Soccer is one of the best ways to exercise and keep your weight down.

The excitement for the upcoming soccer World Cup is being felt around the globe.

In Europe, it is the single-biggest sporting event on the calendar. Millions will tune in, and preparations have already begun in some places, with big screens showing games and domestic soccer seasons being put on hold. The biggest league in the world, England’s Premier League, will cease for four weeks to allow the tournament to be played.

In the U.S., it all feels a bit alien. Soccer is barely in the country’s top five most watched sports, and despite the U.S. men’s national team qualifying for the event, there’s little national excitement. That wasn’t helped by the team’s recent defeat against Japan and scoreless draw with Saudi Arabia, although hopes are high that Gregg Berhalter’s side can bounce back.

You will inevitably see some soccer this fall, with the big kickoff scheduled for November. The Americans will face Wales, England and Iran in their group and could qualify for the last 16, at which point people’s interest might pique. Despite The18 reporting on a lack of soccer-friendly pitches, the tournament might force people out with a round ball for some exercise and perhaps even a method of getting fit.

Soccer is an excellent way to shed a few pounds, and the World Cup’s popularity might make a European initiative popular here. Named Man v Fat, it organizes small-sided matches between males looking to lose weight but rewards the weight loss as much as scoring a goal. Given how few goals seem to be scored in soccer, having an additional method of racking up the scores doesn’t hurt!

How is soccer good for weight loss?

In an average one-hour game, a player will take around 9,000 steps, which is a good way to achieve a daily target of 10,000. WeightWatchers has stated that weight loss plans benefit from increased movement and activity, with 10,000 steps per day as the recommended target. Of course, if you’re the goalkeeper, you might not do as many, but there’s no doubt the increased movement helps you move towards your target weight.

Man v Fat also brings men together in their journey, and that support is also crucial for you if you undergo a weight loss program. Having people driving you on and supporting you helps you stay on track, and a team sport like soccer is perfect for building camaraderie. So, what if the USMNT lost to Japan? Your Man v Fat team might have won 6-2, and with your weight loss, it’s a 10-2 win and a move up the table.

Could we see Man v Fat across the Atlantic, given that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said obesity in the US stands at 41.9% of the population?

Anything is possible, especially if the USMNT was to advance to the knockout round. Success in any sport raises its profile and increases grassroots participation. Also, Man v Fat is a franchise of sorts, which means it would be easy to bring across and set up. What is lacking currently is the desire for soccer, the only real stumbling block.

Who knows? Perhaps if Christian Pulisic nets a game-winner against Iran or fires the USMNT to the final eight, he could indirectly be saving lives. If he doesn’t, maybe local basketball clubs could adopt the idea and have a similar concept. Either way, Man v Fat has worked on one side of the world and, in theory, could easily work here in the U.S.