FIFA World Cup draw: USA draws England, Algeria, Slovenia

The United States will face England, Algeria and Slovenia in the group stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in South Africa between June 11 and July 11. The draw for the tournament’s group stages was made earlier today; the top two teams from each group will qualify for the round of 16.

Top seeds England will be favorites to win Group C, while Team USA will be expected to finish second. Personally, I think both sides should be wary of Slovenia, who finished ahead of a strong Czech Republic team in qualifying, and started as underdogs in their victorious World Cup play-off against Russia. Algeria, ranked 28th in the world by FIFA, will be no pushovers.

That said, it could have been a lot tougher for the USA squad: in what is surely the Group of Death, minnows North Korea (world ranking: 84th) will face Kaká’s Brazil (2nd), Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal (5th), and Didier Drogba’s Ivory Coast (16th).

Should the USA side qualify for the last 16, they could then face Australia, Ghana, Serbia or Germany in a knockout match. Below are the groups in full:

Group A
South Africa
Mexico
Uruguay
France

Group B
Argentina
Nigeria
South Korea
Greece

Group C
England
USA
Algeria
Slovenia

Group D
Germany
Australia
Serbia
Ghana

Group E
Holland
Denmark
Japan
Cameroon

Group F
Italy
Paraguay
New Zealand
Slovakia

Group G
Brazil
North Korea
Ivory Coast
Portugal

Group H
Spain
Switzerland
Honduras
Chile

[Via BBC]