December 09, 2005

World Cup Draw Now!: Let's discuss and predict.

posted by trox to soccer at 02:16 PM - 80 comments

You can follow the draw live from here.

posted by trox at 02:24 PM on December 09

Kobe Jones and Christian Karembeau trying to out-dreadlock each other...

posted by etagloh at 02:42 PM on December 09

It's on ESPN2 too. It reminds me of a gameshow. Maybe Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Or something else. I can't remember.

posted by panoptican at 02:53 PM on December 09

So is this completely random, out of curiousity? First one I've paid any attention to. I thought there was some logic to the randomness.

posted by panoptican at 02:54 PM on December 09

Holland and Argentina together. Nice.

posted by sakana at 02:59 PM on December 09

Oh wow. Czechs in Italy's group. Man. I may need to go after all.

posted by sakana at 02:59 PM on December 09

Ah! It's Heidi. About time.

posted by panoptican at 02:59 PM on December 09

Ha. United States gets Czech Republic. Tough draw.

posted by panoptican at 03:05 PM on December 09

Not just Czech Republic - Italy as well. I'd say the USA's chances of even getting out the group are almost nil.

posted by sakana at 03:06 PM on December 09

Group C is the group of death. Group H is incredibly weak.

posted by trox at 03:08 PM on December 09

Groups C and E scream 'group of death' to me. But the England-T&T match is going to be fun. Dwight Yorke up against plenty of his past and present team-mates. Otherwise, Paraguay and Sweden have much past form: the former will probably be a kicking match, and leave at least one England striker crocked.

posted by etagloh at 03:10 PM on December 09

Tough draw for USA - can someone w more knowledge that I comment on their chances in that group? I know CZ is good and Italy, of course is Italy, and Ghana?

posted by kokaku at 03:11 PM on December 09

I too am not very knowledgeable, but I know Italy is very good. I would think an argument could be made that they are the best in the group. Not so sure about Ghana. Guessing that's the easiest match for USA and that's their last one.

posted by panoptican at 03:13 PM on December 09

So is this completely random, out of curiousity? First one I've paid any attention to. I thought there was some logic to the randomness. A little. After the seeds, the pools were organised more or less by FIFA region. And no group could have more than two European teams, so Serbia/Montenegro could only go in one of three groups. There are three interesting 'colonial' match-ups: England-T&T; Portugal-Angola; France-Togo. And Australia-Japan pits two Dutch coaches against one another.

posted by etagloh at 03:14 PM on December 09

For Ghana's form: the qualification for the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup was combined over the last two years. Ghana won its group pretty easily, including a 3-0 thrashing of South Africa. The Cup of Nations (in January & February of 2006) will be the best indicator of where the WC qualifiers stand.

posted by etagloh at 03:20 PM on December 09

The heartache. I was watching the draw just praying the US could make it through groups E & F to make it to either G or H. Would've made qualifying for the knockout stage tons easier. Oh well. Now we'll need a tad more luck to get through Italy & Czech Republic but I think we will make it none the less.

posted by Ricardo at 03:30 PM on December 09

soccernet has a handy wallchart

posted by scully at 04:16 PM on December 09

so, if England gets through to the second round their opponent will be one of the top 2 in Group A, figure Poland or Germany? They beat Poland twice in the qualifying round, and Germany is the host.

posted by gspm at 04:36 PM on December 09

We are so screwed. Though if we squeeze past one of Italy or CZ but finish second in the group we get the pleasure of meeting Brazil in the round of 16. Suh-weet! Winning the group, which would mean R16 against Japan(?, for some reason I see them handling the Aussies) and R8 against (probably, if things play to form) France. Let's say by some imagination we get past France, say hello to Argentina. Bruce Arena, who is the wanker now? on preview: gspm, while I do favor to win their group and even beat Germany/Poland in R16 that leaves the abovementioned Argentina. That is where SGE will earn his GBP4M/annum wages for sure.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:44 PM on December 09

Germany will win there group and england will win theirs, I being biased towards England think that England will play the germans or Argentina in the Final. I hope Argentina as there will be alot of trouble after the game if we play the Germans. Hopefully we can get a World cup where the highlights will be England winning it and not getting deported from it.

posted by acesrt132 at 04:48 PM on December 09

I like this Yahoo Sports column on the draw, which is pretty realistic about soccer in the US, but mainly for these two bits: "Our best young athletes may not play soccer wouldn't Michael Vick or Allen Iverson make brilliant attackers? but we undoubtedly have excellent talent and world-class training." Could you imagine Michael Vick as an attacking midfielder or Reggie Bush as the right wing opposite Damarcus? Tony Gonzalez as left fullback, Reggie Wayne or Larry Fitzgerald up top? Oh well, one can dream. "But it is telling that the U.S. has improved so much its group would likely be considered the 'Group of Death'. We are the Gonzaga of the World Cup, the nasty mid-major no one wants to face. The question is when do we become Duke?" Gonzaga, well that hits me right in the psyche! Unfortunate draw aside, I think we should do okay this summer and my thinking since 2002 has been that 2010 is our year to make it to the final match. Landon, Damarcus, Eddie Johnson plus Adu, Eddie Gaven and a bunch of young guys playing in Europe from their teens (Jon Spector, Quentin Westberg, Conor Casey, Oguchi Onyewu) will all be in their prime. There will always be great players coming up from Brazil (Robinho) and Argentina (Tevez), and Rooney will be 24 or 25, but, well, let me dream a while longer.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:10 PM on December 09

Wow. The USA is FUUUUUUUUUUCKED. I'm already excited to watch the games anyway. As soon as the NHL playoffs end, I get to look forward to the World Cup. Sweet.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:23 PM on December 09

What time of day (Eastern US/Canada) would these games be played? Would they be night games in Germany, and therefore on at noon in my area (6 hours behind)?

posted by grum@work at 05:35 PM on December 09

Wow! Tough draw for the Americans. It takes 2 wins to get out of this so called "group of death". Hey, Italy is World Class and Chezch Republic has been an amazing European Team the last 2 years and with Nedzed coming back, man! Bruce Arena has his work cut out. Landon Donovan, DeMarcus Beasley, Eddie Lewis are going to have to show some leadership and patience if we expect to advance very far, especially haven drawn 2 European teams in a European Venue. It's going to be an excellent summer for World Cup Soccer. Pay special attention to the Gelsenkirchen Stadium, it's absolutely gorgeous. Way better then the crap they call modern stadiums here in the good old USA. Anyway, at least we didn't draw Holland and England! I got a feeling Englands going to prevail in the end. What say you?

posted by skydivedad at 06:07 PM on December 09

While Googling Gelsenkirchen Stadium I found this link with information about the stadia being used for next year's World Cup.

posted by scully at 06:42 PM on December 09

Love it. What a fabulous draw. England haven't got the easiest group but you have to wonder what we're doing there if we can't make the last-16. The Yanks and the Aussies have somehow both conspired to be in the Group of Death, despite being in different groups. I'm made up. I don't think some of you really understand. This is the World Cup. It means you play the best football teams in the world.

posted by squealy at 07:33 PM on December 09

The US has a tough draw, no doubt. Ghana will be no pushovers, either. The Black Stars have one of the best youth systems in the world, and have done great things at the U20 and U17 world cups over the years. As was poibted out, they finished top of their group and tonked Sth Africa. Beware. Australia probably did alright. It could have been a lot worse. We need to win the first one against Japan (who we haven't beaten for a while) and an upset win or draw against Croatia (who are inconsistent at best) might get us there if we don't ship too many against Brazil. A bit of rivalry exists with Croatia, who have 3 Australian born players in their squad, who all grew up in Aust, learned their football there but chose to play for the land of their parents/grandparents. Joe Simunic, I'm looking at you. The Aust squad also has a few players of Croatian origin, including Mark Viduka, Tony Popovic and Joe Skoko. Could be interesting.

posted by owlhouse at 07:46 PM on December 09

350 million people world wide tuned in to watch the draw. Wow.

posted by stofer71 at 07:56 PM on December 09

is everyone that posted a comment about this topic (except me) foreign?!?! this america! soccer is nothing here. fred adu, one of the best soccer players in the world gets $500,000; a good relief pitcher in baseball gets 7-8 million a year. why do you like soccer? IT SUCKS!

posted by nort_12345 at 07:57 PM on December 09

I was assuming Croatia were still a dangerous team. Have they gone downhill then?

posted by squealy at 08:01 PM on December 09

I don't think some of you really understand. This is the World Cup. It means you play the best football teams in the world. That is the best trash talk I've heard in ages.

posted by smithers at 08:01 PM on December 09

I'm foreign btw.

posted by squealy at 08:02 PM on December 09

nort, go back to sleep. The States have a tough draw, but the Argentina/Holland/Cote d'Ivoire group got hosed. The French & the South Koreans, on the other hand, made out like bandits. They should advance without breaking a sweat.

posted by chicobangs at 08:03 PM on December 09

we, the united states of america, have our own way of life that doesn't include soccer. it does include measering in feet and miles, and weighing in pounds. and we DON'T cal our selves "the states", chicobangs, so go bang on your chicos and shut up about holland and Cote d'Ivoire.

posted by nort_12345 at 08:14 PM on December 09

Croatia were still a dangerous team. Have they gone downhill I think they are dangerous, but flaky. As I said, inconsistent, so we are hoping to get them on a bad day. It's equally likely they will draw with Brazil and Australia. And I'm a foreigner, too. Would anyone like to point out to nort what European based players earn? And isn't it typical of a certain kind of American to go straight to a wages comparison to 'prove' that his sports are better than the rest of the world's. Ick - I feel dirty just responding.

posted by owlhouse at 08:15 PM on December 09

What channel is airing the games in the US? Please don't say it is pay per view only. I think Italy will win the group, and USA will have to fight very hard to come in second. I'm rooting for Italy vs. Germany in the finals.

posted by riffola at 08:22 PM on December 09

owlhouse- i didn't mean it wasn't better, i meant that it was boring and no one in america (not "the states") cares or is going to watch it. this is an american site and no cares about soccer here.

posted by nort_12345 at 08:22 PM on December 09

this is an american site and no cares about soccer here Ah, the internet. One of the greatest tools ever invented for promoting international understanding. I'm sorry nort, but your INS has yet to bust me for posting to this site. However I expect the CIA 'rendering' squad to burst my door down any minute. I'll be watching the World Cup from Camp X-Ray, and supporting Holland because they play in orange, too.

posted by owlhouse at 08:32 PM on December 09

I believe it's going to be the combo of ABC and the ESPN's, riffola, with Telemundo holding the Spanish Language rights again. I could be wrong, though. this is an american site and no cares about soccer here. nort, not only are you dead wrong, but you've been a member here for less than a day. You're welcome to stick around if you've something valid to say, but if you're just here to make noise, kindly fuck off. Thanks.

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:34 PM on December 09

I knew I shouldn't have said we don't get arseholes in football threads. Soz.

posted by squealy at 08:35 PM on December 09

nort, go read the newbie guide. You don't belong here until you've learned some manners.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:44 PM on December 09

If he's a newbie I'm a dutchman. I'm just glad Sven seems to have finally got the hang of being English: "I do not know much about Trinidad & Tobago but they have many players based in England. I'm sure they will want to beat us but who doesn't?" Bring it on.

posted by squealy at 08:54 PM on December 09

The question is when do we become Duke? Well, the rest of the world already sees us as a buch of spoiled rich assholes, so we're most of the way there. If we can just get the referees to call fouls on the other team when our players take a dive, I think we've got it.

posted by drjimmy11 at 09:24 PM on December 09

Thanks Ufez!

posted by riffola at 09:34 PM on December 09

It's funny how some jizzbot like nort feels the need to come in and belittle other people.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:41 PM on December 09

A Jizzbot? Didnt Jude Law play one of those in "A.I.?"

posted by drjimmy11 at 09:56 PM on December 09

this is an american site and no cares about soccer here. This is an American site that's about to kick your account if you don't stop telling people what sports they can discuss. The World Cup's going to be huge on SportsFilter in 2006.

posted by rcade at 09:56 PM on December 09

I forsee a fantasy league based on picking group results and total points, and a sliding or cumulative pick 'em for the knockout rounds. I'm happy to organise this closer to the time. suddenly realises responsibility, hopes no one notices...

posted by owlhouse at 10:00 PM on December 09

NOBODY seems to realize just how much the game has been Americanized. Europeans are being hit with a six dollar non-refundable fee for the right to BUY tix. And THEY'RE pissed? Try paying the $12 "handling fee" to see the Stones, mate! Think they'd be interested in buying Marlins season tickets? "Come see the East Toenail Goobers at MLB prices! Sorry, no refunds or discounts." The old man used to say, "There's a one letter difference between "champ" and "chump". YOU better learn it!"

posted by Thumper at 10:09 PM on December 09

Well, the rest of the world already sees us as a buch of spoiled rich assholes, so we're most of the way there. And the second best trash, I can't believe nort doesn't think football is entertaining.

posted by smithers at 10:15 PM on December 09

owlhouse, maybe Yahoo will set a pick 'em game up? Have they ever in the past? Anyone know? A SpoFi World Cup Pick 'Em is definitely a must. /also realizes some responsibility, hopes no one notices...

posted by panoptican at 10:20 PM on December 09

Hey nort I'm American as anybody. I remember watching World Cup Soccer on TV in the 60's. I've traveled to Europe and totally enjoyed Professional Soccer there and here in the Good Old USA. You don't speak for me. I love Baseball, NFL and College Football, Hockey (to unamerican for you I suppose) Golf, Horse Racing, SKydiving, Track & Field, Soccer (Football). Nascar, Formula 1. Just to name a few. You don't speak for me or Millions of other Americans.

posted by skydivedad at 10:28 PM on December 09

You guys are the best. I totally missed the draw today. grum, timewise, for us USA left-coasters, games will be on in the middle of the frickin' workday. That's going to be tough ... for my company. Ha! On inspection, my best guesses for qualifiers from each group: (Group: Winner, Runner-up) A: Germany, Poland (damn, that was easy) B: England, Sweden (or Paraguay. Hmmm.) C: Argentina, Netherlands D: Mexico, Portugal E: Italy, USA (or CzechR, taking a gamble here) F: Brazil, Croatia (or Australia, spoilers) G: France, Switzerland (or Korea) H: Spain, Ukraine (this looks like the weakest group) Based on the bracket: ROUND 2: Germany v Sweden = Germany Argentina v Portugal = Portugal Italy v Croatia = Italy France v Ukraine = France England v Poland = England Mexico v Netherlands = Netherlands Brazil v USA = Brazil Spain v Switzerland = Spain QUARTERS: Germany v Portugal = Portugal Italy v France = France England v Netherlands = England Brazil v Spain = Brazil SEMIS Portugal v France = France England v Brazil = Brazil FINAL France v Brazil = Brazil I'll be rooting for Brazil, England, USA, probably in that order. Would love to see dark horses make it, like in 2002 when Argentina, France and Portugal went home early (if I remember correctly) and teams like Japan and Korea went thru. Maybe it'll be Iran, Ivory Coast (I think Drogba plays for them?), TnT and Australia this time.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:47 PM on December 09

Also, grum, when the time comes, the official World Cup site has a pretty neat time conversion widget that will let you translate the match's local time to your timezone (it's not working now because the next games are still half a year away). I helped design the interface/interaction for the current implementation (which was working during the prelims), which allows you to do an immediate translation but doesn't remember your timezone setting (technicalities!). Perhaps they'll have that figured out by next summer. And, Heidi grabs the ball.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:55 PM on December 09

And let us not forget why the USA are in a group of death...When taking factors into consideration to determine the top seeds, Fifa looked at the last 2 World Cup performances. I can't see why our performance 7 1/2 years ago is extremely relevant to our performance this summer. With only 3 of those players definitely set to return this summer and MAYBE 1 or 2 others, we're looking at an entirely new team. Because of this idiocy, we weren't one of the 8 seeded teams even though we should have been.

posted by Ricardo at 03:57 AM on December 10

Ooops. Just realised that if England win Group B I'll be flying home from Prague when we play the last 16 game. Come on Sweden!

posted by squealy at 06:01 AM on December 10

No, hang on, got that wrong, we fly back when the Group B runners-up play the last 16 game. Come on England! :-)

posted by squealy at 07:08 AM on December 10

Because of this idiocy, we weren't one of the 8 seeded teams even though we should have been. Uh, right. As much as the FIFA rankings make the US smile, fact is that they're hopelessly distorted in qualifying years. Czech Republic number 2? They didn't even win their UEFA group.

posted by etagloh at 07:50 AM on December 10

WC, you got to get with your old crew and make sure they get some good, free fantasy league offerings! And WTF is with Mexico winning their group over Portugal?

posted by billsaysthis at 10:23 AM on December 10

OK, I started this mess. Here are my predictions: (Group: Winner, Runner-up) A: Germany, Poland B: England, Paraguay C: Netherlands, Argentina (the group of death) D: Portugal, Mexico E: Italy, USA (death group Part 2, so I'm a homer) F: Brazil, Japan G: France, South H: Ukraine, Spain (this is definitely the weakest group) I'll worry about the bracket later.

posted by trox at 10:32 AM on December 10

bill, sorry, I don't know, haven't really followed Portugal that much. Did they win Euro04? Or was it Greece? Is Figo gonna be in Germany? Aside from fancylegs Ronaldo, who else do they have? Just doesn't feel that strong to me.

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:57 AM on December 10

I remember, last time around, that the official World Cup site had a great (free) fantasy pool. I am sure there will be other offerings to choose from too. Hey bill, Portugal lost the Euro championship last summer on their home field to... Greece. Portugal and Spain are typical heartbreak (underachieving) teams, no?

posted by gspm at 11:02 AM on December 10

Anyone who thinks the US are the 8th ranked team in the world is an idiot. I agree with you about the rankings being flawed, but they are a decent benchmark. If they had only taken the last World Cup into account along with the US's probable true ranking of 10, 11 or maybe even 12, then they realistically could have been an 8 seed.

posted by Ricardo at 11:04 AM on December 10

Here is a hypothetical table taking all the worlds teams into account for the whole year...I know the competition against the US isn't quite as stiff as some of the big boys, but we have had an extremely impressive 4 years.

     Team                               P     W     D     L    GF    GA  GDIF   PTS      % 1   United States                     20    13     4     3    33    12   +21    43   71.7 2   Mexico                            25    12     7     6    42    26   +16    43   57.3 3   Trinidad and Tobago               28    13     4    11    35    33    +2    43   51.2 4   Japan                             20    11     3     6    31    20   +11    36   60.0 5   Costa Rica                        24    10     5     9    37    33    +4    35   48.6 6   Brazil                            16    10     4     2    47    14   +33    34   70.8 7   Poland                            14    11     1     2    35    15   +20    34   81.0 8   Egypt                             14     9     2     3    31    10   +21    29   69.0 9   Spain                             12     8     4     0    29     5   +24    28   77.8 10  Argentina                         17     8     4     5    28    23    +5    28   54.9 
Along with our record from all of 2002 - current W- D - L 43-14-14

posted by Ricardo at 11:12 AM on December 10

In the world rankings, the USA is actually ahead of Italy. Go ahead, laugh, but that's what the computer says.

posted by the red terror at 12:37 PM on December 10

Yeah, the Italians & Czechs are doubtless less than thrilled to share a group with the Americans as well. Eh, some very good team is not going to advance. It happens. And I'm pulling for whoever squealy was pulling for five minutes ago, or maybe five minutes from now, or something. Also the African countries, just because. (I'm going to go check the betting line on whether Angola's going to manage to score a goal in any of their games.)

posted by chicobangs at 12:52 PM on December 10

Ricardo, awesome table and stats. Could you do one that's got the 32 teams for next year? Would be good to see how all those stack up, esp. Germany. Since they're the only team that got a free pass this time, and have had some chaos with the team mgt, local referee corruption, general crap performances and no real international competition, I'm expecting a softer Germany this time, one that may even surprise everyone and not make it out of their group.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:29 PM on December 10

And rank them by the percentage of points won, instead of actual #pts. I think that gives a little more accurate picture. And a pony. ;-)

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:32 PM on December 10

I would first like to say...imsnsho...that there is only one Group of Death in each World Cup and the U.S. is not in this one. All the comments on Group C being the toughest are dead on. Yes, we're going to have a rough go of it, but even though we haven't done well against Italy in the past, I think we can get a result there. It will all come down to the last group game against Ghana and we just have to see what happens. The only way we get anything from the opening game against the Czechs is to put 10 men behind the ball and hope for a scoreless draw, which I don't see happening. Kasey Keller is the key there. If he stays healthy and pulls off one of those mammoth games like he did against Brazil in the run up to France '98, we could steal a point against the Czechs. One thing is for sure: If we get out of this group there should be no doubting the U.S having such a high world ranking in the last few years. I can't wait for June!

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 01:43 PM on December 10

Me, too, JJ. (and DYNOMITE to you, my fine Olympian friend) I'm 'bout ready to pay out for real cable and a big flatscreen TV! My dad's visiting next summer, and this will be the first time we've watched the World Cup together in years. Years!

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:25 PM on December 10

Hey bill, Portugal lost the Euro championship last summer on their home field to... Greece. Portugal and Spain are typical heartbreak (underachieving) teams, no? True but they did make it out of the group stage, right? Heartbreak is because they got so far but to the trophy. USA is a better team than Mexico, world rankings crap or not, as that is one squad we've played against and against the same opponents as well and have beaten them consistently. Portugal will win that group. USA chances against Czech Republic could be easily influenced by injuries as the CR players the last few years seem to be losing more playing time than would be expected to it. Italy v USA may (I repeat, may) be have an emotional component based on the first game days, with Italy lulled by an easy result against Ghana and USA on a high from a result against CR if we get one--a result against the Italians could mean winning the group and avoiding Brazil in R16--or a low if we don't. WC, if you do get the big flatscreen let's have a SpoFi meetup for one of the weekend match days! I'll bring some food.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:37 PM on December 11

Roger niner, bill. Will do.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:28 PM on December 11

Here is a table consisting of games from 2002 - present. The PCT column is a percentage of points divided by possible points. This shows how well the US has played. Unfortunately, it shows how well the Czechs have played. We are well above Italy and Ghana though so hopefully these number will pan out...

 +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+ | Team | P    | W    | D    | L    | GF   | GA   | DIF  | PTS  | PCT  | +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+ | Cze  |   46 |   33 |    6 |    7 |  112 |   38 |   74 |  105 | 0.76 | | Esp  |   49 |   30 |   16 |    3 |   97 |   27 |   70 |  106 | 0.72 | | Fra  |   53 |   33 |   15 |    5 |  104 |   28 |   76 |  114 | 0.72 | | Irn  |   51 |   32 |    9 |   10 |  105 |   45 |   60 |  105 | 0.69 | | Bra  |   66 |   39 |   18 |    9 |  144 |   51 |   93 |  135 | 0.68 | | Ned  |   46 |   27 |   12 |    7 |   87 |   29 |   58 |   93 | 0.67 | | Usa  |   71 |   43 |   14 |   14 |  123 |   49 |   74 |  143 | 0.67 | | Aus  |   32 |   20 |    4 |    8 |   93 |   31 |   62 |   64 | 0.67 | | Arg  |   54 |   31 |   13 |   10 |   96 |   57 |   39 |  106 | 0.65 | | Pol  |   55 |   33 |    7 |   15 |  105 |   62 |   43 |  106 | 0.64 | | Por  |   51 |   28 |   14 |    9 |  105 |   44 |   61 |   98 | 0.64 | | Ita  |   50 |   27 |   15 |    8 |   75 |   39 |   36 |   96 | 0.64 | | Eng  |   49 |   27 |   13 |    9 |   87 |   49 |   38 |   94 | 0.64 | | Mex  |   71 |   39 |   17 |   15 |  132 |   56 |   76 |  134 | 0.63 | | Ksa  |   66 |   36 |   14 |   16 |  110 |   64 |   46 |  122 | 0.62 | | Ger  |   60 |   32 |   14 |   14 |  128 |   69 |   59 |  110 | 0.61 | | Jpn  |   71 |   38 |   16 |   17 |  109 |   65 |   44 |  130 | 0.61 | | Cro  |   46 |   22 |   15 |    9 |   64 |   38 |   26 |   81 | 0.59 | | Civ  |   29 |   15 |    6 |    8 |   49 |   29 |   20 |   51 | 0.59 | | Tog  |   29 |   14 |    7 |    8 |   37 |   30 |    7 |   49 | 0.56 | | Sui  |   38 |   16 |   13 |    9 |   59 |   46 |   13 |   61 | 0.54 | | Swe  |   56 |   23 |   20 |   13 |  111 |   58 |   53 |   89 | 0.53 | | Tun  |   51 |   21 |   17 |   13 |   65 |   48 |   17 |   80 | 0.52 | | Kor  |   72 |   30 |   21 |   21 |  114 |   57 |   57 |  111 | 0.51 | | Ang  |   39 |   16 |   12 |   11 |   46 |   37 |    9 |   60 | 0.51 | | Par  |   49 |   19 |   16 |   14 |   58 |   58 |    0 |   73 | 0.50 | | Tri  |   74 |   33 |   11 |   30 |  101 |   93 |    8 |  110 | 0.50 | | Gha  |   38 |   14 |   13 |   11 |   51 |   35 |   16 |   55 | 0.48 | | Crc  |   70 |   29 |   14 |   27 |  101 |   92 |    9 |  101 | 0.48 | | Ecu  |   55 |   22 |   12 |   21 |   62 |   68 |   -6 |   78 | 0.47 | | Ukr  |   40 |   14 |   14 |   12 |   41 |   38 |    3 |   56 | 0.47 | | Scg  |   31 |   10 |   10 |   11 |   39 |   32 |    7 |   40 | 0.43 | +------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+ 

posted by Ricardo at 09:43 AM on December 12

I forsee a fantasy league based on picking group results and total points, and a sliding or cumulative pick 'em for the knockout rounds. I'm happy to organise this closer to the time. suddenly realises responsibility, hopes no one notices... posted by owlhouse at 10:00 PM CST on December 9 Thought you'd slide that one right by, didn't you owlhouse? You have less than 6 months and the clock is ticking... Great numbers, ricardo. there's certainly a huge difference in number of games played across the board. I'm assuming Scg is Serbia & Montenegro?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 11:02 AM on December 12

I welcome Ricardo, the new stats and table overlord. gspm, you have competition! btw, speaking of fantasy leagues, how come you commenters in this thread aren't on our SpoFi EPL fantasy league? C'mon what are ya waiting for?! Seriously, I'd hate to go up against Ricardo in a fantasy league. I think he would sweep the damn thing.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:02 PM on December 12

Of course it depends on the quality of opposition you face. If you routinely compete with piss-poor teams then your stats are going to look more impressive. But then again, you can only beat what's put in front of you.

posted by squealy at 01:21 PM on December 12

Costa Rica, Trinidad and even the mighty Mexico face alot of the same team us Yanks face and we are ahead of the tri-colores and leaps and bounds above the other two. As for the tables, I did some data massaging, but I can't take all the credit. Most of these stats come from Elo Ratings. These are the same ratings, albeit modified to fit the football universe, chess players use.

posted by Ricardo at 02:07 PM on December 12

England do not fare very well in Ricardo's table, especially not compared to all the big talk from Sven, Beckham and Owen. Not to mention this also supports my contention that Portugal should top Mexico in the group stage. Then again, look at Brazil's ranking but not too many fans would bet against them in a best of five or seven match series against any other national side. Wow, six months of trash talking, armchair analysis and rants. Excellent!

posted by billsaysthis at 04:00 PM on December 12

I had a look at the comparative fixtures that England and the USA played from 2002 onwards. Suffice to say I was right. You might want to put this date in your diaries - 23/06/06. That's when you'll be flying home. Good luck though.

posted by squealy at 05:17 PM on December 12

One interesting tidbit: is conducting a poll on which is the Group of Death with a 50-50 split between the U.S. Group and the Argentina Group after almost 40,000 votes. I wouldn't have thought it to be nearly that close.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:49 PM on December 13

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