Confession time: I am a World Cup fan and the 2018 World Cup tournament will be the first where I won’t be setting alarms for 1.40AM to watch my favourite teams take to the field. Instead I’m in the US (on the east coast at that), and have no clue how to watch Australian World Cup games from my new posse.
And if I don’t know, that means some of you guys might be scratching your heads as well, so here’s your guide to watching the Russia World Cup from the US. If you’re on the east coast, you will not be spared the joys of setting your alarms to before the crack of dawn. The first games start at 3AM, but at least it’s not the middle of winter so you won’t need to be wrapped in three blankets.
If you’re supremely organised and have everything ready to go for the first game of the cup on Thursday morning, well done. You can always scroll down to check out some of my favourite World Cup moments and sketches.
When is Australia Playing?
The new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk, who hails from Denmark himself, has one goal for his new charges – make it to the Round of 16. It’s a tall order, considering the fact that an Australian team has only made the Round of 16 once, back in 2006 under Guus Hiddink, who is also from the Netherlands. Incidentally, Hiddink is coaching the hosts, Russia, this time around.
The odds seem to be against the Socceroos (aren’t they always?), with no real star players other than the saviour striker Tim Cahill. But there are a couple of bright hopes like Aaron Mooy and Daniel Arzani (who remains, as yet, uncapped).
But I digress, to get to the Round of 16, they’ll have to make it past the likes of 1998 champions and 2006 runners-up, France. Australia is in Group C along with Denmark, Peru and France. Their games are scheduled and you can watch the on the following Fox channels:
- Saturday, June 16: Australia v. France, 6AM (ET) or 3AM (PDT), on FS1.
- Thursday, June 21: Australia v. Denmark, 8AM (ET) or 5AM (PDT), on FS1.
- Tuesday, June 26: Australia v. Peru, 10AM (EDT) or 7AM (PDT), on FS1.
Watch Australian World Cup Games from the US
Let’s start with the most traditional way of watching the World Cup games – on cable TV. Fox Sports has the broadcasting rights in the US, so if you’ve already got a sports-focused cable package, you’re laughing. You can visit the website to see the game schedule and set calendar reminders so that you don’t miss a game.
There are ways to watch Fox if you don’t have a current cable package. You can use streaming services that charge a fixed rate per month for access to certain cable channels.
- FuboTV gives access to 85 channels (including FS1 & Fox) in its base package, which costs $45 per month.
- SlingTV’s mid-tier package includes 45 channels (including FS1 & Fox) for $25 per month, and is currently offering a 7-day free trial.
- YouTubeTV is also getting in on the game, and costs $40 per month for a huge list of shows and event coverage.
- Hulu TV (is what I’m using), their package (including Fox channels) costs $40 per month.
- Playstation Vue’s base package is $39.99 a month but only includes FS1 and FS2, not the main Fox Sports channel. It offers a 5 day free trial period.
If you can’t afford any of these, you might want to check local bars or restaurants who might be opening early to screen the games. I just can’t see anyone opening at 3AM.
Favourite Socceroos Send Ups
We have to start (and end) with the TV show Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever, which was nice enough to bring us Bresh’s World Cup Diary. It began way before the episode that I’m linking to first, but this is my absolute favourite. It’s from the 2015 Asian Cup:
If you’re not familiar with the Aussie team, Mark Bresciano was first called up in 2001 for the Confederations Cup. A year later the midfielder moved to Italian team Parma, from Empoli, for a 7 million Euro transfer fee. He remained an instrumental part of the Socceroos, playing in three World Cup games, but retired from International Football in 2015.
Here’s an entry from his World Cup Diary from the 2010 cup in South Africa.
Favourite World Cup Moments
I’m not going back very far in history, mostly because I’m not *that* old. These will strictly be World Cup moments that I can remember, and since I don’t have a fantastic memory, this is it:
1994 in California
My first proper introduction to the World Cup was as a 10-year-old, when Brazil faced Italy in the final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. My Dad and I got up to watch the game (to be fair, he always got up that early anyway). It was a long one that famously went to penalties, so I was already late for school. We were slowly inching towards the door with every penalty shot. My primary school was filled with Italians and I remember that after Brazil won 3-2 in penalty shoot outs, a few of them showed up at school with black ribbons in their hair. That’s how seriously they took it.
November 16, 2005, Australia
Australia and the Socceroos had been through 32-years in the football wilderness – without a berth in the World Cup competition. But we saw our chance for the 2006 cup and just had to clear a game against Uruguay to make it over the line and to Germany. Coach Guus Hiddink had just three months and two matches to get to know the team and whip them into shape.
There were worries that the Uruguay qualifier might echo a match-up from four years earlier, where Australia was trounced 3-1 in Montevideo. But, luckily, it wasn’t to be. The teams headed into penalty shoot outs after the score remained locked at 1-1. Two stunning saves from Socceroos hero and long-time goal keeper Mark Schwarzer kept Australia in the game long enough for John Aloisi to score the final goal that sent Australia to the 2006 World Cup.
I screamed so loud that my Mum thought I’d stabbed myself. That was such an amazing night.
Consider this sour grapes, because it almost certainly is. But the moment when Zinadane Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi in the cup final between France and Italy was absolutely golden to me. You have to rewind a few games to understand why. Australia had made it to the group stage for the first time ever, and to the World Cup for the first time in 32 years (see above). The Socceroos faced football giants Italy, and while they were definitely the underdogs, they were doing surprisingly well. Materazzi was given a red after he deliberately fouled Australia’s Marco Bresciano, denying him the chance to score. Still the teams remained locked at nil-all throughout the game and into injury time. But a penalty was awarded to the Italians after Fabio Grosso fell in response to a challenge by Lucas Neill. It was a dive. I know that sounds sour, but Grosso even conceded the fact, saying he felt contact, so he went down, and that he may have accentuated the fall a bit.
Also I don’t really like their air of arrogance. Basically, if Italy is playing another team, I’m going for the other team. You can see that I’m painfully biased.
Now, onto the Zidane incident. Exactly what Materazzi said to the champion goal scorer, is up for conjecture. There are claims he was called a terrorist and that Materazzi made lewd comments about his mother and sister. Materazzi admitted to insulting Zidane, but denies his comments ever touched the above subjects. But good on Zidane for sconing him one in the chest anyway. So many people have been wanting to do that for so many years.
2010 South Africa
Moving onwards, we have Germany’s famous coach Joachim Loew, who looks to me like the fifth member of The Wiggles. His jumper (sweater) game is strong. Loew’s chiseled features and sporting prowess made him a favourite among fans. Until this moment in South Africa, when he decided to pick his nose and eat the contents. In front of the millions of people tuned in around the world.
And that wraps up my pre-World Cup wrap up. Let the games begin! This is going to be great (I hope). What’s your favourite Socceroo or World Cup moment?