This has been a ridiculously entertaining tournament so far and round 2 of the group stage did NOT disappoint. As I prepare to reveal my power rankings after round 2, it occurs to me how many of the high ranked teams have yet to truly impress. There are 7 teams that have won both of their games. Of those, perhaps the most impressive, France, still has a chance to be knocked out. This could all change a lot in the next few days, but for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts on where teams rank right now. (The numbers in parenthesis this time are my ranking from round 1).
1. Argentina (2) – Are they the most convincing team of the tournament? Probably not — and until that wonder goal by Messi they were dropping way down on this list. Frankly they need to start playing as more of a team. But with 6 points in the bank and the best player in the world heating up, Argentina is now the team to beat.
2. France (5) – France has been perhaps the most convincing team of the tourney with their dismantling of an awful Honduras and a much better Switzerland. While they haven’t technically qualified, they’d need to lose huge to Ecuador in order to be eliminated and with the way Benzema is playing, I don’t think it’s about to happen.
3. Chile (10) – The big mover in the rankings is the rampant Chile who are looking very convincing. Suddenly it isn’t who is going to go through in 2nd of Group B and play Brazil, but who is going to go through from Group A and have to play Chile.
4. Brazil (3) – Convincing? No. But this is still their World Cup to lose and as things get more serious, I have a feeling these guys are going to get busy.
5. Holland(4) – Well Australia is a pretty tough team. Not tough enough to win, but tough enough to expose a few chinks in the orange Dutch armor.
6. Germany (1) – The second half of the Ghana-Germany match was a real cracker and while it ended with a point apiece, Germany still has it in them to go very far at this tournament.
7. Belgium (8) – Yet another victory snatched from the jaws of a draw. No one wants to play this Belgium side who definitely knows how to win. No one except American fans who would be ecstatic to give them a try.
8. Colombia (7) – Colombia dropping a spot isn’t so much a reflection on their performance against a pretty unconvincing Ivory Coast, as it is a comment on the better teams who have slid in above them.
9. USA (13) – A victory versus Ghana and draw versus Portugal? Fuck yeah I’ll take it. But more importantly, USA is playing the most convincing soccer we USA fans have EVER seen. This is a good team and it is an exciting time to be a USMNT fan!
10. Costa Rica (14) – Victories over a Suarez-less Uruguay and Italy are impressive, no doubt, but the USA could still beat them.
11. Uruguay (21) – Right, I can’t put them above a rampant Costa Rica, but would Cost Rica have beat the Suarez-infused Uruguay that beat England? I doubt it. And I doubt many other teams on this list could beat them either.
12. Mexico (15) – Brazil’s bogey man, Mexico likes to give the Brazilians a hard time and look in the driver seat to go through in Group A, perhaps even in first. But is Mexico a team built to go far in the knockout rounds?
More teams with a real chance:
13. Switzerland, 14. Ghana, 15. Croatia, 16. Italy, 17. Ivory Coast,
Unimpressive teams with a small chance:
18. Portugal, 19. Algeria, 20. Russia, 21. Nigeria 22. Ecuador
Just barely in:
23. Greece, 24. Iran, 25. South Korea
26. Japan, 27. Honduras
28. Bosnia, 29. Spain, 30. England, 31. Australia, 32. Cameroon