The United States was always a World Cup long shot, and their dream came crashing down around them on Tuesday afternoon. Despite a heroic performance from Tim Howard against Belgium, with a record-setting 16 saves on goal, the U.S. still fell to their European foe 2-1 in overtime and were eliminated from the Cup. The team showed a lot of heart, and at times flashes of brilliance, but were simply outmatched on this go-around. Howard is already 35 so some naysayers may say this is the end of his dream, but if he stays healthy and injury free, who’s to say the U.S. can’t make another run in four years – or that an even more amazing goalie might be waiting in the wings to take his place? We’re now down to the round of the Elite 8 teams. Germany defeated France earlier today to advance to the semifinals. Germany was the favorite going into this game and came out of the same bracket as the United States, so personally I’m happy to see them advance to the Final 4. There’s still time to put some action on the other games – one today for the 4th of July and two games being played tomorrow. Let’s start out with a look at Colombia vs. Brazil. As regional rivalries go these two South American teams may have the fiercest and loudest supporters of anyone in the World Cup. I’m in Las Vegas this weekend for UFC 175 and even though there are a ton of Brazilians here supporting Lyoto Machida, soccer is all you hear about and they’re all supremely confident Brazil will win today. Brazil is a small favorite on the money line at -129, with Colombia at +409 and the chance of a draw in regulation time at +283. Colombia had a strong 2-0 performance to knock out Uruguay and reach this round, so they shouldn’t be overlooked. One of the famous stories about drug lord Pablo Escobar is that when he was on the run with only his henchman Popeye by his side, he kept a transistor radio on him at all times, and he screamed “Popeye!” His lieutenant said “What amigo? Are they here?” He cocked his gun. Escobar said: “Popeye – Colombia just scored!!” You’ve got to love soccer. Costa Rica is a far bigger dog than Colombia on Saturday going against the Netherlands – they are a -188 favorite, Costa Rica is a whopping +672 underdog, and the money line on a draw in regulation is +322. Since Costa Rica reached the Elite 8 by going to overtime with Greece and winning on penalty shots, I like the money play for either betting the dog or the draw. This might even be a good parlay if you like Belgium (+283) in Saturday’s game against Argentina (+122) with a +225 draw. That seems impossible to me that NOBODY is considered a favorite, but it certainly means you can try to combo Colombia with any one of these outcomes and hit it big on a bet. As always please remember these previews are for entertainment purposes only and to wager responsibly. Enjoy the World Cup!