The 2014 FIFA World Cup draw just took place...and its safe to say England & the United States have a tough road after getting drawn together in a manageable group in 2010. Australia also has a brutal road ahead... FIFA was not kind to the English speaking countries this year. Well, FIFA's plastic balls weren't kind. The groups are as follows:
Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria
Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
As you can see, the United States and England were both drawn into what can be called a Group of Death. USA plays two of the top teams in the world in Germany and Portugal, plus a Ghana team who knocked the United States out of the 2006 & 2010 World Cups. USA will open up play against Ghana on June 16 at 6PM ET. They'll then face Portugal on June 22 and Germany on June 26. They must beat Ghana in the first game to have a hope of moving on from the group. They will then have two rematches from the 2002 World Cup. USA shocked Portugal in the group stage, defeating them 3-2 which helped them move on and sent Portugal home early. They faced Germany in the Quarterfinals after defeating Mexico, losing a tight contest 1-0. USA would have had a goal, but a German handball that kept it out went unnoticed by the refs. We'll see if these 2014 contests will be as memorable. One thing you can say about this group is it will be exciting. USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann is a German legend, adding yet another storyline to Group G. This could be the final World Cup for Landon Donovan.
England also has a tough group, taking on Uruguay in South America (which is never fun for European countries) and Italy. Poor Costa Rica has an uphill climb there. Japan could be dark horses much like the women who became 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup champions. They landed into a manageable group and can definitely take on Greece and Colombia. We'll see how they handle the physical nature of Ivory Coast. Spain and Netherlands, who played each other in the final of the 2010 World Cup, will meet in the same group. France & Argentina lucked out by getting into the easiest groups, and Belgium should be clear favorites to win Group H. The battle between South Korea and Russia should decide 2nd place there.
Draw winners: France, Argentina, Belgium. Losers: English speaking countries Australia, England, USA, who got hosed by the plastic balls much like they did by the voters for 2018 & 2022 in favor of controversial human rights violating countries Russia & Qatar.