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Mike Woitalla's World Cup Predictions
by Mike Woitalla, June 11th, 2014 2:13AM

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TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014

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By Mike Woitalla
(@MikeWoitalla)

1. Will the USA get out of Group G?

Yes. Never has a U.S. team entered the World Cup with this kind of momentum. Within in the last two years: a record 12-game win streak, qualifying with two games to spare, a Gold Cup title, a sweep of its three send-off games. The USA ties or beats Ghana. Against Portugal, coming off a loss to Germany, the USA succeeds with counterattacks. The USA ties Germany, which has already clinched first place.

SA World Cup Previews:
Mike Woitalla: Group A
Ridge Mahoney: Group B
Mike Woitalla: Group C
Ridge Mahoney: Group D
Paul Kennedy: Group E
Mike Woitalla: Group F
Paul Kennedy: Group H

2. Who will win the World Cup?

Since it won its last, Argentina has entered the last five World Cups as a favorite but folded. But in neighboring Brazil it takes the role of spoiler -- and its talent is as impressive as ever. Its route to the final on the right side of the bracket is less arduous than that of Brazil, Spain or the Netherlands, Italy or England. And when it meets Brazil, the ghost of Maracanazo plays in its favor.



3. Who will be the World Cup MVP?

Even if we thought Cristiano Ronaldo was a 100 percent, Lionel Messi has the stronger supporting cast. Diego Costa, if healthy and Spain goes far, will score a lot of goals. But Messi is the most likely to lift the Golden Ball.

4. What will be the storyline of the World Cup?

The Brazilians' discontent with their government's handling of this event will legitimately linger long, but on July 14 the reports will read that the people of Brazil made sure the world's greatest soccer country delivered a wonderful World Cup.


7 comments
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 11, 2014 at 9:49 a.m.
    I disagree on Diego Costa being the key for Spain...he's been quite mediocre in their qualifiers. For Spain, it's a whole team effort which is their engine of success. As for the USMNT, stats mean nothing in this game; it's the readiness and performance that means everything.

  1. Thomas Fouce
    commented on: June 11, 2014 at 12:01 p.m.
    U. S. team is entering the World Cup with momentum? Did I miss something? A semi-fit Cristiano Ronaldo will still shred our poor defense. We'll need to score 3 or 4 goals to have a hope and I don't see that happening.

  1. frank marin
    commented on: June 11, 2014 at 12:56 p.m.
    I agree that this is the most momentum the US has had heading in to the World Cup, but that's about all I agree with in the assessment of the potential success of the USMNT. I only wish I knew this guy to make some bets! I do think Klinsman is an excellent strategist and really hope that US Soccer is not stupid enough to get rid of him if we do have a bad showing as he has been clear that his strategies are longer term but Americans always want immediate gratification. We have NO chance of tying Germany unless they all fall down and get injured. Ronaldo is much healthier than people seem to think he is and, though I don't think Portugal is very strong in this tournament, they have a number of other players that are better, stronger and play at higher levels than the US players. We are way too inconsistent of a team, but luckily so is Ghana. I think we can tie or beat them and manage a good goal differential against Portugal but we have to focus on more than solely stopping Ronaldo and counterattacking. There are a few other dangerous players and all it takes is one free kick from almost anywhere on the offensive 3rd of the field for Ronaldo to hurt us. Did I mention we have no chance against Germany?!

  1. Bill Me
    commented on: June 11, 2014 at 5 p.m.
    If Kilns is planning for the future and not this world cup why not more younder players and why not more older guys out like Beasley??

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: June 11, 2014 at 9:37 p.m.
    Frank M -- totally agree especially regarding JK. Mike W -- hard to believe your analysis of the US prospects when your comments about JK's performance have been so consistently negative! Why the turn-around? Did you draw the short straw and have to predict success in the first round? Bummer!

  1. David Mozeshtam
    commented on: June 12, 2014 at 6:50 a.m.
    Frank M -- why is it that we have NO chance of tying Germany now, but we almost did, and frankly outplayed them, in 2002? Isn't today's team supposed to be more talented and much deeper than the one in 2002? One of my biggest fears is that Klinsmann's stays as the national team coach after the WC and continues ruining the team.

  1. James Madison
    commented on: June 17, 2014 at 12:33 a.m.
    Having defeated Ghana, a tie with Portugal should put the USA through, as Portugal is likely to do no better than a tie with Ghana and both Ghana and the USA are likely to lose to Germany.


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