The World Cup draw was announced early this morning (Korea time).
The States finds itself in the same bracket with Italy, Ghana, and the Czech Republic. Korea will be going against France, Switzerland, and a mystical land called Togo (which I believe is next to Narnia).
Knowing as much about soccer as the next American does (read: almost nothing), I'll follow the sage advice of the bookies and boldly claim that neither America nor Korea stand much of a chance of getting past the first round.
America will be thrashed by the obnoxious but good-looking Italians and will lose a close one to the obnoxious and less good-looking Czechs. They will get a measure of revenge against Ghana, but will still only win by one goal as it will take a while before they realize that black athletes outside the US tend to suck.
Korea will be thrashed by France to the delight of all Southern Europeans who want payback for World Cup 2002 'irregularities' in officiating. The Koreans will also fall to the peace-mongering Swiss, whom they played recently in Korea (it doesn't bode well if you only draw with a team in a 'must win' friendly game held on your home turf, IMHO). However, those Togons (Togoese? Togots? Togotons?) are going down hard!
Italy wins the World Cup!
I see Brazil falling to Italy in the final game. Brazil chokes when they play the big games in Europe (they got blanked by the French in 1998, for hell's sake). England chokes in the big games regardless of where they play. Germany is capable of choking on their home field (I'm going all the way back to the Munich Olympics on this one, so take that with a grain or two of salt), Argentina is, well, Argentina, and God is still punishing the French for being opposed to the Iraq war.
Wait a minute. On second thought, I'm going with France to take it all.
Fearless Prediction 2: Japan, who finds itself in the same division with Brazil, Croatia and Australia, will be outscored in their division 12 to 1 (the one goal coming from a ball accidently deflecting off an Australian defender's head into the the net).
Fearless Prediction #3: England will surpass the expectations of even the greatest cynics by drawing with Trinidad and Togago. Beckham will particularly suck in that game.
Fearless Prediction #4: Ronaldo will keep his World Cup streak alive as the ugliest player on the field.
Speaking of his Royally Ugly One, here are a few pictures to remind us that soccer is not a real sport played by real men.
8-1 Argentina, Italy
20-1 Czech Republic
50-1 Croatia, Ukraine
66-1 Ivory Coast, Poland
100-1 Serbia&Montenegro, U.S.
125-1 Australia, Ecuador
150-1 Japan, Paraguay
300-1 South Korea, Tunisia
400-1 Angola, Togo
500-1 Costa Rica, Iran
750-1 Saudi Arabia