CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Local bars will be crowded for the next month as soccer fans gear up for the World Cup.
The tournament, which takes place every four years, begins Friday in South Africa. Mexico and South Africa took part in the opening game Friday morning. The United States plays in its first game on Saturday against England. The game will be shown on the big screen on Fountain Square.
Local fans may also be cheering for New Zealand. Tim Brown, who played for the University of Cincinnati, is vice-captain of that team.
While at UC, the midfielder received all conference and all Ohio honors. He's played professionally for a team in Australia and then in New Zealand.
"Tim was an exceptional player and great athlete," said Hylton Dayes, UC head soccer coach. "A good leader and one of our key players. He could score long range goals, score off restarts best player during my time."
Brown has been rehabbing a fracture in his upper right arm, and was questionable until he flew to South Africa on Thursday.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Chris Dickerson will also be paying close attention to the World Cup.
Dickerson is a huge soccer fan and was selected to the Olympic Development Program as a teenager in California.
Baseball became his sport, but Dickerson stays in shape when he's not playing baseball by playing soccer.
Dickerson has been sidelined since April 30 after undergoing surgery to clean out his right wrist and remove the fractured hook from the hamate bone of his right hand.
"What better sport to play with limited use of one hand then soccer, so it's fun," said Dickerson.
Click the link on the right for special coverage of the World Cup.