Thomas Muller scores early goal (Video)

Thomas-Muller-goalGermany took an early lead against Brazil in the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday, and it was a familiar face who found the back of the net in the 11th minute. Who else but Thomas Muller?

Muller was positioned perfectly on a beautiful corner kick from Toni Kroos. Considering Muller has scored five goals in six games this World Cup, it’s hard to understand how he got behind the entire Brazilian defense and was left alone.

Muller, a frontrunner for the Golden Boot, has 10 goals in 10 games in his World Cup career. He has been Germany’s best player in this year’s tournament.

GIF via SB Nation

Brazil fans wear Neymar masks to show support


Brazil will have their hands full against Germany in the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday, with Neymar out due to a fractured vertebrae and captain Thiago Silva suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the tournament. In order to show their support for their injured superstar, thousands of Brazil fans are wearing Neymar masks.

The masks, which have been printed off the website SomosTodosNeymar.com.br by the tens of thousands, could be seen around Belo Horizonte in the hours leading up to the match.

Some fans who were wearing German colors were even spotted wearing the Neymar face.

While the Germans must be glad they don’t have to defend Neymar, no one wants to see a player miss a match because of a serious injury. Brazil has plenty to overcome if they hope to win in front of the home fans.

WATCH: Neymar suffers back injury, cries on stretcher

H/T For the Win
Photo: Twitter/Portal da Copa

Tim Krul taunts Giancarlo Gonzalez during shootout (Video)

Tim Krul Giancarlo Gonzalez

Tim Krul sure was feeling himself during the Netherlands’ shootout against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals of the World Cup on Saturday.

Krul, who plays goalie for Newcastle, came on as a substitute for Jasper Cillessen after extra time. He allowed the first penalty kick for a goal, but he saved the second and was really feeling confident. He decided to get in the face of Giancarlo Gonzalez and give him a taste of the Mutumbo finger wag prior to his attempt. Gonzalez converted the PK for a goal, though Krul did guess the right direction.

Krul stopped two of the five attempts by Costa Rica, while the Dutch made their first four attempts to get the win.

Krul even did the same thing to Celso Borges prior to his attempt. He called Borges by name and gave him the “I got my eye on you look”:

Tim Krul Celso Borges

The Netherlands absolutely dominated the match, so it was only right that they won. They had 20 shots on goal compared to just 6 for Costa Rica. Next round against Argentina will be a much tougher challenge.

All 16 of Tim Howard’s saves in the same awesome GIF

Tim Howard savesStill not over Tim Howard’s awesome performance for the US against Belgium in the World Cup? Neither are we.

Take a look at this awesome GIF created by Yahoo! Sports showing all 16 of Howard’s saves at the same time.

Also see: Things Tim Howard could save meme is fantastic
Also see: Highlight video of all of Howard’s saves

If you liked that Tim Howard GIF, then you’ll also love this GIF of Miguel Cabrera hitting home runs and Yu Darvish pitching to Albert Pujols.

Gonzalo Higuain scores goal on volley (Video)

Gonzalo-Higuain-goalArgentina jumped out to a very early lead against Belgium on Saturday. Believe it or not, Lionel Messi had nothing to do with the goal. Gonzalo Higuain had the honors.

Belgium got a bit unlucky, as Argentina midfielder Angel Di Maria was looking to make a through pass elsewhere when the ball deflected directly to Higuain. While the pass was unintentional, that doesn’t make the finish any less impressive. Higuain ripped a perfect shot on a volley as the ball bounced right to him.

If players other than Messi continue to get involved for Argentina, they will be extremely difficult to beat.

GIF via Complex Sports

Landon Donovan on Jurgen Klinsmann criticism: I was being honest

Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan was given the chance to backtrack on his criticism of US Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, but instead he doubled down.

The LA Galaxy forward was interviewed following his team’s 2-2 tie with the Portland Timbers Friday and asked if he wanted to clarify his comments aka retract them or backtrack. Donovan opted to stand by his remarks.

“I think it’s time to move on,” said Donovan in an interviewed that aired on NBC Sports. “I feel an obligation always to be honest in my life. A lot of times that comes off in different ways. I see a lot of people can perceive that as bitter and having an ax to grind, but I’ve always been honest. When I have a good day, I tell you. When I have a bad day, I tell you. When other people are good or bad, I tell you.

“I’m always going to be honest. People like it or they don’t, but I gotta be honest.”

Donovan was critical of Klinsmann in an interview with MLSsoccer.com during the week. He said he thought the players did well and implied the coaching was bad.

[Also see: Felix Magath rips Landon Donovan via Facebook, calls him mediocre]

Many have felt that Donovan’s criticism of the coaching was motivated by his bitterness over being cut from the national team prior to the World Cup. Donovan continues to insist that is not the case.

Felix Magath rips Landon Donovan via Facebook, calls him mediocre

Landon DonovanFulham manager and former German national team player Felix Magath ripped Landon Donovan via Facebook on Friday for being critical of Jurgen Klinsmann and the US National Team.

Magath wrote the message in his native German, but the translation indicates he was praiseworthy of the job Klinsmann did.

Here’s a Google translation of his comments:

Jürgen Klinsmann and the United States have earned their World Cup performance the respect of the football world. How to order now comes a mediocre player with a plaintive interview and false claims therefore, denounces the work of the coach. The player Landon Donovan at Bayern was once considered unsuitable for the second team, but now leads the talking. I find such behavior unspeakable, unworthy of a national player.

Magath was referring to Donovan’s loan to German power Bayern Munich, which only lasted three months before the club decided not to extend his loan.

Donovan has been critical of Klinsmann since being left off the 23-man national team for the World Cup, which would have marked his fourth time competing in the tournament. He specifically pointed to the coaching as the reason for the team’s struggles.

“I thought the guys did everything they could, they did everything that was asked of them,” Donovan said in an interview with MLSsoccer.com. “But I don’t think we were set up to succeed, and that was tough to watch.

“They were set up in a way that was opposite from what they’ve been the past couple years, which is opening up, passing, attacking – trying to do that. And the team’s been successful that way. Why they decided to switch that in a World Cup, none of us will know.”

Admittedly I’m not a soccer genius here, but I sure felt like the US had an excellent showing at the World Cup. Donovan’s criticism comes across as an extension of personal bitterness rather than justified commentary.

H/T Yahoo! Sports