Today, we are profiling Group C of the World Cup.
The birthplace of Football (or soccer on this side of the pond) the English are a proud bunch. Without a coveted trophy since their storied win in 1966, many think this might be the year for an English victory. The ‘English’ game and league has dominated world football in the last few years with its domestic teams including Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. England has made headlines in recent years attracting the best players and playing competitive games.
Led at the front by one of the best goal scorers in the world, Wayne Rooney, and one of the best defensive core of the tournament, John Terry of Chelsea and Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United, the ‘Three Lions’ will be hoping that it is the flag of St. George that is raised and it is God Save the Queen that is sung on that fateful last day of the tournament in Johannesburg.
England has massive talent and speed. They have a pretty good draw with only the USA a legitimate contender within their group of four for a spot in the next round (Algeria and Slovenia are the other two teams).
The boys wearing the Star Spangled Banner are by no means a star spangled team, but that won’t bother them one bit. The US team is used to being the underdog (and that’s how they like it!).
At last summer’s Confederations Cup in South Africa (a precursor to the World Cup played by the best countries of each continent), the US more than held their own against Spain and Brazil. Now, in a World Cup group alongside England and small, lesser known, teams like Algeria and Slovenia, the US has a great probability of moving out of the group stage of the World Cup.
The strong point for the US team has always been its goaltending and this year will be no different. Led by Tim Howard at the back the hope is they can repel attacks and counter attack using the speed of their forward and midfield players like Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, both of whom played their football in England this year (Landon Donovan plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy but played a portion of the year ‘on loan’ for Everton Football Club in England).
Coach Bob Bradley must be liking his chances to repeat what the 2002 team did in Korea when they surprised mighty Portugal in the first game, reached the next round where they defeated bitter rivals Mexico 2 nothing only to succumb to Germany in the quarter-finals 1-0 (not too shabby!).
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