Thursday, December 15, 2005

World Cup talk

 I’ve been reading some of the talk from the coaches of the National teams that are competing in the World Cup this summer, and their reactions to the draw.  I’m amused.

Some countries realize how lucky they are considering some of the groups contain relative cupcakes.  Group A, for instance, with hosts Germany: “It could have been worse.  We think this group is very doable.”  Poland: “I think our chances have risen.”  They know they got a sweet draw.

Group D, Mexico: “This is a favorable group, one you can compete in.”  That’s an interesting statement coming from a top seeded team.  But they have to realize that they lucked out getting seeded over the U.S. and have to be thankful they didn’t get put in a group like we did.

Most of the lower seeded teams sounded like they were just hoping to play some good soccer.  The responses from Group C caught my eye.  Ivory Coast: “I think this is the toughest one.”  Serbia: “Easy groups do not exist at the World Cup.”  But they could have said that about any group, at least at their skill level, they wouldn’t have much of a chance in any of the groups, let alone one with Holland and Argentina.  However, in case anyone is looking, the group of death is still group E.  Ghana: “Every team will be difficult, but we like challenges…”  At least Ivory Coast and Serbia will get to play each other.  Poor Ghana will be lucky to score and will probably be on their heels in all three games. 

On playing Sweden in Group B, Sven Ericsson:  “It seems to be our destiny to play them.”  (England played Sweden in group last Cup as well).

Of course I’ll be rooting for the US of A this summer.  I’ve always liked watching England and Sweden play, but this year I’ll be rooting for upstarts Trinidad and Tobago, most of whom play in the English leagues.  Stern John used to play in the US.  Said goalkeeper Shaka Hislop: “I am buzzing.  I’ve spoken to all the players based over here and we are looking forward to it.”

I also liked Australia’s joy at just being there: “This is what dreams are made of.”

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