What’s that? You’re concerned? You’re concerned that this java driven jive [holy alliteration] isn’t going to be completed before the beginning of the great tournament…EVER!?!?
Well guess what?
Where am I sitting?
What am I doing?
What am I thinking about?
Keep reading to find out below!
Breakfast Blend: Brazil [Brasil], Columbia, Mexico
You know what Breakfast Blend is? Nor do I…but I know this, as a personal favorite in the morning [shocking], it has a strong, acidic nature to it. A brew of bean common of Latin America. It’s a slap to the taste buds, a wake up call, and a reminder that the coffee controls you, not vice-versa. Behold, these teams are frightening, whether being the veterans of the game, or being the unknown oddities, fear Latin America, fear this brew…
Making Their Own Name:
When the name Columbia is brought up in World Cup thoughts throughout the world, the same concept of pain and sorrow runs deep in not just the people of Columbia, but in soccer lovers around the world. Columbia [men] came into the ’94 World Cup with high expectations, when I say high, I’m talking about winning the entire thing. However, things took a horrific turn for the Columbian team with a loss to Romania [yes, Romania], and a frustrating loss to the American’s [trust me, losing to the US in the men’s game is like losing to…the US in the men’s game defines that pretty well…] with an own goal not only cost the team their opportunity, because of other illegal actions it actually ended the life of one of their star players; Andres Escobar.
Since then the men’s Columbian team has made little noise, especially with teams such as Brasil and Argentina sitting at their back door. However, a new group of renegades of the tropical country has stepped up for them.
Enter Columbia’s Women’s National Team. For the first time ever, similar to Equatorial Guinea, the women’s team will be inside the world cup. However, unlike E.G, Columbia needed a little luck on her side to get in. Columbia was the runner-up in the South America Women’s Championships [behind Brasil]. They loss to Brasil, but put up wins against Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentine. Chile stumbled at the end, and before they knew it, Columbia was heading to the big game.
Columbia, like another team across the world, rely primarily on a strong youth core, but by youth…we’re talking not old enough to vote in the US. With 5 goals during qualifying to her name, Yorely Rincon will be the focal point as the lead midfielder for the crew.
Final Take: They’re new, they’ve got some luck on their side, but between the USA and Sweden, it could be a hard spot for them to get out of [though the nay-sayers say the US will fall to Columbia].
Update: Via Women’s Soccer United [as always], starting GK for Columbia, Paula Forero has picked up a left knee injury in a friendly and will be out of Germany.
If you would have told me Mexico would be in the World Cup, I probably would not have been surprised, even after getting smacked around by the US in the snow.
Then the US lost, then Mexico took second place in CONCACAF to Canada, and all of sudden the country started to buzz about itself. It started with just the 2-1 win over the US, anyone who is considered the underdog [22nd rank compared to 1st rank in that match] has plenty to be thrilled with. Make no mistake, Mexico is a very dangerous team in this years cup. Not only are they bringing in the ammo of knocking out a major country in play [we have to all admit, smacking around the US is impressive, regardless of your thoughts of the yanks], but it is their pool that we also find how much possibility they have: New Zealand, England, and Japan. If Mexico plays the way they played against the US [which is always a possibility with teams who thrive off those memories], they will romp through New Zealand and dismantle Japan. The question becomes how they fair against England. If you’re making notes of which games that could be a ‘must see’, mark this possibility. A Mexico/England match could lead to a CONCACAF championship showdown of Canada/Mexico with a taste of England/Germany, OR Mexico/Germany and England/Canada. If Mexico wants to advance [which is a no brainer], they will aim to win out their group stage and hope for a Canada meeting. A Germany meeting early could mean a quick exit.
Let’s see them in group play first.
If there is one person to watch, it is the young GK, Cecilia Santiago. After watching her form earlier this month, this 16 year old is setting up to be a global must see. Saying she sees time on the big stage, be prepared. This girl came to play.
Final Take: Japan/FIFA Analysis Fan Group: FORGET YOU! I know that Japan is technically the highest ranked team in Group B, but trust me, technical moves can be over played by experience [more on this later].
That Familiar Cup:
I love seeing my parents, they don’t drink Starbucks [I do]. They drink old fashioned coffee from the grocery store [Folger’s Coffee]. It isn’t fancy, but it is familiar, it’s that cup that reminds me of home, peace, and relaxation. It’s the cup everyone knows all too well. It only makes sense that, that familiar cup belongs to Brasil.
Do I really have to do a write-up on this?
After falling short of glory in the ’08 Olympics, and sweeping out everyone else in the ’10 South America Women’s Championship, Brasil is on track and set to steal, kill, and destroy [not so much, but they really do want to win]. Of course, attention immediately goes the 24 year old native, Marta [FOUR TIME FIFA PLAYER OF THE YEAR!]. However, interestingly enough, Marta does not have the ‘hardware’ from the World Cup. Could this be their year? Very much so. With Christiane and Marta together, and the fact that the national team reflects that of the club team Santos [including their head coach, Lima Kleiton], 2011 could be the magic year for Brasil. In many ways Brasil has an ‘easier’ group than many with Australia, Equatorial Guinea, and Norway. Norway could be the challenge, but the difference of game play of South America [flashy and fast] compared to the folks up north [structure, lacking the ‘ooo and ahh’ factor], it could be a landslide [you laugh now]. As curious as I am to see the little folks of E.G, I fear for their safety come time against Brasil. As for Australia? This is one of those moments that youth could help or hurt the group. I would look for Brasil to make the clean sweep of Group D and set up for a strong run close to, if not all the way to the championship.
Final Take: What more do you truly need to know about this team? They’re the real deal. They’re not just Marta. They’re not just Christiane. They’re not just Lima. They’re experienced and they’re hungry.
Overall of the Breakfast Blend: A few percentages for you:
100% chance I’ll be sipping this for the early morning games in USA time.
80% chance someone from this group is going home with some serious hardware.
Be very fearful world, this could one, if not, the most dangerous group of countries in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
P.S. Curious about my favorite blend? My number one? What’s my cup? Or my team? Or my bean? Huh? Check me out over at Twitter: @CoachDaugherty