On the pitch, Germany clearly beat the U.S. It beat everyone. But in one of the World Cup's other big battles – sponsorship – an American company is giving its German rival a run for its money. (Or, more accurately, everyone else's money.)
Sponsoring 10 teams, Nike outfitted more teams than perennial soccer equipment and apparel designer Adidas, which had nine this year. It's the first time a company sponsored more teams than Adidas. Puma has eight teams; other sponsors included Mizuno, Marathon and Joma.
The two powerhouses, though, control 70 percent of the soccer market, according to Forbes.
Fans looking to relive the glorious victories and heartbreaking defeats of the past month could spend hours reading through articles. For those short on time, it might be more fun to just flip through this slideshow for the cartoon tale of the highs and lows.
BREAKING: Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue right now. pic.twitter.com/fvZ0YPJ5Wz
The memes kicked off with Robin van Persie's amazing header, for which he'll always been known as The Flying Dutchman. Over the next four weeks fans put Mexican goalkeeper's Guillermo Ochoa's face on Christ the Redeemer as he saved Mexico throughout the group stage; enormous cartoon gloves on Tim Howard's hands after his historic 16-save performance, and Christ the Redeemer's head in his hands after Brazil's historic 7-1 semi-final loss.
He's going home. But first LeBron James is going to the World Cup final – an event he says is "much bigger" than the NBA Finals.
"This is the highest you can get," James said Saturday in Rio de Janiero, according to The Associated Press. He had arrived in the Brazilian city a few hours earlier, a day after announcing he will return to Ohio to once again suit up for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.
"This is bigger than the NBA Finals in the sense that it's the world and you have so many countries here," he added.
On Wednesday, U.S Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called U.S. goalkeeper and newly-annointed hero Tim Howard to "thank him for defending the USA," the Defense Department posted on Twitter.
The internet storm surrounding TIm Howard just keeps growing. Immediately after Tuesday's game (in which the U.S. lost 2-1 to Belgium), a fan edited the Wikipedia page for U.S. Secretary of Defense, replacing Chuck Hagel with Tim Howard. Hagel even called Howard to thank him for "defending USA." Memes overtook Twitter, as did tweets thanking Howard for the heroism.
As Tim Howard's record-setting 16-save performance wrapped up on Tuesday, fans immediately started tweeting out memes and messages of respect to the 35-year-old goalkeeper. Sure, the U.S. lost 2-1 to Belgium, but everyone was more interested in heralding America's newest hero than talking about the end of Team USA's run.
Chants of "I believe that we will win" have been replaced with "I hate waffles" – it's time for Team USA to take on Belgium. The Yanks have a win, a draw and a loss so far in this Cup. Decked out in red, white and blue, fans are gathering at stadiums, parks, bars and conference rooms around the country hoping they can cheer Dempsey and Co. to a win in this Round of 16 clash.
For the casual fans just tuning in, Yahoo Sports created a handy viewing guide to today's match. The most important thing to know? If the USA wins, it moves on. Lose, and the boys come home.
More coverage of the World Cup on Yahoo! Sports:
They're gathering at Grant Park in Chicago and Fourth Street in Louisville. Boston's mayor Marty Walsh invited everyone to City Hall Plaza. Dallas is flocking to the AT&T Plaza outside the American Airlines Center and New Yorkers are filling every bar in town. Virginians are watching from the comfort of the air-conditioned Arlington Cinema and Draft House and fans in Ann Arbor, Mich., are filling the newsroom of The Ann Arbor News. All for a soccer game, U.S.A. vs. Germany.
The rowdiest parties so far have been in Kansas City's Power and Light District, while the Hermosa Beach Pier in California is sure to be rocking if the U.S. pulls ahead of Germany. (Germany took a 1-0 lead in the second half.)
When England loses a soccer match, domestic abuse significantly increases, according to a new PSA.
Tender Education and Arts is running the #StandUpWorldCup campaign across Twitter and other social media. The movement's PSA shows a woman watching a soccer match. She is clearly devastated that the team lost, but for reasons beyond team pride. As the screen goes black, a text slate explains that domestic abuse rose 38 percent when England was knocked out of the World Cup.
The statistic comes from a study conducted at Lancaster University in 2013, in which researchers found that domestic abuse rises 38 percent when England loses a World Cup match.
Led by criminologist Stuart Kirby, the researchers analyzed monthly and daily domestic abuse incidents reported to a police force in the northwest of England during television broadcasts of the 2002, 2006, and 2010 World Cups. Incidents of domestic abuse rose 26 percent when the team lost or the game ended in a draw, the study found.
Iran wants fans to support its national team – they just can't take it too far. Three have been arrested for their part in a video clip supporting "Team Melli," the nickname for the Iranian squad.
The clip features Iranian fans dancing, singing and waving the Iranian flag in cities around the world, including one within Iran's borders, where women are banned from participating in such public displays. Some of the women in the clip are not wearing the required headscarf.
[Related content: World Cup scenarios and knockout round schedule]