Thursday, June 17, 2010

USA vs. Slovenia


The biggest American sporting event of the past 8 years will kick off Friday morning at 10:00. The Americans vs. Slovenia in a huge Group C matchup with the winning side gaining a major edge in surviving the group.

The Americans are in great position after salvaging a draw when Clint Dempsey's blistering attempt from 28 meters handcuffed Robert Green, the England keeper. Slovenia defeated Algeria 1-0 with a similar stroke of luck. Algeria's keeper misplayed a mediocre effort by Robert Koren in the 78th minute costing his team any realistic chance at advancing out of group play.

Slovenia leads the group right now with 3 points. The US and England each have 1 point and Algeria has 0 points. The bottom line for team USA is that they cannot lose. If they lose, they will need nothing short of a miracle to advance...something similar to last year's Confederation's Cup. For those of you who don't remember (or don't know what the Confederations Cup even is), the USA needed to beat Egypt by at least 3 goals, need Italy to lose by at least 3 goals (the Italians are the defending World Cup Champions) and needed to score more goals than Italy. A 3-0 win over Egypt and a 3-0 loss by Italy to Brazil allowed team USA to advance. The point is, this will never happen again and if the US loses to Slovenia, it's all over.

Slovenia provided the Americans with bulletin board material this week and trust me, providing extra motivation for your opponent on the pitch is a collasal mistake. Slovenia midfielder Andrej Komac guaranteed victory over the US. "We are going to win this match," Komac said. This dude doesn't even start. He will be backing up his bold statement while sitting on the bench hoping to earn a late sub in Friday's match. For those of you who don't know much about Slovenia (I never heard of Slovenia before this world cup), they have a population of about 2 million. The US has 4 cities with larger populations than Slovenia.

The other Group C match tomorrow is England vs. Algeria and there is no doubt England is looking to take out some serious frustration on someone after what happened Saturday afteroon. England will win this match. They will have 4 points, Algeria will have 0 points and will be essentially out of things. If the US and Slovenia tie, the US will have 2 points, Slovenia 4 and England 4. This will put the US in a must win situation vs. Algeria and would advance with a win vs. Algeria coupled with a win by either side in the Slovenia England match. If England and Slovenia draw, the US, England and Slovenia will all have 5 points and it will come down to tie breakers. The first of which is goal differential and the second of which is goals scored. If the US wins against Slovenia, than a draw vs. Algeria and will most likely land them in the elimination round.

Since I am dead last (by a incredible large margin) in my World Cup pool, my prediction means absolutely nothing...but I will take the Americans 3-1 tomorrow with Clint Dempsey netting another two on his way to the Golden Boot.

1 comment:

  1. WNYwatercooler officially jumped the shark with a post about World Cup soccer