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June 22, 2010 at 1:44 AM

World Cup power rankings — after two group-stage games

So all of the teams down in South Africa have played two game. Here is how I rank ’em based on how good they’ve been and how good I think they are…

* * *

1. (2) Brazil (Group G, 2-0-0) — Not sure any team has looked more impressive. The favorite right now.

2. (3) Argentina (Group B, 2-0-0) — Maradona looks like a genius, partly because he’s not too involved.

3. (4) Holland (Group E, 2-0-0) — Only a few teams are perfect so far, which is not an easy task.

4. (5) Spain (Group H, 1-1-0) — My pre-W.C. pick has some work to do in the last group-stage game.

5. (1) Germany (Group D, 1-1-0) — Had nowhere to go but down after opener, but went a ways down.

6. (8) Chile (Group H, 2-0-0) — It’d be heartbreaking if my sleeper pick goes out with 6 points.

7. (12) Portugal (Group G, 1-0-1) — Scored more goals in one game (7) than any other has in two.

8. (16) Mexico (Group A, 1-0-1) — Lots of talent. Solid depth. Flying under the radar for now.

9. (19) Paraguay (Group F, 1-0-1) — Another strong S. American side in great shape to go far.

10. (6) England (Group C, 0-0-2) — Oh man, this team is in trouble. Do they have a big game coming?

11. (15) Uruguay (Group A, 1-0-1) — Have played things perfectly so far. Can win the group.

12. (9) Ghana (Group D, 1-0-1) — The African team with the best chance of advancing probably.

13. (11) U.S.A. (Group, C 0-0-2) — Deserve better, but that doesn’t mean they’ve played well.

14. (10) Italy (Group F, 0-0-2) — Defending champs (read: divers) are the most disappointing.

15. (7) Ivory Coast (Group G, 0-1-1) — Drogba injury + Group of Death = a lonely one point so far.

16. (20) Serbia (Group D 1-1-0) — Did well to beat 10-man Germany, beat still have some issues.

17. (21) Denmark (Group E, 1-1-0) — Perhaps the team that has been the most pleasant surprise.

18. (13) Switzerland (Group H, 1-1-0) — So strong defensively, but it’s hard to tell if they’re good or lucky.

19. (14) S. Korea (Group B, 1-1-0) — Park Ji-Sung and Co. will need to perform and hope for help.

20. (24) Slovenia (Group C, 1-0-1) — The group leaders are lucky to be there. Could easily advance.

21. (18) Japan (Group E 1-1-0) — Keisuke Honda will need to show up against the Danes to get through.

22. (17) France (Group A, 0-1-1) — How can you not look at these guys & laugh? The soccer gods have.

23. (28) Greece (Group B, 1-1-0) — Probably needed a stupid red card to get a win, but they’ll take it.

24. (29) Algeria (Group C, 0-1-1) — Didn’t get a point from England by fluke. Played ’em very even.

25. (32) Australia (Group D, 0-1-1) — Great bounce-back showing, with 10 men even, after early rout.

26. (22) Cameroon (Group E, 0-2-0) — Sad to see Samuel Eto’o & the Indomitable Lions go out so soon.

27. (29) New Zealand (Group F, 0-0-2) — Hard-fighting Kiwis have been inspiring to watch so far.

28. (27) S. Africa (Group A, 0-1-1) — I would love to see the hosts go out with a bang against Les Bleus.

29. (26) Slovakia (Group F, 0-1-1) — Another team that has very much underwhelmed so far.

30. (25) Nigeria (Group B, 0-2-0) — Still have a decent chance to advance despite the two losses.

31. (23) N. Korea (Group G, 0-2-0) — Got beat up on, probably because they tried to open it up.

32. (31) Honduras (Group H, 0-2-0) — Some Sounders fans might be rooting for ’em to get Nkufo here.

So what do you think?


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