America’s guide to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar | News Qatar 2022 World Cup
Washington D.C.- The biggest football event in the world has officially started and World Cup fever spread across the world, including the United States, whose men’s national team (USMNT) is taking part in the tournament for the first time since 2014.
Many bars and restaurants across the United States fly the flags of the 32 countries playing Qatar in a display that resembles a United Nations celebration.
And as Team USA prepares to take to the 2022 World Cup ground for the first time on Monday at Al-Rayyan Stadium in Qatar, excitement is already building for the World Cup 2026 which will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Here, Al Jazeera looks at the World Cup from an American perspective, answering some key questions about the event.
What times are matches played?
Like other international events held outside of the Americas, World Cup games will occur at unconventional times for American viewers.
Over the next four weeks, matches will start at five separate times, between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. GMT.
On the East and West Coasts of the United States, this means: 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time (2:00 a.m. Pacific Time); 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (5:00 a.m. Pacific Time); 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (7:00 a.m. Pacific Time); 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (8:00 a.m. Pacific Time) and 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (11:00 a.m. Pacific Time).
The final will take place on Sunday, December 18 at 3:00 p.m. GMT, which means 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time (7:00 a.m. Pacific Time).
When does the USMNT play?
Luckily for American fans, all three USMNT group stage matches will take place at 7:00 p.m. GMT (2:00 p.m. EST, 11:00 a.m. PT). So no need to set alarms or try to stay awake at dawn. An extended lunch break will do.
American players will launch their campaign against Wales on Monday and then face England on Friday, finishing their journey through the group stage in a much-anticipated game against Iran on November 25.
If the USMNT progresses to the Round of 16, where it finishes in Group B will determine the schedule for its subsequent matches.
Which channels broadcast the matches?
Games will be played with English commentary on Fox or its subsidiary, FS1.
Telemundo, owned by NBCUniversal, will broadcast the games with commentary in Spanish. Some games will also be shown on the Spanish language channel Universo.
How can US-based viewers stream games?
Don’t worry, you have plenty of streaming options available.
NBC’s Peacock streaming app includes Telemundo, which streams all games. Fox and FS1 are also available on multiple streaming platforms, including YouTube TV, Hulu+ Live TV, and FuboTV. Some of these services offer a free trial, but most require a paid subscription or an accompanying cable subscription.
Where do the big watch parties take place?
Cities across the US will hold public watch parties, and some are even changing regulations to accommodate Tournament.
With the growing popularity of the sport, football bars now dot the maps of major cities across the United States. Regular sports bars are also likely to adjust their hours and show matches.
In the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, the city council passed an emergency measure to allow qualified establishments to open 24/7 for the World Cup. Special permits will also allow bars to serve alcohol throughout the day and night, except between 4am and 6am.
In Washington, DC, the United States opener against Wales will be shown at a Dupont Circle park in the heart of the city. The Welsh Embassy is co-sponsoring the event and organizers will hand out spoof medical notes diagnosing attendees with “football fever” to allow them to skip school or work.
Meanwhile, American Outlaws, a fan group that supports U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams, will host watch parties at its chapters across the country.
The clock just struck midnight in Hawaii, so…
MATCH DAY. 🇺🇸 vs. 🏴.
Still not sure where you are looking? View our chapter plans here. https://t.co/3MnlydrOOH pic.twitter.com/c0jJlGQYYc
— AO (@AmericanOutlaws) November 21, 2022
Some Major League Soccer (MLS) teams also host their own watch parties and invite fans to join. The Seattle Sounders will broadcast Monday’s game at the Armory at Seattle Center. The The Galaxy also organizes events at several locations in Los Angeles.
Both west coast cities are set to host 2026 World Cup matches.
Will US officials attend the games?
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who is already in Qatar to bilateral talkswill watch the USMNT take on Wales at Al-Rayyan Stadium on Monday, the State Department has announced.
Traditionally, the heads of state of the nations that make it to the final attend the exhibition match. While that may require rescheduling work at the White House, many American fans may be hoping President Joe Biden will visit Doha next month.
Depart for Doha, Qatar to launch the fifth annual U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue and encourage @USMNT as they face Wales in the first @Fifa World Cup in the Middle-East. The United States values our longstanding friendship and strong partnership with Qatar. pic.twitter.com/LGOxUXJVK1
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) November 21, 2022