Being a former soccer player, and a good one at that, yes, I am caught up in World Cup Fever. There is really only one bad thing about the world cup this year. Working 6AM-2:30PM in the Pacific Timezone, -every- game during the week happens during my shift. We have a TV set in the break room, but with no cable and a worthless antenna, we get very sketchy Univision coverage. Its all good though, because the games are on the radio as well. Out here the local coverage is solely on 97.5. . ."Cumbia y mas."
Now, being half Mexican, I learned enough Spanish to interact on a basic level. You’ve just gotta talk real slow and keep your sentences short. That is something that Spanish commentators do -not- do. So, during these first two games, I’ve resorted to keying on on the obvious name differences, and certain words and terms I know from watching soccer such as "tiro de esquina", "Penal", and of course "Gooooooooooooooool!!!"
Its going to be interesting, I plan on TiVo-ing all of the US and Mexico games during the week, as well as listening to them during the day. So will see how that turns out.
Without further ado, here are my bold World Cup predictions (in order of predicted finish in the group stage).
Group A: Germany and Poland advance.
The Germans are one of the favorites to win it and will sweep the group sessions. The Poles will probably not make it through now, unless they pull off a dramatic upset of the Germans. I’d change it to Ecuador, but hey, I made the predictions yesterday, and I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong.
Group B: England and Paraguay advance
England let out a collective sigh of relief when Wayne Rooney was eligible, it remains to be seen how effecive he’ll be. Paraguay is a solid squad, helped by the fact that other two teams stand not a chance.
Group C: Argentina and The Netherlands advance
For the so-called "Group of Death" I found this one probably the easiest one to choose. Serbia/Montenegro and the Ivory Coast have nothing on the Argentines and the Dutch.
Group D: Mexico and Iran advance
Watch out for the Mexicans, they are poised to make a run this year. Portugal will falter, as usual, allowing a very respectable Iranian squad to advance.
Group E: USA and the Czech Republic advance
The Stars and Bars tie Czechs and roll ahead of them on goal differential. Ghana is way out of its league and the Italians are going to be too distracted by the whole Scandal in their country.
Group F: Brazil and Australia advance
You’re **** right I say the Socceroo’s advance.
Group G: France and Togo advance
Only because the head witch-doctor of Togo said so.
Group H: Spain and Ukraine advance
Ukraine is really ranked under -both- Tunisia and Saudi Arabia? Why? They’ve got Andriy Shevchenko!
The 16 . . . . .
Germany beats Paraguay 3-0 – Yes I’m predicting scores too.
England over Poland 2-1 – Insert Ecuador here.
Argentina over Iran 4-1 – No chance for the Iranians, most lopsided game in the 2nd round.
Mexico over Netherlands 2-1 – This really is only an upset because they’re on European soil.
USA over Australia 3-1 – It was a good run for the Socceroo’s though
Brazil over Czech Republic 4-3 – Best game of the tournament, right here.
France over Ukraine 1-0 – The French are just the better team
Spain over Togo 3-1 – I don’t care what the head witch-doctor says about this one. . . . Wait, what’s that pain in my neck?
Germany over Argentina 3-2 – Another great match, won on home field advantage. Unless the hand of God appears
USA over France 1-1 (5-3) – Uncle Sam is due to take over the world’s game.
Mexico over England 2-1 – The CONCACAF rules
Brazil over Spain 3-1 – So does Brazil, apparently. Does anyone notice how Brazil is like Duke on your NCAA March Madness bracket? Before you know it, you’ve got them penciled into the final four and you say to yourself "Again?" And then you look at the bracket and you realize that there’s really no team you can pick with any confidence to beat them.
US over Germany 3-2 – You’re reading that correctly, yes.
Brazil over Mexico 4-1 – Too Bad, a US/Mexico final would have been like a Dodger/Angel World Series out here, only I’d be afraid to go outside.
Germany over Mexico 3-2 – The sad thing is, this is dissappointing for Germany in their eyes.
Brazil over US 4-2 – I’m not -that- crazy. Only seven teams have ever won the world cup (Brazil, Germany, Uruguay, Italy, Argentina, England, France). Its not going to change this year.