By DAN KARELL
Plenty has been discussed about the U.S. Men’s National Team’s difficult draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but did they really come off worst out of all 32 nations heading to Brazil?
British newspaper The Guardian’s did its best to answer that question, and evaluated each nation’s strength of schedule, strength of group, and the strength of each individual group stage match.
The results, which use FIFA’s November world rankings points total for each team, aren’t very positive for the USMNT, but they fared better than some other nations bound for Brazil.
The Guardian’s findings show that the U.S. ended up with the third-worst draw, behind Ghana and Australia. Australia has to contend with powerhouses Spain, the Netherlands, and Chile. The findings also state that Group G is in fact the strongest group in the World Cup and that two of the USMNT’s group stage games (against Germany and Portugal) are among the seven strongest matches.
At the other end of the spectrum, statistics showed that Argentina received the easiest draw, followed by Belgium, which is in the weakest group, and Switzerland. And while Spain’s opening match against the Netherlands is rated as the strongest in the group stage, Iran vs. Nigeria and South Korea vs. Algeria are considered the two weakest.
Go check out the interactive piece from The Guardian and come back here and share your thoughts in the comments section below.