How Russia Evolved Into One Of The World Cup's Most Dangerous Teams

Russia's march to Brazil began at the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland/Ukraine. The Russians, led by Dutch manager Dick Advocaat captured the attention of Europe with a comprehensive 4-1 thrashing of the Czech Republic in their opening game. The free-flowing, explosive Russian attack, a product of Advocaat's favored… »6/11/14 6:58pm6/11/14 6:58pm

Hey, At Least Getting Bashed In Group Play Won't Break Algeria's Heart

Algerians, like many former French colonies, are used to watching some of their most promising potential internationals playing for the old rulers. Algerian fans will probably cheer Karim Benzema due to the French-born striker's Algerian heritage. They might also rue, or maybe sardonically snicker at, Samir Nasri —… »6/11/14 6:03pm6/11/14 6:03pm

Can South Korea Make Another Surprise Run In Brazil?

South Korea are one of Asia's traditional soccer powers. They and Japan have bossed the continent for decades now, coasting to World Cup to World Cup, where they've tried to prove that Asia's got real talent. In Brazil, South Korea have a chance to once again show that though Asia's a historically weak confederation,… »6/11/14 2:00pm6/11/14 2:00pm

Let's Stop Calling Belgium A Dark Horse

It's not a perfect fit, but Belgium are the closest thing we have to a true dark horse in this World Cup. They won't step onto the pitch as a mysterious bunch of kids in cleats—indeed, the whole reason they are so intriguing is because everyone expects these Belgians to be running things in a few years time—impossible… »6/11/14 12:27pm6/11/14 12:27pm

Can Ghana Break American Hearts Once Again?

Ghana locked up a spot in Brazil by first cruising to the top of their African qualifying group, then demolishing Bob Bradley's Egypt over 2 legs by an aggregate 7-3 score line. The Black Stars allowed only 6 goals in their 8 qualifying games, while scoring 25 of their own. They were led by veteran striker Asamoah… »6/10/14 4:25pm6/10/14 4:25pm

Portugal Might Be Ronaldo And The Rest, But That's Still Scary Good

Portugal made a surprising run to the semifinals of Euro 2012, narrowly losing out to Spain on penalty kicks in a game many thought the Portuguese deserved to win. It marked the second straight tournament where Portugal were eliminated by their archrivals, as Spain won a 1-0 Round-of-16 matchup in South Africa. »6/10/14 2:24pm6/10/14 2:24pm

Bosnia And Herzegovina Could Break Some Hearts In Their First World Cup

After generations spent competing on the international stage for various iterations of Yugoslavia, after gaining independence in 1992, making it through the Bosnian War, then getting FIFA recognition mere days after the war's conclusion, the nation known as Bosnia-Herzegovina will finally make its first appearance on… »6/09/14 5:33pm6/09/14 5:33pm

Why Nigeria, Now Hardened Veterans, Will Be A Tough Out In Brazil

Nigeria come into Brazil with as much international tournament experience in the last few years as any team in the world, having won the 2013 African Cup of Nations and subsequently playing in the 2013 Confederations Cup. These experiences gave manager Stephen Keshi, a former Super Eagle himself, more opportunity to… »6/09/14 3:56pm6/09/14 3:56pm

Argentina Have Stopped Giving A Fuck, And Are Betting It All On Attack

Argentina has long been one of the best, most feared soccer nations in the world. Playing in the World Cup is just what they do. The tournament this summer will be their 16th World Cup appearance and 11th in a row, but they haven't won it since Diego Maradona scored maybe the greatest goal of all time against England… »6/09/14 12:39pm6/09/14 12:39pm

Honduras Don't Stand A Chance, But They Won't Play Like It

Calling Honduras a minnow isn't fair. Sure, Honduras are likely to ultimately be outclassed and eliminated in the group stage. But the two Group E teams that advance after playing the Central American side won't be leaving the experience behind them in the knockout stages. They'll have been pushed to the edge and… »6/06/14 5:59pm6/06/14 5:59pm

Even France Couldn't Mess This Up...Right?

In theory and on paper, France are stacked. The spine of this team is ridiculous. Their keeper is incredible. They have more powerful, quick, shockingly young center backs than they know what to do with. The center of their midfield is an embarrassment of riches nearly on par with Spain's and Italy's. Their strikers … »6/06/14 2:45pm6/06/14 2:45pm