By Junior Pedemonte
Tis’ the season for soccer!
As you well know by now, Qatar is playing host to the 2022 FIFA (Federation International de Football Association) World Cup and will kicked-off the tournament against Ecuador on November 20.
The San Francisco Park and Recreation Department has created a World Cup Village in Union Square that will include food vendors, local merchants, live music, a towering video screen to view games, and a wide range of family entertainment spots. It will be open to the public at 8 a.m. from November 25-27.
The World Cup is considered the biggest sporting event in the world that takes place every four years. Typically the month-long tournament begins in June, but due to the hot weather in Qatar it was moved to November.
Soccer experts predict that Brazil, Argentina, France, and England will reach the finals.
Due to the lack of proper stadiums, Forbes reported Qatar has spent an estimated $229 billion to host the 2022 World Cup and forced workers to work under conditions of extreme heat.
Russia only spent $11.6 billion to host the tournament in 2018.
This is the United States’ first World Cup since 2014 where they made it to the Round of 16 and fought hard against a talented Belgium squad.
This year, the United States is in Group B with England, Iran, and Wales. They are favored to get out of their group behind England. They open the tournament against Wales on November 21.
“I’m ecstatic about the tournament! I hope Mexico can break the curse and make it to the fifth game,” said Adan Guzman, who is a freshman player on City College’s men’s soccer team. “It is the last World Cup for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who have been the face of the sport for more than a decade.”
Guzman added: “Messi will put Argentina on his back and win the World Cup.”
There will be plenty of ways for fans to connect with each other all month long and San Francisco is providing many ways for them to come together and cheer on their favorite teams.
Sophomore Iliana Sanchez, a Rams women’s soccer player said, “I want Mexico to win, but I think France has the talent to win it all.”
She added: “I’m super excited for the World Cup. I’m excited for lots of soccer coming up. I hope to watch it with my teammates and family.”
If you can’t make it out to the World Cup Villages, there are plenty of other ways to watch. The City will host watch parties at four different venues — Union Square, Civic Center Plaza, Crossing at East Cut (200 Folsom St), JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park (501 Stanyan St). The World Cup Group B schedule that features the U.S. is as follows:
November 21 — Senegal vs Netherlands (8 a.m.) & U.S. vs Wales (11 a.m.) at Crossing at East Cut
November 25 — U.S. vs England (11 a.m.) at Union Square
November 26 — Argentina vs Mexico (11 a.m.) at Union Square
November 27 — Spain vs Germany (11 a.m.) at Union Square
December 18 — Finals at JFK Promenade