And then there were eight. Europe is having a VERY good showing in this year’s World Cup, very nearly sweeping into the quarterfinals: Norway, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, and England sent home Canada, Japan, China, Cameroon, Brazil, Australia, and Nigeria. The lone non-Euro team is the U.S., and even that was too close for our comfort; we beat Spain 2-1, but both goals were on penalty kicks taken by Megan Rapinoe, meaning that we didn’t actually score in normal play. Hopefully this was the shock to the system the team needed after pool play turned out to be so easy.

Also, I didn’t have a picture of her for some reason, but Rose Lavelle is my new favorite American player to watch. Whenever she’s got the ball, she’s deploying crafty footwork — never egregiously, just cleverly. For all our problems on goal against Spain, our passing and ball control — with one heinous exception that led to Spain’s goal — was gorgeous.

[Photos: Rex/Shutterstock]