Around The World: How nice it must be to be in Uruguary’s spot. When Jozy Altidore went down, the U.S. had many uncertain options to mull. Now that Uruguay can’t use top striker and aspiring Walking Dead extra Luis Suarez, it instead plugs in another world-class forward, Diego Forlan. The 35-year-old striker isn’t the player he was in South Africa, but Forlan has been scoring big goals for club and country for more than a decade. Forlan was Uruguay’s best player for years, and he has a way of changing the biggest games. Colombian fists will clench when Forlan is on the ball anywhere inside 30 yards, and for good reason.
Yanks Corner: DeAndre Yedlin, whom many questioned when selected by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, has made quite the case to be the first man off the U.S. bench for the remainder of the tournament. His energy and speed down the wings have been troublesome for opposing defenders who have played 70-plus minutes and don’t quite have the sharpness to deal with Yedlin. Regardless of the Yanks’ situation in a game – whether to waste time or score a goal – Yedlin has value. His good showing as a 20-year-old could turn him into the next DaMarcus Beasley in terms of national-team longevity.
Game of The Day: Brazil vs. Chile, Noon. The host country nearly always reaches the quarterfinal, but the Brazilians certainly don’t have a sure thing today. During the World Cup, Chile has been every bit the team it was in qualifying. It played well but lost to the Netherlands – which looked better than any other country during the group stage – and comfortably took care of both Spain and Australia. Brazil did everything it needed to do to win its group, but it hardly has been consistent. A bad half like Brazil played against Croatia won’t hold up today.
For The Novice: Knockout games tend to take on a strange tone, especially if they’re tied late in regular time. Some teams, underdogs in particular, are so afraid to give up a goal that they mute their attack in favor of defense. It can make for very dry extra time periods, but there is nothing in sports quite like penalty kicks. With four attack-minded South American teams playing today, we probably won’t be at a loss for excitement.