NEW YORK (PIX11) — If you stumbled into Smithfield bar in Midtown late Friday morning, you would’ve thought a critical championship game was unfolding.
It wasn’t a game, rather a precursor to one – The Draw to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where the 32 qualifying countries get divided into eight groups of four to compete in the first round of the tournament.
“Which group you get in is so important because it determines where you get into the next round,” explained Smithfield bartender and soccer fanatic Kieron Slattery. “It’s much easier than when you play in what they call a ‘group of death.’”
As the draw got underway, the moans and groans drowned out the cheers as the worst case scenario played for the United States.
It will be déjà vu for Americans as they will duke it out in the first round with Ghana – a team that has defeated the U.S. in each of the last two World Cups. Then they will go head to head with powerhouses Portugal, ranked 5th in the world and 2nd place Germany respectively.
“I think we got the worst group in the draw,” soccer fanatic Phil Carter told PIX11 News. “I was hoping we were gonna get a Belgium or a Colombia – a team that was inexperienced.”
Meantime host Brazil seeks their sixth World Cup title duking it out with Croatia in their opener. Mexico and Cameroon will also compete in Group A.
As the countdown begins, 188 days remain until the World Cup games kick off and its plenty of time to practice that chant – U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!