inside the man

Monday, April 24, 2006

FIFA foolishness

I am, at best, an occassional fan of international football (a.k.a. soccer). I tend to perk up and pay attention every four years when the World Cup rolls around. While I cannot claim any level of expertise, I was shocked an dumfounded at the rediculousness of the recently published FIFA rankings heading into WC2006. The USA is fourth best team in the world? Ahead of such countries as Spain, Argentina, Italy, England, and Germany? And Italy is 14th place? Foolishness. Complete and utter foolishness.

The USA is in Group E along with Italy, the Czech Republic, and Ghana. I will be very surprised if we see anyone other than Italy and the Czech Republic advancing to Stage 2.


Robert said...

The rankings are not as outrageous as you think, my friend. The USA is a rising powerhouse in international football. Americans pepper every major European league, and not just on the lower ranked teams. The MLS is not a great league, but it has been able to really strengthen the American game, which of course was the goal of FIFA when they mandated that the Americans had a home league when they won the rights to the 1996 World Cup.

Anyway ... the USA is very strong, and just walloped Germany 4-1. Germany tried to downplay the loss, but it was still very one-sided. They have lots of good scorers and a solid keeper and play a much better team game than most countries.

We'll have to wait and see, but I think you are wrong about Group E. Italy can't (or doesn't want to) score, so they are going to get overrun at the World Cup again this year. Ghana is just lucky to be there and will hopefully enjoy the experience. My predictions are that the Czechs will finish 3-0, the Americans will finish 2-1 with a loss to the Czechs, and if the Italians are lucky, they will score two goals against Ghana to get one win (better that 2002!).

thrashor said...

I am going to strongly disagree. If I had to predict Group E, I would say Italy 2-1, Czechs 2-1, Ghana 1-2, USA 1-2. I think it will be a good World Cup for the Azuri.

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Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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