June 11, 2014

The University of Cincinnati men’s and women’s soccer teams are taking the 2014 World Cup head on with a friendly pick ‘ems competition between the coaching staffs.

To start the tournament, which is being played in Brazil June 12-July 13, each of the coaches must select the top two teams from each group (A-H) in order of place. For correctly picking teams that advances to the Round of 16, they will receive one point per team. An extra point will be awarded if they correctly picked the placing order for each individual group (A-H).

Once the Round of 16 begins, the pick ‘ems will shift to a bracket format where each coach will determine their 2014 World Cup Champion. Each correct pick in the Round of 16 will earn the coach two points. In the ensuing rounds, the points will be increased by one with the championship being worth five points.

Heading into group play, there are a few storylines surrounding the coaches’ picks.

The first comes from Group B where all seven coaches selected the Netherlands and Spain to advance to the Round of 16, and it is the only group that was in agreement. The women’s associate head coach Nate Lie stands out though because he is the only coach to predict the Dutch as the group winner.

Group E is the exact opposite. Every country in that group (France, Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras) was picked by at least one coach, which makes this group a big factor in determining the leader heading into the Round of 16.

Head women’s soccer coach Neil Stafford and assistant men’s soccer coach Dan McNally are English natives and have faith in their homeland with each picking them to advance to the Round of 16. Contrary to the other coaches, Stafford is the only coach to not select the United States of America from Group G also known as the “Group of Death”.

Periodic updates will be given throughout the month of the World Cup along with insights on the tournament from Stafford and Hilton Dayes.