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How Americans Should Choose a World Cup Soccer Team

Posted June 14, 2010

As the soccer World Cup 2010 gets underway Americans might be thinking of picking a team to support. If for no other reason, it's something to do in the waning days of the NBA finals and before the baseball season really matters. Or you're thinking of what to eat for lunch. All Day Coffee is happy to provide you with a guide to which World Cup teams are likely to win in the finals.

Since Americans are generally an uncomplicated and jingoistic people, you might think you should root for America. That's all well and good, and will get you to the semifinals, at which point the country will be crushed by European or Latin American team with an actual soccer tradition. You need someone who's going to take it all the way. Let's just stop pretending that we have a chance and get back to cleaning that oil slick.

You can swiftly eliminate the continents of North America, Asia and Australia from the Winner's Circle. There are six African teams. The incredibly awesomely named Indomitable Lions of Cameroon could make it to the quarterfinals, but no further. This is further proof that Africa is cursed, no matter how much relief work Bono does for them.

You're looking at the the European and Latin American powerhouses: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Argentina. Add a random upstart, like South Korea, and there's your semifinal right there.

Notice that I eliminated England. Sorry. You burned down the White House during the War of 1812 and we're still a little annoyed, even though the Tea Party would probably encourage an encore performance.

Only seven nations have won the cup Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Italy, Germany and Uruguay. Yes, really. Uruguay is the name of a country. The most recent time a new nation has won was France in 1998 and Europe has an astonishing 13 qualifying teams. Spain is heavily favored, but they are sort of like the Mets in their ability to choke. Portugal also labors under this weight it doesn't matter how good you are if you haven't won it before. Or if you're England.

Italy's always a strong contender, and won in 2006 by penalty kicks. Nice job. You might as well give the gaudy golden statue for the refs.

Brazil has won the Cup more than any other nation, plus they have undoubtedly the coolest flag and their players all have one name like Sting, well not really like Sting because they're Portuguese names but their one drawback is that they're all superstars, and it's kind of like if you had cloned Kobe Bryant four times and expected the Five Kobes to win an Olympic basketball game.

As Americans we are constitutionally allergic to supporting the French, and Germany doesn't need our help. Argentina, we couldn't find on the map. Hint: it's near Uruguay, that country you didn't believe was a country.

There is only one place for America to throw its collective weight toward in FIFA 2010, and that is Nike. Yes, Nike, an all American company wins the World Cup hands down with their ads of joyful diversity, the dreams of championship and their shiny, shiny gold soccer shoes made exclusively from the insides of lost kittens.



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