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USA to face England, Algeria and Slovenia as World Cup Draw is set

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The U.S. men's national team avoided being drawn into a Group of Death, and will now face a very favorable path in the 2010 World Cup.

The Americans were drawn against a strong England side, but the rest of Group C is filled out with beatable opponents Algeria and Slovenia to give the U.S. team what is arguably the easiest draw it has ever faced in a World Cup.

Algeria and Slovenia aren't exactly pushovers on par with New Zealand. Both won tough playoffs to reach the World Cup, with Algeria beating Egypt and Slovenia knocking off a strong Russian squad.

Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal will square off in what is widely regarded as the toughest group (Group G), with poor North Korea attempting to knock off the three powerhouses, while Group D, with Germany, Serbia, Ghana and Australia, is another tough group.

Here are all eight groups of the 2010 FIFA World Cup:

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

The United States will open on June 12 against England (Rustenburg), then face Slovenia on June 18 (Johannesburg), with the final group match coming on June 23rd vs. Algeria (Pretoria). Here is the complete schedule for the World Cup.

What did you think of the draw? Excited to see the Americans' group? Which group do you think is the toughest?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. England is very good, but I’d rather play them than Brazil, Spain, Holland, Germany, etc. Unfortunately, they are coached by Capello, who is definitely top notch; England have certainly been rejuvenated under him.

    Algeria is talented and scares me a bit – similar to when US lost to Iran in WC98. They are obviously similar to Egypt, who the US beat at the Confederations Cup, but I don’t think the US should take comfort in that result. Egypt had one foot in the next round and really should have beaten the US, to be frank. The US comeback was amazing, but the victory was partially due to several missed Egyptian chances and an over-confidence on Egypt’s part that the US needing to register a 3-0 win was an unassailable advantage. Generally speaking, US will be looked as the favorite in the Algeria match up, however, that makes me a tad nervous. The US is a very good counter-attacking team, but has limited effectiveness when it has to “take the game” to their (non-CONCACAF) opposition.

    Slovenia will be challenging, too. Any team that knocks out a stacked Russian squad in a 2-legged playoff is not to be scoffed at (although I think the Russians initially underestimated these guys, as well). At any rate, the US will be expected to take the initiative here too, which could play into the hands of the well-organized and highly proficient counter-attacking ability of the Slovenians.

    Three additional factors:

    1. US depth is limited and a number of key performers are currently injured (Oguchi, Davis, M. Edu), which is not good. Realistically (and assuming C. Davis makes a recovery), none can expect major competitive minutes with their clubs before the WC, with the possible exception of Edu at Rangers, thus, that is certainly not a positive. The gamble for the US coaching staff will be whether they should bring this gang or to take a healthy, but less talented and less experienced bunch.

    2. Domestic players (MLS) will only just be in season. Perhaps this is a positive due to the “freshness” factor, however, the three games nature of the tournament means that everyone must be “firing on all cylinders” from the get-go.

    3. The US main-stream media will look at the draw and my guess is that, generally speaking, have overly high expectations relative to my above comments. Too much attention will be focused on (i.) the US’s (higher) FIFA ranking compared to Algeria and Slovenia, (ii.) The match-up between LA Galaxy teammates Landon Donovan and Beckham, (iii.) US players being over-quoted about how the 2nd round is a “realistic” possibility, and thus, amongst the squad, a “backs-against-the-wall”, “chip-on-shoulder”, “earn respect” mentality — one on which the US team usually thrives — is at risk of not being fully-fostered.

    At any rate, am looking forward to next summer!

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  2. in group e i think algeria and england will beat the others team remember what happened in 1982 in spain algeria beat germany 2/1 as well algeria owning a strong players all of them playing in euro clubs remember this name algeria

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  3. We should have the little SA guy who picked the lottery balls for us to be on the sidelines of our games…he’s good luck for USA!

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  4. What a draw. And yes, there may be what look like a group of death, but nothing like past years. A big team will go down in Group G. Yikes. Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast, but they’ve all got one gimme.

    Group D looks more balanced than extraordinary. Germany is a killer, but Serbia, Australia, and Ghana are all USA-like teams… teams that, given a decent draw, should advance, but there it is.

    I don’t find this year’s Group D any more difficult than USA’s 2006 bracket of Germany, Czeck Republic, and Ghana. Given two countries are the same, I’d advise the Aussies to watch out.

    But go USA. If we can’t advance from this bracket, we don’t deserve to. It’s one thing to squeak through (by luck and by skill) through Italy, Brazil, and Egypt at the Confed Cup, but if we can’t knock off Algeria and Slovenia, regardless of our injuries, well, there’s gonna be hell to pay.

    My picks:

    A – Mexico 1st, France 2nd (on goal diff)

    B – Nigeria, Argentina

    C – England, USA (tie in first game, but England on goal diff)

    D – Serbia, Australia (Germany gets the 1st round KO… because there’s always one)

    E – Netherlands, Cameroon

    F – Italy, Paraguay

    G – Brazil, Ivory Coast

    H – Spain, Chile

    Advancing to quarters: Argentina over Mexico, England over Australia, Netherlands over Paraguay, Brazil over Chile, Nigeria over France, USA over Serbia, Italy over Cameroon, and Ivory Coast over Spain in a shocker.

    Quarters: England over Argentina, Brazil over Netherlands, Nigeria over USA, Italy over Ivory Coast.

    Semis: Brazil over England, Italy over Nigeria.

    Finals: Brazil over Italy.

    Just a reminder to those picking favorites, a European team has NEVER won a World Cup that has not been held in Europe, and this World Cup won’t be any different.

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  5. i respectfully disagree. In the world stage, its all about results. People remember results. The USA was in a tough group last time but no one outside of North America remembers (or cares) about that. What they do know is that we didnt make it out of the group stage. When the USA made is to the quarters in ’02, no one outside of N. America remembers how hard/easy the group stage was for us. What they remember is that we made it to the quarters.

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  6. as much as i’d love to have Davies, i dnt think he’ll start the first game, maybe Findley starts, and Davies subs, then he eases in as the World Cup moves along….plus, i think u forgot Holden…..put him in there sumwhere cuz he’s going….but looking at ur squad, its hard to take sum1 out to put him in…..maybe Cooper or Hannehman

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  7. I’m a huge US fan of long standing, but I’m also a realist. If we can say anything about BB’s US squads, it’s that they can either raise their game to the level of their world class opponents, or lower their game to the level of their less than stellar opponents. They are hugely inconsistent.

    While US fans are encouraged by this draw, I would advise caution. I suspect that Bob will pack 10 behind the ball against England, and see if he can grab one on the counter and gut out at least a draw. That’s all well and good given the personnel likely to be available to Bradley in the face of England, a very highly familiar side. There will be no surprises in that match.

    However, I just don’t see Bradley’s limited coaching skills bearing any fruit against the likes of Slovenia and Algeria. It’s in these matches, and NOT the high-profile ones against the top world seeds, that real coaching and tactics come into play.

    Nobody (including the Slovenes and Algerians themselves most likely) knows what to expect from these matches. They are squads that are essentially “unknown quantities” and they’ll be the ones with the greatest potential to burn the US. It’s precisely in these types of matches that you need a coach with tactical acumen which Bradley doesn’t possess.

    (SBI-So given your theory, what would you make of the USA team’s 3-0 win vs. Egypt in the Confederations Cup?)

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  8. But doesn’t this rationale apply to every team that receives a favorable draw? If England does not advance, people will be jumping off the Tower Bridge. By the way, I think that England will advance from the group stage.

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  9. Agreed about Davies. Even if, and that is a BIG if, there is no way he will be able to play full 90s.

    At best, and I surely hope this happens, he would be a perfect 70th min sub to run vs. the defense’s tired legs.

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  10. Some important things must happen between now and this summer. Oneywu must get recovered and back playing ASAP, same for DeMerit. Davies is a LONG SHOT, but evidently his recovery is moving forward way ahead of schedule…I’m just not sure he’ll be ready in time though, which leaves big shoes to fill up top. Nobody in the current forward mix possesses the same speed and ball touch other than Donovan, but Donovan is better in the midfield. I’m not sure how Bradley will address this.

    I’d also love to see Jones and Castillo get in the mix very soon. I think the next international fixture date is in January. Curious to see what we put out there, assuming we schedule a friendly.

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  11. and behind slovakia and with less points than switzerland, greece, serbia, france, etc. slovenia doesn’t suck but what other team from that pot would you rather have had?

    seriously. out of pot 3 Algeria was the runaway easiest team and out of pot 4 slovenia was battling it out for the easiest. does that make our group a cake walk? no. but it couldn’t have been any easier either.

    tell me what other pot 2 team you would change places with right now and feel the US had a better shot to advance? yeah. can’t can ya.

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  12. switch spector for dolo and i would also put jones at DM with bradley and holden (where he plays for Houston) with donovan/dempsey supporting jozy. think defence/possession first. i just don’t think charlie will be ready unfortunately.

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  13. i don’t dig the blue all that much, a bit better the red, and the white is decent.

    My favorite recent kit is the anthracite one.

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  14. I’m adopting the “on any given day” mentality from here on in. Sure England are more talented, sure Slovenia and Algeria can play some football, but we are the USA and we can beat anybody if we play smart and play our game.

    Now is not the time for pessimism. Yeah, we had a rough go getting through the Confederation’s Cup, but our group draw is MUCH easier this time around. Instead of facing Italy and Brazil to open the campaign and then finishing up with Egypt (at the time a pretty daunting opponent), we now get to hit the ground running against England and have two very winnable games ahead. We can not only get through this group, we can make a statement when we do it.

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  15. Surprisingly even groups for a somewhat random drawing. My dream of a Uruguay-Mexico match was fulfilled, but since Nery ‘did not dress for loan team Dnipro’ Castillo will probably be watching on TV, my entertainment value will only be the soccer.

    I still haven’t figured out why some say England-USA is such a dream match for TV ratings anymore than I could figure out why ESPN only wanted to show English sides when they had the Champion’s League(however good the EPL sides were I would’ve liked to have seen a more varied representation of the competition). I still expect all the Mexico games on UnivisiĆ³n to outrate the USA games on ESPN+(probably)Telefutura.

    While this is an “accessible” group, every team but the host that makes a World Cup has gone through a fairly difficult qualifying process, so there are no easy games.

    Finally, I don’t think the US going 0-3 hurts soccer interest in this country all that much. The fact is that a few folks(more important, their kids) that don’t care much about the sport are going to watch 3 games, maybe even a couple more of other teams, and may get interested in the sport. On the other hand, not qualifying at all would have hurt a lot. And yes, I know WC play is usually conservative don’t make a mistake play for 0-0 and hope for one moment of brilliance ball, but there are always many great moments in any World Cup.

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  16. 1. Great draw for the US. Maybe the best draw we’ve ever had in modern times.

    2. This gives us a good chance to advance. I rate us as having maybe a 35-40% chance of making the knockout rounds.

    3. Folks who are thinking we’re a cinch to advance need to remember a couple of things:
    –except for some (not all) of our U17 teams, you’re hard-pressed to find a US WC team that does any better than a win and a tie in the first round. We pretty much get a tie, somehow pull out a win and then hope we squeeze through on goal difference. People forget that in 2002, Poland blew us out and only S.Korea’s refusal to quit put us through to the next round. People forget that in 1994, we struggled with a mediocre Swiss side.
    –our best results in the WC at the senior level, with the possible exception of Mexico, have ALWAYS come when we were the underdog and the other team took us lightly. Colombia. Italy in 2006. Portugal in 2002.
    –Other than Portugal in 2002, the USA hasn’t beaten a European team in the WC in modern times.

    None of that means we’ll fail. This draw is our best chance ever to advance. But we need to play better than we’ve played this year. And for those people who point to the Confed Cup as proof we can advance…..our first round record in the Confed Cup would have had us going home in the WC.

    Right now, unless a couple of players step it up, I’m expecting the USA to get 2 points (draws against Algeria and Slovenia).

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  17. Familiar with what? Cos you have play at a stadium don’t mean squat. You better bring it, leave all that American crap-type advantage out of this. Algeria shows up they put a whopping on that ass; don’t sleep on them.

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  18. All of a sudden it is easily balanced? Tell that to the North Koreans or Ivory Coast who are playing in their second group of death in back-to-back World Cups (US didn’t play in no group of death in 2006, it was Ivory Coast, Netherlands, Argentina and Serbia)

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  19. LMAO, look at this joker, US winning the group. You can at least dream right? England is a loss, Algeria a tie and Slovenia? Just ask the Russians.

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  20. Kind of thinking this for most of the tourney:

    ————————Altidore———————-

    Davies——————Dempsey—————-Donovan

    —————–Bradley——-Jones——————

    Bocanegra———————————–Cherundolo

    —————–DeMerit——Onyewu——————

    ————————Howard————————

    I feel like we England only JUST barely has the edge, and we’ve probably got more heart and hustle, which can be an X-factor in these sorts of games.

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  21. Basically he can’t just tweet his way back into the national team. Which I think is funny because that’s all Freddy does, tweet.

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  22. Adu tweeted right after the draw that he had never been more excited about anything in his life than the chance to compete in this world cup, and that he would be working and hard and praying. Lalas deadpanned (paraphrasing a bit here), “That’s nice, but they don’t need him and he’s not in the picture.”

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  23. FSC just had a show with a good comment:

    What if Russia had beaten Slovenia, and Egypt had beaten Algeria (which would have required one goal in each tie)? If you had the same draw (dreaming, I know) you’d have England, US, Russia, Egypt, which most would have called the group of death.

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  24. While there is no reason not to be excited with this draw, we do need to be careful about overconfidence. Slovenia beat a very good Russian team, and Algeria knocked out a decent Egyptian side, albeit one we beat 3-0 last summer.

    However, much trouble can come about when you look past any opponent. If we go in focused and on our game, we should get out of this group solidly, and maybe even win it if we can get even a tie against the Limeys.

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  25. I think he will. He’s too hard to keep down, despite his unconvincing frame. Whether it’s with Rangers or some other club, his incentive to play his ass off has never been better.

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  26. It would be hilarious to see the Argies crash out in the group stages considering one of their media has printed something like “Our WC starts in the Round of 16”

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  27. Yes, They get an ‘A’ for effort but a C- in execution. Alexi Lalas was a total douche and I’m pretty sure he jinxed us into last place automatically by smack talking the english guy.

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  28. Yeah, it probably should be mentioned that Algeria (with Ghilas) has a striker who’s actually scored a goal in the Premier League, whereas our #1 guy still has not!

    It is going to be a tough, frantic game. With probably a lot of diving.

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  29. I agree with his form now and lack of playing time, he won’t be there. But let’s be positive and encourage our boy to get his “A” game back and get his skinny ass on that plane to South Africa because we all know what an in form Beasley can do!

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  30. Without being too dramatic, if the US doesn’t advance out of this group, we should quit.

    No exciting matches. (seriously, I couldn’t care less about facing England. They are overrated per usual and will be lucky to make it past the first knock out round)

    I also think this has to be one of the first times a non-elite nation hosted the event and still had their group end up being a hard hard group. Thank FIFA for not seeding France on that one, South Africa. I don’t see how they escape the group stages.

    I’m also pleased with Germany’s draw (my #2 team behind the US) if they don’t leave the group stage without full points it will be a disappointment. They should be able to smash all of those teams.

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  31. ESPN’s coverage of the draw itself drive anyone else up the wall? Production value was nice and all, but Bob Ley and company kept talking over the actual audio from the event. Between ESPN analysts and folks on stage sometimes there were six or seven voices going at once, and you couldn’t hear anyone. Either shut up or silence the audio from South Africa.

    (And really, I’ll take the purrings of Charlize Theron over Bob Ley any day.)

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