Okay, so maybe the U.S. Women’s National soccer team spoiled American fans with their World Cup victory in 2016. The women were dominant in their run through tournament, and many of the players are recognizable off the pitch as well, due to the growing popularity of the sport in this country.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Men’s team is not keeping par with their female counterparts. Nonetheless, U.S. soccer fans can once again get in on the excitement soon as the world’s men kick off their World Cup challenge in the coming weeks.
The FIFA World Cup of Soccer kicks off in Moscow in mid-June, featuring the best men’s players from around the world. In matches stretching over a month across several Russian stadiums, the world will tune into to see whether the German men, again the favorites, can repeat their 2014 victory over powerhouse Argentina, or whether it will be Brazil or another of the perennial contenders.
Soccer’s popularity in the U.S. is always growing, but never more so than during the quadrennial Cup matches. Some of this is due to the success of the women’s team, and some is due to the Sunday morning broadcasts of the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga, as well as the ascension of American standouts like Christian Pulisic, who stars for German club Borussia Dortmund.
American fans, as well as others, however, will have to cheer instead for longtime stars like Argentina’s Lionel Messi or Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
This year, in addition to the recognizable superstars, viewers might find some breakout performances from newcomers like Spain’s midfielder Marco Asensio or Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus, the charismatic center forward who plays club ball for Manchester City in the English league.
Whoever leads whichever team to World Cup glory, the many matches beamed live from Russia will keep American futbol fans busy through the early part of the summer, and hopefully engage a new collection of fans. With any luck at all, the U.S. men will return in 2022.
And if they don’t, we can still cheer for the U.S. Women’s National Team again in 2020.