Olympics Soccer 2012: Slow Starters Who Will Surge into Knockout Stages

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJuly 29, 2012

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 26: Javier Martinez of Spain clashes Kensuke Nagai of Japan during the Men's Football first round Group D Match of the London 2012 Olympic Games between Spain and Japan , at Hampden Park on July 26, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

One bad thing about the Olympics is not staying up to date on every event. It's just about impossible to watch every game, even with today's technology.

Olympic soccer is an event (men's and women's) that is constantly being played on television, but it's difficult to find.

In case you haven't been paying attention, teams have already played one game. They are already heading into its second game, which is easily the most important game of the competition.

With that important game on the horizon, here are some slow starters on the Men's side who will surge into the knockout stages:


Too much talent. Too many weapons. Too many opportunities to advance.

Spain is going to receive many opportunities to bounce back from its loss to Japan in its opening game. 

Honduras and Morocco are standing in Spain's way of making the knockout stages. Japan's upset victory will serve Spain a reminder that nothing is given to you. Teams must earn everything they get if they plan on winning a medal.

This isn't the European Championship. This isn't the FIFA World Cup. This is something different.

Spain's third-string team could advance to the knockout stages. In this case, Spain doesn't have the top-tier talents of the country, but they do have talented players from the best clubs in the world including Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester United.

Going against inferior competition with a talented roster, Spain will win the next two games to advance.


Mexico's 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off with a draw to Korea. Mexico is full of rich history, and nothing less than advancing to the knockout stages will be accepted.

Gabon and Switzerland make up the other two competitive nations Mexico has to play in Group B. Obviously, getting off to the slow start won't help Mexico, but there is still time.

Mexico receives a slight break with Gabon as its next opponent. Similar to Spain tying Italy in its opener at the 2012 European Championship just to then follow it up with Republic of Ireland, Mexico will also benefit from playing a weak opponent in its second game.

Gaining confidence by winning one game at an event like the Olympics will give teams confidence going into important games like the third at the Olympics.

It will set up a showdown with Switzerland with the winner likely advancing.

Advantage goes to Mexico and its talented roster. 

Great Britain

Great Britain has experienced veterans mixed with youthful but talented athletes. This team has a legitimate chance of doing something special in this event.

However, its slow start against Senegal in a 1-1 draw is throwing caution flags to the wind. With the talented roster of Daniel Sturridge, Craig Bellamy, Aaron Ramsey and Ryan Giggs, just to name a few, this team has what it takes to make major noise following its opening game letdown.

It's up to coach Stuart Pearce and the roster to make it happen. They will do just that.