Never has a loss felt so good. The United States advanced to the round of 16 for the second time in as many World Cup finals yesterday. They will face Belgium in the round of 16. MLSSoccer.com has a primer.
Your spine was tingling and you were breaking out in cold sweat before the game. You were pumped up. But were you this pumped up?:
The US has never reached the knockouts in two consecutive World Cups before. It might be time for the doubting Klinsmann doubters to stop their doubting and be convinced. Either that, or he and the Stars and Stripes just rode the luck of the "benign invisible pixie" that lives on Jurgen's shoulder?
Klinsy himself is just ready for more after moving beyond the
Group of Death first group of victims.
A lot of Americans watched the Germany game yesterday. Like, a lot. Even this guy. But did it surpass the record-breaking numbers revealed after the Portugal game? We won't get preliminary Nielsen ratings until tomorrow, but In terms of streaming views (ESPN.com, apps), it put the 2013 Super Bowl to shame.
But wait, weren't we all at work? Yeah but we had a note.
And you know when Wall Street action slows down significantly, something big went down:
FiveThirtyEight.com takes a look at the odds for US advancement against any and all opponents in the knockout rounds. I'll let you take a look yourself, but you'll be happy to know that the US' chance of emerging as World Cup champions have tripled since before the tournament began! To 1.2 percent, but a FAN CAN DREAM.
If you're more of a visual person or you just enjoy clicking on flashy things, Bloomberg has created an interactive bracket that shows their predictions of the rest of the Cup.
Or, if you prefer to see the Yanks advancing past the next round, you can create your own rosy scenarios.
There has been plenty of criticism of Michael Bradley's play through group play, which continues to show up in these player ratings. And these. But it's hard to criticize the shiny-headed midfielder's work rate, as Opta revealed that Bradley takes the top spot for "distance covered" so far this World Cup:
Soccer in the US
It hurts me to create this link, but it must be done. Ann Coulter has weighed in on the rise of soccer fandom in America in what can only be described as World Cup click bait trolling at a pro level. Conclusion: it is a sign of moral decay and must be eradicated. Regardless of our political views, I think it's safe to assume Sounder at Heart readers will find her points both hilarious and nonsensical. If you don't feel like clicking, here's a sample: "Do they even have MVPs in soccer?"
She'll be sad to read this collection facts in support of the idea that the US soccer boom was already here before the World Cup began.
For a more reasoned take on the state of US soccer fandom, we turn to the New Yorker, which takes a look back at the history of America's appetite for the "other" football, from 1912 to the present.
Ben Gartland over at The Blue Testament takes a more recent look at the strength of the US as a soccer nation, suggesting we're on the brink of American Soccer 3.0.
US Open Cup
If you are as confused (and morbidly intrigued) as I was by the news that four players and three coaches were ejected from the Tuesday match that saw the Atlanta Silverbacks advance past the Colorado Rapids, here's a recap from Burgundy Wave to help explain things.