After two excruciatingly long days without any World Cup matches, our international withdrawal symptoms are over. Who cares if the USA is out—it's time for the quarterfinals!
France vs. Germany (12PM ET, ESPN2) A European classic opens the quarterfinal round. Today will be the fourth ever World Cup meeting between the neighboring countries, but the first since 1986. France has been bossing the tournament to date, blitzing the Group Stage with a strong attack and easily battling past Nigeria in the Round of 16. Germany remain favorites, but have not impressed in their last few appearances, needing extra time to battle past Algeria. With Germany reportedly having seven players suffering from the flu, Didier Deschamps' side might have an edge.
Brazil vs. Colombia (4PM ET, ESPN) Not only do we get an all Europe quarterfinal today, but also an all-South American one. The hosts have been good but not dominant, needing penalties to escape Chile. Colombia are one of the two cinderella teams in the round, having danced their way through all opposition thanks to stellar performances from James Rodriguez. Expect this one to be lively and fun to watch.
What Else Is Going On?
The endless hand-wringing and introspection into the USA's elimination is the latest "proof" we've made it as a soccer nation. We recommend the takes of ESPN's Jeff Carlisle, The Guardian's Graham Parker, and the "Turn Down For Cup" episode of The Offside Rules Radio. Our own Charlie Boehm will be back with his own reflection later today.
President Obama gave Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard a call after the Belgium loss:
Is this the heel turn moment for Barcelona? The legendary Spanish club is set to sign the infamous Luis Suarez from Liverpool for around $137M. As a comparison, that's as much as Real Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
A FIFA official was arrested as part of a $100M ticketing scandal. Never change, FIFA!
Slate bring the most important take of the tournament: who won the World Cup of arm-folding?
Lastly: we hope that any World Cup babies that are spawned thanks to the 2014 World Cup aren't given the same fate as a seven year old Brazilian boy. He's named after so many French players from the 2006 tournament, he can't remember his own name.