Just because the United States lost on Tuesday doesn’t mean you have to stop watching the World Cup. Eight teams remain in Brazil as the quarterfinals get started on Friday. Who should you root for now that the Americans were sent home? Here’s a rundown in reverse order.
They just knocked the Americans out. The wound is still fresh. They’re an exciting young team but, too soon.
By beating the US last week they won Group G and barely got by Algeria in the Round of 16. Thomas Muller has a shot at winning the Golden Boot again so this may sway you to root for them. Don’t let it. They’re not that exciting to watch and the storylines are blah. And they beat the US.
This is a new France. They’re full of good young players who are fun to watch. The match up against Germany on Friday will be must watch. Their uniforms are absolutely brilliant. In 2010 they were a mess with players getting in arguments with coaches and not wanting to play. It’s still hard to shake that from the memory for me.
If you’re Mexican, the Dutch are probably last on your list. They play some beautiful soccer when they aren’t rolling around. Arjen Robben spends half the game either falling over or rolling around on the ground after he falls over. The uniforms may push them higher for you but the teams above them just have better things to get behind.
They have Messi. Lionel Messi is on their team. You get to watch Messi. That about sums it up for Argentina, yet they’re still this high.
The singing of the national anthem by the Brazilian players and fans is incredible. You can feel the passion through your television. It means so much to them to win this on home soil and that’s something that draws people in. They haven’t played great up to this point but you have to feel they have another level coming. When they play “joga bonita” (like only they can), it’s something everyone will want to see and root for.
The Colombians are that hot bandwagon team that American sports fans love to get behind, the Miami Heat if you will. The difference between them and the Heat, they’re very likeable. Emerging super star James Rodriguez scores brilliant goals and leads his team in choreographed dance numbers. Don’t let the dancing fool you, this team is dangerous. And make sure you pronounce James correctly if you’re going to get behind Colombia. It’s Ha-Mez.
1. Costa Rica
America loves an underdog. An underdog in our own backyard? Even better. CONCACAF neighbors Costa Rica shocked the world by winning a group consisting of soccer giants Uruguay, England, and Italy. They managed a gutsy win against Greece in the Round of 16. After going down a man, Los Ticos conceded an equalizer in stoppage time but valiantly held on to send the game to penalty kicks where they converted all five of their kicks from the spot. No one would have ever dreamed that Costa Rica would be the last CONCACAF team standing. No one’s wildest dream would have had them in the quarterfinal. Yet, here they are. This is your (new) team America.