Titans tune in for World Cup action

As Qatar hosts the 2022 World Cup, students are watching as if it is March Madness

As most people know, the most watched sports event of every four years is going on right now. Five billion people are projected to watch the International Federation of Association Football World Cup in 2022. While soccer is not nearly as popular in the U.S., and definitely not southern Indiana, the World Cup has consumed parts of the school with a newfound interest in the sport and pride for America’s Major League Soccer. This interest in the tournament is likely higher than usual because the United States did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

I know absolutely nothing about soccer,” junior Kaliya Rhoades said. “This was the first time I’ve ever watched professional soccer, and when I did I supported the U.S.A.” 

Most students have found themselves supporting their home country, but some others are cheering on foreign teams. Junior soccer player Jeffmar Navidad was rooting for Brazil, which  lost to Croatia 1-1 (4-2) pens in the quarter finals.

“I don’t know much about the World Cup because I just started watching soccer right before the World Cup,” Navidad said. “I was rooting for Brazil because my favorite player is on there, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. He is my favorite player because I like his play style a lot.”

Even though American football is the most watched sport in the U.S. in the 21st century, the U.S.A.’s World Cup team had more than 16 million Americans watching. According to Morning Consult, 58% of U.S. soccer fans said they would watch the World Cup this year. Prior to the World Cup in 2018, 45% of U.S. soccer fans said they would watch the World Cup. 

“Soccer is definitely more popular this World Cup around here than the last one,” sophomore Waylon Finny said. “I’m a huge fan of the United States; It’s super sad they lost. I thought they could have gone farther, but it is what it is. I think next time around they will be even better and even more people watching.” 

Soccer is becoming more and more popular around the United States and Gibson Southern. During the games, students would watch the matches on any device they could. 

“I think the World Cup is getting more recognition as it should because people are finally starting to understand how important soccer in general is around the world,” Navidad said.