Andrew So, of South Bronx United, explains the basics of soccer before World Cup

The World Cup kicks off on Thursday with

The World Cup kicks off on Thursday with Brazil facing Croatia. (Credit: News 12)

SOUTH BRONX - The 2014 World Cup kicks off Thursday, but before the games get underway, Andrew So, the executive director of South Bronx United, explains some of the sport's basic rules to News 12.

"I think we are lucky that soccer doesn't have quite as many rules like American football," says So.

When a referee blows the whistle and raises his hand, a team has committed an offside penalty. So says an offsides occurs when an offensive player receives a pass behind the deepest defender.

The 90-minute game is broken up in two halves, with possible overtime and penalty kicks.

In between, there can be fouls. If a player commits a foul or infraction within the 18-yard box in front of the goal, there will be a penalty kick, So says.

In a penalty kick, the ball is placed 12 yards from the goal, and a player has a one-on-one chance to get a kick by the goalie, So says.

Referees also carry yellow and red cards.

A red card means a player is ejected from the game -- and at least one more game after that. The team will have to play a man down.

The World Cup kicks off on Thursday with Brazil facing Croatia.

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