Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

World Cup Draw Projection

At the World Cup draw Friday in Cape Town (noon ET, ESPN2, Univision), FIFA will not weigh the strength of the teams or seek parity in the eight groups. This is FIFA, after all. Beyond the pot designations and the rules designed to avoid teams from the same confederations facing one another (except Europe), there is no planning involved. Hence, it's impossible to project the World Cup field like the bracketologists do with the NCAA basketball tournament every March.

No worries. Let's give it a try.....

A: South Africa, Japan, Paraguay, Portugal
B: Italy, USA, Cameroon, Switzerland
C: Germany, Honduras, Chile, Greece
D: England, Mexico, Algeria, Denmark
E: Argentina, North Korea, Nigeria, Slovakia
F: Netherlands, Australia, Ghana, Slovenia
G: Brazil, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Serbia
H: Spain, New Zealand, Uruguay, France

The Germans wouldn't mind that outcome. The closest thing to a Group of Death is D or G. As for the Americans, it could be worse. Do you think they would finish first or second and advance from that quartet?

By Steve Goff  |  December 3, 2009; 1:44 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF , FIFA , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Early Thursday Kickaround
Next: Weekend TV Listings

Comments

Sure they could. They could also face plant.

Posted by: JkR- | December 3, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

first!


...ha!

Posted by: nairbsod | December 3, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

It's kinda silly to speculate, because I'm pretty sure there's less than a 1% chance of the draw working out exactly that way -- but, I'll play along. G is pretty fearsome, top to bottom, but I'd label C as a tougher group than D. Germany would win it, but the other three teams seem fairly evenly matched.

As for the USA's group -- Man! Can't we escape Italy? That would 3 times in the same group, out of our 6 straight appearances. It would be a good draw for us, though. We've played Italy tough the other 2 times -- if Vermes doesn't push his shot just wide, we get points out of both games. Switzerland and Cameroon are very beatable. I'd say we finish 2nd.

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what time the actual draw starts? I know the TV window is 12 - 3 but I'd really like to sneak out of work for the draw but can't spend three hours away.

Anyone know what time they actually start picking us into the Group of Death?

Posted by: horace1 | December 3, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I'd take it.

Posted by: RiverOtis | December 3, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I think it'll work out for the USA. We've got an ally -- a gal on the inside, who seems to be able to pull out any ball she wants.

Whoa! I didn't just write that, did I?

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Steve -- if the news from the WashTimes is bad news for Mrs. Insider, you've got our best wishes for a quick rebound....

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Nah, it's gonna look like this:

A: South Africa, USA, Paraguay, France
B: Brazil, New Zealand, Ivory Coast, Slovenia
C: Italy, South Korea, Nigeria, Slovakia
D: Germany, Australia, Cameroon, Switzerland
E: Spain, North Korea, Uruguay, Serbia
F: Netherlands, Japan, Ghana, Greece
G: England, Honduras, Chile, Denmark
H: Argentina, Mexico, Algeria, Portugal

If we get enough Soccer Insider readers to post their predicted draws, we could hold an informal contest. The reader with the closest estimated draw to the actual draw wins a small prize. A Steve Goff autographed photo, perchance? :-)

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | December 3, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Don't think we would advance from that group. Switzerland did not allow a single goal in the '06 cup (eliminated on PKs) and finished first in group G, which included a good France squad. This time around, they won their UEFA group outright.
Italy would have their way with us, like they always do.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | December 3, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of playing Italy. On the other hand, if we can keep the usual hot heads on the US from getting red cards, we usually play them well.

Posted by: GeneWells | December 3, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

would also like to know when the actual draw starts, and how long it's expected to last. nevada smith's is showing the draw, but i can't take lunch for longer than an hour.

what i assume will be the first real draw will be the most exciting - who gets picked out of pot 2 to join south africa in group A.

Posted by: joe_hill | December 3, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Do we know if the draw will be on the ESPN360 in addition to the ESPN2?

Sorry but I realized I like seeing 'the' in front of things where it doesn't belong! The MLS, the DCUnited, the Steve Goff.....the possibilities are endless!

Posted by: jermWV | December 3, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

USA would take that group in a heartbeat. We know how to play italy after confed cup and last world cup. Italy is older and weaker now than then. Switzerland is weak; just becuase they finished above France in qualifying doesn't make them a good team. France is in shambles, has a ridiculously bad coach and was lucky to get into the WC. Cameroon will be good, but undisciplined and USA could finish 2nd in that group.

Unfortunately, we're not going to be that lucky. I'm guessing we'll get a tougher UEFA team, and any of the SA teams will be difficult to beat.

Posted by: tboss | December 3, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

What I-270 is going to say what Chest will say.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 3, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzz

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

This is almost as good as the time last spring when Kevin Sheehan used time on Dan Synder's airwaves to put out a mock schedule one week before the NFL announced its schedule, kickoff times included. Because you do not want to be late to a game in that guy's brain.

Posted by: cao091402 | December 3, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Do we know if the draw will be on the ESPN360 in addition to the ESPN2?

Posted by: jermWV | December 3, 2009 2:33 PM

I'm sure they'll give live results of the draw on the FIFA site.

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/finaldraw/index.html

Beware the mindless fluff that will inevitably delay the draw by 45 minutes

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think I'd take that draw for the US, as opposed to some ficticious draws I've seen. While I admitedly know very little about Cameroon or the Swiss, Italy would be the most beatable of the seeds after SA, no?

Posted by: VTUnited | December 3, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Switzerland would park the bus and beat us pretty badly.

Posted by: mbhowa | December 3, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Do we know if the draw will be on the ESPN360 in addition to the ESPN2?

Yep, and then some:
http://espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/schedule?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 3, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Goff - is United laying low on major announcements since the whole futbol world is concentrating on the draw right now, or are we still some time away from securing a coach and making roster changes? If it's the former, could we expect news within the next week perhaps, or are those decisions still a long way off?

Posted by: VercengetorixII | December 3, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

This is pointless. In 24 hours we will have something to actually talk about.

As for the question whether the draw will be on ESPN360, not only will the ESPN2 broadcast of the event be on 360, the international blanket feed will be available as well. I'm wondering which will be better...

Posted by: rademaar | December 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Because you do not want to be late to a game in that guy's brain.

Posted by: cao091402 | December 3, 2009 2:55 PM

HA!

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

This is pointless. In 24 hours we will have something to actually talk about.

Posted by: rademaar | December 3, 2009 3:11 PM

Yes, but what do we talk about UNTIL then? Philly's expansion roster? Dinamo Bucuresti-Sturm Graz? The Salahis?

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Tareq Salahi played for Man United, Barcelona, and the New York Cosmos. Michaela played on the 1991 WWC team.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Neo-Nazis invaded the pitch during Austria Wien's loss to Athletic Bilbao...the game was halted for 30 minutes.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | December 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

coolest thing I've seen in the past 24 hours? Troy Perkins is number 21 on Soccernet's "Power Rankings" for the US National Team.

Scariest thing? Jonathan Bornstein is #12.

Posted by: diego_r | December 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

ps: I bet Freddy Adu wishes he had chosen to play for Ghana and was drawing up tactical schemes with Michael Essien right now

Posted by: diego_r | December 3, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I recorded the draw I did which was modeled after the original NBA draft lottery. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SIqeN15yXY

Here are the results of my draw, altered slightly after switching France and Netherlands:
A: South Africa, Chile, Slovakia, Honduras
B: Brazil, Nigeria, Switzerland, Australia
C: Argentina, Ghana, Slovenia, South Korea
D: Spain, Uruguay, Serbia, Japan
E: England, Algeria, Denmark, North Korea
F: Italy, Paraguay, France, New Zealand
G: Netherlands, Cameroon, Portugal, USA
H: Germany, Ivory Coast, Greece, Mexico

Is group G or H more difficult?

Posted by: la2stl | December 3, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

While we're killing time, do you guys think that soccer cards (in the style of Tops and Upper Deck baseball cards) could ever work? I've got some extra cash and I'm thinking of starting a new business.

Do they already have them in Europe? South America? Would they work for MLS?

Posted by: WorldCup | December 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Neo-Nazis invaded the pitch during Austria Wien's loss to Athletic Bilbao...the game was halted for 30 minutes.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 3:21 PM

Yikes

On an a partially related note, I watched the GW-Mason basketball game last night. GW have a kid from Austria on their team, but the MASN commentator said he was from Vienna, Australia. Straight out of Dumb and Dumber. "Well g-day mate! Put another shrimp on the barbie!" I laughed for about 5 minutes.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

i think its gonna be
USA, Ghana, England, and Slovenia
...its just a feeling I have. And yes, the british hooligans will
be very rude to Americans. They should give the defending champs and runner-ups the ability to exclude one or two from their group....kind of like in the selection of a jury in a court trial...that would be exciting...something kind of OJ-ish.

Posted by: alespar415 | December 3, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Re Tops style cards: when I was a kid growing up in england, they had something similar. You basically bought a big book, which had all the first division teams (what would be the EPL these days) and you would buy packs of stickers which featured players. Goal was fill up the book with the corresponding player stickers.

Posted by: Tweaked | December 3, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

While we're killing time, do you guys think that soccer cards (in the style of Tops and Upper Deck baseball cards) could ever work?

--I would have thought they were cool at my kids' ages, but now my kids are spoiled by the internet -- why look at a card when you can youtube-up an actual video?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 3, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

We cannot beat Italy. This has been conclusively proven in the last WC and the Confed. Cup, and our squad without Davies and Gooch will be weaker than it was when Rossi boned us in S.A.

Italy 3 - USA 0 (Bradley red card)

We play the Swiss without our best midfielder, who is on the red from the Italy game. They lock down the game (only 8 goals against in qualifying), score once right after the break. We cannot break down their back line.

Switzerland 1 - USA 0

Cameroon come into the last game of qualifying needing a win. Eto'o scores twice and the U.S. gets a Donovan PK to at least score in the tourney and spare us last place.

Cameroon 2 - USA 1

*cries*

Posted by: JRandomReader | December 3, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

And yes, the british hooligans will
be very rude to Americans.

Posted by: alespar415 | December 3, 2009 3:42 PM

Oh no! How will we shelter ourselves from the flying rudeness!

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I've got some extra cash and I'm thinking of starting a new business.

I'd recommend a hybrid minivan; more bras without wires (my wife has a hard time finding them); and software that makes toggle buttons get larger as you slide the arrow toward them on a computer screen (for the aged and/or poor-sighted). You're welcome.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 3, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I definitely had soccer cards from the 1994 World Cup. You could try to out-buy www.soccercards.com

you could also open a crappy bar near Ballston

Posted by: diego_r | December 3, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The Swiss didn't finish above France in qualifying. They finished above France in group play in '06 when France when to the WC final.
The point is, you can't dismiss UEFA teams. Besides the one recent win against Spain, we have done very poorly against UEFA.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | December 3, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Neo-Nazis invaded the pitch during Austria Wien's loss to Athletic Bilbao...the game was halted for 30 minutes.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 3:21 PM
-----------------------------------------------------

They get no points for originality, and they can't top "Victory". Once again, we win.

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"While we're killing time, do you guys think that soccer cards (in the style of Tops and Upper Deck baseball cards) could ever work? I've got some extra cash and I'm thinking of starting a new business.

Do they already have them in Europe? South America? Would they work for MLS?"

I still have some (unwrapped) in my basement...both from England and the WC 94. Check eBay, they've never turned into money makers.

Posted by: soccerman | December 3, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Is it silly? Yes.
Is it kind of fun anyway? Yes.

So, here are the results of my draw, done with paper scraps, a pen, and a hat:

A: South Africa, Australia, Paraguay, Serbia
B: Italy, USA, Chile, Switzerland
C: Argentina, Japan, Ivory Coast, France
D: Netherlands, South Korea, Cameroon, Portugal
E: Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Slovenia
F: England, North Korea, Ghana, Greece
G: Brazil, New Zealand, Algeria, Slovakia
H: Spain, Honduras, Uruguay, Denmark

For us, it would be a draw that I'd take. No easy games, obviously, but no one I'm terrified of either. Plus, if we draw the Swiss, there's a fantastic Kids in the Hall skit that I could start referencing non-stop.

Elsewhere, Brazil got literally the easiest draw possible (in my opinion). Spain, Germany, and England also got off pretty lightly (though I think England-Ghana would be a great match). The Group of Death looks like D, which from a neutral perspective would also be a dynamite combination of different styles. Group C would also feature the rare situation in which I'd be putting Ivory Coast as group favorites over world soccer's two stumbling giants (Argentina and France).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 3, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Mega dittos.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Spain, Germany, and England also got off pretty lightly

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 3, 2009 4:02 PM

Spain would get through in a fairly easy manner there - but that group would be interesting with a wild cards in Honduras/Uruguay and sneaky tough Denmark.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If the U.S. drew that group, I don't think there's anyway they beat Italy, a prerequisite for finishing first.

However, I think the spot they would claim would be a big factor in whether or not they advance. They would need to be spotted as B4 and have Cameroon as B3 to have the best to advance. Because then the US would play Cameroon first, Switzerland second, and the Italians last.

As a matter of fact, the with the exception of Group A, the U.S. would be best served landing in the fourth spot of whatever group they get because they would then face the top seed in the last game.

Posted by: CapsNut | December 3, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm still not clear on how the draw goes -- I know they'll assign the seeded teams to groups first, but I don't know what happens next: whether they fill up each group first or go first through each pot in order. Do they have separate draws for groups and then positions within the group? I'd assumed that pot 2 meant we'd be in 2nd position, but Caps Nut's post has me trying to get the answer on this.

Does anyone know more than the sketchy description at...

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/finaldraw/01/14/22/91/fwc2010_final_draw_procedure_en_021209.pdf

It describes having to skip over groups during the draw to avoid geographic clashes -- but, that doesn't really answer whether they're filling up each group one-by-one, or whether they're working though each pot, in order. And it doesn't explain how group position will be determined, which determines schedule. Is that decided after the groups are done, or are balls picked for the group/position slots? I'm guessing no one here knows, but I thought I'd ask.

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"As for the Americans, it could be worse."
--Goff

Yes, there is another possibility of being put into a group with Germany (or any seeded team minus the hosts), Cameroon, and France. All four teams in that group would be in the top 15.

I guess the real question is which teams in pots 3 and 4 do we think we'd have a good chance at beating?

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | December 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ben Olsen will be on Washington Post Live some time tonight.

Posted by: sitruc | December 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

In the past, for at least Euro 2008 and I think World Cup 2006, they did all of the teams from one pot first.

For grouping purposes, the draw doesn't get exciting until pot 2. However, if you have tickets to specific games (but not specific teams), you could potentially begin to know what teams are playing in your games in the first round.

This could also be why the remaining European teams are in Pot D. They'll be drawn last, therefore creating maximum drama.

Posted by: diego_r | December 3, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the knowledge about ESPN360 coverage!

Posted by: jermWV | December 3, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

This was fun! Let's stay up late and do it for the several hundred other possible groupings!

Posted by: OWNTF | December 3, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

When they pull a team they will pull a number for the group from a second pot, e.g. A1, A2, A3, A4.

I believe for the 2006 draw they did Pot 1, Pot 2, etc. but I also seem to remember sub-pots to avoid conflicts. Then again, I could be making that part up...?

I say get rid of the pots and make it one big blinko game. Just dump a big bucket of balls with team names over a board with 32 holes in it and thats where you wind up. :-)

Posted by: SoccerVA | December 3, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"you could also open a crappy bar near Ballston"

Dude, I'll work for ya. Tending bar or cookin', I'm your man...;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | December 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, they work through the pots. If they filled up the groups one-by-one, then viewers in those four countries would turn off after their group is determined. FIFA wants to draw out the suspense.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Lose the sweater, Ben. Ugh.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 3, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Dude, I'll work for ya. Tending bar or cookin', I'm your man...;-)
Posted by: DadRyan
=========

"The brownies are the most popular item on our menu."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

If you like the brownies, you'll LOVE the mushroom pizza!

Hey I wonder how much worse the field at RFK is gonna get with this Eagle Bank Bowl coming up again. Any chance they do a better job of not burning the lines into the pitch this time around?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 3, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I would rate that as an above-average draw for us; I rank each of those three teams in the weaker half of their pots. That's not to say it would be an easy group - we could beat or be beaten by any of those teams. Unfortunately, because we're in the same pot, we don't have a chance of drawing any patsies like New Zealand or North Korea.

Posted by: jsm91 | December 3, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"The brownies are the most popular item on our menu."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

-----

If you like the brownies, you'll LOVE the mushroom pizza!

Posted by: DadRyan | December 3, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

=====

Mushroom pizza, beer, and brownies. Sounds like a totally mind-bending breakfast. (Show up in a DCU kit and get $10 off your order?) :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | December 3, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The Soccer Insider Bar and Grill would totally dominate Summers.

The Washington Post needs to move into the world of eating and drinking (ala ESPN). The Soccer Insider seems like a good enough place to start.

Posted by: diego_r | December 3, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

-----------------------------------------Tareq Salahi played for Man United, Barcelona, and the New York Cosmos. Michaela played on the 1991 WWC team.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------

While we're killing time, do you guys think that soccer cards (in the style of Tops and Upper Deck baseball cards) could ever work? I've got some extra cash and I'm thinking of starting a new business.

Do they already have them in Europe? South America? Would they work for MLS?

Posted by: WorldCup | December 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

Come up with the Salahi cards and you'll be making as bundle!

And I am hoping for England, Ivory Coast, Portugal & USA!

Posted by: Barracudas | December 3, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

9 points, no matter who we get.

There, I said it.

Now, MORE IMPORTANT NEWS!!!!

Proof positive our collective boy Chuck Deezy is gonna be alright, his first tweet since the wreck:

I would like to thank everyone for all their prayers and best wishes. I'm on the road to recovery!

22 minutes ago from web

Don't forget that you can still send emails to charliedavies9@yahoo.com

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 3, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I read the balls will begin being drawn at 2:00 pm...at least that's what I'm planning on when I go to "lunch"

Posted by: giardinie | December 4, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

@giardinie - just curious where you read this? Trying to figure out my lunch plans as well.

Posted by: rvandebosche | December 4, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Mushroom pizza, beer, and brownies. Sounds like a totally mind-bending breakfast

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 5, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Steve -- if the news from the WashTimes is bad news for Mrs. Insider, you've got our best wishes for a quick rebound

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 5, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I would like to thank everyone for all their prayers and best wishes. I'm on the road to recovery

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 5, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company