Here's Your 2014 World Cup Primer

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The US men's national team poses for a photo before the start of a World Cup preparation match against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on May 27, 2014. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty)

We're less than three weeks out from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and some of you might need a bit of a refresher on the stakes surrounding the world's most watched tournament.

Brazil has hosted the competition only once before, back in 1950, and this go around hasn't been all that seamless. The 2014 World Cup host cities are located in the state of Mato Grosso and have been plagued by problems with infrastructure, corrupt construction projects, and unmet deadlines.

One host city, Manaus, has declared a state of emergency due to threats of flooding from the Amazon River. Officials say that they don't expect the stadium—where Team USA will be playing—to be flooded. It is creating one more hurdle for Team USA, which was selected to play Ghana, Portugal and Germany in a tough first-round known as the "Group of Death."

But fear not. Roger Bennett, one of the two hosts of the "Men in Blazers" podcast, might be a Brit, but he says—without sarcasm—that Team USA has a shot at success.


Roger Bennett

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman and Arwa Gunja


T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

shaneeza from Brooklyn


May. 29 2014 01:40 PM
Dan from Greenpoint

I listen to nearly every Grantland podcast, including Men in Blazers "...from the crap part of Soho..." so I was shocked and elated to hear Rog's voice on your show.

Glad your listeners can hear his incredibly dry, brilliant take on "football". I learn a lot from those guys and even when I don't, I'm laughing out loud.

May. 28 2014 03:44 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I'm not that interested in The World Cup but I will listen to Bennetts' podcast "Men In Blazers."

Bennett's has a comic flair when he talks about Belgium football and how they want to be noted not only for, "Chocolate, Brussels Sprouts and serial killers."

May. 28 2014 01:06 PM
dennis Cinquegrani from Fern Park, FL

As an aside.
The US Men’s team has their 1st game in Natal. It is not in the rainforest. It is at the eastern most point of Brazil. Their 2nd game is in Joao Pessoa, BR. About 2 hrs south of Natal by driving.

I am intimately knowledgeable of the NE of Brazil.

Dennis Cinquegrani,

May. 28 2014 12:32 PM

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