4 teams enter, 2 teams go home… South American Smackdown today at the World Cup

Brazil v. Chile, 12pm

Key Players:
Brazil:  Neymar- He has carried Brazil so far, and will need to continue to do so unless some of his teammates step up their play.  He will cut inside from the left side of the attack and must be accounted for by a tough Chilean defense.
Chile:  Arturo Vidal- He came into the tournament recovering from surgery and was rested against the Netherlands. With Brazil’s midfield looking rather disjointed, Vidal can be key in sparking a Chilean upset.

Colombia v. Uruguay, 4pm

Key Players:
Colombia:  James Rodrguez- According to many, he’s been the best player in the tournament thus far.  He plays behind Jackson Martinez as an attacking midfielder, but is free to pop up wherever he likes. He’s been scoring goals and setting them up for the high powered Colombian attack. 
Uruguay:  Diego Forlan- After losing Luis Suarez to his moment of madness, the inspirational leader Forlan will be pressed back into service to lift his team.  He was the best player in South Africa four years ago, but it’s unclear if he has enough left in the tank to defeat one of Colombia’s best ever teams.

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
We’ll be watching today’s games at Diesel Filling Station in Virginia-Highland.  You can support our programs at APS schools by drinking Bud Light draft, $1 from every pint and $4 from every pitcher will donated to Soccer in the Streets. 

We were out in the field and missed the early games.  Argentina took care of business in winning the group behind two goals from Lionel Messi.  Nigeria advanced in second place despite the 3-2 loss to Argentina.  

Honduras v. Switzerland, 4pm

Key Players:
Honduras:  Jerry Bengston- The New England Revolution forward has to have a big game to keep Honduras’ slim chances for advancement alive.
Switzerland:  Philippe Senderos- He came on for the injured Steve von Bergen in the last match with France and did not impress. The veteran will likely start today and be vital to the Swiss defense.

France v. Ecuador, 4pm

Key Players:
France:  Rio Mavuba- Expected to start in place of the suspended Yohan Cabaye, he will be needed to secure the draw necessary to move France into the Round of 16 as the group champion.  
Ecuador: Enner Valencia- Ecuador needs a win to secure the next round, and much will be expected of their leading scorer.

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
You can support Soccer in the Streets by drinking Bud Light draft all month long at Diesel.  $1 from every pint and $4 from every pitcher are being donated to our programs with Atlanta Public Schools.  

Tomorrow… we will see you at Diesel for USA v. Germany. You know you’ve been waiting for an excuse to take that vacation day…

Things are getting complicated today…

Costa Rica v. England, 12pm

Scenario:  England is already eliminated.  Costa Rica is already through to the next round and can win the group with a draw or win today.

Key Players:
Costa Rica:  Bryan Ruiz- His header defeated Italy last week.  He is the key to the Costa Rican attack and will be needed to keep the Ticos thriving.
England:  Raheem Sterling- He’s done well in their first two games and will be one of the key players for England going forward.  

Italy v. Uruguay, 12pm

Scenario:  Italy can advance with a draw due to their superior goal differential, Uruguay must win.  There’s a remote chance that either one could end up winning the group if Costa Rica loses and there is a big swing in the goal differential.

Key Players:
Italy:  Marco Verratti- With Andrea Pirlo as the focal point of the Italian midfield, Verratti will have to keep things more balanced today and protect from the Uruguayan counterattack.
Uruguay:  Luis Suarez- He didn’t do much against England, but still scored two goals.  It will be up to him to lead his squad to the next round. 

Colombia v. Japan, 4pm

Scenario:  Colombia is through to the next round, but will need at least a draw to seal winning the group.  Japan must win and hope for a favorable outcome in the other match.

Key Players:
Colombia:  Jackson Martinez- He will be looking to earn a bigger role in the next role with a big game today
Japan:  Shinji Kagawa- He will likely return to the starting lineup after appearing as a substitute against Greece. Japan’s attack hasn’t been what was expected and Kagawa will have to have a hand in improving it.

Greece v. Ivory Coast, 4pm

Scenario:  Ivory Coast can win to secure their ticket to the Round of 16.  A draw might see them through, if Japan doesn’t beat Colombia and overturn the tiebreakers.  Greece must win and hope for a Colombia draw or win, or win by a large margin to overturn any potential of Japan beating them out on tiebreakers.

Key Players:
Greece
:  Giorgios Samaras- Greece’s inspirational leader must step up and contribute to the Greek attack today.  They need goals in a big way.
Ivory Coast:  Gervinho- He’s scored in each of his last three matches with Ivory Coast and has one of the goals of the tournament with his solo effort against Colombia.  

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
Catch the 4pm games deciding the outcome of Group A at Diesel. You can support Soccer in the Streets by drinking Bud Light draft, $1 from every pint and $4 from every pitcher will be donated to our programs in Atlanta Public Schools.

Can we all agree to forget that the last 30 seconds of USA v. Portugal happened?

Spain v. Australia, 12pm

The game doesn’t matter as both teams are eliminated. Both teams will likely be emptying their benches and looking forward to the plane ride home.

Chile v. Netherlands, 12pm

Scenario: The Dutch come into the game with the advantage and will win the group with a draw. Winning the group is important here, as the winner will likely avoid Brazil in the Round of 16.

Key Players:
Chile:  Charles Aranguiz- He scored against Spain and has been one of Chile’s best midfielders in the tournament. He plays for Internacional in Brazil.
Netherlands:  Memphis Depay- With Robin van Persie suspended due to yellow card accumulation, Depay will be very important in driving the Dutch forward.

Brazil v. Cameroon, 4pm

Scenario:  Brazil needs a win or draw to secure passage to the next round. A loss brings lots of things into play and could see the hosts bounced early.

Key Players:
Brazil:  Fred- He’s been very disappointing thus far and must step up to give Brazil some strength up top.
Cameroon:  Benoit Assou-Ekotto- He’s extremely dangerous going forward and can trouble Brazil’s own attacking outside backs. 

Mexico v. Croatia, 4pm

Scenario:  Mexico need a draw to advance. Croatia will be going for the win to qualify for the next round.  Depending on how things go, there could be lots of scoreboard watching late in these games.

Mexico:  Miguel Layun- He loves to get forward, but has to be careful about Croatia’s outside backs getting behind him today, especially when a draw is all Mexico requires.
Croatia:  Luka Modric- He hasn’t been poor thus far, but needs a big performance to break down a tough Mexico defense who will be playing conservatively to protect their spot in the next round.

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
Catch the 4pm games deciding the outcome of Group A at Diesel. You can support Soccer in the Streets by drinking Bud Light draft, $1 from every pint and $4 from every pitcher will be donated to our programs in Atlanta Public Schools.

Can the USA book their ticket to the Round of 16?

Belgium v. Russia, 12pm 

Key Players:
Belgium:  Eden Hazard- With Russia likely to focus on defense, it will take the skills and creativity of Hazard to create chances for Belgium.
Russia:  Aleksandr Kokorin- The center forward will be key in giving Russia’s defense a breather by holding the ball up top, and finishing any chances that come his way.

Algeria v. South Korea, 3pm

Key Players:
Algeria:  Saphir Taider- The Inter Milan midfielder is the key creator in Algeria’s attack. He played previously for French youth national teams before declaring for Algeria.  
South Korea:  Lee Keun-Ho- He came off the bench to score the goal against Russia, with some help from a mistake by Russia’s goalkeeper.  He could get the start today.

USA v. Portugal, 6pm

Key Players:
USA:  Kyle Beckerman- As the anchor of the US midfielder, he will have his hands full with a strong Portuguese attack.  His positioning will be key, as will his distribution to launch attacks.
Portugal:  Joao Moutinho- With Cristiano Ronaldo’s fitness a big question mark, Moutinho becomes even more important as the central playmaker.  He will be a key in breaking down the US defense.

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
For USA v. Ghana, Diesel reached its capacity before kickoff.  Get there early!  You can support Soccer in the Streets programs many different ways today.  We will be grilling burgers on the patio, they will be $3 cash with a portion of the proceeds going to our programs.  We will be raffling off 2 US national team jerseys, one at 3pm and one prior to kickoff.  You can also drink Bud Light DRAFT, $1 from every pint and $4 from every pitcher will benefit our programs.  

All proceeds from our fundraisers at Diesel benefit our programs in Atlanta Public Schools.  

Germany v. Ghana with massive implications on the USA’s group results…

Argentina v. Iran, 12pm

Key Players:
Argentina:  Gonzalo Higuain- Argentina started against Bosnia-Herzegovina in a 5-3-2 formation, but switched to a 4-3-3 at halftime. Higuain’s inclusion sparked a much better second half and he’s expected to be involved from the start today.
Iran:  Ashkan Dejagah- If Iran is to mount any sort of an attack today, it will most likely come through winger Dejagah.  He was voted by fans as Fulham’s player of the year last season.

Germany v. Ghana, 3pm

Key Players:
Germany:  Phillipp Lahm- Playing in midfield, he will be important to stifle Ghana’s counterattacking style. 
Ghana:  Kwadwo Asamoah- Largely quiet against the US, Asamoah will have to launch threatening counterattacks to give Ghana a chance to advance with a result today.  

Bosnia-Herzegovina v. Nigeria, 6pm

Key Players:
Bosnia-Herzegovina:  Muhamed Besic- He plays a lone defensive midfielder and handled himself well against Argentina. He’ll be important to cutting out Nigerian attacks through the center of the field.
Nigeria:  Joseph Yobo- Nigeria’s center backs will have to control Edin Dzeko to keep Bosnia-Herzegovina off the scoreboard today and Yobo’s veteran leadership will be important.

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
At Diesel, you can benefit Soccer in the Streets programs by drinking Bud Light draft. $1 from every pint and $4 from every pitcher is donated to our programs at Atlanta Public Schools.  

Enjoy the call of Bryan Ruiz’s goal for Costa Rica yesterday to defeat Italy and send the Ticos to the next round:

Italy v. Costa Rica, 12pm

Key Players:
Italy: Andrea Pirlo- The veteran covered as much ground as anyone in the jungle of Manaus against England, and controlled the Italian midfield. He’ll need to continue that type of effort against the tough Costa Rican squad.
Costa Rica: Keylor Navas- He was the best goalkeeper in La Liga this past season and was strong again against Uruguay in their opener.

Switzerland v. France, 3pm

Key Players:
Switzerland: Xherdan Shaqiri- The best known of the Swiss team, Shaqiri is the most important link in the Swiss midfield to their strikers.
France: Antoine Griezmann- The Real Sociedad winger was a star against Honduras in the opener and can create goals for Benzema, or score them if the Swiss don’t keep him out.

Honduras v. Ecuador, 6pm

Key Players:
Honduras: Boniek Garcia- The Houston Dynamo midfielder could make it back into the starting lineup after not being fully fit for the opener. He’ll be needed to replace the suspended Wilson Palacios.
Ecuador: Antonio Valencia- The leader of Ecuador’s national team, he will be expected to carry them to a needed win today.

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
You can support Soccer in the Streets programs by watching all of today’s World Cup action at Diesel. Drink Bud Light draft to have $1 from every pint donated to our programming with Atlanta Public Schools.

2 must win games highlight today’s action.

Colombia v. Ivory Coast, 12pm

Key Players:
Colombia:  Teofilio Gutierrez- The River Plate striker is trying to make fans forget about Radamel Falcao and scored in the opener against Greece.
Ivory Coast:  Yaya Toure- He didn’t do much against Japan in the opener, but he brings one of the most unique skill sets to the World Cup and will be important to the Ivory Coast’s success going forward.

England v. Uruguay, 3pm

Key Players:
England:  Raheem Sterling- Uruguay doesn’t have a match for his speed, he was the most dangerous player for England in their opening loss and must do even more today.
Uruguay:  Luis Suarez- He said he’s 100% and is expected to play today.  With both teams in a must win situation, Uruguay has to chance it and play their inspirational striker.

Greece v. Japan, 6pm

Key Players:
Greece:  Konstantinos Mitroglou- The Fulham striker might not be fully fit, but Greece needs to shake up their attack after a poor effort in their opening match. He will be looking to take advantage of Japan’s weakness in the air.
Japan:  Keisuke Honda- He will be the key to picking apart Greece’s packed defensive shape and creating chances for Japan. 

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
Diesel opens at 3pm.  You can support Soccer in the Streets by drinking Bud Light on draft ($1 from each pint, $4 from each pitcher is donated to our Atlanta Public Schools’ programs).  

Meehan’s Public House, 200 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, 30303
Meehan’s is the home bar for the Atlanta Liverpool supporter’s group and they will be out in full force for today’s England match.  Meehan’s is a long time supporter of the Liverpool squad in our ATL Champions League fundraising event, they were this year’s fundraising champions.

Can Spain save themselves?

Netherlands v. Australia, 12pm

Key Players:
Netherlands:  Arjen Robben- Van Persie’s diving header received so much of the attention, but Robben was excellent against Spain. He will need to keep that up as the Dutch seek to progress.
Australia:  Mile Jedinak- The defensive midfielder will be important to stopping the Dutch attack.

Spain v. Chile, 3pm

Key Players:
Spain:  Gerard Pique- The Spanish defense was a nightmare against Holland in their first match and will be tested again against a relentless Chilean attack. They have to improve if Spain wants to defend their championship. 
Chile:  Alexis Sanchez- The Barcelona star will be very familiar with his opposition.  He had a goal and an assist in their win over Australia.

Cameroon v. Croatia, 6pm

Key Players:
Cameroon:  Vincent Aboubakar- With Samuel Eto’o unlikely to play due to a knee injury, the 22 year old Lorient striker will be the likely replacement.  He scored double digit goals in Ligue 1 last season.
Croatia:  Mario Mandzukic- The striker missed out on the opener against Brazil due to a red card in qualifying.  He scored 18 goals for Bayern Munich last season and will add to the Croatian attack.

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
Diesel opens at 3pm today.  You can support Soccer in the Streets by drinking Bud Light draft, $1 from every pint and $4 from every pitcher will be donated to our programs in Atlanta Public Schools.

If you’ve lost your voice after last night’s US match, we understand…

Belgium v. Algeria, 12pm

Key Players:
Belgium:  Romelu Lukaku- Belgium has high expectations from many this year, and Lukaku’s strength and power up top is one of the main reasons. He was Everton’s leading scorer last season.
Algeria:  Islam Slimani- He starred for Sporting Lisbon this past season and was a leading scorer for Algeria in World Cup qualifying.

Brazil v. Mexico, 3pm

Key Players:
Brazil:  Neymar- He’s been stuggling a bit with an ankle injury, but still scored twice in the opener against Croatia.
Mexico:  Giovani dos Santos- He was Mexico’s best player in the opening win and will be expected to key the attack against Brazil.

Russia v. South Korea, 6pm

Key Players:
Russia:  Aleksandr Kokorin- The young Dynamo Moscow forward scored four times in World Cup qualifying and will lead the Russian attack.
South Korea:  Son Heung-Min- He’s only 21, but he scored ten times for Bayer Leverkusen and will lead the left side of South Korea’s attack.

Where to watch with Soccer in the Streets:

Diesel Filling Station, 870 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 30306
Doors open at 3pm today.  $1 from every Bud Light draft and $4 from every Bud Light pitcher will be donated to our programs at Atlanta Public Schools.  

Rock ‘N’ Taco, 3247 Roswell Road, Atlanta, 30305
We’ll be watching Mexico v. Brazil with our friends at Rock ‘N’ Taco. Check out their menu and we’ll see you at 3pm.  

Thanks to everyone who came out to Diesel last night for USA-Ghana. Rest those vocal cords.