Oct 11, 2013; Kansas City, KS, USA; U.S. fans celebrate as the United States players walk around the field after beating Jamaica at Sporting Park. The United States won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

A Yankee's Guide to the 2014 World Cup

Hello Yanks*! For those of you who never watched a soccer match for the last four years or your life but want to get into that World Cup spirit, You’re in luck!

*Yanks mean American, in case you didn’t know

Introducing the “We Are Hooligans Unofficial World Cup Guide for the Yanks”!

This guide will help you understand which teams are capable of dominating and which teams are simply fun to watch. This guide will also prevent you from wasting your time watching a dull nil-nil (or 0-0 tie) so you won’t regret taking that sick day on match day. You want this year’s World Cup to leave a good taste in your mouth? Then take my word for it and follow what this guide says.

Watch Every U.S. National Team match

You may have heard rumors about your country being matched up with the group of death. You have Ghana, the team that eliminated ‘Murica in the last two World Cup, whose gritty yet impressive ball movement resembles this season’s Chicago Bulls. There is Portugal led by Christiano Ronaldo who is the Lebron James of soccer. Fortunately for the US, Portugal is nothing like the Miami Heat and has a roster that resembles to 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers. Then there is Germany who are literally the San Antonio Spurs of soccer; all fundamentals, strong defense, high IQ.

Despite the sheer power of their opponents, you should stand behind Uncle Sam and cheer on your national team. Find a pub, bar, or friend that will be hosting a World Cup viewing party and put on anything that’s red, white and blue. Or even better, contact your local chapter of “American Outlaws” and see where they will be gathering to watch the match. They will introduce you to the proper songs, chants, and cheers to fully immerse you into the American soccer culture and convert you into a true fan. Remember, although watching your team win is a huge part of the fan experience, it’s not complete until you cheer “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!” alongside 100 other fanatics at a Buffalo Wild Wings.

Even if you’re a bit skeptical about ‘Murica’s chances of making it out of the group, you don’t want to be that loser in the future who missed out on watching the greatest upset in soccer history. How can you look at your children and say you’re darn proud to be American when you can’t recall that time when Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley lead USA to a 2-1 victory over the Germans?

Don’t Watch England At All

Assuming that England will be a successful team is like holding onto hope that the Dallas Cowboys will make it to the Super Bowl. England’s poster child, Wayne Rooney, shares a lot of similarities with the Cowboy’s Tony Romo. Both players are capable of winning games during the regular season, but when it comes to crucial must-win matches, they perform with a figurative noose around their neck. They are literally the biggest choke artists in their respective sport.

Are you surprised? Isn’t England the country that pretty much invented soccer? If you see England that way, ask yourself this; “Aren’t the Cowboys supposed to be the definition of modern American football?” A decorated history doesn’t change the fact that both teams suck something awful in the big tournaments. You never saw England play to their full potential and chances are you never will.

Belgium vs Korea will be a Fun Match

This match will be fun if the following scenarios happen.

  1. Korea has to win one match (Algeria) and lose the other (Russia)
  2. Belgium wins their first (Algeria) and draws in their second (Russia)

This situation is likely to happen, setting up for a must-win match between Korea and Belgium (given the likelihood that Russia will beat Algeria). Korea and Belgium have the makings of becoming a tense match, almost like the Houston Rockets vs Portland Trailblazers playoff series where every play left you at the edge of your seat. Korea boasts a very up-tempo game and loves to put defensive pressure on their opponents everywhere on the field. Belgium has beautiful chemistry and have so much creativity and energy in their attacks. This game has the makings of being the opposite of what every American hates about soccer due to the high amounts of energy both team plays with. You will love this game.

Japan vs Cote d’Ivoire

At first glance, you’ll think the Japanese are going to get slaughtered by Cote d’Ivoire because the Samurai Blue consists of Maya Yoshida, Keisuke Honda, a goalie and 8 really short guys. Meanwhile the African giants are blessed with tall, athletic stars like Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba who look like they can run over the Japanese and have their way with the ball. However, that’s not the case. The match between Japan and Cote d’Ivoire will introduce two extremely contrasting styles of soccer. You have the Japanese who preach cohesion and compact formations while the Cote d’Ivoire will utilize their athleticism and pace to control the game. This is Golden State Warriors versus the Los Angeles Clippers. The Denver Broncos versus the San Francisco 49ers. This could be a high scoring match and will have more goals than three weeks-worth of MLS matches.

Watch Brazil vs Anyone

Back in the 1970’s some Brazilian guy Pele (Prononced Peh-Ley) decided to come America to play soccer in New York. Through the New York Cosmos, he made the United States care about soccer for a decade before he called it quits. Then America stopped caring. If you’re really curious what made America actually care about soccer, watch Brazil. They have this guy Neymar who does very Pele-like things.

Chile vs Netherlands: UPSET ALERT

Chile (not the restaurant that sells microwaved baby back ribs) is one of the dark horse teams in the World Cup and has the tools to upset any of the giants in the World Cup. Chile has the tools to upset any of the major European superpowers in this World Cup tournament and my guess is Netherlands will be the victim. Although Netherlands has an established veteran superstar in Arjen Robben, their defense can get caught ball-watching. Chile loves to play fast-paced yet organized style of soccer that can put opposing defenses in a panic. Netherland’s defense is as inexperienced and young as they come and will see Chile score the moment they blink. This matchup bears similarities to the 2007 NBA Playoffs when the eighth seed Golden State Warriors broke down the first seed Dallas Mavericks.

Tags: Brazil Soccer USA World Cup

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