could have worked out the same. The host has historically received a seed in the WC. That means the seeds are: Spain/South Africa and Italy/Brazil.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | November 22, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

FIFA hates the US!

Posted by: owendylan | November 22, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

How will Spain ever manage to make it out of THAT group?!

The US will have a hard time making it out of our group... So what? Our guys will get experience playing against 2 of the top teams in the World, and will also get to experience the conditions in South Africa. Still worth it.

Posted by: DCUMD | November 22, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Folks, this is a good outcome for Team USA. The whole point of this exercise is for the U.S. team to gain valuable experience, in the stadiums that will host the WC the following year. Who really cares if we actually win it?

I would much rather have the U.S. team play tough matches against Italy and Brazil than Iraq or New Zealand -- it will pay enormous dividends for the WC.

Posted by: jofij | November 22, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

This tournament was not seeded mbyrd28.

South Africa was given the "A1" spot. Otherwise the only restrictions were geographic. Neither Italy and Spain nor SA and Egypt could be together

Posted by: mmcginnis351 | November 22, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree with jofij. It's great prep, and who really cares if we don't get out of the group in the Confed Cup? The point is the *World* Cup a year later.

Posted by: stancollins | November 22, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The draw was seeded.

The host was put with the top 3 seeds (Spain, Brazil and Italy) and could only get drawn into a group with one of them.

The US was in pot 2 with the unseeded teams (Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand) and could only get draw with one of those teams.

With such a small tournament, and giving the host a seed, Fifa was bound to get unbalanced groups.

It worked out to the host's advantage, but no so much for those in group B.

But I'm fine with that. The tournament will be a good test for the US team.

Posted by: tab5g | November 22, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

If at the end of the draw, if the US had come out of the bowl before New Zealand, then those two would have switched and the groups would have been a bit more balanced:

GROUP A: South Africa, Iraq, USA and Spain.

GROUP B: Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, Egypt.

But, the draw went the other way and group B was loaded up:

GROUP A: South Africa, Iraq, New Zealand and Spain.

GROUP B: Italy, Brazil, USA, Egypt.

Although we can all speculate about it now, but it could very well work out where the two teams to reach the final could come from Group A (or Group B). But looking at just the Fifa rankings, they did produce some lopsided groups from the draw.

Posted by: tab5g | November 22, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

FIFA strikes again. Why not seed the teams and create balanced groups?

By seeding the host nation Fifa has made the decision that improving the host nation's odds of advancing (and keeping the local fans' interest in the event) is more important than creating balanced groups (by doing a straight-seeded draw, and working to ensure more-balanced groups -- and thereby decreasing the chances of the host nation to advance).

Posted by: tab5g | November 22, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

There WAS seeding, but the host country gets a seed (just like they do at every World Cup, and at every European Championship).

Have you guys been asleep you whole lives?


1. The "seeded" teams:

Italy, Brazil, Spain, South Africa.

If you break it down further, probably Italy and Spain in one pot (you don't want them in the same group), and Brazil and South Africa in the other.

Hence, this yields:
Group A: South Africa, Spain
Group B: Brazil, Italy

Get it?

From there, they obviously didn't seed.

Other than making sure Egypt and South Africa weren't in the same group.

Also, there may have been concerns about an Iraq/USA match.

And as an added bonus, South Africa has the best chance to advance this way. And that was the key, really.

Only problem is, you can't have

Posted by: TrueCrew | November 22, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

No sweat. We've got Italy's number. Nobody else earned so much as a draw from them 2 years ago. (Yeah yeah I know the final with France was technically a draw.)

Posted by: benonthehill | November 22, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

We seem to be overlooking the African team again, Egypt are the African Cup of Nations champion, they will kill us too. We won't win a game.

But like you guys said, we're in it for experience...

Posted by: StewartDC8 | November 22, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Just appreciate the free world having to not sit through the bloviation of a USA-Iraq game, and its meaning to the world, blah, blah, blah. Spare us the comments from Sepp Blatter changing the world through soccer and JP and Harkesy trying to identify if it's a Sunni or Kurd playing left back. I just couldn't take watching that game.

Posted by: IamAM | November 22, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree with jofiji. The draw is not important. Who remembers the winner or god forbid the runner up of the confed cup? Nobody. But the players will remember the playing against Italy and Brazil in a meaningful competition in the WC host country.

The worst outcome would be bringing a bunch of players who don't play in the WC. Like, say the Confed cup was earlier this year and Eddie Johnson played instead of Altidore or Cooper... a waste of time. You bring Altidore, Adu, Orozco, Guzan, etc, and you've helped make up for the weakness of CONCACAF competition (well, at least in terms of the on-the-field strength... I don't think away games and refing in CONCACAF make for a cakewalk but that's another story).

Posted by: Modibo | November 22, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

too bad. that USA vs. Iraq match-up would have been priceless.

Posted by: la2stl | November 22, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know which network has this competition? ESPN? FSC? GolTV?

Posted by: la2stl | November 22, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know which network has this competition? ESPN? FSC? GolTV?

Posted by: la2stl | November 22, 2008 9:46 PM

Prolly a little early for such a determination.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 23, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

You're the one who's always discounting the FIFA world rankings. I mean, most reasonable folks are willing to admit that Brazil is a better side than South Africa. But there are a lot of shades of gray. So how would YOU seed a tournament like this without making it subjective?

Posted by: Matte | November 25, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

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