The United States national soccer team enters the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a longshot to win, but with plenty of support from the home fans. The team is currently ranked 14th in the world, and has a somewhat favorable draw in Group C. Although the team will open up this weekend with a tough game against the Three Lions of England, Algeria (ranked 30th) and Slovenia (25th) give the US squad a great chance of advancing to the second round.
England also has several issues. Superstar David Beckham, who suffered a torn Achilles Tendon, will not play in his fourth World Cup. Beckham’s absence will not only be felt on the field, where he is an outstanding player, but off it, where he is one of England’s most veteran players and a leader. In addition, Theo Walcott, a member of the 2006 World Cup squad, was left off the team. The 21 year old will miss a valuable chance to gain experience as he will likely be a future mainstay of the Three Lions.
The United States also boasts one of its strongest squads of all time. Everton’s star goaltender, Tim Howard, will man the goal for the USA. Howard is a long time veteran of the English Premier League, and has seen many of the players in the Cup before. This invaluable experience will surely give the Americans an edge. In addition, young stars such as Edson Buddle and Jozy Altidore give the US speed, as well as excellent goal scoring ability.
Although the USA is a longshot to win the entire tournament, with a good draw (Slovenia and Algeria are both even longer shots to win, and England is in somewhat of disarray), they have a very good chance to advance to the second round or even the quarterfinals. So tune in this Saturday and watch as the USA takes its shot at history.