Tuesday, June 1, 2010

World Cup: USA USA USA

The United States is 6-3-16 overall in the WC. Of all the teams that have 20+ WC games entering this years tournament the US has the 2nd to worst winning %. 3rd worst out of all teams that have ever made it in over 20 games. Our national WC history is most similar to Bugaria (did not qualify this year). Their record: 3-8-15.

In looking over the teams here I see that CONCACAF teams do not fair well. Mexico has always been the powerhouse in the CONCACAF and has made it out of the Group Stage in the last four WCs, loosing in the round of 16 each time though. The only times they have made it past the R16 was the two times the WC was played on their soil. The US has put together a string of WCs as Mexico has. They finished in the Quarter Finals 8 years ago and made it to the R16 on US soil in 1994. You could deduce from this two things:

1. the CONCACAF has gotten better.
2. the US has gotten better at qualifying.

Honduras is the other team from the league this year to make it in. The last time they made it in was 1978. I'm pulling for them. I'll write more on them later.

CONCACAF is made up by 40 teams. 30 of which are small islands in the Caribbean. In all of WC history only once has a team made it past the QF. Only four times has a team made it past the R16. US and Mexico handling all that. Best result was US in 1930. 3rd place.

The US Soccer team this year is in a tough spot in regards to grouping. England, Slovenia, and finally Algeria.

Had this World cup been played anywhere else in the world I think it would have been England and the US making it out of the group. But not this year, not in South Africa. I've already talked about the most critical stat about the WC. Over 1/3 of host countries win. While Africa itself may not be considered a nation as a whole, Algeria is still on the continent and teams playing on their own continent do end up with better results.

The US will lose the game with England. Dare I say "brutalized" by them. Given the location of the games (I'd venture to say that no American player has ever stepped foot in South Africa, let alone played a game there) and the strength of England's defense, and the very pro-England crowd in attendance... well, I'm hoping for the best. This is one of those games for England where they can cut loose. They don't get many of those. Truely, I say to you... If the US were to win it would be historic.

I do think the US will win against Slovenia but the next game against Algeria will be critical and I don't think we will pull that one out. Believe it or not Algeria has a couple WCs under their belt. The have won 2 lost 3 with one draw. In those 6 games they lost by an average of .7 pts. The US looses by an average of one goal. Again, I think local will be playing a big part in this game. It will be the game of the WC for the US.

As much as I may not like it: Algeria and England will advance out of this group.


matt wood said...

Algeria may be on the same continent but South Africa is a long ways away for them. and Algeria doesn't play well on the road, only winning 2 away games in the last 6 years.
Slovenia's got a good defense that the US can hopefully work through.
i'm holding to England and US advancing.

billysasquatch said...

I may be going out on a limb with Algeria (way out, as it North Africa). I keep going over and over the game that the US will have with them trying to stick to the limited numbers Algeria has in cup competition. I looking forward to seeing the game the US has with the Australians this weekend as a friendly match. We'll see where their heart is.

matt wood said...

problem is: yesterday i got attached to Algeria in our office pool. so i'm rooting for them now but for them to make it out of group play that pretty much means that the US can't. and i really want the US to make an impression this time. damn you World Cup!

Smitty said...

"Given the location of the games (I'd venture to say that no American player has ever stepped foot in South Africa, let alone played a game there)"
Ya suspect! 1 year ago the United States were in the FINAL (meaning 5 games total) of the Confederations Cup played in South Africa! We had 2 players on the Best XI, and Clint Dempsey won the Bronze Boot for being the 3rd best player in the tournament. Let us not forget how well they dispatched #1 in the world Spain on SA soil, 2-0.

Smitty said...

also, The J, i'm thoroughly enjoying your commentary. as if i don't have enough distracting me from work.

i even ordered cable with HD and DVR for the tournament (haven't had cable in years).

billysasquatch said...

I didn't check my business heretofore on the US comment. i stand very corrected on it and will check with my aforementioned attorney. Glad you like the World Cup writings. I know i'm probably only about a tenth as excited about it as you are, but i'm really up for it this year. It's great all the games are on tv this go round.