Thursday, June 10, 2010

2010 World Cup Preview: Group C

Sitting here and trying to tell all of you that we have any idea about what is really going to go on in the World Cup would be a total and utter lie. I might watch soccer a few times a year but I really do try and get into the World Cup, because I love my country. This year we are working with Ian from The Steelers N'at to get a preview together. Between tonight and Thursday we will preview two groups a day and hopefully give you some incite. We teamed up for the Olympics and it was a good experience and I learned a lot about it so Ian and I decided to do this again. Like the previews for the Olympics we will make some predictions at the end which will most likely go terribly, terribly wrong.

My preview is going to conclude with Group C.

Group C

Algeria
England
Slovenia
United States


This group should really focus on the two big guns in England and the United States. The Americans got a pretty good draw here. Although England isn’t the best team in the field they are far from the super power that can await them if they get farther in the next round if they can get out.

If the United States doesn’t come thought Slovenia and Algeria will give them a run for their money. The United States has been very hot and cold of recent and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them go on a run and go 3-0 in the group but then again I wouldn’t be shocked if they went 1-2. It is just that crazy. America isn’t a traditional soccer country like England and Brazil and the fans in the states do not take things as serious as they do in Europe so I really feel that kinda gets to the players. Now this might not be consciously but there isn’t that feeling that if the US has a 1-0 lead against England late in the game that they can squeeze the life out of England. It almost feels as if they just hold on and the exhale of the fans at the end of games speaks to that. The US does have passionate fans and even though I am not a big soccer guy I love watching my country play.

Here is a look at the individual teams in Group C:



Algeria

The closest that Algeria has come to winning the World Cup is when Argentina won it in all in 1986. You are probably wondering “wow how does that mean they are close?” Well the reason is that they were close is because both countries begin with the letter A, close enough in my book. When I talked about Slovenia being mud then I don’t know what you consider Algeria. I could probably tell you that they have a chance because they are an underdog and blah blah blah but I would be surprised if they won a game. They are talked about as being the definition of inconsistent, which I guess could mean they could win but then again the Royals COULD win the World Series this year, but I am not putting my money on it. It was funny actually in one preview I was looking for it said that “It is hard even to find any star player to watch out for.” Wow that really says a lot. They sound like the Browns. Remember when Derek Anderson was supposed to win the Browns a Super Bowl? Imagine the Browns and knocked it down a few pegs for Algeria.

Here is a video of Snoop Dogg, with an Algerian flag, playing video games, getting run over by a truck.



what the hell?



England

England has one World Cup championship since they started playing the event in 1930. They won it all in 1966 with a 4-2 win over West Germany. That is a long time. England defiantly is the front runner to come out of the C group with a strong midfield that paces the talented team. England loves to push the pace, I guess you can pretty much equate them to the Washington Capitals or Phoenix Suns that when they get the ball they get it up field, fast. The midfield isn’t as strong as it used to be and as Sports Illustrated states “But the exclusion of Theo Walcott, and less surprisingly Adam Johnson and Scott Parker, robs the midfield of pace and bite, and on a bad day, the more established midfielders can look like they've never met.” Skipper (is that what you can call the coach? I have no f’in idea. Some soccer fan from England will probably stumble on this and legit want to kill me) Fabio Capello is widely regarded as turning this team around and looks to get them into the round of 16. The game against the United States will be the make or break if they have a chance to win some in the stage of 16. The country will be pretty upset, even if they move on, with a 2-1 group record losing to the United States.

If you drive a taxi and live in England, good luck trying to fly your countries flag



and yes sir that does mean you can't have a Christmas tree up at Christmas



Slovenia

Slovenia is basically mud. I mean who really knows anything about this team. I bet half of you reading this don’t even know where it is located at. From what I can gather it looks as if Slovenia is a team that is just that, a team. They play well together and they do all the little things. I guess you can kinda think of them as that 59th best team in the NCAA tournament who might win a game because they could do all the little things right against a team that should walk all over them. Their goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic, is tough as rocks, but I am not sure that holds the same as it does in hockey when you say they can steal you a game. They can steal games, but the net is a little bigger in soccer than in hockey. Slovenia also has a couple of young bucks in Rene Krhin and Nejc Pecnik who are 20 and 24 respectively so I am sure the allure of the World Cup will get to them a little bit. Slovenia also represents the smallest nation to reach the World Cup. As of 2009 they have around 2.01 million people. If you are interested in calling someone there the calling code is 386, just fyi.

This is aweosme. Slovenia's Got Talent and MJ's Thriller. Awesome.




United States

The United States is also one of those hit or miss type of teams. They can look out of this world during some games and look like they shouldn’t even be in the World Cup in another game. Very frustrating and very bad when you want a nation to really get into soccer, even just the World Cup. The US does not have any top flight strikers and scorers but like England their midfield is the strength. Mid’s Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan are really good and have been around for what seems like forever so that is something that the United States is going to have in their favor. Without a doubt the big game will be on June 12 when England and the American square off in South Africa. I know I will be watching this hoping that Jozy Altidore’s prediction is right. If you all remember Altidore told Beckham this at an LA Lakers game earlier this year:

"I saw Becks there and I had to go over and tell him what is going to happen in South Africa," Altidore said, according to Yahoo! Sports. "I made sure he knows how it’s going to be without him playing – USA 3, England 0."

I like it. American’s are cocky by everyone’s standards so give it to them. I hope the United States win 3-0 even though Beckham isn’t playing. A message needs to be sent that the United States is here to play. Sure they are not overly talented and have a very long shot to win much past the opening group play but make it known that we are not going to just roll over and play dead because we are supposed to.

Tim Howard will be the backstop for the team and he is as strong as it gets. Remember at the Confederations Cup when the United States made a run through the field that they weren’t supposed to? They can play some soccer but the injuries are going to maybe catch up with them. Charlie Davies is out after a car accident and Oguci Onyewu is recovering from a knee injury. Those are some big names for the United States and if they had both those 100% healthy they would have a much more potent team. That being said they are still a talented team that can make some noise.


Cory's Prediction: England and United States move on. US takes the group, winning all three games.

Ian's Prediction: US takes the group after giving the British the swift kick in the balls they deserve for BP. England comes in second by default.

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