By: Justin Holden
Okay so first of all before diving into this article let me just state for the record that yes, LitTube Channel has been slacking in terms of putting out YouTube videos in recent weeks. There are legitimate reasons behind this slowdown in production that I will not go into detail on. But rest assured, articles are still being put out and we will ramp up the videos soon.
I just wanted to write a brief article discussing the FIFA World Cup and my thoughts on this year’s event that is being hosted in Russia. First of all, allow me to vent about something. The United States did not qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Do you know how pissed off this makes me? We are talking about the most exciting professional soccer tournament and it only comes along once every four years. The last time the United States missed the World Cup main event was in 1986. Such a sad state American soccer has become.
We lost to Trinidad and Tobago 2-1, a team that at that point had already failed to qualify. And that result clinched the US men’s team staying at home for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Instead, we will be seeing Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama representing the CONCACAF group of countries in this year’s World Cup main event. It will be Panama’s first ever World Cup main event appearance. There is a lot the United States must do to get back on track and actually be competitive. The top two things in my opinion are scouting/developing the younger players and actually trusting them in the starting lineup. We’re never gonna win a tournament with an old team. The other important thing is working to change the culture within the United States. Our country just doesn’t give enough of a shit about soccer. We would kick ass in a World Cup of baseball, basketball, or american football. No doubt. But we need to improve our culture in terms of respecting the world’s number one sport.
A few results for 2018 World Cup are actually already in the books as of the writing of this piece. From Group A, Russia defeated Saudi Arabia 5-0 and Uruguay defeated Egypt 1-0. From Group B, Iran defeated Morocco 1-0 and Portugal tied Spain 3-3. From Group C, France defeated Australia 2-1 and Denmark defeated Peru 1-0. From Group D, Argentina tied Iceland 1-1 and Croatia defeated Nigeria 2-0. There are eight more games to be played for matchday one in the group stage. Of those games that are left, I believe Brazil vs. Switzerland is the must watch game.
Group E is, in my opinion, this year’s “group of death”. Brazil and Switzerland are both high quality teams and rightfully so favorites to advance out of the group stage. However, Serbia and Costa Rica are sneaky good teams in their own right. Under normal circumstances, they’d make for great dark horse candidates to go far in the tournament. But, it will be extremely difficult to advance out of this group given the quality of competition.
Group H seems to be the group with the lowest quality teams overall, although Group A is an honorable mention for this category as well. Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia, and Japan. None of those teams are powerhouses. Whichever teams advance from this group, I do not expect them to last much longer in the tournament. At least Group A has Russia and Uruguay.
Since the United States is not playing in 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, I have decided to root for another team. I am rooting for Switzerland this year. Why? Because they’re a high quality team that isn’t getting recognized as such, and I want to see them get the upset over Brazil for their opening game. Full disclosure: I am a Neymar hater. This is mostly because my cousin Miles is a huge fan of Neymar. But regardless, I want to see him and his country lose badly. Aren’t we tired of seeing Brazil go far in the World Cup tournaments anyway? I’d literally laugh my ass off if Brazil doesn’t advance from the group stage. An unlikely event, but one that is possible nonetheless.
You can keep up with the 2018 FIFA World Cup standings and results by copying and pasting the following link into your internet browser: