June 13, 2006

World Cup - Group E overview

Not getting a result against the Czech Republic really hurt our chances of advancing through the group stage (only the top 2 of four advance). The minimum number of points that the USA need is 4. To achieve four points we must tie and win in our next two games. A Loss all but eliminates us from contention (if Ghana beat the USA, and USA beat Italy, and the Czech beat Italy and Ghana, there would be a three-way tie for 2nd place, which would be broken by goal differential - not in our favor at the moment.)

Best-Case Scenario: (realistically)

- The USA win both matches, giving us 6 points and 2nd place in the group.
- The Czech win their remaining two games, giving them 9 points and 1st place.
- (If the Czech lose to Ghana, the US and Czech would be tied for 1st place, given the US would
beat Italy and Ghana.)
- (If Italy were to beat the Czech, Italy would have 6 points as well)

"2nd-Best" Scenario:

- The USA tie Italy and beat Ghana, giving us 4 points. (A 3-0 or 4-0 win against Ghana would
be helpful, but that is not likely.)
- The Czech win their remaining two matches. (vs. Ghana, vs. Italy)
- The Czech need to win their match against Italy by at least 2 goals to help us out in the goal
differential area.
- The USA and Italy tie for 2nd place with 4 pts. each. The USA having thumped Ghana 3-0 and tied Italy 1-1, and the Czech having beaten Italy 2-0, this would level goal differential. We need an extra goal somewhere.

It will be interesting to see what takes place. It could get very exciting.