Germany 2, Sweden 0 (f.t)

A scoreline, that believe it or not, flattered to deceive Sweden, who proved unable to overcome two early goals from Lukas Podolski, nor Tedd Lucic’s sending off. Henrik Larsson put a penalty kick into row Z shortly after the intermission, and now, Mexico or Argentina awaits Juergen Klinsmann’s side. If nothing else, the price of hiring Klinsmann to take over the U.S. national team just went up a bit.

Bavarian-raised, Glasgow-based Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy (above), makes his loyalties crystal clear to Der Spiegel.

He acknowledges Britain’s playful animosity towards the Germans is still a problem. “It’s the most hilarious thing in Britain to make fun of the Germans and the war. It’s an endless story.”

He won’t say whether he prefers smoky Glaswegian pubs to oompah Bavarian beer halls. “I can’t say — that’s like asking if green or blue is better. You’ve got to see them both. I’m sure next time the World Cup will go to Scotland,” he says confidently.

So who is going to support if Germany meet England in the quarter-finals? “I think Germany definitely. When you live in Scotland you really go off England. England’s a bit of a shithole really.”

Sighing that “We don’t understand your football. And what’s worse, we don’t really understand that we don’t understand your football.”, the Onion’s John Krewson provides the Guardian with a rather succinct summation of the U.S. effort in World Cup 2006.

The elites of US Soccer, the supposed eighth-best side in the world, played with almost no raucous arrogance, putting together three self-conscious, almost apologetic matches. You see, I might not be able to perceive the nuances of the game, but I know enough about sports that I can tell, for example, when a man is playing hesitantly, tentatively, and making bad decisions. I can tell when a player, no matter how handsome, isn’t anywhere near as good as the commentators would have me believe. And I can tell when a coach has screwed up so royally, misfired so badly on everything from motivating his players to regulating team chemistry to formulating the game plan, that he should quietly wander off from the team hotel, never to be seen again, leaving only a simple note saying “Went for a walk; I may be some time.”

I saw, in other words, the same thing you did, although again, I’m not certain I’m capable of understanding the importance of what I’ve seen.