Monday, June 7, 2010
It's been four years since we've done this, but as we did in 2006 ahead of the World Cup in Germany, we here at YA are giving you our thoughts of what we think will transpire down in the South African winter. time, the staff was clearly hitting the sauce[endlink], as most picked the US to barnstorm into the quarters, or semis (our founder, however, nearly picked the tournament perfectly, causing many of you to send in hate mail of the Chicken Little variety prior to the tournament - leading to an unprintable nickname which has jokingly stuck amongst the rest of the staff...). This go-around, with a few exceptions, we are not as optimistic despite predictions of some quality individual play.

Following our prognostications, we invite you to offer your own by utilizing the comment section.

Andrew Vorce

US 1 - 1 England: A more than acceptable opening result for the US, but Wayne Rooney gets his first on the way to his golden ball award.

US 2 - 0 Slovenia :The USMNT midfield takes over, with Dempsey and Donovan leading the charge, but Jose Francisco Torres and Stuart Holden shine in a convincing win.

US 1 - 0 Algeria: The US face an organized Algeria team, but manage to get the game-winner and play bunker ball for the remainder of the game.

Outcome: Seven points is more than enough to push the US into the Round of 16, but they end up in second due to England's goal-scoring rampage on their Group C opponents. The US is forced to play Germany, who completely outclass the US en route to a 2-0 victory.

Breakout US player: Stuart Holden

Scariest Group C opponent: Wayne Rooney

World Cup champion: Spain

World Cup dark horse: South Africa

Arch Bell

US 1 - 1 England: A late US goal stuns the English and gives the Americans a lift heading into the Slovenia match.

US 2 - 2 Slovenia: The tendency to be frustrated by Eastern European squads comes home to roost yet again.

US 1 - 0 Algeria: A second half goal sends the US to the knockout round after a grueling and hard-fought battle.

Outcome: A solid five points gives the US a second round date with Germany and a rematch of the 2002 quarterfinal. As the great Gary Lineker once said, "Soccer is a game that starts with 22 players and Germany always wins..."

Breakout US player: DaMarcus Beasley

Scariest Group C opponent: Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra is as tough as they come.

World Cup champion: Brazil

World Cup dark horse: Serbia

Brian Sciaretta

US 0 - 3 England: US defense is badly exposed.

US 0 - 1 Slovenia: US again has possession but can't crack the defense.

US 1 - 2 Algeria: US dominates possession, but Algeria strikes quick on the counter

Outcome: US plays okay at times, but the defense is vulnerable to individual breakdowns. Then they are unable to breakdown opponents who bunker to protect their lead. England and Slovenia advance from the group.

Breakout US player: Jose Francisco Torres

Scariest Group C opponent: Wayne Rooney

World Cup champion: Brazil

World Cup dark horse: Denmark

Chad Winger

*US 1 - 4 England: Gooch is crippled, we have no left back to even jokingly attempt to stop Lennon or Wright-Phillips and our best striker scored one goal all season. Doomed.

*US 1 - 1 Slovenia: Like in the middle games of the past two World Cups, the US hang around despite immense pressure and manage a draw to keep them alive in the tournament.

*US 1 - 2 Algeria: Continuing yet another trend - this time going back to 1990 - the US come out flat as a pancake in the final group game and again come up short. Throw in the fact that Algeria has something to play for and that America is not the most popular nation in them parts, we lose and go home. Again.

Outcome: Three and out. Bob Bradley's tactical shortcomings and lack of a quality and match-fit defense does us in.

Breakout US player: Jose Francisco Torres

Scariest Group C opponent: Jonathan Bornstein.

World Cup champion: Holland

World Cup dark horse: Mexico

*Add 1.5 goals to opponent's score if Bornstein plays a single minute of the game.

Christopher Anderson

US 1 - 2 England: England grind out the win after struggling to find offensive rhythm and capitalizing on the shaky US defense. England strike first, followed by a US equalizer, but the English win it late.

US 2 - 1 Slovenia: US find their confidence and offensive stride with two goals thanks to midfield work from Jose Francisco Torres, but see their defense let in a last-minute goal.

US 2 - 0 Algeria: US walk over the demoralized Desert Foxes with relative ease, having now found their rhythm and confidence.

Outcome: US advance with a deserved six points and a second place finish, pitting them with group D winners Germany. Once again the Germans get the better of the Yanks with a 2-1 comeback victory. A promising cup comes to an end against stifling play from the lucky Germans, who again say that the US was the better team.

Breakout US player: Jose Francisco Torres

Scariest Group C opponent: Frank Lampard

World Cup champion: Brazil, yawn

World Cup dark horse: North Korea

Clint Waddell

US 0 - 0 England: In typical fashion, the English start cold and the US bunkers in the second half to take a point.

US 1 - 2 Slovenia: The US scores early but can't put away the Slovenians who score two in the last 10 minutes.

US 2 - 0 Algeria: The US stomp on the North Africans who exit the tourney with 0 points.

Outcome: US finish third behind England and Slovenia.

Breakout US Player: Edson Buddle. From zero to hero - with a name like Edson, he's got to be good.

Scariest Group C opponent: Milivoje Novakovic

World Cup champion: Germany

World Cup dark horse: Japan

David Smith

US 1 - 2 England : Wayne Rooney simply proves to be too much for the still-shaky US back line.

US 2 - 0 Slovenia : Reshuffling in the back and a stifling midfield performance leads to a quick recovery and convincing win.

US 1 - 0 Algeria: With both teams entering on three points and the Algerians at a slight disadvantage in goal differential, Bradley's conservative approach frustrates the opposition (and US fans) as his team grinds out a tense win.

Outcome: A strong six points is enough for second place and a date with surprise Group D winners Serbia. Grudge points aside, the US has huge problems with Serbia's height on set pieces, but the midfield has their best performance of the tournament in the 3-2 American win. Sadly, it comes to a crashing end against surprise package Uruguay, who reach their first semifinal in 40 years with a 3-1 quarterfinal beatdown.

Breakout US player: Jose Francisco Torres

Scariest Group C opponent: A stadium full of vuvuzelas drowning out communication in the back

World Cup champion: Brazil

World Cup dark horse: Uruguay

Edgar Zuniga

US 2 - 1 England: Someone's gotta stick their neck out for the US. England has suffered critical injuries, internal strife and haven't looked convincing in the run-up to the World Cup. Pressure? English fans demand World Cup glory or blood. However, the US will only go as far as the defense allows.

US 2 - 1 Slovenia: If the US comes out firing they can keep Slovenia from getting too comfortable. Otherwise, flip the score.

US 1 - 1 Algeria: With their pass to the second round secure, the US will do enough to keep from losing.

Outcome: US advance in first with seven points and face group D second place Australia. The US will get past Oz to face...Mexico, who will have defeated South Korea to get this far. The US will defeat Mexico again, reaching the semifinals, where they will hit a brick wall named Holland.

Breakout US player: Jose Francisco Torres[/b]

Scariest Group C opponent: Those damned vuvuzuelas that bore a hole into men's souls. Good luck to the US backline trying to communicate.

World Cup champion: Holland

World Cup dark horse: USA

Jack Rozier

US 1 - 0 England: The US absorbs pressure Confederations Cup style and make their only legitimate opportunity count.

US 0 - 2 Slovenia: After a defensive miscue, the US gives up a second while pushing for the tie.

US 3 - 1 Algeria: Biggest challenge for the US is escaping injury and suspension free.

Outcome: US finish second on goal difference behind England. However a favorable bracket sees the US through to the semis via a slugfest with Serbia and an unraveling Nigeria. Italy are still too tough to crack and the US falls after penalties. In the third place match the US performs admirably, but are overrun by Argentina's attacking prowess.

Breakout US player: Michael Bradley - he makes all the right decisions and bags an ugly, albeit crucial goal

Scariest Group C opponent: Wayne Rooney - he only needs a half-chance, even when he's less than 100%

World Cup champion: Brazil

World Cup dark horse: USA

John Kretlow

US 1 - 2 England: The US plays a brilliant first half and takes a stunning 1-0 lead into halftime. The English come out inspired in the second half though, and their constant pressure eventually yields two goals, sinking the Americans.

US 1 - 1 Slovenia: The US come out flat in this game, conceding a goal to the Eastern Europeans right out of the gates. The Slovenians battle hard to keep their lead, but the US comes up with an inspiring goal to keep them alive in South Africa.

US 2 - 0 Algeria: Nerves show in the first half, but a couple of second half replacements make the difference and push the US into the second round of the World Cup.

Outcome: Four points barely get the US through and earns them a date with the Germans in the second round. An inspired effort by the US gets them agonizingly close to a quarter-final birth, but Germany scores late and continues in South Africa.

Breakout US player: Clarence Goodson. The backline is not as healthy or fit as thought going into the tournament, and the Virginia native steps up big time.

Scariest Group C opponent: Wayne Rooney

World Cup champion: Spain

World Cup dark horse: Chile

Meghan Brennan

US 1 - 3 England: Our American boys are outplayed at every position and out-coached by Fabio Capello as the English extend their flawless play following an almost perfect qualifying campaign.

US 1 - 1 Slovenia: Lack of possession causes a US lead to crumble in an ugly, technical American game.

US 2 - 1 Algeria: Landon Donovan exhibits play worthy of his number 10 jersey as the US escapes group play by the hair of their chinny-chin-chin.

Outcome: US gets through with four points. England wins with ease.

Breakout US player: Robbie Findley, faster than the speed of light

Scariest Group C opponent: FA player of the year, Wayne Rooney

World Cup champion: Spain

World Cup dark horse: Ivory Coast

Nick Leyden

US 0 - 2 England: US never really threaten and gives up two cheap ones.

US 1 - 1 Slovenia: US score early, and Slovenia puts on serious pressure for the rest of the game. Good luck allows us to allow just one and secure a tie.

US 3 - 0 Algeria: An already eliminated Algeria plays frustrated, picks up a couple red cards and the United States coast to an easy victory.

Outcome: US advances as the second place team, finishing ahead of Slovenia on goal difference. In the second round we completely outplay Germany, but can't hold a lead and go down 2-1 after the Germans capitalize on two half-chances.

Breakout US player: Stuart Holden

Scariest Group C opponent: Rooney

World Cup champion: Brazil

World Cup dark horse: Mexico

Rich Fidler

US 1 - 2 England: The Americans' defense cannot keep it's Confederations Cup form

US 0 - 0 Slovenia: Hope for the Red, White and Blue as they get a point

US 2 - 0 Algeria: With nothing to play for, the Algerians go down to defeat

Outcome: On the last day the Americans advance thanks to goal differential and get a date with the Germans - although Donovan is brilliant against zee Deutsch, the defensive woes against England appear again and they fall 3-1 on a pair of late counters.

Breakout US player: Jose Francisco Torres

Scariest Group C opponent: Frank Lampard

World Cup champion: Argentina, and Maradona dons his birthday suit

World Cup dark horse: Mexico (it pains me to type that)

Trafton Kenney

US 0 - 1 England: The Americans start strong but England wears them down after halftime and finish with a late goal.

US 2 - 1 Slovenia: US bounce back well and survives a late comeback.

US 3 - 0 Algeria: A confident US team dominates possession against disorganized Algeria and ride a few early goals for the win.

Outcome: US makes it out of the group stage looking confident with six points but fall to Germany in the next round like it's 2002 all over again.

Breakout US player: Jose Francisco Torres

Scariest Group C opponent: John Terry

World Cup champion: Brazil

World Cup dark horse: Ivory Coast
Wednesday June 23, 2010 1:44 pm
Arch Bell right on the money. What are the lottery numbers for this weekend?
Tuesday June 8, 2010 5:33 pm
USA 3-2 over English. Americans largely control midfield, maintaining relentless attacking pressure on the ball and the English goal line throughout match. Americans demonstrate and display ample poise, individual and team technical ability, athleticism, creativity, discipline, unity, grit, and tenacity throughout match, and set tone for their entire tournament.

USA 4-1 over Slovenia. Americans continue to establish, build and refine their distinctive style with solid play all over the field throughout match.

USA 3-0 over Algeria. Americans again demonstrate they are serious players anywhere and anytime on the world stage as they steadily advance to semifinals, and perhaps the final.

Numerous breakout players, and the team as a whole, emerge, and command respect for US football, making their positve presence felt along with strong performances from current stalwarts.

World Cup Champions: Holland

Dark horses: USA and Mexico

It's tomahawk time. Let's get, go, and stay on the warpath all the way USA!

We are 305 million strong, and each and every one and all with you every step of the way.

Make us proud!
Tuesday June 8, 2010 2:45 am
A loss vs. England

Draw vs. Slovenia

Win over Algeria

USA barely makes it out of the group on GD. Outplays Germany but still ends up losing. Not a failure, but not really a success.

Breakout Player: Torres

Champs: Brazil

(All the above seems to be the consensus choice)

Dark Horse: Uruguay, they have to be the most underrated team. I see them in the quarters.

I agree that Bornstein has played terrible recently for the US but you guys don't know how bad I want to see him MOTM.
Alex Lozano
Tuesday June 8, 2010 12:39 am
I have to say that I TOTALLY agree with Edgar Zuniga's picks, word for word, in a perfect world & hope it comes true. But here's my more realistic thoughts:

USA 1-1 England: USA plays a very solid match & gets the equalizer late.

USA 2-1 Slovenia: With perhaps a little over-confidence brewing, USA falls behind & plays a medicore first half but turns it up in the second half & wins.

USA 2-0 Algeria: USA plays conservative & connects on the counter to win.

Outcome: USA finishes second, because England takes out their rage on Slovenia & Algeria, and loses to the Germans in the Round of 16...but outplay them again, like in 2002.

Breakout US Star: Jose Francisco Torres

Scariest Group C opponent: Wayne Rooney

World Cup champion: Spain

World Cup dark horse: Ivory Coast
Monday June 7, 2010 11:40 pm
US 10- 2 England. Bornstein scores 2 for England
US 5- 2 Slovenia: Bornstein scores 2 for Slovenia
US 0 - 3 Algeria: Bornstein scores all 3 and is ready for the Golden Ball.

Breakout US player: Bornstein. Real Madrid negotiated with Chivas USA a deal that sent Kaka & Ronaldo to Chivas for Bornstein

World Cup champion: New Zealand

World Cup dark horse: Brazil
Monday June 7, 2010 7:46 pm
England should be too much for US, but here's something to remember. Teams in the WC for the first time or first time in a long time often can't handle the pressure, so expect the US to win the next 2 games. We then face Germany and I don't think the Germans are as strong as in 2002 and the US is stronger than in 2002, so I expect a close game going to extra time/penalty kicks, could go either way. Go US. Don't bet against Brazil to take it all, they have the best back line and Europeans don't seem to do as well outside of Europe. My dark horse is the Netherlands.
Monday June 7, 2010 7:31 pm
USA 0-3 England - USA falls behind early and scrambles for any cohesion. England outclasses US in all aspects. Most viewed USMNT game ever in the US only to end horribly sending our country back 25 years.

USA 0-2 Slovenia - The US now under tremendous pressure give up two quick goals then Slovenia parks the bus, and the US's offense is non-existant.

USA 0-1 Algeria - Already eliminated, the US go down in flames and never score a goal to the embarrassment of the entire world. Donovan breaks leg on loose ball ending up on the pitch.

Outcome: Bob Bradley is let go. Worst US showing of all-time sets our country back another 25 years. MLS is disbanded, and soccer is officially banned by Congress. The USSF goes bankrupt, and we are embarressed to wear the US jersey.

Breakout US Player: Edson Buddle/LA Galaxy gets a nice contract offer by a descent team in Europe despite not scoring a goal.

Scariest Group C Player: Rooney isn't phased by Gooch's gimpy leg.

World Cup Champion: Mexico, steamrolls through knockout bracket and beats Spain 2-0 in the final.

Dark Horse: North Korea wins their group by poisoning other group teams in their hotel room service.

[Doomsday Scenario]
Monday June 7, 2010 6:08 pm
Many have Torres and Holden as breakout players, what's scary is both of them may not get much playing time. Bradley is a conservative bore, evidenced by Clark going the full 90 against Oz, and Bornstein continually getting minutes despite getting absolutely abused on defense and giving dangerous penalties.

I have a feeling the defense will come together if Gooch can go. Dolo/DeMerit/Gooch/Boca is an extremely experienced backline and if they can hold it down, the US can get out of group play. Also, Germany isn't assured to place first in their group.
Monday June 7, 2010 3:47 pm
I dont trust anyone who's picked Spain as the winners. Remember, the favorites never win the cup ;)

The tournament is gonna be played in the winter and at altitudes. Expect a lot of surprises.
Bob Humpinghorse
Monday June 7, 2010 2:30 pm
I love Phil's prediction! IJBOT that! OMFG!!!



Down with the bad guys and haters! Up with Bjork

Breakout player: Jose Francisco "GRINGO" Torres

Michael Bradley gets red card for punching lampard in the nether region.
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