Thursday, March 31, 2011

Preview: Group D

*We're in the final week run-up to the 2011 WCP Cup and it's time to get the tournament predictions in order. I'll cover Groups A, B, C and D on a different day throughout the week, and get to the quarterfinals, semifinals and final on Friday. For Saturday, the first day of the tournament, I'll have an interesting surprise post.*

The Contenders: The games for Group D are going to mirror playoff games in terms of quality, and only the teams that are toughest mentally and physically will get through. Germany, Poland and Canada all fit that mold and it will be a battle between these three for overall supremacy. Germany and Poland will get to go early as they face each other on April 3rd at 8 p.m., while Canada faces Poland a weak later on the 10th at 6 p.m. Canada vs. Germany on April 17th at 8 p.m. should decide the group. Except...... Germany gets one more game. The very next day, on the 18th, Germany gets to face Scotland. And just like in 2010 when Germany pummeled the weak Scots 12-1, the Germans can ensure they have the best goals-for at the end of two weeks. (Poland's final game is the 16th against Jamaica, so Germany plays TWICE after Poland is done).

The Challengers: Five teams in this group are good, but Jamaica and Ukraine aren't quite on the same level as the first three. Jamaica hasn't made the playoffs since its semifinal appearance in 2007 and the defense and keeper will ensure that stays the same. Plenty of goals in every game means tons of excitement though so make sure Jamaica's contests are in your calendar. Ukraine is going to succumb to being a good team, but not a very good or great team. While they have many Yorkton players, they don't have Benno, and that really makes all the difference in the world.

The Pretenders: If you're keeping score at home then you already know that the only team remaining is Scotland. I feel bad for the Scots because this is a rebuilding year and getting continuously destroyed is not a good way to build optimism or team morale. I sincerely hope that the young players can somehow find a way to stay motivated and can put in a good, quality effort against Germany in the final game. That would be a good way to go out on a high note.

Predicted Order of Finish
1. Germany
2. Poland
3. Canada
4. Jamaica
5. Ukraine
6. Scotland


Anonymous said...

I would switch Jamaica with Poland in your 1st grouping there, then you would be correct

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment above. Without Brett poland will struggle to find the net. Jamaica will be strong this year.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree...I would put Jamaica in the contenders over Poland from what I saw. Jamaica has a little bit of a different style than the other teams in this pool so it's tough to comapre apples to apples with them.

As for Scotland getting pummelled by Germany (and Jamaica) last year...they had that young kid that was their back up in both of those games..he was a very weak GK. While I'm sure it wouldn't have made a difference in the win/loss column, those scores might have been a little more respectable and wouldn't have hit double digits if they had their regular keeper in those games.

They'll still be in pretty deep this year becuase every team will be pushing hard for goals and Scotland just isn't on that same level. IMO a 3-2 record alone may not be good enough to get out of this group. 4 of the teams in this group will be very competitive with each other (and possibly 5 if Ukraine can manage without Benno) so their games against Scotland will could be the deal breaker if they don't score a ton of goals. Totally agree with you...hope the young guys (and old) can keep motivated enough to stay checked in for the whole tournament.

I think this pool is not going to come down to who plays best, it's going to come down to who makes the least mistakes. When you have this much talent in one group, if you make a mistake you WILL pay for it.

Anonymous said...

how did canada's exhibition game go tonight?

Anonymous said...

Canada won 6-0

Anonymous said...

I think Canada and Germany are coming out of this group. If any team has another chance it would be Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

who thinks jamaica is going through now?? lol