In a rematch of a 2006 World Cup battle (and I mean that in *almost* every sense of the word) the U.S. Men's National Team will face off against World Champions Italy in the Confederations Cup today (1:25 CDT on ESPN).
The Confederations Cup, an 8-team "dress rehearsal" to the World Cup, kicked off yesterday when host country South Africa played Iraq to a scoreless tie and European Champions Spain smashed Oceania champs New Zealand 5-0.
The Cup, which (like the World Cup) takes place once every four years, will be a tough test for a U.S. team who is grouped with South American Champions Brazil, African Champions Egypt and the aforementioned Italy.
To get out of the group stage and into the four team playoff round, the US will have to finish in one of the top two spots in Group B. Given their recent form, most people are not giving the U.S. too much of a chance at advancing past their 3 group games and I definitely fall into this majority.
I think that the U.S. will finish with four points after the group stage, but will come in third in the group due to goal differential. I see the U.S. drawing with Italy this afternoon, losing to Brazil on Thursday, and defeating Egypt on Sunday but eventually falling just short of advancing.