What happens when North America wants to be at football’s greatest party…while still calling it soccer

With Brazil and Argentina and even Uruguay and Mexico far ahead of them, the USA and Canada look like toddlers playing dress-up when it comes to the FIFA World Cup – their fans are newcomers to the men’s game.

However, the two North American nations that have qualified for the actual World Cup in Qatar have dubbed their domestic leagues the “World Series” of other sports, but not much success in the world’s most popular sport. suitable for a real party of football.

Here are a few excerpts from how North America and its media are playing out for FIFA:

On its own, realistic: A goal is enough

CBC News, Canada’s premier news network, stirred excitement and tried to rouse the nation’s sleepy soccer soul by asking, “So we can’t win the World Cup?” after announcing that “Canada will play in the World Cup. Here’s what you need to know.” For what CBC calls “a lot of fans,” there’s reason to be excited because it’s happening 36 years later.

Then CBC writer Chris Jones responds: “Experts say not, but don’t let that put you off. Remember: this is Canada’s second World Cup. In 1986, the team lost all three games and went scoreless. The benchmark for success, somehow In a sense, the goal is … If they win, it would be huge.” Soccer writer Chris Jones, who covers the World Cup for CBC Sports in Qatar, wrote: “If Canada gets out of the group [stage]it’s amazing, like winning the world cup is our version.

Format explanation

As North American leagues such as the NBA, NHL and NFL go through the season, ending with conference finals and playoffs, the open format of this month-long World Cup, which ends on December 18, is news to many readers. So the CBC breaks it down in dummy format, starting with “The World Cup is held every four years.”

For the newbies, the CBC primer reads: “Canada is one of 32 teams to qualify for the continental confederation tournament. The World Cup final is scheduled for December 18, and the winner will receive the FIFA World Cup trophy. If you’re interested, there’s also the Women’s World Cup next July in Australia and New Zealand, and Canada will be playing.

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Explaining each day the four matches during the 12-day period of group matches, CBC offers “points” and knockout ideas with quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. “In this (group) stage, a win will be worth three points, a draw will be worth one point and a loss will be worth zero points. The top two teams from each group, i.e. the teams with the most “points”, go to the playoffs.

The CBC lends a gentle touch of realism to its analysis of who Canada will be up against. Canada is in Group F, so they will play Belgium (November 23), Croatia (November 27) and Morocco (December 1) in the group stage. For the football uninitiated, these are three tough fixtures: Belgium are currently second in the FIFA men’s rankings, Croatia lost to France in the 2018 World Cup final, and Morocco are unbeaten in World Cup qualifying.

Teaching naming

It’s about the unfamiliar, and about a football game that tries to break through the clutter of the usual big North American sports of ice hockey and American football (with that long ball and shoulder pads and helmets).

“Tell us more about the Canadian team. Whose name should I name?’ The CBC app goes. It will be fashionable to worry about the fitness of Alphonso Davies, “one of the best young footballers in the world”.

The 22-year-old suffered an ankle injury while playing for Bayern Munich, but the German club assured CBC News that Davis’ participation in the World Cup is “not in jeopardy.”

Another player hyped by the media for the World Cup is 23-year-old Tajon Buchanan, “also an international star playing for Belgian First Division A side Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League. “This is a very interesting player. This guy absolutely hates dealing with opposing defenders because he is so fast,” said soccer journalist John Molinaro, CBC contributor and founder of TFC Republic. Molinaro is followed by Toronto FC and World Cup buzz -chu is a regular football fan who updates the ignorant because the noise has penetrated his sports conscience.

CBC also reports: “Captain Atiba Hutchinson is overcoming a long injury to play in his first World Cup. At 39, it will be his last. “Emotionally, it will be interesting to watch. [play]”, said Andy Petrillo, host of CBC Sports’ Soccer North.”

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There are many questions about who will score Canada’s first goal at the World Cup. CBC Enterprises: “Also look out for defensive midfielder Steven Eustaquio and forward Jonathan David, both of whom are heading to Qatar from standout seasons in Europe. “If you had to bet on a Canadian to score the first goal in World Cup history, I think Jonathan David is the real deal. It’s a good bet,” Jones said.

Pulisic coffee table book and how to write a men’s team

Only exciting and exotic sports get the coffee table book treatment. Messi and Ronaldo’s smartphones have been updated.

Wyatt Meyer is a quarterback for the Cal Bears and grew up loving the Mavericks football team in Berkeley. Reviewing Pulisic: My Journey So Far, a coffee table book for Soccer America, the blogger-author highlights the career of the 24-year-old captain of the USMNT: US Men’s National Team.

The MNT is worth highlighting because, unlike elsewhere in the world, the United States men’s team is relatively unknown compared to the women, who have won multiple World Cups.

Christian Pulisic won the UEFA Champions League title with Chelsea and is the youngest player to captain the USMNT, who is well-known outside the country but has played basketball and golf but sticks to soccer.

“Pulisic’s parents, Mark and Kelly, both played college football at George Mason, while Mark played and coached pro ball indoors. Christian was around professional players as a kid and his club group was competitive with the PA Classics at a young age. “To be honest, my life wasn’t always about football,” he says, according to Soccer America, “he spent hours imitating the movements of his idols Wayne Rooney, Luis Figo and Ronaldinho.

Pulisic’s experience with the U.S. youth national teams attracted European scouts, and at the age of 17, he was with Borussia Dortmund. For someone who started in a dirt park in Pennsylvania and played for the PA Classics, the U.S. captain writes of growing up in a non-soccer center. “I wasn’t trying to impress people or watch me play; I just loved the game. I played football because I loved it, not because I wanted to go somewhere or somewhere. I just loved the game. That’s it.” Now he’s at the World Cup.

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Only North Americans understand … sniff and sigh

There is some concern for those who would play, including the hockey-loving public, who struggle with the idea of ​​playing any sport in 30-degree geography on Earth. This is their introduction to the topic of the death of migrants during the construction of the stadium due to the heat.

The CBC wrote: “First, the heat: Players will be seen sweating in 30C-plus temperatures. The tournament was moved from June-July to November in an effort to keep it a little cooler. But the move means many players are constantly coming back from the European and North American soccer seasons to acclimatize to the heat.” stands for.

“They’re a little more sloppy and slower at play,” says Professor Stephen Cheung, an environmental stress expert in human physiology at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont. A kind of perfect thermal state.

Perhaps accustomed to the best times of the Olympic Games – wherever they are held – to align with American broadcasters, FIFA will not make such concessions for the US in times of “Northern” inconvenience. “Unfortunately for Canadian fans, the World Cup kick-off time is between 5am and 2pm, which can make it difficult to tune in on a weekday (especially from a bar) unless your boss is also a soccer fan,” reports the CBC.

There is a final reference to a certain Messi and Ronaldo and their ‘Last Dance’. “Two of the biggest names in soccer are (probably) playing in the last World Cup: Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Both have never won the World Cup, so lifting the trophy in the final tournament would be a big deal for both the captain and the country’s fans.

Is it soccer or football?

Finally, the CBC is faced with a question that is asked every four years – like India’s “population of a billion and few Olympic medals”. It’s less aggravating, but still head-scratching. “Finally, should I say soccer or football?” The CBC responds: “Although Canada, the US and Australia call the game ‘soccer’, the World Cup is officially a ‘soccer’ competition and short for FIFA. You can keep calling it soccer if you like — fans of other teams will correct you.” be prepared.”


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