CHS students gear up for World Cup

CHS students gear up for World Cup

Nathan Gertler

Sophomore varsity soccer player Nicholas Yazdani sports and Iran jersey and plans to support the team at the World Cup.

By Nathan Gertler, Contest Manager

Every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except for in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II, the FIFA World Cup has brought the world an exhilarating four weeks of soccer in the middle of the summer.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will start in Sao Paulo, Brazil June 12.  Kicking off its quest for a record sixth World Cup win, Brazil will play its first game against Croatia in the tournament opener.

“The World Cup is very special because it’s been around for a long time, and it’s only every four years,” sophomore soccer fan Sepehr Hoghooghi said. “It’s one of the biggest sporting events because soccer is watched and enjoyed by everyone.”

According to a July 2011 ESPN.com article, at least 1 billion people watched the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands.

Thirty-two teamss from 32 separate countries will be competing in the World Cup this summer in Brazil.  The first qualifiers for the World Cup begin about three years before the tournament starts.  All teams, except for the hosts of that year’s World Cup, have to qualify from their own regions in order to make it to the tournament.

The World Cup will be extra special this year, not only because it is expected to be the most viewed World Cup in history with over a billion people watching, but also because it is going to be held in Brazil, the nation with the most World Cup wins.

“The World Cup is always special but because it’s in the most decorated country in soccer the Brazilian National team will have a lot of pressure, to make it more special,” Hoghooghi said.

Many other students are excited for the World Cup, and some are even traveling to Brazil to experience it first-hand this summer.  Sophomore varsity soccer player Nicholas and former soccer player and fan Michael Yazdani are two of the few people from CHS who will be attending.

According to the Yazdani brothers, they are not only extremely excited to be going to the World Cup to see the intense competition of the sport, and support Iran and the United States but also to be traveling through exotic Brazil.

“The World Cup is one of the most watched sporting events because anything can happen,” Michael said. “Upsets and great goals occur throughout the entire tournament.”

The U.S. Men’s National team will be heading into the World Cup in June with high confidence after finishing at the top of its group for qualifying in North America.  It also reached the knockout stage out in the World Cup in 2010, the first time since its quarterfinal run in the 2002 World Cup.  The team’s run in the 2010 World Cup should give them the extra confidence that they need in the competition this summer.

One major obstacle for the U.S. National team is the “group of death” it is in.   Their group consists of heavy favorites, Germany, Portugal, which has one of the best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ghana, the team that eliminated the US four years ago in South Africa.

“The U.S. team will have a tough time making it far in the tournament because of the group they are in, but I believe they still have the skill to make an upset,” Nicholas said.