Group G: Ireland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Peru, MyanmarGroup G could be a surprising group in this year’s group stage. We expect Ireland to advance with ease, but the second team to come out of the group could end up being a tossup. Congo was in a tough group last year with Puerto Rico and USA but was able to finish the group with a win. Peru finished its first season win-less but has revamped its roster and put together a nice friendly season. It also appears that Myanmar has also made some changes to its roster. Could Myanmar sneak into the knockout round for the first time in Unity Cup history, or will Congo or Peru prevail and advance?
Staff Predictions: Ireland and Peru advance.
Group H: Belize, Burkina Faso, Jamaica, ItalyGroup H makes up one of our better groups in this year’s tournament. Jamaica and Italy are kicking off this year’s tournament on Friday night, which could very well mark the end for the loser’s Unity Cup dreams. We aren’t sure what Burkina Faso is going to be bringing to the table, but we do know that Belize could lead this group. Coming off an impressive run to the Round of 8 last year, Belize is looking to make it further in this year’s tournament. Their group could give them the test they need, but they may not want to take it lightly. Jamaica and Italy are both Unity Cup veterans and know what it takes to make some noise in the knockout rounds.
Staff Predictions: Belize and Jamaica advance.
Group I: El Salvador, South Africa, Iran, IndiaThis year’s Group I is said to be very top heavy. El Salvador and South Africa have both proven to be top-tier teams when at their best. El Salvador was new to the field last year but came out strong with wins over Ireland and Bosnia. South Africa was stuck in Liberia’s group last year but was able to advance out of the group stage. We believe these two teams will advance out of the group stage, but India and Iran will do their best to prove us wrong. Iran may be new to the Unity Cup, but new teams have made great first impressions in years past. India did not have a great group stage last year, but to their credit, they were stuck in a group with Ivory Coast and Ukraine. If they can squeak out a win or draw against South Africa or El Salvador, India could be playing in the round of 26.
Staff Predictions: El Salvador and South Africa advance.