Team USA Still Working To Qualify For 2014 World Cup

Posted on 15. Aug, 2013 by in Soccer

The games to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup that will be held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil next summer have been taking place for several years now and Team USA has made it to the final round. There are six teams remaining in the final round and they will each play each other several times throughout 2013.

Each team is awarded points during the rounds from winning or drawing, plus additional points for goal difference and greater number of goals scored in matches. Right now, Team USA is in the lead with 13 points, with Costa Rica close behind with 11 points.

The first games of the final round of qualifying took place in February, with Mexico tying Jamaica, Panama tying Costa Rica, and the United States losing to Panama. American soccer fans were disappointed in the defeat, but knew that there were several more games still to be played.

March saw six more games and Team USA faced both Costa Rica and Mexico on two separate days. The USA pulled off a win against Costa Rica, but came away from their match against Mexico with the score tied up. Jamaica won and tied their two games, Panama as well, and Honduras tied one game and lost another.

After a break of about two months, the games were back on in June. Team USA beat Jamaica on their home turf in Kingston, Jamaica June 7, scoring two goals to Jamaica’s one. A few days later Team USA played in Seattle, Washington against Panama and beat the team by two goals to none. For their final match in the month of June, Team USA travelled to Salt Lake City, Utah to compete against Honduras once again and won the match one to zero.

Soccer fans are looking forward to games resuming in September and Team USA will play against Costa Rica September 6 in San Jose, Costa Rica and again September 10 against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio. The last group of games will be held in October and the teams with the most points will face each other next summer at the World Cup.

With the growing popularity of soccer in the United States, ticket sales for World Cup qualifying matches have been selling out quickly and have been quite hard to come by. Some tickets have been selling for hundreds of dollars, with fans eager to see their favorite players no matter the cost.

In Rio de Janiero, many residents are unhappy with the way the country is preparing for the World Cup and protests have been popping up all over the city. The 19th World Cup is expected to bring in millions, if not billions, of dollars to the city, but many residents don’t expect to see any of that money returned back to the citizens of Rio.

The Brazilian Football Confederation has estimated that the country will spend over one billion dollars just to construct the stadiums and buildings necessary to hold the event, and that doesn’t include a planned high speed train that will connect Rio to other large cities in Brazil.

The protesters that have been battling with law enforcement in Sao Paulo have been holding signs against FIFA and the World Cup tournament, arguing that only the rich in Brazil are seeing any of the monetary benefits that the soccer tournament will bring to the country. The cite government corruption as the problem and expect that the plight of the poor in the country will not see any change.

Regardless of the political climate in Brazil, the World Cup is well on its way and the world will be watching in less than one year. An estimated 715 plus million viewers tuned in to watch the final match of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Brazil is well known for its highly soccer-enthusiastic populous, so chances are there will be plenty of spectators making their way into Rio from cities throughout the rest of the country.

The road to the World Cup is fraught with hard work, both for the teams competing and the host country as it prepares to welcome the world. As Team USA battles through its last few qualifying games, Brazil also battles to complete huge construction projects while keeping its residents happy and content that they will see some of the benefits that the soccer tournament is sure to bring with it.

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