Looking Back with Guest Sports Reporter Tim Komer

Tim Komer
Posted 11/23/22

World Cup and Urich?

I know very little about the country Qatar. It is a far away strange place for most of us. But, I know a lot about nearby Urich and yes, they are connected. Even if you are …

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Looking Back with Guest Sports Reporter Tim Komer

Posted

World Cup and Urich?

I know very little about the country Qatar. It is a far away strange place for most of us. But, I know a lot about nearby Urich and yes, they are connected. Even if you are not a soccer fan you are probably aware of or follow the World Cup (WC).
The WC started in 1930 with Uruguay winning. This year, the WC started on Monday, November 21 in Qatar.
Another reason to follow the U.S. National Team; we know somebody on the team (or at least we know his grandma).
Several years ago I met Carol Kimble (from Urich); she worked at Wal-Mart at the time. I was the Clinton Daily Democrat’s Sports Editor and she wanted to share her pride in her grandson, Weston McKennie, You may have seen him in the recent WC commercials.
In 2018, Weston was making a name for himself in the soccer world and was selected for the U.S. National Team. Two hundred and eleven countries vied to qualify for the WC in 2018, unfortunately, the U.S. team did not make it. Weston went back to play in Europe for the next four years (Italy), but is now back on the 2022 U.S. World Cup Team. This time, the U.S. qualified. Qualifying for the WC is a year-long process with only 32 teams making it. Many experts say McKennie is the most important player on the team. How cool is that?
I was also surprised two years ago to meet and visit Weston’s mom, Tina. We were at a 2020 Windsor football game. I found out that Weston is related to the Witherspoon family. The Witherspoon twins, Dalton, Dylan, along with younger brother Payton are cousins to Weston. The Windsor Greyhounds were football State Champions in 2020 led by the three Witherspoon boys. The ‘twins’ are now attending Benedictine College and yes, playing football. Some great athletes in that family, right? Their father, Tracy, was an outstanding athlete for Clinton, graduating in 1992.
Back to the WC: The U.S. National soccer team will be playing in Group B with England, Iran and Wales. They will have to place first or second in that tough group to move on to the round of 16 to stay in the tournament. The Round of 16 is also known as the "Knockout " round. The best the USA has done in the WC is third in 1930 and fourth in 1994. I will be following the U.S. National team, and, of course, #8, Weston McKennie. Go USA!
Grandma Carol was planning to attend the WC in Qatar; the ticket was bought, etc. But, she recently got ill, very ill, and had to change plans. No trip for Carol, so she will have to catch the games on CBS/Fox, etc.
The U.S. team has already played Wales on November 21 (my deadline for this article was the 18th, so no results here.) The U.S. will now go up against the boys from England on Friday, November 25. This game will be their greatest challenge, of course. The third Group Stage game will be on Tuesday, November 29 vs Iran. One of the most interesting aspects of the WC is that small countries can often do well versus bigger countries. In the 2018 WC, Iceland (little bitty Iceland) surprised a lot of people by qualifying for the WC and nearly making it to the Round of 16. (Iceland has a population of two Springfield's.) Amazing.
I must remind everybody we also have a pure Missourian on the National team. It is Josh Sargent, #24 from O’Fallon, Mo. He attended St. Dominic HS.
The following is a WC Quiz. The answers are below. If you score 10-13 you are a ‘Top Player’, 8-9 ‘On the Team’, 6-7: ‘Walk on Tryout’, 4-5: ‘You get to watch’, Less than 4: ‘You may watch, but you may not know what is going on’.
The Quiz: 1) How often is the WC played? 2) When did this tournament start? 3) Who won the cup in 2018? 4) What country has won the most WCs? 5) Has the USA ever won a WC? 6) In 2018 how many countries tried to qualify? 7) How many teams make it to the tournament? 8) Who won the first WC? 9) Who is hosting the WC this year? 10) Will

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