Welcome to BC Sports Fivesight. It's like foresight, but one better.
Every week or so a carefully selected panel of Blogcritics and outside voices will converge to form an irresistible quintet that peers into the future of a certain sports topic, so you can live like Biff Tannen in Back To The Future II and wisely wager based on our expertise. Sorry, no refunds.
This week's prediction: What will be the outcome of the USA-Spain game in the Confederations Cup semifinals on Wednesday?
Matt Sussman, BC Sports Editor
How long can one country hold a grudge? When the Spanish-American War ended, the US took some precious islands and their secret decoder ring. The Spaniards have been stewing for 111 years, waiting for their chance to embarrass the Americans on the biggest stage possible. They were actually waiting for the Americans to reach the World Cup, but by gum, they couldn't wait 112 years. The Confed. Cup is their best chance for ultimate humiliation. The score will begin at 10-0, and the margin of victory shall be bargained down by two for every territory President Obama decides to give back. The decoder ring is worth three goals.
Mike Cardillo, AOL FanHouse, That's On Point
Little known historical fact: the first stone table carved by cavemen wasn’t Og’s famous recipe for Sabretooth Tiger stew, rather it was how soccer would one day be popular in America. Bad jokes aside, for years writers and advocates of the sport have waged a Quixote quest to try to win over the American public.
Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semifinal with the U.S. taking on World No. 1 Spain represents another one of those windmills to tilt at.
Since the game is on ESPN, the American’s miraculous advance out of the group stage seems to have gotten a decent amount of traction – basically there’s nothing else going on except baseball.
In short, the game represents a Mike Francesa-esque huge chance for the U.S. to win over some more fans ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
The bad news here is that Spain, without going overboard, probably has two or three players better at every position on the field than the Americans. Barcelona – which provides the backbone for the national team – just won the Champions League and Spanish nationals dot the marquee teams in the Premier League in England.
Buoyed by their stunning 3-0 win over Egypt on Sunday, the U.S. will fight hard and actually give an effort, but barring a fluky play or penalty kick it’s hard to see any other result that Spain winning its 16th straight international and setting the all-time unbeaten mark at 36. If the U.S. does somehow spring the upset, it’s a shame ABC/ESPN traded Al Michaels to NBC for a cartoon rabbit, because it would be pretty darn close to a miracle.
The NY Kid, Unprofessional Foul
In a fit of rage at JP Dellacamera and John Harkes consistently mispronouncing his name, Sergio Busquets will have a brace while making Gooch look silly. Xabi Alonso, upset at rumours of his departure from Anfield, and David Silva, upset at not being David Villa, will both also have a brace. Xavi, pissed off that everyone confuses him with Xabi Alonso, will complete the midfield dominance with a brace of his own.
Meanwhile, Landon Donovan will dribble through that same Spanish midfield, turn Pique and Puyol into spinning tops, and then shoot directly into Pepe Reina's arms. The follow-up will be available for Jozy, but he will be standing 30 yards away near the corner flag for no discernible reason.
Final score: Spain 8-0 USA
Christopher Rose, BC Mag Comments Editor, Eurocritics Magazine
The current European Champions, now victorious in a world record 15 consecutive games, have been transformed in recent years from their traditional enigmatic "impressive on paper, poor on the pitch" performances to a genuinely impressive team that is both powerful and skilful in equal measure.
For the USA, currently ranked 14th in the world, to overcome Spain and claim their place in Sunday's final in Johannesburg, would be a massive achievement that would cement their often overlooked strength as a genuine global force in the world's dominant sport.
Can they do it? The form book and this European's heart say no, but fortune favoured the brave in the USA's victory over Egypt in the previous round, which will certainly keep the red, white and blue hearts of American fans beating strongly against clearly superior opponents. Prediction: Spain 3-1 USA.
Tuffy, Treehouse Fort Co-Host
Landon Donovan will rupture his vuvuzela in the sixth minute and have to be replaced by Freddy Adu. Adu's youthful exuberance and timely ball-striking ability will lead the United States to a triumphant 6-1 loss. Later, we will learn Donovan earned the injury after picking up South African prostitutes that didn't much care to find out what he likes to do with shrubbery.
USA and Spain kick off Wednesday at 8:30 pm South Africa time, 7:30 pm Madrid time, and 2:30 pm US Eastern time.