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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Who Should Americans Root For in the World Cup?

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held from June 14 to July 15.

In the wake of their shocking World Cup qualification defeats, Italy and Ireland left many Boston-area soccer fans without a national team to root for.

Every four years, the World Cup brings an exciting atmosphere to the Boston metro area. In previous tournaments, the U.S. national team had been the driving spark of the soccer euphoria, but their failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup meant that most American fans would turn to their ancestries to find a team to follow. Out of the teams vying for a World Cup berth, the Irish and Italian teams had two of the biggest followings in this area. Although many fans will be doleful that their nationalities will not be represented at the pinnacle of soccer competition, there are many exciting teams to watch and, perhaps, even cheer for.

Denmark

Even though they knocked out Ireland to clinch the last European World Cup spot, the Danish team should not be stigmatized. They were the third best group stage runner-ups during the group portion of Europe’s qualifying campaign. They boasted a goal differential in the top 10 of qualifications, showing an adequate balance of offensive and defensive skills. And they are bolstered by the impressive skills of Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen. Eriksen is displaying a wondrous season in the English Premier League and should be a marvel to watch in the World Cup.

Iceland

They elated fans at the 2012 European Championships when they beat Austria in the most dramatic moment of the tournament. Later, they stunned a heavily favored England in the quarterfinals. The Icelandic Soccer Federation began to reform the country’s soccer system more than a decade ago. This rebuild fostered the players of the current national team and made Iceland a formidable foe in soccer matches.

Egypt

Like Eriksen for Denmark, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is the monumental player at the forefront of his team’s success. Salah, also a Liverpool player, secured a game winner that seized the top position in the team’s qualifying group and an automatic World Cup spot. Egypt is going to be featured in the World Cup for the first time since 1990, which caused an emotional frenzy across social media. Egypt’s play will likely induce more emotional scenes at the World Cup, hence, following their games will undoubtedly be entertaining.

Peru

Peru was the last team to earn their way to the 2018 World Cup when they beat New Zealand in a dramatic home playoff game. The South American region can be considered the toughest group to qualify out of for a World Cup. In a region that houses soccer giants like Brazil and Argentina and top-tier competitors like Chile and Colombia, Peru was projected to be out of World Cup competition early, as they have not qualified since 1986. However, usual qualifiers like Argentina and Chile struggled throughout the campaign, allowing Peru to grab a World Cup playoff spot on the final day of match play. Peru has shown sensational gameplay through their qualification. Their presence in the World Cup will be a sight worth following.