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The Cup Running Over


June 28, 2010 8:15 AM

Group C is Exposed

One benefit of the World Cup's second round is that it allows fans to assess which groups really were "groups of death" and, conversely, which were the easy ones. And already, we've learned one unfortunate truth.

Group C -- the USA's group -- really was a collection of overrated teams.

We've already written how the supporters of the USA and England tend to overrate their teams' chances more than any other nations on the world scene. And so it went this time too. In retrospect, neither team would have gotten out of Group D -- and maybe would have finished even lower than that. After all, Australia only lost out to Ghana on goal difference and Serbia was good enough at least on one day to beat the Germans.

What's striking is how similar the situations of the US and England are going ahead. Both are loaded with veterans in a game in which speed and youth seem to be the attributes needed most to do well at the Cup. Four years from now, barring major changes in the developmental approach of each, they will be in worse shape than they are now. The Germanys, Ghanas, and even Switzerlands of the world have a cadre of young players ready to move up. England and the US don't.

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