El Salvador (Last year: 3rd in Group A) - ES lost out in the player transfer sweepstakes. They have filled their roster with some decent youth players but will be hard-pressed for a win in this year’s group of death. Still can’t wrap my head around why they would select Poland…. Maybe the elusive “out of town players” they have talked about for years will show up and shock us all.
Poland (Last Year: Top 4 Overall) - A couple new pick-ups have solidified their roster with depth in every position and a nice balance of finesse players and grinders. In a group where every game is going to matter the biggest question mark is whether their out of town players show up or not. If the “A team” doesn’t show up look for losses to anyone in this pool and a very disappointing result for Poland in this tournament.
Holland (Last Year: 3rd in Pool B) - Since entering the tournament Holland has been a consistently good team capable of upsets, but hasn’t been able to advance from the group stage. Unless their roster has changed drastically this year will be no different, but with most of their players coming from out of town it’s hard to know and they very well could be the sleeper in this pool.
Ireland (Last Year: 4th in Pool B) - A team I don’t know much about but they played some competitive games last year. Look for them to do the same but lose to teams with more depth and organization.
Canada (Last Year: Last in Group B) - They seem to be playing a lot of exhibition games but results have been mixed and I really don’t know what to expect from this team. A strong core of players moved over from last year’s Portugal but I’m not sure if they have a solid enough team from top to bottom to better their results as new-look Canada.
1. Germany2. Poland
6. El Salvador
This group could get very messy with several legitimate contenders and teams who could pull “upsets” if anyone decides to take the day off.