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06/11/2014

Two experts weigh in on The World Cup & USMNT

FRISCO, Texas - Having been called a "Know it All" and pretentious wind bag who think he knows everything, it is with great sadness and humility to have to find an expert. Alas, the World Cup and futbol is not The Big Mac Blog's forte.

In an effort to satiate and enlighten the masses and the soccer ignorant, my travels took me to Frisco, Texas and FC Dallas to find a pair of experts to talk #WorldCup.

1174997037_0Expert No. 1: FC Dallas midfielder Peter Luccin
Credentials: He's 35. From France, and he has extensive international experience. He also speaks French

Expert No. 2: FC Dallas defender Stephen Keel
Credentials: He is 31, from Colorado, is a pro, and has extensive experience in the US system.

Who will win? 
Luccin: Brazil. They are at home. They have a very good team, and they have a player like Oscar. I think this year they have to win. They are playing at home. All of the people are waiting for this World Cup.
I have two favorite teams - Brazil and Spain, again. Spain is Spain. I prefer Brazil.

Keel: If I was a betting man, Brazil playing at home. I don't think a European team has won outside of the continent. Unless something catastrophic happens, it's Brazil, I'll say Brazil over USA in the Finals, 1-0.

The head coach of the USMNT, Jurgen Klinsmann, said it's unrealistic for the U.S. to win the World Cup. Do you agree?
Keel: It's the U.S. mentality of us against the world. I know there is a lot of focus on who is not there, but there should be more focus on who is there. The more people doubt the U.S. team and the team does bond together and you have seen that in years past that the U.S. is capable of making noise in the World Cup.
I expect us to get out of the group. 

Keel-stephen0421_6229What about England, France or Italy?
Luccin: Those teams can go far in the World Cup but it's going to be hard. France is a new team with new players. They are young players. I don't know if France is ready.
England, every time same thing. We are waiting for the selection of this team. Me? I'm disappointed in the defense from England.

Where is the U.S. in relation to breaking into the higher echeleon of teams?
Luccin: It's hard because the U.S. does not have too many players playing in Europe. Those are the best players with the best leagues in the world. I'm sorry, for this World Cup, I don't think the U.S. will get to the next round.

In the U.S.' group, which is the best team?
Luccin: For me, Germany is the best and Portugal is the second best. It's the hard group for the USA. I don't know if the U.S. can win one game.

Are the U.S. fans' expectations of this team, we're here that's good enough?
Keel: Now we are expected to qualify for the World Cup. The expectations are rising; it's not just good enough to get in. Now it's getting to the point where we expect to get out of the group stage. Have we gotten to the point where we should get to the semis and finals? No. But we are trending to that.

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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