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USA to get out of first round
by SA Editorial, December 7th, 2009 6:45AM

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[WORLD CUP 2010 PREDICTIONS] Soccer America's editors take a look at the eight first-round groups and predict the 16 teams that will advance. There was general consensus on the outcome in most of the groups, including Group C with the USA and England. The notable exception was Group A, where three different teams, including host South Africa, were picked to join Mexico in the second round. For all the predictions and commentary ...

World Cup 2010 First-Round Predictions

  Paul Kennedy
Ridge Mahoney
Mike Woitalla
Group A
1. Mexico
2. Uruguay
1. France
2. Mexico
1. Mexico
2. South Africa
Group B
1. Nigeria
2. Argentina
1. Argentina
2. Greece
1. Argentina
2. Nigeria
Group C
1. England
2. USA
1. England
2. USA
1. USA
2. England
Group D
1. Ghana
2. Germany
1. Ghana
2. Germany
1. Germany
2. Ghana
Group E
1. Netherlands
2. Cameroon
1. Netherlands
2. Cameroon
1. Netherlands
2. Cameroon
Group F
1. Italy
2. Paraguay
1. Italy
2. Paraguay
1. Italy
2. Paraguay
Group G
1. Brazil
2. Ivory Coast
1. Brazil
2. Ivory Coast
1. Brazil
2. Ivory Coast
Group H
1. Spain
2. Chile
1. Spain
2. Chile
1. Spain
2. Honduras


Paul Kennedy: Four of the six African teams will advance to the second round. Only host South Africa and Algeria won't survive the group stage. The Desert Foxes will fall to the United States in Pretoria in a game that will send the Americans into the round of 16, where they will get a chance to avenge their 2006 loss to Ghana. Uruguay held France to a scoreless draw in 2002 and will send the Bleus on an early vacation in 2010. Portugal will also exit early, meaning that all European teams in Pot 4 will be eliminated in the group stage. On the other hand, South America will go five-for-five.

Ridge Mahoney: At the last World Cup played outside of South America and Europe, several top nations struggled to adjust, and powers such as France, Argentina and Portugal failed to get out of the first round in 2002. Though South Africa will be as different as was South Korea and Japan, players coming from Europe won't be jarred by a severe time change and will be accustomed to the wet weather typical of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Mike Woitalla: All 18 previous World Cup hosts have reached the second round, and so will South Africa. Remember, Bafana Bafana didn't look all that bad against Brazil and Spain in the Confederations Cup. They'll be accompanied from Group A by Mexico -- one of only six teams in the 2010 field that reached the knockout stage in each of the last four World Cups -- while France will repeat its debacle of 2002. An African World Cup it will be, with five of the continent's teams progressing, including Ivory Coast at Portugal's expense. My other long-shot to come through: Honduras edging Chile to make it three-for-three for Concacaf nations, including the USA, which will at least get a tie in its opener against England.



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