With the US gone, I’m wondering how many of you will be left. My thought is that maybe the people who stopped on by when the US team was doing well were casual folk, and the people that remain are the hardcore folk. So for you remaining readers, here’s some content!

Before we get to the games (and really, no shocking results here), i’ve been watching the ESPN coverage this while time, which includes their recap shows, 2 hour shows and Sportscenter segments. I have to take a minute to comment on analyst Alexi Lalas.

I HATE YOU ALEXI, WITH THE FIRE OF 1,000 SUNS. WE GET IT, you’re bitter and angry because the World Cup is a lot bigger now in this country than it was during your time. We get it that you played soccer during a time in which US players didn’t get respect from the rest of the world and you had to work harder than many to become well known internationally. When you went to the Italian Serie A league it was a big deal, even though your team finished LAST. You couldn’t even make the main team for England’s team Arsenal. Your wikipedia page is the most mediocre list of accomplishments ever. None of your previous accomplishments matter now, because no one in this country remembers you and people in other countries don’t even think about you. You’re only on TV because ESPN needed SOMEONE from the US to be the analyst during US games. All of the other analysts from other countries hate you, they view you as the “token US guy” (just watch the constant dismissal of Lalas when he sits next to English legend Steve McManaman). A blown foul and two ties games from the recent US team has done more to get people to like soccer here than you ever were able to do in your entire career. In eight years Landon Donovan will be sitting in your seat. Also, you looked ridiculous in your playing days.

Netherlands 2, Slovakia 1.

The Dutch are quietly ROLLING through the Cup. They seem like fun, they had the hot chicks in little orange dresses who got kicked out, they roll deep with fans and they make the game fun to watch. Slovakia played the role of the team that was very very happy to get Italy out, so really both teams win by being here.

Of course the Dutch ACTUALLY won, reaching the quaterfinals for the fifth time, winning their last 8 games and basically being not shaken about any of this. They’ve never actually won a cup (and probably will not this time) but “The Oranje” are going to give their opponent a run for their money in the next round. I just wish they would be more interesting, as there is literally nothing to write about them. It’s cool dragon logo, orange kits and they come from an area where weed is legal.

Brazil 3 – Chile 0.

Another game, another not surprising result. Brazil are 7-0 against Chile all time, their fans go to copacabana beach and celebrate (wish I had a pic – ESPN showed the party during the pre-game), and even though the theory is that South American teams aren’t as afraid of Brazil as everyone else is, it still meant nothing as Brazil out played, out scored and shut out the Chileans.

It’s simple and easy – Brazil are the Boston Celtics of the World Cup; they’ve won five championships, the most of any country who has played. They seemingly spend their entire lives kicking soccer balls, crossing up defenders and being all around very good at the soccer. They’re so good at the sport they even make commercials about it, even ones that are banned.

Even ESPN is bored in writing about the team. Click that link and look at the almost forced use of adjectives in describing their victory. Anyways, Brazil wasn’t going to lose this one, they took apart Chile, so here’s some Brazil factoids for you:

1. Since their coach (a man named “Dunga”) took over Brazil is 15-0 when Robinho scores and 30-0-4 when Kaka and Robinho play.

2. Brazil’s overall record at the World Cup? 53-2-4. When they take a two-goal lead they are UNDEFEATED at 46-0.

3. Kaka, being the religious man he is doesn’t need to pay for love.

Basically, if I’m the Dutch team I would just start packing in advance for their quarterfinal match against Brazil on Friday.

Paraguay 0 – Japan 0 (Paraguay wins on penalty shootout 4-3)

Holy shit I LIKE soccer and this was boring. Both teams played scared out of their minds, conservatively grinding the viewing audience into a conservative 0-0 game that went into overtime, still at 0-0. What happens in the knockout stage when there’s no score? PENALTY SHOOTOUT. Each team gets their chances, one on one to get goals and whomever blinks first loses. In this case Japan blinked and Paraguay goes on to lose to the winner of the next game…

Spain 1 – Portugal 0.

If Brazil are the dominant team in this tournament Spain gets slotted in a two way tie with Argentina. Taking apart Portugal with stellar defense, amazing goalkeeping from Iker Casillas and David Villa doing more David Villa things, Spain looked flawless against a very very good Portugal team, only beset by the Nike curse taking its’ last victim in Ronaldo.

More Songs about Shitty Officiating, Teams who are Home Now and Satanism.

FIFA’s lack of instant replay/video technology. It’s LAME. People are getting hip to this. Here’s the issue in case you’re confused. FIFA employs the whole “sideline refs and one ref on field” operation because they can trump up the global equality of the whole thing. The style of officiating can be executed at any level of play (like youth soccer for instance), or in any country/league in some universal fashion. FIFA loves to bring this up and it sounds great in theory, but what happens when there is an issue like this weekend, and what would happen if those issues actually effected the game in a more crucial way? It’s like if the NFL suddenly eliminated instant replay and that little yellow line of scrimmage because “dammit, pee-wee football can’t afford no electronic line”. FIFA is a huuuuuge operation and they still hold true to this insane stance on technology (stance = WE’RE SCARED OF IT).

So FIFA gets hammered on it by well, everyone, especially when their reaction to the blown calls was to not show replay on the big screens at the games anymore. In response to all of this they finally release a statement in which they will “resume the video debate” and they apologize to the Mexicans and the English about what happened.

England. Hammered by the tabloids, fooled and beaten by the Germans and now they get jacked by their hotel.

Staying at a luxury hotel (click that link if you don’t believe me), the team left without $750, clothes, a FIFA medal (they give medals for participation??) and underwear. Don’t fret though, as the items were returned, the guilty hotel staffers are now behind bars and fined $800.

One last England note, see they lost not because Wayne Rooney did nothing for four games, they lost because he decided to wax his chest.

In a previous post, I mentioned Landon Donovan and the choice he will have to make now that he’s the “U.S.A. Hero of the World Cup.” He either stays with the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS and tries to make a go out of bringing soccer to the masses here or he goes to the English Premier League (where he already spent some time) and gets PAID. Well, now that Landycakes is home, he already has an offer from the world’s richest club, Manchester City.

Manchester City, (quick bio; imagine the LA Clippers being bought out by Saudis and now having waaaay more money to spend than the Lakers) have offered Donovan about $4 million a year in salary (he’s making around $2 mil and change in the MLS) and are prepared to pay a transfer fee of up to $12 million to get him. Does Lando stay in the US with his current/not current CBS sitcom wife for $2 mil or does he fly off to England for $4 mil and the new family he created overseas? What would YOU do?

President of the French Football Federation = RESIGNED.

Italy. A fat man is not happy about going home early but the woman behind him is ok with it (NSFW).

HOT GURLZ watch the soccer ARGENTINA my remaining team. Someday when Maradona and I go out to the club we’re going to find this girl and double date; him and his chick and me and this woman.

Speaking of Argentina, hey Lionel Messi! I hear you looooove Oasis. Like really love them. Like you would cut them a huge check to reform and play if Argentina wins the Cup. As if there weren’t enough reasons to want Argentina to win, Oasis reform, play for Messi and someone invariably You Tube’s a semi-quality sounding version of Don’t Look Back in Anger from the concert.

OMG PEOPLE! All this soccer we are watching is actually both Socialism AND Satanism. And as a person who is covering this, I can only be considered a DESCIPLE of Satan I assume. Maybe a messenger too.

I preface this link by saying that I am posting this only because I love the domain name: IN BED WITH MARADONA. It’s basically a lot of World Cup coverage (which I PROVIDE YOU already) and some EPL/Spain transfer rumors. Nonetheless if you like soccer, take a click.

JW has a weekly podcast that maintains the highest level of quality. Please visit Twenty9cast and subscribe to us in i-Tunes.