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World Cup Countdown!

One month from today, I will be boarding a flight to South Africa to cover my fifth World Cup. I'll be there five weeks, and am equally elated and nervous. It is quite a daunting assignment to cover the world's biggest sporting event in a place like South Africa, where violent crime is still a serious problem (yes, yes, I know..I live in Miami!) and where the infrastructure has never been tested the way it will be with 450,000 international visitors in nine cities.

Beginning this Sunday, and every Sunday through the opener, The Miami Herald will be featuring a special World Cup Countdown package, so please look for that. There are also plans to revamp this blog so that I can share my South African adventures, photos (and maybe even video) with the soccer aficionados who come to this site.

We will also feature Watch Party listings, so you don't have to watch the matches alone. Fritz and Franz in Coral Gables, The Clevelander on South Beach, George's in the Grove, Churchills in N.Miami, Novacento on Brickell, and Playwright in Miami Beach are among the restaurants/pubs that will be showing matches.

If you are looking for cool World Cup jerseys and paraphernalia, head to Soccer Locker. 

Please pass the word to your soccer-loving friends that the Herald will be covering the World Cup BIG time. We are one of only a handful of US newspapers staffing the Cup, and I'd like our editors to see that this truly is a soccer-hungry market. If you have story ideas, suggestions, pubs that should make the list, or if you have a soccer-related business and want to place an ad with our coverage, please post on the blog or write me at mkaufman@miamiherald.com

Thanks! Michelinha (my World Cup name!)