World Cup 2010: South Africa

World Cup 2010: SOUTH AFRICA

FIFA ranking: 88

Overall World Cup record: 1-2-3

Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira


Best performance: First round, 1998, 2002

Overview: South Africa finds itself in the same situation the U.S. was in back in 1994 -- playing host to a World Cup and expected to perform but without a legitimate star or even much of a team. The U.S. reached the second round, and Parreira’s squad will be desperate to avoid the ignominy of being the first Cup host in history not to make it out the first round. Look for shaven-headed defender Matthew Booth to be busy, the Alexi Lalas of 2010 but without the hair.

-- Grahame L. Jones