The Team: I will once again make my bias known right up front: I love the US Nats. Take that into account as you read the optimistic analysis below. I think we all know that no real fanatic can objectively gauge his own squad, but I am going to do the best I can. I think the Nats have more talent this time around than ever before, but their supposed “soft” draw in Group C (and it looks soft on paper) could end up being more of a minefield than a miracle.
The Cream: To best the rest of the world’s best, we will need our offensive impetus, Landon Donovan, to literally transcend his past accomplishments and deliver one of the most heroic soccer performances ever. If that doesn’t happen, we will need Clint Dempsey (aka “the Deuce”) to be at the right place at the right time (as he often is). We will need guys like Spector and Boca to play voracious defense in the back, and Tim Howard must be a wall in goal.
The Dream: I don’t really think the US will win it all, but I do like our chances better than I did back in 2006 when we received a terrible draw. What some people forget is that we tied Italy in 2006 (only team they didn’t beat). I think if we can avoid disappointing early on, we will build some serious momentum and make a run at the Cup. But, although I want to pick us to win it all, I know deep down that it’s a longshot. I place the odds the US wins the Cup at 33:1.
And – yes – I’m a fan and I’m being generous. But then again no one thought we’d dispatch Spain last summer…