I know nothing about soccer. But given the immense media hype surrounding Brazil and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, I’ve become very fascinated by the tournament.
Since I’m fairly tech-savvy, I’ve turned to Google and my apps to learn about the game, the rules, the teams and how and where to watch the matches. Armed with this information and tools, I feel confident that I can chat up any die hard soccer fan and sound smart.
And you will too once you peruse this! Whip out your tablets, smartphones and laptops. Without further adieu here’s the tech savvy person’s guide to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The World Cup takes place from June 12, 2014 -July 13, 2014 and features teams from 32 countries. (Here is the full game schedule.)
Brazil is its host country and its team is favored to win because of superstar player Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. (They beat Croatia on opening day.) Mexico, Spain and Germany are also considered the big contenders. The U.S., while sending its strongest team ever, is not favored to win.
Watch this video to bring you up to speed.
How do people play soccer anyway? What is a formation? What’s with the headbutting? And why do referees seem to wield so much power?
Check out this thorough Common Craft soccer guide that explains everything in layperson’s terms.
Also the article How to Watch the World Cup Like a True Soccer Nerd gives you some visuals on lineups, formations and plays.
You can watch the games on your tablet, smartphone, laptop or smart TV through the ESPN.com app. (Download from iTunes or Android). You can also listen to it through the ESPN Radio app. You will need to plug in your username and password for your satellite or cable provider in order to access it.
Spanish language network Univision is streaming the first 56 matches for free online. You can watch it here. You can also download the Univision Deportes app which is available in English and Spanish to watch the games live and keep up with scores.
The FIFA app is the best way to keep up with the scores and status of the teams you’re following. With the app you can set up alerts on team standings, view player stats and watch a video less matchcast that provides commentary via text on screen. It also connects to your social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook.
Another score-keeping app is the World Cup Soccer Finals by IT Next which includes player stats, game venues and info on the U.S. team matches.
For laptop and desktop users, keep score by bookmarking the World Cup Google Doodle. Click on it and the most recent scores appear.
Yes there is an app for finding people to watch the games with. Meetup.com has a special list of World Cup Meet up groups. Access it here, plug in your zip code and go impress those like minded individuals with your tech infused knowledge!
The FIFA World Cup 2014 has a theme song - “We are One (Ola, Ola) from rapper Pitbull, featuring Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian pop star Claudia Leitte.
Protests have mired the games due to the economic disparities in Brazil. Follow the news behind the games by downloading the NPR app.
Here is a report from the first day: