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PHOENIX -- It's a big sports day around the globe, as the World Cup soccer tournament gets underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Thursday.

"It's life and death for a lot of people, emotionally," said Michael Dellorusso, the head coach of the Arizona United Soccer Club. "It's a very exciting time around the world."

But just how popular is the World Cup?

"I like to compare it to the Super Bowl and how big people think that is here," Dellorusso said. "I would say the Super Bowl is about one-tenth of the World Cup, (regarding) what it means to people around the world."

There will be some great teams to watch during the World Cup.

"Brazil, Spain and Germany are probably the three favorites," said Dellorusso.

He said that Team USA has a chance for a good showing in the tournament.

"We have a great group of young guys and experienced guys," Dellorusso said. "We have two out of the top five teams in the world in our group, with Germany and Portugal. I think it's very important for us to get a result in the first game. Anything can happen from there on out."

Dellorusso said that some new soccer stars will become stars in this tournament.

"The best part about a World Cup is that it's when a lot of guys come out of their shell and a lot of new stars emerge," he said.

Dellorusso also added that you don't have to go all the way to Brazil to see some great soccer in person this week. At the Peoria Sports Complex on Saturday, the Arizona United will host Rochester and then next Wednesday, they'll host the L.A. Galaxy. To see their complete schedule, click here.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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