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2014 World Cup Nation Profile: Australia

2014 World Cup Nation Profile Australia

Photo Courtesy of Openclipart.org

The 2014 World Cup is approaching fast as we are less than 40 days until the first kickoff. We will be previewing each participating country over the next two weeks in order to give you a little background on how that nation qualified for the World Cup as well as some key players to keep an eye on as the tournament progresses. We continue our coverage with the Socceroos from Australia.

2014 World Cup Nation Profile

Confederation: AFC
Manager: Ange Postecoglou
2014 FIFA World Cup Group: B
FIFA World Rank: 59 (as of April 2014)
Qualifying Record (W-D-L): 8-4-2
All-Time FIFA World Cup Record (W-D-L): 2-3-5

Impact Players

1. Tim Cahill — New York Red Bulls (Major League Soccer) — Towards the end of the Asian Qualifying Final Group Stages, Australia employed a 4-2-3-1 formation which featured Tim Cahill as the lone forward. The anticipation is that they will continue to use this formation in the upcoming tournament considering how heavy of an underdog they will be coming into Brazil.

Cahill will likely be the only attacking option just amplifying his importance for the Socceroos. I do not see many goals from Australia but if they do, Cahill will be involved somehow in either the set-up or execution of the goal.

2. Mathew Ryan — Club Brugge (Belgian Pro League) — Thanks to a tip from an Australian reader who pointed out that original selection in this spot Mark Schwarzer announced his retirement in Nov 2013. With that being said we turn our attentions to the apparent heir of Schwarzer, that being 22 year old Mathew Ryan of Club Brugge.

Ryan does only have five international caps to his name so far but that is enough to make him the most experienced of the keepers brought in for the recent friendly against Ecuador. No matter who gets the starting spot for the Socceroos, they will be in for an extremely tough time against the potent offenses of Spain, Netherlands and Chile.

3. Lucas Neill — Doncaster Rovers (English League One) — Lucas Neill has the most international experience of any Australian defender. They will need every ounce of his leadership and communication if they want to keep scorelines close.

*Update; May 6, 2:01 pm PDT*: Australia manager Ange Postecoglou announced that Lucas Neill will not be included in Australia’s 30-man provisional squad. Read more here. This news came as a shock because Neill had been the Australia captain for the last six years. A reader who follows the Australian National Team more than I do informed me that this was not as much of a shock to the fans down under. Thank you for the note.

No matter who lines up on the defense they are in for a very long tournament.

Group Stage Schedule

June 13: vs. ChileArena Pantanal (Cuiaba), 6:00 p.m. EDT
June 18: vs. NetherlandsEstádio Beira-Rio (Porto Alegre), 12:00 p.m. EDT
June 23: vs. Spain, Arena da Baixada (Curitiba), 12:00 p.m. EDT

Prediction

Australia really has their work cut out for them during this group stage, it should be seen as a positive if Australia can get a point out of this group.

Check back in with Stoppage Time Soccer for all of your 2014 World Cup news and notes from training camps all the way through the Final.

Matthew Evans is a soccer writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google

Related:

2014 World Cup Nation Profile: Netherlands

2 Responses to 2014 World Cup Nation Profile: Australia

  1. Neil’s exclusion was not a shock to any Australian, he’s not been playing and isn’t up to the standard. Also, Schwarzer has retired.

  2. Thank you for the comment, I completely missed the ball on Schwarzer.

    As for Neil, It came as a shock to me, an outside observer. I saw that he was attached with a club from England and has played somewhat since moving there. I put him on the list due to his international experience.

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