Now that everyone has had a few days to let the World Cup draw settle, I wanted to give my thoughts on what transpired. First, as I was sitting on my sofa in England, I had an anxious excitement about the entire draw. It’s the feeling of knowing that at some point the USA would be pulled out, but you are constantly hoping for the “easy” group. The thing about the World Cup is that there are no “easy” groups. When we were finally pulled it was pure excitement and everything became that much more real. Now I know everyone is saying that we are in one of the “groups of death” but at the end of the day the World Cup is the best of the best. You have to play the so-called big teams at some point, so for us it is a great opportunity to do that in the group stage.
The game against Ghana obviously brings back memories of 2010 when they knocked us out of South Africa and left a very bitter taste in our mouth. It was a great chance to advance to the next round, but unfortunately we came up a little short in that tournament. Playing Ghana in the first game will only add to the excitement of the 2014 World Cup for everyone associated with the USA!
The 2nd game against Portugal will prove difficult not only because they have one of the best players in the world, but they are a very good team as well. Yes, it is being played in the Amazon, but regardless of the travel, temperature and other outside circumstance, we know we will be up for the game.
Finishing the group stage against Germany will be exciting for many different reasons. The fact that Jürgen Klinsman played for and coached them previously, as well as a few of our players being born there and playing their club football in Germany will have emotions running pretty high. It will be a chance to play a “world footballing power” in a major tournament, and as a professional you want to be apart of those big games that mean everything!
It will be a fantastic lead up to the World Cup as the players and country start to turn their focus to Brazil. We will no doubt be up for the games and with the support of the country behind us, will look to make a deep run in the tournament. The buzz in the USA during and after South Africa was unbelievable for the players and we know it will only be bigger come Brazil.
Guzan is a current member of the U.S. Men’s National Team. He received the first of his 24 international caps when the U.S. played Guatemala in Frisco, Texas, on February 19, 2006. Brad was the goalkeeper in the now infamous “SnowClasico” match against Costa Rica, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win. Four days later, he played the full 90 minutes as the U.S. played Mexico to a 0-0 draw at Estadio Azteca, marking only the second time in history that the U.S. took a point away to Mexico in World Cup Qualifying. He has earned a remarkable five shutouts in eight career appearances in qualifying. At the club level, Guzan is currently the starting goalkeeper for Aston Villa F.C. of the Barclays Premier League. He has made over 50 appearances in league play since joining the club in 2008.