Many local soccer fans went to Les Schwab Sports Park in Springfield on Sunday, May 20, to watch Lane United Football Club (Lane United or LUFC) take on Sounders U23 in a competitive Premier Development League Northwest Conference match. I took advantage of the opportunity to survey their sentiments about soccer’s (if not sports’) most popular tournament, which will be played June 12 through July 15 in Russia: the FIFA World Cup.
I asked fans two questions: First, who do they want to win the World Cup? And, second, who do they think will win the World Cup?
Several fans declined to express any preference or projection, confessing a lack of knowledge of or interest in the World Cup or simply dismissing my inquiry. Some fans named countries, like the U.S., that didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup — I didn’t have the heart or time to tell them about the impossibility of such countries winning a tournament in which they aren’t participating. And one fan proclaimed the futility of such questions because the competition has been rigged by Russia.
But more than 100 fans provided the following preferences and projections.
As for preferences, 15 fans want Mexico to win the 2018 World Cup, 13 fans want Brazil, 12 want Germany, 10 for Argentina, eight for Iceland and Spain, seven for Costa Rica, six for England and the U.S., four for Denmark and Egypt, three for France and Holland, two for Belgium, and one fan each for Colombia, Italy, Northern Ireland, Panama, Peru, Portugal and Uruguay.
As for projections, 55 fans think Germany will win the soccer World Cup, 18 think Brazil will win it, 13 think Spain will, nine think France, three think Argentina and the U.S., two think England and one projection each for Belgium, Colombia, Holland, Iceland, Italy and Mexico.
If you can’t travel to Moscow for soccer, Fox Sports will be showing the games and if you prefer your games with shouts of “Gooooooal!” you can stream it via Telemundo.
And regardless of what happens in this year’s World Cup, local fans will also have plenty of good soccer to enjoy this summer in Springfield. LUFC will be playing in Springfield again on Friday, June 22, against Victoria (B.C.) Highlanders FC, Sunday, June 24, against Starphire FC, and Friday, June 29, against Timbers U23. Find the LUFC schedule at laneunitedfc.com.