Every four years the biggest event in the sporting world takes place. No, not the one with figure skating and snowboarding and not the one with gymnastics and swimming. The other one, the one that is all about football, or as we call it in America, soccer. This month is the start of soccer, and world wide sport’s, biggest event. Starting November 20th, 32 teams will face off for the most coveted sporting trophy, national pride, and bragging rights for the next four years.
This time the USA is back in it, and conveniently, the first two matches are the week of Thanksgiving, meaning there is lots of time for you to watch, to throw a party or to meet up with friends to cheer on the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) as they via for soccer’s biggest trophy.
What It’s All About
Every 4 years, usually in the Summer, the top Men’s National soccer teams from around the world compete for the the trophy. (The Women’s teams play in the odd year following the Men’s tournament). This time around the competition is being held in November and December because it is being played in the country of Qatar. Temperatures in Qatar are in the triple digits in the Summer, so the tournament was moved to Fall for the cooler temperatures. This year, the World Cup officially takes place November 20 – December 18, 2022.
The tournament starts with Group play. There are eight groups and the top two teams in each group move on to the Round of 16. The group stage is Nov. 20-Dec. 2. In this year’s tournament, the USA is part of Group B and will have matches against Wales, England and Iran. Another exciting group to watch is Group F which features Germany, Spain, Costa Rica and Japan. France, the reigning champion, is in Group D with Australia, Denmark and Tunisia.
When to Watch
The tournament kicks off with a single match on November 20th with the host nation taking on Ecuador. The rest of the group play begins on Tuesday, November 21. The USMNT plays:
- Monday, November 21st at 1pm USA vs. Wales
- Friday, November 25th at 1pm USA vs. England
- Tuesday, November 29th at 1pm USA vs. Iran
Where to Watch in Baton Rouge
- The Varsity: The Varsity is now the home of The American Outlaws Baton Rouge Chapter, the official supporter organization of the US men’s and women’s national teams. All ages are welcome and doors with open for early matches with food options throughout the day. The matches are projected on a big screen for easy viewing and the crowd is always lively. We watched the USA take on Nigeria here in 2014 it was a fun and festive atmosphere.
- City Slice: The restaurant is hosting a watch party for all of the USMNT matches. All ages are welcome.
- Just Wingin It: this neighborhood sports bar will have the matches on several screens and “the sound on for big games.”
- Walk-Ons: This popular, and original to Baton Rouge, sports bar and restaurant stated they will have the matches on for the US games. Check out one of their many area locations.
Watching at Home
Not one for going out on Black Friday? Stay home and throw your own watch party with these fun activities for kids. I love the idea of eating cuisine inspired by the teams you’re watching. All of the matches will be broadcast on Fox (Cox channel 6, DirecTV) and FoxSports1 (Cox channel 106, DirecTV 219)) and some can be found in Spanish on Peacock for streaming.