INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck is a passionate fan of American soccer.
If the U.S. can't bring home the title, he figures the next best thing would be seeing the Brazilians hoist the trophy on home soil.
"I have an unconditional love for U.S. soccer. I have eternal optimism for the U.S. soccer team," the Colts quarterback said, initially predicting breakthrough win for his home country during a wide-ranging 26-minute interview Thursday. "But wouldn't it be cool the host country won it, especially with everything going on there?"
Just last week, indigenous protesters in traditional headdress clashed with police in Rio de Janeiro. On Thursday, transportation workers also went on strike, putting at risk the only means most soccer fans will have to reach the stadium. The World Cup is scheduled to open June 12.
That doesn't mean Luck — one of American's highest-profile supporters — is giving up on his team.
He helped model the American uniforms for this year's World Cup, agreed to let his name be used on a banner that was placed inside Stanford Stadium when the Americans showed up for training camp last month and in April attended a game of the Indy Eleven, the city's new soccer team.
Luck developed his affinity for soccer in Europe, when his father, Oliver, was working with the NFL's developmental league. His interest never waned.
How much does Luck appreciate the sport?
When one of Luck's sisters told him she worked out in the same weight room with Clint Dempsey, the captain of this year's U.S. team, Luck's response was every bit the fan.
"I was very jealous," he said, laughing.