Final World Cup Predictions: A Clockwork Orange

 

 

Michael LeClair

The World Cup is fast approaching, with South Africa and Mexico kicking off the tournament in exactly 50 days. At that moment, the world will basically shut down for a month, entranced by the beautiful game.

Spain and Brazil have to be considered the prohibitive favorites to claim the title, though Spain’s recent injuries have to cause concern for their fans. Analysts all around the world will tell you why one of these two teams will win the World Cup, so I’m not going to bore you and do the same. Instead, I’ll tell you why Johannesburg will resemble Syracuse on July 11, and the whole world will be seeing orange.

Orange Crush

The Netherlands has won just one major title in its illustrious history, claiming the 1988 European Championship. Despite their remarkable talent, they have disappointed at the World Cup recently. Semi-finalists in 1998, they failed to qualify for the 2002 tournament, and only reached the second round of the 2006 World Cup.

The 2010 version of The Flying Dutchmen is, however, perhaps the most talented Netherlands team ever. The Dutch have six different players on their roster who have scored more than 10 goals for their country. The attacking pair of Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben is the most dynamic in the world, to which the defenses of Barcelona and Lyon will most certainly attest. Put these two in the midfield behind Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and you get a juggernaut in the offensive third of the field. The skill of the attack is rivaled only by the talent of the Dutch backline. In qualifying, the Netherlands gave up just two goals in eight matches, a video game-like average of 0.25 goals allowed per match. This Dutch team is still, somehow, severely underrated, and will be making noise late into

the tournament.

Join, or Die – USA Soccer

Of more personal interest will be the performance of the United States. After the team’s stunning performance in last summer’s Confederations Cup, expectations have never been higher for the Red, White and Blue. The Americans open the tournament on June 12 against England, a match that will be the most anticipated soccer game in our history.

The current crop of players is the best the United States has ever had, and Landon Donovan is arguably the best American outfield player ever. If he performs to his potential, he will be in the running for the tournament’s Golden Ball Award (MVP). Charlie Davies could be the team’s emotional inspiration, and Jozy Altidore has the ability to launch himself to superstardom. If results break the right way, and if the team stays disciplined, a U.S. appearance in the final is

not inconceivable.