World Cup 2014: A Beginner's Guide

Many American sports fans are hopping on the World Cup bandwagon, willing to embrace the game of soccer and educate themselves on "the beautiful game." If you are curious about all the hype surrounding this event, check out this quick beginner's guide to watching the World Cup:

What is the FIFA World Cup?

  • It's the most popular soccer tournament in the world. There are a total of 32 teams and they are placed into eight groups (Groups A-H), each group containing four teams - this is called the group stages. The four other stages are The Round of 16, Quarter Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals, which are all played in the single elimination format (win or go home).

  • Where will the World Cup be taking place?
  • Brazil is the host nation.

  • Why do I need to watch this event?

  • It brings the world TOGETHER for one month - this year, from June 12th - July 12th. The World Cup only happens once every four years, and even if you don't like the sport, just give it a shot and root on your country.

  • Key terms to watch for used by announcers during the games
    As a new fan, you may not be familiar with the soccer lingo used by commentators during games. Here are a few terms and their meanings:
  • Football = Globally, soccer is considered football, unlike in America where football is the NFL.

  • Nutmeg or megged = This happens when a player makes the opposing player look silly by dribbling the ball through their legs and still managing to regain possession of the ball. Here's a cool compilation of megs:

  • First touch = The first initial touch a player has on the ball with their foot, usually coming from a pass from a teammate. That touch can determine whether a team keeps or loses possession of the ball.

  • Good/great ball = A quality pass/assist from a player.

  • Pitch = No, it has nothing to do with a throwing motion. It's actually an English word for a sports field -in this case, a soccer field.

  • upper 90 = A term used to describe the top left or right portion of the goal. The upper corner of a net is in the shape of a 90 degree angle. Many goal scorers aim at that portion of the net because that area is the toughest for a goalkeeper to get to. An upper 90 goal for your enjoyment:

  • What's with the referee pulling out different colored cards?

  • There's two different colored cards referees hold in their pocket: a yellow and red card. If you break the rules, it's usually just a foul. If fouls get out of hand, they'll usually give the player a caution card a.k.a. yellow card. If a foul is blatant and uncalled for, the referee will show a red card, which is an automatic ejection from the game.

  • Who are most recent World Cup winners in the last two decades?

  • The most recent title winners in the last two decades have been Spain (2010), Italy (2006), Brazil (2002), France (1998), Brazil (1994), and West Germany (1990).
  • Related Topics:
    sportsWorld Cupsoccer
    (Copyright ©2018 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)