The U.S. national team's worst case scenario for the World Cup draw pots took place on Wednesday, with the CONCACAF teams being placed with teams from Asia and Oceania, setting up the strong possibility of the Americans being drawn into a potential Group of Death.
In one of the more surprising developments of the establishment of the World Cup draw pots was the Netherlands being placed among the eight seeded teams, which pushed France into the pot of unseeded European teams. This came about after FIFA decided to use the FIFA world rankings for October to seed the top seven teams to go into the seeded pot along with host South Africa.
For those wondering whether this new seeding procedure was used in an attempt to punish France, FIFA claims that the decision to use only the FIFA World Rankings to seed was made in October in light of the presence of so many European powers in the UEFA World Cup playoffs.
Here are the four pots, of which one team from each will be drawn to make up the eight World Cup groups:
POT 1– Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Netherlands, England, Italy, Germany, South Africa
POT 2– USA, Mexico, Honduras, South Korea, North Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand
POT 3– Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria
POT 4– France, Portugal, Denmark, Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia, Serbia, Switzerland
The draw will take place on Friday afternoon in South Africa.
What's the SBI take on the pots? They are the pots we were expecting, with the lone difference being the Dutch bumping France out of the seeded pot. It was probably wishful thinking to believe that CONCACAF could be grouped with South America or Africa, and now it will be up to the luck of the draw for the Americans to avoid a truly brutal World Cup group.
What do you think of the pots? Disappointed the United States couldn't be grouped with Africa or South America? Happy to see the French dropped into the European pot? Praying the USA can avoid a Group of Death?
Share your thoughts below.