Several MLS players were drawn into the proverbial "Group of Death" at the 2018 World Cup on Friday.
Groups C, D and E can all make arguments, but Group F, featuring Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea, looks like the toughest group for next summer’s tournament in Russia.
Several current MLSers will almost assuredly be involved in the group, with the LA Galaxy’s Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos and LAFC’s Carlos Vela likely to be called up by Mexico and the Seattle Sounders’ Gustav Svensson likely to be on Sweden’s final roster.
Defending World Cup champions Germany will be favored to win the group, with Mexico, Sweden and Korea set to battle for second. The three countries took varied roads to Russia. Mexico finished first in CONCACAF qualifying and cruised to the tournament, South Korea squeaked in on the final day of Asian qualifying and Sweden upset Italy in a UEFA playoff to advance to Russia.
Group D also looks very competitive. Headlined by Argentina, the group also includes European upstarts Iceland, a tough Croatia side and African heavyweights Nigeria. Group C, with France, Denmark, Peru and Australia, and Group E, with Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia and MLS-heavy Costa Rica, both have big favorites at the top, but a solid amount of balance with their other three teams.
Click here to see all the results of the World Cup draw and the full schedule for next summer’s tournament.