*Keep in mind, these are not necessarily things I strongly believe should or will happen, but are more like longshots that I think could happen, specifically ahead of other longshots.
1) Golden Boot: While the smartest money in the tournament may be on Brown to take home the Golden Boot honours, I’ll take the field here. I like Josip to spearhead the attack for Afghanistan and score 14 goals to Brown’s 12. There’s no way Dave gets 23 or 25 or however many he scored in 2011 with this somewhat makeshift Jamaican team, compared to the powerhouse that was ROI in ’11.
2) Neither Tomchuk nor Levis play a minute for Poland. Michal stands on his head. Poland is eliminated in group.
3) ROI also bow out in group, largely in part because they, well, don’t have a keeper.
4) France and ES advance from Group A, leaving last year’s champion Sudan disgruntled and eliminated. Next year, Tong Tong pairs up with Brown to make a formidable striking tandem on Jamaica and the two bag 30 goals between them.
5) Collins has a beer with Dwayne.
6) Darko and Paco decide to settle their blog-related differences by going mano-a-mano in a rye shot contest. Four minutes later they embrace one another and admit they are both incredible.
7) People don’t hate this column (boldest prediction of the lot).
8) Lee Mooney’s dad cuts him to make room for Riggs on the ROI roster. Bold prediction or insider information? We’ll see.
9) Quarter-final teams are as follows: France, Es, Laos, Afghanistan, Canada, Norway, Serbia, and Columbia. Semi-final teams are as follows: France, Laos, Canada, Serbia. And that leaves us with…
10) The Final: Laos takes on France in a matchup for the ages. Laos proves too much to handle with the addition of Chico, and come out on top, 4-2.
MVP: Chico anchors the Laotian holding midfield position, stays at home, doesn’t make too many solo runs leaving him out of position, and leads Laos back to the Promised Land. He picks up the MVP award in the process, and kisses the Laotian crest on his jersey, as he accepts the plaque.