Saturday, July 13, 2013

Blame it on Rio

USA '94.  France '98.  Korea/Japan '02.  Germany '06.  South Africa '10.
Eight teams made it to all five of these FIFA World Cups.

Brazil '14.
But will they all make it to Brazil?

BrazilSince 1930Host - Qualified
GermanySince 1954Leading Group
ItalySince 1962Leading Group
ArgentinaSince 1974Leading Continent
SpainSince 1978Leading Group
South KoreaSince 1986Qualified
United StatesSince 1990Leading Continent
MexicoSince 19943rd Place, CONCACAF

Germany, Italy, and Spain lead in their European groups. If they hold their lead, they go to Brazil. If they finish 2nd, they advance to a two-legged playoff in which one European team advances, and one doesn't. (Four of them will join the nine group winners)

Argentina has clinched a top-five finish in South America. If they can clinch a top-four, they'll be the second South American team to clinch a berth in the World Cup (host always qualifies)

USA and Mexico are in the "Hex", the six teams in North & Central America (CONCACAF) who are fighting for 3.5 berths in World Cup '14. The USA leads, 2 points ahead of 2nd, and - more importantly, 6 points ahead of 4th. With four games to go, the USMNT should easily advance to Brazil.
Mexico...with three home draws and a total of 8 points, they're just one ahead of 4th place Honduras.  3rd place gets in automatically, 4th place has to go to a two-legged playoff, first at home, then finishing in New Zealand.

Next matches on August 14 in Europe

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