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Darrel Manson

FIFA World Cup '06

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The draw is done . The US ended up in a group that will probably kick our butts all over Germany.

Maybe not. Part of the reason our group is considered to be a group of death is that the US is better than we ever have been. Of all the top seeds, Italy is not one that I fear the most. We are much more likely to get a point from Italy than from Brazil, England or Germany. Besides, Mexico is the only top seed that I would be disapointed to lose to. I think there's a decent chance of getting out of the group, depending on things like injuries. I also think we could play very well and still go home after three games. Should be exciting!

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From what I've read the Czech Republic is probably the power in the group, even if not the top seed.

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From what I've read the Czech Republic is probably the power in the group, even if not the top seed.

And Ghana is called "The Brazil of Africa", which is why "E" is the group of death. From the coverage I've read on the seeding and group construction, there are always suspicions and conspiracies. This set seems ripe to allow Germany to have minimal danger until the money games, leaving the gifted underacheivers and perennial low first-and high second tier teams to wear each other out, ie Argentina, Holland, Italy, and others, as well as the unknown quantity U.S. side (top 10 ranking going in, Czech Rep. #2).

"C" is nothing to sniff at either. My boys from Holland face Argentina (always good in early rounds) and Serbia/Montenegro. Teams from the former Yugoslavia have been wicked spoilers for some time now.

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Final rankings going into the competition in Germany are here:

http://fifa.com/mens/statistics/index/0,25...ay-2006,00.html

U.S. was at one point as high as #4, but Mexico and U.S. have exchanged places in this version. Any early predictions?

Edited by Rich Kennedy

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My pick: Mexico over Czech Republic in final. More celebration in the streets of LA than when the finals were here (and were we tired of hearing "Brasil, Brasil")

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OK. If that happens, the hopes of half the world will have been crushed beyond belief. OTOH, if it's a good game, what the heck.

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I'm in as "orangeboy".

Wow. The consensus picks are quite interesting! As usual, I'm going to find it hard to pick against my guys (Ned and U.S.). I've already picked a couple of distaff picks. I'm expecting Italy to draw in their first game. I'm picking U.S. and Czech Rep to draw too.

Edited by Rich Kennedy

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MattPage   

Not sure how I missed this post earlier.

Anyway, I said 4 years ago at the last world cup that I thought we would win this one as long as we didn't get bad injuries. Sadly we've had some bad injuries, Rooney out until the knockout stages is a big blow, and for some reason we've not really brought adequate forwards cover.

We do have an easy group, Sweden are the next best team, and they are struggling at the moment.

Brazil I guess are favourites, but the tournament is nearly always won by a team from that continent - the continental factor is a big one, just look at how well, Turkey, South Korea and Japan did in the last one compared to normal.

But as a tournament it really is wide open - should be a great one. I hope BRazil don't win. It's nice that they are the only dominant team in world sport that everybody loves, but it would be a bit boring to be honest.

Matt

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Crow   

I'm looking forward to the World Cup, pulling for USA to do well, and for England as well, as I have some English friends and they've been talking it up last few weeks. It's nice to see someone in my neck of the woods that is interested in it.

I get a kick out of these pictures, especially number 2. I hope the pooch in picture number 4 doesn't embarrass itself by barking at inappropriate parts during the match. ;)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/5052802.stm

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Anders   

Germany wins their opening game against Costa Rica. 4-2

(Canada isn't in the tournament, so I end up cheering for the countries of my ancestry. So go Germany, and go Sweden!!).

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gigi   

ARGH!

I keep being told to 'get into the spirit of things', but all I want is to not have people try to make me care about it.

Right, now, I came to see my family before my mother goes away on a long trip & with my brother paying a rare visit, and I end up scouring the internet to pass the time until the end of one game when I will have an hour before the next one begins. Joyous.

Edited by gigi

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M. Leary   

Holy smokes, Germany was striking today. They better keep up that long-range game, because they were pretty lame on their half of the pitch.

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You can't say that it is not entertaining though! It's at the half in the rebroadcast right now, having seen the second half of Ecuador's pasting of Poland. Poland had nothing 'til the last seven minutes of regulation. 2-0 Ecu.

Tomorrow: Argentina/Cote d' Ivoire and Sunday: Nederland/Serbia and Montenegro from the "Group of Death".

Edited by Rich Kennedy

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Anyone getting up at 6:00 AM (west coast) to watch British boys play? I'd love to see them but, alas, no cable at our house. I thoroughly enjoyed their play in '02.

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Holy smokes, Germany was striking today. They better keep up that long-range game, because they were pretty lame on their half of the pitch.

The balls are far too light, hence the long range shooting. The goalkeepers are already complaining about it. Expect lots of high scoring games.

Anyone getting up at 6:00 AM (west coast) to watch British boys play? I'd love to see them but, alas, no cable at our house. I thoroughly enjoyed their play in '02.

P-L-E-A-S-E! Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales didn't qualify for the tournament (in fact, most Scots will be rooting for Paraguay today lol). The team is England, not Britain, and that is pronounced Eng-er-land (when it comes to football we add a syllable lol).

Edited by The Invisible Man

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We have Eng-Par on here in Cincinnati. If I were a drinking game kind of guy, I've thought of a good one: every time the announcer says a sentence with "beckham" and "bend" in it, you have to drink a shot. In this case, you would have been drunk by minute 11...

Edited by Buckeye Jones

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Clint M   

That Sweden vs. Trinidad&Torego(?) game was quite good. Sweden was predicted to beat them soundly by 3-4 goals, but it ended it a nil-nil tie.

Our local news coverage decided that their program was more important than the first half of the Eng-Par game. Rarrugh.

Looking forward to the US game tomorrow.

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Crow   

I was really impressed by Trinidad and Tobago, playing Sweden to a 0-0 draw with 10 men in the second half. Wow! And their keeper was terrific!

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MattP   

Looking forward to the US game tomorrow.

Isn't the US game on Monday?

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I was really impressed by Trinidad and Tobago, playing Sweden to a 0-0 draw with 10 men in the second half. Wow! And their keeper was terrific!

Crow, that was a terrific game. Usually I am out and about on Saturday afternoons, but I caught this game, and found myself really pulling for Trinidad and Tobago.

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Gorgeous goal by Robben this morning against the toughest set of fullbacks in the finals. I'm concerned though that while most of Nederland's offense was strategic and pinpoint, there were times when Robben was trying to do it all by himself. It would have been nice to get a two goal lead against Serbia, given the tough group and Argentina's 2-1 win yesterday. The Dutch "way" is everybody equal and working together, not a "feed me" mentality. Robben wasn't feeding too many today.

To the Englishmen: What's with England here? I actually picked them to tie. No insult meant, but England, Italy, Argentina, and Mexico all seem to be always highly touted and get meager results, particularly early on. But England has some of the best fire power in the finals with an own goal to show for it. I hate to ask what the sports press is saying, but what do you guys think?

Edited by Rich Kennedy

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By all accounts, the extreme heat was a factor in our poor performance on saturday. We play a fast, pressure game, which is impossible when the mercury is pushing a hundred. Of course, the fact that our manager is tactically clueless doesn't exactly help lol.

Expect us to qualify for the knock-out stages, then beat Ecuador in the second round, and lose to Holland on penalties in the quarter finals (as usual) lol.

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