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Athlete’s Voices: Kendall Johnson, Episode 2. World Cup Fever!

by Guest | Posted on Sunday, June 15th, 2014 has partnered with some local athlete’s to develop this great column titled, Athlete’s Voices. In this column, some of your favorite local athletes will share their lives with you, both on and off the playing surface. Each athlete will post a blog, once a month, updating you on their latest happenings. Today’s post is by Kendall Johnson, a member of Sky Blue FC, New Jersey’s professional women’s soccer team. Follow Kendall as she will post a blog on the 15th of every month…


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Praise Mona Lisa, the wait is over! The time has finally come! Such a glorious time indeed! I’m talking about the one month out of every four years when Americans come to their senses, put away their pigskins, and become avid fans of the true game of football. I find pure joy in everything the World Cup has to offer:  my non-soccer comrades magically becoming diehard fans of the game, controversial referee calls, last minute heroics,  raw emotional goal celebrations when players take off (or keep on, but preferably take off) their shirts…the list goes on and on.  It truly puts a smile on my face that everyone finally gets to partake in watching the most beautiful sport in the world. If every month could be World Cup month, then we would surely all be living in a happier place.

I know there are still those haters who don’t understand all the hype about this game we call soccer. They cannot come to terms with how it is possible for a teams to run around for 90 minutes only to have the game end in a 0-0 draw. Those people have a semi-valid point, but that very notion makes each victory that much sweeter. In addition, there is much more to the game than the score line. The way players dance around with the ball completing no-look passes, weaving through defenders, and ripping shots perfectly into the side netting is nothing short of miraculous.

If this isn’t enough to get you amped up to watch the World Cup, then I have a wonderful resource for you. Weeks prior to the big tournament, I was perusing the web for World Cup preview footage and I came across an epic series on the FIFA TV YouTube channel.  Each video gives an entertaining, detailed description of all you need to know about each country participating in the tournament. You get the down low on each team’s style, formation, individual standouts etc. but the info goes far beyond that.  For instance, Greece may have never won a World Cup, but they have plenty of other worthy accomplishments. They are the leading producer of sea sponges and in 2012, 2150 Grecian’s came together to break the record for most people shaving in a single venue.  And the following year, they created the largest lollipop. If that doesn’t make you want to cheer for Greece, then I don’t know what will. Here’s the link to all the previews:

This year, our team has created our own pool, “March Madness style”, in which we all selected the teams we predict will advance throughout the tournament.  I can only speak for myself, but I take these kinds of things very seriously. After countless hours of calculating numbers, inserting sums into excel spreadsheets, and running diagnostics, I can say with 92% certainty that I’ve come up with the winning bracket. SPOILER ALERT: if you don’t want to know who wins the World Cup, then stop reading now! The winner of the 2014 World Cup will be Brazil. I cannot wait to see the hometown team lift the trophy in front of the thousands of yellow, green, and blue face-painted screaming fans. Additionally, the U.S will escape the “Group of Death” upsetting Portugal. Belgium will make a noteworthy run into the semi-finals, sadly losing to Spain, the eventual runner-ups of the tournament. I would explain my choices, but the mathematics behind them are way too complicated.

Honestly, you owe it to yourselves to tune into the excitement. Once you start watching the World Cup, then I’m sure you all will be dying to get your fix of live soccer. And that’s where Sky Blue FC comes in. We’d love for you come on out and support us for the second half of the season. Our next home game is on Sunday June 22 at 1:00pm against the Boston Breakers at Yurzak Field (Full schedule:  Hope to see you all there!



p.s  Happy Father’s day to all you wonderful dad’s out there! Special shout out to my pops: you may be losing your hair, but you’ll never lose a place in my heart. Love you!

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