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  • Press, Red Stars rally for tie Jul 4, 2014 11:01 PM
    Forward Christen Press scored her first 2 goals of the season — in the 76th and 82nd minutes — to rally the Chicago Red Stars to a 2-2 tie against Portland on Friday.

     
  • Brazil beats Colombia, goes to semifinals Jul 4, 2014 5:26 PM
    Brazil made its way into the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 12 years, with goals coming from defenders Thiago Silva and David Luiz in a 2-1 win over Colombia on Friday. Brazil, which had been eliminated in the quarterfinals at the last two World Cups, will next play Germany on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte.

     
  • Germany knocks France out of World Cup Jul 4, 2014 4:17 PM
    Joachim Loew’s decision to reshuffle his lineup and return captain Philipp Lahm to right back paid off immediately Friday, galvanizing the defense and earning Germany a place in the semifinals of the World Cup. “The team was not surprised by the changes,” Loew said. “We need all the players and when I have the feeling that I have to give the team a push, I do it. The team is improving from match to match.”

     
  • Fire’s draw ‘disappointing, frustrating’ Jul 2, 2014 11:06 PM
    From the point of view of Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz, not much changed for the team during its World Cup break.

     
  • Klinsmann was right: U.S. not ready to win World Cup Jul 2, 2014 4:49 PM
    Turns out Jurgen Klinsmann was right: The United States isn’t ready to win the World Cup. The Americans were eliminated in the round of 16 for the second straight tournament. They’ve been ranked 13th or 14th every month since September, which means their exit was pretty much at the stage it’s expected to be. “Clearly it gives you the message you have a lot of work still ahead of you,” the U.S. coach said Wednesday, a day after the 2-1 loss to Belgium in extra time.

     
  • U.S. soccer loss or not, things are different now Jul 2, 2014 6:08 AM
    Belgium eliminated the United States from the World Cup. Soccer, however, gained so much momentum the past couple weeks that indications are that it isn't about to retreat into oblivion again. This isn't a time even as recent as 2002 when soccer essentially went away again after the U.S. lost in the quarterfinals.

     
  • Argentina beats Switzerland 1-0 after extra time Jul 1, 2014 3:10 PM
    Angel Di Maria scored in the 118th minute Tuesday to give Argentina a 1-0 win over Switzerland after extra time and a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals. With a penalty shootout looming, Lionel Messi made a surging run toward the Swiss area and laid the ball off to Di Maria on the right, and the winger sent a left-foot shot past diving goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.

     
  • U.S. holds Belgium off until extra time, loses 2-1 Jul 1, 2014 7:03 PM
    The United States held tough against Belgium’s relentless pressure and took Tuesday’s second round match to extra time in the World Cup round of 16, but finally in the extra period Belgium struck and held on to win 2-1.

     
  • 5 things the Chicago Fire must fix Jul 1, 2014 1:29 PM
    Not even the most loyal Chicago Fire employee would call the first part of this season a rousing success, especially on the field. OK, so it wasn’t a total disaster either.

     
  • U.S. soccer team far from a disappointment Jul 2, 2014 6:15 AM
    As much as we wanted to believe in this U.S. national soccer team, we always knew a long run through this World Cup was a lot to ask. Just getting out of the Group of Death was an accomplishment and a surprise. In the Round of 16, Belgium was just plain better than the United States, though the Americans showed heart to the bitter end.

     
  • 5 memorable World Cup chants Jul 1, 2014 9:27 AM
    With “I believe that we will win!” American soccer fans finally have a World Cup chant that doesn’t just involve shouting their country’s name. In terms of creativity, though, it’s a notch below Argentina’s elaborate sing-alongs or even the boisterous chants of the English. All players can testify to the goose bump-inducing effect of thousands of fans joining together for a synchronized chant.

     
  • 5 memorable World Cup chants Jul 1, 2014 11:31 AM
    With “I believe that we will win!” American soccer fans finally have a World Cup chant that doesn't just involve shouting their country's name. In terms of creativity, though, it's a notch below Argentina's elaborate sing-alongs or even the boisterous chants of the English. All players can testify to the goose bump-inducing effect of thousands of fans joining together for a synchronized chant.

     
  • World Cup fandom that's beyond rose-colored glasses Jul 1, 2014 4:56 AM
    The success and hopes for the U.S. team has Americans seeing the World Cup through new eyes this time around. But will any fans see matches through red-white-and-blue contact lenses? Online shoppers can buy USA lenses featuring some white stars on a blue background with a few red and white stripes for about 25 bucks.

     
  • Germany beats Algeria 2-1 in extra time Jun 30, 2014 5:59 PM
    PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — Substitute Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil scored in extra time Monday to lead Germany over an aggressive Algeria 2-1 and into the World Cup quarterfinals. Thomas Mueller provided a cross from the left flank that was slightly behind Schuerrle. The Germany forward dragged his left leg and backheeled the ball into the far corner in the 92nd minute, leaving goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi with no chance. Ozil added the second in the 120th, and substitute Abdelmoumene Djabou pulled one back in injury time for Algeria. Three-time champion Germany, which has now advanced past the second round at nine consecutive World Cups, will next face 1998 winner France on Friday at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. With the temperature a chilly 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit) and a light rain falling at times, the pace was high at the Estadio Beira-Rio but the goals didn’t come until the end. Ozil thought he had put the result out of reach when he pounded in a rebound after a shot from Schuerrle was cleared off the line by defender Esseid Belkalem, but Djabou volleyed in a minute later to make the last seconds count. Perhaps inspired by the “Disgrace of Gijon” at the 1982 World Cup, when Germany and Austria supposedly conspired to oust Algeria in the group stage, the northern African nation outmatched Germany’s intensity for long stretches in an entertaining match. Algeria was playing in the second round of the World Cup for the first time and dominated early on. A goal from Islam Slimani was waved off for offside in the 17th, one of many opportunities for the Algeria striker. At the start of the second half, Germany put Schuerrle on for Mario Goetze in an attacking midfield and came out better organized. In the 55th, Germany captain Philipp Lahm unleashed a hard shot that an outstretched Rais did well to push wide with his fingertips. Still, Algeria continued to produce dangerous counterattacks. In the 72nd, Neuer had to come out of his area to head away the danger with Slimani chasing. In the 88th, Germany’s inability to find the target turned theatrical for a moment when Mueller appeared to fall during a free kick.

     
  • 5 things to know about Belgium ahead of U.S. clash Jun 30, 2014 2:25 PM
    If Belgium has a reputation for self-indulgence because of its love of chocolate and beer, it is time to look at its World Cup squad and admire discipline, stamina and determination. So far, this has been a hard team to appreciate despite its perfect group record ahead of Tuesday’s clash with the United States. Here are 5 things to know about the Belgium team.

     
  • New ‘World’ view for U.S. soccer team Jun 30, 2014 7:35 PM
    No longer is the United States taking the long view of its World Cup matches. The days of a “good” loss are over. Now the United States is in the knockout phase of the tournament. Win or go home. “The mentality is that if you have the game of your life, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you could win the game,” said former national-team star Brian McBride, who grew up in Arlington Heights. “The focus becomes much tighter. The experience you gained through the group stages, you use to your advantage.”

     
  • Chicago moves World Cup party to Soldier Field Jun 30, 2014 10:02 AM
    Chicago will hold a World Cup viewing party in Soldier Field after previous U.S. games drew tens of thousands to the city’s lakefront Grant Park. U.S. Soccer and the city plan a watch party on Tuesday afternoon at the stadium where the Bears play. Soccer fans can watch the U.S. team take on Belgium. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. and the match starts at 3 p.m.

     
  • Late penalty gives Dutch 2-1 win over Mexico Jun 29, 2014 3:39 PM
    FORTALEZA, Brazil — Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Wesley Sneijder scored late goals Sunday to give the Netherlands a 2-1 victory over Mexico and a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals. Huntelaar, who came on as a 76th-minute substitute, scored the winning goal from the penalty spot deep in injury time after Rafael Marquez brought down Arjen Robben in the area. “You don’t know when your chance will come, but it was today, and so you grab it with both hands,” said Huntelaar, who was making his first appearance at this year’s World Cup. “And it was fantastic.” Giovani Dos Santos gave the Mexicans the lead in the 48th minute, but Sneijder equalized for the Dutch in the 88th. It was the first time Sneijder, who scored five goals at the last World Cup in South Africa, has found the net in Brazil. Robben has already scored three goals for the Dutch at this year’s tournament, but after earning the late penalty, he handed the ball to Huntelaar. “Klaas is a great penalty taker. He was fresh, had just come on and I had faith in him,” Robben said. “I asked him if he wanted to take it and he was very sure of himself.” Huntelaar and Sneijder scored the goals at the hot and steamy Arena Castelao, but it was Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal that may just deserve the credit for making a crucial tactical change during the second of two official cooling breaks. As he did earlier against Australia, the master tactician again switched his team around in the second half, changing from the more defensive 5-3-2 system to the traditional Dutch attacking 4-3-3 formation. “Yes, we escaped,” Van Gaal said. “But we showed that we could create more chances with 4-3-3, and the players handled this shift very well.” Van Gaal said he made his critical switch during the second-half break, huddling with his players as they drank from bottles on the sideline. “I moved to ‘Plan B’ at the cooling break after (Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo) Ochoa made an amazing save,” said Van Gaal, soon to be the manager at Manchester United. “That is a good way to take advantage of those breaks.” Ochoa had kept his team in the match with two great saves in the second half, but he was beaten by Sneijder’s powerful drive and guessed wrong when diving in an attempt to stop Huntelaar’s penalty. The Mexicans had conceded only one goal in three group matches and looked like they would keep another clean sheet until the late collapse. It was heartbreak again for Mexico, which has now reached the second stage of the World Cup six straight times without winning. The last time the team made the quarterfinals was when it hosted the tournament in 1986. After the final whistle, the Mexican players collapsed, distraught on the turf while many of their fans were in tears. Mexico coach Miguel Herrera blamed the referee for the loss, saying Robben dived to earn the penalty. “Today it was the man with the whistle who eliminated us from the World Cup,” Herrera said. “If a referee invents a penalty, you’re out of the World Cup,” Herrera added. “I hope they have a look at what happened and that this gentleman goes home just like we are.” It was the fourth straight win for the Netherlands at the World Cup after routing defending champion Spain 5-1 and beating Australia 3-2 and Chile 2-0 in Group B. The Dutch will next face either Costa Rica or Greece in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Salvador. “Unbelievable,” Robben said. “Five minutes from full time, we were out.”

     
  • Review: How to follow World Cup beyond live video Jun 29, 2014 7:04 AM
    Every World Cup game is being shown on television and online in the U.S., but many will require a cable or satellite TV subscription, even for Internet streaming. What if you don't have one? Good news: In 2014, there are more apps and other options than ever before. Here's a look at how to keep up on everything to do with the tournament in Brazil.

     
  • Costa Rica beats Greece with penalty kicks Jun 29, 2014 6:05 PM
    RECIFE, Brazil — Ten-man Costa Rica beat Greece in a penalty shootout Sunday to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time. Michael Umana scored the decisive penalty as Costa Rica won the shootout 5-3 after the game ended 1-1 following extra time. Theofanis Gekas saw his penalty saved by Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas for the only miss in the shootout. Costa Rica had taken the lead early in the second half of regulation time through captain Bryan Ruiz but then had defender Oscar Duarte sent off in the 66th minute. Greece equalized in injury time of regulation time when Sokratis Papastathopoulos smashed in a rebound and finally made the team’s numerical advantage pay. Costa Rica will play the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.

     
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