Both rabid soccer and casual fans may be sneaking a long lunch break Thursday to catch the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
On Thursday, millions of eyes will be glued to ESPN’s broadcast of USA vs. Germany at noon EST from Arena Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil. See a preview here of this Group G showdown that will likely decide if the US team moves on to the next round.
Marylanders can cheer on Kyle Beckerman, 32, of Crofton, a midfielder for Team USA.
According to MLSSoccer.com, if the Americans score any points against the heavy-favorite Germans, that will see them through to the next round. For Germany, any points will guarantee them first place in the group.
Who better to help the underdog Americans score a major upset in the futbol world than their coach, Jurgen Klinsmann? He’s a legend in Germany, helping his country win a World Cup as a player and guiding them to the 2006 semifinals as a coach. And, the MLS site says current Germany head coach Joachim Löw was Klinsmann’s assistant coach at the 2006 World Cup.
As a silly side note, New York stylists are raving about Beckerman's dreadlocks.
Says the New York Daily News: "Midfielder Kyle Beckerman may have the most recognizable hair in the World Cup with those dreads, which he usually pulls back into a loose knot. “I’m loving Beckerman. He’s definitely my favorite,” says stylist Joseph Miano. “Those long dreadlocks require you to make a real commitment. It’s a rarity.”
Maryland Native Contributes
Salt Lake Tribune sports writer Chris Kamrani gives Beckerman’s defense a nod for keeping the US team in the hunt.
Kamrani wrote after the U.S. 2-2 tie with Portugal: “The ever-increasing tactical side of soccer fandom has positively showered Beckerman’s abilities in the win against Ghana and draw against Portugal. He completed 53-of-58 passes against the Portuguese Sunday — a 90-percent completion outing. More importantly, his stability and sense has given Jurgen Klinsmann reason to experiment and not play it safe.”
As part of the “One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories” video series from ussoccer.com, Beckerman says the World Cup fulfills a dream.
“For me, that’s what I wanted to be -- a national team player.”
Beckerman said. “That was it. I made up my mind back then. So, it’s pretty cool
to be here now.”
Beckerman attended his first World Cup in 1994, according to The Baltimore Sun. And 20 years later, he is playing in his first World Cup as a midfielder for the U.S. team.