#ThingsTimHowardCouldSave

Tim Howard: The Man, The Myth, The Meme

Even though the US lost to Belgium 2-1, there was arguably one US player who came out of the match a winner: goalie Tim Howard.

Howard’s impressive play against 27 shots on goal – the most faced by a goalie in the World Cup in nearly 50 years – earned him fans both in the US and abroad. And it earned him a World Cup meme of his very own: #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave.

Naturally, Howard was inserted into other World Cup scenes (and inspirations for memes):

Could Tim Howard have stopped Suarez’s bite?
Tim Howard save.
Perhaps he could have stopped the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben from taking a dive.
Tim Howard save.
Or Maradona’s famous “Hand of God” goal.
Tim Howard save.

Howard makes appearances in other sports, too:

But he’s not only limited to athletics – Howard is seen making historical saves:

Howard saves the Titanic.
Tim Howard saves.
Keeping the Leaning Tower of Pisa from falling.
Tim Howard saves.
If only Tim Howard was around during prehistoric times.
Tim Howard saves.

And pop culture saves – think of the movies that would’ve been changed if Tim Howard was in them:

He could’ve saved Private Ryan.
Tim Howard saves.
Bambi would’ve been a very different movie if Tim Howard was there.
Tim Howard saves.
Star Wars too.
Tim Howard saves.
With Tim Howard around, it’s safe to go into the water again.
Tim Howard saves.

But perhaps the best thing to come out of this meme for Howard? If he ever decides to retire, he’ll have other career options:

Tim Howard saves.
Tim Howard saves.

USA (2-1) Belgium

United States of Altidore? (UPDATE: No Altidore & No Win)


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Jozy Altidore.

UPDATE: After being cleared to play, and after all of the hype, Jozy Altidore never took the field in the United States’ match with Belgium. Whether his absence had an impact is unknown. But what is known is that after a scoreless 90 minutes, Belgium was able to score twice. The US tried to mount a comeback, but was only able to get one goal. With their win, Belgium moves on to face Argentina in the quarterfinals.

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The big news for this match is that key US player Jozy Altidore has been cleared to play after straining his hamstring in the United States’ first match against Ghana. The timing couldn’t be better – the US faces a Belgian team that has yet to lose at the 2014 World Cup, so they’ll need to pull out all the stops to advance. But just before the match comes word that Altidore won’t be starting. Will he makes an appearance in the match? Will his presence alone make the difference? The match starts at 4 PM ET (8 PM UTC).

For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s multilingual, multinational analysis.

Click here to follow the action live, or follow along on Facebook, or on Twitter with #WorldCupVOA.

And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.

Photo of the Day

World Cup: June 27, 2014

Obama watches the World Cup on Air Force One.

President Barack Obama, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer, right, watch the World Cup soccer match between US and Germany in the conference room aboard Air Force One enroute to Minnesota, Thursday, June 26, 2014. (AP)

Belgium (1-0) South Korea

Is Belgium Looking to Lose? (UPDATE: Nope!)


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Belgium could take a dive to face an easier opponent in the Round of 16.

UPDATE: Belgium wins their match against South Korea, 1-0, and wins Group H. They’ll face the United States in the knockout round on Tuesday.

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You read that right – Belgium could try to lose their match against South Korea today. Belgium has already advanced, so a loss won’t affect their spot in the Round of 16. But it would affect who they play. From FiveThirtyEight.com:

An interesting scenario might unfold in Group H if the U.S. beats Germany. Then Belgium might have an incentive to lose to South Korea and hope that Algeria overtakes it. That would set the Red Devils up with a Round of 16 match against the Americans instead of the Germans.

See if the Belgians take a dive today at 4 PM ET (8 PM UTC).

For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s multilingual, multinational analysis.

Click here to follow the action live, or follow along on Facebook, or on Twitter with #WorldCupVOA.

And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.

Germany (1-0) USA

Win and They’re In. Lose…and They’re In? (UPDATE: US and Germany In)


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Can the US win the match...and the group?

UPDATE: Sure enough, even though Germany beat the US 1-0, both teams advance to the Round of 16 – the US moves on thanks to Portugal’s 2-1 win over Ghana.

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Group G isn’t just the so-called “Group of Death” – it’s also emerged as the group with the most interesting, convoluted advancement scenarios. For Germany and the USA, the easiest way to advance is to win, or to tie (in which case both teams would move forward).

But if either team loses, they could still move forward, depending on how many goals are scored in this match at the Ghana/Portugal match. Germany, for instance, could lose by up to two goals and still advance if Portugal beats Ghana. The US, meanwhile, could lose and still advance if Ghana and Portugal play to a draw.

Needless to say, US and German fans will be closely watching both of these matches today when they kick off at 12 PM ET (4 PM UTC).

For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s multilingual, multinational analysis.

Click here to follow the action live, or follow along on Facebook, or on Twitter with #WorldCupVOA.

And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.