|ESPN.com: 2009||[Print without images]|
Luzzani/Aldo Liverani/US PRESSWIRE
Years of qualifying matches have narrowed the field to the final 32 nations that will attempt to leave South Africa as winners of the 2010 World Cup. This tournament, held every four years, is the pinnacle of the soccer world and will be watched by a worldwide audience of more than 26 billion people. Yet here in the United States, despite our national team's participation in the competition, the number of soccer fans continues to lag behind the rest of the world. But fear not!
ESPN.com has a simple way to help you get involved in this global spectacle with our ESPN Soccernet Bracket Predictor. This will be an online competition similar to the traditional brackets that generate so much interest each year when the college basketball tournament rolls around, with some minor adjustments due to the little quirks in soccer's main event. For one, this is not a straight one-and-done single-elimination affair. After all that time spent working toward the goal of making it to South Africa, nobody is going to get sent packing just because it may have drawn the No. 1 overall seed in its first game. Rather, the 32 countries are placed in eight groups of four, playing a three-game round-robin schedule. The winning team gets three points for a victory, and if there is a tie, each team is awarded one point. The two teams with the most points in group play then advance into the round of 16, where the tournament then adopts a single-elimination format.
In ESPN Soccernet Bracket Predictor, your goal is to select which two teams will emerge from each of the eight groups. From there, you will be asked to select the winner of each elimination game, culminating in the World Cup final... MORE
Not near a TV? No problem! Don't miss a minute of the action of the 2010 World Cup with ESPN3.com. Every single game is live right on your computer and getting started has never been easier. Just click, choose the match you want to see and enjoy the game. ESPN3.com
Need to know who the best bets are to win it all? Join the Bracket Predictor message boards and get some help from the competition. Trash-talk with your bracket, brag about your favorite teams or anything else World Cup-related all day, every day. Message boards