Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Now that the US has avoided complete catastrophe in World Cup Qualifying (at least until they lose in Mexico in August), we can focus on the near impossible group in the FIFA Confederation Cup. I usually don't do predictions, but I see this playing out like our World Cup 2006 group.
The US starts off at 1:30PM on Monday afternoon on ESPN against Italy (#4 in the FIFA rankings). I fully expect a loss here. Italy will remember the classic night in Kaiserslautern and come out hard, not wanting to repeat it.
They then get a few days to lick their wounds and follow up with a 9AM Thursday morning matinee on ESPN2 against Brazil (#5 FIFA ranked). Believe it or not, I can see the US getting a point here through sure scrappiness and Brazilian overconfidence.
So, assuming they somehow get a point out of one of those matches, they'll go into their final match of the round on Sunday at 1:30PM on ESPN2 needing a victory over a dangerous Egyptian (40th in FIFA) team. Just as in WC06, they'll give up a silly goal (or two) and not be able to get the result. Three and out in CC09. Hopefully, this will give the boys a sour taste that they will not want to experience again in one year's time.
And maybe this time around, the US will have the soccer Gods on their side when the WC10 draw doesn't land them in another Group of Death. So, hopefully the failure in the CC09 will lead to group success in WC10.
BTW, all the matches will be in HD!