(Maxi Failla/AFP/Getty Images)

With a diverse population that includes immigrants from across the globe, the Bay Area is a hotbed of World Cup fever. Can the U.S. team overcome being placed in a tough group that includes Germany, Portugal and Ghana? What are the odds of victory for perennial powerhouse and host nation Brazil? What country are you rooting for, and why?

Guests:
Alan Black, soccer columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle

  • Jonnie

    Nobody in America gives a flying fig about soccer; at least anyone here legally.

  • Ben Rawner

    Isn’t this the same thing that happened before Sochi Olympics. But once the games starts people forget pretty rApidly.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Why does the sport inspire such violence? Riots and soccer hooliganism stand in sharp contrast to far more well-behaved spectators of America’s field sports.

    • thucy

      Why? Because in the US football is bloodily gladiatorial to the extent that we now have to reconsider the entire sport per se.
      Soccer is more fluid, more intellectual, and with a vastly larger international audience, tensions occasionally erupt.
      Then again, Faye, US “field sports” haven’t prevented Americans from excelling at homicide and mass shootings.

      • Fay Nissenbaum

        Why are you burying your head in the sand? That America’s sports have not resulted in THOUSANDS of DEATHS of spectators does stand in sharp contrast to American gun violence. Do research before you wax Euro-defensive:
        http://www.theguardian.com/football/footballviolence

  • “No one gives a flying fig,” except ‘illegals’? Perhaps Jonnie should read Michael Kimmel’s Angry White Men. This not so angry white man loves the sport; that his son plays on the UC Davis Men’s Soccer team has something to do with it. But the appeal is this: soccer is modern, fluid, and worldly. It’s organized chaos, but without the hierarchy; and at its best, intricate and beautiful.

  • Guest

    Michael, you mocked my question about soccer violence. Blowing over deaths at soccer stadiums just speaks to your bias. Aside from the heartless Bryan Stowe attack, the US is far and away more peaceful in their sports spectating. How many died across the world over soccer? 4 people per year in Brazil alone, according to this 2009 article:
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2009-07-20-3176466041_x.htm

  • Mjhmjh

    Part of the USA’s lack of interest in soccer is that very little encouragement is given to the sport in high schools. Before the first (American) football game of the year schools have rallies, then powder puff, homecoming games and so on and, of course, the top football players are stars who often escape the consequences of any transgressions in school. Contrast that with the treatment of the soccer teams, whose games are largely ignored by the school’s PR section, lack funding and play before few supporters, partly because no one encourages fellow students to go and watch them – even when they’re winning. Just one more feature of sports elitism in US high schools.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Michael, you mocked my question about soccer violence. Blowing over deaths at soccer stadiums just speaks to your bias for feel good talk. From Sports Illustrated:
    “By the abysmal standards of international soccer spectating, 179 deaths in 29 days is unremarkable.”
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1022544/

    “Which is what soccer stadium catastrophes have becomeā€”a Stalinesque statistical litany with little resonance: 25 killed in Scotland (April 5, 1902), 33 in England (March 6, 1946), six in Chile (March 30, 1955), 318 in Peru (May 24, 1964), 74 in Argentina (June 23, 1968), 66 in Scotland (Jan. 2, 1971), 49 in Egypt (Feb. 17, 1974), 56 in England (May 11, 1985), 39 in Belgium (May 29, 1985), 93 in Nepal (March 12, 1988), 96 in England (April 15, 1989), 40 in South Africa (Jan. 13, 1991), 17 in Corsica (May 5, 1992), nine in Zambia (June 16, 1996), 84 in Guatemala (Oct. 16, 1996), five in Nigeria (April 6, 1997), 13 in Zimbabwe (July 9, 2000).”

  • OLLI-SFState

    Alan Black is teaching a class – “Soccer – A Mirror for Everything: The World Cup, the worlds most popular sport and its impact around the globe” starts Tuesday June 10 2.30pm for 4 weeks 835 Market Street 6th Floor olli.sfsu.edu

  • Guest

    Jonnie, I never expected a Forum listener to express such an ingorant opinion

  • Dimitar Yossifov

    Jonnie, I never expected a Forum listener to express such an ignorant opinion

  • DBritt

    A nit to pick: your translation of FIFA made it sound as though “association” refers to the organization itself. It is actually part of the official name of soccer, which is “association football” (to distinguish it from the other forms of football that existed in the 19th century, chiefly rugby). Thus, FIFA in English is the International Federation of Association Football.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    In response to Michael Krasny scoffing at the violence of soccer fans, read up on “Stab City” in Rome:

    http://wikimapia.org/24728412/Curva-Sud-Roma

  • Holland will win the World Cup 2014 haha

    http://www.friv200.com

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