Prepare your vuvuzela's, it's game time.
The World Cup has arrived so bring on the soccer or as this year's Brazilian hosts would say futebol! The FIFA World Cup is the biggest single-sport event on the planet, bringing every footballing continent together for one month of spectacular international play.
A simple guide to the 2014 World Cup...
32 teams qualified via a 2-year process of tournaments and matches
8 groups (with four teams per group)
Group A always opens with the host nation
90 minutes the length of a game (and for some the rise or fall of the nation)
64 matches (see the guide here)
33 referees from all over the globe
12 different cities will host matches during the tournament
Six teams to watch: Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, Italy and Germany
The Breakdown: Group Play (32 teams), Round of 16, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, culminating in the Final match on July 13 for all the marbles (and some serious bragging rights)! Further breakdown of the rules.
Advancing out of Group Play: After each team has played the other teams in the group, the two with the most points advance to the "Round of 16." Points are distributed as follows: 3 for a win, 1 for a tie, and 0 for a loss. If there is tie based on points the winner is decided by the goal difference, goals-for minus goals-against, from all matches. More rules on group play.
Rules of soccer in 280 words characters:You can use anything but your arms. Each team starts 11 players. Offside: passing w/o 2 players between you & goal. Yellow card: slap on wrist. Red card: player must leave game. Out of bounds: throw in. Foul = other team gets free kick. Foul in box = Penalty shot. 3 substitutions. via Extra Mustard
The good ol' USA has a pretty tough draw and is in Group G. The USA will begin by facing off with Ghana on June 16, Portugal on June 22, and finally Germany on June 26. Take a peek at the US team roster, so you can brush up on a few names.
Cheers to watching these handsome men for the next month.