World Cup Opens in Brazil

The U.S. men’s team has its work cut out for it in the first round against Portugal and Germany.
5:03 | 06/12/14

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Transcript for World Cup Opens in Brazil
You said your family is excited about the world cup. Die-hards. They love this. This is official ball for team usa. This is the official ball for the world cup. Eyes of the world are on the world cup, as we turn to Brazil. The super bowl of soccer kicks off today. So much excitement. But there's concerns the country may not be ready. ABC's Paula Faris is in Rio, covering all of the action. And, yes, just a tough day at the office, we can see there, Paula. Good morning. Reporter: Yeah. I drew the short straw here, didn't I? Good morning from beautiful Rio. As you said, the 2014 fifa world cup kicks off today. But the latest distraction is an airport strike here in Rio that's supposed to last until midnight. Overnight, a subway strike that crippled saw paolo was called off. But this morning, two of Rio's airports, threatening to stop thousands hoping to land for kickoff of the world cup. But for the Americans, they're going to face bigger problems. Their first group, so tough, it's been called the group of death. They're facing off against Ghana. Followed by Portugal and Germany in the first round. Two of the world's top teams. It's the group of severe pain, if you will. Not quite death. Reporter: Even the head coach of the U.S. Men's national team has his doubts. For us, now, talking about winning a world cup is just not realistic. You know? At the end of the day, soccer is a beautiful thing. It's unpredictable. Reporter: After four years, soccer's crown jewel kicks off today, with Brazil facing off against Croatia. 32 countries, 16 games. Some of the other favorites to keep an eye on, Germany, gunning for its fourth world cup title. Argentina, with Leo Mathie. The Michael Jordan of soccer. And Spain. Who is your team? England. Reporter: England. Now, the U.S. Men's national team does not face Ghana until Monday. Today, they were supposed to play Belgium in a noncompetitive game in Sao Paulo. But they canceled that due to traffic concerns. The coaches didn't want their players to sit in traffic for hours on end. That's understandable. Paula, thank you. Joining us also now, with her predictions on the world cup, ABC and ESPN analyst and soccer star extraordinary, Julie foudy, ladies and gentlemen. We heard what Paula had to say. We want to hear your take on the top teams here. We have all of the big boys here. Host, Brazil, having won five world cups, more than any other country. They have a lot of pressure riding on a 22-year-old star, named namar. That's one of the favorites. And you have archrival, Argentina, with mess. And you have teams like Spain, who won the last world cup. Won the last two european championships. And a european team has never been able to come into an south American world cup and wrestle that world cup away from a south American team. That's been the case. How about team usa? I saw you yesterday doing your I believe chant. I hate to break the news to you, robin. They probably are not going to go home with that world cup. But the good news for the united States is they are getting so much better. And even in Thi group of death, this is a terribly tough group they're in. Group "G" Ghana, Portugal, another great player, Cristiano Ronaldo. And Germany, with a successful world cup. There's a possibility they can get out of this group. But it will be tough for them. When your group is called the group of death, that doesn't bode well. A lot of talk, as you know, Julie, about Brazil. How they are prepared for this. How they really have wanted this for so many years. What's the word on the street from Brazilians? Well, you know, it's interesting because wherever you talk about Brazil and football in the same sentence, they talk about it as this religion. It's in their soul. It's a spirit amongst them. It brings such happiness. And you walk around, you hear anger. You hear sadness. And that's about the $12 billion they've been spending. And the people here, and I've never seen this before. The people here are angry about the amount of money that's being spent and the corruption. So, tonight's game, Brazil versus Croatia, is big in that the mood of this country rests on that. All right. We will be watching. Thanks for your insight, as always. We'll be seeing you in the weeks ahead, Julie. Can't wait for that. You can catch all of the world cup action on ESPN and ABC, starting today. With the host country taking on Croatia. We're going to turn to the incredible rescue caught on

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