World Cup - 11 Things To Know (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

On the eve of the tournament, some facts and figures.

11 Things To Know About the World Cup

On the eve of the tournament, the cusp of the Cup, here are some things to keep in mind.  This is for neophytes of football.  If you're a long time filled-in fan, surf on to something else to fill your head with soccer stuff (like we're all doing before it all starts) because you know all this already.  Because we're 11 News, here's a list of 11...not in order of importance.

1) The U.S plays its first game Saturday against possible powerhouse England.  The English are favored.

2) It took 2 years of qualifying tournaments by region to get more than 200 national teams whittled down to the 32 in the finals.

3) An estimated 1.5 billion dollars will be wagered on the World Cup by the time it's over.

4) The tournament started in 1930, the host nation that year, Uruguay, the winner that year....Uruguay.

5) The World Cup's all time top team..Brazil. They've won the title 5 times. Italy is 2nd with four championships including the last one.

6) The U.S has played 25 games 8 appearances in the World Cup Finals Tournament. The team has won 6, lost 16 and tied 3.

7) It's estimated that at least 26 billion cumulative viewers will watch the 64 games on TV.

8) This is the first time the tournament has been played in the continent of Africa.

9) Adidas made a brand new ball for this tournament. Experts say it dips and curves and waffles in the air like no ball before it.  Goalkeepers are wringing their hands, attackers are licking their lips.

10) The offside rule is your key to understanding the sport.  A very simple explanation: When the ball is played to an attacker, he must be in front of, or level with the last defender.  It doesn't matter where that defender is when the ball reaches the attacker, it's when the ball is played.  There's more to it than that..but that should help. Watch a game or two with someone who knows the sport.

11) The US scored a remarkable victory in the World Cup Tournament way back in 1950.  The 1-0 victory that day 60 years ago is still referred to as "The Miracle On Grass".    The opponent that day...England.

Enjoy the World Cup!  Get to know the game, you'll like it..I promise! 

More info on the U.S. situation here:

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward


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