Sounders Insider

World's greatest sporting event kicks off at 1 p.m.

WCmlsThe 2014 FIFA World Cup is finally here, with the first kick scheduled to be struck around 1 p.m. PT: host Brazil vs. Croatia, carried on ESPN.

We'll try to keep this blog active with some updates, especially as they relate to the U.S. national team and especially with Sounders Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin. However, for full Cup coverage, there is the official FIFA site, the World Cup coverage, and all the other obvious ones and maybe some favorites you've discovered.

Included above is a chart of MLS participants provided by the league.

And below is a World Cup overview given by coach Sigi Schmid about a week ago:

"I haven’t thought it all the way through yet. Obviously it’s a great opportunity for Brazil. I’m a little concerned for Germany, because Germany with the little aches and injuries. … So I think it might be a little more difficult for Germany, although they always find a way usually. But Brazil being at home when the crowd gets behind them, I think could do well. The two surprise teams for me could be Japan and Belgium. Japan because they’re going to have a huge following in Brazil. There’s a lot of Japanese in Sao Paulo and Rio, so they’re going to have a good following and technically they’re a pretty good team. And Belgium has a great young team. They might be a shade too young, but … they’ve got a really, really strong young nucleus. And the other team that you don’t know is Argentina because Messi either is going to make this his World Cup or he’s always going to be considered a little bit of a disappointment on the world stage. He was always accused of playing well for Barcelona and poorly for Argentina, so maybe this is the year that he doesn’t play so well for Barcelona and plays great for Argentina. I don’t know if that’s a prediction."

The Sounders return to training Saturday.

Enjoy the World Cup.