All eyes will be on Cape Town, South Africa this Friday when the draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is made(noon, live on ESPN2).
The United States — currently ranked 14th in the world — will be hoping for a favorable draw, but it is more likely they will face tough opposition after the four pots were finalized today (Wednesday).
The seeded teams include Spain, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Holland, England, Argentina and host nation South Africa in Pot A.
The remaining 24 teams are divided into three pots based mainly on geographical factors.
The U.S. is in pot 2 with Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Honduras.
Pot 3 features five African and three South American teams, while the eight remaining European teams are in Pot 4.
Most U.S. fans would probably be grateful for a group including South Africa, Uruguay/Algeria and Serbia/Slovenia. Not so welcome would be something along the lines of Brazil, France/Portugal and Cameroon.
Such a scenario would have Bob Bradley’s men facing teams all ranked higher in what would invariably be labeled the “Group of Death.”
Whoever the U.S. is teamed with, it will be hoping for better fortunes than in Germany in 2006, when it crashed out in the early stages after losing to the Czech Republic and Ghana, and tying with eventual winners Italy.
Pot 1 (seeds) — South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Holland, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England.
Pot 2 (Asia, Oceania and North/Central America) –Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Honduras.
Pot 3 (Africa and South America) — Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay.
Pot 4 (Europe) — France, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia, Denmark, Slovakia.