Play by play

FT: Belgium 2-1 United States. It’s not time to reflect. That comes later. I won’t try to convince you that you should feel one way or the other about this result because, if you’re an American, you’re probably breaking things, or sulking, or a combination of the two. Losing is never easy and this is why we’re optimistic as supporters–because we believe that we can win. Belgium is beatable, but they’re also a very talented side. If not for Tim Howard’s heroics, it could’ve been a blowout. This was a wide-open game from the first whistle. Both sides had chances and the USA just didn’t finish any until it was too late. People will inevitably look to assign blame. Surely, Klinsmann’s tactics or lineup can be questioned. His reluctance to insert a third substitute was incredible, especially with so many players limping around–and especially when the substitute scored the lone American goal. There is much to look forward to in the years ahead for the #USMNT. Julian Green. DeAndre Yedlin. And the rest of an experienced, talented core that’ll be on the tail-end of their prime in four years. So, once you’re done grieving, and it might take some time, ask yourself if you’re more optimistic than you were four years ago at this time. You should be happy with that answer. Thanks for tuning in, friends, and thanks to Judah Friedlander for enriching our live blog! We’ll see you for the quarterfinals!

congrats to USA team! great tournament. you showed heart and more than a few flashes of brilliance. thanks everyone for cheering on usa! amazing game from tim howard. what a debut for julian green! bradley redeemed himself in extra time.
usa could’ve won this game. but they played a great tournament. here’s to usa winning the world cup in 2018!

One minute of extra time which is a joke…

Just a few minutes left until 2018. No one wants to say goodbye now….

REWIND: This is how it’s done, Thomas Mueller. 

great set piece usa! almost worked. keep going !!!! u can win!

kick it in the net Dempsey!


REWIND: Julian “Landon” Green.

Ho-hum. Massive Tim Howard save on Lukaku. Moving on…

Belgium 2-1 USA. JULIAN GREEN!!! THE POSTER-CHILD OF LANDON DONOVAN APOLOGISM SCORES! Michael Bradley plays in a great ball and he half-scuffs a volley in!!! Halfway to a miracle!!!

Don’t give up! still 15 minutes left! All we need is 2 goals from Julian Green to tie it up. usa!

Just 15 minutes left to pull off a miraculous comeback. 

Also, let’s not forget…

The war room is nothing like this.

#allezdiablesrouges #belgium #bbmp #worldcup2014

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Belgium 2-0. Another counterattack by Belgium. Lukaku is played through and his left-footed shot finds its way past the Great Wall of Timmy. That’s it.

Yet another shot. This time MIrallas runs clear and strikes well, but Howard saves.

Put Diskerud in! Activate airforce 1 flyover as a distraction. Have Donovan parachute in. And have Eric Wynalda tunnel in from underneath the pitch and score a goal and tie this up!

Right on cue, Lukaku turns Besler and shoots hard, but Saint Timmy is up to the task, controlling it with just one arm.

Belgium is sitting back now, but a fresh Lukaku is still a threat to the tired American defenders. There’s still roughly 20 minutes left in this, but the mood has changed.

How the hell did we let that 12 year old kid score? It’s ok we’ve got 27 minutes. Put Landon Donovan in.. oops..put John Brooks in.

REWIND: The wall is breached.

Belgium 1-0. Lukaku, who came on for Origi, receives the ball on the right. Matt Besler runs into him and falls down. The fresh Belgian runs unopposed at goal, cuts back for Kevin De Bruyne, aka Prince Harry, and buries it. Classically horrible American defending and Tim Howard’s heroics could do nothing there.

I think Klinsmann is going to tackle Wondo and put him in a sleeper hold and make him tapout.

We’re off…yet again…and Americans will hope this remains true.

JERMAINE should’ve had an assist on that one. #USMNT #USAvsBEL #WorldCup it’s ok. Wondo missed once. Belgium missed 50 times.

So we’ve got another 30 minutes. It’s not sudden death. They’re playing 30 minutes. Everyone needs to get composed. Get some water. Get some calories. I wish I had any of those three things. Klinsmann is not relaxed.

FT: USA 0-0 Belgium. CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI COULD’VE WON IT AT THE DEATH. THIS COULD BE OVER. WE COULD ALL BE DRUNK AND COVERED IN BEADS AND CONFETTI AND WAFFLE DUST, BUT NO!!! A brainfart by the Belgian defense kept him onside and, with just the keeper to beat, he shot high. Bad strikers finish that 9 times out of 10. Good strikers finish that 27 times out of 10. BUT…AND THIS IS A BIG BUT…the ref whistled for offside. Wow. It wasn’t even close. #ConspiracyTalk


bad defending by USA. WORSE crossing from belgium! yes USA!

What’d you miss? Oh, just another Belgium chance that Hazard shot wide, but Howard had covered. Final minutes of regular time. One mistake and it could be over for either side. 

we’re going to score!

tim howard will  named best keeper of the tournament.

Wondolowski fouls and has a polite few words for the Belgians. If not for Tim Howard, I would say it’s just a matter of time. And as I type that he makes another save, forcing a corner. This is ridiculous. Even the President is on the edge of his seat.

Yes, another Tim Howard save. I’m going to stop drooling over these. This is one of the best goalkeeper performances ever. Period. Still, it’s a 90-minute game…maybe 120.

Bad news for the USA, as Omar Gonzalez turns an ankle. He’ll probably be coming off.

Meanwhile, “Down in front, Mr. President!!!”


Origi has yet another shot that Howard saves. And Jermaine Jones is like, “What? He’s Tim Howard.”

CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI SIGHTING!!!! Alternatively, you could construe those exclamation marks as frown faces. It’s pretty clear that Klinsmann doesn’t trust Aron Johansson, who plays in Holland and does quite well for himself there. Wondo is a decisive figure amongst American fans. But, as Alexi Lalas will tell you, coaches make decision based on their own subjective criteria (critics be damned). Zusi is off.


If you’ve been nervous watching this game you’ve waisted your time. Belgium never scores in the first 70 minutes. In 1 minute start getting nervous.

Tim Howard isn’t the only guy who deserves our praise. Omar Gonzalez has once again impressed. It’s the Omar we all thought we had a few years ago.

Win or lose, we should all be stocking up on canned goods and batteries…and whatever Tim Howard eats. It’s end to end madness. This might be the most entertaining #USMNT match in decades–maybe ever–but it’s not good for anyone’s health. Go see your doctors tomorrow, people.

Belgium has another shot. Hazard does his hazardous creating and the ball gets to Origi who gets to the end-line and feeds Mertens, but his backhell goes just wide. I thought it was in. A lot of people did. Mertens is off for Kevin Mirallas–perhaps the second-best Kevin to ever play in a World Cup.

If USA loses this game Fox News wins

You don’t have to be a President to get your face on money (shout out to my boy, Alexander Hamilton), but Tim Howard is on his way…


OFF THE CROSSBAR AND OVER!!! Alderweireld is allowed space to cross for Origi and his header skims the crossbar and goes over. BELGIUM IS SUDDENLY BACK. Vertonghen is terrorizing the #USMNT. Tim Howard is up to the task. And again. And again.

We need more offense!!! Put Hulk Hogan in..body slam the holds barred match. Lets go USA! The eyes of the bald eagles back home are starting to tear up. Don’t make them cry.

Vertonghen darts up the left wing. Yedlin tracks and does well to catch up, but not before the Belgian sends a ball that somehow goes through De Bruyne and Origi…and two Americans. Our war room just shook. Alternatively, I’ve had too much caffeine.

REWIND: Tim Howard. I hope his hands are insured.

One wonders whether Tom Hanks has a soccer ball version of Wilson (of Cast Away fame). Someone should ask Brazuca. It seems the thespian and family just love them some Yankee soccer.

It only took two minutes for Tim Howard to make his first save, which makes an entire need retreat into a cautious, pessimistic state. Also a grateful one. Tim Howard is a beast, with or without the beard.

good thing i don’t know german language.

Klinsmann’s halftime speech was harsh.


Judah is obviously still riding a sugar high after spending the morning devouring waffles, but the man (World Champ, to be precise) loves him some US of A. As do these San Franciscans…

if usa loses to belgium, congress should invade belgium and take their french fries back home to america where they belong.

In addition to having @JudahWorldChamp here on the live blog, we’re also delivering our cruel and beautiful #WorldCup coverage on @GMA. Give ‘em a follow!

Toy Story? Geez, does Kevin De Bruyne have the most doppelgänger of any footballer in the world?

Or is it an old American Pie favorite?

Did you know that Prince Harry might be playing in this match? Talk about scandal…

HT: USA 0-0 Belgium. It seems miraculous this game is scoreless at the break. The first 20 minutes were terrifying for American fans. Belgium cracked our defense, despite the US having an extra defender (Cameron) at defensive midfielder. But then it settled and by settled I mean it bursted open into relentless counterattacks. Players would sprint as long as possible and then stop, turn around, and return to wherever it was they came from. Klinsmann probably loves and hates his team’s first-half performance. They created chances, but conceding many because they pursued those chances.

time for Obama to use the NSA to spy on Belgium at halftime.

Fellaini is no stranger to trouble and he gets chippy momentarily. The referee, who speaks French, calms him down. You might have heard Klinsmann objected to the Algerian referee’s selection on that basis. He can also speak English, FYI.

so glad that 12 yeard old redhead didnt score on us.

And you thought schools in Argentina were the only ones getting their #WorldCup on today? Please…Oh, and LOOK AWAY, ANN!

maybe our strategy is to play poorly first half. let them get over confident. then crush them in 2nd half.

Vincent Kompany is booked for a late challenge on Clint Dempsey. These teams have looked identical the last 10 minutes…except for the jerseys and Fellaini’s hair, of course. Just a few to go until halftime.

Let’s check in at Soldier Field. Sorry, I should’ve advised Ann Coulter to look away first. Obviously, she follows our blog.

This match continues to be as open as the American frontier, which you’d think would favor the #USMNT. A great cross from Yedlin nearly finds Deuce, but Van Buyten makes a great headed clearance. 

In case you were wondering, the pitch invader might be Superman…at least in certain favelas. But how much stock can one put in a t-shirt message?

how do u say outclassed in belgian? Beasley is player of the game so far. Fabian Johnson of the best players on our team. his right hamstring obviously not a hundred percent and now its injured more. USA gets a water break. USA should be eating mcdonalds and wearing their burger king outfits. at halftime USA needs to put on their burger king uniforms.

Even in the Arena Fonte Nova, Twitter is on people’s minds. I suppose they were two friends short of #USMNT.

The #USMNT could really use a water break. Now, Fabian Johnson is down on the right. His face says hamstring which makes my heart sad. DeAndre Yedlin, probably the best DeAndre to ever play in a World Cup, is coming on for him.

In case you were wondering the latest guy to save the #USMNT…

Belgium earns a corner-kick that Jermaine Jones, through dumb luck and sheer tenacity, is able to clear.

how do u say outclassed in belgian? #USMNT #USAvsBEL #WorldCup we need a miracle.

Bradley continues to not trap the ball well and be off target with his passes. i guess that is American style soccer.

but Belgium fortunately can’t shoot. thats the belgian way.

5 on 3 for Belgium. Vertonghen lays it off for Kevin De Bruyne, who scuffs a shot wide. I’m guessing De Bruyne is the most talented Kevin to ever play in a World Cup. #NextLevelAnalysis 

Neat one-two from Michael Bradley and Deuce. There’s almost no space to operate at the top of the box, but Deuce gets off a weak left-footed shot that Courtois saves easily. The game is wide open, which is perhaps why the pitch invader went for a run.

REWIND: How long did it take security to remove the pitch invader? Long enough to make Klinsmann make this face.

Geoff Cameron hacks down Dries Mertens and gets a deserved yellow.

didn’t know Djokovic plays goalkeeper for Belgium. impressive.

PITCH INVASION!!! And it’s not even a streaker. Security is WOEFUL! WOEFUL! That guy could’ve gotten a bachelor’s degree in the time he’s was allowed to be on the pitch. I admit, it’s easier than ever to get a degree online, but this guy didn’t have an Internet connection or computer. So, you see, it was a long time.

Belgium looking tired. they can’t take the heat of the americas! USA is on home soil. south america is part of america.

Origi is taken out by Matt Besler. The ref continues play and the 19-year-old Lille striker limps off. He’s back on, but not looking healthy.

gotta love Zusi. he’s playing the world cup and wimbledon at the same time!

corner kick belgium.
no worries.
its impossible for them to score before 70 minutes.

The match has the feeling of a road trip…except on a dirt road. It’s bumpy and hard to relax. There’s no real “flow.” Neither side has created a good chance since the opening spell. But the Americans have their leaders behind them. They believe.

Thankfully, this projection has changed. It’s now 25 saves.

Bradley just passed to to an invisible 12th man who wasn’t there.

come on USA!!!!!!

Klinsmann looks nervous on the bench . someobdy serve him a triple bacon cheeseburger

In response to Judah’s question, I can confirm that we can’t get 11 Tim Howards. It’s mostly a cloning issue–both legally and scientifically. 

typical horrendous start. Howard saves the team again!

can we get 11 tim howards on the team?

bradley just got blown by.

should we get him a segway with an American flag on it?

One of the sub-plots you should be aware of is the Hair War. Marouane Fellaini and Michael Bradley will be at the center of it. One wonders what Kyle Beckerman would’ve added to that aspect of the match. Here’s a preview.

TIM HOWARD!!! Oh, Lawd…this could be a long night. The big man makes a huge save on Origi on Belgium’s first real possession.

first pass is straight back to Howard. not good. i want 50 goals!!!!


It’s almost time! High stakes for both sides.

just did a million pushups and situps at the same time. totally ready for this game. Put me in K-man!

And for Belgium, you should really get to know Hooverphonic. Maybe not right now, but later…after your loathing of waffles has worn off.

Levitating above my couch as 3 bald eagles circle me watching the opening of the game.

One of the things we like to do is offer alternative anthems–not because we don’t like actual national anthems and listen to them regularly (often in the show)–but because we want you to know more about the world. First, we have a doozy from us. That’s right! Occasionally, we embarrass ourselves with awesome music videos.

I’m ready!!!!!!

Klinsmann has revealed the lineup. on paper it looks offensive. but it looks defensive to me.

no beckerman. cameron on left.

it looks like 8 defenders and 3 on offense.

hoping jermaine jones isn’t pushed out wide. the center needs him.


maybe klinsmann really is starting with 3 forwards.

We have a special guest today: WORLD CHAMP JUDAH FRIEDLANDER. You can tweet him @JudahWorldChamp. He’s gonna mix it up with us on the live blog, so sit back and enjoy!

What can we expect on the pitch? Klinsmann’s made an odd substitution–swapping the over-performing Kyle Beckerman for Geoff Cameron. Beckerman’s been stout as a defensive midfielder next to Jermaine Jones, so it’s surprising that a right/center-back comes on for him. Here’s the starting 11.

But…unfortunately, American fans in Brazil really aren’t feeling the patriotic spirit…or…scratch that.

#fifa2014 #fifaworldcup #worldcup #worldcup2014 #usavsbelgium #usa #belgium #arenafontenova #salvador #brasil #brazil #brazil2014

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Unfortunately, the USMNT is all alone. Back in the United States, everyone is either at work or watching baseball…or…I might be wrong about that.

What about them Yanks? Here’s a preface:

Meanwhile, back in Belgium, they’ve assembled stumpy Chimays, waffles and other ridiculous refreshments and gathered near a large brick building, in accordance with custom.

The #USMNT cannot underestimate Eden Hazard, who’s in better health (and form) than Cristiano Ronaldo, who they largely contained when they faced Portugal. Here’s Belgium’s starting 11.

Let’s get to know Belgium. The Red Devils boast a “golden generation” of talent, including Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Adnan Januzaj, Romelu Lukaku, and Kevin De Bruyne, among others. After terrorizing the Premier League for Everton last season, Lukaku disappointed in the group stage and has now been benched. Failing to win today against a scrappy #USMNT would surely be a disappointment for them. Here are a few more fun facts:

Yes, there is definitely alcohol.

Figuras da copa. #USA

A photo posted by Rick Araújo (@ric_araujo) on

If there’s one thing the weather can’t stifle, it’s the fan spirit. There is seemingly an infinite supply of paint in Brazil. Somebody should invest in that. Also, I’m guess there is alcohol. We have just over 30 minutes until kickoff and they’re arriving in droves.

Torcida belga chegando na Fonte Nova

A photo posted by Richard Ducker (@ducker_gremio) on

Welcome to Salvador for the Round of 16 match between the United States (CRASH, BOOM, BANG) and Belgium. What is expected of these teams? Well, if you’re reading our delightful content on Fusion Soccer, then you might have seen my article this morning. And you’d know that, “for the United States, there was a win, a draw, and then a loss, but all of that was somehow enough to exceed expectations because they were in a—perhaps the—Group of Death. For Belgium, there were three wins but continuing uncertainty about the team’s true quality, which is somehow exactly as expected because they were in an “easy” group.

The bookmakers have Belgium as slight favorites, but the Americans should like there chances. It’s 81 degrees with 74% humidity at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.