Landon Donovan is clearly not taking the high road.
First, after infamously being dropped from the U.S. men's national team in May, the 32-year-old admitted that he wouldn't mind seeing his former teammates stumbleas they prepared for the World Cup maelstrom in Brazil.
Who in the world isn't watching the round of 16 match between the U.S. and Belgium? Fans have one eye on the TV and one on their computer screens, with noteworthy voices lending their support for Team USA on social media.
From the soccer world:
Have to admit I'm a USA fan today
From the sports world:
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley came into the World Cup shouldering a lot of expectations, with some observers dubbing him the most important player on the team. Then the so-called engine of the American squad had an ineffectual performance against Ghana in the opener. That was followed by a couple of very visible mistakes against Portugal, which may have cost the U.S. a win.
Algeria's draw with Russia yesterday meant that they qualified for the World Cup's knockout stages for the first time. But it also meant that the team comprised entirely of Muslims will play during Ramadan.
The annual observance, which lasts from June 28 to July 28 this year, asks Muslims to fast during daylight hours. They are allowed to eat and drink before sunrise and after sunset.
This might pose a challenge for some Muslim players at the World Cup. Should they observe Ramadan and place religion above sport? Or should they make an exception, given the special circumstances and the physical demands of soccer?
Team USA is decidedly an underdog as the knockout stages of the World Cup approach.
According to sports betting website Bovada, the U.S. odds on winning the World Cup are 50-1. Team USA has the 12th worst odds among the 16 nations still in contention.
Host country Brazil is the favorite at 3-1. Both Argentina and Germany, which have met in the quarterfinals the last two World Cups, are at 4-1.
The Dutch and French are at 7-1 and 8-1 respectively, followed by Colombia at 16-1.
[Gallery: World Cup photos of the day]
However, not every betting outlet is following that line. The Bellagio's sportsbook offered odds of 125-1 on the U.S. winning the World Cup at the start of the tournament. Those odds have now dropped to 35-1.
Two people died in the celebrations following Algeria's historic draw with Russia on Thursday.
After the final whistle confirmed the team's passage to the round of 16, where it will face Germany on Monday, Algerians flooded the streets to celebrate the first time their national team has ever qualified for the knockout stage of the tournament.
According to the Associated Press:
As the post-match celebrations continued into the early hours of Friday, young people honked horns and drove madly through the streets, resulting in car accidents that wounded 31 people across the country, according to police. Two young men died in separate car crashes.
The celebrations apparently carried over to France where French-Algerians waved Algerian flags and tussled with police, leading to 74 arrests.
Pope Francis pledged to remain neutralduring the World Cup - rooting for neither Italy, where he lives, nor his home country of Argentina - but it appears he may have changed his mind.
Before today's crucial Group F match with Nigeria, the pontiff was seen holding the famous blue and white jersey of Argentina in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
Presumably, the Pope couldn't help himself. With talismanic captain Lionel Messi in fine form and Italy already out of the competition, he could afford to be a little enthusiastic.
Lionel Messi turns 27 years old today.
If he was to take stock, he'd have to conclude that life is good. He's won every trophy while starring for Spanish club FC Barcelona the last nine years, won the FIFA World Player of the Award four times, and has a beautiful girlfriend, with whom he has a son.
In an age where love doesn't exist until it exists on social media, Messi's girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo, who reportedly studies nutrition and prefers to avoid the spotlight, said "Happy Birthday" in the most contemporary way: she made a video of their life together and posted it to her Instagram. The video features a cute shot of the couple as kids: they have known each other since the age of five because their families are friends.
It was the snub that reverberated throughout the soccer world. In the stadium tunnel before Argentina's opening World Cup match against Bosnia-Herzegovina , cameras caught superstar Lionel Messi ignoring a little boy's attempt at a handshake.
Cue interrogations in the mediaas to whether Messi had intentionally overlooked the boy, thus crushing the boy's heart and making him forever an enemy of Argentina.
FIFA has been eager to portray itself as a champion of the environment but Brazilian activists have called them out with charges of hypocrisy when it comes to the tournament's mascot.
Rodrigo Castro, one of the leaders of an organization that seeks to preserve the endangered three-banded armadillo or tatu-bola, claims that FIFA has failed to show a financial commitment to saving the animal on which its mascot Fuleco is based.