Economists from Goldman Sachs have predicted that host nation Brazil will win the 2014 World Cup and that the United States will fail to win a single match at the tournament, according to an analysis of the tournament.
The economists project Brazil to defeat South American rival Argentina in the World Cup final by a score of 3-1.
The analysis predicts that the U.S. will fail to reach the knockout stage, though the statistical model forecasts that the Americans will draw both Ghana and heavily-favored Portugal before losing to Germany in the team's final group stage match.
The model gives the United States just a 0.5 percent chance of winning the entire tournament. Brazil is given a staggering 48.5 percent chance of winning the World Cup on its home turf, well ahead of second-place Argentina, which has a 14.1 percent chance of winning the coveted trophy.
According to the analysis, the fact that the U.S. was given such a difficult slate of group stage fixtures was "impossible to ignore." From the report's breakdown of the United States:
The USA were drawn into Group G with perennial power Germany, a dangerous Portugal side featuring FIFA world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo, and a Ghana team that has eliminated the US team from the past two World Cup tournaments. The aggregate FIFA ranking of their group is 56, the most difficult of the eight, and it features two of the three highest-ranked teams in the world in Germany and Portugal. In addition to strong teams, the USA will also face the longest travel schedule in the Cup, with an estimated 8,866 miles during the group stage.
The Americans are given a 40 percent chance of advancing from the group stage. England is also projected to exit the tournament at the conclusion of the group stage.
Though Brazil is projected to win the tournament, other countries can take solace in the fact that the analysis hasn't proven to be entirely accurate in the past. In 2010, Goldman Sachs wrongly predicted that Brazil would win the tournament. Projected runner-up Spain actually won the World Cup that year.WAHL: 3 Thoughts on the USA's 2-0 friendly win over Azerbaijan