The World Cup draw is complete. Because Brazil is a large country, potential opponents are just one factor. Location will also play a significant role. There are long travel distances and disparate climates. The worst of those is Manaus, the remotest destination in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. (Average Temp: 88, Potential Humidity: Oppressive). The United States received about the worst draw imaginable.
Teams that play in Manaus have an asterisk.
Brazil will be happy with this. Mexico may get a slight advantage, as A2 and A4 are two of the worst positions considering travel distance.
This will be a tough group, with the 2010 finalists and a strong Chile team. Second place gets Brazil in the Round of 16. Good luck.
3. Cote D’Ivoire
Not a strong group, but evenly matched. Could be interesting.
2. Costa Rica
This is a strong group. But, for the teams that get through, there’s an easy route to the quarterfinal. England and Italy both open in Manaus.
1. Switzerland *
This may be the weakest group at the tournament. France could not be more pleased.
Argentina are clear winners. There should not be a team that is a remote challenge for them.
4. United States*
The U.S. got basically the worst draw possible. They received Germany, another strong European team in Portugal and arguably the strongest African side in Ghana. They play in Manaus, in the second game. They have the farthest travel schedule in the tournament. Woof.
4. South Korea
Belgium will take that.
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[Photos via Getty]