World Cup mania is just around the corner, and these seven iPhone soccer (or football, as most of the rest of the world calls it) apps can keep you in the loop on the latest news and scores. Even major names like ESPN are getting in on the action with their own World Cup apps.
1. FIFA 10
If the World Cup inspires you to play soccer, why not do it on your iPhone? FIFA 10 (EA Sports, $4.99) is a realistic, action-packed soccer game that uses the iPhone's accelerometer and touchscreen to control the action. You can play on one of 570 teams from 30 different leagues, and there's even a WiFi multiplayer feature so you can compete against your friends. Console editions of this game are also available -- the Xbox 360 version gets excellent reviews.
If you're not up to speed already, the Soccer/Football Rules app (JBMJBM Inc, Free) includes the FIFA soccer rulebook, in addition to the NCAA soccer rules for American college soccer fans. The app also features a guide to referee signals so you'll know what's going on during the World Cup games.
3. Big Soccer
Keep track of all the teams and games with the World Cup Schedule app (Mahango, $0.99). The app includes the entire World Cup schedule on a list or calendar view, and it will also provide scores and results when the tournament gets underway. If you're unfamiliar with the South African venues, this World Cup app also provides a handy venue guide.
How many days until the World Cup? You'll always know just how close it's getting with the World Cup Countdown app (ChilliX, Free). As the name suggests, the app displays a countdown for each day, in addition to photos of South Africa. You could figure out this information by yourself, but this app will help get you in the World Cup spirit.
For real World Cup junkies, iSoccer Scores (AFR Ventures LLC, $0.99) supports push notifications for score updates and results. It also includes soccer news from over 40 soccer leagues. To make things easier to view, you can select favorite teams to get their standings and scores in one place.
ESPN's World Cup app (ESPN, Free) includes profiles of all 32 countries competing, in addition to breaking soccer news from around the globe. The app also offers tournament schedules and the opportunity to make your own fantasy prediction bracket. Once the World Cup gets underway, the ESPN World Cup app will really get interesting with living scoring and access to ESPN's GameCast. Live audio coverage of the World Cup is available for a one-time free of US$7.99.