Every four years, billions of people across the planet, usually divided by faith, politics and language, come together to focus their attentions and passions on the World Cup, the highest profile soccer (or football, if you prefer) competition in the world. This year the World Cup is being held in Brazil, where 32 qualifying national teams will play at 12 different stadiums across the country. Beyond those stadiums, it’s estimated more than 3 billion people will watch at least some part of the Cup in the coming weeks on television and online. The final championship match is expected to draw 1.3 billion viewers.
The United States used to be an island of athletic isolation when it came to the World Cup, paying little attention as the rest of the world tuned in. But as soccer has become more accepted as a “real” sport in America, Southern California stands out as a bastion of soccer fandom. That’s partly thanks to our population of immigrants and expats from soccer-loving countries.
Listen to our story here about how some Southern California soccer fans and businesses are preparing for the kick off of the World Cup.