The Washington Post has been doing some reporting on American soccer superstars playing abroad since the recent uptick in support for the sport in the U.S. American “secretary of defense,” Tim Howard, had a rough night last night – suffering from poor defense and an own goal during Everton’s 6-3. Howard has been getting perhaps the most media attention since the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup, becoming an American hero with his impressive saves during the U.S. Men’s National team’s unexpected tourney run.
Howard isn’t the only player being tracked outside of Cup season – the Post has included a full roundup of teams playing abroad, listing their minutes and achievements (if any) for each respective game. Updates are also given for those playing without a club, listing deal updates and training schedules.
These updates are not something that would have been seen in past years. Soccer has gained a tremendous amount of popularity since this summer’s Cup tournament and it doesn’t appear to be dying out anytime soon – and i’m not complaining.
It has been announced that Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The competition is scheduled to take place at Rio de Janeiro’s famed Maracana Stadium. The stadium is currently being completely overhauled and renovated in order to increase safety, comfort, and accessibility. The projected completion date of all renovations is 2013. The games will be played in 12 cities throughout the Federative Republic, the cities are Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, and Porto Alegre. So far, $1.8 billion dollars has been set aside by the Brazilian government for all investment activity projects related to the 2014 World Cup. This $1.8 billion dollars does not include the projected 1.9 billions dollars estimating the cost of new construction and remodeling of the 12 new stadiums.
With all of the international attention on development and investment in facilities for the Cup, it is important not to forget about the reason for the competition, the countries and the players.
Players to look out for in 2014:
Yoann Gourcuff – His statue 6’1″, 174 lbs gives him an intimidating look in the midfield. His skill and control has been compared to Zizou. He has the capability but whether or not he will take control of the French side will keep us all watching.
Cristiano Ronaldo- We watched as Ronaldo make a name for himself in the game’s upper echelon via his work on Spain’s La Liga. In 2014 Ronaldo take on more responsibility with Portugal and perform on an international level as skillfully as we have seen his do on club teams.
Guillermo Ochoa – At 25 years old, Guillermo Ochoa is the oldest of the rising players to look out for. His age age and seasoned experience will be crucial for strengthening Mexico’s often shaky defense. Ochoa will need to step in as presence in the defensive third.