U.S. draw: Even better than you think 

December, 4, 2009
12/04/09
5:11
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Landon Donovan's body language -- and his actual language -- said it all as he watched the World Cup draw unfold at New York's ESPNZone. When Mexico was immediately pulled into South Africa's group, he tried to keep a flat affect, but a slight head shake and a roll of the eyes said, "Here we go again." But when it was revealed that El Tri would play South Africa in the tournament's first match, he quickly piped up: "I don't know if I'd want to be in that game."

Things changed when the U.S. drew England for its first match in Group C of World Cup pool play. Amid some groans from the surrounding media and fans, Donovan smiled a broad, "bring-it-on" smile, and actually slapped his knee. "Awesome," he said out loud. "Can't wait."

Let the Beckham-Donovan hype begin.

For exclusive insight into the hidden advantages in the U.S. team's draw, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.

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