Sunday, December 8, 2013

World Cup final draw thoughts

The reality is beginning to set in - Friday's World Cup draw probably couldn't have gone much worse for the United States.

Having to jump into group play with Germany, Ghana and Portugal is serious business.

The world will now spend the next several months dissecting the groups and the road to a championship, but for now let's focus on the USMNT's "group of death" draw.

It's obviously not ideal - I pounded my fist down when I saw Honduras come up in the group with Switzerland and Ecuador. Now that would've been a nice draw, with all due respect to those countries, as opposed to Germany, Ghana and Portugal.

Here's the thing, though: If we're ever going to take that next step as a soccer nation, don't we have to perform against teams like this on stages like these? There's no better time to do that than next summer in Brazil.

It was encouraging to hear how U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann approached the group in interviews, essentially stating, "Bring it on." Not that he wouldn't anyway, but it was nonetheless nice to hear.

I'll break down the World Cup much more in this space and elsewhere in News-Herald coverage in the coming months, but for now let's leave it at this:

Instead of a nasty draw being an indictment, let's make it an opportunity instead.

- Chris Lillstrung | @CLillstrungNH


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