World Cup Kicks Into Action This Summer
BY WILLIAM YOUNG ON MAY 16, 2014
Every four years, soccer fans are treated to the largest soccer competition in the world. Suitably called the World Cup, the tournament includes many of the world’s best soccer playing countries. The hype leading up to the event is tremendous. Countries have been playing throughout the past year in order to secure a spot in soccer’s most cherished tournament.
Nike and Adidas capitalize on the importance of the World Cup by releasing special World Cup cleats and jerseys. Radical fans snatch up the new cleats and jerseys to support their home country.
While baseball and football is only really found in the United States, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. In the 2010 World Cup, over three billion people watched at least part of the tournament. Countries go head to head in an attempt to bring home the beautiful trophy and a sense of pride to their country.
This summer’s World Cup will take place in Brazil, and will start on June 12, 2014.
USA’s bracket is unfortunately a pretty tough one, including Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Portugal and Germany are close to the best in the world and Ghana beat them in the 2010 World Cup. USA is going to have to play its best soccer if they want to advance.
First, USA will play all three teams in their bracket. The top two will play each other to see who gets to advance into the next round. From there on out it is single elimination. The loser goes home, pride tarnished and empty handed.
USA’s strategy this year has been to go younger. Landon Donovan was cut from the roster this year because, as a veteran, he was not able to keep up with the younger talent. Many soccer fans were surprised to see that one of USA’s biggest stars was cut for this year’s World Cup. Donovan has played in two World Cups and holds the American record of five goals in World Cup matches. Veteran goalie Tim Howard was kept on the roster and will continue to play as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. This will be Howard’s third World cup and the young team looks to his leadership and experience on the big stage.
Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley are two crucial players for USA. Dempsey is the team’s captain, and anchors the midfield as an outstanding passer and finisher. Bradley also is a midfielder, and his creative mind and eye for his teammates make him a dangerous player.
Favorites Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo will no doubt have a big impact on the tournament. Messi plays for Argentina as a striker, and his ability to cut through defenders and finish make him a nightmare for anyone wearing the opposite jersey. Messi has scored 371 goals for his club team Barcelona, a team record. Ronaldo plays at the forward position for Portugal, and holds the record of 49 goals for the team. Can these big time stars carry their team to a championship?
Since it only happens every four years, the players must diligently train to make sure they are ready for their shot at a world championship. The world is watching these talented players represent their countries and the stakes couldn’t be higher. This summer will be full of intense soccer played at the absolute highest level.