World Cup 2014 Watch Guide: Why You Won’t Miss a Kick

England World Cup (and Liverpool) teammates Steven Gerrard (left) and Raheem Sterling training in Miami. (Photo: AP/Wilfredo Lee)

England (and Liverpool) teammates Steven Gerrard (left) and Raheem Sterling training in Miami. (Photo: AP/Wilfredo Lee)

It has often been said that “Americans don’t care about real football.” Thankfully, this assertion continues to carry less and less weight these days. NBC’s successful live coverage of every game during the 2013/14 Premier League season proved that football’s reputation is growing in the United States. Thankfully for British expat soccer fans, an even greater level of coverage is expected ahead of the biggest tournament in world football: the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Kicking off on June 12, the World Cup will be aired in its entirety on ESPN and two of its sister channels (ESPN2 and ABC). So for those of you with a cable subscription, you can catch every single game—including all seven of England’s World Cup matches (it doesn’t hurt to be optimistic, right?)—from the comfort of your own living room. And just in case you’re as obsessed with football as I am, the same network is rolling out daily 24-hour news coverage, analysis and commentary of all the happenings from Brazil, via ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

Meanwhile, in what will likely come as a refreshing change for Americans and British expats alike, the matches will also be viewable live stateside at a reasonable hour this time around. In the years since the U.S. itself hosted the 1994 World Cup, football consumers across the nation have had to contend with impractically late (or early) kickoffs, with the last four tournaments being held in France (1998), Japan/South Korea (2002), Germany (2006), and South Africa (2010).

For the most part, Brazil’s time zones are not wildly off balance with those of the United States (Alaska and Hawaii notwithstanding). Indeed, those of you on the east coast will be able to catch England’s first group match against Italy starting at 6 pm ET on Saturday, June 14, while England vs. Uruguay kicks off Thursday, June 19 at 3 pm ET, and England vs. Costa Rica takes place Tuesday, June 24 at 12pm ET.

Those last two matches, of course, take place on weekdays, meaning that there’s one thing not even favorable time zones can overcome: your job. Thankfully, if you’re fortunate enough to have unrestricted access to the internet at your place of work, ESPN is your friend. In addition to its comprehensive television coverage, the network is set to stream all 64 matches live on WatchESPN.com (note: you will need to provide the login details that accompany your cable subscription).

And, because this is the 21st century, wholesale internet coverage means every match can also be watched on your smartphone or tablet. Indeed, if either of these are your prepared viewing method, ESPN is making all matches accessible via its WatchESPN app for iOS and Android.

At the end of the day, however, if you’d just rather watch the World Cup in a manner more befitting of the British way of life, there is no better place for revelry and live action than the pub. Thankfully the U.S. is replete with British-style establishments. That said—and this works in your favor when it comes to football—a not-so-authentic aspect of American pubs is their abundance of television screens. But even in America, pubs can become quite packed during a match—especially if that match features England or the U.S.A.—and multiple screens allow for easier access during those crucial 90 minutes of football.

Follow @MindtheGap_BBCA on Twitter, as we’ll be live-tweeting England’s World Cup matches this summer, starting with England vs. Italy on Saturday, June 14 at 6 pm ET. Join in using hashtag #MindTheChat for a chance to win Doctor Who Season 7 on DVD.

See more:
Football vs. ‘Soccer’: A Translation Guide for Brits and Americans
No, Arkansas Doesn’t Sound the Way It Looks: A Guide to Pronouncing U.S. Place Names
10 Pubs in California You Should Visit

  • Cypressclimber

    “Americans don’t care about real football.”

    I’ve heard this, of course, but I’m unsure just how to take it. Is the point that the relative lack of interest in soccer/”real football” means those who like this sport will have trouble finding the broadcasts, or else enjoying the experience in a public place, as they would elsewhere?

    Or is the point that there’s something deficient in Americans not sharing the enthusiasm other nationalities have for this sport?

    To the extent it’s the latter reason, may I ask why Americans are supposed to change their prevailing tastes in sports? As an American, I rather like baseball and U.S. football; yet lots of people around the world don’t like them. Except as a joke, I’d feel rather silly tut-tutting about that.

    • Proud Yankee

      Oh, honey, the point of this WHOLE BlOG is that America and Americans are deficient in every way in every single cell of our bodies and in every single thought that runs through our puny, unworldly, uninformed, unsophisticated Beverly Hillbilly brains.

      If you ever have any doubt about the meaning of something, just assume there’s an insult in there. There’s one chick–Toni maybe?– whose “compliments” are almost always laced with insults.

      That said, if I recall correctly, Laurence isn’t one of the notably condescending ones.

      • Proud Yankee

        That should have been a capital “L” in “BLOG.” Must be my deficient capitalization skills : )

      • Cindi

        You speak the truth, Proud Yankee! I am neither American nor British but the ‘Brits are better than Americans’ attitude is obvious and so prevalent here as to be ridiculous. [Beware of that chick you named now. She will verbally spank you with her superior command of the English language!]

        • Proud Yankee

          I can take her!

      • Cypressclimber

        “Oh honey!”

        Love that, thanks. Do our cousins across the pond say that? What do they say? “Love?” “Dearie?”

        I picked up on the condescension, but I chose not to make much of it.

        The whole business about fried foods is funny: Those Americans eat rather much fried food, do they not? Oh, but why can’t they whip up a good Scotch Egg? Whatever is the matter with them?

      • Julie

        You know you guys don’t HAVE to read this blog, right? It’s an blog for expats by expats (or for interested readers who would like to get a unique perspective). I’m American and this blog doesn’t offend me in the slightest. Instead of taking it as a slight when Laurence says that Americans don’t watch football, see it for what it really is, not an insult but an attempt to explain why football fans need to go out of their way to find coverage of major football games.

        And really, did you actually read the quote in the first place?
        It has often been said that “Americans don’t care about real football.”
        Thankfully, this assertion continues to carry less and less weight these
        days.

        Guess you must have missed the second line, no wonder some Brits think they’re better than us if that is the extent of your guys’ reading comprehension. Go find a patriotic blog to fap to instead of getting butt hurt by expats trying to help out their fellow expats in adjusting to a new culture.

        • Cypressclimber

          I read the blog because I like to.

          And I simply asked a question to clarify the meaning. I’m still not clear if the point was meant in one or both senses I highlighted.

        • Proud Yankee

          Chill out, Jules. Learn to laugh a little.

          If you don’t catch the condescension and backhanded compliments in almost every single non-interview article that graces this blog (with some exceptions; not Laurence’s, as I noted), it’s probably YOUR reading comprehension the British are having a good laugh about.

          I’m just calling a spade a spade when it comes to the tone around here. I’m sure plenty of the British posters would agree with me. The honest ones, at least. Don’t be so offended by it.

          They can say what they want. But don’t expect me not to play some defense : )

      • http://tonisummershargis.com/ Toni Hargis

        Can you go back and give me some examples? I’m a pretty plain speaker so when I give a compliment, it’s a compliment and when I intend to insult, oh honey you know you’ve been insulted. Since I’m married to an American, have three American children and happen to like most Americans however, it’s rare.

        You’re comment reminds me of a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt – “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

        • dw

          I think the commenter mixed you up with Margolis.

        • John Schrader

          As an American I always enjoy your articles and never find them insulting.Ruth however…

        • Proud Yankee

          Thanks for responding. Just saw this reply. I’ll try to go over some articles in the next few days and see if I have the right person. If not, I’ll apologize.

          By the way, I don’t feel inferior in the least. I’m not sure how you got that from my comment.

        • Proud Yankee

          Okay, I apologize. I’ve done a quick look at some of your articles and don’t see any cause for complaint. I must have you confused with others.

          Actually, if I’m remembering correctly (I can’t find the article now), I recall reading your article about American decorating styles when it came out and wondered why some of the commenters were giving you a hard time because it seemed perfectly inoffensive to me.

          I don’t like to malign people unjustly so I’m glad you spoke up for yourself and I’m glad I checked. I take reputation seriously so sorry for not taking the time to make sure I was referencing the right writers originally.

          Happy Independence Day! [Unless that's an offensive holiday to the British, in which case, Sad Independence Day! : ) ]

          And while I’m talking to you, I have some suggestions to improve readability of the blog, if you guys are interested. I think it discourages comment by defaulting to sorting comments by Best instead of Newest because it always looks like they’re no new comments unless you remember to change the sorting. Because the oldest comments tend to have the most votes often simply because they’ve had more views than newer comments, they always rise to the top. Personally I would default to listing by newest response to any comment, so that a new response to an old comment would bump that comment to the top so that you could easily see when new responses were added, not just completely new comments.

          Also, on my browser at least, this site is very vertical, requiring a ton of scrolling which discourages me from going very deep into the comments. Having it utilize more of the horizontal space would make to easier to read I think.

          Just some thoughts.

          • http://tonisummershargis.com/ Toni Hargis

            Will pass them on to the powers that be.

  • alkh3myst

    Maybe this article should actually be about England’s relentlessly over-hyped, under-performing national team.

  • Sau Paulo

    Hi ,

    Thanks for the post about World Cup. Just a tip about those who don’t live in countries that stream world cup online. You can use UnoTelly to remove the geoblock and stream World Cup 2014 in your country free worldcup.unotelly.com