Today is the day, the World Cup has finally come and Brazil is waiting on many-a-pitch to host one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
The first game of the Cup will be today at 2 p.m. on ESPN featuring Brazil versus Croatia in Group A. Brazil is a heavy favorite to win that game.
This year’s World Cup has been plagued with unrest and not being ready to host the world-welcoming event. The country has been a hotbed of fury over poor public services as of late, and discontent over a political system widely viewed as corrupt has built unrest in the public.
Residents of Brazil are also very angry over the $11.5 billion being spent on this event when the country will host the Olympics in two years as well.
But Cup-goers have high hopes that things will go off just fine and soccer, not politics, will be the main focal point over the next few weeks.
However, Cup officials are a little worried about one of the event’s pitches in Manaus. As one of the most remote stadiums, Manaus will undoubtedly have some attendance issues, being FAR from the capital city of Sau Paulo. But the other concern is the condition of the field. Dry conditions have made the field less than desirable, and visible white lines of dead or dying grass are clearly evident. Officials are working hard to remedy the issue as fast as possible, increasing fertilizing processes and adding biostiulants and seeds to get more out of the grass.
Manaus is where the U.S. will debut on Monday against Ghana.
And speaking of the US Men’s National Team, they’re at the center of their own small controversy after comments made by coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
In statements made yesterday, Klinsmann maintained fans shouldn’t expect the U.S. to lift soccer’s top trophy for the first time.
He added, “First, we’ve got to make it through the group. So let’s stay with our feet on the ground and say let’s get that group first done, and then the sky’s the limit.”
The U.S. has landed in one of the toughest groups, which includes Ghana, Germany and Portugal. The game on Monday will be a telling one as Ghana has eliminated the U.S. from World Cup contention the last two go-arounds. After that, the Americans will play No. 4 Portugal and FIFA Player of the Year Chstiano Ronaldo, then close the group against three-time champion Germany, who is ranked NO. 2 in the world.