It’s about to be World Cup time!

Published 12:01am Thursday, May 29, 2014

Two weeks from today, the kick off of one of the most renown sports tournaments will commence — the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

There, 32 teams from around the world will converge to vie for the most coveted prize in soccer.

This World Cup is held every four years, so each one brings its own uniqueness and majesty.

I, like the soccer players, covet the opportunity to watch the tournament when I can.

Tournament play is split up into stages.

The first stage is group play. There are eight groups — A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H — where four teams in each group will play one match against each of the other teams in the same group. The winners will be awarded three points, one point for a draw or tie and none for a defeat. Teams that finish first and second in each group advance to the Round of 16, or the start of the qualifying stage.

The Round of 16 starts June 28 with the quarterfinals beginning on July 4.

By the way, this is a month-long tournament of epicness.

After the quarters, the semifinals will commence during a two-day period before the third-place game and the World Cup final will be played on July 12-13.

The United States is playing in a gauntlet of a group in Group G. The home team is playing against Germany, Portugal and Ghana, all powerhouses in the soccer world.

I’m not saying that USA isn’t a powerhouse. It’s just going to take quite an effort from our boys to get passed the group stage.

The other groups that are in the World Cup and should be kept a watchful eye for are Group H with Belgium, Algeria, Russia and the Korea Republic; Group F with Argentina, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria; Group E with Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras; Group D with Uruguay, Costa Rica, England and Italy; Group C with Colombia, Greece, Côte D’Ivoire and Japan; Group B with defending World Cup champions Spain, the Netherlands, Chile and Australia; and Group A with host Brazil, Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon.

From the many reports out there right now, Groups F, E, D, B and A will boast some good matches.

One thing people tend to forget is that the World Cup, like the summer Olympics, brings together nations from around the world to play in the big tournament.

Opening ceremonies will be held on June 12 with the first match between Brazil and Croatia kicking off at 3 p.m.

In two weeks, I’ll be waiting at the edge of my favorite seat as the announcer says those token words — let the games begin.

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