In early June, I received a call from Kerry Benefield, prep sports columnist for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Press Democrat which is based in my hometown of Santa Rosa.

Kerry asked me to weigh in on the World Cup, especially in the context of the US team not competing.  Would the World Cup be the same without the US?  Who were the top teams, the top players, the cinderella stories?

Out of that conversation and a few emails with Jim Barger -the Press Democrat Sports Editor -came Inside the World Cup blog which I have enjoyed doing over the past month.

On June 14th, Kerry invited me to The Press Democrat headquarters in Santa Rosa, to join her for a podcast – Overtime with Kerry Benefield.  On that podcast, Kerry asked me who I was picking to win.  The World Cup had started that morning and I picked with a combination of my brain (Germany was a team many thought was capable of winning) and my heart (Germany is a team I have always supported since I have family in Germany and played in Germany as well).   Germany it was!

Well, as we all know, Germany had a historic flop and bowed out early.  To be honest, it didn’t matter as I found new teams and players to root for.  I was worried about looking foolish as many others picked Germany and looking foolish is something I do quite often.  Having said that, my chance to pick the winner from the start was gone.

Kerry Benefield on the other hand…

On that same podcast, I asked Kerry who she picked and she said she was going with France.  I should have listened to Kerry as she got it right from the start!

Kerry is no stranger to the soccer world as she played locally in the Sonoma County before playing with the CAL women’s soccer team.  With her recent World Cup prediction, my only concern is she might leave her role at The Press Democrat -one which she does extremely well – and move on to Vegas predicting future World Cups!

Congratulations to France and congratulations to Kerry!