Like the Netherlands, the United States will also participate in the World Cup for the first time since 2014. The question is whether American sports fans are preparing for a tournament that takes place primarily in the early hours and have to compete with the height of their sports season.
In a TV commercial by FOX Sports announcer, Santa Claus, he is played by actor Jon Hamm (mad men), is preparing for the World Cup which, to his surprise, falls in the middle of the festive season. And quickly, his assistants pack T-shirts from Mbappe and Neymar. The ad ends with a parade of Americans’ choice on the streets of New York. A possible fairy tale, according to Santa Hamm.
It’s also a strange sensation for the United States, the World Cup which begins at the end of the fall. American fans will experience the championship with breakfast in their arms. The first games on the east coast start at 5 am, in the west of the country football matches are in night shifts.
All US men’s group matches, designated for England, Wales and Iran, will take place at 2 p.m. local time. Sports fans can visit the many sports bars in the country for early matches.
Emergency Law in Washington
An emergency law was passed in Washington, D.C. in September allowing all bars to open 24 hours a day during the World Cup. No alcohol is served between 4 AM and 6 AM. With a glass of water, football fans can prepare to face Argentina-Croatia, or Switzerland-Cameroon.
In the country where soccer is the fastest growing sport according to polling agency Gallup, the coming weeks should show whether soccer can compete with the powerful domestic alternative, American soccer. In the United States, the NFL professional league season, as well as the top college season, is currently in full swing.
In 2021, 75 of the 100 most watched TV shows were from American football games. The most popular match of all time for the US men’s soccer team, the group match against Portugal in the 2014 World Cup (2-2), ranked 20th among the most popular matches of the past year with over 24 million viewers.
On American Thanksgiving weekend, when Uruguay, Portugal and Brazil games are scheduled, the turkey will likely be eliminated with the Buffalo Bills against the Detroit Lions, and later the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys, on TV.
It would make a difference in terms of interest that men’s American football qualified for the world championships for the first time since 2014. In 2018, he missed the tournament due to a playoff stigma against Trinidad and Tobago. “We’ve suffered a lot of damage as a result,” FOX Sports Director David Neal said recently. Advertising revenue is down 29% from the 2014 tournament, when a record viewership was set.
Americans love winners, as it turns out. The viewing record for an international soccer match still belongs to the most famous women: the 2015 World Cup final match they won attracted more than 25 million American viewers.
In Qatar, FOX Sports is doing its best to serve the people. The channel reports matches from a huge, state-of-the-art two-storey studio on the Doha Corniche.
The American viewer will get nothing from the host country’s violation of human rights. “Our approach is clear, the same as in Russia four years ago,” Neil said. “We are only focusing on 64 matches.”
The channel benefits from good showings from Americans who are not expected to perform miracles. National coach Greg Berhalter’s team is among the youngest to compete in the World Championships with an average of 25 years. With players like Weston McKinney (Juventus), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Giovanni Reina (Borussia Dortmund), Tyler Adams (Leeds United) and Sergino Dest (AC Milan), there is more talent than ever, but the team lacks experience.
The last training matches against Japan (0-2) and Saudi Arabia (0-0) were cause for concern in September. Many observers see the tournament in Qatar as the first major test of the 2026 World Cup in their country. The hope is that Americans, known for their winning mentality, will rise above themselves at the Great Moment.
Others are already expecting more from the team. “Your young age shouldn’t be an excuse,” former FOX analyst and international Alexei Lalas said recently. They should be able to do well on paper. We are better than Wales. We are better than Iran. If you survive the group, you have to take every opportunity after that.
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