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World Cup 2014

World Cup 2014 Draw: SBI Live Commentary

WorldCup2014Draw2 (Getty)

The day that we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.

In beautiful Costa do Sauipe, FIFA will draw each of the 32 nations qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil into one of eight groups (11:30am on ESPN2/ESPN3/Univision). From there, fans will begin to contemplate their team’s chances for achieving World Cup glory.

For the USA, the chances of drawing a group featuring a European giant and/or South American power are incredibly high, but they’ll be hoping to be drawn in a group with Switzerland and Algeria. Regardless of their group, the U.S. Men’s National Team has proven in the past that they can overcome the odds, winning their group in 2010 and making a run to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2002.

If you need another run through, here’s a primer from FIFA on how the World Cup draw will proceed. The United States are placed in Pot 3 with the three other CONCACAF nations and the four nations from the AFC.

We’ll be doing a live commentary of the draw, but in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts, hopes, and fears in the comments section below.

Enjoy the draw (commentary is after the jump):

209 comments
  • slowleftarm

    All you fanboys can jump off the bandwagon now but I guarantee we will make the group stage.

    Like

      • slowleftarm

        Yeah one day we’ll even be able to do it with players we develop here but I guess until then we can find some foreign dudes with tenuous connections to help us. Hey, everyone else is doing it!

        Like

      • Jesse D

        @Slowleftbrain A man of mixed heritage has the right to represent whichever country he feels is his own. If he has a passport and feels as though he belongs to that country, then he does. You don’t get to decide that Ozil is really Turkish and Germany stole him, that Zidane was really Algerian not French or that Stuart Holden is Scottish. They get to decide for themselves. We live in a fluid society where nationalistic tags aren’t always clean. That is a good thing for our world. If you want to continue to spew hatred, then you will continue to be out dated as the modern world passes you by.

        Like

      • slowleftarm

        That’s nice but Zidane was born and raised in France and Ozil was born and raised in Germany so they’re pretty poor examples and really not comparable to AJ and the Germericans. Still, I get the feeling you were just typing in an angry stream of consciousness given the overall tone of your post. I don’t know why this makes people so upset.

        You’ll note I didn’t raise the issue initially but some people on this site just love talking about it in an angry fashion. Kind of weird if you ask me. I just want to talk about the world cup.

        Like

    • slowleftarm

      Oops! Meant out of the group stage. And not with DaMarcus Beasley at left-back but I’m assuming JK fixes that before hand.

      Like

      • Joamiq

        I was going to say, I’m with you on the guarantee that we make the group stage!

        Like

  • Paul

    It isn’t the worst possible scenario, but it is pretty doggone close. I’d prefer a European top seed to Brazil or Argentina, but Germany is only second to Spain in Europe in terms of strength. Of the next pot selection, the last thing I wanted to see was Ghana – yet again. That is discouraging. And now Portugal? Ouch! I guess it’s payback for the relatively easy draw from the previous World Cup.

    Like

    • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

      Germany is much worse than Spain or Argentina at this point. I’d rather draw Portugal or Ghana than Netherlands or Italy, but…still not optimistic.

      Like

  • thisisPhil

    Sh*t. Just… sh*t.

    It’s not impossible, but there will be a lot of ignorant people out there thinking “cool we’ve beaten germany and portugal, this is totally doable.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I want USMNT to be in situations like this, but we may not advance and folks need to be ready for that.

    Like

    • Lorenzo

      My wife’s family is portuguese, and Portugal can play brilliant, or much lower then they are capable of. I like Postiga, but they don’t have a lot of power past Ronaldo. If you can shut down Ronaldo and don’t let him run at us, we have a chance with them. Their defense is hella tough though.

      Like

      • Drewbles

        Cool, any tips on shutting down Ronaldo? Those teams in La Liga seem to be struggling with it.

        Like

      • Lorenzo

        Well in La Liga he plays with some of the best players in the world on his team, Real Madrid.
        Portugal is good, but he doesn’t have a supporting cast like he does at Real Madrid.

        If you open up wide in the back he will burn you, like Donovan can but only worse. He’ll score great headers if you let them play it in from the side and let him sneak in. I feel like those are the two ways I’ve seen him punish teams with Portugal.

        Portugal’s defense is extremely tough. It will be hard for us to score.

        Like

    • Chad

      yah, very tough…no way we beat Germany’s A-team. We have to hope for the best against Ghana and Portugal.

      Like

      • Lorenzo

        I can see Jones, J Johnson wanting to play the game of their lives. Klinsmann has something to prove, and I think Donovan might too. Donovan was always “not good enough” for the Germans.

        Like

  • ABC123

    I’m sorry, but this is shockingly rigged.

    France in E?
    Replay of the finals in first match?
    Usa against Ghaha?
    Brazil cupcake draw?

    Seriously. Rigged.

    Like

      • ABC123

        Every single draw plays on a current huge publicity drawing storyline.

        The odds of this much good luck for the FIFA marketing department is 1/mnjKHFJDSHFJDKHSFDSJKHFDJSHFD.

        Like

    • QuakerOtis

      I don’t mind this group. It will be fun to watch.

      And that’s the point. IF this is rigged, you can tell it’s ALL about TV money. Storyline group for USA with Ronaldo, the hottest soccer celeb next to Beckham. England v Suarez. Recap of last cup’s final. All the “weak” teams in E are smaller markets. Mexico v Brazil, some history there.

      But whatever. It will be a fun one to watch.

      Like

      • Zac

        I like it!! It was rigged to get us into the glamor group! It’s going to take our best days to get out of this group but we have a few things working in our favor: we have two (admittedly very tough) Euro squads in our group rather than a South American/Euro pairing. Euro squads are NOT used to the kind of travel they’ll do in Brazil, nor have Euro squads historically done well in WCs in the Americas. Ghana is our kryptonite but I’d say that, especially last WC, we’ve played them very well. If this truly is our best US team ever, I’d say we have a very good shot at getting 3 against them. After that, we play a Portugal team that is known for playing down to their opponent (and we’ve taken advantage of before) and could very well be close to having secured moving on by the time we play the toughest of the three matches against Germany.

        There is hope and even if we don’t get out, this will be the most entertaining group stage we’ve ever been a part of BY FAR. No filler matches like Slovenia/Algeria here.

        Like

    • Strider257

      Who can argue with this! The current president of UEFA’s country gets the easiest draw of any Euro team. Well, maybe Gulati will learn to keep his mouth shut, but I support pushing for real transparency at FIFA (just don’t expect it). Well, gotta get SOME work done.

      Like

  • MIkeG

    Klinnsman cannot play games with the roster or formation. It’s tournament time. We may have to plan a strategy of counter attack. We can compete with all of our group teams if we put the best players available with the best system to match the players. I wonder if Klinnsman is thinking about the Swiss job right about now?

    Like

  • Sam

    I think we should go and have a drink with our Aussie brethren because we will seriously need one.

    Like

  • automata

    The locations for the 3 games are just as brutal as the teams drawn.
    Dan – not sure the USA has any advantage in the humidity as the Honduras WCQ pointed out.

    Like

  • Slowreno

    Epic draw! Seriously you could see the US getting pulled with Germany and Ghana once G was set. The story lines are amazing. Ives and the US media contingent are licking their chops at how much they’ll have to write/talk about in the lead-up and during the tourney. Personally, I like it. Toughest group, whatever. We have to come together as a country just like our team does and believe we can make it out of the group stage. I have full faith we have what it takes. We’ll need some stars to align so our best are healthy and at their best. It’s going to be seriously fun to watch. Can’t wait!

    Like

    • dantheblue

      I agree slowreno… First of all, when ever you compete you have a chance to win. Nevertheless… We are due vs Ghana, Germany comes in overconfident (they beat us 4-3 but against our 3rd string), and Portugal is hit or miss depending upon the prettyboy. I see us beating Ghana, tying the Germans and beating Portugal.

      To all the people screaming rigged… stfu… stop acting like Mexicants… No se puede.

      Like

      • Zac

        LOL, I LOVE it!!! 7 points is probably overly optimistic but I’ll take your enthusiasm over the bitchiness I’m seeing in the majority of these comments.

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      • Pirithous

        Not to dampen your enthusiasm, but we beat Germany 4-3 and it was against THEIR 3rd string.

        Like

    • John

      Nope not Cherundolo either. It’ll probably have to be Cameron and he’ll have stay home a defend.

      Like

      • Jesse D

        I think this just ended Cherundolo’s international career. A gimpy 35 year old RB can’t handle Ronaldo or Reus. It has to be Chandler or Cameron at this point.

        Like

    • Creige

      Why wouldn’t you? Was he so bad against Germany, Bosnia, or Mexico? Chandler got burnt in Honduras so not sure why anyone would pine for him. Cameron sure but he can’t handle Ronaldo. Cherundolo if fit .

      Like

  • automata

    The games in Natal and Recife will very likely be played in the rain and heat. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a World Cup Sendoff game in Tampa….

    Like

    • Increase

      To be honest? Hot nasty games are good for the USA. We are used to that crap. Then again… Ghana is too. hmmm, Portugal is hot but I doubt its the same at all.

      I just looked it up the Summer average for Lisbon is 85 degrees. That’s nothing.

      Like

  • Landon Klinsman

    I hope we can put Ricardo Clark back in the line up, particularly for that Ghana game.

    Like

  • BryanV7

    Beat Ghana and draw with Portugal or vice versa that is extremly doable.
    Germany that’s already a lost i’ll be shock if we draw with them.

    Like

  • Byrdman

    How bout this:
    Match day 1 – USA defeats Ghana (its about time). Germany defeats Portugal
    Match day 2 – USA loses close game to Portugal. Germany defeats Ghana
    Match Day 3 – Ghana defeats Portugal. Jogi and JK kiss and its a tie.

    USA and Germany advance.

    Like

  • TomM

    A few glimmers of hope to give us a chance:
    – A European team has never lifted the cup on S. American soil
    – The three locations are brutal, and may favor teams that have the higher level of fitness/athleticism over technical skill
    – We have experience playing road qualifiers in Central America. This is a lot tougher than people realize.
    – We’re still pissed at Ghana
    – Our Germericans are not afraid of Die Mannschaft, and neither is Klinnsi
    – Ronaldo will be distracted, as always.

    Like

    • Increase

      I think they locations will help us out with the Euro teams. There is no way that they will be used to that kind of weather. Spain is warm but its no smoldering jungle. The USA can do smoldering jungle. Time for Camp in Florida.

      Like

    • Mr_A

      Yeah, Brazil has plenty of distractions for him, no matter which way he turns. It has a well-built reputation as a distracting place.

      Like

      • Increase

        That’s true Brazil has a higher concentration of mirrors than any other country in the world.

        Like

  • Dimidri

    Well if Nate Silver’s soccer analysis is as good as his political stuff we may be okay…us and Portugal both around 40 percent to make it out, ghana around 30.

    Like

    • A.S.

      Nate only gives the Dutch and Italians about a 40% chance to advance too. 3 Brutal groups.

      Like

  • espada

    At this point, I just hope Ghana finishes bottom of the group. But Ghana is definitely beatable. Portugal… if they’re as inconsistent as ever, then maybe something could happen (again). As for Germany, I hope Klinsmann has a plan for them.

    Like

  • John

    Ghana could pretty much knock us out of 3 World Cup because if we loose that opener its as good as over.

    Like

  • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

    Of all possible draws for the US, I consider this top 20 worst. At least we don’t have Brazil at home.

    Like

  • AH

    Revenge Tour:

    Revenge on Frings.
    Revenge for JK on German media for hating on him while managing Bayern
    Revenge on Ghana for past world cups
    Revenge on Ghana for dumping Bob Bradley’s Egypt out of World Cup.
    Revenge on Portugal for subjecting us to CR7’s preening.

    Like

    • Joamiq

      If it’s a revenge tour, then Portugal beats us… I’d happily take two out of three though

      Like

  • A.S.

    All the pressure is on the first match. Three points vs Ghana is an absolute necessity. But if that is accomplished, I think we have a decent chance to steal one more point from Portugal or an already qualified (hopefully) Germany. That’s my optimistic view.

    Like

  • Dirk McQuigley

    Italy and England drew in the 2012 Euros, with the English losing again on penalties. Nigeria is a tough team…sometimes. They can beat England and I don’t think the Brits can contain Suarez unless they get him to bite Rooney.

    Like

  • rellimjs

    The USA should move its base camp to Natal and cut down on the travelling it will have to do.

    Like

  • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

    Did anyone else notice when the first team, Italy, was drawn out of pot 4 that the ball was red? None of the other balls were red…

    Like

    • slowleftarm

      Yes that’s part of the draw and was explained in the procedures. It’s rigged but they’re a little more subtle than that.

      Like

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache

        Doesn’t that mean Italy was pre-selected as the team to switch pots? I don’t see how they could claim that was random. Why even put it back in the pot in a little ball? btw- I understand Brazil was red too, host team goes in the first pool. That’s not what I’m talking about.

        Like

  • Scott e Dio93

    We know FIFA is anti-US soccer, but no matter anti-US, this group is a true test for USNT and USSF, and USNT has to go the next stage. I am not too worry about it.

    Uruguay has easy group and my beloved Uruguay is going to win the group.

    Like

    • slowleftarm

      While I do think this is rigged to some extent, the super easy draw we got in 2010 kind of belies the anti-US part of it. Anyway, the US represents probably the biggest potential area for growth for soccer in the world so you would think they’d want us to succeed.

      Like

      • Ben

        Yeah, I think people are forgetting how easy our group was last time. It probably wasn’t going to happen again. It sucks that MExico got an easier group, though.

        Like

      • Increase

        I’m not sure its that much easier than us. I mean Croatia can be very good. Its hard to say what they will be like.

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      • slowleftarm

        If Mexico gets their act together they can progress. If they play like they did in qualifiying then they’d have no chance pretty much regardless of the draw.

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      • Joamiq

        I don’t believe much in the conspiracy theories, but you could argue it’s a reaction to Gulati’s statements about the host selection procedure needing to change. These guys don’t like being challenged on their corrupt ways.

        Like

  • Benjamin C.

    The draw is brutal, the draw is unfair, but it is the World Cup and you simply have to man up and give it everything you’ve got. Stars have to be stars, so I would look to Howard, Altidore, and Bradley to continue being our best players, Johansson and Cameron to introduce themselves on the world stage, and for Dempsey and Donovan to have one last Cup hoorah. Grit and determination have always been the USMNT trademarks, and that is what it will take to get out of this group where we are frankly overmatched on paper.

    Like

  • Brain Guy

    Meanwhile, France gets Switzerland, Ecuador, and Honduras. Platini must have spread some of his Qatar money around.

    Like

    • Mr_A

      I’ll pick Switzerland to top the group, with Ecuador edging out Honduras. All the games with Honduras will be good to watch, and France will have 3 games ending in 0-0 ties.

      Like

  • Karbaz

    Some of you so called USMNT fans make me sick, you sound like those wimps over in England hoping and praying for an easy group then crying about how a group is hard and pretty much giving up on their team. We aren’t supposed to be scared by any team and we aren’t supposed to give up on our boys. I say bring it on, I want us to make Ronaldo cry like he was in 2010 when they went out and I want revenge on Germany and Ghana.

    Like

    • Increase

      Hey, I’m fine with 2 good teams. 3 good ones sucks though. Everyone wants at least 1 “easy” game.

      If it was just Germany and Ghana fine. Its just that 3rd team that makes it brutal.

      Like

      • Karbaz

        Mark my words we will beat Ghana and Portugal. Portugal is not a good team why do people think this? Ronaldo is all they have, good players but can’t play well together, look back at their qualifying, they looked downright horrid against some weak ass teams and scraped through in some games.

        Like

      • Benny

        I too believe this group is not as bad as people think. It’s not like Ghana has dominated the U.S. Those games could have gone either way. And now, the U.S is much better than the 2006 and 2010 sides and will even get better in the next 6 months or so. And with respect to Ghana, they have digressed from their 2010 form. Ghana plays well at home but not well on the road as was evident in the 2-1 loss to Egypt. And Portugal, they are nowhere near the same side they were in 2010 and totally inconsistent. I think this 2014 U.S.side is going to do some damage, especially if they are at full strength. And if Germany wins their first two games, which I think they will, and if Low has any sense at all, he will rest his best players. He’s not going to want his best players playing in the heat and altitude for a third consecutive match.
        I also believe the U.S. will have 4 to 6 points come the Germany game. I actually think they beat Ghana and Portugal. I think the U.S. Germany game will be terrific.

        Like

    • jmc

      Amen. The only way to get respect is on the pitch. If we can’t get a win/draw out of at least Ghana and Portugal then the problem is with us and not FIFA. Opening against Ghana will be tough, but we have seen them before and should have a better idea of how to prepare for them. Now is the time for Klinsman to earn his salary.

      Like

    • Chad

      What should make you sick is how both Honduras & Mexico have easier draws/groups. FIFA needs to improve the draw process and place lower qualifying teams against higher qualifying teams.

      Like

      • Chad

        Although Portugal & Ghana did suck in qualifying…just blown away & Mexico & Honduras draws I guess.

        Like

  • John

    FIFA giving Messi and Argentina about the easiest ticket to the Quarterfinals possible. Once they get out of a pretty easy group with Iran and Nigeria they take on the by far the weakest group E.

    Like

    • Increase

      I did see that. I guess Messi finally gets a goal or at least an assist in the world cup. I still can’t believe he doesn’t have one. Mueller has 5. Messi 0.

      I wonder if the injuries will still be around…

      Like

  • dude

    Screw it lets drink up and get a win draw and a loss

    but this has the makings of 06 all over again….

    Germany wow seriously

    Like

  • Dimidri

    One thing about Portugal-at second glance, they seem more beatable than you initially think (tied Northern Ireland, Israel in qualifying, have some so-so players, etc.) but they, despite that, have been a great tournament team recently-2006 WC semis, 2010 WC barely lost to Spain in R16, lost to Spain in semis of Euro 2012 on penalties.

    Like

  • AH

    Getting the Germany game last when they may be resting players is the only silver lining. There’s a way through this group. It’s tough, but it’s there.

    Like

    • Joamiq

      We’d be relying on an eliminated Ghana to get a result against a motivated Portugal though. Can’t see it happening.

      Like

  • BamaMan

    A few things I like:

    Ghana first – let’s exercise that demon. If we can’t beat Ghana, we don’t deserve to advance. Period.

    Portugal in Manaus – this is exciting for us. Portugal are woefully inconsistent even if Ronaldo is playing at a very high level right now. But we get them in the worst conditions imaginable. I think our experience in CONCACAF on the road is going to help us come World Cup time.

    Germany last – they may well be sitting on six points and resting players by this point. If not, it will be one of the most epic matchups in US history.

    Like

  • Brett Son of Stephen

    Here is something that we have to our advantage that the other teams in the group don’t have. Our team is used to traveling insane distances which the other teams don’t do (think Timmy Chandler not wanting to get on a plane). The US players in Europe have to cross the pond to play one or two games and then back to Europe for their club teams. The MLS players are used to criss crossing a huge country to play games and also play national teams in Europe.

    The second factor is that the US, because they play in central America, are going to be used to playing in hot humid areas. I remember Jermaine Jones talking after the USA vs Germany game at RFK that several of the German players told him they didn’t know how he played in the humidity.

    I think with these two X factors the US beats Ghana, ties Portugal, and ties Germany to advance.

    I have spoken.

    Like

    • Mr_A

      Ghana won’t be phased by the humidity… that will be a tough game. I could see us with a tie there and having to beat Portugal, but we’ll pull through. But a last-minute goal will pull us through against Ghana to make it 3-2, and we’ll face Germany with 6 points each.

      Like

    • Increase

      I looked up Portugal normal summer temp. Its like 85 degrees. That’s is cool and relaxing compared to say Costa Rica in July. It might help with that last game with Germany.(who might be already through in 1st.)

      I agree that Ghana won’t care though.

      Like

  • Jdub

    Ives, could we get a post on the other CONCACAF countries’ media responses to their draws? I’m especially interested in the Costa Rican media response to their draw.

    Like

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