After a nine-hour flight from New York to Moscow and several days of meetings, get-togethers, and research, it's almost time for the greatest sporting event in the world to take place — the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Russia vs. Saudi Arabia kicks off our coverage on Fox, where every one of the 64 games will be broadcast live on either the Fox Network or on FS1.
Tony Meola and I get to call the opener from Luzhnicki Stadium in Moscow. Moscow will be our home base, and while we will get to see other cities like Kazan, Samara, and St. Petersburg, we do get to keep our hotel rooms in Moscow, so we won't have to pack up everything each time we head to the airport.
We have nine games to call in the group stage, with Mexico versus Germany as the one I am looking forward to the most. In the group stage, we will get to see some of the best teams in the tournament including Argentina, Brazil, and France. We will also see one of the World Cup dark horses when we get a look at Belgium.
Just my opinion, but I believe only five teams have a legitimate shot at lifting the World Cup trophy, and those five are Germany, Spain, Argentina, France, and Brazil.
I have picked Germany to win the tournament even though it is tough to repeat as WC winners. There are always going to be upsets in the group stage, so a big team could fall early. There are also so many great storylines to follow and so many great stars to watch, including Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar.
I'll be checking in with more pieces from the road and some video throughout the tournament. Looking forward to Thursday's opener! Stay tuned and check back in at philadelphiaunion.com throughout the World Cup.