World Cup Odds: USA Struggles to Find Form in Friendlies

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World Cup Odds: USA Struggles to Find Form in Friendlies
Jay LaPrete

Brazil remains atop the 2014 World Cup betting menu just two months ahead of soccer’s global showcase, and the Americans are doing little to change the opinions of oddsmakers with their pre-tournament play.

Host Brazil is currently 3-1 to claim its sixth World Cup title, and first since 2002, according to the futures menu at WorldCupOdds.net.

There has been little movement among the rest of the favorites, with Argentina sitting at 9-2, followed by Germany at 5-1, Spain at 7-1 and Belgium at 14-1.

Team USA, a team with much to prove after a disappointing loss to Ghana in the knockout round four years ago, sits at a distant 100-1. The Americans did little to help their own cause in last week’s friendly match against archrival Mexico.

This was an important game for the Americans, who have failed to beat any credible competition in recent months.

The Americans looked strong early against the Mexicans, who also sport odds of 100-1, posting an early 2-0 lead. Michael Bradley, the American star who recently returned to North America to join Toronto FC of the MLS, led the way scoring the first goal and setting up the second.

But Team USA wilted under a steady Mexican attack in the second half, much to the delight of the thousands of Mexico fans in attendance in Glendale, Ariz. Mexico scored a pair to deadlock the game at 2-2.

Bradley has looked strong for Toronto in the early going of the MLS season, but the announcement that he is nursing undisclosed injuries is a cause for concern for Toronto FC and Team USA fans alike.

Team USA still has three friendlies to play leading up to its opening match at the World Cup; a rematch against Ghana that will set the tone for the USA throughout the tourney.

Ghana, the Cinderella story of the 2010 World Cup, is currently pegged as 200-1 long shots. The Ghanaians posted a pair of 1-0 wins over Ethiopia and Congo before recording scoreless ties against Nigeria and Libya in recent friendlies.

They were subsequently stunned by a 1-0 loss to Montenegro on a first-minute goal from which they were unable to recover.

Ghana will need to find offense in its remaining two friendlies against the Netherlands and Guatemala if it is going to challenge Team USA when they meet at Natal, Brazil’s Estadio das Dunas on June 16.

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