In just a few hours, the globe’s most important sporting event will be underway.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins on Thursday when the host nation Brazil will take on European upstarts Croatia at Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians at 1:00 p.m. PT. For a month, the world’s eyes will be focused on Brazil as 32 nations compete for the honor of hoisting the trophy aloft at the final at the iconic Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.
Throughout the tournament, we’ll be providing analysis and daily coverage of the tournament from Los Angeles and in Brazil on LAGalaxy.com/WorldCup. I’ll be covering the tournament locally from Southern California while LAGalaxy.com digital’s Chris Thomas will be on location in Brazil.
To date, there is already extensive coverage on the website including a World Cup restaurant guide of each of the nations that will be competing, a list of Galaxy watch parties including the U.S. viewing party for the Portugal match, and coverage of the United States’ run through the tournament especially given LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez's participation.
The World Cup is finally here.
Ahead of the tournament, I decided to give the readers of LA Galaxy Insider a look of how I believe that the tournament will turn out. Earlier in the season, I stated that Germany was my favorite to take the title in Brazil. While I later bandied the idea of the host nation lifting the trophy at the Marcanana in mid-July, however, I’ve finally decided who I’m going with and the answer just may surprise you.
That’s right, the famed deliverers of the Maracanazo, who now boast a team brimming with the attacking talent of Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani and even Diego Forlan. I believe that not only with the South American national triumph in their Group of death alongside Italy, England and Costa Rica, but they will also march to the title by defeating the likes of Spain and Argentina before knocking off Brazil in the final.
Uruguay defeats Brazil 2-1 in the Maracanazo Part II.
A few thoughts and notes
* LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and forward Landon Donovan backed Brazil to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
*The Galaxy's resident Swede Stefan Ishizaki picked the country of his father's birth to enjoy a deep run that will end in the second round
*Former Galaxy star Hyung-Mung Bo will lead Korea Republic in the tournament as their head coach.
Take a look at my bracket below.
Landon Donovan made his debut for ESPN's 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage on Wednesday and his first appearance was enough to make headlines.
The complete video of his interview with ESPN anchor Mike Tirico is below.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – In his first appearance on ESPN’s 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage, Landon Donovan made a powerful statement.
The United States can complete for the World Cup.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made headlines across the country due to his repeated statements that it is “just not realistic” that the U.S. can win the World Cup. During his ESPN segment on Wednesday, Donovan stated that he disagreed with the U.S. National Team boss’ assessment of the team’s chances.
“Well, this will come as a surprise to nobody, but I don’t agree with Jurgen. As someone who has been in that locker room, and has sat next to the players — and I agree with Alexi [Lalas] — we agree with the American outlaws. We believe that we will win. That’s the way Americans think. That’s the sentiment.
“One point that I’d like to make, if we’re really expecting to go out and beat Portugal and beat Ghana, and beat Germany –who are in my opinion one of the best teams in the world—if you can beat Germany, why can’t you beat anyone else? It doesn’t mean that it is going to happen, but I believe it and I think that all of America believes it.”
Donovan admitted during his interview with ESPN’s Mike Turico that he has come to terms with his omission from the national team and stated that it was time to support the USMNT in Brazil.
“It’s not easy, but at the same time, I have a lot of teammates and friends on that team and I sit next to Omar Gonzalez every day in LA so I have a lot of contact with the guys still and I’m very excited for them,” he said. “Once I’ve been able to get past the disappointment, now I’m genuinely excited for the tournament as a soccer fan. All of our fans are excited to watch the tournament and let’s hope for great things. This can be a very special summer.”
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane went 27 minutes in the Republic of Ireland's 5-1 defeat to Portugal at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo started the match and went 65 minutes as the United States' Group G opponents flattened the Irish through a brace from Hugo Almeida, an own goal by Irish defender Richard Keogh, Vieirinha and Fabio Coentrao.
James McClean scored the lone goal for the Irish side which went 0-1-1 in their two U.S. based friendlies.
Landon Donovan will not be suiting up for the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but the LA Galaxy forward will be keeping busy.
In a video done by LAGalaxy.com, Donovan shows that he'll be keeping busy during the tournament.
Also don't forget to also check out the USA vs. Portugal World Cup watch party at Downtown Los Angeles' Lot 613. Tickets are on sale at Joinordie.LAGalaxy.com now.
Check out Donovan's video below.
LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan will be serving as an analyst for ESPN for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but in light of this news, let's look back at the highlight of Donovan's last foray into broadcasting.
Donovan served as an analyst for Fox Sports 1's UEFA Champions League coverage a year ago and during the broadcast, he provided a hilarious impression of english accent of German-born U.S. National Team midfielder Jermaine Jones.
Check it out below.
A day ago, U.S. Soccer released 23 fascinating profile videos of each of the members of the 23-man U.S. National Team squad that will be competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez's is perhaps one of the most interesting as he describes his love of cooking, the interesting way that he met his wife Erica and how he started his youth career in Dallas.
Check it out below.
Robbie Keane to miss Chivas USA match to join up with Ireland for matches against Costa Rica and Portugal
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will be without the services of Robbie Keane for their June 8 match against Chivas USA after the forward told reporters on Thursday that he will be reporting for the Republic of Ireland’s friendlies against Costa Rica and Portugal in the United States.
Keane told reporters that he’ll join up with the Irish National Team in Philadelphia ahead of their match against Costa Rica at PPL Park on June 6, following the Galaxy’s match against the Chicago Fire on Sunday at Toyota Park. Ireland will take on the United States’ Group G opponent Portugal on June 10 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Although the callup will force Keane to miss the Galaxy’s final game before the international break, the Galaxy captain said that the conversations between club and country went smoothly.
“Really, I should have been gone for four games because international teams have a priority in these situations when it is an international fixture on the schedule,” said Keane. “Ireland and Bruce spoke and they were happy if I played two games for the Galaxy and miss the Chivas game, that way I was missing two for Ireland and playing two for Ireland.
“I’m grateful for both teams and it’s one of those situations where I have to sit back and let the teams discuss it,” he added. “Of course, I want to be in both places and playing for both, but unfortunately, the way that schedule works. At the same time, it’s a good chance for [younger] players in Ireland to get games and experience.”
In the latest trailer of ESPN's "Inside: U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil," USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann tells ESPN's Roger Bennett about the formation of his 23-man squad and the controversial decision to drop longtime international Landon Donovan.
Check it out below.