As expected, the USA and its fellow CONCACAF World Cup participants were paired with Asia's four competitors ahead of Friday's World Cup draw, which means all of the doom and gloom group scenarios that many have been speculating about for weeks are fully in play.
FIFA released the pots and its draw procedure Tuesday after its organizing committee meeting, with the results being:
Pot 1: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland
Pot 2*: Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile, Ecuador, European Team TBD
Pot 3: USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Australia, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic
Pot 4*: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia
Instead of choosing one of the nine unseeded European teams from Pot 4 to put into Pot 2, FIFA will conduct a meta-draw of sorts to select that team. That one team will then be placed in Pot 2 to create four pots of eight teams. It will not, however, be able to be grouped with two other European teams, nor can Chile and Ecuador be paired with seeded CONMEBOL teams from Pot 1.
WAHL: What if FIFA ditched the draw? Ladies and Gentlemen, start your Group of Death scenario engines.