Tomorrow’s a pretty big day in the soccer world. Croatia and France hope to complete their World Cup runs with international silverware of the highest order and everyone is placing their bets. Atlanta United and its players aren’t immune to the hype either, as Brad Guzan and Jeff Larentowicz gave reporters their picks early Friday morning. First, they discussed the difficulty of trying to watch the final while getting prepared for a match of their own that begins just hours later.
“Us watching the game might be a bit of a question mark at the moment,” said Guzan. “We’ll obviously be at the stadium and I know there will be a few fans at the stadium watching the game. I’m sure we’ll have it on in the background of the locker room. At the same time though, we’ll be making sure that we’re mentally and physically preparing for our game. It’ll be a unique circumstance.”
Larentowicz was a little more adamant about watching the match.
“We get to the stadium pretty early, so there’s plenty of opportunities to watch and there are plenty of televisions,” said Larentowicz. “We could be doing anything to prepare ourselves and there’s a television in front of our faces. It’s the World Cup final. We’ll be watching.”
Then, the moment of truth came.
“Croatia’s feeling good about themselves, but I think France might be a bit too strong,” said Guzan. “They’ve got a lot of weapons.”
“He picked France?” asked Larentowicz. “That’s a safe bet. I’m actually pulling for Croatia. I think once it got down to the quarterfinals on that side of the bracket, that was the team that was going to the final. It’s a small nation. They keep their mouth shut and go about their business. Everyone talks about their ‘golden generation’. You look at the players on the field from such a tiny country and the pedigree they have, it’s impressive. It’s probably the last cycle for these players, so with the midfield players and the players they have up front, it would be good to see them win.”
We’ll see who gets the bragging rights...