Dynamo in World Cup Draw: Honduras, US Face Tough Tests

Al Bello

Jürgen Klinsmann wanted a true test for the USMNT, and he got it in Friday's 2014 World Cup draw. The Hondurans won't have it much easier, and it's looking like there might not be any Dynamo players playing beyond the group stages next summer.

Well, Jürgen Klinsmann seems to be the only person in the United States who's really happy about that draw. Saying it would be "exciting" and that it "couldn't get any bigger," the German-born coach of the USMNT will be looking now to prepare his side for what is surely one of this country's biggest tests in the 2014 World Cup. Drawn into Group G with Germany, Ghana, and Portugal, they'll have to start fast and finish faster if they want to have any hope of advancing out of the group.

The stars are there. All four national teams are in the top 25 in the FIFA rankings. Three are in the top 15, and two are in the top 5. Portuguese (ranked #5) star Cristiano Ronaldo might be the frontrunner for the Ballon d'Or this year. The German side (ranked #2) is drawn largely from this year's two UEFA Champions League finalists, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Ghana (ranked #24) is the bane of American World Cup dreams, knocking them out in '06 and '10. Calling it the "group of death" might not be the best thing to do - there are two or three other groups that will be just as difficult to come out of - but Brad Davis (and possible Corey Ashe and Tally Hall, on the off chance they get called up) and the rest of the USMNT (ranked #14) will have their work cut out for them.

For Boniek Garcia and the Hondurans (ranked #41), it's not much easier. They were drawn into Group E along with Switzerland (ranked #8), France (ranked #19), and Ecuador (ranked #23) - perhaps not as bad as the Americans' luck, but certainly no cakewalk. France are easily the favorites to win the group, and I get the feeling that their fellow Europeans in Switzerland will be joining them.

Of course, it's too early to call anything for certain. That being said, I get the feeling that the odds are against the Dynamo having any players advance beyond the group stage. Still, nothing is written in stone, and the matches are played for a reason. If nothing else, next summer should prove to be very entertaining. This might be the strongest World Cup ever, and the groups seem to prove it. I know I'll enjoy watching it. Will you?

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