Why you should watch the World Cup, even though Team USA isn't playing
No USA, but lots more to enjoy
Well, first off… IT STARTS TOMORROW. Set your DVR’s, get your bets in, and enjoy because this only happens every four years.
Location: Moscow, Russia
Dates: June 14th - July 15th
Favorites to win: Brazil, Germany, France
32 teams, 8 different groups, and the USA is not one of them. Sorry to put a damper on the mood, but the United States men’s soccer team did not qualify for the tournament after losing to Trinidad and Tobago back in October. The last time the U.S. squad failed to qualify for the World Cup was back in 1986.
But, we've got four good reasons why you should still watch this year's World Cup!
Portland Timbers represented in World Cup
If you don’t have a specific team to root for, and since the US is out, how about a few Portland Timbers players! Midfielders Andy Polo and David Guzman each made the final roster on their World Cup team. Polo to Peru and Guzman to Costa Rica.
Peru vs. Denmark (Group C - Saturday 9am Pacific)
Costa Rica vs. Serbia (Group E - Sunday 5am Pacific)
You should gamble on the World Cup
There’s a lot of fun to be had betting on World Cup games. Want to make the opening game of Russia vs. Saudi Arabia interesting? Bet on a draw at 3.4 to 1 odds and enjoy rooting for the goalies to stop every single shot.
Also, a future bet on a team to win it all keeps the whole tournament interesting. We suggest (for entertainment purposely only) Argentina at 9/1 odds as a realistic but not overly favored bet and if you want a long shot, check out Group G and Senegal at 150/1!
Odds via Bovada.lv
Ronaldo and Messi and Neymar, OH MY!
You'll want to catch some of the greatest players in the world... Let’s start with the obvious. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (81 international goals). Whether it is his flashy goals, perfectly slicked back hair, or embarrassing statues, Ronaldo is one of the three faces of soccer. The other two, Argentina’s Lionel Messi (61 international goals) and Brazil’s Neymar Jr. (55 international goals).
Other notables: Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller, Egypt forward Mhamed Salah, Mexico forward Javier Hernandez.
Why you should root for Iceland. Yes, Iceland.
You read that correctly. The small, 330,000 populated Iceland, is a soccer-phenom country now. And since the US is not in it, sorry to bring that up again, here are just a few reasons to root for Iceland:
- Iceland is the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup.
- The Iceland Thunderclap is amazing. I’m sure you’ve seen it before, but if you haven’t, pull it up on YouTube and get ready to get chills.
- Head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson is also a dentist.
- Iceland is known to be a cinderella story. Made quarterfinals in Euro 2016, but lost to France 5-2.