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Relief for USA, which opens with England
by Mike Woitalla, December 4th, 2009 1:45PM



[WORLD CUP 2010 DRAW] The most dramatic soccer event that doesn't happen on grass delivered relief for the USA, which has been grouped with England, the lowest ranked of the seeded teams besides the host, Algeria, the least intimidating of Africa's entrants, and Slovenia, the smallest nation at the tournament and ranked 33rd in the world by FIFA, 19 spots below the USA.

Mexico landed the coveted spot in Group A to join South Africa and will play in the opening game against the host. But also in Group A is 2006 World Cup runner-up France. Uruguay, which qualified by beating Costa Rica in a playoff, rounds out Group A.

This World Cup's "Group of Death" is G: Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea.  African power Ivory Coast was also grouped in the most challenging first-round quartet in 2006, with the Netherland, Argentina and Serbia & Montenegro. (The Dutch and Argentines went through to the second round.)

Group A
South Africa (A1)
Mexico (A2) Uruguay (A3) France (A4)
Group B
Argentina (B1)
Nigeria (B2) South Korea (B3) Greece (B4)
Group C
England (C1) USA (C2) Algeria (C3) Slovenia (C4)
Group D
Germany (D1) Australia (D2) Serbia (D3) Ghana (D4)
Group E
Netherlands (E1) Denmark (E2) Japan (E3) Cameroon (E4)
Group F
Italy (F1) Paraguay (F2) New Zealand (F3) Slovakia (F4)
Group G
Brazil (G1) North Korea (G2) Ivory Coast (G3) Portugal (G4)
Group H
Spain (H1) Switzerland (H2) Honduras (H3) Chile (H4)

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