As we near the end of 2017, few American soccer fans will look back on the year with any sort of fondness after the USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup. Same for Dutch, Italian and Chilean fans, plus anyone who as ever rooted for Sunderland. So instead of focusing on 2017, let’s turn our attention to how much 2018 will suck. Here are 18 horrible 2018 soccer predictions.
Why even bother playing the second half of the league? Sure City plays some fantastic football, but at some point it’s like watching high school bullies picking on middle schoolers.
But no one will take him seriously because he’s British.
Would it be too much to ask for an entertaining title race this year? Yes, yes it would.
It’d be nice to pick someone original for one of these league title predictions, but let’s not kid ourselves.
The most American thing for the wonder boy to do right now would be to spend an extended period on the sidelines with an injury. Look for him to pull a hammy near the end of a 3-1 win over Hannover in March, putting in jeopardy his chances of playing in the World Cup … oh wait.
Without state-sponsored doping and despite a population of 144 million (third most in the competition), Russia will fail to get out of one of the easiest groups in the history of World Cup soccer. The group is bad, but Russia will be worse.
Portugal won the Euros in 2016 but they’ll fail to advance through the group stage at this summer's World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s side will lose to Spain and draw against Morocco and Iran to finish third in Group B.
Sorry, but there's no way this plucky group of underdogs is getting more than a point or two out of a group with Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia.
While Real Madrid will continue to bring in goalkeepers who are either European or South American, Navas will continue to be better than all of them. He’ll put in a performance for the ages for Costa Rica against Brazil in Saint Petersburg, though in a losing effort.
Predicting what El Tri and head coach Juan Carlos Osorio will do is like predicting the weather using a scrying stone, but I’ll do it anyway. Mexico won’t play well at the World Cup but will do enough to finish second in Group F before falling to Brazil in a thrilling Round of 16 match.
This should probably just be a prediction for every football tournament, whether or not England is involved.
If the Russians can win the U.S. presidential election without being invited, why can’t the U.S. win the Russian World Cup without being invited?
Neymar’s transfer record won’t be knocked from its perch, but curmudgeons will continue to moan about the increasing fees being tossed around for the transfer of average players like Kyle Walker and anyone on Everton. Also, old people will complain about everything else that's not like it was when they were young.
The Italian giants are a mess right now, on and off the pitch. That won’t change anytime soon.
Major League Soccer has one more expansion team to announce early in 2018, still has a David Beckham franchise in negotiation and will have to deal with the Columbus/Austin situation. The league will manage bundle most if not all of these scenarios. My money is on Des Moines, Iowa, to earn a surprise expansion bid.
From nominating a college player for The Best FIFA Women’s Player to failing to nominate the world’s best player for the same award, FIFA has yet to show it respects half the population. Next year will be no different.
Regardless of who U.S. Soccer elects as its new president, regardless of who is named next coach of the USMNT and regardless of what progress is made to improve U.S. Soccer, Americans will debate the issue as if anyone actually knows what to do. Spoiler: No one knows what to do.