We can’t blame the Russians for meddling in this outcome.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament begins this month in 11 Russian cities, but the U.S. Men’s National Team won’t be playing in any of them. That’s because the USMNT’s streak of seven consecutive World Cup appearances dating back to 1990 was snapped after a stunning loss to Trinidad and Tobago in CONCACAF qualifying last October. It’s a tough blow to U.S. Soccer’s cred on the global stage, and it doesn’t help advance the game’s popularity among casual fans in the States.
Until the USMNT redeems itself, bereft soccer fans in the U.S. might consider adopting an underdog team like Iceland, the smallest country by population to ever qualify for the World Cup. Other teams just happy to be there include Panama, which is playing in its first World Cup, and Peru, which is playing in its first World Cup since 1982.
Teams with the best chances of hoisting the World Cup include Germany, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, Argentina, France and Spain. Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in extra time to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
This marks the first World Cup for FOX Sports, which won the rights from longtime broadcaster ABC/ESPN. FOX Sports airs all 64 matches live, with 38 matches on the FOX broadcast network and 26 on FS1. All matches can be also be streamed live via FOX Sports GO and FOX Soccer Match Pass. Spanish language broadcasts will air on Telemundo.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 13, 2018
World Cup Group Draws
Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Korea Republic
Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
World Cup Schedule At A Glance
Group Stage June 14-28, FOX & FS1
Round of 16 June 30-July 3, FOX & FS1
Quarterfinals July 6-7, FOX & FS1
Semifinals July 10-11, FOX
Third Place Match July 14, FOX
Final Match July 15, FOX