The Group of Opportunity

It could have been boring, mundane, even uneventful. It could have been straightforward, unexciting, deserving of a shrug of the shoulders and a “meh.” A second consecutive kind World Cup draw for the U.S. Men’s national team, this time perhaps in the “Group of Life” with Switzerland, Ecuador and France, may have provided more room for comfort and confidence for American fans ahead of June, but may as well have offered less to truly capture the imagination of the neutral.

What the United States - as well as Germany, Portugal, and Ghana - have gotten instead, if not the toughest group in Brazil 2014, is the most drama-filled pairing of them all. For a spectacle that comes just once every four years, Friday’s draw at the Costa do Sauípe Resort in Bahia provided three match-ups that are truly worth the wait.

As Jozy Altidore said after the draw, “this isn’t the Group of Death, but a Group of Opportunity.”

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