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July 01, 2014

Breaking hearts: U.S. eliminated from World Cup in 2-1 loss to Belgium; plus Heat Big 3 poll result & more

1aa1usbel1) It is TUESDAY, JULY 1. Happy new month, everybody! 2) No waffling: Beat Belgium! 3) No radio again today. My return to the Dan LeBatard Show is anrticipated on Tuesday July 15. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): LeBron wants max money, Heat return-of-Big 3 poll, state of U.S. soccer, Futblog! World Cup, Hot Button Top 10 & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

Heat free agency update: It began at 12:01 a.m. today. Expectations are that Pat Riley will re-sign the Big 3 and also get every other significant free agent worth having because everybody will agree to play here for free. Updates as warranted.  

1aa1abrazilwcFUTBLOG! WORLD CUP: AMERICANS, ARGENTINES TOP LAST ROUND-OF-16 ACTION: FUTBLOG! is the official World Cup post of this blog, a continually updated daily dose of the month-long soccer spectacle in Brazil. See earlier posts for earlier results. Today ends the round of 16 and completes the quarterfinal matchups. Today's games:

1aa1aamericxa 1aa1abelgiumBELGIUM def. UNITED STATES, 2-1 (OT): The U.S. aimed for its deepest World Cup run since 2002 but it was hard to arguethe denial of that was an unfair result. Belgium dominated on the attack here, forcing an absolutely heroic effort by U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard to even keep it close. America's defense was rendered shaky all day but Howard rose and rose and rose to the occasion. In the end, not enough, and so a prideful U.S. World Cup run ends. I made no pretense of impartiality. "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Or, yes: "Let's gooooo States!" My pick was: U.S., 2-1.

1aa1aragebtinsa 1aa1aswiisARGENTINA def. SWITZERLAND, 1-0 (OT):
 Another big team struggles to win, but does. Without question Arentina and the sublime Lionel Messi were big favorites here and also my personal pick to win it all. Still don't think the Argentines have shown their best yet on the attack and didn't here. I underestimated Swiss, especially on defensive end. My pick was: Argentina, 4-1.

World Cup goal scoring through today's games: 56 matches, 154 goals, 2.75 per.

PREVIOUSLY ADVANCED TO ROUND OF EIGHT / QUARTERFINALS BRACKET: July 4--Brazil vs. Colombia, France vs. Germany; July 5--Costa Rica vs. Netherlands, Argentina vs. Belgium.

1aa1afranceFRANCE (def. Nigeria, 2-0): The French have had a redeeming World Cup after a nightmare four years earlier but would have disappointed if they didn't advance here to the quarters. A goal in the 79th minute and another in extra time took care of that. Nigeria's offensive struggles continued after it managed only three goals in three group matches. My pick was: France, 2-1.

1aa1agermanGERMANY (def. Algeria, 2-1 [OT]): The Germans carry Europe's banner in terms of being the best non-South American bet for the crown, but didn't always look it here. Algeria from my view looked to be in over its head here, especially on the defensive end, but I underestimated the underdogs. My pick was: Germany, 4-1.

1aa1anetherlandsNETHERLANDS (def. Mexico, 2-1): You could argue the country that old-timers still call Holland was the most impressive of any in group play, going 3-0 and leading all flags with 10 goals. But the favored Dutch barely escaped to survive here, equalizing late and then winning on a penalty kick in extra time. A heartbreak for Mexico's El Tri. My pick was: Netherlands, 2-1 (bull's-eye).

1aa1acostaricaCOSTA RICA (def. GREECE, 1-1 [5-3 PKs]): Can two Cinderellas attend one (foot)ball? Costa Rica is the darling of this Cup after winning a pedigreed group that contained three former champions. But lightly regarded Greece was only team to advance with a negative goal differential. Costa Rica remains the Cinderalla standing by prevailing despite playing a man down for a third of the match. My pick was: Costa Rica, 3-0. 

1aa1abrazilBRAZIL (def. Chile, 1-1 [3-2 PKs]): A date with host and favorite Brazil was a most dubious bracket reward for Chile, but the underdogs played valiantly through overtime before falling in penalty kicks. Brazilian fans were not entirely thrilled with their guys' play in the qualifying stage and should not have been here, with relief the emotion more than elation. My pick was: Brazil, 3-1.

1aa1acolombiaCOLOMBIA (def. Uruguay, 2-0): Colombia looked very good in qualifying (3-0, with 9-2 goals differential) and continued its strong run. Uruguay was rocked by suspension of star Luis Suarez in the biting incident, effectively Mike Tyson-ing its chances. My pick was: Colombia, 2-0 (bull's-eye).

Poll result: Opt-outs have not increased faith in return of Heat's Big 3: We asked if the BIg 3 all would re-sign with Miami, and 69.8 percent said yes, including 72.9% in state of Florida. When we asked same question two weeks earlier, prior to opt-out decisions, the yes vote was 69.4% overall, 74.1% in Florida. Results are holding steady, not enjoying the opt-out bump one might have expected. More than one in four, almost one in three, continue to think Big 3 won't be back intact.

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Vamos, Vamos Argentina.


Big Baby,

i think argentina needs more of "vamanos" than "vamos". the swiss have had more of the game and even though your "albiceleste" may win today, they are not looking like semi-finalists; i'd say the USA might even defeat the guys in the beautiful striped jerseys, should the USA dispatch belgium, which ethinks won't be so easy. the belgians are considered to be the "polaks" of western europe (at least according to their dutch neighbors to the north). ever seen a belgian try to set up a snooker table? they make it seem like rocket science, even with the charts all over the snooker palace. now there is a great game, snooker; huge table and tiny balls. a great game, especially after had some of the "coffee" that the local pubs serve in our favorite european hamlet, amsterdam.

Big Baby,

your side is currently controlling the play, but a goal is still lacking. the swiss are playing it seems for the added 30' and maybe PKs. they haven't done much in the second half but have been all over messi when the ball gets near him.

Big Baby,

argentina has been getting the better of the play; let's see if it carries over into the extra time. penalty kicks, if needed, i think would favor the swiss, who appear to have stronger legs, but if required let's see who is in better shape after 120' of tough play.

You called it shadow a close game. I saw it more like Greg not this close. Ok for good luck Vamanos Vamanos Argentina!

di Maria di Maria!!!!!! sigh. relief.

brilliant dribble and pass by Messi. latest goal in the history of the WC.

what an effort by The Swiss tough way to go out for them. Header off the post in the 120th minute. They played great. Later I am off to watch USA vs. Belgium and do some very American things like eat 1/2 price appetizers ole!

Big Baby,

a sloppy play after 118, and messi drawing all the swiss towards him leaving two teammates alone on his right side and you are a happy camper. not very close to 4-1 at all. you gotta be brave or confident to predict any futbol side will score 4 goals in a game. time to get ready for clint dempsey to score a couple in a close, close game for the US. belgium is way better than switzerland and shouldn't be an easy match for either side.

ok now..the Americanos have a shot in this game, Belgium has not looked that great themselves and they came out of a weak group..so I say USA 2-1..

boys...so far the Americanos are just playing blah..and this dude Bradley who's supposed to be our best player is total mierda..

let's hope the boys can pull this off..go USA!


the US is lucky not to behind by 2 goals; if they to halftime 0-0 it will be a tremendous accomplishment. being outplayed in all facets of the game. and i agree about michael bradley- he is bad and i couldn't believe what i was reading about him being a dominant player in europe before coming back to MLS. mierda seems like the right term to describe his play thus far.


if the USA can turn things around- and the ole shadow means WAY AROUND, methinks that argentina s a beatable team for them if they get to meet them on a good day for the red, white and blue- which would mean a spot in the semis!!!!!!!! the americans are quite lucky to be at 0-0 and a turnabout from their first half form is mandatory for them to advance; as FZB says, thus far-mierda.


that the united states is going into the added 30 minutes. the script says that after being thoroughly outplayed for almost all the 90+ minutes, that dempsey and friends will find a way to win in a game that should have had belgium with 4-6 goals. absolutely no possession of the ball which owing to tim howard has stayed out of the american goal. the script says the USA wins.

The dream is over but it was a fun ride. Thanks for the fun USA.

The better team won today, not question about it despite a heroic effort in goal.

That said, US soccer is on the rise. Someday that cup will be ours...maybe even in 2016 if FIFA moves the World Cup to the U.S. as is rumored a possibility.

For now, Go Netherlands.


belgium is a very, very good team, but tim howard stopped what should have been a 5 goal game for the red devils. an amazing set piece that the USA kept in the closet that should have been a score- a real genius of a set play that should have been into the net. best set play the ole shadow has seen since argentina scored the winner against england with a player peeling from behind the line to score a goal against a short-handed england (beckham got tossed for pushing an argentine right in front of the official early on). an incredibly well-designed play that should have knotted it up. klinsmann again made the proper substitution and did the best he could with what he had to work with; a shame that altidore couldn't contribute any minutes at the end. a shame that "the happy ending" didn't come about.

I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout.

Little. Teapot. Short. Stout. Handle. Spout.

Li Te Sho Sto Ha Spo.


having just watched on a big screen with about 5000 in the blazing heat. girls started taking off their t-shirts, so darn hot. despite all the bad play, we almost won the thing and then almost tied in OT. where Tim Howard might shine in pk's

In summary, I think we weren't a strong team. We had fight and goalkeeping.

I think player selection was weak. I think the #1 mistake was always not picking Donovan.
Since Altidore got hurt our possession game was lost. Donovan was the answer to Jozy. Instead, every game became trial & error. I'm sorry- but it's the truth. Donovan has the heart, energy, control, and opportunism. His time hadn't come yet.

And for all who we replaced him with, where were they? Finally Green comes on in OT and scores. I really wanted Altidore to get in this game, I expected him..not Wondo. I thought Jozy would start OT.

It may seem like a good run, but look back at the games since 2002 and we always were better or even on possession with everyone..even in losses. Actually, today possession was even but we get pounded on shots.

Enough chances for the US to equalize. Likely Tim Howards last hurrah for USMNT he played well. Maybe if Greene or other subs made it in earlier? Not second guessing Klinsmann he was likely as surprised as anyone to see that great goal by the 18 year old Greene. Young team with upside for next go around but still a disappointing ending Yanks fans were hoping for more. Bradley haters take note he had the assist in the only US goal.

fun run,
next World Cup is 2018 in Russia.

2022 is in Qatar..they will need cooling breaks every 30 seconds. that's the won with all the scandal and already 600 deaths of stadium construction workers. US was 2nd in that vote. Australia 3rd. they may re-vote..

problem is. the corrupt FIFA have already lined their pockets with dough from Qatar and the European construction companies.

there's barely any money to be spent on stadiums in the US. we already have enough great stadiums and Joe Robbie is in work.

there's no money to be made in stadia and infrastructure in the US. all we can do is offer the best TV and fan zones ever seen

yes Big Baby, the subs came too late and I think the wrong ones made lately. and as I said, Donovan was a brutal mistake. we'll hear about it a long time. If he had been selected, there wouldnt have been a need to wonder about it

Brad Davis offered nothing that Donovan couldnt do better.

all the favorites struggled mightily, but they somehow managed. no upsets.
C. Rica-Greece doesnt count because both were underdogs. And Uruguay doesnt count because they are nothing without Suarez.

i'm still rooting for underdogs. Colombia vs C.Rica !

I said it as well here Johnny before the tourney started. Didn't understand the Donovan omission. He is 32 y/o I think and after the 2010 WC I thought he deserved another chance. His chances are over now. It will remain the great second guess.

Johnny Futbol,

how about neighbors holland and belgium in one semifinal? brazil and germany can square off in the other- wonder which country the former SS officers hiding in brazil's jungles will root for? i believe belgium will defeat argentina and meet holland when costa rica's storybook ending doesn't happen. colombia (whom i haven't seen) has a real chance versus an overrated brazil team. i get to watch friday's matches but will miss the saturday games.

Former SS officers hiding in Brazil?

Uh, it's 2014...not 1975. Pretty sure they're all dead now.

Just re-watched the game on ESPN starting 2nd half, on my TV. It was hard hearing and seeing the details with 5000 people and a big screen.

As much as we were dominated, we owned the last 15 minutes. All the football fans would've loved our designed set play, breaking Dempsey free. Ugghh..no doubt he should've made that. We had a shot prior to that which should've been aimed better. It was a clear opportunity to get in the corner.

The Landon Donovan question will akways be a question now. 3 guys never got on the field. If we're going to pick guys over Donovan, then play them. And we wait til 105th min of game 4 to play Green. There are at least 2 or 3 we could've bumped for Donovan.

This Swiss also had their nightmare late miss. After Argentina scored, Swiss top scorer (from Albania) hit the post and then was right there fir the followup.

Well, at least Tim Howard broke the all tine record for saves,

Personally, I want Colombia vs Costa Rica in the Final. Completely new teams in the finals.

I want cheatin Brazil out, so I believe France matches up better than Germany,
I don't really want France either, so by default I want Colombia and then Germany in ine bracket. Given that C. Rica is not realistic, I want the Dutch or Belgium.

FIFA is foaming at the mouth for a Messi - Neymar matchup. one dives, one does not.

Keep in mind Brazil is the home team. They haven't lost at home since the 70's. They've tied...which means maybe they can be taken in OT, Somehow the fans are getting a hold of the majority of ticjets even though it's supposed to be 50-50.

FIFA may be thinking that enough time has passed since the biased reffing debacle of the opening game vs Croatia...people have forgotten....and now they can get away with something should Brazil need a bump. Look for a PK or a Colombian ejection.

I cannot see forty thousand pins. There is too much light emanating from the orb. Value driven consumers like pigs at a trough.

Somebody help the zombie crow. Aunt Hagatha is eating licorice in Maryland. Platypus Nine and the Shreveport Steamers live on stage.

So this is what water boarding feels like.

Tim Howard is god of the day.

ESPN replaying highlights all night. I can't get over Wondo's miss at the stroke of regulation,

and then Dempsey's one-on-one of the most clever set play I've seen in this sport.

I tell you this now, if we start utilizing more of this NFL style strategy, we could go places. No one knows play design like the US. Ww can borrow from American football.

David in LA, even Lebron and Obama were watching. Does that do nothing for you?

Lebron also wants to be involved in the Miami MLS team..

Joe Robbie makes a cameo appearance in Black Sunday.

Well tough los be the USA, Now we can forget soccer for 4 ,more years......

Just kidding, Love soccer....

thank god it's over; now it's back to talking about the best conditioned, strongest and fastest athletes on THE PLANET.

american football and basketball players.

wallace is a better fit for this team and for our young QB than marshall would've been, no question.
plus, wallace hasn't been stabbed by his significant other yet, cried from the podium, created drama or come out with mental illnesses as well.

There's no excuse why the United States of all places can't have a better soccer team. You'd think with all these kids playing soccer from youth, to High School, throughout college and in the Pro's. You have a team like Ghana for example who's players probably double as Somali Pirates during non-soccer time and live in poor and deplorable conditions. A team like Costa Rica which is very small geographically in size can field a good soccer team yet the US has soo many people.

I just don't understand how we are so dominant in most sports yet mediocre to above average in soccer.

Wallace's 73 rec 930 yds 5 TDs is a better fit for the Dolphins than Marshall's 100 receptions 1295 yds and 12 TDs. ONLY IN THE MIND OF THE ALWAYS DELUSIONAL (the real) david in los angeles.

Wallace was rated the 78th best WR by PFF last year.

"Despite tallying 930 yards receiving, Wallace was PFF’s 78th-best wideout. He also dropped 11 passes and averaged a measly 1.44 yards per route run."


Bandon Marshall is the TOP RANKED WR by PFF and ranked the 32nd overall best player in he NFL by PFF.

On receiving alone Marshall would still have made the list but ranked a ways lower. He still had a phenomenal year (as does anyone who makes this list) with impressive touchdown (12), broken tackles (13) and yards (1,295) telling part of the story. But what propelled Marshall from a man who would have our fifth highest receiving grade to top overall receiver, was his unmatched run blocking. And when we say unmatched we mean that in our six years grading nobody has ever come close, with it being nearly three times as much as the next highest graded receiver. Rarely does a receiver contribute on every down, but Marshall was that rarity.


david please stop embarrassing yourself.

David in LA, your loved ones Obama and Lebron love soccer, or at least support and watch it.

Best conditioned athletes in the world are soccer players. Where'd you get your fallacy from?
Seriously, how do you get that? these guys run 90+ minutes, 120 in OT. 3 subs per game.
There are 12 proved, verified minutes of action in football with constantly revolving players. Basketball players sub often too. And they are 7 ft freaks of nature that no one 5 ft 10 can relate too. Half of football players are fat slobs, the fatter the better.

During the years ABC had the then popular 'Superstars' show featuring best athlets from all sports competing in 10 events. Each time there was a soccer player, he on the whole grand prize in the finals. Beating out guys like Franco Harris. And these were unknown American players in a then unknown sport. They weren't even cream of the crop Pele types,

Your conditioning statement is plain wrong. I've played all sports, football..both sides of the ball, and I never got too tired. If I did, I came out fir a play or two. Soccer, especially in heat, I started making poorer passes, missing headers, and shooting weaker shots,

Also, there are very fast players, they don't get Statistically measured as such, You don't watch, you have no clue. Get down close to the field of. pro game and watch the speed, Watch Neymar. You know nothing about the sport, you don't watch, thus you spew garbage.
Not to mention your un-patriotic nature. Everyone I know has gotten into it for at least the USA, skipping work, streaming, 10s of millions in fan zones.
Anyone can play with their hands.
Did you see the scene at Soldier Field? Entire stadium, plus the field, were full of fans. .

Matt R, we often beat C. Rica and Mexico. We struggle at their away games, but beat them at home, We won last year's Gold Cup. It's always us or Mexico.
We have been winning the qualifying groups on a regular basis, we were first once again.
We had a good run in the 2002 Word Cup only to get robbed by the refs in the quarters.
Now Costa Rica is having a good run. It will end soon, because FIFA doesn't want non powers to go too far.
We've played better in the past as have Itslians, English and Russians..all who we surpassed in these games.
We survived the group of death and nearly pulled an upset on Belgium with the last second win.
Also, a key is thebUS is the only tram without soccer tradition in its blood. They don't dive, moan, groan, cheat like all the rest, which gives those teams an edge.

Lastly, I really believe Jurgen screwed up player seection, particularly Donovan. He's still a top payer. He ruled the Gold Cup. You would've seen more goals and better possession from the team with him. Ince Aktidore was injured early in game one, there was never a suitable replacement. The guys who were chosen over Donovan, ddn't play much. We could've dine better.

"wallace is a better fit for this team and for our young QB than marshall would've been, no question."

Johnny Futbol where does the (the real) david get his "facts"? he pulls his "facts" from his a$$. my favorite (the real) david in los angeles fact is "liberal won WWII".

if nothing else the dap is amusing.

That miss by Wondo yesterday was tough but that is the game finish or sometimes you go home. The US was lucky really to get through the first group neither Portugal or Ghana were at their best. US soccer will always struggle to get to the next level it seems. Johnny you act like Howard breaking the saves record since 50 years ago is a good thing. It's not it clearly means the US was being outplayed. Klinsmann is on record as saying he wants his players to play in Europe. That is an indictment on MLS I am afraid where Seattle and Portland draw 40,000 but most other markets struggle. How many people will watch MLS and Premier League games now on NBCSN? Likely not a big spike but we will see. Soccer captured the hearts and minds of America this year everyone loves the World Cup and the sport is growing. Team USA fans are great I hear one guy drove 13,000 miles from San Francisco to Brazil it took him 3 months. I don't want to hear about momentum and wait until next year for US soccer but it seems that is what we will be hearing again. Johnny I still haven't heard Klinsmanns post game press conference I need some answers after that game. Belgium is the size or Maryland Costa Rica almost the same Matt R has a point and it's the million dollar unanswerable question. Why doesn't the US have a better soccer team.

Not true Johnny Jermaine Jones was diving and groaning all over the field yesterday. They all do it. The US is not exempt it's part of the game. They need to get better no excuses.

You don't get a trophy for winning qualifying groups that is a losers mentality. It's true though soccer players are incredibly well conditioned athletes. VIVA LA ALBICELESTE!!

USA soccer has 2 wins 5 losses and 4 ties in World Cup play since 2002. Not good. Don't get me wrong I want them to break through just don't tell me they have and that they are getting closer because the evidence does not support that. Klinsmann is doing a good job but he knows he needs more talented players it's just that getting them seems to be the problem. Same old story. As I said that game against Germany should have put US soccer on alert terrible effort yesterday wasn't much better.

MMMM, Belgium waffles.

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