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Eagles Have World Cup Fever

Posted Jun 23, 2014

With Eagles minicamp coming to an end last week, there will be a bit of a gap until we get our next big taste of football when Training Camp rolls around. Fortunately, that void can be filled by football of a different breed.

The World Cup, perhaps the biggest international sporting event on the planet, continues its group stage in the host country of Brazil. Closer to home, some Eagles players have been keeping a close eye on the World Cup action. Here’s a look at some Eagles players who have some ties to “the beautiful game”…

Mychal Kendricks and B.J. Cunningham: Youth Soccer Stars

While attending elementary school at Bullard Talent, Kendricks only played soccer. In fact, the inside linebacker didn’t begin playing football until the eighth grade. Back in November, Kendricks explained his style of play when it comes to soccer.

"I was a defender, so all I had to do was kick the dang ball out of the way," Kendricks told the Wulf’s Den.

No surprise that Kendricks was a defender.

Cunningham began playing soccer when we has 4 years old and didn’t stop playing until his junior year of high school. The wide receiver was quite the soccer player, landing a spot on the Junior USA team while in middle school. He played games in Sweden, Iceland and Denmark, and was one of the team's leading scorers.

"I was more of a jump up and head the ball in the goal type of player," Cunningham told the Wulf's Den. "I had the footwork, but I didn't have a big leg …"

Alex Henery and Carey Spear: Multi-Sport Kickers

Both of the kickers currently on the Eagles roster were soccer players in high school. It was Mike Bailey, Henery’s high school soccer coach, who helped push him to become the kicker for the football team.

Spear, meanwhile, didn’t start playing football until sixth grade. The Vanderbilt product wanted to stick with soccer, but he developed a heart condition that kept him off of the pitch, as he explained in his Rookie Journey, presented by AAA.

Jeremy Maclin: FIFA Superstar

Maclin is another big soccer fan in the Eagles locker room. He frequently challenges competitors from around the world to games of FIFA, but he’s also a big World Cup fan, as he told the Wulf’s Den.

“Yeah, the World Cup got me,” Maclin said. “That's what really got me. I want to say when USA was in there in the last World Cup, that's what made me really appreciate soccer. If there was a big game on, I always watched it, but it made me actually appreciate.”

Zach Ertz and Matt Barkley: I Believe That We Will Win

These two California kids are most likely the biggest World Cup supporters on the Eagles roster. To show their patriotic support for the US National Team, the former Pac-12 standouts have taken their fandom to social media  ...

Ertz is such a big fan that he even took to celebrating after one of the USA’s latest goals… And when Roc Carmichael saw Ertz’s energetic celebration, the Eagles cornerback couldn’t help but join in on the fun, giving a shout out to his favorite player …

Emmanuel Acho, Michael Bamiro, Emil Igwenagu and Ifeanyi Momah: Meeting the Nigerian National Team

The Nigerian National team was in Philadelphia recently, as they played a tune-up against Greece at PPL Park earlier this month. The squad practiced at Lincoln Financial Field, and Acho and Momah (both of Nigerian descent) along with Igwenagu and Bamiro, headed over to watch some of the practice and meet the team.

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