World Cup Blog: Preview

Monday, June 09, 2014
Every four years, the greatest tournament in the history of the world takes place. The FIFA World Cup of soccer. Thirty-two nations have survived various qualifiers and will converge on Brazil with games beginning June 12th. Twelve cities in that Portuguese speaking country will host games with the first game featuring the host nation, Brazil facing Croatia at Arena de So Paulo in one of the most congested cities on the planet.

It ends July 11th at the big stadium in Rio, Maracana where I think Germany will face Spain for the solid gold trophy. Along the way, the Americans may make their mark with Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach. Team USA plays its first game June 16th against Ghana at 5pm CDT. They can win that game, but will need to beat either the Germans or Portugal in Group G and or tie one of the aforementioned teams to have a chance to advance to the round of 16.

Germany is ranked 2nd in the tournament and they have one of the best Goalkeepers in the world in Manuel Neuer. Plus Mesut Ozil, of Turkish descent, but holding a German passport, is a passer of Magic Johnson ilk. Spain is the defending champion and the men in red boast a star-studded lineup that includes Xavi, Xabi Alonso, and the great Andres Iniesta. Iker Casillas in between the goal pipes heads their great defense.

Teams with an outside chance include the host nation, just because they will play better at home, France, England, Netherlands, Portugal, Mexico, and the United States. Russia, Ghana and Cameroon are also possibilities. It will be a great tournament. Thirty straight days of "the beautiful game" and I will blog every day until it's over. ENJOY!!!

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Since joining ABC7 in 1982, Jim Rose has become a major force in Chicago sports broadcasting. He currently serves as sports anchor/reporter for ABC7 News in Chicago's top-rated 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts. He is an avid fan of the World Cup! Learn more about Jim
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