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2018 World Cup: Here’s who we’re rooting for

Without a D.C. United player to support, our staff has picked a wide range of countries to follow in Russia

As a site, we were hoping to have the United States playing in this World Cup. And then the qualifying debacle happened, so we were hoping that a D.C. United player would at least get in. And then Ulises Segura was dropped by Costa what do we do now? Easy: everyone picked a surrogate team based on something-or-other. Here’s who has our allegiance at Russia 2018:

Adam M Taylor

It’s got to be Nigeria, right? Besides being maybe the first unanimous choice for “Best Uniform at a World Cup,” they also dress like this off the field. Let’s go Super Eagles!

Donald Wine II

Sure, I may have a Nigeria jersey and Switzerland jersey now in my possession, but I’m #TeamNoTeam for the World Cup.


I’m a half-Korean American who lives in Belgium, so my rooting interests are obvious. 1) South Korea, 2) Belgium, 3) anyone but Mexico. Unfortunately it’s most likely that 3) is going to win the whole thing, but that still works for me.

Ryan Keefer

It’s no answer, or perhaps closer to Donald’s, but I find myself a little agnostic when it comes to who to root for. I just watched Alexander Ovechkin finally win the Stanley Cup after more than a decade’s worth of disappointment, so Lionel Messi and Argentina winning would be nice, though my head says they’re too much of a trainwreck to do it. Seems like Brazil is in the same boat, so I guess it’s down to Spain or Germany annnndddd...Spermany.

Steven Streff

My answer is boring I’m sorry. But most of my dad’s family is from the Germany/Luxembourg area. My mom went to high school in Germany. My parents lived in Germany. I was born in Germany. My sister in law went to high school in Germany. Her and my brother just got done with a three year tour in Germany. I’ve been three times, not counting the time I was born there (I even went to East Berlin, when that was a thing). Every year, my parents host an Oktoberfest party, and I dress up in my lederhosen and drink German beer until the next morning. Germany, Germany, Germany.

Leanne Elston

Germany are the team that got me into the World Cup in the first place, back in 2006 when I was in high school and I didn’t know I liked soccer this much and certainly I didn’t know that one day I would make Miroslav Klose the background on my phone and my home computer and my work computer and I wouldn’t change it for years. (I still haven’t changed it.)

They can win two in a row. GERMANY.

Ben Bromley

My short answer is that I haven’t decided yet. My usual backup team is Italy, since my wife is a quarter Italian, but since they are out too I am left without my regular choices. I am going to do what I’ve seen a number of people opt for, which is to take the beginning of the group stage to find a team that speaks to me, one that likely isn’t one of the Germany or Brazils of the World Cup. Maybe Colombia? Maybe Egypt? Those are the leading contenders in my mind, but I want to be enthralled.

Caitlin Buckley

I’ll be rooting for France and Iran since I speak French and Persian. I’m inclined to support any Francophone team but France played in the first soccer game I ever saw so I’ve stuck with them. Here’s to hoping that France won’t disappoint me and that Iran will score multiple goals!

Jason Anderson

I’m going with Japan. For one, they always have good kits. I also find the Japanese emphasis on technical ability enviable, as it’s a path the U.S. could have gone down back in the 80s and early 90s. They always seem to have the same, particularly frustrating issue — good at keeping the ball, bad at actually turning that into goals — but I’ve been drawn to following them more closely than other teams going back to 1998. Maybe it was Hidetoshi Nakata’s stylish shoes back then, maybe it had something to do with them being a roughly equal team to the USMNT in FIFA 98, and maybe my fascination with the J.League has something to do with it.

I’m also in favor of Peru doing well, but ultimately my answer is the Samurai Blue.

So that’s who we’re pulling for. Do you have a favorite team in this year’s tournament? Let us know in the comments!