By Tiger Fan
As we reach the summer lull for Mizzou sports, I figured it might be time to expand my coverage to include some other sports. And quite frankly, the sport I’m most qualified to evaluate is soccer. So, without further Adu, I present my 2006 World Cup preview (while sporting my Team USA Oguchi Onyewu jersey, of course).
First and foremost, let’s take a look at the home side. The
When the official roster for the men’s national team was named earlier this month, it didn’t contain a lot of household names. That’s actually good news because it means that most of the players are coming from premier leagues in
Kasey Kellar, Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann
With 91 international appearances and 44 shutouts, Kellar is the senior member of a talented group. Howard and Hahnemann both play in the English Premier League while Kellar tends the net in the German Budesliga. Look for Howard, the former goalie for world power Manchester United, to get the start as Kellar is beginning to show his age.
Chris Albright, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Jimmy Conrad, Cory Gibbs, Eddie Lewis, Oguchi Onyewu, Eddie Pope
Albright and Pope are the best-known names on this list because they both play in the MLS, but neither is likely to start come tournament time. Five of the other six players play in top European leagues and those players have garnered a lion’s share of the caps in recent years. Lewis, Cherundolo and Bocanegra are all likely starters. The wildcard of the group is young Onyewu, who goes by the nickname “Gooch.” Onyewu is a 6’2” monster in the backfield that is just 24 years old and still getting better. Right now, he is playing Standard de Liege in
DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni, John O’Brien, Ben Olsen, Claudio Reyna
Reyna is the captain of Team
Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson, Brian McBride, Josh Wolff
McBride, with 90 international appearances, is probably the only guaranteed starter in this group. In all likelihood, the other spot will go to Johnson or Wolff, but don’t be surprised if Ching gets a shot as well. All four have had success scoring goals at the international level.
Arena has the longest tenure of any coach at this year’s World Cup, dating back to his hiring in 1998 after Team
Unfortunately, given Team
So if I don’t think the
Here’s how I think the tourney plays out (winner of group listed first, then runner up):
Round of 16:
Germany over Sweden, Mexico over Netherlands, Croatia over Czech Republic, Spain over France, Costa Rica over Sweden, Argentina over Portugal, Brazil over Italy, Korea over Tunisia