US Embarrassed in World Cup Opener
Despite coming into the tournament ranked number five in the world, mostly thanks to playing against relatively weak competition in the Americas, Team USA was trounced in their opener in the 2006 World Cup.
It’s looking like another first round exit for the Red, White, and Blue. And they wonder why Americans don’t get excited about soccer.
UPDATE: Commenter Brandon Minich notes that the Czechs were ranked 2nd in the world, and thus should have beaten the 5th ranked USA team. A fair point; only Brazil is ranked higher.
Of course, this points to another reason why the World Cup is unlikely to cultivate much of an American fan base: Idiotic bracketing. There are 32 teams in 8 brackets. How on earth can the 2nd and 5th teams be in the same bracket, virtually guaranteeing one will be eliminated in the preliminary rounds?! Wouldn’t we expect teams 1-8 to be in separate brackets, with teams 9-16, 17-24, and 25-32 distributed accordingly to give the top seeds the best shot at advancing?