Just reaching the biggest stage of the world’s most popular sport, which thoroughly captivates a large portion of the global masses, is a major achievment in itself, but once a national team is part of the 32-countries field for the premier event of soccer, then the real challenges begin, starting with last Friday’s World Cup pool draw.
While all the national teams who survived the long qualifying sessions will make it to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, which starts in June, there are always a few countries who are going to be extremely bummed at what group their placed for the grand competition, because their chances of advancing become slim.
One of the nations feeling the ill sting of the group draw is the United States, which was placed in this World Cup’s “group of death,” or considered the toughest four-team pairings for the world championship tournament, which takes place every four years.
The U.S. is part of Group G, which includes a World Cup favorite, Germany, along with Portugal with one of the two best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, and then there’s Ghana, which knocked the Americans out of the past two World Cups. There are reasons for worry – but not panic.
Sure there are some weaker national teams whose chances of advancing to the knockout round of 16 are enhanced by their grouping, but, basically, this is the World Cup and nothing comes easy, no matter what nation, because the matches have to be played and, though they’re very seldom, major upsets can occur.