Let's start this up. A daily debate on which teams are better. To kick it off, let's go with the group everyone is talking about: Group D. So who are the two favorites to come out?
Well, right now, it looks like Jamaica and Canada. I don't like mentioning specific players(to keep their privacy intact), but it's still fairly easily to see the way this group is going.
Jamaica has played a lot of exhibition games. They most recently beat Nigeria 4-2, and Nigeria should be no slouch at this point. Nigeria has probably the team that has spent the most time together before the WCP Cup. They played in the Regina Men's Tournament, losing in the final, and seem to have an exhibition and/or practice every single week. That being said, they should be pretty good at this point. Jamaica is no slouch either, and I believe they've played quite a few exhibition games as well, but have preferred to practice more than they play.
Anyway, Jamaica beating Nigeria 4-2 shows that Jamaica might be a lot better than we're giving them credit for. And then they tied Laos 3-3. We've talked about how they depend on their Saskatoon players, but that might not be the case. It looks like Jamaica might be able to handle the tough games on their own. The Saskatoon players will definitely help though.
Canada has played a couple exhibition games as well, but haven't really had their team together either. Their showing has been worse than Jamaica's. Poland has been getting their games in too, but aren't destroying the weaker teams they play. However, Canada and Poland might look and play completely different when the tournament rolls around.
Ukraine and Germany haven't had any exhibition games, and it seems unlikely they'll have a solid feel for the size of the field and gameplay before the tournament. The large majority of Ukraine practices weekly, as does Germany. But a once-a-week practice doesn't provide the same experience.
I say that Jamaica and Ukraine come out. Ukraine played well in the Moose Jaw tournament, even though they lost in the Semi-final, and they stay in very good shape. Their team is ready to go. They'll outlast Canada, Poland and Germany with their rough schedule, because their players are used to it. Their first is also against Scotland, which allows them to feel out how all the other teams play. They won't be surprised. They'll need someone to step up and start finishing chances though. Jamaica is just playing too well, and without Saskatoon players, to not make it out. They've been working hard and are committed to winning. Germany is too unpredictable, and I don't think they can play solid soccer for the entire group stage. Very good team though. Poland just won't have the players or skill to make it out. They'll win a game or two, but I can't see them beating 4 other very good teams.
With that being said...go Scotland! Beat someone in this group!
And submit your brackets!