First and foremost, it will feel weird that my country will not be participating in the World Cup. While they should be there, they deserve not to be with the way the players played and the coaches coached. It was a disaster and I am sad that I cannot root for the U.S. in the World Cup, but needless to say I do look forward to seeing the games in the tournament. That being said, even without my home country in the World Cup, it not only feels weird to see some other nations not participating, but it feels weak.
There are some notable squads that did not qualify for the World Cup like Ghana and Chile, but there were two other powerhouse nations like Italy and the Netherlands to not make it. In fact, not even seeing the Ivory Coast or Wales (especially with how strong of a showing they had in the 2016 Euros) in the World Cup is a bummer. It also raises whether if World Cup qualifying should be changed. While I would prefer the top 32 nations in the world to make the tournament, the system is fair. Those teams I mentioned who got knocked out didn’t deserve to be in the tournament simply because they didn’t play well enough too. And that’s a shame. I would like to see Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal play in this tournament. Gareth Bale should be in there. Even Christian Pulisic should be playing, but alas, none of them are and because of that I feel like this might be the worst World Cup to ever be assembled.
When I looked at all the groups, none of them, and I mean none of them, looked like a clear “Group of Death.” And there are too many groups like Group D in which Argentina is clearly favorited to win and it’s a free for all for the second team to get out with no clear favorites. While this could become the most dramatic World Cup, the overall quality is low. The group that I will be watching is Group F consisting of Mexico, Germany, Sweden, and South Korea as that might be the closest one to being the “Group of Death,” however, Germany is the clear favorite to win. The quality is simply not there. I mean the “Group of Death” with USA, Germany, Portugal, and Ghana in the 2014 edition was so strong that any of those teams had a realistic shot of advancing, but also even winning the group. Without a doubt all four of those squads were so good they could have won in another group or at least advance with ease especially if it was this World Cup. That was a very difficult group, the toughest I’ve ever seen. However, there were two other groups in that World Cup like Group B with Spain, Netherlands, Chile, and Australia, and also there was Group D with Uruguay, England, Italy, and Costa Rica. Like holy moly those are hard groups too.
I love watching soccer and I look to seeing how competitive it is as it’s the best competition in the sport, but this year might not be as exciting as the ones before. While it will be easy for me to watch it as I enjoy the sport a lot, it will be weird not seeing my home country in the competition. But in terms of the quality, I might not be as excited for it as everyone is usually every four years.