Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bob Bradley. If he isn't already ...

He's two games away from becoming a legend in Egypt.

With their 1-0 road win against Mozambique The Pharaohs sealed one of 10 spots in Africa's final-round playoffs that award the confederation's five spots in the World Cup.

Egypt's last World Cup was Italy 1990.

Mohamed Salah, 21, scored in the 42nd minute. The FC Basel winger scored his first goal with the team in Bradley's debut.

After taking a perfect 15 points from five games, Egypt wins Group G and advances to the final round where it will face one of the other nine group winners. The procedure for the final-round draw is yet to be confirmed, but the first legs will be played Oct. 11-15 and the second legs will take place Nov. 15-19.

CAF teams advancing to final round
Ethiopia (Group A), Tunisia (Group B), Ivory Coast (Group C), Egypt (Group G), Algeria (Group H)

Teams still in the proverbial hunt
Ghana and Zambia (Group D), Congo, Burkina Faso and Gabon (Group E), Nigeria and Malawi (Group F), Libya and Cameroon (Group I), Senegal and Uganda (Group J)

One of these teams will be scouted very hard by Bradley. And yes, there's a decent chance the US and Egypt could end up in the same group in Brazil if both qualify.

- Jacob Klinger


jon said...

Unfortunately, they have to wait until September for the draw. And looking at the FIFA rankings, it doesn't seem likely they'll be one of the seeded teams (which is too bad since the more informative SPI has them #4 in Africa). I assume that's because they didn't play in the ACN?

Unknown said...

There are a couple things to keep in mind there.

FIFA and CAF can do the seeding however they want. But assuming it's rankings, Egypt's recent wins will help.

More importantly, of the 14 teams ahead of Egypt, four are already eliminated. Of those remaining 10, at least at least three and as many as five won't make it.

Ethiopia's in and well below Egypt. Senegal and Uganda are both ranked lower, too.

So assuming there's two pots, all the calculating I just did is correct and the rankings are the basis for the draw and similar when it happens, Egypt can at best be the last seed.

ACN definitely hurt them.

But hey, Bradley's got scouting reports on Ghana and Algeria.

jon said...

From the FIFA press release on Saturday: "The five best-placed sides in the 12 September 2013 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be seeded for the draw."

There are 5 higher ranked teams (the nearest is 100 points clear of Egypt) that are currently poised to win their groups: Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Ghana/Zambia, Algeria, and Nigeria. The rankings prognosticator (yes, that exists, heh) on predicts Egypt will move up approximately 50 points after these 2 recent wins. So it's gonna be very close if they're gonna move into that last seeded spot. It'll definitely give them motivation to win their final group game in September.

Unknown said...

Thanks Jon.

Even the best teams in Africa are plenty vulnerable in this format. So while I wish the best for Bradley's team in the seeding and realize its importance, I'm also just psyched to watch however it plays out.

jon said...

Egypt's best hope for seeding is probably for Nigeria to stumble, but all they need is a draw at home against Malawi to advance.

And yeah, I agree it should be enthralling and I'm certainly not writing Egypt off regardless of who they end up drawn against.

Unknown said...

This is looking irresponsibly ahead, but say Bradley gets Egypt to the WC and puts on a respectable performance - a few points, depending on the opposition. What happens next?

Carl said...

He may finally get a chance in Europe. I don't think he will ever coach big club, but if you are a club that simply wants to stay in a top division, he'd be a good choice. He's pragmatic, smart, and understands how to manage an under-resourced team. He almost always wins the games his teams should and occasionally will win some they shouldn't.

I think someone would take a chance.

dikranovich said...

knowing what a history buff senior Bradley is, id say he is a solid bet to take over at Nottingham forest. you take that team back to the top league in England and maybe get into Europe, now that would be an incredible story, yet the coach still has a nice story to write with the Egyptian national team.

Lampard in the End Zone said...

back to left field with you, dicky ran-o-vich.

J.D. Springer said...

I know I'm not the only one who had issues with some of Bob's roster and substitution decisions as US MNT coach -- as well as the horrific starts to so many matches -- but the guy has never been anything but a class act and a total professional. Charisma? No. Guts and heart? In spades. His kid comes by it honestly.

He and Egypt making it to Brazil would be the stuff of legends.

dikranovich said...

mr lampard, id like to give you a little history lesson on baseball. most players bat right handed and tend to pull, rather than push their shots. what does all this mean you ask?, it means that left field is a most important position. right field is the position of least importance.

Greg Seltzer said...

1 - Most *good* hitters hit to all fields, and many of the best are lefthanded anyway.

2 - Right fielders are far more likely to have guns for arms and range.

You can't just say stuff. Many left fielders are very poor fielders.

dikranovich said...

well the right field line at fenway is shorter than the left field line, which is host to the green monster.

TrueCrew said...

Going to be tough for Egypt to get a seed. Though September games, some friendlies, and Nigeria's Confed Cup results will all impact.

Here are the predicted FIFA rankings for next month, as of today.

1. Ivory Coast (Group C) 1009.
2. Algeria (Group H) 730
3. Tunisia (Group B) 627
4. Egypt (Group G) 543
5. Ethiopia (Group A) 381

Among the current leaders:
D: Ghana 830; Zambia 554
F: Nigeria 735; Malawi 310
I: Libya 527; Cameroon 517
J: Senegal 497; Uganda 448
E: Congo 396; Burkina Faso 656; Gabon 459.

Jacob Klinger said...

So just one of Ghana and Nigeria needs to not make it, right? Seems reasonable.

Jay said...

Didn't Nigeria just admit to fielding an ineligible player for a match two dates back? If FIFA does what FIFA is supposed to do (retroactively make that a 0-3 loss for Nigeria) then things might actually change -- they'll need to win out on the last day to guarantee they advance.