KEEPING IT RAHEEL

Raheel Ramzanali: Help me find a country to root for in the World Cup

Leo Messi will lead Argentina in the World Cup. Is he Raheel worthy? Dennis Doyle/Getty Images

Usually, these posts are reserved for the writer showing off or writing about something they have answers to and want you to know, but I am not that kind of writer. I know when to admit weakness and right now I’m weak. Ever since the USA failed to qualify for the World Cup I’ve been searching for a team to root for so I can enjoy the tournament even more. 

I’ve taken the online quizzes, spoke to soccer officials I respect, and taken requests on Twitter, but I still can’t find the perfect team to root for starting this week. 

This is why I need YOUR help. I’ll layout a few things that are important to me as a sports fan and you can make a case for a country I should root for in the World Cup. Send me your submissions on Twitter

  1. No Bandwagons - I appreciate greatness, but there is something more fun in rooting for a team that is close, but not the best in the world already. Now, I’m not saying I want to root for a team that is more than likely going to be knocked out in the group stage, but I also don’t want to root for one of the top favorites. I know wild things will happen and even favorites might have a tough road to win it all, but there is something exciting about rooting for a team that could get knocked out in the first round OR win it all. I just don’t want a team that will be filled with a bunch of bandwagon fans. 
  2. A Good Backstory - I know this will be a one time deal rooting for this country, but I’d like one of their best players to have a really good backstory. I’m talking about E:60 caliber drama. I want this player to be driven by hurt AND the desire to be great. I want to be all in on this ride and nothing connects me more to a team than a good backstory. 
  3. Style - Naturally, all soccer players are stylish and have unique fashion forward looks, but I need my team to be about that life. From a stylish haircut to maybe even wearing a male romper to the match, my team has to be in top 5 most stylish team rankings. 
  4. Food - After sports, food is one of my favorite things to enjoy so it would only be right that I enjoy my new rooting country’s food. Look, I’m sure Germany is really damn good at soccer, but I can’t even name you one German staple dish so I can’t root for them. 
  5. Sellout Factor - I’m a Pakistani born American and there are certain factors that go into rooting for another country where I don’t want to be labeled a sellout. This country should be relatively cool with both Pakistan and ‘Merica! 
  6. Not Mexico - No, I’m not rooting for Mexico. Never. 

All right, so there you go. Let me know what you come up with and recommend! 

Soccer Matters host Glenn Davis caught up with FOX Sports Analyst, and FIFA World Cup veteran with the United States, Alexi Lalas in a one-on-one interview to talk about the addition of Austin FC as the newest Major League Soccer franchise. Among some of the topics were music and the rivalry between the three Texas clubs.

You can hear Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis weekly on ESPN 97.5 from 7-9 pm. You can listen live or on demand with the ESPN 97.5 radio app. All episodes are available on-demand at PodcastArena.com.

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