The World Cup is generating all of the buzz these days.
The U.S. men’s national team has advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2014, and gets the “knockout round” started with a match against the Netherlands on Saturday in Qatar.
While the U.S. has hometown support, most soccer experts are favoring Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain or England to win the championship. Do our Dallas College soccer “experts” agree?
Dallas College polled three “soccer experts” — coaches and players — for their thoughts on the World Cup, which concludes with the championship match on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Cedar Valley midfielder Makayla Mohair
Pick to Win: France
Why France? “France is very experienced with a lot of the players coming back after their World Cup win back in 2018. Kylian Mbappe, who is a winger for the France national team, burns past defenders easily and can change the match all on his own.”
Brookhaven women’s coach Jimmy Elder
Pick to Win: France
Why France? “The best looking teams at this stage are Brazil, France and Spain. It’s a tough choice and a tough prediction but I have been most impressed with France. So many attacking threats and the amazing Mbappe! So it’s France for me!”
Cedar Valley women’s coach John Antonisse
Pick to Win: Brazil
Why Brazil? “Here’s my take on the World Cup — it’s definitely up for grabs. Several teams are capable, so I’m looking at the playing level of the starting 11 and then the players available off the bench. Is there a drop off? Do they lose momentum when they sub? In my opinion, the team with the deepest roster is Brazil.
“They have an incredible array of talent in the starting 11, and they really have no drop off when they sub. They dominate in the run of play and are very proficient on set pieces. They are as skilled or more skilled than nearly every team and as tactically sound as any team, well coached, dynamic, have the right mentality and understand how to win.
“My sentimental favorites are USA, Argentina and the Netherlands. Unfortunately, USA or the Netherlands will be eliminated Saturday since they play each other and, to be honest, they have great players and sound tactics, but I still don’t see them getting it done. Regarding Argentina, they had a great couple of nice wins against Mexico and Poland to finish on top of their bracket, but I still feel like they have weaknesses.
“In my heart, I’m rooting for USA, the Netherlands and Argentina (huge Messi fan), but the eye-test tells me that Brazil is the team that will hoist the World Cup trophy.”