Italy: Rolling Stones
Paraguay : Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
Paraguay has qualified for the second round in seven of their eight World Cup appearances. Paraguay is under the radar, just like Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Paraguay has foiled more than a few teams over the years and has a solid history in the World Cup. They will advance and could easily win this group. They’ll be overlooked by the casual fan but the diehard will know them. An Ecuadorian introduced us to Los Fabulosos Cadillacs back in 1997. Matador is great song and epitomizes Paraguay in this Cup. A ska song with a rock edge fits the gritty Paraguayan team that many won’t take seriously but in the end they’ll make some noise.
New Zealand : Flight of the Conchords
Is Flight of the Conchords a real band? Is the New Zealand National Soccer team a real soccer team? It's not clear. New Zealand is from the weak Oceania qualifying group and slipped into the World Cup by defeating Bahrain in a one game playoff. The Kiwis are loveable losers in soccer. The biggest headline heading coming out of the New Zealand camp during the run up to the World Cup is that their captain, Ryan Nelson, hopes that England wins the World Cup this year. This is the team that is ‘just happy to be here.’ They’re kind of the polar opposite of the All Blacks Rugby team, a point not lost on the New Zealanders, in fact they nicknamed their soccer team the All Whites. I expect to laugh when watching Flight of the Conchords and we think we’ll get a chuckle out of New Zealand as well.
Remember when it was Czechoslovakia? For those of you not keeping up with the rise and fall of Communism, Czechoslovakia is now two nations: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic has a solid record. Slovakia? Not so much. If Czechoslovakia is The Fugees, then The Czech Republic is Wyclef and Slovakia is Pras. After the break up of the Fugees, Wyclef went on and released the Carnival album and had huge success. Although subsequent albums haven't been as successful, he has definitely had additional hits. But the other two? Well, Lauryn Hill went on and had huge success with her album, whereas Pras was really just a one hit wonder with "Ghetto Superstar." It's hard to know if Slovakia will be a Lauryn Hill or a Pras. We are betting on Pras. Don’t expect much from Slovakia this World Cup. They made the tournament by taking down the Ukraine in a one game play-off and will make a first round exit. Just like Pras.