If there’s ever a moment when soccer gets the attention of American sports fans, it is the FIFA World Cup. And the 2022 edition starts this month in Qatar.
How much will Maryland sports betting benefit, and how much will the state’s sports fans pay attention to the 2022 FIFA World Cup compared to folks in other states?
The United States — which has qualified for the international event in 2022 after missing the last World Cup — is playing in Group B and has its first game on Nov. 21 against Wales. The other teams in Group B are England and Iran.
The opening match of World Cup 2022 is on Nov. 20, with host Qatar playing Ecuador in Group A.
Will Online Maryland Sports Betting Launch in Time?
Online Maryland sports betting apps are set to launch soon, but it is unknown whether they will run before the World Cup starts. They might be taking action as the tournament continues, though — the final is set for Dec. 18.
In the United States, the discussion of fan interest in soccer in general — and even for the sport’s marquee event, which rivets the attention of the rest of the world — has always been an interesting debate.
BetMaryland.com used Google Trends to look at the highest search volume of the term “World Cup” in the United States over 30 days. After gathering data on Nov. 2, 2022, it was determined which are the Top 10 states with the most interest in the upcoming global tournament.
Where Maryland Ranks in World Cup Interest
Among the top 10 states registering interest in the World Cup, Maryland was ranked at No. 5, along with Connecticut, New York, and Virginia.
At the top of the list was California, apparently showing the greatest interest, followed by New Jersey at No. 2. Tied for third were Massachusetts and Texas.
Following the four-way tie for fifth, Florida was No. 9 and Utah No. 10.
2022 FIFA World Cup, States With Most Interest
Possible Maryland Connections on U.S. Team
Maryland fans will be incentivized to follow the action if former University of Maryland goalkeeper Zach Steffen minds the net for the United States.
Steffen played his youth and high school soccer mostly in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and started his college career with the Terrapins in 2013. He played for Maryland again in 2014, starting 22 games and giving up just 19 goals. He then began a professional career that has taken him through Major League Soccer, the Bundesliga, Premier League, and EFL Championship. He currently plays for Middlesbrough in the EFL Championship, the second-level league in England, on loan from Manchester City.
While Steffen has been viewed as a likely starting keeper for the U.S. National Team in the past, other netminders are vying for playing time, including Matt Turner and Ethan Horvath.
The only other USMNT player with greater-Maryland area connections is striker Jordan Pefok. But while Pefok was born in Washington, D.C., he grew up in France.
Whether mobile wagering on sports gets going during the World Cup or not, turn to BetMaryland.com and grab those Maryland sportsbook promo codes for the best online experience.