Sunday, May 30, 2010
South Africa: Pool C
I'm probably the most excited to see how this pool plays out. Got out countrymen going out against the darkhorse of the tournament in England, and two countries that I don't really see playing any sort of factor.
England has not won the Cup since 1966, but have advanced to the quarterfinals in 2002 and 2006. They will be lead by not only their captain DF Rio Ferdinand (78 caps, 3 goals) and their vice-captain MF Steven Gerrard (80, 16), but with several other strong players in their 23-man roster. World-renown striker Wayne Rooney (60, 25) has received much speculation on the health of his ankle, his knee and his groin, but assures the world he will be 100% in South Africa. He will lead the offense alongside Tottenham teammates Peter Crouch (38, 21) and Jermain Defoe (39, 11). At midfield behind Gerrard are Chelsea teammates Frank Lampard (78, 20) and Joe Cole (54, 10), as well as Manchester United standout Michael Carrick (22, 0).
The England defensive unit is led by some of the biggest names in the Premier League: Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Jamie Carragher, and Stephen Warnock.
For the United States, they're looking to make this a big year. Captained by Carlos Bocanegra (78, 12), they're a team with a lot of talent and even more heart. GK Tim Howard is one of the biggest team leaders. He has admitted that he is understandably nervous but assures his teammates and his country that his knowledge of the Premier League will come in handy.
20-year-old Jozy Altidore (25, 9) will leader the fowards for USA, and behind him will be the team's second and third leading international goal scorers in Clint Dempsey (61, 18) and DaMarcus Beasley (91, 17). Defensive powerhouse Oguchi Onyewu (53, 5) will look to shut down not only England's immense scoring threat, but will look to secure solid wins against Algeria and Slovenia.
Whenever I play FIFA, and I'm picking an International team, it's either Argentina or England. England is just such a strong team, they're hard to not pick. Early in the year, when I heard that England was playing the US, I initially told my friends I was rooting for England, because I thought the US was going to just roll over and die. I think they have the drive and the talent to be extremely successful. They do have a huge hurdle to jump over, but even if they lose, all they have to do is keep the game close, and it will give them invaluable confidence. I just hope Wayne Rooney isn't out to stomp on anyone's nuts this time around...
Go USA. Go World.