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The 2002 World Cup

The draws for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea were picked on December 1st. The 32 teams that qualified have been divided into eight groups. The USA will be trying to advance to the second round after a disappointing World Cup in 1998 while England will just try to stay alive in the Group of Death.

USA Has a Chance
The USA finished last at the 1998 World Cup in France but the Americans at least have a chance in 2002. The USA is in Group D with South Korea, Portugal and Poland so they could advance. It will take a miracle for them to knock off Portugal but Poland and South Korea can definitely be beaten. "Personally, I think it's a good draw for us. Everyone here is excited and psyched about it, and can't wait to play those games to see what happens," says American midfielder, Cobi Jones. The USA will play all their first round games in South Korea starting June 5th, against Portugal.

Group of Death
The Group of Death for the 2002 World Cup is definitely Group F which has Argentina, England, Sweden and Nigeria. Argentina is one of the favorites to win the Cup, England invented the game, Nigeria might be the best team in Africa and the Swedes didn't lose during qualifying. Only two teams from the division can advance to the quarter finals which means the games in this group will be tough with lots of emotion and complaints about the referees.

France Will Advance
The defending champ, France, got the luck of the draw. The French are grouped with Senegal, Uruguay and Denmark who have about as much chance of winning the Cup as you have of getting a date with Britney Spears. (It's not gonna happen.)

The 2002 World Cup kicks off May 31st in Seoul, South Korea. The final game will be played June 10th in Yokohama, Japan. To check out all the groups and to see a complete schedule, head to www.fifaworldcup.com.

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